Home > Uncategorized > My First World Problem of the Day

My First World Problem of the Day

So I brought the Prius in for an oil change.  In addition to the service, they have to reset my screen so that the reminder doesn’t pop up and I can see the confusing display which is supposed to tell me whether the hybrid system is working, but all I see are little animations and graphs moving and I have no idea what they mean.  About half way to work I look at the speedometer and think I’m speeding in a big way, but realize it had been reset to km per hour rather than miles.  This is on the safety corridor, where they enforce the speed limit strictly, so I quickly did the math.  I remembered that the March of Dimes, when I was a kid, switched from miles to kilometers to get more dimes, and it was 20 miles to 32 km, which is 5/8, so 80 km is about right.  I was really hoping I got my math right as a CHP car passed me in other direction….

  1. Fact Checker
    November 20, 2012 at 12:26 pm

    “Not surprisingly, the fuel-efficient Prius was better than average in its class of vehicles in lifetime emissions of carbon dioxide, nitrogen oxide and sulfur oxide, according to Toyota.

    But it was slightly worse than average in emissions of nonmethane hydrocarbons and particulate matter. Toyota says this is because producing hybrid-only parts such as motors, inverters and nickel-metal hydride batteries consumes more energy and creates more emissions.

    In fact, when looking at the “materials manufacturing” phase of the car’s life cycle, the Prius was worse than the class average across all five emissions categories.”


  2. November 20, 2012 at 12:52 pm

    Fact Checker, if you want the progress, I think you have to recognize that it requires the steps to get it.

    Impressive that the whole-cycle accounting is being done, and out in the open. For this, kudos to Toyota.

  3. Fact Checker
    November 20, 2012 at 1:02 pm

    “The Toyota Prius, the flagship car for the environmentally conscious, is the source of some of the worst pollution in North America, and takes more combined energy to produce than a Hummer, says the Recorder.


    * The nickel contained in the Prius’ battery is mined and smelted at a plant in Ontario that has caused so much environmental damage to the surrounding environment that NASA has used the ‘dead zone’ around the plant to test moon rovers.
    * Dubbed the Superstack, the factory has spread sulfur dioxide across northern Ontario, becoming every environmentalist’s nightmare.
    * Acid rain around the area was so bad it destroyed all the plants and the soil slid down off the hillside, according to Canadian Greenpeace energy-coordinator David Martin.
    * After leaving the plant, the nickel travels to Europe, China, Japan and United States, a hardly environmentally sound round the world trip for a single battery.

    But that isn’t even the worst part, says the Record. According to a study by CNW Marketing, the total combined energy to produce a Prius (consisting of electrical, fuel, transportation, materials and hundreds of other factors over the expected lifetime), is greater than what it takes to produce a Hummer:

    * The Prius costs an average of $3.25 per mile driven over a lifetime of 100,000 miles — the expected lifespan of the Hybrid.
    * The Hummer, on the other hand, costs a more fiscal $1.95 per mile to put on the road over an expected lifetime of 300,000 miles.
    * That means the Hummer will last three times longer than a Prius and use almost 50 percent less combined energy doing it.

    Source: Chris Demorro, “Prius Outdoes Hummer in Environmental Damage,” The Recorder, March 7, 2007.”

  4. Eric Kirk
    November 20, 2012 at 1:05 pm

    There is also the disposal issue with regard to the batteries, although the batteries are lasting much longer than originally projected. Officially, in California, they are deemed to last 180 thousand miles, but there are lots of Prius cars which have gone over 500,000 miles and the batteries are still fine. Mid-City Motors says that since they’ve started selling the cars, they’ve only replaced six batteries, which is pretty amazing.

    There was also an old argument made by a flack for Hummer, claiming that the Hummer is more environmentally sound in the aggregate consideration, based on a mileage life of the Prius at about 110,000 miles. Why so low? Because the average Prius driver lives in the city and only drives about 11 thousand miles per year, and the people who buy them are tech-type people who don’t hold on to their tech toys for more than 10 years, and so they will dispose of their cars to buy something fresh and new.

    Really, the argument is so stupid on so many levels, it’s hard to know where to begin to respond.

  5. Eric Kirk
    November 20, 2012 at 1:06 pm

    Oh, Factchecker went and quoted the “study,” which has been trashed uniformly in the science community.

  6. Fact Checker
    November 20, 2012 at 1:18 pm

    “Nothing singes the psyche of an eco-conscious do-gooder quite like being rebuked by another eco-conscious do-gooder. In The Conundrum, which catalogs the hypocrisies and paradoxes of living green, the scolder is David Owen…
    The tough-love upbraiding in The Conundrum seems mostly directed at hybrid-driving, energy- efficient-lightbulb-screwing locavores convinced that such practices will set the world on a path to green salvation. Owen’s book brings deflating news: Most supposedly sustainable products and eco-living strategies are, he writes, “irrelevant or make the real problems worse.”
    Owen’s logic is backed up by an economic principle known as the “rebound effect”: Advances in energy efficiency lower the cost of a given activity, which causes people to engage in that activity more, canceling out not only savings but also environmental benefits. Owen keeps a 1940s aluminum beer can on his desk. It weighs five times more than today’s can of Bud Light. Efficiency gains made beer cans cheaper to produce, transport, and dispose of. The cost of popping a brew declined so that more people can do it, using up more aluminum, not less.
    It doesn’t take long for him to establish the Prius Fallacy: “a belief that switching to an ostensibly more efficient travel mode turns mobility itself into an environmental positive.” Owen cites statistics showing that as government officials have moved to increase automobile fuel efficiency, our gas consumption has gone up, not down. We simply drive more miles as a species. He also disses HOV lanes, traffic-control systems, and even smartphone apps for finding a parking spot as “counterproductive from an environmental point of view because they make drivers even happier with cars than they were already.””

  7. Fact Checker
    November 20, 2012 at 1:30 pm

    If Toyota is really committed to a Green Car, why do their cars which are sold abroad have little or no smog control devices? Perhaps they are in fact committed to selling cars to everyone on earth, even the Green Consuming Zombies. Arcatans don’t consume less, they consume green things. Imagine billions and billions of people driving cars with gas engines and electric engines with a bunch of batteries. Imagine a world of billions of people buying “free range beef”. Imagine a world of green consumers. Snap it up now while the gettins good. GREN in the NASDAQ

  8. Eric Kirk
    November 20, 2012 at 1:35 pm

    Toyota is committed to making a profit Fact Checker. They are a private corporation. They aren’t going to do anything they don’t have to. The fact that they have to create a car like the Prius and market it as they do is evidence of the growth of “green consumers.” Otherwise, they wouldn’t have bothered.

    Owen’s article has some good points. But the Hummer thing has been trashed by Universities and Think Tanks across the country, causing its author to wig out by leaving angry posts on the online versions of anything critical. I don’t think Rush is even citing him anymore.

  9. Fact Checker
    November 20, 2012 at 1:39 pm

    I agree the Hummer comparison may have been off base. I think what bugs me about the Prius is that people I know who own one act like their Carbon Footprint is like zero, but it’s damn near what a 2012 gasoline powered Honda is. My point is Green Consumerism is not the answer to sustainable living. Period.

  10. Eric Kirk
    November 20, 2012 at 1:44 pm

    I think it’s part of the answer. But it’s regulation that has to make the crucial difference, hence the smog standards of California. And fuel efficiency standards.

    I was in Chicago this summer, and almost the entire taxi cab fleet is hybrids, mosty the Prius. It’s hard to imagine that it won’t make a difference, and if the nickel extraction is a problem it’s with the failure of the regulation of the extraction industry, not the technology depending on it.

  11. tra
    November 20, 2012 at 1:44 pm

    Sorry, but this “Hummer is greener than Prius” nonsense has long since been debunked.

    Re: attributing environmental damage around the nickel mine in Ontario to the Prius:

    “Toyota says that nickel has been mined from in Sudbury since the 1800s, and that “the large majority of the environmental damage from nickel mining in and around Sudbury was caused by mining practices that were abandoned decades ago.” Out of the Inco mine’s 174,800-ton output in 2004, Toyota purchased 1000 tons, just over a half-percent of its output. The plant’s emissions of sulfur dioxide are down 90 percent from 1970 levels, and it’s targeting a 97-percent reduction in those emissions by 2015, according to Toyota.”

    Re: CNW’s deeply flawed “analysis” of the lifetime energy use of the Hummer vs. the Prius.

    “Toyota concedes that there is more energy required in the materials production stage for its hybrids, but says that it is overwhelmingly made up by less energy used during its driving lifetime. But Toyota also says that the study uses an unrealistically low estimated lifetime for hybrids, and that there’s no data to support its assumptions in this. For instance, according to the study the average Prius is expected to go 109,000 miles over its lifetime, while a Hummer H1 would go 379,000 miles.”


    And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. The CNW “researchers” cooked the books in numerous ways in order to reach their desired conclusion. For example:

    “the report automatically penalizes the Prius by prorating all of Toyota’s hybrid research-and-development costs across the relatively small number of Priuses on the road [in 2007!!]. New technologies obviously require massive upfront investment, so this puts the Prius deep in the energy hole right off the bat.”


    And the CNW “study”

    “also posits that the vast majority of a car’s cradle-to-grave energy gets expended during production. That assertion runs contrary to virtually every other analysis of vehicular life cycles, including those conducted by MIT (PDF) and Argonne National Laboratory.”


    Anyone still citing CNW’s thoroughly discredited “research” is either intentionally trying to misinform people, or is laughably misinformed themselves.

  12. Fact Checker
    November 20, 2012 at 1:53 pm

    Billions of consumers is the problem, not the regulation of the (insert any industry here). Democrats want to regulate their way to a perfect world. Republicans want to deregulate their way to a perfect world. The earth can not absorb the trash, pollution, and loss of habitat associated with the consuming hoards which have swept the earth throughout the Agricultural Revolution. A Revolution which has not ended, but it will (relatively) soon. For more reading, try “Ishmael” by Daniel Quinn.

  13. tra
    November 20, 2012 at 2:02 pm

    “Billions of consumers is the problem”

    No shit. Spreading disinformation to those consumers does not help the situation.

  14. Fact Checker
    November 20, 2012 at 2:17 pm

    “Once you learn to discern the voice of Mother Culture humming in the background, telling her story over and over again to the people of your culture, you’ll never stop being conscious of it. Wherever you go for the rest of your life, you’ll be tempted to say to the people around you, “how can you listen to this stuff and not recognize it for what it is?”
    ― Daniel Quinn, Ishmael

  15. tra
    November 20, 2012 at 2:21 pm

    I actually agree with the concern that too many people have been led to believe that with just a few technological quick-fixes, we can go on endlessly increasing our population and level of consumption. Technological improvements can buy us some time, and reduce the amount of damage we do in the meantime, but in the Big Picture, sustainability will require very significant cultural adaptation. But buying some time may be crucial, as successful cultural adaptation will not come overnight.

    It could be that there is just too much momentum behind our current trajectory, we won’t be able to slow down in time and will continue to grow, grow, grow until we do enough damage that we cannot avoid a major crash. On the other hand, maybe we will change fast enough, and there’s enough time left for that change to take place, that we can come in for a (relatively) soft landing, instead of exploding in a fiery wreck.

  16. Fact Checker
    November 20, 2012 at 2:26 pm

    “Man’s destiny was to conquer and rule the world, and this is what he’s done.. almost. He hasn’t quite made it, and it looks as though this may be his undoing. The problem is that man’s conquest of the world has itself devastated the world. And in spite of all the mastery we’ve attained, we don’t have enough mastery to stop devastating the world.. or to repair the devastation we’ve already wrought.”
    ― Daniel Quinn

  17. Just Watchin
    November 20, 2012 at 2:28 pm

    Factless…..if you knew that “the Hummer comparison may have been off base ”, why throw it out there? Could it be you didn’t expect anyone to research your “facts”? Must have been another find in the wikipedia bible.

  18. Fact Checker
    November 20, 2012 at 2:42 pm

    Missed the point, eh? Perhaps some education regarding critical thinking skills would help you understand the big picture (consumerism and green pacification) instead of getting all hung up on one comparison. Weather or not the Prius is greener than a Hummer is irrelevant compared to the destruction of our habitat.

  19. tra
    November 20, 2012 at 2:56 pm

    The thing is, when you begin by making inaccurate and irrelevant claims, it’s not a great start. Fewer people will “miss the point” and you’ll a better chance of making your “big picture” arguments if you stick to accurate and relevant facts in the first place.

  20. November 20, 2012 at 2:59 pm

    This may be of interest: http://www.epa.gov/climatechange/ghgemissions/ind-calculator.html

    Fact Checker, middle aged and older people are not suddenly going to move to downtowns or stop driving in favor of bicycling around, at least not en masse. They might, however, buy cars with higher gas mileage, unless made to feel foolish for doing so.

    Would that save the planet? No. But it has more of a chance of helping things than solutions that rely on imposing guilt trips on entire populations.

  21. Fact Checker
    November 20, 2012 at 2:59 pm

    Always a couple of trolls hanging out so they can barf their hate onto a blog. I’ve read your posts for sometime Tra. Why so miserable? jw is just plain ignorant. But you Tra, you are bitter. Life been cruel to you?

  22. Fact Checker
    November 20, 2012 at 3:01 pm

    But if we all are going over the cliff like Lemmings, should not someone sound the alarm? Or should we defer to silence to prevent the Lemmings from feeling “guilty”?

  23. jr
    November 20, 2012 at 3:02 pm

    Another excellent book is “Deep Green Resistance” co-authored by Derrick Jensen (Crescent City), Lierre Keith (Arcata) and Aric McBray (Toronto). “End Game, vol 1 and 2” by Derrick Jensen is also worth reading.

  24. Fact Checker
    November 20, 2012 at 3:03 pm

    “Deep Green Resistance” Interesting overview. I’ll keep an eye out for a copy. thx

  25. Just Watchin
    November 20, 2012 at 3:10 pm

    Fact Checker :
    Always a couple of trolls hanging out so they can barf their hate onto a blog. I’ve read your posts for sometime Tra. Why so miserable? jw is just plain ignorant. But you Tra, you are bitter. Life been cruel to you?

    Factless…..I never paid much attention to your posts in the past, but seen you post 3 inaccurate statements in the past two days. I can only imagine the misinformation you’ve posted in the past. And I’m the one that’s ignorant? LMFAO !!!

  26. November 20, 2012 at 3:11 pm

    Fact Checker,

    Everyone already knows. Breathe deep, then read that again. Everyone already knows.

    Unless you have plans to become a terrorist, your best chance of changing people’s behavior is by offering them a path that they can see themselves taking. If you are willing to go farther, that’s great. I assume you’ll never have children of your own, because that’s the most substantial greenhouse gas reduction any American can make.

  27. November 20, 2012 at 3:17 pm

    Let me rephrase that: I assume that you will not spawn. As you know, it’s the overfast spawning combined with consumerism that is the opposite of the environmental sweet spot. So, since you live in the world’s ultimate consumerist country, not spawning is a realistic contribution you can make to the global warming problem. Everything else is minor in comparison. So don’t spawn, OK? And leave the Prius alone.

  28. Fact Checker
    November 20, 2012 at 3:19 pm

    Mitch. What “does everyone know”? Millions of Americans believe in Creationism and disbelieve Global Climate change, so tell me specifically please. What does “everyone” know? P.S. No kids, no car, and I don’t buy hardly anything. Just living simply.

  29. jr
    November 20, 2012 at 3:28 pm

    How does the environmental credentials of cars like the Volt and Leaf compare with Hybrid vehicles?

  30. November 20, 2012 at 3:29 pm


    That’s great, seriously. Good for you — I realize it sounds sarcastic but I mean it.

    Everyone knows that global warming is real. Lots of people pretend they don’t know, but they know fine. (That’s just my opinion, in case that’s not obvious.) And if they really think the world came to be 2,200 years and two weeks ago, and that the LORD is going to blow a cool breath on us to cool the planet down, nothing you say is going to convince them otherwise. If it makes you feel better to complain at them, far be it from me to suggest you not, but I don’t think your complaining is going to change anything.

    Modeling the behavior you hope will become more common is one possible approach to changing behavior. But the really big one, in my opinion, is offering people approaches that they can actually imagine taking, or reframing things in such a way that people’s imaginings change. Making it seem as though people have to completely change their behavior this week or else the world will end next week may well be correct, but it will not be likely to have much effect.

  31. November 20, 2012 at 3:34 pm


    The Volt and the Leaf, considered only in this instant, are ridiculous. Existing batteries just don’t work with existing needs as perceived by most car owners. But considered as the leading edge of a technology revolution, both cars are steps in a useful direction. And the nice thing about taking a first step is that it makes it much easier to take more steps afterwards.

    Just in the past few weeks, there’s been news about new high-tech anodes for batteries that may triple range or cut costs in a third, that are supposedly going to be brought to market next year.

    But Fact Checker, in my opinion, is correct. Switching any sort of consumer behavior is helpful and necessary, but not nearly sufficient to the challenge this generation is going to face in keeping the planet habitable for humans.

  32. Fact Checker
    November 20, 2012 at 3:37 pm

    thx Mitch. I appreciate dialogue over diatribe.

  33. tra
    November 20, 2012 at 3:50 pm

    Fact Checker,

    Huh. I don’t feel bitter at all, and I’m surprised anything I wrote on this thread would be interpreted that way. I can understand how you’re upset at being called out for your inaccurate claims and are therefore feeling a bit defensive, but leaving that aside, do you believe you detect any “bitterness” in my comment #15 (2:21pm)?


    That’s how I see the “big picture” as it relates to this discussion. So, do you agree or disagree, and if so with what, and on what grounds?

  34. Anonymous
    November 20, 2012 at 4:08 pm

    “P.S. No kids, no car, and I don’t buy hardly anything. Just living simply.”

    And yet here you are using a computer and communicating via the internet. I’m assuming you didn’t cobble together your computer using twigs and stones, but maybe you’re at least using solar power to run it? Of course you must realize that solar panels require resources and raw materials and are manufactured in a factory which creates some pollution. Which means that even if you’re using solar power, some may view your solar-powered computer use as somewhat akin to driving a Prius. By using solar power to run your computer you would have demonstrated your willingness to reduce your impact to a certain level, but not beyond that (at least not yet) if doing so would mean being unable to use the internet. Similarly, Prius drivers are also willing to reduce their impact to a certain level, but not beyond that (at least not yet) if doing so would mean being unable to drive.

  35. Just Watchin
    November 20, 2012 at 4:13 pm

    Wow…..and I was just happy that he didn’t pollute the world with offspring.

  36. Goldie
    November 20, 2012 at 4:20 pm

    My 98 Honda Civic was recently totaled by a suddenly upside down definitely surprised texting young woman. In 1998 I bought a car that could get 34 mpg on the highway. Now 20 mpg is standard. A VW jeta gets about 20, Honda’s other offerings are down in the low 20s. I can’t get over how little the car industry has improved I was avoiding the Prius types because of the batteries and an ungoogled belief I have that more rare earths are used in them. In reading all the ads and information it seems there is no consumer push toward cars that get excellent gas millage. I have to give this more thought and re-examine my priorities and educate myself further…… but still, so little progress in all these years. Sad.

  37. jr
    November 20, 2012 at 4:36 pm

    I remember in the 70s Toyotas and Datsuns would easily get 40mpg with a 4-cylinder manual transmission. Why could cars be built to get this kind of mileage then, but it takes a Hybrid to achieve the same level of mpg now?

  38. November 20, 2012 at 4:49 pm


    Hope you’re OK.

    On fuel economy, as with so many other blessings, America can thank Ronald Reagan, the President who actually removed solar panels from the White House.


  39. Eric Kirk
    November 20, 2012 at 4:55 pm

    I remember that. He did it as a matter of symbolic principle, without fanfaire, but definitely rejecting at the time solar panels as something counter-cultural – which in some ways it was. Fortunately the position is no longer tenable, even though Obama balked at putting them back up, citing political “complexity.”

  40. Eric Kirk
    November 20, 2012 at 4:56 pm

    jr :

    I remember in the 70s Toyotas and Datsuns would easily get 40mpg with a 4-cylinder manual transmission. Why could cars be built to get this kind of mileage then, but it takes a Hybrid to achieve the same level of mpg now?

    They were flimsy death traps. They got many miles to the gallon, but only one life to the crash.

  41. jr
    November 20, 2012 at 5:07 pm

    Eric: That is true, but why did the average mpg decline with safety improvements?

  42. Just Watchin
    November 20, 2012 at 5:07 pm

    I just did some checking……the solar panels are still not up at the White House. The only panels on the grounds are ones put up by GW Bush to heat a swimming pool.

  43. Eric Kirk
    November 20, 2012 at 5:12 pm

    jr – because the safer cars are heavier.

  44. November 20, 2012 at 5:19 pm

    Fact Checker :
    Always a couple of trolls hanging out so they can barf their hate onto a blog. I’ve read your posts for sometime Tra. Why so miserable? jw is just plain ignorant. But you Tra, you are bitter. Life been cruel to you?

    ipsofacto, tra is not bitter; if you read a number of messages, you’ll find that s/he is just very interested in being inforrmed. The sharing of what’s found is often quite appreciated, and saved me this time from having to inform you about the enormous piles of mine trailings junk littering Canadian prairies which I’ve personally seen, and about the small fraction of nickel of that mine that Toyota would be buying — no essential impact.

    And then we are back to realistically inventing the future. Please, no more ‘reports’ belying your monicker. Fictitious propaganda is never a help for real things.

    Now, on the real things. Thank you, Eric; yes, the Reagan era stomped all over a number of environmentally important programs, not least devouring the EPA itself. I helped start one of the first serious environmental consultancies in the US (our air pollution modeling was the first to be accepted by the then-new-and-strong version of the EPA).

    Five years later, and after we’d done a number of pretty public things by _always_ telling the best truth in predictions we could, it was politically over. We’d hewn to our own line through lots of practical hands and minds understanding what we fed to the computers, for example endlessly calibrating those models in local microclimates via our portable laboratory, so that we knew what we said was a fair line. The consequence, in partnerships with great architectural teams, was that very civil things got done instead of cutting up whole residential metropolises with massive sunken freeways. I confess to be unduly proud of that.

    I did get a chance to see the other side firsthand — elevated 12-lane freeways (I95) placed 30 feet diagonally from the back bedroom window of the house in New Jersey where I also was offered to wait to meet the blue-suited Mr. after his work, and have a good chance to talk over how this had all happened. Predators are everywhere, and business and local government interests clearly do need regulation; but I digress…

    Fact Checker, very useful in principle, when you live up to your name.

  45. Goldie
    November 20, 2012 at 5:23 pm

    Exactly what JR said: Why could cars be built to get this kind of mileage then, but it takes a Hybrid to achieve the same level of mpg now?
    I do appreciate those who buy the Hybrids to further the industry. But really why could we do so much better in the past?
    And thanks Mitch, I am just fine. I was not in the car when it was bashed. It was parked. This is the second time in 12 years that my car has been hit and sashed up while parked in front of my house.

  46. November 20, 2012 at 6:01 pm

    Goldie, I don’t know the answer, but suspect it is that Americans on the whole have not voted with their wallets to show that they really want sensibility compared to sensuousness in their cars.

    They want the press of acceleration, more than they want the other things. Sort of like the rest of the get-mine-while-it-lasts of the preceding decade. This in direct proportion means less fuel economy. Every socioeconomic group does it on this one.

    I was tempted into a long statement, but no. Fuel economy here too ;)

  47. November 20, 2012 at 7:15 pm

    This is back up the list -Tra’s #15 is spot on, no bitterness.
    Fact Checker @#22 – Lemmings always get the brunt of the ‘implication’ that they hurl themselves to oblivion, thus suicide. That is man’s perspective.
    Fact Checker @#16 – WTHIT?
    In the absence of human activity, our planet would self-correct quickly. What nature does well is represent the whole, promoting the interdependence of all life. Nature’s job is to serve life abundant, and we interfere with this job at our peril. As Kenny Ausubel, the inspired co-founder of Bioneers, warns us: “Nature will never support the destruction of all life forms in favor of one species.” In fact, it supports abundant biodiversity with principles such as kinship, symbiosis, and community. When nature mirrors for us a sustainable life, why do we choose greed, leading to our own demise?

  48. first world is the problem
    November 20, 2012 at 8:01 pm

    Your first world problem, like so many others, is that you think newer is better. You could put your kid through a semester of college with the money going into that car, or pay for your child’s first year of rent outside of college with that money, etc. You could have put a whopping grand total of $3000 into an “old” car that requires less to maintain etc. even considering fuel costs. Industry could scale back refinement by at least half if resources were used to maintain “old” appliances and vehicles etc., and people with mechanical expertise would be very gainfully employed and in demand, instead of the revolving door of auto-repair careerdom because of all the impossible and computerized etc. “improvements” forced onto consumers of the new like yew. You gots money, jack.

  49. first world is the problem
    November 20, 2012 at 9:42 pm

    Alright I stand somewhat corrected. After browsing craigslists, turns out used Prius’s’s’s cost about twice what I thought, and new ones are ridiculously expensive. At what point do the fuses blow in one’s logic circuits regarding industry/economy/environment, practicality/affordability/efficiency…in relation to how much money they make? Erik, consider that you spent more on a car than the next three people who ring up your retail items at a cash register will earn in a year, combined. By the time you retire that car, much sooner than you anticipate, you will have dumped even more money into it. The new automobile industry is the most obvious measure of the complete insanity that is the norm among those who manage “the first world”. It’s almost universal. It’s in my own family. Money makes people insane in relation to the common sense they supposedly had to demonstrate to be in a position of having so much of it.

  50. Eric Kirk
    November 21, 2012 at 12:23 am

    Actually, I bought it used. Less than what a cash register operator earns in a year, I can assure you. And I will save probably a couple of thousand a year in gas money from the average used car I can buy. And based on the way these things are holding up, I may have it for considerably longer than any other used car I would have bought, which will mean less landfill.

    That $3000 car would cost much more to maintain. Maintenance is actually pretty minimal with these cars.

    I do have some money. Not that much, but enough. I’ve earned it.

  51. November 21, 2012 at 8:18 am


  52. just middle class
    November 21, 2012 at 8:19 am

    What has the HH come to when this is the topic of discussion! I certainly was not in agreement with most of the posts, but at least it was interesting.

  53. November 21, 2012 at 8:38 am

    just middle class,
    that’s the funniest post I’ve read in a decade, well, maybe not decade. .. just too funny, thanks.

  54. first world is the problem
    November 21, 2012 at 8:58 am

    “That $3000 car would cost much more to maintain. Maintenance is actually pretty minimal with these cars.”

    That statement, along with suggesting older fuel efficient cars are flimsy deathtraps, demonstrates you have no idea what you’re talking about. I don’t mean that as a blow to your impermeable pride, but it’s true. With such blanket certainties, you think along the lines of “newer is better”. Although to you benefit, it’s more true that you were typing out your ass when you wrote that, because you really don’t know what you’re talking about. I’m gonna guess car stuff is not your stuff whatsoever, just as computers are not my thing whatsoever. Marketing is very successful nowadays, there’s a specific target for such cars and you fall into those sights. The math just doesn’t add up otherwise.

    Anyway, I’m gonna go drive my twenty five year old flimsy deathtrap that runs like new to visit family. Have a good’un!

  55. November 21, 2012 at 9:18 am

    first world is the problem,

    You guys are hilarious . .. . but, can we not discuss transportation? I have none. There’s nothing to discuss. I don’t want to discuss my transportation any more.

  56. Just Watchin
    November 21, 2012 at 9:29 am

    Looks like FQ is off her meds again.

  57. November 21, 2012 at 9:41 am

    Looks like JW can’t take a joke, and still chooses to stand in judgment. You’re on the wrong side of history, imho.

  58. Anonymous
    November 21, 2012 at 9:47 am

    Just Watching, do you think you could be more unpleasant? What an odeur.

    firstproblem, older cars can be very useful, but they surely are a higher maintenance risk.

    Your political economics are even more questionable, never mind the teenager nasty tone, and that Eric’s just told you he bought a used one — were you not listening??

  59. November 21, 2012 at 10:09 am

    brava, Forest Queen ;)

  60. Just Watchin
    November 21, 2012 at 10:39 am

    Actually Anon, I can be wayyyyy more unpleasant.

  61. Fact Checker
    November 21, 2012 at 10:53 am

    Narration #44 “Fact Checker, very useful in principle, when you live up to your name.” Exactly. When I am holding Hi Fi’s feet to the fire, the left-leaning crowd loves it. When I point out that the manufacturing and life existence of a Prius is almost a wash in terms of impact on the environment/carbon footprint as a 2012 Honda, the Progs go wild. And the Trolls jump on the bandwagon. November 20, 2012: the day Tra, just moronic, Mitch, and Eric Kirk all agree to disagree with someone who dares to criticize a Progressive Sacred Cow.

  62. Just Watchin
    November 21, 2012 at 11:11 am

    I think fact checker got his feelings hurt.

  63. Fact Checker
    November 21, 2012 at 11:21 am

    Just calling em as I see em, troll boy.

  64. Anonymous
    November 21, 2012 at 1:05 pm

    I loved this site for its coverage of regional issues from a progressive view that’s otherwise unavailable locally….

    Try the chat sites if you have problems with your 2 tons of steel on wheels.

  65. November 21, 2012 at 1:16 pm

    ” . . . Progressive Sacred Cow.” Is this still about transportation? Progressive Sacred Cow, is that like Military Intelligence, and Jumbo Shrimp?

  66. Fact Checker
    November 21, 2012 at 1:54 pm

    You are correct FQ, Progressives don’t have Sacred Cows, just Earthlings.

  67. St Francis of Assisi
    November 21, 2012 at 4:40 pm

    Progressives have earthlings? Is that where they come from? Does the Pope know about this?

  68. High Finance
    November 21, 2012 at 7:31 pm

    You buy a Prius in order to feel superior to other people.

    You don’t buy the Prius to save money. That car is for people who have more money than commen sense.

    The most cash efficient vehicle to own is the used car, hands down. And I seriously that I will ever agree with “Fact” Checker again.

  69. November 21, 2012 at 8:00 pm

    St Francis of Assisi,

    Another comedian . . . ya gotta love it!

  70. jr
    November 21, 2012 at 8:05 pm

    High Finance is right. When one buys a 2-3 year old car you still get a quality car and sometimes even with warranty remaining. What you avoid is the huge depreciation that occurs in the first year or two. Eric was smart to buy a USED Prius for this reason.

  71. November 21, 2012 at 8:59 pm

    Well, thank you jr for your commentary. And that about wraps it up for the night. Back to you Eric.

  72. November 21, 2012 at 11:37 pm

    Love you Forest Queen.
    This blog is really quite meaningless much of the time these days. I mean, there are much LESS INANE subjects that the same 9 people could comment on. I did not realize that Eric Kirk’s metric Prius problems mattered to the rest of us. Certainly means nothing to me. What about the bombing of Palestinians in Gaza? the historical contradictions in “Thanksgiving”? the torture chamber, Pelican Bay, in this region that is receives international attention and has people in solitary confinement for decades? the massive strikes and walkouts at 1000+ Walmarts? the growing poverty in Humboldt? How about ANYTHING significant? It’s starting to look like a diary for Mitch and Eric, with Mitch occasionally posting something significant to those of us with an interest in justice and truth and fairness. The rest is fluff. And Eric “earned” his Prius, whatever that means…

  73. November 22, 2012 at 8:54 am

    Verbena is absolutely correct.

    Just as in newsrooms around the country, staff cutbacks have decimated the Herald’s ability to bring you the best investigative journalism. But we sincerely hope you enjoy, instead, our new cooking column, syndicated for free by General Mills. It starts tomorrow.

  74. November 22, 2012 at 8:59 am

    And Verbena, I’m so glad this Thanksgiving morning that your list’o’concerns that a proper Humboldt Herald would highlight starts with the bombing of Palestinians in Gaza. It’s reassuring, somehow.

  75. Eric Kirk
    November 22, 2012 at 10:59 am

    Would that we could all live in Verbena’s world of righteous perfection and perpetual focus on the misery of life..

    “If I can’t dance, I don’t want to be part of your revolution.”

    -Emma Goldman.

  76. November 22, 2012 at 11:07 am

    ” . . .Verbena’s world of righteous perfection” – Not a true statement.
    ” . . .and perpetual focus on the misery of life ” – Not a true statement.

    I’ve seen her dance – and she CAN!!!

  77. November 22, 2012 at 11:24 am

    Happy Thanksgiving, may you and yours be blessed, and grateful for your blessings.
    I was blessed with the following recipe (NOT from General Mills) and thought some of you may appreciate it too.
    Turkey Recipe – just to help with your dinner! This includes popcorn – imagine that. This is to tell when it is thoroughly cooked, but not dried out.

    8-15# turkey
    1 c melted butter
    1 c stuffing (Pepperidge Farm is good)
    1 c un-popped popcorn (Orville Redenbacher’s low fat is best)
    Salt/pepper to taste
    Oven @ 350. Brush turkey well with melted butter, salt and pepper.
    Fill cavity with dressing and popcorn. Place in baking pan making sure the neck end is towards the front of the oven, not in the back. After about 4 hours listen for the popping sounds. When the turkey’s ass blows the oven door open and the bird flies across the room . . .it’s done.

    Life is short. Break the rules. Forgive quickly. Kiss slowly. Love truly.
    Laugh uncontrollably. And never regret anything that made you smile.
    Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery. Today is opportunity.

  78. November 22, 2012 at 12:00 pm

    Smiles, Forest Queen. Imagining that Orville Redenbacher-powered turkey…!

  79. Anonymous
    November 22, 2012 at 12:50 pm

    Forest Queen :
    ” . . .Verbena’s world of righteous perfection” – Not a true statement.
    ” . . .and perpetual focus on the misery of life ” – Not a true statement.
    I’ve seen her dance – and she CAN!!!

    I think you missed Eric;s point.

  80. November 22, 2012 at 1:44 pm

    Nods and smiles, Narration. Imagining in general.

  81. November 22, 2012 at 1:50 pm

    If Eric wishes to explain his point, that’s up to him. Not you.

  82. anonymous
    November 22, 2012 at 2:22 pm

    Verbena :
    Love you Forest Queen.
    This blog is really quite meaningless much of the time these days. I mean, there are much LESS INANE subjects that the same 9 people could comment on. I did not realize that Eric Kirk’s metric Prius problems mattered to the rest of us. Certainly means nothing to me. What about the bombing of Palestinians in Gaza? the historical contradictions in “Thanksgiving”? the torture chamber, Pelican Bay, in this region that is receives international attention and has people in solitary confinement for decades? the massive strikes and walkouts at 1000+ Walmarts? the growing poverty in Humboldt? How about ANYTHING significant? It’s starting to look like a diary for Mitch and Eric, with Mitch occasionally posting something significant to those of us with an interest in justice and truth and fairness. The rest is fluff. And Eric “earned” his Prius, whatever that means…

    I’ll bet you’re a lot of fun at parties. Life would be as boring as you if all people did was talk about fucking boring serious shit 100% of the time.

  83. November 22, 2012 at 3:50 pm

    What do you need understood?
    Do you need understood that Verbena is, in your opinion, not fun at parties?
    That, in your opinion, she is boring?
    That if all of the people talked about was phukkn boring serious stuff 100% of the time, then life would be boring?

  84. Anonymous
    November 22, 2012 at 8:57 pm

    Maybe the Herald should issue regular pleas for money so it can be as riveting as Verbena’s email list.

  85. November 23, 2012 at 10:31 am

    To quote Narration “. . . ah oh, you don’t get it yet.”

    “I am you and you are me and we are all together.” The messengers have spoken, not to mention quantum physics proof. We are One, get over yourself.

  86. Anonymous
    November 23, 2012 at 1:20 pm

    Verbena is absolutely correct, it is valid to criticize what Heraldo has become, hardly limited to this holiday’s inane threads.

    According to Mitch: “…staff cutbacks have decimated the Herald’s ability to bring you the best investigative journalism”.

    When, exactly, did The Herald have a team of “investigative journalists” to “cutback”?

  87. Anonymous
    November 23, 2012 at 1:51 pm

    Never, which is why that statement was obviously meant to be humorous. Of course that only works if you have a sense of humor.

  88. November 23, 2012 at 1:59 pm

    If I may . . . I don’t know Eric or Mitch, but whether there were or weren’t “investigative journalists” at HH, doesn’t seem to me to be a plausible question.

    Plausible – (1565) superficially pleasing or persuasive.

  89. November 23, 2012 at 2:03 pm

    Dang, I either lost my sense of humor – Not – or you didn’t place LOL at the end. Oops.

  90. November 23, 2012 at 5:55 pm

    Mitch :
    And Verbena, I’m so glad this Thanksgiving morning that your list’o’concerns that a proper Humboldt Herald would highlight starts with the bombing of Palestinians in Gaza. It’s reassuring, somehow.

    ???? Aren’t you concerned?
    Or perhaps folks should be silent and allow another Genocide Cover-up Day (“Thanksgiving”) “celebrating” the November 2012 massacre of Palesintians. Ya don’t need to be an investigative journalist to talk about things that matter.

    November 23, 2005 ORIGINS OF THANKSGIVING

    The year was 1637…..700 men, women and children of the Pequot Tribe, gathered for their “Annual Green Corn Dance” in the area that is now known as Groton, Conn. While they were gathered in this place of meeting, they were surrounded and attacked by mercernaries of the English and Dutch. The Indians were ordered from the building and as they came forth, they were shot down. The rest were burned alive in the building. The next day, the Governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony declared : “A day of Thanksgiving, thanking God that they had eliminated over 700 men, women and children.

    For the next 100 years, every “Thanksgiving Day” ordained by a Governor or President was to honor that victory, thanking God that the battle had been won. Newell based his research on studies of Holland Documents and the 13 volume Colonial Documentary History, both thick sets of letters and reports from colonial officials to their superiors and the king in England, and the private papers of Sir William Johnson, British Indian agent for the New York colony for 30 years in the mid-1600s. “My research is authentic because it is documentary,” Newell said. “You can’t get anything more accurate than that because it is first hand. It is not hearsay.” Newell said the next 100 Thanksgivings commemorated the killing of the Indians at what is now Groton, Connecticut [home of a nuclear submarine base] rather than a celebration with them. He said the image of Indians and Pilgrims sitting around a large table to celebrate Thanksgiving Day was “fictitious” although Indians did share food with the first settlers.
    Source: Documents of Holland, 13 Volume Colonial Documentary. History, letters and reports from colonial officials to their superiors and the King in England and the private papers of Sir William Johnson, British Indian agent for the New York colony for 30 years. Researched by William B. Newell (Penobscot Tribe) Former Chairman of the University of Connecticut Anthropology Department.

    By Robert Jensen, AlterNet. Posted November 23, 2005. “Instead, we should atone for the genocide that was incited — and condoned — by the very men we idolize as our ‘heroic’ founding fathers.” “History does matter, which is why people in power put so much energy into controlling it.”

    One indication of moral progress in the United States would be the replacement of Thanksgiving Day and its self-indulgent family feasting with a National Day of Atonement accompanied by a self-reflective collective fasting. In fact, indigenous people have offered such a model; since 1970 they have marked the fourth Thursday of November as a Day of Mourning in a spiritual/political ceremony on Coles Hill overlooking Plymouth Rock, Massachusetts, one of the early sites of the European invasion of the Americas. Not only is the thought of such a change in this white-supremacist holiday impossible to imagine, but the very mention of the idea sends most Americans into apoplectic fits — which speaks volumes about our historical hypocrisy and its relation to the contemporary politics of empire in the United States. That the world’s great powers achieved “greatness” through criminal brutality on a grand scale is not news, of course. That those same societies are reluctant to highlight this history of barbarism also is predictable.But in the United States, this reluctance to acknowledge our original sin — the genocide of indigenous people — is of special importance today. It’s now routine — even among conservative commentators — to describe the United States as an empire, so long as everyone understands we are an inherently benevolent one. Because all our history contradicts that claim, history must be twisted and tortured to serve the purposes of the powerful.

    One vehicle for taming history is various patriotic holidays, with Thanksgiving at the heart of U.S. myth-building. From an early age, we Americans hear a story about the hearty Pilgrims, whose search for freedom took them from England to Massachusetts. There, aided by the friendly Wampanoag Indians, they survived in a new and harsh environment, leading to a harvest feast in 1621 following the Pilgrims first winter. Some aspects of the conventional story are true enough. But it’s also true that by 1637 Massachusetts Gov. John Winthrop was proclaiming a thanksgiving for the successful massacre of hundreds of Pequot Indian men, women and children, part of the long and bloody process of opening up additional land to the English invaders. The pattern would repeat itself across the continent until between 95 and 99 percent of American Indians had been exterminated and the rest were left to assimilate into white society or die off on reservations, out of the view of polite society.

    Simply put: Thanksgiving is the day when the dominant white culture (and, sadly, most of the rest of the non-white but non-indigenous population) celebrates the beginning of a genocide that was, in fact, blessed by the men we hold up as our heroic founding fathers.

    The first president, George Washington, in 1783 said he preferred buying Indians’ land rather than driving them off it because that was like driving “wild beasts” from the forest. He compared Indians to wolves, “both being beasts of prey, tho’ they differ in shape.” Thomas Jefferson — president #3 and author of the Declaration of Independence, which refers to Indians as the “merciless Indian Savages” — was known to romanticize Indians and their culture, but that didn’t stop him in 1807 from writing to his secretary of war that in a coming conflict with certain tribes, “[W]e shall destroy all of them.” As the genocide was winding down in the early 20th century, Theodore Roosevelt (president #26) defended the expansion of whites across the continent as an inevitable process “due solely to the power of the mighty civilized races which have not lost the fighting instinct, and which by their expansion are gradually bringing peace into the red wastes where the barbarian peoples of the world hold sway.” Roosevelt also once said, “I don’t go so far as to think that the only good Indians are dead Indians, but I believe nine out of ten are, and I shouldn’t like to inquire too closely into the case of the tenth.”

    How does a country deal with the fact that some of its most revered historical figures had certain moral values and political views virtually identical to Nazis? Here’s how “respectable” politicians, pundits, and professors play the game: When invoking a grand and glorious aspect of our past, then history is all-important. We are told how crucial it is for people to know history, and there is much hand wringing about the younger generations’ lack of knowledge about, and respect for, that history. In the United States, we hear constantly about the deep wisdom of the founding fathers, the adventurous spirit of the early explorers, the gritty determination of those who “settled” the country — and about how crucial it is for children to learn these things. But when one brings into historical discussions any facts and interpretations that contest the celebratory story and make people uncomfortable — such as the genocide of indigenous people as the foundational act in the creation of the United States — suddenly the value of history drops precipitously and one is asked, “Why do you insist on dwelling on the past?”
    This is the mark of a well-disciplined intellectual class — one that can extol the importance of knowing history for contemporary citizenship and, at the same time, argue that we shouldn’t spend too much time thinking about history. This off-and-on engagement with history isn’t of mere academic interest; as the dominant imperial power of the moment, U.S. elites have a clear stake in the contemporary propaganda value of that history. Obscuring bitter truths about historical crimes helps perpetuate the fantasy of American benevolence, which makes it easier to sell contemporary imperial adventures — such as the invasion and occupation of Iraq — as another benevolent action. Any attempt to complicate this story guarantees hostility from mainstream culture. After raising the barbarism of America’s much-revered founding fathers in a lecture, I was once accused of trying to “humble our proud nation” and “undermine young people’s faith in our country.” Yes, of course — that is exactly what I would hope to achieve. We should practice the virtue of humility and avoid the excessive pride that can, when combined with great power, lead to great abuses of power. History does matter, which is why people in power put so much energy into controlling it. The United States is hardly the only society that has created such mythology. While some historians in Great Britain continue to talk about the benefits that the empire brought to India, political movements in India want to make the mythology of Hindutva into historical fact. Abuses of history go on in the former empire and the former colony. History can be one of the many ways we create and impose hierarchy, or it can be part of a process of liberation. The truth won’t set us free, but the telling of truth at least opens the possibility of freedom. As Americans sit down on Thanksgiving Day to gorge themselves on the bounty of empire, many will worry about the expansive effects of overeating on their waistlines. We would be better to think about the constricting effects of the day’s mythology on our minds.

  91. Anonymous
    November 23, 2012 at 6:08 pm

    The point, #88, is NOT what’s funny.

    The legitimate points being made here are:

    A) Eric’s Prius issues belong on Car Talk.

    B) A lone blogger is capable of covering progressive local issues WITHOUT a team of journalists, as we used to see on Heraldo…with plenty of humorous sting for those who like to “dance”.

    Instead, we have a blogger bloated with time to research poster’s identities, as well as, impressive (occasionally interesting) internet research on a myriad of issues with little local focus…..just like every other “local media” source.

    What’s next? The crime-drenched spectacle of yellow journalism at the Sentinel or Lost Coast?

    The lack of local coverage of issues relevant to average working folks in H.Co. is legendary and this is hardly the only post critiquing the changes at Heraldo. Inability to respond intelligently to legitimate criticism, without satire, is sad.

  92. November 23, 2012 at 6:22 pm


    Yes, I’m concerned that rockets are being fired at Israeli civilians from civilian areas in Gaza, with the predictable result that civilians are killed or injured by returned fire. I wish the non-combatant Palestinians in Gaza didn’t have to suffer from airstrikes, just as I wish non-combatant Israelis in Israel didn’t have to suffer from airstrikes.

    But do I put that at the top of the list of my concerns? No. I obviously don’t get the updates from UC Berkeley, or wherever the left gets its daily concern list.

    And #92, thanks for going with the simple yet elegant “Anonymous,” for a change. You have so many options it’s a very sunny path ahead of you. Write to Heraldo and offer your services. Post some local news on Quick Notes. Start your own blog. Continue your persuasive efforts with Eric and myself. Do all four!

  93. November 23, 2012 at 7:26 pm

    Is there a reason my last comment is not posting? I can type it in again if it got lost…

  94. Verbena
    November 23, 2012 at 9:18 pm

    I am hoping this comment is not posting because of too many links? So here without links.
    It is severely disappointing that you have bought into the U.S. propaganda that somehow conflates a 60+ year violent occupation and lethal attacks on Palestinians with some “hard-to-understand” conflict. Or, perhaps I should read into your post as meaning that you believe Palestinians are the aggressors! Shameful – and please don’t attribute your willful ignorance about a campaign of genocide against Palestine on your Jewish heritage.
    The Tragic Truth About the State of Israel

    By Luke Hiken

    In the 1940’s and 50’s, I was raised on the North Shore of Chicago, in a suburb named Glencoe. The town was at least 95% Jewish, and everyone knew who the 3 black families were, knew the handful of Christians and “others” who resided near us. We understood that we comprised one of the wealthiest, fanciest Jewish ghettos in the United States, and perhaps the world. The great majority of us went to temple at the North Shore Congregation Israel, and donated $5.00 a shot for stickers to purchase “trees” to plant in the new State of Israel. We were going to transform the desert into a promised land and help the oppressed Jews of Europe to create a homeland where pogroms, ghettos and the Holocaust were a thing of the past. For literally decades, Zionists had perpetuated the myth that the territory that would become the State of Israel was “a land without a people, for a people without a land.” How noble and just it all seemed.

    If anyone would have asked us why we were planting trees in Israel, when the Holy Land was already covered with Olive trees planted by Arab families for more than 5 centuries, we would have accused them of rank anti-semitism. If someone had suggested that we were purchasing guns, and missiles, instead of agricultural tools, we would have fought them on the spot. Yet history judges us harshly and we now have a reckoning to deal with.

    I represented men and women on death row in California for over 25 years. All of the defendants on death row, without exception, were brutalized as young children, either by their parents, or their community. The great majority of prisoners were victims of brutality, and they responded to the society that brutalized them by killing in return.

    One would have expected that those who were brutalized as children would have recognized how horrible the experience was and rejected such behavior when it was their turn to have authority over others. But that is simply not so. Humans, unfortunately, by and large, grow up to perpetrate the same atrocities that were perpetrated upon them against those they are close to. While this phenomenon is not universal, it is so common as to be the expectation for law enforcement and the society at large. Children of convicts are expected to become criminals when they grow up, and the society does everything in its power to ensure that that expectation is met. Young black children in this country have to be saints to stay out of reformatories and prisons. One out of three black people in the United States are in prison or on parole.

    So, too, do we watch this phenomenon being tragically repeated in the State of Israel. One would expect that a people who had been subjected to the atrocities of World War II, to the Holocaust, to the discrimination and slaughter perpetrated against the Jews, would be the first nation on earth to oppose a similar oppression against others. Yet, the sad reality is that the racism and violence perpetrated against Palestinians in the State of Israel is outlandish and inexcusable.

    Gaza is nothing short of a concentration camp. Children are starving there and Israel will kill any individual or group that attempts to bring food or water into that land. Israel is the last country on the face of the earth that has dared to impose a formal state of apartheid against an indigenous population. Israeli checkpoints are the precise duplicates of what the Nazi checkpoints at the borders of the ghettos looked like in 1938 Germany. The excuses and rationalizations used by Israel to perpetuate this oppression against the Palestinian people are precisely those used by the Nazis: Palestinians pose a threat to the security of the nation; they will steal jobs and security from the rightful people of the nation; they are untrustworthy, and owe no allegiance to the nation. The parallels are terrifying.

    That this should be the situation in 2012 is so pathetic as to be comical in an historical context. The anti-semitism of the prevailing nations of World War II, the United States and Great Britain was so profound as to obviate the possibility that Jews would be permitted to immigrate or seek sanctuary in either of those victorious countries. The Christian majorities of those countries so hated the Jews that allowing them to seek sanctuary in either country was out of the question.

    Instead, anti-semitic nations decided to give the Jews who survived the Holocaust land that belonged to the Palestinians. Kill two birds with one stone. Keep Jews out of the U.S. and Great Britain, and give them the land of a bunch of Muslims that, according to the U.S. and Great Britain, were little more than savages. Certainly, the Western powers could control any opposition the local population might put up to prevent the Jews from entering the new state of Israel. It would be a walk in the park for these countries to disenfranchise the Palestinian people, who had lived on the land for centuries. The fact that Jews had lived in Palestine for centuries without undergoing the sort of atrocities perpetrated by European Christians upon them was quickly overlooked. Give us our land, said the Zionists, and we will take care of the rest.

    So now, we are confronted with the situation where there is not a Muslim on the face of the earth that does not see Israel’s occupation of the Holy Land as an unjustified invasion of their land. The only difference between this and the initial colonization of the United States of America, is that, unlike what happened to the American Indians, Caucasians, whether Christian or Jewish, have not been able to eradicate sufficient numbers of indigenous people to take over the land without opposition. The Muslims have not acceded to the colonial expansion of the “settlers” in Israel, to the U.S. demand for expansion of the militarist Israeli state, or to the eradication of those who inhabited the land before the Jews arrived.

    In virtually every temple and Jewish Community Center in the United States, Israel is seen as “the good guy” in the Middle East, and the Arabs are seen as devils. The impact this has had on Jews in the United States is to divide the community into two totally distinct communities: those who are Zionists and those who identify with being Jewish, but reject the racism and violence perpetrated by Israel against the entire Muslim world. It is impossible for Jews who take pride in their heritage, to participate in their own communities without endorsing the atrocities perpetrated by Israel against Arabs throughout the world. Jews who reject Zionism are outcasts in the established Jewish communities. They have no base and no community. We are either anti-Muslim or invisible. We are left with no alternatives within the broader community.

    The U.S. is perfectly content to let Israel serve as the buffer between hostile Arab nations and U.S. imperialism. After all, it is the Jews who are fighting Muslims on a daily basis, not Americans. But once the State of Israel is defeated because of its bellicose intransigence and intolerance to those with whom they should be sharing the land, Jews everywhere will suffer the consequences and be at risk. One could not write a more ironical conclusion. Non-Zionist Jews are like the non-existent Left in the United States – we are simply not included in the debates of our nation or among our people; and, because Zionists permit no rational debates or discussions, they are without a clue as to the international implications of their cruelty toward the Palestinian peoples. The world will not put up with this indefinitely. It is just a matter of time.


    Luke Hiken is an attorney who has engaged in the practice of criminal, military, immigration, and appellate law.

    You can find this article at progressive avenues dot org

  95. Anonymous
    November 23, 2012 at 10:21 pm

    Does verbana have an original thought in her head?

  96. November 24, 2012 at 8:36 am

    There is an ample supply of thinkers in Humboldt County. As proof in evidence I submit . the Humboldt Herald. The supply of doers is a bit shorter, but thankfully there are some.

    have a peaceful day

  97. November 24, 2012 at 8:58 am

    …original thought? For heaven’s sake, Eric beLIEves he lives in the ‘First World’ – with a ‘Smart,’ ‘Smart,’ ‘Smart,’ meter, living a ‘Green,’ ‘Green,’ ‘Green’ life that is ‘transparent,’ ‘transparent,’ transparent,’ and somewhere between ‘Teenager,’ and Senior Citizen.’

    These ‘ ‘ words are only for the ignorant masses here in America, you, me, us –
    here on the One World.

  98. November 24, 2012 at 9:29 am


    Why not suggest some specific things people can do? If you have to include “protest,” that’s fine, but anything else? “Organize” is better than protest, but if organizing means organizing protest, I’d call that protest.

    Specifics would be really helpful, and specific examples of what you do that you’d like to see others do would be excellent.


  99. November 24, 2012 at 9:45 am

    Early this summer a Walmart opened in Eureka. There was lots of consternation about it right here on the Humboldt Herald. A few of us thought about it and our determination was that raising the minimum wage to a relative high level would either discourage big boxes from coming to town or at least make them spend more of thier money here locally through higher wages. You may agree or disagree, but it is doing. It is beyond just thinking or feeling helpless and hopeless. This is not protest it is positive politics.

    In he face of the economic betrayal of the community by Dave Tyson and the Crony Council we felt that this was the only VIABLE course to combat Walmart.

    I invite all the thinkers here to think about the Walmart economic cancer and how to treat it for a few more days. And then come back here and help us wrap up our campaign to get the Eureka Fair Wage act on the ballot. Or come back and tell us what you are going to DO to combat the Walmart invasion of Humboldt County. The holiday shopping season is here and local merchants are going to feel the walmart pain this year.

    We need about 500 more signatures. We aren’t asking anyone to man any barricades. Just sign a petition or heaven forbid, even circulate one for us.

    There is a place for thinking and a time for action.

    have a peaceful day,

  100. first world is the problem
    November 24, 2012 at 9:46 am

    Eric writes: “Would that we could all live in Verbena’s world of righteous perfection and perpetual focus on the misery of life..

    “If I can’t dance, I don’t want to be part of your revolution.”

    -Emma Goldman.

    Eric, would that we all had enough money to buy into the idea of “feeling good about driving”. By the time you retire that car…more accurate to say “by the time that car retires”…how much will you have spent in dollars per mile, and which industries will that money support? Those are the kind of numbers you didn’t even think to crunch. You’ve said before that people vote with their money. You’ve empowered the most redundant industry on the planet. This says nothing of the fact that Toyota continues to make gas guzzling behemoths just the same, and has no qualms about pushing them on anybody with enough money to buy one (on credit with no money down) just the same.

    Related to the topic, Emma Goldman would say something more like “if I can’t afford to be part of your revolution on minimum wage, then whose revolution is it, really?”

  101. first world is the problem
    November 24, 2012 at 9:53 am

    …my final comment: I really don’t care what eric or anybody drives for that matter…we plebes are not the real problem makers of the world, nor is this a real issue…save the fact that this eric guy is uber-self-righteous and needs a swift kick in the ass now and then. Skunks don’t smell their own stink, eric, and peee-yew…you reek sometimes!

  102. Anonymous
    November 24, 2012 at 9:59 am


    How did Tyson and the Eka City Council betray the community, economically or otherwise?
    You keep spewing this nonsense out from time to time, and when corrected on various assertions, invariably point to something other than your original point.

    I look forward to more of the same today.

    BTW, before you even start, the spot Wallyworld ended up in was zoned appropriately – there was absolutely nothing Tyson or the city council could have done to stop it.

  103. November 24, 2012 at 10:13 am

    If you want to use your real name I will debate you, anon @ 959 but my days of debating abusive and cowardly anonymous trolls on this blog is over. Otherwise go find yourself.

    have a peaceful day,

  104. November 24, 2012 at 10:18 am

    Attn: Small Businesses in Eureka & Humboldt: Wal-Mart Is Going to Crush You……

    Let’s DO THE MATH.

    100,000 ADDITIONAL SQUARE FEET of retail space is equal to one hundred (100) 1,000 square foot “shoppes” in Old Town or fifty (50) 2,000 square foot “shoppes” in Old Town, Fortuna, Arcata, Cutten, or even twenty-five (25) 4,000 square foot “emporiums” in the Henderloin or anywhere else in Humboldt County. These retail spaces will become redundant. Surplus. Vacant.

    Or maybe you think we have too many shoppes and emporia in Eureka, Arcata, Fortuna, Garberville, and elsewhere in Humboldt County?

    Get the Picture?

    from The Tripllicate Crescent City

    The wait’s nearly over. After more than a year of shifting store merchandise and non-stop construction, Walmart will begin inviting shoppers into its newly expanded store on Wednesday. The expansion adds nearly 100,000 square feet to the Crescent City Walmart, said store manager Nick Gonnella. The new Walmart Supercenter will include a full grocery store with a deli and a bakery as well as produce, meat and dairy departments. The newly remodeled store will also include a hair salon, a Subway and a new Java Hut, Gonnella said.“We’re one of the largest expansions square footage-wise in all of California,” he said. “We started as a pretty small Walmart store and to grow by 100,000 square feet was no easy task.”


    Contact the Eureka Fair Wage Act Campaign

    Contact: James Decker (707) 442-7465


  105. November 24, 2012 at 10:20 am


    If you are finding it difficult to get people to sign your petition, or to find people willing to carry it door to door, there are a few possible reasons for that. They are not mutually exclusive. Some might make you feel better, some might lead you to productive changes in strategies or tactics.

    Some Possible Reasons

    1) Perhaps people are lazy. But then how do you explain the tens (possibly hundreds) of thousands of people that President Obama was able to mobilize to work towards his reelection?

    2) Perhaps people are stupid. But then why bother worrying about “educating” them?

    3) Perhaps people are smart, but ignorant. But then, given that “activists” have been trying to educate the ignorant for generations, without apparent success, what are you doing differently that leads you to believe you are spending your time usefully.

    4) Perhaps people are fearful. See #3.

    5) Perhaps people are too busy. See #1.

    6) Perhaps people do not think your approach is desirable. For example, even if they think $12 per hour would be a desirable minimum wage, perhaps they don’t think it would be a success for the local economy.

    7) Perhaps people do not think they have reason to trust you. For example, they might wonder whether any change you’ve advocated has happened or, if it’s happened, whether it successfully brought about what you’ve said it would bring about.

    8) Perhaps people do not like you. Maybe they don’t like your hair, or your clothes, or the way you present yourself. Maybe they believe in your goals, but don’t want to associate themselves with you.

    Reflection on any of these possibilities can potentially lead to greater success. You’re welcome.

  106. Anonymous
    November 24, 2012 at 10:23 am


    I don’t see how rationally countering specious claims you make with facts is either abusive or cowardly. I’ve never attacked you or called you names, although you don’t seem to have a problem doing that with regards to those you disagree with.

    Your lack of response is typical though; you like to hurl out total untruths, and when BS is called you either duck, dodge or deflect.

  107. November 24, 2012 at 10:30 am

    A few additions to #106.

    Perhaps people feel themselves to be in a different situation than you, one that is more vulnerable. For example, perhaps they have more responsibilities, maybe a family dependent on their job, and they are worried about retaliation.

    Or perhaps you have moved about from place to place, but people you speak with have grown up in a single community and don’t want to risk experimentation that might damage it, because they don’t view “moving on” as a reasonable option in the event of failure.

  108. November 24, 2012 at 10:32 am

    Really Mitch,

    It isn’t difficult to get people to sign this petition you can trust me on that.

    We are confident that we will make the ballot.

    After that, well raising the minimum wage is very popular, raising it polls positivelly 60-70% in national polling. Eureka might be a bit more conservative, but there is considerable support for raising the minimum wage even among conservatives.

    I offered it up as an example of “doing” after a proper amount of “thinking.” as a matter of balance.

    Other people may have other ideas, some of them might even be better. I invite the thinkers among you to share them, perphaps I can support your idea as well. I am capable of holding more than one thought in my head at one time.

    We are looking at another month or two to get it done. If some of the thinkers here stepped forward to help we might get it done sooner. Just a thought.

    It is direct democratic action.

    have a peaceful day,

  109. November 24, 2012 at 10:38 am

    “It is direct democratic action.”

    That it is, and admirable for that very reason.

  110. Eric Kirk
    November 24, 2012 at 11:02 am

    first world is the problem :

    Eric writes: “Would that we could all live in Verbena’s world of righteous perfection and perpetual focus on the misery of life..

    “If I can’t dance, I don’t want to be part of your revolution.”

    -Emma Goldman.

    Eric, would that we all had enough money to buy into the idea of “feeling good about driving”. By the time you retire that car…more accurate to say “by the time that car retires”…how much will you have spent in dollars per mile, and which industries will that money support? Those are the kind of numbers you didn’t even think to crunch. You’ve said before that people vote with their money. You’ve empowered the most redundant industry on the planet. This says nothing of the fact that Toyota continues to make gas guzzling behemoths just the same, and has no qualms about pushing them on anybody with enough money to buy one (on credit with no money down) just the same.

    Related to the topic, Emma Goldman would say something more like “if I can’t afford to be part of your revolution on minimum wage, then whose revolution is it, really?”

    I crunched the numbers. Given the amount I have to drive for my work, I am saving between 2500 and 3000 dollars per year from the nearest carbon combustion vehicle which is big enough for my family. If I was to buy a Corolla, I am probably only saving about $1000 per year, but a Carolla would be useless.

    The difference in price will be made up in my third or fourth year of ownership, depending on whether I am successful in cutting my driving down, but so far my cases continue to carry me out of county frequently.

    I anticipate that I will drive this car for at least a decade, based upon the performance of the older Prius models.

    As to the cars of the 1970s, I remember getting my license driving my instructor’s Honda Civic. I really wanted one, because I didn’t have a lot of money for gas. My parents were mostly concerned about safety, so they researched the issue with consumer outfits, including Nader’s. At that time, nearly all of the Japanese fuel efficient cars rated poorly. One exception was the Mazda, and I drove an old one for awhile but it broke down. I ended up with my uncle’s AMC Rebel, which was a gas guzzling battleship on wheels, and still not as safe as a Volvo or other premium car, but it’s what I could afford.

    Toyota is a corporation which operates for profit. I have no illusions about them. I bought the vehicle because I have to drive a great deal, and I’m worried that the price of gasoline is going to continue to rise.

    Emma Goldman was responding to the dogmatism of a fellow activist who felt that she was enjoying life too much to be truly sensitive to the needs of the poor. Her response was part of a broader response in which she argued that there was more to life than the struggle, even for the people at the bottom. It’s the middle and upper class activists who become frustrated at what they perceive to be the apathy of the poor and their “false consciousness” because they enjoy watching sports, going to church, and going to a store where they can afford to buy something nice for their family. While I agree with the progressive resistance to Black Friday, one aspect often lost on the middle to upper class left is that there are sales which enable poor people to buy what they could not otherwise afford. When you don’t have it, it’s not as big a deal to you. It’s one thing to lament the obscene emphasis on consumption. It’s another to look down on the people who participate. If we want to discuss the class component of politics, we ought to discuss activism which relates to what is unattainable at any time soon, and that which focuses on the day-to-day needs and desires of people actually living. People who don’t have time to wait for the Green Party to ascend, or the revolution.

  111. Eric Kirk
    November 24, 2012 at 11:06 am

    And it’s particularly sad that so many purported leftists are completely humorous. Same thing on the right. Dogmatism is the bane of humor. My original post was really just intended as a bit of levity to brighten the day up just a little bit. As usual, the blogosphere gets weird, particularly the political variety.

  112. November 24, 2012 at 11:06 am

    Anonoymous @103

    “Leave no authority existing not responsible to the people,” and “The will of the people is the only legitimate foundation of any government, and to protect its free expression should be our first object.” Jefferson
    Do you really think that Tyson and the City Council were being responsible to the people?

  113. November 24, 2012 at 11:23 am

    Eric @111
    ” . . . activism which relates to what is unattainable anytime soon . . HOLD ON THERE PECOS BILL! Pull your head out of the MATRIX and look around you, yes, locally. Only 500 more signatures, I’d say that’s activism/doing.

  114. November 24, 2012 at 11:39 am

    Gosh Eric, you’re s t i l l using fictional language. I never did spend any energy figuring out what a ‘left’ or ‘right’ meant in the polytick world. Guess it just wasn’t of any importance to me. Now, I still see no reason to ‘figure-it-out.’ When government’s boot is stomping on your throat, whether it’s Left or Right, will be of no consequence.

    ” . . .as usual, the blogosphere gets weird . . .” – compared to what?

    The LAST thing would be to discuss many blood suckers.

  115. November 24, 2012 at 12:53 pm

    The meme that Walmart is good for poor people because the prices are low is a right wing meme that is worthy of Free Republic, though it is often repeated by well meaning liberals.

    The truth is that over 70% of Walmart’s business comes from the middle and upper middle classes, not the poor. The middle and upper middle classes have disposable income, enough free time, and adequate transportation to bargain hunt. It is only natural that these people would think of Walmart as a “choice.” The working poor, on the other hand, don’t have the money, the time, or the transportation to shop for bargains for the most part. The poor walk to or take a bus to the most convenient shopping place.

    The problem is that the “choice” becomes the “company store” over time as Walmarts predatory saturationist business model takes hold, and people have fewer and fewer choices.

    The rich will fly to San Francisco to shop. Don’t worry about them.

    have a peaceful day,

  116. November 24, 2012 at 2:12 pm

    Hey Bill,
    I haven’t been to Crescent City. On Wikipedia it says that, According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the city is 2.4 sq. miles, with 2.0 sq. miles being land. So, the WalMart that is there covers a more than considerable chunk of that land, yes?
    The same article says that, fish, crabbing, tourism and trees are the major sources of income . . . as well as the County of DelNorte. Hmmm, ya think that the Eureka Mall could become one huge profit-for-the-city/county WallyWorld, where those who are named Jason and Jenifer shop?

  117. Eric Kirk
    November 24, 2012 at 2:31 pm

    The truth is that over 70% of Walmart’s business comes from the middle and upper middle classes, not the poor.

    As someone who will never shop at WalMart, and who would love to see the business shut down in favor of more community and worker friendly businesses, I would love to believe that. Unfortunately, I don’t.

  118. November 24, 2012 at 3:21 pm


    Here is a report from 2011 Berkeley take a look at table 5


    Only 26 per cent of Walmart sales are by people with $30,000 or less income.

    have a peaceful day,

  119. Erasmus
    November 24, 2012 at 3:36 pm

    I have never spent a penny in a WalMart —- but my wealthier friends (in Michigan) drop lots of dollars there (and proclaim their progressivism when the occasion arises). When I house-sat for a millionaire couple in Pacific Heights (in S.F.) years ago, I was startled to learn that they would buy certain items in a grocery store only if they could use a coupon. (My poorer friends rarely stooped to cutting coupons out of the Sunday paper.) Anecdotal, obviously —– proof of nothing.

  120. Eric Kirk
    November 24, 2012 at 7:12 pm

    highboltage – Okay, assuming I accept the Nielsen figures – and Nielsen doesn’t carry a whole lot of water with me for their surveying methods, it makes sense that people with less money spend less money. But I wonder if that 26 percent of items sold were bought by 80 percent of the bodies which cross the WalMart threshold.

    You know, it’s wonderful to be able to view the universe in such a way that everything fits into nice little packages so you don’t have to rethink ideology. I have had discussions with three white left wing political activists (sorry Forest Queen, but while I agree that political labels and categorization have their limitations, they are useful descriptions which fit into very discernible patterns) about the fact that in most polls the majority of African Americans opposes abortion. It’s not a key voting issue for them, but if you ask them that’s what they’ll tell you. Three white activists freaked out about it and refused to acknowledge any of the evidence i presented to them. The ideology puts African Americans into an oppressed category beyond criticism as a group, but to accept opposition to abortion as a legitimate position fails to pass the basic feminism test because the implications enslave women at a very basic level. That the universe would set up such a contradiction just wasn’t acceptable to them. Cognitive dissonance wasn’t an option, so they simply refused to believe that the majority of African Americans opposed abortion (This was in the 1980s – I have no idea of the stats hold today).

    That the majority of people in the crowds yesterday were people who are having it hard (and by the way, $30,000 a year with children is hardly “middle class”) runs against the grain of your thought, because you want to be able to look down at them. But your ideology says you can’t look down at the poor. So you have to believe that the same people who shop at Sachs Fifth Avenue also shop at WalMart. The universe isn’t working for you otherwise.

    Here is a discussion about the social breakdown of the differences between Target Shoppers and WalMart Shoppers. I don’t belong in any of them I hate shopping, not just for political reason. I hated shopping when I was a kid.


  121. first world is the problem
    November 24, 2012 at 8:41 pm

    Ask yourselves how much you believe you know and understand about human behavior based on what you read on the interwebz. It’s like the book 1984 is the script of today’s society. “Polls”…yeah, right. Believe them polls. Makes it really easy for those of us who think and see for real, to categorize those of you who categorize yourselves.

    “There are only two kinds of people in this world: those who place people in categories and those who don’t.” *insert obvious dumb comment about this being a comment about categorization that categorizes bla bla something about me being a hypocrite bla bla blog blog meanwhile in the real world more of the same^

  122. Anonymous
    November 25, 2012 at 12:49 am

    Bill and Verbena are among a tiny handful of progressives in this county that actually engage in activism for common folks, ie, most people.

    Moreover, their extraordinary tolerance of insults from “liberals” is amazing. The arrogant, self-serving and insulting diatribe @ 106 and 108, speaks volumes for Bill’s patience, dignity and intelligence. Maybe I’m wrong and 106/108 was a cry for help, in which case I apologize in advance.

    No, it’s not Bill’s “appearance or dis-likable personality” that, “he should reflect upon to make the (Eureka Fair Wage Initiative) more successful”! Any “progressive” who thinks that group has not already been successful simply has’t bothered to volunteer!

    The sad irony is that someone who manages a blog-site (a “progressive”??) would bother to enumerate suggestions ad-nausea based upon a false premise, (that 1,000 signatures is somehow not successful), when, in fact, local blogs and media have neglected the issue…which explains this blog-site’s inexplicable ignorance of the Initiative’s progress.

    I would love to see Bill and Verbena offer local-issue editorials to stave Heraldo’s decline alongside the growing irrelevance of the rest of local media. I will try to do the same. Nothing less will ensure the return of “High Finance’s” bile.

    The simple truth about Israel/Palestine offered by Verbena would utterly shock Times Standard readers.

    Thank you!

  123. November 25, 2012 at 8:09 am

    first world is the problem and Anonymous – Well said!

    “Cowardice asks the question, ‘Is it safe?’ Expediency asks the question, ‘Is it politic?’ But conscience asks the question, ‘Is it right?’ And there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular but because conscience tells one it is right.” M. L. King

  124. November 25, 2012 at 8:18 am

    Dear #123,

    See, you have no need of pseudonyms, people will recognize you from your own special style.

    #123, I too would love to see Bill offer local-issue editorials. From what little I know of him, I like him and I admire his efforts. #106 and #108 were not addressed to Bill, but to people like you.

    And it’s Palestine/Israel, dammit, not Israel/Palestine!! Didn’t you get this morning’s acceptable use memo?

    If you wish, I will urge Heraldo (I guess I’m doing that now) to give you your own special page, like Quick Notes, at which you can post your own thoughts and those of the few who understand you, to your heart’s content. Then things will be better. Would you rather call it “News from the Pure” or “Occupy Occupy! Now”? I prefer the latter — more action-oriented.

    You’re welcome!

  125. November 25, 2012 at 9:23 am

    Apathy is the greatest danger to our freedom.

  126. November 25, 2012 at 9:51 am

    Mitch, Why are you so willing to make jokes about a violent, long time occupation, but won’t address it? You certainly didn’t joke about the murder music stuff- and for good reason, it’s not funny. Neither is the military occupation or the attacks on Palestine, but somehow you think it’s okay to make light of it. Not your concern? Are you identifying yourself with the oppressor, making light of apartheid, extreme racism, murder? I am not appreciating your conflation of speaking the truth with being “politically correct.” It’s quite disturbing actually. You’re rationale is looking even more ignorant than Beau’s.

  127. November 25, 2012 at 12:09 pm

    Verbena, I may have more to say here – soon need to catch a bus.

    I have to say that I found your Thanksgiving ‘gifts’ to be quite disturbing, and very specifically in the manner and manners of the old-style left.

    You ‘forgot’, just for one example, that the 1621 first Thanksgiving was indeed a shared one in good spirits between the Wampanoag and Pilgrims.

    You also ‘forgot’ that the Wampanoag were at least partially interested in the Pilgrims because they could help in the fight with their own local enemies, the Pequot and the Mohegan.

    Instead, among your toasty fireside stories, you chose to leave out these little details, and report on something certainly vile enough, but not unexpected when two cultures who don’t understand each other or each other’s goals have a falling out. Are ‘we’ better at this several centuries of history on? Maybe a little, but you don’t help with your words bound in iron to the selected worst of the past.

    Verbena. Not a native plant to North America. It interests also.

    Yes, you made me angry, not by this one shot. That cold voice is a very limiting and impure one, whatever it thinks of itself, that voice of the failure part of the left, because no-one will listen to it, and because it looks down on those it purports to save, and those it purports to disadvantage.

  128. November 25, 2012 at 2:03 pm


    I am not making jokes about a long and terrible occupation. I am making jokes about a certain type of brainwashed American and European leftist activist, the kind that is apparently incapable of understanding that any country on the entire planet will respond to rocket attacks on its citizens with attacks against those who have launched the rockets. The kind who, if American, is living on a continent that was stolen from its population, but always puts at the top of his or her atrocity list the response of a tiny country, composed mostly of the descendants of war refugees, to having rockets fired at it. It’s been sixty years of Israel now, with much of the Israeli population having been born in that country. How many years have most European countries been around? Where would you like the Israelis to go?

    None of this is to say that I support the current government of Israel, or the deliberate harm of civilian populations.

  129. November 25, 2012 at 2:09 pm

    Didn’t see that one coming . . .another judgment call. I do know Verbena, if that isn’t obvious, and I value her friendship as a sister, as well her right to “say what she has to say,” and share what she feels ‘the times’ need an injection of. Isn’t that what we’re doing, bringing our pieces of the puzzle to the table? “Are we better at this several centuries later?” HELL NO!!! This same program has been playing on re-run, non-stop, for centuries. Verbena’s post does not address ‘the’ selected worst of the past, but instead the beginning of it. The worst holocaust/genocide occurred right here on North American soil. Be it from the stinking, smelling, Europeans who seldom bathed and ‘inflicted’ the originies, or the wars that ensued, or call it ‘Manifest Destiny’ of bounty hunters being paid by the Federal Gov’t. to hunt down and kill them – either way, there can be no healing without forgiveness, so certainly, we have to get more of a grasp on what really came before us to even begin to ‘see’ the wounds that must heal.

  130. November 25, 2012 at 2:36 pm


    I wish Palestinians well. It just strikes me as remarkable that in a world filled with colonies past and colonies present, filled with rulers attacking their own people, the “go-to” state for leftist criticism is usually the one that is the homeland for survivors of the German holocaust.

    It’s not that I don’t think Israel is ever wrong — it’s that it often seems to me to be reflexively held to a different standard.

  131. Eric Kirk
    November 25, 2012 at 3:23 pm

    Mitch – I don’t disagree with most of your points, but I’ve always thought that if there should be a Jewish homeland after the Holocaust is should have been imposed on Germany rather than Palestine.

    That being said, no matter which government was in place, Israel did have to respond to rocket attacks. But the Israeli response is always so disproportionate!

  132. Erasmus
    November 25, 2012 at 4:53 pm

    I don’t know what “disproportionate” means in the context of the war to stop the firing of rockets that terrorize Israeli citizens. Numbers of dead civilians on both sides don’t take into account the psychic trauma suffered by those who fear the onslaught of rockets, and treating war as a kind of sporting event, in which it’s bad form to rack up too many points against a weaker opponent, is inappropriate. Moreover, if “disproportionate” is applied to Israel, what term should be used to characterize such responses as the first president Assad’s massacre at Hama (10,000 or so killed), or King Hussein’s crackdown in September 1970 against Palestinians (at least 3,000 dead)? The Iraq-Iran war, the Russian massacre in Chechnya……. and a few other battles that come to mind actually make Israel’s retaliation seem almost mild. This is not to minimize the suffering of the Palestinians, but to apportion blame while taking into account the region in which it occurred and the options available to Israel. When the fighting began, did anyone not foresee the inevitable headlines? Does anyone truly believe that the Islamic hardliners in Gaza value the lives of their fellow citizens as much as the Israeli government cares for its own people? If someone does believe that, why would a self-defeating tactic such as lobbing rockets be embraced? (I can already hear the outcry from the Western anti-Zionists, who excuse anything the oppressed people of Hamas-run Gaza do to lash out against their oppressor, even when it’s counter-productive.)

  133. tra
    November 25, 2012 at 5:07 pm

    When you have combatants who have been locked in ongoing cycles of revenge and retribution for so long, it can be hard to pin down exactly what led to each round of escalation. Each side has their own version, which in both cases boils down to “they attacked us first, we had to respond.”

    Here in the U.S., the version most people have heard is that the Palestinians, for some unspecified reason, had started firing rockets at Israel, and therefore Israel had to respond. For example, see the first entry in the timeline of events from CBS news:

    “Nov. 14, 2012: Israel launches Operation Pillar of Defense in response to days of rocket fire out of Hamas-ruled Gaza.”


    This version of the timeline gives no explanation of what prompted the “days of rocket fire out of Hamas-ruled Gaza” leaving the impression that those attacks were essentially unprovoked, and that in the several days leading up to Nov 14th, all the violence was being inflicted by Palestinians, towards Israelis until finally the Israelis responded on the 14th.

    However, another timeline, this one from the New Orleans Times-Picayune, goes back a few days further, and makes it clear that both sides were already engaging in violence — though it still gives the impression that it was the Palestinians who “drew first blood,” in this case, on Nov. 10th:

    “Nov. 10: Border clash wounds four Israeli soldiers; Gaza militants and Israel exchange rocket and shell fire.

    Nov. 11-12: Sporadic fire from Gaza into southern Israel wounds eight people; shelling and air raids by Israeli forces kill seven Palestinians, including four civilians.

    Nov. 13: Israel and Hamas send message via Egypt indicating interest in a truce.

    Nov. 14: Israeli missile strike kills Hamas’ military commander and air raids and artillery barrages are directed across Gaza, as Palestinean officials pledge to end rocket attacks against Israel; Hamas and other groups fire at least four rockets at the southern city of Beersheba.”


    And then there is this timeline, from MondoWeiss.net, which goes back a few days earlier, begins with Israeli initiating violence first, on November 8th, and includes somewhat different details about the “border clashes” in the days leading up to November 14th:


    Following a two-week lull in violence, Israeli soldiers invade Gaza. In the resulting exchange of gunfire with Palestinian fighters, a 12-year-old boy is killed by an Israeli bullet while he plays soccer.

    Shortly afterwards, Palestinian fighters blow up a tunnel along the Gaza-Israel frontier, injuring one Israeli soldier.


    An anti-tank missile fired by Palestinian fighters wounds four Israeli soldiers driving in a jeep along the Israel-Gaza boundary.

    An Israeli artillery shell lands in a soccer field in Gaza killing two children, aged 16 and 17. Later, an Israeli tank fires a shell at a tent where mourners are gathered for a funeral, killing two more civilians, and wounding more than two dozen others.


    One Palestinian civilian is killed and dozens more wounded in Israeli attacks. Four Israeli civilians are also injured as a result of projectiles launched from Gaza, according to the Israeli government.

    During an Israeli government cabinet meeting, Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz urges the government to “cut off the head of the snake… take out the leadership of Hamas in Gaza.” He also calls for a cutting off of water, food, electricity, and fuel shipments to Gaza’s 1.7 million people.


    Palestinian militant factions agree to a truce if Israel ends its attacks.


    Israel breaks two days of calm by assassinating Ahmed Jabari, the head of Hamas’ military wing. According to reports, at least eight other Palestinians are killed in Israeli attacks, including at least two children. Palestinian militant groups vow to respond.”

    So as far as assigning blame for the initiation of the recent outbreak of violence, it all depends on where you start the timeline, and what events are included.

    But beyond the question of “who started it,” it’s clear that both sides chose to escalate the situation by repeatedly “responding” to one another with successively increasing levels of violence.

  134. Anonymous
    November 25, 2012 at 7:52 pm

    “Dear #123,
    See, you have no need of pseudonyms, people will recognize you from your own special style.” (Mitch).

    This blog has tumbled far since it was anonymous and poster’s anonymity was respected…this is usually the first thing people lose in history’s tyrannies…that’s why it’s offensive that Mitch gravitates toward poster’s identity when faced with valid criticisms of this blog’s decline. The only reason I post anonymously, pseudonym or not, is to exercise a right.

    Apparently, I’m not the only one offended by Mitch’s arrogance.

    “#123, I too would love to see Bill offer local-issue editorials. From what little I know of him, I like him and I admire his efforts. #106 and #108 were not addressed to Bill, but to people like you.” (Mitch).

    A more careful examination of Mitch’s posts shows that he was, in fact, responding to “Eureka Worker” signed by Bill, not “people like you”, (whatever that means), and Bill immediately responded with remarkable tolerance and restraint.

    It appears to be a bloated ego that keeps Mitch from conceding that the Eureka Fair Wage Initiative has been successful to date, because that would make his posts at 106/108 inaccurate, irrelevant, and illogical, (in addition to insulting)….thus, Mitch offers his “admiration”.


  135. Cutten Resident
    November 25, 2012 at 10:39 pm

    #122: “So as far as assigning blame for the initiation of the recent outbreak of violence, it all depends on where you start the timeline, and what events are included.”

    What I know for sure is that my nice, civilized neighbors would grab any weapon available to them if they were faced with 20 foot walls, checkpoints, and grinding poverty….aside from the random searches, bombings, renditions, and assassinations Palestinians face every day. At that point, it matters little “who started it”. It has entered the familiar realm of the worst collective human rights abuses in human history.

  136. November 26, 2012 at 9:00 am

    Cutten Resident,
    Are you sure your neighbors would grab any weapon available to them? A baseball bat just won’t do. We already have illegal check points, illegal searches, and grinding poverty.
    “It (“Jewish” holocaust) has ‘entered’ (through the public fool system) the familiar realm (due to re-broadcasts of the same programming) of the worst collective human rights abuses in human history.” Operation Keehaul, for one of many, is well-known in Russia – you and me, we don’t know. Or the, some say 30 million, some say 43 million – people who were starved to death in China. We don’t know. The recent revolution in Tibet – we don’t know, the list goes on. This re-hashed focus has been purposely aimed at the “Jewish” holocaust number of, very questionably, 6 million. Why? Because it was a supposedly “they,” the Germans, Hitler (funded by Prescott Bush) who did this. We’re always the ‘good guys’ reading the lies of the supposed victor – the assassins.
    Communication has been down here on the west coast for a long time. The talked about decline of Heraldo is a cycle. It’s too late for business as usual. As Fiction is crumbling, tumbling – falling down all around us . . . as it’s being swept away – don’t hang on. Let go.

    Americans, you are not free, just free-roaming slaves on the plantation. Pray for the Iranians, they may be the only ones who might be able to fight back against the cowards who bomb from 50,000′ up . . . no different than a suicide bomber. Remember what General Patton said about push-button warfare; nothing reaffirmed in battle, a faceless war with no honor, corporate facism, jew terrorism, anglo empire.

    “Reality is usually scoffed at, illusion is King. For survival it’s going to be reality, not illusion or delusion that will determine what the future will bring.” Dr. Stanley Monteith

  137. first world is the problem
    November 26, 2012 at 12:52 pm

    “Bill and Verbena are among a tiny handful of progressives in this county that actually engage in activism for common folks, ie, most people.”

    And for that I am thankful to them as well. I have never met them, I don’t know anything about them really. However, from what I read, they are among the very few who maintain a grasp of “the big picture” in commentary…to whatever degree. I simply cannot afford to be “an activist” in “real life”…something as simple as being arrested at a common peaceful protest could significantly dent my finances, and that’s the truth for most people. Can’t pay your court fees, can’t re-register your vehicle, can’t advance in employment with a “criminal” record etc. etc. etc…

    The internet, blogs like this, are really dumbing people down. They are run and monitored by self interested desk jockeys and law enforcement. They are full of trolls…one person pretending to be X number of people with an agenda. Blog proprietors are increasingly insisting, rather than encouraging, a pampering, back-patting attitude about bullshit. There are NOT two sides to every story. There IS a right and a wrong way to advance as a “community” as well as a “society”. The internet is 100% bullshit. I don’t know what you folks were talking about when you were younger about what the world situation would be like by the year 2000, but the bad guys won. Brace yourselves for the neverending summer, as the atmosphere is beyond repair within anybody’s lifetime or generations to come, yet the powers that be, backed by the ignorant indifference of our media representatives, are encouraging more of the same, and insisting we all humor and discuss the matter as though it were of no significance. The importance of the changing climate is so far lost on just about everybody in this county’s media.

    There will be a trend of disinvolvement from the internet to taking care of one’s own, as the younger generation is paying attention and laughing at the idiocy of you fools. The future will talk of you with the same indignation given the status quo of yester-century. I can’t stomach this bullshit any longer myself…the internet is a million times worse than television ever could be.

  138. Cutten Resident
    November 26, 2012 at 3:19 pm

    Great comments folks!

    We share many frustrations over the big picture, although lots of most people have little idea why they have a nagging sense that something’s amiss.

    That’s why we must focus on our little communities and regions with all haste….most of the big picture ills are unfolding right here but are also not being reported.

    There are numerous catalysts that will inevitably force us into local sustainability, the last thing we’ve prepared for.

  139. November 26, 2012 at 5:58 pm

    That’s say’n it like it is Cutten Resident – no need in beating around the bush. Wood, food, water – I’m askin’ ya, where would you rather be when the grid goes – here in a sanctuary, or elsewhere? I may be prejudice, but, wherever I’ve gone – from south to Piercy, the Grove, Garberville, Redway , Fortuna, on up thru Eureka to Arcata, plenty of great food is
    always shared. The Farmer’s Markets are abundant. Living in the Great Pacific Northwest has it’s built-in advantages. We are prepared in some of the ways, more than we think. Are we prepared in a way as you say to focus with haste (and that’s a breath-taker), on our little communities? – I’d have to say, No. My neighbor just showed up to re-affirm of other neighbor’s corporate commercial insanity gone wild – so, I don’t know when this community is going to pull together.

  140. Cutten Resident
    November 26, 2012 at 8:22 pm

    In order to be believed, the truth must be repeated, unfortunately, the mass media, and our own “liberal” blogs are focusing on the ephemeral.

    We can only pray that when the next harsh catalyst finally unfolds, it won’t be too violent…like the apocalyptic movies now flooding rental shelves, capitalizing on the general foreboding that plagues so many of us.

    All media sources need to be pounded for keeping the uncomfortable truths hidden, the solutions untold, and the joys of rapid change unthinkable.

    “What if Global Warming were a hoax and we made a better world for nothing”?

  141. November 26, 2012 at 10:44 pm

    Forest Queen, I’ve wanted to reply to you on my comment to Verbena. I appreciate she’s your friend, and possibly she’s quite innocent about the items she posted from outside sources.

    However, the items did a violence to persons who would like to enjoy Thanksgiving with friends and family, and likely reflect on the _better_ ways we understand humans can behave and be. That’s what set me off.

    I do have to remind that the First Thanksgiving we look back to indeed was a cooperative and shared affair between Puritan Pilgrims and the Wampanoag; no one seems to dispute that.

    Better history brings out both the European/English types of aggression the Pilgrims had, and equally the local tribal conflicts which the Wampanoag had, both later leading to violence.

    Should we celebrate the better way things work, or the breakdown?

    Similarly, bringing up the violence between Palestinian Arabs and Israelis as some simple act of whomever might be judged bad, as Tra shows above, isn’t likely to net us a world away any kind of useful knowledge, and it is also a particularly unwelcome intrusion on a few days of our own culture’s peacefulness.

    In this case also, breakdown is not the thing we want to support. I’ve had enough experience of Israelis, including some who worked pretty hard to build bridges with Palestinians, to think this can in any way be simple. The facts that escape the current Gaza conflict suggest the same.

    Innocent persons were being told an agreement was in place that they could finally visit and soon use their lands which have been the military the buffer zone for the fence: not true, and they were liable to be gunned down if they did so. Many did, and were not gunned down, in Israeli understanding of what had been done to these people by their leaders. Even after a short violent battle to cut down again on the shooting of rockets into their towns and cities. Think on that. Imagine people shot rockets at you. Only one simple edge, but then you can understand the will to strike to end attack, on both sides. The history back to the beginning is similarly interwoven, complicated, and fraught.

    Again, your friend Verbena may or may not understand the details, or the weavings of history which are present for any people one may know. I do as you know have a goodly interest in all views having their expression. But a sense of moment, of proportion, and of not obscuring humanly useful truth has to be there, or there will be replies which ask for this, don’t you think?

    Best I can do on this, Forest Queen, and I apologize that the done is still rather definite. I actually thought about what you ask a good deal, and studied a bit also. Best I can do.

  142. November 27, 2012 at 1:10 am

    The best you can do, is, the best you can do. So be it. My ‘rose-colored’ glasses occasionally get ‘in the way.’

  143. November 27, 2012 at 1:44 am


    I suppose we are ‘ephemeral’ -due to the speed of info. twirl. Is it good, bad? I think it just ‘is.’ General foreboding? You kiddin me? I wouldn’t miss a min.
    “. . .the uncomfortable truths were hidden” – most in plain sight – we just haven’t ‘looked’ before. And, “the solutions are untold” because ‘we the people’ are the only ones with the ability/capable to tell the solutions. We just need to agree about s o m e t h i n g – heaven forbid that!

  144. first world is the problem
    November 27, 2012 at 8:48 am

    Not “we” forest queen. Specific people in specific positions to make key decisions. For example, ignore any and all anonymous on the internet. Who does that leave? Those who are proud to not be changing their minds whatsoever. That includes everybody in “our” media and “our” government. THEY need to change THEIR minds, THEY need to make a call to arms and stand their ground. Instead, THEY are comfortable and otherwise persuaded, as perhaps “we” are, that THEY are of no significance, or that the decisions THEY are already making aren’t represent of the same status quo that’s continuing to bury us.

    As said above, it’s ONLY going to get worse. One’s head only needs to be screwed on facing the right direction to know that. What a monumental thing to know! The fresh water WILL continue to disappear. Wildlife WILL continue to die off. The “economy” WILL continue to tank. Yet here in our own little tight knit hovel we can see with our own two eyes all the specific people in “our” government and media, whose job it is to represent the better interest of the majority, doing NOTHING about it. They are well paid, most even have financial stake in the very institutes that are the root of the problem within the big picture.

    It’s ONLY going to get worse. There comes a time when one has to shit or get off the pot. Everybody in our media is sitting around discussing the best way to raze more nature and build more pollutive resource sucking monoliths and cram as many people into the area as THEY feel suits THEIR wants and needs. THEY know exactly what would be better for everybody, THEY blame US…the people who read what THEY publish, the people who vote for THEM under the misconstrued idea that THEY aren’t a bunch of self serving hairless apes looking after their own.

    It’s the mother of all FUBAR SNAFU’s, unfloding right before our eyes, right here in Humboldt. More of the same, year after year after year after year.

  145. November 27, 2012 at 11:04 am

    first world is the problem,
    I was replying the ‘we’ to Cutten’s post – didn’t mean to infer all of ‘we.’ “THEY need to change their minds” ??? The only thing we have control over to change – is ourselves.
    It isn’t what THEY do, it’s what we do. We aren’t going to leave Egypt and wander around in the commercial desert this time for 40 years, oogaling a golden calf. We’re already in the ‘promised land’ – this time the crooks leave. The true “terrorists” of our time are the politicians, and THEY SHOULD BE TREATED AS SUCH!!! We are not experiencing a financial crisis, per se, but more correctly, a crisis of criminality.

    I don’t claim govern (control) mente (mind) as being ‘our’ government. I also don’t claim media (present blogs excepted) as ‘our.’

    Common law applies to: the Living Soul womb/man – non-fiction.
    Statutory Law applies to: Public Agents – fiction.

    Fact and fiction can’t meet.

    It’s hard to imagine a more stupid or more dangerous way of making decisions than by putting those decisions in the hands of persons who pay no price for being wrong. Much of the social history of the Western world, over the past three decades, has been a history of replacing what worked with what sounded good.

    “We the people” are to blame.

  146. November 27, 2012 at 1:34 pm

    Forest Queen, good, and thanks.

    I continue to appreciate your ‘glasses’, whatever color a day brings, so please keep using them ;)

    I’m still trying to get a clear view of what you think ‘we’ should do, when you talk about that.

    I would take what I understand maybe this way, in common with my own.

    That it is very important that we obtain and keep visiting a place of our own freedom and sight, which we could call a forest glade, separated healthily from common-day politics and other jiving. And yet we can find part of this place in the company of others, where they go (or write) a little free from things themselves. As a writer says, go and visit Dyonysius…

    Some of us do more than occasionally visit the grove, as you do, and I do and have done, and some others we know do around us. There are many ways to do this, and for its troubles, insights can be rewarded, to be shared back by arts or conversation.

    I’m re-reading a little Steinbeck at the moment; interesting to see his relation with this, which is far from simple even when his own trouble with writing can make it seem so for a while. But then he brings it back…

    Best there.

  147. November 30, 2012 at 3:44 pm

    This belongs on Quick Notes, however, that page will not download to me – must be the 238 comments.
    Posted 24 hrs. ago and blacked-out of our media – Iceland’s economy recovered from the
    ‘financial crisis’ because the government bailed out the people and jailed the banksters.

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