All My Immigrants

I never thought of myself as coming from a family of immigrants, but the barbaric actions of our new President have put me in my place. My best and closest friend is an immigrant. His mother was an immigrant.  My sister-in–law is an immigrant. My cousin’s kid is about to marry an immigrant.  All my great-grandparents on my mom’s side were immigrants.  I know I’m leaving someone out.

My great-grandfather’s “naturalization papers” consisted of a page in a ledger that listed his name, and said that he came from Ireland.  His wife, my great-grandmother, didn’t warrant a listing of her own, nor did any of the kids.  I found it down in the courthouse. All the people on a page were sworn in on the same day. One of the folks on my great-grandfather’s page was David Cutten, so we’re going back aways.

I would be okay with not having immigration laws at all.  The growth that this country experienced in the 19th century was essentially unregulated.  It was chaos! But somehow it all worked out. They were suspicious of immigrants then,  too.  Did you read the obituary in Sunday’s Times-Standard that referenced our Italian folks from right here in Eureka being restricted and relocated  due to the WWII scare over Italian and Japanese immigrants?  A lot of injustices were done during that time, all in the name of “national security”.  Have you ever in your life met someone who actually lost a job- or anything else- to an undocumented worker? I haven’t.

The ineptitude of the right-wing ideologues who are occupying the White House is actually a good thing.  Bannon, Spicer etc don’t seem to have a clue.  Trump’s first and only term will apparently be a full-employment act for lawyers. Expensive for the taxpayers, but in the end the Constitution will prevail. Hopefully.

I lived in Sacramento for a year and I find myself thinking  of my dentist there, who was a Syrian immigrant, a graduate of the University of Damascus. I hope  he and his family will not be  terrorized by the Trumpies. They are a nice family and a good dentist is hard to find.  

What a bitter backdrop as we welcome the Year of the Rooster.

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Me and the ACLU

Like everyone who joins the ACLU, I get mad and quit them every once in a while. Their positions in defense of liberty are sometimes extreme. I remember the first time I  quit them.  It was over the kid from Russia ;who was being made to go back to Russia and I don’t even recall the legal issue.  But the way they stepped up over this past weekend to fight the “Muslim ban” was definitely heartwarming.  And reassuring.

So now I’ll have to write them a check.  You can, too.   HERE’S the website.  For as little as $35 (or less- they’re not going to turn anyone down)  you can be a soldier in the good fight. 

When I think of all the other entities I write checks to- the Zoo, the THA,  the Democrats, Food for People, EPIC, the Chamber, etc.- it doesn’t seem like much.

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Bamboo for the Pandas

A few weeks ago I got a call from the Sequoia Park Zoo, asking about bamboo.  I had apparently let them know that I had some and they were interested in getting some for the little red pandas. Who could say no?

When I bought my place back in ’93 I planted five black bamboos in the far corner.  I got them from a place called Bamboo and Maples that used to be  sort of inside the nursery that used to exist where the Safeway is now.  I used to love going there.  It was like an arboretum  and I miss it dearly.  Then they moved over to Hubbard Lane but didn’t last long.  The fellow who sold me the bamboos even planted them for me! They were only 4 or 5 feet then;  now they’re 12 feet or more. They are a lovely addition that turned a boring corner into a tropical  paradise if it were ever warm enough to sit on the bench and relax out there. It never is.

Anyway, the young people from the Zoo do a great job of harvesting the bamboo and it always looks better after they’ve been there.  The last time they came, they said the incessant rains had created a bamboo emergency. If you want to do your part to make sure those cute little devils have enough food and if you have bamboo in your yard, give the Zoo a call at 441 4263. They can use the help.

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Don the Con’s Power Grab- Muzzling Federal Empoylees

D the C committed several outrages yesterday.  Among them was  trying to impose a gag order on the Federal employees who spend YOUR money to accomplish Federal tasks. He doesn’t want them to be able to whistleblow or otherwise divulge that’s going on with YOUR money and resources.  What does he want to hide?   Hopefully ,the Unions and lawyers will atop this attack on free speech, but you can’t bet this is only the first time. He has NO HESITATION  WHATEVER to attack free speech and the next target might be YOU.  

Responsible citizens are  alarmed at his unhinged behavior.   HERE”S an update.

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Don the Con’s Big Day- He Blew It

Those of us with low expectations for the Trump Inaugural were not disappointed. He could have issued a call for unity. He could have addressed the concerns of the majority who did not vote for him.  But no, instead he continued to demonstrate his unfitness for office, his insatiable ego,  his lack of knowledge, and his basic lack of interest in being the President. He’s more concerned with ratings and crowd sizes than in governing. Those of us who thought that the grownups would get to him have realized that the grownups have no influence.  He is a deranged and dangerous  egomaniac who doesn’t know any better than to start his term with a loser’s controversy over crowd  size.  He’s starting with an attack on Federal employees –  yeah, that’s real helpful. 

We have entered a new era of Government by Lie. Trump lies so easily, so frequently, that we are getting used to it!  If I thought he was really going to last four years, I’d really be depressed. 

Don the Con now enjoys the support of approximately 30% of the voters.  He’ll never add to that number unless he gets his priorities straight. Twitter wars were okay when he was  just a candidate but his delusion that he can bypass the “crooked media” by using tweets just isn’t reality.  Unless he can BUILD on his base, he won’t be around long. If he were really “a very smart person”, he’d know that.

The outrages are coming so thick and so fast it’s hard to keep up.  Remember that this con, like all cons, works by distraction. He’ll keep the attention on himself by tweets and sound bits, and hope the true agenda stays under the radar. 

HERE is an accounting of this past weekend.  It’s not a good start. 

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BBQ Update And Tragedy In Eureka

Many of you are already aware that the wonderful Sammy’s BBQ and Catering has expanded from its original King Salmon venue  (1125  King Salmon,  tel 442-4227) to North Eureka, 1709 5th Street,  (used to be a pho place)  Tel 443-4227.) Yes, the phone numbers are only one digit apart. The new place has had some complaints about their service and their credit card policies  but until the rain stops and I can check it out for myself I’ll just pass the good news along. The new place is open 11am-7pm.  The old place-you’d better call.  Remember, never on Sunday.

Speaking of BBQ, I hope you all know that Southside Mike has been blessed by the Planning Department and has found his home around to the side of John’s Cigars in the Myrtle Avenue  shopping center.  Go check out his new rig!  Mike is normally there from 1pm to 5pm Wed-Sat but he’s had the flu, so keep your fingers crossed. His tri-tip is wonderful, but so is everything else.  Look sharp when you pass by or your view may be blocked by Jacob’s La Barca taco truck – a worthy alternative to BBQ if you’re not ravenous.

The TRAGEDY in our headline is that ROY’S CLUB IS CLOSING!! The oldest continuously operating restaurant in Eureka – older than I am, for God’s sake- is closing forever, at least according to a Facebook post.  I haven’t been able to get anyone at the restaurant to confirm this but  I suspect it’s true. Last summer I tried to book a party of 8 for dinner (family reunion) and was told that “the  chef” was going to be out for an operation  for a couple of weeks.  Skimpy staffing is always a danger sign. Now, the word is out that their last day will be Feb 18. Bet they’ll be sold out for Valentine’s Day!

I think its dreadful that a place like Roy’s is closing without a parade or fireworks  or something. I guess it’s too late to think that a local hero with $$$$ will step in to change this but we can always hope. The only bright spot in this is that the Bella Italia, down on 4th Street, is still doing great meals.  The linguini Pescadores is fantastic.  Now that Mazzotti’s has descended into ordinariness, this is where I go for my Italian fix.  Go check them out if you haven’t.

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The Three John Fords

I was saddened recently to hear about John Ford, the insurance broker, being accused of fraud.  No charges have been brought at this time.

I meet John back during the Gallegos recall election.  I had a fundraiser at my house and John helped out as the bartender. After that it seems I ran into him everywhere- at Chamber meetings, at Winco. Always helpful, aways affable. We spoke several times about my running a piece in the blog about his business but I could never find an event to “hang” the piece on. John is what is called in Canada a “Kid Kodak”.  If there’s a camera in the room, John will be in the picture.  Good attribute for a guy who’s worked in advertising, real estate, radio etc.

So the FIRST John Ford, the one I know, is a wonderful guy who has started an innovative business which can only help the local economy. So what about the SECOND John Ford? The John Ford who is such a screwup he allegedly takes funds from clients without providing value?  And does this in an enterprise (insurance) that is one of the most heavily regulated!  In an industry (cannabis)  that invites scrutiny for Federal, State AND local governments? THAT John Ford is clearly insane.  I hope it  turns out not to be true.

Watching all this from the sidelines is the THIRD John Ford-a former HSU student who recently returned to Humboldt from Monterey as the director of County Planning.  We wish him well and hope he will have a more tranquil Spring than the other two.  

At least he won’t have to cringe every time the phone rings.

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“The New Celebrity Apprentice”

I have a long history with “The Apprentice”. When I was running a job club for folks who were not familiar with business issues, I used to encourage them to watch it.  Of course, the first few  years  were very different from what’s being shown now;  They actually had sort-of-celebrities then.   Most of the time was spent on solving their business problems or issues;  As time went by more and more of the time was spent in the useless Boardroom transactions- no educational value whatever.

This season the “celebrities’ are a joke. And as for Arnold Schwarzenegger, he is a parody of himself.  Sorry, but saying “You’re terminated” instead of  “You’re fired” just isn’t exciting.  I fell asleep.  I won’t be watching it again.   Get a glimpse  while you can.  This show is so bad it won’t be around long.

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No, I’m Not Going To Watch the Trump Inaugural

I don’t remember going out of my way to watch ANY inaugural, even Obama’s which at least was historic. According to my ephemeris, Jan 20 2009 was a Tuesday, so I was probably at work. If inaugurals are such a big deal, why don’t they give people the day off? Just asking.

The time difference is a big problem. I was thinking about throwing a Bloody-Mary-and-Granola brunch for the Democrats in the ‘hood but 9am is too damn early to start drinking. If the weather is still miserable – as it’s predicted to be –  I just might sleep thru the whole thing.  If he screws up, it will be on the news anyway.

I think it’s great that there will be a vigil on Arcata Plaza by the Women in Black and anyone who cares to join them from 830 to 10am. You go, ladies!

This inaugural is not a celebration. It marks the transfer of power from a humane and caring individual to one who is coarse, crude, uneducated, greedy, sexist, ignorant and lies each time he opens his mouth.  He’s not going to change.  God help us all.

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