TV Worth Watching: “Illuminated Wildlife” and other joys of “North Woods Law”

Those of you who read the blog regularly know that I have a high tolerance for junk TV, especially “reality”. I can watch reruns of The Profit or Save My Bakery. 

But recently I discovered North Woods Law on Animal Planet.  It’s about Maine game wardens tracking illegal hunters,  rescuing lost fishermen and just generally being helpful. They rescue eagles from traps, find old ladies lost in the woods and arrest a lot of people for shooting guns out of automobiles. I didn’t even know that was a thing.  When you watch North Woods Law you learn a lot about Maine, it’s geography, it’s people.  It looks awfully cold.

A lot of it sounds just like Humboldt. They find a medical marijuana farmer cheating by growing an extra field. When they find folks with small amount of weed, they seem to cut them a break.  A LOT of the hunters they deal with are drunk. Just like here. One of the charges they issue tickets for is “illuminating wildlife”.  You’re not supposed to go into the dark woods and shine your headlights or anything else on them because it causes them to freeze in panic making an easy shot for a hunter.   That “deer in the headlights” phenomenon is real!  Sometimes their work is somber as when they recover bodies of missing fishermen.  On Suddenlink this is all available on Channel 233. 

There are half a dozen episodes left in the current season, which is the last one filmed in Maine. Why?   Because of everyone’s favorite idiot Governor, Paul Le Page, who has never been known to walk and chew gum at the same time. Hizzoner  objected to his state employees being filmed so the show is moving to New Hampshire. Read about it HERE. 

Think I’ll go out and illuminate something.





How Low Can the GOP Go?

If you live long enough, and have a big family, eventually you’re connected to someone famous, however distantly. My cousin, the law professor, spent three days at a seminar in Rome with Antonin Scalia and is wistful about his recent passing.  Personally, I had no use for the man but obviously his influence was huge and his passing momentous. 

Now it appears that the execrable Mitch McConnell and the band of cretins who are currently running the Republican Party are perfectly willing to bring the government grinding to a halt rather than allow our President to fill a vacancy as prescribed in the Constitution.  The collapse of the Republican Party, decimated by Tea Party defections and drifting without any purpose except obstruction, is NOT good news for Democrats. An intelligent and conscientious opposition is crucial to any party. 

Remember not too long ago when Republicans and Democrats actually GOVERNED together?  The GOP/Tea Party has never accepted the legitimacy of this President because he is Black, and I have heard some of you express this. You know who you are. Will the GOP continue down the path of darkness and Know-Nothingism aka Trumpism?? Say tuned.


Three Things I Didn’t Know Until Now

Forwarded for your edification:

‘Fraid of spiders? Get used to them. Every household in the United States harbors about 100 of them.  But they only kill about seven people a year. Snakes kill five. This was in Better Homes and Gardens so it has to be true.

That actor who plays The Asshole in the National Car Rental ads, the guy who doesn’t want to talk to mere humans and negotiates a raise with himself, is Patrick Warburton, who played Elaine’s idiot used-car salesman boyfriend, the one who told her she was going to Hell.  I sure didn’t recognize him. Guy is a genius. I didn’t used to appreciate those ads but I’ve seen the light.

The unemployment rate in Shasta County  is 8% according to the Redding Searchlight-Record.  That’s compared to 5% for Humboldt County.

(Bonus)   According to the same paper, Red Emmerson of Sierra Pacific Industries is still rich. In fact, his Forbes ranking increased from 481 to 435 while his worth remained about the same, meaning some folks above him in the list had a tough year.  HERE’S the story.

(Another bonus)  Wild Rose Farm in Blue Lake is the larges quinoa producer in the US. You would have known that if you’d read the Greenway newsletter last week.


The Cost Of Living IS Too Damn High

You’ve certainly heard by now that Social Security recipients, including SSI recipients, aren’t getting a cost-of-living increase this year, a fairly rare occurrence.  Apparently the way they calculate the cost of living gives great weight to the cost of gasoline,  which hasn’t risen much in the last couple of years while everything else has skyrocketed.

All I know is that at Winco, a lot of the stuff I buy has increased by at least 50% from a couple of years ago.  Broccoli used to be $.99 a pound, now it’s often $1.99. Tuna used to be $.59, now it’s $.89. It all adds up.

My cousin,  also a retiree, shared with me the following statistics from EPI. Bloomberg and the USDL.:

Since 1978, the cost of college tuition has increased by 1,120%.

Medical care has increased by 601%

Food has increased by 244%

Shelter has gone up by 380%.

MEANWHILE the pay of typical workers rose by just 10%

The pay of minimum wage workers fell by 5.5%

And the pay of average CEO’s increased by 937%.

No wonder everyone’s feeling squeezed, whether on a “fixed income”  or not. I really feel for the many folks who have no other income and hope that Sen Elizabeth Warren’s bill or some other fix will be appllied, and soon.  For those who, like me, have other sources of income, it’s just an annoyance  but it cannot be denied that increased discrepancies between income and expenses force more people into homelessness. The rent IS too damn high.


No One Shows Up To Vote Anymore

They didn’t even mail me a ballot this time but I swear, I would have voted if I could have.  I don’t care if this was an “off-year” election, the voter participation rate was abysmal. Fewer than 25% of voters bothered to vote at all. Of these, 67%  voted by mail, the sensible way, and 32% trekked to the polls like grandma did.  WHEN will we get smart and conduct all our elections by mail like they do in Oregon?

Another thing that strikes you is the anomaly of the School District elections, where you would think that anyone having kids in school would be seriously interested in the results. As our friend Fred pointed out earlier, the County BOE Trustee Area 4, which is apparently in Eureka, will be represented by a woman named Loretta Eckenrode who garnered votes from a whopping 1.8% of those eligible.  With 1600 voters in the Area you would hope that there was a lot of precinct-walking and retail politics going on in those neighborhoods, since the rest of us have never heard anything about these elections.  There was a remarkable lack of online info also. 

The HCBOE elections were decided by 12% of the electorate. The Division 2 Harbor election drew votes from 21% of those registered, the Division 5 turnout was 25% and those were hotly contested elections. Surely we can do better.