Dodging Traffic in the Middle of the Road

I see the local blog wars have surfaced again this morning. Over on Rebane’s Ruminations, an opinion piece by hyper-capitalist Mike McDaniel has been refuted by some guy named Justin over at the Sierra Foothills Report. Being that Wednesday is my deadline day at The Union, I don’t have the time to go into detailed critiques of the ongoing debate between the forces of progressivism Vs. conservatism. However, I can make a few quick observations.

I have long held the belief that the progressive movement would never have gotten off the ground had it not been for the greed of wealthy industrialists in the early days of the 20th Century. Working conditions were abysmal, and the smaller and weaker government of the day was bought and sold by the robber barons. Reform was needed to avoid the kind of worker revolution that engulfed Russia.

The progressives and unions helped the average jane and joe to have some dignity and protection in the workplace, but over the years have become a destructive leviathan of their own. Union-run government is no better than corporate government. 

In his introduction, SFR’s Jeff Pelline notes that George Rebane’s opinion pieces on KVMR take up too much airtime. Really? If I’m wrong, please correct me, but I believe Paul Emery has a long-standing invitation to Jeff for equal time. (And to be clear, equal time amounts to two minutes a month.)

Over at Rebane’s, the conservatives argue that Jeff only presents one side of the story, but that’s not entirely true. In his ongoing jihad against The Union’s paywall, Jeff has definitely covered both sides of the argument. Check it out for yourself…

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103 Responses to Dodging Traffic in the Middle of the Road

  1. Michael Anderson says:

    And in other news of the day, the airship Hindenburg meets a tragic fate:

  2. gregoryzaller says:

    I was musing with my wife last night about how I was in a discussion group where a fellow made a point but had mixed up his billions and millions. That’s a difference of a 1000 times. Certainly being off on the basis of a point by a 1000 times should have given him pause, but it did not. Numbers are often used only for effect to prove a bias but they should be what we use to form our opinions, and our actions should reflect our opinions. The rights’s opinions mostly have no basis in fact. The left’s opinions are hypocritical. The former denies the facts and the latter denies that when he points a finger, three are pointing back at him.

    • Todd juvinall says:

      BTW GregZ, congrats on the nice article the other day. I respect people who put their time and money where their mouth is. Good job.

      • gregoryzaller says:

        Thanks, Todd.

        Whew, when I first saw your name there it belatedly occurred to me that I might have offended somebody with my “analysis”.
        I hastily will add now that nothing is black and white.

        This right and left squabbling is such a waste. If we could just put our heads together we would solve all the problems we are arguing about.

  3. rl crabb says:

    Amazing how preconceived notions and a spoonful of imagination can turn a candidates’ forum into some kind of KKK rally. In the comments on Sierra Foothills Reports reliving the Tea Party-sponsored debates back in April, Tony Waters has visions of the moderator (Jeff Ackerman) ambushing the hapless liberal candidates, and cutting off the microphone when the poor slob tries to respond. No, Tony, it didn’t happen that way. I hope you were merely being sarcastic. There were no red-shirted apes brandishing clubs and rubber hoses at the door. Nobody in the crowd jumped up and verbally assaulted anyone with right-wing slogans. No one wore a tri-cornered hat or carried a musket. It was downright…civilized. Just as if the event had been sponsored by the League of Lady Voters. Local media asked the questions, and everyone, be he Democrat, Republican, Green or Libertarian, got the same shot at the same question.
    Curtis Walker stll bemoans the “Tea Party Express” that exists mostly in his mind, because if ever read The Union’s opinion page he would find a variety of views, as it always has been. Did the publisher lean Republican/Libertarian? Yeah, but like most of us his politics on any particular issue could swing wide left as well. But then I suppose Curtis considers MSDNC…uh, I mean NBC more fair and balanced than Faux News.
    And to top it off, we have Steve (I never throw the first stone) Frisch wrapping the whole thing up as “a clique of irrational right-wing sychophants.”
    If this passes for open-mindedness, I’d hate to see what real partisans look like.

    • Tony Waters says:

      In the unlikely event I were a candidate, I would not want to be at a forum where the Tea Party controlled the microphone. The Tea Party is a partisan organization (that’s why they call it a party!). I wouldn’t mind being on a panel with a Tea Party spokesman, but I would prefer someone more non-partisan to control the questions, and microphone.

      First, I would want a moderator who did not have a political agenda. Normally, this would include the local newspaper, but in the case of GV, this does not seem to be the case–The Union consistently aligns with the Tea Party, and not other plausible sponsors. The PTA, Sierra College government classes, service clubs, union of village idiots, flower store owners, or any number of other more groups which are in my mind better moderators than the Tea Party.

      It is of course the prerogative of The Union to sponsor forums with the Tea Party. But it is also my right to judge their claim to non-partisanship by the company they keep.

      As for Ackerman, he is no longer editor/publisher of The Union, so I assume he was not moderating this forum. I liked some of his “grumpy old man” writing, but he also had a sharp libertarian ax to grind on the editorial page of The Union while he was here. So no, I would not have trusted him as a moderator of a “non-partisan” forum. (For that matter, I would not have trusted Jon Stewart as a moderator, even though quite often I can laugh with him. But that’s another story).


      • Todd Juvinall says:

        That is why there is a rift in our society. Tony Waters is the poster child. The forum’s sponsors are anathema to him and the left so they stay home and cry the blues about how unfair the world is. I did not see Tony Waters or his buddies in ideology put on a forum for the public. Too much trouble I guess.

        Also, when you are a candidate, a serious one unlike say, Ben Emery, you go to everything and anyplace where two or more people are gathered. You need votes to win and they are where the people are. All this “high and mighty” BS from liberals keeps the divide in place.

        • TD Pittsford says:

          Would it make you happy Todd, if we all registered as Republicans? Most people are so tied into this Conservative vs. Liberal bickering that they have forgotten the basics of our Republic.

      • Tony Waters says:

        So Todd, does this mean you are suggesting Republican candidates start going to participate in the Operation Wall Street Forums down in Berkeley? Those forums are for the public, just like the Tea Party Forums are.

        • Michael Anderson says:


        • Todd juvinall says:

          Absolutely. If they are invited and want to attend, I see nothing wrong with that. Hell, Romney went to the NAACP Convention and spoke and I bet not one of those people will ever vote for him. What are you liberals afraid of? Maybe the messenger would convert those OWS folks after they hear him/her? Amazing.

          I used to speak to people at all forums as a non-partisan office holder. Thogh I was a R my Supe position is non-partisan. I have actually done that. How about you TWaters? Ever gone into the “lions den” and spoken your true ideological positions?

    • Greg Goodknight says:

      Regarding the League of Lady Voters… can anyone tell me if their recommendations for Nov 2010 were any different than the mainstream Democratic platform?

      • Michael Anderson says:

        I agree w/ Greg and Earl that the League of Women Voters and the Tea Party Patriots are not all that different, partisan-wise. But the TPP wear uniforms, which is not the best way to hold a non-partisan forum in a public building. Plus, asking for $5 to “help the vets” is gratuitous as well as bad manners.

        But whatever, I found the forum to be informative and I’m glad I went.

      • Todd juvinall says:

        I was a longtime friend og Joan Lancaster a lady realtor and member of the Lady Voters. She told me many times she joined and became an officer because she wanted the almost 100% democrat organization to have one R as a member. The truth is in the voter registration of the members. I would suggest the skeptics of the organizations true ideology be reviewed at the registrars office.

    • Steve Frisch says:

      Well, Mr. Crabb, the last thing I want to do is get into the fight between you and Mr. Pelline, but I feel compelled to say a few words.

      First, if you actually read Mr. Pelline’s blog, I did apply the “clique of right wing sycophants” moniker to anything other than Jeff Ackermans editorial policy at THE UNION. For you to characterize my statement otherwise is both inaccurate and, since I know you to be an intelligent insightful guy, intentional.

      My contention is that Mr. Ackerman is gone because he became too hot here, and he became too hot because he endorsed Emgold and their proposal to re-open mining in Grass Valley. He became too hot because his personal commentaries regularly played to one side of the political spectrum. Sure you can find examples of JA bending to the left, but they were few and far between. He became too hot because many local residents complained about his editorial policy and it was easier to move him than change him. He also became too hot because there was no local check on his policy. One one becomes both editor and publisher, and there is no internal check on whether or not editorial policy is thoughtfully applied to the local issues, the editor can do as they please. And in JA’s case his pleasure was to attack people in the local community, align himself with specific political causes, and slant news in a particular direction. The boys in Nevada finally got hip to the point that that was a detriment, so they did what one does with a long term loyal employee, they changed his

      The ultimate example of that slant was hosting an election forum with the Tea Party Patriots. There is absolutely no rational newspaper world where a newspaper hosting a forum with the TPP is OK.

      The TPP are a partisan political organization. They are funded nationally by some of the largest financial donors to Republican Party causes. They engage in local electoral politics. Their titular leader at the time, Mark Meckler, came to Nevada County and delivered his 40 year plan to “take back America”. That plan includes political action to elect officials in the judiciary, local office and “take back school boards” and “culture”. The local TPP takes positions on local issues, including pension reform, budget matters, and environmental policy. They are the most hyper-partisan political organization in the county.

      They way for a newspaper to host a forum with partisan political entities is to host with a wide variety of entities, explain that the hosts have specific positions, and open the hosting opportunity to all. JA did not do that. JA had a perfect right to do what he did under our laws, and no one is denying that; but people also have a perfect right to complain about it, and call it for what it is.

      By allowing The Union to co-host the forum he not only legitimatized the Tea Party Patriots, he demonstrated a preference for them. In short, JA is gone because he aligned himself with the “clique of right wing sycophants”.

      • rl crabb says:

        Thanks for “setting me straight” Steve. Since I’ve already made my case in other comments below (along with Paul Emery) I won’t bother to repeat myself here. I will mention that all parties were invited to participate in the debate, and offered table space for their particular propaganda. My point in mentioning you was your stated longing to discuss issues without the usual namecalling and personal attacks. If that’s your heartfelt wish, then why label the opposition (and I’m quoting Webster’s definition of ‘sycophants’) as “persons who seek favor by flattering people of wealth; influence; parasite; toady” rather than just calling them a right wing grass roots organization, or something to that effect? I could understand if you were responding to a direct attack, but in this case, you chose to hurl the first insult.

        • Todd juvinall says:

          We can see that the Frisch is out of the information loop because his complaints against Ackeman are totally bogus. When Keoni Allen and I put together a going away gig at Kane’s the day before Jeff Ackerman departed, over 100 people came through and all ideologies were represented. Everyone was sad to see him go and it was all heartfelt. The reason the Frisch was not invited is evidenced by his comments.

          JeffA was a very well respected and important person here in Western Nevada County. He was disliked by the Frisch and his ilk because he did not toe the liberal mantraline but was a fair person. The editorial page was evidence of that. When the Frisch complains about someone or something, you can bet he is talking to himself. His views of what is actually happening here in the western county are proof the Pelline’s propaganda is sucked up by some people. Emgold? Geeze, what a hoot!

          Also, Mr. Ackerman is bing promoted, not punished as intimated by the Frisch. Where he gets that from is anyones guess, but judging from his past comments, I would say he makes it up from whole cloth.

        • Steve Frisch says:

          Simple…these guys regularly call me a communist, make false accusations about the organization I work for, and make fun of people for personal attributes and traits (as you did with Mr. Pelline). As long as they do that I will not unilaterally disarm. Do you deny that Greg and Todd have a hard on for taking me down on these blogs? They are bullies. They started out as bullies. I did not start out as a bully and have offered peace in our time on several occasions. They will not reach an accord. While that is the case I will give it right back. And as long as hosts inconsistently enforce their own personal view of decorum on these blogs (you are way better than most) instead of setting a standard that encourages real discussion of serious issues, I will continue to point out when they are idiots, sycophants and mis-informed. By the way you might want to check that definition of sycophant against the financial history of the Tea Party. The Tea Party is a wholly owned and financed subsidiary of a small group of proven right wing political funders, and has shifted from a protest movement to become part of the Republican party political machine (which ironically, according to his own testimonial, is a big part of why Meckler left it). While our local Tea Party members regularly claim that NGO’s and scientists are sycophants (toadies of grant funding) and are calling me a grant seeking parasite, I see nothing wrong with pointing out that by their own definition they are sychophants by their own definition.

          • Greg Goodknight says:

            I’ve never called you a communist, Steve. Two faced, yes, and a few other words related to your words and deeds. Like those magnanimous peace offerings of yours, the ones you made on Rebane’s blog when at the very same time you were calling him names on Pelline’s.

            It isn’t “unilateral disarmament” to stop shooting for a day or two if you really want a truce. You didn’t, and so *nobody* believed you.

          • Todd juvinall says:

            Whenever the Frisch arrives discord follows. The party for Jeff Ackerman was a lot more fun without the Truckee fellow. Also, I notice that Pelline has followed JeffA up to Oregon and is dissing him still! Chevy runs deep.

  4. George Rebane says:

    gregoryzaller 812pm – “If we could just put our heads together …” Do you have a methodology for solving all of our problems that we have not heard about, or are you paraphrasing that hopeful social philosopher Rodney King?

    These mostly civil blog debates are dissecting the nature of the our problems to levels not achievable in the ‘old media’. (Un)fortunately, they are also revealing the depth and seminal roots of our different worldviews. Both sides use different logics in their arguments, which makes putting heads together more than just a little difficult.

    Urey and Fisher (‘Getting to YES’) of the Harvard Negotiation Project made notable headway through a methodology they named Principled Negotiation. Its only weakness – also recognized by the authors – is that it requires both (all) engaging parties to be good-hearted. In the final analysis the much lauded approach also admits that there are situations in which even good-hearted participants cannot reach agreement. They should then recognize that situation and its cause as soon as possible, and then respectfully disengage.

    • gregoryzaller says:

      I think that the ability to listen to others and assimilate their ideas is something that needs to be taught in schools. Unfortunately, with an emphasis on repetition rather understanding, schools are today working in the opposite direction.

      Have you seen the new content standards, George? I think they are a step in the right direction. I wonder what your take is on them.

      The charter school law is intended to allow experimentation in the hopes producing a better educated populace. I consider better educated as better able to understand (and so do employers). Sure, we should learn to disengage from hopeless disagreements but we should also learn that disagreements are the result of an inability to understand and that we can always improve on this. In my view schools perform best when students are allowed and taught the responsibility of each being teachers to the others. Teaching effectively requires understanding the other’s position in order to effectively guide him to a greater understanding . Knowledge is always built on previous knowledge. The schools I started in Pakistan have this as their foundation and, in my view, it accounts for their high level of achievement in spite of poorly educated teachers (Montessori preferred a maiden she could train over an experienced teacher) and very poor conditions . I would like to see this method used in our schools here and am working to achieve this.

  5. Robert Lovejoy says:

    I might be missing something. I clicked on the link Crabb provided and did not see any article pretaining to the topic. Not much of a blog I might add. I did lose any respect I had for that blogger when he was so nasty after the Union let the door hit ’em where the Good Lord split him. So nasty and his constant snide remarks reaveals one’s character. ‘Take it to the parking lot if you want to behave in childish unprofessional manner’ is advice I tell the boys. He is about as funny and appreciated as a screen door on a submarine. I hope someday he gets over it. Pity anyone who emits some much bitterness and pettiness. Now, this blog here is funny and entertaining and refreshingly provacative. My name is Robert Lovejoy and I endorse these comments.

  6. Judith Lowry says:

    Really Bob?
    “League of Lady Voters”?!?!?

  7. Paul Emery says:

    G Tony I was one of the moderators at that forum. Do you have any questions you like to ask me about how we put it together or what the process was? We’re you actually there?

    • rl crabb says:

      Isn’t it amazing how the people who seem to know what happened at this event weren’t anywhere near it, and don’t believe anyone who was actually there?

    • Tony Waters says:

      Sure, here’s a couple questions. If you wanted others to believe that the forum was non-partisan, why were the only two banners in the photo on Jeff P’s blog from The Union and the Tea Party? If you wanted the forum to be non-partisan, why wasn’t sponsorship from Operation Wall Street also sought? Or better yet the Tea Party banner removed, and only banners from groups not active in the promotion of partisan agendas displayed

      In the absence of such efforts, such “forums” look more like a political rally than an educational forum. The Tea Party Patriots are a PARTY with a political agenda. This is of course their right. But I don’t go to their rallies because I disagree with a number of their interpretations of The Constitution, the nature of government, and our responsibilities as citizens. So in answer to your question, I did not attend.

      Anyway, I don’t attend political rallies, generally, or for that matter forums. But I do read blogs. And so far, the only substantive reporting has been by Jeff P. who pointed out that there seemed to be a lopsided sponsorship at the forum, and backed it up with a photo. Perhaps you could fill us in here or at Jeff P’s blog about who showed up, what was said, and so forth? I am willing to be convinced that this was a “forum” and not a “rally,” but the limited sponsorship may make this a bit difficult.

      • Michael Anderson says:


        Yeah, the banners and the t-shirts are a problem. But the LoWV also wear t-shirts (more subtle for sure) and most of them are registered Democrats.

        If the Tea Party wants to be relevant, they should eschew the banners and t-shirts and try to be as non-partisan as possible. If they can’t achieve that, their political stature will diminish.

      • rl crabb says:

        Tony, as an independent observer, I can tell you that the only difference I noticed between this debate/forum and those sponsored by the League of Women Voters was a table in the lobby manned by a pair of elderly Tea Party supporters, and the $5 cover charge, which went for the rent of the facility. Their table was next to those provided for the candidates of the other parties. I don’t recall any speeches by the Tea Party, and all the moderator did was introduce the members of the press and the individual candidates.
        Anyone who reads my cartoons and commentary should know by now that I am not shy about expressing my differences with every established political movement, Tea Party included. In fact, it was me, not the intrepid reporter Jeff P. who never attends any debate or rally, that exposed Congressdude McClintock’s remarks about Clerk/Recorder Diaz several years ago. I prefer to rely on my own senses, rather than a pre-biased reporter with an ax to grind.

      • Todd juvinall says:

        Twaters, what is Operation Wall Street? Are you saying Wall Street Bankers should have been there? I would guess that PaulE and the Union would have certainly been a part of a Occupy Wall Street forum if they had been asked. I think the fact you did not go is telling and you are for some reason defending a dopey position resurrected by your buddy Pelline for some publicity. His numbers are way way down and maybe he needs to jinn up some ridiculous controversy?

        Banners are now some sort of an issue? Sheesh! If the banner said TEA PARTY VOTE REPUBLICAN, you might have a point but you don’t. Contrived outrage, or as he left says, FAUX outrage is just idiotic.

        • Tony Waters says:

          I’m not questioning the job that Paul E did, just the wisdom in letting the banner from clearly a partisan organization dominate a putatively non-partisan event alongside a banner from a newspaper.

          I’m not outraged, and yes I meant Occupy Wall Street. The whole thing is a pretty milquetoast issue in my book. What I am offering is just a bit of unsolicited advice about how appearances work in a community where elections are typically in the 45-55% range. You are welcome to take or leave my advice.



          • Todd Juvinall says:

            Twaters, you have it just backwards. The Twa Party is non-partisan, read their creed and go to their website (I am not a member, thanks Groucho!). Also, if you don’t go to the forums, why would anyone care what you have to say about them? Reminds me of the Rush Limbaugh condoms for the babe controversy. The liberal;s of the community were trying to boot him and nd in their comment strings and calls to Tom Fitzsimmons on the air they claimed the never listend ed to KNCO! Same with the paper. Liberals say they don’t subscribe yet bitch all the time about the content!

            The world belongs o those that show up. If you are simply a complainer and sit in the chaise, you lose.

          • Tony Waters says:

            I guess you decided you don’t want to take my advice!


          • Todd Juvinall says:

            We finally have agreement!

    • Todd juvinall says:

      I was there and PaulE and the others did a fine, non-partisan job.

  8. Paul Emery says:

    Those of us on the panel met twice before the forum and decided on questions to be asked. There was very little time for each race so we had to be very organized to fit everything in. There was absolutely no Tea Party involvement in the questions asked or the format. KNCO, The Union, KVMR and Yubanet representatives made up the forum. The event was well organized and attended although the numbers were down a bit from two years ago. If you like I can provide you with a recording of the night for your further evaluation. Bob, the $5.00 was a suggested donation to cover expenses and was not required. As a participant from KVMR I felt the Tea Party did a fine job and performed a public service by producing the forum.

  9. Paul Emery says:

    By the way, George Rebane’s commentary takes up four minutes every two weeks or four minutes out of 20160 minutes. Too much time? I’ll leave the math to someone else.

    • Tony Waters says:

      Paul and others:
      Paul, I appreciate that you made every effort to keep things non-partisan. But like I wrote above—for many of us it is difficult to understand how such sponsorship is by possible from an organization which routinely makes endorsements, waves a partisan banner, and so forth. I also get it that many of you feel the same way about the League of Women Voters which has seemingly changed over the years, and now routinely endorses legislation, and issues which are not necessarily “non-partisan.” Indeed, it was John Stoos and Greg Goodknight who pointed this out to me about three years ago on Sierra Foothill Report. They suggested that I check out the LWV website, which I did, and found out that indeed, they were correct.

      As for a good sponsor for Nevada County debates, I would suggest the League of Village Idiots and Cartoonists, if there is such a thing (if there isn’t, maybe RL could found it?). Failing that, government classes from Sierra College in Grass Valley might be able to put something together.

      As for myself, I am edging away from Nevada County politics because I am in the process of moving out of the area (Chico and Germany—it’s a long story), so will not be voting in Nevada County for the first time since 1991 this coming election. So, I will be participating less in Nevada County-specific forums, but thanks for the offer to provide the recording of the recent forum which you moderated. I do indeed believe you when you write that the questions and discussion were measured and civil. But again, it is just a bit of friendly advice that sponsorship by partisan groups should at least be balanced, and their banners should not be prominently displayed.

      Now for a comment that I’m sure will raise some hackles on this blog. I think that one of the best community assets for local commentary is Jeff Pelline, and the Sierra Foothill Report. Jeff posts frequently, and about a wide range of issues. Checking just now, I saw stories about fire warnings, farmer’s markets, job changes at the GV City Hall, and joint operating agreements between Nevada City, and Grass Valley. You don’t need to agree with him on political issues to appreciate the local stories. Also, I rarely read The Union now that the paywall is up and I’ve moved out of the area—Jeff’s blog is the best place for me to keep abreast of Nevada County news. Keep it up, Jeff!

      As for the comment stream at SFR, there are many chances to comment at Sierra Foothill Report, although if you get too far out of line, Jeff is quite capable of rapping some knuckles. The occasional rap on the knuckles kept some of us coming back even though a particular commenter became too tedious, or off subject. In this context, for 2 or 3 years, a number of us had great conversations with people we would not have ordinarily met. Some of the past stars over there include John Stoos, Kate Hancock, Ben Emery, Greg Goodknight, Paul Emery, Kim Pruett, and Steve Frisch. Were Jeff’s knuckle raps always accurate? Perhaps not, but then a lot of the comments weren’t either. For what it is worth, John Stoos, Greg Goodknight, and I still occasionally exchange emails about this or that—even though we do not probably vote for the same people on election day. But who cares? Both John and Greg are interesting and engaged citizens who take an interest in local and national politics.

      I would also point out that Jeff continues to operate the SFR as a labor of love, and posts 3-4 times per day. Most of his posts have nothing to do with politics, but with general interests ranging from horse racing to local history. If you don’t like Jeff’s politics, you can still appreciate this, I hope.

      Finally please appreciate that Jeff has a good nose for ferreting out interesting items in public agendas, and publicizing them in a way that attracts the attention of our “electeds.” The Union does this occasionally as well, but Jeff has provided an excellent context, as well as a balance when The Union gets off track editorially. This too is a great service that Jeff provides to the community, in the same way RL’s cartoons point out the hypocrisies of political life.

      As for whether Nevada County is a Purple or Red politically, I think it is a great item for discussion on the blogs, with no right answer. For what it is worth, my own views line up with Jeff’s view that the political mix in Nevada County has changed over the last 20-30 years; in my view as the demographics have shifted the County has indeed become more “purple.” This is why Nevada County supported both Obama and McClintock in 2008, and is why Obama will probably get between 47 and 53% of the vote this coming November!

      • Michael Anderson says:

        Tony, in case you didn’t know, GG and TJ are both banned from commenting at SFR due to their bad manners. Just a data point you might not have been aware of…M.

        • Todd juvinall says:

          So is Stoos MA and he is a kind man of God. GG and I are honored to be banned from the extremist leftwing rag.
          Pelline has a thin skin and just like anyone on the left doesn’t like dissent. What a hoot!

          • Michael Anderson says:

            Actually, Mr. Stoos made that claim the other day in a comment on Mr. Rebane’s site, and Mr. Pelline quoted that comment, and refuted it, about an hour later on his site. Pelline claims that Stoos was having computer trouble and the comments weren’t showing up at SFR. That seems the most likely scenario.

        • Tony Waters says:

          I don’t know what Jeff’s penalties are for “bad manners,” but I don’t think Jeff is necessarily a big fan of the three strikes law. Perhaps there is someway to redeem oneself at SFR?

          Anyway, I’ll let Jeff run his blog as he sees fit. Though I have noticed that it t has certainly become quieter over there without TJ and GG. John Stoos and Kate Hancock are also missing, too.


          • Todd juvinall says:

            You are right Twaters. Pelline’s blog has become an echo chamber of his and a couple of commenters posts. Really quiet. My little blog gets many more hits and we can see why.

            MA regarding Stoos. I only have his comment to go on and I would say Stoos is the one any sane person would believe. No one is allowed to be contrary there and so we have all moved to other places. Without us his blog is a graveyard.

          • Tony Waters says:

            I didn’t say that Jeff’s site had become an echo chamber…Just that it was quieter than it used to be. If you really want to post over there, you should email him privately and see what he requires. Ultimately though in a world of property rights, that’s up for him to decide!

            I also like Jeff”s recent postings about the politics of GV, even though I never lived there. I think that he makes good points about the nature of good ol’ boy politics in Nevada County. This issue does not strike me as being either right or left.

          • Todd juvinall says:

            There is a “good ol’ boy” system in Grass Valley? You see Twaters, that is why his blog has become an echo chamber where he more or less talks to himself all day. Tell Yolanda Cookson, or Janet Arbuckle they are just pawns or are part of the Pelline dream. Holler is from another state. There are free elections even in Grass Valley and they seem to be electing folks like Yolanda. What Pelline does is PO the folks with his wild accusations and then when responded to, he moderates them and says we are purple. I suggest you have been hornswoggled by the FUE and maybe you need to to broaden your reading criteria. But, I guess since you never lived in GV it probably doesn’t matter.

          • Tony Waters says:

            My experience is that there is a good ol’ boy network down in the South County. Don’t see why it would be any different in GV.

          • rlcrabb says:

            When I was growing up here there was a good ol’ boys network. When I was grown up my generation became the good ol’ boys. When we pass the baton, the next generation will become the good ol’ boys (and girls). It’s the nature of the establishment. There will always be a certain clique that steers the government.

          • Todd juvinall says:

            As my 13 year old grandson would say. OMG! Now there is some real proof. LOL! You just did what Pelline does. Makes it up from whole cloth.

          • Tony Waters says:

            In my view, good ol’ boys ‘n girls networks are something of a constant–they are a product of power, and power corrupts.

            This though fortunately creates a need for curmudgeons–whether they be of the blogger, cartooning or journalistic sort! And yes, Todd, this includes you.

        • Greg Goodknight says:

          Mandersonation, Tony knows me better than you do. In fact, we’ve even sat together for a pleasant chat over coffee and he was a witness to the goings on at the Palace of Purble.

          The problem Pelline had with me is that, unlike Stoos, I didn’t turn the other cheek when the attacks started, and Pelline really needs his non-progressive foils to match the caricatures his rhetoric really needs. There was one particular exchange that I recall where I did a nice enough job of demolishing Pelline’s post of the day that both (Anderson) and Steve Frisch himself agreed with me… my recollection is that Pelline trumped up his reason to ban me not long afterwards. Control freaks hate competition.

          • rl crabb says:

            Before we get into another name game blame, let’s address each other by the name listed on the comment rather than any bastardization thereof.

          • Michael Anderson says:

            Thanks Bob.

            Mandersonation is dead, Greg. We’re done with that chapter. Thanks.

            The “why” of your not being allowed to comment at SFR is less interesting perhaps than the fact that it happened.

            We can have coffee any time. I’ve already offered and been turned down, so the ball’s still in your court.

          • Todd juvinall says:

            Sure we all get going when we are attacked. Hell, I have been chastised by everyone. I guess I just don’t let those attacks stand (just a simple country boy I guess). One thing that cracks me up is the left uses code words to attack those they disagree with while the one’s on the right are straightforward. So when the”smarter than the rest of us” lefty commenters abuse us then they run to the room and chuckle how they got us, we just doa a righteous smackdown. Pelline and his minions just have a thin skin and don’t like dissent from their extreme liberal positions.

          • Greg Goodknight says:

            Pelline likes his Greek chorus. The fact that it happened is merely a result of Pelline being hostile to folks who don’t agree with his partisan political views. He also gave Keachie and others free reign to toss slanders right and left (or at least left and left); in short, there’s a real double standard at work at Pellines.

            For free speech, Rebane’s is hard to beat.

            Mike Anderson, given your recent threats, empty though they remain, what’s the point?

          • Michael Anderson says:

            Even the Russians and Americans at the height of the Cold War were able to sit down and talk.

            And those weren’t threats, they were behavior modification implants which seem to have worked.

            Again, ball’s in your court.

          • Greg Goodknight says:

            “And those weren’t threats, they were behavior modification implants which seem to have worked.”

            A bizarre conclusion. Just what do you think I’ve done that I wouldn’t have? Thanks though for verifying the threats were as empty as I thought.

            Just from the point of view of a professional cartoonist, I’d love to hear what Bob thinks of your alter ego that you’ve declared to have abandoned:

          • rl crabb says:

            Once again, fellas…your personal squabbles should be settled somewhere else.

          • Todd juvinall says:

            Yikes! Greg, is that the fellow?

          • Greg Goodknight says:

            Bob, I’d had loved not to get dragged into this, but MA’s decision to denigrate me in response to Tony’s kind words (August 4, 2012 at 10:00 pm), we’d not have gone down that path.

            We all have different communication styles. Pelline’s is to throw mudballs from a sandbox he controls. While Todd states “GG and I are honored to be banned from the extremist leftwing rag. Pelline has a thin skin…”. let’s just say that Todd doesn’t write for me and I do not feel honored by being defamed by Pelline, nor is Pelline’s sandbox far to the left. It’s merely solidly partisan Democrat, with Pelline horribly misusing the language tools he gained getting a BA in Rhetoric from UC Berkeley in order to manipulate. Rhetoric without wisdom, knowledge or an ethical base is wasted.

            RLC’s celebrated Cartman ‘toon had it exactly right.

  10. rl crabb says:

    Thanks, Tony. Your voice and perspective will be missed greatly hereabouts, despite our disagreement on this one issue. As for JP’s blog, I agree that it provides a lot of useful information, and I am a regular reader. My disagreements come from comments and accusations about me, Jeff Ackerman, and The Union staff that were untrue, or presented in a manner that I found dishonest. It’s happened on the other blogs as well, and when my name is taken in vain I tend to react accordingly. We all make mistakes, and on occasion have to ‘fess up. I don’t think I’ve ever seen that quality in my former editor. It’s not easy being perfect.
    I believe I can speak for everyone here in wishing you well in your next endeavor. And if you feel the need to speak out from whatever corner of the world you happen to be in, you know where we are.

    • Tony Waters says:

      Oh, I suspect I will still be around virtually! You and Pelline have collected commentators who are both sharp and civil at the same time. I haven’t found a better combination elsewhere, so I will still check in now and then. It’s just that I probably not have so much to say about Greg Diaz or Sue Horne, though I can still laugh at cartoons about them!

      Plus, who knows, we may well end up in back in Nevada County. We still have the house up there, and Chico is not that far away.

      One of the nice things about these blogs is that we can disagree, even sharply at times, and still come back and respect each other, and even find things that Todd and I agree upon.

      Where else cold I find that?


    • Greg Goodknight says:

      “My disagreements come from comments and accusations about me, Jeff Ackerman, and The Union staff that were untrue, or presented in a manner that I found dishonest.”

      Bob, Pelline just made up outlandish stories about me, one being that I made something of a scene at the County Office of Education over my son’s rotten treatment by NU’s Principal and a math teacher, and fabricated an ugly claim that I’d thrown a temper tantrum at a Constitution Day Parade over an award by the Marching Presidents. Complete fabrications. However, he did send me an email offering “I am happy to apologize to you and retract my remark regarding the Constitution Day parade, though I think it was fair” if I’d do the same regarding a story about him that I had second sources on and had every reason to believe was true.

      In short, Pelline makes stuff up about people and passes it off as truth. Not the usual journalistic ethics.

  11. Judith Lowry says:


    If you object to calling someone a sycophant, then we must we tolerate Mr. Juvinal’s repeated and gleeful
    distortion of Mr. Waters name?
    Lighting up your own brain’s reward center by making fun of someone’s name, with a misogynistic vulgarity is, well, juvenile.
    And ugly.
    A little decorum gentlemen?

    • I mentioned this a couple of weeks back, and fail to see where, on this blog, Todd’s obsession is mentioned by Tony Waters. As I have done with GoodNugget, I suppose we could start calling Todd, “L. A. Dick.” Not hard to avoid libel, now is it, L.W. ? Again, a full and public apology shall suffice to establish a ceasefire.

    • Tony Waters says:

      I never actually noticed Todd’s play on words with my name. twaters is in fact my log in name for my email account at Chico State for the last 15 years. I guess my mom and dad did not quite anticipate what the email age would do to us. I think that Todd is of the same generation as my parents, so probably didn’t notice either.


  12. Judith Lowry says:


    Of course I meant to say “. . . why must we tolerate . . .”

    • Todd juvinall says:

      That is the self created moniker by Mr. Waters. I did not create it. Ask him if you don’t believe me. Then when he confirms it you can apologize to me.

      • rl crabb says:

        I’ll let Tony decide whether Todd’s monicker is an insult or not. I will say that Todd has done a better job of restraining himself lately, at least on this blog. It makes for a better discussion, wouldn’t you say? And Judith, I apologize for the “League of Lady” thing, although it was not meant as an insult. Jus’ funnin’ like when I call the parties “Dems” and “Repubbys”, or when I characterize SYRCL as the “League of Swimmin’ Voters.”

        • Judith Lowry says:

          No Bob, I will not let Tony be the sole decoder on this one.
          Please read my response to Todd.
          I believe that will clarify things for you.
          I’m off to work, have a great day.

          • rlcrabb says:

            I must admit that I didn’t catch the supposed slur either, until Judith pointed it out. I have been concentrating more on deleting spam this weekend than deciphering dog whistles. Be that as it may, perhaps Todd should just go with “Tony” like the rest of us, okay?
            And Judith, I’m sorry if you find our humor sometimes crude, but this site does run on satire and sarcasm. My standards are somewhat higher than those Comedy Central Roasts where body parts and functions are considered fair game, but I don’t exclude any gender, ethnicity, sexual preference or social standing from being lampooned as long as it’s not downright mean. We are all adults here, at least physically, and are all equally susceptible to the shortcomings of human nature.

          • Todd juvinall says:

            T. Waters confirmed that was his self made moniker on the

          • Judith Lowry says:

            Oh crud, I meant to type “decider” not decoder.
            But hey, it kind of works doesn’t it?
            Thank you Bob, for explaining about your blog.

      • If you click on Tony Waters, you do not get what Todd suggests, you get instead:

        “Tony Waters is czar and editor of He comes to us from the Sociology department at California State University at Chico where he has been a professor since 1996. In 2007-2008 he was a Visiting Professor in the Department of Communication and Cultural Management at Zeppelin University in southern Germany. Zeppelin is a new private university (four years old) seeking to create a name for training entrepreneurs, and cultural management. In the past, his main interests have been international development and refugees in Thailand, Tanzania, and California. This reflects a former career in the Peace Corps (Thailand), and refugee camps (Thailand and Tanzania). Future blogs will probably reflect this, as well as his experiences at Zeppelin U. His books include: Bureaucratizing the Good Samaritan (2001), The Persistence of Subsistence Agriculture: Life Beneath of the Marketplace (2007), When Killing is a Crime (2007)”

      • Tony Waters says:

        I can confirm what Todd says. I don’t quite see why there is any need for an apology though–Judith’s concerns strike me as a normal response in the rough and tumble world of Nevada County blogging.

      • Judith Lowry says:

        T. Waters would then be the correct spelling.
        What you did, Mr. Juvinal, is jump on it like a 12-year-old.
        It wasn’t funny in the first place, because everyone on this blog with eyes saw the potential there for some raw humor at Mr Waters’ expense.
        Repeating repetitively doesn’t make it any funnier.
        If you gentlemen would remember that ladies (here is where that term works) are reading your comments.
        It’s like we are in the room with you.
        We find off-hand references to our vulvas quite tedious.
        It causes us to view you with less esteem.
        Yes, I know, I made an irate castration reference on this blog a few weeks back.
        But that wasn’t meant to be sly or funny, it was meant to be direct and mordant.
        Gentlemen, let’s raise the barre shall we?

        • As long as that is ballet, and not barrel, unless of course it is full of whiskey.

        • Todd juvinall says:

          If the blogmaster says don’t use the moniker T. Waters says I was correct about I certainly will not use it. Judith, T.Waters used Twaters as his moniker on hundreds of posts on the blog. That was done by T. Waters. If you think we are talking about a woman’s private parts you are simply a little too sensitive.

          Also, I don’t recall any of us males chastising you for your castration comment, but I could be wrong.

  13. Robert Lovejoy says:

    Dodging traffic in the middle of the road is an apt title for the last score or so posts. One’s sensibilities must always be considered. Once I consider them, I quickly brush them aside. It may be inappropriate to remark on Gloria Steinem’s breasts on this forum. It would be off topic. Go over like lead balloons. Rather, we adults who ask our kids to pull our fingers generally behave and play nice on Mr. Crabb’s blog out of respect for each other. Human genitals are seldom referenced. There are more civilized ways to call a fellow commentator a dickhead. The difference I have noticed between young men and young women is most apparent when it comes to disagreements. The guys will get upset, throw a punch (closed fist preferred) and then get over it and continue on. The young females seems to dwell on a verbal cat fight long after the initial flareup and continue sniping about the others hair or dress or weight for infinity. They even have the ability to tell the offender how cute that top looks on them and turn around and tell a listener how stupid the top looks on the offender. Even comedian Bill Crosby once lowered himself to using body parts as part of his act. “My eleven year old daughter mopes around the house all day waiting for her breasts to grow.” ~Bill Cosby Probably a guy thing.

  14. rl crabb says:

    Well…I certainly opened up a can of worms with this post. Steve doesn’t like to be called out for engaging in rhetoric he finds so distasteful in others. Steve and Tony have registered complaints about the wisdom of engaging the Tea Party in any public forum, even though they would welcome any debate sponsored by the non-partisan-but-not-really-non-partisan League of Women Voters. Judith objects to my calling them ladies (in jest) and requests that we quit acting like a bunch of ten-year-olds who just found Dad’s Playboy under the mattress. Michael, Greg and Keachie continue to cross blades (and blogs) in a duel that has its origins somewhere in the distant past. Gregory Zaller actually wants to find workable solutions, but seems to get buried in the ongoing slugfest. At least Todd, in between mispelled jabs and insinuated slurs toward anything liberal, has recognized Gregory’s contribution. Bravo, we are making progress.
    Meanwhile, I’m sure Jeff Pelline is smiling at all the chaos the mere mention of his name evokes, and Jeff Ackerman is probably happy to escape Nevada County’s madness, at least until he pisses off all of Central Oregon.
    And I admit it; I started it all. It goes with the job of being the Village Idiot, always pointing out that the emperor is buck naked, even as others point out that I forgot to put on my pants before leaving the house. It is hard to be perfect in an imperfect world.

  15. Tony Waters says:

    Hey, I endorsed the League of Village Idiots as the sponsor for non-partisan forums. Preferably with pants.

  16. Henry Rearden says:

    for the record: robber barrons were created by government (not free markets).

    • Todd juvinall says:

      I think Robin Hood actually swiped money from the government taxman, not the rich.. He then returned the money to the people. Like the Bush tax cuts. Oops wrong thread.Sorry.

  17. Barry Pruett says:

    Tony: I know I am a little late here. I value your opinion, and I think you hit the nail on the head in one comment. “Would you support an Occupy Nevada County Candidates’ Forum?” My answer to your question is a wholehearted YES. If our local OWS hosts a forum like TPP where they completely divest themselves of the ability to ask questions and hands that responsibility off to local media, by all means they should host a forum and if I were a candidate I would attend.

    Like the LWV and OWS, TPP is a political organization. Also similar to LWV and OWS, TPP is non-partisan. I do not see any difference between any of these groups except for ideology.

    Tony, I invite you as my guest to the next local TPP candidates’ forum and the local LWV candidates’ forum. You will be pleasantly surprised, and I will even buy you a cocktail afterwards!

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