Open Conversation for December 2017

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216 Responses

  1. Common Sense says:

    We Don’t know exactly how it will all end but one thing is for sure…Whoever is listed on Muellers Indictment “A”…yet to be unsealed….is in a World of Hurt!

    Kushner is in some deep deep doo doo… Is Pence and Sessions!

    Pence Knew all along that Flynn was Dirty….So Lying about it is a Felony….

    Sessions….or favorite little Elf….he has lied at least 3 times under Oath….perhaps more!

    I am seeing a Defense of “Diminished Mental Capacity” coming soon…..he didn’t know what he was doing….he has Dementia/Alz etc….it would make the most sense and probably stand the best chance to not spend the rest of his years in jail.

    Who knows….#45 might only have to do time in the Country Club Rehabilitation Facility if His Lawyers are good enough!

    They call them the “Intelligence” Community for a reason…

    I have a $50 on #45 Removed from office and Pence taking over….Temporarily…..until they prosecute him also….The Mid Terms are just around the corner….the GOP can’t take any chances and the rats…..well they are all over themselves trying to get off the sinking ship…..

    Last count….we still have 5 Sealed Indictments to go on the Federal Docket……Five

  2. Tim says:

    In case you don’t follow “fake news” — cattle rancher Ammon Bundy was released yesterday after nearly 2 years in jail without a single conviction. Despite his earlier acquittal on charges stemming from the occupation of the Malheur Reserve in Oregon, the judge had repeatedly ordered him to remain in custody without bail to face charges for the Bundies’ prior standoff with BLM in Nevada.

    Now, after a long deliberation in chambers immediately following testimony from a BLM officer, the judge in the new trial ordered all the Bundies released, an act suggesting that BLM somehow acted illegally in the Nevada standoff (which has long been the Bundies’ claim). Cliven Bundy, the 71 year old father, refused to leave jail until everyone else involved was free.

    • Common Sense says:

      Perhaps he shared some words from Keith Allen Nay with the good folks?

    • Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

      Tim sez: “…the judge in the new trial ordered all the Bundies released, an act suggesting that BLM somehow acted illegally in the Nevada standoff (which has long been the Bundies’ claim).”

      There’s your fake news, Tim. The judge declared a mistrial because government prosecutors failed to turn over some evidence to the defense in a timely fashion. It had nothing to do with the BLM somehow acting illegally. The judge will decide in February whether the mistake was sufficient to dismiss the charges “without prejudice,” meaning that the government won’t be able to re-file the charges.

      The evidence of who acted illegally is pretty overwhelming. BLM law enforcement were armed when the confrontation occurred. They are legally entitled to be armed and are trained. They never pointed their weapons at the Bundy supporters. The Bundy supporters, on the other hand, did point weapons at the BLM law enforcement officers. That’s illegal.

      It’s all on video. It’s mind-boggling that the government keeps screwing this up.

      • Tim says:

        Steve says “They never pointed their weapons at the Bundy supporters.”

        Fake news! The government sent armed snipers to the Bundy ranch BEFORE the standoff. One of the Bundys was arrested while attempting to video them and the arresting agents later bragged about grinding gravel into his face. THAT’S what caused people to rally to the Bundy’s defense – not merely a dispute over grazing fees.

        Steve says “It’s mind-boggling that the government keeps screwing this up.”

        Not really, the agent in charge of the raid was later fired for misconduct in another case. Another FBI agent was fired & indicted for lying about the shooting of Finicum in Oregon. At some point you have to wonder whether the “good guys” aren’t so good – whether the cattle ranchers might have some legitimate grievances (questions no one would ask if they had not been armed and willing to fight the government).

        • Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

          I read the linked article three times. Maybe I have a reading-comprehension problem, but I can’t find where it says there were agency snipers pointing guns at anyone prior to (or during) the standoff on Bundy’s ranch.

          It does say that Dave Bundy was arrested. That occurred when the BLM was rounding up illegally grazing buddy cattle during an enforcement action—that was on BLM land, not on the Bundy ranch. Video shows that Bundy repeatedly refused to leave the closed area, and resisted arrest.

          Nearly all conservatives I know who support the Bundys would see it as an outrage that one of the Bundy clan or their followers got roughed up during an arrest. But the same conservatives don’t have a problem at all with local LE roughing people up during local arrests, because those arrested locally always have it coming. (I know that’s not you, Tim.)

          Cliven Bundy has been grazing cattle illegally on federal land for 2.5 decades because he doesn’t recognize the legitimacy of the federal government to even exist. He owes more than $1 million in grazing fees, which he refuses to pay. He is by all accounts a horrible steward of the land, overgrazing to the point of doing extensive damage. Whatever legitimate grievances he may have, they pale compared with the grievances of Americans who are the owners of the federal land that he is not entitled to use for free, abuses, and will leave damaged for future generations.

          • cheyenne says:

            Steve, High Country News did an article on the Bundy standoff on BLM land. They posted pictures showing what can only be called snipers on a bridge or hill with guns trained on the happenings below. But they were not government snipers trained on the Bundys but outside “volunteers” who had their rifles trained on BLM agents. This was confirmed by one interviewer who talked to a “volunteer” from Idaho.
            Steve, as I am just an uneducated hill people maybe you could find the article, there were several, in High Country News archives and post a link.

          • Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

            Cheyenne — I’ve seen video of the initial confrontation on BLM land when Dave Bundy was arrested, including what appear to be men with rifles on a ridge top. I believe those men are BLM agents who were acting as security for the roundup. That occurred in early April 2014.

            Shortly thereafter, so-called “militia” converged on the Bundy Ranch to confront federal officials who were still conducting the roundup.

            In mid-April the BLM allowed more than 300 Bundy cattle that had been rounded up on BLM land and held in a corral to be released after the heavily armed militia confronted and aimed firearms at BLM agents. That occurred just south of 1-15 near Bunkersville, NV. The bridge where many of the militia snipers were set up is the Route 170 bridge over the Virgin River, off of the Bundy’s ranch property. The BLM then canceled the roundup out of safety concerns.

          • Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

            Tim — That and other reports are pretty damning regarding how the federal agencies have handled the Bundy case from the beginning, and I’m sympathetic to the notion that the feds had their chance to make a case against the Bundy clan and, having blown it so badly, shouldn’t get a third hack at them (if you include the Malhuer NWR debacle).

            But the bumbling of the case by the feds doesn’t exonerate the Bundy clan. They’re beyond the fringe regarding their beliefs, they have been breaking the law for decades, and their allies are aiding and abetting their crimes with threat of deadly force.

            As someone who has had guns stuck in his face twice in rural areas while just trying to do my job—each time by gun-humping yahoos who believed it was their right to do so—I sympathize with the BLM and USFWS employees who are trying to protect public lands.

          • cheyenne says:

            Steve, I just clicked on HCN and clicked on Cliven Bundy and scrolled down to an Aug, 2017 article that shows members of Idaho stand on a bridge with weapons watching protesters below. They were not BLM officials but Idaho militia. But I guess opinions differ.

    • One reason not to fear a violent rural insurrection in the United States is that a startling number of militia members work for the FBI on their day jobs.

      • Tim says:

        Undercover informants and bumbled investigations are nothing new to the FBI. Remember Ruby Ridge?

        It happened because the FBI was pressed to make an arrest after it & the Secret Service wasted a whole bunch of resources investigating outlandish claims from a feuding neighbor who had recently lost a civil case against Randy Weaver. Finding no actual evidence of crimes (but not liking Weaver’s association with the Aryan Nations), an FBI informant got Weaver to saw two shotgun barrels 1/2″ shorter than the legal limit.

        Weaver was fighting the case in court and would ultimately prevail (shortening the barrels itself was not illegal, reassembling them into a shotgun – a task actually performed by the FBI informant – was the true crime). Weaver’s probation officer sent Weaver the wrong court date so when Weaver failed to show up to trial, the judge issued a bench warrant.

        That failure to appear charge was what lead to the assault in which a FBI sniper accidentally killed his wife. The sniper, Lon Horiuchi, was criminally indicted, but by the time the various inter-governmental appeals were settled a new DA was in office and opted not to refile charges.

        Closer to home, remember the FBI raid on Redding Medical Center? 400 agents raided the various offices of executives & doctors accused of performing unnecessary heart procedures. But ultimately they botched the case so badly the AG couldn’t even bring criminal charges. The FBI agent in charge? A friend of Lon Horiuchi…

    • Gary Tull says:

      Where there is a RAT,.. ants, cockroaches, and mice are usually found also.
      Just sayin’.

      • Common Sense says:

        LOL….Gary Gary…..almost spit my coffee out… Well the chips are falling where they belong….it will probably be up to a year to clean the outhouse completely…..Once this tax bill is signed….there is no use for him anymore…..I see them moving forward soon after that to remove….start thinking mid terms….. He even admitted on twitter his Obstruction……lol
        Well one thing is for Sure! When it comes to cleaning….No one does it better than Mueller!

  3. Common Sense says:

    Bethel Church…climbing to the Top! Whether people like it or not its growing and attracting more and more people to the Redding area. Find out more about it in this article.

    Is it a Cult or a new Movement in Christianity? You be the Judge!

  4. cheyenne says:

    In Arizona Republic business news, Arizona’s 130 MMJ dispensaries set to pass $370 million in sales this year. They highlighted a Mesa MMJ dispensary where the owner, from California, got into MMJ because his mother was using MJ for pain relief and has a successful business. It didn’t say whether he offered drive up service like the Sun City dispensary.

  5. Richard Christoph says:

    There is a rumor that the Redding city council recall proponents gathered 4,977 signatures, well under the number required to initiate a special election. Does anyone have information that either confirms or refutes that figure?

  6. K. Beck says:

    “We need to fight harder than ever to protect Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security. When this tax scam causes the national debt to explode because billionaires and giant corporations don’t pay their fair share, the Republicans will say – “Sorry!” There’s no money to pay for the things that affect working families. Remember that when the sequester cuts kicked in during 2013, cancer clinics had to turn away patients from their chemotherapy treatments – and that was just fine with the GOP.” — from an e-m from US Senator Elizabeth Warren

    Well folks, the Reagan Revolution may have finally just accomplished it’s final Hurrah–total destruction of the US Economy, it will be unrecoverablely (not sure that is even a word) ruined. Their “Starve The Beast” plans are now accomplished. So, what happens next? Major cut backs in all the so-called social safety net programs. Count on them saying they have to get the deficit under control, the exact deficit they created when Reagan was President and have just now pushed over the edge.

    • Gary Tull says:

      You’re not just a wolfin’, K. Beck.
      Senate Republicans just failed Governing 101
      Republicans were warned over and over again. The Joint Committee on Taxation, an important congressional scorekeeper, reported Thursday that the Senate plan would add $1?trillion to the debt — and that is after accounting for any economic growth the bill might spur. The committee was just the latest nonpartisan group to predict massive new debt. But Republicans who have inveighed against budget deficits for years simply ignored the numbers. Sen.?Bob Corker (Tenn.) was the lone exception, showing his colleagues what integrity looks like by voting no,.. and Flake flaked.

      • cheyenne says:

        According to the Arizona Republic Jeff Flake voted for the tax plan because it included continuing DACA, the Dreamer act.
        According to the Denver Post Mike Coffman voted for the tax act because it continued the Rohrabacher-Blumenauer act, which means nothing in Redding, but continues the protection from federal prosecution of MMJ patients, doctors and dispensaries in 46 states that have enacted MMJ laws. Many Democrats, including some in California, have signed the RB act. All the details are in the Denver Cannabis including who signed from every state.

    • Common Sense says:

      And they thought I was kidding (6 months ago) or didn’t know what I was talking about when I mentioned look out for your Medicaid/SS/Medicare! They WILL be cut…….someone has to pay for the tax cuts on the Corps and Rich!….all this won’t really make much sense until the 75 year old Trump Voters see the First Check with 15% less in it!…only Then will all this perhaps….make sense….and when the 13 Million lose their Health care coverage… can blame it on Hillary or Obama all you want…..but this is not about THEM.

    • Tim says:

      The poor quality of financial reporting these days makes my head hurt. “Deficit” and “debt” are two very different terms, but that doesn’t seem to stop nearly every news organization from constantly conflating the two.

      The Senate tax plan is projected to increase US debt by an additional $1.4 trillion over the next 10 years. This equates to an average annual deficit of $140 billion.

      The US debt is currently $20.6 trillion. US Gross Domestic Product (GPD) is currently $18.6 trillion, yielding a distressed debt/gdp ratio of 111% (of the 194 countries on the globe only 4 have an inferior ratio, the worst being Greece).

      Under existing tax law GDP is forecasted to grow at 3% per year, so in 10 years GDP would be $25.1 trillion against the same debt of $20.6 trillion for a debt/gdp ratio of 81%. Under the Senate’s tax plan, the bipartisan committee projects GDP would grow at 3.8% instead of 3%, which in 10 years would result in a GDP of $27.1 trillion against a $1.4 trillion higher debt ($22.0 trillion) for a gdp/debt ratio of… drumroll please… 81%.

      Thus, if you believe JTC/CBO projections, the Senate’s tax plan would have virtually no change on the US’ actual financial footing — a fact no outlet is reporting (Faux News is instead trying to claim GDP growth would be 5% and that we’ll be better off). Additionally, $1.4 trillion debt is a rounding error compared to the existing $109 trillion in unfunded Social Security & Medicare liabilities. When these programs get cut -and they will eventually- it won’t be because of a $140 billion annual deficit.

      PS: Don’t blame Reagan for our $109 trillion in unfunded liabilities; Social Security bottomed out under Carter (though it was probably Nixon’s fault for defaulting off the gold standard, setting inflation loose). And Medicare only became untenable after GW Bush’s 2003 prescription drug expansion.

      Disclaimer: the Senate tax cut is still idiot; I just can’t stand the hypocrisy of certain news outlets trying to score political points rather than inform audiences as is their “public interest” duty under FCC broadcast rules (which began to be ignored under Reagan – so blame him for that instead). These projections are all based on estimations plugged into an economic model (“garbage in, garbage out”), and if you ask this tin-foil hat wearing Jeffersonian, 3%-3.8% GDP growth seems awfully optimistic considering the fact that the last time stocks, bonds, and real estate were all priced this high was right before the Great Depression.

      • Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

        So GDP/debt ratio will stay bad, and we’ll continue to screw our kids and grandkids by running up the nation’s credit cards to create the illusion of prosperity……at least until bubble bursts.

        Your analysis doesn’t even get at one of the biggest flaw of the GOP tax plan (and the ongoing Reagan Revolution, of which it’s just the most recent stiff middle finger aimed at America’s middle class. The tax cuts are engineered to make it easier for the über-wealthy to accelerate their hoarding of the nation’s wealth, at the expense of everyone else.

        Yeah, great plan.

        • Tim says:

          If you believe the assumptions, US debt/gdp will improve from “not as bad as Greece” to “not as bad as France” regardless of whether the tax cut passes.

          Still, with $130t in debt & liabilities against $3t in revenues, we’re racing towards default and this tax argument is but a bug in the windshield. Besides, who better to lead us through Chapter 11 than the Bankrupter in Chief? Might as well get on with it while Baby Boomers can still pay something for their complicity in electing 80 years of empty promises…

          • K. Beck says:

            I really have a huge problem with all this being blamed on the “baby boomers.” No one complained to me when I was working 10-12 hour days to make the best economy this nation has ever seen. Now all of a sudden all of this is the fault of the “baby boomers?” REALLY? Yes blame the boomers in the Senate and Congress, many of whom are beyond the baby boomer generation (1946-1964), i. e.: older than 71 years old. AND nearly everyone in the US Congress is in the upper 10% of the wealthy in this country. If you think “the baby boomers” are all in the upper 10%, think again. I just read an article in the Atlantic that pointed a finger at the boomers. How about stopping this inter-generational finger pointing and look at the facts.

            The baby boomer generation has only been voting since 1985. That makes it 32 years, NOT 80! You seem to want to be the numbers guy, so please get your numbers correct.

            Please see my earlier post on America’s Poverty Class to get an idea about who is and who is not in the upper 10%.

          • Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

            To me, the start of the Reagan Revolution was a roll of the dice, and I don’t really blame people who voted for Reagan and, by extension, Reaganomics. Reaganomics was collection of largely untested theories that turned out in retrospect to be a steaming pile of bullscheisse, but it’s hard to fault those who wanted to test it. But in the end we had hard evidence: Reagan and Bush I quintupled the federal debt.

            I place nearly all the blame for the state we’re in on the Gore v. Bush II election—a watershed moment. In 2000 the CBO was predicting budget surpluses into the future. Gore ran on a platform of using those surpluses to pay down the federal debt. Bush II ran on a platform of cutting taxes. Bush II won, and we doubled-down on Reaganomics. Shortly after taking office V.P. Dick Cheney said, “Reagan proved that deficits don’t matter.”

            Now Trump and the GOP-led Congress are about to triple-down on Reaganomics. It’s tempting to predict that this time, there’s no turning back. We are well and truly f***ed.

            And yeah, I blame us boomers. In 2000, at that watershed moment, we were the largest cohort of voters, and we supported Bush II far more than did younger voters. And we continue to vote like a pack of selfish jackals intent on running up the nation’s credit cards to create the illusion of prosperity, leaving the tab to our grandkids.

            We make me sick.

          • Tim says:

            The first Baby boomers began voting in 1963 so if they haven’t been aware of Social Security’s impending demise, it is either through negligence or willfull ignorance.

            Social Security (1935) was originally on more solid financial footing, but it was amended in 1939 to pay out more & sooner. It didn’t enter crisis-mode until 1972 when legislators increased benefits 20% and tied future payouts to inflation (Nixon defaulted from the gold standard in 1971, creating rampant inflation which made it easier to pay debts from the Vietnam War, but screwed over those on fixed incomes). The 1972 amendment passed by overwhelming majority, despite the fact the math was very, very wrong and the Cost of Living calculation had been double indexed.

            As a result of the disastrous 1972 amendment, Social Security was on the edge of collapse in 1977 so legislators enacted a strategic default. People born before 1916, who would be at the 62 year retirement age when the amendments took effect in 1978, got to keep things as they were. People born after 1917 would have their benefits caculated under a new, less generous, formula.

            The 1977 amendment just kicked the can down the road a few years and by the early 80s it was apparent that the Social Security Trust Fund would run out in 1983. Always procrastinators, legislators waited until the brink of insolvency -literally- beforing hammering out a deal. The 1983 amendment solved the immediate crisis by transfering money into the trust fund and temporarily halting COLA increases. In exchange, Social Security taxes went up, government employees now had to pay them, and the retirement age would gradually increase to 67 by 2027 (another strategic default).

            This 1983 Reagan-O’Neill deal kicked the can down the road until 2010, when the first wave of baby boomers began to retire at 65. Since then, the trust fund has been depleting, and is scheduled to run out in 2034 (~16 years).

            Is this all the fault of the baby boomers? No, it was also the fault of their parents and maybe grandparents too. Combined, they voted for 82 years of legislators who got us into this mess.

            And inter-generational finger pointing is what Social Security is all about. Ida Fuller, the first to draw Social Security, paid only $25 into social security over her last 3 working years. He first check, in 1940, was $22.54. Overall, she took out ~$23,000 in benefits — money that younger taxpayers had to cough up.

            This intergenerational pyramid scheme worked as long as the population was steady or steadily growing. But the Baby Boomers boomed unsteadily and, thanks to birth control, didn’t reproduce as prodigiously as their parents (76 milliom boomers vs 55 million GenXers). So there aren’t enough tax payers to support Boomers under current rules, something that’s been obvious since the 1983 amendment. And yet the can got kicked down the road and the root of the issue probably won’t be addressed until 2034, almost certainly screwing over GenXers & Millennials.

          • Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

            I don’t know why people regard major adjustments to Social Security as evidence of its failure. It’s adaptive management. For example, I don’t have any problem at all with step-wise increases in the age at which Social Security benefits can be claimed. People live longer these days. It was never intended as a 30- to 40-year retirement program.

            Also, it’s not a pyramid scam. It’s a pay-as-you-go program. A pyramid scam is always upside-down—there was/is never any intent to create or maintain a solvent program.

            But you’re right—the math only works through 2034 owing to boomers, at which point the program will be upside-down unless further tweaking occurs. That tweaking will probably be on the backs of Gun Xers and Millennials. Frankly, if they decide to use us a fertilizer instead, I wouldn’t blame them.

          • Tim says:

            I view a default as a failure to honor agreed-upon terms. When $35 could be converted to an ounce of gold on Sunday, but no longer on Monday, that is a clear default (the Nixon Shock).

            When you’ve paid into a system for 40 years under the promise that it’ll start paying you back under a set formula, but that formula is changed (to a less generous one) with only 1 year’s notice, that’s also a pretty severe default (the ’77 amendment).

            The ’83 amendment at least gave people more notice, so it wasn’t as severe of a shock. I agree with you that we should be doing the same thing now, gradually increasing retirement ages so they correspond with lifespan. Doing so would be a far less severe default than the shock of waiting to the last moment…

          • Common Sense says:

            There’s an old saying my friend used to tell me….. ” you can’t spend your way out of debt!”…

      • K. Beck says:

        Could we all get this right?

        BABY BOOMER generation: 1946-1964. Baby Boomers had to be 21 in order to vote, which means we started voting in JAN 1967. sixth_Amendment_to_the_United_States_Constitution

        The Twenty-sixth Amendment to the United States Constitution (Amendment XXVI) lowered the minimum voting age in the United States from 21 to 18. The United States Congress approved the amendment on March 23, 1971, and sent it to the states to be ratified. Within three months and eight days, the states had ratified the amendment, and it became part of the Constitution. This was the quickest amendment to be ratified in United States history.[1]

        It became law in JUL 1971. So, up until then only 21 year olds could vote.

  7. cheyenne says:

    CS, you need to check out the MJ posters of the 60s on the Denver Cannabist. They have one of reefer madness with all the over the top scare tactics you always talk about.

  8. Beverly Stafford says:

    Would Anita Hill’s accusation of Clarence Thomas’ sexual harassment have been believed if it had happened today? I doubt if he would have been confirmed now or even gotten as far as a confirmation hearing. Of all the accusations, the one that I really hope isn’t true is the one leveled at Garrison Keillor. That one does sound a little off. And if we know about $17 million in payoffs and coverups of our Congressional leaders, how much more has been spent that we don’t know about. Seventeen million is a drop in the bucket compared to the deficit or any government spending, but I’d certainly like to see it paid back and also know whose behinds were covered with the payments.

    • Tim says:

      NPR sounds every bit as bad as Fox. Mike Oreskes, Jarl Mohn, David Sweeney, Garrison Keillor, etc. I would not hold out much hope for Keillor, this is what he said in defense of Bill Clinton in 1994: “A world in which there is no sexual harassment at all is a world in which there will not be any flirtation.”

      As for Thomas, he would not have been nominated if Hill had told the FBI investigators the things she later told the Senate committee. Even then, her own Senate testimony showed almost an ambivalence to the question of whether it was sexual harassment: at one point she tells a hostile Arlen Specter it very much was; at another, she tells a sedate Alan Simpson she didn’t know whether it rose to the level of sexual harassment, but she thought the committee should be aware of Thomas’ moral character.

      Accepting everything she said as fact, we’re still talking about occasional raunchy talk which took place in 1981-1983 (before sexual harassment seminars) by an awkward nerdy guy going through a divorce. Unlike the incidents making press today, she made no allegations of sexual contact or acts. By all accounts, Hill freely refused Thomas’ many requests for dinner without reprisals. She never complained, never documented incidents (she was a lawyer afterall), and she voluntarily followed him to a new job when he transferred from the DOE to the EEOC.

      • Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

        Tim, when I read your opening sentence, I assumed you meant in terms of overt political bias. I had just finished reading your comment on our nation’s impending bankruptcy (solid), and I was thinking, “That’s painfully ridiculous—this can’t be the same guy.”

        In defense of Keillor’s logic (not his behavior), he’s right. If everyone stopped flirting in the workplace, charges of harassment would plummet—there would be far less opportunity for misunderstandings or butt-headedness to evolve into charges of harassment. It would probably take something like an End of Workplace Flirting Revolution to put an end to workplace sexual harassment. Until then, there are going to be problems owing to simple misunderstandings ranging all the way up to assholishness.

        There is one facet of the sexual harassment debate that I find puzzling by its absence. In my experience as a participant and an observer, workplace flirtations are often initiated by and enjoyed by women, and those flirtations sometimes lead to interpersonal carnage. I wonder why this seems to be completely missing from the conversation?

        • Tim says:

          Devil’s advocate: if the owner is consensually flirting with one employee is that not broaching sexual harassment for a 2nd employee? If you were that 2nd party, wouldn’t you wonder whether you were getting the same opportunities as the flirtee? Would the possibility of better job prospects encourage you to flirt with the boss?

          • Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

            I like to think that words have meaning—often multiple meanings—but I can’t think of a way that the scenario you’ve painted could be called “harassment.” I think it’s like a form of discrimination not based on job performance, though. Way of the world—it’s a fact that physically attractive people tend to get promoted over others, flirting or no.

            I don’t want to get sucked into a Sociobiology discussion, but some of the most fascinating material in the field is from anthropologist/primatologist Sarah Blaffer Hrdy, whose watershed research focused on mating and social strategies from the female perspective—up until her work, primate (incl. human) sociobiology was mostly focused on males. (Full disclosure: I had a bit of a crush on Dr. Hrdy in grad school.)

          • Tim says:

            The California Supreme Court has ruled that a boss showing “sexual favoritism” creates a hostile work environment and that it is sexual harassment to other employees (Miller v. Department of Corrections).

          • Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

            I didn’t mean to imply doubt that use of the word “harassment” to describe favoritism wasn’t in use out there. Just that it greatly pains my ear.

            To me, favoritism (or harassment when it’s unwanted) involves a signaler and an intended receiver. Bystanders who are unintentionally or carelessly harmed by the favoritism are not being harassed. Hosed maybe, but not harassed.

            A mother gives one child demonstrably more affection and attention than to the other. The second child is shortchanged to some degree by the asymmetrical distribution of these maternal resources. This is harassment? No, no, no…….hell no! C’mon. No way is that harassment.

          • Tim says:


            Steve, this is a quote from the EEOC webpage on sexual harassment: “harassment is illegal when it is so frequent or severe that it creates a hostile or offensive work environment or when it results in an adverse employment decision.”

            In the opinion of the California Supreme Court, showing favoritism to a sexual partner, at the expense of someone else, creates a hostile work environment and “is” sexual harassment.

            There is still a rather large step between “flirting with” and “sleeping with,” but they’re on the same plane if not ballpark.

          • Steve Towers Steve Towers says:


            Again, I’m not at all contesting that the state defines the word “harassment” just as you report it:

            “In the opinion of the California Supreme Court, showing favoritism to a sexual partner, at the expense of someone else, creates a hostile work environment and ‘is’ sexual harassment.”

            My wife is both my business and sexual partner, and I show favoritism to her every day, sometimes at the expense of others—she’s my wife and business partner. Boy, are we ever exposed! We’re both flagrantly sexually harassing our employees!

            I mean, this is just silly. Favoritism by definition is a form of discrimination—perhaps very often (but not always) unlawful discrimination that creates a hostile work environment. But it’s not harassment. Even if the CA Supreme Court chooses to misuse the word, I remain unpersuaded that the word’s meaning should be violated as such.

          • Tim says:

            My original point was that the harassed need not be involved in the conversation. Perhaps a better example: imagine one office doofus jokingly showing another his “O Face” at the Initech water cooler. Neither of the conversation’s two participants is offended by this, but an uninvolved coworker overhearing it is and believes it is creating a hostile work environment. Voil`a — 3rd party sexual harassment…

          • Steven Towers Steven Towers says:

            That’s a fine example of a hostile work environment. That’s a bad example of harassment. That example illustrates my point. Harassment involves intent by the signaler to harass the receiver.

            I love that movie, and pretty much everything else that Mike Judge does. I’m currently watching “Tales from the Tour Bus,” his documentary cartoon series on outlaw country music—in fits and starts, because my wife refuses to watch it with me.

        • K. Beck says:

          …seems to be a limit on responses, so this is intended for the comment by Steve regarding parenting. There is no response button at the end of your post.

          There is a HUGE difference between a parent favoring one child over another (although this can, and often does, result in very unfavorable results). And a boss showing favoritism of an employee (male or female, why are
          “we” only discussing discriminated against only females?…I know, I know they are the ones who are most often sexually discriminated against, as far as we know) who flirts with the boss when it comes to job performance reviews and promotions. Throwing unrelated situations really doesn’t help in this conversation IMHO.

          • Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

            I presented a logical equivalency regarding the use of the word “harassment.” Of course there are differences between parental favoritism and supervisor favoritism. My intent was not to argue that they are identical, but rather to argue that they are the same logical construct. You wouldn’t call parental favoritism “harassment.”

            You’ve implied that my comparison is invalid, but you haven’t explained why. If you’re trying to argue that all comparisons are invalid unless the entities being compared are identical, then comparisons in order to make valid generalizations becomes impossible. (Comparing identical entities is meaningless and empty.)

            I am in no way defending workplace discrimination based on chimpanzee politics (including sexual favoritism), and if you think that’s what I’m doing, you’ve missed my point entirely. I’m defending the meaning of the word “harassment.”

          • K. Beck says:

            We cannot go around redefining words. Well, I guess we can, but it usually leads to trouble.

            “A mother gives one child demonstrably more affection and attention than to the other. The second child is shortchanged to some degree by the asymmetrical distribution of these maternal resources. This is harassment? No, no, no…….hell no! C’mon. No way is that harassment.”

            Ignoring one child while giving all/most/more attention to the favorite child is harassment. Not like the harassment you are thinking about, but harassment none the less.

            ignore |i??nôr|
            verb [with object]
            refuse to take notice of or acknowledge; disregard intentionally: he ignored her outraged question.
            • fail to consider (something significant): direct satellite broadcasting ignores national boundaries.
            • Law (of a grand jury) reject (an indictment) as groundless.
            ignorable adjective.
            ignorer noun
            late 15th century (in the sense ‘be ignorant of’): from French ignorer or Latin ignorare ‘not know, ignore,’ from in- ‘not’ + gno-, a base meaning ‘know.’ Current senses date from the early 19th century.

            That is most definitely IS harassment! Perhaps it is non-verbal, but giving one person (especially IRT your children) priority treatment over another has the same detrimental effects as verbally/physically harassing someone. A shrink once told me psychological abuse is worse than physical abuse.

            Definition of harass
            transitive verb
            1 a : exhaust, fatigue

            I have been harassed with the toil of verse —William Wordsworth

            b (1) : to annoy persistently

            was harassing his younger brother

            (2) : to create an unpleasant or hostile situation for especially by uninvited and unwelcome verbal or physical conduct

            was being harassed by her classmates

            claims that the police were unfairly harassing him

            2 : to worry and impede by repeated raids

            harassed the enemy

            — harasser noun
            — harassment play \h?-?ras-m?nt; ?her-?s-, ?ha-r?s-\ noun

          • Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

            We actually can redefine words, and do. But in my opinion we should be careful about doing so. To conflate the meanings of distinctly useful words is to strip them of the utility to distinguish between meanings.

            None of the definitions of “harass” that you posted are synonyms of “ignore.” You have simply stated that they are synonymous, as if that’s sufficient. It’s not.

            You want to conflate the meaning of “harass” with the meanings of “neglect” and “ignore.” I don’t. They have different meanings, and I fail to see the utility of insisting that they mean the same thing, or that the latter words are a form of the former. You only get there by bastardizing the meaning of “harass.” I’m not going for it.

          • K. Beck says:

            The definition of “harassment” seems to be a hot button issue for you, Steve.

            ” You wouldn’t call parental favoritism “harassment.” Yes I would, depending of the form it takes.

            Where do you draw the line between harassment and neglect, and how are they related to each other? Is shunning also harassment?


            Psychological abuse[edit]

            There are multiple definitions of child psychological abuse:

            • In 2013, the American Psychological Association (APA) added Child Psychological Abuse to the DSM-5, describing it as “nonaccidental verbal or symbolic acts by a child’s parent or caregiver that result, or have reasonable potential to result, in significant psychological harm to the child.”[40]

            • In 1995, APSAC defined it as: spurning, terrorizing, isolating, exploiting, corrupting, denying emotional responsiveness, or neglect” or “A repeated pattern of caregiver behavior or extreme incident(s) that convey to children that they are worthless, flawed, unloved, unwanted, endangered, or only of value in meeting another’s needs”[41]

            • In the United States, states laws vary, but most have laws against “mental injury”[42]

            • Some have defined it as the production of psychological and social defects in the growth of a child as a result of behavior such as loud yelling, coarse and rude attitude, inattention, harsh criticism, and denigration of the child’s personality.[19]

            Other examples include name-calling, ridicule, degradation, destruction of personal belongings, torture or killing of a pet, excessive criticism, inappropriate or excessive demands, withholding communication, and routine labeling or humiliation.[43]

            In 2014, the APA stated that:[44]

            • “Childhood psychological abuse [is] as harmful as sexual or physical abuse.”

            • “Nearly 3 million U.S. children experience some form of [psychological] maltreatment annually.”

            • Psychological maltreatment is “the most challenging and prevalent form of child abuse and neglect.”

            • “Given the prevalence of childhood psychological abuse and the severity of harm to young victims, it should be at the forefront of mental health and social service training”

            In 2015, additional research confirmed these 2014 statements of the APA.[45][46]

            Victims of emotional abuse may react by distancing themselves from the abuser, internalizing the abusive words, or fighting back by insulting the abuser. Emotional abuse can result in abnormal or disrupted attachment development, a tendency for victims to blame themselves (self-blame) for the abuse, learned helplessness, and overly passive behavior.[43]

    • K. Beck says:

      Here is something, perhaps, we should always keep in mind: Work is not home.

      The dictionary says:

      flirt |fl?rt| verb
      1 [no object] behave as though attracted to or trying to attract someone, but for amusement rather than with serious intentions: it amused him to flirt with her.
      • (flirt with) experiment with or show a superficial interest in (an idea, activity, or movement) without committing oneself to it seriously: a painter who had flirted briefly with Cubism.
      • (flirt with) deliberately expose oneself to (danger or difficulty): the need of some individuals to flirt with death.
      2 [with object] (of a bird) wave or open and shut (its wings or tail) with a quick flicking motion.
      • [no object] move back and forth with a flicking or fluttering motion: the lark was flirting around the site.
      a person who habitually flirts.


      mid 16th century: apparently symbolic, the elements fl- and -irt both suggesting sudden movement; compare with flick and spurt. The original verb senses were ‘give someone a sharp blow’ and ‘sneer at’; the earliest noun senses were ‘joke, gibe’ and ‘flighty girl’ (defined by Dr. Johnson as ‘a pert young hussey’), with a notion originally of cheeky behavior, later of playfully amorous behavior.

      The problem is: the flirter may be doing this for amusement, but it is interpreted as a serious sexual come on by the flirtee. I have often seen a woman simply smile at a man and he thinks she is flirting with him. Then I hear men tell women they don’t smile enough.

      I have had conversations with such men. Women are often damned if they do and damned if they don’t.

      Then, of course, there are women who flirt specifically to get that bigger pay raise and/or a promotion.

      Seems to be a mine field out there! My stance is to try not to do anything that might seem like flirting, including smiling too much. It is impossible to figure out who is thinking what. My stance is to be as “business-like” as possible.

      Touching, of any sort, at work is totally off limits. Work is not home.

      • Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

        I have to agree that your advice is pragmatic and sound. Avoid workplace flirting at all costs if you want to avoid trouble.

        But man oh man……think of the scores of movies that are built around the central premise of office romance. Bridget Jones’s Diary, Adam’s Rib, Working Girl, The American President, The Pajama Game, What Women Want, Love Actually, Lover Come Back, Friends With Benefits, The Good Girl, Desk Set, Broadcast News, Secretary, Cactus Flower, Fifty Shades of Gray, Jerry McGuire, 500 Days of Summer….the list of rom-com chick-flicks centering on work-related romances goes on and on.

        Burn them all on the bonfire of bad influences, I guess.

        • K. Beck says:

          The movies are not real life. If you go around running your life like what you see in a movie, or on TV, you will most likely be in deep s**t. Reality vs fiction.

          Watch them and enjoy them but don’t mix them up with real life. Even if they are supposed to be autobiographical. They are entertainment and are manipulated with that in mind.

          • K. Beck says:

            As an aside, I had a job at an insurance co. once. The staff was 4 women and several (maybe 10, I don’t remember exactly) male adjusters and sales agents. On my first day at work I was told to never go in the supply room (which had a regular door on it that was closed when, theoretically, empty) when someone of the opposite sex was in there. And to ALWAYS leave the door open when I was in there. I didn’t ask any questions, but I was SO curious about what must have happened in there at one time. It was a verboten subject, no one ever mentioned it and I was too reluctant to ask anyone.

      • Tim says:

        K. Beck, I think it is a confusing time for everyone. Men of my age were taught certain notions of chivalry: we should hold open doors & enter after women, walk on the street-side of the sidewalk, offer our jacket when it is cold, etc.

        I held open the door for a metal-infused millenial a while back and said offhand, “after you, miss.” Apparently, this is now an insult because she responded “DON’T call me miss!!!” I once used the other M-word on a 30-something woman and she seemed almost as offended, exclaiming she was not old enough to be a ma’am! So now I just stick to grunts and nods…

        Drew Carey had a shtick on sexual harassment, the gist was “how do I know whether it is an ‘unwanted sexual advance’ until after I’ve made it?!”

        • K. Beck says:

          I was confused when I was 15 & 16 about navigating male/female relationships. I guess it doesn’t really get any less confusing no matter your age! : )

  9. K. Beck says:

    Drew Carey, very funny! I guess the answer is to not make sexual advances, one should know what those are, I think. Dating is a whole different animal. Then I think the best thing is to ask permission. “I would really like to kiss you. Would that be OK.” I know it sounds corny, but really, you cannot take for granted just because someone goes out on a date (once or twice or 20 times) with you it means anything other than that person wants to get to know you better. OK, I know “20 times”???!!! Maybe they like spending time with you, enjoy your company, etc., that doesn’t mean they want to get kissy faced. People need to learn to communicate. As we say to young children when they are learning to speak, “Use your words!”

    I just hold the door open for everyone, regardless of sex. I don’t give them a title. Titles, as you found out, are tricky. When they say “Thank you.” I say, “Your welcome.” When they just roar through and don’t say anything, I think to my self “…just keep being a role model. Sometimes it takes!” Then I go on my way.

    “Be the change that you wish to see in the world.”
    Mahatma Gandhi

  10. cheyenne says:

    When I was a custodian at Redding high schools there were people whose classrooms I kept cleaner than others because of one simple fact, the squeaky wheel is the one that gets the oil. Is that favoritism? Also I spent more time cleaning the principal’s office, male and female, then cleaning classrooms. Is that favoritism?
    And one other thing that I was told, though I didn’t need to be, was never let a student in a room to fetch homework or a coat, which happened often, and follow them into the room. Always stand in the hallway and hold the door open. I loved it when mothers would come to the school to see their daughters and see that their daughter was not wearing the same clothes she left home in. What happens in school hallways stays in school hallways, though sometimes I felt like I needed to turn the hose and cold water on some duos.

  11. Common Sense says:

    The Rising tide of Bitcoin and Cryptocurrencies. Times have changed and Trust is at the center of this new Explosive Movement in Money!

    • Tim says:

      Something that gains 940% in a year is not a currency, it is a tulip bulb.

      • Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

        LOL. Good one, Tim.

        • Tim says:

          I wasn’t calling it a hoax, I was calling it mania – a bubble…

          Today, it takes approximately 12,400 KWh of electricity to mine 1 bitcoin (the hardware costs are, in comparison, negligible). That works out to ~$1,000 of electricity in China & India or ~$1,500 of electricity in the US. Some bigger idiot will currently pay ~$12,000 for 1 bitcoin, which offers an apparent 1000% return on your electricity “investment” (if you think that is sustainable, let me remind you that Bernie Madoff lured suckers with a mere 10% return).

          Now consider this: mankind is almost certainly warming the globe, so we simply cannot adopt a currency that is made by literally wasting energy… Thus bitcoin cannot survive as more than a novelty. This may not be true for all cryptocurrencies, but I’ll unequivocally say it about bitcoin — it cannot last.

          “If something cannot go on forever, it will stop.” Herbert Stein

          • Common Sense says:

            Tim if you want to dabble a small bit, here is a tip for you….I am up 300% on this one and I just got into it 2+months ago! In the old days we made our money in the stock market…’s want to be Millionaires that get in now, it will be Crypto!

            Stellar Lumens (XLM)
            Exchange is Bittrex

            Steller is Scalable….and just signed a deal with IBM!

            I know a kid…that is up 60% in 12 days buying Cryptos….a kid!

            Don’t Fight the Gravity of Exponential Change-make money instead!

          • Tim says:

            Zacks may very well be right that bitcoin hits $20,000 before zero. Spotting a bubble is not that difficult; predicting when it’ll fail is another matter altogether.

            In 1841, the journalist-psychologist Charles Mackay wrote the book “Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds” in which he devoted a section to economic bubbles like the Dutch Tulip mania and the South Sea Bubble. He noted that in a bubble, crowd dynamics are very hard to resist (Remember this candid camera experiment?

            The great physicist Isaac Newton offers an example: In 1720, he realized that stock in the South Sea Company was overvalued and he sold out, booking the equivalent of about $40 Billion in profits. Yet the stock kept going up & up and everyone else seemed to be in on the action. Newton was by this point in his life extremely rich: he personally owned about 0.1% of all British wealth (roughly the same as the percentage of US wealth owned by Amazon’s Jeff Bezos). Newton didn’t need to speculate, but he just couldn’t stay on the sidelines while everyone else was making out like bandits in his old stock. So midway through 1720, he invested everything back into the South Sea Company. Shortly thereafter the stock crashed and he lost almost everything, famously declaring “I can calculate the movement of the stars, but not the madness of men.”

            There’s another great book on economic bubbles by Reinhart and Rogoff that came out in 2009, appropriately titled “This Time is Different.” They basically chronicle how in every bubble there were respected people declaring “hey, we’re in a bubble.” And yet in every instance, there were equally respected people offering plausible rationales for why “this time is different:” In 1720, global shipping was going to revolutionize the world. In the 1840s US railroads were going to make America great. In the 1920s autos, airplanes, & prohibition were going to make America more productive than ever. In the 1990s, dotcoms were going to change shopping forever… All of these were true statements, but that didn’t stop people from getting carried away with their sure-fire investments.

            The problem with spotting a bubble, is no one knows exactly when it’ll pop. As John Maynard Keynes observed after being wiped out in 1920, “the market can stay irrational longer than you can stay solvent.”

            If there is anyone who can time a crash, it is a former medical doctor turned hedge fund manager named Michael Burry. In 2004, he noticed a housing bubble forming when home prices in Silicon Valley kept rising despite being at the epicenter of the dotcom crash. So he did a whole bunch of independent research and discovered a few critical indicators that show when the end is near. A rise in fraud was one. Increasingly creative financing was another. When both became widespread in 2005, he bet big against the housing market via derivatives. And then he waited. And waited… He lost money with increasing frustration for 2 years before others finally saw the end approaching and his positions began to show profits.

            Is fraud rising? Yep. has an entire section devoted to various scams.

            How about creative financing? Well, we’re now seeing a rise in “cloud mining” — where individuals who can’t afford to buy hundreds of high-power mining computers can pool their money together. People did the exact same investment pooling in the 1920s Florida beachfront bubble (and were starting to do it to finance house flippers before the 2008 housing crash).

            That all said, Bitcoin is up another $1000 since my last comment, so obviously I can’t reliably call a top…

          • Common Sense says:

            Might have a solution to that power problem now….depending on how much they need!


        • Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

          I laughed when I opened the linked article on The Blaze and saw from the photo that the twins were the two guys Mark Zuckerberg called “The Wincklevi” as faux-pluralization of “the Winklevoss twins.” They’re the twins who sued Zuckerberg over Facebook. Zuckerberg settled the suit for $64 million—chump change for him.

          It’s also amusing that their partner in BitInstant, Charlie Shrem, is the dude who went to prison for using bitcoin to launder Silk Road drug money.

          • Common Sense says:

            Well let’s just say they are probably not going to get on the Top 10 Integrity list anytime soon….but the laugh is on me when 3 years ago I thought Bitcoin was a joke…..they didn’t……so they get the last laugh if it doesn’t go below $300.00….and no….I don’t admire either of them….but credit where credit is due….they understood the Cryptos Way ahead of me!

      • Common Sense says:

        Don’t Fight the Gravity of Exponential Change. Bitcoin is limited as it is not Scalable like many others. You are totally correct in the Electricity it uses to Mine….it’s a LOT….but wouldn’t it have been nice to get into it a 300.00 and sell it where it is Now?

      • Common Sense says:

        Tim you are obviously a sharp guy! Your facts on mining are spot on… is a link if you want to track the Crypto’s and make money also. There are a couple good ones that are still pennies right now! Fewer and fewer as they are all trending up….
        but imagine for a second getting 100k at .03c and selling them at $10.00 in a couple years!

        Let us not forget…..Bitcoin was first used to buy a Pizza for 10,000 of them! Now it’s $12k for ONE…..

        • Tim says:

          I bet that pizza guy can’t sleep at night

          • Common Sense says:

            Hahah…right…. you were spot on with your energy to mine….here’s the proof of your statement!


          • Tim says:

            Ha, I love the guy with the Tesla who rigged a way to use free supercharger power to mine bitcoin – brilliant!

          • Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

            Tim — You’d probably move me a long way down the path of understanding bitcoin if you could explain the following sentence to me (from the article CS linked):

            “Today, each bitcoin transaction requires the same amount of energy used to power nine homes in the U.S. for one day.”

            I understand this is related to a phenomenon called “bitcoin mining,” but I have no real concept of what that means, or why it’s so incredibly energy intensive. It seems as counter-intuitive to me as saying that it costs $1,000 to print a dollar bill.

          • Tim says:

            To release a new block of bitcoin, a ledger of the previous transactions must be converted to a 64 digit-long hexadecimal code, called a hash. Contrary to popular opinion, this is not a difficult calculation — a modern gaming computer can do it millions of times per second.

            The trick is, each block must use a specific format for the hash – certain of the 64 digits must contain an exact hexadecimal alpha-numeral. So your computer generates a random code, then checks to see if it fits the required specification for that block, and then repeats the procedure until it gets a correct answer. There are multiple possible answers, so whoever comes up with a solution first wins the next batch of bitcoin.

            Some guy with an ancient Commodore 64 might get lucky and get the answer on the first try, but odds are someone (or a pool of people) with a room full of gaming computers will come up with the answer first by brute force.

            Over time, the probability of guessing a correct answer goes down because of increasing constraints placed on suitable answers. 45 days ago, the odds of having an acceptable output were about 1 in 1.1 trillion. Today the difficulty is about 1 in 1.6 trillion. Combine that with increasing competition from other people guessing and it would take the average gaming computer a little over a year of running nonstop before it happened to guess a correct answer first.

            So, like actual mining, there is an element of gambling involved. By random chance that average computer might get a correct answer 3 times in the first year and then not win again for years…

            All of this adds up to a colossal waste of electricity, which is generally expended in the poorest countries using the dirtiest energy.

          • Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

            Huh. In biology we speak of proximate and ultimate causes.

            Proximate causes are “how things work.” They explain biological functions in terms of immediate physiological or environmental factors.

            Ultimate causes are “why things are the way they are.” They explain traits in terms of evolutionary (natural selection) forces acting on them.

            After reading your explanation twice, I think I have a handle on how new bitcoin is created—the proximate cause. I’m still completely in the dark regarding why bitcoin-creation contests occur, why they’re set up as they are, and why there are no alternatives to such a hugely energy-intensive scheme.

          • Tim says:

            My problem with the “ultimate cause” is that it tends to snowball into one giant theory of the universe. But I’ll try to stay on the topic of currency & bitcoin – at least as I visualize it. (skip to the 11th paragraph if you prefer to start with a shorter answer)

            Imagine an unsuccessful hunter in prehistory: he keeps chasing game down a trail, but the game is always faster and runs away. Observing this repeated charade, another hunter offers to stand at the opposite end of the trail and slay the prey in exchange for half of the meat. And thus begins the concept of economics – humans choosing to cooperate under the promise of future reward (under this definition, religion would be a subset of economics, but there I go digressing into grand theories).

            Initially this is just barter: I’ll give you fur, you give me grain. I’ll give you time/labor, you give me knowledge. But eventually the optimal trades become complicated: imagine you make hoes and, since it is spring with no crops yet, every farmer seems to want to pay you in poultry. You’re sick of poultry! So you wind up trading the hoe to the farmer for chicken and then chicken to the fisherman for fish.

            Eventually the string of trades becomes cumbersome and takes up too much of your day – time that better serves society if you spend it creating new hoes. Plus the “trust” becomes strained when sometimes the promise of reward isn’t chicken now, it is pushed into the future (I’ll give you a portion of my crops in the fall if you give me that hoe today).

            So all of the participants come together and agree to use something *else* to represent the intrinsic value of goods — something portable and easy to trade. Voil`a: we now have money – in the form of shells or beads or malleable bits of rare metal.

            And then later… Gosh, these bits of rare metal really do add up in weight! What if instead, we used a paper certificate which you could redeem for gold or silver if you wanted, but which you could fold and carry it in your pocket without feeling the burden…

            And then later… Gosh, we have billions of dollars in gold just sitting around in Fort Knox doing nothing. Wouldn’t society be better served if we stopped the convertability of the dollar, put all that value of idle gold to work, and just asked society to “trust” in the paper itself.

            As we entered the computer age, Libertarian-minded coders were beginning to ask: Why do we need to use physical pieces of matter to represent money? Why do we allow centralized power structures to control the flow of it? Why do we allow them to track what we buy?

            The root of all currency comes down to trust. Think about all those survivalists hoarding gold for TEOTWAWKI (the end of the world as we know it) — what practical *use* does gold have? Unless you’re planning on printing circuit boards with anarchy all around you, its only value is your “faith” and trust that others will also share your faith and trust in its value.

            The early digital currency experiments focused heavily on this issue of trust: what prevents someone from just making a lot more money all at once and devaluing the currency? What prevents someone from copying a digital coin and sending out counterfeits?

            And that brings us to bitcoin. It addresses the problem of someone rapidly making more bitcoin, by removing any person from central control and releasing bitcoin in scheduled blocks. It is all built into the code and the code is shared worldwide so that if you take down “the leader of bitcoin” its decentralized nature ensures it keeps right on going as scheduled.

            It addresses the second issue (how do you know whether a bitcoin is authentic) by keeping this running ledger of all transactions. Before a new block of bitcoin is released, the code compares the ledgers and makes sure everyone is in agreement.

            So the real purpose of mining is to reward the system’s auditors. A bunch of people compile & compare ledgers, and then essentially compete in a lottery to be first to convert that ledger into the proper format. The winner receives a few bitcoins, and then they do it all again by creating a ledger using the most recent round of transactions…

            As an aside, the creator of bitcoin did not believe it was ready for the big time: it was a proof of concept with several flaws (energy usage but one of them). But Wikileaks had just embarrassed the Western World’s power structure and they retaliated by cutting off payment processing. Suddenly bitcoin went from novel experiment to a way of sticking it to the man and it took off.

            At this point, Bitcoin’s creator stopped contributing to the project and disappeared – his identity remains a mystery and matter of much speculation.

          • Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

            I feel quite a bit more enlightened now. Regarding your aside, I recall reading about the creator of Bitcoin……goes by a Japanese name, but isn’t necessarily Japanese. It’s speculated he’s worth billions, right? Billions in bubble-worth, anyway, if it’s all still in Bitcoin.

            Evolutionary biologists don’t really let “ultimate cause” snowball into a theory of the universe. It’s limited to addressing questions like, “Why do some ground squirrel populations have higher resistance to rattlesnake venom than others?” (The answer is not as simple as you might think.)

            I spent plenty of time in college noodling over Aristotele’s Four Causes—material, formal, efficient, and final—as they relate to biology. The trick is finding a place for final cause, which implies teleology/purpose.

            According to my genetics professor, Francisco Ayala: “In order to fully understand an object we need to find out, among other things, its end; what function does it serve or what results it produces. An egg can be understood fully only if we consider it as a possible chicken. The structures and organs of animals have functions, are organized towards certain ends. Living processes proceed towards certain goals. Final Causes, for Aristotle, are principles of intelligibility; they are not in any sense active agents in their own realization.”

            So evolved traits are not “for something” in a designed sense. The are “for something” in an evolved, functionally fit sense.

            Ayala was one of my favorite profs. A Spaniard, he’d been a Jesuit priest. While in the priesthood he picked up PhDs in theology, philosophy, and biology. He eventually lost his faith, but none of the hard-assed intellectual rigor hammered into him by the Jesuits.

          • Tim says:

            I’m sure he completely lost faith; it seems implicit in Ayala’s theory that there is a Purpose for every Cause (something I would counter with vestigiality).

          • Tim says:

            *not sure

          • Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

            The “purpose” of a trait is selected over generations by the environment. It’s a design-by-natural-selection process that Richard Dawkins called “The Blind Watchmaker.” There is no mindful purpose. No mindful intent.

            I know Ayala lost his Christian faith from conversations with him during his office hours. He said that he eventually could no longer square Christianity with the horrible things that happen to children in this world. He lost his belief in a benevolent, omnipotent God who cares about human affairs and intervenes.

            That said, he was passionate about teaching that there is no inherent conflict between evolution and belief in God. But I took his latter-day concept of God—if he retains one at all—to be a belief that God is something like Aristotle’s “Unmoved Mover.” A First Cause of the Universe that is and will remain unknowable to us.

          • Tim says:

            CS: Did you see Wall Street started trading bitcoin derivatives today? I guess we’ll see if encouraging further speculation throws gasoline on the fire or whether finally having a mechanism to short bitcoin will keep prices grounded.

            Steve: I’ll generally buy the theory of random mutations occurring in nature, with some mutations clearly being beneficial. But I also see a relative long haplotype, like Genghis Kahn’s 17 markers, and think that surely it must be possible for some neutral or even deficient mutations to have ridden the coattails of a man naturally selected by virtue of massacring half a continent. And how is “natural selection” supposed to work in the age of contraception?

          • Steven Towers Steven Towers says:

            It must be possible for some neutral genes to have gone along for the ride? Sir, that’s the understatement of the new millennium. 98.% percent of our DNA is neutral, non-coding junk. Complete garbage.

            The ubiquity of Genghis Kahn’s genes is an example of what’s called a “founder effect” in population genetics. The process isn’t at all that unusual; what’s unusual is its scale the the way it was achieved.

            Natural selection in the age of contraception works exactly the way it always works. Family planning probably has less of an impact on natural selection’s effects on human evolution than do other advances in medical care.

          • Tim says:

            I didn’t mean unexpressed, I meant neutral. For instance, the relative length of fingers or the shape of a hairline. These expressed traits may correlate with others, but don’t seem to offer any evolutionary advantage in and of themselves.

            You don’t think natural selection is affected by contraceptives? When I see a plot of birthrate vs income, I have to wonder. In economic terms, children are “inferior goods” — something the rich have less of (the exception is that the super rich – the top 0.5% – have more children than the rich & middle class, but still less than the poor).

            I can see how better medical care could affect natural selection as well. I wonder too whether the US’s inferior infant mortality rate says more about our advancements in fertility treatment & prenatal care than about our neonatal & infant living standards.

          • Steven Towers Steven Towers says:

            Foul! You referred to neutral or even deficient mutations, which occur at the level of the gene. Now you’re changing it to phenotype—relative finger length and hairline. And those aren’t likely neutral.

            Finger length is optimized for grasping. The lengths looks sort of random when all of your fingers are extended, but close your hand into a fist and see how they all line up perfectly (if you’re normal). If your fingertips are not lined up in your palm, you have inferior grip strength.

            As for hairline, that’s part of appearance, which is subject to sexual selection. Darwin recognized sexual selection as an extremely important subset of natural selection—he wrote a separate tome about it—”The Descent of Man and Selection in Relation to Sex” (think peacock feathers). You may not think hairline is important, but humans are basically neotenized apes—sexually selected to have pedomorphic features. (Check out how very young chimps look so much more human-like than adults). Hairline might not be subject to strong sexual selection (said the balding guy hopefully), but a dude whose hairline resembles that of an adult male chimpanzee is probably going to have trouble with the ladies.

            Contraceptives absolutely affect natural selection. But they are *part* of natural selection. People have a tendency to think that technology isn’t natural. It is. Everything humans do is natural—even the destructive and self-destructive stuff. The bifurcation of humanity and nature is an artifact of Biblical thought. And that philosophical divide aside, successful evolutionary strategies don’t always rely on cranking out as many offspring as possible.

          • Tim says:


            I’ve been searching, but haven’t found anything to suggest that the difference in grip strength is due to a finger-length mismatch. At first it seems plausible: longer bones create more leverage which would require more strength to overcome.

            But we are talking about very minor differences in finger length: An index finger that is 0.05% longer than “normal” is considered “high” yet adds just 3/16 to a 3-3/4″ finger. Let’s assume that the index finger is responsible for 33% of a hand’s grip strength, in which case a 0.05% decrease in finger grip strength would decrease overall hand grip strength by only 1.65%. And that’s if we basically assume the pinky does nothing…

            But a 1.65% difference pales in comparison to environmental factors: (millennials average 20% less grip strength than their parents, presumably due to playing with video games & smartphones).

            Far, far more important are the rather dramatic physical differences throughout the body associated with 2d:4d ratios (those with longer index fingers relative to ring fingers tend to be more effeminate and less hyperactive).

            As for “natural,” we’ve had this discussion before. I see your point, but I’ll stick with Merriam-Webster’s “growing without human care” definition… It would seem to me that the English language lacks the word you would prefer (natural + man-made).

            I’ll stipulate that if someone finds a widow’s peak attractive, it was probably not by human care or deliberate thought, and thus was “natural.” But I couldn’t say the same about consciously electing to have, or not have, children. Or, even more to the point, about aborting female fetuses because your culture prefers males and allows only 1 child.

          • Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

            Finger length isn’t optimized for individual finger strength—if that was the case, they’d all be the same longish length (not super long—there are other selective pressures on hand structure). It’s about articulation. Make a fist and squeeze as hard as you can. Now imagine that your middle finger is larger than it is, and the other fingers are shorter. You can fiddle with you your grip strength would change by sticking one or more fingers out to simulate them being shorter. When NY Giants pass rusher Jason Pierre-Paul blue off much of one of his fingers in a firecracker accident, his career was though to be over because of how much grip strength he’d lost.

            Yes, common English reflects the Biblical influence on the word “natural.” Mirriam-Webster’s online dictionary includes 15 definitions of the word—you’ve selected number 10. I’m just pointing out that evolutionary biologists and many philosophers don’t see it that way.

            As far as birth control/abortion goes, my point was that natural selection only sees the results. If intent is the proximate reason for deciding to use birth control, so be it. The capacity to intend, and even the propensity to intend in a certain direction, will be subject to selection. And my further point is that it’s not a given that the decision to have fewer children is flawed. There are reasons that humans don’t spawn hundreds of kids at a time.

          • Tim says:

            Implicit in “natural selection” is the Darwinian notion of “survival of the fittest.” Human contraception, as currently practiced, would then say the poorest 10% of us are the fittest, followed by the richest 0.5%, with everyone else being a distant third.

            If you think this is natural, would it not follow that the natural human condition is a bifurcated society of the haves & have nots?

          • Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

            “Survival of the fittest” isn’t Darwin’s phrase—it belonged to Darwin ally Herbert Spencer. Darwin expressed appreciation for it, but it’s not really favored by modern evolutionary biologists. For one thing, survival is only one aspect of natural selection, and not always the preeminent one. (I was hinting at a similar truth when I mentioned that cranking out as many offspring as possible isn’t necessarily a winning strategy. Fitness is multi-faceted.)

            Evolutionary fitness is not the same as the total number of offspring. Fitness is indicated by the proportion of subsequent generations that carry an individual’s genes. If an individual survives and reproduce rapidly, but its offspring are feeble and either don’t survive or fail to reproduce as ably as competitors in the next generation, genetic contribution of this lineage is ultimately reduced.

            “Haves” and “have nots” are social constructs, but there are potential reproductive advantages to possessing a greater than normal proportion of allocated resources. Yes, of course it’s natural to have biological winners and losers. That said, the drive to acquire resources for competitive advantage in humans can rise to absurdity in modern society. No multi-billionaire in Silicon Valley enjoys a proportional increase in reproductive success. There are no modern Genghis Kahns in Silicon Valley (or in Lincoln, NE).

            We are not slaves to our biological predispositions, and we shouldn’t aspire to slavery. We don’t need to throw our hands up in the air and say that enormous disparity in wealth is the natural order of things.

  12. Common Sense says:

    Even when the evidence shows it to be true….officials downplay Legalization and Lower Opioid Death rates….that…that is Called Cognitive Dissonance! And the Government and those without Critical Thinking skills show this every day…denial never solved a problem!

  13. Jon Lewis says:

    Due to the length of Tuesday night’s Redding City Council meeting (a little over four hours), my report on the proceedings will be posted on A News Cafe a little later than usual. Look for it mid-morning. Curious readers will learn about the unanimous vote to OK the 39-acre, $96 million Bethel Church project on Collyer Drive, how the cost of building a home in Redding is going down, who now wields the mayor’s gavel and other interesting tidbits. Thanks in advance for your patience.

  14. Common Sense says:

    The Great Divide….Neither Side really Understands in depth the thinking of their opponent. Progress always bucks the headwinds!

  15. S.F Murray says:

    Does anyone think that if accused of sexual improprieties, maybe including pedophilia, Doug LaMalfa would not be reelected here in Missibamiana ? This area is redder than Alabama and I contend LaMalfa has a job for life NO MATTER WHAT. What do you all think?

    • Gary Tull says:

      Yep. Sort of like nasty slivers. Once embedded, they’re a bitch to dislodge.

    • Tim says:

      Depends on when the improprieties came out. If his accusers waited until the last minute (after the deadline to replace him on the ballot in a general election), he probably would be elected and then removed from office after the election to be replaced by another republican.

      He would almost certainly lose a primary to another republican.

  16. Common Sense says:

    Open Message to Al Franken if he wants to keep his job: Just Switch Parties! will have plenty of support and can count on that pension/Medical along with a Generous Retirement package!

    • K. Beck says:

      That is a good idea! You should have called his office with your suggestion before he resigned!

    • Tim says:

      CS, try telling that to Trent Franks.

      • Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

        But Tim, we all know Arizona Repubs aren’t predictable, rubber-stamp, REAL Repubs. They seem to enjoy going against the GOP flow. You’d almost expect one of those guys to ape the Demos in the face of sexual harassment charges.

        Meanwhile, the GOP and the POTUS have thrown their full support behind a guy who was allegedly banned from the local shopping mall for trolling for teenaged girls, while he was Assistant DA for the county. (That he was actually banned has been difficult to confirm. That he trolled for teenaged girls into near middle age, not so much.)

  17. Common Sense says:

    The Last Time America Was ‘Great’ Was When ‘We Had Slavery’ – Ray Moore

    He was overheard later asking if they could buy beer at the mall so they didn’t have to make two stops on that Sat evening…. 2 fer

    • Beverly Stafford says:

      I’m betting he’ll be elected even with all these accusations and his own ludicrous comments such as the one you just quoted. Good ol’ boy indeed.

    • K. Beck says:

      Msg. from Kamala D. Harris:

      Reminder: Get Covered Today!


      Time is running out in Covered California Open Enrollment. Make sure to enroll in a Covered California health insurance plan by December 15th to have coverage starting on January 1st, 2018.

      Visit for updates on plans and prices, even if you’ve already obtained coverage. Plans and prices change every year and there might be a more affordable option available for 2018. If you haven’t already signed up, make sure you visit today and enroll in a quality, affordable health care plan that meets yours and your families’ needs.

      If you have any questions or require assistance in getting covered, Certified insurance agents, applications counselors, and enrollment counselors [] can help consumers enroll in coverage and apply for financial assistance.

      Trained staff are available to help over the phone (800-300-1506) and through a Live Chat [].

      Remember, Open Enrollment for Covered California is from November 1st, 2017 – January 31st, 2018. But don’t wait until the last minute, Get Covered Now!

      Help us continue to spread the word about the important benefits and peace of mind that health care provides for our friends and families.

      Get Covered Today!


      Julie Chávez Rodríguez
      State Director
      U.S. Senator Kamala D. Harris

  18. Common Sense says:

    Tehama County Group says the “Not in my Back Yard ” Attitude doesn’t work for them! Not to mention the Millions in tax dollars over the years that Cannabis can bring into the County Coffers! Time to take the Bull by the Horns!

    Will we see this Happen in Shasta County??…..If the B.O.S don’t have a PLAN in place to Offset the lose money and jobs that saying YES would bring…..we may!

  19. Common Sense says:

    Congrat’s to our Shasta High Wolf Pack! Excellence and Hard work are paying off! Now to win the State Championship and call it a season!

  20. Common Sense says:

    Both sides seem to agree….It’s Not about the Cake! Supreme Court next stop for the great Cake Fiasco!

  21. Common Sense says:

    A Deep Aversion to telling the Truth….Let us remember….it’s his “Pathology”….understand his Pathology….understand why he does what he does.

  22. Common Sense says:

    So let me get this straight…#45 Fully Supports Ray Moore….#45 himself is accused of plenty of inappropriate actions….any Guess if he may “pardon” his former Oklahoma Campaign Manager- Ralph Shortey??….I mean it wouldn’t be a Stretch with his current actions would it?

    Oh Shortey!! You should have just Denied it over and over…you know….like Ray!

  23. Steven Towers Steven Towers says:

    A little recent history: A year ago today, North Cow Creek (the middle of which is the eastern border of my property) was running at 31,600 cfs.

    For perspective, the Sacramento River is flowing at 5,000 cfs out of Keswick Dam today.

    • K. Beck says:

      The Good Gov. Brown was too quick to call an end to the drought. Seems to me we can only do that when all the ground water has been replaced, and who knows if that will ever happen. I am very dismayed when I drive down the street and see “lawn water” running in the gutter down to the storm drain. Will people EVER learn?

      Along those lines I found this really cute cartoon, which should be used in every elementary classroom in the state:

      The only thing they missed is cigarette butts in the streets and gutters!

      When I lived in one of Redding’s pre-planned ghettos (Azoulay Ct.) I found a pizza box stuffed in the opening to the storm drain.

  24. K. Beck says:

    Question for Doni:

    Where is Margaret R. Beck? We have not heard from her since 12 NOV! I hope she is OK!

    We “Beck”s must stick together!

  25. Gary Tull says:

    Disturbing Signs of Climate Change
    CA losing millions of trees a month to drought-related plague

  26. Common Sense says:

    It’s certainly not the State of Jefferson, but this idea to split the State of California into 3 Different States is moving forward and can start gathering signatures!

    • K. Beck says:

      Draper has way too much time on his hands! He needs to go out and muck around in more businesses so he can accumulate more money and leave the state of CA alone!

      We called them “Vulture Capitalists” when I was working in the Semiconductor Industry.

      He is looking for a State he can manipulate. CA is too big as is, but if he can carve it up perhaps he can control one bit of it. This is his second attempt at carving up the state, this butcher job is worse than the first attempt.

      Just Say No!

  27. cheyenne says:

    And on Monday, at the Tattered Cover book store in Denver, lines backed up along the sidewalk for signings by Hillary Clinton on her book, What Happened. Possible run in 2020?

  28. Tim says:

    So… how long is too long for a hug?

  29. Tim says:

    On 12/20/16 Steve wrote “Balance all of that against the very few times where you hear about people in Shasta County successfully defending themselves against a crime with a concealed weapon—I challenge anyone to identify just three such stories from the newspaper over the past five years. Concealed weapons are all about feeling safer, not being safer.”

    4 justified shootings so far in 2017 (2 ccw, if you also count an off duty officer as ccw):

    • Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

      I count only one of those as a CCW case, which was the topic. But even so, I concede I may have been wrong about the raw numbers, if only here in Shastanistan (where, incidentally, I’ve seen very dubious shootings by police officers “justified.”)

      I still hold that we are not safer with huge numbers of people walking around with concealed guns. Our murder rate with firearms is more than 10 times that of Canada. Fifty times that of Germany, Norway, and the UK. Japan’s annual rate of handgun homicides is virtually zero.

      It’s an illusion that emulating Somalia or reverting to the days of the Wild West makes us all safer. It doesn’t. It fails by an order of magnitude.

      • Beverly Stafford says:

        Steve, I very seldom disagree with you, but on this topic, I do. Recently I was driving home from Redding – I use a back road – and a car was stopped. As I approached, two people jumped out, waving. I was alone and didn’t stop. However, after driving a few moments longer, I decided to turn around. What if they needed assistance, I thought. In the meantime, they, too, had driven farther, stopped behind me, and one approached the driver side window. There were two of them –one out of sight – and one of me on a deserted road; so I tucked my pistol between my legs out of sight and lowered the window. They were just kids who were nearly out of gas and without a phone. I lent my phone, they called a family member for help, and I was on my way. So no, I didn’t need my pistol, but I certainly felt better for having it. As I related the story to my husband when I got home, wondering if he thought I had overreacted, his comment was, “Better to have it and not need it than to be without.”

        • Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

          I don’t think we disagree. You’ve supported my contention that this is primarily about feelings. If you had helped those guys and hadn’t had a gun, the outcome would have been exactly the same, as would the vast majority of such encounters. In the case you describe, your gun did absolutely noting to fend off a crime.

          I’m not trying to trivialize feeling safe—it’s important. But the fact is, in a country awash in guns, you’re not safer because of guns. By every rational measure, you’re less safe. By every rational measure, you increase the probability of falling victim to gun violence merely by having guns in your home. Denial and feelings don’t change those facts.

          But don’t get me wrong: If *feeling* safer is what matters most to you, knock yourself out.

          Of course, much of the fear of violence that people have today is whipped-up sensationalism and fear-mongering. Violence has declined both across the centuries and in America since the middle of the last century, mostly as a function of increased secularity (violence is strongly negatively correlated with secularity). Violent crime rates since the early 90s have declined by half in the U.S. Public perceptions about crime in the U.S. don’t align with reality.

        • Common Sense says:

          I am with you Beverly! Steve is certainly entitled to his opinion and no one is making him take the training and carry! It’s a choice….and thank goodness we have a Sheriff that allows law-abiding citizens that pass the background/Fingerprint and Training to have the right to protect themselves and others!

          • Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

            “,,,no one is making him take the training and carry!”

            It’s not often that a single clause of a single sentence is both a straw man and a red herring.

            I’m entitled to my opinion, but I don’t actually care what you think of my opinion. You have completely avoided every point I made about guns *actually* mitigating risk vs. your *feeling* that they’re mitigating risk. I’m looking for someone to refute the facts as I’ve laid them out.

            Our gun laws are what they are, and they aren’t going to change much. Given that reality, I don’t care what you guys choose to do. As I said, knock yourselves out—buy as many guns as you can afford, lay them all out on your bed, and roll around on them.

            I care far less about guns than I care about how deeply irrational Americans are becoming. Rational empiricism is being replaced by touchy-feelyism. Reality is now defined in terms of gut feelings and consensus group-think.

      • Tim says:

        Can you point to any peer-reviewed study that established causality between firearm ownership and becoming the victim of murder? I’ve seen lots of observations about correlations, but that same logic would say “putting bars over your home’s windows makes you more likely to be the victim of a crime” instead of recognizing that people in high crime areas are the ones who put bars on their windows…

        Yes, the violent crime rate generally trends downward over time, but 2016 was particularly violent (17,250 murders vs ~14,500 in a typical year). And while cities under 100,000 usually have the lowest murder rate, in recent years Redding (and Shasta County) have been putting up stats more like Oakland or Stockton. So I don’t think it is at all irrational to react to this change by taking additional measures (firearm ownership being just one option).

        As for “Murder rate with firearms” (like “gun” violence) — Does it really matter how someone is murdered? Why don’t you just compare the actual murder rates? Granted the US would still be higher than your comps, which are not exactly beacons of diversity:

        Canada: 84% White, 10% Asian, 2.5% black
        Germany: 99+ % White
        Japan: 99+ % Asian
        Norway: 94% White, 4% Asian, 1% Black
        UK: 87% white, 7% Asian, 3% Black
        US: 66% White, 14% Black, 8% Hispanic, 5% Asian

        While not politically correct to point out, Blacks commit 43% of murders in the US despite making up just 14% of the population ( ).

        An additional problem is that other countries don’t always count murders the same way. Japan, frankly, almost always “massages” data, from Mitsubishi’s MPG to Fukushima’s radiation. With respect to murder, they only count a murder as a murder if they know who did it. The US generally counts “homicides” instead of “murders” – a broader definition that would include the 3 justified killings above.

        • Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

          I compared *firearm* homicide rates because firearms affording America some sort of national magical safety blanket that other nations don’t have was the topic of discussion. I’m going to go out on a limb and guess that Redding’s citizens are relatively heavily armed.

          This year, Redding was #5 in a Time article entitled “10 Cities Where Violent Crime Is Soaring.” Our murder rate is 5.4 per 100k. Our violent crime rate went up 54% in 5 years. Just 1.4% of our population is black—less than 1/10 the national average.

          In similarly-sized Davis, the murder rate is 0.6 per 100k—Redding is 6.5x higher. Davis also has a small population of black residents at 2.6%, but that’s nearly twice that of Redding’s black population.

          I’m not going to get sucked into a discussion about murder rates where the starting point is that it’s a problem with those blacks. Redding’s murder and violent crime rates are higher than the state average, and higher than the national average. It’s clearly not because of “the blacks.”

          Violence is epidemic in inner-city neighborhoods of the North and West populated by blacks. The most plausible explanation is a combination of (1) ongoing socioeconomic disenfranchisement (which also largely explains ivory-ass Redding), and (2) an artifact of the “might makes right” Southern/ fundamentalist Christian/master-subordinate culture that Southern black people carried with them during the great migration out of the South of the 20th century. The South remains generally more violent than the rest of the United States. More conservative, less educated, less affluent, more religious, and more violent.

          Hawaii is extremely diverse and has the 5th lowest violent crime rate in America. Alaska has the 2nd-highest violent crime rate—it has racial diversity, but the violent crime rate is not because of the nonexistent high proportion of blacks.

          The murder and violent crime rates in predominantly white Eastern Europe are higher than in more diverse Western Europe.

          • cheyenne says:

            Per capita South Chicago with other areas of like population and it will tell a different story.

          • Tim says:

            Redding’s residents were well-armed when we had a murder rate of 2 per 100k. Additional guns did not cause our rate to jump; it was the economic downturn + prison “realignment” + the rise of the cash-only drug economy.

            Our 5.4 murders per 100k rate matches the overall US average (5.4) and still beats the US average for cities (6.2), but it is clearly worse than before 2009 (~2) and is slightly worse than California’s average (4.9).

            Here are the base rates:
            Population…..Murders per 100k

            US cities with highest murder rates:
            East St. Louis, IL…71/100k (98% Black)
            Chester, PA…………67 (74% Black)
            Gary, IN………………65 (84% Black)
            St. Louis, MO………60 (51% Black)
            Baltimore, MD…….55 (64% Black)
            Petersburg, VA……49 (81% Black)
            Flint, MI………………47 (57% Black)
            Detroit, MI…………..44 (83% Black)
            New Orleans……….42 (58% Black)
            Camden, NJ…………42 (47% Black)
            Wilmington, DE…..39 (59% Black)
            Birmingham, AL….37 (70% Black)
            Newark, NJ…………37 (53% Black)
            Monroe, LA…………36 (65% Black)
            Jackson, MS………..31 (80% Black)
            Cleveland, OH……..31 (54% Black)
            Portamouth, VA…..31 (54% Black)
            Riviera Beach, FL…29 (67% Black)
            Youngstown, OH….29 (45% Black)
            Bessemer, AL………26 (65% Black)
            Baton Rouge, LA….26 (55% Black)
            Hartford, CT………..26 (38% Black)
            Banning, CA………..26 (8% Black, 45% Hispanic)
            Myrtle Beach, SC…26 (13% Black)
            Goldsboro, NC…….25 (54% Black)
            Salinas, CA…………25 (2% Black, 78% Hispanic)
            Desert H Spr, CA…25 (8% Black, 54% Hispanic)
            Washington, DC…..24 (49% Black)
            East Chicago, IN….24 (42% Black)
            Milwaukee, WI……..24 (42% Black)
            Pine Bluff, AR………22 (78% Black)
            Rocky Mount, NC…22 (62% Black)
            Oakland, CA…………21 (28% Black)
            Trenton, NJ………….20 (52% Black)
            Chicago, IL…………..18 (33% Black)

            Hawaii is only 2% Black. Asians make up the largest group, at 38% (and of all groups, Asians have the lowest correlation to crime).

            Worst 10 countries for murder:
            1) Venezuela (Hispanic)
            2) South Sudan (Black)
            3) South Africa (Black)
            4) Papua New Guinea (Aboriginal)
            5) Honduras (Hispanic)
            6) Nigeria (Black)
            7) Trinidad & Tobago (Native & African)
            8) El Salvador (Hispanic)
            9) Brazil (Hispanic-like)
            10) Kenya (Black)

            Men commit 89% of murders; firearms are used in 68% of murders.

            Those are correlations, not causal. I agree with you that economic & social marginalization play a large part (perhaps the largest), but sadly that data is not collected on a case-by-case basis like race & gender…

          • Tim says:

            I don’t know why, but this list of city population vs murder rates got truncated in the last post:

            Here are the base rates:
            Population…..Murders per 100k

          • Tim says:

            I know why, aNewsCafe doesn’t like me using greater-than & less-than symbols… Third time is the charm:

            Here are the base rates:
            Population…..Murders per 100k
            *under* 10k…3.0
            *over* 1m…….9.7

  30. Common Sense says:

    Potential Lifetime Appointment…..has never even tried a case!! If you don’t see something wrong with this….you are pretty far down that Rabbit hole!

    • Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

      That was hilarious. All the better that the senator giving him the grilling was a Republican from the Deep South.

    • Tim says:

      4 of the 9 US Supreme Court Justices have no trial experience (Chief Justice Roberts and Justices Breyer, Kagan, and Thomas). An appellate judge does not need to know every evidentiary rule because the lawyers bringing the case will be making those arguments and she is free to take her time deliberating before issuing a ruling weeks or months later…

      That said, some of Trump’s recent picks are beginning to alarm me. Guys like Mateer are far from the Constitutionalist mold of Gorsuch…

      • Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

        It wasn’t lack of trial experience that was jarring. It was lack of knowledge, understanding, and preparation, and being completely unable to think on his feet.

        Sen. Kennedy (R-LA) practiced law in Louisiana before taking elected office. He also served as a law professor. I’m confident he chose his questions carefully.

        • Tim says:

          I was mistaken, Petersen has been nominated for a trial court, not appellate. “Thinking on your feet” (aka System 1) is very important in a trial court. In an appellate court, I would much prefer a judge rely on system 2 thinking.

  31. Common Sense says:

    Kirsten Gillibrand Standing Tall and Not going to be Silenced by the Sexist in Chief! This latest attack might just send the ball rolling down the hill…..Will More Women Stand up?….or will they hide in silence once again?

  32. Common Sense says:

    What we can learn from Colorado Springs…..Saying NO….has Consequences!

    So Shasta County Board of Supervisors….what is YOUR Plan to Offset the lost Millions??? WE are Waiting!

    • cheyenne says:

      CS, if you followed all the Colorado Springs news, not just about MJ, you would know that what the Springs is really excited about is that IN & OUT Burgers is opening a corporate office that will lead to many outlets and thousands of jobs and millions in taxes. And IN & OUT pays better wages than MJ stores.

  33. Common Sense says:

    True statement…In and Out is an Excellent place to start one’s working life…..Lynsi is a local girl….went to school up on the Hill here outside of Redding……pretty sweet to be running a Multi-Billion Dollar Venture! She is the second largest female Billionaire in the USA.

    After a Forbes Revision in 2016….she is now the Top Dog!

  34. Common Sense says:

    Never thought I would see this particular compound go mainstream ( or be studied)….but then I never thought I would see Cannabis Legalized! Anyone that suffers from Depression might take note!

  35. Common Sense says:

    Exactly how WILL the new Tax Bill affect you…and/ or your family? Find out now with this tool.

  36. Common Sense says:

    FYI everyone….if you want your links to stay on the page just copy and past up to ….but not including the question mark or beyond the Question Mark in the link…..the rest is unneeded and is merely a tracking code.

    Here is Gary’s link with only what is needed

    I don’t think wordpress can wrap around a very long link and bring it down to the next line?

  37. Common Sense says:

    Will Bitcoin pop someday and with it takes Hundreds of Millions of peoples hard earned money or will they all be sitting on top of the hill in Mansions?

  38. K. Beck says:

    Today the NYT published the vote count in the HOUSE for the tax bill:

    CliffsNotes version:

    Dems voting NO:
    Dems not voting:
    MA-4 Joseph P. Kennedy III
    WI-2 Mark Pocan

    Reps voting NO:

    CA-48 Dana Rohrabacher
    CA-49 Darrell Issa
    NC-3 Walter B. Jones
    NJ-2 Frank A. LoBiondo
    NJ-4 Christopher H. Smith
    NJ-7 Leonard Lance
    NJ-11 Rodney Frelinghuysen
    NY-1 Lee Zeldin
    NY-2 Peter T. King
    NY-11 Dan Donovan
    NY-19 John J. Faso
    NY-21 Elise Stefanik

    However, I just heard on the radio that someone in the gov’t read the bill (Imagine!) and found some illegal items. Therefore it must be voted on in the House again.

    Time to jam LaMalfa’s phone line in DC (some phones have answering machines, you can leave a message after hours, not sure about this one):

    phone: 202-225-3076 Eastern
    hours: M-F 9-5:30pm

    If you plan to stop by, call first. I think they close at noon or earlier, I forget the hours, and conveniently they are not listed on his website.

    2885 Churn Creek Rd.
    Suite C
    Redding, CA 96002
    Telephone: (530) 223-5898

    Fax: (530) 223-5897


  39. Common Sense says:

    New Tax Bill should mean around 10,000 deaths a year according to Former Treasury Secretary Larry Summers! George Zimmer the former Mens Warehouse owner chuckles and states ” Tax bills are about priorities, and unless you’re a millionaire like me, or a big corporation, you’re at the bottom of the list.”

  40. Common Sense says:

    News Flash…..White House Says Mueller has an “Extreme Bias” Towards The President!….Or… the FBI Calls it …. Evidence….It might not only be the Champagne Popping come the new year!

  41. Common Sense says:

    Think your vote doesn’t count?….The tide is turning…….with this new and latest tax bill…..the evidence is clear……the Dem’s will be sweeping the Midterms….

  42. cheyenne says:

    So far the coasts are going blue as all the Republicans who voted against the tax bill are on the coasts. No change there. But the middle of the country is being ignored by liberals as they tout their coastal successes, didn’t help them in the past. The real battle ground will be in the fly over middle country. Arizona, a solid red state, will have two new senators. Colorado, a purple state, could go either way as their senators are under fire for everything from immigration to tax bill. And the #METOO forces are really changing the political landscape as both Democrats and Republicans are resigning or sent packing.
    As I have predicted women are going to emerge into politics and change the landscape and it is a good thing. Will they be Democrat or Republican remains to be seen.

    • Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

      One such battle just occurred in Alabama, which Trump carried by a 30% margin not so long ago. The Republicans nominated an extreme-right nutburger, and he lost to a mainstream moderate Democrat. Things to come?

      The GOP better figure out how to exercise its darker demons, pronto. I don’t think nominating wild-eyed, spittle-flecked fanatics is going to cut it in the next cycle. The great majority of Americans are sick of Trump and the GOP freak show/demolition derby.

      For about 25% of hard-core mouth-breather Americans, the crazier the better, apparently.

    • The real battleground is all those red counties from coast to coast, except for a little bit of dark blue in the cities. I call this region Hannityville, Shasta County is in it. These voters are subjected to an endless barrage of hard-right conservative misinformation that is so effective, red voters can condemn Al Franken yet excuse Trump for far worse behavior. Every single right wing outlet is selling this tax-cut as a sure-fire jobs creator, when every single economist left, right and center says that’s a lie. Who will the red voters believe? How do you fight that?

      • cheyenne says:

        The Democrats excused President Clinton, a serial adulter who used his power to assault young women, by saying they were consenting adults. Now the truth is turning out that they were actual victims. How do you fight that?
        And the tax reform act has enough problems without trying to tie it to sexual shortcomings of outed politicians of both parties. Lets stick to the problems with the tax act which, like the ACA, is already being challenged in court.

        • Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

          I think you’re off the mark, Cheyenne. Whether Bill Clinton was a serial philanderer or someone who crossed over to assault, I don’t think liberals are in denial about that part of his character. There is also the belief that he was a smart, able administrator who cared about America’s best interests—it was a mixed bag. The lukewarm support for Hillary was due in no small part to “Clinton fatigue” regarding the negative aspects. It’s the recognition, among liberals, that the Clintons are flawed. In some ways deeply flawed.

          Contrast that with Trump, who has not been a mixed bag. He’s already being ranked by some historians as heir to the title of “Worst President in American History.” The across-the-board denial of reality by arch-conservatives regarding Trump’s character and abilities is qualitatively different than the conflicted view of Bill Clinton by liberals. There seems to be almost zero recognition within Trump’s hard-core base that he’s a narcissistic, mentally unstable, intellectually vapid, self-serving swine-person.

      • Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

        My favorite revelation regarding the GOP tax overhaul is that Trump apparently isn’t going to sign it until January. That way, the portions that will royally screw middle class and working class Americans won’t go into effect until 2018—after the mid-term elections. Man, I’ll bet it took some real arm-twisting to get Trump to delay the signing ceremony until after January 1. They probably had to promise him a series of high-profile promotional events between now and then, like the two hype-weeks before the Super Bowl.

        You have to hand it to the GOP. When it comes to underhanded Machiavellian shenanigans, they’re hard to beat.

        • Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

          Oops. I meant that they won’t go into effect until 2019.

          • Gary Tull says:

            All true but I would like to know if the deficit is a major problem (in the first place), why do repubs unanimously support a bill that adds $1 trillion to it?

            Can Generation Greed be a factor here?

        • Common Sense says:

          He is delaying it because he doesn’t want to get ousted over the Holidays! Lol….Notice they have not rubber stamped any more of his picks?…Game is ON! The Posturing….the positioning…..the behind the scenes talks….they want Pence in there….they have No use for him once he signs that Bill. Problem is…Pence has his own issues to deal with! Like knowing full well that Flynn was Dirty! Even stood there supporting him on T.V…..owch

  43. Common Sense says:

    WV Doctors are opening up their minds….good to see! The Benefits of Natural Medicine are clear… those not suffering from extreme Cognitive Dissonance, and actually willing to try it to alleviate Pains, Aches, and much more serious diseases.

    Know the Truth….and the Truth shall set you free** A Wise Man that stated that one…..

  44. Common Sense says:

    Here we go AGAIN! It was Equifax last time…..this time? Well, the Distinguished Honors go to marketing analytics company Alteryx this go around! 123 Million Households Exposed in this latest Breach!

    Any guess Why the Crypto Currencies using Block Chain are becoming more and more popular?? They are Impenetrable.

    One more added to the Hall of Shame!

  45. Common Sense says:

    Top Republican Brags About His Party’s Sabotage Of Obamacare…..The Republican is John Cornyn, from Texas, who is the Senate Majority Whip.

  46. Common Sense says:

    Keep your eyes on the ball….not the yelling in the stands. Or you might get hit in the face with that ball. The lessons we can learn from one of the “Best in the Biz”…. Bobby 3 Sticks!

  47. In my last column, I imagined bringing Amazon’s 2nd headquarters to Redding. What would it be like if some angel, say, from the Military Industrial Complex, were to make us an offer we couldn’t refuse? Well, this small town in Kentucky got such an offer … and turned it down!

  48. Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

    “Ice tea company rebrands as ‘Long Blockchain’ and stock price triples”

    I have to admit……I thought I was reading a headline was from “The Onion.”

  49. cheyenne says:

    Colorado expects to add one house seat by 2020 because of population increase. This is true in, the Post said, in seven states. California will be adding one, maybe two. Red state Texas will add probably two. But even in red states those population increases are happening in blue areas of the state which means Hannityville probably loses votes. The Post said that the last time Colorado added a House seat it was a bloody political battle. The next two years will see some real battles in states that are getting more House seats. My prediction is the House will be much bluer by 2020.
    And ABC Phoenix has reported that AT&T, Bankcorp, Wells Fargo, Boeing and several other large corporations have announced that due to the tax savings that they will receive from the GOP tax plan they will raise wages to at least $15 an hour and give bonuses to all employees not just white collar.

  50. Common Sense says:

    Congress avoids a shutdown but a Big Sorry to California and Puerto Rico! Senate Republicans shoot down Aid to California Fire Victims…..It might just be too expensive they say! You know….we just gave the farm away with this Tax Bill here….so we have to really watch the purse now! But perhaps we can send another case of Paper Towels to Puerto Rico? but that really depends on the shipping fees!

    Senate Major Leader Mitch McConnell ( who played grannie on the Beverly Hillbillies) decided not to bring the topic up for vote prior to departing on vacation… makers plan on trying again later….and Merry Christmas to everyone they said! And to the estimated 9 million kids that will lose health insurance…..toughen up….we didn’t have such a hand out when we were your age and your parents didn’t vote republican!

  51. Tim says:

    Jerry Brown’s latest round of Christmas Pardons & Commutations hits home:

    Martin Joseph Bonanno was pardoned. In 1988 he was convicted in Butte County of possessing a controlled substance for sale and threatening a witness. He was sentenced to four years of probation, which he completed in 1992.

    Williard Earl Carlson Jr was pardoned. In 2003 he was convicted of DUI with a prior offense in Humboldt County. He was sentenced to 1 year in jail and 3 years probation, which he completed in 2006.

    Michael Burl Jordan was pardoned. In 2001 he was convicted in Butte County of manufacturing a controlled substance. He was in prison for 2 years and 9 months and served 1 year 7 months probation.

    Mikkel Laurent Labourdette Libarde was granted a pardon and had all of his rights restored, including the right to own firearms. In 2004 he was convicted of a DUI in Butte County and sentenced to 1 year and 2 months probation. In 2005 he was convicted of vandalizing light poles along a bike path in Butte County and sentenced to 30 days in jail and 3 years probation.

    James Michael Miller was pardoned. In 1978 he was convicted of possession of Marijuana for sale in Shasta County. He was sentenced to get days in jail and 3 years probation.

    Rodney Roberts was pardoned and had his full rights restored, including the right to own a firearm. He was convicted of insurance fraud in 1988 after falsely claiming his car stereo was stolen. He spent 30 days in Shasta County jail and served 2 years probation.

    Full list here:

  52. Beverly Stafford says:

    Well, Fellow Diners at A New Cafe, Christmas morning is nearly here. I hope all your wishes come true and that Santa is good to you. Being a part of your lives these past ten years has been a real pleasure. I’m raising an imaginary cup of eggnog to you all.

  53. Common Sense says:

    The Government has known since 1974 that Cannabis is an Anti Cancer Plant from Nature….but the Cancer Industry is Just Too Big of an Industry and Makes Too Much Money to let people cure themselves. This the same Government that has a Patent on the Medical Benefits of the CBD in the plant (Patent No. 6,630,507)…..but says its a terrible thing and has it still scheduled as a Schedule 1 Drug!

    Breast Cancer is a Tough One! We have all know someone that has died of that or one of the other Major Cancers……we don’t need to “Find a Cure for Cancer”…. We have that……its a Plant……we need to legalize it across the board! It’s sad when Money takes precedence over Lives…..

    Want to give someone the best Christmas Gift yet that is suffering from Cancer?…..give them the gift of being Cancer Free!

    • Gary Tull says:

      Quite a remarkable study. Been following it since 2012.

      The Study: ‘Two scientists at San Francisco’s California Pacific Medical Center Research Institute first released data five years ago that showed how this compound – called cannabidiol (CBD) – reduced the aggressiveness of human breast cancer cells in the lab.’

      CBD now show promise to work consistently against the spread of cancer cells. Fascinating!

      Thank you for following up, C.S.

      • K. Beck says:

        Well, there is the lab, then there is reality. I had a college Biology teacher who quit cancer research to teach. She said she finally got so depressed she had to quit. Things would work in the lab, but when they got to human trials whatever they were working on did not work. The human body is not like rats and rabbits, or whatever animals they test things on.

  54. For those who notice/care (hello, Beverly), my column will appear Friday, not Thursday.
    Carry on. Have a nice night.

  55. Hal Johnson Hal Johnson says:

    First the tip stealing episode, and now this–except that this time, the business is being portrayed as the bad guy. The post is getting shared on Facebook like crazy. Thoughts?

    • cheyenne says:

      Are things that bad in Redding? I would fire your city manager, who makes more than the governor of the sixth greatest economy in the world because he obviously is not doing his job, and use his salary and pension for help for the Redding homeless. A sobering center would be a good start.

      • K. Beck says:

        At some point, someone (hopefully, in the City) will actually DO something. There are other cities that have come up with partial solutions. RE: the new City Manager, he was just put in that position, not much chance he will be going anywhere soon. As you may recall, he fired the former Police Chief before his desk chair was even warm.

      • Gary Tull says:

        I totally agree with you on this one, Cheyenne.

    • K. Beck says:

      WOW! That is some story. I am on Dena’s side. We are not related, as far as I know anyway.

    • Beverly Stafford says:

      Kahunas is one of my favorite restaurants. This certainly gives me pause. It will be interesting to see if Kahunas rebuts.

      • Hal Johnson Hal Johnson says:

        On the Facebook thread concerning the Kahunas incident, I’ve suggested that there are two sides of the story. I called and had a short conversation with the owner. She didn’t want to comment until she consulted with her lawyer. I was disappointed, because, after all, there are two sides to this story.

        Her lawyer, John Kucera, soon surfaced on Ms. Beck’s Facebook post. In the comments, I asked him if he would be willing to give a statement on behalf of his client.

        His answer? “No. And do not bother them.”
        I came back with, “John, there are two sides to the story, obviously, and that’s what I’m trying to uncover. But, okay. Meanwhile, this post has been shared 107 times.” (It’s now up to 124 shares.)

        I then addressed what I saw as a threat on one of his earlier comments. He wrote, “Be forewarned.”
        I wrote, “John, you wrote, ‘Be forewarned.’ So, exactly what do you think I’ve done on this thread that is actionable? Truth is a defense.”
        He wrote, “So far 117 causes of civil action not counting you, News Cafe and Ms Beck for intentionally and negligently interfering with my clients business. That would be a start. A retraction is hereby demanded.” A retraction is hereby demanded.
        My response? “No.”

        Stay tuned.

        • Beverly Stafford says:

          Boy, this thing is beginning to smell. Sounds like this Kucera legal eagle is the lawyer everyone loves to hate – making threats full of hot air just because he can. Perhaps he should offer to be on the Judge Moore’s defense team.

        • K. Beck says:

          This is getting nasty and doesn’t look good for Kahunas! I have never been there, but I have thought I might give it a try. Seems to be too meat orientated for me. Now, however, it will definitely stay on the back burner. “117 causes of civil action” all for a bad review, and/or telling people what happened there? How does yelp and tripadvisor deal with these issues?

          • Beverly Stafford says:

            I’m not condoning what allegedly happened, K., but there’s very little meat involved in the meals and none if you don’t choose to add it to your bowl – mostly lots and lots of great vegetables to choose then a bunch of sauces to add at will. We ate at CoCo’s once. It may have changed, but we were disappointed in the variety of both food and sauces.

  56. Common Sense says:

    Delving into the Mind of Trump….the reason he does what he does and says what he does. The meaning behind the illness.

  57. K. Beck says:

    Just read this article in the Sac Bee:
    Watch out Shasta Co. You are in the 13.4% category! Older residents, more cars registered? I have to wonder about the number of registered cars. Why would Butte & Shasta have so many cars registered?

  58. cheyenne says:

    I read and see on the news everywhere that starting tomorrow, January 1st, that California will start selling recreational marijuana bringing in millions in tax money. Surely some of that money will make it’s way to Shasta County.

  59. Common Sense says:

    Happy New Year from Robert Mueller….he worked hard on this video to let you know what the new year may bring us…..any Guesses? Should be a VERY interesting 2018….to say the least!×720/rzsxXzUZlwXav1RJ.mp4

  60. Beverly Stafford says:

    We’re an hour-an-a-half into 2018. It’ll probably take me until April to write it on documents and not have to make a 7 into an 8. I hope the new year will be healthy and prosperous for us all and that Mother Nature stops have her way with us.

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