The worldwide discussion of “drones” seems to have so many tangents, we’re all losing the forest for the trees.

Thus, I’m impressed that The Huffington Post, as gruesome and brutal as it is, has the bravery to attempt to refocus the discussion on drones of wartime – and their heinous effects:

droneshuffpoThis is the discussion we SHOULD be having.  “Privacy Advicates” be damned.  The drones we need to address are the ones that kill in the name of MY country.

Sure, Sure, Efren.

We now know the answer!

Efren reveals that he would have voted *NO* for the Preservation Ranch timberland to vineyards conversion project!



Lunchtime Shenanigans Above and Beneath Santa Rosa

So I’m lunching with my friends Chris and Gabe one day…

Chris & Mr. Burger

Chris & Mr. Burger


Gabe. He’s a man of many talents, tastes, trades and skills. Learn about him here: http://citysound.bohemian.com/about/

Just relaxing.  Enjoying the spoils of life at one favorite little spot known as SuperBurger.  Here is the modest meal otherwise known as The St. Helena:

st. helena

The St. Helena SuperBurger. Fuel.

And Gabe says, “so Jake, you’ve really never been in the tunnel beneath City Hall?”

“No, never”  I answer.

“Well, let’s go.  You want to see that tunnel now.”

It was just like that.  A statement – not a question at all.   And Gabe was right.  He’s got me pegged.  I wanted to see that tunnel.

"No Flashlights"

“No Flashlights”

Continue reading

What’s The Mission?

spanking time.

spanking time.

If you’re reading this little website of mine, you likely know me – or know of me.  You probably are aware I’ve been involved in the online news of Northern California in various ways for more than 5 years now. Admittedly, that’s not long at all, but it is a great deal of time in the sense that the news industry has been through a sea-change in those very same 5 years, and I’ve had a front row seat.  I’ve learned a lot of lessons along the way, and become much more aware of the significant and inexcusable shortcomings of the existing conditions among our current North Bay news providers.  I wish more people paid attention to some of these issues – otherwise, we get what we ask for – a virtual and immovable news monopoly.  Well, we’re there.  Still.

It isn’t easy to make money in the local news industry – especially as a startup, where it’s doggone impossible to get a foot in the door.  This has something to do with why we live in a one-(daily)rag-town.  That one, the elephant news organization in our community, has no alternative but to carry the major load for all of us.  The Press Democrat is one organization that most adults in the Redwood Empire look to for news.  (jake’s note: that’s ‘Redwood Empire’ – not ‘North Coast’)  I digress.

So, what are the editors thinking, really?

Very recently, the good reading public had to put up with nearly a week of The Press Democrat brass, from their plum positions (plum metaphor credit: Kevin McCallum), squaking about Santa Rosa City Officials keeping Santa Rosa City Council applicants secret until all applications had been submitted.  What a hoot that was, huh?  Newspapers FLEW off the shelves! (No, they probably didn’t.)

And now, now that all 17 applications are available for public viewing, The Press Democrat neglects to include or link these oh-so-important applications from any of their online articles about them!  (by the way – they are all right here, for your reading pleasure)

Am I alone in seeing the hypocrisy in that?  “Show the public” they cry – “Why are you keeping the applications and applicants secret” they whine… and now, now that said public servants, as promised, have made ALL the applications available on the internet for all to see, and consume for themselves – the PD insists, through omission, on being the sole source of information about these applications?

Who is making these 20th century decisions over there?  Really?  No links?  Nothing?

Nothing here (as I write this):
UPDATE: Names of Santa Rosa City Council applicants made public | Watch Sonoma County

Nothing here either:
Names of Santa Rosa City Council applicants made public

So I’ll leave you, good reader, with this:

I wanted to see for myself what candle I might be able to hold the Press Democrat up to…  I wanted to see how this 21st century invention – The Hyperlink – might be something worth their utilizing in an effort to BETTER INFORM THE COMMUNITY THEY SERVE.  Heck, they even suggest on their website: “hyperlinks encouraged”.   Really?

I was surprised to find that The Press Democrat has no public Mission Statement.  Local control?  Yes.  Mission statement?  No.  But on their “About” page – they do have this nugget:

“Unlike most other major newspapers, The Press Democrat has literally grown up with the area it serves. As Northern California continues to develop into the 21st century, so too will The Press Democrat.”

Prove it.

Use hyperlinks.  Attempt to educate your readers instead of simply broadcasting to them.  We’ll all be better for it.

~jake   shoot me an email if you have access to The Mission Statement.

Don’t Click It.

Please don't click these links.  You risk spamming all your connected friends and followers, AND, more importantly, you risk losing all your social cred.

Please don’t click these links. You risk spamming all your connected friends and followers, AND, more importantly, you risk losing all your social cred.

Another one bites the dust.
I do believe that every.single.elected.official (except Tiffany Renee) has managed to click one of the viral vanity twitter bugs.  Don’t do it, folks.  Pay attention.  You’re spamming all of your followers and making it difficult to like you.

David Rabbitt (DavidRabbitt) on Twitter.

From the archive…

While looking over some archival records of Empire Report, I happened upon this:  Garbage Politics — Empire Report.

Full text:

Garbage Politics

Posted by Erin Carlstrom Pelletier, Esq. at Jan 20, 2010 05:45 AM 


Santa Rosa City Council voted to delay a decision on a ten year extension to the City’s garbage and recycling contract. With three years remaining on the current contract, the delay provides time for an open and competitive bidding process instead of hastily pushing through the results of Herb Williams’ backroom deals.

Solomon, Lawson, that other candidate, and what Obfuscation can do to your credibility…

So, Who Is Stacey Lawson was Paul Andersen. http://staceylawson.info/


Really wish he had the fortitude to be honest about it from day 1. Time will tell, but I suspect it’ll hurt his personal credibility working for/with future races because he decided to keep it a secret for more "bang". Someone forgot to tell Paul that in the new 21st Century reporting, transparency is also credibility.

I also am skeptical of the timing of his departure from that other lady’s campaign (left the day the staceylawson.info domain was purchased)… but what difference does it make? I’m having a hard time remembering her name – a non-candidate.

On balance: Lawson is a wacky spiritual freak who feels that being rich, intelligent and well-connected are enough to buy a campaign. And, sadly (it actually breaks my heart) her supporters all seem to be of the very same ilk. They’re wrong, and the only way that we’ll show them is at the voting booth.

Lastly: Negative mailers have been getting a lot of ink and talk lately. Norman Solomon is right about every word of his mailers… although he needs to fire his [fucking] AWFUL graphic designer – relying on photos of old ladies, pinocchio, Meg Whitman? Seriously… if it makes me think twice, I can only guess there’s a fence-sitting *exodus* of potential Solomon voters happening right now. But they aren’t jumping ship for Lawson (our mystic savior?) – they’ll be voting for Huffman – heir apparent. Disappointed, Norman. You need to make this right, ASAP, or Tuesday is the last day.

Another Year, Another Lesser of all Evils kind of election.


editor’s note: I’m available for candidate research.  The internet is not a hiding place – it’s where truth is revealed.  @honyocker

One thing I’m sure of, after having skimmed her writings: Stacey Lawson almost certainly has recently become a good person. A stable one? I’m sorry – but I’m just not convinced.
Is she suitable for United States Congress?
In a word: No.     I’d suggest beginning with School Board or City Council and working upwards from there.  Which is also to say that it could happen – someday!
As it originally appeared in the Huffington Post on September 8th, 2008 by Stacey Lawson:

Today’s post is a personal journey. I haven’t written in several weeks as I’ve been in a terrible state – lost, confused, despairing. Raw and vulnerable. Shattered. My only small comfort has been knowing this is a well-worn path. Many mystics have written about the Dark Night of the Soul, the narrow passage tread by those seeking freedom and union with the Divine.

I debated whether to write this post, questioning what value I could really offer from a place of such agony and confusion? Yet, some internal voice prodded me forward. Share the process, share the experience…

These last months have taken me into a depth of spiritual despair previously unimaginable. The experience has been a ruthless stripping away of my false, idealized sense of self. Having studied with a spiritual master for many years, this process is not new, of course…but it has never been this ruthless. This has taken me to ground zero – a massive deconstruction of the remaining image of who “I” am. It has mercilessly dissolved my most cherished beliefs, and shattered every assumption about what I thought was true.

The truth is, no matter how I attempt to project some virtuous image, the conflict of this world is a direct reflection of the qualities within me. One by one, in excruciating succession, these qualities have been paraded out of their safe hiding places — during interactions with others, in discussions with my teacher, in meditations and dreams — as if the doors to my inner shadow world have been blown open and all the demons released. I am judgmental and self-righteous. I am petty, jealous and angry. I am all these ugly qualities and many more. One by one, I have resisted, struggled, defended and finally confessed “Yes, I am That,” reluctantly finding a place at the table for each of these haggard visitors. “Here you are, my dear, you are no longer excluded but invited as my beloved guest – please come home.”

And while perhaps it sounds like a liberating process to face ones demons and invite them back into the heart, each step has been death. My idealized identity, the safe picture of “self” which has shielded me from these shameful aspects, is crumbling into nothingness. There is nothing to hold onto. There is no ground to stand upon. I am DYING. And it is terrifying.

Despite the pain and despair, I have tried to stay alert, watchful. I want to find out what this dying is. I have discovered an enormous burden of sorrow and suffering within me. I want to know if I can be free from this false self and from this sorrow.

As I have hurtled toward oblivion, it has felt like my skin is being pealed off, followed by muscle and tendon and bone until there is nothing left. Everything must die this inevitable death. What is Truth? How can one know the answer unless everything is stripped away? Every veil, every gauze of perception, every conditioned belief.

“Delete everything and start over,” suggested a good friend. All my well worn beliefs? Piles of crap. Delete. Everything I thought I knew? Bullshit. Delete. My personality? A bunch of absurd story lines. I have slowly been deleting everything and starting over.

Well, nearly everything…everything except two of my most sacred attachments, my deepest heart longings — seeking enlightenment (striving for some great liberation), and merging with God (transcending this mortal frame and experiencing union with the Divine). Since childhood these spiritual notions have been the bedrock of my belief. But now I see that, in my seeking, I can never arrive. In the Becoming, I can never Be. These beliefs must go too. My body, mind and soul are wracked with fear and grief. What will remain after my most cherished yearnings are cast away? My chest feels crushed with the pressure of a thousand boulders resting upon it. But in the completeness of my despair, I give up these too. I lay these most sacred treasures down and walk away from them.

Now I sit without God, without enlightenment. I feel dead inside. It is dark here. I wish I could say there is no pain left, but that would be a deception, a denial of What Is. What Is? A soft breeze. The sound of water running, and a helicopter thumping overhead. Warm mid-day sun on my skin. Lots of empty space inside — a ravaged field with fertile ground, but nothing growing and no delusions about whether it should or ever will.

I am completely and utterly alone. Stripped naked. Raw. Seeing Reality, perhaps for the first time.

Oddly enough, I am reminded of the movie V for Vendetta, in which V tortures Edie mercilessly until she realizes that everything can be stripped away from her except her capacity to love. “Every inch of me will perish – every inch except one…it is small and it is fragile, but it is the only thing in the world worth having.” In this realization, she becomes fearless and free.