Saturday, December 2, 2023

A Gloomy Gray Does Not Give Way to Substantial Rain Prompting the Cranky Side of an ‘Old-School Newspaperman’— Geniella’s Thoughts


Mike Geniella’s incisive voice and watchful eye have been aimed at Mendocino County for many decades as a long-standing reporter for the Press Democrat and the spokesman for Mendocino County District Attorney’s Office. Now retired, Geniella finds the writing habit hard to shake. We’re excited to host a column from him sharing his thoughts, comments, and concerns about life here in Mendocino County.

The gloomy gray that got Mike Geniella so cranky [Picture provided by him]

Okay. Upfront I will tell I am on a rant. By day’s end, there was a lot of gray but no substantial rain. Hopes for a good soaking were dashed.

I get cranky when expected outcomes do not materialize. Cynicism sets in.

As an old-school newspaperman, I obsessed with any given subject. I research the hell out of it, and then laboriously sort through the puzzles of information to reach my own conclusions. Yeah, my thoughts are usually no better than anyone else’s, but I work hard to base them on solid information.

Today, my thoughts are random.

Sometimes I swear out loud at the television when I hear bozos like Tucker Carlson defend all things Russian including former President Trump’s dealings with Putin, a former KGB agent is described as a ‘cold lizard’ by an individual who worked with him. 

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I damn near weep when I see the daily examples of the bravery and courage of the Ukrainian people in the face of the Russian terrorism that is being unleashed on their country and their culture.

I never served in the military. What do I know about the on-the-ground horrors of war? Or for that matter the grinding violence and substance abuse and mental health that local law enforcement deals with every day? Nothing. What I do understand is the good people of Ukraine are battling a beast. I cringe at the thought of the harsh realities that greet them every single hour of the day.

So please excuse me while I rant about a few local matters:

I hope the hell some of the flag-waving ‘Mendocino Patriots’ on Saturday ran out of gas during their so-called ‘Freedom Convoy’ up to Willits and back. Mask mandates and other such infringements on their individual freedoms pale in comparison to what millions of people are facing around the world. Get a grip. Grow up. I hope you have to pay Mendocino village gas prices to fill your rigs back up, after wasting gasoline that working people, farmers, and others in need of affordable fuel could have used.

And then there seems to be a brouhaha over a Willits High School student, and a post online of something that was perceived by authorities to be a possible threat of violence. A defense attorney claimed to represent the 15-year-old who was taken into custody after an investigation and placed in Juvenile Hall for 2.5 days. She contended the District Attorney’s Office had cleared the teen, which led to his release and return home. Prosecutors are not going to talk about details of any case involving juveniles, as state law requires. So, who knows what if any determination was made? 

What bothers me is the rush to blame Willits school personnel for their role in the teen’s arrest. Actually, it is astonishing. School administrators every day in this country are faced with the possibility of gun violence on their campuses. Dozens of students, teachers, and other innocents have been slaughtered on site. Should not we expect teachers and school administrators to be sensitive to any possibility? Should not we support them in those efforts?

Lastly, Matt LaFever’s piece about this guy amused me for a moment. Then I started thinking about Editor Bruce Anderson’s observation that in Mendocino County some people tend to reinvent themselves every day.

In Matt’s online MendoFever report:

“In the strange happenstance way Mendocino County seems to attract the unexpected, yesterday, a Game of Thrones villain was ordered to pay restitution for faulty contracting work he did almost four years ago. In 2018, 59-year-old Dan Hildebrand (AKA Kraznys mo Nakloz, a rich slave-trader) was charged with a series of misdemeanors associated with unlicensed contracting work he conducted on two Willits homes.

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Fans of HBO’s Game of Thrones will recognize Hildebrand for his role as Kraznys mo Nakloz who became wealthy from training and trading the Unsullied, a race of warrior-eunuchs that would later become loyal to Daenerys Targaryen, the Dragon Queen.’

I Hope Hildebrand is pulling in the Hollywood royalties. He was ordered to pay nearly $75,000 for “faulty work he and his hand-picked associates attempted to undertake in 2018 for two Willits area homeowners,” according to a post by the Mendocino County District Attorney’s Office.

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  1. “As an old-school newspaperman, I ‘m obsessed about any given subject. I research the hell out of it…I work hard to base them on solid information.” Followed by this: “..including Trump’s dealings with Putin, a former KGB agent has been described as a ‘cold lizard.’ Obviously the feckless, fact checker “crank” has overlooked a few facts in his craven, narrow-minded zeal to equate Donald Trump with Vladimir Putin. How about this fact: “Mueller Report finds no Trump-Russia conspiracy.” NY Times. The report also substantiates that Hillary Clinton’s campaign paid for the Steele dossier, a false opposition research piece, that alleged Trump hired two prostitutes to piss in a Moscow bed. And, then there are recent filings and indictments from special prosecutor Durham in which we learn that paid operators infiltrated internet services in the Trump Tower and the White House. The White House! And to whom and what is this all leading back? The Hillary Clinton campaign. Looks like the dear old crank has missed several years of “researching the hell out of it” here. No attempt to “reinvent” himself as a fact checking columnist is relevant here.

  2. Putin was KGB Bush was CIA, both are terrorist organizations. We invade Afghanistan to kill one man for national security without any evidence linking him to 911 then murder him without due process. We stay in Afg. for 20 years killing thousands of civilians. We are still in Iraq. But as Covid loses its scare factor we need a new boogy man to distract the brain dead cell phone zombies.
    America started the NATO invasion of Soviet block and does not want to compete with Russian cheap LP gas

    • Purin has had designs to rebuild the Soviet Union since the wall fell.
      NATO did not start this.
      Trump emboldened Putin by undermining NATO.

      • Look how everyone is an expert on Putin and Russian history now. Why don’t you address Douglas’ entire post instead of just cherry picking one aspect that you think you have found some nugget of contradiction.

        “Putin has had designs to rebuild the Soviet Union since the wall fell”?????

        Wow really??? What evidence do you have to support your claim????? Well, it’s what I heard on MSNBC!!!! Don’t forget to smear Trump while your at it. Pathetic.

  3. Elucidate. Here, let me help you out. “Research the hell out of…” this. 1. What is the written conclusion in the Mueller report concerning Putin controlling Trump? 2. Has John Durham indited an attorney for lying to the FBI concerning the Steele dossier, an attorney who worked for Hillary Clinton? 3. As revealed by John Durham in a federally filed indictment, was the Trump Tower and the White House spied upon by operatives connected to Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign? Clearly, Mr. Geniella, you have slept though a rain of facts for the past five years. Crank it up, pal.

    • You don’t have to read the comments floyd.
      You don’t own this board.
      You have the right to change channels or turn it off.

      You can’t handle opinions that are different than yours?
      That shows serious weakness and undermines any argument you make.

      Why don’t you go bully people somewhere else.

      • neither do you own the board mini me..
        if you wait long enough …you will find, in the words of klaus schwab , “you will own nothing and be happy”.. it would appear that is what your aim is.

  4. Never forward a link to support what you think. Mental laziness comes to mind. Mike the Crank, your response is a link is to a “news analysis,” which is nothing more than another opinion piece. Here’s a bit of problem with that. For instance, in the link you think is germane, an attorney for the indicted states: “The cybersecurity researchers were investigating malware in the White House, not spying on the Trump campaign, and to our knowledge all of the data they used was non-private DNS data from before Trump took office.” A defense attorney, Mike the Crank, does not a reliable source make. “To our knowledge…”? Have you ever heard that before? It’s as thin as one percent milk. Were you sleeping when you worked in the DA’s office? Have you never heard a defense attorney make something up out of hot, thin air? Mike the Crank, a good columnist is one who can think for themselves, and not link their mistakes to a link. Wink, wink.

  5. Okay can the men in the room stop with the pissing contest ? 1st. Mike, may I call you Mike? Please forgive the collective anger people may have when discussing past and present political affairs. Your choice of subject as presented, perhaps as satire are inherantly hot buttons issues. In defense of the opinions previously stated in reaction to your article. Would it be too much to ask of you to check the condescending tone or the self grandizing edge in your rebuttle checked at the door. Forgive the good folks if they were not privy to your particular research. Given that we are understandably angry at the misuse and abuse of power. At both sides of the political isle. Being human and as such less than perfect. Is it perhaps indignation that there are points of fact that possibly are rooted in the truth that you find so abhorrent as to come off like a protagonist instead of a newspaper man.

  6. Yes, you can call me Mike, and I shall call you Ray. Ray, feelings of condescension often occur in rigid minds. Ray, you did write: “the collective anger people may feel…” Who are you talking about? The fragile minds of Mendocino County’s progressive flock? “Condescending tone”? Ray, allow me to open my first aid kit for the overly sensitive stricken. Here’s a band-aid for your eyes. If you can’t take verbal hot source, take your plate away. Mike the Crank, has strong and cruel options concerning his fellow citizens who fail to think as he. Ray, how about you? Is there charity in your heart as you speak for some vague, unnamed mass? Or, are you just another guy like Mike the Crank?

    • Your bullying helps point to your lack of substantiation for your argument.
      You are not entitled to your own facts…only your own opinion, even if your opinion’s based on falsehoods spread with a small thread of truth so as to intentionally misinform you.

      SB was actually defending you and trying to nudge this bullshit dynamic you provoke into a fruitful one.
      So you bully them too.

      Fkn silly and stupid.

  7. I second Floyd’s post, seriously Mike GTFO. I still don’t understand why Matt gives this guy a platform to basically rip on people in our community that he doesn’t like or just doesn’t take the time to understand.

    “I hope to hell some of the flag-waving ‘Mendocino Patriots’ on Saturday ran out of gas during their so-called ‘Freedom Convoy’ up to Willits and back. Mask mandates and other such infringements on their individual freedoms pale in comparison to what millions of people are facing around the world.”

    Wow buddy, if you don’t understand why people are upset about the infringements upon all of our constitutional rights during the Covid experience you are pretty clueless to say the least. Look at world history and it is easy to see what happens when freedoms and rights are eroded away, violence, pain and suffering, and most importantly loss of personal freedoms that are never returned. While you might not see the importance of the so called “patriot” movements around the country, they are ultimately working to protect ALL of our rights and freedoms. Their hearts are in the right place. Using your voice and platform to just slam people and groups that you don’t understand makes you look like an arrogant asshole. Read the room buddy. None of the people that post comments to your articles support what you are saying. Mendocino county is not the Bay area. We are not all just parroting the main-stream, NPR, CNN, FOX news BS. We are not all jumping on the woke band wagon. Learning to understand those in your community that have different views and values than you is POSITIVE! You can do it Mike!

    • Stop acting like you speak for the community.
      You don’t.

      Telling Mike to gtfo directly undermines your statement & credibility, and points to your own inability to understand anything but your own viewpoint.

      Don’t demand from others that which you are unwilling & incapable of providing to others.
      It’s double standard bullshit.

      Attempting to personally marginalize someone is not a debatable response…it’s bullying so as to avoid having a real discussion/debate.
      And directly undermines whatever your point may be along with your credibility.

      The so called patriots have shown they don’t give a fuck about anyone else but themselves and those that agree with them.
      Sad and weak

      • Oh boy, here comes the comment police to tell us all to stop being so mean to Mike. Acting like he’s so virtuous and taking the moral high ground.

        I don’t have the platform that Mike has to reach people in our community. If I did I certainly wouldn’t be spewing hate speech about members of our community that I don’t agree with or understand. Mike wants to publish his “opinions” (see definition of OP-ED) for all to see, you should expect that there might be some people that disagree with you. If you can’t take the heat, better get out of the kitchen. Obviously this is a hot topic in our community. What do you think is going to happen when he makes these inflammatory statements? People are going to spew the fire right back.

    • Jose’s reply “I don’t have the platform that Mike has to reach people in our community. If I did, I certainly wouldn’t be spewing hate speech about members of our community that I don’t agree with or understand”.

      my guess is that MG pays for his add up on this page and gets special treatment. i grew up in the land of that a-hole whitey bulger…that’s how it always seems to go, in spite of truth justice and the American way. it does not mean we have to accept it.
      remain strong and truthful my brutha Jose…proud of you, and the rest of the patriots that are disparaged in this article.

  8. No evidence that the Patriots have any trouble getting their message out there, Jose. I had no clue the group even existed until the Covid protests, including the ones outside the home of Dr. Andy Coren, a fine man. No hate speech from this end. Just plain speaking. Sorry you don’t like to hear what others might be thinking of the group’s antics.

  9. Bullying? Online is not the same as the highway or the schoolyard. Road rage or stealing lunch money is bullying. Disagreeing online is not. Name calling is “Rush Limbaugh” school of debate.
    America loves to keep us divided over petty crap. All major media is garbage propaganda. My feelings are only hurt when you hit me with a brick, not from insults. That is the way to change the debate issues. Ninny.

  10. “I damn near weep when I see the daily examples of the bravery and courage of the Ukrainian people in the face of the Russian terrorism that is being unleashed on their country and their culture.”

    Replace Ukrainian with Afgan/Iraqi
    Replace Russian with American

    “What I do understand is the good people of Ukraine are battling a beast. I cringe at the thought of the harsh realities that greet them every single hour of the day.”

    Again, Ukraine = Afghanistan/Iraq
    Replace “beast” with US military

    Mike, you were not outraged with what has gone on in the Middle East for the last 20+ years because you were not TOLD that you should be outraged. Also the atrocities that were committed in all of are names was not broadcast 24/7, it has been heavily suppressed. The only person that was given a jail sentence for the torture that was going at GITMO was the whistle-blower! The western media/propaganda machine that you have been a part of for many years has been finely tuned and is highly effective. Groups like the Mendocino Patriots, while I might not agree with all of their tactics, are bringing awareness to this great problem that we all face, what is the truth and who can we trust? In todays world we are bombarded with more information than any humans have ever had to sift through in the history of mankind. How can we just blindly swallow whatever the mainstream corporate media tells us about anything at this point? What is propaganda and what is the truth? Looking at groups that question official narratives, I’m sure you can see that they are vitally important considering what we have experienced in the last two years. It is also easy to see why they would be smeared, ridiculed and demonized by folks like yourself.

  11. I read history like fiction
    I read fiction like history
    I read everything with a grain of salt.
    If it cannot be questioned it is obviously a lie.
    Try reading Lincoln’s election speeches, you will see an extreme racist.
    Look a Biden and Obama’s voting record, the hate Trump but support his opressive ideas

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