How to take Mesa County back from the Good Old Boy gang precinct by precinct -- Politics 101

By John Wilkenson

According to a 02/07/2012 story in the Denver Post titled "GOP worries that precinct confusion will triumph in Colorado caucuses", the number of precincts in Mesa County "dropped from 82 to 57 as some were consolidated and others were adjusted." All that means is that a practical grassroots "Take Back Mesa County" political1 strategy which might have been called "328 Boots On The Ground" can now be called "228 Boots On The Ground" because of the reduced number of precincts. "228 boots" extrapolates to 114 real live human beings. That's not very many in a county with a population of 150,000 or so. In fact, it's less that 1/10th of one percent. I was born and raised in Mesa County, so nobody can tell me that fewer than .1% of her people are interested in individual freedom and transparency and accountability in government. All that's needed is a little useful information and networking.

New Citizen Media v. Old Vestigial Dinosaur Media -- How to out-compete your local "Good Old Boys"

By John Wilkenson

(NOTE: There are many text/links in this essay. They look grey, but if you put your cursor on them, they become underlined so you can see them to click on them. All of the banner/links also take you to a destination URL.)

The Vestigial Dinosaur Media (VDM) is rapidly approaching extinction. Digital technology has bypassed chopping trees to make newspapers. Internet technology has taken the money out of politics by allowing you to send a multi-page message to thousands of people all around the world in a sixtieth of second for a sixth of a cent. To get information out to the public in real time, it is no longer necessary to own a multi-million-dollar building with a multi-million-dollar press, a multi-million-dollar payroll and scores of employees. One pajama-clad blogger typing away in his mother's basement can even the playing field by using websites and social media.

The Hegelian VDM serves Power (over the Other) and tries to make a living by "managing the news", perpetuating delusional social divisions -- (e.g. black v. white, women v. men, haves v. have nots, young v. old, ad infitum) -- and moulding your opinions. I fight against Power (over the Other) and don't try to "manage" the news. Like Matt Drudge, I just "retweet" the news and let you decide whether or not to read it. Of course, I do use #hashtags to target demographics to which my retweets go. Hyperlink technology lets citizen journalists like me use whole books and videos as footnotes to spread information and empower the individual for free. In today's high-tech playing field, the tree-chopping VDM is sort of like a one-legged man in a butt-kicking contest.

Why I'm voting for Pat Arotin -- Part 2

By John Wilkenson

(NOTE: To see an update in events, please scroll down to "UPDATE" below. There are many text/links in this essay. They look grey, but if you put your cursor on them, they become underlined so you can see them to click on them. All of the banner/links also take you to a destination URL.)

If I told you I was voting for Pat Arotin not only because of what I consider to be an over-the-top Daily Sentinel editorial but also what I suspect are dirty tricks from the Matt Lewis camp, you might say, "What?! Say it ain't so, Joe!" So let's look at it.

Yesterday, Mesa County Sheriff's Department (MCSD) "Information & Communications Manager", Heather Benjamin (above right), sent me what I consider to be an inappropriate email requesting that I take down the little informational banner/link of the MCSD logo (above left) which is linked to the Mesa County Sheriff's website for the sole informational, educational and journalistic purpose of facilitating public access to a public website. At that moment, the story became about Heather Benjamin and the logo. Of course it's pretty hard to write a story about a logo unless you engage in the 1st-Amendment-protected journalistic fair use of showing the public what the logo you are talking about looks like.

I'm still in the process of deciding whether or not to take the image down. But I need more information from Ms. Benjamin first. I'll get to the reasons why I believe my use of a low-resolution thumbnail-size image as an informational link to the MCSD website is perfectly legal in a minute. First I want to articulate my logic-based suspicion about what I would consider to be dirty tricks from the Matt Lewis camp.

Why I'm voting for Pat Arotin for Mesa County Sheriff

By John Wilkenson

Although I didn't know him personally, I voted for John Pennington for Mesa County Sheriff in the GOP primary based on his 2nd-Amendment-friendly, drone-unfriendly campaign speaking, plus the fact constitutional activist Richard Mack campaigned for him. (See also and Wikipedia.) Pennington lost to Steve King, who, having disgraced himself, was replaced as GOP candidate by Matt Lewis. Following are some of the reasons why I won't be voting for Lewis in the general election.

One of the main reasons why I'm voting for Arotin, is the Daily Sentinel's editorial titled "Lewis for sheriff", combined with Lewis' own rhetoric, his lawless behavior as outlined in the Travis Brickey complaint. combined with the fact he has said he is "proud" of how he and his colleagues behaved during that situation. I don't want a man who is proud of blatantly unconstitutional lawlessness to serve as Mesa County Sheriff. It's that simple.

Lisa "I Want To Listen" Eckert bans Glade Park man from passing out flyers

By John Wilkenson

(NOTE: In the interests of full disclosure, the "David Wilkenson" in this story is one of my younger brothers and resides on Glade Park. ~ JRW)

The whole truth of this situation -- initially omitted by the so-called "mainstream" media (aka "MSM") (which I like to refer to as the "Vestigial Dinosaur Media" (VDM) -- is exactly the type of story this citizen-journalism-based website is designed to publish.

Normally, the story should have been about Colorado National Monument (CNM) superintendent, Lisa Eckert, but since Mesa County's so-called "journal of record", the Daily Sentinel, initially (in its 10/9/14 story) didn't see fit to inform its readers about what I consider to be a crucial and opinion-forming part of the story, the story became partly about The Daily Sentinel, in particular publisher Jay Seaton (the top of the Sentinel food chain) and reporter Gary Harmon, because of what initially looked like a blackout due to Dave having told Harmon about being booted from Two Rivers premises for passing out flyers PRIOR to Gary attending the 10/8/14 meeting and writing his 10/9/14 story.

Why I'm voting for John Pennington for Mesa County Sheriff

By John Wilkenson

I am voting for John Pennington for Mesa County Sheriff. To fully understand my reasons, it is necessary to first understand local Mesa County politics1. (Since I was born in Mesa County, and grew up here, I know something about the subject.) It also helps to read The Prince, by Niccolò Machiavelli, Rules For Radicals, by Saul Alinsky, and The Art of Political War and Other Radical Pursuits, by David Horowitz.

What the locals call “the Good Old Boy (GOB) gang” that controls Mesa County politics is all about power, money, cushy high paying jobs and cronyism. It's not about “Left v. Right” or “Democrats v. Republicans”. Power, money and cushy well-paid jobs ALWAYS trump ideology. The GOB mantra is: “since the people are so stupid, let's make some money.”

Cancer survivor back in race for Mesa County sheriff

By Ron Bain (Editor of Western Slope Watchdog, republished by permission)

GRAND JUNCTION – Cancer survivor John Pennington – who ended his bid to become Mesa County’s sheriff last year to contend with the disease – is back in the race, challenging current State Senator Steve King for the Republican nomination.

“A politician I’m not, but you have to have a little courage and face what’s going on in our country,” said Pennington, who takes issue with King’s legislation that gave the Secret Service and other federal agencies police power in Colorado.

Pennington, a former U.S. Marine guard, observed that King scored an “F” in the Principles of Liberty group’s rating of state legislators.

“Steve King has demonstrated on several occasions that he’s sort of a big government shill, he’s kind of a sell-out,” Pennington said. “Very authoritarian – I think he would fall right into the militarization of our local police forces and sheriff’s offices as if he was putting on a hat.”

ACLU files court complaint against Grand Junction's anti-panhandling ordinance

By John Wilkenson

GRAND JUNCTION — The Daily Sentinel presented their version of this story in an article titled "ACLU sues Grand Junction over panhandling ordinance" The first sentence in that story is: "Officials with the city of Grand Junction believe an ordinance passed last month to curb aggressive panhandling will not limit rights of free speech."

Here at the M.C.C.C. we understand that, of course, government officials always pretend that what they are doing is "legal" — whether it is or not. So we're not all that interested in the "opinions" (aka talking points designed for public consumption) of government officials. We're more interested in exposing their too-often opaque behind-the-scenes manipulations.

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