Truth, Lies, and Consequences.
In the most recent episode of the Comstock Chronicle, Marshall McBride is quoted asking for concerned citizens to call the Commissioners and other County Officials regarding concerns they may have. He accused me and Nicole Barde of being purveyors of misinformation and lies. He reasoned it is the intent of Toll and Barde to discredit Commissioner Jack McGuffey because Nicole Barde is running for Commissioner.
“We’ve got some would be journalists that created some blogs, and there is a lot of misinformation or down right lies that are being published” – Marshall McBride
While I can’t speak for Ms. Barde, I can share with you what I think about his comments. First off, I have a colorful and acerbic way of writing. While I don’t dare to compare myself with guys like H.L. Menken, Ambrose Bierce, and Mark Twain, I do draw inspiration from them. I call things like I see them. It’s not the job of the modern day digital press to make friends and wave pom-poms for the power structure. It is the job of the press to keep the power structure honest by providing information and opinion so you, gentle voter, can see what would otherwise remain unseen.
If Commissioner McBride doesn’t like my opinion, he’s free to courage up and challenge me to a kung-fu smackdown in the arena of public opinion. If he doesn’t like the reporting I do on facts and figures, that’s tough darts. Should the County start to make decisions that benefit the interests of the many over the interests of the privileged few, I will have less to talk about. When Mr. McBride refers to unpleasant facts about the financial health of the county (revealed by scouring public records) as “misinformation and downright lies” he reveals himself in kind.
Extra Credit: Look up the difference between misinformation and disinformation. Word Choice Matters. Bonus points to McBride for (perhaps unintentional) proper word usage. I have made honest mistakes, but it almost always takes a governmental agency or individual to put the dis in disinformation.
Don’t hate the Playa’. Hate the Game.
A large part of the problem is the near vacuum of information coming from the County. In this day and age of the world wide web where some wannabe journalist can toss up a blog and start digging thru the county’s dirty underwear while clad in his underwear, it is inexcusable that an entity with an annual budget of $25 million dollars and pushing 200 employees can’t figure out how to communicate it’s way out of a wet paper bag. Especially when they have a well paid “Public Relations” firm owned by a county employee on retainer (retained, by the by, with a no-bid, sole source, unending contract). Oh yes, they do.
This could be out of ignorance; maybe they just don’t do the interweb. This could be because of priorities; they are just too busy to think about it. It could be arrogance; they just don’t care about the little people. Or it could be by design; they don’t want us to know what they’re up to.
Whatever the reason, the fact remains, with the cheap and easy tools of communication available today it is inexcusable for the county to keep everyone in the dark about what the heck is going on.
I nearly drove my mouse off the road from astonishment the other day when newcomer Summer Pellet did something nobody did since I moved back to Gold Hill in 2016. She asked the public for input about a decision before her. Ask yourself, when was the last time Jack McGuffey or Marshall McBride actually bothered to ask the citizens about any decision before them?
Hint: Not. One. Single. Time.
If you don’t like the hand The Teller dealt you, perhaps you shouldn’t have given us the cards.
When Angela Mann ran the Comstock Chronicle, it was a serious journalistic venture. Once the Elaine and Zach Spencer show bought the paper from Angela, it became a cheerleading section for Elaine’s former employer, Comstock Mining, INC. and the official glee club of TRIC and the County.
The consequences for not having a rabid pack of junkyard watchdogs guarding our money and being ever watchful over the actions of elected and appointed officials should be obvious. Without a critical eye watching over them, who knows what they will try next. And if being watched and called out gets them nose-bent, it may be time to get out of the game.
Truth, Lies, and Consequences
Let’s consider what County shenanigans you would never have knownif it wasn’t for the Liars and Misinformers here at The Teller and BardeBlog.com:
- The Truth Behind Team Storey and Team Gilman Trying to Run Sheriff Antinoro packing. Read here and here and here and here.
- Spending 7500 bucks to send the Bum and the Lance to the Inauguration of the Donald. Read here and here.
- The no-bid, un-ending contract that turned retiring Fire Chief Gary Hames into a contract employee. Read here and here and here
- The effort to have the taxpayers pay for a pipeline that will benefit multi-billion dollar business at TRIC. Read here and here.
- The Million (and a half) Dollar Parking Lot. Read here.
- The straight-up unpunished misappropriation of public funds into the retirement accounts of the wealthy friends of County Manager Pat Whitten. Read here and here.
- Brothel ordinance, licensing and work card issues that benefit Commissioner Lance Gilman. Read here and here and here
- County budget process reporting. Read here and here.
- The eternal promises of mythical tax rollbacks and TRIC Cash Rebates. Read here and here and here and here.
- Lance Gilman’s $19,000 property tax abatement study never seen by anyone. Read here.
- Tesla deal and implications. Read here.
- Park Fund money “theft” by the county. Read here.
- Sweet TRIC Deals ( rezoning, free land giveaways, boundary line adjustments, taxpayer dollars paying for pipeline). Read here.
- Malfitano Delta and Bonanza license denials. Read here and here.
- VCTC initial discussions about a “merchant tax”, budget breakdown, deficit spending sprees and purchase of various properties and expenses associated with them. Read here and here and here and here and here.No County infrastructure spending outside of VC. Read here.
- Storey County Strategic Plan. Read here.
That’s a quick list of some of the things you would have missed if we weren’t paying attention.
I am reminded of something Mahatma Gandhi said in the midst of his struggle to free India from the colonial rule of Great Britain:
First they ignore you.
Then they laugh at you.
Then they fight you.
Then you win.
Looks like we have reached Defcon Three.
Defcon Four happens in November, thanks to you.