Not All There Podcast

Not All There Podcast #3 - Losing The Plot

May 09, 2021 Aric Mackey, Jim Scarantino, Stephen Schumacher Season 1 Episode 3
Not All There Podcast
Not All There Podcast #3 - Losing The Plot
Show Notes Transcript

Stephen Schumacher joins the conversation to discuss local issues and debate recent events. Schumacher relates his recent experiences with censorship by peninsula newspapers, and contributes his thoughts on the Port Townsend Food Co-Op and how it has changed in recent years, both for the good and the bad. Schumacher is a prior board member, Harvard graduate, and expert on cooperatives. It's a robust conversation you won't want to miss.  

Hello, welcome to another, not all their podcast. We're here because we're not all there from Port Townsend, Washington. This is Jim Scarantino, with Aric Mackey governing he's on the controls there and our guest today is Steven Schumacher. Welcome, Steven. Well, thanks very much, Jim. We're glad to have you. People who live in Port Townsend, no doubt, know Steven Schumacher. He's been a long time resident has been very, very involved in the community here. He's quick to say he wasn't one of the founders of the co op. But he was a president secretary is he's somewhat of an expert on the principles of CO ops. Majored in math at Harvard, graduated with honors, and he was co founder with Scott Wilson, former publisher and owner of the leader in setting up the leaders online newspaper, one of the very first in Washington. And I think when we get into it, you had you've worked with other newspapers and even were courted by the New York Times for a while to help with their program. Stephen has also been the subject to censorship by the leader, They were excellent articles. That wasn't what I was squinting. I just enjoyed this introduction. So much, man, I pray pray continue. But it's true. And we're going to get into the we're going to touch on a lot of these because we found that there's a thread that runs through all these issues, including the changes, Port Townsend's going through and divisions, some new, some old, and many of them unfortunate and sad. But these COVID masking issues, from the co op to the censorship issue to changes in this community, there is somewhat of a common thread. So welcome Steven Schumacher, it's not all their podcast. Have you ever done a podcast before? I certainly if not, and so I am kind of, you know, so you take it easy on me, but I I've listened to a lot of podcasts, I love podcasts. And I'm pleased as punch that you've created this as as an outlet for, you know, for voices, some voices that haven't been heard, but other voices maybe that have been heard, but can be heard in a different way on the show. So I really know, thanks for doing it. And also, I really just thank you so much for saving my bacon when I was being censored. And, you know, it was bizarre to me, because here I was somebody who has had a long, you know, inside affiliation with the leader. I mean, I spent, you know, countless hours, you know, in there in the middle of the night working on this, developing this online news platform back when those didn't even really exist. And, you know, I've sent lots of letters to the leader over the years when I say lots, I don't know, a dozen or 20. And they've always generally been published. And it was so strange to find myself not being you know, having my letters first being kind of slow walked where I'd send them in, and then weeks later, they would still wouldn't be printed, and they eventually would be and then that transition to not being printed at all, and then transition to them taking that there. They're kind enough to take my paid ads for a while. And that cost some money but at least I had some control over what was going on. It's got nothing to do with terrifying to paraphrase Clint Eastwood kind guy, there you go. And we can go into more detail about this and then they stop taking my money and and then the portrait, then the printer Daily News took my money for a short period of time, and then they stopped taking my money. So maybe I jumped the gun getting to this topic, but I just wanted to say was, you know, I really do appreciate the Port Townsend Free Press being a free press that that doesn't, you know, that is willing to take, you know, other voices that aren't accepted, you know, in the in the the established print media. And like I said, I was honored to publish your work, it was very, very, extremely well done and research and not all their podcast seeks to do the same thing. It's to give voice to give a forum to what is truly a diverse community here in Jefferson County in Port Townsend, but you wouldn't know it from unfortunately reading the leader nowadays, more the Pdn that they're mostly filtering out various segments of this community who are not necessarily in power, not necessarily saying the right things challenging. A scientist, you know, producing other science and other challenge our public health officer and the governor on the COVID issues, even though that's all coming from science and peer reviewed studies. Yeah, you know, in medical journals, but trying to squash that and it's not just on the COVID issue. It's happening elsewhere. We've talked about this, and that's why we're here and we're glad to have you Thanks, kindly, you know, and, you know, I mean, I've been somewhat oblivious to you know, I mean, come on, we've all, you know, joked about the misleader and other things over the years, but I mean, like, honestly, I, you know, I've always valued and like the leader, you know, I mean, it was, it was nice having a real paper, you know, that was, you know, it wasn't just, you know, being, you know, pumped in, as you know, from external, you know, bigger franchise situations. And I did find that in the past, they would print my stuff, and they would do corrections. And yeah, I also know that others had problems with it. So well, what is your sort of open letters that got turned down in the ads that you were submitting and willing to pay for that were rejected? we're presenting other science and other medical information than what we were getting at the briefings from our county health officer or from Dr. Fauci or from Governor Inslee. Am I correct? Pretty much. No, that is, that is totally correct, sir. And the thing is, is like, you know, I'm not I'm not a doctor, you know, I'm not an epidemiologist, but I am someone who knows, understands numbers. And when things sort of started, you know, going south, I was just trying to figure it out, like everybody else was, and then when I would sort of think I figured something out, I thought I, you know, I would write a letter about it to try to explain some of the things that I was seeing. And I didn't actually think my letters were even really that controversial. I mean, they may not, they may have been things which were not being currently printed. But I mean, I was largely just this, you know, quoting the CDC, or the World Health Organization, and putting two to two together and getting four. And so it didn't really, it really kind of surprised me, at a certain point, when I kind of get started getting the vibe that this wasn't welcome. But more than vibes, they weren't taking your paid advertising anymore. Well, have you been blocked from from commenting on their website, or on their Facebook page? I thought I saw something along those lines. You're right. And that's actually something I'm trying to figure out right now. Because you know, that I am a subscriber and an online subscriber so I can access things. And at one point, there is there was a there was a letter to the editor, you know, it's kind of weird to me as I sort of feel like there's some of us who write these letters that are just like Doctor science stuff, in which we're just basically presenting lots of lots of science and, you know, lots of information, just information packed ones. And then you have some of these let me interject right here. One, you know, I was reluctant to publish at the pre press articles on COVID and masking and the tests and all this until I saw the quality of your work and and open and Dr. Random bomb. Yeah. And in hankies, I mean, you had more hyperlinks in there. I mean, you sourced everything you said, and it didn't go back to a podcast, you know, I mean, you know, some guy, you know, ranting, you know, you know, looking at his phone, and, you know, losing it in his car over masks or something. I mean, they were in peer reviewed scientific articles, or forums, or that sort of thing. And so I just want to say that, you know, your, your, your newspaper ad, same thing. But anyway, that's why we're here. Oh, yeah. Yeah, yeah. No, so but I want to just clarify that this point about, you know, I mean, like, on the one hand, you know, on the one hand, you've got people who sort of write these content rich letters, and I would have assumed that those would be no brainers. You'd always want to print that there's the content rich or something else rich? Yeah, Aric, I'm one of those authors. No, I am a I'm a very, very. I write like an engineer. It's very, very condensed. But anyway, the content rich letters that you were saying, Stephen, yeah, no. And yet, then there's other letters. I don't want to exactly criticize people. But sometimes you have these kind of like frothy letters that are just kind of like just, you know, making, you know, like, and there was one that appeared recently saying, you know, living factory on the Olympic Peninsula, that was just like, going on about how, you know, not only not not even saying that people who disagree with them are wrong, but they literally got no facts at all. They've got, you know, well, this goes into the I think that the underlying premise that will limit just to the peninsula with the mindset that there's sciences, consensus, you know, 93% of scientists agree, bla bla, bla bla, this, this idea that science isn't debate and the fact m m is cherry picking this almost dogmatic approach to the to the to what science so they say, Oh, the CDC says this because it's support, it's the confirmation bias, a blank run amok. No, exactly. As you say. Science is a process. It's, you know, it's coming to truth. It's not as basically having some kind of Pope telling you what the, you know, the edicts are Yeah, so I'm sorry for going this long digression but just to get to this thing about whether my comments are being censored, I don't know. But the thing is, uh, basically, when this guy wrote this thing about nobodies, you know, that they got no facts. I was sort of saying this is absurd, and so I presented You know, like, you know, gobs and gobs and gobs of facts on this comment thing. And then some people sort of responded to, to my facts. And then when I tried to reply to them, I just got this error saying, you know, you know, error, you know, you know, comment not taken or whatever, and I and it just seems so bizarre. And then, and I end and I kept on trying and still didn't work. And then someone else who was sort of, on my side of this debate also found that she was getting blocked, too. And so so I was, I saw, I was really feeling like what's going on, but then I actually this week, I've been kind of going into it. And actually, it may be totally innocent. And I'm sort of in communications right now with the current online newspaper director, and they were having some bugs and glitches. And so it may well be that this is just, you know, just just the famous glitch, it may well be a famous glitch, so I don't want to attribute motives and you know, and all that, that only applies or kicks in, or affects users who are contrary to the iidx. So, I mean, as the leader, I believe it, have you seen a change in the leader over time? Well, I really become but it isn't even sort of like a cultural change. I mean, the fact is a leader got sold and, and my leader was the one that Scott Wilson was the publisher of and, and I he was a real straight shooter in a lot of ways. And I think he did, you know, I don't want to, I think he did his best to try to get as local as possible have a continuation of the leader, you know, instead of it just Well, okay, I'm not saying that it is, but I'm just saying as they tried, and yet, that's it still, it is not the same thing. And you know, I mean, anyway, like, the newspaper business is about subscribers, and it's about getting eyes base, the product is not, you know, the readers are the product, because they're trying to get enough eyeballs and enough subscribers to celtis to to get their CPM, their cost per 1000, to sell advertising. So I see what's happening with both regional and local is, and I think, I won't go into the nationals. But you have these regional and local newspapers that are trying to be in a polarized political environment and a polar, it's getting more and more polarized and divisive. You want to be as agnostic and middle of the road, but targeted towards the majority opinion in your area. So if the leader has to couch it this way, which also, if you think about it, statistically speaking, your staff will probably mirror politically what your region is, and we are hardcore left in Jefferson County. So they're just trying to not piss off all their re subscribers to keep that coming in, so that they can keep getting their cost per 1000. Were No, I'm sorry. So so total, the point is, is it's not so much this thing, like, you know, everybody wants to make it like the leader is, you know, filtering, but you're going to be hesitant to do anything that's going to piss off the machine where your bread and butter comes from. Oh, yes. Right. You are I mean, you know, I agree with where you're going. And we look at the PDF, the PDF does the exact same thing that Pdn writes these wishy washy horseshit articles. Well, nobody know. But you're right. But I mean, there has been a major change, I would say, I don't know, the last few years, it's definitely accelerated in the last few years, but it's been a change over the last decade or more. Yeah, I mean, you know, back in the day, you had the old grey lady, The New York Times all the news that fits, you know, we printer or whatever their slogan was, and the, and, you know, and they and, you know, they were like, they were their selling point was that they were the newspaper of record, they were objective and all that. And, of course, you know, they weren't exactly, but at least it was an aspirational thing to try to do that. And to some extent they were and so as you say, I mean, you're trying to, you know, you're trying to have a broad tent, you're trying to be objective, and, and whatever, even though, of course, everybody's got their biases, but more recently, it's a situation in which Yeah, I mean, it's kind of funny, it's like, right now, the leader is sort of having a big push to, like, you know, expand, you know, they're sending out free papers to try to expand their readership. But, you know, at the same time, they've contracted their readership, by, by, you know, it sort of feels like instead of being the newspaper of of the county anymore, now sort of seems almost like the newsletter of some kind of like club or something, or some kind of letter of the Democratic Party, kinda, you know, but but, you know, but but, you know, so there is that aspect, and even the New York Times now has found that they've been very successful in their subscriber thing by sort of catering to people who really want to see their own opinions reinforced rather than, you know, perhaps challenged. So, anyway, let me also I would like to say about this, that in addition, you know, in this time where, you know, when when things came down and fed March or April of last year, people kind of got traumatized and the thinking there was some kind of like war on, you know, like World War Two. And so we've all got to, like pitch in and help right to fight, you know, to fight against the enemy, the virus or sometimes versus them, which is the key to dividing society. Well, yeah, yeah. So, so bad and like, you know, so in a sense, it's kind of it's us versus an existential threat. There was this booger man. Yeah. We all had an pitchin. Right, you know, and back in the day, you know, distrust authority, or, you know, whatever. But you know, now it's like, No, no, no trust authority that, you know, like authority knows all saw on the rack. Yeah, yes. When you write those down instruction, they were definitely there. They must have Mission accomplished. Yeah, here. Yeah. So it's the same thing. It's the same mindset, it's the same call to arms, the fall in line to, you know, hate the rallying cry to not descend to not step out of line, don't undermine the leadership, you know, you're doing the enemy's work. You don't raise any quiet. And we did have that, that that mindset early on, and it's except for the except for the Trump thing, which was that anything Trump said about COVID? The other side said, Oh, that's not true. And now the other side saying the same things. He said, you know, never mind all that. But anyway, yeah. So you're saying you think the leader was fat, you know, took up the banner took up? Yeah. Well, that's it and I want to say is like, you know, I mean, I think it's an insidious thing to to basically ban competing voices, you know, under any circumstances, science. I utterly, utterly but I mean, like, in fairness, I mean, I'm not, you know, I'm not, you know, in their hearts, maybe they thought they were doing right to do this, because they're like, you know, supporting their fearless leader who's leading them, I don't think it's that it's, it's the fact that you're doing it for the public good. It's a way to filter false information, we need to filter stuff that's contrary to the to the well being of the general public, and it gives them license to go nuts. Well, you're right, you know, but this just even from an app. I just lost my word. But basically, even just from a theory of knowledge point of view, you know, the whole idea of, you know, false information. And, I mean, all this Orwellian stuff, I mean, like, it is just so wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong, to a censorship is evil. I mean, it is just like, totally the wrong approach to anything unless you're basically trying to create a totalitarian dictatorship or something. Okay, so my wife and I spent four years trying to promote STEM education, in public schools, homeschooling any any instance where we can, because NASA seeing it, everybody seeing it, you remember a few years ago, will pre COVID everyone was talking stem and how we need to encourage stem because all the projections show there are not enough stem graduates coming out of particularly higher level math, higher level sciences, we're not getting enough graduates for both what we need, and to compete in the global marketplace for r&d, because America is an r&d powerhouse. And it was a manufacturing powerhouse. So the idea is that we're trying to change this trajectory. But I'm seeing this is actually the benefit that may be the or the intended benefit. By having so few critical thinking, looking at the analysis, looking at the data, understanding what the actual scientific process is understanding what science is, if we've take just the same way that people don't even know how civics work is because we've cut civics for the last 40 years, civics education in the country has been cut repeatedly by both sides of the aisle. Both president every president that's been in the White House, we've always trimmed science, education, small business, and civics. So we're seeing the net effect, people don't understand how the system goes. So they don't know how to interact and get involved. So they just want to burn shit. Or in this case, they can't look at pieces of information. And look at them objectively. And critically, look at Well, this is kind of crap. And then come to their own decision on what they think and then test that against the new data. They don't know the scientific process because they've never we don't do sciences in this game. And I wasn't aware of that. I mean, I always assumed back in back in the day, you know, I always assumed that, like science was something you really wanted to promote, you know, to be competitive and all this kind of stuff, you know, but but but if they're trimming science, if you're not understanding what science is, you know, that you then you just use the word sciences, like you know, you know, trust the science without even really knowing what the word means. Well, these scientists say, Well, they've redefined patriot. they've read defined misinformation. They've redefined science. Yeah, well, the thing about science, science, I think it's very democratic process, because anybody can make observations and test theories against observations. I mean, the basic, you know, and move forward and you know, and demand information and this and that, but what's happening now, but we're seeing it with COVID. We saw it with some other subjects too, particularly cookie I was, well, that's a whole nother show. But it's like, that's what the scientists say, when the scientists, what scientists are the ones from the government, the ones who are on the side of those in power, the ones who are pushing a particular agenda. And if you don't believe, see, I've never, I believe I you know, isn't that the wrong verb when you're talking about science? And yet we hear that over and over? Yeah. So it's almost this religion. And so going back to what you were doing, Stephen? Well, first of all, you were presenting data, observations tests from the zero G Yeah, everybody that contrasts the conflicted with the quote, unquote, official science we were getting from the state health department and our local public health officer. And, you know, you want to call them names, you were saying, Wait a minute, there's all these other scientists, epidemic, epidemiologists, you know, who work and seeing this physicians who are treating patients and seeing this, but that was excluded. Because it would shake belief and trust, and would and would make people think for themselves, so everybody would not fall in line. And that's why I think that, you know, the, the leader not published because it was causing problems for the authorities, because people were reaching different conclusions. And we can have people getting different information, even if they know how to processes and they Lastly, they can't have different conclusions than the ones we want them to have. Which is why, you know, the Great Barrington, you were, you know, prohibited from talking about, Dr. Locke talked about wackos, he didn't use that term, talking about the Great Barrington declaration, which is by how many world renowned epidemiologists and pathologists and physicians, and yet that was made a fringe view. Yeah, no. Founded by Harvard, Oxford, why it wasn't official science that we want people to have and quote unquote, believe in, right? Yeah, no, you're right. You're right on and I was just kind of laughing when you're talking about I there was just like, this flowchart that I saw, that just cracked me up, where it sort of is like, you know how to respond to the lockdown. It's like, you know, collect data. Do facts support lockdown? Yes. Don't doubt the science. No, don't doubt the scientists. You know, and so it is this kind of thing where, yeah, you know, I Oh, shucks, I think it's a funny thing, though. I, we're allowed to have wide ranging conversations here at this podcast, right. So I have a particular interest in evolution, and not necessarily the theological view, but I'm very interested in the developments just like, you know, challenging the orthodoxy of Neo Darwinism, you know, at the at the cellular level, we know how could all these changes take place? You know, did has the world existed long enough? You know, for two step evolution bubble of all these things. And there were mathematic, there's mathematical proofs. I don't know if you're familiar with them a little bit, actually. Yeah. Which challenging Darwin mathematical proofs. I said, Wow, that looks like science to me. You know, and so we brought a friend and I meet amazing people here. He worked with oysters in Shelton, and he went to St. Andrews in Scotland, and he has like advanced degrees in philosophy, and he's out there with his waders on, you know, bringing in baskets and mussels and 1000 books at home. Anyway, we brought in this fellow named Dr. Axe, who was going to talk about the math and his name wasn't actually x A xe Oh, I thought you meant you know, your, your you couldn't say who he was. So your doctor x No, doctor x, a XC. And you know, there's this local listener called bear boards. Have you seen it's a great public art and this, put everything. And so we rented a room up at the community center and uptown to bring him in. And he was going to talk about his book, The studies in paleontology, and all the science and other things that challenge. Yeah, the narrative of Darwin, which has very little science, there's no math at all in anything Darwin ever wrote. None, zero zip. It's its narrative, which it's brilliant. It's beautiful in some respects, but he but it says, but when you stand up against what we consider science, and they refuse to run the ad, because what was because what we were doing by bringing in a scientist who was going to talk about math and paleontology, and microbiology, and whether Darwin, it matches up against it, it was evil, quote, unquote, what we were doing was evil. And I wrote back I just said, what I said, this is math. Yeah, no, no, this is not a barrister. This is a Cambridge he was head of the microbiology department in Cambridge or something like this. And they refuse to run the ad. No, I mean, it becomes almost like a secondary religion that you are not able to run the same thing because it goes against a belief. It goes against an orthodoxy. And I think we're on the edge of the new Dark Age here. We could have this conversation at some point in time. But, you know, there are people like you I don't walk on others I've met who remember, the 60s and 70s. We talked about this briefly. I mean, we were raised to challenge authority, yourself and the facts. And now the, the Neo hippies are pro government I know. And pro Corporation pro Big Pharma. Yeah. Pro intelligence agencies and what they give you praise. And it's, it's kind of frightening, because, you know, you know, we were the rebels, you know, are our heroes were the people who fought against the system and right or wrong, they tried to figure it out for themselves. And now you're not allowed to do that. No, no conformity. conformity is what counts? Yeah, you know, it's a recurring theme here on Yeah. All their fight. Yes. You know, and actually, you know, I maybe had something to say something to that, that, that'll sort of cycle this or transition this into talking about the food Co Op a little bit. But, you know, back in the time, you know, back in the day, I remember when I first got involved in the food court back in the 1980s. And all that, you know, at the time, there was a lot of, you know, I was just looking at this article that I wrote about the time where you basically had the FDA, you know, basically they derided as false advertising and prosecuted discussions of the connection between dietary fat and heart disease, or between vitamin C and healing. So down and say that again. Yeah, yeah, they prosecuted the FDA, the FDA, the Food and Drug Administration, prosecuted people writing, you know, writing books, banned books on alternative medicine literally burned, William Reich's Ville have Reich's book, you know, under the pretext of that, that these were being an extension of the label of unidentified food supplements. So, you know, it's like, you know, over the years, you can sort of see that, you know, pretty much all the FDA was on the wrong side of almost every one of these disputes. You know, what was persecuted as food fat ism is now reported as fact by Time Magazine, you know, the lighter, fresher, you know, I could go on about this stuff, but it was sort of like bizarre how they Wonder Bread helps build bodies. 12 ways Exactly. Shaklee is healthy smoking. Exactly. Yes. Yes. Beer is good for pregnant women. Yeah, science. So Exactly. And I'm not exactly, you know, a pill pusher insofar as promoting vitamins, but I mean, they're, they're healthier, I'd say perhaps then a lot of pharmaceuticals and things. You know, I mean, at one point I was actually the Washington representative of the of the trade association for the health industry, and a lot of that was the was, you know, vitamin supplements and all that kind of stuff. And there at the time, there were a lot of you know, a lot of government pushback against that. And so you know, but nowadays everybody knows that vitamin C is good and vitamin D is good and you want to be getting all this stuff, you know yet think but but just yesterday, I was just kind of, you know, this is like a cliche, but I was really kind of blown away and put into a real funk. When I heard that this this long, you know, this may be one of the most popular of the alternative doctor guys, Dr. Merkel's got this big site or whatever, you know, he basically announced that he's removing all of his articles relating to vitamin D, vitamin C, zinc, all this kind of stuff. And he you know and month earlier he said the the Food and Drug Administration the same people who are basically attacking you know, back when I started being involved in the food cop for food Co Op, attacking vitamin C and vitamin D, they basically rewarding workload that he should stop writing about vitamin D and ends. But anyway, here's mercola he he literally has been censored and deployed. I mean, like he basically isn't even legal. He basically is saying that he's like, literally receiving threats to his family, not legal threats, threats, threat threats against his life. Exactly. And you know, and and was right wing pitch pitchforks. And I don't know if he's a right wing or not, but he basically is, you know, and so, you know, it's only the right wingers who threatened me, you know, what I'm saying is the mercola is not a right wing. right wingers threatening him. Yeah, yeah. So so so I guess why, you know, but it was sort of weird is because it's people with masks that they never take off who are three to the left and right, you know, and that's it. It's like, you know, basically there is going to be there was going to be a food Co Op board meeting last night that I wanted to sort of attend, and, and all that, and I was kind of like, I was segway. And I was trying to sort of, like, prepare a comment, you know, and it was, you know, always going to be sort of a fairly, you know, you know, congenial but to sort of try to make the few points type of thing. And then I'm basically saying, you know, this guy mercola you know, literally being, you know, basically run, you know, run, you know, basically having this, you know, this censorship campaign and you know, I don't felt like I should, like throw away and what I was gonna say and then just start going on about you know about that. And unfortunately, I didn't, but it is, to me, it sort of feels so weird, we're waiting, you know, we're talking about these worthless masks that there's like no sign. I mean, you know, there's, well, no, it's what what, like, what you were saying earlier is like, you know, try to figure out the science. And yeah, there's, there's lots of reports, there's lots of studies that you can find that say masks are valuable. But these are generally rather low quality, you know, studies often done, you know, not not controlled or, or, you know, in all this kind of thing, and then you've got the high quality ones. But anyway, from my perspective, and I've looked into it a bit, maybe I'm wrong, but from my perspective, there isn't a whole lot of value of wearing masks to protect yourself or others from an airborne virus. And maybe we could go into that a little bit more, whatever, and even catch I mean, I heard Dr. Lock himself at a at a Board of County Commissioners meeting, in February of you know, whatever. And I sort of took down his precise comments. And he was saying that just you know, that there's not, you know, just not a lot of protection from any mask less than an N 90, quote, unquote, Dr. Thomas lock, your most popular radio personality on Cape BTC. Right. All the faithful turn it Yeah. And he said in February, that anything less than an N 95 is about as worthless as putting a piece of fencing up. And he didn't precisely say that, but he did literally say didn't have a lot of protective value and doesn't. Yeah, okay. And the reason is early on, I was like, well, so that, you know, when they were really getting to the mask mandate, when it went from Oh, you should wear a mask when you're sick to everyone should wear a mask? Yeah. So I looked at what are the top three countries for habitual mask use, which is Singapore, Japan is basically three Asian countries that 95 plus percent of the country mask up either most of the year all of the Year by default. So basically mask uses in question that isn't isn't a debate, and I was looking at what what are their now, it's apples to oranges with testing, because some of the countries were doing antibody and other tests where we were just doing the PCR test, which the PCR test is severe is not a diagnostic test for deciding if you have something or not, we can get into that later. The point is, they were spiking, even with this heavy mask use. So the mask, anecdotally just comparing this country that by default wears man wears these masks, and we're not and their rates are higher or equal to ours. So masks are kind of irrelevant. Well, you've got Texas, we don't have to go overseas, Texas or Florida. Right? Well, that's recent, but I'm talking about even in the past month, when we were told because they're not mandating mask is going to be runaway, you know, pandemic deaths everywhere, right? He said months ago, and instead it's the states. Yeah, that had the masking mandates that are seeing these terrible, terrible, you know, they're all kind of increase in in quote, unquote, cases. Hey, before we get off this, yeah, I think you had an impact on the leader. Before we get off this, I think you'd have the PDF reports. So many, so many new cases on the peninsula new cases, take a look at the language that's being used in the leader, new infections. It was not reported as a case because he's gotten enough, I think attention that it's not a case, you have the virus in you may be you may be infected. But you may not have, you know, it's not a case. And so I just want to tell you, I noticed that in yesterday, today's leader, I didn't see they're using the they dropped the word, the AP, the AP, you know, AP approved word case. And it's, they're using infection, which is for positive test, which is far more accurate. Exactly. Props to them for doing so, you know, because, you know, I'm basically, you know, I have a positive test result is a detection, rightly or wrongly, possibly with a false positive, but it's a detection of a virus. And, and, you know, and that's, that's this this virus, whatever it is, and but then the case of COVID is is like a disease which is a different thing, which may or may not, you know, come from from the virus detect your HIV ID Yes, analogy. Explain that. Well, yes, you know, I mean, you have the, the HIV which is the virus associated with AIDS, and so, if you basically have a test result saying that, you, they, they detected the HIV virus, that does not mean that you have a full blown case of AIDS, and then everybody understands the difference, but right now, the, you know, the distinction between the virus and the disease COVID things just kind of smushed together. I look, I also just wanted before I get back to the co op meeting, what we get back also, it's like, I don't want to be distorting or or misconstruing where Dr. Locke was coming from Um, I mean, like, he definitely acknowledged and made very clear that in his opinion that these, you know that, you know that even the surgical masks, which are, you know, the standard best thing that people can be wearing just don't have a lot of protective value. But he wasn't saying that like, Okay, so let's throw away your master or let's, you know, let's not mandate in the mind, frankly, and if somebody feels good, but wearing a mask, and there are there are certain cases, certain kinds of situations in which wearing a mask, it might be a prudent thing to do, but it's sort of like mandating it for everybody. But anyway, he was basically then using that as an argument for why you shouldn't just wear one mask, you should wear multiple masks, right? And you know, you know, I mean, basically, it's like, you know, one of these is worthless, so you should wear two of them or something, you know, like, that's gone by the wayside. We haven't heard much about that. No, no, recently, plastic bag is 100% effective. You know, it's true masks come in handy if you have lettuce between your teeth. So, you know, so what happened at the co op meeting? So Dr. Merck shut up? Yeah. So you're a board member? For the COA? No, I was years gone by and he was president, but he's a member now. And member owner. Yes, yes. That's right. A proud and and what can I say I love the food Co Op, I love co ops in general. And to certain extent, this board meeting kind of reminded me and, you know, kind of reconnected me to reasons why I love co ops. And you know, I, I'm not like really super thrilled about some of the protective things that they're doing. But I feel like they're doing it, you know, they're, they're doing their best to try to figure things out. And I've got anyway, I could go into this more detail. But I, you know, so I attended this virtual meeting at the food Co Op. And, hey, I learned one thing that I'd forgotten, which was that yesterday, the date of the meeting was the 49th birthday of the food Co Op. And so there'll be coming up on their 50th birthday next year. And yeah, so you know, I one thing that I heard at this meeting that I actually wanted to ask you about GMOs is that the, they announced that they there was a lot of pushback about Michelle's arrest, and there was some letters being written, that were read out loud by people about that. And and so they tried to make very clear that, that the co op had not was was not charging her with trespassing, that apparently this was in the hands of the prosecutor. And so it was the prosecutor that was doing it and was running with it. And because of I guess, I wasn't, I wasn't, I wasn't mentally up to it. And also, I only had certain moments that I was allowed to speak. You know, but I would like to understand exactly what does that mean. I mean, like, if the food Co Op, even if that's like literally true, if the food cop decides to call the prosecutor and say we're, you know, we're, you know, we withdraw our complaint. Or if we say that, actually, we know we've looked at it, since she's a owner of the store, she couldn't possibly have been trespassing. So you guys ought to drop this thing. You know, do you have any, can you give me any insight legally, whether whether, you know, it's like, for example, if I reported a murder, if that point on I can't I can't trespass is a property crime. Okay. So say some, you know, if somebody has a bike going down the street, and the police, you know, arrest them, you know, they've got a stolen bike, and they bring it back and said, No, that's okay. I don't want you to, you know, prosecute, you know, that's it's fine. He had permission to use the bike. I don't want to press charges. They don't press charges. Interesting, because Rochelle was, quote, unquote, trespassed from the property. And by it, let's let's talk about the charge separately. So she was trespassed against the property that is done at the initiation of the property owner. The Co Op, I know from reading police reports, has trespassed transients, and has trespass other people who come to the store and abbreviated or who caused disturbances, and they call the police and they trust they trespass. The person they said, they are not welcome here for a year. And the police enforce that. So it was the co op made that call. Yeah, basically saying she's excluded from the property for a year. That is up to the co op. They may say that the the prosecution's going forward with this, but it's, I gotta say this, it's really unusual for a prosecution to be prosecuting a trespassing case when the land the property owner would want to say no, or is this I don't I don't want that trespassed. All they have to do is tell the prosecutor, she's a co owner. And, you know, she what she can't be trespassing, right? Or, I mean, at this point, they have me as a former president saying she can't be trespassed, I have Anna Wilton as a former as the founding manager, saying that you can't be trespassed. And if and if the cop decided to then go back to them and say, Hey, forget about it. I would assume that they would forget about well, they have to call a witness from the police. But that's what I'm saying. Are they saying this in the board meeting on the record? But what I'm saying, are they being duplicitous? and checking shit? I don't know. I you know, I mean, I wonder. I mean, it didn't quite add up to me, but they're just trying to be very clear that that it's the prosecutor doing it. We're not the ones that are charging me mad. So I don't know if that's technically detecting That's true. The prop. I mean, this is Yeah, this is starting to, you know, alright, I'll take I just I it's kind of Weasley wording, because it sets the prosecutor press charging her not us. True. Yeah, it's the prosecutor who files to charge but but you are the complaining party. And so they are complaining to the prosecutor. They complain to the police. They asked that one of their co owners Beerus be arrested for drug who tries to trespass me excluded from the store subject to an order of police that she comes back on, they will arrest her summarily. And that's them. Yeah. All they have to do is lift that. I would assume so. Yeah. This is it seems that's just used disingenuous. I don't know. Yes, it is. chickenshit. I mean, and so trial calm, Stephen trial comes. Okay. Who's the first witness? for the prosecution? It's going to be the store manager. Yeah. And and then the question is, which, you know, is Who does she is she a co owner? You know, did you? I mean, it has to be the if they, if the prosecution's first witness says, I don't want to press these charges, Your Honor. The prosecution is doing this. It's not us. Yeah. She's a co owner. This is a lot of confusion. Well, the judge is going to say, Look to the defense lawyers, who is there a motion to dismiss counsel? I'm sorry, the case will would not be going forward if the co op was not a complaining party to the prosecution. Yeah. And you're cooperating? I would think that they should be able to uncomplaining and put the genie back in the bottle or something. Well, they should they should tell the prosecutor this was a, you know, she's a co owner. So you're so Jim, you're saying this, from what experience? I was, what's your background, I was a prosecutor adelphia and New Mexico, actual legitimate a prosecutor, state prosecutor and, and district attorney and assistant district attorney in Philly. So what I'm saying is you're qualified, you're not a street attorney. No, it's ending. But if somebody steals a candy bar from a store, and the police officer catches the kid outside and walks in back in, and the store owner takes the candy bar and and unwraps it and gives it to the kid, you know, and the police are not going to charge because it's, you know, the guy's gonna say I don't want that. I don't want this prosecuted. Okay, so let's so what and the only way this is possible is if behind the scenes and communications, there's no officer saying, keep going. But then publicly, there's Yeah, what she is not. They have to say what she did was trespassing. They have to be saying that. So let's follow that. When I told you to leave, she had to leave. Yeah, from this store. While we wait, let's wait. Let's back up. Let's look at the timeline. They Trespasser. They arrest her inside her and give her the warning. And then the Fallout, the Yelp reviews, the Facebook comments, the letters, everything comes back in. So then the question is has the co op reached out to the prosecutor and says we are lifting this one year ban? We are not we do not want to prosecute her for cause that happened? That's the question I have they reached out they contacted Rochelle Merle, and said, you know, recognizing that Uber co owner, we can't deny you your property rights to shop in the store unless we follow the rules under which you became a coach. Okay, what are the bylaws so like governing documents, which require a two thirds vote of the entire board of directors, not what we call as a manager, but as a prosecutor, right? Is there Can you think of a way that the prosecutor can go? Okay, you guys are dropping the complaint, but I can still prosecute with as a prosecutor with the discretion with some other is that there are ways like a murder case or no, I prosecuted damages case, I prosecuted domestic violence cases where the abused wife, who had been stabbed in the breast and hit over the head said, No, no, I don't do anything. But you can still you still because it's a crime against society as well. Okay. And but in this case, it's only again, it's only a trespass if at least the co op saying she had no right to be on the on the premises of another and this is not her property. Yeah, co op has to be saying this is not her property. And we told her to leave and she didn't leave Exactly. But But the thing is, in all their documents and their website, and on what they said, is it transcribed or recorded their meetings. I can't find minutes of their meetings. Anyway, this is interesting, because everything else says you are an owner. Well, if you're an owner, then how can you be booted out? Or you know, I mean, so they have to either Well, no sure cut there's there's that I can't just let this slide towards trial and error. They all were a victim of this runaway press prosecutor who's just, you know, wait a minute, this is only happening because the the co op is they're driving it is driving the prosecution, they can make it all go away. I would hope so. And and I also, you know, my candidates would work, let me just say something, they can work something out with Rochelle Merkel, where she might agree to stay away for a year until the mask mandate is lifted. All right. And and just in go back and say, you remember we okay. So we're not gonna, you know, we're gonna, you know, we want to work things out, we're not going to use the prosecution as leverage. But since please don't come back here. You know, it freaks our employees out and other shoppers and there's a lot of things they could they could other than exposing her to charges that would put a mother mother of three in jail for three months, right. That's what this charge this Jonah, this judge, if she's convicted, if the if the co op continues to push this. And by push, I mean, telling the prosecutor prosecute, prosecute, and we're going to give you the evidence you need, which is that this is not her property, that once we tell the manager tells her to leave under our rules, she loses all property rights, and she has to go, you know, and all those things. I mean, yeah, they, you know, it's it this judge if she's convicted, and this judge is hostile to somebody who asserted religious rights or, you know, broke the mandate. You know, maybe the judge is a real believer thinks an example must be made of her. We can't have this that judge because of the the CO ops actions could put a mother of three jail for three months when shoplifters. Well, we from the call, don't see it. Yeah, I mean, this is me. This is like, you know, to me, I feel like this is one of the weakest cases I've ever seen, and not one that if I were a prosecutor, I'd want to prosecute, but I could well imagine, you know, don't you know, there's a war on that under these in this climate. Some activist judge might decide they want to make an example of her well, I heard Rochelle refused to wear a mask when she was arraigned in the court room. Well, wait. Langer, yeah, co op had options of handling this thing. Absolutely. That day. Absolutely. They offer curbside pickup, they could have said, okay, we understand you everything. You don't want to mask it. Can you give us a list and we'll call you had a carpool? They should? I'm saying well wait outside hearing go go hang out in your car there there were much more friendly and community minded or, or at least compassionate ways to deal with this instead? I think they went the the, I'm seeing more and more of the corporate, they've turned into Whole Foods. They are they just broke Steven's heart they are they've turned into Whole Foods. They look look at their Facebook posts, their nameless, faceless posts by no one in particular, from the corporate brand. They're nameless, they're being wishy washy. And one hand spreading this PR message about Oh, it's not us. It's the state, we can't do anything about it. It's not our fault. But on the same side, clearly, they're still driving this being the corporate dicks that they've turned into. Ah, yeah. Okay, let's say, we pull back a little bit from here, we could go on and say, say your piece now? Let them have it back. Yeah, that's what I think you can, let's prove to me change my mind that they're not a whole foods in a co op, hiding behind a co op go hiding behind this. There's the erage they've lost the plot. Let's put it that way. Well, listen, I mean, I will say among other things, is that, you know, at this board meeting, you know, they, there was a lot of reports and other things about their efforts to cultivate local local growers, local suppliers, working very closely with them, you know, working with other food, other co Ops, not just food co Ops, ship rights, co ops and other things there, you know, and I could tell that these are good hearted and, and competent people who know what they're doing, trying to do things that I think are good, right. And, and you're right, that, you know, and we can talk about this later or now but although the sunny things I want to talk about right now, but the the, you know, there definitely has been, you know, a shift over time, from my days of being on the food Co Op and, and for that matter, before my days of being on the food Co Op, to to now in which they definitely are a lot closer to being a whole foods, right. Your membership card is your club card. Exactly, you know, but and that's the thing is that's, that's one of the things that I was trying to respond to in my comment to the board. Yesterday is is that you know, it isn't just a membership card and a club card and and they know this too, you know, I mean, like they you know, they do know that that's a food that it's a club Up in the co op mean something, but I guess I just want to get to the idea of, of I mean, even apart from Michelle's particular case, is it is it legit to trespass an owner just even as a policy thing. I mean, like, for example, like, here's what the what the Washington State tells business what they should do if somebody enters into a business without wearing a face covering theirs. First of all, they're told that they're not supposed to, you know, offer, they're not supposed to provide service to people without face coverings. So that, you know, that might mean that they won't, would refuse to check them out, or something in business are encouraged to offer other accommodations, such as curbside service or delivery. But you know, and then it's also as like, are they required to enforce the order for the public to wear the face coverings, and it sort of says that if a customer still refuses to wear a mask, businesses should follow their normal procedure for dealing with challenging customers, which might include contacting local law enforcement for help. So I mean, like I, you know, what it could have showed, or they could have done stuff in different ways, maybe, but I sort of feel like, you know, I'm kind of curious, like, let's say there is a challenging customer, whether it's about masks or whatever, you know, and let's say, you know, I mean, let's say they're there the causes of public disturbance or challenge or whatever, when a challenging customer or challenging owner member, well, let's just get the customer. Exactly. No, that's exactly that's exactly the point. Right? And it's like, you know, let's say they're, let's say they're stealing stuff or screaming bloody murder, then you can call the police and say, hey, we've got someone stealing stuff and screaming bloody murder, could you help disorderly conduct any any of these things, but but if they basically are saying, hey, this customer is wearing a purple shirt, we don't like purple shirts, would you please arrest him for trespassing? You know, I mean, like, you know, I mean, you know, I mean, it's like you say, you know, arrest him for wearing a purple shirt, and then they'd say, well, there's no law against wearing a purple shirt. And so I do kind of wonder, I really would love it, if the cop would just take off the books, the entire idea that they're going to take a so called customer, which in this case, is an owner is the owner of the store who has every right to be there, specifically guaranteed in the in the articles of incorporation that they are, they have the right to, to shop and to have equal participation, you know, however, you want to put it in the, in the stores activities, and, and to basically then just take that person and say, Hey, this person is trespassing at our store, you know, take them away officer and put them in jail for three months. I mean, even if someone is being challenging, whatever that means is being someone who is causing problems, whatever that means. That that I really would love it if they would, you know, deal with the problems, but not just basically just hustling off the buffalo as trespassers. And and, okay, well, let's wait now is are we using the term owner as a as basically, instead of staying stockholder, which is to corporate? Because what does owner mean? Yeah. Because does that mean that they have keys to the co op? Does that mean that they can just shop at the store and by laws, they got the governing documents established the rights of ownership, okay, so if you're a stockholder, you get rights as it's a derivative ownership, you only own the shares, okay, and you have the right to vote the shares. And you have, you may have the right to sell the shares, you may have the right to a dividend, blah, blah, blah, you're not actually an owner in in that in that nobody tells you you are except when you get to the co op model. Yeah. Which was a movement against corporate ownership against all of this to make it's, you know, it's a, it's weak communism, but they're not on that. But no, we're not able to know. So what you all what you get with your ownership rights are set forth in in the governing documents, which is, you have the right to shop and purchase products under the same terms as everybody else. Okay, done, you know, which means you have the right to shop, the shop means you still have to pay for what you get, you don't get to steal it. He has the right to vote for the board of directors, and you have the right to dividends, and some other ancillary things that establishes your rights. By the way, how does that differ from say, a partnership in a sense, when you've got 6000? partners? I mean, it seems like in each case, there are your partnership rights are defined. Yeah. Sounds like they're a private club member. Yeah, but but you get, like the Hair Club for man or whatever. No, I think I got it got a club card. I mean, like, literally, you know, you own it, you know? Yeah. I mean, like, I mean, I mean, back then you're called an owner. See, the other thing is to call up tells you, you're an owner, but but again, that are they just using? Did they go through a thesaurus and find a word now that doesn't imply corporate ownership? This comes from the whole Co Op movement thing? No, I know, right? That's what I'm saying. No, no, you're asking good question, Is it because when when someone says owner, there's a lot of implied they are and they talk about that on their website, too, that ownership also carries responsibilities. Then I've appointed myself as the cop, the Supreme Commander of the co op, and I demand that they identify me and put me on the website accordingly. Well, you don't but I'm not an owner. All right now I am a member but it's not your owner but your ownership rights are set forth in the bylaws and governing documents so you don't have the right to sleep there. Which is kind of like the Terms of use at Costco you have the club member closer closer to it. But so you know, in the old days it I was an early member you had a work I mean, you show you're saying Co Op is worse it's actually Costco because Whole Foods doesn't have a car No. So this is so the CO ops changed but they've kept they've kept the quote unquote ownership language. Oh, but you got to read the documents to decide what this owner hit get you but what it gets you is the right to shop. How come I never received the bylaws when we joined up as Co Op members? Because they're on the website? Have you heard the internet? Yeah, when I Rei sent me a copy of the bylaws. Well, Rei is not much of a co op anymore either. I remember when I was there more of a co op and the same thing I get what I get, I get discount very soon I get privates I get sales, I get to vote for the board members, where the members don't want to work. That's what happened. Not enough people wanted to work. But anyway, but anyway, you know, they decide they define what it is and and your right of ownership includes the right to shop. And the thing in Rochelle murrells case is that the co op has deprived her of the right to shop Can I shop without the due process under the same terms as other outlets says under the same terms of devil's advocate, can I go in and I don't know dress up on my Hitler outfit and go walk in the store and shop and shop. They could even wear a trump hat angry but naked and walk through the store while no get you. You could buy so there's a cure. But you're well you're not trespassing. you're committing the offense of really indecent exposure. Eric and I don't want you don't want nobody wants to see no, it's like saying woman said on the Port Townsend Free Press website that if all my boobs hang out and sway in the wind, you know, I know. That's Yeah, that's it. But you, but it is sort of like that is a tough question. I mean, like I, you know, I this I This wasn't on my radar so much before. Michelle did her thing. But now, but but now it is that I do kind of feel that. You're right. I mean, like, for example, gee, you know, since I own the club, maybe I can just, you know, camp out there and sleep there since I'm an owner. You know, I don't think so. But even if even if I could, they could respond by stripping me of my ownership and then throwing me out. Yes, they didn't do in Russia, right. No, no, no, there's a problem. They just know they this to the chase. Yeah. And the Yeah, and the thing is, on the other hand, though, for basically I'm in the, you know, the the bylaws specifically say that membership rights include the right you know, to purchase goods from the CO Corporation at prices generally available to benefit for participation in the activities, the corporation. So anyway, I so I find it hard to say that if I basically walk into the store exercising my my guaranteed rights, that I'm trespassing, you know, if I'm wearing that Hitler shirt or whatever, then then you know, I think that that may be something that they have to deal with somehow, but like back in the day, you know, back when I was there, we would No, no, we Well, no, we had Co Op meetings we had process so we would do all this nice nicey nicey stuff and just hide things by consensus and all that kind of stuff. And you would sort of like you know, work it out or at least you try to and so you know that it was some kind of change that I'm seeing now here it is a changing culture. Yeah, very much as a change in culture from what the co op model when it was communal in some sense everybody pitched in and worked Yeah, I mean, you had the barrels you know, the farmers brought the stuff in there was nothing fancy about the co op stores I belong to and then I don't know how many years ago that Co Op started you know shifting they couldn't get members becoming cost and and this Co Op here with their remodel I you know, I like I love the quality of food and all this but boy it doesn't it look for demands and co ops it looks to me like a whole small Whole Foods Why? Back in the day, co ops are all about healthy food. It was an act of rebellion against big ag Yeah, against processed food against factory food, you know, and, and all the women labels and advertising and all this bulk, you know, and it was you know, back to the earth kinda that's why I brought up the merkler thing and vitamins it was all it was about advice and health and nutrition and not following the food pyramid that came from you know, the Agriculture Department that the lobbyists throat anyway, yeah. Now you go to the our, our food Co Op, which is place realtors take people looking at town, they do. Sure, and it's pretty good. People look the lighting. It's well laid out. It's a feast for the eyes and it's got aisles of processed food. It's got it's groovy. There's junk food in there. So It's got that aisle, it's got natural junk food, and it's got its aisle of ferment and sugars, and sugars and Weymouth. But is that the co op of your? No, that is, when you look at it, that's like a small Whole Foods and the end the bulk section, which used to be back in the day 90% of the store. Yeah. Where's the bulk section? Oh, back there. You know, these are all legit points. But I mean, in fairness, I mean, it does come up has a great book section. They've got the produce right next to the shows, you know? Yeah, from a corporate Okay, I understand business consultant. So I think that they're on a fatal path. Because I want them to go back and remind themselves of the plot and what they should be doing in both products, and culture and everything. Because if they don't, all that's going to be left is Safeway and Q FC, and the big chains, they but as from the business side, Dave, they're squandering their their fighting of a Walmart, grocery Safeway, they're fighting on these big boy territory, where they're only thing they're leaving it up to it and leaving the consumer up to decide to is on price. If they're carrying the exact same crap, and Safeway and KFC, the only thing left to decide to do is, well, why should I pay the extra markup? I can go across the street, because the only thing they're leaving is price differentiation. That's not what it's not the same thing. Because I will say this, even though I just took a few shots at the co op, you know, which I think are absolutely valid and legitimate and, and beyond cville. But they do have better produce than Safeway. I'm sure a lot of connections to local growers and all this kind of stuff. But I really just want to I mean, like, sure, you could say, gee, how are they different from KFC? Well, I mean, they do different going down that path here yoga, but but but here's the deal is like Nike wear masks if you get arrested. Yeah, that's a difference. Yeah, yeah, unfortunately. So nobody Qf See, basically, you know, I mean, like, you know, basically, the UFC and Safeway, it was more like they changed to be more like the co op, rather than trying to be like them, they started introducing, like, you know, of the Safeway, oh, brand, and all these different things. You know, so, you know, they So, yeah, so, um, but but, you know, you're right, that, that, it, definitely, I mean, but here's the deal. I'm not, I don't know, how far back, I want to go on all this. But I mean, basically, it's a consumer Co Op, right? I mean, the consumers are the ones that it's for the it's that benefit them and, and in a sense, you could just have, there's lots of different co ops all over the world and, and they aren't necessarily all about trying to do hippie, you know, natural things or whatever. And so cops were for pretty much anything, and it may well be that it is transitioning, and I sort of hate to see it, but it may be transitioning slowly, to be less of a natural food alternative thing to be more just like a great good place to dock superstore a bit big, you know, but but, okay, well, here, I'm listening. I wrote something in 1994. And I think maybe I can actually maybe my 9090 for me was better than my current me and so far, it's expressing this. So basically, I had written this article talking about how wonderful food co ops are. And I was just basically, you know, just saying, Look at this great thing. Look at this great thing, look at this great thing. And then I was saying okay, with a food co ops question mark, this is kind of where you're going here. You know, I've been describing the ideal situation cops often find themselves stretched between apparently opposite commitments to cooperative purism and efficient operations. The consumer co operative of Berkeley, at one time, America's largest food Co Op with 12 stores and 100,000 members and $83 million in annual sales and that's back when millions meant something failed in 1988. partly due to the to this conflict, the board factionalized into progressive versus economic camps. The staff collected inflated paychecks while Co Op assets were sold off the membership defected dismay over infighting and the disappearance of politically taboo products from the shelves. Now Berkeley is an extreme case and remember that for 50 years, it was a pioneering and successful Co Op. So you could consider it a success and I shop there Yeah. Oh my gosh, well, you're the one used to be telling me no did corporatism fail at Berkeley? Or was it an example of what can happen when co ops neglect their underlying principles. Many employees hadn't been educated about co ops didn't bother even to become members and felt alienated from their Co Op bosses. A week board literally gave away the store in contract negotiations. Putting reflects of sympathy for union causes ahead of the members shifts interest and so that was excerpted from a magazine called cooperative grocer that I used to read. Now as food clubs grow and find themselves directly competing with huge corporate supermarket chains. They start discovering every incentive to become more like supermarkets and less like co ops. Member involvement in store operations gets phased out, replacing the energy of enthusiastic part timers with the professionalism of stressed out staff Whether it's McDonald's or Mondragon, which is wonderful for a co op back and not not food club network of CO ops anyway, whether at McDonald's or Mondragon full time service work within a power structure can be a stupefying experience that makes cooperative ideal seem pretty hollow. When a co op looks like Safeway and works like Safeway, why should it shoppers and workers care that it isn't Safeway? Okay, well, let me interrupt you. Okay, because, and I want to get one more paragraph that answers that question. Okay, fine. Let me just wrap it up. Okay. One answer is that supermarket co ops remain excellent natural food stores with top quality products and a benign corporate outlook, which plows profits back into the co op and its community. But those who prefer small fry co ops do feel that something intangible gets lost as cops grow into increased hierarchy and organization as a co op gets less fun to work in, gets less fun to shop in, and less like a great good place to hang out in play time is over, it's back to work. Where's that Co Op difference? I hope that food food clubs will someday crack that nut of how to grow without losing what makes them great. I wonder whether collapse will prove to be just the wave of the past, or whether you know, the model and model will eventually take over the earth. What I do know is that right now, there are many magic co ops that survive and thrive. So check them out there maybe when you're in hometown, so that was written that 94. And now like it was like I was seeing the future? No, the difference is, is that exact same thing with the Berkeley Co Op, the board started to isolate themselves from feedback. And this board is doing the exact same thing. It's a pain in the ass to address the board. It's a pain in the ass to listen to the minutes. This is how a board makes decisions and gets a weak board and does something that's contrary to the memberships wishes, because they isolate themselves in this in this executive bubble, they turn it into a C suite. And this this Co Op is doing exactly the same thing. I can't see the minutes from prior meetings, I can just see this bs summary of decisions on the website here. He talks like this to everybody. So it's not Yeah. So what I'm saying is that their fatal flaw, they're doing it right now. And they're going down that path of failure because they transparency is getting harder and harder. Well, that's true. Unfortunately, that's true everywhere, because of this, this horrible lack of open governance where everything is happening on these zoom meetings and what have you, and you can't actually actually be there. You know, the co op, though does, honestly, they try to I mean, like I was Secretary of the co op for many years. And the and, and you know, I mean, they've actually got their minutes books, they've got, they've got a lot of books that are physically you can look at that are right there in the store, because nobody generally knows about it or cares. You know, unless you're a former senator heard of the internet. If I have to get my bylaws from the internet, I should be able to go as a member owner, I should be able to go and see the minutes of the meetings? Well, first of all, I kind of agree, I mean, like, to some extent you could sort of the board would want it would want to basically, you know, you don't necessarily want to have all of your intimate stuff out there for the world to see naked obsession, but but on the other hand, basically, I would say 90, you know, some huge percentage of the town is on is our members. I mean, like there's the number of club members is larger than the population of the town. And you know, because of old members that haven't cancelled their old membership. But yeah, so I definitely they could put more stuff out there. But honestly, I you know, I do feel like, honestly, I do feel like the cop does care about process. And maybe they'll, you know, they there's things more transparency. Yeah, yeah, I mean, I would say the real thing that's happening is that there has been a transition to have, you know, like I said, back in my day, there were different different set of problems. And back in the day, basically, you know, it was much more you just, it was like, consensus process, and you were just babbling, on and on and on about process and not getting anything done. Right. And the minutiae, and by having consensus, you could have this situation where you could have one person who is just blocking everything, and, you know, their, their, their potential problems. And so, if anything, you know, I actually am glad that the collapse has become more business like, then back in my day, but but but only so far, you know, right, maybe they've gone too far. And definitely, they've become a situation in which the board has sort of decided and really, I used to really be totally where everything's going on right now. I'm really not. So I don't I may be misunderstanding this, but, but I think they've basically decided to have a situation in which the board is definitely not micromanaging. And they're sort of passing stuff for the staff decide, and then they're basically just going to be there and meet and discuss BLM or something. You know, that's, you know, so what is one of the things that come up, and it was, it was at surface because, let me let me just back off. That was a cheap shot. The board actually is I mean, I I saw the board doing a lot of really good valuable stuff at this meeting. And then I'm sure they are, I just want I just want to make it I don't want to have to, I don't have time to go and attend the meetings or to to to the Doing things, I just want to go through the minutes, I want to see the packet that's coming up just to see what they're going to be talking about. These are very simple things to post on the web. Yeah, yeah, that's it. That's all I want to do. So when I have when I it's like, well, I want to know what to do people volunteer at the co op to get things done. I don't know. I'd say and this something I'm making put all this on the internet. I don't know. And this is the thing is like, yeah, and, I mean, again, because of this, these COVID or I should say, lockdown, you know, changes, I don't really know, even know what their real deal is anymore. But I mean, like, there used to be all these like sheets and stuff you could put up and feedback things and now a lot of things virtual, but like, you know, back in the day, there was like, you know, I mean, like caulk, you own it. You were asking, like keys and stuff. Yeah, there were dozens of us who had keys to place there, there was there was no difference, you know, there, they know that basically, I mean, I I wasn't only like on the board of directors. But I clerked there for I pulled two clerkships a week, you know, for for, you know, many, many years. And, and basically, you know, there was like, practically no distinction between the person behind the counter and the guy person in front of the counter. And, and if I wanted something, I would just go into the back room and see if it was in the, in the cooler and all this kind of stuff. And you know, and that was wonderful. And it was, it was a kind of a situation in which it was even though officially a you know, consumers Co Op, it sort of felt like a workers Co Op, it sort of seemed like the workers kind of ruled the roost, and the workers were pretty much on the board and all that kind of stuff. And that had pluses and minuses. But when I say workers, you you had only like a couple, you know, just like one coordinator, and then like three or four coordinators, and then everybody else were volunteers. And yet, it was also kind of a strange situation, because these volunteers were, they weren't getting paid, but they were getting food. Right. And so it was sort of, you know, it was kind of a, it was a real cool deal. You know, in some ways, it was something in which, in which they were self exploiting themselves, because they were sort of getting as it were getting paid less than minimum wage in terms of the food they were getting. But it was it was really a wonderful thing where everybody really felt involved in things that definitely changed. And and in some ways, really, for the better from the point of view of somebody who just wants to shop there and not have a couple of workers just yapping away, right. So one of the things that come up, because of I think, Rochelle murrells arrest, and the whole masking thing to our is, I know a lot of people have written I don't know a lot. I know, some people who are longtime members have written heartbroken to the board that they no longer feel welcome. At a co op that was their home the quote unquote, the center of my universe, I saw one letter. And that's because they will not mask they have objections on that. And they don't feel that their concerns are being accommodated or listened to at all. And we joke about q FC and Safeway, you know, you don't get arrested for not wearing masks, but you don't. They even actually let people who don't wear masks come in at special times. I know veterans have been accommodated there. Because I know some veterans, they cannot put on a mask. Now there. There's a lot of businesses that are just ignoring you if you're writing. But at the two other stores that we talked about, you know, the veterans, I can't I can't you know, I'll have an anxiety attack. Whereas the co op has shown no leeway what so ever. And I know. And you've probably seen some of the letters too, and it's just terrible. Why aren't you listening to this? You know, when you brought here, the photo of the banner that flies outside everybody, welcome. And I know in those letters, those heartbroken people are writing going, I don't feel welcome in a store that I helped build that I love that was the center of my universe. So I hope some good comes out of this for the co op this conversation at the board you had last night where they're listening in, they're responding and they're hearing from members. They are growing. It's a it's an important it's a it's a critical part of this community. It is one of the real attractions of Port Townsend. You know, and I like shopping there. I love the produce section. And other things, you know, and I will continue to go there. But for the it is at a it's changing. You're seeing it there's you know, the more professional management, the smaller role for the board. More rules. You know, the owner rights. My gosh, when's the last time anybody talked about owner rights? Yeah, well, Rochelle Merrill's case has brought this up and maybe, and some of those letters talked about, I think it was yours or Anna waupun saying, you know, there's a real need for a strong internal discussion in the co op instead of calling in the police and going this route, because there this is a policy dispute within the family of the co op members. So maybe something good can come out of this. Well, that's it. Yeah, yeah, no, anyway, but listen, I just you're right on about what you're saying. And you almost like read my mind. And that was actually one of the things that I said at this at the at the meeting last night, you know, is that like the club's mission statement? It's, it starts with their values and the number one One value they list is inclusion, we work to welcome and include the whole community. And these people that that, you know, that were This used to be their place, and now they're excluded because they can't wear masks physically or otherwise. And, and so I did speak to the, to the board and they were very, you know, I mean, I, you know, they listen to me respectfully and and you know, and, you know, I was just sort of I was kind of saying in the sense that I was kind of felt like I was almost speaking for the departed, I was sort of, like speaking for the people speaking for the dead members. I was speaking for some of the old timers who had, you know, a different philosophy, and we'd be kind of appalled by how things have changed, but also specifically about the current ones that do feel excluded. And, and so I was just starting, you know, and I gotta tell you is that you know, in fairness, you know, Canada was talking, actually, the co op has opened up a bunch strangely enough, coincidentally, whatever, just last week or two, they're no longer having Checkpoint Charlie or whatever at the door to make sure that you've got whatever, you know, you basically, that you, let's see, what were some of these things that, that there's no entrance person, Guardian, you can sanitize yourself. You don't always have to have someone there guarding your bins. And they've also opened up the back door, and there will be other opening opening things, you know, so maybe, maybe this is a good thing for the cop in some sense. And I hope that they don't say the prosecutor is making us do this. The prosecutor is responding genuis for the divisions in our Co Op family. And for all these things, Steven, yeah, where our time's up here. Sure. Thank you so much. I just want to say if I'm poke you can't see Stephens face but he is one of those heartbroken people about some things happening at an institution he loves dearly. And he's truly truly speaking from the heart and boy is he knowledgeable and it was an honor having you on air just like publishing your title. So this is Troy being here. Yeah, Steven, thank you. This is Jim Scarantino and Aric Mackey aying goodbye for the not all heir podcast.