Sunday, September 6, 2020

Smoke from the Creek fire near Shaver Lake descends over Kern County, protesters gather at the personal residence of Rep. Kevin McCarthy and the cancel culture muffles free speech

Welcome to Bakersfield Observed. Our mission is to celebrate life in Kern County by focusing on newsmakers and events and the local characters who make this community such a special place. The views expressed here are strictly my own and do not represent any other company or publication.

 * ... FREE SPEECH: If you are like a lot of people, the world has become so polarized that it's better just to keep your mouth shut. Mention you support Joe Biden, or Donald Trump, and you may lose

friends. Researchers say it is increasingly common for people to hold their beliefs to themselves, lest they incur the wrath for simply saying how they feel. The New York Times reported that 62 percent of all Americans agreed with this statement: "The political climate these days prevents me from saving things I believe because others might find them offensive." That includes 77 percent of self identified conservatives and also 52 percent of liberals.

 * ... CREEK FIRE: You can thank the Creek fire up near Shaver Lake for much of the bad air that has descended over Kern County, but it remains a dangerous situation near the lake. The Visalia Times-Delta reported that at least 20 people were injured the fire and thousands of families had been forced to evacuate from the Sierra National Forest during the Labor Day holiday weekend. More than 40,000 acres have been consumed in the fire and the National Guard is using military helicopters to rescue people stranded at the lakefront. (fire photos courtesy of KMPH and The Fresno Bee)

 * ... KMAC PROTEST: I am not sure what was worse: the fact that a group of protesters rallied outside of Kevin McCarthy's personal residence, or the utter ridiculousness of their demands. Let's be clear here: nobody broke the law when a couple dozen young protesters showed up at 4:30 a.m. to harass the McCarthy family, even if it was in such poor taste that seems beyond question. But the real fun was reading the "demands" from the protesters: including that McCarthy end his support for oil and natural gas or resign. Unknown up to this point, the groups included the Sunrise Movement, Kern County Hub, Our Revolution Kern County and Kern Young Democrats. And, let's be fair here, it's not a true 2020 protest unless it includes some kind of charge about white supremacy. Which, of course, this one did.  “We have a message for all local, state and federal Kern County politicians,” the group said in a statement. “If you don’t work to dismantle the white supremacist ideals that devalues (Black, indigenous and people of color) lives, if you don’t advocate for a just transition for workers while moving away from fossil fuels, you need to resign.”

 * ... SPOTTED ON TWITTER: "My boss said 'Dress for the job you want, not the job you have.' Now I’m sitting in a disciplinary meeting dressed as Batman."

 * ... ATTACK AD: Did you see the advertisement attacking Rep. Kevin McCarthy in the Sunday Bakersfield Californian? The full page advertisement was taken out by, a non-profit that supports Democratic candidates and policies.

 * ... MEMORIES: I ran across the old pictures from Taft - they actually were postcards - on the Kern County of Old Facebook page.

 * ... MORE MEMORIES: And check out this postcard of the old Southern Hotel thanks to the Kern County History Fans Facebook page.

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