‘Deep Turkey’, Tomsula and The Turk

Although previous posts reference Russia and India, my first thought was “deep Turkey”

The headline in today’s Palo Alto Weekly (online) says “Pat Burt Returns to The Mayor’s Chair” and so far of the 24 posts, two-thirds are upset about this (ok, now its 17 out of 31, closer to half, expressing alarm or cynicsm, regret or anger- Ed). My little one-liner, which believe me, is pulling my punches, is only viewable to logged-in and registered users, which I consider a type of censorship. (That and the fact that, despite posting under my own name, about 20 percent of my comments are deleted from this forum). I first met Pat Burt in 2009, after declaring for the council race and he quickly established the fact that he could care less about my citizen’s engagement or worse considers me a threat. (And if you read this blog, or search above, you can see my coverage of such).

Rather than the two or three other things I was planning to do, think about or write about*, that the Weekly hid my comments sent me on the war-path, for two hours, or until I realized I needed to move my car.

Check back to see if I update or polish this. I also texted last night a link to another post, about Schimid’s chances for mayor: I said I wondered how the “horse-trading” could have been accomplished without violating the Brown Act.


Due to violations of our terms of use (link) comments from this poster are only visible to registeredusers. Click here to view comment. Why? (Yes, Bill Johnson, why the fuck do you censor my posts? You should be paying me! In fact, you owe me money on some football coverage of mine you printed, but that’s beside the point).

This is a bit of a meta-comment, but apparently there is no freedom of the press in Turkey, either.
Web Link

(I searched “freedom of press” and “turkey” and found a website that gave them a 65 out of 100 scale and said “not considered free speech”, still a bit obscure, but why do we censor it here?)

“Deep Turkey” my previous post, the one that is semi-censored (you have to be logged in to view it) references a well-discussed phenomenon that the country Turkey, in the middle east, has an apparent disconnect between what its policy-makers say and do and what actually happens; the argument is that there is an obscure “deep” element that makes decisons behind the scene; I’ve never been to Turkey but I heard about this on public radio and I tend to believe it. So in comparing the election of Pat Burt to mayor, and the persistence and resilience of a pro-Development ethos despite the supposed rise of “new Residentialism” I am comparing our system to another compromised Democracy, 8,000 miles away.

And I am also saying, in the meta -case that it is debatable what role the Palo Alto Weekly plays in the furtherance of this pro-developer bias. For example, PAW supports Pat Burt and does not support me. Fair enough. But why does the Weekly consistently delete my comments or censor them by making the average reader unable to see them?

And to the exact point, Bill Johnson personally defended his censoring of a post I made in 2014^ challenging Pat Burt’s credentials and or conduct as Council, and his role in what became the topic of the Grand Jury report. He said (in a phone conversation) “I will not print the unsubstantiated claims of his political opponent” even though, as I pointed out, he prints numerous comments on that issue wherein he has not even identified the identity of the poster.

Anyhow good luck to Pat.


My first reaction, before I read the posts, above about India (by CL) and Russia, was to say that Pat Burt is like the Jim Tomsula of government, while Greg Schmid is like a Bill Walsh.

There’s also “The Turk” the famous chess-playing automaton. But that does not remind me of Pat in the least zugzwang bit.


Here is Cheryl’s post:

Soon there will be 4 seats open for city council. I hope the voters in Palo Alto will understand the importance of selecting slow growth candidates to shape the Palo Alto we hope to live in.

Consider Dholera, India. (A new planned city)

Web Link

Just like here, (and clearly on a vastly larger scale) the Dholera plans reflect the new urbanism ideology: an effort to create a new environment that is green, livable and business friendly. You should check out this youtube because it’s representative of what very well funded “new urbanism” looks like, on a large scale. This could be the Silicon Valley of the future, and I’m curious whether anyone–besides corporations, developers, and architects– feel enthusiasm for this vision. (You may want to turn off the sound unless you love techno beats.)

And, if it’s not a future you want, it’s important that you pay close attention to what happens this year, and help people get elected who represent the future you’d prefer.

2. and kudos to this anonymous post-er (“Short memory…”) who reminded us that when Karen Holman was elected over Liz Kniss, that the vote was 5-4 for vice mayor with Greg Schmid over Pat Burt:

Last year, the so-called “residentialists” (Karen, Tom, and Eric) supported Burt for vice mayor and forgot about Greg Schmid, who supported them so strongly in the campaign. At the same time last year, Berman, Kniss, Scharff, and Wolbach supported Schmid for Vice Mayor, despite perceived ideological political and differences. (They gave him a chance after his friends stabbed him in the back, but he was an ineffective vice mayor, so now they went with pragmatism.) Now Cheryl and her “residentialist” allies cry foul when people they don’t like do the same thing their friends did just a year ago. Short memories and hypocrisy, or am I missing something?

I remember noticing that and wondering; maybe the pro-developer four merely knew that Schmid would win and switched their votes to cloak their actual ideology — they didn’t support Schmid they were just mocking him or being sly. But despite being occassionally called a residentialist, or giving lip service to some residents’ concern, Burt is consistently pro-developer and really does not care about you and me.  And comparing our situation to something as obscure as Turkey is pulling my punches.

3 or *: I was starting to think about the real estate transactions published each week or so in two or our local “real estate rags”. I am curious to track how many houses are flipped, that is sold shortly after being bought. I noticed that of the four posted in today’s paper (the other one, the one with no name), 3 of 4 were “last sale” since 2010. I am guessing that close to half of sales are by sellers who were buyers within five previous years, which to my mind is flipping. (Or what is the historical baseline). A secondary point, and I have no idea the signficance is that the surnames in these small sample set four cases were: Gu, Lee, Gao and Zhang. (YuanZhang as compared to zugzwang the German word which I translate as “compelled to move” which is chess not home location. Which could yield “Zugzwang w. YuanZhang” as a quickie Plasty post, but I digress.

4. Twelve hours earlier, veteran reporter G. Sheyner had written a preview as if he expected Vice Mayor Schmid to succeed Holman:

Palo Alto will have a new mayor tonight and, if tradition holds, the annual honor will go to a soft-spoken, data-hungry economist with a long record of skepticism and dissent when it comes to new developments.

5. Its a read hearing (and pointless to a point beyond the consonance which it fits to a “T”) but Tomsula was a lousy coach who just happened to be in the right place at the right time to go 5-11 make $14 M and pass on into obscurity; to me this sounds condescending: We all know he is a man of high character, and his contributions on the field and in our community have always been greatly appreciated. This entire organization is proud and grateful to have worked so closely alongside Jimmy. We all wish him and his family great success in the future.” That’s the owner of the Niners on their former head coach, Jim Tomsula. Obscure and soft-padded football analogies pass muster (brad?) with the censors more than obscure and faintly snarky political tropes; I also noted in a discarded copy left at Coupa the Times P1 article on The U.S. (that’s us) our quandary over Iran and Saudi; that would be a more timely comparison to Developers w. Residentialists although I haven’t quite worked out the form. Meanwhile while chatting up Faith Bell (I saw her on tv last night in her tribute to Karen) I remembered that I intended to write something about Lyfe and GM and “smart homes” and Philip K. Dick”: “Do Smarthomes dream of electric sheep?” but have totally not recall. (I’m still processing three layers or tranches of Michael Lewis: the reported and real news, the book, the movie, “The Big Short” or bad loans, bonds of such, and CDOs of such.

6. the nut graph of a post about Pat Burt would be to succintly describe how in 2012 after I posted somewhere a distrust of his account of the Arrillaga Towers 27 University announcement, he got in my face a bit at Printers Ink, which I call “bullying” and in fact as the Grand Jury report notes, indeed Pat Burt met with John Arrillaga in secret six months prior, so there was indeed something funny about his “we’re taking the lead here” bit. And I doubt I am the only person who thinks of Pat Burt as a bully. Gives new meaning to the term “bully pulpit”. I should post that. {Edit to add, the next day: The GJR does not to my memory list which council members met with John Arrillaga or his staff secretly, only that enough of these meetings went on that it comprised a “serial meeting” and therefore was contrary to policy and the Brown Act — the number may have been as few as 4 and not as many as 9, although I also don’t recall any council members saying he or she did not meet with Arrillaga. So I should re-check the record or maybe ask Burt if he met with A. But he was certainly defensive about this, and I say, bullying. MW}{{Ok, GS of the PAW in 11/12 said that groups of two or three council members twice met with Arrillaga on the project, and said YY and LK did not — recusing — while KH and Schmid definitely did, but it does not say Pat did or did not, only that he went on record saying that the public benefit was worth at least “$100 million” so he probably did. Or do tell}}

7. Greg Schmid is by far the most respected person on that dias. Not sure what to make of the outcome. Hard to see how the horse trading was done within Brown Act. Ok, now I’m confused. I wrote that sentence on GS’s article last night, while watching the Warriors game and not the council meeting (but people texted me so I had my handheld out). But when I got to add another comment (” Huzzah for the new bully pulpit”) I am semi-censored again. Is the difference they censor from my computer and not from my handheld? Bizarre.

8 or “pointy thingy” or ^  which reminds that when the Weekly wrote about Berman announcing his run for Assembly, the Weekly deleted three separate comments I made, and I don’t think I backed those up. (I often copy my comments to my desktop; in this case I don’t recall quite what I said, unless I pointed out how favorable the Weekly was to the point of an imbalance when Berman ran for Council, a race I was also in). (actually, this paragraph has since been deleted from the weekly, about Bill Johnson’s weak and dubious rationalization of censoring my comments, at the time).




About markweiss86

Mark Weiss, founder of Plastic Alto blog, is a concert promoter and artist manager in Palo Alto, as Earthwise Productions, with background as journalist, advertising copywriter, book store returns desk, college radio producer, city council and commissions candidate, high school basketball player; he also sang in local choir, and fronts an Allen Ginsberg tribute Beat Hotel Rm 32
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