I am out of town so I apologize for not being around for the most important story of the week, that being the passing of former Inyo County Supervisor Linda Arcularius, who served the county’s first district for more than two decades.
But before I left, as advertised, I attended the “Town Hall” event at Calvary Baptist Church in Bishop on Saturday evening. Brad Dacus of the Pacific Justice Institute was the featured speaker.
Arcularius protege Jen Roeser, the Inyo County 4th District Supervisor, had been scheduled to speak at the event, but then changed her mind, saying she did not wish to further divide the community.
Why? Because the Pacific Justice Institute is reputed to be an anti-LGBTQ group – a charge Mr. Dacus contested at length during his time at the podium.
But we’ll get to that.
The evening was emcee’d by Josh Nicholson of the Free Eastside group. The church was full – more than 200 in attendance. Pastor Rick Klug opened the proceedings with a prayer.
There were two mask-wearers in the room.
The Sheet was asked not to record the event or take photographs – but apparently that edict did not apply to all media organizations which attended. Sierra Wave has since released footage from the event.
After Nicholson got the microphone back from Klug, he quoted one biblical passage before asking Roeser to stand and be recognized. He said Satan uses the willfully ignorant, the weak and the weak-minded to attack people like Ms. Roeser. He then asked the crowd for a second round of applause for the 4th District Supervisor. They gave her a standing ovation.
The first speaker was Mammoth Lakes Police Sergeant Joseph Vetter – apparently tapped as Roeser’s replacement. Vetter introduced himself as a candidate for Inyo County Sheriff.
Vetter believes law enforcement has taken a hard dive over the past decade because society takes its freedom for granted.
He then alluded to Covid health mandates and asked rhetorically, “How can you give up freedom to have more freedom … that makes no sense. That’s not how it works.”
The upshot of his talk: Vetter believes law enforcement is no longer the primary responsibility of law enforcement officers. #1, he says, is the responsibility to defend the Constitution from enemies foreign and domestic.
Joe Vetter as Constitutional scholar identifying domestic enemies should give anyone pause.
He spent a few minutes questioning the work ethic of people under forty – saying one of his goals/roles as a law enforcement veteran is to pass on an “old school mentality.”
He finished by saying, “If I get in there [elected Sheriff], I’m gonna be cleaning house.”
Nicholson himself was the second speaker and he announced that he had pulled papers to run for District Three Supervisor.
He urged the crowd to get involved in local politics, as “everything’s political now.”
“You don’t have to know planning to be on the planning commission,” he added. “You don’t get in there knowing. You get in there and learn.”
He derided the “cancel culture” which had led to Jennifer Roeser’s decision not to speak.
*Hmm. Was it cancel culture or political calculation which forced Roeser’s hand? So, she gets credit for agreeing to speak in one quarter, and then not speaking from another quarter? Well done.
Then it was Dacus’s turn.
He said that he started PJI in 1997. It now has 20 offices in 16 states.
He said PJI’s mission is to defend religious freedom and parental rights.
An example: Dacus cited an emergency injunction from the Supreme Court last year against Governor Gavin Newsom and the state of California which allowed churches to open despite public health orders banning indoor services.
The ruling did preserve a 25% capacity limit.
Proponents argued that churches should not remain closed while other non-essential retail businesses like hair salons and big box stores were open.
Ordained Minister, poet and writer Kelly Jadon quoted Dacus in the wake of the decision on her blog.
“We’re seeing an increase in religious intolerance – Christian intolerance – in the state of California,” he warns. “Mobs of people are tearing down even the vestiges of California’s religious history.” Dacus has called it a “purging” by the Left in California.
Dacus, a well-dressed patrician lawyer, reminds one of Dick DeGuerin, the attorney who defended the Branch Davidian leader David Koresh.
Throughout his talk, Dacus emphasized that he is no hater and has many friends in the LGBTQ community.
However, he draws the line at those who are Trans-identified using opposite sex bathrooms.
He says this creates “visual violation … we need to respect the minority who don’t wish to have their kids exposed,” he said.
His solution: Essentially separate but equal doctrine. Trans people should have their own bathrooms and changing areas – which smacks of Jim Crow.
He then shifted to tangible advice regarding how to obtain a religious exemption in order to sidestep vaccine mandates, which he subtitled Jab or Job.
Don’t do nothing. You relinquish your rights if you do nothing. And don’t quit, said Dacus. Get fired.
You don’t even need to have a particular religion, he said. You can make a declaration based upon “deep conscience.”
Dacus coached those in attendance to not print out a sample declaration from a computer, and told folks not to talk about law, rights, the Constitution, medical studies, et. al. in their petition.
*As a side note, he told the audience that aborted fetal cell tissue is not part of coronavirus vaccines. That’s not true, he said.
You’ve got to write out your petition, preferably in longhand, be sincere and tell the story of your religious journey.
Sprinkle it liberally with biblical passages.
“Scriptures are like kryptonite to an attorney,” he quipped.
Finally, he said, you’ve got to include in your petition that you’re willing to wear a mask, test for Covid and socially distance. “You want to show them you’re reasonable,” said Dacus.
On Sunday, The Sheet attended a Mono County Assembly (MCA) meeting where the group hosted Mammoth Lakes Police Chief Al Davis.
Davis is considering a run for Mono County Sheriff.
Davis was taken by surprise that it was a larger meeting. He thought it was supposed to be a one-on-one get-together with MCA member Seth Guthrie.
In his introduction, Davis said he’s been Chief for seven years and through attrition and turnover, he has remade the department in his image. He brought Sergeant Jason Heilman to the meeting as Exhibit A.
“Jason’s been one of my great hires. He’s leading the way,” said Davis.
Once the floor was opened for questions, the meeting soon devolved into an opportunity for individual MCA members (there were about a dozen in attendance) to pontificate about their knowledge in various areas.
Many were self-professed constitutional scholars who demanded that Mr. Davis be a “constitutional” sheriff. They liked to say the words constitution/constitutional and seemed to believe they conferred greater import and status to their statements.
So if you don’t want the guy to enforce mask/vaccine mandates, you don’t ask him bluntly whether or not he would enforce mask/vaccine mandates. You ask him if he’ll be a constitutional sheriff.
In terms of vaccine efficacy, Dr. Gaylon TeSlaa declared, “I have the real science … I know medicine forwards and backwards.”
Dr. TeSlaa is a longtime local veterinarian.
The group believes it was silenced at the last County Covid update via Zoom.
Guthrie said wearing a mask is more deleterious to ones health because it traps your germs and you end up breathing in all of your own exhale.
TeSlaa said the MCA group is considering putting forth a slate of candidates and asked Davis if he saw “synergy” between his candidacy and MCA. “Can we help each other?”
Davis hedged. “I could go either way.”