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The Patron Blog of Lost Causes

By   /   May 31, 2014  /   15 Comments

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I believe I need to clear a bit of the confusion of a recent statement I made.

Retirement sucks. I am now Back at work, with a steady income and a broader outlook on life. Its a big world out there beyond the Basin.That bigger world has changed my perspective.

Twentynine Palms is a lost cause my friends. It is dying on the vine. A dead end town at the end of the road. It is time I throw in the towel, sell out and move on.

At some point in your life you have to come to the conclusion that you are beating your head into a wall. Cleaning up the politics of 29 Palms is one of those cases.  Its better I should toss acid it my own face to bring change to the landscape than by typing a 100 million words for a million days in hopes I would be able to clean up one thing about this dirty little Phoenix City.

The Patron Saint of Lost Causes

The Patron Saint of Lost Causes

I can see that no matter how hard we try or how stalwart we stand together, hoping to change the witches brew that boils at 29 Palms city hall, we continue to lose ground. We vote good people in and they are soon added to the stinking boiling cauldron to be melted away into a homogeneous bubbling bucket of vomit we call city government. It does not matter who we send. We can send a thousand good men and women into city hall, they all will eventually be consumed by the corruption that is, 29 Palms Politics.

I have found that  there is a huge world out there folks. A world that has left 29 Palms way behind in the dust. Twentynine is so 1930s in its politics.

29 Palms barely beats out Adelanto, Needles  or Trona as the County’s biggest armpit. When folks in the County Seat think of a ghost town, the name Twentynine Palms comes to their minds.

Ever wonder why good  potential leaders always leave us? Simple they see the futility of it all.  Folks that have left, tell us of brighter days and a cornucopia of opportunities just waiting across the deep blue waters of the Colorado or over the edge, below the clouds and beyond the Western Mountains. These things called Jobs await the pilgrim that wonders beyond the Valley Floor. Opportunity beckons the souls that leave the Basin.

If I were a graduating youth or a man with a young family, I would pack all my worldly goods on the back of my wagon and slap leather for greener pastures. While the town is not dead yet,  opportunity is at very best very limited. It’s a great place to hospice waiting for the undertaker.

It is not to say that some folks have got this place wrapped up around their short and curlys. For years a chosen few have been slapping the ass of Twentynine Palms and riding the Taxpayer like a Hollywood Porn Star.

You might ask, am I out of the blogging business? NO, an emphatic NO!! I WILL blog on any issues that still interest me especially issues that I have a solid chance of making an impact on.  Changing the economic realities or the political climate of Twentynine Palms is a pipe dream. I refuse to waste my energy on trying to clean up a cesspool.

So rock on folks The Blog is open for business, Others can take up the banner.

I am personally just narrowing my aim and retuning my objectives.

Cactus thorns continues to thrive. Plenty of opportunity for a well written blogger looking for a wider audience.




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  • Published: 2 months ago on May 31, 2014
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  • Last Modified: May 31, 2014 @ 12:07 pm
  • Filed Under: Opinion

About the author

Dan OBrien


Cactus Thorns has been online in one form or the other since 2001. What started as a personal blog documenting the corruption and lack of Due Process of the 29 Palms Community Development Department has turned into over these many years into a hugely popular Independent Alternative News Media Outlet. We have partnered with other media including The Desert Star Weekly, Joshua Tree Star, other blogs, indie media and an incredible staff of volunteer Reporters, Commentators and Opinion Makers to create one of the most read, honest and dependable alternative to the Local traditional Media services in the country. Thanks to you the reader we are in the 5% of most read sites in the World.


  1. michaelv michaelv says:

    Dan this article may be one of the best, if not the best I have read on this site. Two years ago I did pack my belongings and as you say, slapped the leather for better pastures. When I arrived I saw a city that listens to its residence, takes their comments seriously and actually, ready for this, do change their course of action upon citizens input. I realized that for a select few, 29 is a gold mine, working as a civilian contractor on base has made several very well off. Then there are the few who have the control of the council. They sit together at the Inn and discuss ways to brighten the city with art and murals and maybe even an arch (sorry, had to through that in). Recently I started wondering why we all vent on this blog, those in charge laugh at what is printed, knowing that is is only a few voicing their opinion, there is no need to worry. The majority of the people who live in the city are either present or former Gov’t employees, work at the hospital, school system or travel down the hill. Then there are the “entitled” who are moved to 29 for various reasons. There are a small number who live there and try to work there because for their own reasons, like living there and don’t really care what happens around them.
    I wish you the best in what ever endeavors you pursue.

    • Dan OBrien Dan OBrien says:

      Not gone yet Mike. I plan to continue to blog… I’m going to stick to things I have a chance to change. I have a better chance to convince Al Gore that Global Warming is a hoax or help bring world peace than change anything in 29 Palms.

      Things like Secession of the States, Constitutional Conventions, the ending of the Federal Reserve, race relations, true love or fortune telling comes to mind, percentage wise I have a better chance of having my input listened to and addressed against having the likes of Cora Heiser keep her promise to the citizens to be the instrument of reform.

      You got to admit Redressing our local government has been less than successful. Maybe blogging recipes will get a better reception.

    • Bill Easter Bill Easter says:

      MichaelV, Do tell, where is this utopian place you speak of?

      • Mark Clemons Mark Clemons says:

        Bill you ask that like you don’t believe there are locals out their that don’t impose the will of the few. there are many places we just expanded to Macalester Ok so far so good they welcome our 15 jobs with out the obstructions you planning guys here in 29 like to impose. Hell they even have fake buffalo around town, not sure but was told by new staff that they were donated, no tax dollars.

        on the other hand our facility in commerce city Co. is as if not more draconian than 29. go figure.

        • Mark Clemons Mark Clemons says:

          BUILDING $.17/ sq. ft. $.17/ sq. ft.
          (minimum $30.00) (minimum $40.00)
          ELECTRICAL $.06 / sq. ft. $.04/ sq. ft.
          PLUMBING $.06 / sq. ft. $.05/ sq. ft.
          MECHANICAL $.04/ sq. ft. $.04/ sq. ft.
          FIRE INSPECTION $.02.1 sq. ft.
          & PLAN REVIEW
          SEWER TAPS $300.00 $400.00
          EXISTING TAP $100.00 $100.00
          We hope this information will assist you in your proposed project. If you have any questions,
          please stop by or calf.

        • Bill Easter Bill Easter says:

          Mark it’s not that I don’t believe you or for that matter MichaelV about finding a city that works for you and as MichaelV stated; “When I arrived I saw a city that listens to its residence, takes their comments seriously and actually, ready for this, do change their course of action upon citizens input.”

          Seriously, what residents and what citizens is he referring to; “All”? I get it, it’s yours and his opinions that everything is peachy keen, city staff is great, they listen to the citizen and all codes are workable and fair for all in Utopia and Macalister OK. However this is not realistic.

          There is always going to be someone that has issues with the way their city (You pick the City, USA) conducts business whether perceived or real regardless of the intentions or actions of those in charge.

          Furthermore it’s my opinion that these types of comments as stated by MichaelV are used to disparage, scorn and ridicule (I can go on) one’s city, city staff and those who disagree, for what reason I don’t know.

          Am I being a bit sarcastic, absolutely? MichaelV and you have the right to your opinions and I respect that. I hold no ill will toward you or MichaelV for your opinions as I have not walked in your shoes; I just want the opportunity to be able to research for myself this Utopian place he speaks of. That was the point of my question. Unlike you, he does not say.

          Below is a link to the Journal Advocate of Sterling, Colorado my home town. It’s my opinion that this article written to the editor applies to Any City, USA.

          Letter to the Editor — March 10
          Posted: 03/10/2014 10:42:58 AM MDT
          Citizen seeks to curb city employees’ power

          P.S. I noticed that I have received a dislike for asking a simple question, I wonder what would happen If I said something crazy like; I don’t believe in Bigfoot! (The creature not the truck).

          Thanks for the question and your time.

          • Mark Clemons Mark Clemons says:

            the thumbs down was from I for the condescending question.

            While I might agree with MichaelV on some things I find quite a disparity on others, same with you.


          • Mark Clemons Mark Clemons says:

            that letter you gave a link to mirrors many of my concerns Thanks Bill

          • michaelv michaelv says:

            Bill, it is that I choose not to reply, it is that I have other things in my life that at times, God forbid, take me away from the computer. I live in Corvallis, Oregon. Yes we have both, those who like the council, staff, etc. and those who don’t. However, In the 2 years I have been here there has been more action taken by the citizens on various subjects than I have ever seen. Funny though, since I posted originally, the city is trying to sell the residence on bonding 4.3 million or $325,000.00 a year for 25 years to build a parking garage with a developer who is building a new hotel. This alone has brought activity within the community both for and against. What I find disturbing is that except for the few, there is no action by the other residence in 29. Like Mark says there are plenty on Cities that actually listen. Sorry I took so long to reply.

  2. michaelv michaelv says:

    That was good as well. I wrote a reply the other night to one of Branson’s posts and just before I hit post, this thought came into my mind, why? does anyone really care? So I deleted it . Now, recipes, that could be fun!!

  3. Robert Nelson Robert Nelson says:

    Oh, damn.

    I bet the YV and 29 Palms Councils and their city staffs will be scheduling a “training day” or such to accommodate a workday’s worth of celebrating in honor of Dan’s semi-retirement from blogging.

    • Dan OBrien Dan OBrien says:

      Bob? I believe I was pretty specific on what I would or would not blog about, I think maybe you might have read more into that diatribe than I wrote.

      But listen if it is a good excuse in your book for Civil Servants to waste tens of thousands of tax dollars having a “training day” (circle jerk), so be it…. Nothing new in that.

  4. Robert Nelson Robert Nelson says:

    What I meant was “Oh, damn” as in “It sucks if Dan wont be posting about local issues anymore.”

    And … that you’re doing the local politicians and town “leaders” a huge favor by giving them one less watchdog to worry about … that it gives them reason to celebrate and that they’d likely make up a reason to lock the doors of the city hall to have a party.

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