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by AVA News Service, January 24, 2013
Hi Cal Winslow (Host of “Talking About California,” KZYX radio, Thursday mornings at 9am),
I am still enjoying your radio show. In particular, the one about how to restore forest land sparked my interest right at a time when Mendocino Redwood has come out with an 80 year plan for their local forest lands. I don't know if you remember, but back in the 90's, when there were still coho in our rivers, before GP and LP liquidated and departed, there was a group of local people who put a lot of energy into developing county regulations for the timber industry. These regulations were submitted to the State Board of Forestry where the industry stooges refused to approve them. As a historian I am sure you agree that hindsight can be powerful. I have always wondered if these proposed regulations would have saved our forests, and maintained the local timber industry. Norman de Val is probably the best person to talk to and I think the county had its own forester at the time.. I also think that Bill Heil and the Harwoods were involved. It would be interesting to compare Mendocino Redwood's plan with the proposed regulations that were developed locally.
During this time the AVA had some excellent in depth articles on logging. One of them was an interview of the head forester for Santa Cruz County who talked about their regulations that only allowed selective cutting. It included some wonderful statements about “three log loads” and “ you can't tell we have been there when we are done.” He reported that this style of logging cost 14% more which seemed cheaper then other costs when you add in the millions put into fish and habitat restoration along with loss of jobs.
In these articles I picked up a couple of 1950's graphs from the California Handbook of Forestry. One displayed the growth rates of Redwood, Douglas Fir, and Pine trees over time. It showed how trees, Redwoods in particular, do not hit their growth spurt until they are about a hundred years old. The other graph compared timber production when it is clear cut every 40 years with selective cutting. Clearly, since clear cutting on a 40 year cycle misses the fastest rate of growth, over a 250 year time period, selective harvesting yields much more, higher quality timber while at the same time maintaining a more natural, uneven age forest. It would also eliminate the need to spray the hardwoods with herbicides.
Since these graphs were a challenge to interpret, I used to give them as a supplementary assignment requiring a formal write-up in my Algebra II classes. I can remember two students whose fathers were foresters, and I am sure provided some assistance with the assignment. They didn't have an argument with the above interpretation.
I don't want to pressure you, but I couldn't think of a better person to bring this into the public sphere. Thanks for the consideration.
JAZZ: STRAIGHT AHEAD
To the AVA,
It began in Junior High, what people now call Middle School, about 1966. We had a stage band modeled on the Big Bands of the 1940s. Saxophones down front, trombones in the second row, trumpets in the rear. Drums, piano, string bass on the sides. We were reasonably good, in part due to a music instructor who was himself an accomplished trumpet player. He was also something of a bastard, and would swear at kids he did not think were doing their part. That was a long time ago, and his story is not worth the newsprint. We also had a very good cornet player who happened to be a woman. Nobody would even notice now, but at the time she was somewhat intimidating since she was so good. In the Sixties there was a major event in the D.C. suburbs called the Bands of Tomorrow Contest. Sponsored by a local music company and carried live on WMAL radio, this was a performance competition for about 30 local high schools and some junior highs. It culminated on Saturday night featuring the best bands and a declared winner. The evening was crowned with a performance by the Count Basie Orchestra. This never failed to knock everyone's socks off- the astounding virtuosity of these “sixteen men swinging.”
I had no idea at the time that we were witnessing the end of an era. My friends and I failed to attend a concert with the Duke Ellington Orchestra, and he died shortly thereafter. Only a few years later, Count Basis also passed away. But a new world had opened for us. In the early '70's, D.C experienced an all-too-brief revival of great music at local night clubs plus venues like the Smithsonian Institution. We also discovered the New York jazz scene and some great music out of Baltimore. Some of the acts we saw included Dizzy Gillespie, Thelonious Monk, Miles Davis, Sonny Stitt, Rahsaan Roland Kirk, Frank Wess, Frank Foster, Elvin Jones, Charles Mingus, Sonny Rollins, Oscar Peterson, Ella Fitzgerald, and the Mercer Ellington Orchestra. Rufus Harley, who plays Highland bagpipe in full tartans. Earl Hines did a one-night solo piano concert. By then we knew that was a once-in-a-lifetime moment. And there was the Sun Ra Arkestra. Hearing Ra was something of a transformational experience, as Sun Ra put it, “You never heard such sounds in your life!” My brother got to see Sun Ra at a date in Cotati. In the words of J. Biro, “It was '87 or '88 someone booked Sun Ra and the Arkestra at Magnolia's in Cotati. There were to be two sets but only fifteen people showed up for the first so they cancelled the second. There were more people on stage than on the floor. I felt bad for the old man and his crew, wasting their time in this desert of cracker music. I sat a a table in the middle of the floor and dug the guy banging a tall drum with two crooked sticks. He kept staring at me, his eyes demanding “Get up on your feet, you damn honky motherfucker!” Well, J. Biro can get a bit paranoid. I wasn't there. But the Sun Ra Arkestra was generally very friendly and open, spending time after the show hanging out with audiences, white or black. That was, and is, unheard of in the music business. We chased Sun Ra like starved men, which by that time, we were. And finally, he too was gone.
I know jazz is still alive. There are always some very talented and devoted people who hear the call of the music. There are even some big bands, though practically everyone has a day job. In D.C., it lives on at the Bohemian Caverns. Pop music in all its forms has all but buried jazz in the public consciousness. I leave to others to dissect the sociological and cultural causes for the loss. But a loss it certainly is. Suffice it to say that WMAL radio is intellectually DOA. They went from a class act of two wonderful DJ's intimately involved with the music to the shame of broadcasting Rush Limbaugh. The Bands of Tomorrow is long gone.
During our senior year at high school, we focused on Sammy Nestico's arrangements for Count Basie. After 40 years I can still feel the blood rush and my pulse quicken when I hear “Switch In Time” and “Hay Burner” in my head. I can only hope that other kids will get that chance. That album, by the way, is “Basie/Straight Ahead.”
The oversee travels formed in performance with our troop movement included the endless search for “ Pele.” The woman most sought after in USO tours. This legend captivated the imagination to harness volcanoes found in the Pacific Island formation. The area is of importance in that we have a single point of convection heat isolated from the tectonic plate edges and more easily differentiated in rise and fall of temperature and will help record a consistent pattern measured through the continuous study of seismograph in place. The expectation is someday to encapsulate heat distinction. The site would also benefit from the use of the heat loss in an increase of electrical production from the exchange of water to steam.
This inspirational myth is one point in the expectation of engineering our power usage with renewable heat sources capable to last millennium instead of a single dependence on decades old industrialization of fossil fuels to create electrical energy. The geo-engineering must compromise more than home and hearth idealism to expand our ability to lower the carbon exchange unequal to planetary advantage in the current Century. Our homes, businesses, and future powered by the planet in a major way in addition to clean energy emplacement of geothermal, solar, and wind energy. The forming of geothermal energy sources into the future requires further continual development to transfer convention to the modern age as our forefathers revolutionized the country and have displayed to the world that thought could overcome immobility and possibly help solve present paradigm. The second US President once said: “What do we mean by the revolution? The war? That was no part of the revolution. It was only an effect of and consequence of it. The revolution was in the minds of the people.”
THE REAL FISCAL CLIFF
How stupid do the politicians and the mainstream media believe the American people are? The nonstop barrage of reporting about the misnamed 'fiscal cliff' certainly plumbed new depths in this regard; the idea that returning to some kind of reasonable correlation between the government’s tax income and its expenditures is akin to falling off a cliff, shows just how far away from the rational national politics has moved. Ever since the 'W' administration pushed through the ill-advised tax cuts (mainly for the very rich) at the same time as we were practically airdropping palettes of hundred dollar bills on Iraq, not to mention numerous other insane wastes of public funds, such as the senior prescription drug plan that was forbidden to bargain with the avaricious drug companies, the country has, predictably enough, been rapidly digging itself into quite a fiscal hole.
I was always mystified by the ‘W’ contention that those trillions of dollars squandered in the sands of Iraq were “off budget,” somehow not added to the country's official budget, but rather put on something like a national credit card. How absurd was that? It was like saying that you're going to wolf down cake and ice cream every day, but it's not going to make you fat, because it's not part of your official diet. What is the difference? We spent it, we owe it, it's part of our national debt! Yet at the same time they just kept giving more and more tax breaks to the super-wealthy and corporations.
There was a reason why they had these tax breaks sunset after 10 years (that is, right now). For without doing so, there was no way to run the numbers out into the future without it turning into fiscal apocalypse. The time has come to pay the piper; even though the Republicans have virtually all sworn on their firstborn to their unelected Pope, professional tax-obsessive Grover Norquist, never, ever, to raise taxes on anyone (except maybe the poor). Rational people who have followed this tale of fiscal woe over the last decade or so overwhelmingly support the idea of major tax increases for those at the top of the economic pyramid, those who have been raking in a hugely disproportionate amount of nation’s total income, while the 99% have been hanging on economically by their fingernails. In recent years the gap between the super-rich and the rest of us has grown far beyond that of any other advanced country. Exhibit A; four members of the Walton family now have more wealth than the bottom 40% of the entire US population!
So... how can we best deal with these issues? Well, certainly not by their prescriptions at the Tea Party dupes; by cutting “entitlements,” a phrase that much of the US population has been trained, like Pavlov's dogs, to react with hostility towards.
Yeah, that’s a great idea; let's kick hungry kids off of food stamps to save a few bucks, and cut Social Security and Medicare (even though they are freestanding, independently financed programs) for old people. Meanwhile, there’s always trillions more to buy goldplated aircraft that don't work, more nuclear submarines, (when we should be spending money dismantling the ones we have), Agricultural subsidies to giant agribiz outfits that are ruining agriculture worldwide, and of course immeasurable public moneys to shower On Wall Street’s Masters of the Universe whenever they make a big bet that goes sour!
The graphs don't lie and they show how much more the very rich and the corporations used to contribute to the national budget back when we used to be the prosperous nation with a huge and growing middle class. It is no wonder the middle class is disappearing, their once nice neighborhoods turning to crime-infested warrens; the tax system simply doesn't go to where all the money is these days!
Obviously, the simplest, surest and fairest way to battle the deficit is to tax those who are making the most, more in line with what the rest of the world sees fit to do. France's new chief raised the top tax rate to 75% soon after taking office. Here, on the other hand, the .01% freak out about the possibility of their tax rate going from 35 to 39%! They should be thankful they're not in France!
Consider the fact that the top tax rate kicks in at the relatively chicken feed level of a hundred and some thousand $ a year. This constitutes an enormous gift to those earning scores or hundreds of times more than that; I have always thought that one of the stupidest things about the tax code is these 'brackets’, which often serve to dissuade people from doing more to making more because that income would put them in the next tax bracket, and they would lose much of what they had earned.
Wouldn't it make a lot more sense to have the tax rate vary along a smooth curve? I think any competent high school math teacher could devise a formula that would increase exponentially higher with one's income. Shouldn't someone making $1 billion a year pay at a higher rate than his colleague who is scraping by on say, a mere hundred million a year? Obviously he/she should!
Another major piece of low hanging fruit, it seems to me, would be if we could do something about the shell game that allows huge corporations to use Cayman Island accounts and dummy corporations to avoid paying taxes at all, and in some cases actually get money back from the taxpayers to boot, making US corporate taxation almost voluntary!
Of course, all these changes would take bold political leadership and standing up to powerful wealthy interests, something that in the post-Citizens United era (Where these interests fund politicians campaigns), has gotten somewhere between rare and nonexistent.
Demands from an angry public are the only thing that will make any of this happen. As public services dwindle and the economy stagnates, eventually people will be pressed hard enough to demand change. If the people lead, the politicians will follow!
PS. To the Editor of the Ukiah Daily Journal,
After writing the other day to express my appreciation of one political cartoon (the one of the pope), I must today express my extreme displeasure with the nasty political cartoon in your Tuesday, the 15th issue.
As if the Palestinians living under Israel's jackboot in Gaza are not suffering enough, confined to what has often been referred to as the world's largest open-air prison, where Israel imposes an embargo on just about everything, including such benign building materials as concrete, rebar and sheet rock, yet insists on their complete freedom to attack these defenseless, impoverished people at will with the most advanced weapons, for any reason at all, including the prime minister wanting to bolster his tough guy bona fides in the run-up to an election, by slaughtering a few dozen expendable Palestinians, really adds insult to injury.
Much is made of the many homemade rockets launched from Gaza when anger spills over in reaction to some egregious move by Israel, such as murdering the guy they're supposed to be negotiating a cease-fire with, as happened recently. These unguided rockets almost never hit anything of value, but they're about the only way that the oppressed of Gaza can respond to the (US sponsored) fifth most powerful military in the world, which imposes an illegal embargo on them, an act of war.
To characterize them as the aggressors, as this cartoon clearly implies, is to stand the world on its head.
IGNORANCE ISN’T BLISS
We've gotta mailbox here — our first ever together. Last week’s AVA arrived just now, a week late but welcome. The X-Mas issue arrived just the day before the Jan 6th issue, which itself took six days, which was worrisome. Never subscribed because going to town every Wednesday morning to fetch the AVA and a store bought cup of coffee has been my tradition since way back in the olden days starting in 1984. Now that we have subscribed I hope the post office — another public institution getting strangled — stays reliable.
I think nowadays at 2 bucks an issue the AVA would be a bargain. Bruce and Mark have got to be two of the hardest working journalists in the biz the way they've kept it together week after week and decade after decade, and only a stone fool could fail to appreciate and admire that. Add in the wide variety of voices and subjects and all the rest and the AVA is about the only “must read” I've got left. If a good number of the newbie residents of Anderson Valley are clueless about what is going on all around them, it's because they can't find it within themselves to read the AVA. Too bad ignorance isn't bliss.
SAVE A FISH; KILL THE SEA LIONS
I was fishing at the Iron Bridge hole the other day, and noticed a sea lion hanging out there. I imagine I am not the first to notice this. And I imagine I am not the only one to recognize that the sea lion is there for only one reason, to eat steelhead and salmon.
My pedestrian observation was that the sea lion was a male and weighed in excess of 500 pounds. This would mean that he is eating an estimated average of 40 pounds of fish per day or more. That would be four ten-pound salmon and/or steelhead. I also imagine this sea lion has been here or in the vicinity for a while, and has friends doing the same. One month, four fish is 120 fish. Not only is this sea lion eating fish, he is likely also interrupting fish spawning habits. Traditionally, the Iron Bridge hole has been a place for steelhead to hold up on their way up or down the river. I doubt that is happening now.
There was a time when these situations were dealt with decisively, and locally. It was good for fish and good for fisherman.
George A. Hollister
In a major victory for ocean protection activists, President Obama on Dec. 20 last year began the process of expanding the Gulf of Farallones/Cordell Banks Marine Sanctuaries northward fifty miles, putting a permanent ban on offshore oil and gas drilling and other polluting activities in 2,771 square miles of some of the cleanest and richest food-producing ocean waters on Earth.
Fishermen and other environmentally-conscious people have worked for decades for this Sanctuary expansion. It will protect several offshore areas of interest to the petroleum industry from drilling exploration or development. Sanctary rules have been written with years of public meetings and review. The rules do not regulate fishing.
Please consider commenting in support of this Sanctuary expansion by March 1. The National Atmospheric and Oceanic Administration (NOAA) is holding three public hearings on the Sanctuary Expansion: Jan. 24 at the Bodega Bay Grange Hall, Feb.12 at the Gualala Community Center, and Feb. 13 at Point Arena High School, all at 6 p.m. The Sanctary Expansion website with link to comment is: http://farallones.noaa.gov/manage/northern_area.html.
I am neutral on gun control for the same reason Gandhi was. (See link below.)
The Mahatma also said, “Where there is only a choice between cowardice and violence, I would advise violence.”
For decades the US government has spied on, imprisoned, tortured and trashed us non-violent activists to a fucking fare-thee-well as if we were armed and dangerous enemy aliens.
As for the Sandy Hook tot and teacher massacre, some “rogue” members of the CIA are so criminally-insane they MIGHT have had a role in the shooting like their part in 9/11. In fact, I recall reading there may have been THREE shooters at Sandy Hook, so the young lad shot dead might have been another Oswald “patsy.”
And may I remind you of the 600 to 800 FEMA prison camps waiting empty for “civil unrest.” Then there are the “National Emergency Centers Act of 2009” and the “National Defense Authorization Act of 2012” — both signed into law by Pres. Obama — ready to fill the prison camps maintained by FEMA. Halliburton Worldwide, Ltd., that former US mega-corporation now based in Dubai to avoid taxes and oversight by Congress, is even building more camps — at taxpayers expense, of course.
Time is long overdue for the US government to disarm and restore ALL our civil liberties.
Pastor, First Syncretist Church of the Holy Pariahs
Fort Bragg, California
Letter to the Editor:
The Ruse: Knock, Knock, You’ve Been Had.
Your liberties are being circumvented under ruse of safety, security and social justice. Your representatives are abdicating their authority and in the process compromising your liberty. The same elected representatives that are abdicating their power don’t realize that they are contributing to their own demise.
A hundred years ago the federal government sanctioned a cartel chartered with the primary goal to ‘protect’ us all from inflation: the Federal Reserve System was born. Of late, many counties are opting for an appointed CEO position in order to streamline county functions. Some counties have removed the local Sheriff office and replaced it with private security controlled by county bureaucrats. The United Nations co-opted the green movement and under the guise of ‘saving the environment’, presidents have issued orders, which are stripping away local government control and removing individuals property rights throughout the country.
The ‘Fiscal Cliff’ was a ruse which was artificially created to foment a crisis, whereby the politicians could swoop in rescue us all, with yet more government spending, which is the ultimate ‘problem’ of our fiscal woes. The ‘cause’ of the problem is the Federal Reserve System.
In his book, “The Case Against the Fed,” Murray Rothbard, denotes how the Federal Reserve System was created under a ruse to protect the system from inflation; when in reality, it was a cartel created to just the opposite. He explains, using concise simple analogies, how banks increase, or ‘inflate’, the money supply, causing corresponding ‘price inflation’ of goods and services. This is why groceries and fuel costs continue to rise ‘without any explanation’, according to the mainstream press. We have been conditioned to accept this as normal as many of us reflect on the ‘good old days’ when, for example, a piece of candy cost a penny. Furthermore, we have been conditioned to see price inflation as a fact of reality. This is not so.
In its one hundred year history, the Federal Reserve System has never been fully audited. The reason: Auditing would be a safety risk, because it would subject the system to political bias. Never mind that the ‘system’ has destroyed the purchasing power of the dollar and in the process punished savers, financed war and provided guns and butter programs for politicians eager to pander to the masses. The House overwhelming passed a bill to audit the Federal Reserve in July 2012. Now Senator Harry Reid is sitting the Senate version of an audit the Fed bill, S. 202, and will not bring it to a floor vote. Of late, Senator Mitch McConnell is negotiating with Harry Reid, to limit and/or do away with the Senate filibuster. Why now? This is a ruse.
Constitutional sheriffs are under attack. Your local county sheriff is the only entity that stands between you and an overbearing federal bureaucracy. The sheriff is typically an elected office; however this can be circumvented if, as in the case of San Bernardino, the charter allows the Board to appoint a replacement.
In December 2012, in San Bernardino County California, the County Supervisors appointed a new sheriff because the seated sheriff resigned before the end of his term. The Supervisors rationalized that a special election would cost too much, therefore they opted to appoint a new sheriff for the remainder of the term. Furthermore, a couple of years ago the Supervisors appointed a CEO position and put him on a long-term contract. Recently they voted him emergency powers.
We can see a pattern here in that decisions are removed from the people and elected officials abdicate power to an unelected official or body. Therefore, the ruse: we elect representatives and then they abdicate their power in much the same way that Congress had abdicated much of their power to the president over the years. This is now happening at the state, county and city level. We elect, they create/appoint and then abdicate power. This encourages a collectivist form of government, whereby regional boards are fostered, as is now evidenced in “Regionalism” across the country. This is being brought to you by the United Nations (UN) under the guise of environmentalism, which is nothing more than a program to catalog and control every aspect of your life. This program is called, U.N. Agenda 21 commonly known as ‘Sustainable Development’, of which Regionalism is but one component.
In 2012, President Obama began his Sustainable Communities Initiative. This initiative created a super agency program titled, “The Partnership for Sustainable Communities” by combining the efforts of three federal departments: The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Department of Transportation (DOT) and the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). This program sends Federal agency grant money to cities in order to develop plans covering housing, land use, transportation and other community services. The reason: wealth redistribution in order to rectify injustices of the poor through a transfer of wealth. All is to level the playing field and create collectivist mantra known as “social equity.”
The idea behind social equity is a “tax base sharing’ concept that would tax rural and suburb communities to subsidize inner-city urban areas. The money in the scheme would “only” be granted if regional plans are agreed to and managed by regional authorities or governing boards. This process would trump all of your elected local city council’s decision-making authority because their power would be abdicated to an unaccountable governing board. This is a ruse and if it happens in your area, you’ve been had.
Our federal elected officials appeal to a supra-governmental body for policies, and in the process surrender control and ultimately our national sovereignty in the process. This body is the United Nations (UN). UN initiatives are in all levels of government sanctioned through executive orders (EOs) issued by president Obama and past presidents. EOs allow the president to direct departments, agencies and public employees of the federal government. The departments and agencies in turn draft programs and procedures to carry out EOs. The ruse: you are being governed by unelected government bureaucrats. Unelected departments and agencies are expanding for one reason: they are funded by congress. It is interesting to note that solutions to the ‘fiscal crisis’ never seem to address departments and agencies controlled by the president. This is a ruse. Let’s defund many of the departments and agencies.
As you give up your liberties under a guise of safety and security; as you are sold out by your state, county and local elected city officials, keep in mind it is all a ruse. Why? Because they are doing this for one primary reason: They are broke. They need money and are too ignorant to realize that they are selling your liberty in exchange for unelected centralized control.
There are solutions to the ruse already in the works:
1) Call Harry Reid’s Office at 202-224-3542, and demand that he bring S. 202, the “Federal Reserve Transparency Act of 2011,” to a floor vote.
2) Call your congressman and demand that they support H.R. 75: the “American Sovereignty Restoration Act of 2013,” which is a bill to get the US out of the UN.
3) Call Senator Mitch McConnell’s at 202-224-2541 and tell him not to negotiate away the Senate filibuster.
4) Contact your local sheriff. Find out what his/her stance on property rights are. Support only Constitutional sheriffs for public office.
5) Get involved: Attend your local city council and planning department meetings
For more information go to: iagenda21.com, www.jbs.org
Alta Loma, California
I cannot say what a lift this revival gives me: email@example.com . It ain't likely. More people, with more money and power, have received more riches from the Bushes than anybody from any nepotist/criminals in all of human history, including Spain's ruinous wealth from Columbus's depredations in the new world. Where do you suppose all the oil money and the incalculable middle-eastern war profits end up? It was the same in world wars I and II. The Bush-Harriman-Rockefeller families (the Bushes then expediters and gofers for the others) profiteered mightily, immorally and illegally. It's all on the available record. Bush left 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue with his triumphant middle finger, his most useful member, held high, and it remains in that configuration. So long, chumps!
BUT — we have a Black Man in the White House. He's no George Washington, but he pulled that off, and I didn't expect it in my lifetime, so maybe miracles really do happen. Maybe we'll get an MLK sometime. (Forget his corny speeches and read what Martin DID!)
The Bush family bought a huge (HUGE! 100,000 acres; the City of San Francisco is 30,000 acres) parcel of land in Paraguay in 2006. Paraguay has no extradition treaty with the U.S. I wonder why that story died so swiftly. The significance of that purchase was that Bushes don't discount the possibility of Americans learning to add and subtract.
Romania's dictator thought he was untouchable, as did Italy's, Germany's, Libya's, Cuba's, Panama's...and you name 'em.
An open letter to Presiding Judge Richard Henderson:
Thank you for reconsidering the curtailment of services at the Ten Mile Court in Fort Bragg. We appreciate your willingness to hear the concerns of local officials, the coast bar, law enforcement, and the public in making this decision.
As supervisors, we are well aware of the budgetary pressures that challenge the orderly operation of the Superior Court in our county. As coastal supervisors, we are also aware that sometimes county government appears to be focused on inland needs to the detriment of the Coast. As dollars become scarcer, we must do all that we can to guard against leaving a third of our citizens without adequate services.
Most of the services to which we refer — planning and building, public health, mental health, animal care, etc. — are not within your purview. Others, such as the successful Mendocino County Drug Court, and your partnership with the County's family dependency drug court, are within your jurisdiction and could bring great benefit if extended to parts of the county outside of the Ukiah Valley. Additionally, we are pleased that the new court calendar intended to address mentally challenged offenders will be equally constituted on the coast.
The Mendocino County Board of Supervisors can be called upon to lobby the state legislature for more adequate funding for rural counties. We were able to meet with Senator Noreen Evans last month and we believe she can be a strong ally as she understands our rural challenges and is chair of the Senate standing committee on the Judiciary.
You asked for our support in attempting to address our rural funding disadvantages and we look forward to working with you to advocate for a stable funding level to serve all of our county residents.
Mendocino County Board of Supervisors
To the Editor”
Ok. I'll admit it. I probably spend too much time on news.yahoo.com. It is my “go-to” source for news in the morning. I tell my wife (and I guess myself) it's because it kind of gives me a feel for what America is thinking. I can read the highs and lows of all the current events, be they tragic or uplifting. If it's on Yahoo news, I read it. And I comment...I just can't help myself.
Before you go off half-cocked and accuse me of reading only the news I want from a biased source, I also peruse a few other news sites to ensure I am getting a fair and balanced view. On most issues one might deem controversial, I also look at CNN, Fox News and a couple of others. (Last week, during the Peirs Morgan-Alex Jones on-air skirmish stories, I even went to Jones' web site to see what he was all about. I came away after a few seconds feeling like I needed a long, hot shower.) It's like a morning roller coaster ride with my first pot of coffee.
Back to Yahoo News. Is it really a microcosm of what America is really thinking? Is it a slice of life? Does it represent all the myriad aspects of our complex society, dregs to debutantes, fairly? The answer to those questions...probably not, but it is close.
As I was waiting for the 49'er/Falcons game to start Sunday afternoon, I was perusing the latest headlines when one in particular caught my attention — “Fracking for natural gas being powered by it, too.” My wife and I are very involved in social issues, fracking and frac sand mining are a couple of them, so I went on to read the story. In short, the oil and gas companies have announced a new method of powering the huge diesel pumps they use to force the dribs and drabs of gas and oil that are left in the depleted beds they have already sucked nearly dry out of the bedrock and into their pockets...er, their pipelines.
The same natural gas they are extracting through fracking is being used to power the pumps they are using to get it. Doesn't this strike you as like, TEXTBOOK job security? These are monstrous generators! They have to build pressure to 50,000 psi in order to frack anything. That takes one helluva lot of fracking fuel! And, if they use half of it to get the other half out of the ground, that sure keeps the fracking price on the consumers' end up there they need it, doesn't it.
I finish reading the article and move on to the comments section, my favorite part of ANY story, thinking to myself I can't possibly find anybody who will be unclear on this concept. For once, everyone in America will agree with me and I won't have to defend my logic to some buffoon whose username has more letters than his IQ. Such was not to be.
The comments seemed to be pretty much in the ballpark with everyone agreeing the oil and gas companies are basically doing this to put more money in their pockets. Some guy named “Dave” asks the question, “So, will the the people see a significant reduction in their gas bill?”
There's a question I can answer; a pithy remark flies forth from my fingertips as if they have a mind of their own, through the keyboard and the comment magically appears on Yahoo News: “Will the oil companies curb their appetite for large amounts of money? Do the math.”
It's the perfect kind of comment for a morning news site — short and straight to the point with no room whatsoever for confusion. Oh, but I woefully underestimate the sheer power of the industrial strength ignorance present in some parts of this great country — again.
Remember the thing I said earlier about usernames and IQ? Here's a reply to my comment from someone named “TXTom.” (I surmise it to be Texas Tom, but it could be some kind of a cellphone Zen thing) Here is TXTom's reply to my comment, just as he wrote it:
.”..this has nthing (sic) to do with OIL, moron. Oil companies are very much agaisnt (sic) fracking. (sick)”
My first thought was that I had misread TXTom's comment, so I read it again. When it finally sunk in, it was abundantly clear he was dead serious. No sarcasm, no sardonic dark humor, no satire — just pure, unadulterated industrial strength ignorance.
Finally, I met my match. I could not even think of a reply to TXTom. I just thank the good Lord that breathing is an autonomic function. Otherwise someone like TXTom would be in deep trouble.
The next time you think America is getting smarter; America is growing wise to the shenanigans of big oil and big government; Americans can no longer be duped by corporate duplicity — remember TXTom living a life of blissful ignorance and standing free and proud...and so, so in the dark.
Jeff Abbas, Kitchen Table CSA
Organic and foraged foods, from our farm to your kitchen
THANKS FOR ALMOST EVERYTHING
Enclosed is a check for $100. Please renew my subscription and use the rest to pay some of the expenses of providing free subscriptions for people in prison.
Thanks for introducing me to Jim Tully and David Talbot. Thanks for reprinting an article by Tim Stelloh whose mediocrity is a cogent reminder of the value of writers like Tully and Talbot.
Thanks for Todd Walton, O’Neill, Mark, and for Alexander whom I miss a lot. Thanks for including my favorite Spanish columnist, Manuel Vicent, among the wonderful writings that adorn your margins. Thanks for Off the Record.
Thanks for dealing in good faith; thanks for your integrity. We disagree on 911, which was obviously a US government job; on the Kennedy assassination — he was shot from the front of the limousine; and Judi Bari, who was killed by the FBI — although I wouldn’t discount her scumbag husband’s involvement. I know if I sent you $1 million instead of this paltry $100 you would not change your editorial position. Well, maybe you would; there are hard times. But at least your conscience would bother you.
I wish a healthy and prosperous 2013 to you Mark, Todd, Steve, O’Neill and the entire AVA family.
Louis S. Bedrock
Roselle, New Jersey