Off The Record

by AVA News Service, September 3, 2013

KARMA MITE? Area pot farmers are in a major panic at the appearance of the hemp rust (or “russet”) mite. If this new pest gets into your pot garden, your garden is gone in a week or two. The hemp rust mite has been confirmed in Lake County where it has infected, we're told, large-scale grows and amateur grows, the ying and yang of the pot business. An extremely toxic substance called Avid, which is banned in California, is nevertheless being sold for upwards of $500 a gallon under the counter at LA garden stores catering to pot growers. In California, Avid comes in film containers without any warning labels. We haven't heard of any Avid being sold north of San Francisco, but it's bad mojo, basically an agent orange knock- off.

FROM THE HERITAGE HOUSE WEBSITE: “The Heritage House Resort, now reopening summer 2013, is well-known as the location for the acclaimed classic motion picture, “Same Time Next Year” starring Alan Alda and Ellen Burstyn…”

PURCHASED two years ago by a certain Mr. Greene, the Heritage House has been red tagged by Mendocino County building inspectors and Mr. Greene, who flies in an outtahere via a private jet he lands at Little River, is bouncing checks to several dozen HH employees who've been working for months on the famous Mendocino Coast inn scheduled to re-open “late summer.”

WHICH IS NOW, but it all seems to be flying apart faster than Mr. Greene's executive Lear Jet. The Florida-based, high flying latest owner of the famous vacation complex near Mendocino, has compelled all his employees to sign secrecy agreements, as in Don't Talk About Anything That Goes On here. But it's hard not to talk about what's going on with Heritage House when your paychecks bounce and you've got families to feed.

THE 50TH ANNIVERSARY of the March for Jobs and Freedom last week made for painful listening, which is the way I endured it. The original gathering in Washington made Martin Luther King justly famous for delivering a true and inspirational state of the nation speech, 1963. Last week's event was a bad joke, an insult to King's memory and really nothing more than a tribute to themselves by the Democratic Party's bigshots.

FROM THE TIME he came to prominence, and his prominence really picked up momentum after the '63 event, King was nationally vilified. J. Edgar Hoover said the day that after the big speech that King “was the most dangerous man in America.” Versions of Hoover's assessment were, of course, duly repeated by the national media, and the man was hounded every day all day until he was assassinated in 1968 by that uniquely American creation, the lone nut.

NOW THAT EVERYONE'S a liberal on the race issue, or afraid not to be a liberal on race, people forget, or never knew, that King identified The Main Prob as the economic inequality built in to the American social system. As he put it in 1967,

“THERE ARE FORTY MILLION poor people here, and one day we must ask the question, ‘Why are there forty million poor people in America?’ And when you begin to ask that question, you are raising a question about the economic system, about a broader distribution of wealth. When you ask that question, you begin to question the capitalistic economy. And I'm simply saying that more and more, we've got to begin to ask questions about the whole society. And you see, my friends, when you deal with this you begin to ask the question, ‘Who owns the oil?’ You begin to ask the question, ‘Who owns the iron ore?’ You begin to ask the question, ‘Why is it that people have to pay water bills in a world that's two-thirds water?’ These are words that must be said.”

AT LAST WEEK'S 50th anniversary tribute to themselves by Oprah, Obama, Bill Clinton and the rest of them, including Jimmy Carter who said only two weeks ago that “America is no longer a functioning democracy,” we got a kumbaya emphasis because none of the speakers, except John Lewis, would dare call for a federal jobs program as King did. And none of them, including Lewis, would dare echo King's condemnation of imperialism, especially seeing as how Obama has about ten wars of varying sizes going with a major attack on Syria coming right up.

NPR, natch, was orgasmic at the big event, with that particular band of audio hacks crooning versions of, “Well, darn, there's a ways to go but we're pretty darn swell these days, All Things Considered.”

HISTORY REWRITES are constant in this country, but the leadership, such as it is, seems to have underestimated our plump, distracted people on their support for another war; only 9% of US think an attack on Syria is a good idea.

IVAN ACOLTZI SAN-CHEZ, 22, was arrested on Monday the 26th of August for beating and stabbing his 20-year-old girlfriend at an intersection in the middle of Fort Bragg. He'd pummeled the kid in their home for two hours before she was able to run outside, which is when he caught up with her and beat her and stabbed her again. Sanchez is looking at multiple counts of attempted murder, assault with a deadly weapon and domestic battery. The question is why is this roving menace was out of jail to commit his latest atrocities.

SANCHEZ'S LEGAL HISTORY:

2/4/09 age: 18 Probation violation, (No bail)

6/19/09 Assault with a deadly weapon (ADW).

Bail: $50k

7/11/10 ADW. Bail: $30k

10/20/10 ADW. Bail: $30k

12/10/10 ADW. Bail: $80k

5/18/13 ADW. Bail: $55k

1/1/2013 Contributing, obstructing, destroying evidence (a gun). Bail: $15k, $15k, $15k.

THIS MOPE has five assaults with deadly weapons plus two other lesser offenses. Hmmm. Let's guess who the judge has been. The offenses have all occurred in Fort Bragg. The judge of Fort Bragg's Ten Mile Court is Clay Brennan. It's almost impossible to unseat a sitting judge in Mendocino County, but someone ought to at least have an electoral go at Brennan. Somehow, Sanchez keeps getting out of jail after he's done dangerous crimes, and only a judge can release a person from custody.

HOW IS SANCHEZ coming up with bail money? If he's coming up with bail money. Maybe Brennan is busting the bail down to zero when Sanchez appears, maybe the DA's office is asleep. Sanchez's bail this time for nearly killing his girl friend is $500,000. We'll see what we shall see.

IS JOHN STAHL the latest addition to Mendocino County's roster of world class maniacs? Well, he's not a killer in the Jim Jones or even Charles Manson class, both of whom graduated from Mendocino County to grander things. Stahl is more in the Mendo pedophile tradition of Tree Frog Johnson and Kenneth Parnell, both of whom took advantage of the County's long history of Do Your Own Thing-ism to do their own things with under-parented small boys But even in Mendocino County where tolerance of aberrant behavior seems infinitely elastic, Stahl flourished much longer than he should have. You can make a strong case that child molestation is indeed a kind of murder, the spiritual murder suffered by its victims. By that standard Stahl has killed a lot more people than Manson has. Once again in “liberal” Mendocino County, evil gets over because people, for whatever reason, don't go to the cops, because the cops in some circles are forever the Blue Meanies. The following is a fuller account of Stahl's stay in the North County than we've so far been able to muster. The writer is a resident of the infected area.

“GRANTED MENDOCINO COUNTY provides a buffet of strange happenings on a daily basis, I've yet to hear anything of the county's most wanted and now captured pedo-villain John Stahl of Leggett. I pray at night that your crack court reporter will be on the case. Tell me it is so. Not often one of our own go on the lam across international borders fleeing child molestation charges, never mind that that destination is the center of the pedophile's universe.

“JOHN STAHL graduated from ivy league (Brown), fancies himself a visionary of all matters of men (and boys) via his self-published meditations tree.org. In contrast to the sinister liberties he's taken with a number of children over the years, he's a master craftsman and for years was the resident luminary among the Bell Spring's hippy community. He's a master craftsman of milled paper and early printing techniques and is widely recognized for securing one of the first permits to grow hemp from the DEA since prohibition (which was revoked shortly after).

“AS THE ESTEEMED wise man of the Bell Springs royalty he had free access to their young flock of boys. When it was discovered what John was doing to their kids many years after the fact, he was exiled from the group and I hear the worse cases were never brought to the attention of law enforcement. To the hippy royalty on the hill, exile from their clan was punishment enough, I guess. I'm not sure of the case he caught charges for, but there was a silent murmur of satisfaction at his capture which rippled through the Leggett and Bell Springs area. John defended himself to these people by preaching the historical provenance of man-boy love, which by his hand was a harmless exploration; a mutually beneficial experience of man's loving nature. After his exile he holed up in the hollow of his Leggett house, which was always open to a steady stream of very young runaway drifters that nobody in Leggett ever knew. They were only ever seen riding shotgun on his daily trip to the post office. I believe it is from these homeless youths that the current charges he faces arise.

“AS REPORTED, STAHL fled to Sihanoukville, Cambodia. In the years since his hurried departure he seems to have built a good life for himself there. He opened a cafe/youth hostel in the seedy beachside provincial capital called Cafe Noir. The place was really popular and widely rated as excellent on the Trip Advisor website as having the best coffee in Cambodia and being a wonderful place to stay. He was well-liked by the Sihanoukville community as the local expat happenings website noted:

“AS YOU KNOW, it all ended when a very influential area NGO (dedicated to helping the children of Cambodia's rampant child sex industry) got wind of his wanted status and persuaded the US embassy in Phnom Penh to petition for the arrest of John for extradition. The Cambodian government is all too happy to make public examples of foreigners like John, people of which there are far to many making Cambodia a new home. Oddly, it does not seem that he kept at molesting children while in Cambodia, but I think most people who know John have their doubts about that. Perhaps more victims will come forward. At one time he had volunteered for an orphan's art program there, but I heard he was fired for being incredibly flaky, but my details on that are shaky. He had another project at some point teaching paper making to orphan children that made their livings digging rubbish from a dump. I almost smashed my computer when I found the webpage which he touts that project. What are the odds that parentless children, children whose survival depends on rummaging through trash heaps, file an abuse report with local authorities?

“ANYHOW, it's a fascinating story and as vile as a character John presents by the fact of his crimes, he's an incredibly charismatic charlatan of sorts. Another homegrown wierdo for the county record I guess. I think the case will make interesting fodder.

“I ORIGINALLY thought I had tracked him down singlehandedly, but I learned from a contact in Sihanoukville that the word had already gotten out to the local police. These are the links I found when I was originally hunting his web trail if you are interested.

“I FOUND that rat bastard! I check John Stahl's church of the tree website a couple times a year to see if I can figure out where he is since he continually updates his news. For eight years I've been waiting for some hint to find out where he's hiding at. In this latest update he finally said he was working on a pulp mill somewhere in SE Asia. The thought of this pissed me off imagining all the kids he's molesting... It took me a couple hours but I found his address, name of his business in Cambodia, phone/fax/cell number, multiple fictitious business names, data in TradeKey he's been soliciting for imports on and he's employing poor children and working with a poor kid's art foundation.... classic chronic child molester profile. He's calling himself Roland Stahl these days, operating a coffee shop/organic bakery/holistic health/ arcane knowledge school in Sihanoukville, Cambodia. I've been there and remember billboards warning foreigners to stay away from kids. Anyhow, I let the Mendo Co. sex crimes detective know I had this information. Maybe they can send his file to the Sihanoukville police who can make sure they keep an eye on him since I doubt they can muster the brain power or funds to extradite him. I'll bet Cambodia would arrest him and send him home for free if they asked! I have no doubt he's serially molesting poor children over there, no doubt whatsoever.”

EARLY LAST WEEK Dan Rather, Sheriff Downey and Congressman Spike, took a helicopter ride over stretches of the Humboldt County outback. The Sheriff told the Congressman and Rather that he knows of 4100 pot grows, of which he busts about 40 a year.

A NUMBER of these grows are the work of people uncommitted to walking lightly on the land. They heedlessly carve up their parcels, drain feeder streams of scant late summer water, killing all the little fish as they suck up the last draughts to water the love drug, and they use bad chemicals that kill wildlife.

THE SAME destructive things happen in Mendocino County's booming pot business but, it seems, not on the same scale as Humboldt County.

SHERIFF DOWNEY told Congressman Spike and newsman Rather, the latter in town to make yet another documentary on the pot business, that it's time to either legalize marijuana or spend a lot of money on a lot more cops, neither of which seems likely any time soon.

A 22-YEAR-OLD Willits man has been arrested for allegedly setting several wildfires near Willits. Brice Lee McKinnon was arrested and charged with numerous felony counts of arson to forest lands for allegedly starting wildland fires between July and August, according to CalFire.

NATIONAL ALLIANCE ON MENTAL ILLNESS (NAMI) will hold a 12-week “family-to-family course beginning Tuesday, September 24th. It's a free, comprehensive 12-week course in Ukiah, designed specifically for families of persons with serious mental health issues. The class is structured to help family members better understand and support their relatives while maintaining their own wellbeing. The instructors are local NAMI members who have received facilitator training. Each week a different topic is covered: symptoms of major mental illness, medications and side effects, empathy, self care, communication skills, crisis interventions, and setting limits. Each meeting builds on the previous one, and each participant will have a binder of resources at conclusion. The weekly meetings also provide opportunities to learn with others going through similar life experiences. If you would like more information, have questions, or wish to sign up for the class, please contact: Jan (707) 468-8632 or Diane (707) 467-9798

WE KNEW Victoria Shanahan as Victoria Jenny when she worked as a Mendocino County prosecutor under the late DA, Norm Vroman. A native of Willits where her dad worked for Remco, Ms. Jenny married a cop named Shanahan, moved to Cloverdale, and went to work for Sonoma County DA, Jill Ravitch, also an alum of the Mendocino County DA's office. Ms. Shanahan announced Wednesday night she will run against Ravitch for SoCo DA in the June election.

SHANAHAN was among our Courthouse faves when she worked in Mendocino County, while Ravitch seemed to consider us as part of the criminal class, and we thought Ravitch lacked, uh, “people skills” but was certainly a capable prosecutor.

WE ALSO OBJECTED to Ravitch's sweetheart deal with then-Mendo DA Meredith Lintott who employed Ravitch knowing that Ravitch was in Mendo while she waited to run for DA in Sonoma County. Lintott also funded Ravitch's round-trip commute back and forth to her home in West Sonoma County. Ravitch got a County car and free fuel, Mendo got to be Ravitch's foster home for a couple of years.

MENDOCINO COUNTY has cancelled the Caltrans grading permit that would have allowed Big Orange to haul dirt from the old LP mill site north of Willits to the Bypass project site also north of town. The Willits Environment Center and Keep the Code had filed a request for a temporary court order restraining Caltrans from using dirt from the former LP site to fill gouged-out wetlands where the 5.9-mile Bypass rejoins 101 north of Willits.

THE RESTRAINING ORDER request would have been heard Friday in Mendo Superior Court if the County hadn't pulled the plug on a deal between Caltrans and Mendocino Forest Products, present owner of the former LP mill site north of town, to sell dirt to Caltrans.

THE ENVIRO'S restraining order asked that dirt from Mendocino Forest Products not be moved until Forest Products and Caltrans met a slew of enviro regs plus the necessary mining permit required to move lots of dirt around.

THE COUNTY, via County Counsel's office, apparently agreed that the necessary permits were somehow waived to accommodate the Bypass project, and that a judge would have agreed with the Willits Environment Center and Keep The Code that the County was in violation of the law in issuing the permit.

ON-LINE COMMENT OF THE WEEK regarding outback land use: “Here's a little context that I never see being brought up. Ignorance and greed, make that willful ignorance, is to blame here. And I'm not just talking about marijuana growers. In fact, marijuana growing is just the latest industry to contribute to the destruction of water habitat for fish. And it might not be the worst offender. The other, more historic problem industries are logging and cattle herding. As any hydrologist knows, when the redwoods were clear cut their ability to hold water in the ground was lost, and so seasonal rainfall failed to be held in the ground and instead washed off the hills, causing mud slides and silt deposits into the rivers. This also means that, lacking the root system of the redwoods to slow the release of water, summer river levels were reduced to historical low levels. Of course, pumping water in the summer instead of saving in the winter makes the levels even lower, but the major reduction of summer water flow can be attributed to the destruction of the redwoods. Cattle herding is notorious for damaging river beds, diverting a huge amount of water for cattle to drink, and then the humungous amount of piss and shit that cattle produce inevitably makes its way into our waterways.”

INLAND LIBS, especially Supervisor Hamburg, say the AVA is funded by Oracle money; it isn't. The AVA sells enough papers every week to pay the print, postage and rent bills with enough left over to pay the writers a pittance. We're self-sustaining. If we weren't we'd be gone. By prevailing newspaper standards we're more solvent than, say, the Press Democrat, the Ukiah Daily Journal or the SF Chronicle, all of them running at big deficits. Of course we're a much better newspaper than those enterprises because we work harder at it than they do. “Work? Did someone say 'work'? Quick! The smelling salts! The 5th District supervisor has just passed out!”

WHICH ISN'T to say we aren't feeling the pinch all papers are feeling. We are feeling the pinch, and in January we'll be raising prices, retaking control of our website and generally battening down the economic hatches. If we have to ask for handouts, we are finito because I won't do it. My paper in Oregon failed for lack of capital. If I had access to Oracle money, I'd still be in Eugene. Hamburg himself, unacquainted with the world of work, contacted us last year wanting to know how to get his hand into the Oracle purse so, as usual, and not to be too judgmental about our fave limo lib, the guy's deep into his usual double standards.

THE PROB, which is a universal newspaper prob, is this: people under the age of fifty aren't reading in the newspaper format anymore. People under the age of thirty aren't reading anything longer than a tweet or less interesting than a twerk. Print is doomed in non-electronic formats. Print and postage prices continue to go up and up, and for the small fortune we pay for our weekly mail dispatch we're paying more for less timely delivery. All us print people are being shoved into cyber-space. It's only a matter of time before we're also forced into the ethers. But for now, all you Subaru Hatchbacks, we're here to make all of you better human beings.

THIRTEEN PEOPLE were arrested last Thursday on suspicion of being part of an abalone poaching network after fish and game wardens served search warrants on 14 locations. Lt. Patrick Foy of F&G said 13 of 14 suspects were in custody after the raids in Oakland, San Leandro, Fairfield, Alameda and Sacramento. Collecting abalone is legal, but divers must be licensed and are limited to 24 of the mollusks a season, and three a day. Divers track their catches on a report card, and authorities said some of the alleged poachers had falsified their cards. The poachers are lured by the steep prices abalone can get on the black market: Some average size abalone can sell for $100 each. One suspect took 57 abalones in a season, mostly collected from the waters off Sonoma and Mendocino counties, Foy said.

WENDY ROBERTS WRITES: “As a small lodging owner and former board member of Mendocino County Lodging Association, I have a small bone to pick…or perhaps I could frame that as ‘an offer of information clarification’ on the subject of the County's investment of $325,000 in tourism marketing. That budget item represents a tiny fraction of the 10% Transient Occupancy Tax that is collected by lodging owners from visitors. Lodging (not restaurants or any other business) also collects 1% of these visitors' room charges through the Business Improvement District assessment. The county is committed to a .5 match of each BID dollar. For the current period, lodging guests contributed $6.5 million to the County General Fund and collected an additional $650,000 to be spent on county-wide tourism marketing. The County added the .5% match of $325,000. Taxpayers can only dream that the County will find other opportunities with that kind of return on investment. That said, the incisive minds behind Off the Record got it all so right in the juicy rant on a different aspect of Mendocino County's destination marketing organization. If it were any more top heavy it would be buried head first and to the knees. It shouldn't take multiple boards with dozens of volunteer members and financial reviews to oversee the paid professionals who actually design and implement the county's award winning marketing program. Kudos and God speed to the current board members who are working to address this wasteful structure and other issues resulting from too many cooks and the bitter aftertaste of mistrust among various visitor serving entities.”

A PETITION is circulating in support of popular Fort Bragg Senior Center director Charles Bush, which is odd because Bush is currently the director and no one among the actual Seniors is unhappy with him. So, who's unhappy with him? A couple of meddling board members and a paid staffer who don't know to let well enough alone. Or maybe want Bush's job.

MANBEATER OF THE WEEK: It seems that that Ms. Hecox, 18, popped her boyfriend one across the cheek as they stood alongside 101, thus attracting attention, thus attracting the law, thus resulting in the arrest of Ms. H for misdemeanor battery, bail set in the unserious amount that bail is set for these unserious matters at $10,000.

STATEMENT OF THE WEEK: At some point in the next few hours or days, it is likely that a deeply damaged collection of moral cretins known as “Western leaders,” will sit down behind the gargantuan phalanxes of heavily armed security that keeps their well-wadded rumps safe and cozy and give the nod to some close-cropped flunky laden with medals for mendacious time-serving and relentless butt-covering to launch the airstrikes that will kill a large number of human beings, poor souls who had absolutely nothing to do with the alleged chemical weapon attacks allegedly carried out by Syrian government forces.” (Chris Floyd)

SPIKE'S FINEST HOUR. Obama's missile blitz of Syria seems to have stalled, with even conservative liberals like our Congressman Huffman falling in behind Barbara Lee of Oakland and John Garamendi of Sacramento County in demanding that the president make his case for aerial war on Syria to Congress, which is the way war is supposed to be authorized.

GARAMENDI: “The prime minister of the United Kingdom went to the elected representatives of that country to ask them their opinion. The president of the United States should have sufficient respect for Congress to do the same. … I also heard the war in Iraq was going to be over in 60 days. And I heard people say there were weapons of mass destruction that were going to be coming at the United States. I am a serious skeptic when people want to go to war, whether it's President Bush or President Obama.”

HUFFMAN, wishy-washy and only partially coherent, is at least troubled by yet another unilateral attack on yet another country: “I am very troubled by the way the administration is proceeding,” Huffman said. “I think we need to learn from our mistakes in the past. Clearly something should be done, but just because something should be done doesn't mean anything can be accepted.”

IT ISN'T AT ALL CLEAR that “something should be done,” and as the Hope and Change Gang asserts; even Mike Thompson said he thinks Congress should vote on an attack on Syria, adding that he thinks Obama might not have Congressional support for another war.

IF SYRIA does go to a vote by Congress, Thompson will vote Yes. Spike? I'd put the odds of him caving around 90 percent. All the Party big shot war hawks — Pelosi, Feinstein, Boxer — will spike Spike if he doesn't vote to blitz Syria.

EARLY THIS WEEK, a Humboldt County man named Bruce Wayne Turner was arrested for marijuana cultivation and booked into the Humboldt County jail a little after 4pm. Earlier, law enforcement — reportedly from the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office, the Drug Task Force and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife — raided his place off Dootyville Road where Turner is suspected of pumping from Mattole Canyon Creek, which is crossed by the Dootyville Bridge and feeds the perennially struggling Mattole River.

HUFFMAN to the rescue! Although the above atrocities occurred in Humboldt County, they occur everywhere on the Northcoast, including Mendocino County.

LATE TUESDAY AFTERNOON, under an agenda item called “legislative updates,” the Supervisors considered a request for a letter of support for a bill co-sponsored by Congressman Huffman.

HUFFMAN'S BILL asks that the state's Sentencing Commission review the penalties for marijuana trespass grows, especially those grows that deploy hazardous materials, divert water, poison wildlife and streams and otherwise deal severe insults to the health and welfare of the natural world.

THE IMPETUS for Huffman's action is the alarming number of Humboldt County grows, trespass and non-trespass, that not only use loads of pesticides, but help themselves to stream water to which they do not have legal access.

NATCH, no mention is made by Huffman of the practices of the wine industry of Mendocino and Sonoma counties, his major funders.

IN MENDOCINO COUNTY, industrial wine grape production is massively dependent on chemicals. The marijuana industry is, too, and both help themselves to our overdrawn streams and rivers, with the wine industry legally sucking up acres of water they've gotten riparian access to by buying land from old guard non-grape farmers who used very little of the County's finite waters. In Mendo, pot water diversions certainly occur, but the big draw on our streams is by the wine industry, and that draw is unregulated, basically unmonitored.

SINCE 1970, there are several thousand more wine straws in Mendo's streams than there were before 1970. How much water is illegally diverted by Mendo dope grows is not known, but you don't hear the despairing, eco-horror stories about Mendo pot farmers prevalent farther north in HumCo.

THE WINE INDUSTRY is not big in Humboldt County, but the dope industry is big and so prevalent in HumCo that its abuses, now that the timber industry has faded into economic insignificance, have become HumCo's primary land use controversy.

OUR SUPES FINALLY AGREED, 3-2, with Hamburg and Pinches opposed, to support Huffman's legislation aimed at beating back toxic pot grows.

HAMBURG TALKS a good game about being opposed to trespass growers that trash the environment, but can't bring himself to vote against them. Pinches said he was opposed to more laws on the dope issue, period.

ANOTHER NOTEWORTHY occurrence at Tuesday's meeting of the Supervisors was the slapstick appearance of an SEIU rep named Meredith Staples (yep, another new one) during Public Expression. Ms. Staples tried to explain where the hidden pots of money are that SEIU says are being withheld by the Supes from the pay packets of County workers.

WHAT WAS INTERESTING about SEIU's presentation by Ms. Staples was how many time Chairman Hamburg had to shut her down, not because of what she was saying but because he kept forgetting both her name and the fact that he'd just seconds before told Ms. Staples her time was up.

MS. STAPLES' FIRST REMARKS ran over time and Hamburg told her her time was up. She returned to her seat, picked up a speaker's slip, and was again called to the speaker's podium, this time to be ruled out of order when Hamburg recognized her, as in, “Hmmm. I think that was the lady who was just talking.” Ms. Staples again returned to her seat and again Hamburg called her name as if hearing it and seeing her for the first time!

LABOR DAY WEEKEND in a country where less than 15% of people who work for wages are represented by a labor union, and less than that in Mendocino County unless you're a teacher or a County worker bee. And the wage slaves who are represented by a union are mostly paying dues to people who take their dues and run, run to the anti-labor Democrat Party, anti-labor in practice, not theory, it should be said. The Democrats are also for economic justice and peace. In theory.

THE MENDO DEMOCRATS threw their annual Labor Day picnic at the usual parched venue in Ukiah. The event was heavy on trustafarians, wealthy bureaucrats, liberal judges, light on actual working people in a County where unemployment is the norm and, unless you hook on with some government job or are good at growing dope, you'll be paid an unlivable minimum wage even if you do find work. The Democrats downed wine produced by non-union workers who, the one time the wine workers did try to unionize at Roederer in Philo, Roederer — employing a union-busting law firm out of San Francisco and in-house snitches, had the union crushed faster than the fall harvest, blacklisting and blackballing the union people who'd dared not accept a sudden and inexplicably petty field wage reduction by the French-owned firm, one of the richest in the world.

HARD TO BELIEVE that a mere 75 years ago unions were led by people like Harry Bridges, that a whole city could be shut down if Big Capital messed with Harry's ILWU.

SEPTEMBER 6, 1938: Labor was on the march yesterday. Hour after hour, mile after mile, the men and women who man San Francisco's industry marched up Market Street under a broiling sun. In solid phalanxes they marched from the Embarcadero to Civic Center in what was probably San Francisco's greatest Labor Day celebration. Led by uniformed bands, 85,000 unionists swept up the streets in a mighty tide of moving humanity that flowed unceasingly for more than five hours. The vanguard of the parade was followed by a massed band of 120 pieces from Musician's Union Local 6, and thereafter came probably the most amusing part of the show — the members of the American Federation of Actors, some in costume, all with some kind of act. The largest single unit was the International Longshoremen's and Warehousemen's Union (ILWU), led by their militant leader, Harry Bridges. Bridges, dressed in jeans, a hickory shirt and white cap, as were his legions, was singled out by the crowd for countless calls of “Hello, Harry, how're ya doin'?” He laughed. Block after block, by the thousands, the longshoremen marched, laughing and calling to friends in the crowd.

ON-LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY (From an LA Weekly article about Burning Man.)

“Burning Man is little more than a caricature of itself. The core values — gifting, decommodification, inclusion, leaving no trace and running around naked (except for the body paint) — is exactly the type of hippie crap that nostalgic white-collar professionals gab about on their Bluetooths. If I wanted to hang out around a bunch of pseudo-bohemian trustafarians and smug yuppies slumming it, I'd move back to Portland.”

BILL ALLEN WRITES: The notion that all possible consequences and effects arising from an attack on Syria have been anticipated and can be countered is ludicrous and borders on delusional. The entire Middle East is a toxic cauldron of simmering sectarian hotspots that could explode into serious war fighting on multiple fronts. Obama and the Pelosi warhawks are willing to risk that in order for “red line” Obama to save face, or to maintain the tattered “credibility” of a declining empire? I'm no strategic war-gamer, but I can predict two effects we will assuredly see should there be an attack: 1) The gold plated cash register at Raytheon Corp. (maker of Tomahawk cruise missiles) will ka-ching a million dollars each every time one of those birds is launched. That's how much each missile costs the taxpayers. Few people are aware that the Navy fired more than 200 of them into Libya in 2011 (another undeclared, illegal war.) $200 million just for one kind of missile used in that campaign. 2) Within hours of an attack, we'll see gas prices at the pump shoot up like a rocket by at least a dollar per gallon, and after that the sky's the limit, for there are several scenarios that could unfold that might strangle a huge portion of world oil shipping, including but not limited to Iran (an ally of Syria) attempting to shut down tanker traffic through the Persian Gulf, etc. Do you think the Interventionists in DC have contemplated the disastrous effects on our barely-treading-water economy, or on 40 million citizens barely making ends meet, that $7.00 a gallon gas would precipitate?

“…we prepare for war like precocious giants and for peace like retarded pygmies.” — Lester Pearson

Onward!

ANOTHER READER WRITES: Just a quick correx. The Indians called (and probably still call) the John Day River what they always called it, the Mah Hah River. Mah hah loosely translated means “place of plenty fish and game.” Mau Mau? What's Patterson smoking?

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