Mendocino County Today: September 28, 2013

by AVA News Service, September 27, 2013

Bush

Bush

HUGE TURNOUT Friday afternoon at the Fort Bragg Senior Center in support of the Center's director, Charles Bush. The four women who'd engineered Bush's dismissal did not attend the meeting and have resigned, as did two others. Their reasons for trying to fire Bush were not clear. “The Center's cafeteria,” as one spectator put it, “was packed so tightly you could not fit one more sardine into the can.” An estimated 150 were on-hand, most of whom supported the embattled Executive Director who continues in his position. It has been a very odd contretemps indeed that has roiled Fort Bragg over the past week or so, with Bush’s four female detractors, all seniors themselves, refusing to explain why they wanted the popular Bush out. It seems now they had no reason other than vague dislikes. Bush has not only managed to steer the Center back from the brink of bankruptcy, he is highly regarded by Seniors and in the community generally.

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Montgomery

Montgomery

MICHAEL MONTGOMERY, 21, of Lodi, has been arrested for the stabbing death of Fort Bragg's Jonathan Denver, 24, an hour and a half after Wednesday night's Giants-Dodgers game.

Montgomery's father said his son told him he stabbed Denver in self-defense. Montgomery was later released from jail following SF DA George Gascon’s declaration that there have been no independent witnesses as yet and the case is still under investigation.

Denver

Denver

DENVER was with his father, older brother, and two other persons when they encountered Montgomery and his friends near Third and Harrison, a few blocks from the ballpark. Insults were exchanged based on the baseball rivalry and the different garb worn by the two combatants, and in the ensuing fight Denver was stabbed to death. Montgomery and friends told police they were on their way to a rave when the insults were exchanged. Wednesday night raves are rare in the city, and it is not known why Montgomery would have been carrying a knife to a party.

AS IT HAPPENS, DENVER was arrested for drunk-in-public at Boonville's County Fair three weeks ago, and then picked up another Sheriff’s arrest the next day in Fort Bragg for drunk driving.

FROM THE LA TIMES TODAY:

The grandparents of slain Dodger fan Jonathan Denver released a statement Friday expressing devastation at their loss and stressed that Denver and his father were “calm, level-headed personalities and ... not the type to initiate an altercation.” Robert Sr. and Anne Marie Preece, of Covina, asked for privacy and said that “until we have some time with our son, we will not have clear details on what ensued — only that everything went bad very quickly.” Their son, Robert Preece, and his two sons had planned Wednesday's get-together at the Giants-Dodgers game in San Francisco as a celebration of Preece's 49th birthday, they said. It had taken a while to plan but finally came together. Preece traveled north from Alhambra, the boys south from Fort Bragg. “They had a great time at the game sending pictures to family and friends throughout the evening,” Denver's grandparents wrote, saying the group then “walked a few blocks from the stadium for a birthday drink.” San Francisco police say an altercation then ensued between Denver's group and another group of young men, one of whom was wearing a Giants cap. An initial fight ended without serious injuries, but Denver was stabbed during a second altercation that followed. Police on Thursday arrested and booked Michael Montgomery, 21, of Lodi, into San Francisco County Jail on a charge of murder after he made incriminating statements about the late Wednesday slaying. A distraught Montgomery told his father in a phone call that he acted in self-defense after Denver threw a chair at him, according to the Lodi News-Sentinel. In their statement, however, Robert Sr. and Anne Marie Preece described their grandson as “a gentle, kind-hearted soul who loved his brother and his family very much ... Jon was our grandson, a son to Robert, a nephew to our five daughters, a cousin to many, and an uncle. “Jon was always smiling, and that is how is we will forever remember him,” they continued. “We feel that this incident underlines a symptom of a society whose values seem to have deteriorated over time. There is a loss of respect for human life, of family values, honesty, and of the benefit of differing opinions.” The Preeces extended gratitude for “all the kind expressions of sympathy, especially from the Stow family.” (Bryan Stow, a 42-year-old paramedic, was savagely beaten outside Dodger Stadium in 2011, targeted because he was wearing Giants clothing.) Meanwhile, Friday, North Coast Plumbing & Heating, where Denver worked as an apprentice plumber, established a memorial fund for his family. Donations can be made to the Jonathon Denver Memorial Fund, Mendo Lake Credit Union, 120 North Franklin St., Fort Bragg, CA 95437.

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THE HAZARDS OF SAGGING

(From the weekly Ukiah PD crime summary for 9/25/2013.)

Poe

Poe

“On September 22nd at about 12:45pm Ukiah Police responded to a fight in the 800 block of South Oak Street. The arriving officer encountered 32-year old Christopher Ray Poe, who ran from the officer. Poe soon tripped over his pants which had fallen to his ankles, then turned and threatened the officer with his fists raised. Poe advanced towards the officer, who deployed a Taser, and was able to take Poe into custody. Poe remained combative and threatening, and spit at an officer, striking the officer. Poe was eventually transported to the County Jail and booked for resisting arrest, battery on a peace officer, and violating post release supervision.”

(Note that the spit “struck” the officer — aka, battery on a peace officer.)

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TO: CALIFORNIA DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Scott Burger, Valerie Gizinski , Kim Floyd

1656 Union Street, Eureka, CA 95501

707-445-5320

RichardsonGroveImprovement@dot.ca.gov

RE: Richardson Grove Improvement Project

the documents are available on the this project website:

http://www.dot.ca.gov/dist1/d1projects/richardson_grove/

Dear Scott Burger or To Whom It May Concern:

To have less than 30 days to respond to a comment period, when it took over a year and five months for Caltrans to prepare this report, is not giving the public a fair time to properly study these documents in order to make an informed comment, don’t you agree?

Please extend the comment period for the Richardson Grove Supplement to the Final Environmental Assessment and Tree Decisions beyond October 21, 2013, to be fair in allowing the public enough time to prepare an educated reply. If extended to at least November 15, that would be very helpful.

My documents were received on Monday, September 23, 2013 only because somebody saw a notice in Friday, Sept 21 issue of Times-Standard who let me know late in the day. I could not access the notice on-line. When I went to the Caltrans Office Monday afternoon, there were not enough documents printed to get copies for others to receive them in a timely manner. So documents were not ready for others to pick up in printed form until September 24 from Caltrans District Office on Union Street in Eureka. Mailing to people entails another two days lost in the comment period time.

Also, Tree Decisions was not in the Eureka Humboldt County Library when a friend tried to access them there to read. He said the librarian took a long time to find the Richardson Grove Final Environmental Assessment, so these documents are not placed in a place one can find it easily. He said the lady at the Reference Desk finally found the Final Environmental Assessment (after looking and missing it and then going to look other places and my friend said he waited more than 10 minutes for her to finally find the one document right there filed with a bunch of unrelated books), but he said Tree Decisions was not there. One might mistake this as another tactic to keep the public uninformed.

These two books (The Final Supplemental Environmental Assessment and Tree Decisions) both consist of over 170 pages each. There are many maps included, so they will need to be studied as well.

Many people have no computers, or they only have snail-slow dial-up, which requires getting documents in hard copy. Reading long documents on line hurts my neck and back, and it is very hard to download these documents as they take up so much computer space. In addition, I needed to buy original copies to know I have the proper maps and I needed room to make notes on a hard copy. My printer can not handle printing out 400 pages without giving me problems, and the maps are cut in half on the electronic copy so this makes them even more difficult to understand. This is why hard copies being available and affordable is important. Going from charging $20 for the Draft Environmental Impact Report, up to $150 for the Final EIR pumped up to a large couple of documents. Now $40 each for these EA and Tree Decision Docs is double the price and about the same number of pages as the original DEIR. This is also cost prohibitive, which is also unfair to people living on a thin budget.

Mainly, it is important to be fair with costs and extend the comment period so the public has a chance to become educated on what this all means.

Sincerely, Patricia Lotus, Eureka

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ON SEPTEMBER 24, 2013, Humboldt County Sheriff’s Deputies assisted by the Cannabis Eradication and Reclamation Team (CERT) eradicated a large marijuana cultivation site on Barnum Timber Property, Garberville area. Deputies located and eradicated 9,056 growing marijuana plants ranging in height from 4’ to 6’. Deputies found rodenticides, fertilizers and environmental damage caused by clearing of brush and timber, along with a stream diversion.

On 09-25-2013, Humboldt County Sheriff’s Deputies assisted by the CERT eradicated a large marijuana cultivation site again on Barnum Timber and adjacent private property in the Garberville area. Deputies located and eradicated 5,717 growing marijuana plants ranging in height from 4’ to 6’ tall. They again found rodenticides, fertilizers and environmental damage caused by clearing of brush and timber, along a with stream diversion. They also found a trail of marijuana leaves which they followed to a residence. A search warrant was obtained for the residence. Upon serving the search warrant on the residence deputies discovered the residence was being exclusively used to process and dry marijuana. Deputies located and seized 600 pounds of marijuana from the residence. No one was in the residence when the search warrant was served.

On 09-26-2013, Humboldt County Sheriff’s Deputies assisted by the CERT eradicated a large marijuana cultivation site on Benbow State Park property and adjacent private property. Deputies located and eradicated 6,750 growing marijuana plants at this location along with a stream diversion and other environmental damage. The plants at this location ranged in size from 3’ to 7’ tall.

The estimated value of the total marijuana seized is conservatively $21 million. (Humboldt Co. Sheriff’s Office Press Release)

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EDITOR,

World War I occasioned a psychotic break in Western civilization. This resulted in the hysteria in the stock market in the 20s and the Great Depression in the 30s, accompanied by Fascism and WWII. A return to sanity was offered up by the New Age in the 60’s and 70s, which went almost nowhere, given the depth of the psychosis in the civilization. Then came the threat of nuclear annihilation and the Cold War, accompanied by the rebuilding of Germany and Japan after they had attempted to eradicate Western Civilization. As a compensatory mechanism all of this has been followed by these socio-economic phenomenon: a fetish for economic growth; loss of control of population growth far beyond sustainability; the fusion of government and corporate business interests; the destruction of the middle class; the permanency of the underclass, the destruction of the global ecosystem beyond the tipping point, foreign policy that perpetuates war, a revival of mass delusionary religiosity, and on and on. Is it, then, any wonder that one of four Americans will suffer from mental illness in any given year; that one of 15 Americans will suffer long term disabling functional impairment caused by depression, bipolar disorder, or schizophrenia? How does one summarize all of this? We are increasing the longevity of the individuals; we live longer than ever before. We are shortening the time when the entire civilization will implode. If that is not insanity, what is?

Lee Simon, Far ’n Away Farm, Virginia

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LIBERACE’S PRISON

Vanity & Vacuity at the Keyboard

by David Yearsley

Last weekend Michael Douglas took home an Emmy for his performance as Liberace in the HBO bio-pic Behind the Candelabra; this accolade might in turn ignite renewed interest in the film that was released in movie theatres in Europe early last summer, but was confined to cable in its native country. The refusal of major studios to back the project and grant it distribution in America — a rejection that came in spite of the prestige of its director and cast — has the effect of imparting a somewhat illicit, unwanted feel to the film, as if it were a gay son disowned by Hollywood.

Those of us who didn’t catch the movie on HBO and weren’t seduced into pirating it from the internet can at last see director Steven Soderbergh’s supposedly cinematic swansong courtesy of Netflix. Like Liberace’s own sexuality the film still lurks on the American periphery, sneaking from bedroom to living room, or flitting across the laptop or iPhone. I could well imagine that Soderbergh welcomes the thin sheen of outsider shame that lends his film a faint quality of provocation or even danger.

Perhaps these private venues, their curtains drawn and the kids put to bed, engender more of a frisson in the sex scenes between Liberace and his young lover, Scott Thorson, played by Matt Damon. The mall would be too scandalous a place to see, as Soderbergh himself put it, “Jason Bourne on top of Gordon Gekko.” In the age of gay marriage, one can pretend that this is virtual contraband only to be watched behind closed doors.

Screening Liberace’s rampant sexuality in front of the hearth returns the flamboyant piano man to his position in the center of the American home where he glittered for all those post-war decades, lighting up the record player and television set. Soderbergh’s movie self-consciously inverts the relationship between sex and music in the Liberace persona: during his reign it was the music that fascinated, even if its presentation was energized by a campy electricity that Americans enjoyed while refusing to connect that energy to the performer’s obvious sexual orientation. Now it is sexuality that is meant to entertain and even enlighten the viewer, while Liberace’s kooky pianism plays second fiddle.

Behind the Candelabra nonetheless gives us Liberace on stage before having him dive into the sack. We see one of his lavish shows through Thorson’s eyes just after he’s arrived in Las Vegas. Under the insatiable gaze of Soderbergh’s camera (as usual in his film projects, Soderbergh acted not just as director, but also as director of photography and editor) we move through the lounge as “Mr. Showmanship” does one of his well-known routines — a boogie-woogie number in which he talks to the audience while his left-hand rollicks away.

Soderbergh revels in the incongruity of a man with lots of fake hair wearing a frilly rhinestone suit with his fingers lugging heavy rings up and down the ivories playing “black” music. Liberace rendered the restive power of this style safe and enjoyable, even when the bass-line bursts into double-time gallop, the white audience eating up this utterly inauthentic fare.

After the number concludes with a burst of octaves and the trademark glissando, Liberace takes to the microphone and trots out a string harmless, queeny jokes. Ensconced in his booth with a martini in front of him, Thorson turns to his male companion, a man who has just transplanted him from his rural California life as a dog trainer and would-be veterinarian into the Vegas den of inequity, and remarks that it’s funny that the audience would like something “so gay.” The companion replies, “Oh, they have no idea that he’s gay.”  This exchange elicits a furious glare from a blue-rinse lady nearby. This  quick directorial touch suggests the Liberace’s audience did indeed know about his secret, but preferred to suppress the suspicion. Don’t ask, don’t tell was not invented by Bill Clinton.

BehindCandelabraWith its 70s décor, the amber glow of the lamps at the round booths, the silver-blue spotlight raining down on the gilded piano, and the dazzle of rhinestones reflecting off the black mirror that functions as the stage, this lounge tableau is the best scene in the movie.  And it’s all much more elegant and compelling than it ever could have been in Liberace’s 1970s Vegas.

The whole extravagantly silly and enjoyable scene is ultimately made convincing  through the magic of computer-generated imagery: Michael Douglas has Liberace’s piano playing hands.  The cumbersome conventions of having to shoot a non-piano-playing actor only from the far side of the piano case so his hands won’t be seen has given way to the full package: Douglas as keyboard sensation with fingers flying across the ivories. Yet Douglas is masterful in the role not just because someone else’s hands have been digitally grafted onto him.  He captures not only Liberace’s fey delivery, but also the complexity of his tone, one marked both by a love of limelight and dampened by an after-ring of two-shows-a-day money-mill drudgery.

From here on out the film plods through the sumptuous scenery of Liberace’s life of illusion: the Las Vegas mansion with its crystal-filled and columned rooms; the hot tub beneath marble steps; driveway crowded with customized cars.  Through the much younger lover’s eyes, we learn of Liberace’s desire to have children, his seemingly insatiable sexual appetite, his faked romance with ice-skater Sonja Henie, his paralyzing fear of getting old. Liberace infects Thorson with his own addiction to plastic surgery, trying to reshape his lover’s face in his own image as the biological son he never had, even while he promises to adopt him and make him his rightful heir. Rob Lowe plays the corrupt plastic surgeon with fathomless superficiality. That’s the problem: the surfaces shine in this film. It’s the substance beneath that lacks interest.

Also nominated for an Emmy, Damon is proud, vulnerable, and erratic as the kept younger man. But ultimately his character, and I suspect Thorson’s book on which the movie was based, lack any sustaining power. Unfulfilled and suffering from feelings of imprisonment in Liberace’s private palace and as the on-stage chauffeur for the entertainer’s theatrical entrances in white Rolls Royce, Thorson embarks on an express ride towards self-destruction.  Cocaine and other medications stoke increasingly wild delusions. Wrecked by paranoia, Thorson is sent packing by Liberace’s lawyer, the always-excellent Dan Akroyd, who plays Liberace’s fixer with both remorselessness and a poignantly realistic understanding for the absurd necessity of hiding Liberace’s sexuality for fear that his adoring public would withhold its dollars should they find out.

Some years after Thorson’s expulsion from Liberace’s court there is a final rapprochement at the deathbed of the AIDS-afflicted pianist. With the candelabra extinguished at last, both men are seen to be caring, sensitive people who just want stability and love. Maybe the movie is a lesson in gay marriage after all, in spite of Soderbergh’s protestations to the contrary.

As the relationship between the men nears its nadir, Soderbergh returns us to Liberace’s on-stage music and the performer’s rendition of Chopin’s “Prelude in E Minor.” Although a staple of Liberace’s repertoire, the choice is not a random one. The piece has canonic status in the annals of Hollywood macho-dom, for it is the very prelude that Jack Nicholson’s apostate pianist plays in Bob Rafaelson’s 1970 film Five Easy Pieces, where the character uses it to seduce his brother’s girlfriend at the family home on a remote Puget Sound island.  The woman is moved by the emotion of the performance, but Nicholson’s hollow character tells her that he felt nothing.

The real bleakness of Behind the Candelabra, a meandering film that picks lazily at a buffet of themes from plastic surgery to jealously to vanity without making a coherent plate, is its suggestion that, like Nicholson on his island, Liberace felt nothing at the keyboard. Even music, drained of all moral vitality by the machine of American showbiz culture, couldn’t offer Liberace solace in the prison of his own lies. ¥¥

(David Yearsley is a long-time contributor to CounterPunch and the Anderson Valley Advertiser. His latest book is Bach’s Feet. He can be reached at  dgyearsley@gmail.com.)

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SEYMOUR HERSH ON OBAMA, NSA AND THE ‘PATHETIC’ AMERICAN MEDIA

Hersh

Hersh

Seymour Hersh has got some extreme ideas on how to fix journalism — close down the news bureaus of NBC and ABC, sack 90% of editors in publishing and get back to the fundamental job of journalists which, he says, is to be an outsider.

It doesn't take much to fire up Hersh, the investigative journalist who has been the nemesis of US presidents since the 1960s and who was once described by the Republican party as “the closest thing American journalism has to a terrorist.”

He is angry about the timidity of journalists in America, their failure to challenge the White House and be an unpopular messenger of truth.

Don't even get him started on the New York Times which, he says, spends “so much more time carrying water for Obama than I ever thought they would” — or the death of Osama bin Laden. “Nothing's been done about that story, it's one big lie, not one word of it is true,” he says of the dramatic US Navy Seals raid in 2011.

Hersh is writing a book about national security and has devoted a chapter to the bin Laden killing. He says a recent report put out by an “independent” Pakistani commission about life in the Abottabad compound in which Bin Laden was holed up would not stand up to scrutiny. “The Pakistanis put out a report, don't get me going on it. Let's put it this way, it was done with considerable American input. It's a bullshit report,” he says hinting of revelations to come in his book.

The Obama administration lies systematically, he claims, yet none of the leviathans of American media, the TV networks or big print titles, challenge him.

“It's pathetic, they are more than obsequious, they are afraid to pick on this guy [Obama],” he declares in an interview with the Guardian.

“It used to be when you were in a situation when something very dramatic happened, the president and the minions around the president had control of the narrative, you would pretty much know they would do the best they could to tell the story straight. Now that doesn't happen any more. Now they take advantage of something like that and they work out how to re-elect the president.”

He isn't even sure if the recent revelations about the depth and breadth of surveillance by the National Security Agency will have a lasting effect.

He is certain that NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden “changed the whole nature of the debate” about surveillance. Hersh says he and other journalists had written about surveillance, but Snowden was significant because he provided documentary evidence — although he is skeptical about whether the revelations will change the US government's policy.

“Duncan Campbell [the British investigative journalist who broke the Zircon cover-up story], James Bamford [US journalist] and Julian Assange and me and the New Yorker, we've all written the notion there's constant surveillance, but he [Snowden] produced a document and that changed the whole nature of the debate, it's real now,” Hersh says.

“Editors love documents. Chicken-shit editors who wouldn't touch stories like that, they love documents, so he changed the whole ball game,” he adds, before qualifying his remarks.

“But I don't know if it's going to mean anything in the long [run] because the polls I see in America — the president can still say to voters ‘al-Qaeda, al-Qaeda’ and the public will vote two to one for this kind of surveillance, which is so idiotic,” he says.

Holding court to a packed audience at City University in London's summer school on investigative journalism, 76-year-old Hersh is on full throttle, a whirlwind of amazing stories of how journalism used to be; how he exposed the My Lai massacre in Vietnam, how he got the Abu Ghraib pictures of American soldiers brutalizing Iraqi prisoners, and what he thinks of Edward Snowden.

Despite his concern about the timidity of journalism he believes the trade still offers hope of redemption.

“I have this sort of heuristic view that journalism, we possibly offer hope because the world is clearly run by total nincompoops more than ever … Not that journalism is always wonderful, it's not, but at least we offer some way out, some integrity.”

His story of how he uncovered the My Lai atrocity is one of old-fashioned shoe-leather journalism and doggedness. Back in 1969, he got a tip about a 26-year-old platoon leader, William Calley, who had been charged by the army with alleged mass murder.

Instead of picking up the phone to a press officer, he got into his car and started looking for him in the army camp of Fort Benning in Georgia, where he heard he had been detained. From door to door he searched the vast compound, sometimes blagging his way, marching up to the reception, slamming his fist on the table and shouting: “Sergeant, I want Calley out now."

Eventually his efforts paid off with his first story appearing in the St Louis Post-Despatch, which was then syndicated across America and eventually earned him the Pulitzer Prize. “I did five stories. I charged $100 for the first, by the end the [New York] Times were paying $5,000."

He was hired by the New York Times to follow up the Watergate scandal and ended up hounding Nixon over Cambodia. Almost 30 years later, Hersh made global headlines all over again with his exposure of the abuse of Iraqi prisoners at Abu Ghraib.

For students of journalism his message is: put the miles and the hours in. He knew about Abu Ghraib five months before he could write about it, having been tipped off by a senior Iraqi army officer who risked his own life by coming out of Baghdad to Damascus to tell him how prisoners had been writing to their families asking them to come and kill them because they had been “despoiled.”

“I went five months looking for a document, because without a document, there's nothing there, it doesn't go anywhere.”

Hersh returns to US president Barack Obama. He has said before that the confidence of the US press to challenge the US government collapsed post 9/11, but he is adamant that Obama is worse than Bush.

“Do you think Obama's been judged by any rational standards? Has Guantanamo closed? Is a war over? Is anyone paying any attention to Iraq? Is he seriously talking about going into Syria? We are not doing so well in the 80 wars we are in right now, what the hell does he want to go into another one for? What's going on [with journalists]?” he asks.

He says investigative journalism in the US is being killed by the crisis of confidence, lack of resources and a misguided notion of what the job entails.

“Too much of it seems to me is looking for prizes. It's journalism looking for the Pulitzer Prize,” he adds. “It's a packaged journalism, so you pick a target like — I don't mean to diminish because anyone who does it works hard — but are railway crossings safe and stuff like that, that's a serious issue but there are other issues too.

“Like killing people, how does [Obama] get away with the drone program? Why aren't we doing more? How does he justify it? What's the intelligence? Why don't we find out how good or bad this policy is? Why do newspapers constantly cite the two or three groups that monitor drone killings. Why don't we do our own work?

“Our job is to find out ourselves, our job is not just to say ‘here's a debate’ our job is to go beyond the debate and find out who's right and who's wrong about issues. That doesn't happen enough. It costs money, it costs time, it jeopardizes, it raises risks. There are some people — the New York Times still has investigative journalists but they do much more of carrying water for the president than I ever thought they would … it's like you don't dare be an outsider any more.”

He says in some ways President George Bush's administration was easier to write about. “The Bush era, I felt it was much easier to be critical than it is [of] Obama. Much more difficult in the Obama era,” he said.

Asked what the solution is, Hersh warms to his theme that most editors are pusillanimous and should be fired.

“I'll tell you the solution, get rid of 90% of the editors that now exist and start promoting editors that you can't control,” he says. I saw it in the New York Times, I see people who get promoted are the ones on the desk who are more amenable to the publisher and what the senior editors want and the troublemakers don't get promoted. Start promoting better people who look you in the eye and say ‘I don't care what you say.’

Nor does he understand why the Washington Post held back on the Snowden files until it learned the Guardian was about to publish.

If Hersh was in charge of US Media Inc, his scorched earth policy wouldn't stop with newspapers.

“I would close down the news bureaus of the networks and let's start all over, tabula rasa. The majors, NBCs, ABCs, they won't like this — just do something different, do something that gets people mad at you, that's what we're supposed to be doing,” he says.

Hersh is currently on a break from reporting, working on a book which undoubtedly will make for uncomfortable reading for both Bush and Obama.

“The republic's in trouble, we lie about everything, lying has become the staple.” And he implores journalists to do something about it.

(Courtesy, the London Guardian)

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THE MENDOCINO THEATRE COMPANY is proud to present In the Next Room (or The Vibrator Play), a charming, side-splittingly naughty comedy by Sarah Ruhl, under the direction of award-winning director and choreographer Ann Woodhead.

Woodhead

Woodhead

It is the beginning of the age of electricity, the awakening of scientific curiosity, and in the case of Ms. Givings, the awakening of a quite different kind of curiosity as well. Lovingly devoted to her physician husband and newborn daughter, Catherine Givings notices strange sounds coming from her husband’s “operating theatre” in the next room. Desperately curious about her husband’s new invention for treating “hysteria” in women, Ms. Givings sets out to find deeper satisfaction as both a mother and wife, but also as a woman.

A finalist for the 2010 Pulitzer Prize, In the Next Room (or The Vibrator Play) is an uproariously wild comedy that has audiences giggling from start to finish. While this “hysterical” comedy is truly Victorian, underneath the laughter is a poignant story about the nature of love that is very much relevant today.

IN THE NEXT ROOM (OR THE VIBRATOR PLAY, is performed with crisp comedic skill by an ensemble cast featuring both local favorites and accomplished out-of-town actors. This delightful Victorian-era comedy features the talents of Cynthia Audo, Penuel Corbin, Crystal Cook, Raven Deerwater, Terilynn Epperson, Kevin Yaguchi, and Maureen Martin.

In the Next Room (or The Vibrator Play) plays FOR ONLY FOUR MORE PERFORMANCES at the Mendocino Theatre Company at 45200 Little Lake St. in Mendocino on September 26th, 27th, and 28th at 8:00 p.m., and September 29th 2:00 p.m.

For tickets or more information, please contact the Mendocino Theatre Company Box Office at 707-937-4477, or go to mendocinotheatre.org.

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