- Anderson Valley
- Mendocino County
by AVA News Service, April 30, 2014
A NORTH COUNTY coalition of environmental groups has sued Mendocino County for issuing a permit to Caltrans to move dirt from a site the enviros claim is polluted. Caltrans wants to haul 900,000 cubic yards of soil from land owned by Mendocino Forest Products to a nearby Bypass construction project. The suit alleges that soil from the site is toxic and that the County did not prepare an environmental impact report in issuing the permit. Stripped of rhetorical overkill, the suit is really a last-ditch attempt to stop the done-deal Willits Bypass.
THE ANGUISH OF UNCERTAINTY. When the Malaysian airliner vanished from the skies last month, the world’s heart ached for the families – not only for their terrible losses, but because the early investigation was badly mishandled and the authorities kept them in the dark for far too long.
THE FAMILY and friends of Susan Keegan, a Ukiah victim of homicide, understand all too well that uncertainty, and the agony of delay, can be almost as harsh as loss itself. And we are not alone – in California, more than 1,000 homicides go unsolved every year, according to Safe California (www.safecalifornia.org). One thousand families – in one state, in one year — who carry the memories of the betrayed in their heart, and who never have their day in court. One thousand communities that never learn what happened in their own backyards.
WHEN IT COMES to homicide, Mendocino County actually beats the averages in California. Statewide, half the homicide cases (from 2000 to 2009) have never been solved, but only 25% of those in Mendocino remain open. District Attorney David Eyster has the resources to meet, or surpass, that track record. Let’s hope the Keegan case doesn’t worsen the county’s performance.
THE KEEGAN HOME has twice been searched under separate warrants. DNA samples have been collected, and forensics and legal experts from outside Mendocino County have been paid as consultants to help develop the case. Most of the county’s law enforcement team, in both the DA’s office and the Sheriff’s office, have met repeatedly to review the evidence. Apparently, they agree on the facts, because they formally designated Susan’s death a homicide in August 2012.
SO, WHAT HAS HAPPENED since then? Despite the DA’s silence, we have every reason to believe he is a guiding force behind a continuing investigation. His office tells us the case remains active. We know the Sheriff’s staff has been castigated for its mishandling of the evidence that tragic morning after Susan’s death. We know Susan’s husband has engaged a leading criminal defense attorney, who has apparently advised his client not to cooperate with the authorities. We know there is only one suspect.
BUT WE DON’T KNOW WHY the DA’s office has taken three and a half years to make an arrest – an arrest that everyone still expects to come. We don’t know why friends and family, whose anguish is undiminished, are still asked to wait. Not every case gets handed to prosecutors clean, easy, and nicely wrapped with a bow. The Ukiah community nonetheless needs its law enforcers to get justice done. A civilized society insists on it. It is time, DA Eyster. It is long past time. (Courtesy, Justice4Susan.com)
COUNTY EMPLOYEE HELEN MICHAEL WRITES: “Although I shouldn’t be surprised by any disingenuous proposals spewing forth from the County Administration offices, it still stuns me that they continue to look us straight in our eyes and say “they don’t have the money.” They have the money to pay their anti-union San Francisco law firm $250,000+ to negotiate against their own employees, a figure which, coincidentally, would have covered the first 3% wage restoration we proposed!! Now they seem to have the money to invest in land speculation! Is it any wonder there is such unrest among the County employees when all we get from the Board of Supervisors, the CEO and Asst. CEO is spin and HogWash?”
MS. MICHAEL has a strong point here. Mendocino County employs a bunch of lawyers collectively called the County Counsel’s Office. Why the Supervisors have to hire an outside union-busting mouthpiece for more than a quarter-mil (and counting) to conduct ordinary labor negotiations is one more minor outrage. If the County Counsel can’t handle it, fire him. And keep firing him or her until we have someone who can represent Mendocino County in whatever matter the County needs representation for. I doubt if any of the Supervisors would hire a private attorney if they had a free one just down the hall.
ON THE OTHER HAND, County employees are represented by a bunch of posturing fools based in Santa Rosa and Oakland who seem to think they’re in an updated production of Waiting For Lefty. The whole show is Dumb Squared. People who live and work together like the Supervisors and County employees do ought to be able to work out fair rates of pay without a lot of acrimony.
THE NEW COUNTY COURTHOUSE rolls on despite the slim fact that only a few judges want it. The structure would house our nine judges and the people who serve them. The existing Courthouse is perfectly serviceable and houses everything and everyone related to the courts. For a third of the money the new Courthouse will cost, the existing Courthouse could be made more than serviceable. A new courthouse for Mendocino County is totally unjustified.
NOT that the nine judges are dissuaded from pursuing new quarters for themselves. Their attitude is, We want it, we’re going to get it, and we don’t care if no one else agrees with us. The City of Ukiah, downtown merchants and even the judges say they prefer a “downtown” location. Depends here how you define downtown. Only one prospective site, the library site, could be considered ‘downtown,’ and it’s a block away from the present courthouse.
FOR A VARIETY of reasons, some of them suspicious, the old railroad depot site on Perkins is as close to downtown as the proposed judges-only courthouse can get. It’s about a half-mile to the east of downtown. There was, as we’ve often noted, a lengthy site selection process that cost about a million to conduct, and another million for an EIR. That stumbling procedure looked at the old train depot site and the area around the library, plus a vacant expanse northeast of downtown called The Brush Street Triangle.
THE LIBRARY site was initially in first place but fell out of favor because there are a dozen or so property owners involved, some of whom don’t want to sell and some of whom want too much money. There are also underground contamination issues of an unknown extent. So the Depot became the preferred site, although some of the judges and Sheriff Allman are advocates for the Brush Street Triangle, the third site now apparently out of consideration.
BACK WHEN Delbar and Wattenburger were still on the Board of Supervisors, they persuaded their inattentive colleagues to spend several hundred thousand dollars on a site selection study that recommended the County buy 20 acres in the Brush Street Triangle. That site just happened to be owned by a Delbar padrone, the ubiquitous John Mayfield. (Giant pots of lightly supervised government money, and everyone comes running, the Get-Government-Off-Our-Backs types fastest of all.) Delbar’s and Wattenburger’s consultant recommended that the County issue a gazillion in bonds to build a “justice” center — courtrooms, new jail, Sheriff admin bldg, and a new juvenile hall. Delbar, with no business experience, never worried about how to pay the bills. He claimed he was a “fiscal conservative,” but he voted to issue more than $100 million in Pension Obligation Bonds, mismanaged the Teeter debt, and generally drove the County into a financial hole just before the economy tanked. Of course he didn’t manage the local fiscal disaster by himself. The entire County apparatus was in full support. There was literally no one in authority who didn’t think wild assumptions weren’t prudent.
POST ECONOMIC collapse, and with Delbar and affiliated incompetents gone, the new Board of Supes realized there was no funding for Delbar’s scheme and they were not going to go deeper in debt by issuing $100 million or more in bonds. At that point, the City of Ukiah, which still had its redevelopment agency it used as City slush fund outside the rules, began pushing again for a “downtown” new courthouse location, with the Depot site winning out. If the City of Ukiah paid any attention to its own rhetoric about a revitalized downtown, they’d demand that the County Courthouse stay right where it is.
ANYWAY, the local judges and the AOC (Administrative Office of the Courts, a group of judges who make policy for the state court system and have always erected the ugliest large structures in the state, including the now abandoned courthouse in Willits) are ready to go, but NCRA, the moribund railroad, now an adjunct of the Northcoast Democrats, seems to be playing a bit of hard ball. Which is odd since NCRA is perpetually on the financial ropes and could use a financial shot in the arm, which a sale of the Depot site to the AOC would provide.
THERE ARE ALSO RUMORS that an unnamed local “natural foods store” is looking at the Depot site. Problem is, both the natural food store and the judges want to be up front, near Perkins Street. The black robes think it would be demeaning to the dignity of the courts to be located behind a health food grocery store parking lot with a lot of gaunt old hippies wandering around their viewshed. As if the current ambiance of downtown Ukiah is sooooo much different… as if a ringside seat on Perkins Street with the dispossessed shuffling up and down all day and night, the same dispossessed the judges are overly paid to process in and out of the justice system might be an enhanced view. The smart money says the judges should be able to out muscle the natural food store.
RUMOR ALSO HAS IT that the County, too, is looking to buy land at the Depot site. The County doesn’t have money to pay its employees a modest wage increase but the leadership seems to have the dough for real estate speculation. If the Courthouse really is going into the Depot site, which looks like an almost sure thing it does, however, make sense for the County to acquire a site for a related so-called justice center. Otherwise the attorneys and staff for the DA and Public Defender will be spending half their workday driving back and forth looking for a parking spot at the new Courthouse where the old train depot now rests in a littered, forlorn expanse of post-industrial squalor.
JUDGE NELSON, who really, really wants a new Courthouse, showed up recently to urge the Board of Supervisors to buy land next to the new Courthouse. Which is interesting since the new Courthouse as it is presently designed contains no space for the DA, Public Defender, etc., only the judges and their gofers. The gross inconvenience to all of the other people currently working in the old, perfectly serviceable Courthouse has been of no concern to the local judges all along. Now? Neo-solicitude. Suddenly, The Robes are advocates for the County buying land next to the Courthouse, probably because if the County buys land at the Depot it will help squeeze out the natural foods store, which also covets the site.
THE CO-OP, not so incidentally, has about $4 million in cash on hand, and sales have increased every year since they moved to Gobbi in 1998, increasing their business from $2.4 mil to $13.9 mil in that time and from $10.6 mil since 2009. A 30% increase in sales over the last four years looks pretty healthy to me. And the Co-op has been seriously looking to expand for several years. After the ’98 move they quickly maxed out their available space. A few years ago they did a remodel as a stopgap, but they quickly outgrew that as well. Don’t count them out as a financial dynamo. Unfortunately, the Co-op is governed by a board of directors unlikely to move decisively. And The Robes have been on the move for a couple of years, and they have a lot more clout.
If ever there were a spring day so perfect,
so uplifted by a warm intermittent breeze
that it made you want to throw
open all the windows in the house
and unlatch the door to the canary’s cage,
indeed, rip the little door from its jamb,
a day when the cool brick paths
and the garden bursting with peonies
seemed so etched in sunlight
that you felt like taking
a hammer to the glass paperweight
on the living room end table,
releasing the inhabitants
from their snow-covered cottage
so they could walk out,
holding hands and squinting
into this larger dome of blue and white,
well, today is just that kind of day.
— Billy Collins
ACCORDING to a new study out of Harvard, it is easier for people to be moral in the morning. They say people are more moral at the beginning of the day, but they become more dishonest as the day goes on. So when people say Congress is as dishonest as the day is long, we now have scientific proof.
THE OBSESSION demonstrated by the Santa Rosa Press Democrat over the trial of Sonoma County Supervisor Efren Carrillo really does seem obsessive. And certainly excessive given the offense alleged. And as of Monday afternoon Carrillo stands acquitted. Carrillo’s jury could not reach a unanimous verdict. It seems one holdout thought the guy was guilty, and even though the judge sent the jury back to consider a second version of the basic charge of “peeking,” the jury came back 11-1 for innocent.
TUESDAY MORNING, the Press Democrat thundered editorially, “Efren Carrillo is guilty of reprehensible judgment and tawdry conduct. He should resign.” Please. The Rose City daily is the very last group of hacks and hackettes who should talk about reprehensible judgment and tawdry conduct. They’re guilty every day with every issue of their newspaper. The rest of us, as citizens of easily the most decadent society in the history of the world, aren’t exactly occupying the moral high ground. Carrillo should not resign. He should be re-elected and congratulated for surviving a huge exercise in NorCal hypocrisy.
AS THE SF CHRON summarized the charges, “A female neighbor discovered the once-ascendant politician lurking outside her Santa Rosa home in only socks and underwear.” Carrillo apparently also made a half-hearted try to climb in the female neighbor’s window where she and her two female roommates had been asleep. The young women armed themselves with kitchen knives as they called the cops. Carrillo was still standing outside in his Fruit of the Looms when the police arrived.
IF THE PERP had been anybody else, the episode would have ended with, at most, a citation and a stern instruction to the perp to go home and stay there. It would not have been mentioned in the newspaper, especially the Press Democrat newspaper, and that would have been the end of it.
BUT this perp was a young, charismatic and Mexican-American politician. The PD has ignored lots of salacious scandals involving the locally eminent. Why the daily interest in this guy? Here’s where our opinions may diverge.
WE WATCH THE PD CLOSELY. We think the paper demonstrates a consistent prurient interest in the screw-ups of ethnic minorities. The PD doesn’t seem to miss a Bay Area shooting involving blacks or Mexicans, as if their Sonoma County readers depend on the PD for any news about the Bay Area.
WITH CARRILLO, we get wall-to-wall, front-page coverage complete with half-hour videos every day of Carrillo sitting in the defendant’s chair. Nothing more will be revealed about the episode that we don’t already know now that he has testified he was drunk and stoned and looking for love.
THE PD does zero investigative reporting of any kind, regurgitates press releases from cops and fire departments as if they were written by reporters, and treats the area’s dominant industry — Big Wine — as if it’s all just wonderful. A minor sex case involving a minor politician gets a couple of full-time reporters, a photographer and a video technician.
FOR THIS we need not only a “trial,” but wall-to-wall coverage by the Santa Rosa Press Democrat? And what possible reason would Carrillo and his attorney, alleged SoCo legal mastermind, Andrian, have for taking it to a jury? We also got a big kick throughout of the neo-Victorian charge of “peeking,” as if the guy was cringing and looking through his fingers at the object of his sudden affections.
POP-POP Fizz-Fizz: Making the requisite Haight Street trek last week with two out-of-town teenagers, our merry band of aspiring pranksters happened upon a nouveau old-timey storefront named The Fizzary. Stepping inside our eyes lit up: hundreds of obscure and “small batch” sodas, tonics and elixirs. The names alone are worth the (free) price of admission: Squamscot Sarsaparilla; G33K B33R Guarana Root Beer; Zuberfizz Durango Cane Sugar Vanilla Cream; Sprecher Puma; Mediolitro “Da Bamba” Mexibomber; Dimestore Pony; Flathead Lake White Grape; and my favorite name, Fukola Cola of the Family of Scary Skeleteens Bone Drinx. Sugar water traditionalists need not panic, as the Fizzary stocks more pedestrian brands such as Boylan’s, Jarriots, San Pellegrino and even Jolt (whose old tagline was “All the Sugar and Twice the Caffeine”).
AFTER MUCH hushed consultation, we decided on Original Grape Faygo (the brand preferred by Insane Clown Posse fans who call themselves Juggalos Insane bottled at the source in Detroit); a Boylan Root Beer; Looks Like Orange, Tastes Like Grape (featuring surreal giant eyeball/fried egg label); Kickapoo Joy Juice (“The Original Dogpatch Recipe”); and something called Spruce Beer, created by Empire Bottling Works in Bristol, Rhode Island.
FOUR OF THE FIVE sodas tasted as expected: like carbonated ice cream pie. The Spruce Beer, however, had an overwhelming flavor of rotten pine mulch mixed with industrial solvent, and a memorable aftertaste of urinal cake with hints of Panzer exhaust. Undrinkable, the tasters all agreed.
BUT ALL THE CANE SUGAR had its effect, and we giddily drew up plans for our own line of swank, post-modern sodas. Coming soon to a store near you: Onramp, the Soda Inspired by Highway 101; and Olde Skool Obama-Ade, a bracing seltzer of Wall Street Piss fermented in the blood of Afghan children. Don’t let the quote from Martin Luther King on the label fool you: just one sip and you’ll never even miss Habeus Corpus. (ZA)
QUESTION OF THE DAY. I would be most interested to run a poll with one single question: “If you knew that a civil war in Ukraine (Syria style or Libya style, with US-enforced no-fly zone) with support of US State Department and CIA would guarantee 25% increase in your personal stock portfolio and 15% increase in your home equity by the end of the year, would you support any necessary actions by US to start such a war?” In my opinion 65 to 75% of all respondents would answer “YES.” (I mean the ones who still have stock portfolio and house).
LUXURY BOXES. Why? Up until Magic Money set in, the best sports seats for everyone were close to the action. Working people could afford them. Even the better owners, Franklin Mieuli of the Warriors sat courtside in his Sherlock Holmes hat. Then it all got rich, and fans have to be either wealthy or they have to save up all year so they can be there.
THE NEW STADIUMS, as you know, have these hog heaven set asides for the captains of free enterprise. You see a lot of blank-faced young people striding in and out of them. I always look on wondering how the heck they got so much money so young. I prefer the old-style debauchees, florid-faced drunks capable of every crime imaginable and some that aren’t. And who pops up who’s so perfectly corrupt in every way possible way but Mr. Sterling of the LA Clippers, a throwback to the great American degenerates of yesteryear. Most contemporary white boys of the depraved type have enough sense to keep their nastiness in-house. Not this guy, although the bimbo, it’s clear from the recording, egged him on, and both of them are two more signs that these are indeed The End Times.
THE LUXURY BOXES have big chairs, private bathrooms and chair-side service. And they cost a lot of money to sit in, which is why the new stadiums have more and more of them. And more and more of them mean less seating for people much more likely to be real sports fans. And that seating for real sports fans is more and more expensive, so expensive real fans are getting priced out.
THE FORTY NINER’S new stadium 40 miles south of San Francisco features a bunch of luxury boxes — the sports equivalent of McMansions, and not to be too moralistic about it, only the truly impaired would desire either a seat in a luxury box or a McMansion.
FOR THREE GRAND you can sit in the “Champions Club” section at the 50-yard line. I ask you, are these adults selling and buying these things?
SEASON TICKETS at Santa Clara start at $1,595, with, according to the Chron, “416 on StubHub as of Thursday morning.”
THE LOOMING Goodbye to Candlestick affair will feature Paul McCartney, plus Joe Montana and Dan Marino in an exhibition touch game. This event will, of course, be a one night Mawk Festival, the entertainment equivalent of a McMansion. I wonder if it ever occurs to organizers of sports-related events that lots of us still like our sports straight — no music, no cartoon figures dancing on top of the dugout, no jumbotrons, no hoochie koochie girls high kicking on the sidelines, no luxury boxes.
FRANKLY, I feel like a kind of martyr. I sat through countless Giants games at Candlestick, shivering in the fog and wind with three or four thousand other diehards. I always figured that since I’d gone to the effort to get to the ballpark I was sticking it out to the end. Some of those ends were close to midnight. I think people like me deserve a five dollar seats for all Bay Area sports events in perpetuity.
RECEIVED an automated call the other night from state senate candidate Mike McGuire. The recording’s timing was off, and so was McGuire’s voice. He already sounded like Gabby Hayes by the time his clichés kicked in. For you kids out there who don’t remember Gabby, imagine a scratchy vinyl recording made by a senior citizen whose dentures don’t fit.
McGUIRE seems to be fairly young, still in his 30s. He looks young anyway. Maybe someone chopped him in his adam’s apple, but his voice is a lot older, and so weirdly crotchety I stayed on the line listening to his vacuous message. “Bold solutions,” he called it as he rattled on about how he would “promote local agriculture” and “help schools thrive” and “preserve our pristine coast.” As with all these characters, I got the sinking feeling that McGuire really is dumb enough not to realize he isn’t saying anything.
THE CANDIDATE’S on-line visuals feature him standing in a vineyard, which, as we all know, is synonymous with agriculture on the Northcoast and certainly synonymous as the political base for the professional officeholders of our area. McGuire is also for the kids and the seniors, and by golly you can be darn sure he’d never kick a cat.
POLITICALLY? Natch, McGuire is supported by the entire dreary roster — from Thompson and Huffman on down through Chesbro and the rest of the Demo Party apparatus permanently fixed at the Northcoast’s throat like barnacles to a rotting pier. Hemingway saw McGuire et al coming:
COMMENT OF THE WEEK. “There are more than 800 miles of freeways here in LA, jammed day and night with obese Americans in their Ford Excursions searching for a deep-fried Jumbo corn dog. It hasn’t rained down here since Pope Pious was in Rome, but that doesn’t stop the Angelenos from washing their cars twice a day. My God, how they like their cars shiny here. But for the real picture of America at its gluttonous best, you gotta drive around San Marino, and some of the neighborhoods of Pasadena. There, the legions of Mexican gardeners tend the green lawns of what must be America’s royalty. Who these rich people are, or how there could be so god-damned many of them, I just can’t say. But you could drive for hours on these winding boulevards and not see half of these stupendous porticoed plantation mansions, three-story Tudors and Greene & Greene Craftsman masterpieces, set back in their terraced landscapes behind iron gates and handsome stone walls. Inside, they’re too busy counting their money to give a shit, but the cultural values enshrined here have placed us squarely in the path of the catastrophes inexorably approaching. A lot of folks do sense it. Most people do, at some subliminal level. And so, this being the commodity-obsessed country that it is, Hollywood has figured out how to commodify even Armageddon and sell it to us. It seems that every third movie to come out of this town these days has to do with a ruined planet and the decrepit remnants of humanity… But there are other people who really are paying attention. I mean the concerned minority that has somehow managed to survive the culture of Kardashian weddings, talk radio, and 0.9% APR financing with a few of their higher cortical functions intact. These few, mostly on the political Left, know about the dying coral reefs, the global de-forestation, the methane hydrates seeping up from the ocean bottoms and the permafrost. And in that knowledge, there is isolation, and a real sense of despair in a culture devoting nearly the entirety of its energy to keeping everyone ignorant and distracted. (Tom Wright)
THE US SENTENCING COMMISSION announced Thursday, April 10, that it had adopted increased penalties for high-level offenders cultivating marijuana on trespassed private or public lands. The amended sentencing guidelines will be submitted to Congress and reviewed for a six-month period and take effect November 1st. Congressman Huffman nicely summed up the prob: “From the use of highly-toxic and illegal pesticides and rodenticides, to the violence perpetuated by drug trafficking organizations, trespass marijuana cultivation makes our public and private lands unsafe for all of us. California is in the midst of a devastating drought, and many of these grow operations illegally divert streams and tap groundwater with untold impacts on downstream water users and wildlife. Where it is lawful to grow marijuana, it must be done lawfully and responsibly, and I’m glad that the Sentencing Commission has taken strong action to help keep our communities and public lands safe,” Huffman said.
IT DOESN’T GET much attention, but cellphone thefts are big biz in the SF Bay Area. Kill switches would make it impossible for thieves to re-set the popular gizmos for re-sale, but State Senator Mark Leno‘s sensible bill to require manufacturers to install kill switch technology was shot down by the wireless industry last week.
BIG BIZ CAPTIVES from both parties teamed up to stifle Leno’s bill. For Apple and the rest of them, sales of the things represent a $69 billion annual business. They make another $30 billion selling replacement phones, hence the disincentive to do what’s right.
“WHEN THAT KIND of force comes up against a public safety issue, one would hope and believe there would be votes there to protect public safety and not the interests of the powerful special interests,” Leno said. “We aren’t giving up.”
CELLPHONE THEFTS have become a major public safety issue in the Bay Area, particularly in San Francisco and Oakland where three-man crews grab them from distracted pedestrians and bus passengers. The third guy is often armed. If the victim resists, he steps forward to brandish a gun or a knife. He’s the difference between an armed robbery charge and the lesser crime of petty theft. Chinese women are seen as the easiest marks, and strong-arm street robberies are common in the heavily Asian neighborhoods of the city.
THE ROBBERS, according to SF DA Gascon, can immediately sell the stolen phones to fences who in turn sell them to bigger fences who sell them overseas. He said so far in 2014, cellphone thefts have accounted for 67% of all robberies in the city.
BAD WEEK for demented old guys. First, we got Nevada welfare rancher Cliven Bundy saying black people were better off as slaves. (BLM sweetheart deals occur here in Mendocino County, too, as do garrulous ignoramuses.)
THEN WE HAD the ancient owner of the LA Clippers telling his girl friend, who looks about 60 years younger than him, that he doesn’t want her bringing her black friends to basketball games.
THE GIRL FRIEND taped the old fool and the tape went viral. The real point might be that people of all races say and do foolish things every day, but most of those people aren’t prominent enough to cause anyone else to care what they say or do. The second real point is that we live in a country that remains hellish for millions of black people.
DONALD STERLING is white and he owns an NBA franchise, of all things, and a white race man is in the wrong business, the NBA being pretty much a black enterprise.
LISTENING TO THE TAPE of Sterling and his scheming tootsie, I had to remind myself I was listening to two adults talking, one of whom is a multi-millionaire and, therefore, possessing at a minimum, one would think, a basic sense of self-preservation. But here he is with a woman young enough to be his granddaughter and, from the tone of the conversation, zero affection in what is undoubtedly a cash and carry relationship.
I THOUGHT they might be drunk, then I thought, “Nope, just stone dumb, both of them, but him dumber and apparently senile.” From the persistence of the young woman’s questions, and the fact that she was recording the old boy’s suicidal answers to leak them to the jackals of the media, well, all-in-all, a statement of Our Times.
AS AN ON-LINE COMMENTER pointed out, though, Sterling will wriggle free of responsibility this way:
1. Public mea culpa — “I was taking cough medicine at the time/off my meds”
2. Going to rehab for a “long term emotional trauma”
3. Make girlfriend dress less provocative — wear glasses & baseball cap
4. Get on radio-talk shows to confess his errors and beg for forgiveness
5. Pay FOX a lot of money to do a “rags to riches/misunderstood” documentary
6. Have a ghost written book about his unknown humanitarian deeds
7. Designate a portion of Clipper ticket prices for charity/multiracial organization
8. Heck with glasses & cap, get another mistress!
9. Blame the liberal media
A READER WRITES: “The first time I listened to the Donald Sterling [owner of the LA Clippers basketball franchise] tape he comes across as a racist old fool. The second time through he just came across as an old fool. He may be a racist or a bigot, but if you listen carefully, it is not proved by this tape. He never says black people or any other minorities are inferior, which would be racist, although he sounds less than sincere when he exclaims that minorities are fabulous. He also never says he doesn’t like black people or minorities, which would make him a bigot. Instead, he repeatedly says he loves everyone. The real deal here is that his GF, who gives every indication of being up from escort, posted a picture of herself and Magic Johnson on Instagram and Sterling started getting calls from his cronies. We can imagine that at least one of the calls chided him for not being able to satisfy his GF. He repeatedly says that he does not care if she sees black people, f*cks them, or anything else, just don’t put it on Instagram, presumably so he doesn’t have to take sh*t from his friends. He repeatedly tells her do what she wants but why does she have to “broadcast” it. Also, when he says “remove it” he is referring to the Instagram pic, not pigmentation. “When the convo turns to Magic Johnson, the GF says she admires him. Sterling says, “He should be admired. I admire him.” That is hardly a racist comment. At the end of the convo the old fool is clearly wearing down and finally says to the GF just don’t put it on Instagram or bring him to my game. He is not saying he does not want Magic at the game. He is saying he does not want the GF bringing him to the game. At one point he makes a remark that indicates this is the continuation of a conversation that he thought was finished. She is clearly baiting him and repeating every inflammatory remark that he makes, to emphasize it and draw him out further. And he plays right into it. The ice is thinnest when he denies knowing she is “mixed” and finally says she “is supposed to be a delicate white or latina.” Feminism must be dead for that remark to go unchallenged. Clearly, he is distressed that his pricey arm candy has stepped out of her role. According to one reference the “Sterling family” is suing the GF claiming she embezzled $1.8 million. Clearly, she has just upped the ante in the settlement talks. And has positioned herself for a spread in Playboy.”