Mendocino County Today: Sunday, July 24, 2016
by AVA News Service, July 24, 2016
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, SUSAN KEEGAN
Welcome to Age 61
Ah, Susan. 61 today, had your life not been stolen from you. Happy birthday, you rascal. Your family and your friends still grieve, and we still miss you terribly. You are a lady still loved.
As to the injustice of your death, sometimes it does seem as if it’s all been said before. A botched investigation (https://justice4susan.com/home/unprosecuted-homicide/) in the days that followed your murder, in November 2010. Claims by the DA’s office, year after year, that the investigation remains active. A single suspect with rage and motive (https://justice4susan.com/2014/01/06/establishing-motive-rage-money-and-a-sense-of-entitlement/) , left free to dance on with his life.
We could just say “enough.” There are many injustices in the world, and this could be simply be one more of them. The Ukiah community understands what really happened that night in the Keegan home, even if they are mystified by the DA’s failure to prosecute. Much of our work is already done, the suspect, we hope, living within a prison of his own making, despite his physical freedom. A death certificate that states the cause of death explicitly: “Homicide.”
But every year or two, just when we despair of prosecution, there is a breakthrough, a promise, a reason to hope. Only District Attorney David Eyster can explain why so much time passes between these events, but he remains largely silent.
Here are a few highlights in the 5-1/2 years since we lost you, Susan:
June 2011: First search warrant issued (http://theava.com/archives/11246) for Dr. Peter Keegan’s home.
August 2012: The death certificate is changed to read “homicide.” The public document tells the Ukiah community how you died, and the Santa Rosa Press Democrat (http://www.pressdemocrat.com/csp/mediapool/sites/PressDemocrat/News/story.csp?cid=2304641&sid=555&fid=181) and others report the story. “We believe she died at the hands of another,” says the Mendocino County Sheriff. There is only one suspect.
April 2013: Second search warrant (http://theava.com/archives/21537) issued for Dr. Peter Keegan’s home.
July 2013: Justice4Susan Committee launches its website (https://justice4susan.com/2013/07/23/welcome-and-thanks-for-following-us/) , recording 3,000 hits in its first month.
February 2014: Bitter emails and reports of phone conversations (https://justice4susan.com/2014/02/03/conduct-unbecoming-the-weeks-after-susans-death/) between Dr. Keegan and friends and family are released. “The boys want a memorial, but I don’t give a fuck,” he proclaimed. And this, two months after your death: “Life is much better and improving all the time.”
October 2014: Justice4Susan Committee pleads with the DA (https://justice4susan.com/2014/10/13/take-it-to-the-grand-jury-mr-da/) to use the tool of the Grand Jury to determine whether there is sufficient evidence to proceed to prosecution.
April 2015: The conviction of a Utah physician (https://justice4susan.com/2015/04/10/building-the-evidence-against-doctors-who-murder-their-wives-what-the-mendocino-da-can-learn-from-a-utah-conviction/#comments) for murdering his ex-wife, with its eerie parallels to the Keegan case, gains national attention and suggests a pathway to prosecution for the Mendocino DA. It’s one in a long history of domestic violence cases in which husbands choose murder over divorce (https://justice4susan.com/2013/09/03/husbands-who-choose-murder-over-divorce/) .
November 2015: “Next year is the year,” a highly placed individual in the DA’s office hints to family. “There will be handcuffs.” We’re still waiting.
March 2016: A search warrant is executed (https://justice4susan.com/2016/03/14/the-investigation-advances-really/) at the office of Norm Rosen, who was mediating the divorce between Susan and Peter Keegan. Read more about the search in the Anderson Valley Advertiser (http://theava.com/archives/53083). The Justice4Susan Committee has requested such action (https://justice4susan.com/2013/10/08/plea-to-da-eyster-compel-the-divorce-mediator-to-talk/) for years.
March 2016: Dr. Peter Keegan most weirdly posts photographs (http://theava.com/archives/54299#1) of the bathroom in which Susan’s body was found on his Facebook page, taking them down 24 hours later. No one knows what was in his mind, but the Anderson Valley Advertiser urged readers to consider the explanation suggested in Edgar Allen Poe’s Tell-Tale Heart, the power of a guilty conscience.
July 2016: Another birthday passes, uncelebrated but not unnoticed.
THE LORENZO RODRIGUEZ MATTER: AN UPDATE.
Original Story (AVA, 4/27/2016): Shooting In The Anderson Valley, by Bruce Anderson
A young Philo man was forced to shoot a knife-wielding drunk Saturday night when the man attacked his mother and another woman in a home near Hendy Woods. Details are just now becoming known, but the shooting occurred about 8pm on property owned by the Gowan family and occupied by Cathy Gowan, 26, and just after the courageous young shooter had ensured the safety of the 8 young children in the home by directing his younger brother to hide the children away from the house.
The wounded man is identified as Lorenzo Gomez Rodriguez, 34.
The spectacular series of events culminating in the nearly fatal gunfire began about 5pm with a report of a drunk driver rolling his vehicle into a ditch near Reilly Heights Ranch. That driver apparently was Rodriguez, a determined, long-time resident of the Anderson Valley despite several deportations to his native Mexico.
Rodriguez, having abandoned his car at Nash Mill, made his way to the Gowan home where he passed three youths near the Greenwood Road Bridge. Rodriguez paused to engage in an amiable conversation with the three boys, among them Bobby Kuny, 18, a senior at Anderson Valley High School. The boys said later they were unaware that Rodriguez had been drinking, that he'd been entirely non-threatening at this earlier encounter.
Bobby Kuny, his mother Lisa Kuny, and Bobby's siblings share the two-story Gowan home with Cathy Gowan and her three children, the youngest an infant. Rodriguez also lives at the home with Ms. Gowan.
Rodriguez is described by people who know him well as "a sweetheart when he isn't drinking or on drugs."
Once he reached the Gowan home, an amorous Rodriguez, perhaps eroticized by his automobile accident at Reilly Heights, climbed to the second floor of the house where Ms. Gowan lives and attempted to force himself on her. Rejected, the enraged Rodriguez began to shout vile insults at both Ms. Gowan and Ms. Kuny, who had rushed to aid Ms. Gowan in ejecting Rodriguez from her area of the home.
Refusing demands that he leave, Rodriguez soon attacked Ms. Kuny. During the ensuing struggle with Ms. Kuny, Ms. Kuny was able to knock Rodriguez down. Rodriguez then began to threaten Ms. Kuny's oldest son, Bobby, who had interposed himself between his mother and the rampaging Rodriguez. Bobby had already instructed his brother to get the 8 children in the home out of the house and hide them in the brush by the Navarro River.
Rodriguez stumbled into the kitchen where he armed himself with a 14-inch chef's knife and bellowed that he was going to kill Bobby. Bobby, meantime, had armed himself with an old 22 revolver that had belonged to his great-grandfather, retrieving the gun from its lock box in his bedroom.
Wielding the knife, Rodriguez headed for Bobby with a clear intent to stab the young man, and it was then that Bobby emptied his gun into Rodriguez, who, hit at least four times, stumbled toward the front door where he attempted to grab a pair of scissors, thought better of it, staggered to his second vehicle, a van, and drove off toward Philo.
Here's where the post-shooting Rodriguez itinerary becomes confused. In the sequence of events we have he next appeared on the Smith property just west of the Madrones, a high-end tourist complex near Indian Creek. (Rodriguez is related to descendants of Lester Smith and the Ruddock family.) Rodriguez was still behind the wheel of his van.
The police say that Rodriguez, finally beginning to fade from the several gun shots he'd absorbed, either was driven from the Smith property or continued to drive himself to Anderson Valley Way and Fitch Lane from where a 911 call located him and police soon found him "non-responsive."
A medical helicopter was unable to fly to Boonville so Rodriguez was transported to the Ukiah hospital by the Anderson Valley Ambulance, and from there to Santa Rosa where he remains as of Monday morning in improving condition. He is expected to fully recover.
Following the bloody whirlwind in his home, Bobby Kuny had calmly handed the unloaded .22 handgun to one of the officers when a CHP patrolman, Sheriff's deputy Craig Walker and Sheriff's Detective Luis Espinoza arrived at the Gowan home.
The popular young man was briefly detained and questioned. Deputies quickly determined he'd in fact behaved honorably in defense of his mother and Ms. Gowan, not to mention the numerous children he'd had to evacuate from the home as Rodriguez attempted to take out his self-induced rage on the two families.
* * *
Sheriff’s Original Press Release: On April 23, 2016 at approximately 7:45 PM, Mendocino County Sheriff's Deputies were summoned to a reported disturbance in the 18500 block of Philo Greenwood Road in Philo, California. While Deputies were responding, an additional call was made reporting Lorenzo Gomez Rodriguez, 34, of Philo, had been shot. Sometime thereafter an additional 911 call was made from the 14100 block of Anderson Valley Way (Boonville) of a gunshot victim requesting medical assistance. Deputies arrived along with members of the California Highway Patrol. The person found suffering from gunshot wounds, was identified as Lorenzo Gomez Rodriguez. Rodriguez was subsequently treated by medical personnel and ultimately transported to an out of county hospital where he was last known to be in stable condition. Detectives from the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office responded to investigate the incident. It was determined Rodriguez was a suspect in a domestic violence incident with a 26 year-old female adult in the 18500 block of Philo Greenwood Road. When other persons present attempted to intervene, Rodriguez then armed himself with a knife and attempted to assault an 18 year-old adult male and a 42 year-old female adult. The 18 year-old male adult armed himself with a handgun and defended himself and the 42 year-old female adult by shooting Rodriguez multiple times. Rodriguez fled the scene and was subsequently transported by private vehicle to the 14100 block of Anderson Valley Way (Boonville).
* * *
UPDATE: The case was postponed for another week so that Rodriguez’s lawyer, Doug Rhoades, the alternate public defender, can go over the plea deal with a Spanish interpreter present. No idea what the deal is but Rodriguez is facing charges of felony assault with a knife, criminal threats and DUI.
THE SONOMA COUNTY SUPERVISORS voted last week to put a measure on their November ballot to raise their bed tax from 9% to 12%. By policy, 75% of SoCo’s bed tax revenue goes to “promotion” and the rest into the General Fund. The 3% increase is expected to generate almost $5 million in “unanticipated” revenue for Sonoma County. Unlike Mendo, where there’s near unanimity to give all the bed tax money to the promoters who promote mostly themselves, several SoCo residents told the SoCo Supes that more of the Bed Tax money needs to go to the County services that are impacted by increased tourism, which was the original purpose of the Bed Tax: deteriorated roads, increased fire and emergency responses, and even the lack of affordable housing for the low-wage “service industry” workers. A consultant to the SoCo Board told them that their research shows that a small majority of SoCo residents support the increase (after all it mostly hits tourists) but that the November vote could be close. (The measure needs only a simple majority of 50%+1 to pass.)
MENDO’S BED TAX is 10% where it’s been for years, and there’s no County policy on how much should go where. (The last number we saw, Mendo spent about $1.6 mil promoting itself, bed tax money handed to the promoters by the Supes, and fattened by 2% more from the Business Improvement District to the tune of about $400,000.
MENDO TAKES IN about $4.5 million in Bed Tax each year. If the tax were upped to 12% we'd get $900k of much needed money for the general fund — especially if the entire additional $900k went to roads and emergency services (which the Supes say they support). The argument that 1. Promotion makes any difference to tourism or bed tax revenues is not supported by available bed tax revenue records and 2. that minor increases in the bed tax would discourage Mendo tourism is refuted for the same reason.
"REPURPOSING" FORT BRAGG'S PARKING SPACES?
On the agenda for Monday night:
FOR THE FIRST TIME IN HISTORY: NO SALMON AT THIS YEAR’S YUROK SALMON FESTIVAL
Press Release From The Yurok Tribe:
For the first time in the event’s 54-year history, the Yurok Tribe had to remove salmon from the menu at this year’s Klamath Salmon Festival, because of the record low fish run.
“This was a very difficult decision. We hope that all festival attendees understand that this was the only responsible option,” said Thomas P. O’Rourke Sr., Chairman of the Yurok Tribe.
The Yurok Tribe puts on the annual Festival to provide an opportunity for the whole community to unite in celebration of the Klamath River. The famous chinook salmon lunch, a highlight of the long standing event, has always been a part of the festivities. Sharing this best-quality salmon, cooked the traditional way over an open fire, is a point of pride for Yurok people.
“Salmon and hospitality are both traditional Yurok values,” Chairman O’Rourke explained.
Despite the lack of a salmon lunch, the Yurok Tribe would like to invite everyone to the festival for fun times with friends and family. The community-oriented festival is happening on Saturday, August 20 and typically draws about 4,000 people. Like every other year, the 2016 Salmon Festival will feature live music, games for kids and about a 100 vendors selling high quality, handmade gifts. A dozen fabulous food trucks and stands will be dishing out a diverse selection of fresh-cooked cuisines, ranging from tasty tri-tip to sumptuous sweet treats. There will also be a Classic Car Show, softball tournament, a parade and cultural demonstrations. Indian Card Game and Stick Game Tournaments will be going on throughout the day.
“This is always a very special day on the Yurok Reservation,” said Chairman O’Rourke.
The shortage of fish for this year’s festival is largely due to poor water management practices. In 2014 and 2015 almost all of the juvenile Klamath River chinook and coho salmon died from a deadly parasite known as Ceratonova shasta, formerly called Ceratomyxa shasta.
“There are not enough fish to feed our families, many of which will need food assistance, as a result of this manmade catastrophe,” Chairman O’Rourke said.
Chinook salmon is a primary part of a seasonal diet that has served the Tribe since time immemorial. The downturn in fish numbers has coincided with an increase in health issues, such as diabetes, among the Tribal membership. Cancelling the salmon lunch is just one of the sacrifices that the Tribe has had to make this year. The Yurok Tribal Council decided that there will be no commercial fishing this season.
The Yurok Tribe resides on the banks of the Klamath River in Northern California and is the largest federally recognized tribe in the state. The natural resource-based Tribe is best known for its award winning river restoration, language preservation and cultural protection programs.
AFFORDABLE HOUSING IN ANDERSON VALLEY
I read with interest Anne Fashauer's recent article addressing the housing crisis in our little valley. She started out by saying she had compared incomes, especially tasting room incomes to rental prices. She laid out the financial picture of a "starter" home and that was very accurate. Somehow comparing income levels to rental rates did get lost toward the end of her article. In any case I think for most people who work in the wine industry in the AV $1600 a month in rent is hard to come up with. I guess as a landlord/lady one has to way what's more important, to have a reliable tenant who will stay for a while or a higher rent and frequent turnover?
LOCAL DAIRY FARMS STRUGGLE TO FIND WORKERS, BLAME POT
(A READER WRITES: This is also a problem in the construction industry in California. Funny there are so many idle transients, obviously sound in body.)
CATCH OF THE DAY: July 23, 2016
Borum, Collicott, Haith
KAIDEN BORUM, Covelo. Probation revocation.
CAYTLIN COLLICOTT, Willits. Pot possession for sale.
BRADFORD HAITH JR., San Rafael/Ukiah. Assault with deadly weapon not a gun.
Hoaglin, King, Neagle, Ojeda
GARRIE HOAGLIN, Covelo. Parole violation, failure to register.
SHANE KING, Ukiah. Under influence, smoking-injecting device, probation revocation.
RICHARD NEAGLE, Willits. Probation revocation.
OSCAR OJEDA, Yorkville. Drunk in public, refusing to leave.
Pacheco, Perez, Rollins, Szczepanek
VICTOR PACHECO, San Diego/Ukiah. Battery of emergency responder.
ROBERTO PEREZ, Possession of drugs or alcohol in jail.
BRYAN ROLLINS, San Francisco/Ukiah. Failure to appear.
TINA SZCZEPANEK, Fort Bragg. Under influence.
FORE: THE LOVE OF THE GAME
by William J. Hughes
I know you're out there, you golf hackers, from Boonville to San Diego, so here's some good golf for all of you.
Me and my buddy Javier do pro golf tournaments from AT&T Pebble Beach to the US Open at Olympic Club to Frys.com at Silverado in Napa to the Presidents Cup in Harding Park, San Francisco and now to the LPGA Open in CordeValle, San Martin south of San Jose.
I've talked here before that my buddy Javier is from No Electricity in Mexico and I'm from Everything Available, Long Island, New York, and a celebration of our American lives comes together across borders and Trump bullying.
No walls between Sacramento and San Jose, leaving at 4 AM to beat the massive commute around Silicon Valley on a Thursday — when all the players will be on the course.
Hazy-gray-chilly as we head out south on 680 on past the Mad Max oil refineries of Martinez after the clear and the clarity of the duck hunting Suisun Marsh.
We've seen Tiger and Phil and Rory and BJ and Rickie but now we look forward to Michelle and Lexi, Wie and Thompson, not the worst looking golfers we've ever seen — world-class athletes of course. Of course.
Our course takes a past Coyote Creek golf course, green of course while all around is brown, golf course sprinklers going. Mixed feelings. We still love golf and yet…
Getting closer, Silicon giving way to fields and farms, not exactly Pebble Beach for this important women's event but first things first — LPGA hall of famer Julie Inkster of the Bay Area helped get an LPGA event to Lake Merced, San Francisco — so next year in Jerusalem, uh, Pebble Beach Montery.
Next up Denny's for breakfast in Gilroy garlicville at about 7 AM, none of the pros off until 8 AM, mapping out a route on the course, who we will follow, where and when.
Low key, parking in a plowed field, school buses to shuttle us to the course when the men have luxury coaches doing the shuttling.
Lower key, the first security check is just two people sitting at an almost folding table when the man bag-search and electronic wand-screen. We can't quite decide if this here is a plus or a minus, less money for the ladies, so less of everything.
The bus drops us in front of the merchandise tent, where else? Our E-tickets are scanned by, again, two people almost at a folding table. Rinky-dink-ish may be too harsh a view, but went in 78¢ on the man's dollar…
We were here years ago for a men’s Frys.com before it got bigger and moved on. It's noticeable, a lot less of everything including spectators which makes for easier access but that feeling of a junior circuit.
Senior setting, the green course actually nestled in a valley, Spanish-style mansions and their vineyards on the hills, ancient black oaks, burnt gold grass, lush playing field.
South Koreans dominate the LPGA. As Seinfeld would say, "not that there's anything wrong with that," Once upon a time there was some grumbling, but now it has all settled itself into golf is golf, you got to beat the best from wherever and the most recent dominant player is from Canada, so…
Javier has a favorite Korean, Mirim Kim, a lovely, almost doll-like, world-class golfer.
We will sit in the bleachers behind the first tee and watch some of the threesomes go off, long green fairway, white sand bunkers out to the crew cut green and on to the brown hills beyond. If you play, when you see anyone blast a drive out about 260-280, straight as a lofted arrow, you know how good good is.
Ms. Mirim Lee is teeing off on the 10th tee so we’ll catch up to her later on somewhere after we walk the first nine holes with Anna Nordquist of Sweden, Mika Myzato of Japan and Allison Lee of California. Miss Nordquist Nordic tall and blond, Miss Myzato thin and compact, Ms. Lee long-legged athletic, only a few folks in the viewing group, some Japanese fans, the few of us outnumbered by the cameras and the officials.
The silence is awakening, a game without speech, breeze blowing, skies clearing, enormous dollars at stake, a career in golf, very close up, unlike any other sporting event, nature, manicured to be sure, but there is the first browsing deer in the dry brush, hawks circling overhead, with a cold beer from one of the sparse refreshment stands. Michelle Wie and Lexi Thompson will be later in the day.
We will hang out at the par-three fourth hole for a bit and watch some of the other groups come by, nothing much here for the fans when the men had a large pavilion and viewing deck. All par threes are fun, anything could happen and you feel like you yourself could do it.
Marsh grass and ponds, ducks, and even a flight of wild turkeys, not enough bleachers, hilly and valley as we make our way around the first nine, cutting back across to pick up Mirim Lee, Christie Kerr of Arizona and Lizette Salos of California.
Mirim Lee, sweet precision, eagles the par-four on-the-fly, one bounce and in from about 125 yards out. Humbling.
Now we're under a shady oak beside the par-three 12th, the day warming up to a temperature where another beer is required.
We're waiting for Michelle Wie to come by and then the supergroup of Lydia Ko of New Zealand, Brooke Henderson of Canada and Lexi Thompson of Florida, Ms. Ko the current number one player in the world.
And here comes Michelle Wie up the 11th fairway, tall, statuesque in her signature big bright yellow visor this time. She strides like a champion in her high-heeled Nike golf shoes, a worldwide celebrity in her own right, dashing, different but struggling to regain her championship form — it doesn't matter who she is with.
So we get up in the grandstands of the 12 hole to watch her come down to the par three. She's over par on a course that's been giving up birdies, unusual for an Open course.
Michelle is the picture of perfection in blue Nike shirt and a crisp white skirt. Her father is in the stands: stories of slave driving as a youth, pushing his daughter hard. She pars and moves on.
We wait for the supergroup to come down to the 12th, a small crowd surrounding them as compared to any of the other groups.
Lexi Thompson has been advertised somewhat sexually which is fine with us, but you still have to have game. She's 21. Lydia Ko with her is a compact teenager as is Brooke Henderson who could be a female rugby player. "Mamas have your babies grow up to be golfers." No concussions here.
We follow them for a few uphill holes, each of them hanging on to just over par, just enough of a crowd to be too crowded so we wander over to the 17th to catch Michelle Wie and her painful bogey, high enough up in the bleachers to enjoy the overall view of the other threesomes all over the cozy links, big lugging golf bags covered in advertisements like billboards.
Michelle Wie down the 18th fairway and on to the water and bunker-protected green for her birdie four on the par five.
Now comes the supergroup, about 4:30 PM, sun still up enough to be hot enough. Lexi and Lydia birdie, Brooke still struggling a bit for par, each of their third shots into the green things of wonder.
More holes to go for most of the afternoon groups, but that's about it for us, sunburned and satisfied, putting it all back together with dinner at Denny's.
THEY KNEW BERNIE WOULD SELL OUT, BUT THEY SABBED HIM ANYWAY
A cache of more than 19,000 emails from Democratic party officials, leaked in advance of Hillary Clinton's nomination at the party's convention next week in Philadelphia, details the acrimonious split between the Democratic National Committee and Clinton's former rival, Sen. Bernie Sanders.
Several emails posted by Wikileaks on its document disclosure website show DNC officials scoffing at Sanders and his supporters and in one instance, questioning his commitment to his Jewish religion. Some emails also show DNC and White House officials mulling whether to invite guests with controversial backgrounds to Democratic party events.
Although Wikileaks' posting of the emails Friday did not disclose the identity of who provided the private material, those knowledgeable about the breach said last month that Russian hackers had penetrated the DNC computer system. At the time, DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz said the breach was a "serious incident" and a private contractor hired to sweep the organization's network had "moved as quickly as possible to kick out the intruders and secure our network."
On its web page, Wikileaks said the new cache of emails came from the accounts of "seven key figures in the DNC" and warned that the release was "part one of our new Hillary Leaks series" — an indication that more material might be published soon. Among the officials whose emails were made public were DNC spokesman Luis Miranda, national finance director Jordon Kaplan and finance chief Scott Comer, but other DNC and media figures and even some White House officials communicated with them between January 2015 and last May, Wikileaks said.
The emails include several stinging denunciations of Sanders and his organization before and after the DNC briefly shut off his campaign's access to the party's key list of likely Democratic voters.
The DNC temporarily curtailed Sanders' access to the list in December 2015 because the organization accused the insurgent campaign of illegally tapping into confidential voter information compiled by the Clinton campaign. The Sanders campaign briefly sued the DNC but the party reached an accord with Sanders and the suit was dropped in April.
The emails show that after the furor over the voter records was resolved, hostility simmered from top DNC officials over the Sanders campaign.
In mid-May emails with Miranda, his deputy, Mark Paustenbach, questioned whether the DNC should use the voter record furor to raise doubts about the Sanders campaign.
"Wondering if there's a good Bernie narrative for a story, which is that Bernie never had his act together, that his campaign was a mess," Paustenbach wrote. Miranda spurned the idea, although he agreed with Paustenbach's take: "True, but the Chair has been advised not to engage. So we'll have to leave it alone."
The same month, in another email to DNC officials, another official identified only as "Marshall" said of Sanders: "Does he believe in a God? He had skated on saying he has a Jewish heritage. I think I read he is an atheist. This could make several points difference with my peeps."
The Associated Press emailed Miranda, Paustenbach and DNC chief financial officer Brad Marshall about the Wikileaks releases but they were not immediately available for comment.
Sanders campaign manager Jeff Weaver said Saturday that the emails show "what many of us have known for some time, that there were certainly people at the DNC who were actively helping the Clinton effort and trying to hurt Bernie Sanders' campaign."
Weaver said the emails showed that the DNC's "senior staffers" attacked Sanders about his religion and had roles in "planting negative stories about him with religious leaders in various states."
Weaver also said the emails may make it harder to promote party unity as Sanders' supporters mix with Clinton's majority at the Philadelphia convention. Sanders endorsed Clinton and appeared with him earlier this month in Vermont, but there are concerns over whether some of his embittered supporters might sit out the election this fall.
The new Wikileaks releases also included exchanges between DNC officials and White House event planning officials about whether to allow several influential Democratic party donors to attend events where President Barack Obama and Michelle Obama were scheduled to appear. The emails contained lengthy discussions about the donors' backgrounds, including, in some cases, criminal histories.
One email exchange concerned whether to allow singer Ariana Grande to perform at a DNC event in the wake of an infamous online video posted on the TMZ website that showed Grande licking other customers' doughnuts at a bakery in California. DNC officials also worried about the singer's comment in the same video that "I hate America." Grande, whose real name is Ariana Butera, later apologized for the comment.
According to the emails, White House officials vetoed Grande's performance.
(Courtesy, the Associated Press.)
LATE NIGHT, WINE-SOAKED THOUGHTS ON TRUMP’S JEREMIAD
by Jeffrey St. Clair
<> Equal pay for equal work. Maternity leave. Paid daycare. Infrastructure spending. Student debt. Ivanka, who declared she wasn’t a Republican, just gave the best speech — or was it a fairy tale — of the Convention. She succeeded in getting the befuddled GOP crowd to applaud for ideas they’ve vilified for decades.
<> Aside from one ritual nod at “evangelicals,” Trump completely ignored the traditional cultural issues that have freighted the GOP for 30 years and went right for the working class anxieties that the Democrats have failed to quell since the advent of neoliberalism. You can see why the smarter Democrats are running a little scared.
<> First GOP presidential nominee speech to mention LGBTQ and not abortion?
<> Why, look, there’s Code Pink’s Medea Benjamin getting arrested again in PrimeTime! How does she keep gaining access to these venues? Don’t Trump’s law-and-order coppers profile diminutive white women? I just hope she doesn’t blame poor black teenagers the way she did in Seattle during the WTO protests.
<> Trump’s speech was also remarkable for the way he seduced neoconservatives to applaud for lines which were laser-shots at the interventionist wars from Iraq to Libya to Syria. Once again, he denounced the Iraq war as a disaster. Was Pence squirming?
<> Have NAFTA and the WTO ever been attacked at a Democratic Convention? I’ve never even heard the WTO mentioned by a Democratic candidate, perhaps because of the hearing loss I suffered at the anti-WTO protests.
<> They’re playing “You Can’t Always Get What You Want”! No kidding, Donald. An ironic sense of self-awareness? (Mick Jagger will sell his work to anyone. Though “Sympathy for the Devil” might have been a better choice.)
<> 75% approval rating for Trump’s speech in CNN’s poll. Look out!!! The potential political impact of Trump’s rant can probably best be assessed by how furiously the Democrats denounce it.
<> Trump’s campaign manager, Paul Manafort, just told Chris Matthews that the Trump campaign was “anti-regime” change (except, of course, for Obama — but that goes without saying — so to speak).
<> When is the last time “Big Business” was lashed at a Republican convention? Buchanan, perhaps?
<> If Trump loses in November, he could always resurrect his TV career by hosting American Horror Story X. His speech was like some raging Old Testament prophet preaching about the Secular Apocalypse. It drew from Nixon in ’68, Wallace in ’72, and Buchanan in ’92. It sizzled with the righteous fire that the Democrats haven’t shown since Jackson in ’84.
<> Trump wilted to the one true power in American politics: the Israel Lobby. He went from saying he wanted to deal even-handedly with Israel and Palestine to swearing that he was totally beholden to the Israeli state.
<> Trump’s problem (one of them) is that his own VP candidate isn’t buying anything that he and Ivanka (esp), are selling on economics, trade, infrastructure investment, cultural tolerance (relatively speaking), and foreign policy.
<> Trump has put HRC in check on the VP stakes. The obvious counter to Trump’s populist appeal to working class voters would be to pick Warren or Sherrod Brown, who have both been discarded, even for symbolic purposes. Will she really double down by tapping Dem Party economic elites like Kaine (bankers best friend) and Vilsack (voice of Monsanto)?
<> I’ve been watching MS-DNC tonight and none of their commentators, with the partial exception of Matthews, seem to be able to read the class politics at work in Trump’s speech. This is an ominous sign for the network of a party which is supposed to represent working-class people. It has instead become the vessel for a strange collage of NGOs and identity-devoted sectors that in reality, of course, rarely “intersect.” Obama was gifted enough to hold this fragile coalition. HRC will have to bribe them — with Wall Street $$? The liberals have effectively ceded class-oriented politics to the National Front right.
<> Trump talked explicitly about the working class: bricklayers, truck drivers, electricians, steelworkers. It has been a hallmark of Clintonspeak since 1992 that they only talk about the “middle class”, a nebulous zone of educated suburbanites with aspirations toward upward mobility.
<> Of all the Democratic commentators, crusty Chris Matthews, who has a vestigial relationship to the working class, is the only one who seems to understand Trump’s appeal to a key demographic of the Democratic Party. HRC’s problem is that her own appeal to the financial and defense contractor elite isn’t strong enough to compensate.
<> Trump knows how to talk about class politics in the peculiar American context better than any major party nominee since Mondale, though Mondale was as stilted as Trump is hyperbolic. I don’t know how HRC overcomes this except through a campaign of escalating fear-mongering. HRC will offer fear of Trumpian fascism; Trump will counter with fear of The Other: immigrants, black youth, Muslims.
(Jeffrey St. Clair is editor of CounterPunch. His new book is Killing Trayvons: an Anthology of American Violence (with JoAnn Wypijewski and Kevin Alexander Gray). He can be reached at: email@example.com.)
ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY
The problem with robots is this: They will soon be the backbone of the economy.
And since it is us who work for the economy’s prerogatives, and not the other way around, we will start working so the robots will have things to do.
Human minds are still great at picking out discrete pieces of useful salvage in a pile of wreckage. An apt description of modern agriculture.
The principle that has taken hold in my mind is this: We work for the economy, not the other way around. Yet, this is the perception. All the stuff in the grocery stores, or gadgets, everything - we perceive as the effects of a servant laying them down at our feet - the economy.
Its all the politicians think we care about, and I witness people giving up everything in service of it day after day. Literally, no greater sacrifice is warranted than giving up everything to go to work as much as possible. Whoever gives up the most humanity, most utterly, reaps the greatest rewards.
Hence the plaintive cries of “who will pick our strawberries or lettuce?” when considering what to do once the illegal immigrants are deported. They will base their political and even life choices on supporting strawberries and cheap hammers. Robots will replace the strawberry pickers, and also the office workers. We are all going to be swept to the side, to compete with each other for a reason to get whatever the economy deems we deserve.
We serve political machines, and someday, actual machines. Capitalism is a monster, and we are merely cargo cultists. The main doctrine is making sure everyone keeps this system going. Suggest differently and get violently thrown out.
HALL OF FAME ELVIN BISHOP PLAYS SUNDAYS IN THE PARK NEXT SUNDAY JULY 31ST
Ukiah, CA. - Next Sunday, July 31st in Todd Grove Park at 6:00pm Fowler Auto & Truck Center, The City of Ukiah, KWNE-FM and MAX 93.5 are proud to present the fifth concert of the 25th Anniversary Sundays in the Park concert series featuring Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and Blues Hall of Fame legend Elvin Bishop. Two's a Crowd's Ethan Gander & Hanna Schlothausserwill be the opening act for this epic concert.
Elvin Bishop has been travelling the Blues road longer than most, and he’s got the stories to prove it — many of which are contained within the songs on this release. Stops along the way include his work as a founding member of the groundbreaking Paul Butterfield Blues Band in the early ‘60s, recordings with legends such as Clifton Chenier, John Lee Hooker, and The Allman Brothers, and Pop success with his own 1976 smash hit “Fooled Around and Fell In Love”. On May 4 of this year Elvin, Eddy Clearwater, Jimmy Johnson, John Mayall, and The Memphis Jug Band will each take their places beside performers who have been deemed by a group of blues scholars and industry veterans to be the Best in the Blues. Bishop’s beginnings with the Paul Butterfield Blues Band to his more recent recognition for the 2015 Blues Music Awards “Song of the Year” have elevated him to the highest stature in blues music.
Bishop’s long and varied career has included plenty of side trips along the way as well, from deep down gutbucket Blues played in smoky South Side Chicago taverns, to raucous roadhouse R&B, to good time Rock & Roll on concert stages and festivals around the world. And at every stage along the way, he’s instilled all of his music with passion, creativity, and a healthy helping of wisdom, wit, and good humor.
Elvin’s earliest exposure to music came from the family’s radio, where in between “How Much Is That Doggy In The Window” and “Your Cheatin’ Heart,” young Elvin could sometimes catch classic records of Jimmy Reed, Howlin’ Wolf and Muddy Waters. Once he’d got his feet wet, there was no turning back. He quickly acquired his first guitar and on his own began working out the basic outlines of the Blues, R&B and Rock & Roll that had captured his soul. By the time he was preparing for college in the late 1950s, Bishop had earned a National Merit Scholarship that allowed him to go to almost any school he chose — and the only choice on Elvin’s mind was the prestigious University of Chicago, which just happened to be located on Chicago’s South Side, ground zero for much of the urban Blues Elvin had so far been studying only from a distance.
He arrived in Chicago in 1959, and before long crossed paths with a fellow student Paul Butterfield. Together, they explored the taverns and Blues joints in the black neighborhoods surrounding the university campus at a time when Blues giants like Muddy Waters, Little Walter, Otis Rush, Magic Sam and Howlin’ Wolf could be found playing in corner bars for a $2 cover charge just about any night of the week.
By 1963, Bishop and Butterfield were ready to graduate — not from the university, but from their apprenticeship under Chicago’s Blues veterans. They made their first recordings that year, doing a session with veterans Billy Boy Arnold and James Cotton. That same year, they recruited Howlin’ Wolf’s former rhythm section of Sam Lay on drums and Jerome Arnold on bass, and the Paul Butterfield Blues Band was born. In 1965, after adding Mike Bloomfield and Mark Naftalin to the lineup, their revolutionary debut LP was released, opening the door for virtually all the young white Blues bands that followed. Bishop remained in the fold for three albums with the Butterfield band, including their innovative “East-West” release (on which Bishop and Bloomfield’s intertwining guitars helped set the stage for the Allman Brothers Band and the Grateful Dead, among many others who followed), before getting the itch to move on and venturing out on his own. Elvin released several well-received albums in the early ‘70s, before experiencing his biggest Pop success, the gold-record earning national hit “Fooled Around and Fell In Love” from his 1976 LP “Struttin’ My Stuff.”
Delta Groove Productions president Randy Chortkoff has been a fan and follower of Elvin’s music through all the many phases of his career, beginning with Butterfield Blues Band in the mid 1960s, and when the opportunity arose to bring Elvin into the Delta Groove fold, Chortkoff jumped at the opportunity. The result was Elvin’s Grammy-nominated 2008 CD “The Blues Rolls On,” and a flurry of other awards and accolades, including being named 2009 Male Blues Artist of the Year by Blues Blast magazine. Elvin’s new releases are exciting next steps in his Blues journey.
Right out of the gate, on “Red Dog Speaks”, Bishop leaves no doubt where his heart is, cleverly introducing his long-time cohort “Red Dog” with a gritty slow blues calculated to set the pace for what’s to come. Along the way he smoothly steers the way from strutting Blues and R&B , through a good dose of good-time Rock & Roll, and even an occasional detour through Doo-Wop, Zydeco, and Gospel. Elvin has made plenty of talented friends over the years, and many of them jumped at the chance to help out on “Red Dog Speaks”; Buckwheat Zydeco, Tommy Castro, Ronnie Baker Brooks, and John Németh all make guest appearances. And all of it adds up to an amalgam that can only be called “Elvin Bishop music.”
HILLARY AND TIM KAINE: A MATCH MADE ON WALL STREET
He is safe. He’s a Democratic Party loyalist with experience fundraising. Oh, and did I mention that he’s safe? Such is the general tenor of the conversation around Kaine, a politician with a long track record and a mostly forgettable personality known more to DC insiders than to the general voting public.
— Eric Draitser
SUSPICIONS CONFIRMED: MH370 PILOT'S "SUICIDE RUN"
From New York magazine:
New York has obtained a confidential document from the Malaysian police investigation into the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 that shows that the plane’s captain, Zaharie Ahmad Shah, conducted a simulated flight deep into the remote southern Indian Ocean less than a month before the plane vanished under uncannily similar circumstances. The revelation, which Malaysia withheld from a lengthy public report on the investigation, is the strongest evidence yet that Zaharie made off with the plane in a premeditated act of mass murder-suicide...
IF YOU DON’T BELIEVE IMMIGRATION is used by employers to depress living and working standards in the U.S., then take a job in any U.S. factory that has a significant number of unpleasant low-skill tasks. You will see your capitalist bosses keeping wages down and workers cowed and oppressed by (among other things) hiring immigrants whose experience of extreme poverty, violence, and other forms of misery in their lands of origin make them more than ready to work obediently and without outward complaint for $10 an hour or less in “modern manufacturing.” That’s what I witnessed first-hand working last year at the giant Procter & Gamble (P&G) plant in Iowa City, Iowa, where I live. P&G, where the nation’s largest consumer packaged goods corporation, contracts with a leading temporary agency (Staff Management) to fill its lower end, three-shift line-feeding and packaging jobs in Iowa City with a large and steady flow of distressed yet eager newcomers from Sudan and Congo (and with smaller streams from other troubled and faraway places, including Kosovo, Ecuador, Mexico, Egypt, and Honduras). Very, very few of these traumatized, in-flight African workers are good union or strike material. Quite the opposite. They are not about to do anything that might endanger their employment and visa status in the U.S. And that’s no small part of why P&G and Staff Management loves hiring them.
— Paul Street
A CRUEL TRICK TO PLAY ON SUCH A MAJESTIC CREATURE.
"Let the future tell the truth, and evaluate each one according to his work and accomplishments. The present is theirs; the future, for which I have really worked, is mine." — Nikola Tesla
The recording of last night's (2016-07-22) 107.7fm KNYO (and 105.1 KMEC) Memo of the Air: Good Night Radio show is available to download and listen to via http://MemoOfTheAir.wordpress.com
Also at http://MemoOfTheAir.wordpress.com you'll find a truckload of links to not necessarily radio-useful but worthwhile things to see and do and learn about, such as:
Gentle mother-and-daughter contact water ballet.
Seven steps to achieve a perfect life.
A web tool to automatically colorize black and white photographs.
And a cruel trick to play on such a majestic creature.