Mendocino County Today: Wednesday, Aug 17, 2016
by AVA News Service, August 17, 2016
FIRE CREWS GAINING ON CLAYTON FIRE
ARSON SUSPECT SERVED ON PRISON CREW
by Derek Moore, Glenda Anderson & Randi Rossman
The Lake County man suspected of setting the devastating fire that torched downtown Lower Lake once worked as an inmate firefighter and was under investigation for the past year as a serial arsonist, authorities said Tuesday.
Damin Pashilk, 40, was arrested Monday afternoon on suspicion of 17 counts of arson, two days after authorities said he intentionally started the Clayton fire on the edge of a rural road south of Lower Lake off Highway 29.
He is scheduled to be arraigned today in Lake County Superior Court. Authorities have yet to reveal exactly which other fires they suspect Pashilk of causing, but said all have occurred in the past year. The largest is the Clayton fire, said Janet Upton, deputy director of communications at Cal Fire.
A woman who identified herself as a roommate said one investigator told her that he watched Pashilk start a fire near Middletown on Western Mine Road, which connects with Highway 29 just south of Twin Pine Casino.
“I don’t understand. The guy is watching people set fires and he’s not doing anything about it?” the woman, who gave her name as Ginger, said Tuesday in an interview at Pashilk’s home.
Cal Fire Chief Ken Pimlott could not confirm her account, saying he had yet to review his investigators’ findings.
Investigators who witness someone starting a fire are given discretion to decide whether to make an immediate arrest or hold off to build a stronger case for prosecution, he said.
“Yes, they may witness someone start the fire,” Pimlott said. “Whether they decide to make an arrest or not, that’s going to be up to them based on what they need to produce the evidence they need to make a charge that’s solid.”
Pashilk’s arrest has generated relief and disgust in a community besieged in the past year by a series of fires, including a pair of smaller fires Tuesday on the outskirts of Lower Lake that authorities say may have been intentionally set.
Gary Long, a manager at an RV service and supply store located on the rural road where the Clayton fire started, said he always worried the field of grass was vulnerable to flame. He chose his words carefully in describing his feelings about an arsonist being behind the blaze.
“It’s a sick mind, let’s put it that way, if he’s guilty,” Long said. “Because he’s innocent until proven guilty.”
Friends said Pashilk grew up in Napa, where he often visits family. They said he has several children and that he was self-employed as a handyman.
Pashilk has served time both in state prison on drug possession and firearms charges and has a local arrest history including traffic violations, resisting arrest and a few methamphetamine drug charges, according to state and local officials.
He was serving a five-year sentence on drug possession and weapons charges in 2007 when he worked on the inmate fire crew in Trinity County for four months before his release on parole July 25, 2007.
He was reincarcerated six times for parole violations, said Vicky Waters, a Department of Corrections spokeswoman, but he did not serve as a firefighter during the subsequent prison terms.
He was released most recently on Aug. 23, 2011, Waters said.
Pashilk was trained as an inmate firefighter at the California Correctional Center in Susanville, she said.
His Facebook page included a cover photo featuring the Nazi lightning bolt symbol.
Similar symbols were spray-painted Tuesday morning on a trailer attached to a recreational vehicle parked outside the Clearlake home where Pashilk lived, in a forested neighborhood off Lakeshore Drive.
Lake County Sheriff Brian Martin announced Pashilk’s arrest Monday night at a community meeting in Middletown, eliciting cheers from the crowd, along with one woman’s cry to, “Hang him!”
Jail records show Pashilk was being held on three felony counts: arson of a structure or forestland, an arson enhancement and aggravated arson with a prior conviction.
A Cal Fire official Tuesday afternoon said Pashilk didn’t have any prior convictions involving arson and that charge wasn’t correct.
Fire officials waited to make an arrest until they had probable cause and sufficient evidence, said Upton at Cal Fire.
Arson is “an incredibly complex crime” to prove, she said. “Timing and geography” were two key pieces that helped lead back to Pashilk as a suspect, she said, but would not elaborate.
Uniformed fire officials searched Pashilk’s home on Monday and left with 36 items, including several books of matches and lighters, according to the woman who identified herself as his roommate. She expressed shock at the accusations leveled against her friend.
“I don’t believe it,” she said.
The fire broke out at 4:58 p.m. Saturday and swelled to 1,400 acres by daybreak Sunday, then exploded that afternoon amid dry winds and peak temperatures. It had consumed 4,000 acres by Tuesday night, destroying at least 175 homes and businesses.
Paul and Bonnie Harris, who live near Pashilk, were not in a forgiving mood Tuesday. The couple’s daughter and a granddaughter have both been evacuated from their homes in east Clearlake as a result of the Clayton fire.
“We’re all angry. We’re all hurt. How do you fix that?” Bonnie Harris said.
Lake County has suffered an inordinate number of large and small wildland fires in recent years.
Suspicions and rumors of an arsonist have persisted in the county for months, fueled by a series of mostly small spot fires that have continued to crop up.
Two more came just one week ago, in the same evening, within a few miles of the Clayton fire.
Those fires, west of Lower Lake and a fire near Knoxville and Lake Berryessa in Napa County are considered possible arson fires.
Cal Fire officials indicated Pashilk is not a suspect in the Rocky and Jerusalem fires, which respectively burned 69,438 acres and 25,118 acres last summer east of Lower Lake.
The largest of last year’s fires, the Valley fire, at 76,067 acres, was caused by an electrical short in wiring to an outdoor hot tub, Cal fire announced last week.
The property owners believed responsible are contesting that finding.
The Jerusalem and Rocky fires remain under investigation, but the Rocky is believed to have been ignited by a water heater set up in a marijuana garden, likely so pot gardeners could bathe in hot water, Upton said.
The two suspects have fled and are believed to be out of the country, she said.
“We welcome any information” that could help close the case, or any of the others, she said, noting that Cal Fire investigates an average of 10 serial arson fires every year.
(Santa Rosa Press Democrat)
* * *
ALLEGED CLAYTON FIRE ARSONIST TO BE ARRAIGNED WEDNESDAY
The arraignment for suspected #ClaytonFire arsonist Damin Anthony Pashilk, 40, is scheduled at 1:15 p.m. on Wednesday in Lake County Superior Court Department 3.
(Lake County Record-Bee)
A CALLER wanted to know: "Is Flynn Washburne for real?" They don't make 'em any real-er.
FORT BRAGG'S “GIVING GARDEN” KEEPS ON GETTING
MCHC Garden Inv Jun2016 aprvd
A STEADY STREAM of visitors through our stark new bunker today didn't permit gavel-to-gavel viewing of Tuesday’s Supes meeting. When I tuned in, ten other people were watching on line. That audience grew to 16 later in the day, then plummeted to six when the discussion turned to the Mendocino Town Plan, a plan at least a quarter of a century old in a community of the most knowledgeable and infallible citizens in all these formerly United States. That's how residents of the "village" view themselves anyway. Just when there seems to be general agreement on a plan a new crop of experts and busybodies moves in and destroys consensus.
THE SUPERVISORS discussed at some length the diversion of future marijuana tax revenues to nebulous strategies for steering Our Nation's Future away from dope, although probably half the parents in the County grow it and even more smoke it. The Supes discussion seemed under the influence of the delusion that whatever legality may or may not become a fact of local life, the people in this lucrative business will sign up to be taxed, the County's general fund will swell with pot revenues with enough money left over to "educate" young people away from the dope lots of them and their parents already smoke.
A WOMAN whose name I didn't get said she was from some group — Mendocino County is teeming with obscure non-profits — having to do with "youth prevention." The youth prevention lady introduced two apparent teenage girls, dressed in cut-offs, and perhaps prevented from devil weed themselves. The girls mumbled something about prevention and raced for the exit. I'd hoped Supervisor Hamburg, who has made a literal, untaxed fortune in the drug business, would have voiced some prevention encouragement, which would have added some bracing hypocrisy to the proceedings.
THE ANIMAL SHELTER, which used to be "the pound" before a huge segment of our increasingly crazed population went over to full-on anthropomorphism, has become quite controversial. Back in the day, when the Supes of 1990 wanted to sell euthanized dogs to UCSF for research, well, you'd have thought they had suggested selling stray children for medical research. It didn't happen. The anthromorphs were on the rise; a quarter century later, they rule.
TODAY'S SHELTER DISCUSSION confused me. I've haphazardly followed the Shelter controversy, and no matter what you say about the issue half the animal people are going to be unhappy. (Not long ago, I received a single-spaced, personalized, thousand-word denunciation, suitable for framing, from an angry animal lady. I'm still not clear what I said to upset her. Whatever it was I can't honestly say I'm sorry.)
BUT HERE GOES: The Shelter's interim director is Mary Jane Montana. She is working in place of Sage Mountainfire, who was placed on paid leave while Shelter matters she had allegedly neglected were sorted out by Ms. Montana. I thought Ms. Montana's presentation today was impressive. She briskly ran through the numbers of animals presently in transit to new homes or retrieved by their old ones — our Shelter is no-kill — and outlined recent improvements, staffing and so on. For someone like me, a citizen simply looking on, I heard nothing that was not encouraging.
BUT SEVERAL ANIMAL LADIES — are there any male anthromorphs since Cleveland Amory died? — rose to denounce Ms. Montana and County CEO Carmel Angelo as, well, liars, that the Shelter was a virtual dog and cat Dachau, that nothing had changed for the better. The Supervisors gallantly looked on without defending their two administrators. (Why can't County employees argue back?)
THE GOOD NEWS out of this welter of opposing realities is that it appears the Humane Society and the City of Fort Bragg are discussing a Shelter for the Mendocino Coast. As it is, all the animals from the heavily populated Coast sector wind up at the Ukiah Shelter, which swells it to barely manageable populations of dogs and cats. Ms. Montana said a recent count was a total of 1298 dogs and cats of which (of whom, I should probably put it) 95 percent of the dogs and 85 percent of the cats are soon in happy homes. How could any animal person be unhappy with that statistic?
PS. THE CONSENSUS here at the AVA, is that the pitbulls and other dogs made vicious by their owners should be put down.
NOTES: CEO Angelo looked quite fetching in a new blonde hairstyle and up-market floral dress. Supervisor Woodhouse might consider Ms. Angelo's hairdresser for advice about modifying his Captain Kangeroo-like do. Coupla new coinages included “consensed” from Hamburg and “prematurity” from Ms. Angelo. One of the animal ladies introduced herself as "a crazy cat lady." I was rather touched by the plea of a suspended Shelter volunteer for reinstatement. She didn't come off as difficult, but she must be if the Shelter apparently was unanimous in wanting her out. No second chances in Mendocino County where you are whatever you say you are and history starts all over again every day?
DAWN MEMORY BLIPS. 5:30AM. The vanity of an old guy who's still mobile. Two miles in thirty minutes. Hints of fall chill in the air. A young Mexican woman jogs past me smiling. Back at the Silver Bullet, which has carried me 248,000 miles, I do as many push-ups as I can, maybe 35. In my business, it's a good idea to maintain upper body strength, not that it's been required lately. By 6:45 I've got my walk, got my push-ups, got a bouquet of naked ladies, a song in my heart, if I could only remember what it's called… A Summer Place.
Percy Faith: https://youtu.be/rt7SPm7N6D8
The Lettermen: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3FcOx0442hA
That's it! That one has always carried me back to the summer of '61 when I had baseball job in Santa Maria of all places where I worked days picking up oil well drill heads from nearby oil fields and hauling them to Santa Maria to be repaired, and I played baseball most nights with the Santa Maria Indians. Pretty good baseball, too, with big summer crowds, and a left hander named Davidson who got to the major leagues until his wife shot him off a bar stool, as I remember reading. Knowing him, I assumed she made the right move. I was a pitcher but one night I hit a home run right down the left field line, and I can still feel and smell the outfield grass as I ran wind sprints before and after the games, and for some reason they always had that A Summer Place song on the PA, and every time I hear it, which isn't often because it's as old as I am, it takes me back there to that time when I also had two girl friends, Marlene and Gretchen, but spent a lot of time with a crippled poet named Sally in Pismo Beach because we shared a strong interest in what would go under the general heading of books. One night, I was with some football players from up the road at Cal Poly who were recreational bar fighters and dorm mates in the World War Two housing where they put all the jocks to keep them away from normal students. Of course these guys started a fight with some local ginks and of course we all got arrested and the local ginks didn't. It cost me $500 from a school loan in fines that I didn't have. Life then began to move fast for me, and by '68 everything that had gone before not only seemed like it had happened in a different country, it had.
CATCH OF THE DAY, August 16, 2016
Barry, Bethurum, Butler
WILLIAM BARRY, Ukiah. Drunk in public, refusal to identify self. (Frequent Flyer)
CHRISTOPHER BETHURUM, Santa Rosa/Ukiah. Controlled substance.
BRIANNA BUTLER, Boise/Ukiah. DUI, child endangerment.
Chapman, Clark, Diaz
TIMOTHY CHAPMAN JR., Ukiah. Battery, vandalism.
TERRY CLARK, Laytonville. Controlled substance.
JESSICA DIAZ, Ukiah. Domestic assault, probation revocation.
Elliott, Gayle, Geronimo
RUSSEL ELLIOTT, Hopland. Probation revocation.
JAMAI GAYLE*, San Francisco. Failure to pay.
ADAN GERONIMO, Porterville/Ukiah. DUI causing injury.
Grubb, Johnson, Kester-Tyler
COLTON GRUBB, Willits. Domestic battery.
DAVID JOHNSON SR., Ukiah. Petty theft, ID theft, conspiracy, parole violation.
DEVIN KESTER-TYLER, Ukiah. Camping, controlled substance, probation revocation.
Little, Matusak, North
JOSEPH LITTLE, Fort Bragg. Refusing to leave, probation violation.
RICHARD MATUSAK, Garberville/Ukiah. Domestic battery.
MICHAEL NORTH, Fort Bragg. Parole violation.
Nunez, Rennacker, Seago
DANIEL NUNEZ, Ukiah. Probation revocation.
CHRISTOPHER RENNACKER, Fort Bragg. Controlled substance, paraphernalia, interference with police communications, probation revocation.
STEPHEN SEAGO SR., Fort Bragg. Rape.
Shealor, Svendsen, Whitley
AUSTIN SHEALOR, Lower Lake/Ukiah. Domestic battery, brandishing, controlled substance, probation revocation.
ASHLEY SVENDSEN, Ukiah. ID theft, use of someone else’s access card, conspiracy, probation revocation.
CHRISTOPHER WHITLEY, Corona/Ukiah. Pot sales.
*(Jamai Gayle is the guy who was the boyfriend of Asha Kreimer who went missing in September of 2015 after last being seen by him. http://theava.com/archives/48710)
by Fred Gardner
Clara Bingham's recently published oral history, "Witness to the Revolution," includes a chapter on the trial of the "Chicago Eight" (reduced to seven after Black Panther leader Bobby Seale insisted that the court had no jurisdiction over him and he was bound, gagged, and hauled away). In a file cabinet unopened for years I found a folder marked 12/69 containing three teletyped Associated Press dispatches from the trial, and this droodle of Judge Julius Hoffman done when I was in his courtroom testifying.
Leonard Weinglass, a very good criminal defense lawyer, was trying to establish that police in Chicago had been intent on a riot occurring during Democratic Party convention. I testified that two cops had warned Tom Hayden, not in a friendly way, that the feds were planning an incitement-to-riot case against him.
I could truthfully affirm that I'd never seen Hayden and Abbie Hoffman et al conspire in the months preceding the convention to incite a riot. Their hope was for a large demonstration. I did see them plotting to lure "the kids" (Rennie Davis's contemptuous term) to Chicago with false promises of Credence Clearwater Revival. But the prosecution didn't ask about that.
This is from the AP dispatch by Tony Fuller:
“Gardner said that during the convention he was the editor of the Ramparts Wall Poster, a one-page newspaper which was circulated among the demonstrators. He said one of the defendants, Thomas Hayden, came to his office at 4 a.m. on August 26, 1968, and told him he had just been released from prison on bail.
“Gardner quoted Hayden as saying his ‘tail, Riccio and Bell, threatened to kill him.’ Frank Riccio has already testified in the trial that he is a Chicago policeman who was assigned to tail Hayden during the convention. Bell was not identified but was also reported to be a policeman.
“Gardner said Hayden told him he had ‘been told by Riccio and Bell that there was going to be an FBI cast against him for crossing state lines to incite a riot.’ It is on this charge that Hayden and the others are now on trial.
“Assistant US Attorney Richard Schultz objected that Gardner’s account of his conversation with Hayden was hearsay evidence. US District Judge Julius L. Hoffman ordered the defense to cease this line of testimony.
“Hoffman also warned Gardner against interjecting personal opinions into his testimony and added:
“’You look disturbed. You know you don’t have to testify.’
“Gardner said, “I feel ill at ease here.’
“’Well don’t be critical of me,’ Hoffman said. ‘I didn’t ask you to come here.
“Tuesday a member of the British Parliament testified she got mace in the face from a policeman when she tried to sing ‘We Shall Overcome.’”
Dave Dellinger, one of the defendants who was not into showboating, died long before Clara Bingham began her research. He didn't describe himself as a pacifist, but everybody else did. Here's Dellinger's account of the famous "Conspiracy." He describes an event I took part in but have no memory of whatsoever. What a drag it is getting old.
I have two vivid memories of that trip, both involving sex, sort of
The defense paid my fare and I flew into O’Hare, arriving on the afternoon before I was supposed to testify. They put me up at an apartment on the South Side where Hayden and members of the defense legal team were staying for the duration of the trial. The pad had been put at their disposal by a University of Chicago grad named Bill Zimmerman, who someone described as “Tom’s gofer.” After dinner Hayden and Zimmerman were going out to a meeting and I was going to sleep. Zimmerman handed me a phone number on a slip of paper and said, in reference to one of the lawyers, “If Kinoy’s wife calls from New Jersey, tell her he's just gone down for a quart of milk." Then I was supposed to phone Kinoy at his girlfriend’s, so he could call his wife in New Jersey.
I had been betrayed myself, so I wasn't about to be party to someone else's betrayal. I told them I was tired and wouldn't answer the phone. I should have said, “Why do you think I would lie for him, or you, or anybody?” But at the time I hadn’t split with them all the way.
Allen Ginsberg and Phil Ochs were supposed to testify after me. I remember being with the two of them in a large, dark room, adjacent to the courtroom. Ginsberg asked Ochs where he was staying. Ochs told him —a friend's place or another defense pad, I can't recall. Ginsberg asked if there was any room for him. Ochs said there wasn’t. Are you sure? Yes. Ginsberg asked if he could share Ochs’s bed. Ochs laughed it off. Ginsberg asked again. Ochs said no. Ginsberg asked again and again and again and again. Ochs was obviously embarrassed and so was I, a mere Zelig. I assumed Ochs was straight but what did it matter, no means no, and the come-on was relentless —and not very poetic.
I have only one distinct memory from my time on the witness stand. After I’d be asked a question on cross-examination, grinning Abbie Hoffman would cup his mouth with his hands and offer a word of silent advice: “Lie.”
* * *
The federal conspiracy charge was absurd, but Tom was crazed in Chicago during the convention, and would have incited a terrible riot if a sensible young lawyer working for Sen. Eugene McCarthy's campaign had agreed to broadcast a tape from a window of the Hilton to the massed protesters across Michigan Avenue, in which Tom urged everyone to charge across the police line and confront the delegates in the hotel. Tom's deep, sincere hope that we could change this country via the Democratic Party had been murdered when Bobby Kennedy was murdered in June. It would revive in due course.
(Who didn't have that hope? I had rung doorbells for William Fitts Ryan and William Meyer — pro-disarmament, anti-HUAC Congressmen — and I'd written a speech for Teddy Weiss when he was on the New York City Council.)
The Kennedy family asked Jack Newfield to invite some "movement" organizers to stand by the coffin. Tom was one and I was another.
I carried this in my wallet for many years:
Tom comes off looking good in "Witness to the Revolution." Mark Rudd is very hard on himself. This is from Jon Wiener's review in the New York Times:
"...What [Rudd] regrets most about the Weathermen is that 'we destroyed S.D.S. at the height of the war.' That happened, Tom Hayden emphasizes, before the Moratorium in October 1969, when two million people participated in the largest antiwar protest to date, and before the nationwide student strike against the war in May 1970. 'There were many student uprisings to come,' he says, but 'the group that had triggered it . . . was actually dead. Unbelievable. And this was not seven years from the time when S.D.S. was formed.'
One could come away from Bingham's oral history with the impression that there was a thriving organization called Students for a Democratic Society that would have hastened the end of the war in Vietnam and gone about creating a democratic society if only the crazy, bomb-making Weathermen hadn't taken it over. But the Weathermen could never have had any sway if SDS was a functional organization with a coherent agenda. Why didn't it evolve into a Movement for a Democratic Society (one doesn't remain in school forever)? Why wasn't Tom Hayden the up-front leader all along?
The new left was suspicious of leadership per se — which is absurd, because we're herd animals and leadership is natural, and as anybody who has ever had a good boss and a complex task to accomplish knows, leadership is necessary. The good leader makes plans that take advantage of everybody's strengths, and that are based on — and change according to — everyone's input. If the plans fail, an up-front leader can be criticized and replaced, but a hidden leader retains control. In SDS you could ony be prez for one year, but Tom was really running things from behind the scenes through '68. I was never a member but I went to their "Back to the Drawing Boards" Conference in Kalamazoo in June, '67, with a suggestion that they set up coffeehouses in Army towns. No takers. At that point the classy lefties didn't understand how many GIs opposed the war. (I had little kids, didn't feature starting a place myself.)
WHEN MY FATHER CAME HOME to Philadelphia in 1947, after the war, it was very traumatic for me. I didn't like him. He was very strict and hard on us, and he had a violent temper. We were all afraid of him. My dad used to say that he could easily kill a man with his bare hands. He was a trained killer.
Sometime in the late 1950s I asked him how many Japs he thought he'd killed during the war. "Well," he told me, "it's hard to say because we killed so many from a distance, but, that I know of, oh, 45 or 50."
Wow! My dad the mass murderer! All of our dads were killers if they were in the war. They had that under their belt. They had killed other humans!
It's strange to think of our fathers going to war. The glory of war is as old as the human race. You prove your manhood by going out and fighting another tribe, being a brave warrior. Get out there and prove yourself — kill somebody!
All my natural compulsions are perverted and twisted. Instead of going out and challenging myself against other males, all those impulses are channeled into sex. That's why I want to ravage big women: that's how I get out all my aggressions, and fortunately I found lots of women who like that! Oh thank the gods! Thank the forces that rule our destinies!
— R. Crumb
BURNING DOWN THE HOUSE
by James Kunstler
There’s a new feature to the Anything-Goes-and-Nothing-Matters economy: Nothing-Adds-Up. The magicians who pretend to measure the growth of GDP (Gross Domestic Product — the monetary value of all the finished goods and services) came up with a second quarter “adjusted” figure of 1.2%. That would have to be construed by anyone acquainted with basic econ stats as perfectly dismal. And yet the Bureau of Labor Statistics put out a sparkly Nonfarm Payroll Report of 255,000 for July, way above the forecast 180,000.
There are so many ways to game the jobs number — between people forced to work more than one shit job and the notorious “birth/death model” used to just make up any old number for political purposes — that no one can take this information seriously. Anyway, the GDP number was instantly forgotten and the jobs number launched the stock markets to previously uncharted record altitude.
It’s that time of the year for the hedge fund boys, with their testosterone flowing, to start burning down their house rentals in the Hamptons. And it’s also the time of year for an ever more stressed financial system to go down in flames. And, of course, it’s a presidential election season. Even for one allergic to conspiracy theories, it’s not farfetched to imagine a coordinated effort by central banks — under government direction — to generate Money-Out-Of-Thin-Air (QE, quantitative easing) for the purpose of allowing “liquidity” flows to end up in US equity and bond markets in order to paint a false picture of “recovery” to insure the election of Hillary Clinton. I think that is exactly behind the recent money-printing activities by the Japanese and European Central Banks, and the Bank of England.
Why would it end up in US markets? For bonds, because the Euro and Japanese bond sovereign yields are in sub-zero territory and the BOE just cut its prime rate lower than the US Federal Reserve’s prime rate; and for stocks, because the value of the other three currencies is sliding down and the dollar has been rising — so, dump your falling currency for the rising dollar and jam it into rising US stocks. It’ll work until it doesn’t.
Why do this for Hillary? Because she represents the continuity of all the current rackets being used to prop up belief in the foundering business model of western civilization. If she doesn’t get into the White House there may be no backstopping the insolvent banks and bankrupt governments and a TILT message will appear in the sky. That TILT message is likely to appear anyway because, remember, the authorities are only pretending that they can manage events. In fact, all of their “management” strategies and shenanigans only insure the further distortion of the basic operating system, which is already so far out of whack from 20 years of previous management efforts that nothing in banking and markets really works anymore.
Companies don’t make money, despite rising share prices. No one in his right mind buys bonds with negative yields — that promise to pay back less over time — so governments have to pretend to buy them. (In fact, they don’t so much “buy” them as simply extinguish them by playing three-card-monte with national treasuries.) And, of course, the masses of people in all these nations — including the patsy USA — sink ever deeper into penury every month.
The release of tension is being felt in the ground game of politics where outsider candidates here and abroad are rising on a tide of rage and resentment. The fecklessness and stupidity of the elites has been epic, sacrificing everything to maintain the illusion of normality. Nothing is normal and “the people” are finally onto it. Sadly, it looks as if both politics and finance are veering toward crack-up simultaneously. The daisy-chained Too-Big-To-Fail banks are already choking on the suicide bolus of derivatives. The equity markets are one algo accident away from cratering. The bond markets are a sick joke. And Hillary may win the booby prize of presiding over the smoldering wreckage of it all. When it happens, she will have no idea what to do.
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VOTE GREEN OR LIBERTARIAN NOVEMBER 8
by Phil Baldwin
Not a Trump supporter, I vote no on Hillary. Yes, Trump seems menacing. But we hear roughly the same every four years, only this campaign hearkens back 52 years to the anti-Goldwater fear mongering. It worked brilliantly then and just five months after LBJ’s victory we got war in Vietnam. With the likely HRC win in November expect the same - another war.
Hillary has championed one disastrous war after another and this explains why the War Party now endorses her. Our War Party includes all major think tanks, each funded by arms industry giants: Boeing, Northrup-Grumman, Raytheon, General Dynamics, Lockheed-Martin, and McDonald-Douglas. The New Yorker, NYT, WSJ, WaPo, CNN, Daily Beast, MSNBC comprise its propaganda arm.
Foreign policy “experts,” whether liberal interventionists or Republican neocons, now flocking to Hillary, have one thing in common. They promoted U.S. wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria and, like Hillary, got each of them wrong.
All support Clinton not because Trump makes bigoted, misogynistic comments, not because he seems an egomaniacal adolescent, not because he’s the NRA’s guy. They back Hillary because Trump’s not on board with the 1%’s “play book.” They’re freaked that he has suggested such dangerous ideas as “getting along with Russia,” the absurdity of NATO today, and that we should “end these nation building regime change wars.” So, yes, the War Party intends to crush Donald Trump.
Do friends care that to achieve this Trump demolition the Democratic wing of the War Party now foments a crazed jingoism, demonization, brinksmanship targeting Russia, Syria, China, and Iran? Surely our associates know HRC was a vociferous proponent of the disastrous Iraq War and that as Secretary of State she exposed a learning disability by repeating the blunder in Libya. Her advocacy of that bombardment generated failed state chaotic violence and misery, a new base for ISIS, plus tens of thousands of refugees. And whose temperament? Upon hearing of Gadaffi’s rape and murder by Islamist terrorists, Hillary laughed while paraphrasing Caesar “We Came, We Saw, He Died.”
Five years later our tax dollars fund another air war on Libya. And having failed to achieve Damascus regime change using proxy “moderate” head chopping jihadists, Hillary now promotes outright war on Syria. Are our friends bothered one iota that Hillary’s foreign policy leadership on Iraq, Libya, and Syria has yielded to date at least 300,000 combatant deaths, 300,000 civilian deaths, five million refugees - 98% “people of color” - all with nary a racist epithet?
It seems likely our next President will not only “believe with all” her “heart that America is an exceptional country” but that the secular President of Syria “has to go” and that the President of nuclear powerhouse (and Syria ally) Russia is akin to “Hitler.”
Second only to her endless wars, is the corruption issue. No room here to review the $22 million Hillary garnered from Wall Street firms between 2013 and 2015. We do however know had she not been the presumed next President, Clinton would not have been offered, as she put it, “the going rate.” No time here either for the dripping Wikileaks pay-to-play and DNC rigging emails.
Hillary’s Democratic Party is hyped for war with Syria, even Russia. That reason alone is sufficient for us to reject her candidacy and instead support one of the two leading antiwar parties. Vote Green or Libertarian November 8, a combined vote that will kick start opposition to the next planned war of choice.
MAUREEN DOWD ON HILLARY: DICK CHENEY IN A PANTSUIT
The Perfect GOP Nominee
by Maureen Dowd
Speaking of crazy …
All these woebegone Republicans whining that they can’t rally behind their flawed candidate is crazy. The GOP angst, the gnashing and wailing and searching for last-minute substitutes and exit strategies, is getting old.
They already have a 1%er who will be totally fine in the Oval Office, someone they can trust to help Wall Street, boost the US Chamber of Commerce, cuddle with hedge funds, secure the trade deals beloved by corporate America, seek guidance from Henry Kissinger and hawk it up — unleashing hell on Syria and heaven knows where else.
The Republicans have their candidate: It’s Hillary.
They can’t go with Donald Trump. He’s too volatile and unhinged.
The erstwhile Goldwater Girl and Goldman Sachs busker can be counted on to do the normal political things, not the abnormal haywire things. Trump’s propounding could drag us into war, plunge us into a recession and shatter Washington into a thousand tiny bits.
Hillary will keep the establishment safe. Who is more of an establishment figure, after all? Her husband was president, and he repealed Glass-Steagall, signed the Defense of Marriage Act and got rid of those pesky welfare queens.
Pushing her Midwestern Methodist roots, taking advantage of primogeniture, Hillary often seems more Republican than the Gotham bling king, who used to be a Democrat and donor to Democratic candidates before he jumped the turnstile.
Hillary is a reliable creature of Wall Street. Her tax return showed the Clintons made $10.6 million last year, and like other superrich families, they incorporated with the Clinton Executive Services Corporation (which was billed for the infamous server). Trump has started holding up goofy charts at rallies showing Hillary has gotten $48,500,000 in contributions from hedge funders, compared to his $19,000.
Unlike Trump, she hasn’t been trashing leading Republicans. You know that her pals John McCain and Lindsey Graham are secretly rooting for her. There is a cascade of prominent Republicans endorsing Hillary, donating to Hillary, appearing in Hillary ads, talking up Hillary’s charms.
Robert Kagan, a former Reagan State Department aide, adviser to the McCain and Mitt Romney campaigns and Iraq war booster, headlined a Hillary fund-raiser this summer. Another neocon, James Kirchick, keened in The Daily Beast, “Hillary Clinton is the one person standing between America and the abyss.”
She has finally stirred up some emotion in women, even if it is just moderate suburban Republican women palpitating to leave their own nominee, who has the retro air of a guy who just left the dim recesses of a Playboy bunny club.
The Democratic nominee put out an ad featuring Trump-bashing Michael Hayden, an NSA and CIA chief under W. who was deemed “incongruent” by the Senate when he testified about torture methods. And she earned an endorsement from John Negroponte, a Reagan hand linked to American-trained death squads in Latin America.
Politico reports that the Clinton team sent out feelers to see if Kissinger, the Voldemort of Vietnam, and Condi Rice, the conjurer of Saddam’s apocalyptic mushroom cloud, would back Hillary.
Hillary has written that Kissinger is an “idealistic” friend whose counsel she valued as secretary of state, drawing a rebuke from Bernie Sanders during the primaries: “I’m proud to say Henry Kissinger is not my friend.”
The Hillary team seems giddy over its windfall of Republicans and neocons running from the Trump sharknado. But as David Weigel wrote in The Washington Post, the specter of Kissinger, the man who advised Nixon to prolong the Vietnam War to help with his re-election, fed a perception that “the Democratic nominee has returned to her old, hawkish ways and is again taking progressives for granted.”
And Isaac Chotiner wrote in Slate, “The prospect of Kissinger having influence in a Clinton White House is downright scary.”
Hillary is a safer bet in many ways for conservatives. Trump likes to say he is flexible. What if he returns to his liberal New York positions on gun control and abortion rights?
Trump is far too incendiary in his manner of speaking, throwing around dangerous and self-destructive taunts about “Second Amendment people” taking out Hillary, or President Obama and Hillary being the founders of ISIS. And he still blindly follows his ego, failing to understand the fundamentals of a campaign. “I don’t know that we need to get out the vote,” he told Fox News Thursday. “I think people that really wanna vote are gonna get out and they’re gonna vote for Trump.”
Hillary, on the other hand, understands her way around political language and Washington rituals. Of course you do favors for wealthy donors. And if you want to do something incredibly damaging to the country, like enabling George W. Bush to make the worst foreign policy blunder in US history, don’t shout inflammatory and fabricated taunts from a microphone.
You must walk up to the microphone calmly, as Hillary did on the Senate floor the day of the Iraq war vote, and accuse Saddam of giving “aid, comfort and sanctuary to terrorists, including Al Qaeda,” repeating the Bush administration’s phony case for war.
If you want to carry the GOP banner, your fabrications have to be more sneaky.
As Republican strategist Steve Schmidt noted on MSNBC, “the candidate in the race most like George W. Bush and Dick Cheney from a foreign policy perspective is in fact Hillary Clinton, not the Republican nominee.”
And that’s how Republicans prefer their crazy — not like Trump, but like Cheney.
MEDICAL MARIJUANA — IRRESPONSIBLE MEDICAL CARE
The active ingredient of Marijuana, THC (Cannabis) has been available by prescription from Medical Doctors since 1985. The FDA has allowed a pill form to be prescribed for wasting related to AIDS and for terminal cancer patients. THC pills are regulated just like any other prescription. The FDA could extend coverage to other conditions only when scientific, evidence based studies prove that they are effective. To this date evidence is lacking. According to the highly respected “Medical Letter on Drugs and Therapeutics, August 1, 2016, “No adequate studies of cannabis (botanical marijuana) are available for any of these indications” (cancer pain, multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, and neuropathic pain). Thus there is no need for “Medical Marijuana Clinics” who sell a product that is not regulated, of unknown quality and strength, and thus may be dangerous or ineffective.
Illness should continue to be treated by Health Professional based on scientific evidence. This is responsible policy.
Dr. Nayvin Gordon
PS. DEATH STAR
Department of Defense, defender of freedom they say
Expending billions of our dollars every day
And the greatest arms dealer of them all
That’s fifty percent of the budget you’ll recall
Happy to peddle their wars to one and all
So that’s our democracy they love to say
The C.I.A. assassins just must have their way
And the drone murdering Presidents continue day after day
Rejoice in their loyalty to capital’s power and pay day.
REGARDING THE LATEST DEBACLE AT KZYX.
by Marco McClean
A great word: debacle. I like all three ways people pronounce it.
Quite by chance I came across a visual metaphor for the modus operandi of KZYX since its inception. This, like that, is a syncopated comic masterpiece of failure and then jump-cut return to ready-to-fail-again state. It comes with commentary by James Vincent, and here's a link to it: http://tinyurl.com/AMetaphorForKZYX
Study that, then read this: Recently Lorraine Dechter, having been sabotaged materially and organizationally from the get-go, wrote that her abrupt resignation as manager after six months (recall Raoul van Hall's having lasted only six weeks, so props to Lorraine) was a "mutual decision". Mutual between what parties? Because if the decision was mutual between her and the board, then the board met unethically. Again. And it's not merely unethical; conducting station business as a board without public notice or participation is against the law and threatens MCPB's corporate personhood.
And there's nothing on the KZYX website about this situation, and of course no discussion on the air. I'm sure you remember my having pointed out numerous times how peeved-Nixon/Secret-Squirrel the inner politburo of MCPB is and has always been.
All problems of KZYX could be solved by putting a prominent link on KZYX.org to an unmoderated forum open to airpeople and members and the public, who pay for KZYX in taxes whether we like it or not. $4,000,000+ just in tax derived money has disappeared into MCPB, plus another ten or eleven million dollars in membership and anonymous big-ticket donor money: a recipe for corruption. And that's while the MCPB board and their close sycophants laugh at the idea of paying a pittance to the airpeople, without whom they'd be just another automated NPR station, and they'd /still/ be paying the handful of shlubs in the office a quarter of a million dollars a year to sit there and watch the computer blink, and answer the phone to say that whoever you're calling for is not available, and let the needlessly overcomplicated infrastructure go to hell, so the airpeople have to declare on a regular basis, on the air, that something's wrong, and ask any listeners who might know who to call to fix it (!) to please do so.
KZYX breaks down more often than KNYO does, and KNYO has several remote studios, and everything else KZYX must maintain, and also has a performance space, but does it all on a budget of less than $12,000 a year.
Last year I applied to manage KZYX, from a position of a deep understanding of publishing and broadcasting in general and local radio in particular, both commercial and nonprofit. The Stuart Campbell-appointed manager-search committee chairman threw my application away without even considering it, and when a John Sakowicz, then on the board, read in the newspaper that I'd applied, and he wondered why he had to read it in the newspaper to find out, that same chairman lied to him that I had never applied. The board hired Lorraine. So why would they undermine her, and sabotage her, and /resign/ her? Because it's their nature. Again, see James Vincent's commentary on a comic GIF: http://tinyurl.com/AMetaphorForKZYX
Just to get us all on the same page: in the real world running a radio station is dead easy. A transmitter is as reliable as a refrigerator and uses a comparable amount of electricity. A little home or office refrigerator (or a low power radio transmitter) uses a few hundred watts, and a big high power one uses a few thousand watts. Electricity costs about 15 cents per thousand watts, per hour. There is no way, short of abject crookery or mental retardation or a rat's nest of bureaucratic financial OCD for a radio station with a 4,000 watt transmitter and a fifty watt STL and two thirty watt translators to cost $600,000 a year to run. That is many times too much; it's /fifty times/ what KNYO costs. If the vermin at the heart of KZYX can be sieved out and exposed to the light, the airpeople can all be paid and the tech problems can be solved, and my show can be on KZYX at last, and there'll still be a fortune left over.
I'm copying this to the board(*), to make sure that comes up as an agenda item for the boardmembers to discuss out loud with each other and the attendees at the coming meeting. Bring the financial books.
(*) Rather, I'm copying it to the /comment box/ buried in the website, as the individual board members still refuse to make their contact information available. This is another ongoing problem that should be addressed at the meeting, as there's no way to know that Stuart Campbell doesn't still have access to that box, to intercept and interfere with material meant for the other boardmembers, which he did routinely when he hijacked the office years ago, and why would he give up the keys, given his history? In fact, it would possible for a single person with such web and email keys to be the source of a great deal of at least the latest few years of never-ending dysfunction at KZYX. I wouldn't be surprised at all if that person turned out to be Stuart Campbell, though from what I've seen at board meetings Meg Courtney matches him for sour spite. Tch, the whole bunch of them have the sense of humor of a box of hammers. I'm not ready to lay down any bets, I guess.
* * *
NICELY DONE, Marco. Well written piece.
And what is the KZYX Board's response? To hold its next Board meeting at a venue so remote -- the Point Arena Library -- that hardly anyone can be expected to attend the meeting. With Lorraine and Raoul both resigning in disgust after very short tenures at KZYX, you would think the Board would hold its next meeting in a more central place, like the Anderson Valley or Ukiah, so as to maximize attendance by the public. The public needs answers. The public deserves answers. But no. Nobody will make the trip to the obscure venue in Point Arena, which, of course, is exactly what the Board wants as it installs Stuart "Stewie" Campbell as the station's next General Manager -- the prize he has long sought.
Campbell is dangerous. I repeat, Campbell is dangerous. Very dangerous. As I have repeatedly pointed out, Campbell is a protege of that great con man from the 1970s, the used car salesman known as Jack Rosenberg, a.k.a.. Werner Erhard.
Rosenberg epitomized the worst of the Me Decade. And now we'll soon be having his flunkie, Campbell, running KZYX.
Tonight, my thoughts turn toward John Coate. He is suffering horribly now with prostate cancer, possibly dying. Life is short. I'm sorry for Coate.
I'm sorry, too, for KZYX. I suspect KZYX is failing. Has the station's obituary already been written? I suspect, yes. Scott Peterson has found irregularities in the station's IRS Form 990 returns that are so serious they border on fraud. Once the FCC or CPB finds this out, we can say goodbye to that great and noble experiment known as KZYX. We lasted 25 years. It was a good run, I guess. But a lot of good people, yourself included, got hurt along the way.
I'm sorry for Coate, I'm sorry for KZYX. I'm sorry for you, and Doug McKenty, and Norman De Vall, and Beth Bosk, and Johanna Schultz, and Sister Yasmin, the many other excellent programmers who were passed over by an over-politicized organization intent on protecting their petty little fiefdom. And I'm sorry for the listeners who never heard your shows.
— John Sakowicz
I found a dimpled spider, fat and white,
On a white heal-all, holding up a moth
Like a white piece of rigid satin cloth --
Assorted characters of death and blight
Mixed ready to begin the morning right,
Like the ingredients of a witches' broth --
A snow-drop spider, a flower like a froth,
And dead wings carried like a paper kite.
What had that flower to do with being white,
The wayside blue and innocent heal-all?
What brought the kindred spider to that height,
Then steered the white moth thither in the night?
What but design of darkness to appall?--
If design govern in a thing so small.
— Robert Frost
ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY
There are reasons people don’t move to Vermont, and they are the same reasons people leave. After 6 months of wearing long underwear, wool socks, and 4 months of 3,4,5, layers of cloths, hats, gloves, shoveling snow, slipping on ice, lighting fires in the stove, every day, comes April, the second half is Mud Season. Thats when gravel roads go washboard, and paved roads heave. Bedrock ledge is an inch or two below the road in lots of places.
But then the people with money don’t piss on poorer people, because anyone could slide off the road, and anyone passing will stop to yank you out. Because you could freeze to death. You could be the only one passing that night, you might save a life or two. Then again, folks have guns, because you don’t know about the people with out of state plates.