Mendocino County Today: Tuesday, Oct. 11, 2016
by AVA News Service, October 11, 2016
CHRIS BRENNAN and the Swami are neighbors near Laytonville. That would be Swami Chaitanya. Brennan has lived on his place for 36 years, the Swami on his for 13. “The Swami has a natural prairie on his property that trees will not grow on,” Brennan says. “I have ridden my horse through it and hiked through it I can't tell you how many times. Dozens and dozens of times before the Swami bought in.”
BRENNAN SAYS there’s an ancient archeological site on the Swami’s property at Blue Rock Creek. "Every time I used to ride through there — I run cattle — and I was walking around this meadow one day and I could see the old campground because the soil is all dark black there. There are Indian signs everywhere. If you go to the website swamiselect.com he has pictures of himself excavating the Indian camp. Ripping it to pieces. He has to know what it is.”
AT THE RECENT town hall meeting in Laytonville called to discuss Measure AF — the marijuana initiative heavily supported by the Swami — Brennan, brandishing a photo from the Swami’s website showing the Swami excavating the site, asked the portly mystic, (a Mr. Natural look-alike), “Do you realize in this picture that you are ripping up a Native American camp? Do you realize under the CEQA laws that Native American camps are protected? But you guys found a loophole around CEQA. There is good reason why you don't want to have a CEQA check because it would then become a protected site.” And Brennan suggests, inconvenient to the proprietor of a major dope operation.
BRENNAN points out that loggers must report likely historical set-asides to “everyone" — archeologists, botanists and Fish & Game, and Water Quality. “But," the indignant rancher insists, “you guys have found a way to get around that so you can do whatever you want.”
THE SWAMI responded to Brennan that there were no Native American artifacts on his land because it was harvested before he logged it and there were no artifacts found.”
BRENNAN fired back. "No. You are wrong. There are no artifacts found in the harvest boundaries because when they do a harvest plan there is a harvest boundary. They don't look at the meadows. That's a waste of their time. So I told him he was wrong there."
BRENNAN makes a strong case. He seems to see it as hypocritical of the Swami to make the usual ethereal claims about “walking lightly on the land” while heedlessly going about his business as a major marijuana grower and entrepreneur and destroying what appears to be an ancient Indian camp, a site likely to be legally protected if the authorities were aware of it.
THE FOLLOWING PRESS RELEASE from the No on Measure AF Committee was forwarded to the AVA, but not by campaign coordinator Mike Sweeney, the former cult communist and presumed former bomb maker who has re-invented himself here in Amnesia County as a pot fighter. Sweeney heads up an "odd couple" assortment of disparate interests who are united only in their belief that the local stoner community should not be allowed to write their own rules without any input from the rest of us.
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Yes on AF Financial Report: Portrait of a Special Interest Trying to Buy Its Own Law
The "Mendocino Heritage Initiative of 2016," sponsor of Measure AF, finally filed its campaign statement on October 5, six days past the legal deadline. The report was signed by Scarlet Trillia, their new Treasurer.
An earlier report, covering the period ending June 30, was signed by Louise Donaldson, their first Treasurer.
The Yes on AF campaign reports total income of $50,638, most of it from recognizable individuals and entities who are directly involved in some aspect of the marijuana business. The largest contributor is Gabe Martin, Director of the Leonard Moore Cooperative, a dispensary in Mendocino, who gave $7,000.
This compares to the No on Measure AF Committee which reported a total of $7,620 in donations for the same period.
Despite the 7 to 1 disparity in campaign contributions, the No on Measure AF campaign believes it remains competitive because of wiser use of funds. Yes on AF has paid $20,525 to a public relations consultant to be their campaign manager, and another $5,640 to her friends and associates, according to Mike Sweeney, volunteer coordinator of the No on Measure AF Committee. Yes on AF has paid out another $4,129 for "legal and accounting" expense. "In contrast, everybody working on the No on AF campaign is a volunteer," Sweeney said.
The No on Measure AF Committee believes the decisive factor in the campaign will be the recommendations of numerous political, environmental, and community organizations. "As of today, 20 groups have urged a "NO" vote, including several who have never previously taken a position on a political issue," said Sweeney. [A complete list appears below.] In the last day, the list grew with recommendations by the Ukiah City Council, the Willits Unified School District Board, and the Ukiah Valley Democratic Club.
"Many of our endorsers are concerned that a special interest group is trying to bypass the normal process and enact its own laws," said Sweeney. "That’s what the marijuana industry is trying to do in Mendocino County. It didn’t work for DDR at Masonite and it won’t work now."
The following contributors to Yes on AF for the current reporting period are directly linked to the marijuana industry:
$7,000 Gabe Martin, Director, Leonard Moore Collective, a Mendocino dispensary;
$2,500 Tahoe Wellness Cooperative, a South Lake Tahoe dispensary;
$1,674 Dragonfly Wellness Center, a Fort Bragg dispensary operated by Jude Thilman,
$1,000 Adam Steinburg, Owner, Flow Cana, Inc., San Francisco, who runs a chain of about two dozen dispensaries primarily in the Bay Area and LA with one in Mendocino County;
$3,000 Madrone Collective, "a collective of...cannabis farmers from Mendocino, Humboldt and Sonoma Counties" (according to their website);
$1,000 Nikki Laestro, Owner, Swami Select, Laytonville;
$1,000 Casey O’Neill, Owner, Happy Day Farms, Laytonville;
$5,000 Lurane Cassidy, Owner, Weather Top Nursery, Laytonville;
$5,000 J. Blake Johansen, Founder, Pacific Wholesale Network, Lawndale, CA.
All $6,700 in contributions from the previous reporting period are linked to the marijuana industry:
$5,000 Susan Schindler, property management and self-identified cannabis farmer, Potter Valley;
$1,200 Joshua Keats, Owner, Artifact Nursery, Laytonville;
$500 Mary Pat Palmer, Herbalist, Philo School of Herbal Energetics, Philo.
Yes on AF also reported receiving $15,314 in anonymous contributions. These are stated as "unitemized monetary contributions of less than $100." Sweeney, citing State Government Code, said "It is a crime to accept cash donations of $100 or more, yet an eyewitness account was published that described the Yes on AF campaign accepting stacks of bills at a fundraiser" charged Sweeney.
"It’s absurd for Yes on AF to claim under penalty of perjury that $15,314 in anonymous marijuana contributions all came in amounts smaller than $100," said Sweeney. "Perhaps this is why Yes on AF’s Treasurer, Louise Donaldson resigned and was replaced by Scarlett Trillia, an employee of Yes on AF campaign manager Sarah Bodnar."
Organizations recommending a "NO" vote on Measure AF:
- Board of Supervisors
- Brooktrails Township Board of Directors
- Willits Environmental Center
- Mendocino County Farm Bureau
- Peregrine Audubon Society
- California Native Plant Society, Sanhedrin Chapter
- Mendocino County Fire Chiefs Association
- Mendocino County Deputy Sheriffs Association
- Mendocino County Blacktail Association
- Mendocino County Board of Education
- Rogina Heights Concerned Neighbors
- Ukiah Daily Journal
- Mendocino County Fire Safe Council
- Mendocino County Inland Land Trust
- Ukiah Valley Trail Group
- Willits Kids Club
- Ukiah City Council
- Willits Unified School District Board of Trustees
- Mendocino County Observer
- Ukiah Valley Democratic Club
The 60-page "Mendocino Heritage Act" was written by marijuana growers without review or input from the public, community groups, elected officials or agencies charged with protecting the environment. Measure AF puts in place regulations written by and for the growers but weakens protections for the general community and the environment, according to the No on Measure AF Committee.
The No on Measure AF committee points to eight major problems with the Measure AF:
- Measure AF would allow growing in every zone, including residential districts, with grows of up to 1 acre of plant canopy.
- Measure AF would allow growing within 30 feet of a neighbor's property and within 100 feet of a neighbor's house, except in mobile home parks where there would be no setback requirements at all.
- Measure AF shifts away from the sheriff enforcing marijuana permit rules to a civil procedure that would be so weak and slow as to be non-existent. Tiny penalties for violations provide no incentive for compliance. "In practice, there would no longer be any regulations at all for marijuana growing," said Sweeney.
- Measure AF would give marijuana recognition under the County's "Right to Farm" ordinance, meaning growers would be shielded from neighbors’ complaints about odor, generator noise, light and chemical drift.
- Measure AF would eliminate the 1000 foot separation under existing County Code between marijuana operations and youth-oriented facilities, churches and residential treatment centers, and Measure AF would reduce the marijuana separation from parks and schools to only 600 feet.
- Measure AF would allow an unlimited number of marijuana dispensaries in any commercial zoning without public process.
- Measure AF would allow the use of explosive butane in manufacture of hash oil as a "principal permitted use" in any industrial zoning, even though this dangerous practice has caused many fires.
- Measure AF eliminates the County requirement for solid fencing around marijuana gardens to keep wildlife away from poisons.
The Committee believes Measure AF, if passed, would spark another "Green Rush" with hundreds or even thousands of new growers operating in Mendocino County without meaningful oversight or consideration for the environment. Measure AF claims to protect public safety and the environment, but by removing existing protections and expanding commercial cultivation to thousands of new locations, it does the opposite.
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MIKE SWEENEY APPEARS TO BE OVERWROUGHT at the prospect of a stoner community takeover but can't bring himself to include the AVA in his distribution list of local news organizations. And why should he? The AVA merely has the largest market penetration of any newspaper in the county. Sweeney seems surprised that nearly all the Yes on AF campaign cash comes from marijuana related businesses. And Sweeney seems suspicious that the Yes on AF folks might be failing to report all their cash donations. But in an industry fueled by blizzards of $100 dollar bills its easy to lose track of who threw money into the hat and just how much. If the race for Measure AF were close, it might make a difference, but AF (also known as the Heritage Initiative) is going down, likely by a wide margin.
THE MAIN BENEFICIARY of the Yes on AF campaign cash is their campaign manager, Sarah Bodnar, who has paid herself just over $20,000 out of the total $50,000 collected. Sweeney also notes that Ms. Bodnar has paid her friends another $5,000 or so. And claims that the original Yes on AF Treasurer has been replaced with an employee of Bodnar's. Sweeney speculates that sloppy reporting of the cash contributions may explain why the original treasurer has been replaced.
THE MAIN PROB with Measure AF is that it was written by the industry it seeks to regulate. The Yes on AF folks bristle at this charge, pointing out that the wine and grape industry seem to be able to do whatever they want, so why not them? We agree the wine and grape people, following the time honored practice of American capitalism, have been very effective at buying political influence. Congressman wine guy (aka Mike Thompson) and his little brother, Congressman Huff, are well paid errand boys for the industry, always eager to do the bidding of their corporate masters. The grim reality of the legal intoxicant industry is hardly an argument to give the stoner community a pass to also write their own rules. There are a lot of problems with Measure AF but the discussion is as boring as Trump vs. Clinton. Bottom line: if you think the stoners should be able to do whatever they want, vote for AF. If you think the rules should offer some protection for the rest of us and the environment, vote no.
MS. BODNAR, a political neophyte, has made a series of "Town Hall" meetings the centerpiece of the Yes on AF campaign. Except the so-called Town Hall meetings are really one sided dog and pony shows. And from what we have heard, they are very lightly attended. The Willits Town Hall drew about twenty people, half of whom were part of organizing it. David and Ellen Drell, Mike Sweeney, Supervisor John McCowen and a couple of other members of the No on AF Committee also showed up. Which means about five people, max, showed up to hear what AF was all about.
SWAMI CHAITANYA, a Laytonville area grower, and Tim Blake, founder of the Emerald Cup, also a Laytonville area grower and dispensary owner, were on the Yes on AF panel in Willits with Ms. Bodnar. Only in Mendocino County could a wealthy white guy wear white robes, put a red dot on his forehead and expect to be taken seriously. The Yes on AF panel took up most of the Town Hall trading monologues on the virtues of AF before taking questions that had to be submitted on index cards. There was no opportunity for follow-up or rebuttal. But it didn't matter because no one showed up to hear it. If Sweeney and the rest of the No on AF folks thought they needed to show up to counter the Yes on AF story line they needn't have bothered. Reports are that the rest of the Yes on AF dog and pony shows have been equally sparsely attended, with the organizers usually outnumbering the public.
THE NO ON AF COMMITTEE has succeeded in rounding up twenty endorsements from a broad spectrum of the community, as reported in the above press release. As it becomes apparent that AF is failing to gain traction with the mainstream community, and as Sweeney keeps firing away with charges about campaign finance improprieties, the Yes on AF committee seems to be growing increasingly desperate. When the Board of Supes endorsed No on AF, which should not have been a surprise, Ms. Bodnar issued a press release claiming the Supes were betraying the voters and compromising public safety. They accused McCowen of making false claims, presumably the points cited by the Supes justifying a No vote on Measure AF.
WHEN YES ON AF was late with their latest campaign filing, Sweeney sent out an earlier press release taking them to task for it and also accusing them of having an oversize sign. When the AVA remarked that the sign was an inch too big, a No on AF partisan complained that it was double the allowable size. Ms. Bodnar fired back with her own press release, claiming that all of the No on AF signs were illegal and that she had reported them to the Fair Political Practices Committee, the Sheriff and the District Attorney. Ms. Bodnar, doing her best impression of Starhawk, also claimed "This is the patriarchal advancement of the self-interest of a handful of well-off men who have sabotaged the county's efforts to move forward with cannabis regulation in the past, and will continue to do so at all costs, because they want their name on it." Bodnar appears to be forgetting that Ellen Drell of the Willits Environmental Center, motivated by her concern for the environment, is also a deeply involved contributor to the No on AF committee.
THE AVA RECOMMENDS a No vote on Measure AF just because we don't think the stoner community should be writing their own rules. We would also gladly recommend a No vote on the committee working against AF, based solely on Sweeney's involvement. Swami Chaitanya? Pebbles Trippett? Mike Sweeney? Only one of them has retained their given name, but all have escaped from somewhere else and reinvented themselves right here in Mendocino County where — as we must frequently point out — you are whoever you say you are and history begins all over again everyday.
WHY I CLOSED THE BUCKHORN
Dear Anderson Valley Community,
I am writing this letter primarily to express my appreciation to those of you who have supported both my efforts and those of my staff over the last five-and-a-half years during our run as The Buckhorn, Boonville. Being the owner/operator of this Valley landmark over that time has been a wonderful life affirming experience in many ways and has provided me with many unforgettable memories as well as leading to many special friendships.
I am also doing this to clear up a number of misconceptions as to why the decision to close was made. The small town environment in which we live seems to result in almost inevitable misinterpretations of the truth and I feel this has reached an undesirable level in recent days.
The difficulties in running a restaurant in this Valley are undoubtedly known to many of you. I believe that I gave my all but over the past several months I found the repeated setbacks on many levels in a variety different restaurant-related matters, all too overwhelming to make me want to continue. As a result, I was ultimately unable to fulfill my dreams for The Buckhorn and its role in this community…
With regard to my efforts to maintain the standards in the restaurant/bar world that I have learned over thirty years in the business, I found virtually all of my staff to be ready and able to do the job that I required of them. Some were not willing to work at those levels, not because they couldn’t but, in my mind, because they simply did not truly understand or commit fully to what any enterprise in the service industry requires from its staff.
As any business owner in this Valley would probably say, maintaining a high level of staff performance is vital to success, and my own inability to instill this work ethic in all of my staff was an area in which I did not meet my own expectations. This was partly because I was working in the business, instead of working on the business, and not being able to do so was a big reason for my increasing frustration and was a key part that led to the decision that I could not continue.
Gossip in our community is also a prevailing factor in many aspects of Valley life. Perhaps not more so than in and around a high profile pub/restaurant like The Buckhorn. Mistakes were made by me and contentious issues arose. However, to constantly hear them relayed by ill-informed folks, far removed from the true story, in an often unjust and detrimental way, was disappointing and very deflating. Just in the past few days rumors about me owing money to people in the Valley have surfaced that are simply not true. All of my staff have been paid in full and every single one of my vendors and suppliers have been taken care of financially. In fact I should state here that finances played just a small part in the decision to close. The Buckhorn is a viable financial concern and the right people running it will find that to be true I am sure.
And speaking of the future owners, whoever they may be, I believe my work, and that of the staff, have laid very solid groundwork for future success if they decide to continue what we started. Hopefully somebody will succeed in doing that. In the past few days I have held meetings with three or four interested parties and am prepared to meet with others with a view to one of them taking over and ultimately realizing the potential The Buckhorn undoubtedly has.
Finally, I want to publicly acknowledge the support of my investor Kurt Schoeneman and landlords Gary and Ginny Island. I believe that each of them is convinced that The Buckhorn has an important role in our community. They have encouraged me throughout the six years and have fully backed my decision to close, knowing my reasons behind it. They are also very aware that I want desperately to do right by the community and the people who have supported me, and they will be a part of the selling process.
In closing, I wish to once again reiterate my deep disappointment in what has occurred. However, I am staying positive that what happens next will be to the benefit of all of those directly involved, along with our many loyal customers and the community at large.
I hope to see you for a beer on the other side of the bar in the near future.
IN THE PAST FEW DAYS we've made over 100 contacts in regards to various municipal code violations (camping, aggressive panhandling, etc.). We always find it interesting to see how many people from all corners of the world visit our community. Just in that short time span, we spoke with the folks of 19 different countries.
(Willits Police Department)
GOOD GRIEF, ARE WE MICE OR…?
“Accountability” for government spending by non-profit agencies is nearly impossible to find, since neither institution is required to explain their costs or performance-to-plan “outcomes.” That information is unavailable simply because there are no records to request under the Freedom of Information (federal) act or Public Records (state) act. As far as taxpayers can tell, no such analysis occurs or, if it occurs at all, is not entered into any record known to have been made.*
In lieu of management accountability, we also pay locally for government services like the Local Agency Formation Commission (which conducts internal — private — reviews of local government programs), expecting state agencies to oversee federally-funded programs delivered through local government departments. We pay for all of this AND the funding that eventually reaches the hands of actual human beings “served” by government programs.
Taxpayers further underwrite high-end consumer outreach (tourism promotion paid for by the “Tax on Transience”) and voter-approved fire protection funding (Prop. 172), along with special tax-funded assistance programs like First Five and the Mental Health Services Act — which cannot account for billions of dollars collected since Prop. 63 was passed in 2006.
Asking whether ameliorative programs (“free” food distribution, school gardens, event sponsorships, and continuous “staff” education) actually result in less poverty is sacrosanct. When “faith-based” organizations then become the beneficiary of both private and public funding through government-contracted non-profit corporations, any effort to determine proper spending is quickly characterized as a lack of “trust,” and attempts to establish organizational integrity are responded to as threats.
The final nail in the coffin of accountability is the denigration of anyone who dares to question agency authority (even discreetly), and derision of any entity that facilitates such questioning (i.e., the Anderson Valley Advertiser). Peace is thus enforced by supporting the entities that never question or (heaven forfend) criticize public service programs.
These practices are antithetical to the success of healthy organizations, which rely on the accurate conveyance of concerns or problems from all participants (exemplified by the Drucker school of quality management). When outright denial of the existence of concerns or problems occurs, and the good-faith efforts of responsible participants are dismissed as destructive (or, quite commonly hereabouts, “disruptive"), the status quo is rendered impervious to change, and any investment of civic attention is as worthwhile as the proverbial “pissing in the wind.”
Such is the condition of the body politic in Mendocino and Lake Counties. Of the many and varied factions active in both our counties, none save the Grand Juries are capable of examination public service systems funded by our tax dollars. In Lake County, the Board of Supervisors essentially dismissed the critical findings of our 2015-2016 GJ Report on the lack of emergency management services in 2015.
[Neat trick: BoS transferred authority for management of the Office of Emergency Services back to the Sheriff’s Office late in 2015; since the elected Sheriff is “new” to the position, he claims no knowledge of either agency’s prior conduct or negligence of responsibilities. The BoS thus gets out of commenting on their failures as the Administrative managers of our Office of Emergency Services between 2012 and 2015. The Sheriff’s Office spends another few months recruiting for a new hire with no management power and no connections to local emergency responders — for the third or fourth time since 2012.]
Our collective losses from catastrophic wildfires culminate in the exclusion of many non-governmental “voluntary organizations active in disaster” from government-sanctioned “long-term recovery” services dispensing donor-funded assistance to “individuals and families.”
With the primary focus of the government-approved recovery services directed toward “economic” redevelopment (desperately driven by property tax losses, followed closely behind by business closures and workforce disappearance), help is on the way for anyone who has the extraordinary privilege of owning their denuded parcel of land outright. Renters (48% of Valley Fire losers) and dependent family members are among the least served. With large-scale donor agency programs coming to an end, and local fundraising endeavors facing depletion of resources, remaining public dollars for fiscal sponsorship of the endorsed long-term recovery group will only go so far.
And these programs are not in any way funded by public monies for Clayton Fire recovery assistance. Get ready for a long, hard winter, if you have the wherewithal. If you don’t, you might consider spending more time in church — but for heaven’s sake keep your questions to yourself!
*The state agency responsible for creation of the Valley Fire “after-incident report” under state statutory code (CalFire) will only release that report to authorized agencies; the likelihood that the public will ever find out how Lake County Administration performed — for good or ill — is slim to none.
ROADSIDE POUNDS: Man Sitting on Side of Highway 101 in Possession of Five Pounds of Marijuana Arrested
On 10-06-2016 at approximately 12:55 PM Mendocino County Sheriff’s Deputies were patrolling the 45000 block of Highway 101 in Laytonville, California.
Deputies contacted Richard Franciskovich who was sitting along side of the highway and while speaking with Franciskovich they discovered he was in possession of over five pounds of marijuana, with over one pound of the marijuana being packaged for sale.
After further investigation Franciskovich was arrested for possession of marijuana for sale.
Franciskovich was booked into the Mendocino County Jail where he was to be held in lieu of $25,000 bail.
(Sheriff’s Office Press Release)
LITTLE DOG WAITS FOR HIS FRIEND, MR. LITTLE BIRD, TO COME OUT OF THE BIRD HOUSE.
COLUMBUS DAY 1962 — ONE NASTY STORM 54 YEARS AGO TODAY
ON THIS DAY in 1962 Mendosa's Warehouse, on the northeast corner of Lansing and Capella Streets, lost the front of its building due to a storm which was likely the leading edge of the infamous Columbus Day Storm of 1962. That storm was associated with scores of deaths, record rains, and flooding. Eleven billion board feet of timber blew down down in less than twelve hours in northern California, Oregon, and Washington. Maximum winds were difficult to judge because many anemometers did not survive the storm.
MENDO TV EXPLAINS WHY THEY NON-PERSONED REX GRESSETT, AND REX GRESSETT EXPLAINS WHY MENDO TV WAS WRONG TO DO IT
"As a follow up to the removal of Rex Gressett from our City Council Forum I feel an explanation is necessary. Rex has gone howling to the moon over the ill treatment he has undergone. This lunatic forgets that he has written to the newspapers to denounce his candidacy twice previous to our Forum last Wednesday. He is having problems establishing tenancy cause this dog has fleas.
Meanwhile he ignores one of the worst environmental disasters to visit the Noyo Harbor. While his scow is sitting on the floor of the river leaking pollutants, squatting outside of City Limits, Rex thinks that pretending to live in the city gives him some right to run a campaign of threats and insults to gratify his dream of being a citizen journalist while being egged on by others who want to hide behind his pretensions of relevance.
Rex licks the hands of the men on the City Council while he barks at every woman on the City’s Staff as if they are paid to endure his vile insults and lies, hiding his misogynistic attitude behind a veil of Free Speech and his “Constitutional right to be an assh*le.”
The lack of civility in this year’s election process has got to stop. Rex stepped over several boundaries.
Rex is a loquacious storyteller who never quite makes a point, isn’t accurate and shows a complete lack of understanding how government gets funded.
We edited out 30 minutes of irrelevant commentary that could have been better spent getting to the backlog of questions on Marianne’s list. 1/3 of the total show was wasted on his chatter. How rude to the rest of us. Especially to our audience, we are sorry. He denied that he wasn’t really running, ranted to his supporters and made great threats so, at a very short notice, Marianne agreed to allow him on the show with several conditions.
Rex’s thinly veiled insults directed at Scott Menzies and his continuous fawning over Bernie & Will was inappropriate as we attempted to create a fair atmosphere for ALL of the candidates. Using our forum to canvas for another candidate is disingenuous at best, may be outright fraudulent but is certainly rude.
Our responsibility to a journalistic ethos tells us that when we discover we are being used to spread a fraud and we discover that the information given to us is fraudulent, I can choose to edit that fraudulent statement from our forum. A time consuming task but I’m happy with the results."
* * *
My dog does not have fleas, my ship is not a scow, it is a schooner, and it is quite clearly afloat. Other than that I am somewhat reluctant to reply to Mr. Vaughn.
It is very considerate of Mr. Vaughn to take it upon himself to protect the people of Fort Bragg from their own inability to make important decisions.
Before Terry set us all straight I had the naive idea that a candidate that was wrong or even rude ought to be more exposed to public scrutiny not exempted from it.
My Vaughan does not trust you to make up your own mind. He thinks that it is his responsibility as an experienced journalist to decide for the people what they ought to know, and what they ought to hear.
He worries that without his censor’s pen the people will fall like bowling pins into the stratagems of the unscrupulous. Therefore he has appointed himself the arbiter of the dialogue, and bravely taken decisive action to ensure that you don't get confused. Terry Vaughn is concerned to save the people from the annoyance of opinions that he does not share and therefore dose not want you to know.
His method is not to refute anything that I said, or even to say what it was that I did say, but saving himself the inconvenience of being specific simply to defame. To hear him tell it my contributions to the dialogue were limited to raving irrelevancies and atrocious manners.
He puts it to you that I exceeded my allotted time by thirty minuets dominating the dialogue and distracting people from the otherwise sensible discourse One third of the total show he declares (in understandable outrage) was devoted to my “chatter”. How rude he remarks.
I thought I spoke only when the format allowed it, and said nothing in between. Because of his power to censor you will never know.
He puts it to you that I raved and ranted but he declines to allow you to see what could only be an embarrassment to me if it were true. Sorry you will never know.
He said that I licked the hands of Berne and Will, (I think he meant lick the feet but perhaps delicacy prevented it.) and that I unleashed barely veiled threats against Scott Menzies although he does not tell us what those threats were and again does not trust the pubic to make their own evaluation.
The general idea that you would get from his apology for chopping up the debate and censoring it unto unintelligibility is that I had somehow gained access to the precincts of the righteous and had convulsed in an orgy of bad judgment and bad manners.
You gentle reader must thank him for his concern. He protected you, he expects your gratitude. By himself he has restored civility to the election. Praise to him. And thanks.
I will only say and it is a minor point that when I was originally excluded from the debate, It was not by making “great threats “ as he says, that I was allowed into the forum. As I recall the situation was that if I had been excluded the other candidates also would have refused to appear. That would have been an embarrassment to Terry Vaughn, but smart guy that he is, he got around all of us after the fact by clever editing and thereby elegantly resolved the problems that our mutual civility as candidates presented to him.
I do not think, I will never think that censorship is useful or productive of understanding. And I know in my gut that the people of Fort Bragg and those in the county that are interested do not think so either.
So perhaps without belaboring this incident too much, perhaps it is reasonable to ask what it actually was that I said that provoked him to an action that can only be expected to generate contempt and disdain among thinking people, whether they agree with me or not. He must know. So why did he embark on a solitary enterprise to distort by omission what dialogue and indeed what disagreements had come to light in the election?
I do not really know what he was thinking and I think that there has been enough speculation as to the motives of others.
It is much to be desired that we all speak for ourselves and so I welcome any refutations he might present. But it is hard not to notice a couple of facts. I do not say that they are conclusatory as the lawyers say, but they are unlike his crude insults, facts.
First of all some of you who have lived in the city for a while might recall that at one time the city had a public television station all its own Channel 3. It was whatever its flaws a beloved institution in Fort Bragg. Volunteers not only did their own thing on it. They paid the freight to be on it the station. It cost the city nothing but in fact the city got quite a bit of money from Com Cast only a fraction of which was ever seen by the station. Most people thought that channel 3 was one of the really nice things that distinguished us as a community.
The city manager Linda Ruffing killed it. A lawsuit over the building from which they operated went against our all-volunteer station. They lost their building. That fact had not one thing to do with the discontinuance of the station. The cities beloved Foot-lighters won the suite over the building but absolutely did all that they could to keep MCTV going. They fairly enough wanted their building and by law they got it. They did not want to end the station. But it was ended by Ruffing. However the city in jolly good humor, kept the money that com cast paid to provide public television and turned the whole mess over to Terry Vaughn, who proceeded to milk the city for tens of thousands, I do not know how much it is doubtful that anyone does but Terry Vaughn and the operatives for the city. He became the television station and used the money from the city to fund his own programs which he ran for money on the station, he kept the advertising dollars, he got repeated funding from the city. No more of that volunteer bull.
Terry owes the city. He owes Linda Ruffing big time. When it comes to our stolen television station he has become the city.
In the forum (although you will never know it) the question was put to the candidates “What single thing would abate the contention and incivility of the last two years. I am of necessity paraphrasing.
I said in my turn, fire Linda Ruffing and much in the way of in-transparency that many good citizens find objectionable would dissipate like morning dew.
They really did not like that.
I said it not to be mean. It is only that I am not altogether of the view that the forcible suppression of controversy is in the interests of the people of the city. I do not think that the opposition to the city council and to the political machine that Linda Ruffing runs and that also controls the local newspaper and certainly controls the new public/private tv station that Terry runs for them would have been salutary or productive. I thought that opposition to a political machine was a patriotic and even moral obligation.
I am certainly not in favor of incivility but I am even less in favor of in transparency.
Censorship is the ultimate in in-transparency. Defamation is their only tool. It has always been that way and it is that way now. More soon.
“IT’S ABOUT TIME!”
A Fundraiser Supporting Arts in the Schools and Scholarships for Young Artists
It’s time again for another lively and fun-filled Anderson Valley Arts (AVArts) fundraiser with the upcoming “It’s About Time!” live auction of time-inspired artworks by local artists. Proceeds will support AVArts’ scholarships and supplemental arts programs in the schools.
The event will be held on Sunday, October 23rd at Lauren’s restaurant in Boonville from 4:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. Enjoy the musical entertainment of Patty Liddy and sample locally-made finger foods and a complimentary glass of Anderson Valley wine or grape juice, while supporting our young artists.
Participating artists donating artworks to the auction include Deanna Apfel, Chris Bing, Doug Browe, Paula Gray, Susan Gross, Sony Hatcher, Charlie Hochberg, Wally Hopkins, Via Keller, Cathleen Micheaels, Jaye Moscariello, Judy Nelson, Helen Papke, Sandy Rubin, Steve Rubin, Marvin Schenck, Colleen Schenck, Jan Wax and Jody Williams. A selection of the artwork will be on display at Lauren’s prior to the event.
AVArts has supported arts education in Anderson Valley since 1999. The non-profit’s work reinforces community spirit and makes the arts a more visible and important presence in Anderson Valley. Over the years, and with support from local businesses, artists and the community, AVArts has awarded dozens of scholarships to graduating seniors pursuing the study of the arts in college as well as scholarships for students in grades 3rd -12th grade to attend special arts-related classes, workshops and events. AVArts also awards grants for supplemental arts programming in the elementary, junior and high schools, providing diverse, high quality visual, literary and performing arts programs to Anderson Valley students which would not otherwise be possible.
Tickets, which are $20, will be available at the door and include entry to the event, a glass of wine or grape juice and light local finger foods. For more information, visit www.av-arts.org or send us an email at email@example.com.
PROJECT SANCTUARY RECOGNIZES OCTOBER as National Domestic Violence Awareness Month through the Purple Night Lights Program; announces expanded services for victims of abuse in Laytonville, Point Arena and Boonville
[Ukiah, CA – October 10, 2016th 2015] Project Sanctuary, a domestic violence and rape crisis center serving all of Mendocino County, is recognizing October as National Domestic Violence Awareness Month through the ‘Purple Night Lights’ program and announcing services to isolated areas.
Domestic violence service providers throughout the US routinely set side October as a time to do outreach on the topic of relationship violence, and Project Sanctuary has joined in with the ‘Purple Night Lights’ program. Purple is the nationally recognized color of the domestic violence movement and by lighting windows throughout the month of October with purple lights, participating community members ‘honor those lost, support those who have survived, and give hope to those still in domestic violence situations’. According to Project Sanctuary Coast Services Director Lia Holbrook, the ‘Purple Night Lights’ campaign is rolling out on the coast this year as a test. Said Holbrook, “We are piloting the Purple Night Lights campaign out of our Fort Bragg counseling center this year as a sort of a test run by partnering with local businesses, agencies, and law enforcement. If all goes as planned, we hope to expand and ‘light the county purple’ next year. This campaign provides a simple, affordable way for community members to ’shine a light’ on a challenging topic and display that domestic violence has no place in our community". Started in the state of Washington by the Covington Domestic Violence Task Force, the idea is simple. Either pick up a string of purple lights from Project Sanctuary or purchase your own, and put them in a window for the month of October with one of the ‘purple night lights’ signs, which can be found on the Project Sanctuary webpage at www.propjectsanctuary.org. “The nice thing is that Domestic Violence Awareness Month (DVAM) is also the same month as Halloween so purple string lights are widely available. Black lights, the kind that folks used to use to light up posters in the 70’s work really well too, “continued Holbrook.
Project Sanctuary has also chosen DVAM to announce an expansion of their services to geographically isolated areas of the county. “Through a partnership with the Mendocino County Victim Witness program, we now have counseling available four days a week on the South Coast at the RCMS Dental Clinic in Point Arena and in the northern inland area at the Long Valley Health Center in Laytonville,” said Project Sanctuary Executive Director Dina Polkinghorne. She continued, “Seeking help to overcome domestic violence and sexual assault crisis has its own unique challenges. It’s not like simply going to the Dr when you have the flu. These are highly emotional and traumatic events that often take quite a bit of courage just to make a call. Now add to that the challenge of living in an isolated area where you are sometimes a 2-3 hour round trip drive from your support system or our counseling centers in Ukiah or Fort Bragg. Isolated survivors can feel terribly alone and hopeless and we’re hoping to remedy that with this expansion.” Funded through the California Office of
* * *
Emergency Services UV Program, not only will these victims have access to Project Sanctuary services, but the county Victim Witness program will be coming online soon, as well as group counseling opportunities. This wrap around type of service can provide counseling and crisis intervention, victim witness support and advocacy at court, and can assist victims with restraining order advocacy as well. “Needless to say, we are thrilled to have localized assistance available to isolated survivors in these communities,” said Polkinghorne.
In addition to UV-funded services in the south coast and northern inland area, Project Sanctuary has partnered with the Anderson Valley Health Center to have a bilingual Project Sanctuary client advocate/counselor available on-site every Fridays from 10 – 3:30. Said Polkinghorne, “We’re so grateful to have the support of the these local clinics in Booneville, Point Arena, and Laytonville, all of which have been so enthusiastically willing to provide the space we need to do the work we do. They’ve been terrific to work with.”
Those in a domestic violence or sexual assault crisis on the South Coast can call Project Sanctuary at (707) 882-3457, in the Anderson Valley at (707) 895-3477, and in the northern inland county area call (707) 894-6131.
For more information visit www.projectsanctuary.org. The Project Sanctuary crisis line is available 24/7 on the coast at (707) 964-HELP and inland Mendocino County at (707) 463-HELP.
(Project Sanctuary, Inc is a private, not-for-profit organization with the mission is to prevent domestic violence and sexual assault in Mendocino County through advocacy, crisis response, community collaboration, education, and shelter. Founded in 1977, Project Sanctuary assists over 2,000 clients annually and is supported by state and local funds and contributions from individual donors.)
CATCH OF THE DAY, October 11, 2016
Allen, Bartel-Binderup, Bautista
LORNA ALLEN, Willits. Failure to appear, probation revocation.
VANESSA BARTEL-BINDERUP, Ukiah. Assault with deadly weapon not a gun.
MANUEL BAUTISTA, Ukiah. DUI.
Delmonte, Lightwood, Mateo-Martinez, Moore
SKYLER DELMONTE, Laytonville. DUI, resisting, probation revocation.
CLIVE LIGHTWOOD, Fort Bragg. Failure to appear.
MODESTO MATEO-MARTINEZ, Ukiah. Controlled substance, possession of drugs while armed, loaded firearm in public.
BRIAN MOORE, Larkspur/Ukiah. DUI.
Mullins, Nelson, Nielsen
MIRANDA MULLINS, Laytonville. Controlled substance, failure to appear.
TONY NELSON, Ukiah. DUI, suspended license, disobedience to traffic officer.
ALMA NIELSEN, Concord/Redwood Valley. Domestic assault.
Palacios, Thrilkill, Williams
JOHN PALACIOS, Fort Bragg. Interfering with business.
MIKAYLA THRILKILL, Ukiah. Failure to appear.
WILLIAM WILLIAMS JR., Willits. Drunk in public, probation revocation.
by James Kunstler
Last night’s debate raises some interesting questions, such as: would the Romans have elected Caligula if given the chance to vote? Can the Republican party recover from Donald Trump? If the party poobahs “pull the plug” on Trump, as some are threatening to do (that is, cut off funds to his campaign), will they go down the drain with him anyway? Is the USA a nation or just the world’s biggest comedy club? Where is the Deep State when you really need it?
That odor wafting across the land is the smell of Republicans with their hair on fire. Yet the gloat of astonishment on Hillary’s face as she witnesses the Queeg-like crack-up of her rival will eventually fade as she discerns the wreckage awaiting her in the oval office. Weep for your country!
The only good to come out of this sordid election is the certainty that a lot of political debris will be swept away in the Fourth Turning underway. Out of the miasma of idiocy and posture that is this election campaign, the hard-edged realities of our time will emerge and the TV audience will come to the stark recognition that it is not just another mere entertainment.
The other major nations of the world are not so much ganging up on America, as Hillary would have it, but reasonably attempting to ring-fence the mad bull that the USA has become — as the two candidates vie to start World War Three with China and Russia respectively. The last resort of the scoundrels in today’s version of the “yellow press” is to blame Russia for attempting to meddle in our election. War, children, it’s just a shot away.
It is getting to be too late to sort out all the confusion sown by this horrific campaign. From here on its really more a matter of the dust settling. In background of it all looms the train-wreck of global finance, which will be the true determinant of what the American people will have to do in the years ahead. During the weeks of the election distraction, the European banks struggle to conceal their insolvency while the politicians of Euro-land desperately try to paper over the cracks in these fracturing institutions. Few can tell what is actually happening in China’s banking system, but it’s sending out ominous tremors that are hard to ignore. But be sure it is all daisy-chained right into Wall Street and the US banks. The potential for wrecking markets and currencies around the world is extreme at this moment. It may only be a matter of whether it happens before or after the election.
Then we’ll see what happens when financial institutions can’t trust each other. Trade stops. Economies crumble. Pretenses evaporate. If it gets bad enough, the shelves of the supermarkets go bare in three days and you’re living in a permanent hurricane disaster without the wind and rain. Believe me, that will be bad enough. Hillary, if elected, will not get to play FDR-2. Rather, she’ll be stuck in the role of Hoover, the Return, presiding over a freight elevator of an economy with a broken cable. Expect problems with the US dollar. Expect “emergency” actions. Expect the unintended consequences of those actions.
If there is one outstanding upshot of these “debates” it must be their staggering failure to reassure the American public that they can expect effective leadership through the hardships ahead. There must be many others out there like myself wondering who will emerge from the rubble? I suspect it will be someone we haven’t heard of before, just as Bonaparte was unheard of in France in 1792. This is not entirely a nation of clowns, though it feels like that lately.
(Support Kunstler’s writing by visiting his Patreon Page: https://www.patreon.com/JamesHowardKunstler?ty=h)
ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY
It is Thanksgiving here in Canada and many Canadians are thankful that the American Circus is south of the border. Whatever happens, we will be living next to dangerously unstable neighbour. I expect that there are more than a few ambitious individuals sizing up the opportunities for building a popular movement for radical change by building on the forces released by Messrs Trump and Sanders. Juan Peron comes to mind as a model but it will likely be a uniquely American thing. Pray for a peaceful transition but be prepared for trouble.
WOMEN ENCOURAGED to Take Time for Their Health During "Ladies Night Out" event at HMH
WILLITS, CA -- Women are always so busy taking care of others that they forget to take care of themselves. But during the month of October, in celebration of Breast Cancer Awareness month, Frank Howard Memorial Hospital (HMH) is encouraging women of all ages to take time for themselves during its first ever "Ladies Night Out" event. Scheduled for Tuesday, October 18, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., the event promises to be fun, inspiring and informative.
Moms, daughters, friends can all have fun while shopping for unique items at the new hospital Gift Shop, and trying out appetizers from Roots Restaurant. Attendees can also enjoy massages, giveaways, chat with a women's health specialist and make an appointment for a mammogram.
HMH's medical imaging team will also be on site to answer questions about breast health and mammograms. "While we wanted this to be something fun, we also want women to realize that it's okay to take time to take care of themselves, and getting a mammogram is one of the many ways they can do that," explains Katie Hageman, medical imaging director at HMH.
Kimberly Faucher, MD, women's health specialist agrees. "One in eight women will develop breast cancer in their lifetime. That means almost all of us will know someone - a mother, a sister, wife, daughter or a co-worker struck by this disease. It's important to take the first step at fighting this disease, and that includes getting a mammogram every year once you turn 40."
Following the massages and the shopping, Dr. Faucher will be on hand to answer questions about women's health during an informal Q&A session. "Being a woman is not easy. There are so many things we have to think about when it comes to our health; regular screenings, hormones, menopause, and certain cancers. It's important to stay on top of things and make sure we are taking care of ourselves too."
The American Cancer Society recommends that women get screening mammograms starting at 40. For women who have a history of breast cancer in their families, Dr. Faucher recommends starting screenings earlier. "For example, if your mom was diagnosed with breast cancer at age 40, you should begin yearly screenings when you turn 30. Regular mammograms can help find breast cancer at an early stage, when treatment is more likely to be successful," she explains.
There's also another exam you can do by yourself and at the comfort of your own home -- a breast self-exam. "Doing regular breast exams can give you an idea of what your breast should feel like, so that you can tell when something is off, and you can bring it to your doctor's attention for further testing."
The "Ladies' Night Out" event will be held at the Medical Imaging lobby, located on the first floor of the new hospital. To reserve your spot, please call 707-456-3591.
The average mammogram screening takes just five minutes to schedule and approximately 15 minutes to complete. HMH has a state-the-art imaging department which provides diagnostic x-ray, CT scanning, digital mammography, bone mineral density scanning (dexa), ultrasound, echo cardiology, and MRI. For more information or to schedule a mammogram please call 707.456.3090.
(Frank R. Howard Memorial Hospital is part of Adventist Health, a faith-based, nonprofit integrated health system serving more than 75 communities in California, Hawaii, Oregon and Washington. Our workforce of 32,700 includes more than 23,400 employees; nearly 5,000 medical staff physicians; and 4,300 volunteers. Founded on Seventh-day Adventist heritage and values, Adventist Health provides compassionate care in 19 hospitals, more than 260 clinics (hospital-based, rural health and physician clinics), 15 home care agencies, seven hospice agencies and four joint-venture retirement centers. In addition, the Adventist Health Plan serves patients in Kings County. Adventist Health ranked #10 in Becker's list of the largest nonprofit hospital systems in the U.S. for 2015. Visit howardhospital.org
for more information.)
ARE YOU PREPARED TO BE AN ACTIVIST ON NOV. 9TH?
On Wednesday, November 9th we must all be ready to BE ACTIVISTS! Here are just some of the crucial issues that we must get Active about:
Ending and controlling Nuclear Weapons. We must have an Arms Embargo to save Syria and the whole Middle East, especially regarding Saudi Arabia. A Public Option/Medicare for ALL for all US healthcare now! A GREEN JOBS NEW DEAL: Jobs for All in the Renewables Industry and more! Solar Panels for every household! If you/we can't afford it, the government must help us pay for it. NOW! Pushing for LEAVE IT IN THE GROUND, and an end to Fossil Fuels extraction immediately.
How do we pay for all of this? CUT THE PENTAGON AND MILITARY BUDGET immediately! End the lawlessness of the corporations now: Banks, Drug Companies, the entire "Healthcare Industry" and all other corporate marauders in our country who are screwing us blind.
We must all support the Black Lives Matter Movement, an end to mass incarceration, state sanctioned police murder and violence, and stand up for Justice for all People Of Color in our country and the world! Speak out against white supremacy now.
If we do not all Become Activists NOW, it is game over for our planet! Let's get ACTIVE!!
TICKER TAPE VS. SEX TAPE: Notes on the Town Brawl in St. Louis
by Jeffrey St. Clair
+ Forty years ago, Germaine Greer pretty much summed up this weekend’s filth-fest: “Is it too much to ask that women be spared the daily struggle for superhuman beauty in order to offer it to the caresses of a subhumanly ugly mate?”
+ How providential for Hillary that the Washington Post publishes the Trump the Lecher tapes on the same day Wikileaks dumps a damning email trove from the inbox of John Podesta that would have killed any other campaign.
+ Or perhaps it wasn’t so providential after all.
+ The Podesta emails reveal, among many other salacious matters, how the Clintons have perfected the art of seducing, coddling and manipulating the press to plant and “tee up” stories they want told, the way they want them told, when they want them told…
+ More conspiratorially, the emails also disclose fresh information on the Clintons’ role in the rise of Trump. Two months before Trump declared his candidacy, the Clinton team circulated a memo on the “strategic goal of elevating” Trump, as a kind of poison pill in the gut of the GOP. Trump was their preferred candidate and they worked frantically to help launch his campaign and fuel his ascent, knowing he would detonate prematurely like one of those SpaceX rockets.
+ This week HRC sends Al Gore out on the campaign trail as her personal envoy to millennials, despite three allegations against the former VP for sexual assault. Why no outrage from feminists or Nationmagazine editors?
+ Josh and I interviewed Al Gore’s Portland accuser for a couple of hours. She sounded very credible to us.
+ I thought it was now incumbent upon liberal minded people to believe the stories of victims of sexual assault? But apparently liberal politicians are exempt from this rule.
+ Indeed, liberals habitually dismiss these sorts of allegations against their own kind–JFK (worshipped as a national demi-god, even after his sexual relationship with a 19-year-old intern named Mimi Alford), Bill Clinton (sexual assault allegations by Paula Jones, Kathrine Willey and Juanita Brodderick), Joe Biden (who had a notorious reputation for “hitting on” senate staffers, including the wife of a longtime CounterPunch writer), Ted Kennedy, who killed one woman and was allegedly involved in a 3-way with another Democratic senator (and one-time presidential candidate), an encounter known among DC insiders as “the waitress sandwich.” All still viewed as Heroes by the Left.
+ When it comes to reprobate wingmen and sex procurers, Billy Bush is not nearly as imposing as the Arkansas State Troopers.
+ How much carbon has HRC burned in pursuit of $$ from Hollywood moguls, the men who run the industry that invented the “casting couch”?
+ Tim Kaine called the Iraq War a “noble cause” (in 2006!), call me sexist but I find this more offensive than Trump’s piggish priapic boasts. (Frank Green, “After Iraq, Afghan Trip, Kaine Says Morale Of Troops Is High,” Richmond Times Dispatch, 3/18/06)
+ I think it should be a prerequisite for every presidential candidate to appear on The Howard Stern Show at least once. Stern is the postmodern Freud, dredging up the demons lurking in our politicians’ subconscious for public dissection and ridicule. Keep plumbing the muck, Howard, a grateful nation tunes its lonely ears to you.
+ A large part of the uproar over the Trump tapes is driven not by the fact that Trump’s comments are shocking but because they are so familiar. We’ve heard similar, perhaps even more rancid, things from our fathers, uncles, brothers, coaches, teachers, pastors, teammates, and friends. Perhaps we’ve even made similar comments ourselves. Now the public wants to project its own shame onto Trump. His humiliation serves as a kind catharsis for the nation’s own systemic sexism. Perhaps NOW will give him a medal one day for his “sacrifice”…
+ What if the Trump tape had been hacked and leaked by the Israelis or Saudis? Would HRC denounce as an attempt to manipulate US elections?
+ Does Melania have access to mini-Donald’s or creepy Eric’s gun cabinet? The NRA-types she’s been hanging with lately will have taught her to aim true…
+ So Pence cancelled his planned Sunday appearance with Trump. Just rewards for Trump picking a bigoted and moralizing Christian conservative as his running mate.
+ Trump has vowed not to resign. But what if Pence does? Will they have to adjust the ballast on Air Trump to accommodate the bulk freight of Chris Christie?
+ The GOP is just fine with Trump’s racist insults of blacks, Hispanics, Muslims, body-shaming of women, adultery, past allegations of sexual assault and rape. Finally draws the line at what, exactly? Profanity?
+ Racist GOP scumbags suddenly jumping like rats from the listing SS Trump. Is there no honor among sleaze?
+ I used to believe that the title of most ridiculous liberal columnist was a two-person race between between Thomas Friedman and Nicholas Kristof. But a third contender has suddenly emerged to challenge these two titans of tedium, the Nation’s National Editor John Nichols. This weekend Nichols, keyboarding from the secure confines of his Madison panic room, began firing off Tweets about the Trump fiasco, none more ludicrous than this one:
The “Party of Lincoln” cannot be the “Party of Trump.” Republicans who defend Trump at this point place partisanship ahead of principle.
Really, John? Principle?
Why do Liberals like Nichols care about the “integrity” of the GOP or assume that it has had any for the last 150 years? The GOP hasn’t been the “party of Lincoln” since, well, Lincoln was assassinated.
Are we to assume that the GOP adhered to its principles during the graft-plagued administrations of Taft, Coolidge, and Hoover?
When “good” Republicans plotted a coup d’etat against FDR?
Did they stick firmly to their principles during the McCarthy era witch hunts? During the Nixon administration? Was it principled to firebomb Hanoi? Bomb Laos, Cambodia and the Brookings Institution? Break into the Watergate and the office of Daniel Ellsberg’s shrink?
Was Henry Kissinger a man of principle? Were they acting on high moral principles when the CIA overthrew Salvador Allende? Connived in the genocidal slaughter of East Timor?
Was the Iran/contra deal consecrated as an act of principle? How about Reagan’s new war on drugs? The busting of the PATCO strike? The glorious invasion of Grenada? The arming of the Contras and the Mujahideen?
Was the first Gulf War a moral war? How about the Iraq War? The PATRIOT Act? CIA renditions? Daisy-cutter bombs? Abu Ghraib? Enhanced interrogations, waterboarding and torture?
What are these “principles” of which you speak, Mr. Nichols?
+ Frankly, I don’t know if The Nation will be able to retain Nichols. If he keeps producing material this rich, the New York Times may well make him an offer he can’t refuse and we may soon find him grazing in the same stable with Friedman, Kristof and David Brooks.
+ As my friend Michael Donnelly was quick to point out, many of the high-profile Republicans who have heeded Nichols’s call to denounce Trump, mighty men of honor like Mitch McConnell, have played decisive roles in blocking the Violence Against Women Act and other bills aimed at redressing de facto and de jure sexism.
+ Of course liberals like Nichols, who want Trump to step (or be hoisted) aside for a politician of ironclad principle like Mike Pence, might wish to reconsider, given the fact that Pence has stubbornly refused to pardon Keith Cooper, an Elkhart, Indiana man who served 10 years in prison for a crime he didn’t commit. Even Cooper’s prosecutor urged Pence to pardon the innocent man. Pence refused. On principle.
+ Lost in the Trump the Lecher tape frenzy are the new details about how HRC & the Wall Street investors in her campaign are conspiring to rape the economy.
+ For starters, how about the revelation, largely unremarked upon, of Hillary’s stealth scheme to overhaul (that is, privatize and cut benefits) Social Security?
+ Then there’s the fealty she pledged to Wall Street, as disclosed in her Goldman speeches. Goldman didn’t pay all that money to listen to her feeble ideas on the economy. They paid for her to act on theirs. Here’s a direct link to an 80-page document prepared by Clinton campaign of “damaging” material from Hillary’s paid speeches.
+ Clinton campaign manager Robby Mook: “It’s a little troubling that Clinton Foundation meeting was held in Goldman Sachs HQ.” You think?
+ Bill Clinton made $375K from speeches to Keystone Pipeline related interests, while Hillary, at State, helped fine-tune the messaging. Ka-Ching! Sierra Club and The Nation endorse anyway!! Ka-Ching!!
+ Never mind the Wall St. talks / let’s print a Trump sex tape / I’ll salute the Stein campaign / and I hope somebody relates / I’m so Gored by the USA / But what can I do?
+ Trump has now demonstrated that he has at least two important qualifications necessary to become President of the United States: raping and looting. War-making still to be determined.
+ If, as the NYT and Nate Silver now assert, the election is now all over but for the shouting and Hillary is assured of total victory over Trump, then Bernie Sanders no longer needs to debase his movement by continuing to serve as the Huckster-in-Chief for her campaign. So why does he persist?
+ But the election may not be over. Trump will still get between 40-45% of the WOMEN’s vote and 60% of white males. It’s all about turnout in a basketful of “deplorable” states. I heard Liberal media types this weekend castigating Fox News for spending more time on Hurricane Matthew, a superstorm that has already killed nearly 1000 people, than airing endless repeats of the Trump tape, which only confirm what we already knew about him. But electorally, Matthew may prove more damaging to Clinton than the tapes to Trump, especially if the damage from the storm displaces many black voters in North Carolina and Florida.
+ Speaking of Matthew, how long before Hurricane Hillary descends on Haiti once again to afflict yet more misery on the island nation’s les miserables in the name of reconstruction?
+ Trump’s core supporters don’t seem too ruffled by their champion’s vulgar badinage. A CBS poll in Ohio has shown that 91% of Trump voters haven’t altered their views about the mogul.
+ Note from Julian Assange: “We have published 1% of the #PodestaEmails so far. Additional publications will proceed throughout the election period.” Tick tock, tick tock.
+ Remember when the same liberals, now feigning outrage over Trump, dismissed the Clinton scandals (including rape allegations) as being “just about sex?”
+ MoveOn.org originated as a movement to “get beyond” the Clinton scandals. “Censor and move on” was their rallying cry. Now they are one of the biggest purveyors of Trump trash, forsaking substantive issues such as war, trade, transparency, torture, death penalty, climate change, et al., which might prove problematic for HRC.
+ Rape and sex assault allegations against Trump are nothing new, starting with claims made by his ex-wife Ivana. Media did nothing to investigate. Why? Making too much $$ off of those Trump ratings?
+ NBC was to Trump what Fox News was to Ailes. Both corporations enabled and then covered up systemic sexual harassment of their women employees to protect their moneymakers. NBC News knew about the existence of the Access Hollywood tapes (same network), knew what was on them and chose not to disclose them until after they were leaked to the Washington Post.
+ Henry Kissinger said pretty much the same thing as Trump about the impunity of “stars” for their unwanted sexual advances on women, only Henry put it in the anodyne syntax of Kissingerian diplomacy when he described his own inexplicable sexual exploits by saying: “Power is the ultimate aphrodisiac.” HRC, naturally, is now courting Kissinger’s advice, favor and support.
+ As for crudities of this sort there are so many examples from the mouth of Bill Clinton that they could fill a Gazetteer of Filth. According to friends, Bubba just can’t stop bragging about his sexual conquests (I used that word advisedly). Here’s a relatively tame slur, as reported by Jeffrey Toobin in his book A Vast Conspiracy: “Gennifer Flowers could suck a tennis ball through a garden hose.”
+ Meanwhile, the lives of 10s of millions of women will be flattened by the policies concocted by HRC, Goldman Sachs and Wall Street and Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders will be on the road signing her praises for the next three weeks.
+ Tonight’s debate will be moderated by Anderson Cooper (Net worth: $100 million) and the impoverished Martha Raddatz (Net worth: $17 million). Apparently Jerry Springer had another engagement. No word on whether the chairs will be nailed to the floor.
+ Trump warmed up for the evening’s face-off by holding a press conference with three women who have accused Bill Clinton of sexual assault: Juanita Broaddrick, Paula Jones, and Kathleen Willey, as well as Kathy Shelton, who was 12-years old when raped by a man later defended at trial by Hillary Clinton.
Trump invited Broaddrick, Willey and Jones to be his personal guests tonight at the debate. I wonder if Paula Jones rebuked Trump for his crude joke about her in 1992, when he told Howard Stern it was “too bad she didn’t run faster from Bill Clinton.”
No word on whether they will be seated next to Melania. Stay classy, Donald.
+ It turns out the accusers are sitting right in front of Sen. Dick Durbin, the Illinois Democrat, who pretends not to notice.
+ Big media pre-debate question: Will Bill Clinton shake Melania’s hand? Of course, he’s Bill Clinton! Though he appeared to linger a little longer on Ivanka’s hand, perhaps wondering, for just a moment, if he had the same privilege that her father had granted Howard Stern to call her “a piece of ass.”
+ No handshake between the opponents. Grim smiles. Hillary’s like the Grim Reaper’s. Trump’s merely grim.
+ Hillary seems to argue that mudslinging in the campaign is more disturbing to children than blood-strewn craters left by drone strikes.
+ Trump sounds like he’s on ludes. Depressed, deflated, doomed.
+ First Trump sniff. No apology.
+ Hillary says she never questioned the fitness of previous Republican presidents. That explains a lot.
+ HRC wants the world to know America is great because we are good. They already know we are good at bombing…
+ Trump’s initial assault on Bill Clinton was pretty weak. If you’re going to poke the tiger you’d better kill it. Those were soft, garbled, glancing blows. Hillary is handing him his head on his own golden platter.
Trump wants a new special prosecutor to look into Hillary’s emails. After Ken Starr got fired from Baylor for whitewashing sexual assaults on campus by football players, he’s probably looking for a new gig.
+ Hillary says people should “fat-check” Trump in real time! No wonder her website finally got some traffic.
+ Quaaludes appear to be wearing off. Old Trump re-emerging.
+ Trump calls for HRC to be jailed, then turns on Cooper and Radditz, snapping “Why don’t you ask about the emails, Cooper? Great, it’s one-on-three.”
+ Trump sniffing so badly now he may need a coke break, per the “diagnosis” of Dr. Howard Dean.
+ Apparently, Hillary doesn’t know that ObamaCare still gives your health care over to the insurance companies.
+ Neither candidate made the slightest bit of sense in talking about health care. Trump was so befuddled he accused Hillary of backing single payer, one of the night’s great howlers.
+ Trump has started dropping standard Republican code words like Block Grant randomly into each paragraph in an attempt to redeem himself with the American Enterprise Institute crowd.
+ Hillary talks about how much she loves Muslims, when they behave. Otherwise, she’ll drone them without regrets.
+ Hillary says we are not at war with Islam. We are at war in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Somalia, Pakistan’s border regions, covertly in Iran…Muslims can judge for themselves.
+ Trump to Hillary: “You gave Iran $450 million in cash. That’s enough money to fill this room.” But still $450 million less than his tax write off.
+ Carl G. Estabrook: “‘When people fly into our country…’ First 9-11 reference?”
+ More and more, Hillary Clinton reminds me of Tony Blair in a pantsuit.
+ When Russia bombs, only children die. When America bombs, children run away, hide and are never heard from again.
+ Clinton gives two-faced answer about being a two-faced politician. Blames Lincoln. Then blames Putin!
+ Trump makes a rational statement about desiring a normalized working relationship with Russia. Is immediately condemned by liberals as a tool of Putin. Expect drone strike soon.
+ If Doctor Dean’s assessment is correct, then Trump should start injecting himself. His sinuses are shot. (For video instructions see Clive Owen in “The Knick.”)
+ After 10 brain-numbing minutes on the tax code, the TV audience is now scrambling to open safety-caps on their Quaalude bottles.
+ Aleppo? Aleppo? Aleppo? Why isn’t Gary Johnson here to clarify!
+ Hillary ready to go to war with Russia in Syria. Duck and cover.
+ Johnson said that “Hillary was going to pull that trigger.” She just confirmed it.
+ Bonus points to Trump for stomping on Pence’s neocon fire-breathing on Syria. “I didn’t talk to him and he’s wrong.”
+ Hillary publicly calls for assassination of Baghdadi. She really wants this guy’s head on a stake. Kill Chain foreign policy.
+ We’ve heard about the photos of the children bombed by Assad, where are the photos of the children bombed by Obama/Clinton? The children starved to death by her husband and Madeliene Albright in Iraq?
+ What about the child immigrants from Central America deported by Hillary? Or the children now cowering under the violent new regime in Honduras by US backed coup?
+ Hillary says she is very proud of her relationship with George W. Bush. Of course, she is. But what about Billy?
+ Queen of Fracking gives “two-(or maybe three) faced” answer on energy and climate, keeps nattering on about “bridge fuels”. Bridge to the Inferno.
+ Only a man of Trump’s narcissism and hubris could have made it through tonight. That and the coke.
+ After 100s killed this weekend by US-backed Saudi airstrikes, not one question about Yemen. Another journalistic failure by Syria-obsessed press, especially Martha “Aleppo Aleppo” Raddatz.
+ Best analysis of debate is on Fox News, as Republicans contort themselves over how to react. Liberals rarely feel contorted, except in hot yoga.
+ The Liberal commentariat is horrified by Trump’s threat to investigate and jail HRC. If only Obama had appointed a special prosecutor to investigate & jail Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld and Co. for torture, domestic surveillance and the Iraq War.
Of course, if Bush had been sent to prison for crimes against the US Constitution, he and Obama wouldn’t have had such a jolly time together during the opening of African-American Museum. Prez’s have to watch each other’s backs–after all, most of them do belong in prison.
+ The aversion against prosecuting government officials for their crimes is one reason why cops can kill with impunity and Chelsea Manning rots in jail.
+ So who won? Hard to say. I figure Trump scored at least a draw just by walking out of the building alive, instead of being torn apart by Maenads (his just fate) like Pentheus in Euripides’ “The Bacchae.”
+ I don’t want either of these two answering the call at 3 AM.
(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: firstname.lastname@example.org.)
THE 2016 PRESIDENTIAL DEBASED
Two delusional fools constitute a debate? More like a redundant argument. A debate involves at the very least three intelligent and articulate people. In this case where the topics are already prescribed by the donors and their firm grip on the wheels of fortune and opinion, “debate” is indeed very low theater.
These two assholes represent nothing but the hideous monster talking to itself through your filthy “living” room, and your complacent brains! This is clearly not politics. What it is, is the whiles of a government so totally taken over by the armies of the special interest oligarchies that all hope is wiped out and the theater itself becomes the vessel of meaning. Intelligence is lost in the fanfare of this gross perversion of reality. Where is justice? When will be done with these broken records!
The junior high playground. “I’ll show mine if you’ll show yours”. Pathetic. Retrograde. Mock issues to invade your tissues. This obscene spectacle is very bad for digestion. Warning! May cause lethargy and extreme states of depression!
Talk about special ops. Talk about a cold war style take over of a republic. America is no better off than El Salvador at this point. No better than South Vietnam. No better off than Brazil in the early ’70’s. What goes around comes around. There is no safe side to state violence! Remember Rome?
Politicopornograhpy! Power vomit! Ruling Class pollution! 1% truth, 99% lies!
“Blow up your TV move to the country build you a home” — John Prine
“We need an ARK to survive the drool” — Frank Zappa
“Broken hands on broken ploughs
broken treaties, broken vows
broken pipes,broken tools
people bending broken rules
hound dog howling,
everything is broken”
— Bob Dylan
Cancel the “elections”!
Marvin Blake, Elk
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LOOKED AT FROM WAIKIKI....
The Great Debate
Sitting here comfortably at Waikiki Beach, as the repetitious and visionless 2016 American presidential debate plays out, with both candidates lamenting that the opportunity to present plans for a great national future is not possible due to the intense conflict-oriented behavior of the candidates themselves. Tonight's debate isn't worth a shovel full of a pig's fecal matter. In regard to the two candidates, he's interesting but not qualified, and she's qualified but not interesting. And third party candidates do not have the numerical possibility of being elected. The Earth First! boycott makes sense, due to neither major political party having an environmental plank, but the public is generally unaware of the boycott, so it's not getting much traction yet. None of this phases anybody at Waikiki Beach, and the sunset here is really gorgeous. A Sunday luau is taking place, complete with ukelele players and traditional Hawaiian dancers, and the tiki torches are lit. The Aloha themed bars have sports on, not the presidential debate. There are no political signs anywhere for either Trump or Clinton. On O'ahu you would not know that an election was even happening. Maybe the other 49 states ought to take a lesson from the 50th state, and just chuck the off track "experiment in freedom and democracy", because tonight we will create our own destinies, save our own souls, and are fully prepared for the oncoming global ecological implosion, and besides, aren't you already enlightened? If anybody wants to do anything more in regard to radically responding to the spectacle of global stupidity, you may contact me in the middle of the Pacific Ocean at CraigStehr@inbox.com with your spiritually creative ideas. ~Mahalo, Craig Stehr