Mendocino County Today: Sunday, July 9, 2017
by AVA News Service, July 8, 2017
AIRCRAFT EMERGENCY LANDING ON FREEWAY
On July 8, 2017 at approximately 1215 hours, Ukiah CHP Communications Center began receiving reports of a plane landing on US-101 near Gobbi St. in Ukiah. The Communications Center immediately dispatched all available CHP units and Fire/Rescue personnel. Upon CHP arrival, it was confirmed that a solo piloted small aircraft made an emergency landing on northbound US-101, south of Talmage Rd., after experiencing a mechanical malfunction. After landing, the pilot managed to park the plane on a wide shoulder and away from the traffic lanes. No injuries were reported by the pilot and he elected to make arrangements for a mechanic to respond. With assistance from the fire department, the freeway perimeter fence was removed and the aircraft was pushed into and adjacent field for the safety of all involved and so freeway traffic would not be impacted. The CHP is documenting the incident and has notified the Federal Aviation Administration and will provide information to the National Traffic Safety Board.
(CHP Press Release)
* * *
Plane That Landed On US-101 Owned By Fort Bragger
MSP heard the FAA "N" number given out over the scanner regarding the plane that had an emergency landing on US-101 in Ukiah this morning. There was no injuries or damage to the airplane.
The plane was a Cessna 150E owned by Lee A Barlow of Fort Bragg. From what we could find, Lee is 64-years-old. The plane is reported to be painted blue & white.
First responders had to remove about 30-feet of fence and a couple of posts to get the plane off the highway easement and CalTrans was informed.
At 12:07 pm, all fire units were available and they were turning over the incident to the CHP. The number 2 lane was also opened.
PHOTO--The type of plane involved in the incident from the web.
Update From Ukiah Regional Airport
The airport posted on their Facebook page @ 12:16 pm, "Pilot and aircraft are fine...it is believed to be a lost cylinder after take off and not enough power to climb or return to airport...airplane made a forced landing on 101 with no damage to aircraft or other vehicles aircraft has been removed from freeway."
A READER WRITES:
Unless you spoke with someone since Wednesday who said differently, the murals are set to be painted over. I never quite got a definitive yes from the fairgrounds manager, don’t remember her name, but she said as much in a roundabout way. The murals are in terrible shape, faded badly and I cannot see how they could be fixed. In 1995, the paintings were retouched, but at this point they are too far gone for touchup. I noticed a few additions were made by the 1995 touchup crew. The addition of some white looking mushrooms on one of the panels.
It’s time to paint the walls. Maybe Tom Hine would like to try his hand at painting some Mendo scenes, being a proponent of Ukiah's outdoor art works. Hahahahaha
LITTLE DOG SAYS, “My main beef with Trump? No sign of a White House dog. How about you, Little Dog?, they asked. No thanks. I got a job. Not the best job going but these people aren't bad, although they're a little free with the insults. Like yesterday: One of them says, ‘What's the difference between dogs and cats?’ And before I can answer, this guy throws my tennis ball. So I haul ass after it and bring it back to him, and he says, ‘No cat who ever lived is dumb enough to chase a ball for no reason’."
This is a statement I made to the Willits City Council on June 28, 2017:
There have been some ironic and disturbing revelations in the past couple of weeks.
One is the news that instead of costing a mere $300 million, the Caltrans Willits Bypass actually has cost $460 million. Compare that with the city's total general fund expense (in the proposed 2017-18 budget) of $4.2 million — in other words, the money spent on this freeway could have provided police, parks and recreation, roads and public works, planning, and administration for our entire city for well over 100 years.
Because of the Bypass’s impact on our local economy and in turn the city's expected reduced gas gun sales and transient occupancy tax revenues, the city of Willits budget projects a $400,000 general fund deficit. The Bypass has cost more than 1000 times that shortfall!
Most of the bypass cost was born by state taxpayers (which includes us, of course), but about $42 million came from MCOG (Mendocino Council Of Government) transportation funds, wiping out pretty much all our funds for our entire county’s needed road projects.
It's no use crying over spilt milk and all those hundreds of millions of dollars that could have been saved if Caltrans had considered a different Bypass route -- one that better served our community, environment and Native American heritage.
Now we must try to put our town on the map as one of the best towns in Northern California, worth getting off the freeway for. Try to help more businesses survive and thrive post-bypass. Count on our small city staff to keep our services going with their dedication.
But then it's especially ironic that Caltrans, on a small little project here in town, decided it was more convenient to cut down four lovely old cork oak trees on Main Street in front of the high school than to work around them. Shade, beauty, and nature were not valued. Again, no use crying over spilt milk.
But there's something wrong with the priorities in this country and in this state when billions are siphoned from programs that serve the public needs and instead give tax cuts and enrich the richest few, the special interests. When we spend more on prisons and education. When we ignore climate change while continuing to burn coal, frack for oil, and — yes — build more freeways and cut down trees.
Here locally, what are our priorities and values? In whatever ways we can, I want Willits to be part of the solution. Let's help and support each other in our community, make improvements that benefit all, and protect the precious resources we are still blessed with. It's up to us, individually and collectively, with our hearts, hands and brains, to make the future we want for our children and grandchildren.
Member, Willits City Council
CALTRANS DECLARES BYPASS AN UNMITIGATED SUCCESS!
Summer Traffic Showing Willits Bypass a Success
Phil Frisbie, Caltrans
Schools are out, summer is here, and the Willits Bypass is successfully handling the extra traffic during its first summer of use. The long traffic backlogs and delays which have been the norm for decades have not reappeared. The April traffic counts show that on average more than 4,000 vehicles per day are using the bypass and not creating the previously reoccurring congestion in downtown Willits. As summer traffic peaks even higher the bypass is anticipated to continue to easily handle the traffic.
“The California Highway Patrol is extremely pleased with the efficiency of having the Willits Bypass,” said CHP Lieutenant Randy England, Garberville Area commander. “We have seen the impact of safer roadways and less congestion during busy weekends.” Those busy weekends so far this year have included Memorial Day, the Redwood Run, as well as Humboldt State University’s graduation. In the past CHP would have added extra officers in the Willits area during these weekends, manually directing drivers to keep traffic moving during severe backups. Thus far, there has been no need for traffic control assistance.
The Willits Bypass, first envisioned in the 1950s, and initiated as a project in 1989, is the longest running project in Caltrans, District 1. The total cost for the bypass and the associated mitigation, improvement, and relinquishment projects is about $450 million, and includes the most extensive mitigation in Caltrans history that will improve the environment of the Little Lake Valley for decades to come.
While the bypass project is complete, the associated projects continue. The main mitigation project continues to progress, and has completed more than 52 acres of wetlands establishment, 60 acres of invasive plant removal (using mechanical and manual means, no herbicides used), 19 stream crossings have been repaired and enhanced, and more than 800,000 native plants have been planted.
Fish passage improvement projects at Ryan Creek and Upp Creek have recently started construction. Two legs of Ryan Creek which pass under U.S. Highway 101 will have the existing culverts replaced with natural bottom culverts which do not impede fish, and the existing culvert at Upp Creek on the old 101 alignment will be replaced with a bridge. These creeks are headwaters of the Eel River, and miles of fisheries habitat will be reopened for threatened Coho Salmon. Both projects are anticipated to be completed this year.
A project adding sidewalks in front of Willits High School to provide improved access for pedestrians is under construction and is anticipated to be completed this year. Two additional projects, the Sherwood Road intersection improvement and the relinquishment project through downtown Willits, will begin next spring and are anticipated to be completed by the end of next year.
(Phil Frisbie, Caltrans District 1 spokesperson)
CALIFORNIA CLASSIFIES GLYPHOSATE AS CANCER-CAUSING, FDA TESTS CROPS FOR RESIDUE
UKIAH'S GAY Pride March, according to the Ukiah Daily Journal, "starts Sunday morning, July 9, at the corner of North State and Scott streets, near Black Oak Coffee. People will gather at 10:30 to march along the sidewalk of State Street at 11 to Alex R. Thomas Jr. Plaza, where there will be booths of all kinds, including food booths, nonprofit booths, booths designed to raise awareness about social issues, and vendors."
WHICH REMINDS ME. One afternoon shortly before she died, I was watching the television news with my mother when a segment began featuring two women getting married at San Francisco's City Hall. "Quick, Bruce! Turn that off," the old lady shouted. I was already halfway out of my chair headed to the manual controls on her ancient PhilCo when she said, "Oh, never mind. It's probably a good thing homely people find each other."
I GUESS the new term for waitress or waiter is “server,” but if I had to make my way carrying food to stranger's tables I'd prefer waiter. And when I got there with it I'd often be tempted to crash the plate down over the heads of a lot of the people I see wandering through town, disapproving looks on their sated faces. Boonville has become a kind of rural food ghetto, with eight sit-down restaurants, plus a food wagon and an ice cream kiosk, not to mention the source of many of my hurry-up meals, the sandwich counter at Anderson Valley Market. So we have a lot of our people working as servers, one of whom told me the other day that a couple she described as "entitlement people" had urged her to be sure their meal was served hot, which it duly was when the server presented it to them. The hot fooders then chatted for a good 45 minutes as their food went from hot to cold. Imperiously summoning the server to their table they complained that their food was cold. And? "I told them their food had been hot when I brought it to them, which seemed to offend them and off they went."
You get a lot of them?
"No," she said. "Most people are nice."
I'VE HAD THE HICCUPS for two days, a low-intensity affliction but annoying nevertheless. Mention you've got 'em and here come the cures: "You gotta pinch yer upper lip; hold your breath for thirty seconds; a tablespoon of vinegar will stop them right at the hics; honey and water and they're out of business." Nope, still rockin'. Tonight, if they haven't fled, a couple shots of JD are sure to put them down-down.
A NEW THOUGHT AND POSSIBLY A WAY FORWARD
As many of you know I have been working closely with Scott Peterson on an expose' regarding Ukiah Autumn Leaves. Scott has come up with some pretty interesting insights based on information that I provided him along with a lot of his own research. He has published those insights in part one of a three part article located here.
It's an interesting exposé with much more to follow. I will be doing a series of articles myself in the near future based on this important information at cgcoalition.org.
While researching for this article, something else has come to light. Maybe some of you have seen it and thought nothing of it. It's a shred letter from the OAG office concerning Komski's organization and its ability to hold non profit assets in trust. At first glace it seems to be a pretty harmless letter, until it's looked at in context.
I have attached two documents.
The first is the Shred letter from The OAG. Telling Komski that they would shed future checks as they didn't feel his organization was qualified to hold charitable assets.
The second is for context. It's the articles and bylaws that were sent to OAG for approval to be able to hold charitable assets in trust. The shred letter speaks to this very well. This letter is probably why Komski moved away from a 501c5 to a 501c10.
Beyond that it also indicates that komski can't hold our properties with his current organization since our properties are charitable in nature.
I believe this is why Komski has started the second California State Grange corp. He needs a vessel to hold charitable assets. This would also explain the non movement on Komski's part towards the U Street property. He may have won the court arguments but he doesn't have a vessel to hold it as far as the OAG is concerned because U Street is also a charitable asset. I think this information has much wider implications for our future defense.
With Bennett Valley, Komski has thrown down another gauntlet. We need to answer in a united voice that will discourage future attacks. Just as we are all Bennett Valley, we are all Marshall and we are all Cool Assn. Time to focus folks.
Sentinel Fort Bragg Guild
Fort Bragg Guild Legal Committee Member
CATCH OF THE DAY, July 8, 2017
Bran-Guzman, Canepa, Critchett
DAVID BRAN-GUZMAN, Richmond/Laytonville. DUI.
RANDALL CANEPA, Fort Bragg. Disorderly conduct-alcohol. (Frequent flyer.)
JASSLYNN CRITCHETT, Ukiah. DUI, adult in possession of pot on school grounds.
Danner, Fermin-Garcia, Gibson, Gonzalez
MARGARET DANNER, Fort Bragg. DUI, probation revocation.
MARCOS FERMIN-GARCIA, Ukiah. Probation revocation, illegal entry.
JESSE GIBSON, Redwood Valley. Arson, disorderly conduct-alcohol.
JAIME GONZALEZ JR., Ukiah. DUI.
Johnson, Rodriguez-Garcia, Tenca
MICHAEL JOHNSON, Willits. DUI with priors, probation revocation.
JOSE RODRIGUEZ-GARCIA, Ukiah. DUI.
DEBORA TENCA, Albion. Probation revocation.
NOTICE OF OPPORTUNITY FOR PUBLIC COMMENT AND WORKSHOPS ON CANNABIS CULTIVATION POLICY AND CANNABIS GENERAL ORDER
This is a message from the State Water Resources Control Board
The State Water Resources Control Board (State Water Board or Board) has updated its website with a Notice of Opportunity for Public Comment, Staff Informational Workshops, Board Workshops, and Public Hearing (Notice). The State Water Board will accept public comments on the Draft Cannabis Cultivation Policy — Principles and Guidelines for Cannabis Cultivation (Cannabis Policy), Draft Cannabis Cultivation Policy Staff Report, and Draft General Waste Discharge Requirements for Discharges of Waste Associated with Cannabis Cultivation Activities (General Order).
The State Water Board will hold two staff informational workshops (July 20, 2017 - Eureka and July 27, 2017 — Sacramento) to present information and answer questions. In addition, a Board workshop is scheduled for August 2, 2017, in Sacramento to provide information on the draft documents and receive public comments. The State Water Board is scheduled to hold two public hearings on October 17, 2017, in Sacramento to receive oral comments regarding (1) the Cannabis Policy, and (2) the General Order. The Sacramento staff informational workshop, Board workshop, and public hearing will be webcast.
The Notice, draft documents, and other information are available on the State Water Board's Cannabis Cultivation webpage at: www.waterboards.ca.gov/cannabis.
FURNITURE MAKER FESTIVAL
ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY
For all their talk about fiscal responsibility, Republicans only care about that when a Democrat is in the WH. When it’s one of their own in the WH, it’s drunken sailor on shore leave, Katie bar the door time with all spending thrown on the credit card for future administrations and generations to worry about. Most of the country won’t see a dime of this money because the current crew in power only cares about its own. Always remember how conservative common sense works: spending $100 billion a year on police, munitions, threatening gadgets, prisons, etc to suppress people makes much more sense to them than spending $25 billion a year on welfare to just buy them off. But money will be spent at breakneck speed until it can’t anymore. That will be the only point where things break down, and it may come this Fall. We shall see.
ON THAT TRAIN, ALL GRAPHITE AND GLITTER, UNDERSEA BY RAIL.
“Just because a heart is a jet-ski doesn’t mean a jet-ski is a heart.”
The recording of last night’s (2017-07-07) KNYO Memo of the Air: Good Night Radio show is ready to download for free and enjoy at any time of the day or night, via http://MemoOfTheAir.wordpress.com
Things went rather well until about 2:15am, when Comcast power-cycled my cable modem at Juanita’s and knocked me off the air in Fort Bragg for 7 minutes and off the air in Ukiah for the rest of the show. They do that for maintenance once in awhile, always at a time when they think nobody will notice or care. This is only the second time it’s happened during my show in several months, but harrumph. I’ll be stepping through an automated phone tree to have a stern word with one of Comcast’s tech-support representatives in a vast yammering boiler room in Mumbai, see if I don’t!
Besides that, also there you’ll find a fresh batch of links to material that I waded among while putting the show together that, for being mostly visual or requiring too much explanation, might not work well on radio, but are worthwhile, fascinating, even. Such as:
Giovanna Parascandolo rebuilds a Fiat 500 motor in two afternoons, compressed to four minutes.
Art Clokey’s first film, Gumbasia (say gum-buh-SEE-uh).
God, Volume 1: Serengeti.
And everybody loved the Atomic Age bullet-brassiere photospread last week. So here’s some more.
BROADBAND — TRISH WILL GET US THERE YET!
Alliance meeting and Board of Supervisors presentation
I wanted to provide an update on a couple of broadband-related items.
Our next Alliance meeting is July 14th, and I hope everyone can mark their calendars and plan to attend. Our last meeting had very few attendees, so if interest is waning for these meetings this should be a topic of discussion.I will post the agenda on Wednesday here -http://www.mendocinobroadband.org/july-14th-public-outreach-meeting-2nd-friday/
Also, the Broadband Working Group drafted county Broadband Goals and Strategies, and for the last 6 months I have made presentations to city councils and other groups and have received endorsements and resolutionsof support. Now on Tuesday July 11th I will make a presentation for our Board of Supervisors and the hope is that they will endorse these goals on behalf of the county. Everyone is welcome/encouraged to attend this board meeting of course, and if willing to speak in support of the goals.Thanks, and don't forget to follow us on Facebook and keep checking our website because new content is posted on a regular basis (Crossing the Digital Divide and Current broadband legislation summaries for example).
Trish Steel, <www.MendocinoBroadband.org>, 707-354-3224
Find us on Facebook! <https://www.facebook.com/BroadbandAlliance>
MY PARENTS HAD FIVE CHILDREN. We now live in different cities, some of us in foreign countries, and we don't write to each other often. When we do meet up with one another we can be indifferent or distracted. But for us it takes just one word. It takes one word, one sentence, one of the old ones from our childhood, heard and repeated countless times... If my siblings and I were to find ourselves in a dark cave or among millions of people, just one of those phrases or words would immediately allow us to recognize each other.
— Natalia Ginzburg
THE UK TOOK OUR ISLAND HOME FOR A US AIR BASE
As reported by the Guardian the issue of the Chagos Archipelago which is officially part of the British Indian Ocean Territory (BIOT) has become the subject of a non binding legal agreement by the United Nations to present a resolution to request an International Court advisory opinion from the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in the Hague on the legal status of the Chagos Islands. The vote in favor of the resolution was 94-15 with 65 countries abstaining including many of the EU member states. In 1965, three years before Mauritius was granted independence, the UK separated the Chagos Islands from the rest of its Indian Ocean Colony apparently in breach of UN resolution 1514, passed in 1960 which specifically banned the breakup of colonies before independence. This action was supported by the US. In 1971, the 1,500 islanders were deported so the US could build an airbase on Diego Garcia, the largest island. The islanders, Chagossians, were Creole speaking people who had lived on the islands for over 150 years. The UK House of Commons was displeased that the BIOT was being used by the CIA for rendition and interrogation operations. The UK has agreed to return the islands when they they no longer needed for military purposes. As a sidebar, the treatment of the Chagossians sounds just like the treatment of Native Americans by the U.S. government. Since the U.S. Senate refuses to release the report about CIA rendition and torture centers we do not know exactly what when on at Diego Garcia.
In peace and love,
RONNIE JAMES WRITES:
Woodlands Wildlife would like to start recording mountain lion sightings. I've got a map of the coast, I want to put colored pins in and dates for sightings. There should be interesting data in about a year as to where their territories are, and when they are in which part of that territory. I'll take info from the postings on the list serve, but if you have a sighting but don't want to post, you can also email WoodlandsWildlife@mcn.org or Ronnie@mcn.org Try to describe the location of the sight--i.e. an address, or mile marker, and give the date.
MAMUSE CONCERT to benefit Lake County Community Radio
Brilliant lyrics and haunting harmonies are the trademark qualities of MaMuse singers Sarah Nutting and Karisha Longaker. The popular duo will perform in Lakeport for the first time on July 22. Sarah and Karisha have been touring together for nine years. Past winners of the prestigious Prairie Home Companion Award for Best Duet, the two have recorded four full-length albums; a fifth is in production. With deep roots in folk and gospel traditions and their hearts in the present, Sarah and Karisha create uplifting music for the next seven generations to thrive on. Playing a family of varied acoustic instruments including upright bass, guitar, mandolins, ukulele and flutes; these two powerful women embody a love for all life. Although this is their first concert performance in Lake County, the two have frequented Harbin Hot Springs in the past. “We visited Harbin Hot Springs a couple of times, it was a great place to share our music,” said Sarah in a recent interview with KPFZ Programmer Chloe Karl, the event organizer. About performing in Lake County, Sarah said they felt a connection to the water. “I’m excited to sing to the lake.” Formerly from Chico, the two now make their home in nearby Sonoma County. The concert begins at 7 pm at the Big Valley Hall, 1510 Big Valley Road in Lakeport. Ticket prices are $35; KPFZ members receive a $5 discount. Ticket price includes food. Beverages will be available for purchase. Purchase tickets online at kpfz.org. Tickets are also available at Watershed Books, 305 N. Main, Lakeport; KPFZ studios, 149 N. Main Street, Lakeport; and Catfish Coffeehouse, 14624 Lakeshore Blvd, Clearlake. Proceeds benefit Lake County Community Radio, Inc., KPFZ 88.1 FM, a nonprofit, all volunteer organization.
For more information call the office at 707-263-3640 and leave a message or visit the website, www.kpfz.org.
TALKIN' DISASTER PREPAREDNESS
Sunday, July 9, 2017 - KPFZ 88.1 FM
Tomorrow afternoon on KPFZ (88.1 FM or streaming live from www.kpfz.org the Lake County OFFICE OF EMERGENCY SERVICES manager, Dale Carnathan, will be giving our listeners a chance to learn more about the County’s Local Hazard Mitigation Plan (LHMP).
Public meetings are scheduled for Wednesday, July 12, 2017, [see the local OES postiing on Facebook at
to introduce the planning process and receive community input to support the five-year update of the existing (and not-terribly effective) LHMP.
Analysis of local hazards and risks (documented in the LHMP) preceeds the development of the local Emergency Operations Plan — responding to priorities for action that emerge from studying the local conditions impacted by high-risk hazards (wildfire, for example). “Updating” the 1996 Lake County Emergency Operations Plan (EOP) (amended with a one-page change order after the 2012 Wye Fire) will probably be next, so it would behoove us to make sure the now-known local hazards and risks are clearly defined in the next LHMP. You can find both documents on the Sheriff’s website:
The LHMP and EOP updating process are designed to comply with FEMA and CalOES requirements, which are described in these reference documents:
1. FEMA and Cal OES must (in theory) approve our Local Hazard MitigationPlan, in line with this guideline (posted on the CalOES website):
http://www.caloes.ca.gov/HazardMitigationSite/Documents/001-Plan Review Guide 10-2011.pdf[
A really handy section is Appendix A (which provides a reviewchecklist).]
2. FEMA also provides this planning guidebook for developing Local Hazard Mitigation Plans:
3. A simplified overview of the FEMA LHMP guidance is found here:
4. To see how this fits with the State’s Emergency Plan, see this: http://www.caloes.ca.gov/PlanningPreparednessSite/Documents/SEP%20Update%20for%20Public%20Comment%202016.pdf#search=crosswalk
A quick list of identified hazards considered by the state is found in the Table of Contents, Section 6.3.5. To look at how FEMA conceives of the whole disaster planning cycle of related plans, see FEMA’s “Pre-Disaster Recovery Planning Guide for Local Governments,” and pay particular attention to the section called “Recovery Planning is Closely Aligned with Hazard Mitigation” (startson Page 15):
6. Lastly, for a really rapid understanding of what we have and what we don’t have, as well as what we should be looking for in the next update of Lake County’s Local Hazard Mitigation Plan, see the attached 3-Page checklist from the US Health & Human Services Department, with particular attention to “Ensuring Effective Emergency Preparedness, Response, and Recovery for Individuals with Access and Functional Needs —A Checklist for Emergency Managers.”
How does the public fit in to this scheme? Tune in on Sunday, and call in with your questions [707-263-3435] (between 1 and 2 pm; I’m not sure how long Mr. Carnathan is planning to stick around). We will be taking calls until 4 pm, either way. See you on the radio!
Betsy Cawn, Clearlake
Attached checklist: CHECKLIST (US H&HS)
LAURIE LEWIS & RITA HOSKING in concert at the Mendocino Music Festival Monday, July 10, 7:30 pm
I was not asked to promote their concert, but feel compelled to remind community members of this great opportunity to hear both these excellent musicians and their bands on Monday night. Information below is from the Mendocino Music Festival's web page.
A key figure in bluegrass, traditional and folk music circles, Berkeley’s Laurie Lewis has established herself as one of the finest and most diverse talents in music today. A winner of the International Bluegrass Music Association award for Female Vocalist of the Year, multiple times and a Grammy winner for her contribution to True Life Blues: the Songs of Bill Monroe, it doesn’t get much better than Laurie Lewis & the Right Hands.
Northern California’s own Rita Hosking is a fierce and captivating country-folk voice, singing of culture clash, the working class and hope. Honors include winning the 2008 Dave Carter Memorial Songwriting Contest at the Sisters Folk Festival, finalist in the 2009 TellurideMusic Festival Troubadour Contest, and honors in the International Songwriting Contest and West Coast Songwriters’ Association. From NPR’s Weekend Edition to Bob Harris’ BBC show, Hosking is moving audiences with her soul-stirring delivery.
Annemarie, Fort Bragg
LIBS: TOTALLY WRONG.
But don’t worry! Cheer up!
My friend Teresa sent me the following Internet e-mail:
I used to think I was just a regular guy/gal, but,
I was born white, which now, whether I like it or not, makes me a racist.
I am a fiscal and moral conservative, which by today's standards, makes me a fascist.
I am heterosexual, which according to gay folks, now makes me homophobic.
I am non-union, which makes me a traitor to the working-class and an ally of big business.
I am a Christian, which now labels me as an infidel.
I believe in the Second Amendment which now makes me a member of the vast gun lobby.
I am older than 60 which makes me a bit less than I used to be.
I think and reason, therefore I doubt much that the mainstream media tells me which must make me a reactionary.
I am proud of my heritage and our inclusive American culture which makes me a xenophobe.
I value my safety and that of my family and I appreciate the police and legal system which makes me a right-wing extremist.
I believe in hard work, fair play and fair compensation according to individual's merits which today makes me an anti-socialist.
I believe in the defense and protection of the homeland for and by all citizens which now makes me a militant.
Recently a sick old lady called me and my friends "a basket of deplorables."
I need to thank all my friends for sticking with me through these abrupt, newfound challenges in my life and in my thinking!
I just can't imagine or understand what happened to me so quickly! Funny, it's all just taken place over the last seven or eight years! And if all this garbage wasn't enough to deal with, I'm now afraid to go into either bathroom!
* * *
I find these observations sad and alarming because they consist of "labels" — labels designed to separate and divide people. It's certainly true that over the last seven or eight years they have succeeded in dividing our nation to the point where we are no longer united. It's always been this way to a degree, I suppose. But never as pronounced as it is in these days.
I wonder if it's even possible for us to live in a world without labels, without the need to judge harshly those who think, look, or live differently than ourselves. I like to think it's possible but at my age it's a different world from the one I grew up in and at times it feels almost alien. Computers rule now. I recently heard that cursive writing is no longer being taught in many local elementary schools and often students can no longer even read it! Businesses and banks are so dependent on computers that when they break down, everything stops. Technology has taken over and it's quite rare to receive a handwritten letter today. Mailboxes are stuck with junk mail, catalogs, monthly bills and sale papers.
My computer has daily e-mails with pleas for "donations" from organizations and for political causes. It seems the only news we are bombarded with is alarming and we must take immediate action and responsibility to avert a national or international crisis! So we must send a donation now! (As if money will cure what's wrong with our world).
Yes, Teresa, we live today in a world of fear. But you know what? I'm tired of it all and I refuse to live this way! Instead, I choose to live in a positive environment! A simple life is the best.
At sunrise I like to sit quietly in my backyard with a cup of coffee to greet the new day as the birds begin to stir from their nests. At other times, while walking on a blustery afternoon, I find a thrill when the winds suddenly gust and rise to move through the towering trees, making the branches sway and come alive in the wild, exhilarating dance! On such days I'm glad to be alive!
There is such beauty in nature all around us if we have the eyes to see. There are unlimited ways to live the simple life. Take the people you encounter every day. Most will respond to a smile, a nod, and a kind word. And if not, remember, we are all here on a journey and we don't know what troubles others may be going through, so don't lose heart. Wish them well and go on your way. Take the time to know the people around you. It's fun to discover new friends. Your day will then be filled with "little pockets of joy." I like to call them everyday miracles. Look for them.
In short, Teresa, while we live in turbulent times and in a world filled with political upheaval, intrigue, conflict, violence and war — and where, unfortunately, people will continue to label and harshly judge others — we can just live the simple life and strive for peace in a world gone mad. And who knows? Perhaps with time it will grow as others learned the way. Love is the answer.
* * *
ED NOTE: The “internet email” “Teresa” is talking about appears to have been started on a website called “overpassesforamerica” where it was titled, “This is the new me (according to liberals).”
Before some apparent editing by Teresa, the original had a few more “labels” and an extra PS:
This is the New Me (According to liberals)
I used to think I was just a regular person, but I was born white, which now – whether I like it or not, makes me a racist and responsible for slavery.
I am a fiscal and moral conservative, which by today’s standards, makes me a fascist because I plan and support myself.
I went to HS & College and have held a job,and I am here – not because I earned it, but because I was advantaged.
I am heterosexual, which according to gay folks, now makes me a homophobe.
I am non-union, which makes me a traitor to the working class and an ally of big business.
I am not a Muslim, which now labels me as an infidel.
I believe in the 2nd Amendment, which now makes me a member of the vast NRA gun lobby.
I think and I reason, therefore I doubt much that the mainstream media tells me, which must make me a reactionary.
I am proud of my heritage and our inclusive American culture, which makes me a xenophobe.
I value my safety and that of my family, and I appreciate the police and the legal system, which makes me a right-wing, cop-loving extremist.
I believe in hard work, fair play, and fair compensation according to each individual’s merits, which today makes me an heartless bully with no understanding.
I believe that our current system guarantees freedom from effort – not freedom of outcome or subsidies which must make me a borderline sociopath.
I know because of facts that global warming / climate change is a hoax – so now I’m a climate denier.
I believe in the defense and protection of the homeland for and by all citizens, which now makes me a militant.
I am proud of our flag, what it stands for and the many who died to let it fly, so I stand and salute during our National Anthem which takes me back to where I started – I must be a racist.
Please help me come to terms with the new me, because I’m just not sure who I am anymore!
I would like to thank all my friends for sticking with me through these abrupt, newfound changes in my life and my thinking!
I just can’t imagine or understand what’s happened to me so quickly!
Funny (or sadly), It’s all taken place over the last 7 or 8 years!
And if all this nonsense wasn’t enough to deal with, I’m now afraid to go into either restroom!
PS: To hell with liberals, they’re out of their minds!
And it ends with the following meme: