Letters to the Editor

by AVA News Service, December 8, 2010

AKA, THE RICH

Editor,

Class warfare — The media are all fretted up over a freshman congressmen who hasn’t yet learned to keep his mouth off certain forbidden topics. Asked about the attempt by the Democrats to pass a permanent extension of the Bush tax cuts for the middle class, defined as making less than a quarter million annually, while add­ing back a 2% increase in personal income levies above that figure. Giving some folks a tax break and denying it to others, hereinafter known as “the rich,” is “class war­fare.” The boy’s grasp of the obvious grows more acute by the day!

America is one long saga of class warfare, with the ruling rich exploiting slaves, immigrants and workers at large for their profit and power. The nineteenth century industrial revolution, combined with a continent of min­erals and resources to be explored and developed created a class of the super rich whose investments made for­tunes that persist to this day. The Rockefellers are still prominent in America’s political as well as financial life, trading governorships in several states every generation and playing high stakes money games with the Federal Reserve. Selling out and devoting your fortune to good works is to drop out of the capitalist game, which is why Andy Carnegie is only remembered for his libraries, and not for positive social change.

Indeed it was Andy and his steel mills that set the tone and tactics of the brutal battles of Labor for fair wages, care for injured workers and a ban on child labor, all of which made the factories and mills profitable through low labor costs. Faced with Pinkerton gun thugs at the steel mills and murdered in the Colorado Rocky Flats mines, the fighting unionists, (“Big Bill” Heywood, “Mother Jones” and Joe Hill), defined the struggle in the Preamble to the Constitution of the Industrial Workers of the World, and they had it about right:

“The working class and the employing class have nothing in common. There can be no peace so long as hunger and want are found among millions of the work­ing people, and the few, who make up the employing class, have all the good things of life.

Between these two classes a struggle must go on until the workers of the world organize as a class, take possession of the earth and the machinery of production, and abolish the wage system.” A little ambitious, but a worthy goal, even to this day.

Today the rich are making their stand on Capitol Hill, demanding that the Bush era tax cuts, (largely responsi­ble for the deficit explosion of the first decade of the new century). be extended to them as well as the working poor and the increasing numbers of the former workers in their failing industries. To avoid a two percent increase for their sponsors among the millionaire class, Republicans are willing to punish two hundred million American workers with a tax increase.

Aesop warned us of dogs in the manger who cannot eat the grain, but won’t let the livestock eat. He failed to mention the pigs who hog it all, That was left to George Orwell to describe in “Animal Farm,” his definitive work on class and society. Class warfare is real, and the casu­alties are piling up as the capitalist economics of the west begin to crumble and the rich flee to foreign sanctuary.

“Comes the revolution…”

Travis T. Hip

Nevada City

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PASS IT AROUND

Dear Mr. Parrish —

Had a lot of chores set for this morning, but I glanced at my AVA and was hooked.

In my lengthening life I can remember only a few journalistic  essays — mostly New Yorker pieces like Hersey's Hiroshima and MacDonald's Poverty in Amer­ica, and Mailer's Armies of the Night. Yours is right up there with those.

Congratulations would be patronizing, so I'll just say Thank You! And pass the story around to my acquain­tances.

Cordially,

Jonathan Middlebrook

Redwood Valley

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SAVORING REAL REPORTING

Dear Mr. Parrish,

Until reading your article (AVA, Nov. 25, 2010) about the site of the proposed Henry L. Cornell vineyard and winery in Mark West Creek, I had believed investi­gative journalism to be nonexistent in Sonoma County. Well— it may still be, since you report for a Mendocino County newspaper. I may be ignorant of many things happening here in Sonoma County, but I certainly recog­nize fine reporting and skill with the English language, talents displayed impressively in your writing.

Please accept my compliments on your excellent arti­cle, which I judge to be truthful about the pertinent geo­logic conditions and investigations of the site and vicin­ity, which conditions I have examined briefly from afar as a geologic colleague and friend of Ray Waldbaum, whom you mention prominently.

Sincerely yours,

Jay L. Smith

Windsor

P.S. Now that I have become an enthusiastic subscriber to theava.com and have made a small donation, I trust I will soon be able to read your December article and oth­ers in your archive, not to mention savoring the thought of enjoying your future reporting.

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GOODBYE, RUSSIAN RIVER

Editor,

I live a five-minute walk from the Russian River and have an opinion about Syar Industries' plan to mine up to 350,000 tons of gravel, annually, out of the river bed.

Bull-hooey and a few more choice words come to mind. That's 700 million pounds hauled out, every year, for 15 years.

Everybody knows the river is already too low and severely damaged from a century of gravel exploitation, let alone current “low-flow” policies, winery runoff and “accidental” sewage spills. The restorations that have been tacked onto this project are nothing more than enhanced beauty strips.

The real issue is that the Russian River cannot sus­tain this type of annual extraction. Common sense dic­tates the need to take care of this fragile ecosystem — the county should be ashamed for giving a green light to Syar's “in-stream mining” proposal.

Carla Sarvis

Forestville

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ANY LOGIC HERE?

A simple question:

Why is it that unemployment benefits can't be extended because of the effect on the deficit, but it's OK to extend the extra tax cuts on income over $250,000, regardless of the effect on the deficit? This despite the fact that the tax cuts cause a bigger hit to the deficit?

Seriously — anyone out there who can explain the logic behind this?

Siobhan Ruck

San Francisco

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BOOZE BAILOUT DISSEMINATION

Dear Editor.

I send you and Will Parrish a big Thank You for his excellent expose of the wine industry scandal in Sonoma County. It deserves a Pulitzer! An earlier installment of Will’s series on the regional wine industry informed us that while it appears like we have mostly sweet little Mom & Pop wineries and growers, in fact the majority of local vineyard acreage is owned by large, distant cor­porations. And in this latest installment, “Booze, A Banker & the Bailout,” Will showed how corporate titans corrupt government on the local level.

It’s bad enough what they have done to us on the national level, wrecking our economy like they did; now we learn how the same Goldman Sachs big shots wreck our local watersheds and fisheries and regulatory systems. This cover article, and Will Parrish’s whole series on the local corporate wine industry, deserves widest dissemination.

Tom Wodetzki

Albion

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FOOD BANKING

Editor,

The Food Bank Receives Community Support.

The tree-lighting ceremony at the Boonville Hotel that benefited the Anderson Valley Food Bank was a resounding success. Enough money was raised so that every food bank family will have a frozen turkey to cook for the holidays. We are grateful also to the dedicated volunteers who give every third Tuesday morning of the month to the work of filling grocery bags with Emer­gency Food and Shelter commodities, and distributing them to our clients. Beth Swela and the Future Farmers of America help us by opening the cartons and setting up the canned and dried goods so they can be easily distrib­uted. Finally, Jamie Lee (Mr. Glean) and his volunteer crew see that the abundance of fruit and vegetables our valley produces doesn’t go to waste by bringing what they glean to the food bank each month.

As in years past, the volunteer fire department will be collecting toys for the ninety or so children that are members of our food bank families. Bins will be at val­ley post offices and at All That Good Stuff in Boonville. As always, financial donations help us supplement the donated items with purchased, protein-rich food each month in the coming year.

Contributions can be sent to The Anderson Valley Food Bank, PO Box 692, Boonville, CA 95415.

Jill Myers

Philo

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FEEDBACK FEEDBACK

Hi Will Parrish,

I just wanted to thank you for writing such an excel­lent article on the Mark West Creek/Cornell story.

I am friends with Casey and the Doerksen's and used to live up there for 10 years. Now I work for Russian Riverkeeper and have been following this issue closely. The damage that the wine industry does to our environ­ment really needs to be exposed, and the Press Democrat won't be the ones to do it!

So, I commend you for having the guts to write what you did. Sonoma County officials are so corrupt it makes my head spin.

Let me know if you get any fallout over this. I would­n't be surprised if you hear from Cornell's lawyers.

Best of luck,

Kate Wilson

Forestville

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TEMPTING FATE

Dear Bruce:

Murphy's Law is alive and well. I never should have sent you a letter complimenting the pony express on such good mail service between Boonville and Sacramento. The mailman has come and gone today and still no November 24th issue of the AVA. I would be very appreciative if you could send another copy of said paper. I promise that in the future I will not tempt fate by being so cavalier with my compliments.

In peace.

James Updegraff

Sacramento

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DAD’S WISDOM

Warm spiritual greetings,

This year I am sending out my holiday greeting early for two reasons. First, I am already feeling the pleasant glow of the time of the winter solstice and Christmas, and do not wish to wait until the vulgarity of American consumerism in coming weeks makes me feel like hacking Santa's computer. Second, in spite of the seem­ing impossibility of my permanently relocating to Washington DC, to be active on the frontlines of radical ecology and other necessarily related concerns, if I can actually get any cooperation from anybody on the US political left, I am giving sufficient lead time to be con­sidered before the annual birthday celebration of Jesus Christ on December 25th.

In spite of the fact that I've been receiving messages from the DC political left which inform me that I will have to be willing to squat the woods near P Street beach and eat out of dumpsters this winter, in order to be based in Washington DC again, I am nevertheless continuing to network in the hope that others will agree with me that it is important that a direct action oriented radical base in the Washington DC area is vital in these times of global climate destabilization and economic implosion.

On the other hand, as my father has said to me: “Craig, it doesn't make any difference how much good you do because people are essentially selfish and stu­pid!” I leave you with all of this to consider, indeed, for your further reflection.

Merry Christmas,

Craig Louis Stehr

593 62nd Street, Oakland, CA 94609-1246

Email: craigstehr@hushmail.com

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HEART OF GOLD

Dear Editor,

The version of the film GOLD you and Joe Don Mooney described is a version I have never seen. The original story was never intended to be a nudie. It was conceived as a contemporary western, political satire, with some nude scenes. When we left the one month on the ranch location, and got to see the rushes, I stated, You don't have a film here. We need additional shooting and some reshoots. My movie company partners balked at that idea. Instead we struggled to find a film in inade­quate footage, editing in the weathered house on the Bolinas mesa which had been donated to us for the year. That was the year we joined with local activists to defeat the logging which had begun on the top of the ridge above the Audubon Canyon snowy egret preserve.

The original film is the only one I worked on and the only one I ever saw. That was approximately 40 years ago. The film production needs to be divided into two time lines – BC, Before Cocaine, and AC, After Cocaine. When the owners of the Bolinas house, which they no longer used, refused to sell it to us, Bill and Bob rented a small house in the SF Mission District for themselves, leaving me and my children with no income, never any child support, to fend for ourselves. We moved into a friend's dysfunctional, zany, household with her five children and live-in babysitter who could usually be found on her surfboard by paddling way past the break­ers just before the row of brown pelicans overhead.

At some time unknown to me until later, BC Time became AC Time, After Cocaine. The classical score composed by San Francisco musician Warner Jepson, recorded at Francis Ford Coppola's San Francisco sound studio, was deemed too conservative by both Bill Desloge and Bob Levis. Having decided that the film and the corporate funds belonged only to themselves, they transferred the remaining funds to a London, England account, minus my signature. There they met Irish film distributor Ronan O'Reilly, owner of the pirate radio broadcasting ship, The Caroline. British authorities were furious at Ronan's moxie, as he broadcast the Beatles and alternative news from off the English coast. With Ronan's help, Bill Desloge and Bob Levis enlisted the Beatles to write a new score. Another edit at Ronan O'Reilly's studio produced the film which opened at London's most prestigious art movie house, The Pica­dilly. According to what Ronan told me in telephone conversation a couple of years later, the house was sold out, the film received rave reviews from the London critics, citing Del Close as the revolutionary, Gary Goodrow, the criminal cop, and me as the Politician's Dream Lady.

Rather than pay off the long ignored debtors who had financed the post production expenses — the new score, another edited version, release printing, advertising and distribution, Bill and Bob, accompanied by Hollywood film director Nicolas Ray, were raising additional money to start production of a blockbuster documentary on marijuana, the new hot topic of the day. So the lien hold­ers or their agents, broke into the Picadilly at night to steal the one and only release print this low budget pro­duction company could afford. That same night the bur­glars broke into the London printing laboratory. From the lab they stole the original color negative and the three separate color correcting prints. As Desloge and Levis had neglected to print a protection copy, no copies of the London version of Gold remained.

Thieves are notoriously stupid. These particular thieves would have been repaid, had they waited.

The film disappeared, never to be heard or read about again. We all thought that the film was taken to sell the sex scenes. Apparently the thieves never realized that they had stolen an original Beatles score.

The marijuana documentary was never realized.

My memory of the original film and its intent is still clear, Joe Don Mooney. It is not surprising that I did not receive any credit for my work on the pre-production and first year of editing. My share of Dome Films was embezzled by Bill Desloge and Bob Levis after they unilaterally decided that everything belonged to them. Dome Films, incorporated in Delaware, was structured so that the three founders, Bill, Bob, and I owned 51%, that is, controlling interest translated into artistic control. Neither of the two made any effort to buy me out or to offer me any settlement. Once they left the United States with the film, I no longer knew where they or the film were. Only later did I find out what occurred. How many additional cuts of the remaining San Francisco version of the film were made, I do not know. I still have not seen the film that Bob Levis claims to have “directed.” Edit­ing, re-editing and juggling inadequate film footage does not constitute directing. Bob Levis has obviously inflated himself to his current position. I have not been able to find out who currently “owns” the film.

All I have seen so far is the DVD cover with two young women dressed like hippie sexpots whom I do not recognize. No one like them was present at the shoot in Volcano, California. From what you have described, it seems like nude outtakes have been added which I thought did not belong in the film, probably by distribu­tion. Time sequences have been juggled, destroying what continuity the original film had. The film is billed as a comedy, probably because the current distributors do not have a category for satire, much less surreal satire. I never witnessed a single scene which I would describe as comic.

In the meantime my former husband had decided to take our children as his alone. In a secret meeting with Judge Wilson of the Marin County Court, Mr. Schmidt obtained the sole custody of our children with a “tem­porary” order. What had he told the judge about the film in which he and his girlfriend swam in their birthday suits in the swimming pond finale? About the incident with the San Francisco tactical squad which had pro­vided the initial impetus to produce this movie?

By the time the temporary court order was finalized in a hearing in which I could not speak freely, I was told that I could never care for my children again, two chil­dren for whom I had been sole support, the sole parent, two children who topped off the gifted children’s tests their fathered ordered, who were already little athletes, two children who had never been hit, never been left alone, never been sick, Montesssori schooled in our little inter-racial parent-supported school, two children who didn't fight, who never went to bed without a bedtime story.

The last I heard of GOLD was in conversation by tele­phone with Ronan O'Reilly. An acquaintance had informed me that film distributor, O'Reilly was offering a reward for information leading to my whereabouts. He gave me a London phone number to call, collect. I did that. When I first spoke with Ronan, he thought I was just another imposter. There had been several attempts to collect the reward by presenting an impersonator. I re­sponded to that by stating that no imposter would know what I knew about the production. After Ronan invited me to visit London, all expenses paid, I discussed this with my attorney who told me, that if I were to leave this country, my passport would be revoked so that I would not be able to return. Regretfully, I had to refuse the invitation, so that I could find a way to care for my chil­dren again.

I plan to recount the incident with the San Francisco Tactical Squad next.

Sincerely,

Dorothy Schmidt

Redwood Valley

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ANOTHER GREAT BAZAAR

Editor:

The AV Unity Club would like to thank all of the wonderful vendors and donors, who were able to make this year's Holiday Bazaar a successful event. Because of the support of our local businesses, we are able to raise monies for our scholarships and other community pro­jects.

We would like to thank the following businesses for their donations: All That Good Stuff, Handley Cellars, AV Brewing Co., Lemons Market, Esterlina Winery, Apple Farm, Husch Vineyards, Anne Bennett, Redwood Drive-In, Meyer Family Cellars, Navarro General Store, Alice and Ric Bonner, Farmhouse Mercantile, Lovin' Blooms, Wally and Sue Hopkins, Libby's Restaurant, Gowan's Oak Tree, Roederer Estate, Brutocao Cellars, Lauren's Restaurant, Claudia Springs Winery, Rookie-To-Gallery, Jack's Valley Store, AV Nursery, Alicia's Restaurant, Foursight Wines, BoontBerry Farm, Moss­wood Market, Sheer Elegance, Philo Ridge Vineyards, Breggo Cellars, Judy Nelson, Anjes de Ryck, Nancy Swehla, Gypsy Spring and Sara Ivey.

Sincere Thanks,

Elizabeth Dusenberry, Bazaar Chairperson

Boonville

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WILL THE REAL MAJOR…

Ye Editor of Ye AVA,

Whoa, Generalissimo! Referring to Don MacQueen's (as usual, all too brief) note in the 11/24 issue: Am I to understand that the photo accompanying the Major's interview was not of Mr. Scaramella? The Major is not that curmudgeonly, seemingly ill-tempered visage? Scaramella, master of wise ass irony and rather good humored satire?

Very cute, Major. Apology insufficient. "The paste up person," indeed. So Mme. Ling Anderson doesn't know what you look like, neither she nor you yourself, since you "do everything but the editing."

Unacceptable, mon generál, to expose your community but cloak yourself in anonymity. Unmask The Major!

Still truly yours,

Carol Pankovits

Fort Bragg

ms replies: These days Mme. Anderson does not do much of the paste up. The faux pas re the phautaux of Bud is the fault of Le Majór and Le Majór alone. We hope this somewhat dated photo of the real Major helps. (He’s second from the right, first row.)

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EXORCISING DEMS

Editor,

One Term Obama?

Certain convicts have a story (explanation?) they pass along: a woman (a liberal, but they don’t know that) found a poor injured snake. She picked it up, took it home and nursed it back to health. Then the snake bit her. She said, “Why did you do that after all I’ve done for you?” The snake said, “You knew I was a snake when you picked me up.” So with Obama trying to make nice with the reptilian repubs.

Even perched here in the Pike’s Peak outpost of the Gulag with a paucity of news sources, I’ve been able to perceive the Dems’ spineless response to the orches­trated, well-financed propagandistic media onslaught by the plutocrats which has angered, confused and moti­vated poor Boobus Americanus to vote Republican.

In the media contest the fundamental mode of obtain­ing and retaining votes (and thus power), the Dems have effectively fled the field as they’ve tried to compromise. The left’s one feeble raedio response to the barrage of twistifed news is “Democracy Now” (as far as what reaches me). Air America has vanished.

On a recent radio program, “This America Life,” Paul Begala agreed with my contentions and elaborated thereupon as did a lady contributor to the AVA letters sections. (Another goon squad search and destroy raid took this, my AVA clippings, etc).

The Tea Party patsies and the prisoners (double dum dum deluded dunces as they are politically) have one concept in common: They both know something is wrong but haven’t a clue what it is, nor what to do about it! An accurate “right on” analysis of the Tea Party ap­peared in the October 15, 2010 biweekly newspaper, “The Progressive Populist ($15 indutroductory offer.)

If by chance any devils have wormed their way into the souls of your neighbors, fear not. The Catholic Church has convened a convocation to teach its priests how to conduct exorcisms.

Ronald Del Raine

Florence, Colorado

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OPT-UP

Editor,

Maybe the TSA pat-down lines would move faster with fewer complaints if travelers were given the option of letting the opposite sex feel them up.

John Wester

3626 32nd Street

San Diego, CA


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POT CARDS INC.

Dear Friends of Medical Cannabis,

I am writing you about just released cannabis trading cards, Honoring Remarkable People Associated with Marijuana in some important way — as a healing medi­cine religious sacrament cultural engine or spark to crea­tivity. The medical dimension has come to the forefront in recent years, but cannabis has many purposes as revealed in the lives of these remarkable people.

The cards come in sets of 10, featuring a diversity of original portraits in vibrant color, including Bob Marley, Jerry Garcia, Gertrude Stein, Alice B. Toklas, Jimi Hen­drix, Louie Armstrong, Queen Victoria, Lenny Bruce, Pancho Villa, Manny Ramirez.

Each card presents a unique color portrait of each per­son through the eyes of Cannabis Cards illustrator Fred Sternkopf, enhanced by a flipside historical over­view of their life and influence, and association with cannabis.

This is a personal invitation to your doctor’s office, collective, bookstore, health food store, cooperative business or other outlet to offer Cannabis Cards as a gift for the holidays. Something Positive for the cannabis-savvy public to savor and share.

The cards are 2.5” x 3.5” lamenated for protection in a small plastic bag with an embossed seal closing the opening. The price is affordable for a quality gift: $10 wholesale (minimum of 6), $20 retail. (Plus $2 for s/h.)

For more info, contact pebbles@pacific.net. We will follow through with a phone call to you to confirm and expedite your order. Make checks and money orders to Cannabis Cards, PO Box 743, Mendoicno, CA 95460.

Respectfully,

Pebbles Trippet, Secretary-Treasurer

Albion

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APHORISTIC INTENT

Editor,

So dark the con of man — da Vinci's blue robed Madonna of the rocks — virgin Mary sits with her arms around an infant child, Jesus; opposite Mary sits Uriel, also with an infant, John the Baptist; baby John blessing Jesus, Mary holds one hand high above infant John in a threatening gesture, fingers like eagles talons. When did the tail start wagging the dog? English have the extra­ordinary ability to fly into a great calm. And if opportu­nity doesn't knock, build a door, by Gatlins! Like the wicked, the English flourish best after dark. A sheep can die at any time when both its eyes are closed. Never borrow trouble or cross a river before you reach it. Pow­wow, tonight after a fast hard rain I see the man in the moon has a woman's face. The Alaska pollack fishery in the Bering Sea is being "strip mined." "Health care, like firefighting, is a collective good." Westminster Abby was my favorite place in London with the enshrined blitz blasts and the scent of centuries of monarchs in the air. On the breeze? God is good to the poor and to the Irish. Cattle were herded from across the Rio Grande to the Blackfoot Indian Reservation in northwest Montana. On that route was Dodge City with locals Bat Masterson, "Doc" Holliday, and Wyatt Earp. The dormouse can hiss like a snake. Children play possum in the yard. By mim­icking the male the damselfly reduces unwanted atten­tion from the opposite sex. Love has a hem to her gar­ment that trails in the dust; "not as sweet as it was before." Descartes before the horse. "No grief that time does not soften." Virginia Wolf black eucalyptus. Jan Ninka doesn't give a damn; he takes the tram. An Eng­lishman never goes back on his word. Now get off my knee a bit. In England the newcomer ought not call until called upon. Ladies and gentlemen, finally! There's nothing to get up for in London. Nothing to get up for? Indeed!

Farina bangs her tarnished holiday dish in Mendocino.

Diana Vance

Mendocino

PS. Attention Deficit Nonsense is the apogee in the day before Turkey Day AVA. Todd Walton, you're on the money with Nelson Mandela and Aldus Huxley.


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NO MATTER HOW YOU PAINT IT…

Dear Citizens of Mendocino County,

What's wrong with the Mendocino County justice sys­tem and the politics and politicians involved in it? Everything! I've written many letters to this newspaper in the past speaking out against the atrocities that have been committed against me here in this County's jail and court system and and the AVA itself has published many news articles covering my story as well.

My name is Glenn Sunkett and I fought this court system almost single-handedly for two years and tried my damnedest to bring attention to my situation and enlighten the community on the illegal and unethical activity that goes on behind closed doors at the Mendo­cino County Courthouse. But I'm learning firsthand that it's very difficult trying to change a corrupt, biased and extremely racist criminal justice system that has been operating in the dark in this manner since forever all by yourself.

It is disturbing to see the rights and livelihoods of the people being violated and disregarded every day down at the Mendocino County courthouse without fear, mercy, consequence or repercussion. The judges there regularly ignore the Constitution and State laws which they are sworn to honor, uphold and implement in every situation and criminal case that comes before their bench. Instead, these judges abuse these powerful positions by imple­menting their own rules and twisting the law to their liking because they know that they can. The average per­son who walks into one of these courtrooms seeking jus­tice according to law is doomed before his/her case is even heard. The only way that you have a chance is if you have a private local attorney who is heavily con­nected inside this closely knit circle of law enforcement. (Even then, you have to worry about him selling you out to the District Attorney and making you part of a pack­age deal for a future dismissal or conviction.)

You can't seek refuge with the Public Defender's office because they are nothing more than the little sister to the District Attorney's Office. I have never seen a more is scandalous, shiesty, incompetent and nonchalant group of people in my life. They are so careless and irre­sponsible with people's lives it is shameful. And with the District Attorney's Office and Sheriff's office both hav­ing free reign to do whatever the hell they want to do and these county judges in cahoots with their bullshit, how can anyone at all come out of those courtrooms with confidence that their case was handled on the up and up and was judged according to law, not some stranger's discretion or opinion? And the situation is made worse once the race factor is applied. And trust me, it applies — check the conviction stats.

Now I'm not going to relive all the details and specif­ics of my situation. Just know that I showed the courts the many errors and violations of the law that occurred in my case. But the judge just sneered at me at every court appearance as if to say, "Yeah, your black ass might be right, but not in my courtroom." But realistically I did not need to point out the errors and violations of my rights and of the law because they already knew about all of them. They are the ones who committed them! It was all by design.

It was clear to anyone paying attention the chief pub­lic defender, Linda Thompson, sold me out and worked hand in hand with Deputy District Attorney Jill Ravitch and Judge Ronald Brown in order to do so effectively. That was a perfect example of a favor being cashed in in one way or another. I mean, how else can you explain Linda Thompson's being promoted to chief Public Defender in the middle of a trial — my trial — that she blew horribly?

What? You don't think these types of things happen here in this lilly ass county? Then you are a fool. It is highly probable that Mendocino County has more illegal activity and corruption taking place among its own political circle and law enforcement than any other county in the state of California. Don't lose sight of the fact that Mendo is the platform to a multibillion dollar a year marijuana industry. The illegal drug harvesting is this county's economy! So you would be a fool to believe that there is no corruption existing in the court system, Sheriff's office, Public Defender's and District Attorney's Offices and political circles here in this county.

Don't believe me, the bitter conspiracist? Well, let me refer to a letter that was sent to and printed in the January 3, 2010 edition of the AVA. The letter was (allegedly) written by an employee of the Mendocino County Courthouse. (The AVA may choose to reprint this letter along with my letter.) The person wrote, "If the people of the state or the press ever got hold of what really goes on here I doubt if there would be enough innocent employees left to open the courthouse door." The author went on to talk about how "court-appointed" attorneys work their way up the ladder with the prose­cutor to help find their clients guilty. Giving up one case to win another. Cashing in favors like lottery tickets. The writer spoke out against dirty cops and prosecutors as well as rogue judges who frequently set aside the law for their own personal agenda. This person even told how he or she had been ordered to alter dates and keep records or lose records pertaining to specific cases. There was so much corruption alleged by this employee of the court that I'm surprised there wasn't an immediate investiga­tion, private or public, launched to see if in fact there was any truth to these accusations.

I myself have either personally witnessed or was sub­jected to many of the things alleged in that employee's letter. Therefore, I know firsthand that these things exist. Still don't believe shit stinks? Well, let me approach this corruption from another angle, one I'm sure you won't be able to ignore.

Every week you can read in your local newspapers how the Mendocino County Sheriff's Department has seized (stolen) $50,000 from one citizen, $200,000 from another, $300,000 from somebody else — Lord knows what else is taken during these pillagings —  only to split up this money between themselves and their crook co­defendants down at the District Attorney's Office. These folks who are sworn to protect you are storming into your homes, armed, and stealing your money then bla­tantly putting it on their own kitchen tables. What kind of message is being sent here? That your money is too illegal for you to keep and feed your family with, but not contaminated or dirty enough for these so-called "good guys" to bring into their own "respectable" homes and feed their own "respectable" families with or buy cars, boats and take vacations with? Come on now, if you are a law official and you have any integrity whatsoever in yourself, your job and your duties as a public official and officer of the court and claim to be a law-abiding citizen, then how can you "confiscate" money from a drug dealer that you believe was made by way of illegal drug profits then spend that same dirty money on you and your fam­ily without putting yourself in the same criminal cate­gory as that drug dealer you just robbed?

You can't! Face it, the Sheriff's office, District Attor­ney and Public Defenders office, judges and anyone else who profits off of drug profits are a bunch of crooks themselves. You are all just a close-knit society of thieves, liars and prostitutes. No matter how you disguise it, you can't dress that shit up. That would be like trying to paint stripes on a pig then attempting to pass it off as a zebra to a zookeeper. No matter what you say, that's just a god-damned pig.

Anyway, Judge Brown gave me 63 years and I took it like he gave me 63 days. You know why? Because he knows just as well as I do that I will be giving that right back to him through the appeals court so I haven't even begun to sweat yet.

Hopefully the citizens of Mendocino County's inter­est has been peeked enough to call for an investigation into the corruption alleged. Really, it's your duty as tax­payers and law abiding citizens to do so. Because these things will affect you in some form or fashion sooner or later if it's not already affecting you, a friend, or a family member right now. Come on, you have to stand up for something now or you are going to continue to fall for anything.

Sincerely,

Glenn Sunkett

San Quentin

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FAIR PLAY FOR SHAR PEI

Dear Mr. Anderson,

Well, as usual, you have done it again! I am utterly aghast at what you have printed in that November 24 paper of yours. But what can I expect from people such as yourself who obviously don't even have the decency to love and appreciate those of our more humble species-kind! I can't believe you would sink so low as to put a picture taken in all close up frontal honesty of a sweet, naive and probably loving and affectionate Shar Pei side-by-side with an accused ugly guy!

Some of the girl children molested, rumor has it, have been raised in good, decent and loving families. I am very sure that they would never — I repeat never! — want a picture of Richard Kruse to be placed side by side with an innocent Shar Pei! Even though I don't know the particular Shar Pei whose photograph, I suspect, you used without permission, I am stunned that you printed it unthinking about the consequences and what it may have done to this particular dog and more importantly to the reputation of all Shar Peis. I am afraid that now some of the misguided readers of your rag may be reluctant to adopt one and, goodness knows, our shelters are over­flowing with homeless animals!

So what I hope you will do is to find it in the good­ness of your heart, AVA editor, to print ASAP a retrac­tion in which you will state that to the best of your knowledge the Shar Pei breed, or even the mixed Shar Pei breed, has not ever endorsed or in any way approved of accused child molesters. And that you did not deliber­ately intend to cast aspersions upon or in any way dam­age the reputation of Sharp Peis.

While I am aware that many people seeing the two photographs juxtaposed side-by-side thought it was hilarious, even brilliant, I beg you to take a big bar of soap and scrub out that consciousness of yours, Mr. Anderson. Print a retraction and stop abusing our defenseless loyal animal kingdom!

Name withheld

Fort Bragg

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THE HAPPIEST PLACE

Dear Mr. Anderson:

As you can see, time has really gone by. I don't know if I am more pissed off at you or me. It came to my attention that you sold out, paper and people, to moved to Oregon. I left because it was time and a girl gets cold up in those parts. I didn't sell out. We all have responsi­bilities and I thought you knew yours. Just when the grass looks greener, it's because of the bullshit on the other side. My question is: Do we come back and finish the job? Do we enrich the barren landscape? Gosh, the more things change the more they are the same.

Every dog has his day and a good dog just might have two days. With chill in the old bones and having seen the light I pitched my way down south. I intended to head for Haynesville and see if any truth still resided there. I got side tracked down in Arkansas at first in Hot Springs. There are lots of bridges there to check out. If they are full, the springs there are capped with concrete slabs which are warm on the cold nights. I ran into Bill and stayed around to help him out for a while but he was beyond help. Finally I got pretty fed up and suggested he run for higher office. That was a joke. I guess he took me seriously. Anyway, he wound up in the White House instead of the big house. Then he ran into Monica. I tried to talk to her but she wouldn't listen. She said she was  trying to straighten him out which she might have done with more time, or more than one time. But she blew it and got all tripped up.

I headed back to Pangburn and some better bridges. The sheriff there was relentless as someone obviously told him I was coming. A girl couldn't even rest. That Little Red River was aptly named and the iron ore bridge too rusty for my tastes. Haynesville started to sound like a better place to stop for a while and catch my breath.

As it turned out, Johnny was the closest thing Hay­nesville had for a poet which wasn't much. At least the oil companies there didn't totally devastate the entire landscape. I did find out that some of those nights are darker than the inside of a cow stomach, both of them.

At least I could get a decent drink just outside town at Sikes Ferry and a few gentlemen to buy a lady one. You should stop in if ever you are near. If so, call me on my cell and I'll meet you in Shreveport where I'm cur­rently lodging under the Red River Bridge when not playing blackjack at the Horseshoe. You won't find any decent writers here but not for lack of paper wasted. The Shreveport Times is another corporate waste facility that should ship their entire production straight to recycling in order to save a few trees. If no news is good news, they are the happiest place on the planet.

Don't get carried away and read all this, as I don't want everyone to think I am entirely senile. I might want to ship another sheet or two up your way.

Goodnight, Mr. Anderson.

Faithfully yours,

Yvette Miriam Survenir

Shreveport, Louisiana

PS. I didn't ask about the county. That's all yesterday and for all its piety and wit, can't call me back. PPS. Bill is still a creep. PPPS. Leadbelly was right on occasion.


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WHY DID THEY ATTACK?

Editor,

Shouldn't the people be screaming mad at their own government here in the USA? Might they not be asking: "What are you doing to cause people from the other side of Earth to go to such extremes to attack us?" The citi­zens of the USA elect government officials partly to deal diplomatically with all the other nations and people of the world. There is a part there in which they have failed.

What other country has sustained attacks regularly for decades against its embassies, warships, citizens and in the last decade its homeland?

Russia, United Kingdom, Mexico, Pakistan, India and some African countries all have violent internal strife or border disputes.

The attackers of the USA come from afar, the same areas "our" oil comes from.

Whoever owns the oil deposit will buy the equipment to pump it out then sell it to whoever has the cash. (Israel is the exception. Several oil soaked countries will not sell to Israel. That's another letter.) The USA need not put their man, the Shah and others, or their military (includ­ing private contractors, mercenaries) in the oil-bearing country. Getting oil contracts via military occupation is much more expensive than the usual business methods of negotiation, bribes and trade. So how does the USA goof it up? As it happens, war is also a big industry and so is security.

When people say the USA is going to war for the oil companies that is only partly true. The fact is, going to war for any reason or for no reason is big business and war is always advocated by those business interests whose interest is in war materials.

One more thing and I'm through with this letter. The security industry needs insecurity to thrive. What might they be doing to ensure future business?

Paul Jorgensen

Bruceton Mills, West Virginia

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SHIP OF FOOLS

Editor,

During November 14-21, Karel and I boarded the ship, Nieuw Amsterdam for a post-election cruise spon­sored by the good folks who publish the National Review magazine.

The trip was relaxing and entertaining (think turquoise blue waters, and the sandy beaches, snorkeling at Grand Turk and climbing a Mayan temple near Cozumel.)

It was also an intellectual treat of interacting with bright, articulate people with well-rounded conservative views of history, government, politics and points of view not often presented in our local and national liberal me­dia.

The food was delicious, but came in second to the intellectual feast of conservative philosophy and ideas served up by panels of brilliant individuals.

The panels included such scholars as: Rich Lowry, editor of National Review, Bernard Lewis (world-renowned Islam scholar), Victor Davis Hanson (writer and classical scholar), Senator-elect Pat Toomey (Penn­sylvania), Karl Rove (political architect), Andrew McCarthy (writer and former DOJ attorney who helped convict the blind sheik), Jonah Goldberg and Cal Tho­mas (nationally syndicated columnists), Scott Rasmussen (national pollster) and Andrew Breitbart (biggovern­ment.com), to name  a few.

Panel topics ran the gamut of current issues of inter­est to conservatives (and presumably others) such as: the elections: what happened and why; America versus radi­cal Islam; trillions?; America, debt, and the economy; the elections: is the MSM (mainstream media) a big loser?; the state of US-euro relations, and the state of liberalism.

At one dinner, Karel and I sat next to Senator elect Toomey, a thoughtful, intelligent person and great con­versationalist, possibly presidential material.

He had spoken to the large group earlier, holding eve­ryone's interest for almost an hour — without notes, without repeating himself, and without using teleprompt­ers.

There must have been some tea party folks there too. If so, they had disguised themselves as intelligent, knowledgeable conservatives. They were decent folks. Imagine that.

Jim Littlejohn

Gualala

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