Letters to the Editor 7/29/2009
by Letters to the Editor, July 29, 2009
THE MILK OF THE GODDESS
Greetings Esteemed Editor:
You mentioned in the July 16 edition a certain Sherry Glaser and some other bare-breasted, fog-basted beauts had flashed President Obama's motorcade and you marveled at Presidential Obama’s restraint in not issuing an emergency directive ordering America's women to burkha themselves.
There is a hitch, Mr. Anderson!
Something you perhaps did not anticipate: our chief executive was momentarily blinded by a gigantic solar body only somewhat larger than Ms. Glaser’s mammaries. I know this is surprising. That larger body is called the sun. Had President Obama’s vision not been obscured by this solar usurper he would have seen the heroically bared, giant, patent-leather texture, grayish yellow, sagtoidal breasties waved at him with great deliberation — a hugely flabboid, symbolic mammarialistic incantative act of supposed great purpose and effect!
Yet much like Shakespeare's paen two basically useless human spectacles — all sound and fury signifying nothing — Barack Obama just didn't SEE the Glaser Inc. “Titty City.” Had he done so our world would now be a much different place.
Yes indeed! Had President Obama visually connected with Mr. Glaser's extra-large slackers and those of her friends/accomplices we most certainly would be living in a different world. Racism would vanish! Global healthcare would be free! No one would have to go to unfulfilling jobs. We could just teach each other yoga and massage! Pollution and global warming would be a forgotten inconvenience.
Instead of living in crowded, expensive metropolises, we would solve all our housing shortages by simply snuggling and living under extra-large women's breasts. Temperature controlled, safe and warm, and no heating bills! Most if not all of the world's problems could have been solved if only Barack Obama had seen the Face of the Goddess — or more correctly the Goddess’s cupcakes. That vision would surely have changed the world!
Already, despite the missed opportunity, positive real change is occurring. There are loud media rumbles about female human breast milk now being converted into a high-quality, handy-dandy, organic biofuel to run our cars and I'm personally convinced that this is just more solid proof that breasts will save our planet.
Sincerely keeping abreast of the issues,
OUT IN THE CODE
Dear Mr. Anderson,
In the July 8, 2009 issue of the “Anderson Valley Advertiser,” you stated that a witness was “persuaded not to go on the record,” and made the innuendo of my “bullying her into silence,” as well as other false, malicious and defamatory statements.
These printing and distribution of these lies, along with the previous vile and depraved fabrications printed in your “newspaper” in three previous editions, for which retractions have been demanded but not provided, constitutes the crime of libel under California Civil Code, Section 45. A retraction of these false statements is therefore requested along with the demand that you cease and desist from all further libel.
NIBBLING AT HEALTHCARE
A couple little victories in Washington last week.
On July 21, the Senate voted 58-40 to amend the $680 billion ($680,000,000,000) military bill to remove $1.75 billion ($1,750,000,000) for seven more F-22 fighter jets (the Pentagon already has 187 of these Cold War relics, isn't using them, and didn't want any more — Congress initially ignored this advice and insisted on paying for and making more).
Credit for this glimmer of sanity goes to Defense Secretary Gates, who urged the repeal, and Obama, who threatened veto (goes to show what good leadership can do). Jeers go to local senators Boxer and Feinstein, who porkishly voted against the cut (in fact, the amendment would not have passed without the support of 15 Republican senators).
This is, hopefully, a first baby step away from the unbridled military spending that we've undertaken in this country for far too long. We've got more weaponry than is good for us, or any other living thing on this planet. It's time to tack left.
On July 17, the House Education and Labor Committee voted 27-19 to approve a Kucinich amendment allowing states to create their own single-payer healthcare plans (again, without 13 Republican ayes, this amendment would have perished).
If our federal government isn't going to muster the integrity and courage to do what is sensible and right on healthcare this time around, this amendment will make it easier for states to lead the way to single-payer in this country.
The California legislature has twice passed a single-payer bill (SB 840) the past few years, only to watch the Govereneggar veto it down both times (goes to show what bad leadership can do). Meanwhile, other states — Colorado, Illinois, Minnesota, Montana, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Washington among them — have active single-payer efforts before their legislatures.
Single-payer began in Canada at the provincial level. Saskatchewan is where it started. Other provinces saw how successful it was and joined in. By 1971, Canada decided to make it federal. Contrary to all the blatant disinformation streaming from FOX News, Canadians (and all the other single-payer nation citizens) like their National Healthcare. Why shouldn't they? They pay less for superior results (Americans pay the most, by far, yet rank near the bottom).
Remember, folks, Rupert Murdoch is not your friend, he's just another tax-dodging zillionaire, taking advantage of what America has become (a shooting range for avaricious free-marketeers). Don't believe everything he and his minions tell you. Read, investigate, circulate, and draw your own conclusions. Until a majority of Americans learn to think for themselves, we will remain, collectively, fish in a barrel.
This brings to mind the letter in last week's AVA urging Ukiahans to relax and let the “big boys” (in this case, the developers at DDR) do whatever they want, so that we might save pennies on our next widget purchase. That is exactly the sort of narrow, short-term, non-thinking that leads straight to the long-term disaster we're presently caught in (and it is exactly what Rupert and friends want you to think, which is why they purchased most of the media in this country). We've got to think a little deeper than that, people, we need to be more aware of the bigger picture. There is a lot of cause-and-effect going on out there. It's called connecting the dots. Those “pennies off” come at a huge social cost, and many of us don't want to pay that price.
Survey the landscape before you nibble the cheese.
Beyond the Deep End (Navarro)
KISS MY ABS
It has come to my attention that a certain David Gurney (now, I don't know if this is, in fact, *the* David Gurney) — but at any gait, *a* David Gurney — hath cast some very disobliging aspersions upon my credibility and besmirched my reputation as a courtroom hack.
This, simply, will not do.
By way of resume, I should like to say I learned my trade as a hack writer from Lord Thompson, late of Fleet Street, London. His Lordship was a very prominent publisher with hundreds of broadsheets in the United States and Canada. And while m'lord lavished enormous salaries upon my 'prenticeship, he was a strict disciplinarian (much like The Major in this particular case) who tolerated not the slightest deviation from the venerable traditions of contemporary journalism.
All of which is to say I have never in my long and varied career been given to making disparagingly gratuitous inference through out-of-context misquoting, no matter my personal predilections and resentments.
Now, as to parsing the co-called “facts” in this particular instance:
Mr. Gurney boldly asserts with the most impudent pedantry imaginable — not to belabor his inimitable felicity in the application of rhetorical devices such as the solecism, the misnomer, and a highly individual approach to spelling. I say, he very cleverly uses all his technical sophistry to trick me out as a silly ass who doesn’t know that there are no such things as filets to be found on *Halitosis rustcans*, the common red abalone.
However compelling his argument may be, the thorough reader will not be persuaded, for it is patently demonstrable that any fool with a filet knife may produce filets from any animal, fish, fowl or mammal. And thus it follows that the sly and malicious Gurney hath slandered and libeled me character and integrity.
For these depredations I hereby demand a written retraction, a formal apology and a blow-job on Main Street, in Fort Bragg, at 12 noon, July 30, 2009. Otherwise shall be compelled to seek legal redress.
TIME PASSES FAST
Dear Mr. Anderson:
Haven't seen you since the evening you all started the Green party. Time has passed, eh?
I wish to thank you personally and thanks to anyone else involved for running the two obituaries for my wife Betty and the celebration held in her memory on June 24. This helped a great deal in informing people including the hundred I named and the 73 others who also came. This was so good of you and the Advertiser.
Amid the whirling blades and the machine gun chatter, the children of the earth hide behind rocks and walls.
They know that with Death there’s no after.
MENDOCINO CROSSING LOT
Developers Diversified Realty didn't show much savvy when it failed to change the Masonite site's zoning before it closed escrow. Seasoned commercial developers would have done that. DDR did not.
Now it is stuck for the purchase price and thrashing around to fix things.
DDR's timing was not the best either.
“The commercial real estate bomb is ticking,” said Rep. Carolyn Mahoney (D-NY), who chairs Congress's Joint Economic Committee, in opening remarks to her panel on July 5.
Testimony to the panel was that today's roughly $6.7-trillion commercial real estate market is crippled with about $3.55 trillion of debt. Money to pay the debt is evaporating as mall vacancy rates rise to 10%, the highest since 1992.
DDR's vacancy rate this May was about 9.5%. (That's why it has applied for a federal bailout.)
With many commercial properties worth half their peak 2006 value, banks have turned off the tap for commercial real estate refinancing.
And the crisis is far from over.
Commercial real estate is “decaying and getting worse,” said Victor Canalog, a director of research for Reis, Inc., the nation's leading commercial real estate analysis firm. Canalog said he did not “foresee a recovery in the retail sector until late 2012 at the earliest.”
“Given the depth and magnitude of the recession,” he added, “you can argue that we are facing a storm of epic proportions and we're only at the beginning.”
Those are the mega-problems now dogging DDR's Mendocino mega-fiasco.
The mall simply cannot and will not happen as promised.
If Proposition A passes (to change the zoning from industrial to commercial/mixed use), expect a vacant lot at the Masonite site for many years ago come.
The last thing we need is an abandoned project in our county seat and largest city.
The Anderson Valley Winegrowers Association, at its July members’ meeting, awarded $16,000 to Anderson Valley organizations so important to the welfare of the community. The Health Center and the Education Foundation each received checks for $8,000 from the proceeds of the silent auction held at the winergrowers’ Pinot Noir Festival in May. Accepting for the Health Center were Michael Addison and Larry Londer; Lynn Sawyer and Susan Addison received the award on behalf of the Education Foundation.
The Anderson Valley Winegrowers Association has now contributed more than $150,000 to various community service organizations that directly benefit all the residents of Anderson Valley.
LAKE MENDOCINO QUICKMUD
This is very important to the public. when you and your family or friends are having a fun day at Lake Mendocino, you all need to make everyone around you aware!
When you and yours are taking a swim, be careful when you stand up in water less or more than your height or weight. When she's low, like she is now, the mud in Lake Mendocino can be really soft and deep. Almost quicksand like. You'll stand up and both feet can sink down into the mud.
I personally experienced recently having one leg stuck in the mud to the knee in pretty shallow water. I called my friend for assistance in pulling my right leg free of the suction of the mud. I could not physically pull my leg free alone, and I am not weak! If I had been in deeper water and that happened to both legs when I stood in four feet of water, that could quickly become five feet and I might be in water over my head after standing up and sinking under. I'd be underwater and stuck in shallow mud. I would be unable to shout for rescue and would probably drown!
Swim as close to shore as possible. You could help save yourself from a very bad day and help save those around you. Everyone needs to be aware of this by newspaper, radio, TV and word of mouth.
Keep a close eye on all those having fun in the water at Lake Mendocino. Seriously. Real seriously.
‘The Great Seatbelt Caper.’ —
By law listed below a seatbelt infraction is $15-$20 for the first time not wearing a seatbelt and $50 for subsequent offenses. Through various gimmicks it got to $128 for the first time and $327 for subsequent offenses. This for a law that is questionable and is only for one’s own protection.
The law says, “notwithstanding subdivision (a) of Section 42001, a violation of subdivision D, E or F is an infraction punishable by a fine of not more than $20 for a first and a fine of not more than $50 for each subsequent offense.”
I went to court with this law and was given back $217 of the $322 I put up as they called it, “bail.” All the gimmicks and fees they add, no matter what they call them are all the fine. Your taxes pay for all court and police costs. Bail is an amount of money you put up to make sure you show up at court. If you don’t show up you forfeit the bail.
Nobody, or I would say almost no one, ever shows up or looks up the law, and the government gets to keep the bail. Their reason is to get the $20 and $50 fines raised up to $228 and $322, thus making a tidy profit. To me it’s highway robbery. It’s that monopoly I always talk about. You have only one choice and it’s rare that anyone gets held accountable for goofs. On a minor violation the ticket should say, “Call up or go in to find the cost of that particular infraction.” Instead, they apply all these fees to confuse and soak the public, and then they call it justice.
THE WAR NOT TAKEN
When I rewind my life to age 22, I had applied for work through the Personnel Department of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. On the basis of my academic record, I was offered a job as the first woman to join an experimental thinktank in eastern Massachusetts. When that offer was withdrawn because I had not completed my first semester of college, another offer followed. My debating partner and I had won the National Collegiate Debating championship for Colby College. Because the loyalty oath had been the subject of the debates, I refused to sign the non-communist affidavit required to qualify for the National Defense Education Act student loans. Without that financial boost I could not complete my senior year.
The second formal offer from Personnel was a personal assistant’s job in Washington DC. My scheduled interview was with a Robert McNamara about whom I knew very little, only that he was headed for the capitol to become Secretary of “Defense.” After a short explanation of the job requirements and a description of the very large office I would inhabit and the slightly less large office for my personal assistant, I was offered the job. Instead of the anticipated Yes, I explained that I would prefer Professor Daniel Lerner’s offer of a work/education program in Middle Eastern studies in which I could take any classes in MIT I chose if the professor agreed. This study would be on a not-for-credit basis.
At this time Mr. McNamara turned lobster red, ready to explode, his fury barely permitting him to speak: “This is the first time in my entire career that a MERE SECRETARY has dared to say no to me.” I could barely contain my imploded laughter as he stormed out of the room. I waited and watched his angry stride through a small window in the door before I dared release my laughter. By then, the incident seemed a little less funny, this amazing display of the arrogance of power.
Looking back, I realize this was a turning point decision based on a desire to learn and a personal intuition. Many times I have asked myself, suppose I had accepted Mr. McNamara’s offer? Would I have been convinced by the war perpetrators’ fear-mongering among the Washington elite? Would I have believed the government propaganda for a time? For how long? Would I have been corrupted by the milieu of privilege, power and wealth? Or would my skepticism have surfaced? Would I have contradicted this tightly wound man resulting in my termination?
So many possibilities that could have been. The yellow brick road or the red brick road? Never have I regretted that decision.
Here is $25 for a signed first edition of Mendocino Noir.
Speaking of crimes, when the state finally passes a funny money budget will it issue ISYs? (I screw you).
As for current high crimes in Mendopia, how about KZIP’s using public funds to promote the pot/wine lifestyle? Community radio my ass. Narrowcasting, not broadcasting.
How about seizing KZIP and turning it into a progressive Spanish-language station?
DEPRESSION FARM WORK
Documenting the exploitation of migrant farm workers is very important and needs to be made a part of history where possible. I have my father’s 1937 diary that he kept while working as a migrant farm worker in California and Idaho and will be donating the diary to a California historical organization. My hope is to see it placed with an organization that will use the information as an additional source to document the history and struggle of migrant farm workers.
I know you support migrant farm workers so would appreciate your recommendation of an organization to donate the diary to. I enclose an enlarged copy of the small pocket diary. I could also send copies to organizations that you suggest. I found the diary among my mother’s possessions after her death.
My father also kept a diary for 1936 while doing migrant farm work but it is missing. The 1937 diary contains some scribbles that I made as a child in West Virginia but otherwise it only contains my father’s entries. You have my permission to reproduce any part of the diary.
My father was born in West Virginia in 1909 and grew up on a small farm. He worked as a migrant farm worker in California in 1936 and 1937. He married my mother (his second marriage) in 1939 on their first day of hitchhiking from West Virginia to California with $25 in their pocket. He went back to doing migrant farm work and during this time my brother was born in Martinez in 1940 and I was born in St. Helena in 1941. We moved back to West Virginia in 1943. In 1952 he hitchhiked again to California saying he would send for us when he “made good at prospecting.”
Once again he was a migrant farm worker but found work harder to come by due to “the Mexicans taking over all the agriculture work.” He could not give up the “bottle” which began in his early 20s and ended up destitute by 1954. We received a letter from a Sacramento storefront mission in 1954 that said he had stopped by there and left our address and 25¢ asking them to send us a Christmas card. That was the last we heard of him until 27 years later.
My father was a very detailed person as can be seen in the 1937 diary. He made note each day of where he was, what crop he was working on, the rate of pay, and if piece rate or hourly and sometimes noted the company he was working for. He usually mentioned the weather and a notation of “N” if he had no work and a “W” if he worked. On Sundays if he had no work he might go to a ball game or play horse shoes.
The diary began on New Year’s Day with this entry: “At Japanese camp cutting celery on Boulder Island out of Stockton, had a big Jap dinner with lots of Saki.” Here are some examples of what he was paid for migrant work: 1/2/37: earned $1.25 cutting celery five hours at .25/hr. 1/16/37: earned $1.20 picking 4 boxes of olives at .30/bx. 2/1/37: earned .66 cents picking 88 lbs of cotton at piece rate of .75 for 100 lbs. 2/9/37: earned $5.36 shoveling snow for S.P. Railroad 14.5 hours at .37/hr. Snow was 4 to 7 feet deep.
After 11 days with no work the diary entry says: “In Sacramento, signed up on S.R.A. until I get work, stayed at Argonaut, 206 K St, $2.00 week, relief ticket. Eating at Alameda Restaurant .35 per day.”
2/26/37 diary entry: “In Sacramento, went to airport, look for work, walked 14 miles, no job.” 3/25/37: earned $3.00 with a trip to “Frisco” from Sacramento in a furniture truck. 4/18/37: earned $3.00 working in asparagus 10 hours at .30/hr. 5/7/37: left for Idaho on S.P.R.R. to work in beet fields returning to Sacramento on 7/23/37.
While in Idaho Falls on 7/3/37 he was arrested for a “spree” and fined $5.00 or 3.5 days in jail so he stayed in jail, saving $5.00. August, September, and part of October he worked in Martinez picking pears, peaches, making barn repairs, and “knocking walnuts” and was paid .35/hr. He had chest pains occasionally and his medical care consisted of taking brewer’s yeast.
After knocking walnuts and related work for 10 hours a day for 27 days in a row at .35/hr he quit due to pains in his chest and boarded a bus back to West Virginia. The diary continues with entries about life in West Virginia.
I was raised in West Virginia, graduated from high school in 1959, joined the Marine Corps right out of high school and never went back except for the occasional family visit. I moved to San Francisco in 1969 from Virginia. My search for my father ended in 1981 when I found him in St. Helena, my birthplace in 1941. He was marker number 841 in the pauper’s section of the St. Helena public cemetery having died in 1974. I had a brass plate installed at his grave to replace the small crude cement marker. (Picture attached of the pauper’s section of the cemetery.)
I just read Freda Moon's latest, 'Not the Newhour', and I must thank you for publishing the real story behind our local newspapers. Her writing is a pleasure to read, and the content invaluable to residents of this county, and anyone interested in the future of journalism here.
The pigs are at the trough again, in the land of milk and honey, feeding now as they fed back then, growing fat on public money.
They don fine gowns of silk and gold, yet speak with words of woe, of a healing place so frail and old, where all of us must go.
“We’ll make it young,” the swine proclaim, “with fifths of chardonnay, We’ll heal the sick and cure the lame, as long as you all pay.”
They tried that bit with Measure R, but the voters all said no, so belly they now up to the bar, to have another go.
O’ drinking makes a fool of you, and helps us to forget, for we’ve all awoke with a pig or two, that filled us with regret.
And was it not so long ago, in the land of timber fallers, the same fine swine that we all know, disappeared five million dollars?
So raise a glass to the porcine ploy, and let us all applaud it. Then let them wallow in their joy, but pen them with an audit!
Then if it finds one nickel gone, or ledger out of whack, this poet has a plan upon, to get that money back.
We’ll have a giant barbecue, where everyone shall dine, and all the hogs will be there too — but they won’t be pouring wine.
It’ll all be on the internet, for the whole wide world to see, with smiling faces — no regrets, our pig-nic by the sea.
Then any hogs who see that site, may not be coming here, and other towns can see the light, and swine will live in fear.
For the word will travel near and far, from Rotterdam to Reno, if a greedy pig is what you are, don’t come to Mendocino!
VE DON’T VANT ZE MALL
Global corporatization is on the march in Mendocino County. Four years ago, Developers Diversified Realty (DDR) bought the vacated Masonite mill site in Ukiah and is now spending millions of dollars to undermine our democratic planning process and install whatever they want on the former millsite without public oversight. Market forces, where money is power, will determine what they do with the site, from building a megamall to a subdivision of McMansions. If they succeed, it will encourage other large corporations to sponsor initiatives to push through their own projects without public scrutiny, which might otherwise be unlawful and not in the public good.
Your assistance is needed to insure that we keep democratic control of the future of our communities. Help educate the public about the ramifications of the DDR initiative that is now known as Measure A on the ballot this November. On the Coast the “NO on Measure A Campaign” is being headed up by Steve Antler at email@example.com 937-5925. In the inland area contact “Save Our Local Economy” (SOLE) at firstname.lastname@example.org 462-1900 to get involved with this issue. For more information see www.nomegamall.com. You can also see DDR's announced plans at mendocinocrossings.org and at their corporate website at ddr.com. By googling Developers Diversified Realty, information is available about the deteriorating state of DDR's finances as well as the recent purchase of over 20% of DDR's stock by a German Mall developer.
The Alliance For Democracy will be holding an educational forum and perhaps other events on this issue. Contact me at email@example.com 964-1323 to help with AfD's efforts on this issue.
CEASE & DESIST
Dear Mr. Anderson and Mr. McEwan:
Couch that potato!
This is a formal and legal demand that you print retractions for all false and libelous statements arising from my having my head up my ass. It's not my fault. I am as God has made me and I suffer mostly when I don't get my own way. You must desist or I will pout. I truly will. Why are the letters in this paper so repetitious? Should we change our medication or our underwear? Eh?
Does Mike Sweeney own the copyright on this Jim Jones Electric Kool-Aid Festival he's promoting or not? Hmmm?
When will Steve Sparks profile sister Yasmine and the Sisters of Perpetual Annoyance, and who is holding the pool funds for predicting when Captain Fathom re-incarcerates?
It seems that the current news cycle demands the return of Don McQueen, no?
Chief Mushroom Cloud is celebrating August 5!
David Gumby (channeled by spirit-mentors through Ignacio Helphalumpe)Drippy Zoo, Port Townsend, WA
Detective Diana Wood Duck of Deadtree who nests in a hollow log near a woodland lake says, “Hooray. You printed both my letters to you concerning the decapitated trees at Fort Bragg high school, cut down for a parking lot. “Rot” could be the headline.
But Farina bangs her black dish and cries out, “Don't tree me, Bush, but slower. Please correct my PS in your July 15, edition. I'm not Ripley. “Believe Id or not.”
Somewhere over the rainbow circles around the sun.
Wo-ho! So-Ho, then!
Diana DDWDD Vance
NOT THE FIRST HIPNECK
Great work, Steve Sparks, in bringing us Ernie Pardini, the fellow worker who put the red in redneck. To paraphrase Bob Dylan, I wish, I wish in vain. If we could sit simply in that park again. $10,000 at the drop of a hat I'd gladly pay if our lives could be like that again.
We don't have 10,000 cents, let alone dollars. But what does it matter?
To be with Judi Bari, Anna Marie, Polly, Val Glen Oak, Dobie Dolphin, Little Tree, Kay Rudin, Linda Perkins and the warrior clan defending the Albion Nation and the timber workers from the cut and run vermin of LP and GP. In our smoke-damaged heads we believed in peace, ecology and anarcho-syndicalism. That was way back in the last century.
Ernie Pardini may have been the first hipneck. While in recent years we've had some misunderstandings involving commerce, I will love and respect and defend him while there is a breath left in my body.
Up the rebels.