Letters to the Editor
by Letters to the Editor, February 3, 2011
WAY TO GO, NPR!
Dear All Things Considered,
Many thanks for yesterday's story about the shocking revelations brought forward by Al Jazeera concerning the astounding offer made by Mahmoud Abbas to the Israelis; for those who may have missed the story, Abbas, who purports to represent the Palestinian people, offered to forfeit all of the illegally occupied Palestinian property on which Israel has built its Brezhnev-era-looking, soulless housing blocks known as settlements, in exchange for... NOTHING!
As if that betrayal were not enough, he threw in an almost complete capitulation on the long-held hope amongst the Palestinian diaspora for the right of return; that is, the right of those Palestinians who were driven out of their homes in what is now Israel, many decades ago, to return along with their descendants, born in the refugee camps where they have resided every since. Of the millions now living under those conditions, Abbas offered to settle for a mere 5,000 Palestinians being allowed to return to their erstwhile homes in Israel.
For those who have paid any attention to the interminable, on again, off again “peace process” over the years, Israel's refusal even to consider this absurdly generous offer comes as no surprise. For us, it has been obvious for decades that the only offer that Israel might seriously consider would be one where the citizens of Gaza would all march into the sea, never to be seen again, and the residents of the West Bank would all migrate across the Jordan River into Syria, never to return. Of course that would not be the end of Israel's demands; next they would insist that all Lebanese move to the northern half of Lebanon, to create a security buffer zone.
Obviously Mahmoud Abbas concocted this harebrained giveaway of his people's land and sovereignty with little or no consultation with the people he supposedly represents; the percentage of them who would go along with it is probably in the low single digits, but now that this cat is out of the bag, let the US and the rest of the world finally accept the fact that Israel is not interested in peace and coexistence with its neighbors, and will only be brought to heel by a kind of severe economic boycott, divestment and sanctions that brought down South Africa's apartheid regime (one of whose last supporters was the state of Israel).
I was pleasantly surprised by NPR's coverage of this critically important story; I had begun to believe that NPR, like virtually all of the mainstream news sources, was thoroughly cleansed of any stories that might reflect poorly on Israel. Glad to see that this is not the case. Perhaps one day soon they will inform their listeners about the fact that besides constant diplomatic coverage for whatever illegal activity Israel engages in, we, the US, keep sending them at least $10 million a day, no strings attached! WHY?
PS. I was extremely disappointed to hear about the fact that a couple of such levelheaded civic leaders as John McCowen and Dan Hamburg would cave in to the concerns of the Luddite, hypochondriac, psychosomatic worrywarts of the hysterical anti-smart meter fringe. Like those who have devoted their lives to making it almost impossible to erect a cell phone tower (but want to be able to use a cell phone nevertheless) or those who spend their days fretting over the malign effect of power lines or the mythical “chemtrails,” we, the public at large, should not be made to cater to them.
Smart meters are a good idea; they should be able to save the ratepayers the considerable costs of having a meter reader go to every meter every month, with all the wear and tear on roads and vehicles, the fuel consumption etc. These are things that we KNOW result from the present system of meter reading. By contrast, all of the terrible things that we have been hearing about smart meters is strictly theoretical and conjectural; I have seen no convincing evidence that the brief moments where miniscule amounts of whatever electromagnetic are broadcast, have any effect whatsoever on anyone. As for the 500% increases in power bills, if such is actually the case in one in 1 million new meter installations, I would bet that it is more likely to be that the old meter was faulty, under-reporting usage, rather than new one.
The idea of allowing people to opt out defeats the whole idea of the huge investment that PG&E is making in this system; long-term savings from not having to employ so many meter readers and supply them with vehicles and fuel.
With all of the major things that we should all be worried about, I really think that we should not get bogged down in worrying about something like this; PG&E should be commended for saving energy and resources, rather than impeded in its progress.
PPS. In a 1948 State Department document, diplomat George F. Kennan made this unusually frank observation: “We have about 50 percent of the world's wealth, but only 6.3 percent of its population.” The challenge facing American policymakers, he continued, was “to devise a pattern of relationships that will permit us to maintain this disparity.”
In the years since then, the US seems to have certainly taken this admonition to heart, and no region on the Earth has suffered from the implementation of such “patterns of relationships” more than the Middle East, where virtually all of our “friends” in the region are horribly oppressive dictatorships, presided over by tiny elites endowed with ungodly wealth for doing the USA's bidding, rather than serving the interests of their own people.
While mainstream media works tirelessly to paper over this fact with words like, “maintaining stability in the region,” the plainly anti-democratic net effect of our influence there is obvious to anyone who takes even a cursory interest in the people trying to live under these corrupted, sclerotic, aged dynasties.
For this reason, I was tremendously pleased and excited for the hard-pressed people of Tunisia, who rose up in an irresistible wave of disobedience to their kleptocratic leadership, pouring out onto the streets in the tens of thousands and demanding the end of Ben Ali's corrupt rule. Fortunately for them, WikiLeaks had released cables of US diplomats scoffing at the Ben Ali regime's thievery and incompetence. Without those leaks, Ben Ali may very well have thought that Uncle Sam would stand behind him regardless of any amount of brutality toward his people, and would have directed his military to go with a Tienanmen Square solution; massive slaughter of civilians to put them in their place. However, having read those cables himself, and knowing that many of his people had also read them, Ben Ali apparently chose the less sanguine course of catching a quick flight to Jeddah, in tyrant-friendly Saudi Arabia, another staunch US ally in the region.
I immediately thought, in the wake of this, “what about all the other oppressed millions of people in many of the neighboring countries?” Almost immediately, Egypt, second only to Israel in its take of US military largess, followed suit; hundreds of thousands, no longer cowed by fear of their aging autocrat's dreaded security forces, filled the streets of the cities, making cordons of hundreds of baton and tear gas wielding police seem puny and insignificant. They burned down the headquarters of Mubarak's political party and torched lots of police vehicles. Obama and Hillary are walking a fine line; trying to sound as if they are and have always been for democracy and freedom of expression, though they are both smart enough to know that the US history in the region demonstrates anything but that.
Julian Assange and WikiLeaks are like Paul Revere and George Washington to the downtrodden millions of Tunisians, Egyptians, and who knows what other people soon to follow their example. He should be given a ticker tape parade rather than being under house arrest with the US Justice Department spending resources trying to trump up some sort of credible case against his obviously beneficial activities. The US government should instead be thinking about how it plans to adapt to this new world, where the people on the ground over there actually have some say in their governance.
CORRECTING THE RECORD
Dear Mr. McLaughlin, Editor, Independent Coast Observer,
I read the article on the “School Board takes final step to return bond funds” by D. Glenn O’Hara. I truly do not appreciate having quotation marks around a statement supposedly from me that is not factual. Is that even legal to do? Since you were not at the meeting this is what I actually stated to the Board.
“I attended the Bond Oversight Committee Meeting on Tuesday in which the proposal you (meaning the board) have in front of you was presented at the meeting.” “At that time, I questioned Dr. Cross as to why the Gualala School and Arena School split the revenue part of the bond funds but the defeasance fee (charge to retire the Gualala School Bond) of the bond ($33,500.00) was not split.” She explained to me that it was due to the fact that it was for the Gualala School Bond only and not for the Arena Bond. I went on to state to the Board, “I don’t understand this because if it weren’t due to Gualala School Bond there would be no bond funds available to Point Arena.”
I also stated, “The intent of the bond was to build a school in Gualala and then convert classrooms into a middle school in Point Arena.” “For various reasons this was not able to be accomplished.” “However, I believe that if it weren’t for the Gualala School Bond passing by over 72% of the voters that the Point Arena Projects would never have been accomplished and because of this I believed that the board in a good faith gesture should return all the monies possible back to the voters.”
This is what was actually stated regarding “good faith” and not the following as reported by O’Hara: Rush also said, “I believed all along, in good faith, that the Gualala School would be built.” As you can see from above I also did not just state, “If the revenue is going to be split why not split the costs?”
I don’t care how you portray me in your paper but I do mind being misquoted as to what I stated by O’Hara and I would like the retraction of the quotes noted in the next edition and what I actually did state. If he is going to quote a person it should be accurate and if he is unable to take proper notes then I suggest that you purchase a recorder for him.
Finally, O’Hara states in the article: “The Board then split the total Bond into two accounts: one for the Gualala School and another for improvements to the Arena Union Elementary School campus (improvements included in the bond language), with about $1.87 million in each account.” This is what the BOC requested the board to do. In fact, the Board requested (former Superintendent Mark) Iacuaniello to bring back a resolution doing this but this is not what happened. Iacuaniello put funds into an “undesignated reserve” fund. Yet, it was passed by the Board without question.
This is exactly taken from Measure E Bond that was on the ballot in 2003 regarding the Arena Campus which the voters approved:
Arena Campus Conversion to Middle School:
CONVERSION of existing Arena Elementary classrooms and educational support spaces to age-appropriate instructional areas.
Upgrade educational and school support technology and data distribution systems.
Other site improvements.
Why wasn’t this in the ICO? Oh, I am sure under some loophole that the Trustees were able to build new buildings at Arena Elementary instead of abiding by the intent of the bond which was to convert the classrooms once the Gualala School was built, but as I said on Thursday evening to the Board that was “not the intent of the Bond” and that is why I continue to believe that our voters deserve to and should get back every penny possible and not use $89,000 to build an overhang outside the cafeteria at the elementary school.
Mr. DeWilder stated (as you can see from the AVA) at the Bond Oversight Meeting “We will just wait for a couple of years until things turn around and put another bond out.” Do you think for one minute the community will ever vote for another bond to have a school built in Gualala when they were sold a bill of goods the first time and it was not delivered to them?
LOOK ELSEWHERE, DAN
Hi Supervisor Dan Hamburg,
Thank you for your letter of December 26, 2010, in response to my concerns regarding budget cuts and community safety. If the Board of Supervisors approves additional cuts to the Sheriff’s budget, our local Anderson Valley deputy, Craig Walker, will be third to go. The Sheriff is bound by Civil Service requirements, and Deputy Walker would be gone with additional cuts. Our resident deputies prevent crimes, which ultimately saves the County money.
You may have your own copy of the County budget. I hope you will look, line by line, at areas which might be cut, other than public safety. Please work with other Supervisors to find budget cuts in place of additional deputy lay offs.
At its meeting on January 25th, the Mendocino County Republican Central Committee elected the following officers for 2011-2012: Stan Anderson, Fort Bragg, Chair; Carol Crosby, Ukiah, Vice Chair; Judith Williams, Fort Bragg, Treasurer and David Johnston, Ukiah, Secretary. The Republican Central Committee rotates its meetings between Ukiah, Willits and Fort Bragg. The next meeting of the will be on February 16, at Anna’s Asian House Chinese Restaurant, 47 E. Mendocino Street, Willits. Meal at 6:00, Meeting starts at 7:00 PM.
BAMBI I AIN’T
Dear Educated Rancher:
Your tale of what happened when you took a great notion to lasso a skinny little wild deer was hilarious. Then I've always admired individuals willing to perform a public service: “Mamas don't let your babies grow up to be deer-ropers.”
Yet what really tickled me was your determination to free that vicious hellcat of your noose. You getting yanked out your boots, bellyflopped, drug, tumbled, rocked, scraped, gouged, bit, shook, kicked and stomped on wasn't enough to keep you from doing the right thing. True grit, how refreshing. God's speed on your mending.
Excellent article by Will Parrish on the Wine Industry in Sonoma County. Enjoyed it very much.
Something you might like to know: Many years ago, long before DWI laws became popular, I took a wine tasting course at a local high school. Evening class, taught by a wine guy who really knew, not only wines, but also breads and cheeses. At that time, he demonstrated that judging good wine was easy and fun. And we need not pay more than $8 or $9 for a bottle of the best of wine from almost anyplace in the world. We had a great time. I took the course for three semesters. One night, I had to drive my classmate Max home. (He was too bombed out to drive his own car.)
Here is what you should know: Gallo, at that time was the largest wine distributor in the world and had tank farms much the same as oil companies use to store their products. And these farms were everywhere. And the wine in these tanks had to be chemically preserved. Our wine man told us that the highest paid people at Gallo were the chemists.
Punch line: Our wine man showed us that the morning after headache and nausea comes from the chemical preservatives and not the alcohol. Gallo got the lowest rating.
I could go on and on, but another football game is about to start.
My best regards to you. I rate you as a 10 plus writer.
Jack LaLanne was The Man.
Many will remember when he came around to the junior high schools to give talks on physical fitness and nutrition and perform feats of strength, balance and agility, wearing his signature silk stretch resort-casual outfits, arriving in a new, white T-Bird convertible.
His 15- to 30-minute TV workout programs at noon and late afternoon were very popular with the moms at this time. His feats — long-distance swims, Alcatraz to the Wharf handcuffed — were remarkable and before their time. I think some felt he was kind of silly, like a Liberace of physical fitness, but they just didn't have a clue about this good man.
Most will recognize his contributions to everyone's good health. Cheers, Jack — up you go!
THANKS DAN & TOM
Thank you, Dan Hamburg and Sheriff Allman, for expressing your views and defending your jobs strongly and passionately. In tough times we need more leaders who care and you are showing our community just how much you do care.
As for the Ukiah Daily Journal's coverage calling it “yelling,” and in their one-sided editorial opinion accusing Mr. Hamburg of “shouting” and “losing it,” give me a break. Now they're sounding like right-winger David Anderson exaggerating to make a point. Checking the exchange on Ukiah Valley TV clearly shows strongly stated views, but yelling and shouting? No. Losing it? No.
Please, Ukiah Daily Journal, allow our county leaders to show both passion and compassion as we all work through these tough times, and stop “losing it” with your own coverage.
BACK TO WORK, DAN
I’m so pretty oh so pretty…
Dan Hamburg was once referred to as “The best looking man on Capitol hill.”
Well, we don’t have much to compare him then with what we have here now, do we? Is he not portraying himself in a pretty picture?
Damn it, this government is not a fashion show. Ego based politicians should look in the mirror and give a long narcissistic look towards recognition, as the face of Janus!
To go beyond admonishing the Sheriff for a job he cannot do due to a woefully underbudgeted department is not becoming or showing proper etiquette! Manners are something we can all afford. And further more Madam Smith: Open your purse — not your mouth!
The self-serving have no place among the public servants elected by the people.
TINFOIL HATS FOR EVERYONE
With the help of Supervisor Dan Hamburg, who spearheaded the county moratorium and Supervisor John McCowen who supported him, plus lots of calls and letters which provoked Supervisor Kendall Smith to say that she had not gotten so many calls and letters on any issue than this, Mendocino County's unincorporated area can not have Smart meter doodads above, under, on, around, behind or in front of anything. The vote: 5-0! No Smart Meters in Mendocino County!
I was impressed by two things at the Supervisor's meeting: One, was the adamancy of its county counsel, that the county has its policing power and that they were confident that it was worth trying, and two, John Pinches, saying he was concerned about health as he said he is getting older. John is one thinking cookie! I say that with total respect. A collective of folks known as Refuse Smart Meters Mendocino that I represented, had gotten the message through clearly. We have that same job with all of the cities of Menodocino. Yes PG&E will go there now and if you do readers in those areas do not have stickers, signs or felt penned messages say No Smart Meters, you are vulnerable. I just want to remind you all that at least one family is moving out of their purchased home in Willits, which is near one of the bad luck of the draw, PG&E repeaters that is keeping all members of their young family including baby up all night and grumpy. PG&E is seeming more like Mr. Grinch. I found three appropriate articles or letters as I prepared for the BOS meeting.
After strident claims of security by present PG&E rep. Austen Sharp, I presented an AP article called 'Smart meters have security holes, flaws could allow hackers to tamper with power grid, researchers say,’ by Jordan Robertson 3/2010. Robertson quotes head security researcher at InGuardian, Inc., saying the simple SM which are small computers that communicate together via a leap frog method are similar to PCs & Macs on the internet except they are 10 years behind on virus/worm protection. The state of the Ark SM, can be manipulated, on or off, or the data they spew can be adjusted up or down providing false annoying readings. Robin hacking hood could cut our bills. Osama 'no power' could shut us down. Clearly the SM passed all sorts of rigorous testing.
Well maybe not. In the San Francisco petition to the California PUC requesting that the CPUC remove the wireless security threats, they note the checkered past of the roll-out which worked like the tide including many requests to the CPUC to up rates to fund mistakes. Roll-out wired version in Kern county, it failed, rolled it in, rolled out wireless version, forgot to install Home Area Network for the spymeter tactic, call back and re-roll out. Not mentioned was the anecdotal comments on www.Emfsafetynetwork.com , in one neighborhood, responded had his meter replaced a few times along with a few neighbors and PG&E got it right. John Pinches got it right, he noted who pays for all of these mistakes, us the ratepayers. He is off the grid. Smart-Supervisor.
As I mentioned anecdotally, the 40,000 complaints that got State Senator Dean Flores attention, provoked the ratepayer reimbursed Shield study that proclaimed the meters safe!, even though the meters were reporting 100-500% overcharges. It was a minor rate increase coupled with a heat wave that lasted 3 months, PG&E claimed to most of us just amazed us at their gall. Hoping that the folks responsible for the study had nothing to do with the testing on the gas lines, I move to my last issue.
State Assemblyman Jared Huffman of Marin, has put forward AB 37, which would modify the 'not-so-smart interpretation of the smart grid legislation in California that defines our meters as wireless to allow a wired opt out. Incidentally, CPUC is wrong as clearly other states interpret the laws in all sorts of ways to avoidance (Hawaii) and pilot studies (Connecticut.) Well AB 37 is not enough as we need privacy, but Italy has wired intelligent meters with little complaints except some arm gestures (okay I guessed on the latter.) Huffman asked for real tests and got the CCST which is Californian electrical and physic university folks who found the SM okay except for “inconclusive Non-thermal concerns.” That same week Dr. David O. Carpenter of the U of Albany Dept. of health and environment, School of Public health to respond that the study missed crucial concerns and was 'faulty.'
Carpenter points to the manner that the CCST scientists conclude that the Non-thermal impacts (cause and effect) are inconclusive and comments on the means that biology and medical researchers come to such conclusions. He says,” We rely on statistical significance and weight of evidence when drawing conclusions about health effects. When one uses these definitions there is conclusive scientific evidence for adverse health effects in humans.” Yikes!
The most comical part of the Supes meeting was when Austen Sharp, PG&E representative on Smart Meters responded to Supervisors on how much waiting time Mendocino residents will have on the waiting list the other representative, Ms Talbot mentioned just after noting that a plugged in version is being considered. We are told repetitively to call the 800 number where they will convince us how safe and wonderful the Smart Meter system is and thus change our wayward ways not needing the waiting list which is probably protected by unfed dogs, mace and sharpened bungee sticks. Sharp said February, which caused a giggle from the audience. Some of the Supes rolled their eyes. He turned to us as if we were bad children. This was probably a model audience, little applause, demands, and very few straw forks or rifles. Bruce Anderson would have left in disgust! Low caffeine levels no doubt.
To be clear and fair, Mendocino folks are not against the guys in there blue trucks that keep our power on, we are against this questionable technology, that could be better figured out and implemented by Moe, Larry and Curley Joe. The CPUC mandate just appears like bought out cronies, pushing the corporate line. As a wave of impacted Electro Hypersensitivity (EHS) folks run in front of the mandate in horror, newly sensitized by the meters, us residents what common sense, which in this case is a moratorium throughout the state and a plugged in version. I know of three EHS victims in that very situation. The second version of the Dream law would be a plugged in version that uses a commonly purchased fiber optic line, owned by PG&E, AT&T (ready to yank the phone lines), and the feds, mandated to broadband us as Obama claims to lose yet another wire in his thinking process; State of the Union, wanting wireless. Yikes! We could have fast Internet, clear phones, and 'Accurate Utilities' (I give that away free to PG&E marketeers. )
Smart Person resident
PS. Incidentally, Intelligent Readers can get Appropriate Articles by sending email post to firstname.lastname@example.org . And meter stickers are at All That Good Stuff with petitions at Navarro, Jacks and other natural food stores. You can get signs at 895-2667.
BAD GUYS, PART 1
Who’s the bad guys?
This is a letter to the Editor about the integrity and honesty of our governmental legal system. Let’s start at the top in our US Congress. Representative Charley Rangel did not report some of his income for some 15 years. He uses his power in Congress to extort money from businesses. He is tried by his fellow Congresspeople and convicted. He gets a slap on the hand, taking away his chairmanship. It’s almost certain that all the members knew about it for years and did nothing about it, indicating that what he did is not uncommon in Congress.
Also, if a person knows about a crime and doesn’t report it, it can be abetting a crime, especially those who are supposed to have higher standards than us simple folks.
Then in the state this business of putting the word “bail” on various tickets, from police and other law enforcers instead of “fine.” This is put out by a group of lawyers appointed by some government big wigs and called the Judicial Council. That way they can increase the amount of the ticket, getting around the statutes in our laws that say how much fines should be, but to get more they used the world “bail” instead of “fine” — a fraud.
The Eighth Amendment of our Constitution clearly states that excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed. Bail and fines are not the same, and for way over a hundred years now we knew the difference. The Judicial Council knew or should have known that this is a crime. I presume that the Judicial Council suggestions went to all the Counties of the state and that they were followed by all or most. Counties were only obliged to look these papers over; they were not required to implement these rules. If anyone can tell me of any county that did not implement these rules I would appreciate them putting them in this paper as I would like to think we have some honest officials left in California.
In the next letter I’ll have more of who the bad guys are.
TREATIES & TREES
Sunny cloudless windless angry Young America; cerulean blue magenta pink, Don Quixote stone blue drinks 101 fugitives; in the Treaty of Versailles because Germany started the war, in 1919 it was required to pay $5 billion in gold to allied interests before May, 1921. Germany was also required to surrender all colonies in Africa, South Seas and China which were distributed to the British Empire and Japan. Germany was required to restore Alsace Lorraine to France and to relinquish Poland's provinces to the new government of Poland. The left bank provinces on the Rhine River required demilitarization. Article X was the guarantee of security. President Wilson called article X “the heart.” In Paris, the “real meaning” of Article X was to recognize the Monroe Doctrine. In 1923 the United States said “hands off” Europe, of American countries.
In May 1962 the stock market suffered its sharpest decline since 1929. Kennedy allowed steel market price increases as the number of farms in the United States declined. The United Agricultural States became the United Plate with conservative scorners shouting “liberal muddleheadedness with no deep roots.”
Chief Justice Earl Warren was a target for rightist wrath and in 1962 Richard Nixon failed to win California governorship from “Pat” Brown who is back in office in 2011 as “purposeful men push past impatience with rubbernecks, into Bristol Bay, the bottom right-hand corner of the Bering Sea.” Up the inside passage!
Close kinship with the ancient Phoenician and Greek waterways; trollers boast 50-foot poles of raw fir for the Yo-ho-ho life at sea where 10% of the fishermen catch 90% of the fish; a far cry from Gaugin maids in the banyan shades where Gandhi bows his head.
High mountains with impenetrable forests kept the Indians within yards of the sea; the land of the cedar canoe, canoe cradles and canoe coffins. Salish, Kwakiutl, Haida, Tsimshian, Tlingit in the Octopus's Garden in the shade. The Haida claim human life came from the ravens womb.
This Valentine's Day, this memorial letter to the AVA commemorates the death of the trees required to make this paper. And hallelujah to the people who do not disturb the public quiet with radioactive cell phone conversations. Oh, for cedar cell phone rooms inside living cedar trees.
Plant a tree for each person you love who isn't living. Then plant a tree for each person you love who is alive. Tree time, my valentine. Tree me, Farina shakes her tambourine beneath the trees, this early spring when the Rhododendron blooms on Wall Street on 24 January.
Factory tree cutters for quick cash, bark off.
PS. Dover sole is riddled with liver cancer.
WARP & WOOF
Dear Ambulance crew,
I have little doubt that you are accustomed letters such as this; letters from others who have witnessed, as I did last Monday evening at Luis Cerna's bedside, the dedication, presence of mind and compassion that characterizes the Anderson Valley Ambulance team.
Juxtaposed against the noise, political posturing and media distortion around healthcare in this country, what I witnessed last Monday only further confirms a deep-held belief that, in truth, it is down here in the land of the “everyday” that the real action lies. It is the little people who make the world go round.
I have been remembering a speech I heard once by Patch Adams in which he said the following:
Community is not about geography.
Community is about how we feel cared for.
Could there be a better expression of community than the work of the Anderson Valley Ambulance? You are the warp and woof.
We thank you,
Stephanie Tebbutt & family
FAIR PLAY FOR ASSANGE
(Body of a letter sent to Amazon, PayPal and Visa):
I'm writing to protest your discontinuance of service to Juliane Assange Wikileaks. Via Wikileaks, he's exposed some embarrassing diplomatic memos. But he's charged with no crimes. And more importantly he's been convicted of nothing.
But you, your organization, are treating him as a criminal — guilty and convicted.
By your actions you have infringed upon at least three core American values:
Innocence until proven guilty.
Freedom of speech.
Freedom of the press.
We are a sick nation when people like you are so easily rolled by the government. People in charge at Twitter and Facebook are showing more backbone. There is hope.
PS. According to Time magazine, Visa and MasterCard, who process payments for the Ku Klux Klan, cut off Wikileaks “pending further investigation into the nature of their business.”
Every Klan lynching requires a new rope. And you need a lot of wood for a cross burning. Plus, have you checked the price of shotgun shells lately? Good to have a credit card.
Jeffrey P. Bezos, CEO, Amazon.com, Inc. 410 Terry Avenue North, Seattle, WA 98109
Joseph W. Saunders, CEO, Visa Inc. PO Box 8999, San Francisco, CA 94128
Scott Thompson, President, PayPal eBay Park North, 2011 North First Street, San Jose, CA 95131.
Dear Editor & Readers;
Mendocino County inland residents need to learn about an incredible new asset in Fort Bragg-- the Starr Center. It took me a while to try it out, but now I'm hooked.
It began when I wanted to treat out-of-town guests to something really special. We all tried out the new swimming pool there and found the Lazy River, little kids fountains area, diving board and water slide big hits. Our Santa Rosa and San Francisco guests said there was no pool as cool as this in their hometowns!
I've since gotten into a regular routine of aerobic and weights workouts plus lap swimming to help keep this aging body in shape and flexible. Might this be something your body could use, too?
I've also attended meetings and birthday parties at the Starr Center, and I hear good reports about various offerings, from kids crafts and zumba sessions to adult kayak, belly dancing, First Aid and CPR classes.
The Starr Center has a wide variety of healthy, affordable and fun activities for you, many of which you can share with your family and friends. Go over to the corner of Maple & Lincoln Streets, enter for free and look at the facilities. I bet you'll find activities there that would strengthen your body and brighten your spirits.
The Starr Center (964-9446, www.MendoCoastRec.org ) is a true gift to us all. It's well worth a trip to Fort Bragg to check it out.
WHAT A WASTE
Here I am again, Mr. Editor, with a little story. First of all I need another change of address so I want to I won't miss an issue of my most liked Anderson Valley Advertiser.
Here's the story of your tax dollar hard at work. The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation wastes so much of your hard-earned money. I was at Folsom State prison. All was well. Then all of a sudden they told me to pack up my belongings. I got on a bus, the Gray Goose as we call them. We left Folsom and then went to Solon, then back to the prison to pick up one or two folks. Did I say I was the only one they picked up at Folsom? We went to Tracy and picked up two and left three people. I spent the night at San Quentin.
Then at three o'clock in the morning I had to walk to the bus stop. Get naked to show I had no contraband, and I got a see-through paper thing they say is a jumpsuit for bus riders.
I got on the bus again and kept my boxers from Folsom. I was chained all over hands and feet and with leg irons. I got one seat change for someplace to sit. To make a long story short, we headed out to the worst prison in all of the California Department of Corrections system: High Desert in Susanville. We got there at 2 in the afternoon and at 5:20 the next morning they found us our cells. We walked around in the snow like a bunch of crazy people with paper suits which was all we got.
They fed us all very cold food, the food cart was left at the door with nothing on top of it, and snow was all over it. Once we got into the cells it was very cold and they gave us trays of stone cold food.
I saw a person they call a nurse who couldn't do anything. She took me off all my medications and told me, Welcome to High Desert. We don't do things the way it was, we do it our way. So the thousands of tax dollars that Folsom spent on me, special things for this and that, all that was tossed away, along with my medication. They told me we have or have our doctors see you and our specialists as well. So they wasted some more tax dollars, like thousands of us. High desert wastes it for themselves.
Turned out I needed surgery. I just cost you thousands and thousands of more tax dollars to say the same thing we all already knew. So High Desert prison casually wasted a few thousand tax dollars wasted.
Are you hearing me right folks? They brought me here, they had their own doctors look at me here just like the doctors did Folsom. They determined I wasn't in good shape, I needed surgery, I needed specialists and so forth. I just wanted you to know in the field of about $30,000 Folsom spent on me in a year. It's about the same cost here that was wasted. So double it just to have High Desert do it all again. $60,000 — no wonder California's broke.
Now I'm up here in Susanville, in the most hated prison. We hate just about everything here. They've done more doctor work on me. Who knows what they've done. Well we know they've wasted tax dollars by doing nothing. All the doctors I've seen looked at the same things they looked at in Folsom. If your newspaper wants a kick ass good story just come here and you'll truly see all the waste of many many many tax dollars which are wasted all over. How do they do it? Oh yes, this is High Desert State Prison and we waste money our own way. Good for them, right?
Thanks to all of you at the Advertiser for my paper. I will check in with you later. Also thanks to the taxpayers out there for about $70,000 off your tax dollars to produce this letter.
I'm looking forward to the next issue. Just think of the thousands of prisoners like me here who waste millions more of your money.
Ricky Ray Keel, C-34945 B-5-202
Box 3030, High Desert State Prison, Susanville 95671
PS. If anyone would like to write to me I will answer anyone who writes. Thanks for all your time.
Thanks to Torrey Douglass for her excellent article, “Nice Try.”
I absolutely agree that the inane interviewer asked several of the silliest questions I can imagine, particularly, “If the government controls healthcare then the government decides who lives or dies, right? And “Government healthcare requires rationing so you have de facto death panels, wouldn’t you say?”
Give me a break and wake up and smell the coffee. Do you really think you have that much control over how you die? Sometimes life can get kind of random. Healthcare gets rationed all the time; it’s just a matter of whom you want to share in a lot of the decisions. Take your pick. A hospital will mug you for every dime you have or can raise. And since they’re “healers” they can’t very well wheel you out on a gurney and leave you in the street, so they go ahead and provide some care and send you a big tab bill anyway.
Or would you rather have a bloodsucking insurance company nickel-and-diming you right down the drain and into your grave? As I said, the choice is yours. And unless you have a very great deal of the ready cash there will be plenty of decision-makers on that committee.
I can barely address the other dumbass query, namely, “How can the government possibly provide quality care to its citizens?” You twit — the government won’t be providing the care; that’s for the medical profession to do, just like they do right now and on the whole quite competently. What the government would be doing is covering some of the bills, which is the least a civilized society can do for its citizens.
What do these people support? The gurney in the street? When it comes to “death panels,” the House Republican majority looks good for the part already.
Keep on fannin’ them flames!