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MCT: Tuesday, September 3, 2019

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AN UPPER LEVEL TROUGH will bring a slight chance for showers and thunderstorms to eastern Mendocino and Trinity counties Wednesday night. The threat for thunderstorms will linger near the Siskiyou county border on Thursday. Otherwise, dry weather is expected to prevail through the end of the week. (National Weather Service)

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WE NOTE that every time the CHP shows up here in the Anderson Valley, people pop up on social media with his location. In some cases these are the same people complaining about the speed of traffic through Boonville. We once had a resident CHP officer, the late, great Byrl Evans, and he was stationed here when there wasn’t nearly the volume of through traffic there is today. Just sayin,’ but the CHP presence here occasionally is most welcome. Traffic speed through Boonville presents an ongoing hazard to everyone who lives here.

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WEDDING BELLS will ring for Bob Sites and Terry Ryder on September 21st at the home the couple shares in Yorkville.

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by David Wilson

Not far from anywhere on the North Coast the dark skies and solitude of nature quietly await. People travel great distances to come here to camp and hike in it, enjoying the beauty of our forests, beaches, rivers, and amazing night skies. It’s a wonderland to them, and here we are living right in it. It’s almost too good to be true.

It is easy to get used to the beauty when one lives in it and can see it any day. But how often do you visit your favorite nature getaway at night? It’s an entirely different world out there at night. We have nighttime skies here that blow the minds of the city folks I share them with. Yet we’re mostly content to stay indoors ourselves or scoot from one building or light bubble to the next, and never get away from the light. We aren’t nocturnal creatures, but I guarantee that if you can set aside a night to go stargazing away from the lights of human habitations it will be rewarding.

Throughout summer and fall the night sky is dominated by the great belt of the Milky Way. The milky band of lightness stretching across the heavens led to us calling the galaxy in which we live the Milky Way. During this time of the year earth’s night side faces toward the center of the galaxy, showing us a view through the dense plane of our more-or-less-flattened-pinwheel of a galaxy and toward its core. The core stands out in the Milky Way as the most detailed portion of it that we see. When our planet is on the opposite side of the sun, Earth’s night side doesn’t face the middle of the galaxy anymore and the detailed core is hidden to us. This seasonality to the view is what people mean if you hear them speak of “Milky Way” season.

At night you have to yourself places that are otherwise popular in daytime. I was stargazing on the South Fork Eel River with a couple friends when I took the accompanying photograph of one of them making his own nighttime photograph. This place was completely empty but for us, though during the day it’s a popular spot.

Soaking in the rejuvenating energy of the river and redwood forest beneath the cosmic rays of the galaxy, we stood tiny on the great stage of the Universe. In between staring into the depths of the Cosmos we captured images of its grand magnificence and shrunk them down to our little screens to look at with little oohs and ahhs of delight. Oh, the irony… But at least there are now images to enjoy and to share, and that is special, too. And so I am sharing with you here.

Surprisingly, even on a moonless night you will eventually be able to see around you well enough to move about without light. The trick is to give your eyes a lot of time to adjust. It takes patience. But if you watch the stars, look for meteors or satellites, marvel at the Milky Way and consider your place in it, before you know it your night vision will have kicked in. You will see more stars, and you will be able to see your surroundings a little better. On the moonless night I made this image I eventually could see well enough to walk along the river bar with all its uneven rocks without a light at all.

At some point you will need light, though, and it helps to use a red light. These won’t interrupt your night vision. Ordinary flashlights or lanterns will deaden your night vision, leaving you temporarily blind again when you shut them off. I recommend one of the many headlamps that have a red light included.

Small beneath the stars, a friend photographs the nightscape on the banks of the South Fork Eel River. Popular in the daytime, we had the site to ourselves. Part of the Milky Way’s core is visible above the horizon, roughly that area with the greater detail and more reds and yellows. Humboldt County, California.

(To keep abreast of David Wilson’s most current photography or peer into its past, visit or contact him at his website or follow him on Instagram at @david_wilson_mfx.)

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IT ALL HAPPENS IN YORKVILLE! September at the Yorkville Market

Friday, September 6th for a delicious Vietnamese Feast. We will be serving Shaking Beef as our main course with local Summer Vegetable Spring Rolls and Tapioca Mango pudding for dessert. Price will be $23per person for 3 courses. Happy Hour begins at 5:30pm, Dinner served at 6:00ish.

We will be continuing our pizza and game night on September 13th, a fun evening to chat with your neighbors and see who is the best Scrabble champion in town. Happy Hour and Food begin at 5:30pm.

On Friday, the 20th we will be hosting our Fiesta Night! We will be serving homemade Chile Rellenos and we will have live music from a new Yorkville Band, Sister, Sister! Music and Happy Hour start at 5:30pm, food served at 6:00ish.(

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ONE OF THE DOOMED passengers on the diving boat that was swallowed by flames off Santa Cruz Island, out of Santa Barbara, early Monday morning put in a cry for help in a mayday call. “I can't breathe,” the passenger said, according to ABC News. A Coast Guard dispatcher was also heard questioning one of the crew members on the Conception about fire extinguishers and an "escape hatch" for passengers in a mayday call. “Can you get back onboard and unlock the boat?” the dispatcher said, according to CNN. “You don’t have any firefighting gear at all? No fire extinguishers or anything?” The crew member's responses were reportedly inaudible. Thirty-four people are feared dead after the Conception caught fire early Monday morning. Officials said the five crew members jumped off the boat once fire erupted, and were rescued.

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THIS COMMENT appeared on Kym Kemp's comment line in response to Zappa Montag's letter re booking charges: (Mendocino Mamma) — Zappa I hear you I feel for you totally 100% empathetic here! Not to deflect the subject onto myself but my son had a similar incident when he was pulled over by a Mendocino County Sheriff and accused of being under the influence. He denied it and refused their statements and kept telling them No, he was not high and he did not know what they were talking about. They never tested him although he offered to test, never did a blood test, held him over the weekend. As a result he lost his job, his vehicle was impounded which he could not afford to get out of impound. The charges were dropped on Monday by the judge for lack of evidence. Go figure. Does a person in this type of situation get their car back? NO! When it should be released without any fees. His mugshot and booking photo for being under the influence was released and never retracted. It’s nothing new. Mendocino County has a habit of preying on people that have little way to defend themselves In the heat of the situation. The snowballs tend to pick up speed real fast. Before you know it you’re in a legal avalanche and it’s going to take you years to get out of it, if ever. Many of the local legal decisions are decided in chambers. Long before you are actually ever standing in front of the judge. A lot of the local lawyers like to tell the judges what to do and the judges defer and ask the lawyers to write up the orders when the judge's clerk should be doing it right then and there as the judgment is expressed, not to be interpreted later by some lawyer making little changes to it and then the judge just signs it off. There is a lot of travesty of Justice going on in Mendocino County because we actually don’t follow the written laws. If you talk to any lawyers from out of the area that handle appellate courts, other lawsuits trying to make things happen, that’s where a lot of these bigger judgments come down because those outside lawyers say, What the hell is going on up there and how do they get away with that? Mendo they damn follow their own Mendocino County law… pretty shady but nobody is able to do anything about it in spite of years of complaints. Really lame."

ED NOTE: Agree, mostly, with this assessment about how the local justice system works. Extortionate practices like the confiscation of vehicles prior to charges is typically as large a crime as the one alleged. Mendo's judges could stop bad practices immediately, but it's a big club over there in the Mendo Courthouse, and anybody who complains from the inside of it is not long for Mendo employment.

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THE ODESSA GUNMAN who killed seven people and injured roughly 20 others during a 20-mile trail of carnage across West Texas had failed a background check to purchase a gun. He'd been fired from his truck-driving job that morning, and lived alone deep in the Odessa outback.

Someone should have seen that he had major potential for serious damage to others. But it's all one more demonstration of the lethal unhappiness out there, that there are thousands of lone nuts with guns just waiting to go off. The real question remains: What's wrong with our ways of living that produces so many of them? Not only did the Odessa gunman have a criminal history, he also previously failed a gun purchase background check in Texas and he didn’t go thru a background check for the gun he used in Odessa. We must keep guns out of criminals’ hands.

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Lots of info from the monastery, including the magic discovery of a well by the Master when others had all failed to find water, that sort of thing.

Here's what they say about the gate: On the main entrance to the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas, a gate of three arches, the words “The City of Ten Thousand Buddhas” are engraved at the top in the center. “Tathagata Monastery” is engraved on the left and “Dharma Realm Buddhist University” is engraved on the right. The first line of the engraved matching couplet says, “The Flower Adornment Dharma Assembly, the Shurangama Platform, and the Forty-two Hands and Eyes establish the Heavens and the Earth.”

The second line says, “The World Honored Ones of Wonderful Enlightenment and the Bodhisattvas of Equal Enlightenment, with a billion transformation bodies, can turn oceans into mountains.” On the other side of the gate, “Teaching and Protecting All Nations” is inscribed in the center, “Educating for Outstanding Abilities” is on the left, and “Adorning with Dharma and Precepts” is on the right. The first line of an engraved matching couplet says, “With kindness and compassion, cross over all. Those who believe will be saved. Bring forth the Bodhi mind and advance with courage and vigor to perfect the Right Enlightenment.” The second line says, “With joy and compassion, cultivate together. Those who worship will obtain blessings. Make firm vows and practice patience and Dhyana-concentration to awaken to the true teaching.”

(Marilyn Davin)

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First Friday Art Show Opening

Margaret Paul, Antique Sterling Flatware Jewelry

Friday, September 6, from 5-8pm

Edgewater Gallery, 356 N. Main Street, Fort Bragg

Margaret will do a brief presentation about her art at 6pm. Light refreshments served.

About the Artist:

Margaret was born in Hartford, Connecticut, and has been moving west ever since. Following a 27 year teaching career in Oroville, CA, Margaret moved to Fort Bragg in 1999 to pursue her passion for art.

In 2002, Margaret activated the Young Artists Program at the Mendocino Art Center, providing a wide variety of art experiences for the children here on the coast. In addition, she taught workshops in ceramic mosaics at MAC, culminating in a community public works project in Fort Bragg at the Veterans' Memorial Hall in 2010. Her labor of love was the creation of the Mendocino Theatre Company's Memorial Walkway in 2008, raising $46,000 for the theater company.

For the past 8 years, Margaret has been working with antique sterling flatware to create jewelry. She brings creativity, style and history together in her collection, traveling extensively to find rare sterling flatware for her rings, bracelets, pendants, barrettes and earrings, utilizing pieces from Gorham, Tiffany, Reed and Barton, Whiting, Alvin, Paye Baker, Georg Jensen and Unger Bros., to name a few. She especially enjoys creating jewelry from her customer's flatware.

Her work is available at Edgewater Gallery in Fort Bragg and by appointment at her studio in Fort Bragg.

707 964-9483

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Press release from the Humboldt County Drug Task Force:

On August 31st, 2019, at approximately 12:30 a.m., special agents with the Humboldt County Drug Task Force (HCDTF), with the assistance of a narcotic detection K9 from the Humboldt County District Attorney’s Office, and officers with the California Highway Patrol, conducted a traffic stop on Highway 254 near the town of Phillipsville. After a year-long investigation, HCDTF agents identified Fidel Alberto Contreras (age 35) as a key suspect in methamphetamine distribution throughout Humboldt County.


Through their investigation, agents were able to track Contreras to Southern California and believed that he was traveling back to Humboldt County with a significant amount of methamphetamine. As a result, agents were able to secure a search warrant for Contreras’ vehicle and his residence.

During the traffic stop, Contreras was detained without incident. The narcotics detection K9 was deployed and alerted to the presence of narcotics within the vehicle. Agents searched the vehicle and located approximately 20 pounds of suspected methamphetamine packaged for sales. Contreras was subsequently placed under arrest and booked into the Humboldt County Correctional Facility for possession and transportation of controlled substances. Agents obtained a 1275 PC hold on Contreras until a source of legitimate bail funds could be examined during a court hearing.

Agents then served a search warrant at Contreras’ residence (located in the 3300 block of High Street, Eureka) and located over $35,000 in U.S. Currency. This currency is believed to be profits from narcotics distribution and will be held pending future asset forfeiture proceedings.

This investigation has resulted in the largest one-time seizure of methamphetamine in the history of HCDTF.

On Line Comment:

The look on his face says, “You little-town hicks have no idea what you’re dealing with. We’re going to win, and there’s no stopping us (in Spanish, of course).”

Win what, you say?

Well, I’ve told this story before, but I’ll tell it again, and I’ll keep telling it until people get a clue:

In 1988, back when the Hell’s Angels controlled the meth trade in California, I had a friend in San Diego County who was fourth generation Italian-American, deep roots in San Diego, well liked by the Catholic Fathers in the Mission system, by the Natives out on the rez, and by the old-time Mexicans.

I walked into his house one day, and three old Mexican men, who could have been anywhere from sixty to a hundred and ten years old, or more, stopped their conversation and looked to my friend for permission to proceed. He assured them that I was cool, and they proceeded to tell me what they were talking about.

They believed they could take over the meth trade in California, by switching over from the P2P-based recipe the Hell’s Angels used, to an ephedrine-based recipe which was much cheaper and easier to produce. They would flood the market with this cheap meth, while staying ahead of the law by using pagers, meeting people on street corners and in parking lots, and using illegals, because back then, if an illegal was caught with drugs, they just deported them, whereupon they would turn around, sneak back into the country, and be back in business before you knew it.

They had other things figured out, like how to disrupt the upward progression of investigations by the law, by having no permanent “Mr. Big.” Rather, there would be a rotating cast of characters: Juan on a bicycle selling bags to the homeless; Carlos, with a Camaro selling eight-balls; Luis on the hill with a Porsche, selling pounds – but every so often, they’d rotate, and Luis would be moving bags out of a flea-bag motel, and Juan would be high-dollaring it, selling pounds. They figured, at that point, any law-enforcement investigations would have to start all over, chasing that non-existent local kingpin.

They also told me they planned on putting heroin into the meth.

“Isn’t that kind of expensive?” I asked them, and they said, “Not to us, it isn’t.” And they explained why they would do it.

Methamphetamine keeps a person up for days, and when the user runs out, they simply go to sleep. To bring in money faster, and steadier, they’d put an addicting narcotic into the speed (heroin was cheap at the time; now it’s Fentanyl), which would cut down the duration of the high, making people want to buy more, sooner, and more importantly, after doing it for more than three days, there would be physical addiction, with painful withdrawals and the works.

When they were done (there was a lot more – these boys had spent a lot of time thinking about this, obviously), they asked me what I thought.

I knew what I thought – I thought, “Good luck getting past the HA,” but I said I thought they had covered all the bases, and I got the hell out of there, never thinking that it would happen.

But it did. The HA sold out, or rolled over, or something – that’s their business, not mine – and everything those old Mexicans said they were going to do, they did, and it has turned out exactly like they planned.

But that’s not all. Before I left, they asked me if I was curious as to why they would embark on such an endeavor, and I told them, “Yeah – the money!” and they said that would be nice, too, but their main purpose would be the taking back of California. They considered California to have been stolen from them. They knew they couldn’t take it back militarily, or by diplomacy, so they planned on getting it back by osmosis.

The plan with the cheap, heroin-laced meth was to “weaken the white male populace,” as they put it. If they could get enough of the white boys on this shit, rendering them impotent, strung out on the street, in prison, or dead, then the jobs they once held, in farming, logging, construction, etc, would be left open for Mexican men to take, and once they were established, they would bring their families in, or start new families with the girlfriends of the white boys who were strung out, in prison, or dead.

Eventually, they would be established well enough in the community to become a political force, making it easier for more to come in, and eventually they would be here in enough numbers that they, for all intents and purposes, would own the place.

There has been a side effect which I’m not sure even they had planned on. After doing the heroin laced meth, many people switched completely to heroin, which of course does a far better job of, “weakening the white male populace,” than speed ever could.

Anyone thinking this Contreras guy is anything other than a replaceable cog in a giant wheel is sadly mistaken.

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THE HEBREW HAMMER, aka Jacob Silverman. This guy has been bombarding us with letters out of the County Jail where he's presently confined on drug-related charges. He's also been tried and convicted of various crimes in Humboldt County and other areas of the state. Prior to his arrival in Humboldt and Mendo, Silverman did a stretch at Pelican Bay for an attempted murder conviction.

WHEREVER he lands Silverman fires his attorneys, none of whom he pays because he's an indigent. We pay for his defense, a defense he never seems to have because he's obviously guilty of whatever he’s charged with. Silverman is on his fifth attorney here in Mendo.

SILVERMAN also presents management problems at the County Jail where he vilely insults staff and other inmates, necessitating his isolation. Recently, Silverman refused to leave his cell for a court appearance, resulting in an unnecessary disruption of the day's court proceedings.

I'M SURE there have been other memorable inmates confined to the Low Gap jail, but Silverman may be in a class of difficulty all by himself.

AND NOW THIS. The most recent letter we have from this incompetent career criminal — he's in more than he's out — says previous letters from him are forgeries!

"YOUR allowing falsified fraudulent felonious letter (sic) deliberately processed to misrepresent me! And your racism is oozing with Benjamin Netanyahu's racist doctored add (sic) I've written you my letter. Publish it with my picture please. If you continue to process information without my signature then I know, too, your (sic) involved in some form and will take note of the in another form. (sic). Formally: I request all letters and envelopes be preserved as evidence for prosecution to further acquire each and all fingerprints. So please contact the Sheriff Allman to process the investigation immediately! Failure to honor this action is failure of yourself. Jacob Silverman."

I'VE CONCLUDED after a not particularly close textual analysis, that Silverman is the author of all the letters mailed to us from the County Jail under the name of Jacob Silverman, aka The Hebrew Hammer. Why would he malign himself? As a HumCo psych worker accurately assessed him, Silverman is a narcissist. Even negative attention is a kind of drug to him. He loves it, especially confined as he is with nothing else to do but harass staff and other inmates and write crank letters to newspapers.

COULD some other prisoner be writing fake Hebrew Hammers? Maybe, but that would require the forger to possess not only the resolve to harass a minor irritant like the H.H., but also be familiar with various anti-Semitic tropes and also possess a forger’s literary ability not ordinarily found among persons confined to rural county jails. It would also require that a jail staffer allow a fake Silverman to mail out letters-to-the-editor under Silverman's name, and I seriously doubt a jail staffer, however annoying he or she may find this character, would risk committing a crime simply to complicate Silverman's life. The letters Silverman claims are faked malign Silverman himself, but they are literate and carefully done. Then he follows up the alleged fakes with a crazy man, error-filled text, much of it in big block letters. But the author remains the same.

IS SILVERMAN NUTS? No, although everywhere he goes jail and court shrinks spend hours of public time debating his mental functioning. The guy's simply found a way to make himself the center of minor attention, which he's previously received in the various jails of the Northcoast. Lately, he’s faked insanity because he probably figures the nut house is an easier place to rest up for his next crime spree in the outside world than a state prison, and its staff and inmates perhaps easier to manipulate. Hammer the Hammer, judge. Send him back to the state pen where he belongs.

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First Friday Reception September 6, 5-8pm

In September Virginia Sharkey is showing seven large acrylic paintings reflecting her continuing exploration on the subject of time as codified in daily parlance: dawn, noon, and evening. The artist begins with a feeling tone manifested by color, augmented by the ingredients of space, gravity and energy which when combined produce their own kind of resonance––harmonious or not–– but with a result that is evocative and mysterious.

The show opens September 5th and continues through the 30th. There is a First Friday Reception Aug 2, 5-8pm. Partners Gallery is located at 335 N. Franklin Street in downtown Fort Bragg. Hours: Wednesday through Monday, 11 am to 5 pm and Sundays, 11 am to 4 pm., or by appointment. 707 964-6448 or 707 962-0655.

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LAST TUESDAY Supervisor John McCowen updated his colleagues on the status of the sale of the North Coast Railroad Authority Ukiah depot to the State Court system for construction of a completely unnecessary new Ukiah courthouse project that will disrupt all the County’s supporting offices — District Attorney, Sheriff, Probation, Public Defender, support services… and cost Mendo who knows how much to adapt. But nobody in Mendo is talking about how much this preposterous new building to house only judges and their staffs: “Supervisor Haschak and I attended the NCRA meeting in Novato. Senator McGuire's office continues to work with NCRA and the Judicial Council of California to be able to move forward to get the remaining work needed to be done for the infrastructure improvements at the Ukiah Depot out to bid so those can be completed. Unfortunately, based on the threat of litigation the NCRA withdrew its previous valid exception to bid which was the only way the project would have got done this year with the available funds. So that will go over till next year. The project will be delayed. It will ultimately require more money. So we solve one problem and now we have several others to deal with. But I'm optimistic that with Senator McGuire’s help we will be able to complete that project next year.”

MARK SCARAMELLA NOTES: We smell another strong whiff of Oil Can Bosco hovering over this brief status summary. Also note that McCowen mysteriously didn’t name the company that the NCRA (whose general counsel is Doug Bosco) wanted to give the work to without competitive bids. This whole new courthouse show is a grand ripoff orchestrated by the Northcoast Democrats. The present courthouse could be upgraded for far less money than this new limited-to-judges-only eyesore will cost, but the project won’t die thanks to people like McCowen, a Ukiah native who apparently thinks the destruction of what’s left of central Ukiah is a swell idea. Our current crop of life-time judges can be depended on not to resist lush new quarters for themselves, but they’re all lawyers of course, and lawyers dominate the state legislature and Democrats run the state soooooo it doesn’t matter to the self-interested descendants of Judge Hastings that a new courthouse just for them will occur at huge public upset.

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Allred, Angeles-Cornejo, Bloyd


GIANIRA ANGELES-CORNEJO, Granada Hills/Ukiah. False ID.

MICHAEL BLOYD, Talmage. Domestic battery.

Garcia, Hals, Laflin

CHRISTOPHER GARCIA, Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.

DANIEL HALS, Fort Bragg. Domestic abuse, vandalism.

ADAM LAFLIN, Willits. Disorderly conduct-alcohol, probation revocation.

Leonard, Lind-Carnes, Little

KEVIN LEONARD, Ukiah. DUI, probation revocation.

MALIA LINDE-CARNES, Willits. Failure to appear, probation revocation.

JOSEPH LITTLE, Fort Bragg. County parole violation. (Frequent flyer.)

Marks, Mattson, Nelson

JOHN MARKS JR., San Francisco/Ukiah. County parole violation, contempt of court/protective order.

CHERYL MATTSON, Ukiah. Elder abuse, domestic battery, destruction of communications device.

CESILIA NELSON, Ukiah. Arson of inhabited structure, manufacture of combustible or incendiary device, domestic abuse, arson during state of emergency.

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Happy Labor Day. Today we celebrate that every person who is willing to work has a job paying a living wage. That every worker has affordable health coverage. That every worker has 12 sick days and two weeks or more paid vacation. That every worker has paid maternity and paternity leave and affordable child care. That every worker has the right to join with others for job protections.

Sadly, the above is but a dream. But why should it be? America is the wealthiest nation ever known. And what is the source of that wealth? The labor of the workers of America.

Yes, business owners get credit for creating jobs. But it is the labor of the workers that produces an income for the owners — and the grand wealth of this nation. Without workers, the greatest business ideas would lie stillborn. Workers make our homes, cars and clothes. They grow our food and serve us in restaurants and stores. They teach our children and care for our elders. They protect and heal and entertain us. They deserve our thanks. They deserve better treatment. They all deserve a living wage.

Gene A. Hottel

Santa Rosa

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THE “PERMANENT WARFARE STATE” has been erected on the backs of American taxpayers by fraudulent claims of threats to our national security. In the case of “terrorists” these adversaries were the result of our own interventions in Muslim countries. In truth, no nation is, or ever has been, or ever will be capable of invading the U.S. or otherwise subjecting us to its will. Should collapse be our fate we will have none but ourselves to blame for accepting a dysfunctional system sustained by the dishonesty of our government officials and the establishment media that consistently fail to fulfill their obligation to hold power to account.

— Paul Atwood

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Speaking as one who endured Hurricane Michael 10 Oct 18, I would not wish such on anyone anywhere. My wife and I were lucky in that we could evacuate to a second home. I recall speaking with a new neighbor who had grown up in Florida and “been through lots of these things” and was going to ride it out. After he took a tree through his master bedroom he said to his wife “Honey, I don’t think we’re going to make it.”

Michael was a Cat5 with 165mph winds. Dorian is measuring upwards of that on an island with no escape route available. It is difficult to convey all the emotions that accompany these events: the terrorism as the likely path comes into focus, the resigned final look back at one’s house wondering if it will be there the next day, the aftermath of hundreds of acres of downed trees, ruined structures, people wandering around in shock.

We’ll be lucky if Dorian remains but a metaphor. Be careful

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(photo by Harvey Reading)

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by James Kunstler

An ill wind threatens to rake and churn up the Atlantic coast this Labor Day as a live-action metaphor auguring a more general wreckage to come in the final four months of 2019. More than most years, this holiday weekend seems to mark a boundary between past and future, between ends and beginnings.

The tremors of August appear to mark the end of the ten-year bull market run, a.k.a. “the recovery,” a last-ditch central bank orchestrated campaign to pretend that economic growth is infinite on a finite planet. The magic of credit — “money” untethered to resources — drained economic mojo from the future so that we can watch Miley Cyrus videos while snacking on Lay’s “fried pickle with ranch [dressing] flavored” potato chips. Yes, that’s an actual product — also, another reason that America is bankrupting itself on medical costs. The chains of consequence are long and punishing these days.

Gold and silver seem to be signaling two things: coming inflation and political turmoil. Debt accumulation around the world has passed the point where even prayer to every known deity will not avail to prevent a horrendously destructive work-out of loans that can never be paid back. Default makes money disappear. The response, of course, will be to print more money untethered to real stuff. An orgy of QE could easily drive stock markets higher, only those markets will be indexed to money losing its value. All this will seem like so much metaphysical bullshit to citizens who can’t pay twenty bucks for a pound of hamburger. And it would greatly aggravate the political situation at a time when many of those same aggrieved citizens will be looking for lamp-posts to hang some one-percenters from.

Cue the rise of the redistributionists, that is, the people who want the government to determine who gets what and where to get it. Or, shall we say, who to take it from. Elizabeth Warren is leading the pack for now — the once-Republican Oklahoma grandma turned Leon Trotsky wannabe. I’ll give her this: she’s a helluva cheerleader. And she’s energetic for an old broad, prancing around the stage in her spandex yoga pants, arms akimbo, head vibrating. I wonder, though, whether voters (those aforesaid citizens) will remember that she vowed to give free health care to border-jumpers. Or that she pretended to be a Cherokee for career advancement at snooty Harvard.

A rowdy-dowdy financial smash-up will tarnish the Trump MAGA brand for sure. But will the Golden Golem of Greatness simply stew in the oval office or try some desperate new stunts to salvage his quixotic political career? And will his shaky marriage with the Republican Party veer into divorce court, with the party turning to a steadier and more conventional figure in the coming election year? They’ll get beat anyway as economic depression mounts, but they’ll save face in defeat. That is, if Mr. Trump manages to not start World War Three in the meantime.

Odious as he is to many, history will record one salutary effect of his term in office: the RussiaGate ploy alerted Americans that there truly is a Deep State with its own self-winding agenda. A few perp-walks upcoming may have a chastening effect on future Swamp critters entertaining a higher calling, as the slippery James Comey put it — meaning, using the powerful machinery of government for your own purposes.

However, there is a possibility that the 2020 election will be such an unholy mess, with contested poll results in key states, lawsuits flying in every direction, and monkeyshines in the electoral college, that it will be ironically left to the Deep State to try to save the republic (after their recent attempt to wreck it). Such are the bad feelings in politics a year out, that both parties might stoop to anything. Don’t rule out a Pentagon intervention in the Homeland to straighten that mess out. Unlike classical Rome in 44 BC, the USA is not on the verge of empire, but leaving its high times behind. It took another four hundred years for Rome to Collapse. America could easily accomplish it in five or ten, considering how complex and artificial our economic arrangements are.

I sense another change in the air: the retreat of Wokesterism to the intellectual carnival tent it crawled out of. The New York Times staff might believe it can easily swap out its failed RussiaGate flimflam for a general mau-mauing of “racist” America, but they are already overplaying that hand. With the economy tanking, we’ll have enough problems in this land without a race war, thank you, Dean Baquet. I suspect we will have seen the end of this on campus, too, as the entire higher ed system finally begins to detect that it is whirling around the drain.

Enjoy your hot dogs and frosty brews today as you stay glued to the Weather Channel. We’ll know by Friday how Dorian worked out. And happy Fall!

(Support Kunstler’s writing by visiting his Patreon Page.)

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* * *


by Ralph Nader

Donald Trump is “dumb as a rock” (to use his phrase) when it comes to the programs and the policies of the federal government agencies over which he is allegedly presiding. However, when it comes to defending and expanding his own political power, Trump is shameless and profoundly cunning.

Trump turns accurate appraisals of himself into accusations that he levies at others. Earlier this month, he questioned whether Joe Biden “is mentally fit to be president.” Trump regularly turns appraisals of himself into accusations against others.

But Trump has found way to spread his toxicity beyond his lying tweets. He has carefully developed formidable barricades to shield himself from the gathering storm regarding his countless impeachable offenses and other serious misbehaviors.

Trump’s remarks, decisions, and asides reveal his plans to stay in office. Trump heaps praise and extra funding on the military. In his travels, Trump likewise incessantly praises the police regardless of the situations there. Trump has openly said these constituencies are the core foundation against his adversaries that will keep him in office. His White House will keep the military and the police very well endowed.

He also makes sure that big business is happy with him. Some of the bosses are getting anxious about the uncertainty associated with Trump’s use of tariffs and his caustic remarks about leaders of the countries where U.S. companies do business. However, Trump knows that as long as he cuts corporate taxes; deregulates health, safety, and economic requirements on Wall Street; and continues the crony capitalism of subsidies, handouts, and bailouts; the corporate bosses will continue to pay obeisance to Trump.

Manipulating the mass media is child’s play for Trump. He taunts them about how they have to give him top billing because of the profitable ratings his performances brings them. Some in the mass media, nonetheless, expose his wrongdoing with thorough features. Trump, though irritated, ignores these exposés and repels them like water off a duck’s back. It’s all “fake news,” he shouts. His approval polls, though lower than previous presidents, stay firm. So far Trump has faced no real consequences from the revelations of his misdeeds.

The courts, meanwhile, are Donald’s Trump card for endless delays. Who has been sued as president more than Trump? Over two and a half years into his term, litigation against Trump grinds on. Nobody knows how long these court actions will take, what with Trump’s delay tactics and appeals. The top appeal is to the Supreme Court which he believes is 5 to 4 for him on just about everything relating to runaway presidential power and immunities. Trump has appointed 146 judges while in office, including two Supreme Court justices. Trump’s chosen Supreme Court justices are partisan actors who will suit his purposes nicely—it is as if they came from “central casting” for him. Trump has declared unlimited presidential pardon powers, musing that he could even pardon himself.

Labor unions are another big joke to Trump. As they decline, Trump reminds the pro-Democratic Party union leaders that many of their rank and file members voted for him. A troublingly large minority of union workers—over a third—defected to Trump’s camp in 2016, enough to make the union leaders skittish about seriously confronting him.

That leaves the Congress with which he toys. The Republicans are frightened chickens in a coop, peering out at the insatiable Fox. When they look back at their place in history, they’ll have to squint. Sycophants all, except for the late Rep. Walter Jones and Rep. Justin Amash.

As for the Democrats, Trump is blocking subpoenas and orders for witnesses to testify. Trump is also turning down major demands for documents from several House Congressional Committees. Exercising their constitutional authority to oversee the executive branch, the Committee Chairs are filing one law suit after another. Trump laughs and tells his attorneys to keep stonewalling and appealing—which can mean years. That’s how he operated during his sordid failed business career.

Donald Trump, selected by the Electoral College, is daring the Democrats to impeach him. He knows Democrats are divided and can use the Republican dominated Senate as an excuse for inaction. Of course impeachment is a constitutional duty for the House, not a simple political calculation. It is certainly warranted for the most impeachable president in American history.

Trump is thumbing his nose at Democrats daily, blocking oversight, allocating appropriated funds by executive dictate, brazenly freezing enforcement the laws or revoking regulations that protect the health, safety, and economic wellbeing of the American people, enriching himself through emoluments, and also casting aside the Constitution and the rule of law regarding his military and foreign policy aggressions.

Trump has neutralized our country’s checks and balances and separation of powers, including judicial accountability. He adds to his monarchal presidency by unleashing the Republican Party’s suppression of the vote and other electoral shenanigans.

If the law ever catches up to Trump, he has many toadies who are willing to “wag the dog” distractions. They are his war-hawk on steroids, national security advisor lawless John Bolton and the militaristic Secretary of State Michael Pompeo who travels the world threatening half of it. The new Secretary of Defense, from the Raytheon Corporation, presents no restraint in contrast to his predecessor Jim Mattis, cashiered by Trump.

If Trump wins, America loses. The outcome is up to you in November 2020. Be alert and prepared for tumultuous upheavals should Trump lose by a narrow margin.

(Ralph Nader is a consumer advocate, lawyer and author of Only the Super-Rich Can Save Us!)

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ACTOR ROBERT MITCHUM does time in jail for marijuana in 1948.

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Chronicle sports writer Bruce Jenkins took the recent Chase Center tour: “It’s going to make Oracle Arena a distant memory, probably very soon. There will always be stirrings of regret over the Warriors leaving Oakland, and for fans who have no interest in this San Francisco extravaganza, you’re excused. There are spiritual ways in which this team will never be able to replace what it had in the venerable East Bay facility, so allow acceptance for the heartbroken.”

Back in 2015 Jenkins questioned the move from Oakland: “In the process of addressing the media before Game 1, Commissioner Adam Silver proclaimed the Warriors ‘need a new arena. There is no doubt about that.’ You figure he can’t say much else, hanging out with co-owners Joe Lacob and Peter Guber as they chart the path to San Francisco, but the Warriors’ East Bay fan base begs to differ. Fenway Park is a structure from some other time, but its treasures are preserved. Wrigley Field didn’t get torn down, just renovated. Oracle doesn’t have that brand of charm or tradition, but there is absolutely nothing wrong with it, especially now as it thrives in the Finals spotlight…”

From Curbed: “Among Chase Center highlights: 44 luxury suites surrounding the arena; 32 courtside lounges; 60 theater boxes; the aforementioned scoreboard, which can hide into the ceiling during concerts and other non-hoop-shooting events; wider and comfier seating; a J.P. Morgan-sponsored club with marble-and-gold accents and chafing dishes galore; and a “player campus,” which is a massive training facility-slash locker room where Warriors team players train, shower, disrobe, and lounge.”

More Jenkins: “Just know that the players aren’t waiting around. A team spokesman said “most” of the Warriors already have moved to San Francisco, including Draymond Green and all eight newcomers to the roster. With the offices, training quarters and practice facility all in one place, it makes perfect sense to become a San Francisco person and live nearby.”

Yes, NBA players can afford to live in San Francisco, since the average NBA salary is more than $6 million a year.

Jenkins: “Some were offended to see ‘San Francisco’ inscribed along one baseline, when the team is still called Golden State (labeled at the other end), but rumors suggest the team will unveil other court designs, including one denoting ‘The Town’ to honor the Oakland years.”

The Warriors should shut the fuck up about "honoring" Oakland. The stupid, insulting "The Town" uniforms appeared on the players long after the Warriors decided to dump Oakland for a tonier address where they could add to the accelerating gentrification of San Francisco. Just what we need: more rich people.

Since there's a major hospital in that neighborhood, Ryan Gorcey in the Examiner wonders about how well medical emergencies will be handled during and after game-day traffic jams: “When I left Chase Center on Monday to head to Lot A at Oracle Park — a two-minute drive — it took 10, because there was construction, and I had to double back and go around. Until the Mission Rock development is completed — and who knows if it truly ever will be — there will be that same traffic trying to navigate a Byzantine maze of single-lane streets wrapped around constant construction, streets that may or may not be open, streets that may or may not be one way in your direction and may run into dead ends.”

And of course the project has to have some big, shiny, monumental crap "art":

* * *


Just now Less seems More.

Later More would seem like Less.

Think I’ll stay with Less,


— Jim Luther

* * *

* * *

IT ALL COMES OUT IN THE WASH – For most of the four hundred years since we first bought Africans to work for us, their status and plight have been sore subjects. The Founders maybe don’t rate the big-F we use when writing about them. They dodged the subject of profiting from slavery while supposedly creating a Land of Opportunity for all. The glaring inhumanity, hypocrisy, mendacity and pure, unmistakable evil of the enterprise, the infection from it that persists today like gangrene, with African Americans still being the favored picks for imprisonment, the favored victims of police brutality and violence, of early and preventable death, of unquestioning fear and…and—it is a list that would take a mile of space to write down.

I don’t like having a cop behind me when I’m driving. Their job is to make arrests, and I don’t like being the handiest person in sight. I hate getting arrested.

And I’m white.

It took black comedians and writers to bring this out: “Imagine what it’s like when you’re driving.” We have made memes of Driving While Black or Driving While Mexican, deceptive because they use irony that is easily mistaken for humor. There is no humor, here. I’ve smuggled a lid of grass past airport baggage inspectors, boarded planes while holding a little penknife in my pocket or having a bottle of whiskey in my suitcase. I’ve known the queasy feeling, when pot was seriously illegal, of confronting police, in my car, with a roach in the ashtray. And I’m white.

These moments give me a frisson, the tiniest hint of what it’s like when a cop car turns red behind you—when you’re Black. Terror. A feeling that happens in your stomach. Being Black in America is knowing you will, some time or other, as sure as God made little apples, face terror at the hands of law enforcement, possibly mortal terror: What’s about to go down is damn sure going to be unpleasant. It might be fatal.

Lately I heard two NBA all-stars, one six-nine, the other six-ten, talk about this. The taller, younger one, driving with his wife and young kids, described a faulty-taillight stop. “I put my hands on the steering wheel at the ten-and-two position and said to the officer, ‘Now I’m going to reach for my wallet. Do I have your permission?’” His kids wanted to know why he was acting like that. He told them to be quiet; he’d explain later. He drove away with a fix-it ticket and no bullet holes in his body, no orphans or widows in his car. Terror. Today.

This is referred to as the original sin of the New-World British colonies and then the new United States of America. The Founders (not for me to declare the lower-case F), very canny fellows, dodged the dilemma by declaring that Black people were not human, not fully. No need to grant human rights to creatures only three-fifths human.

And that’s how the debate was framed. There were zero moral arguments factored in, in the meeting in Philadelphia that lasted all summer, that summer of 1787, all the white men dressed up to make a good showing for their state, in a meeting room that was closed off from the outside so reporters’ ears and curious public could not eavesdrop, could not listen in while the fate of the new world was decided by men of accomplishment and stature from all over the eastern seaboard.

It was—brace yourself—a matter of money. Slaves were not citizens, but they were part of everyday life, part of the private wealth of the nation, and needed government recognition and support no less than whole people. You need roads, houses, doctors, militias, food, vigilantes for catching runaways and everything required for white people of humble estate, so how do you count them, how do you represent them in government, how do you budget for them, how do you tax their owners—practical questions, not moral or ethical ones, about how to address “The Peculiar Institution,” how to feel about it, what to tell ourselves. There was extensive writing on the subject on both sides of the pond.

Our enlightened, progressive Founders didn’t want to touch those things with a ten-foot pole, and every state feverishly crunched its numbers, feverishly sought advantage over its siblings in the constitutional debate. The “Great Compromise” (again, those capital letters!) is not so called because it involved any humanitarian considerations. It was “great” because it was an unlikely argument to resolve, but they did resolve it (or at least they put it off for another seventy-four years, enough time for them all to be dead and not have to do another bloody, godawful war or answer for their moral—yes—cowardice).

Everybody was miffed, which is a sign of a great compromise. Then the delegates went triumphantly back home (actually, it was more sheepish than triumphant, and they knew selling this document to the folks back in their separate states was going to be hard). It was hard, and they didn’t. Our various and divergent interests were already too many, so our spotless Founders just rammed it down our throats and scuttled back to the farm and the firm, a rough administrative system drafted, passed and posted under the name “Constitution of the United States of America” and we were off and limping!

Don’t get me wrong. I badmouth the Founders and their constitution to balance the scales a little. We still worship all that because we still need it as a screen for our atrocities, ongoing right now. The contract is a policy statement. It does not deserve worship, but it does deserve acknowledgment, loyalty and respect. It came from prodigious work and progressive thinking—three hundred and thirty-two years ago, taking up ideas that took shape in Greece twenty-two centuries earlier and still fight for acceptance.

With a few prominent exceptions, African-Americans are devoted to this country, and it, in turn, grants niggardly portions of recognition, compensation, education and a few more crumbs. No reparations, though (“Goddamn it, I didn’t enslave anybody. I don’t owe anybody anything!”), no forty acres and a mule, and certainly (violently, mortally) no equal protection under the law. Your home is your castle, unless you’re black.

But if you’re big enough, fast enough, strong enough and talented enough we’ll share a bit of the swag you earn for us.

It could be said that African-Americans deserve a better home. It could be said they are here because of the venality of their white masters, that the disposition, athleticism, musical talent, sexual attitudes, world views, patience and endurance of Africans are superior to those of the more-northerly races that kidnapped them. It could be said that we have done nothing to deserve them. It could be said that Blacks’ struggle to gain rights under the Constitution have helped and are still helping us to discover and fulfill the latent promises it holds.

(Mitch Clogg)

* * *

* * *


[1] I’m no expert on the history of Ukiah but a seismic shift is underway in its economy. The days of pears and sheep ranches are long gone, and wine is an industry that does not develop large swaths of highly paid employees.

Into the dying mix of fruit and mutton, and apart from the vintner echelons, we are now seeing a mighty incoming tide of a corporate marijuana industry. Look a bit north and a genuine pot behemoth, Flow Kana, now stands where the Fetzer family, for generations, produced wine.

Another newcomer, this one supposedly with a Big Tobacco pedigree, will be moving into a new 120,000 square foot home, also north of town, across from Orr Springs Road.

A bit south we note the Redtail Ale brewing empire is gone, replaced by a marijuana facility that will do something, and lots of it, in a building of more than 63,000 square feet. (If you are good at math, add 120,000 and 63,000 together and get back to me. Sounds like a lot of bud, seeds, stems and square footage.)

Meanwhile, back in central Ukiah, we have marijuana outlets in various nooks, crannies and storefronts.

Weed, for as long as a lot of us remember and a fair number of us have been alive, has been a shadow economy that has floated local boats (shops, restaurants, car dealerships, real estate) for decades.

Today, black market marijuana is down with a wasting disease and may not survive.

And in its place we have legal marijuana, hence Flow Kana and the as-yet unnamed other pot-centric behemoths. No one knows what impact these will have on our local economy but just for starters I’d suggest we not anticipate that its employees will be 25-year old guys driving $70,000 pickups, peeling off hundred dollar bills to buy a few items of clothing from a downtown merchant and owning second homes in Belize and Hawaii. That is not the future of local weed.

A bigger, related question is this: How are we preparing for this new world? Until yesterday marijuana was illegal and thus an enterprise run by de facto criminals. Anyone growing it or selling it or carrying it to Kansas in the trunk of a car was by definition an outlaw. (Tommy Wayne Kramer, Ukiah Daily Journal)

[2] Until a majority of Americans learn and understand mathematics (which I do not think will ever happen) they will continue to delude themselves into believing that they can make $50K a year and spend $200K because they can afford the monthly payments, the decay will slowly move forward. As the losers slide one by one off of the economic treadmill and into their parent’s and grandparent’s basements, the vast majority of remaining consumers will not notice their disappearance. The retailers certainly have, but they too are expendable and easily written off as natural selection to the Cyber-stores and online betting parlors. As governments move in to desperately capitalize on any remaining vices like drug sales, gambling schemes, and probably even prostitution next, they too will feed off of the general public until nothing remains but bare bones.

I especially like the way the Good Book says that the ending act (not actually an end) will come as a total surprise because that is exactly how it is playing out, surprise, surprise, surprise.

* * *

* * *


RE "Thanks for Nothing, Hippies" by Larry Livermore

Dear Larry,

You ask "Where did it all go wrong?" Read “Democracy In Chains: The Deep History of the Radical Right's Stealth Plan for America" by Nancy MacLean.

This book:

"Deserves serious acquaintance by everyone interested in politics and in understanding how we wound up where we are today." — Winston-Salem Journal

"It may actually be worse than you think. We are up against an unprecedented level of organization and funding by a right wing that is more extreme than anything seen in the modern period."

Common Dreams -" It is about public education and the right's long crusade to privatize what they call 'government schools'. It reveals why public education is in the crosshairs of the radical right, and how the history of private school vouchers, a passion of Sec. of Ed. Betsy DeVos, is inextricably linked to efforts by Southern white elites to resist desegregation"

Alternet - "MacLean persuasively weaves together biography, intellectual history, and political history to show how the public has been fooled by right-wingers who claim to value 'liberty', but who actually intend the corporate takeover of public resources it is also painstakingly researched and deeply intelligent.” — Los Angeles Review of Books

"If the facts surrounding the architects of the radical right were murky until now, they have been clearly revealed by Nancy MacLean in her extensively researched book. She weaves together an unflinching history of libertarian-leaning, capitalist-driven groups of socio-economic philosophers, politically connected loyalists, and the wealthy elite on a quest to effectively dismantle the liberal state. This quest would inherently sacrifice the health and education of children, the wellbeing of the elderly, any sense of social responsibility, and any promise of equity for all" — Asheville Citizen Times

"Jane Mayer's book, ‘Dark Money,’ taught us that billionaires like the Koch brothers are able to influence how we think and vote. Now a worthy successor, ‘Democracy in Chains,’ by Nancy MacLean, professor of history and public policy at Duke University, reveals that our democracy began to be undermined soon after WWII. MacLean has laid bare the 'true origin of today's well-heeled radical right'."

Jewish Currents - "This did not just happen; it was helped along by James Buchanan and his ilk. I do not want to give away the whole story. I want you to buy the book, read it, and share it with a friend." — National Catholic Reporter

"I will say this clearly and forthrightly: whatever your political opinions or positions, you must read this book. It shines an important light on the history of what has now become the most potent force in modern American politics. This book reveals in detail how the Koch brothers and other shadowy billionaires' political philosophy has been weaponized in an ongoing war against democratic beliefs and institutions. Read this book, think about what MacLean has uncovered, and then, if you agree with what she says, use what you learn from this book to stand up for freedom and democracy against oligarchy." — WritersCast: The Voice of Writing

So, no matter what so-called "hippies" did or did not do to further peace, love and equality, they were screwed from day one!

Nancy MacLeod (not to be confused with the brilliant Nancy MacLean!)


* * *



  1. Craig Stehr September 3, 2019

    Still at Robert Eggplant’s place on the couch in Pinole. Is anybody interested in going to Washington, D.C. for the climate justice shut down of the “belly of the beast” third week of September? Also, I’d like to give the living room back to my hosts…can anybody set me up for a short stay in the SF bay area?? A short stay anywhere??? Craig Louis Stehr, Email:

  2. Marilyn Davin September 3, 2019

    Sorry about any confusion about the Buddhist gate in Talmadge story. I neither took the pic nor wrote the prose. It is part of some info I downloaded for a possible future story about the ongoing renovation.

  3. Bruce McEwen September 3, 2019

    The impudent blurt from Zappa Montag, his righteous indignation at having his sacred mantle of innocence sullied by a booking photo and a press-release from the MCSO, along with his anonymous respondent, with all his pseudo-legal scholar declarations and aspersions, needs a bit of sober reflection, to wit, you are not considered innocent until proven guilty, you left your innocence behind at about age six, and never looked back with any pangs of regret, and the admonition to consider you innocent of the charges, is a temporary condition reserved for your jurors, should you ever go to trial. No one else is enjoined to consider you innocent until proven otherwise, in fact, even the judge is, by law, required to suppose the charges brought against you in good faith are true, at your arraignment, your earliest visit to the court, and to set bail accordingly. The people with the tow trucks and impound lots are a separate matter, they are businessmen, part and parcel with the obscene cupidity of the car culture as a whole, as nakedly ambitious as any businessmen, including the thuggish and self-righteous businessmen in the “controlled substance” business, and they are not, as so blatantly implied in the “comment of the day,” in bed with the judges and other officers of the courts, including the lawyers, clerks and secretaries.

  4. Lazarus September 3, 2019

    oye que la tormenta se perdió Florida.
    As always,

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