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Off the Record (April 28, 2021)

STEVE TALBOT ALERTS US: Vietnam veterans protest film — Fifty years ago this month, Vietnam vets came to Washington, DC to protest the war in Vietnam. It remains the most dramatic, memorable demonstration I ever experienced. With my close friends David Davis and Deirdre English, I (age 22) made a short, scrappy, 16mm, B&W documentary, DC III*, about these protests. I revived it for a Notre Dame-sponsored webinar this week on the anniversary of the protests. You can see the film here:


Thanks for this, Steve.

I spent my anti-war demonstration time stateside often in my “utilities,” it turned out to be a transformative moment in my life when I belatedly learned in 1971 of the death of a childhood friend.

Eleven of his Army unit were killed in an ambush in Vietnam in 1969. Kenneth Walter Miller was only 19 when they perished in 1969. Kenneth had only been “in country” for less than 30 days.

Kenny was a great kid, I used to hike and hunt with him on the farmland near my grandparents' home in Speed, Kansas. His parents only child, Kenneth is buried in the Fairview Cemetery in Phiilipsburg, Kansas. 

BUMPERSTICKER that sums up popular opinion: “Make Orwell Fiction Again.”

THE HISTORICALLY low rainfall of the past two winters has Marin County on the brink of imposing mandatory water use restrictions on all its customers, a sure sign drought is upon us. Mendo won't be far behind, and some jurisdictions probably won't impose rationing until tap water runs brown.

SEEMS FROM HERE that the Democrat leadership, such as it is, is playing a dangerous game by pronouncing on pending cases involving white cops and black vics. Biden's out of it, of course, but his handlers should know better than to shove him out there in front of the teleprompters to torque upwards racial tensions, which never need much torqueing in this country. Multi-millionaire Democrats, with their fortified homes and phalanxes of armed muscle boys, are never in any danger from street violence, but millions of their constituents live with the distinct likelihood every day. 

CHAUVIN's is an egregious case, but having been found guilty on all three charges of murdering George Floyd, he won’t get enough time to satisfy the national riot-lust deliberately stirred up by the Democrats, and the country will suffer a long summer of arson and looting. Chauvin will do maybe 15 years, appear on an Oprah Special, and retire to Idaho.

SPEAK MEMORY! In August of 1997, I wrote: "Veteran enviros say CDF doesn’t seem to know what to do about protests underway at Jackson State Forest. The agency used to stonewall its critics until the critics gave up and went away. The current crop of protesters seems to have staying power and say forthrightly that what they want is nothing less than new ways of managing the Forest that includes meaningful citizen participation in agency decisions. CDF’s director, Richard Wilson of Covelo, “started out being responsive but has been remote lately,” as one enviro involved in the action put it last week after the lively demo at Mushroom Corners where CDF is logging a section of what was once Mendocino Woodlands. CDF’s new man on the spot, Jamison, “is a lot more conciliatory than ol’ Slack ever was,” the veteran protester said in reference to Jamison’s predecessor, “but Jamison still seems to relate better to trees than he does to people.” (Jamison is trained as a forester; CDF is dominated by its fire-fighting branch.) At the Mushroom Corners demo last week a lot of CDF rangers were striding around with guns on their hips, but the only arrest they made was of an unleashed dog, quickly OR’d to its master. The demonstrations at Jackson State have won a few concessions from CDF, including an expansion of the buffer zone at the Mushroom Corners logging site, but the overall goal remains agency management that puts the public ahead of timber companies. “The idea that CDF can put 7 million dollars to assign inspectors to monitor corporate THPs on public lands when the money used to go to improving smallholder’s timber stands, is the kind of priority we want to reverse,” a clear-thinking enviro declared Friday.”

ADDING, “CDF’S current policy confusion may be at least partly attributed to the agency’s apparently traumatic interfaces with the inimitable Beth Bosk, the editor of New Settler magazine. Bosk has threatened a demonstration against CDF’s proposed use of the herbicide Garlon at Jackson State consisting entirely of women who have had mastectomies, a demo which would be unique in environmental activism. The inimitable Bosk has also mentioned an invasion of Jackson State Forest by ‘grandmothers and their warrior sons.’ CDF could handle the warrior sons without much trouble but militant grannies always present special problems for paramilitary bureaucracies like CDF.”

STORY from this morning's Press Democrat: “Grammy-nominated singer Phoebe Bridgers was spotted at a Whole Foods in Santa Rosa on Sunday, according to Twitter users.”

AN OLD PAL of mine, now in his 70th year, led a wild and dissolute life until his late 40s when he’d exhausted the non-renewable male energy a wild and dissolute life requires. In return for some rare thrills, O.P. amassed a three-page rap sheet and two tours of the state prison system. “I did fine when I wasn’t drinking,” he explains with a rueful smile, adding, “I’m not proud of what my life used to be.” O.P.’s last arrest was in February of 1975. The law says a person who has become a law-abiding citizen can have his or her civil rights restored by applying to the state which, in turn, verifies that the formerly dissolute has indeed changed his or her ways. Before the reign of Governor Wilson, California governors, including Ronald Reagan, routinely signed hundreds of pardons every year. Wilson didn’t sign a single one, ignoring O.P.’s along with all the other reborn miscreants. O.P. would like to serve on juries and otherwise be restored to full rights of citizenship. He has his certificate of rehabilitation signed by a Mendo County judge, and all the counties where he’d been arrested in his previous life as an outlaw have no objections to his being pardoned and fully restored to citizenship. The current status of pardons? There’s an application process, but it’s not simple, and the odds against serious felons being restored to full citizenship are very, very long.

HAPPENS ALL THE TIME, Miss Manners, and I really wish you could do something about it. Someone calls the ava, and we’re chatting along when suddenly the caller gasps, “Sorry, got to go. I’ve got another call coming in.” And while you’re at it, can you possibly do something about all these nasal voices we suffer these days? Maybe if you just encouraged the major genders to “Speak from the diaphragm, from the diaphragm, not through your noses!” Men sound more and more like whining wusses, women like skill saws.

Daniel Clemons

A TINY BLURB in a Press Democrat many years ago told us that a man named McLeod was shot dead at his ranch out on the Mina Road. The Mina Road is a sort of inland Highway 101 often used by local outlaws to elude the CHP. It links Covelo and Alderpoint. McLeod’s pick-up truck was found in San Francisco the day after he was murdered. That was it. End of story. No follow-up. The reason it appeared at all I suppose was because it wasn’t clear to media where McLeod’s ranch was. Mendocino County’s Sheriff’s Department was first responder to the scene of the crime although it turned out that McLeod’s property is in Trinity County not far from Kettenpom, which is basically a general store in a wide spot towards the north end of the Mina Road, which eventually reaches Murder Mountain, aka Alderpoint. An anonymous caller told me that McCleod had quite a back story, that he’d had left his job as a school administrator and had since made lots of money growing pot in what amounts to a sort of no man’s land where Humboldt, Mendocino and Trinity counties meet in the deep east of the Emerald Triangle, that McLeod’s estranged son had once worked as a jailer for Mendocino County, that McLeod had been married five times, that he’d been a decorated paratrooper during World War Two, and that his last wife lived with a son in Santa Rosa. When I called Trinity County to see what they knew of McCleod’s death, a detective told me that an eyewitness to McCleod’s murder had told them that a man named Daniel Clemons, then 45, had killed McCleod and was being sought. Clemons had worked for McCleod growing weed, and there was a beef between them about money. Clemons was eventually arrested some twenty years later living under the surname ‘Shade’ in Okay, Oklahoma. He was extradited to Trinity and packed off to the state pen on a second degree murder charge in 2017.

THE McCLEOD story reminded me of the still unsolved murder on January 26th of this year of 85-year-old rancher Richard Grayson Drewry on Island Mountain Road on the border of Humboldt and Mendocino counties, although there is no evidence that Drewry was a marijuana grower. He may have had trouble with trespass grows. Helluva thing to live to be 85 only to be shot to death. The Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office is the lead investigatory agency regarding the case. 

A READER WRITES “Supervisor McGourty did a quick pivot on the drought emergency [County Notes AVA 4/21] but it was Boss Lady Angelo who brought it forward. When she presented it she said Calfire Chief Gonzalez had called her three times. And now we know why. The Governor needed a backdrop for his photo op declaration of a state emergency. And because most of our water gets shipped outta here (all the way to southern Marin), Lake Mendo with its mud-cracked dry lake bottom was the perfect spot. But first the locals had to adopt a drought emergency. Angelo handed McGourty a Whereas for the Ukiah Valley Vintners as a consolation prize. What was weird was the supervisors had a big debate about whether they really need the declaration or not. But they all showed up for the photo op with the Governor (and Senator McGuire and Assembly member Wood).”

THE MEASURE B discussion was another cluster. Williams said he's ready to build a PHF at the run down nursing home at Whitmore Lane. He said he's been asking for data. Asking for a plan. But after two years (for him) he's ready to take the Measure B money and build the PHF and give up on asking for data or a plan. I dunno, maybe, but I think the old nursing home is more of a tearer-downer than a fixer-upper.

Agree on the Strategic Plan. Total waste. What struck me was Angelo, after two years of planning and after working with the ad hoc had no clue what the purpose was. She had to ask if this was a strategic plan to focus on Board of Supervisors policy or a strategic plan on how we move the entire county forward? This is what the taxpayers get for $300,000 a year?"

TO REPEAT Sharon Davis's resignation as CEO of the Coast's Chamber of Commerce is also to hope she reveals the name of the villain whose boorishness forced her out: Ms. Davis writes: “It is with mixed feelings that I write this to you. I have come to a decision to resign from the Chamber. This is not a decision that I made lightly and one made only after a great deal of thought. I simply could not continue to endure the constant harassment and discriminatory behavior by the current board chair. This behavior extended to several other female board members as well. I cannot continue to align myself with an organization that allows this type of behavior. Unfortunately, several board members have also resigned as a result. It has been both a privilege and an honor to serve as the CEO over these past six years and I truly appreciate having had the opportunity to give back to this community. Whatever the future holds I hope to have the opportunity to work with you in some capacity… — Sharon Davis, C.E.O. Mendocino Coast Chamber of Commerce"

WHATEVER happened to “recovered memory,” the unfounded phenomenon occurring when a young woman suddenly remembers that her mother had molested her so traumatically that she entombed it in her memory mausoleum, but disinterred it years later for the media and a lawsuit against her father? Best book on the subject happened to be written by a part-time resident of Boonville, Moira Johnston, a well-known author who owned a small vineyard here. Ms. J described in detail the infamous Napa “recovered memory” case wherein a young woman claimed that her father had somehow, undetected by other members of the family including her two sisters, molested her for most of the years of her childhood and on into adolescence. Dad, a wine company exec, was found innocent, but hapless fathers in different parts of the country were also hauled into court, their daughters encouraged by alleged therapists, many of them certifiable themselves. Similar hysterias have swept Mendoland, most taking the form of wild allegations of Satanist child abuse, a phenomena unconfirmed anywhere in the country but one that has sent innocent people to jail for long periods of time. Moira Johnston's crucial book is called “Spectral Evidence: The Ramona Case: Incest, Memory, and Truth On Trial in Napa Valley.” (The Satanist hysteria was especially vicious in Fort Bragg. A full account of its evil effects in Mendocino County can be found on the AVA’s website.)

THE GREAT IRONY in the murder of 77-year-old Jim Cummings by Bill Vargas almost a quarter century ago, and apart from the final irony of being murdered at an age when you have a hard time climbing aboard the Senior’s bus, is that Cummings had actually been quite kind to both Vargas and the Vargas family over a period of many years. Cummings, who could be ruthless in his business dealings, had a soft spot for the miscellaneous walking wounded, many of whom found shelter in Cummings’ Cannery Row-like complex at Noyo Harbor. Vargas, 45, at the time, had been allowed by Cummings to do odd jobs around Noyo in exchange for rent and walking around money. Vargas was subsequently declared insane and is still confined to the state hospital at Napa. 

DEVELOPERS had coveted Noyo for years, envisioning a tourist attraction similar, albeit on a smaller scale, to San Francisco’s Fisherman’s Wharf. With Cummings gone, and his tangled affairs headed for a lengthy probate, the wolves were circling. He owned property up and down the Coast now valued, some say, at perhaps as much as $25 to $50 million. In addition to his extremely valuable holdings at Noyo, Cummings owned most of Chapman Point overlooking the Mendocino Headlands, not to mention other parcels up and down the Coast. Some of the parcels are under his given name of Boyle, some under Cummings, the name of his stepfather. Bob Peterson, the Fort Bragg attorney, was executor of the Cummings estate. Cummings was married several times, his last connubial contract being to a Brazilian immigrant he’d hired to assist him recuperate after an automobile accident near Yorkville. His wife was not with him on his last night; she apparently lived at another address. Cummings had two teenage children from his marriage to a much younger Fort Bragg woman, Aura Johansen. Ms. Johansen and the two heirs were in the national news several years after their father’s murder when mom, a recovering drug addict, was falsely arrested by the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Department and charged with possession of black tar heroin. The black tar heroin turned out to be a batch of jam mom was mixing, prompting unkind community speculation about the abilities of police officers unable to distinguish dope from sandwich spread. Ms. Johansen had been videotaped by her son allegedly in the act of doing drugs. The son went to the police with the claim that his surveillance showed that Mom was supplying drugs to her young daughter, all of which turned out to be untrue but provided much grist for the national talk show moralists for about a week. Jim Cummings Jr. married a Fort Bragg girl and moved to Belfast, Maine where, after enduring years of his abuse, the Fort Bragg girl shot him dead. He was 29, she 31. The couple had a daughter. She was never charged. He was infamous in his Maine neighborhood as an admirer of Hitler.

THE SHERIFF’S DEPARTMENT, by the way, had described Bill Vargas, Jim Cummings’ killer, as being “highly educated” because, in a stormy case with his former wife Vargas had deployed the word, “uxorious” to describe her. Vargas has admitted that he went to Cummings home at Noyo shortly after midnight, ignited a small bomb to lure Cummings outside, then shot Cummings when Cummings appeared on his porch with a pistol. Vargas’ usufructuary plan seems to have worked in that he shot Cummings before Cummings could shoot him.

A FACEBOOKER ASKS, “With the impending drought upon us, why isn’t there any talk about a desalinization plant in the area somewhere, I am aware of the fact that it’s expensive and there would be some logistical problems to figure out, but we have a huge chunk of land in Fort Bragg sitting there where the mill site was, and we need water and jobs, can’t we figure out how to make this happen? Tourist taxes and property taxes and weed taxes ... all that should pay for us to secure water, no?”

SUPERVISOR WILLIAMS ANSWERS: “The plant in Carlsbad cost $1 billion to build, with a rough estimate of $50 million a year for the power to run it. Total property tax revenue is about $37 million, total. The numbers don’t work.

WHATEVER HAPPENED to the Duke and Duchess of Oil? Ed and Marcie Davies were a Coast couple ubiquitous on local radio call-in shows in the 1990s, so ubiquitous they were eventually banned because they’d robo-call the few stations that took calls from the random public leaving no air time for the less obsessed. Ed and Marcie believed Americans were being deliberately poisoned by our government in vast, complicated conspiracies when, then and now, the poisoning, psychic and tangible, was obvious enough to most of us without laying it at the feet of the malign individuals who own our government. The one time I saw them in person they were dressed like duck hunters in camo tarps and rubber boots. And then, like so many Mendo characters, they disappeared.

FRIENDS OF THE EEL have been fighting a futile battle to restore the mighty river’s natural flow for years now, hoping to return it to its full unimpeded flow as it was in the last century. when the Eel was diverted south at Potter Valley for the modest purpose of the electrification of Ukiah, the diverted overflow waters then channeled on into the upper Russian River which, historically, was dry above Healdsburg in the summer. In the middle 1950s, the diversion filled the newly-constructed Coyote Dam to form Lake Mendocino, whose waters were and are mostly owned by Sonoma County, whose developers persuaded SoCo government to put up the money to build the dam and the lake behind it, thus getting ownership of most of the water stored there forever. Ever since, SoCo has made millions selling that diverted Eel water while generations of Mendo politicians have not dared even discuss re-negotiating the worst deal in local history, a deal that began with the seemingly inconsequential desire to illuminate Ukiah, but whose downstream dependencies are now so huge there is no option but to continue looting the Eel.

“FORWARD EVER, backward never.” Sister Yasmin told me some years ago that was the international Rastafarian motto. I thought she’d said, “Pass the pasta,” and wondered why Rastafarians had adopted a culinary slogan. But Yaz and I had always seemed to suffer a kind of fractured communication, so when she called up to deliver her usual ritual denunciation of “you and the rest of the morons at the AVA” we at last were on the same page. 

AS I DIMLY RECALL, the episode that finished off Mendocino County’s psych unit in Ukiah known as the Puff, a locked facility where the violently flipped out could be held for as long as three days while they were “stabilized,” occurred when a young, rather physically imposing man, age 27, was brought to the County’s psych unit by his family. The young man was distraught at the break-up of a romance and was threatening suicide. When he learned that he would be held for 72 hours for “observation,” he tried to climb over the wall surrounding the place, badly cutting a hand in the process. His family had calmed him by the time the ambulance and a couple of EMT’s, backed up by three Ukiah police officers. And right there was the nut of the prob. The Ukiah cops were always being called out to the PUFF to restore order. Most facilities employ muscle called “orderlies” but, Mendo being Mendo. forceful restraint, then as now, was left to the police while the bringers of peace and light debated “non-violent” tactics in subduing rampaging psychotics.

ON THIS OCCASION, at the sight of Ukiah’s finest, the allegedly love-mad kid announces he’s a martial arts expert who can easily take out the cops, and he jumps up and assumes some kind of half-assed karate stance while wrapping his belt around his uninjured hand as if he’s going to war with the Ukiah PD, one of whose trio of officers tried to pepper spray the kid but missed, his spray billowing outwards in a room-size cloud, disabling the kid’s family, the cops themselves and the EMTs but energizing the karate kid. 

IN THE ENSUING MELEE, with everyone crashing around in a small space, the cops finally got the kid spreadeagled on the floor, and from there hustled him down the hall and out to the cop car where, fearing that the patient, still highly agitated and threatening the world with lethal karate strokes, might kick out the windows of the squad car, they hogtied the kid. 

IT ALL WENT to court where the on-duty psychiatrist at the Psych Unit testified that he was only vaguely aware of a disturbance thirty feet from his office which, translated, means he was hiding under his desk. The verdict? A misdemeanor conviction related to getting in the way of a police officer in the performance of his official duties. The cost to taxpayers? Lots.

THIS FARCE played out in court because the kid charged everyone involved with excessive force. A member of the jury, an older woman retired from one of the psych units at the old state hospital at Talmage, remarked to her fellow jurors that in all her years on the job at Talmage with extremely violent people her unit never once had to call the police to subdue a patient. Some people reassure the disturbed, others ignite them, she said. 

WE NOTICED what seemed to be an uptick in Covelo area bookings in recent weeks. In April of 2019, there were 12 Covelo bookings. In April of 2020 (during the early stages of the Pandemic) there were only five Covelo bookings. But in April of 2021 there have already been 23 in just the first three weeks of the month. We asked Sheriff Kendall if our impression that more of Covelo's scofflaws were being rounded up was correct. The Sheriff confirmed that he has begun an increased law enforcement presence in Round Valley in advance of a summer offensive when a larger police presence will focus on the worst crooks without being distracted by “the low-hanging fruit,” i.e., run of the mill mopes (and whatever weapons they may have) of the type who've been arrested lately. 

THE SHERIFF SAID he’s been authorized to hire at least three new patrol deputies to focus on Round Valley and he’s actively recruiting for those positions now. He’s also arranging to bring back some (carefully selected) recent law enforcement retirees on month-to-month contracts to supplement the Covelo push. Kendall says he’s arranged with the DA to expedite any necessary search warrants, some of which are already drafted and ready to be presented to a judge with blanks ready to be filled in.

IN THE MIDDLE 1990s, the AVA reported on the Cold War experiments carried out at Hopland’s UC AG station. A Sacramento reader had alerted us to an article in a techno-journal about what was called “Project 23,” a federal experiment aimed at gaging the effects of radioactivity on food supplies. If we nuked it out with whomever how much radiation could we absorb without turning into walking X-rays? Well, the levels at the test zone in Hopland, not far from the Hopland rancheria, were still unnaturally high in 2000. We still wonder if strontium 90 worked its way into the groundwater that ultimately finds its way into Indian wells, Fetzer’s grapes and Real Goods enviro retail store, all of which border the 5,300-acre ag station. The experiments at Hopland were conducted from 1952 until 1968 by the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission. The Feds, in 1997, ponied up $45,000 to see if the fallout from the experiments was still with us. It was.

THE IRONY is that a few miles north of the radioactivity deposits that won’t go away, neighbors of Retech had to sue to find out how much radioactivity was being emitted by the outside-owned corporation which manufactured and tested ovens designed to render harmless contaminated soils. Neighbors were concerned that Hopland’s Retech plant was releasing toxics in the neighborhood’s air as the company tested its cleansing devices while official Mendo County waived the plant right on past the regulatory process. Retech packed up and flew off to Poland, nobody became a see-through x-ray. 


[1] One thing about us human beings. We are obsessed with our own self-interest. If we feel something will pay off for us, we’re all over it. If not – we seek something else and fast.

Whether members of any race in America want to join in to a common culture will depend – as always – on whether they can get what they want out of it. Which leads to the next question: What does anyone want today? 

That’s a tough one. Nobody seems to want the same things, except for more magic conjured digits to mystically appear in our empty bank accounts, to not have to go in to the office any more, to not get along with others, to promote our grievances, and to waste much of our lives on needless drama to no good end. Hey, that’s it! THAT’s now our common culture. And good luck building a future on THAT.

And, let’s go back to the beginning. Were Native Americans given an opportunity to join with other ethnic groups in a common American culture? Or… were they the first victims of the Cancel Culture that seeks to erase all things that differ from one’s own chosen elevated group of people or ways of thinking? And if the Natives did want to join such a culture — what would they get out of it? Or if they preferred to keep their own culture and live with a respectful coexistence… would they have been allowed to? I think we know the answer to that one.

Americans en masse seem to have collectively rejected the idea of a Common American Culture for our future. Conflict is encouraged instead of cooperation. Getting Over and Getting Yours seems to be the default operating system of our times. Ethics and morals are seen as silly notions from the Leave It To Beaver era. Get with the times, man. Old is bad. Different is good. Common culture? What do I get out of THAT? Sucka!

What a sad ending to an American story that began with wide open spaces and big dreams. Nowadays, we are packed in together seething with frustration with others just as testy and our collective dream is to get through another day.

[2] In some ways, what happened in Columbus is more troubling than some other incidents that led to officer shootings. How do?

The altercation happened in a nice middle class neighborhood with well kept homes and newer cars. One of those homes was fostering the girl who was killed. Couples with a stable loving home life are generally the people chosen to foster kids.

Certainly the girl had experienced a troubled life, and had even less emotional control than the usual 16 year old. But the cop rolling up does not have the backstory. He has been dispatched due to a 911 asking for help due to an assault. He arrives and sees one female pin another girl half her size against a car and start to swing her right hand holding a knife at the pinned car. The cop fires immediately. I don’t see that he had any other options.

None of us know what set off this fight, or why the adults were unable to diffuse it. Why was the kid in foster care, given she had a mother and an aunt quite capable of talking to the media? Will we ever know? I doubt it. It seems too many just want to blame it all on the cop.

[3] Help is on the way. Fear not, friends. A race of higher beings all made of pure light are coming to Earth. (They’ve been busy visiting countless other races in our galaxy who are sunk in the mire of darkness like us, hence their delay.) Once they arrive they will open our collective inner eye and enable us finally to realize and hence to leave behind the folly of our present way of life. This will release vast reserves of spiritual energy hitherto locked away deep within our inner being, and the energy will bring about a great cleansing and healing on this planet. All will be restored to the original condition in which it was meant to exist: as an expression, a manifestation, a vessel of the Light of Pure Spirit. All the terrible things we face today will fade away like a bad dream; love and peace will finally prevail. Om Shanthi. (P.S. Please don’t tell me all that I’ve said above is rubbish. I don’t want to know, what with the sorry state of affairs in which we all now find ourselves. It’s all I’ve got going for it now. Okay?)

[4] If these high and mighty Whites have taken away from non-whites then Whites in privileged positions [ … ] must necessarily give up these posts as a matter of elementary justice.

There is no doubt that White Males (mostly heterosexual) are hugely over-represented in every desirable activity that offers power, status, money, perks, and often, access to the nicest women.

Just look around you – at every parliament, ivy-league academic faculty, Fortune 500 boardroom, government agency, military command, courtroom, legal firm, country club, and expensive suburb or prestige apartment block on the Upper East Side … it’s completely and totally obvious.

How to change the mix … that is the question.

Make it a bigger pie, divide the pie different, smash the pie? These aren’t just issues and challenges for squishy liberals and other bleeding hearts – it is at the core of American society.

A few privileged Whites have done huge amounts to change the diversity of their respective orbits, but I wouldn’t count on a majority of White Males doing it voluntarily. There is an argument that if the elites gave a bit more, then they might retain the rest for another century or so.

But then Moscow Mitch gives the super-wealthy tax breaks that they absolutely do not need. It borders on the truly outrageous. If they makes me a crazy liberal, then I’ll wear the badge with honor…

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