A RATHER STARTLING story in Sunday's Press Democrat describes a meeting of rural sheriffs from sparsely populated NorCal counties convened in Ukiah by Mendo Sheriff Tom Allman, the cops being some kind of offshoot of a wacky outfit called Support Rural America. The event was co-sponsored by something called “The Ukiah Valley Patriots” whose secretary is identified as Robin Carter. Trying to decode Glenda Anderson's murky prose is never easy, but I concluded that Support Rural America, which comes with its own 5150 website, thinks the federal government is too tough on the extractive industries, meaning somewhere corporate money blew all this wrongheadedness into existence and are using rural sheriffs to advance the Koch Brothers’ political agenda. (Ukiah Valley Patriots? The implication of this grand monicker is the rest of us aren't. Patriots, that is. If you don't sign on to the weepy nonsense below you're not an American, you see.)
OUR SHERIFF ALLMAN told Glenda of the PD that he “agrees with Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio's tough stand on illegal immigration.” Robin Carter, the Ukiah patriot, says she (?) believes “the federal government is growing and beginning to press against people's private property rights through overzealous enforcement of regulations.” Names, Robin, names!
AT THE PATRIOT'S WEBSITE we find that the resident intellectual calls himself John Galt who, ta da! also happens to be the name of the hero of Atlas Shrugged, a novel popular with Fox News viewers who have read one book — the wrong one. We also find a maudlin and completely wrong poem (I guess) based on Pastor Niemoller's famous rhetorical cry during the Nazi period that if you sit still for crimes against certain people or certain groups of people, eventually The Evil Ones will get around to you.
WHICH BRINGS US back to Allman, a genial, seemingly tolerant fellow who surely can't have looked too deeply into Arpaio. Arpaio is of course popular with Mex Bashers, the people who think everything gone wrong with America is the fault of Mexican immigrants. These same people, or their parents and grandparents, beginning in the early 1960s, used to say that everything gone wrong with America began with the black civil rights movement. Then, for a while there, blacks and hippies ran neck and neck for the Everything Gone Wrong trophy. Lately, the libs are catching it, having been re-dubbed “The Left.”
ARPAIO'S assumption that Mexicans are synonymous with illegality has made police work far more difficult, apart from Arpaio operating outside the law himself. Is it a good thing that Americans of Mexican descent are afraid to call the cops in Maricopa County, Arizona for fear that this nut Arpaio will haul them to jail and keep them there until they produce proof of citizenship? According to the 2011 census estimate, 23% of Mendocino County residents are of Hispanic heritage. Arpaio belongs in the federal pen for flouting his constitutional responsibility to uphold the law in a color blind manner. Allman ought to re-think his admiration for Arpaio-ism.
THEN THERE'S THIS weepy bullshit from these cry babies:
They came for the loggers ... but no one defended them. Now we buy lumber from Canada. (The corporations came for the timber, cut it all down and ran away with the money. LP moved the Potter Valley mill to Mexico, for chrissakes.)
They came for the coal miners ... but no one defended them. Now we need more oil. (Coal miners are defended by most people other than mine owners who force miners to work in unsafe conditions so the coal companies can make the huge profits they've made for years now.)
They came for the oil drillers ... but no one defended them. Now we buy it from the Middle East. (We've always bought MidEast oil, cheap too, and overthrown any Middle East dictatorship that got in the way beginning with Mossedegh in what 1955? And he was not a dictator! Cheap oil from the Middle East keeps our lard-assed population driving around on cheap fuel in super-sized vehicles. Why do you think we went to war with Iraq and Afghanistan? So Fatso and Watso could drive to their Big Macs, that's why.)
They came for the fishermen ... but no one defended them. Now we buy from countries with polluted waters. (Everyone defends fishermen, and our waters are among the most polluted on earth. And the salmon just got back. Go figure.)
They came for the clean hydro-power dams ... but no one defended them. Now electric rates are sky high. (America has the lowest electric rates in the world even without dams. Er, been to Shasta lately?)
They came for the miners ... but no one defended them. Now government controls the mineral rights. (Please, spare me. Or are you for drilling in Yosemite?)
They came for the ranchers ... but no one defended them. Now the beef comes from foreign countries. (Simply untrue, besides which cattle ranchers everywhere in the country, including Mendo, often enjoy sweetheart deals with the feds to graze their beasts on public land.)
They came for the farmers ... but no one defended them. Now Americans must buy foreign food AND foreign oil. (Mandatory chow mein? I'll have the Joe's Special with a side order of foreign oil?)
Then they came for me and my family ... But there was no one left to defend US! (Ugly and dumb as you and your family are, if you'll come to Boonville I'll see what I can do for you.)
THE FASCISTI are real suckers for this kind of global self-pity, but millions of Americans think like this. It's dangerous, though, when cops, under the cover of authority, run interference for powerful interests who are using them to do very bad things.
AVA READERS may recall our brief encounter with the late Yvonne Sligh in the early 1990s when she was Mendocino College’s librarian. We clashed with the old girl when she refused to carry the AVA among her many periodicals. The college hasn't carried the paper in years out of hostility and probably because its faculty, well, if you meet one with any curiosity, let us know. A dim and tedious bunch based on our limited experience with them, but then.... Well, we won't get started on the national faculty. Anyway, it was fun to mess with Yvonne. One day I asked her if she would give me a hug, “Because,” I said, “despite our differences, Yvonne, I think you're doing a great job.” She shrank back. “Heavens, no!” she exclaimed.
MS. SLIGH finally agreed to carry the paper but hid it away on top of a top shelf where the County's most dangerous publication to the moral well being of Mendocino County youth was placed three feet above eye level, and where short students would have needed a ladder to reach it. The College, at the time, was heavy on the worst kind of Christians, none of them much for learning, and we soon learned that Yvonne thought it was God's will that we be kept to heck outta her library named, by the way, after Leroy Lowery, the college's first prexy who bragged at its opening that he hadn't read a book in 20 years. And he did the hiring! (By “worst kind” of Christian I mean the bigoted nut cases suddenly on a first name basis with Jesus, a communist from what we know of him, and, we understand, an AVA reader back in old Galilee.)
WE THOUGHT of our old pal Yvonne when we saw Ms. Morgan Perry featured in Sunday’s Ukiah Daily Journal’s “ACHIEVER” series as recipient of the “Yvonne Sligh Book Award” worth $150. Ms. Perry says she'll use the money to buy a trigonometry textbook for the Math 121 taught by Ms. Leslie Banta. Ms. Perry says she wants to be a nurse, and apparently trig is part of that curriculum.
ACCORDING TO Ms. Banta’s class description: “This course will explore the mathematical uses and implications of triangles with its focus on the six trigonometric functions, the inverse trigonometric functions, and their graphs. Students will learn to solve triangles, apply trigonometry to physical phenomena, and work with the trigonometric functions in an algebraic setting. Topics will also include De Moivre's Theorem and applications with vectors. A graphing calculator will be required for the course. Textbook Information: Trigonometry & MyMathLab Student Acc Kit Pk, Ratti ISBN 0321614704 Edition 1 (Required.)”
WHEN WE GOOGLED this textbook with Student Acc Kit Pk, we discovered that it retails for $190 but can be had (new) for as low as $140. However, we discovered Trig for Dummies for about $14 and an even better “Trigonometry” text for absolutely free, downloadable.
TRIG HAS BEEN around for hundreds of years. How fancy a trig book does one need to master it? True, the $140-$190 book comes with a “Student Acc Kit Pk,” but why pay that kind of money for a book you'll only use once?
GRAPHING CALCULATORS go for about $100 or so, although there are also free downloadable graphing calculator software programs.
THE POINT? Why would a community college instructor require a young trig student to buy a $150 trig book and a $100 calculator when there are so many options available that are cheaper or free? (And in this case, the instructor isn’t even the author of the textbook, the usual scam college instructors use to bilk the young.)
WE HAD TO READ IT several times before it sunk in. According to CEO Carmel Angelo’s CEO report, 17 lawyers have applied to replace Jeanine Nadel as Mendocino County Counsel. A list of the applicants has been provided to the Board of Supervisors. “We will be working through that over the next two weeks,” said Ms. Angelo on Tuesday.
MENDOCINO COUNTY pays $13.5 million per year for their portion of employee health insurance. This mighty contribution is expected to go up to over $15 million a year. Claims data shows that the County’s estimated increase of 10% for this fiscal year has been significantly exceeded. “If we’re off by a few hundred thousand,” said Angelo in a more casual tone than we’d like to hear, “we will have to make that adjustment at first quarter report to the Board.” In answer to some questions from Supervisor John Pinches, Angelo agreed that whichever option the Board chooses to try to accommodate the health insurance increases (by lowering coverage, increasing deductibles, putting more on the employees, etc.), “it will be a significant budgetary increase.”
THE “PASS COMPLEX FIRE” about ten miles northeast of Covelo is expanding rapidly. Yesterday evening it was reported as about 500 acres. This morning at 1,000 acres and tonight (6pm) at 5,015 acres. At last report the Pass Complex fire was still 10% contained but no estimate of when it will be completely contained. Three firefighters injured, one outbuilding destroyed. There are now 41 fire engines operated by 20 fire crews, plus 9 bulldozers, 2 airtankers, 2 helicopters, 6 water tenders and a total of 540 firefighters on scene. Yet Calfire reports that they are still operating with “limited resources.” The source of this particular fire is listed as “lightning.”