“WOMEN ON THE LAND.” Film documents the early days of the back-to-the-land movement. By Jane Futcher.
Award-winning filmmakers Laurie York and Carmen Goodyear of Mendocino Coast Films presented their new documentary, “Women on the Land: Creating Conscious Community,” Friday, September 21, at 7pm at the Little Lake Grange in Willits.
The film is “a 40-year journey back to the land in search of sustainability,” according to York and Goodyear. The filmmakers blend interviews with contemporary organic farmers on the Mendocino coast with archival footage of the founders of Country Women, a 1970s feminist publication and how-to magazine based in Albion that promoted back-to-the land self-sufficiency. Many of its contributors lived on the Mendocino coast.
Highlighted in the film are some of the magazine's founders as well as other “new settlers” who still live in Mendocino County and have led coast residents to protect the coast from a range of environmental challenges, including: a proposed nuclear power plant in Point Arena, a federal plan to dump mothballed nuclear submarines in the Pacific, and a private offshore oil drilling bid.
After the screening, which benefits Willits Economic Localization and the Little Lake Grange, York and Goodyear will participate in a question-and-answer and community discussion of life on the land.
“I have lived on this same piece of land for 43 years with various configurations of people," Goodyear said. “At first it was a mixed commune with myself as owner, and I had the final word on decisions. Men did not take to this too well so we became women-only land. Because I have been the owner, decisions have been easier to make. Country Women was a collective and there were interminable meetings to make any decisions at all. Since Laurie and I have been partners, we make all decisions together.”
Goodyear and York raise bees, chickens, sheep and goats, grow organic vegetables and make hard cheeses, including Parmesan and Farmhouse Cheddar. Their 31-acre farm contains a landmark octagonal barn commissioned by Goodyear in the 1970s and built by the all-female Seven Sisters Construction.
Country life is not for everyone, the filmmakers point out.
“People in general seem to try out the country life, and if it doesn't match they leave,” Goodyear said. “Some of the original Country Women went back to the city to begin careers or families. Often I think it depends on how and where you were raised that determines your life choices.”
Goodyear herself grew up “in the desert of Saudi Arabia” and always needed a lot of space around her. She didn't realize at 23, when she bought her old Finnish homestead south of the village of Mendocino, that “farming was to be my life's passion.”
York, cinematographer for their film company, grew up in Memphis, Tennessee, moving to San Francisco at age 23 and to the Mendocino coast at 30, in 1987, when she and her former partner became caretakers of a coastal property.
Both York and Goodyear are plein air landscape painters. They met in 1994 in a women's art support group called Thursday's Women. Eventually York moved to Goodyear's land, “Turtle Time Farm,” called that to remind them to slow down and appreciate the beauty around them.
A recurring dream played a role in Goodyear's exploration of film and video technologies, she said.
“In the dream, my paintings came to life. But upon waking I wondered how a static oil painting could move.”
Both women found filmmaking a natural fit that could be done easily at home with a laptop computer for editing and a relatively inexpensive camera.
One of the couple's first productions was Hummingbird Rescue, about a bird that few into their barn and couldn't find its way out. Another was Punkie's Puppies, about their pregnant Jack Russell Terrier.
Carmen's editing skills improved, she said, after she took an editing course in Apple's Final Cut Pro with film editor Tom Wolksy, a national authority on that product.
In 2003 the couple filmed the commitment ceremony of two friends at Mendocino Coast Botanical Garden, resolving that their next documentary would be on gay marriage. When they got word in February 2004 that Mayor Gavin Newsom was allowing same-gender couples to marry, “we packed our bags, grabbed our camera equipment and headed to San Francisco to get married and to begin filming Freedom to Marry.”
The success of Freedom to Marry took them by surprise, airing nationally on PBS stations and winning notice at dozens of international film festivals. It has been translated into Spanish, French, Dutch and Chinese.
The downside to the documentary's acclaim was that the couple had to travel more, leaving their beloved farm and the quiet, meditative life they find so satisfying. Now, they limit themselves to making local films so they can be home by dusk to shelter their animals.
The inspiration for their new film, “Women on the Land: Creating Conscious Community,” came from the surprise discovery of a dusty box of Super 8 cans in a corner of their barn. Inside were reels of film shot during the County Women days on the Mendocino coast. The film was in such good condition that they transferred it to digital format and set about looking for some of the women featured in the footage.
Among the women they tracked down was Country Women editor, Sherry Thomas, now living back East. They also talked to many younger women, including community gardener Andrea Luna of Noyo Food Forest. Another Noyo Food Forester, Susan Lightfoot, notes that soaring land prices and the difficulty of making a living on a small farm leads many local gardeners to grow illegal plants.
“When large scale pot growers trash and pollute the forests and streams I feel extremely concerned,” York said. “When marijuana is grown organically for medicinal purposes that makes sense to me. If marijuana were legalized the price would drop and it would no longer be worth growing as a cash crop, and our forests and streams would be spared.”
On juggling the demands of farming with their artistic lives, the filmmakers say balance is the key.
“As my body ages I just don't have the physical energy to work all day on the land,” Goodyear said. “So it feels good to sit editing in the afternoon.”
York agreed. “I find my garden is a necessary balance to film editing,” she said. “When I need a break from the computer I go out into the garden, water by hand, and pull some weeds and almost instantly I feel renewed.”
(Jane Futcher's new book, “Women Gone Wild,” will be published this month. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org. Information: Jane, 984-7380. PS. The AVA has suggested “Women on the Land” to the organizers of the Anderson Valley Film Festival with the hope that it can be presented at that event in January.)
YOU DON'T HAVE TO GET too far into people's belief systems to come to a few conclusions, the primary one being that most people believe what they need to believe, that it's pointless to argue the fundamentals with anyone except maybe a smart kid who's still exploring the intellectual chop shop. You also find that beliefs are often class-based, hence for instance, the preponderance of Obama stickers on upscale vehicles. Comfortable people tend to have comfortable opinions. To them, the system makes sense. To the half of the population that doesn't vote, the system is either oppressively, dangerously crazy or oppressively irrelevant to their experience. Struggling people aren't much into crystals. When a Mormon appeared at our Fair booth to complain about an old interview we'd re-run having to do with his faith, he said, “A lot of what was in there is way off.” Probably, I conceded while I did a quick inventory of my own knowledge of Mormonism, coming up pretty much empty apart from a little about its origins with Joe Smith and the Angel Moroni, and a book I read a long time ago about the Mountain Meadow Massacre during which Mormons had dressed up like Indians to wipe out a wagon train of pioneers back in the early days of their Salt Lake settlement. From Catholicism to the Church of Christ to Rosicrucianism to Mormonism, it all seems like a cosmic whistling in the dark to me that runs right up against everything we know about cosmology. Of course living with the knowledge that this is the one life we have and nothingness awaits us at the end of the line doesn't exactly get a human being up and dancing. If Romney was a Buddhist he'd still be offensive simply for his political views, as would his lunatic running mate, a Catholic. But I've got a Mormon story all my own that begins with an old aunt of mine who liked to randomly say two things at the mention of religion: “More people have died" etc. and, “Say what you will about Mormons, they take care of their own.” She was impressed, she said, that Mormons never let other Mormons go hungry, that they maintained storerooms full of food as if apocalypse were a daily possibility. If a smart-ass kid asked, “You mean you have to be a Mormon or you can't eat?” She always seemed please to answer, “Yep.” And then there was my favorite uncle. As a child I liked him because he genuinely enjoyed little kids and was generally affable. When I met him as an adult he was still affable but unhinged at the changes commencing in the 1960s. These were people who'd survived the Great Depression, had known real want, and suddenly there were all these long-haired fools and their floozies walking around who took everything for granted, not only took it for granted, but sneered at it. Unc, who looked a lot like George Fenneman, Groucho Marx's straightman on Groucho's old TV quiz show, had taken some major hits. He was mystified by both his children, the eldest of whom grew up to briefly become public enemy number one in Arizona where the family lived while the second son got early into drugs. Cousin Jimmy, the elder child, became a college radical, the main guy in a Trotskyist group at the University of Arizona. He was often on the front pages of the Arizona papers, a skinny, nerdy-looking kid in coke bottle glasses making some wild political statement calculated to offend prevailing sentiment. “Yes, I believe in the violent overthrow of the government.” That kind of thing. He was a ground floor opponent of the Vietnam War, the first guy in the history of the state to refuse to register for the draft, and the first guy in the history of the state to go to prison for refusing to register for the draft. The judge found Cousin Jimmy's stand so perplexing that he ordered Cousin Jimmy into the nut house for months of “observation” before Jimmy even got to the federal prison at Lompoc, California, where, in an odd turn of the cosmic wheel, my youngest brother, also in the federal pen for refusing to register for the draft, was just leaving the same prison. I had a few adventures of my own that drew federal interest, and you could certainly say that our family wasn't under-represented on the subversive rosters of the time. But I didn't know any thinking young person who wasn't a lefty of one type or another. Looking back, we all read the same stuff, and we all read and argued all the time. Movies and music weren't the distractions they became after '66-67. When Cousin Jimmy got out of prison, I flew down to Phoenix for a visit. Unc, however, was still in prison, in a manner of speaking. “It's a goddam nightmare, Bruce. I can't even go out to get the paper in the morning without some goddam FBI agent saying good morning to me. Jimmy's always doing something that gets him in the papers! I'm surprised someone hasn't blown our house up!” Cousin Jimmy, when he was in high school, was among the top students in the state. When he came out to San Francisco he scored so high on the Post Office exam he got hired in a week. So, we were sitting around chatting that night with Cousin Jimmy out some place starting trouble as Aunt and Unc downed their customary case of nightly beer and were lamenting their fate as the parents of a communist and a dope head when I happened to mention that Albertson's was owned by Mormons. Unc shot up off the couch. “What?” he yelled. “Are you sure about that, Bruce? I hate those bastards!” Actually, I wasn't sure about it and can't remember how the ownership of Albertson's had even come up. I'd probably read it somewhere and had just thrown it out there to keep the conversation limping along. But Unc was very, very upset. “I've shopped at Albertson's for years. The Mormons have made thousands of dollars off me! Jesus! This is terrible! I wish you hadn't told me that!” Unc, distraught, was pacing up and down, almost hyperventilating, exclaiming over and over again that his unwitting mercantile relationship with the Mormons was just about the worst thing that had ever happened to him. “I really wish you hadn't told me that, Bruce,” he said again, as I definitely regretted bringing it up, for sure. I was a guest in the man's house and here I'd nearly given him a stroke. Unc explained that way back in his youth he'd gone to work for a big power company which had assigned him to a small town somewhere in Northern Arizona that Unc said “was totally controlled by Mormons.” He went on, “They'd sneak around my house at all hours trying to see in the windows to make sure I wasn't having a cigarette or a drink. They kept me under constant surveillance just so they could report me to my boss. I was like I was in jail!” As a chain smoker and a guy devoted to drink all his days, Unc's persecution by the Mormons, even if it was half as intense as he says it was, seems to have been plenty intense enough to set him off years later. Eventually, Cousin Jimmy got one of those Presidential pardons that Ford issued to people who got in political trouble in the Vietnam years and went on to became a lawyer who worked for several years as a public defender for Mendocino County. When Susan Massini was DA she always referred to him as “The Felon.”
Unc, who looked a lot like George Fenneman, Groucho Marx's straightman on Groucho's old TV quiz show, had taken some major hits. He was simply mystified by both his children, the eldest of whom grew up to become public enemy number one in Arizona where the family lived. The second son got early into drugs. Cousin Jimmy, the elder child, became a college radical, the main guy in a Trotskyist group at the University of Arizona. He was often on the front pages of the Arizona papers, a skinny, nerdy-looking kid in coke bottle glasses making some political statement seemingly calculated to offend prevailing sentiment. “Yes, I believe in the violent overthrow of the government.” That kind of thing. He was a ground floor opponent of the Vietnam War, the first guy in the history of the state to refuse to register for the draft, and the first guy in the history of the state to go to prison for refusing to register for the draft. The judge found his stand so perplexing he ordered Cousin Jimmy into the nut house for months of “observation” before he even got to the federal prison at Lompoc, California, where, in an odd turn of the cosmic wheel, my youngest brother, also in the federal pen for refusing to register for the draft, was just leaving the same prison. I had a few adventures of my own that drew federal interest, and you could certainly say that our family wasn't under-represented on the subversive rosters of the time. But I didn't know any thinking young person who wasn't a lefty of one type or another. Looking back, we all read the same stuff, and we all read and argued all the time. Movies and music weren't the distractions they became after '66-67. When Cousin Jimmy got out of prison, I flew down to Phoenix for a visit. Unc, however, was still in prison, in a manner of speaking. “It's a goddam nightmare, Bruce. I can't even go out to get the paper in the morning without some goddam FBI agent sitting out there. Jimmy's always doing something that gets him in the papers! I'm surprised someone hasn't blown our house up!” Cousin Jimmy, when he was in high school, was among the top students in the state. When he came out to San Francisco he scored so high on the Post Office exam he got hired in a week. So, we were sitting around chatting one night when Cousin Jimmy was out some place starting trouble, and Aunt and Unc had downed their customary case of beer and were lamenting their fate as the parents of a communist and a dope head — that I happened to mention that Albertson's was owned by Mormons. Unc shot up off the couch. “What?” he yelled. “Are you sure about that, Bruce? I hate those bastards!” Actually, I wasn't sure about it and can't remember how the ownership of Albertson's had even come up. I'd probably read it somewhere and had just thrown it out there to keep the conversation limping along. But Unc was very, very upset. “I've shopped at Albertson's for years. The Mormons have made thousands of dollars from me alone! Jesus! This is terrible! I wish you hadn't told me that!” He was pacing up and down, almost hyperventilating, exclaiming over and over again that his unwitting mercantile relationship with the Mormons had ruined his life. “I really wish you hadn't told me that, Bruce,” he said again, as I definitely regretted bringing it up, for sure. I was a guest in the man's house and here I'd nearly given him a stroke. Unc explained that way back in his youth he'd gone to work for a big power company which had assigned him to a small town somewhere in Northern Arizona that Unc said “was totally controlled by Mormons.” He went on, “They'd sneak around my house at all hours trying to see in the windows to make sure I wasn't having a cigarette or a drink. They kept me under constant surveillance just so they could report me to my boss.” As a chain smoker and a guy devoted to beer all his days, Unc's persecution by the Mormons, even if it was half as intense as he says it was, seems to have been plenty intense enough to set him off years later. Eventually, Cousin Jimmy got one of those Presidential pardons that Ford issued to people who got in political trouble in the Vietnam years and became a lawyer who worked for several years as a public defender for Mendocino County. When Susan Massini was DA she always referred to him as “The Felon.”
SEPTEMBER 28 ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT SUMMIT in Ukiah. Economic Development & Financing Corporation is hosting a daylong Economic Development Summit and would like to invite you to attend. MendoFutures will facilitate this event. Please attend to: Learn about Targets of Opportunity for Economic Growth in Mendocino County and our larger region; Develop strategies and working groups around issues that will help local businesses; Brainstorm ways to coordinate economic development efforts in county and region. Who should attend? All economic development agencies and organizations; Representatives from the County and Cities; Business leaders and citizens interested in learning about economic development opportunities, and/or interested in working on economic development issues. Ukiah Valley Conference Center, 200 S. School St., Ukiah. Friday, September 28th, 2012 8am to 5pm.
Editor, Touché. I agree that I was boorish in walking past the AVA booth at the fair and I apologize. My recent pique at the AVA has less to do with your criticisms of my performance as supervisor than it does with your recent handling of the DA’s report on the killing of Aaron Bassler. Like Jim Bassler, Aaron’s father, I’m not criticizing the decision made by law enforcement to end the life of the young man suspected of killing two citizens of our county. But I am critical of both the DA, and your paper, for insisting that the perpetrator of these crimes was suffering nothing more serious than excessive use of drugs and alcohol. Aaron Bassler’s pattern of substance abuse may well have added fuel to the fire, but to dismiss his symptoms of severe mental illness is to dangerously miss the point. I’m sure you have read the letters that were sent to county officials by Jim Bassler and by Aaron’s mother and sister. These were pleas for help from desperate family members who had no idea how to handle their son and brother’s increasing dysfunction and hostility. For example, Natalie Serrano, Aaron’s sister, wrote: “We believe Aaron has some type of mental disorder that is the underlying cause for his alcohol abuse and reckless behavior in general. All members of his immediate family have witnessed Aaron behaving, writing and speaking in a delusional manner that leads us to believe that he suffers from a psychological disorder or disease. He has proven to be incapable of functioning socially and productively within society and among his family.” Jim Bassler, in a letter to jail psychiatrist Dr. Doug Rosoff, wrote: “My son Aaron Bassler is currently in the Mendocino County Jail and I believe he needs a psychiatric evaluation and medical treatment for his psychiatric disorder which appears to be schizophrenia. His behavior changed when he was 18 or 19 years old. His symptoms are: bizarre delusions, paranoia, marked personality change, denial of obvious problems, strong resistance to help, out of touch with reality, strange ideas, significant changes in sleeping patters, social withdrawal and isolation even from family, increased irritability and anger, uncharacteristically poor judgment, risk-taking behavior, anger and hostility out of proportion to the situation.” Jim Bassler goes on to describe Aaron’s arrest by federal authorities for harassing the Chinese Consulate in San Francisco. “He was apparently acting out on his delusions dealing with space aliens and the Chinese.” The distraught father ends the letter with a plea that his son be diagnosed and put on medication that “will stabilize him.” These letters were hand-delivered and faxed to county authorities in February of last year, a full six months before the murders of Matt Coleman and Jere Melo. During part of this time, Aaron was in custody. Needless to say, the letters went unanswered and unheeded. Due to an errant procedure at the jail, Dr. Rosoff never even saw the letter from Jim Bassler. So again, Bruce and Mark, I apologize for my behavior. I was doing grandpa duty and just didn’t want to take the time to get into all this. Maybe my discomfiture is more with the DA, and the failures of the county overall, than with the AVA. But I do think you failed to do this tragedy justice. — Dan Hamburg
JOSEPH ANTHONY STETZ, Jr. MD. Born: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania May 30, 1930 Private practice in Anatomical and Clinical pathology for 33 years at Frank R. Howard Memorial Hospital in Willits, California as well as Director of Laboratory and Medical Director of Respiratory Therapy. He was chief of staff at three different times during his career. Upon his retirement a new category of staff membership was established (active staff member with voting privileges). Was an active member of St. Anthony's Catholic Church and at one time president of the Parrish Council. Dr. Stetz was a courtesy staff member at Ukiah General Hospital in Ukiah, California and Fort Bragg District Hospital, in Fort Bragg, California. Also serving as Director of Laboratory at Mendocino Community Hospital and Interim Public Health officer for Mendocino County. At one time Dr. Stetz was the longest serving member of the Air Quality Board, being a member for over 20 years. Other memberships included the American Medical Association, American Society of Clinical Pathologists and the American Legion. Attended Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin graduating in 1954 with a BA degree in Philosophy and Languages. That was followed by an MD degree at National Autonomous University of Guadalajara Faculty of Medicine in 1963. Rotating internship and residency in Anatomical and Clinical Pathology at Mercy Hospital and Medical Center in San Diego, California was completed in 1968. Two years of private practice in Pathology at Chula Vista Hospital was followed by his move to Willits and a new practice at Frank R. Howard Memorial Hospital. The military career of Joseph A. Stetz Jr. began by being drafted into the service in 1955. After basic training at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri, he was transferred to the East coast where he underwent training in Counter-Intelligence. When asked what kind of duties he had, he would only say it was interesting. Following this service, he carried out active duty assignments as a reserve officer in the US Navy with full retirement with rank of Captain USN. He holds the US Navy Commendation Medal with Star. His retirement from the Navy was on July 1, 1990. During his active duty he was assigned on several occasions to the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology in Washington, D.C. During an externship in 1959 Dr. Stetz fell in love with a registered nurse, Jane Ann Niggemann. They married a year later and had two wonderful children, Mary Helen (Stetz) Bowers (Terry) and Joseph A. Stetz, III. Jane preceded him in death from a genetic heart problem in 1997. He is also survived by grandchildren Katherine (Charlie); James and Nicholas, sisters Teresa Spiegel (Joseph) and Frances Piekielek as well as in-laws Kitty and Mike Robbins and Elaine Niggemann, MD, all of Scottsdale, Arizona. Among his many friends a special mention is made of Dr. Sam DeFrancesco and Kathy Boomer-Grupp. Joseph enjoyed caring for and improving his property on Sherwood Road. He loved showing off his "million dollar view" from the sunroom and bay window. Many days and evenings were spent on the deck with his wife Jane, looking at the stars. Prior to Jane's demise she and Joseph enjoyed hosting the annual Christmas party. His house and yard were turned into a Christmas fairyland. At times it was stated that in Willits the Christmas Season hadn't begun until the Stetz's Christmas party. Joseph and Jane also enjoyed traveling in both the USA and abroad. They were awestruck with the grandeur of this country of ours. A visitation will be held at Anker-Lucier Mortuary in Willits on Monday September 24 from 2 to 8pm. A funeral mass will be held at Saint Anthony's Catholic Church on Tuesday September 25 at 11am.
“THE FULL ROMNEY: Not a Gaffe Machine,” by Ralph Nader.
There was something missing from the release of a tape showing Mitt Romney pandering to fat cats in Boca Raton, Florida with these very inflammatory words: “There are 47 percent who are with him, (Obama) who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you name it. These are people who pay no income tax.” Romney said his job “is not to worry about those people.” Hey, Mitt, why start with the 47 percent? Fully 100 percent of the nation’s 500 biggest corporations are dependent on various kinds of corporate welfare — subsidies, giveaways, bailouts, waivers, and other dazzling preferences – while many pay no tax at all on very substantial profits (see their familiar names – General Electric, Pepco, Verizon etc. – at http://www.ctj.org/pdf/notax2012.pdf). Are the corporations that receive this corporate welfare going to vote for President Obama? (Mr. Romney has declared that corporations are people.) Of course they’re not. Nor are all of the 47 percent of people who are “dependent upon government.” Mr. Romney doesn’t understand the double standard where government checks, whether already paid for or not, to people are called “entitlements” while far bigger checks to corporations are called “incentives.” Romney has lost control of his self-consciousness. Here is a man who talks about 47 percent of American households paying no income taxes (more on this later) while he has refused, unlike his father, to release back years of tax returns because they’ll show he has parked much of his wealth and income in foreign tax havens like the Bahamas precisely in order to avoid paying US taxes. Indeed, as tax expert and former New York Times Pulitzer prize-winner David Cay Johnston said on Democracy Now, Romney has maneuvered the tax laws so that his five sons will continue to receive millions of tax-free dollars from their parents’ enormous pot of wealth. Why aren’t the big-time Democrats making much more of an issue of this “make or break” Romney campaign vulnerability? Maybe it is because, as author Kevin Phillips once said, “The Republicans go for the jugulars while the Democrats go for the capillaries.” Now, either ignorance, callousness or both infected Mitt Romney’s pejorative characterizations of the “government dependent” 47% with victim mentalities who believe that they are entitled to the government providing them the necessities of life without paying income tax. Let’s see who these people are in these recessionary times. Unemployed Americans. Americans who are too poor to pay income taxes. Elderly Americans who live on their social security checks from money for which they spent their decades of working years paying. Americans using the “earned income tax credit,” so vigorously supported and extended by President Ronald Reagan. And disabled Americans who have no dollars for any income tax. What do many of the 47% pay to the government? They pay payroll taxes for social security and Medicare, federal fees and state and local taxes on their property, and sales taxes. The avarice of Romney and his buddies at the strip-mining, job-exporting, bankrupting private equity company called Bain Capital has no bounds. He thinks it’s perfectly fine for companies like Verizon, Boeing, Duke Energy, Navistar, Wells Fargo and Pepco to use all of our country’s government funded public infrastructures and services, and yet not only pay no income tax but actually rig the tax system so they can get billions back in “benefits” from the US Treasury, as General Electric has done for years. At the same time, Romney never speaks out against 35,000 super-wealthy Americans who also do not pay any federal income tax. He rarely questions crony capitalism, wants to maintain an even bigger bloated military budget, and spearheads the many-sided supremacy of corporations over real people throughout our entire political economy. He is, essentially, a corporation running for president masquerading as an individual. If the Democrats are anything but inept and defeatist, they will wrap Romney around Congressman Paul Ryan, his vice-presidential nominee, and recover the Congress in November. The Romney-Ryan campaign is now hanging by a few threads, unmasked even before those millions of American voters who dutifully vote for politicians who disrespect and betray their economic plight and political powerlessness once in office. The so-called presidential debates are coming up (see opendebates.org). Let’s see if President Obama thinks it is fair play to recall Mr. Romney’s words and put his underlying real values on the table before tens of millions of viewers. Romney’s excursus in Boca Raton was not a gaffe. It was the inner Romney, raised by good Romneys but braised by the fevered extremists in his party who have asserted that today Ronald Reagan himself would not receive their vote. (Kudos to David Corn and Mother Jones magazine for bringing the Romney tape to the American people.)
JUST IN from the lecherous mystic, Craig Stehr: “It's a wild time in the San Francisco Bay Area! The Bay Guardian's SEX issue hit the newsstands this morning, a prelude to the Folsom Street blow-out fetish faire on Sunday, September 23rd. Kink.com opened their new cocktail lounge this week; The Armory Club at 14th & Mission Street. The annual Cum & Glitter performance is sold out. The XO Erotic Ball is at the Cow Palace. And if you really only want a good cup of coffee, Wicked Grounds coffeehouse is open at 8th & Folsom. I will probably go to Ocean Beach Sunday morning, and chant OM Namah Sivaya before sitting in nirvikalpa samadhi until I hopefully dematerialize. Feel free to join with me, Craig Louis Stehr, ‘Never on schedule, but always on time!’”
DESPITE OUR HAWK-EYED VIGILANCE regarding all things Mendo, the bankruptcy of Journal-Register newspapers somehow eluded our notice.