COUNTERPUNCH Presents the West Coast Memorial Celebrating the Life & Work of Our Friend, Alexander Cockburn. Saturday, October 20, 2012. 5-7pm, Citizen Space, 425 2nd Street, San Francisco, CA. The event will be emceed by CounterPunch editor Jeffrey St. Clair. Speakers will include Frank Bardacke, Jack Heyman, Conn Hallinan, Justin Raimondo, Daisy Cockburn, Bruce Anderson, Becky Grant and many more. There will be a slideshow retrospective plus a mixer/reception with beer and wine, hors d'oeuvres, and a film featuring Alex by Elizabeth Lennard.
QUOTE OF THE DAY: “The central reality broadly ignored is the unavoidable contraction of industrial economies all over the world. The action is especially brutal in the USA, which actually gave up on the nuts-and-bolts of industrial production beginning in the 1970s, but managed to cream off other nation's exertions by reserve currency hocus-pocus, pervasive executive control fraud, and a reckless spewage of glitzy ‘consumer’ service infrastructure over the landscape, which gave the appearance of vitality in the absence of value creation — the exact specialty, by the way, of predatory private equity squads like Mitt Romney's Bain Capital. All of this was enabled by the last gasps of cheap oil, and without it our whole way of life craps out, including the creaming off of leftovers. And this illness of advanced economies is now spreading all over the world.” — Jim Kunstler
THIS CASE hasn't gotten much attention outside Humboldt County, but it's a living horror show. (Feel free to drop in “allegeds” wherever you think they might apply.) But this guy, Jason Anthony Warren, 28, a convicted felon, was arrested in Eureka for assault on Thursday, September 27th. He was already on his way back to the state pen for another assault. During talks with Warren, the police learned he was the guy who ran down and killed a Humboldt State instructor while she was jogging with two other women, both of whom were also badly injured. After he'd committed that hit and run murder and its related mayhem, Warren drove north to Hoopa where he murdered a second young mom.
IT GETS WORSE. Warren had failed to appear in HumCo Superior Court for a September 7th court date after entering into a plea deal to serve six years in prison for assault with a deadly weapon. So, while the cops are looking for him as a court no-show Warren commits another assault, murders two women and seriously injures two others, all while he's out of jail waiting to do another six years for a violent assault he committed months ago. Ordinarily, a man with a violent history is not out of custody after he's again been sentenced for a violent felony. Whichever judge signed off on the deal ought to be Warren's next cellmate.
CLOSER TO HOME, my sister-in-law, Diane Zucker, a member of the Mendocino County School Board, spent last weekend in Point Arena where the Board had convened last week. Sunday, about 2pm, as she was driving to her hotel down at the Wharf, a burly young man, shouting obscenities, suddenly hurled himself onto the hood of Ms. Zucker's car, shattering her windshield. She drove slowly on towards the pier, the young man a writhing, impromptu hood ornament who rolled off the car as Ms. Zucker came to a stop. His head bleeding, the young man ran into the ocean. Lt. Stefani was soon on-scene to take the young man peacefully into custody. "Lt. Stefani was very good. He took charge and had no further trouble with the man," Ms. Zucker said Monday.
THE SHERIFF'S DEPARTMENT, and the local police, do all the heavy mental health lifting these days and, it's been clear for years now, are much better at not only knowing who's nuts and who isn't, they are better at dealing with the mentally ill than most mental health "professionals." The County Jail is the County's psychiatric unit. The Jail does what it can for the violently crazed many of whom are merely under the influence of drugs and not crazy at all. The crazy-crazy wait in isolation cells until a lock-up facility has room for them. Demand for lock-up facilities to house and treat the mentally ill is great, supply is scarce.
GOVERNOR BROWN has gotten off a purely show biz directive to the California Air Resources Board ordering that agency to allow gasoline refineries to switch to cheaper “winter blend” gasoline a week or two early, thereby stretching out the state’s gasoline supply and reducing prices. The winter brew is slightly worse for the atmosphere, and the switch was due to occur on the 31st anyway. And the oil companies are already whining they can't make the switch that fast. From what we can gather, however, gouge and speculation remain the root causes of the radical rise in fuel prices. The oil companies do it because they can.
WOMEN GONE WILD. Dear Friends and Family. I hope you can attend the book party for Women Gone Wild on Nov. 9 at the Willits Library. Some of you are way too far away, of course. If you're interested in reading the book, you can try out a sample on my Web site, womengonewildpress.com, or order e-copies from Amazon, iBooksAuthor, iBooks and Barnes and Noble. If you'd like a hard copy, you can order one from me directly—$13.50 includes the book and shipping—or you can order a print-on-demand copy from Amazon, which is about the same price. Thank you very much for your support and encouragement over the years and across the miles. This is my first self-publishing venture. I'm a little nervous but very excited. With love and thanks, Jane Futcher, Women Gone Wild Press, PO Box 939, Willits, CA 95490. 707 984-7380 firstname.lastname@example.org
TAX HATERS SUE STATE OVER ‘FEE.’ Greetings, Today the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association filed a class action lawsuit to provide relief to nearly one million California property owners who received bills from the State for a new “fire prevention fee” which the lawsuit claims is illegal. The class action complaint, filed last week in Superior Court in Sacramento, seeks to overturn the fire fee, which costs property owners an additional $150 per year for each habitable structure on their property. The class action names plaintiffs from Kern County, Mendocino County, Calaveras County, Butte County, San Bernardino County, Solano County, San Luis Obispo County, El Dorado County, and Lassen County, who together represent a cross-section of the roughly 825,000 property owners subject to the new fee. As the state’s largest taxpayers’ association, HJTA is challenging the constitutionality of the fee on the grounds it is really a tax that needed a two-thirds vote in the Legislature to pass, but garnered only a bare majority and therefore never became law. The complaint was filed against the California Department of Forestry and the Board of Equalization, as the two agencies responsible for identifying owners of the parcels subject to the new tax and collecting the tax, respectively. If the class action suit is successful, approximately 825,000 homeowners could be eligible for refunds. This tax was dreamed up by politicians in Sacramento who are so desperate for revenue that they were willing to ram this through the Legislature without the proper two-thirds vote. The fire tax is a direct violation of Prop. 13. It is our goal to overturn this tax, prevent the politicians from taking more money from hardworking people for a program they were already paying for, and help taxpayers to get a refund from the government. To be eligible for a refund, property owners must first pay their bill, then file a protest with the State. HJTA has established a website that shows how to protest the fee and provides the necessary forms. Property owners can also sign up for free e-mail bulletins that will keep them informed of the progress of the class action suit. Thank you for visiting FireTaxProtest.org. FireTaxProtest.org is a project of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association, California's largest and most effective taxpayer rights organization. — Best Regards, Jon Coupal, President of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association for the FireTaxProtest.org Team