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Off the Record (August 17, 2022)

LAST WEEK, a lead story in the Press Democrat featured the pathetic soul pictured at right as a “sexually violent predator” paroled to Boyes Hot Springs. The headline suggested that the 62-year-old would be rampaging through the neighborhood children, not mentioning until deep in the story that she’s “of limited intelligence,” the euphemism for mentally retarded, and that it was her husband who had molested the unsupervised children of drug-addicted young women in the couple’s Santa Rosa apartment complex. This lady is about as dangerous as a bag of marshmallows. Of course the PD just had to run her photo with its inflammatory non-story.

LOCAL MEDIA also seem to have whipped up so much emotion in the sordid Edward Two Feathers Steele case, that he’s been charged with murder, brandishing one of his maniacal booking photos in confirmation. Readers react, “That guy? Who would turn over children to him?” The facts of the awful matter, though, insofar as they’re known, indicate that Steele simply walked off, probably in a drug haze, and left his two children in the 90-degree heat of the Ukiah railroad tracks, which is more like manslaughter than a deliberate murder by an obviously unfit parent.

Steele, Arellano

WE DON’T like to think about it, but there are millions of children being raised by versions of Steele and Ms. Arelleno. Used to be that the impoverished could simply deposit the children they were unable to properly care for at a convenient orphanage where they would be raised in safe conditions. There are lots of fond memoirs by men and women raised in the pre-Children’s Protective Services orphanages, which flourished everywhere in the land up through the early 1960s, one of them on the Westside of Ukiah called the Albertinum presided over by an order of nuns. Kevin Starr, the well-known California historian was partly raised at the Albertinium. 

ORPHANAGES were supplanted by… well, uh… supplanted by psychologists, medication, poorly educated social workers,  otherwise unemployable stoners, and people who should not have been responsible for the welfare of children. A mercenary system has ever since feasted on the children of the poor. 

WHAT SHOULD BE DONE, Mr. Wizard? The very first time a child comes to the attention of the authorities he should be removed permanently from his parents and either put up for adoption or placed with a fairly compensated family who promises to raise him as their own. Or versions thereof. Steele and Arelleno should never again have custody of their surviving son.

A LETTER in last week’s ICO says a witch hunt at Point Arena High School has gotten a popular principal named Marty Wilkes fired. The reason alleged is that Wilkes either quoted or referenced a “racist” author during his speech at graduation ceremonies. We can’t find anyone who will reveal the forbidden author or Mr. Wilkes side of the story. If he sees this the mighty AVA would like to talk to him.

THE AVERAGE PRICE of California water on the “spot market” has risen by 58% in the last year, as reservoirs and aquifers drop and the drought persists. California water is now selling for as much as $2,000 an acre-foot, a record high. (Jeffrey St. Clair)

YEARS AGO and far, far away, I had my first experience with the FBI. That experience was removed from actual contact with a real live G-Man but, because of my leftwing associations in my early twenties, the FBI warned the Peace Corps that I, a harmless liberal all my days, might be a little too left to foist off on unsuspecting Malaysians, the result being a delay in my dispatch overseas while the feds looked into my background, discovering that I was among the marchers in the famous 1965 demo at Selma, Alabama, at which time I was in living fact in Mukah, Sarawak on the island of Borneo. 

BACK in the hostile embrace of the USA in '67, and active in the opposition to the War On Vietnam, I remember a visit to my SF apartment — two bedrooms for $150 a month in the Haight-Ashbury, and my wife so weirded out by the hippie  hijinks outside she refused to leave our home unless I accompanied her. I was almost as weirded out myself.  (Singapore and Malaysia quickly banned all men with long hair and no money, thus eliminating two major stops on the deadbeat trail.) When I'd left The City in early '63, there were a few exhibitionists beating a-rhythmically on  bongo drums on Upper Grant, but when I got back the beatniks had birthed a mass movement pegged to ditch dope and slovenliness. (Old timers will recall the warning sign at the old Navarro Inn by the Sea that read, “I don't mind the hippie movement so long as it keeps on moving.”)

SO, one afternoon as my brother and I were catching up on what our father called “crank lit” — The Minority of One; I.F. Stone's Newsletter; The Nation, and whatever oppositional material we could find — there was a polite knocking on the door. Two guys dressed like Mormon missionaries identified themselves as FBI agents. They asked my brother if he had any weapons. Bro was just out of federal prison as among the first young men to refuse to register for the draft, and was quickly processed on into the federal prison at Lompoc for an 18-month stretch.

WEAPONS? Curley and Mo explained that President DeGaulle of France was coming to town, and they apparently had Bro down as a potential assassin. The lack of G-Man sophistication in play here was numbing. Why would a leftwing American want to pick off DeGaulle? In solidarity with Algeria, but wasn't it DeGaulle who de-colonized Algeria? Anyway, we were still chuckling when one of the agents, puzzled by Bro's political stance, asked Bro what he would do if Mexico invaded the United States. Bro replied that he wouldn't fight the Mexicans, but if those goddam Canadians invaded he'd certainly pick up the gun.

MY NEXT ENCOUNTER with the FBI came in 1990 with Agent Daley. He ambled into the AVA office in central Boonville slurping an ice cream cone a month or so after Judi Bari was blown up in Oakland by her ex-husband, Mike Sweeney. “Can I look at your letters file, Mr. Anderson?” No, you can't. As you know, Mr. Daley, newspaper communications aren't public, besides which we don't keep a letters file.” He also asked me who I thought did it. I had no idea, and the very mention of Sweeney as perp was a subject that got Bari's first lawyer, the estimable Susan B. Jordan, fired. Jim Shields of Laytonville's Mendocino County Observer also denied the feds access to his files, a fact Bari ignored when she claimed the Mendo media fully cooperated with the FBI. Not true, but then the old girl wasn't exactly scrupulous when it came to truth-telling.

THE FEDS CLAIMED to be looking for correspondence that might lead to the person who placed the bomb in Bari's car, a search belied by their eventual statement that the case was closed “because no one would talk to us.” Duh. Not even a grown-up excuse for not arresting the obvious perp. They knew, but….

WHEN IT was revealed that the FBI had been alerted by one of its own agents that a dozen Saudis were taking flying lessons in Florida but waiving the classes that taught them how to land, and they soon flew hijacked airliners into the World Trade Center, I wasn't surprised.

AND I won't be surprised when it turns out the FBI raid on Trump's Mar A Shlocko found nothing with which to at last harpoon the Great Orange Whale, an eternal quest by the equivalently corrupt Democrats which also includes the phony Steele Dossier and Comey's and Mueller’s Russian hoax, all of it orchestrated by the Clinton Democrats. They also can’t get Trump on suborning a presidential election or inciting Jan 6th, which he clearly did. Nope, and whoever could have thought  that Trump, of all people, could ever be regarded as a victim, as he is now? Way to go, Libs.

U.S. ATTORNEY GENERAL Merrick Garland is indignant: “Let me address recent unfounded attacks on the professionalism of the FBI and Justice Department agents and prosecutors. I will not stand by silently when their integrity is unfairly attacked. Men and women of the FBI and the Justice Department are dedicated, patriotic public servants. Every day, they protect the American people from violent crime, terrorism and other threats to their safety while safeguarding our civil rights. They do so at great personal sacrifice and risk to themselves.”

BOO HOO, Garland. Let's see the all the documents and we'll assess the integrity quotient for ourselves. All this preliminary whining indicates the raid on Mar O Shlocko — “Gosh, it even has gold bathroom fixtures!” — is one more failed attempt to bring down the Orange Blimp.

THE FBI, from its inception, has been a national political police force founded by one of the great American fruitcakes, J. Edgar Hoover, who clung to power by threatening generations of national political figures that he would release the sordid-soaked dossiers he kept on them. (“Fruitcake” is not deployed here as a homophobic slur but as a synonym for nut case.) So long as this dangerous crackpot's name is still on FBI headquarters, the “integrity” of the agency will be questionable. 

CLOSE TO HOME, the FBI demonstrated its “integrity” by not arresting the man who bombed Judi Bari. We'll pause here for the groans that name unfailingly elicits. “No, gawd, not that subject again. Please, spare us.” The FBI knew who did it, as did Bari herself, but the perp skated, and the fact that he did is all you need to know about the political “integrity” of the FBI.

JONAH RASKIN noted this fatuous statement beneath one of the great Diego Rivera's paintings on display at SF MOMA: “Today, we should be more critical of Rivera’s eroticization of these indigenous figures, part of a broader cultural tradition in which women from so-called exotic locales—Andalusia, Algeria—were objectified by white European artists, writers and intellectuals, almost invariably men.”

I WANT to see these Riveras, even at the extortionate price of admission that MOMA charges, although every time I go there I risk death by apoplexy because there's always so much visual fraud displayed as “art” that I, I… I come away feeling like lashing out! The above statement cited by Raskin perfectly illustrates the fascist mentality calling the shots these days at SF MOMA. Remember the days, my fellow lib-labs, when liberals laughed at this kind of blue nosed idiocy? 

 “THE MOST HATED MAN on the Internet” is a Netflix documentary about a guy as vile as a human being can be, and a living example of an internet crime that should have been squashed the instant it appeared. Of course I'd heard of “revenge porn” but wasn't curious enough about it to learn more, assuming it was simply more evidence of our society in free fall.

THEN I watched the doc about a depraved young Sacramento man named Hunter Moore, fascinated that he'd parlayed misogynistic voyeurism, much of it stolen, much of it mercifully excluded from this fine film about this uniquely evil little bastard, wondering why he'd been permitted for so long to monetize doing real harm to so many young women.

PREDICTABLY, millions of twisted young men worship Moore, even going so far to form fan groups that address him as “Father.” (Shades of Jim Jones!) Unsurprisingly, the authorities were slow, even reluctant, to bring him down, but the valiant, heroically intrepid mother of one of his many victims finally gets Moore packed off to the federal pen because he and another moral monster had hacked into the phones and computers of many of his victims, and hacking is a crime.

MOORE is not interesting. Just another brash hustler who cashes in on his correct assumption that there are millions of oafs out there as stupid and as casually cruel as he is. 

MOORE'S girlfriend? Accurately described by one viewer as “a strung-out anorexic junkie who seems to have taken on the full weight of all his crimes and is physically and mentally punishing herself for them. Poor girl. I hope someone intervenes for her and gets her the help she deserves. I don't know what she was on but her slurring was getting so slow towards the end I thought the battery in my VCR was running out...”

THE HACKER seemed genuinely remorseful, apologizing to one of his victims in court, but Moore was and is unrepentant, and if you, young fella reading this, have been one of his fans you better get yourself a humanity check because you're as sick as he is.

THE FILM is very well done, but I came away from it unnerved that many versions of Moore are lurking up there in the ethers from where they pounce to eat the brains of the unsuspecting, maintaining sites that glory in sadistic, criminal behavior from animal torture to assaults on elderly pedestrians, every inhuman crime imaginable.

ALSO RECOMMENDED VIEWING is “The Anarchists” which, from its title, I expected to be a scholarly documentary on the founding texts and classical anarchist movements, including the American IWW movement once prominent in the timber industry of the American Northwest. 

NOPE, it's about serial gatherings of mostly wealthy free enterprisers assembled in murderously anarchic Acapulco, considered one of the most dangerous cities in the world. These poolside anarchists bear no resemblance to the anti-capitalist early twentieth century tough guys who worked the woods and mills for 35 cents an hour for sixty hour work weeks. Contemporary capitalism has been very good to these predator-“anarchists” who, their lofty theorizing aside, simply don't want to pay taxes. 

THE WOODS AND MILL OWNERS of the IWW era time would have fit right in with Jeff Berwick's sybarite “anarchists” at his farcical annual event in Mexico. Berwick, a Canadian, describes himself as an “anarcho-capitalist,” as that self-cancelling qv separates him forever from Bakunin and, say, Johann Most, “a bomb on his desk at all times,” as Lawrence Ferlinghetti admiringly put it about a famous American anarchist.

(IWW: “The working class and the employing class have nothing in common. Between these two classes a struggle must go on until the workers of the world organize as a class, take possession of the earth and the machinery of production, and abolish the wage system.” And the Wobblies, as the IWW’s were called, were just about the only early labor group that did not discriminate on the basis of race. “There are two organizations in this country that have shown they do care about full rights for the Negro. The first is the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, the second is the Industrial Workers of the World.” — Mary White Ovington, one of the founders of the NAACP, 1913)

OF COURSE many of the latter-day Acapulco anarchists are Randians, heavily influenced by the crackpot Ayn Rand of The Fountainhead and other unreadable novels celebrating ruthless individuals who accumulate fortunes at great human and social cost.  She saw these predators as “supermen.” 

THE MARTINI ANARCHISTS of the Berwick type are leavened by a few hippies of the gimmee-free everything-so-I-don't-have-to-work type who, predictably because of their drug habits, run lethally afoul of Acapulco's many drug gangs, the true government of the city.

THERE'S A LOT of wonderfully funny episodes of the unintended type in the series, one of which features a Bitcoin vending machine set up in a vegan restaurant. The machine, a ripped-off American ATM, allows suckers to exchange hard currencies for Bitcoins until Interpol police confiscate it a few hours after it has been installed. There are also plenty of hilarious New Age riffs by stoned conference goers and lots of side dramas, including an unhinged veteran who promises “to make a coat out of hippie scalps.” But these three thousand or so “anarchists” aren't hippies, they're more like sated narcissists who don't like any social restraint that directly impinges on them.

THERE ARE SIX total episodes. I'm waiting for episode five. Great stuff, and highly recommended by the mighty ava.

AS THE MILLIONAIRE anarchists cavorted on-screen, I thought back to the great 1935 strike in Eureka, partially led by a well-known communist named Mickie Lima, born and raised in Arcata. American anarchists bitterly opposed and fought American communists at many labor showdowns, but there's no mention of anarchists or the IWW in the Eureka strike that I recall from the several books on that event. I don't think lefties of any genre were ever able to penetrate anarchic Mendocino County until, perhaps, Earth First! circa '88-'95. 

ON LINE COMMENTS OF THE WEEK

[1] Human trash comes in all colors. And the trash needs to be taken out — or at least recycled or composted! Here’s a different story of a black man in Mendocino County… Guy is driving north on the highway near Laytonville in a rental car. CHP is driving the opposite direction and gets a look at him (maybe not notice of skin color, maybe it was just profiling because it’s a rental car?) And the CHP pulls a u-turn and pulls him over. Relentless questioning leads to a search of the car over the black man’s objections. No drugs of any kind are found but there is a bunch of cash, about $150,000. They arrest him for the cash and take him down to Ukiah to the jail. Down in Ukiah he is arraigned on the felony charge of having over $100,000 in cash. The reported amount is about $110,000. Hmmm….. About $40,000 in cash is missing. Hmmm… Do you think this would have happened to a white guy driving north in a rental car? Anyways, this guy from another part of the country was coming north to look at land offers and of course he thought he could get even a better deal if he brought cash because yes it does work that way. He also has documentation of where all the money came from and it was not drug deals. So we should all expect yet another major lawsuit against the Mendocino County sheriff’s department and a huge payout for the violation of this guy’s civil rights. And the citizens of Mendocino County will pay for it just like they’ve paid for all of the other police corruption… And the lying stealing police officers will be allowed to continue in their jobs and they will continue to do the same thing. Because black people are bad? No. Because all the police are corrupt? No. Some black people are terrible gangsters and some police officers are corrupt liars… And we need to get rid of those assholes. No skin color involved-just extremely unacceptable behavior.

[2] Is there anyone you know of who’s not a politician that you think might make a good president! 

I thought so.

If this drought keeps on, the western US is going down the tubes to the point of being almost uninhabitable. Environment always trumps everything else. Even in Boston the landscaping is all wilted.

The issues people here are mostly interested in don’t matter much when we run out of resources.

The White Hose (not a typo) is saying inflation is zero. Wait until steak is $20 per oz., gasoline $20 per gallon and so on. If anyone is smart, they ought to stock up on beer, bandaids and bullets before it’s too late. You think crime is bad now, wait until roaming gangs invade the burbs.

Actually, on further thought, it won’t matter to stock up because some seriously bad and militarily armed groups will come and take everything away from you. If you try to resist them, they’ll kill you and your family without blinking an eye. Preppers will be slaughtered too; it’ll just be a little harder to wipe them out. I’ve read comments from some of these persons in the past and they are truly frightening.

There will be survivors – the true mentally tough people.
Eventually things will get better. I know, I’m just an optimist.

[3] Well, the war in Ukraine is spreading, folks. Today a Russian Airbase in Crimea was taken out with missiles fired by the Ukrainian Army — but provided by the USA. Yesterday an active nuclear power plant inside Ukraine, but controlled by the Russia Army, was hit with rocket artillery. This is getting out of control and there is no telling where it’s going.

[4] The FBI was a more respectable law enforcement agency when it was led by a pug faced man in a dress who let gangsters pay for his vacations. Fire all the bastards in the alphabet agencies, cancel their pensions, and if they complain, string them up!

[5] In the spirit of learning, so we don’t repeat these tragedies like the fatal collision on the Willits grade last week…for the continuing education of one of our “local doctors” who suggested the posted speed wasn’t too fast, and slow drivers may have been the problem… I’m postulating that crossing the yellow line, leaving the roadway, and becoming airborne was at least independent of driving too slow, and might even have been from driving too fast. You can drive too slow every day, for the rest of your life. You can drive too fast, one more time for the rest of your life.

[6] RE THE SKUNK TRAIN, an on-line comment: 

To call it a railroad is a little misleading. It has no connections to the US rail network nor does it even connect Willits to Ft. Bragg its original purpose. The condition of the tracks, bridges and tunnels are so deferred it only runs a few miles out of Ft. Bragg to a collapsed tunnel. On the Willits side it goes seven or eight miles on track downgraded to "exempt" restricted to ten miles an hour. The lowest standard that still allows a "railroad" to operate. The tracks are out of service( unusable ) for lack of maintenance beyond the eight miles out of Willits all the way to the collapsed tunnel near Fort Bragg. There is little money to be made hauling tourists and no connections for freight. The real profits are in land development. Follow the money. If the profits from land development were certain to be reinvested back into the railroad then I would be in favor of the Skunk’s “land grab.”

[7] You would think that artillery shells falling around the largest nuclear power plant in Europe would elicit clear thinking and truthful discourse beyond “It’s Putin's fault.” It should be a wake-up call that events in Ukraine are in danger of spinning out of control and it may be time to sit down with the Russians, listen to what they have to say, and come to some kind of agreement. Instead, Biden announces on Thursday “1 billion more in military aid for Ukraine”. I can tell you right now if any of that US provided rocket artillery scores a direct hit on the Z. Nuclear Power Plant, takes out the 11 mile long Crimean Bridge, or slams into Moscow, there will be hell to pay.

2 Comments

  1. Paul Modic August 20, 2022

    Hey Bruce, I watched some of The Anarchists and found all the people very annoying so I wonder why you recommend the series so heartily, maybe you want your readers to see how annoying those people seem…

    • Bruce Anderson August 20, 2022

      Eggsackly!

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