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WARM WEATHER will continue to build for Easter today with interior valleys reaching the 70s. Midlevel clouds will fill in along the coast, bringing a chance of light drizzle. Rain will arrive for the coast tomorrow afternoon north of Cape Mendocino. (NWS)
ONE REPORTED DEAD, Another Medevacked After Jumping Off Albion River Bridge
Reports from the Mendocino County coast this morning indicate two people reportedly jumped off the iconic Albion River Bridge resulting in the death of one and the immediate life flight of another.…
ANDERSON VALLEY VILLAGE Events Calendar
ON FRIDAY, April 7, 2023, I delivered a $5,000 check to Fort Bragg Little League to pay for scholarships. We want every child to be able to participate, regardless of their family’s income. Youth sports is an excellent way to keep kids away from drugs and gangs! Funds used are from Asset Forfeiture specially designated for this purpose. Play ball! (Fort Bragg Police Chief Neil Cervenka)
LOOSE DOGS AT BEE HUNTER (tasting room in downtown Boonville)
Well, I have refrained from posting about the dog owners at Bee Hunter. But since the property owner and animal care services are not being proactive I'm wondering if others who have encountered their loose dogs would want to help pressure them for a solution: No dogs at Bee Hunter.
They have had at least a year of requests, and supposedly have been told by the propoerty owner to have their dogs contained and still they have not done the right thing.
I walk my 2 dogs on leashes. Numerous times going or coming from the ATM (which I worked hard on to make happen) the Bee Hunter dogs are loose, come running up snarling, barking, threateneing. They seem viscous. Owners witness without doing anything until I yell at them to get their dogs.
I changed my routine to go to ATM only after closing hours. Except last time this hapened at the ATM, Bee Hunter was serving food later and the same thing happened. Even the property owner witnessed the incident and promised this: “Andy has one chance to keep the dogs penned up in the rear when he is in the garden with them. He understands he gets one shot and then they are fully banned.”
That shot has passed at least twice that I am aware of.
The lastest incident occurred this last Wednesday. I'm walking midday towards the post offfice wih 2 leashed dogs. Bee Hunter dog comes running at us, barking, snarling and into 128. Luckily it was a weekday without not too much traffic. The dog walked it back when a car went by and then came out again into middle of 128.
I do not want to witness a dog getting creamed on 128. I do not want to be terrified by threatening dogs simply because their owners are irresponsible.
If you have experienced anything similar it is past time to escalate: Please call Animal Care Services at 707-463-4427
* * *
ANNE REPLIES TO LAURA: “You and Andy need to work this out. I’ve done what I need to. He’s been told to talk to you. And while I know you don’t like that you are the only one who has ever complained to me. This tells me it’s between you and him. And you should have done Facebook a long time ago. Andy is difficult to control and the more help the better.”
GARDEN BEDS AVAILABLE: The Community Garden at the Anderson Valley Elder Home has four beds available for rent this season (April through the following March). Some are in-ground and some are raised beds. For a small annual fee (depending on the size of the bed) the Community Garden provides soil, compost, water and drip irrigation management. If you are interested in renting a bed, or want more information, please contact Jill at: firstname.lastname@example.org
DEBRA JILL KEIPP
Debra Jill Keipp, known to some as “Abra-Ka-Debra,” 66, died Feb. 12, 2023, in Fort Bragg of a fast growing cancer.
Originally a farm girl from Iowa, Debra lived a bohemian life, settling in Berkeley for a time before living her final decades in Point Arena and Boonville, where she practiced massage therapy and acupuncture and provided relief to many. Debra had a long association as a contributing writer to the Anderson Valley Advertiser in which her skill as a natural storyteller and writer of local color and political maneuverings was prominent in her many submissions over the years. “Her writing is a gift to anyone who reads it, and she will be missed,” said friend Ronna Frost.
Debra was born the youngest of five siblings on Dec. 12, 1956, to Keith Main Keipp and Thelma LaVaughn (Guy) Keipp of Colfax, Iowa. Her early life was spent growing up on the 400-acre family farm where she developed her love for horses, and she graduated from the Colfax-Mingo School System in 1974.
She won the title Iowa State Teen at the Iowa State Fair in 1973 where her talent was modelling 12 outfits that she had sewn herself. She left the Midwest as an accredited medical transcriptionist, and moved to California in her early twenties, living in Oak- land and Berkeley where she produced programming for WMNS news and KPFA-FM.
She later relocated to the Point Arena area to raise her daughter, Ruby, and pursue her healing arts career. In Point Arena, she served on the City Council and volunteered in many community projects and efforts.
“An unforgettable character, she touched many lives in many ways,” said Frost. “She leaves behind a wealth of loving friends, dedicated associates and clients, and family, who will miss her fierceness, her wit, her intelligence and her intuitive healing care.”
Debra is survived by her brother, Dr. Donald Keipp of Utah; sister-in-law Ruth Keipp of Delaware; six nieces and nephews: Michael Palomino of New York, Emily Palomino-Ortiz of Arizona, Jeremy Lucas Johnson of Tennessee, Jed Keipp of Virginia, and Kathleen Keipp of Utah.
Debra is preceded in death by her only child, Ruby, who died just before her 18th birthday in 1999 of pediatric cancer. She is also preceded in death by her parents and three sisters, Susan Sheehan of Missouri, Judith Keipp of New York, and Kerry Palomino of New Mexico.
A celebration of life will be held on Saturday, April 15, at 1 p.m. at the Anderson Valley Grange at 9800 Highway 128, Boonville, near Philo. “Please come with stories to share!” said Frost. Light refreshments will be served.
The local contact is Ronna Frost, at 707-972-1716. Any memorial donations people might wish to make in Debra’s name may be the donor’s choice.
AV HOUSING ASSOCIATION GALA FUNDRAISER AT THE BOONVILLE HOTEL
by Stephanie Gold & Brad Wiley
Last Sunday evening, April 2, the Boonville Hotel hosted an early evening cocktail gathering and dinner in its romantic stage coach era library and dining rooms. The purpose of the event was a fundraiser to provide the wherewithal for the repairs and upgrades that the AVHA houses on Ray’s Road have long been needing. Known as Las Viviendas, with one communal dorm building and two family houses, all for low-income agricultural workers, these buildings are old and in need of restorative attention. In addition to eating well and having fun, the fiscal goal for the evening was to raise $30,000.00.
The list of attendees included a large proportion of Anderson Valley’s generous self-appointed elite. Your journalist arrived on time for the cocktail party and ran into a number of the host Housing Association Board members, from Stephanie Gold to Kathy Cox and Rebecca Goldie and even Captain Rainbow. But it was also fun to see other long-time friends and neighbors from around The Valley I often don’t see for years on end.
First person I encountered at the front door was Lauren Keating, retired proprietor of Lauren’s Restaurant. Then right inside the guest library the delightful Anderson Valley High School principal, Louise Simson, who of course knew everyone in the room. As I circled the party front to rear of the hotel I also bounced off of Wally Hopkins, Jerry Karp, Kathy McDonald, Pilar Echeverria, and on and on.
Chef Perry Hoffman created the evening’s menu. And what a table he and his team prepared. The four or more cocktail appetizers included a caviar salad on toast, two veg and flower ones and a killer roasted baby spinach and mushrooms with cheese on toast.
Then on to the elegant four course dinner in the dining area, about forty-five souls at six tables. First was the simple but appetite-enhancing albacore carpaccio with avocado and beets, followed by a poached egg over green garlic and asparagus course. The main course was also a knockout, my favorite, braised lambchops in pickled blood orange sauce. The grand finale was Sally Schmitz’s Meyer Lemon Meringue terrine with vanilla ice cream.
Stephanie Gold, Kathy Cox, Rebecca Goldie and Rainbow provided guests with a thorough presentation on the history of the property at Ray’s Road and the targeted uses for the raised funds, principally repairs to home foundations, leaking windows, rooves, and aging water and electrical systems. The dessert course followed the speechifying and donation pledges.
This guest left the gala evening before the dessert, due to senior citizen anxiety about driving Highway 128 at dusk with a broken headlight. But at a day-after encounter with Stephanie, she reported to me that the post-dinner party for some hosts and guests alike lasted until almost eight thirty, when the tired hotel staff, ready to go home themselves, kicked the remaining revelers out and locked the doors.
As this article goes to print, the event has thus far raised $15,000. Some promised pledges have yet to make it through the mail so it’s too soon to cite a final tally, but it’s not too soon to say, “Thank You, Anderson Valley”. And watch out, still to come later on this year, an ambitious capital fund-raising campaign to support repairs and upgrades at the other Housing Association apartments, as the AVHA focus for 2023 is to make sure their current properties are durable, healthful, and energy-efficient before exploring any new options.
UKIAH SHELTER PUPS OF THE WEEK CUTENESS ALERT!
These littermates are mixed breed puppies, 3 months old and about 20-ish pounds. They’re friendly, outgoing, feisty and curious, and guaranteed to make you smile. They love playing with toys, interacting with humans, racing around, and then napping. Puppies are the best, but they need lots of time, energy and patience, plus plenty of TLC and training, to ensure they mature into well-loved and well-behaved members of their pack. Puppy classes are available in the Ukiah area, and they’re a great way to not only teach your puppy good manners, but a wonderful method of human/canine bonding. Plus, they’re just fun!
For more about each of these cutie-pies, head over to the Puppy Page on the shelter’s website.
Visit us on Facebook at: facebook.com/mendoanimalshelter/
For information about adoptions, please call 707-467-6453 in Ukiah, and 707-467-6453 in Ft. Bragg.
MENDO’S MIDYEAR BUDGET DOWNDATE
by Mark Scaramella
Catching up on another item from the March 14 Supervisors agenda we found this excerpt from the belated “Mid-Year Budget Report” (for July 2022 to December 2022):
“The following statistics are from the County’s most recent sales tax report, provided by HDL Companies (Attachment C), for Jul-Sept 2022, when compared to the same timeframe last year (Jul-Sept 2021). [I.e., from two years ago to one year ago…]
Mendocino County’s overall sales were down 5.2%, excluding all reporting aberrations.
Fuel and service stations increased by 7.3%, mostly due to the rising prices at the pumps.
Grocery Store decreased by 7.1%.
Casual dining restaurants decreased 4.3%.
Contractors decreased by 7.3%.
Garden and Agricultural supplies decreased 42.1%, due in part to the decline in the Cannabis industry.
Hotels and Motels increased 6.3%.
Building Materials decreased 7.7%.
Wineries decreased 13.6%.
Quick-Service Restaurants decreased 4.8%.
Light Industrial and Printers decreased 14.1%.”
The Board was too busy trying to blame their budget problems on Auditor-Controller-Treasurer-Tax Collector Chamise Cubbison to discuss the worrisome implications of this across the board revenue decline, especially in the “garden and agricultural supplies” category, and the not quite so dramatic decline but still significant decline in wine and tourism tax revenues.
According to the accompanying revenue projection for 2022-2023 (the current fiscal year from July of 2022 to June of 2023), Mendo’s portion of local sales taxes is expected to drop from about $8.5 million to just under $8.4 million. But if the above downward trend continues at about 5%. Then next year the sales tax revenue would drop from $8.4 million to around $8 million. And that seems optimistic, given the collapse of the legal and illegal pot market. The other shoe will fall a bit later when the ripple effects of abandoned grow site properties being re-assessed based on the lower real estate values kick in.
A GREEN Golden State: Satellite views showing far more green in Apr 2023 vs one year ago, plus the supersized Southern Sierra snowpack. Another notable change the return of Tulare Lake and snowmelt/runoff flooding concerns ahead for the Southern San Joaquin Valley. (Rob Mayeda)
SATURDAY MORNING, America's premier nuzzlebum, the egregiously phoney Scott Simon of NPR, outdid himself in fake feeling. Or he's nuts. And the NPR demographic has also got to be at least ten degrees off if they think this guy is plausible. Seriously, I'd like to hear from someone, anyone, who thinks there's nothing wrong with NPR's Saturday guy. “So, why don't you just turn him off if he annoys you that much, Bruce?” I could do that, and lots of people have suggested I simply tune him out Saturdays. But I've developed a kind of fascination to see how far he can go into pure mawk before Scott's even too much for NPR listeners.
SATURDAY was the topper. Simon was interviewing a colleague who's written a maudlin book about her son leaving high school (no mention of dad, unsurprisingly) as if she's the only person in the world who has felt parental pangs at a child leaving the nest.
“Scott Simon: Most parents, mothers especially, have probably gotten a call from a school saying, your child is sick. Come get them. But what if you're boarding a Black Hawk helicopter in Baghdad? Mary Louise Kelly, our esteemed colleague and co-host of a show called ‘All Things Considered,’ contends with the balance between work and life, anchoring the news and anchoring a family with two teen sons growing up in her new book, ‘It. Goes. So. Fast.: The Year Of No Do-Overs.’ And I'm teary just reading the intro.”
OF COURSE you are, Scott, but a few minutes later he's actually blubbering.
Simon: Yeah. A lot of this book is becoming aware that this might be the last time something happens…
Simon: …When we have children.
Simon: Yes, it's the stuff that maybe you can plan on a calendar, but it's also you don't know when the last time they might crawl into your lap.
Kelly: Yeah, or the last time they're going to call you mama or daddy instead of mom or dad 'cause they get teased at school. And I think about those moments. I remember - I didn't actually write about this, but it pops into my head now. I remember the last time I nursed a baby. I breastfed both my sons. And I remember, you know, as Alexander was, you know, crawling off my lap. And I remember so clearly where we were in the house and where the sun was in the windows and thinking this is the last time. And you can let that break your heart, or you can let it lift it up and think, how beautiful is this? How beautiful is this?
Simon: Yeah. Your book — I'm sorry.
(Scott has lowered his voice almost to a whisper, and they both begin to weep, audibly, overcome before Scott gets a grip and refers to their mutual crying jag as two “hardened journalists” overcome with emotion at…)
Simon: This is - the two of us in here - hardened journalists.
(Journalists? Hardened? NPR?)
Kelly: Oh, yeah.
Simon: I think of Emily Webb in ‘Our Town.’ Do any human beings realize life while they live it? Every minute, do they?
(Our Town! Of course!)
Kelly: I don't know that I have found an answer to that, but I will say that this book is part of my attempt to wrestle with it and sit with it. The nature of the work you and I do, Scott, is wonderful, but it's ephemeral. You know, you and I do a show, and there are days when we nail it and days when we don't. And either way, we have to get up and do another one the next time around. And, you know, a show from six months ago might as well be six lifetimes ago. And I wanted to really wrestle with one year in my life, the choices I was making, the deals I was striking with myself and, whether I got it right or wrong, be intentional about it and remember it and let it stick. That's what this book is.
Simon: Mary Louise Kelly - her book, ‘It. Goes. So. Fast.: The Year Of No Do-Overs.’ Thanks so much for being with us.
Kelly: It does go so fast. Thank you, Scott.
(And this festival of collegial sales fakery wafts to a close on a muted wave of maudlin tunes.)
* * *
“BOB LEE, 43, was stabbed multiple times in the chest early Tuesday morning at about 2:35 a.m. as he walked in the city’s posh Rincon Hill neighborhood, which is in the Southern District and near the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge.”
ONE NEWS OUTLET described the murder of the tech wizard last week as above. That neighborhood is a treeless expanse of high rises almost beneath the Bay Bridge. It's not a neighborhood in any known sense of neighborhood, but the rents are huge.
AND THEN, a day later, a well-known Frisco man was attacked in broad daylight by street bums when he left his Marina home. He had complained about three guys camped in his mother's doorway. The Marina is generally free of street people, and street people generally aren't any more violent than any other cross section of Americans, being preoccupied with their own demons. But camped in Gran's doorway?
AN ARREST of the Marina attacker was made soon after the assault. Which, given the severity of the injuries suffered by the victim, a man in his late 50s, should amount to attempted murder charges for his attacker. In photos, the street punk is a little larger, seems a little more agile than your average street psycho, but who anticipates being assaulted with a lead pipe in front of his house in a serene neighborhood like the Marina?
AS A FORMER RESIDENT of the city, I remember that the civic machinery started to noticeably break down in the late 1970s, and has gotten steadily more decrepit ever since, as four generations of elected officials have wrung their hands and thrown millions of dollars at services for, at this point, about ten thousand people, of whom about 3500 are housed but require adult attention.
AN ESTIMATED 30-40 percent of Frisco's unhoused are certifiable, meaning they are totally unable to care for themselves and rightly should be sequestered in a safe, humane hospital setting which, before California lost its way, was where crazy people were confined, and some of them actually regained their senses and were again able to function normally. The non-crazy segment of the street community might as well be nuts. They're addicted to crippling substances that make them inoperable. And there's a criminal element that ought to be locked up, but are in and out of jail for years.
IT SEEMS to me that getting 10,000 people off the streets shouldn't be impossible. Getting rid of the thousand of enablers — the helping professionals — would be harder because they are politically connected, but their, ahem, re-orientation, is a necessary first step, all those people who make handsome livings allegedly providing services for people living in conditions that put them beyond help.
UKIAH is like a microcosm of SF, a whole bunch of helping pros assisting a small population of people to live in the bushes. But Fort Bragg provides a model of effective strategies at both getting screwed up people real help but also getting them housed, or getting them back to where they came from. Ukiah could do the same, but..... Well, first you have to have some clarity about the prob, and Ukiah, when it got that clarity in the Marbut Report, the helping pros turned out en masse for a whine-in at Ukiah's subterranean “convention center” to resist doing anything more than what is currently being done, which isn't exactly nothing, but close.
WHAT'S really sad about all this is that no one expects anything at all — homelessness, inflation, endless war, you name it — to get better.
SCULLY MAKES HIS MOVE
Andrew Scully talking to Marco McClean Friday night, April 7, 2023:
Scully: I have a new website called Mendocinoundercurrent.com.
McClean: What is the focus of this media enterprise?
Scully: Good question. First of all, why a new news thing? For something… the answer is it's needed. If somebody was doing it already I wouldn't know that. I'm doing it because there is this deafening silence in this entire region of viable, independent, ethical, sourced old-school, for lack of a better term, you know, sourced real journalism, like not tainted or falsified or derelict with tainted associations with Q-Anon freaks or… I'm a little elevated because, I'm a little elevated on this topic, Marco, because of the darth [sic] of authentic, or any kind of real news in this county. We just have a bunch of derelict sites that are deeply tainted due to Q-Anon conspiracy theorists and associations, or they are ethically challenged. I know they are ethically challenged because I have been associated with some of the people that run the deal. So if I could write for an ethical, upstanding paper like the old school Mendocino Beacon once was, the proud journals of yesteryear, Marco — my heritage is that, my grandfather was a newspaper man his whole life and he was associated with, a good friend of Upton Sinclair who I know you know, you are familiar with. Sinclair was a crusading, muckraking man who put the light of God and truth to power to the meat industry which resulted in the first food safety laws here in the United States. Teddy Roosevelt did that because of Upton Sinclair's reporting on the meat industry back in 1904.
McClean: And I.F. Stone! I was just talking to Mitch Clogg. He restarted something called the I.F. Stone weekly.
Scully: I love that. See, that's what I want. That's -- we have a need for that here. Look, I'm not trying to put myself in that category, I'm not. I'm nowhere near that. That's my inspiration. That's my inspiration. That's a pretty good description of it, Marco.
McClean: I'm looking right at it. You have three articles on the front page. And you have an events page and a news page.
Scully: I'm going to have a lot more. I've got dozens of pieces that I've written for different outlets over the last few years here in Mendocino County. I will eventually have all that up there.
McClean: You want my advice? Don't wait. Whatever you've got put it on it. Fill up the space.
Scully: It will be up there soon. I'm going to take your advice for going forward. Don't wait on the new stuff. That's important, Marco. New reporting that I'm working on. Broadly speaking, on public safety in the county that is, basically, under siege right now. We have some problems. Background, long-standing problems that are threatening public safety in our county and impeding efforts for justice. Because we have some problematical institutions and people that are in power that the light needs to be shined on those people and so reporting is being done, not just by me. Mike Geniella is doing good work. Trent James is doing very good work on putting the light to people. There's people that are doing good work. So anyway, that's kind of some of the stuff I'm doing. I always appreciate the time tonight. I always appreciate your show. I get a lot of good feedback. Everybody just listens to it.
CATCH OF THE DAY, Saturday, April 8, 2023
CONSUELO ANDRADE, Redwood Valley. DUI, assault with deadly weapon not a gun, vandalism.
EMILY CHRISTOPHER, Ukiah. Failure to appear.
ALEGANDRO CIBRIAN-ROMERO, Cloverdale/Ukiah. False ID, bringing controlled substance into jail, probation revocation.
SKYLER DAUSMAN, Ukiah. Assault with firearm, shooting at inhabited dwellings, probation revocation.
MARISSA DIAZ, Talmage. DUI, suspended license for DUI, forging or altering registration, probation revocation.
JUAN DIAZ-SANCHEZ, Covelo. Cultivation of more than six pot plants, conspiracy.
MELCHOR GUTIERREZ-CRUZ, Covelo. DUI, controlled substance.
THOMAS HIDALGO, Covelo. DUI, controlled substance.
KIMBERLY LIVINGSTON, Fort Bragg. Taking vehicle without owner’s consent, evasion, assault on police officer.
MICHAEL MARTIN, Kelseyville/Ukiah. Hit&run resulting in death or injury, no registration.
LISTEN UP, BLISS NINNIES!
Telugu Devotional: OM Chanting https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yUqaFaZ3c4g
Warmest spiritual greetings, It is a balmy Saturday in Ukiah, California as the region prepares for Easter Sunday, overwhelmed with chocolate bunny rabbits, brightly color-decorated chicken eggs, and rainbow colored unicorns on the supermarket shelves surrounded by tons of chocolate in wicker baskets. This is the bizarre way that postmodern America celebrates the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Enter at your own risk, and check your rational mind at the door.
Meanwhile, I am continuing to bide time in Mendocino county. I am not identifying with the body nor the mind, which obviously solves the problem. Period.
Nota Bene: If anybody wants to do anything of crucial importance on the planet earth, go ahead and contact me. Regardless, I'll just keep on OMing.
Craig Louis Stehr
MEMO OF THE AIR: Just add water. Makes its own gravy.
"King wrote favorably about Brian de Palma's stylish and frightening adaptation in his 1981 book Danse Macabre, noting that, while his novel [Carrie] took a fairly conventional approach to what he called the ant farm of high school, de Palma's film depicts Bates High as a sinister matriarchy. 'No matter where you look,' King wrote, 'there are girls behind the scenes, pulling invisible wires, rigging elections, using their boyfriends as stalking horses.'" -April Snellings
Here's the recording of last night's (2023-04-07) eight-hour-long Memo of the Air: Good Night Radio show on 107.7fm KNYO-LP Fort Bragg (CA) and KNYO.org: https://tinyurl.com/KNYO-MOTA-0535
Email your written work and I'll read it on the very next Memo of the Air on KNYO.
Besides all that, at https://MemoOfTheAir.wordpress.com you'll find a fresh batch of dozens of links to not necessarily radio-useful but nonetheless worthwhile items I set aside for you while gathering the show together. Such as:
The Dog of Wisdom's comic-evil twin. What a sweetheart.
Please don't blow up and fall out of the sky. Please, please don't. It's like a prayer that spontaneously forms in my mind for these wonderful, brilliant, dedicated, focused, brave uber-people. It's a prayer to them. Catch every problem in time. Flip all the right switches in the right order, do the job, come back safe.
I've been afraid of motorcycles since my last one almost killed me in 1981. But how could anybody not want this? Your hands want to be on it. (via Fark)
Juanita loves the webcomic Lackadaisy, probably mostly for the costumes, and she just sent me this link to the pilot for an animated teevee show of it. The characters are a little /too/ indestructible for my taste, but there's a sad sweet tone to it, that makes you think of their real-life counterparts from the Prohibition days, who had lives as vivid as yours and mine and might have played a violin or trombone along the railroad tracks in moonlight, on the way to dig up a coffin of hooch.
Marco McClean, email@example.com, https://MemoOfTheAir.wordpress.com
JEFF BLANKFORT COMMENTS: Let's hear it again for the Irish who were occupied by the Brits for 600 years! They know who the good people are.
ON-LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY
On the other hand the slogan , ”What would Jesus do?” strikes me as plain comical.
I don’t know what (10,000) Protestant theologies say on the subject, and frankly don’t care.
But Catholic theology, as I understand it, says Christ was God in a human body.
And with Mary — there were actually something like two immaculate conceptions — Mary was human, but without the taint of sin of Adam and Eve.
The ONLY “perfect” human there ever was.
So it seems to me that, ”What would Jesus do?”
Is a bit like asking, What would I do if I were God, except I’m not God, and most likely haven’t the faintest notion what being God is like.
THE HYPOCRISY OF THE CHRISTIAN CHURCH
This is a talk I gave on April 6 at a protest at Princeton Theological Seminary demanding the removal of hedge fund billionaire Michael Fisch as chair of the seminary's trustee board.
by Chris Hedges
We are not here to debate the moral squalor that defines the life of the hedge fund billionaire and chair of the seminary’s trustee board, Michael Fisch. We are not here to denounce him for the personal fortune, reportedly worth at least $10 billion, a fortune he built preying on the poorest among us, those families that went into debt to pay his prison telecommunications company’s exorbitant fees which charge up to $15 for 15-minute calls, fees that see families across the U.S. pay $1.4 billion each year to speak to incarcerated loved ones. We are not here to decry the pain he and his corporation ViaPath, formerly Global Tel Link, caused to hundreds of thousands of children, desperate to speak to an incarcerated mother or father, to tell them about school, or that they miss them, that they need to hear their voice to know everything will be okay, that they are loved. We are not here to contrast the lives of these children, bewildered at the cruelty of this world, living in dilapidated apartments in inner city projects, with the feudal opulence of Michael Fisch’s life, his three mansions worth $100 million lined up on the same ritzy street in the East Hamptons, his art collection worth over $500 million, his Fifth Avenue apartment worth $21 million and his four-story Upper East Side townhouse. So many luxury dwellings that sit empty much of the time, no doubt, while over half a million Americans are homeless. Greed is not rational. It devours because it can. It knows only one word — more.
No, we are here today to call out the Pharisees that run this seminary, the ones who speak about loving the poor, the oppressed and the marginalized, in the abstract, but who really love the rich, including the rich who make their fortunes by exploiting the families of students in prison I teach in the Rutgers college degree program, students, many of whom should have never been imprisoned, who are victims of our system of neo-slavery. We are here today to call out the liberal church, so quick to wrap itself in the cloak of virtue and so quick to sell virtue out when it conflicts with monetary interests and requires self-sacrifice.
Is it any mystery that the liberal church is dying? Is it any mystery that its seminaries and divinity schools are contracting and closing? The church bleeds itself to death sustaining moribund institutions and paying the salaries of church bureaucrats and seminary presidents who speak in the empty and vague gibberish that Lee Walton, the President of Princeton Theological Seminary, uttered when presented with the fact that Michael Fisch, and all he stands for, is antithetical to the Christian gospel. This false piety, and the smug arrogance that comes with it, is killing the church, turning it into a museum piece.
Is Black Lives Matter a commodity, a piece of branding, or does it mean we will stand with those Black and Brown and Asian and white bodies in our prison gulags and internal colonies? This seminary may have removed the name of Samuel Miller, a slaveholder who used the gospel to perpetrate and defend a crime of Nazi-like proportions, from the seminary chapel, albeit only when students protested, but it embraces a billionaire who makes his fortune fleecing incarcerated men and women who work 40 hour weeks in prison and are paid, when they are paid, little more than a dollar a day. Prisons are modern day plantations, and not surprisingly, a multi-billion dollar a year business for oligarchs such as Michael Fisch.
The wealthy industrialists in the 1930s and 1940s poured money and resources into the church, including seminaries such as Princeton Theological, to crush the Social Gospel, led by Christian radicals and socialists. They funded a brand of Christianity — which today is dominant — that conflates faith with free enterprise and American exceptionalism. The church has gone down the rabbit hole of a narcissistic how-is-it-with-me form of spirituality. The rich are rich, this creed goes, not because they are greedy or privileged, not because they use their power to exploit others, but because they are brilliant and gifted leaders, worthy of being lionized, like Bill Gates or Jamie Dimon, as oracles. This belief is not only delusional, but Christian heresy. The word heresy comes from the Greek verb hireo, which means to grasp or to seize - to seize for yourself at someone else’s expense. You don’t need to spend three years at Harvard Divinity School as I did, to figure out Jesus did not come to make us rich.
The liberal church committed suicide when it severed itself from this radicalism. Radical Christians led the abolitionist movement, were active in the Anti-Imperialist League, defended workers during bloody labor wars, fought for women’s suffrage, formulated the Social Gospel — which included campaigns for prison reform and educational programs for the incarcerated — and were engines in the civil rights and anti-war movements. The socialist presidential candidate Eugene V. Debs spent far more time quoting the Bible than Karl Marx. His successor, Norman Thomas, was a Presbyterian minister.
These radicals were not embraced by the institutional church, which served as a bulwark of the establishment, but they kept the church vital and prophetic. They made it relevant. Radicals were and are its hope.
James Baldwin, who grew up in the church and was briefly a preacher, said he abandoned the pulpit to preach the Gospel. The Gospel, he knew, was not heard most Sundays in Christian houses of worship. And today with ministers wary of offending their aging and dwindling flocks — who are counted on to pay the clergy salary and bills — this is even truer than when Baldwin was alive.
This is not to say that the church does not exist. This is not to say that I reject the church. On the contrary. The church today is not located inside the stone buildings that surround us or the cavernous, and largely empty houses of worship, but here, with you. It is located with those who work in prisons, schools and shelters, those who organize fast food workers, who serve the undocumented, who form night basketball leagues in poor communities, as my divinity school classmate Michael Granzen did in Elizabeth, and who are arrested at anti-fracking and anti-war protests.
Billionaires like Michael Fisch will never fund this church, the real church. But we do not need his money. To truly stand with the oppressed is to accept being treated like the oppressed. It is to understand that the fight for justice demands confrontation. We do not always find happiness, but we discover in this resistance a strange kind of joy and fulfillment, a life of meaning and worth, one that mocks the tawdry opulence and spiritual void of billionaires like Michael Fisch, those who spend their lives building pathetic little monuments to themselves. We must remain rooted in this radicalism, this commitment to the crucified of the earth. We must always demand, even at the cost of our own comfort and safety, justice. We may not always triumph over evil, but our faith means evil will never triumph over us.
MY ANNUAL PASSOVER/EASTER GAG: Invited a blind man to our Seder. Passed him a sheet of matzoh. He ran his fingers over it then said, “Who wrote this junk?” (Phil Mushnik)
TWITTER HAS DROPPED its entirely appropriate designation of NPR as "state-affiliated media", instead creating an entirely new designation, "Government Funded", which it has also now given to the accounts of outlets like the BBC and Voice of America. You still see establishment guard dogs decrying this new label for western propaganda outlets on nonsensical pedantic grounds, but really the problem is that they're not receiving the same "state-affiliated media" label as outlets like RT and Press TV despite being equally propagandistic. The label is designed to provide the false impression that western propaganda outlets are not propaganda outlets.
It's actually very revealing how huffy and indignant empire apologists are getting over the "Government Funded" label, because it shows that they see it as Twitter's responsibility to facilitate western propaganda. Imperial spinmeisters have a vested interest in maintaining the illusion that propaganda is something that only happens to other people, and any move that might disrupt that illusion even slightly is met with hostility.
— Caitlin Johnstone
UKRAINE, SATURDAY, 8TH APRIL
The US Department of Justice and the Pentagon are investigating leaks of a trove of apparent intelligence documents about Ukraine that have emerged on social media.
Just four children remain in Avdiivka, a frontline eastern town which had a pre-war population of 26,000 people. Despite the conflict raging nearby, officials there are struggling to persuade people to leave.
Russia has used more than 1,200 missiles and drones in its assault on infrastructure, according to Ukraine's energy operator, but the UK says Moscow's attempts to destroy the country's power grid have "likely" failed.
French President Emmanuel Macron wrapped up a visit to China, in which he called for Chinese leader Xi Jinping to help end the war in Ukraine. But the trip also put the spotlight on the EU's complicated relationship with China.
Who remembers the San Francisco Seals and the DiMaggio brothers? Vince on the left began his pro baseball career in Arizona in 1932, but soon came back to San Francisco to to join the Seals late that season. Vince talked the manager into adding Joe also in late 1932, in time to play several games.
In 1936 both brother made the move to the big leagues, Joe to the Yankees and Vince to the Padres. The following season, 1937, the youngest brother Dom joined the Seals, where he stayed through the 1939 season when he left to join the Red Sox, where he stayed for 11 years. In 1959 he was among the founders of the Boston Patriots football team.
Among the exhibits at this year's John Muir Birthday Celebration in Martinez, will be an exhibit booth, "DiMaggio & Family". April 22 at the John Muir National Historic Site in Martinez. The booth will feature many photos and the cameras of the era, along with baseball and fishing memorabilia.
Their father, Giuseppe, immigrated from Sicily to Pittsburg California via Ellis Island, at the request of his wife's father who was already here. The DiMaggios were a long time fishing family; the skills of Italian fishermen were valuable to the California Delta region. Four years later Rosalia DiMaggio, followed her husband here bringing their daughter, the first of nine children.
Vince and Joe were born in Martinez where the family had moved, in 1912 and 1914 respectively, but the family moved to North Beach while Joe was a toddler, and this is where Dom was born in 1917.
There is a story that one of their sisters was injured by a cinder from a passing train, while she was playing by the tracks in Martinez. The cinder had burned her eye, and the nearest medical specialist was in San Francisco. Rosalia took the child there by ferry for treatment, but was frustrated by the process. She convinced Giuseppe that the family would be better off in San Francisco, and that he could find work in the fishing fleet.
The cameras shown here were revolutionary innovations of the early 1930s, the Contax and the Rolleiflex Standard both introduced in 1932. The Contax was a new concept building on the success of Leica's 35mm rangefinder cameras. The Rolleiflex Standard was a new design changing to 120 roll film and making many improvements. These quickly became favorites among magazine photographers who wanted to travel light and take more shot quickly. San Franciscans Ansel Adams and Dorothea Lange adopted the Contax and Rolleiflex respectively, among the other cameras they used.
ED NOTE: The local angle. Vince Dimaggio married a Fort Bragg girl and is buried in the Fort Bragg cemetery, and all three brothers are believed to have played the Fort Bragg Logger's excellent semi-pro team in a three-game series before WW Two.
TODAY IS EASTER SUNDAY, So Let’s Salute Luke Easter!
“Luke Easter is the only player I ever saw who can hit a baseball as far as Babe Ruth” –Jimmy Reese
…And that’s saying a lot coming from a former teammate of Babe Ruth!
As many of you are aware, I always try to find a connection between baseball history and holidays. With tomorrow being Easter Sunday, I was hoping to find a long-ago photo of Babe Ruth maybe donned in an Easter bunny costume. Alas, my Google search using the keywords, “Babe Ruth and Easter” came up empty.
But a name that did pop up was that of Luscious “Luke” Easter, a fine ballplayer from the Negro Leagues who also made it to the majors (1949-’54), benefiting from Jackie Robinson breaking baseball’s odious color barrier. So I thought to myself: “What better way to celebrate Easter Sunday than to turn our baseball spotlight on Luke Easter!” shown above on right with teammate Larry Doby.
As always when you dig past the surface and go deeper into the career of any ballplayer, you’ll discover many interesting facts of which you were previously unaware. That was certainly the case with my examination of the career of Luke Easter.
Start with the fact that Luke was a huge man. Standing 6’4” tall, he topped the scales at a massive 240 pounds. Early in life, the Jonestown, Mississippi native built a reputation as a big strong kid who could hit the ball a long way. Dropping out of school after the ninth grade, he began attracting attention and turning heads as a left-handed power-hitting first baseman while playing for numerous black industrial teams.
As happened to many budding stars from that era, World War II rudely interrupted, putting career aspirations on hold. Such was the case for Luke Easter who served until 1943. After his release from the Army and subsequent employment with defensive contractors, he was passed over after tryouts with two Negro National League teams. “He’s too big and too awkward to be an effective player,” so said legendary Negro League manager Jim “Candy” Taylor. But after a 1946 stint with Abe Saperstein’s black touring team, the Cincinnati Crescents, he was picked up by the Homestead Grays. Two highly successful years with the Grays followed, including hitting .363 in 1948 and leading the league in home runs and RBIs. He then starred for the Grays in their 1948 Negro League World Series championship.
Not surprisingly, his success caught the attention of Bill Veeck, the gadfly owner of the Cleveland Indians, who soon purchased Easter’s contract. A knee injury prevented him from landing a roster spot with the 1949 Indians, but he continued to star while playing for the San Diego Padres of the Pacific Coast League where he blasted 25 homers, with 80 RBIs, and a .363 average. This paved the way for Easter cracking the Indians’ 1950 lineup. So convinced were the Indians of his potential that they felt confident in trading away star Mickey Vernon to open up a spot for Easter at first base.
They were not disappointed. As a 34-year-old rookie, Easter continued his power hitting, ranking among the league leaders in home runs (28) and RBIs (107). He continued to produce in 1951 (27 home runs), and in 1952 (31 home runs), but nagging injuries and advancing age slowed him down in 1953. After playing in only six games in 1954, his major league career was over. In eight seasons in the Big Show, the two-time All-Star hit a respectable .276, with 104 homers, 413 RBIs, along with a fine .356 on-base percentage. We can only speculate as to what his career number would look like had he been allowed to break into the major league at a much younger age, rather than as a 34-year-old rookie.
But his professional career was not. He continued playing and starring in the minor leagues, including winning the 1957 International League MVP award while playing for the Buffalo Bisons. He finally retired in 1963 at the age of 48. His uniform number was retired by both the Rochester Red Wings and the Buffalo Bisons.
Not surprisingly, the powerfully-built slugger was known for hitting long home runs, as the quote above from Jimmy Reese attests. Here’s a few examples (1):
On July 18, 1948, while with the Homestead Grays, Easter became the first player to hit a home run into the center field bleachers at the Polo Grounds, a drive estimated at 490 feet.
During his rookie season, he also hit the longest home run in the history of Cleveland’s Municipal Stadium, a 477-foot blast over the auxiliary scoreboard in right field. The only other player to match that feat was Mickey Mantle, who did it in 1960.
While with the Bisons, he became the first player to hit a home run over the center field scoreboard at Buffalo’s home park, Offermann Stadium, doing it twice in 1957.
Following his playing days, he became a highly regarded coach for the Rochester Red Wings, credited with playing a significant role in the development of future major leaguers Boog Powell, Curt Belfry, and Pete Ward.
Throughout his career, Easter was described as a well-liked, fun-loving, good-natured prankster. He was inducted into the Buffalo Baseball Hall of Fame in 1985, the Rochester Red Wings Hall of Fame in 1989, and the Greater Buffalo Sports Hall of Fame in 1997, where his “grace and dignity on and off the field” were noted. These honors were followed by induction into the International League Hall of Fame in 2008.
Historian Bill James once ranked Easter as the second-best first baseman in Negro League history, behind only Buck Leonard, saying, “If you could clone him and bring him back, you’d have the greatest power hitter in baseball today, if not ever.” That’s quite a tribute.
Luke Easter’s life came to a tragic end in 1979, aged 63, when he was shot and killed by robbers while transporting $5,000 in payroll checks.
So on this Easter weekend, we gladly shine our baseball spotlight on Luke Easter, a fine ballplayer and an even better man, who unfortunately has been overlooked over the passage of time and by the many great stars from the era in which he played.
— Gary Livacari (baseballhistorycomesalive.com)
by Ted Conover
I said hello to the two inmate servers behind the steam table, as usual; one nodded in response. I thought the best position for me was four or five feet behind them and slightly to the side. This gave me a view of their area, where they passed out the three allotted toaster-size waffles, syrup, butter, and bacon, as well as of the juice dispenser, where inmates were supposed to help themselves to one small plastic cupful. The server who hadn’t acknowledged me had a round, shaved head and, like many food workers, had grown a bit pudgy from the practically unlimited opportunity he had to filch food.
I watched as he gave four waffles apiece to two inmates in a row. My first test.
“Excuse me,” I said. “It’s three, right?”
He turned and glared at me before placing three waffles on the next plate. It seemed only a few minutes later that he passed a large fistful of sugar packets to another friend of his, instead of the prescribed six.
“Hey,” I said, this time stepping up next to him. “Are we going to have trouble today?”
He took a step away from my disagreeable presence. “What—you gay, right, CO? That’s why you paying so much attention to me?”
“You flatter yourself,” I said. “Just do the job you’re supposed to.”
He muttered as he went back to serving. “Motherfucker’s gay,” I heard him say to the next inmate in line. It was an unfortunate way to start the day, since sometimes one inmate’s hostility seemed to spread, through a form of osmosis, to those who hadn’t even witnessed any altercation.
And on a Waffle Day, of all things. Like pieces of fried chicken, waffles found ways to fly out of the serving pan and into the hands and pockets of inmates. Only the most obsessive surveillance could prevent this. During the exit frisks, we’d find waffles stuffed inside pants and shirts. Servers would sometimes tuck a couple into the loose disposable serving gloves they wore and slide them around the edge of the steam table to friends on the other side. If the servers lined up just so—which my two occasionally did—they would obstruct my view so I couldn’t see their hands. Once, when I saw this alignment about to occur again, I shifted suddenly to the side and caught the servers in the act of waffle-gloving. I grabbed the glove and lofted it into the trash without comment.
Cueball gave me a look of pure hatred. “Anyone ever tell you you look like Mark Fuhrman?” he asked. “No,” I said.
An hour or so later, when I made an inmate return an extra helping of bacon that Cueball had bestowed, he glared at me anew and pointed at the inmate I had stopped.
“On the street, you probably wouldn’t even look at that brother,” he charged. “You probably afraid he gonna rob you or something.”
So now I was a racist homosexual who feared all young black men. In this case, though, the fear would have been justified—the man, after all, was a violent con.
I smiled, then grinned. “He probably would be about to rob me,” I said. The more I thought about that, the funnier it seemed. “Shut up, man!” he said. “You look better when you ain’t talking.”
I had worked my first steam tables acting as rigid as that server was hostile. Letting inmates get away with things struck me as letting leaks spring in a dike—the other inmates would notice, and would be encouraged the next time I was on the steam table to try for extras. The massive pilferage that ensued would make me look powerless, ridiculous.
“Juice cup!” I would insist to an inmate who’d given himself the larger, milk-size cup of juice, as though he had shorted me ten dollars in change for a twenty.
“But I already poured it, CO!” the man might protest.
“So pour it out,” I would say.
“Pour it out?”
“Pour it out.”
Or I’d demand to count the sugar packets of an inmate who, I was sure, had taken too many. Or I’d say an inmate couldn’t have an extra plate for his salad, that he had to fit everything on one plate. It was petty stuff in a transaction that was already law enforcement at its most utterly trivial level. The inmates’ protests, though they had a patina of moral force, only hardened my resolve.
“Why, CO? It come outta your paycheck?”
“You denying a man his food? That’s low, CO, that’s as low as it gets.”
“You gonna think back on this in twenty years, CO, and you gonna be ashamed of yourself.”
I looked at it this way: If there was only a set amount of food available at a given meal, we had to control the portions. And the inmates were not badly fed—only slightly worse than we had been at the CO Training Academy. Of most entrees, whether spaghetti and meatballs or chili or chicken fricassee, they were allowed larger portions than most people could eat. They just couldn’t get as much of certain things as they wanted—waffles, fish sticks, cups of juice, or cookies. This is when they tried to make us feel like the bastards who ran the workhouse in Oliver Twist.
“I’ll say a prayer for you, Officer,” said one pious Muslim whom I had stopped from taking extra coffee cake early that summer. Right behind the Muslim was an inmate I knew a little bit. He looked at me sort of pityingly, and I wondered if he was about to join the prayer campaign for my soul. “In a few days, CO,” he advised me, “you won’t give a fuck anymore.”
He wasn’t completely right, but I did realize I was wearing myself out with zeal. Other officers, though they would uniformly deny it, let the servers give away much more food than was allowed. Who really gave a damn about two extra cookies? I looked again at Officer Smith and liked what I saw.
Smith had a certain presence as he stood there near the tiny packets of ketchup, arms crossed in front of him. You could tell he cared, but you could also tell it wasn’t a personal thing for him.
We were there to enforce the rules, that was all. He looked bemused, not angry, when he saw an infraction, and his look said to the inmate, “Did you really think you were going to get away with that?”
I tried to relax. To an inmate with the extra juice, I began to say, “Drink it here.”
“Just don’t leave the steam table with it.”
That way, we could both win. No sergeant or other inmates would observe him with a big cup of juice on his tray, but I could show I didn’t mind if he drank it, that it was appearances that mattered to me. I nodded at the servers to allow porters I had worked with an extra helping—that was a traditional consideration. And at the end of the day, when the last cell block was being served the last portions, I basically told the servers they could divide the food up equally, because we all knew that what wasn’t eaten would be tossed into the trash.
Still, there were some transgressions I just couldn’t abide.
One day I worked the steam table at breakfast. My counterpart on the neighboring steam table was Thurston Gaines, an Ossining local who had been in my CO training class. An hour or so into the serving there was a commotion at Gaines’s table, and the mess hall grew silent. Gaines, a black officer so big that he seldom seemed to have to raise his voice, had traded words with an inmate who tried to cadge extra juice from under his nose. The inmate then tossed all the juice at Gaines, drenching his uniform. He was relieved by another officer so that he could change into a clean shirt and wipe off his glasses.
On my side of the room, two inmates caught the spirit of this incident and utterly ignored my warnings to take only the allowed amount of juice. They just pretended not to hear me. One I had had trouble with before, and I advised the officer at the gate to get his ID card on the way out. Then, with the meal finished, I wrote up my first mess-hall ticket. A stolen cup of juice was good for: 106.10, direct order; 124.16, mess-hall procedure; and 116.10, theft of state property.
To my surprise, however, the sergeant who signed the ticket did not have the inmate keeplocked pending his hearing. Later, I would learn that the disciplinary committee, inundated with more serious offenses, had essentially thrown this one into the circular file. That really made me feel like Barney Fife.
I was sitting in the gym with Thurston Gaines later that day, and he was philosophical about our respective humiliations. He had known some of Sing Sing’s officers and white-shirts his whole life. “They say it’s a lot different upstate,” he said wistfully. “COs don’t have the kind of power here that they do up north—we’re too close to the media, to their [inmates’] families, to lawyers.”
“Like, what goes on upstate that we don’t do here?” I asked.
“If the tiniest thing goes down in the mess hall in Attica?” he said. “They march them outside.” In the winter. Literally to chill. At Attica and Clinton, he said, inmates didn’t even talk to female officers. It was flat-out forbidden.
“And if they do?” I asked, knowing that every jailhouse rule was eventually violated.
Gaines paused and smiled. He was a soft-spoken, gentle- tempered man.
“They get the fucking shit beat out of them,” he said.
The possibility no longer bothered me as it once had.
(From New Jack: Guarding Sing-Sing, by Ted Conover)
RE: FAKE NEWS
“Is it a sign of my campaign’s strength that the Elite of DC’s establishment media simultaneously and shamelessly published an orchestrated and baseless lie to smear me, even before I announce my presidential campaign?
CBS News’s Bob Costa, The Washington Post, The Daily Beast, Vanity Fair, and Salon are circulating fake news that the American people have come to expect and despise.
Steve Bannon has nothing to do with my presidential campaign. I have never discussed a presidential run with Mr. Bannon.
Journalism should be about “investigate and report” not ‘invent and report.'”
-Robert F. Kennedy Jr @RobertKennedyJr
Enough of the revered Kennedys. None of them are, or were, worth a damn.
ANNE REPLIES TO LAURA:
Blame the victim?
Agreed. And to say that Andy is hard to control so basically any help is appreciated… WTF? Why is it Laura’s responsibility to help “control” Andy?! Sounds like Andy is the problem.
Happy Easter. It’s a beautiful day.
The Editor is spot on about San Francisco. But voters there keep electing the same people, over and over again, who are responsible for creating the problem., and making it worse. It appears the voters of San Francisco are as sick as the substance abusers living on their streets.
RE: SAN FRANSICKO BOOK REVIEW
Why Progressives Ruin Cities
By Michael Shellenberger
Shellenberger promises in “San Fransicko” to explain how things got this way and how we might solve them. This, he argues, means blaming progressives and Democrats, who are in control at every level of city and state government. “How and why,” he wonders, “do progressives ruin cities?”
More like run by neolibs, who are half fasciuglican.
RE: WHAT’S really sad about all this is that no one expects anything at all — homelessness, inflation, endless war, you name it — to get better. (ED NOTES)
—> May 24, 2022
One of the strengths of this film is the sensitive way it represents the different desires of individual women. After all, the title of the film is How to Please a Woman not How to Please Women…
It is rare to see in popular culture a range of mostly older women being frank about what gives them sexual pleasure and to see how their desire become more adventurous and diverse.
Sadly, the sexual desire of women over 50 is often unrepresented, misrepresented, and/or shown as comedic… Older age is by far the largest developmental human period plagued by misconceptions and stereotypes, kept alive by incessant jokes.
And no gender absorbs these jokes more than the female. Sexiness is equated with youth, and older women and their sexuality are made invisible…
How to Please a Woman shows older women’s sexual desire as respectful and tender for both women and men, even though it is set within a comedy… Female sexuality is seen as part of a rich fabric of women’s lives, not its single orgasmic culmination.
RE: ON-LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY
So it seems to me that, ”What would Jesus do?”
Is a bit like asking, What would I do if I were God, except I’m not God, and most likely haven’t the faintest notion what being God is like.
—>. March 07, 2023
Psilocybin mushrooms have been a part of many cultures’ traditions for thousands of years and, so far, more than 116 species have been found under the genus Psilocybe.
Recent discoveries reveal that psilocybin may not only be beneficial to those struggling with depression and anxiety, but also prove effective in warding off dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, and other neuropathies.
Paul Stamets is fervently convinced that fungi can offer a broad range of advantages. Last week, his pioneering patent was published after waiting for six and a half years to be filed, exploring how particular combinations of psilocybin could potentially improve mental health as well as neurogenesis.
Adding to the testimonies of its use for therapy against severe depression, Paul co-authored a recent study that showed microdosing psilocybin may offer greater mental clarity and improved mood as compared with non-microdosers.
We live in an extraordinary era, and as we witness the proliferation of psychedelic decriminalization policies and scientific breakthroughs, we are gradually edging closer to a more holistic approach for treating mental health issues with the help of our friends, the fantastic fungi.
Chris Hedges should note that all people have faith, and all are hypocrites because of it, including Chris Hedges. The biggest hypocrites are those who live in denial of their faith.
Nonsense. Religion is no more than belief in imaginary being(s) and belief in unsupported fairy tales. And, George, not ALL people have faith. Where do you come up with such nonsense? Better buy some brushes with narrower tips since your stroke is far too broad to be taken seriously.
RE; Mythology in Judaism.
This response is from several days back when the assertion was made by Jeff Blankfort that the Jewish tradition of Passover was based on mythical events and not historical ones. Although Jeff might himself deem this an attack on Judaism I don’t believe that it is. I refer to a quote from the book “Hebrew Myths: The Book of Genesis” by Robert Graves and Raphael Patai.
“Myths are the dramatic stories that form a sacred charter either authorizing the continuance of ancient institutions, customs, rights and beliefs in the area where they are current, or approving alterations. The word ‘myth’ is Greek, mythology is a Greek concept, and the study of mythology is based on Greek examples…”
“All pre-Biblical sacred documents in Hebrew have been either lost or purposely suppressed. They included ‘The Book of the Wars of Yahweh’ and the ‘Book of Yashar’, epic accounts of the Israelites’ desert wanderings and their invasion of Canaan. That these books were written in early poetic Hebrew style can be seen from the brief fragments quoted….”
“Post-Biblical sacred documents are abundant. In the thousand years after the Bible was first canonised, the Jews of Europe, Asia and Africa wrote prolifically. Theirs were either attempts to clarify the Mosaic; or historical, moralistic, anecdotal and homiletic comments on Biblical passages. In both cases the authors included much mythic material, because myth has always served as a succinct validation of puzzling laws, rites and social customs.”
So the notion that there is much mythic content in Judaism or in religion in general is only an assertion that is challenged by the Literalists and Fundamentalists.
Someone put it to me like this once, “The flock may not know the foundational myths and stories but the Rabbis all do.” Not to sound too cynical but that is clearly part of the function of religion, take it or leave it.
Bruce, can you repost the picture of the kid with the Easter bunny balling his eyes out scared to death that you used to post every year on Easter???
And FYI, growing up as an Irish Catholic Easter was almost the most important holiday of the year. It was arguably as important or even more important than Christmas and that is perhaps because the Easter Bunny proved to be less of a formidable adversary that old Thor St. Nicholas.
Easter was about Christ without a doubt and Christmas was about Santa Claus hands down.
Raised Mormon, I always thought Easter was about fertility, what w/ the Easter Bunny, the colored eggs, spring chicks, new Easter bonnets and frocks for the womenfolk … I suppose it’s all hearsay of the worst kind, but still, the pagan approach was more conducive to American business interests, which proves Chris Hedges’ point, despite Hollister’s stubborn determination to ignore it.
My only point is we all have faith, and are all hypocrites because of it. The Catholics are hypocrites, no kidding. So are Muslims, Jews, Buddhists, Communists, Nazis, Democrats, Republicans, Socialists, atheists, and Environmentalists. Fine to point out hypocrisy, but don’t wallow too deeply, like that hypocrisy is something distinctive.
I mean George that’s a wild list.
Religions, political parties, political ideologies, and a death cult?!?
The Nazis were a death cult par excellence so adding them to that list is just sort of mentally chaotic, not sure what that’s about.
Other than that mistake I know what you are saying.
Heresy, is what I meant, not hearsay, Spellchecker; thank you all the same.
I think, my friend, that I know better than you what you mean to say, mostly. But, I admit, sometimes I myself am mistaken. Life is hard….
Your Faithful Friend,
It’s going around town–hearsay, that is, that digital spellcheckers routinely make stupid errors. That’s a heresy that hurts my tender heart.
Susy (or is it Suzi?) S.
My young friend was out clubbing recently in the wee hours and they ended up @ ground floor of Twitter’s HQ and who did they meet but you, Suzi-Q(anon), dressed as Fraulein Strumpfenhosen, masquerading w/ a Dr. Stupenagle, and they were out for schnapps and strudel … I hope you can refute these awful rumors before they besmirch your lustrous reputation!
Bless you, Bruce–I am smiling now as I perform my truly thankless literacy tasks here at HQ.
Should be “literary,” not “literacy.” Even I make small mistakes….
What has baked ham, scalloped potatoes, deviled eggs, sea foam jello, fruit salad and pineapple upside down cake — I say, what has all or even any of this menu to do with Christianity or resurrection?
And isn’t The Resurrection just a metaphor for procreation, same as reincarnation? In essence making the whole idea of fertility the reason for the springtime feast?
KINGS VS. WARRIORS IN THE FIRST ROUND (PLAYOFFS)
The only teammates to make 200+ triples together in a season in NBA history:
🎯 Keegan Murray & Kevin Huerter (Kings)
🎯 Stephen Curry & Klay Thompson (Warriors)
The Playoffs are going to be crazy this year. As it looks now, the kings will be playing the warriors in the first round. The Kings hold 3rd. place while the Warrior should finish in 6th this evening.
This is the first time since the Kings moved to Sacramento before the 1985-86 season that both the Kings and the Warriors are in the playoffs in the same season.
Should be a great series. Kinda odd that a Mike brown lead team is so terrible at defense. I expect kuminga to shine.
It will take some time, but at least the Kings have the number one offence in the league. It’s going to be a shoot out.
The Warriors defense has fallen off with the loss of Coach Brown to the Kings. In fact, none of the playoff teams are big defensive teams.
Never heard of Bee Hunter but…
The owner of any aggressive animal should be charged and tried for assault with a deadly weapon if that animal contacts a person in public in any way and attempted assault if it threatens to do so.
With just one season under his belt, Mike Brown has moved into the top 10 of the winningest coaches in the Sacramento era.