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Mendocino County Today: May 18, 2013

LAST TUESDAY, Supervisor Dan Hamburg reminded his colleagues about the upcoming meeting at the Apple Farm in Philo regarding the pending replacement of the Philo-Greenwood Road bridge over the Navarro River outside of Philo. Along the way, Hamburg managed to insult at least half of the people interested in the subject, maybe more depending on how you interpret Hamburg’s sense of humor.

PhiloGreenwoodBridgeHamburg: “There is a community workshop coming up on May 29 and it will be held at the Apple Farm which is on Greenwood Ridge Road and this is with regard to the bridge replacement at the Navarro River, the so-called 'River Rest Bridge,' and that meeting is going to convene at 5:30. Actually we are going to meet on the bridge, then have a public regular sit down public meeting at the Apple Farm. So all of you in Anderson Valley, there's a lot of interest over there. Everybody wants a new bridge, but they want it to look exactly like the existing bridge! [Laughs.] They don't know why we can't just go over there with some trowels and cement, and, you know, some new 4x4s, and just, — rebuild it! Just like it is! Quincy Engineering will also be on hand to answer questions for local residents. This will be our second workshop on the bridge.”

Supervisor John Pinches: “The public needs to realize that when it goes to bridge replacement, when you are getting about 96% of the money from the federal government, you've got to go by their standards.”

Hamburg: “Damn. It just pisses me off.”

OBVIOUSLY, NOT “EVERYBODY” wants what Hamburg said “everybody wants.” And nobody proposed having volunteers rebuild it with 4x4s and trowels, as if Anderson Valley is a bunch of silly rubes with silly opinions. Several people were unconvinced that the bridge needs replacement (it’s over 60 years old and is deteriorating, especially at the base) saying they liked the rural look of the old bridge. Others were against widening it on the grounds that a wider bridge would encourage unsafe speeding. Many attendees at the last meeting were in favor of bridge replacement for one reason or another, all of them legitimate. And indeed it was made clear that federal money means federal standards, but which hopefully will not leave Philo with a new bridge that is just another concrete monstrosity.

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A FORENSICS EXPERT, and lots of non-experts, including cops, can tell at a glance if the bones are human or not. These must at least be 'tweeners:

ON MAY 16, 2013 at 12:23pm the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office was notified of a suspicious circumstance in a secluded area adjacent to Highway 162 near the 1.04 mile post marker outside of Willits.  The reporting person stated they were in the area when they noticed the remnants of burnt ground.  Upon closer inspection the reporting person observed what appeared to be bones among the burnt ground.  Based upon the information, Sheriff's Detectives responded to the location and initiated an investigation.  Upon arrival the Detectives located several badly charred bones, which investigators believe to be of human origin at this time.  Detectives will be enlisting the assistance of a forensic odontologist and forensic anthropologist in attempting to identify if the bones are human.  Anyone that has information that could assist with this investigation is urged to contact the Sheriff's Office Tip-Line by calling 707-234-2100. (Sheriff’s Office Press Release)

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POINT ARENA HIGH SCHOOL has hired a new principal with almost no visible School Board or public involvement. Point Arena Superintendent Colleen Cross made the surprise announcement on Thursday that a Mr. Matt Strahl will replace Warren Galletti who quit a couple of months ago to take a position in Ukiah. There was no explanation why Galletti quit and no explanation of how or why Mr. Strahl was hired, just that there would be a meet and greet for him on May 29. Mr. Strahl will come to Point Arena from Calaveras County (about 80 miles southeast of Sacramento) where he was principal of John Vierra High School and Vallecito High School, both of which are Alternative/Continuing Education Schools (kind of like the whole Point Arena high school is now, in fact). According to a recent report in the Sonora Union Democrat, that district’s off-site continuation school headed by Strahl was closed for budgetary reasons and the principal and teachers were laid off as the students were brought back to a remodeled science building in Angel’s Camp. The total enrollment at the continuation schools formerly headed by Strahl was about 50 students, and of those 50 students there were just two Hispanic students. In March, when the budget cuts were announced, Strahl was quoted in the Calaveras Enterprise saying, “Due to budget cuts and declining enrollment, the district needs to cut about $440,000 from their budget. My job will be one of the cuts made. It is not something I like, but it is the reality of life and business. I know they (the district) would like to keep me, but someone has to go. No one needs to be mad or upset about the situation and go talk to people (board members or other administrators) or accuse people of doing something wrong. … All I ask for is your support during this time and if you hear of an administrative job in California education, please let me know or put in a good word for me.”

THE LAST TIME Point Arena hired a principal from out of the area (who also happened to be named Matt — Matt Murray, a former Harvard English professor with idealistic views on elementary education and serious standards for teachers which he tried to uphold) he was quickly undermined by both Point Arena’s lazy elementary teachers that he was supposed to supervise and the extremely dumb then-Superintendent Mark Iacuaniello. Murray was unceremoniously fired after less than two years without explanation or hearing, then he sued Iacuaniello for breach of promise (failure to back him up when the predictable teacher gripes arose) and narrowly lost in a civil trial against Iacuaniello. Murray then took a Principal job in Idaho where, we hear, he’s back on his feet after spending a lot of money on lawyers and taking a bath on the house he bought in Point Arena in the naïve belief that he could bring Point Arena elementary school out of state probation.

WE WISH MR. STRAHL the best of luck and hope he knows what he’s getting into and doesn’t suffer the same fate as Mr. Murray.

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White
White

LIFE SENTENCES Imposed On Christmas Robber — A Crescent City man who attempted to rob two women at knifepoint in Ukiah five days before last Christmas has been sentenced to state prison for a cumulative 98 years to life. The heavily tattooed, 50-year old Robert Lee White, also known as Robert Lee Stanley, Tracy Lee Mark, and “Gypsy,” [also known as “The Illustrated Man” — see https://www.theava.com/archives/21342] appeared Friday afternoon to listen as Mendocino County Superior Court Judge John Behnke rendered his judgment and imposed final sentencing. White has been represented by Deputy Public Defender Dan Haehl. At the conclusion of a trial held on April 3, 2013, Judge Behnke entered guilty verdicts against White on two counts of attempted robbery and one count of threatening the husband of one of the victims. The court also found as true that White used a knife in each of the three crimes and that he had previously been convicted of four prior “Strike” convictions. According to the background investigation conducted by the Mendocino County Probation Office, White began his first prison commitment in 1982 at the age of 18 years for first-degree burglary and false imprisonment. He was paroled on those convictions in 1985. White was then convicted of misdemeanor drug use in 1994 and 1996. However, later in 1996 White was sent back to state prison by the Del Norte County Superior Court for criminal threats. He was paroled on that conviction in 1997. In 1999, White was returned to state prison for two new and separate robberies – one he committed in Alameda County and another in Humboldt County. He was paroled on those cases in 2012. White was on state parole supervision when he was arrested on the current crimes by the Ukiah Police Department. District Attorney David Eyster has personally handled the local prosecution of White from the beginning. “Some individuals are too dangerous to be allowed to live amongst us,” said Eyster. “My goal in prosecuting Mr. White was to achieve a final result that promises the community that Mr. White will never again be given the freedom to pull a knife on, threaten, and victimize people in Mendocino County. In light of the sentence imposed by the court today, that goal has been achieved.” It is noted by courthouse historians that White’s sentence of 98 years to life is the second longest Three Strikes sentence imposed on any defendant in Mendocino County since voters approved Proposition 184 (the original Three Strikes law) in 1994. The longest Three Strikes sentence earned by a defendant in Mendocino County – 105 years to life – was imposed on William Newport in 1996 by then-Superior Court Judge James King. Newport was the so-called Mendocino arsonist who terrorized the village of Mendocino by setting fire to multiple buildings and other property. Eyster, a Deputy District Attorney at the time, also successfully prosecuted Newport, a case in which the defense attempted an unsuccessful insanity defense. A listing of all defendants from Mendocino County currently serving life sentences can be accessed through the District Attorney’s website at http://www.co.mendocino.ca.us/da/liferInventory.htm. (District Attorney Press Release)

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SHERIFF ALLMAN appeared before the Board of Supervisors last Tuesday to explain why it is expected to cost $150,000 to paint the inside of the jail. First up was General Services Director Kristin McMenomey.

McMenomey: “The Jail has not been painted in over 28 years. The jail is not in the capital improvement plan budget because it is such a high cost at $150,000 to paint the inside of the facility.”

Supervisor John Pinches: “Why can't the inmates paint the inside of the jail? Maybe they'd care more about it if they painted it themselves.”

McMenomey: “There are a couple of reasons why the inmates cannot paint the jail. We've had discussions with County Counsel on this.”

Pinches: “I want to hear the reason why they can.”

McMenomey: “Why they can?”

Pinches: “I want to hear the Sheriff's response.”

Sheriff Tom Allman: “That was my very first question. How could we get the inmates to do this? First of all, of course, we have the contractors. We have an obligation. We can't do large projects when there are contractors who do it. We learned that through the Employers’ Council. In addition, this is not regular latex paint. The jail has not been painted since it was built in 1985. The graffiti inside, the racial graffiti, the very strong graffiti which is not conducive for what we are trying to achieve with AB-109 [prison realignment] has to be covered up. It's strictly epoxy paint. And epoxy paint has to be administered by a licensed contractor for epoxy paint. It's a huge process. There's going to be clearing out certain parts of the jail, wings of the jail. It's one week for each wing to paint with the epoxy paint and the rest of dealing with it. We are trying to work with it. I wish we could say, Let's get a sprayer there and spray it with a new coat of latex paint and walk away. But that's not what the state will allow us to do. It's not going to last. The paint that we have there now from 1985 for the most part has lasted much longer than it was intended. It's expensive, but at this point it's worth it and it's something that we have to do. If you want to tour the jail as you and I have done before, I welcome it. But to put inmates into a cell which has extremely racial graffiti that people — for 24 hours a day, they think about it: “how can we damage the jail? And they do a pretty good job of it. We are trying to improve what we have through this kind of attention inside the jail. But it's a good question and it's a question we all ask.”

Pinches: “So it can be paid for with AB-109 money?”

Allman: “(Pauses) That has not been brought up. AB-109 funds — you will hopefully be hearing about funding a deputy sheriff very soon. I didn't want to let the cat out of the bag but you asked.”

Superivsor John McCowen: “The graffiti that you speak of, is this generalized throughout the entire facility or is it primarily in cells, or the holding cells?”

Allman: “Well it's not throughout the jail; it's only the cells where the inmates are not monitored 24 hours a day with any kind of videocamera and so forth. It's somewhat derogatory, but it's also just for the overall maintenance. If you remember, our jail was built in 1985 and it was literally trucked in. These were portable units. We were told it would be a 20 year jail and that was a long time ago. Now we are in the process of trying to get some maintenance done that has been deferred. We have pipes that have rusted through. We have hinges that no longer work, roller bearings on doors that are way obsolete. The inventor and owner of the patent of some of this has died and his family has not released the equipment yet. These are some of the challenges we are up against. So we are working with GSA and repairing some of these things at the lowest cost. But getting the jail painted is a priority for the general well-being of the county, not just for the appearance, but for the maintenance. We have rust problems in the jail which you don't even want to know about.”

McCowen: “I've seen some of the graffiti in the holding cells and the booking area and I absolutely agree that it is a priority to paint that over. But in terms of painting the entire jail when we have another item we're looking at — the extensive remodel or replacement, I'm not sure. We need to balance the need to do the painting with, Are we then going to be ripping things out in two years?”

Allman: “No. The project you speak of is not for jail replacement. I would welcome a jail replacement. But in the world of other priorities I'm not going to advocate for a jail replacement right now. My guess is the paint that we put on this jail at the very minimum will last for 10-15 years or more.”

McCowen: “And the $20 million that we would potentially receive — it would actually be for a jail remodel?”

Allman: “Well, it's for a jail extension for maximum security and I'm hoping that the Sheriff's Office will work with mental health and we can work on some mental health beds that are non-criminal mental health beds. This is a big discussion and I welcome you, Supervisor McCowen, to be part of that because there is no discussion of replacing the 304-bed facility that we have right now. We need maximum security because of AB-109 and criminals who are coming in that are hardball criminals, these are not softballs. These are major crooks that the state is sending us.”

Hamburg: “Except they are all the three nons.”

Allman: “I guess that all depends on — non-sex, non-violent, non-serious — the state and counties cannot agree on what non-serious means because someone who manufactures methamphetamine in my opinion is a serious offender, but the state says he will never go to state prison for manufacturing methamphetamine. They will only go to county jails. So the definitions are —”

Hamburg: “I just remember when we were talking about AB-109. We kept coming up with and talking about the three nons.”

Allman: “The three nons.”

Hamburg: “But now we are finding out that the three nons are up for interpretation.”

Allman: “We agree on the two nons, but the third non, the non-serious, is not something we agree with the state on.”

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MENDOCINO FILM FESTIVAL Welcomes You — The Mendocino Film Festival (MFF), May 31 – June 2, has become a world-class film festival with the kind of intimacy and quality that provides a unique audience experience. New this year for Take 8 are film screening venues that include a 300-seat Festival Tent adjacent to the Hill House Inn in Mendocino, the Noyo Theatre in Willits, and Balo Vineyards in Philo, Anderson Valley. The Festival continues again this year to show films in Mendocino, Point Arena, and Fort Bragg. MFF has carefully selected films from around the country and around the world to enrich and entertain our coastal and inland communities. They include stories from Japan, Belgium, South Africa, China, Uganda, and France and include Oscar-winning films, upbeat shorts, award-winning narratives, and inspirational documentaries. A highlight this year includes the screening of silent films featuring Buster Keaton and “Fatty” Arbuckle with live musical accompaniment and sound effects by Alloy Orchestra and their “wall of junk.” Roger Ebert called Alloy, “The best in the world at accompanying silent films.” And since Mendocino County is Wine Country, what better place to screen the award-winning film, SOMM – a documentary that follows four friends’ quest to pass one of the most difficult and secretive tests on the planet – the Master Sommelier exam. Special Wine Tasting events to benefit the Festival will take place at two venues: Glendeven Inn, just south of Mendocino plus Balo Vineyards and The Madrones in gorgeous Anderson Valley. There are many other films not to miss, including the 2013 Best Documentary Oscar winner, Searching for Sugar Man, Mixed Messages – a program of charming short films on communication, Chasing Ice – a dramatic film about climate change, Rebels With A Cause – the inspiring story about saving Point Reyes and the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, and Sweet Dreams – a heart-warming story of healing through women’s enterprise in Rwanda. Filmmakers will attend the Festival for a Q & A following each presentation, giving the audience up close and personal insight into the process of bringing their stories to completion. The film, The Intouchables, has sold out one screening and MFF has added another at Matheson Performing Arts Center, so purchase your tickets early, $11 in advance and $12 at the door. For details and to view the film’s trailers visit MendocinoFilmFestival.org. And “Like Us” on Facebook.com/MendocinoFilmFestival

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JACKSON DEMONSTRATION STATE FOREST ADVISORY GROUP MEETING — The Jackson Demonstration State Forest Advisory Group meeting will be held on Thursday, May 23, 2013 at the Fort Bragg Senior Center at 490 North Harold Street in Fort Bragg. The meeting will start at 9:30 A.M. The meeting agenda is posted on the CAL FIRE website: (CAL FIRE – Jackson Demonstration State Forest)

http://www.fire.ca.gov/resource_mgt_stateforest_jackson.php.

This meeting is open to the public and public attendance is encouraged. If anyone has any questions about Jackson Demonstration State Forest, please call (707) 964-5674. (CalFire Press Release.)

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CONTRACTING FOR MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES — Mendocino County Health and Human Services Agency (HHSA) will bring two proposed contracts for the delivery of mental health services in Mendocino County to the Board of Supervisors at their May 21, 2013 meeting. For decades, mental health services have been provided by Mendocino County Behavioral Health (formerly known as Mental Health Department). In an effort to provide better services to our clients tomorrow than we do today through an enhanced delivery system, a Request for Proposal of services was initiated. Mendocino County General Services Agency issued the Request for Proposal (RFP) #24-12 on October 2, 2012 on behalf of HHSA Behavioral Health (BH) to explore how current mental health services may be delivered in an alternate way from the County providing mandated mental health services. A mandatory bidders conference was held to answer questions prior to bids being submitted. The County accepted proposals from organizations to deliver all or any part of the services delineated in the Mental Health Plan (MHP). The RFP closed on January 15, 2013. Negotiations were pursued and as a result two contracts will be presented to the Board of Supervisors for approval. Ortner Management Group is proposed to provide adult mental health services (ages 21 and over), and Redwood Management Company is proposed to provide children and youth mental health services (ages under 21). Services are aimed at assisting adults, children and youth with serious mental illness and severe emotional disorders to live as contributing and successful members of their families and communities. Services will be delivered through community based treatment, including outpatient clinics in Ukiah, Willits and Fort Bragg. The County will maintain a comprehensive Mental Health Plan and ensure each contractor complies with applicable laws, rules and regulations and in conformance with guidelines issued by the State Department of Health Care Services. HHSA has worked diligently to minimize any and all impacts to existing County staff. The result is no lay offs of existing staff. Some staff will be reassigned within their current classifications to positions within HHSA to fulfill new mandated programs. Additionally, there will be BH administrative staff assigned to management of the contracts and oversight of mandates and regulations. The staff transition will occur over time as current mental health services are assumed by the two contractors. HHSA is committed to working with the selected vendors to design and implement a service delivery system that will meet the unique needs of Mendocino County’s clients; comply with regulatory provisions and fulfill new program mandates; and ensure accountability through collaborative team-based practices and regular reporting, including quarterly system re-evaluation to ensure program mandates and goals are met. Each piece of the partnership fits together to provide a comprehensive coverage plan that will provide improved mental health services. This has been supported by the Mental Health Board and other stakeholders. The Board of Supervisors, the Health and Human Services Agency, the County Executive Office, Mental Health Board, community partners, providers, and clients have steadfastly advocated for enhanced mental health services in Mendocino County to better serve the needs of our communities. By approving the recommended contracts, the county will not only be enhancing a vital public service to clients that serves a social need, but it will be realizing a model of collaborative partnership to strengthen our community mental health safety net. The presentation is scheduled to begin at 2:00 p.m., and will be broadcast live on inland Public Access Television Channels (and available in recorded format for online viewing via Mendocino Access TV). For more information, please visit: www.mendocinoaccess.org The agenda and presentation materials are available online at: http://www.co.mendocino.ca.us/bos/meetings/PublishedMeetings.htm. The public is encouraged to attend all Board of Supervisors meetings. The Board of Supervisors Chambers is located at 501 Low Gap Road, Ukiah, CA. For additional information, please contact the Mendocino County Executive Office at 707.463.4441.

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‘APPROVED SOURCE’ STAKEHOLDER MEETINGS TO BE HELD AROUND THE COUNTY. Food Safety Program Affects Local Produce Farmers and Commercial Buyers. The Mendocino County Agricultural Commissioner, the Director of Environmental Health, and the Food Policy Council invite local farmers, retail food buyers, and local food advocates to the second round of public meetings to give input into the design and development of an “Approved Source” program for Mendocino County. The California Retail Food Code requires retail food establishments to purchase food from an “Approved Source,” which is currently undefined for the sales of fresh, raw produce from local farmers to restaurants, schools, grocery stores, caterers, and other commercial buyers. The County Departments of Agriculture and Environmental Health, in partnership with the Mendocino County Food Policy Council, are working together with stakeholders to develop guidelines that facilitate sales of safe and healthy local food. The meetings will include an overview of recent on-farm food safety developments at the state and federal levels, provide answers to questions raised at the first meetings and give ample time to review and give input on the draft Best Management Practices that will later become the guidelines for Approved Source status. Farmers, chefs, produce managers, school food service directors and caterers are encouraged to attend. These public meetings will be held on Monday, June 3 from 3-4:30 at the Fort Bragg Library Community Room; Tuesday, June 4 from 3-4:30 at the Little Lake Grange in Willits; and Tuesday, June 11 from 3-4:30 at the Anderson Valley Fire Department’s Training Room. Contact Susan Lightfoot, Farm2Fork Coordinator, for more information at (707)467-3238 or slightfoot@ncoinc.org.

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DEAREST FRIENDS AND FAMILY, I have been invited to hang my art at the Gallery Opening for What’s Afoot Gallery in Caspar. I know how busy you are but if you could make it to the reception on Friday evening 5-9pm, May 24th it would sure mean a great deal to me. Attached is a digital image of the poster I designed for the event, I took 100 photos and picked this one. Sure hope you can attend. — Ralf Laguna, Fort Bragg

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THE AGE OF CORPORATE TREASON

Patriotic Yardsticks for Unpatriotic Giant Corporations

By Ralph Nader

Why are big, global US corporations so unpatriotic? After all, they were created in the USA, rose to immense profit because of the toil of American workers, are bailed out by American taxpayers whenever they’re in trouble, and are safeguarded abroad by the US military.

Yet these corporate goliaths work their tax lawyers overtime to escape US taxes. Many pay less than you do in federal income taxes. Imagine corporations, like General Electric, have not paid federal income taxes on US profits for years.

Mega corporations have abandoned US workers by entrenching “pull-down” trade agreements that make it easier than ever to ship jobs and whole industries to fascist and communist regimes abroad which keep their workers near serfdom. Remember, the US has run large trade deficits for the past 30 years as a result of anti-American trade deals pushed by these global companies. These goliaths are pressing for the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a trade agreement that will further pull down our economy. (See http://www.citizen.org/page.aspx?pid=1328.)

Corporate CEOs are raiding and draining traditional pension plans for millions of workers who are left without their expected and earned pension payments on retirement. (For more information see Ellen E. Schultz’s book Retirement Heist: How Companies Plunder and Profit from the Nest Eggs of American Workers.)

They are freezing the federal minimum wage, for low income service jobs that they cannot export, at $7.25 per hour, leaving thirty million workers today making less than workers made in 1968, inflation adjusted. Having wages that go backwards into the future means workers cannot afford the basic necessities of life for themselves and their children.

Giant companies hire legions of lobbyists to weaken or abolish consumer, worker and environmental safety and health laws, to stop our country from joining all other Western Nations with full Medicare for all. Corporate campaign cash increasingly flows to indentured politicians, who in turn do the bidding of the corporate paymasters at your expense.

We’ve yet to find a CEO of a US global corporation who will even go through the motions at their annual shareholders meeting standing up and, in the name of the company, pledging “allegiance to the United States…with liberty and justice for all.” When asked, as was General Motors, the CEO refused.

Charge companies with unpatriotic behavior and you’ll tap a nerve or two. The munitions companies, like Lockheed Martin and Boeing, put ads on television and radio asserting how their modern weapons back up our troops who are sent to expand the Empire. Of course, defense contractors never mention their huge profits, cost over-runs and their staffing the higher echelons of the Pentagon with their own appointees. Nor do these arms merchants ever raise a patriotic objection to the criminal wars of aggression conducted by Bush/Cheney against the defenseless people of Iraq, whose tottering dictator, formerly a US ally, was not a threat to America.

Other companies are trying softer promotions of their claimed care for America. Have you seen the lengthy ad campaign by Chevron that starts with some bold demand by a pictured ordinary person? One such ad begins “Oil companies SHOULD support the communities they’re a PART OF” (Chevron’s emphasis) and, invariably, Chevron answers “we agree,” and lists their charities here and abroad. Evaluating corporation philanthropy is for another time; suffice it to say that not one giant corporation exceeds one percent of their pre-tax profits, when the law allows them to give up to five percent, deductible.

Do you think that all of the above only comes from consumer/worker advocates? Then read a new, paperback book by Robert A.G. Monks, titled Citizens Disunited: the Corporate Capture of the American Dream.

Monks, a former corporate lawyer, corporate CEO, founder of companies, bank chairman, and investor-advocate extraordinaire, writes memorably about corporate excesses.

He quotes an Apple executive who told The New York Times: “We sell iPhones in over a hundred countries. We don’t have an obligation to solve America’s problems.” Monks responds: “This is what greed looks like in the global epoch of corporatism: plunder the Treasury, to be sure, but then deny all sense of responsibility to your country of domicile, outsource all obligations, and, like maggots, set to work destroying the host from inside by exporting its jobs and depleting its revenue sources.”

He then cites Clyde Prestowitz, founder of the Economic Strategy Institute, who wrote that, as a top US government trade negotiator, he went to great lengths to open up the Japanese market for Apple in the early nineteen eighties, adding: “We did all we could and in doing so came to learn that virtually everything Apple had for sale, from the memory chips to the cute pointer mouse, had had its origins in some program wholly or partially supported by US government money.”

Monks sums up: “Henry Ford’s great success was built in part on his decision to pay his workers a high enough wage so that they could afford the products they were producing. No more. The shrinking middle class, the widening gap between the rich and the poor – these are some of those American ‘problems’ that American-born-and-bred corporations like Apple really have no time for.” For more galvanized specifics, please read and absorb this book!

Other high, former corporate officials are speaking out. Former general counsel of USAir, Lawrence Stentzel, called on reluctant federal prosecutors to hold corporate wrongdoers’ feet to the fire and force them to admit to their wrongdoing. He also demanded that the Justice Department create a user friendly database of corporate wrong doing. (See corporatecrimereporter.com.)

Big US corporations have long demanded a legal system where they are defined as “people,” so as to get all of our constitutional rights while they expand their privileged powers and immunities. Well, why don’t we measure them by the many patriotic standards that we apply to ourselves, the real American people.

Getting these giant firms on the defensive is the first step for the resurgence of the people so that corporations become our servants and do not remain our masters.

(Ralph Nader is a consumer advocate, lawyer and author of Only the Super-Rich Can Save Us! He is a contributor to Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion, published by AK Press. Hopeless is also available in a Kindle edition.)

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