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Mendocino County Today: Tuesday, August 12, 2014

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AS OF AUGUST 11 at 7pm the Lodge Wilderness Fire had expanded dramatically to about 10,000 acres with 40% containment, another improvement over prior reports considering how big the fire has become since lightning started it back on July 30. There have been no new injuries reported beyond the previously reported 11. 58 structures are still threatened. The firefighting effort is now at 186 engines, 28 bulldozers, 14 helicopters, 22 water tenders, and 2397 personnel. On Monday evening “The fire continues to burn in heavy timber. Firefighters are challenged by steep, rugged terrain with difficult access. The National Weather Service has issued a “Hazardous Weather Outlook” over the area for possible thunderstorms overnight. The current weather pattern is projected to increase fire activity this evening. Crews continue to construct and improve fire lines throughout the north and east portions of the fire.The Evacuation Order for Camp Seabow, Bowman Ranch, Hunt Ranch, Tan Oak Park, Elk Ridge and Mad Creek was downgraded to an “Evacuation Warning." But the Evacuation Order is still in effect for areas south of Highway 101, west of Cummings Road to Leggett. These areas include: The Hermitage, Big Bend and Camp St. Michael. We will continue to evaluate the need for the evacuation order as the incident progresses. An evacuation shelter has been set up by the American Red Cross at the Leggett School, 1 School Way. Please visit for information on how to prepare for an evacuation.”

CalFire will host another pair of Lodge Complex community meetings Tuesday August 12, one at noon at the Leggett School evacuation shelter, and the other at 2pm at Harwood Hall, 44400 Willis Ave., Laytonville. CalFire’s Incident Management Team #4 in conjunction with the cooperating agencies on the Lodge Complex of fires will host the meetings Representatives from the agencies managing the incident will provide an operational briefing and be available for questions. Please arrive early as the meetings will start promptly If you have questions about the meetings or the fire, call the Fire Information Line at (626) 622-7927.

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BRUCE McEWEN NOTES: “Kim Bloyd, at the deli and meat counter at the Anderson Valley Market, tells me the deep fryer is going into retirement this week -- no more deep-fried burritos, chicken and other cholesterol-saturated foods; the plague of health-consciousness, introduced to the Valley back in the early 70s hath infected the entire selection of local food venues and, finally, overwhelmed that last bastion of joyously self-inflicted suicide by arterial blockage, the deep fry. The venerable old fryer will be replaced by a rotisserie and one of those things that looks like a waffle iron, or George Foreman Grill, for making hot sandwiches without using a quarter pound of butter. It will be interesting to see whether the famed biscuits and gravy at the Senior Center during Labor Day weekend will be substituted with some kind of tofu and soy milk concoction. I tell ya, Boss, there's two kinds of right-to-lifers: the conservatives who bomb abortion clinics; and the liberals who deny us old codgers our right to a gastronomic suicide.”

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MUCH GRUMBLING as the dog days of summer deepen, another whole division of it arising from… Well, for openers, football, American and soccer, each sport with its local partisans. The soccer field at the high school is kept green year-round but the surface is full of holes. Adjacent to the soccer field is the football-football field. It is not green and also a kind of gopher's paradise. (Right here it occurs to me that the Booster Club might invest in a visit from Gopher Guy, the ace rodent trapper fresh off another star turn at the Simple Living Fair right here in Boonville. I don't think he's all that expensive and he could at least fight them off for a season or two.)

FROM WHAT WE can gather, the reason for the watering of the soccer field is two-fold: First, the high school's soccer team will be playing its 12 home games on that field beginning in just two weeks. School admin decided that given the drought and the finite amount of water available to the high school it is prudent to only water the soccer field so that the forthcoming season can be played on it. Football-football plays its games at the Boonville Fairgrounds, which is kept green year-round.

THE VALLEY'S Sports Booster Club raises money for school sports. The boosters spend more money on football-football as it’s the more expensive of the two sports. But the Boosters get money from the Valley's three adult soccer teams for the use of the high school's Tom Smith Field on Sundays throughout the summer. This money is very useful to the under-funded sports programs and, in return for their payment, the three adult teams expect their matches to have a reasonably playable surface.

EVER SINCE SOCCER took hold in the Anderson Valley (and everywhere else in the United States), there have been tensions between the two sports, primarily because they are both played in the fall and, in a small school like ours, there is competition for athletes. Steve Sparks, soccer coach, and Dan Kuny, football-football coach, seem to work well together. When a football-football player suddenly decides he'd rather play soccer or vicey versy, the coaches confer and work it out. Sometimes. It's up to the kid, of course, but two-way poaching has been known to occur.

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BALO WINERY is developing the twenty acres at the Philo end of Anderson Valley Way, but its Class K permit won't allow commerce at the site. The permit says Balo is building a 5,280 sf AG barn with a pond grading exemption listed at 200' X 200' to hold 5.6 acre feet of water, although the math works out to about 7 acre feet. Ponds in Mendocino under 50 acre feet are exempted from permitting. The Balo guy said last week they were not going to put in a pond. (O well.) The Class K permit allows for a "no inspections except the final." The permit holder is Timothy Mullins Box 313 Philo, 704-383-4596. The Building Department guy who answered the phone said he thought 10600 AV Way, Parcel No. 046-120-23 was being developed as "a horse ranch of some kind."

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The Mendocino County Board of Supervisors is deciding tomorrow, Tuesday 12 Aug, at 11:00 a.m., whether or not to liquidate our prime old growth trees, in a hidden grove near the southwest corner of the gigantic Little River Airport.

I say "our," because we the citizens and taxpayers of this county own the Little River Airport and the plot of land where those trees stand.

The County stands to clear about $75k, when this short-sighted deal is said and done. A deal to cut down several acres of 300 year-old trees, ruining an area that should be a park. A place that would be a revenue producing tourist magnet, and already is a wildlife area, and a place of spiritual rejuvenation.

Please urge your Supervisor - to not allow this to happen - sacrificing one of the few remaining gems of old growth in Mendocino County for a few measely bucks.

Tell them to vote no action on the proposed "Sale of Timber to be Harvested" on the county's Little River Airport grove.

Sign this petition:

Better yet, SHOW UP at tomorrow's Board of Supervisors meeting, 11:00 a.m. 501 Low Gap Road, Ukiah, CA

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NOT TO BE too moralistic about it, but you'd think with apocalyptic events underway in many places in the world, including this place, Obama would at least pretend to be fully engaged and on-task. Golf course photo ops should be contra-indicated. And his casual admission that “…We tortured some folks,” well, that sounds as if the CIA had simply snatched a couple of random shoppers out of the Ukiah Safeway and accidentally waterboarded them, not that murder and torture could possibly be policy.

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The well was dry beside the door,

And so we went with pail and can

Across the fields behind the house

To seek the brook if still it ran;

Not loth to have excuse to go,

Because the autumn eve was fair

(Though chill), because the fields were ours,

And by the brook our woods were there.

We ran as if to meet the moon

That slowly dawned behind the trees,

The barren boughs without the leaves,

Without the birds, without the breeze.

But once within the wood, we paused

Like gnomes that hid us from the moon,

Ready to run to hiding new

With laughter when she found us soon.

Each laid on other a staying hand

To listen ere we dared to look,

And in the hush we joined to make

We heard, we knew we heard the brook.

A note as from a single place,

A slender tinkling fall that made

Now drops that floated on the pool

Like pearls, and now a silver blade.

— Robert Frost

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WHAT WE’RE WITNESSING in the Middle East — apparently unbeknownst to the newspapers and the cable news orgs — is what happens in extreme population overshoot: chaos, murder, economic collapse. The human population in this desolate corner of the world has expanded on the artificial nutriment of oil profits, which have allowed governments to keep feeding their people, and maintaining an artificial middle class to work in meaningless bureaucratic offices where, at best, they do nothing and, at worst, hassle their fellow citizens for bribes and payoffs. There is not a nation on earth that is preparing intelligently for the end of oil — and by that I mean 1) the end of cheap, affordable oil, and 2) the permanent destabilization of existing oil supply lines. Both of these conditions should be visible now in the evolving geopolitical dynamic, but nobody is paying attention, for instance, in the hubbub over Ukraine. That feckless, unfortunate, and tragic would-be nation, prompted by EU and US puppeteers, just replied to the latest trade sanction salvo from Russia by declaring it would block the delivery of Russian gas to Europe through pipelines on its territory. I hope everybody west of Dnepropetrovsk is getting ready to burn the furniture come November. But that just shows how completely irrational the situation has become…

James Kunstler

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Multiple Choice Quiz: One Question.

Which is the most probable denouement of this little drama?

• Jeff Bozos repents of tactics that harm writers. He apologizes and promises a more enlightened, more writer-friendly strategy in the future.

• A critical mass of readers becomes aware of the hideous practices of Amazon, Google, and large publishers, and start a promising new movement which allows direct marketing from writer to reader.

• Nothing happens. Bozos makes another billion or so dollars this year, several thousand writers get jobs driving cabs at night, and several thousand more starve.

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Doing Itself In

by Ralph Nader

Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), the minority leader of the Democrats in the House of Representatives, just had her political consultants send out a mass mailing to women asking for money and responses to an enclosed survey of their opinions.

The mass mailing duly recites the truly horrible House Republican votes against a variety of women’s health, safety and family protections and seeks to survey women’s priorities for the Congressional Democrats’ legislative agenda. Under the category titled “Employment,” there is no mention of restoring the minimum wage to $10.10 per hour, which Rep. Pelosi supports. The closest option to check was “inadequate/or no salary increase.”

The Pelosi mailing, uninspiring and defensive, is another product of the Party’s political consultants who have failed them again and again in winnable House and Senate races against the worst Republican Party record in history. These consultants, as former Clinton special assistant, Bill Curry, notes, make more money from their corporate clients than from political retainers. Slick, arrogant and ever reassuring, these firms are riddled with conflicts of interests and could just as well be “Trojan horses.”

The full restoration of the federal minimum wage to make up for the ravages of inflation since 1968 would take it from the present, stagnant $7.25 per hour and beyond the proposed $10.10 to $10.90 per hour. Over thirty million American workers – two thirds of them women and two thirds of them employed by large low-wage companies like Walmart and McDonald’s – would benefit from this wage restoration, and in turn would be able to strengthen the economy by increasing their consumer expenditures. There are a lot of votes out there if the Democrats go beyond lip service and push for a major media and grassroots campaign against the Congressional Republicans who are blocking a vote on this minimum wage bill.

Three of four Americans favor a restored minimum wage. Some cities and states have already taken their state minimum wage toward $9.00 per hour. They’re feeling pressure from distressed workers, from growing street demonstrations and from holding their fingers to the political winds. This is an issue whose time has come. A few months ago, even Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum and other out of office Republicans who are not raising money from their corporate paymasters, declared their support for increasing the minimum wage.

Bill Curry flatly says that the Democrats can retain control of the Senate and take back the House by making raising the federal minimum wage a top 2014 campaign issue. The many human interest stories about the plight of underpaid workers are compelling and would motivate more voters to turn out.

After being too inactive in 2010 and 2012, the labor movement has touted a restored minimum wage, lobbied at some state legislatures for a raise, and organized demonstrations of workers, backed by SEIU, in front of fast food and other big box chains. AFL-CIO chief, Richard Trumka, has been at demonstrations and has put out materials demanding that Congress act on H.R.1010 to take the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour.

However, organized labor can do more with multi-million dollar organizing drives and ad buys (as they did in 1996). More demonstrations in more Congressional districts and more pressure on nervous Republican incumbents to sign the pending Discharge Petition to force Republican House Speaker, John Boehner, to let the House members vote on the bill could make a difference on this important fight.

Boehner is on the wrong side of this politically popular issue, but up to now he hasn’t thought the Democrats can turn this into enough votes to discharge his speakership after November. At the very least, the AFL-CIO unions should prepare a big mass media buy soon, since there are less than 100 days to the elections.

The key discharge petition in the House, to bring the modest $10.10 over three years to a vote, is assumed to have all 199 Democrats signed on. Only 19 Republicans need to sign it to get to the decisive 218 tally. Six Republican incumbents pushed for the last minimum wage raise in 2006 saying that “nobody working full time should have to live in poverty.” These six went on to vote for the raise in 2007.

The trouble is that since the discharge petition was filed by Rep. Tim Bishop (D-NY) in February, there has been little publicity for it by either the Democratic House Leadership or the White House (see

And what of President Obama who is reportedly desperate to win back the House? On April 30th, he held an event with some minimum wage workers and criticized Republicans. On June 12th, he announced the details of the executive order to raise wages for federal contract workers. But he is not barnstorming on this BIG proposal that resonates with so many people in their hard-pressed daily life. He does, however, barnstorm around the country to attend exclusive high contributors’ fundraisers. How can he not understand that, with his “bully pulpit” and hard-working Americans by his side around the country, he could raise real political heat under the Republicans whose refusal to bend on this issue could result in their breaking? The mass media, after all, covers the news-making President everywhere.

I’ve often said that the Democratic Party cannot even defend the country against the demonstrably cruel, anti-worker, anti-consumer, pro-big business/Wall Street over Main Street Republican Party. The voting evidence in Congress is fully accessible. The Democrats compiled, but did not adequately deploy a report on some sixty outrageous Republican Party House votes during the last Congress that, if really driven home to voters, would have resulted in a landslide Democratic win against the GOP. Instead, the Democrats allowed the GOP to cover its truly vicious tracks with flowery rhetoric that kept their day of reckoning from seeing sunlight (see for yourself).

My message to Democrats is: Dump your corporate consultants. Just campaign for the necessities of the people. And publicize those Republican votes crisply, widely and repeatedly.

Ralph Nader’s latest book is: Unstoppable: the Emerging Left-Right Alliance to Dismantle the Corporate State.

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CATCH OF THE DAY, August 11, 2014

Aguilera, Friedrichsen, Feldman, Dawson, Garcia, Gibson, Humphrey
Aguilera, Friedrichsen, Feldman, Dawson, Garcia, Gibson, Humphrey

FELICITAS AGUILERA, Oxnard. Drunk in public.


GARY FELDMAN, Santa Rosa. Driving on suspended license, probation revocation.

BRANDON DAWSON, Ria Alto, CA. Detained on a “miscellaneous” misdemeanor warrant.

BRANDON GARCIA, Watsonville. Detained on a “miscellaneous” misdemeanor warrant.

LEON GIBSON, Fort Bragg. Drunk in public. (Frequent Flyer.)

TRAVIS HUMPHREY, Talmage. Petty theft with prior theft conviction (felony), probation revoked. (Frequent Flyer.)

Johnson, Moddrelle, Palazuelos, Reynoso, Steele, Tafoya
Johnson, Moddrelle, Palazuelos, Reynoso, Steele, Tafoya

GRANT JOHNSON, Santa Rosa. Failure to appear (2x).

STACEY MODDRELLE, Willits. Drunk in public. (Frequent Flyer.)

MILYNDA PALAZUELOS, Oxnard. Drunk in public.

NOE REYNOSO, Ukiah. DUI, driving with a suspended or revoked licensed, driving unlicensed, probation revoked.

EDWARD STEELE, Ukiah. Possession of methamphetamine, possession for sale of methamphetamine, outstanding felony warrant.

JORGE TAFOYA, Ukiah. Under the influence of a controlled substance, violation of a court order, failure to pay.

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Apparent suicide

Ryan Parker & Steven Zeitchik

Robin Williams, comic and sitcom star in the 1970s who became an Oscar-winning dramatic actor, died Monday at 63 in Marin County. The Marin County Sheriff's Office said he appears to have committed suicide.

Williams, hailed as a comic genius, was a star of movies and television for more than three decades. He also suffered from substance abuse problems.

The actor "has been battling severe depression of late," his publicist Mara Buxbaum said. "This is a tragic and sudden loss. The family respectfully asks for their privacy as they grieve during this very difficult time."

Williams was found unresponsive at his home in Tiburon around noon Monday, sheriff’s officials said. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Dubbed “the funniest man alive” by Entertainment Weekly in 1997, Williams brought audiences hours of laughter, putting his imaginative spin on characters in film and television. He was lauded for his serious roles as well, winning a best supporting actor Oscar for his performance as Sean Maguire, the therapist who counsels Matt Damon’s math genius in “Good Will Hunting” (1997). He also received nominations for “The Fisher King” (1991), “Dead Poets Society” (1989) and “Good Morning, Vietnam” (1987).

Williams was known for being open about his problems with cocaine and alcohol over the years.

The actor spent time on a Hazelden campus in Oregon in 2006. He later explained that drinking had gradually become a problem again after 20 years of sobriety.

"You're standing at a precipice and you look down, there's a voice and it's a little quiet voice that goes, 'Jump,'" the "Mrs. Doubtfire" star told ABC News in October of that year. "The same voice that goes, 'Just one.' … And the idea of just one for someone who has no tolerance for it, that's not the possibility."

This summer, he returned to rehab to "fine-tune" his sobriety.

Born in Chicago in 1951, Williams was accepted into John Houseman’s prestigious acting program at Juilliard along with Christopher Reeve, who became a lifelong friend.

Williams came to Hollywood prominence in the late 1970s with his starring role in “Mork & Mindy,” a spin-off of the then-popular “Happy Days.” Williams played an alien baffled by the ways of Earth, the comedy often resulting from the contrast between how he viewed the world and how the world really worked.

After the show went off the air in 1982, Williams’ reputation for rapid-fire impersonations — not to mention a seemingly bottomless talent for comic improvisation — landed him a number of high-profile stand-up specials as well as numerous film roles. In “Good Morning Vietnam” he played a deejay who ruffled feathers with his truth-spewing, quip-cracking ways.

Although now common, the tear-up-the-script style of improvisation practiced by Williams was unusual in major Hollywood productions, and the actor seemed able to rewrite the rules by sheer force of personality — or, as was frequently the cases where Williams was concerned, personalities. That talent also landed him a gig co-hosting the Oscars in 1986, a turn that further cemented his A-list status.

Williams’ protean comedic skills reached perhaps their apex in “Mrs. Doubtfire” (1993), a cross-dressing comedy in which he played both a crusty older nanny and the divorced father who takes on the character to be closer to his children.

A melancholy current ran under Williams’ dramatic roles. He played an unconventional teacher in “Dead Poets Society," a doctor who tended to the mentally troubled in “Awakenings" (1990), a disturbed vagabond in “The Fisher King” and a widowed psychologist in “Good Will Hunting." That last role — in which he famously counseled a hotshot Damon while grappling with his own demons — landed him his first Oscar win.

Further demonstrating his persona-stretching skills, Williams also had well-regarded parts playing presidents — as Dwight Eisenhower in last summer’s hit “Lee Daniels’ The Butler” and as Teddy Roosevelt in the comic franchise “Night At the Museum,” the latter of which he will reprise for the final time when the Ben Stiller film hits theaters this holiday season.

He returned to the small screen after more than 32 years to star in the CBS comedy "The Crazy Ones," which ran for a single season before its cancellation.

At one point during his career, Williams had to fight to be seen by the public as something more than just a funny guy.

"It's hard because people want to know you're a certain thing," he told The Times in 1991. "They still say, 'That's the little manic guy. He's the little adrenaline guy. Oh, yeah, he touches himself. He doesn't do that anymore. But wait a minute. He's the little manic guy who played the really quiet guy and then the really scary guy. Oh, no, wait…' "

Williams' talent for ad-libbing functioned as a gift and a shield.

"He was always in character — you never saw the real Robin," said Jamie Masada, founder and chief executive of the Laugh Factory. "I knew him 35 years, and I never knew him."

"He was a wonderful guy," Masada added. "I remember John [Belushi] and Robin, both of them always complained to me — no matter where they were people would recognize them. They sold their privacy to the public. They could be in the middle of talking in the street and someone would come up for an autograph… he [Robin] didn't realize how much he sold his privacy to people."

Williams' last post on Twitter was about his daughter.

The Marin County Sheriff’s Office is scheduled to hold a news conference on the death investigation at 11am Tuesday.

(Courtesy, the Los Angeles Times)

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by Dan Bacher

In an email sent to his campaign supporters on August 5, Governor Jerry Brown called for a “no frills, no pork” $6 million bond that would be “tunnels neutral.”

Opponents of the Bay Delta Conservation Plan’s proposed $67 billlion tunnels quickly challenged the claim that the bond is "tunnels neutral” – and called for Brown to release the language of his water bond.

Brown explained the reasons for his pared down bond in his email, one of only three his campaign staff have sent out to supporters during his reelection campaign:

“Five years ago, state legislators and the Governor put a pork-laden water bond on the ballot — with a price tag beyond what’s reasonable or affordable. The cost to taxpayers would be enormous — $750 million a year for 30 years — and would come at the expense of funding for schools, health care and public safety. This is on top of the nearly $8 billion a year the state already spends on bond debt service.”

Since being elected governor, I’ve worked with the Legislature to reduce the state’s fiscal liabilities. Together, we’ve made steady progress paying down debt and enacting responsible, balanced budgets and it is no time to turn back now. Therefore, I’m proposing a no-frills, no-pork water bond that invests in the most critical projects without breaking the bank.

“My $6 billion plan provides for water use efficiency and recycling, effective groundwater management and added storage. It invests in safe drinking water, particularly in disadvantaged communities and for watershed restoration and increased flows in some of our most important rivers and streams.”

In June, the Brown administration circulated an outline for his bond, the "Water Action Plan Financing Act of 2014,” among Legislators, water districts and stakeholders. The measure includes $2 billion for storage, $1.5 billion for watershed protection, watershed ecosystem restoration and state settlements, $1.5 billion for water quality and water supply reliability, $500 million for the Delta and $500 million for statewide flood management.

Brown's proposed bond would be "BDCP (Bay Delta Conservation Plan) neutral," the outline stated.

Restore the Delta (RTD) questioned Governor Brown’s assertion that his new water bond is “tunnels neutral,” and called upon him to release his specific proposed language.

“Governor Brown is using the bully pulpit of his office to insist that his bond proposal is tunnel neutral,” said RTD Executive Director Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla, "However, with $700 million marked for statewide water related habitat, flows, and water quality in watersheds, Restore the Delta questions if these funds will be used to create the water fund account needed to make the Delta tunnels project operational.”

“We are calling on Governor Brown to release the specific proposed language of the bond to prove that it is truly Delta tunnels neutral. According to documents from a Freedom of Information Act Request filled by the Kern County Water Agency, BDCP water exporters are expecting the State to fund a water flows account for over $1 billion so that they can receive full export levels from the project,” said Barrigan-Parrilla.

“This documented assurance reveals that the water exporters thirst will not be quenched by a tunnel project that simply promotes reliability, but rather by one that produces more and more from Northern California groundwater supplies, rivers, and the SF Bay-Delta estuary," she stated.

Assembly Member Mariko Yamada (D-Davis) summed up the feelings of many tunnel opponents when she said at a big rally against the BDCP at the State Capitol on July 29, “We don’t want to support a water bond that is tunnels neutral. We want a bond that is tunnels negative.”

Here is the link to documents showing that the water exporters are counting on money from a state water bond to help finance the project and mitigate its damage to fisheries, river flows and the Delta:

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POEM BY HAFIZ (for the Boontling Greeley sheet)

Why all this talk of the Beloved,

Music and dancing,

And Liquid ruby-

light that we can lift in a cup?

Because it is low tide,

A very low tide in this age

And around most hearts.

We are exquisite coral reefs,

Dying when exposed to strange

God is the wine-ocean we crave-

We miss

Flowing in and out of our


--Khwaja Shams-ud-Din Muhammad Hafez-e Shirazi

(Submitted by Craig Stehr)

One Comment

  1. Harvey Reading August 12, 2014

    So long, Robin Williams. I gotta say, I liked your stuff prior to Mork and Mindy the best.

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