- Ban Adjustments
- CPUC Peevey
- Hands-on Reporter
- Click Bait
- Legless Pigs
- Theodore Galletti
- Stoner Nation
- Fun with Animals
- Industrial Might
- The Trigger
- Washington Square Park
- Catch of the Day
- Police Reports
- Humans v Corporations
MONDAY MORNING, with a First Amendment attorney threatening to sue, the Fort Bragg school administration reversed its ban on T-shirts reading “I Can’t Breathe,” telling media that the Mendocino girls could wear the shirts during warm-ups “so long as they do not cause problems.”
And everyone went back to sleep.
FROM MATIER AND ROSS:
Even with the cloud of San Bruno and way-too-cozy PG&E e-mails hanging over it, the California Public Utilities Commission made sure Michael Peevey’s final meeting as president had a happy ending — in fact, the agency pretty much staged it. In a memo leading up to Thursday’s meeting, media director Terrie Prosper instructed staffers to reserve 30 seats at the front of the agency’s hall on Van Ness Avenue for those coming to praise Peevey’s 12 years at the helm. She should have ordered butter knives, for laying it on thick. For more than an hour, speakers talked about Peevey’s commitment to diversity and green power. And talked, and talked — the usual time limit on public comments was waived. One person even likened Peevey to the pope. “It was unbelievable,” said Mindy Spatt, spokeswoman for The Utility Reform Network consumer group. “There was no mention of anything about San Bruno.” There was, however, a slide show set to the Louis Armstrong song “What a Wonderful World.” Peevey exited after putting up his hands and telling the room, “I surrender — don’t shoot.” All was captured by a film crew brought in by Peevey’s daughter to commemorate the meeting as a Christmas gift to her father. “The video footage can be made available to the CPUC for its website and files,” said commission spokesman Christopher Chow. Our favorite part of Prosper’s memo was where she told staffers to keep news cameras in the back of the room but added, “President Peevey will have a camera crew on site and they ARE allowed to move freely.” Chow said it was customary, for safety and technical reasons, for news crews to set up in back.
NOT OFTEN do we find reporters scheduled for arraignment in Mendocino County's courts, and I should probably admit I was the last one to be so honored. Yes, I was often on the court calendar when I was young and, and, and....frisky. Yes, frisky. That's the word we want. Anyway, I now have some company: Kathryne Arvola, formerly with the Fort Bragg Advocate. Ms. Arvola is due to be arraigned Tuesday in Ten Mile Court on charges she got a little too hands on during a neighborhood dispute.
ON-LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY
Obama was handed the keys to the kingdom and he squandered his eight years, like a feckless pol. How ironic that under his less-than-watchful eye the state of race relations has deteriorated, not improved. Perhaps, like so many Blacks, he should have been pulled over after a few years, not for “driving-while-black” for “driving while clueless.”
I sense that we are facing a time when the dissolution of the mainstream media, particularly newspapers, has left people unable to find even a smattering of actual, solid reportage. We all jab at the NYTimes frequently, but it is the Times and the WaPo, which once, at the very least, deigned to put it to “the man.” Now they run click-bait stories and columns.
On the local level, we’ve lost dozens of great newspapers and with them, the institutional knowledge of their reporters. Even the ones which are left are hollowed out, with stories being written by interns and none of them daring to step on the toes of their precious advertisers, who are slipping away quickly.
The promise of the Internet, at least when it comes to news, has not lived up to the hype. When everyone is a journalist, no one is.
WHAT'S WRONG WITH THIS PARAGRAPH?
“But the conversation can’t happen until police departments understand that some criticism of them is legitimate; that not everyone who levels criticisms is a cop-hater; and that in a democratic society, no institution is above criticism and accountability. We don’t criticize the armed services much in America these days — this isn’t the early 1970s, with anti-Vietnam protesters cruelly calling legless veterans pigs and so on — but by God, when something goes haywire (Abu Ghraib), at least there are some prosecutions and forced retirements. The CIA spends years getting away with the stuff it gets away with, but eventually, something happens like this month’s Senate report, and with any luck a couple of heads will roll.” (Michael Tomasky)
LOTS CONCEPTUALLY, but specifically this sentence: “We don't criticize the armed services much in America these days — this isn't the early 1970s, with anti-Vietnam (sic) protesters cruelly calling legless veterans pigs and so on…”
NEVER HAPPENED. Straight up lie of the straight-up lie prevalent among the right wing in the Vietnam era: “I came home from fighting the war in Vietnam and the hippies spit on me and called me a baby killer.” That never happened either, but Congressman Thompson once put it out there and it still circulates, but Tomasky, a “liberal” of the type now dominant at The Nation where he's a contributor, has taken the pernicious big lie of the 60s and updated it.
THEODORE ‘TED’ GALLETTI
Born in 1919, Ted was one of eight sons, and the last surviving son of Charles Galletti who came from Italy in 1893 and Carrie Stornetta-Galletti.
In 1947 he married his wife, Anita. The couple lived on the Galletti Ranch in Elk where Anita was a stay-at-home mom, raising the couple's two children, Terry and Barbara.
Galletti served as Mendocino County Fifth District Supervisor for two terms between 1971 and 1979, serving with Al Barbero, Ernie Banker, Jim Eddi and John Cimolino.
His time on the Board of Supervisors saw a quickly changing legal landscape related to conservation of natural resources. During his terms, the County dealt with the impacts of California's Proposition 20 curtailing coastal development and creating the California Coastal Commission in 1972; California's passage of the Z'Berg Nejedly Forest Practices Act of 1974 which required, among other things, the preparation of timber harvest plans; passage at the federal level of the Endangered Species Act in 1973 and the Fishery Conservation and Management Act of 1976.
Ted was preceded in death by his wife Anita in July 2013. Services will be held at a later date.
NATIONALLY, about 7.4% of people 12 and older reported monthly marijuana use. Colorado emerged as the state with the second-highest percentage of regular marijuana users as it began legalizing the drug, according to a new national study. The Denver Post reports the study by the National Survey on Drug Use and Health found about 1 out of 8 Colorado residents older than 12 had used marijuana in the past month.
It found that, for the 2011-2012 period, 10.4% of Colorado residents 12 and older said they had used pot in the month before being surveyed.
The survey is among the first to quantify pot use in Colorado since late 2012, when voters approved legal pot use and possession for those over 21. But the survey did not analyze data from 2014, when recreational marijuana shops opened, which means it is not a good indication of the effect of commercial sales on marijuana use.
The number of medical marijuana patients in Colorado rose over the same time period, so the results are not surprising, Kleiman said.
(Inez McMullan, Courtesy, briefly.today)
American industrial production tipped the balance in favor of the Allies. Roosevelt's 1942 production goals appeared puny once the economy converted to war. The figures are staggering. Between 1941 and 1945 the United States produced 300,000 military aircraft. In the peak year of 1944 American factories built 96,318 planes - more than the yearly total of Germany, Japan, Great Britain, and the Soviet Union combined. Henry Ford's enormous Willow Run plant produced a B-24 every sixty-three minutes. By war's end the United States had manufactured 2.4 million trucks, 635,000 jeeps, 88,400 tanks, 5,800 ships, and 40 billion rounds of ammunition.
Quantity was the all-important goal of the war effort. American industry thrived on high-volume output performed on an assembly-line basis. No other industrialized nation had mastered the art of mass production so efficiently. In a sense the United States made a virtue of necessity. With a workforce composed disproportionately of unskilled labor, assembly-line techniques fit American industry like a glove. And they matched the needs of the war perfectly. The Germans and Japanese, by contrast, with their highly trained labor pools (at least in the early stages of the war), chose qualitative superiority over mass production and depended on precision-made, flawlessly performing, high-standard weapons for their margin of victory. But as the war dragged on they simply could not produce enough of them. "We never did develop a top tank during the war," said General Lucius D. Clay. "We did all right because we made so many of them. That offset some of their weaknesses. But we never had a tank that equaled the German tank."
— Jean Edward Smith, FDR
by James Kunstler
The futility of politics in America these days has driven the public into exactly the dream-state of zombie blood-lust depicted in so many popular video fantasies, a nightmare of decay, powerlessness, and degeneracy matching the actual condition of a disintegrating polity that has lost collective consciousness and seeks only to infect the dwindling numbers of the still-sentient. Almost nobody in this country believes we can manage our affairs anymore.
Well, can we? One of the hallmarks of an imploding culture is that people lose a sense of consequence. Things just seem to happen and unhappen, and nobody really cares about chains of decision and event. Anything goes and nothing matters.
One reason this is happening to us is that we allowed reality to be divorced from truth. Karl Rove wasn’t kidding back in the Bush-2 days when he quipped that “we create our own reality.” The part old Karl left out is that there’s a price for doing that. In the short run, it allows you to pretend that you have superpowers and can act in defiance of the way things really are. In the longer run, your view of the world comports so poorly with the facts of the world that things stop working.
The tragedy of Barack Obama is that he continued the basic Karl Rove doctrine only without bragging about it. I don’t know whether Mr. Obama was a hostage, an empty suit, or a fool, but he broadened and deepened the acquiescence to lying about just about everything. Did criminal misconduct run rampant in banking for years? Oh, nevermind. Is the US economy actually contracting instead of recovering? We’ll just make up better numbers. Did US officials act like Nazi war criminals in torturing prisoners? Well, yeah, but so what? Did the State Department and the CIA scuttle the elected Ukrainian government in order to start an unnecessary new conflict with Russia? Maybe so, but who cares? Was the Affordable Care Act a swindle in the service of insurance and pharmaceutical racketeering? Oh, we’ll read the bill after we pass it. Shale oil will make us “energy independent.” (Not.)
Has anyone noticed the way these incongruities percolate into the public attention and then get dismissed, like daydreams, with no resolution. I’ve harped on this one before because it was, to my mind, Obama’s greatest failure: When the Supreme Court decided in the Citizens United case that corporations were entitled to express their political convictions by buying off politicians, why didn’t the President join with his then-Democratic majority congress to propose legislation, or a constitutional amendment, more clearly redefining the difference between corporate “personhood” and the condition of citizenship? How could this constitutional lawyer miss the reality that corporations legally and explicitly do not have obligations, duties, and responsibilities to the public interest but only to their shareholders? How was this not obvious? And why was there not a rush to correct it?
Of course, this only begs the question: where are the opponents to the ethos that anything goes and nothing matters? Where are the political figures who can sustain a complaint long enough, and loudly enough, to keep it in the public consciousness clearly enough to make a difference? The more conspiracy-minded might say that the security apparatus (the NSA and its servelings) or Wall Street actually run the country and somehow suppress opposition. I don’t believe that. I do believe that cultures go through tragic periods when they lose their bearings and the will to be truthful to themselves.
The latest news is that Mr. Jeb Bush is way ahead among his Republican rivals for the presidential nomination, leading to a beautiful setup for the battle of the dynasties: Bush versus Clinton in 2016. I believe that insulting prospect would be the wake-up call that will hit the American people upside the head and wake them out of their zombie rapture. A third party will arise. It may be a good one or a bad one, but it will blow the existing order of things apart, as it should.
The new World Made By Hand novel !! Is now available !!
EASY IN WASHINGTON SQUARE PARK
by Penny Skillman
(Referencing Richard Brautigan’s novel, Trout Fishing in America)
It’s commonly believed that more than 20,000 people are buried under Washington Square Park, used as a cemetery and home to freed slaves in the 17th and 18th centuries.
“They always take three.” — North Beach poet George Tsongas, on napkin behavior in the Caffe Trieste in North Beach
* * *
I’m passing time, waiting for that foolish Trout Fishing in America Shorty, on a green bench in Washington Square Park, a Puccini’s steaming café latte in a brown bag close by.
Four pigeons under my bench flowing on the shadow river-bed of the past,
streaming with us
Out on the grass inside the cement parameter is a flood of art booths, sunbathers, and strollers.
In front of me a puppy squats to shit on the grass — pulling up
the pup is given a big hug by its owner,
something learned today
People basking on the emerald grass, some lying on towels read, eat, or rise up to throw footballs, Frisbees, and super balls while the art lovers stroll in time, these waders in the circle
free like pirates, daring in the sea
Sitting on this bench along the cement path, the sun pours down in L.A. profusion and bottles of water are uncapped everywhere. “Water,” said Native American Yellow Wolf, “ is a medicine” to the collaborator on his autobiography, a wise man
telling his story his way
Wheelchair-bound Trout Fishing in America Shorty, now, he’d look over there across Washington Square up at the Church top and say, “If those spires on that Sts. Pete and Paul was waterfalls, and that big gold cross up there was real gold, I’d think Christianity was wonderful, man — „Spite the climb.”
Shorty’s basking his leather
Out there across the lawn six twenty-feet tall spear-shaped trees fawn over Columbus Avenue, making up a little grove inside of which a statue of Ben Franklin steps. A young Chinese couple nearby, he shirtless, she with shoulders bared, picnic, while pigeons swoop over at fifteen minute intervals like squadrons of Blue Angels. The woman is sawing at an arugula and hibiscus salad — from the Marina, she says — from a private garden? Safeway? the Buena Vista? I don’t ask, we
ask too much, dare too little
On this side of Washington Square, on the Union Street sidewalk, there’s a horseshoe-shaped toilet kiosk — on top pigeons wait for the Coit bus with the rest of the birds — “Fare’s too steep, let’s fly” the bellwether bird cries, and they do, flapping their way down Union. Across the street a flag on the roof of the Park View Hotel peers down over shuttered windows, on the ground floor a big sign in the window, NAILS, in red neon, sitting inside its blue neon rectangle; a striped barber pole, like the old ones that used to abound here, guards the door,
candy cane security
In the afternoon breezes dark purple-flowered bushes behind me begin blowing their petal kisses all over the place. When Trout Fishing In America Shorty finally does get here — a Resurrection of the Faithful — there’ll be Hell to pay, and more Hell. I can just hear him: “Get the hell out of my Park, gimme my legs back, you bastards!” he’d shout. He’ll lock that wheelchair, then swig from his pint of brandy with an eff-you off-my-ass salute, alienating everybody around like he always does, those twenty-thousand buried ghosts below the ground backing him up
on the path
A new gang of pigeons flaps their wings to stay in place above the toilet — no paying customers enter, no wheelchair access — all the able-bodies know they can walk over to Murio’s Bohemian Cigar Store, or to Green Street or Ferlinghetti Way, unlike The Big Short, through time a
martyr of the Park
The five-petaled blossoms now blow my way in profusion in the hot afternoon breeze, threatening to bury my clothes and hands — caramelized by big buttery flowers sticking on a green bench.
Would Trout Fishing In America Shorty like this modern globe lantern on a post at path’s edge, or scorn it? “Whaddaya think this is, the god dam Champs El-ee-zee?,” he’d question.
Is the willow there to weep only?
Across the Square Lillie Coit has her own statue honoring the firemen of the city, paid for out of her bequest. Ms. Lillie drank, gambled, laughed, and drove her carriage like a banshee; single or married she was reckless as a lost lunch and serious as a bag of eggs. A message on her statue: To Commemorate the Volunteer Fire Department of San Francisco 1849-1866. Big booted toes hang out over the air — a brawny man in stone rescuing a robed woman from her burning room;
all in our Hall of Flames now
Over on Filbert Street around 4:30, there’s always one or two tourists pointing cameras up at the Church spires, and that gold cross, genuflecting to the myth of Joe and Marilyn, that solid touristical hit, those top notes, and looking at the sky above
this old Potter’s field
And Millie the Flower Lady, well over 80, walking up Columbus Avenue on the Hotel Boheme side, dark blue hoodie pulled over her frugal ears. Private Millie crosses at Green Street, stops to look in the window of Z. Cioccolato, „The Sweetest Spot in North Beach.” Millie knows the G spots of the Beach, in the seventies she sold her flowers to bar patrons, Spec’s to Vesuvio, to Moonys, Columbus Café, Gino&Carlo, everywhere. She hawked roses to drinking class noses, and she’s still stepping out. Shorty and me, we watched her dancing one Friday twilight in Grant Street Saloon to the music of Lisa Kindred’s blues band. Shorty turned his wheelchair round and round, fast as he was able, muttering like a fever, “I’m dancing Millie’s dance,
legs be damned”
Over at Murio’s Bohemian Cigar Store where a regular coffee runs three-dollars today, there’s plenty of gentrification to go around. Shorty’s yelling over at me, “ No wheelchair access!”— as
if I could do a thing about it
“Just as well,” I yell back to him, where he’s still sitting in the Park like Sitting Bull, strong and unmovable. “It’s not the North Beach you once knew my friend — Au revoir, Shorts,” I add, blowing him a golden kiss. Shorty’s furious — the kids still pull his wheelchair around and around and
he can’t reach to stop them
At the last I call out loudly to Trout Fishing in America Shorty, his hat pulled down to shade his eyes where he still sits sunning atop the paling ghosts, “How will it all turn out, Shorty?!” But already he’s vaporized,
laid out upon the Valhalla table,
his speckled skin now stardust brown,
hazed hands frozen at the bottle
(Penny Skillman's prose can be found on Amazon Kindle ebooks, her latest is a Wimpy Woman's B-Brand Adventures Close to Home, a magazine-length meditation on San Francisco's modest doings, by the author of Temp Girl.)
CATCH OF THE DAY, Dec 29, 2014
JAMES ANDERSON, Willits. Drunk in public, probation revocation.
RONALD BARROM, Willits. Assault with deadly weapon other than firearm, probation revocation.
WILLIAM EVANS, Fort Bragg. Drunk in public. (Frequent flyer.)
MICHAEL HENSLEY, Ukiah. Drunk in public, under influence of controlled substance, resisting arrest.
CALEB MACARTHUR, Willits. Drunk in public.
CALEB MARTINEZ, Willits. Drunk in public, resisting arrest, probation revocation.
PABLO MORA, Ukiah. Drunk in public. (Frequent flyer.)
THOMAS SANDERS, Willits. Drunk in public.
CARLA TAYLOR, Willits. Drunk in public, possession of smoking/injection device, probation revocation.
ROBERT VERVILLE, Willits. Drunk in public, probation revocation. (Frequent flyer.)
ON DECEMBER 18th at about 9:00 PM Ukiah Police responded to the Orchard Plaza Center, at 155 South Orchard Avenue, for two subjects camping at the location. Officers contacted 26 year old Kelisha Sheree Alvarez and 31 year old Scotty Lee Willis. Officers had recently responded numerous times to this location regarding calls that Alvarez and Willis were camping, littering, and bothering customers. Alvarez and Willis had a large variety of camping related items gathered at the location, and garbage was strewn about. The responding officer advised Alvarez and Willis the shelter was open and recommended that as an alternative to remaining at the location. Willis replied he and Alvarez refused to stay at the shelter because of Alvarez’ and Willis’ racial biases, and Alvarez stated their present location was convenient because of the electrical outlets which allowed them to recharge their electronics. Alvarez and Willis said they believed as long as they were awake, and not sleeping, when contacted by officers they could not be cited for the overnight camping ordinance. Based upon the numerous and repeated contacts with Alvarez and Willis at their present location, and the totality of the conditions, the officer determined Alvarez and Willis were in violation of the City’s overnight camping ordinance and cited them for violating that City Code.
ON DECEMBER 19th Ukiah Police Detectives identified a vehicle being driven by Christian Wayne Hunt, who was a person of interest in an open felony investigation. Hunt had been at large for the past several years, and had numerous outstanding warrants for his arrest for evading in a vehicle, domestic violence, and violation of a court order. At about 11:35 AM Ukiah Police Officers attempted to stop the vehicle, which was a large ¾ ton pick-up, in the 300 block of Talmage Road. Hunt slowed and pulled to the roadside, then sped away heading east on Talmage Road with the officer in pursuit. Hunt drove to the left of traffic and ran the stoplight at Airport Park Boulevard, and reached speeds of 80 miles per hour as he continued on Talmage Road while forcing oncoming traffic off the road. Hunt turned onto Old River Road, then left onto Mill Creek Road and continued to flee high speeds. Hunt forced another vehicle off the road near the Mill Creek Dam, and drove to the 5300 block of Mill Creek Road where he turned onto private property and drove through a closed and locked metal gate. Hunt drove through two more gates and at one point drove off the roadway, slowing enough that a passenger, who was later released, jumped out of the vehicle. The passenger was detained and Hunt continued and was able to elude officers, and assisting California Highway Patrol Officers soon located the vehicle stuck in the mud and abandoned. Ukiah Police Officers, Mendocino County Sheriff’s Deputies, and California Highway Patrol Officers searched the area but were unable to locate Hunt. Officers found ammunition and other firearm related items inside the vehicle. Hunt is a convicted felon and prohibited from possessing firearms or ammunition. Hunt is still being sought and is believed to be armed and dangerous.
ON DECEMBER 20th at about 2:45 AM a Ukiah Police Officer was parked in the 700 block of South Orchard Avenue. The officer was completing paperwork and had a citizen ride-along as well as a prisoner who’d just been arrested in that area for public intoxication, in the police vehicle. The officer heard a gunshot and heard the projectile pass his location and believed he was being fired upon. The officer immediately requested emergency assistance and directed the passengers to a safe position while trying to determine the location of the shooter. A subject was seen walking from the parking lot of a nearby hotel and restaurant, and fled upon seeing the officer. Responding Ukiah Police Officers accompanied by Mendocino County Sheriff’s Deputies and California Highway Patrol Officers secured a perimeter of the area, and a second subject was seen walking in the same area and was detained.
A Mendocino County Sheriff’s Deputy deployed a K9 and the area was searched for the first subject, but he was not located. Ukiah Police Detectives responded and determined there had been a disturbance at the hotel involving numerous people just before the gunshot, and began an investigation into the circumstances surrounding this incident. Evidence was subsequently located and recovered at the hotel which included ammunition and a significant amount of methamphetamine. This case remains under investigation and anybody with information is asked to call the Ukiah Police Department at 463-6262.
ON DECEMBER 24th at about 7:20 PM Ukiah Police responded to a residence in the 800 block of Waugh Lane for a subject being held against their will. The reporting caller stated he’d been contacted by 27 year old Zachariah Wayne Barber who told the caller where he was. A search of the residence was performed but Barber was not located. Officers re-contacted the caller who re-established contact with Barber, who stated he was near the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office at 951 Low Gap Road. Officers contacted Barber in the lobby area of the Sheriff’s Office, who stated he was in danger and being chased by a drug dealer. Barber was found to be under the influence of methamphetamine and arrested.
RICK WEDDLE WRITES:
Taxation With Misrepresentation
Your recent in-office discussion of whether our current crop of homo sapiens are 'better' (or not) than previous ones, I think is important if we can assume that our species itself is of any significance in the Big Picture. I'm glad to hear there's any discussion of this kind, anywhere. Let me say thank you, AVA, for talking about it and for saying so. Central to conversations like this is the question whether there's any room whatever for improvement, and if there is, weighing the likelihood that such betterment can be achieved. How we see ourselves is a basic determining factor in how, and whether we act. Judging by what we observe in most media sources now, things aren't going so well for us Humans regarding such advances. It won't go without saying here that if this is so, then the outlook for Everything Else is not so rosey, either.
It might be well to keep in mind that what is presented to us as us by most media is, as the saying goes, crap. And why might that be? In times past, the sensationalism and veracity-vacuum characteristic of 'news' media was pretty clear, and equally clearly did not represent an accurate picture of what Real People were like, nor of what they were up to; not true, but sold a hell of a lot of papers. Then, this off-focus and unflattering picture of Humans went by the infamous tag, 'Yellow Press.' That derisive nickname came from their preferred use of the cheap, yellowish paper on which such spurious 'journalism' was printed. Today, Yellow Press might more appropriately be applied to 'our' mass media for their cowardly, abject servitude to those Larger Forces running and ruining the planet by covert, remote control. In fact, presently, Big Media even occupies a prominent chair among those Larger Forces, mainly because of their manifest capacity to convince lots of people that This Is The Way Things Work, when obviously, things don't work this way worth a Damn, never did and never will. The salient function of modern media in its current mode, then, is the deliberate and systematic poisoning of the Public's self image. Accepting that skewed picture of Humans, folks are more likely to remain resigned to it, docile and compliant with the Rule of those mystery Larger Forces. So, thanks, Fox News, and the rest of you Big Media stenchbags, for the yeoman work you've done and are doing to further the interests of those sinister remote control organizations. The paper artifact, the Corpiration, has been giving us homo sapiens critters a bad name pretty much everywhere for 150 years or so, and they've been getting by with it in style. Corpirations have long been masquerading as 'American Interests' while behaving in distinctly and horribly unAmerican ways, and few of us People have even seemed to notice.
The list of places this has not been done is far shorter than where it has, with a vengeance. I'll say this very little about 'our' public servants' own craven service, in general, to the Corpiration: it's the Main Criminal Fact of Life in Modern 'American government.' The rapidly deteriorating conditions to which we are now witness, and to which we are now subjects, we are encouraged to chalk up to some fatal flaw among us Humans, a design oversight resulting from a lapse, a momentary incompetence at the drawing board in the Creation Department. If it's accurate to view Humans as a species as having some Original Sin tattooed in our DNA, then as a matter of course we're doomed, and were from the Start. My personal response to such an assertion is: SCREW THAT! Don't believe it if ya can!
Nearly lost in all this toxic quagmire is the fact you mentioned, Dear ed., that People actually can do better than this, and further, that they almost always do so. Any wino on any street in America can and does do far better at representing American values to the world and to ourselves than Dick Cheney, et al. For every Geo. W. Bush, there're several million just plain People who're doing a damned good job of putting food on the table and something of a roof over it, under the most adverse conditions, with little or no hope whatever for improvements in their own personal conditions, anyway. People, as they are, unimproved, are doing miraculously well, considering, and are frequently having a jolly good time at it, to boot. Add to this sweet, impressive resume the fact that these same unsung successes in the mundane business of living also actually pay sizable portions of their meager incomes in taxes to fund the Hard Reign of the Unliving Corpirations. So, where's their monument?
Also of some significance is that there have actually been successful Human cultures, unlike this one, throughout history (examples on all continents and archipelagos that sustained stable populations in balance with their available resources). I say unlike this one partly because this culture in which we're fixed is plainly failing dramatically, but more important, this culture so broad in the world is decidedly not a Human culture. This a 'culture' of, by, and for the synthetic organism, the Corpiration. All definitions of 'vital interests,' and 'civilization' and 'higher education' and 'energy needs' and all the rest of it are provided for us by the self-same Artificial Critter, the corpiration... FOR. A. PRICE. Consider for a moment how it might be that a corpiration could possibly be in any position to define any vital interest whatever, when not one of them has a pulse, or a temperature, or a fingerprint, or a reflection in the glass, or any other vital sign to call their own. And what possible harm could come from confusing those Genetically Non-existent Organisms (GNO's) with our own Humankind?
What's wrong with letting them seize our governments, our biosphere, when their entire concern with survival is strictly limited solely to increasing next quarter's earnings? Could we possibly find any problem with allowing them to continue, as they're so famously accustomed, enjoying full Representation Without Taxation?