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Mendocino County Today: Friday, Feb 6, 2015

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A LOOMING BALLOON NOTE and a malicious competitor's lawsuit have combined to imperil the popular South Coast eatery, Bones Roadhouse. Owners Mike Thomas and his wife, Mary Horton, have always done big business in Gualala, but a fire at their original location, a re-location, the vindictive lawsuit, and expensive re-financing may be too much to overcome. Bones is looking for investors to get him over the re-fi hump.

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BACKGROUND (AVA, November 2012)

BONES ROADHOUSE in Gualala is the South Coast's most popular restaurant. Bones has been the South Coast's most popular restaurant for a long time. Its pro­prietors, Tom and Mary Thomas, besides employing people in an area where employment at fair wages is scarce, the Thomas's do a lot of community good apart from their restaurant.

AND THEY'RE BEING BLED to death by a vindictive character named Erik Price who won a fluke judgment against the Thomas's in the arbitrary courtroom of Sonoma County judge Elliot Daum.

MENDOCINO COUNTY remembers Bones before Bones burned down in an arson fire that turned out to be wildly fortuitous from Erik Price who just happened to build his own ocean view restaurant on the site of the old Bones.

MEANWHILE, a new Bones arose down the road and again became the South Coast's premier eatery, espe­cially for locals, and reopened in possession of the liquor license owned by Price. Price wanted it back for his new restaurant, and sued Bones to get it. Bones sued him back. But when the legal dust had settled Price had won a judgment for almost $80,000 and the liquor license.

THE THOMASES are working people. They were already lawyered-out trying to defend themselves against Price who, incidentally, is funded by his wealthy parents.

BONES said they couldn't pay and wouldn't pay Price, and who can blame them when you look at the chronol­ogy of events: Bones is wiped out by a fire of mysterious origin. Price builds a restaurant on the site of the fire. Bones goes into business down the street. Price's restau­rant is unsuccessful but so heavily subsidized it stays open. Down the street, the new Bones is thriving. Price sues Bones. Bones can't pay. Price begins raids on Bones on busy weekends that take all the cash on the premises, just like a stick-up man who never leaves. The raid bandit is appointed by the court. He's called a Gatekeeper. Mr. Gatekeeper is seen enjoying a free steak down at Price's otherwise empty restaurant. The raids on Bones continue right up to this past weekend. Bones is barely hanging on. Price is legally empowered to strangle a rival business to death? Something's very wrong here.

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AFTER MAKING HIM OUT to be the second coming of John Dillinger…

"02/04/2015, 11:23:59am Mendocino Investigation. Arrested On Humbolt Co Wrnt & 1203.2pc. Case#15 2972. 2015-00002972

"Arrestee: Riley Gordon Kiesel"

TRANSLATION: After several “armed and dangerous” manhunt pronouncements, the Sheriff’s office arrested Kiesel without difficulty on Wednesday. 1203.2 is a probation violation code. At booking Kiesel was also charged with pot cultivation and being an ex-felon with a firearm.

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UKIAH, Feb. 4. — JURY TRIAL RESULT: A mistrial was declared this afternoon after a Department B jury returned from its deliberations saying it was not going to be able to reach a unanimous decision on the three counts it had to decide. Ashley Jo LaForge, age 30, of Ukiah, had been charged with misdemeanor possession of heroin, concentrated cannabis, and clonezapam. LaForge was not present in the courtroom for the declaration of mistrial, as she had been arrested last night for new drug charges and was awaiting booking at the county jail.

It is unlikely that this misdemeanor matter will be retried because LaForge has two pending additional cases awaiting trial, and she may now be facing new charges due to last night's arrest. The prosecutor who presented the People's evidence at trial was Deputy District Attorney Daniel Madow. The investigating law enforcement agency was the Mendocino Major Crimes Task Force.

(District Attorney’s Office Press Release)

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WILLITS BYPASS CREEK REHABILITATION completed; water flowing freely again. The creek rehabilitation at the site of the recent falsework collapse was completed yesterday, and this photo from earlier today shows water flowing through the site.


Immediately after the collapse Caltrans began to work with our resource agencies to develop a rehabilitation plan that could address the impacts to the creek and could be quickly completed before the next winter storm.

(Caltrans Press Release)

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ON AUGUST 12, 2014 SKELETAL REMAINS WERE LOCATED in the Little Van Duzen River near Dinsmore. Those remains have been positively identified as Zachary Travis Mousner, age 25, from Navasota Texas. The remains were identified through DNA submitted to the Department of Justice. Mousner was reported to the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office as a missing person in May of 2014. He was reported to be working in the Marijuana industry in southern Humboldt County. Due to the condition of the skeletal remains, cause and manner of death is undetermined at this time. Anyone with information concerning Mr. Mousner is requested to contact Deputy Coroner Roy Horton at the Humboldt County Coroner’s Office (707) 445-7242.

(Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office press release)

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Dear Editor:

The blame for the outbreak of measles in California lies with the Legislature passing the personal beliefs exemption legislation and the Governor who signed the bill. This legislation was based on quack medicine and has allowed irresponsible parents to play Russian roulette not only with their children but other people's children. The Legislature and Governor Brown have to eliminate this exemption as well the religious beliefs exemption. In addition the legislation should make it clear that the immunization requirement applies to children who attend public and private schools as will as children who are home schooled. Parents who violate the law would be subject to criminal charges.

In peace, Jim Updegraff

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ED NOTE: This one snuck up on me. Until last week, when I talked with the local school boss, I had no idea the unvaccinated could be admitted to public schools. Right here in AV we have about a dozen unvaccinated kids at the elementary school, all children of the, ahem, counterculturally credulous class. I have a dim memory of childhood chums being confined, by law, to their homes when they had measles, mumps so on. Your letter is right on the money, Jim.

IF YOU LIVE IN MARIN COUNTY and missed Tuesday night’s Daily Show, well, consider yourself lucky. As an outbreak of measles — at least partially fueled by unvaccinated children — continues to spread, vaccinations, or the lack thereof, have become a hot topic. California lawmakers introduced a law that would ban “personal belief exemptions,” which allow unvaccinated children to register for classes in public schools. Such exemptions have become a talking point for both the current president and the cast of characters who hope to replace him. And, as is the case with almost anything getting the kind of attention the measles outbreak is getting, the Daily Show took the opportunity to poke some fun.

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Jane Chambers announces move back to Bay Area

Ukiah City Manager Jane Chambers announced her plans to resign this week.

In a letter to the City Council dated Feb. 5, Chambers said she planned to resign June 26 and "move back to the Bay Area.

"My husband is now working in San Francisco, so our family is already in transition," Chambers writes. "It has been a wonderful experience to live and work in Ukiah over the last seven years. I am proud of what the City Council, staff, and I have achieved during this eventful time."

The announcement comes about two months after a new majority took their seats on the council, as three new members joined last December.

Chambers will remain until the next budget is formed.

"I will devote my remaining time in Ukiah to assuring that the changing of the guard to a new City Manager goes as smoothly as possible for the City Council, organization, and our residents," she concluded.

— Justine Frederiksen, (Courtesy, the Ukiah Daily Journal)

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My copy of the February 4, 2015 edition of the AVA arrived at my home in the mail, TODAY. What amazing service that was. Don't know how it happened, but maybe there is hope.

Allan Stanbridge, Burlingame

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CATCH OF THE DAY, Feb 5, 2015

Azbill-Britton, Banks, Barnes
Azbill-Britton, Banks, Barnes

LEONARD AZBILL-BRITTON SR., Covelo. Vehicle theft.

KEVIN BANKS, Ukiah. Drunk in public.

DERRICK BARNES, Chico/Ukiah. Failure to appear.

Betts, Brandell, Dunkle, Gonzalez
Betts, Brandell, Dunkle, Gonzalez

KEITH BETTS, Covelo. Probation revocation.

CORY BRANDELL, Ukiah. Domestic assault, threatst of death or great bodily harm, possession of meth.

KEVIN DUNKLE, Ukiah. Assault with deadly weapon not a firearm.

FRANCISCO GONZALEZ, Ukiah. Community supervision violation.

Griffin, Holtz, Kiesel, Lincoln
Griffin, Holtz, Kiesel, Lincoln

AARON GRIFFIN, Ukiah. Possession of illegal substance for sale, armed with firearm, ex-felon with firearm.


RILEY KIESEL, Mendocino. Pot cultivation, ex-felon with firearm, probation revocation.

EUGENE WINTERHAWK LINCOLN, Covelo. Burglary, ex-felon with firearm, offenses while on bail, prohibited person with firearm, possession of meth, refusing to leave private property. (Frequent flyer.)

Litzin, Merrill, Mitchell, Sandiego II
Litzin, Merrill, Mitchell, Sandiego II

KEVIN LITZIN, Ukiah. Drunk in public, probation revocation. (Frequent flyer.)

ROSS MERRILL, Fort Bragg. Drunk in public.

STEVEN MITCHELL, Ukiah. Failure to appear.

DAVID SANDIEGO II, Willits. DUI causing injury.

Sandiego III, Sihn, Smith, Wolfe
Sandiego III, Sihn, Smith, Wolfe

DAVID SANDIEGO III, Willits. DUI causing injury.

ERIC SIHN, Rowland Heights, CA/Ukiah. Failure to appear.

RICKY SMITH, Ukiah. Driving on suspended license, probation revocation.

JESSE WOLFE, Willits. Driving without a license, sale, transport, furnish pot, possession of meth, false ID, conspiracy, probation revocation.

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Two quick things: I finally got a copy of FUP. WOW! Have you read any other Jim Dodge? Is it all this good? Should I get the others? (I'm semi- retired on a budget) And re your comments on revolution, do you know Ambrose Bierce's definition of revolution? "A trivial shift in the emphasis of suffering." Thanks, and kudos on finding the amazing Flynn Washburne.

Jim Lowe, Elizaville, New York

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San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone this week created a firestorm of criticism when he released the archdiocese’s new high school teacher handbook. It contains a 2,000-word section calling for staff members — in their professional and private lives — to honor church teachings. He specifically cited opposition to abortion, contraception, homosexuality, artificial insemination, cloning and same-sex marriage, not to mention masturbation, fornication and pornography.


Administrators, faculty and staff members are not to visibly contradict, undermine or deny” these and other truths in their professional or personal lives.

“The church has no authority whatsoever to confer priestly ordination on women.”

“Any well-formed conscience always rejects direct, intentional abortion; we are not 'pro-choice.’”

The “fundamental demands of justice require that the civil law preserve the definition of marriage as the union of one man and one woman.”

“The sinfulness of contraception” ... any such action to “render procreation impossible is intrinsically evil.”

“The grave evil of reproductive technology” — including sperm or egg donations or surrogacy — is an immoral infringement on a “child’s right to be born of a father and mother known to him and bound to each other by marriage.”

“Embryonic stem cell research can never be justified.”

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On Sunday, February 15, Award-winning pianist Yoonie Han performs works by Friedman, Liszt, Granados, Prokofiev and Gershwin. The concert will be held at 3:00 PM in Preston Hall, Mendocino. Advance tickets ($20) are available at Harvest Market, and Fiddles and Cameras in Fort Bragg, and at Out of This World, Mendocino.


Tickets at the door are $25. Ms. Han began winning piano competitions at age ten and has since collected a great number of top prizes including the Washington International, the Kosciuscko, and Chopin prizes. She is a Fulbright grant recipent. In 2012 she was honored as a Steinway Artist. The “Sons of New York City” added her to its roster of the “most accomplished and discriminating artists in the world.”

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(To Gwendolyn Brooks)

An archaeologist,

not a lexicologist, figured it

out. The word was a woman.

Mingling among

the Oromos of Ethiopia,

brandishing a painter’s

brush in a dig territorially

defined by string,

the archaeologist swept away

ancient crust and sediment

finding language, alive

and agitated, instead

of the fossilized femur

of a long-dead ramapithecus.

Words wrapped in rhythm,

pleasure, knowledge and pain.

Words as sharply defined

as an Ashanti sculpture. Words

of an African dynasty

made of peoples

not restricted to kings.

Words that survived

the Atlantic. Words

that survived Atlanta. Words

that survived migration,

segregation, integration,

and false resolution.

Words worn as bracelets,

amulets and weapons.

Words that were up

long before they were down.

Word Up.

Words that give more

than she has taken.

Children’s lives reweaved

first through her poems

and then through their own.

Words that could weave a world.

— Michael Warr

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Fort Bragg, California – February 5, 2015 – Ever wondered about that green ladybug inhabiting your edibles , or which spider built that beautiful large web in your garden? Entomologist Jan O. Washburn, Ph.D., presents a colorful slideshow and informative talk about the insects commonly found in coastal gardens on Saturday, February 21, from 10am to 12noon at Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens. The talk will be held in the Gardens Meeting Room at 18220 North Highway 1, Fort Bragg.

A resident of Comptche and Trustee of the Comptche Land Trust, Dr. Washburn is a University of California researcher, lectures in Environmental Studies at U.C. Santa Cruz, serves as a City of Berkeley Trustee, and as a docent at the U.C. Botanical Garden at Berkeley. His extensive collection of unique images and lively presentations have earned rave reviews by the Mendocino County Master Gardeners, who recommended him for this workshop.

Cost of the workshop is $10 for members and master gardeners; $20 for non-members (includes Gardens' admission for the day). Class size is limited ; please reserve your space by phoning The Garden Store at 707 964-4352 ext. 16.

Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens is a non-profit educational corporation. The 47-acre public garden’s mission is “to engage and enrich lives by displaying and conserving plants in harmony with our Northern California coastal ecosystems.” More information can be found at

Elizabeth Petersen, Marketing Coordinator, 707 964-4352 ext. 22

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The Mendocino Council of Governments is hosting a two-day series of community events on February 11 – 12 to develop ideas for improving conditions along U.S. Highway 101 (Redwood Highway) and State Route 175 (River Road) in Hopland. The focus will be on safety, access and mobility for pedestrians, bicyclists and motorists, as well as opportunities for gateway, beautification and other treatments to enhance the town core. Community input will help identify a range of potential improvements along these central corridors. Everyone is invited and encouraged to participate.

The events will kick off with a Walking Assessment of the area on Wednesday, February 11 (4:00 –5:00 p.m.), beginning at the Brutocao Schoolhouse Plaza at 13500 S. Highway 101. During the walkabout, participants will observe conditions along the two roadways, and help determine where and how improvements can be made. (Please wear comfortable shoes.)

After the walk, a Community Workshop will be held at the Brutocao Schoolhouse Plaza from 5:15 to 8:00 p.m. Participants will become community designers as they craft their own solutions that build upon local assets and character. Share your ideas – and free food – with friends and neighbors.

Presentation of Initial Concepts: The following evening, Thursday, February 12, from 6:00 - 7:30 p.m., the project consultant team will review the input from Wednesday’s activities and present sketches and recommendations for discussion at the Brutocao Schoolhouse Plaza

Immediately following the Thursday night presentation and public feedback, Brutocao Cellars will sponsor a wine tasting reception to celebrate the community effort to help shape the future of Hopland.

The community input from these sessions will be incorporated into the final plan.

This planning effort is sponsored by the Mendocino Council of Governments, with support from a California Department of Transportation State Planning and Research (SP&R) Grant. The project consultant team is led by W-Trans, with Alta Planning + Design, Local Government Commission and GHD.

For more information: or contact Loretta Ellard at MCOG, 707-234-3434,

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With reduced funding in recent decades for school art and music programs, the Arts Council of Mendocino County’s “Get Arts in the Schools Program” (GASP) helps address this gap at no or little cost to schools. The program gives children hands-on arts enrichment with professional artists, while it also helps to support local artists.

This is the tenth year that the Arts Council has provided GASP awards. With core funding from the Mendocino Office of Education and additional private support from the Community Foundation of Mendocino County—and a recent fundraiser donation from the Mendocino County Art Association—the Arts Council is announcing this year’s awards, totaling $18,330 to pay ten Mendocino County artists to bring many art forms to twenty-three schools throughout the county. Many of the projects integrate in some way with existing topics already in the students’ curriculum and all projects address the state's Visual and Performing Arts Standards.

This school year, students will have a chance to experience multicultural mask-making, Chinese calligraphy, dance, papier-maché sculpture, rhythm and percussion, poetry-writing and public speaking, mosaic tile art, painting and more. This year’s artists and projects are: Alexa Armenta Baldwin—“Masks Around the World”; Viviana Field—“Web of Life”; Ada B. Fine—“Art Adventures with Shape, Line and Color”; Heng Fu Shr, “Introduction to Chinese Calligraphy”; Jessi Langston—“Marching Bucket Drum Line”; Trudy McCreanor—“Using Dance to Tell a Story”; Cathleen Micheaels—“Where the Wild Things Are” and “Arts Across the Curriculum”; Blake More—“Honoring the Aural Tradition—Multimedia Poetry through Writing, Speaking and Performance”; Marie Pera, “Creature from Where?” and “Drawing with Grace (Hudson)”; and Elizabeth Raybee—“Peace Path Mosaic.”

Teachers consistently give rave reviews about the artists who visit their classrooms. Comments from previous years include: “The artists were fantastic. The kids LOVED them!” “The students were totally engaged, and the results were excellent!” “The first-graders step up to the microphone and share their poems by reading them aloud with remarkable skill and pride.” “ANY art in schools is time well-spent. I cannot tell you how valuable this program is to us.” “Wow! I am inspired to do a few more hands-on projects! The kids need it.” “I was completely satisfied and impressed.” “The students were inspired, and began working at home.” “It was an honor to have a local artist of such high caliber come into the classroom,” “The artist helped me realize that my students are more capable than I thought, and how much they crave hands-on experiences.” “The bookmaking project was a roaring success.”

One parent told a teacher that her son announced, unsolicited, that he no longer wants to spend his allowance money on computer games — he plans to buy art supplies instead.

And what did the kids themselves have to say about the art classes? “I learned that I can draw better than I thought.” “I was proud of my poem because it said what was in my head.” “Art is very cool.” “I learned that everyone knows how to draw, if they can believe in themself to not let themself down.” “I learned that yellow mixed with red is orange. I liked doing art with you.” “I like art because it’s fun, and you can never usually get it wrong.” “I love art! I want to be an artist when I grow up.”

General donations are welcome to support funding to continue the Get Arts in the Schools Program in future years. Donations may be sent to 309 East Perkins Street, Ukiah, CA 95482.

More information and news about GASP may be found on the Arts Council’s website at (Programs tab), or by contacting the Arts Council’s Executive Director Alyssum Wier: or 707-463-2727.

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by Dave Zirin

I reported earlier this week that right after the Super Bowl, in a Seahawks locker room clearly in a state of profound distress, some were talking conspiracy. People connected to the team, shocked at the play call that led to an interception from the Patriots one yard line with the game in their grasp, were saying that the reason why bruising running back Marshawn Lynch was not given the ball was because the coaching staff wanted the hero to be quarterback Russell Wilson. The NFL Network’s Mike Silver also reported that this was being articulated inside the locker room. Whether true or ridiculous, it was a belief rooted in the divisions in the Seahawks locker room that Bleacher Report’s Mike Freeman reported earlier this season when the team was on the brink of imploding. After a couple of days to cool down, I was in touch with my contact and asked him if he still believed that factors other than “what is the best football play for this moment” played into coach Pete Carroll’s decision. All he said was, "I don't even know if I believe that anymore. I don't know what to believe. I just can’t believe it ended like that."

After I reported on this earlier in the week and speculated upon exactly why these particular conspiratorial thoughts might find purchase in a shell-shocked locker room, I was on the receiving end of a great deal of social media ugliness. The hate rolled in from a combination of right-wingers egged on by the often disturbing fringe website The Daily Caller and sexual harasser-turned presidential candidate-turned radio host Herman Cain. It has also come from New England Patriots fans who believed that I was somehow denigrating their moment of triumph.

Let's forget about the hard-right faithful for the purposes of this article because I don't believe honestly that they actually read the piece. Their critique centered on the fact that I had conjured up some kind of racialized conspiracy theory as opposed to actually reporting something that was being said in the locker room. They can have their strawman on their own time. (And at the risk of stating the obvious, I sure as hell have it worlds easier in this country than their usual targets).

But I actually do want to address Patriots Nation quite directly on this. Any Boston sports fan who remembers the 1980s has no excuse for thinking that a manager or coach would never choose sentiment over strategy or wouldn't jeopardize a victory in the name of having a favored player get the glory over the person better suited to do the job.

The moment I'm referencing—the one that Bill Simmons called the greatest gut punch in the history of sports—was of course game six of the 1986 World Series when New York Mets outfielder Mookie Wilson hit the grounder that dribbled through Red Sox first baseman Bill Buckner's legs.

Bill Buckner was a great player, a multiple All-Star whose 20-year career ended with over 2700 hits. In 1984 after a long stretch with the Chicago Cubs, he joined the Red Sox and quickly became the heart of that team. He was also playing on knees that were being held together with balsa wood and duct tape. All season, Red Sox manager John McNamara brought in young Dave Stapleton as a late inning defensive replacement for Buckner in tight games. But in game 6, with the Red Sox up two runs in the 10th inning and the Mets seemingly without hope, Buckner was in the game. John McNamara got sentimental wanting his favored vet out there for the final out and it cost the Red Sox the game and perhaps the World Series.

These kinds of decisions happen all the damn time in sports but we rarely hear about them because it usually doesn't end in catastrophe. More often, it’s more like Bears Coach Mike Ditka in Super Bowl XX ordering William Perry instead of the great Walter Payton to get a one-yard-touchdown because of his personal preference. Examples abound of players on the field or the court when they shouldn't be because the coach wants them to have their moment. Anybody who has played sports in high school or college — myself included—got playing time their senior year that they otherwise would not have received for the simple reason, well, that we were seniors. Do we think that Pete Carroll, with the ball on the one-yard line, was immune to conscious or subconscious thoughts about who would get the team's crowning moment? I don't know. But I certainly do understand why some players and the Seahawks locker room were feeling that at their lowest moment.

What we do know is that Pete Carroll simply over thought the moment. He put Russell Wilson in a position to throw the first interception from the opposing team’s 1-yard line in the entire NFL season. It's inexcusable and he'll have to carry that for the rest of his coaching career. But a great measure of credit should also go to New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick for making what seemed to be the unpardonable decision not to call a timeout and save time for his star quarterback Tom Brady if the Seahawks scored. Belichick instead chose to let the clock run and to turn the heat up on Pete Carroll and Russell Wilson's mental synapses. Guess what? It worked. It's a reminder that players and coaches are not computers. There are sweaty palms, shivering minds and sentimental human error involved when the moment gets tight. And frankly if there wasn't, we wouldn't watch. That's what makes sports awesome and that's what can make them also at times so silly and so devastating. Just ask John McNamara and Bill Buckner. In the end, Pete Carroll overthought the moment. What those thoughts actually were will remain in the realm of speculation.

(Dave Zirin is the author of Brazil’s Dance with the Devil. Contact him at


  1. Bill Pilgrim February 6, 2015

    RE: the Archbishop’s handbook: he’s going medieval while society cries out for solutions to political and economic injustice, brazen corruption, the march to more war, barbarism, ecological collapse, etc.
    American bishops have plenty to say about contraception, but are silent about torture.
    Challenge the dictates of this godfather and Don Cordileone will make you an offer you can’t refuse.

    • Harvey Reading February 6, 2015

      Papists, like all Christofascists, believe they have a god-given directive to impose their will on others. In this day and age, with our fascist highest court, telling employees what they can do or say on their own time is no longer inviolable. Drug testing, including tobacco smoking away from work, are two issues which employers already can dictate behavior to employees while not at work. Glad I’m old and don’t have to work, ’cause I’d probably get busted for attempting to punch any sob who tried to make me take a drug test or told me I had to quit smoking in order to be hired. What is wrong with people? Do they find slavery desirable?

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