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Mendocino County Today: Monday, Feb 9, 2015

NOTE: Posts are late due to major power outages in Anderson Valley on Sunday afternoon into Monday morning and again from Monday afternoon to just before 7am Tuesday morning.



by Shepherd Bliss

After the Sebastopol City Council heard from two-dozen residents on Feb. 3--all of whom spoke against the huge Dairyman Winery and Distillery proposed for Highway 12--it unanimously and vigorously opposed the project. The large, attentive crowd flowed beyond standing room into the lobby. Now the project goes before the County of Sonoma, where it will ultimately be decided.

“Moratorium” on wineries in Sonoma County and “EIR” (Environmental Impact Report) were two words often heard in the testimonies. The application was criticized on numerous grounds, including the following: extensive use of water, especially in our time of drought, traffic increase, damage to the unique Laguna de Santa Rosa, and threats to the many users of the Joe Rodota Trail that traverses the property.

Dairyman’s proposal for the 68 acres includes 87,000 sq. ft of buildings and pads, an annual capacity of 500,000 cases of wine and 250,000 gallons of distilled spirits, and up to 58 promotional events a year with as many as 600 people a time. It would be open until 10 p.m.

The applicant, 32-year-old Napa County winemaker Joe Wagner, briefly introduced his winery, which would reportedly be the 15th largest in Sonoma County. His family has grapes or wineries in four counties. He asserted that this site was selected because of “its great potential on a heavy thorough-fare.”

“We are not considering being organic,” he admitted, revealing that he uses conventional chemicals, which would damage this unique environment. Wagner acknowledged that it would “increase truck traffic and emissions.” He suggested, “This would be a better use of the property.” He also agreed that he had submitted “incomplete studies.”

"All he did was throw buzz words out there that he thought would work,” commented grape grower Bill Shortridge. “There were no details. No answers. He brought nothing to the table, which leads me to believe EVERYTHING we are worried about would occur."


“I would encourage citizens to engage in civil disobedience,” if this proposal is approved, commented Councilmember John Eder. He was concerned, as were Mayor Patrick Slater and others, by the safety risks to users of the popular Rodota Trail. Mayor Slater quoted the application’s demand that pedestrians and cyclists would need “to yield to Dairyman traffic,” which would be significant with events of up to 600 people.

“This project is a slap in the face,” Mayor Slater said. “The Joe Rodota Trail is a tremendous facility. People use it to get to work, for recreation, and for health reasons. I’m staggered by the scale of this project.”

“To ask families with kids to stop on the trail for cars is outrageous,” Eder asserted. Christine Dufond, a mother with her young daughter Luci, spoke against the project. She focused on “Sebastopol’s commitment to sustainable community, and how holding this vision means setting boundaries with proposals that threaten the ecosystem of both our land and our community." Eder suggested that families consider blocking access to the winery “with strollers.” He concluded, “I cannot come up with one reason to justify this proposal. This is the wrong project in the wrong place.”

“The Joe Rodota Trail is the North Bay’s most popular bike trail,” reported Sonoma County Bicycle Coalition member Gary Helfrich. “Now there would be a private road across the public trail. The traffic study is a fantasy. Operation of this project must be subordinate to the safety of trail users.”

The City Council agreed to send a letter to Sonoma County’s Permit and Resource Management Department (PRMD). They complained that they were given inadequate time to study the application, inform the public, and comment. The deadline for their letter to planner Traci Tesconi ( was Feb. 4, but apparently has been extended, due to public pressure. The Council urged residents to make their comments known to the County, which will make the final decision on the application. Its public hearing is not yet scheduled.

“”Hell No!,” said Councilmember Sarah Gurney. “The demand on nature is too great. We have taken for granted the greenbelt separator between Sebastopol and Santa Rosa. The Laguna is a resource of international significance. This is a production facility that should be located closer to Highway 101, rather than in this rural area. If it produced nourishing food, that would be better.”

Gurney noted that all of the many emails that she had received in the week since the winery proposal became known to the public opposed it. Those emails included some from groups such as the Laguna Foundation, the Rural Alliance, Sonoma County Conservation Action, and Sonoma Water Information Group (SWiG), as well as from various food farmers.

“Our commons is the water, air, land, and the infrastructure, like roads, that enable us to function,” commented Councilmember Una Glass. “What is good for the common good is what we decision-makers need to think about. There is a backlash against the Napafication of Sonoma County. We are becoming a Disneyland with all these event centers. Businesses need to be concentrated near transit sites.”

“This is an industry masquerading as a farm,” noted Councilmember Eder. “You are a developer. This looks like a farm theme park, like Knotts Berry Farm.”

“You will not have smooth sailing ahead,” Eder warned. “If CalTrans does not allow a left hand turn, this project is dead,” he said. Highway 12 at the point of Dairyman, which is close to Llano Road, is high-speed and with double yellow lines separating its two lanes, meaning that a left turn would be illegal, as well as hazardous.

“You will be sued,” asserted Councilmember Robert Jacob. “This will be an uphill battle. Every hurdle possible will occur.”


“There is a lack of real inquiry by PRMD on this project,” alleged SWiG geologist Jane Neilson,Ph.D. “The winery's use of water is not well defined. This project needs to acknowledge the Santa Rosa Plain groundwater management plan and now the state requirement for sustainability. Pumping all over the Laguna has an impact on all wells.”

“The wells on our property have dried up before,” explained Brenda Nichols, who lives at the edge of the Laguna. “Twelve wells on our street dried up when they built a hotel nearby. It floods all the time on Llano Road. Will our wells dry up again?”

“Our water supply is fragile,” commented SWiG geologist Howard Wilshire, Ph.D. “We should not go on with business as usual. Water is a critical resource that we depend on.”

“We are concerned with the possibility of this project being precedent-setting,” said Rural Alliance’s Anna Ransome. “Napa County has run out of water and land, so people are coming here.” She noted that when one visits the site there is much standing water, though it has not rained for a while. This indicates possible wetlands there.

The Rural Alliance’s letter to PRMD notes that the Gravenstein Creek crosses the property, which is part of the Laguna de Santa Rosa uplands. This parcel is also Tiger Salamander habitat. They conclude that “the project would not be of benefit to Sebastopol and its environs.”

“Let’s request a moratorium on any more wineries,” requested Magick. “This is not agriculture. It is really an entertainment center. Flush it!”

“We need to know the exact figures of how much more water will be used,” said Paul-Andre Schabracq. “There is a whole soup of chemicals that appear in this water,” he said, referring to the use of wastewater being planned. He indicated that many other agencies need to be informed of this application.

It takes 29 gallons of water to produce a single glass of wine, according to a recent Sacramento Bee article. Water is used for many things at wineries. The exact amount of water is difficult to determine, but it is clearly a lot.

The Laguna Foundation’s executive director David Bannister wrote a letter to PRMD that noted the following:

“The property is in a community separator zone between Sebastopol and Santa Rosa.

“The project is an industrial use that we think is inappropriate in the community separator.

“Zoning overlays on the property include ‘floodplain, scenic resource and valley oak habitat districts.’ How is the proposed use consistent with these overlays and how will those resources be protected?

“This large wine and spirits production facility will use huge amounts of water. How much water?”

“This project is reckless disregard for its consequences. It is growth at its worst,” testified Bob Beauchamp. “We need to talk about growth,” added former Sebastopol Mayor Craig Litwin. “Crossing the trail is a recipe for disaster,” this father of three added.

“The traffic is already a race track,” noted Carol Vellutini of the Westside Community Association. “We’re so saturated with events at wineries. We’re done with wineries.” Her group helped defeat celebrity chef Guy Fieri’s proposal of a winery in a rural area last month.

“This is the beginning of the process and there will be other opportunities for the public to comment on the application,” noted Ransome. “The Sebastopol City Council should be commended for dealing with this at short notice and protecting the environment and the public from improper development.”

(Shepherd Bliss {} operates Kokopelli Farm, teaches at Dominican University, and has contributed to 24 books.)



JulesTavernier1881Ms. Bayfield isn't the only person curious about this portrait by Jules Tavernier, dated 1881. The local angle is fact that there is a Jules Tavernier show underway at the Grace Hudson museum right now:

But who is this guy? He seems a little too good looking to be an antecedent of any old timer we're aware of, a virtuous bunch in every respect but not much in the looks department.

Can someone help Faith Bayfield ( identify this sitter? Signed "Jules Tavanier" date is 1881. Any help would be appreciated. Thank you.

Faith says the painting is signed "Jules Tavanier" and the date is "1881." We think she is spelling the surname wrong. There was a painter named Jules Tavernier who was working in 1881, and if you look at the signature, it looks like his name.

Faith is asking who the sitter is for this portrait, so we could post the image and ask readers if they know. Here’s a version of the image optimized for the website…

Whoever the painter is, he's very good. There's a terrific painting of the Navarro circa 1870 at the Ca Historical Society. Can't remember the painter's name but I wrote about the painting back a ways. Maybe the same guy?


IN 1959, A CHILD WAS VACCINATED FOR DPT, polio, and smallpox. During the ’50s, an estimated 3-4 million people were infected with measles each year, resulting in an annual mortality of 400-500 people. Nearly all children were infected with the virus by the time they were 15. On average, 48,000 people were hospitalized annually, and in any given year 4,000 people developed encephalitis, a debilitating and often forgotten consequence of the disease. Not until 1963 did John Enders and his colleagues develop the first strain of measles vaccine and license it.

Before vaccines controlled the spread of epidemics, our parents and grandparents relied on isolation and avoidance as a means to prevent disease. This method has historical roots reaching back to the Middle Ages and even before.

Quarantine, or the separation of infected individuals, was recorded in the Old Testament, but the first organized effort came in response to the Black Death in 1348. Venice was the first municipality to implement a policy of forbidding ships to dock if the ships were suspected of harboring plague. Forty days, or quarantine, is an arbitrary number attributed to the fasting season of Lent. It was believed the plague would take 40 days to incubate and show its effects. The logic of the practice was plainly persuasive, because it wasn’t long before the policy was adopted by other European countries.

— Mary Lawrence



by Emily Hobelmann

Yesterday, Emerald Grown, a cannabis farmer-owned marketing co-op, hosted a cannabis-seed exchange in Mendo at the Laytonville Grange. The exchanged served to facilitate the beginning of a Mendocino Cannabis Seed Library, of sorts.

A seed-exchange is as straightforward as it sounds — farmers exchange seeds. And here’s the general idea behind a seed library from this informative page on The Seed Library of Los Angeles site:

A seed library is a depository of seeds held in trust for the members of that library. Members come to the library and borrow seed for their garden. They grow the plants in their garden and at the end of the season, they let a few plants “go to seed.” From those plants, they collect seeds and return the same amount of seed (or more) as they borrowed at the beginning of the growing season. Seeds are free to members.

The library is both a collection of seeds and a community of gardeners. Since seed is a living thing, it must be renewed each year somewhere by someone or unique varietals can become extinct. Even growing one seed and returning it to the library is a valuable contribution.


I caught up with Casey O’Neill at yesterday’s event. He’s a cannabis farmer/activist, master gardener at Happyday Farms in Mendocino and a key player in Emerald Grown. He explained the library-building/exchange process, the inspiration for the event and he gave me some more info on Emerald Grown.

First, Emerald Grown:

O’Neill says “there are a lot of quality farmers out there” and that Emerald Grown will be able to help such farmers build marketing packages for their cannabis farms. “We’re in the process of establishing a way for quality producers to access a legal market and for legal purchasers to find a quality product… The idea is to support farmers and to bring people together so that we can create a legal, transparent system for the future.”

The co-op is essentially an interfacing organization. O’Neill says “the co-op doesn’t produce any product and it never takes possession of product. It creates a relationship through marketing between farmers and buyers.” The Emerald Grown co-op will help farmers network with legal dispensaries and outlets throughout the state so they can distribute their product and “access the consumer who desires the kind of medicine that our farms produce.”

The roots of the seed exchange:

“We’re up on Bell Springs and we were going to do this little seed exchange in the neighborhood,” O’Neill says, “and the interest just kept growing.” He and other like-minded members of the cannabis farming community wanted to try to create a Mendocino Seed Library, a genetic bank to support local farmers. That way farmers can have access to seeds they need to produce whatever medicine is in-demand.

The Laytonville Grange folks were amenable having a cannabis seed exchange go down at their facility, so it was game on.

How the seed exchange/library-building event worked:

SeedFormFarmers showed up with seeds. The Emerald Grown crew checked the seeds in and divided each variety up into bags of approximately 15 seeds. The seeds were catalogued in the library. Farmers filled out a card with genetic information and proper cultivation practices. Emerald Grown scanned the card to collect that data.

Emerald Grown did not hold onto a supply of seeds for each variety, so for now, the word “library” just refers to the collection of information about the seeds at the exchange. “At this point it doesn’t do us any good to keep the seed in stasis,” O’Neill says. “We need to get it out to the community and get it around… And to build on the genetics that are new, that we haven’t developed yet and that we want to develop.”

Once catalogued and sorted, the seeds were laid out on tables for people to check out. Tables were organized by “early,” “mid” and “late” flowering varieties. There was a CBD table too. Yes, all the seeds were laid out for the taking, and attendees checked their selections out with the Emerald Grown crew upon departure. O’Neill says, “We know who has which seeds, and ideally, at the end of the year, they’re going to bring back more [seeds].”

Some varieties are rare, and O’Neill says those very limited seeds were entrusted to growers who have “proven their capacity to reproduce more.” Abundant seeds were available to everyone in attendance, “that way we’re able to support people who don’t have seed or haven’t had the chance to make seed with good quality genetics that we have plenty of,” he says.

So the exchange was regimented to some degree, yet super casual at the same time. You didn’t have to bring seeds to participate. Every one was welcome to take part in this seed-and-information-sharing/data collection exercise. Emerald Grown collected data on each variety when farmers checked their seeds in, and farmers chatted it up, sharing tips and techniques. “It’s just amazing to see the interest, how many people are here. Clearly, the community’s ready,” O’Neill says. “That’s the beauty of it.”

Looking ahead:

As the exchange continues over time, the farmer collective will amass more and more seeds. Cannabis will, of course, become more and more legitimate, and Emerald Grown member farmers will be able “to enter the legal seed market for diversified outdoor connoisseur production of seeds.” And O’Neill says that because of the many diversified micro-climates in our area, their seeds will hold “great value for farmers all over the country.”

“We would be able to serve as genetic ambassadors for this plant that we’ve been holding onto and maintaining for all these generations…”

O’Neill is hella good at waxing poetic:

“I feel like every day in my life is training for today, and tomorrow will be the same thing… We produce a plant that we love. It grows from seed with water and soil, and we harvest it.” O’Neill says cannabis farming is an agricultural act that “honors the tradition of agriculture that our country has always been about.”

“For us to finally be able to take our place as farmers in this American tradition is a very powerful thing. And the seed bank is a crucial part of it.”

He also says, “Great success!”

FYI: Emerald Grown is hosting a brunch on March 1st brunch at Harwood Hall in Laytonville… You can find them on the Facebook.

Great success!



sturman2California Police Officer --- aka Officer of the Peace. Ironically, this was my last image of 2014. I posted it last week and it made its way around the globe more so than any image I posted in a long time. The world is hungry to believe in the good. And, the world IS good in a lot of ways. People asked if Officer Milo is a real cop. Yes, he is -- and a meditator, a women's self-defense teacher, martial artist and yogi. Others complain that he is not an 'Officer of the Peace' if he is carrying a gun. Perhaps, we will get to that way of life again one day. But, for now, if someone with a gun comes into my home to take my life and a cop shows up with glitter, flowers and peace signs, we are all screwed.




by Lee Simon

In your paper a few weeks ago you mentioned the book The Capitalism Papers- Fatal Flaws of an Obsolete System by Jerry Mander. It was published in 2012. It is excellent.

It is well written, and is not a rant or screed. The chapter sections are short and succinct. Mander’s research is thorough and he includes many quotes from the work of others who share his concepts and ideas. The main theme is that capitalism is not working for 99% of the people in both America and the globe, nor for the planet itself.

Here are the major ideas in the book. He first talks about the relationship between corporate capitalism and nature. Due to modern medicine and the abundance of food we now live twice as long as people lived 150 years ago. We now live more comfortably than any people in human history. That’s the good news. The bad news is this. One-fourth of all earth’s mammals are threatened with extinction. Over 17,000 animals and plants are at risk of extinction. More than one in five of all known mammals, over one in four reptiles, and 70% of plants are at risk of extinction. This unravels the fabric of life. We may be the first species capable of effectively eliminating life on earth.

He then talks about the major values of capitalism. Capitalism is addicted to continual economic growth and to profit. The idea of continual expanding economic growth is delusional, given that nature is finite, it has limits. In fact, continued economic growth of the GDP and GNP is negative in term of matter and energy.

He asks, is our economy too big for our ecosystem? Are the marginal costs of economic growth larger than the marginal benefits? An acre and one-half of rain forest is felled every second to make way for corporate agriculture We humans consume 25% more of the world’s natural ‘products’ than the earth can replace, which will rise to 80% by the year 2050. Only one percent of the raw materials extracted from the earth actually end up in products, which is only one percent material efficiency.

Mander says we are at the end of the period of material abundance. Global oil reserves are now is sharp decline and are more difficult, more expensive, and more ecologically dangerous to extract, as are other raw materials. For the past century oil had a wonderful energy versus energy out ratio of about 100 to 1. It is now at 20 to 1 and declining rapidly.

One fourth of all the grain grown in America is used to fuel cars. Another large percentage is used to feed animals, which we then eat, at a caloric loss to people of 9/10th of the calories.

60% of ‘ecosystem services’ are now threatened, including the ability of water to purify itself and of forests to contribute to clean air. We are running out of nature. The raw materials capitalism depends upon from nature, in addition to oil, are running out and are more expensive to extract and less efficient to extract.

Then he talks about climate change and global warming. A 2% rise in temperature will wipe out coastal cities; a 4% rise will wipe out human life on the planet; a 6% rise will wipe out all life. We are acidifying the oceans, depleting the ozone, extinguishing species, loading the atmosphere with aerosol. People can’t live without nature, but nature can live without people. In order to stabilize carbon emissions, not even reduce them, we would have to switch to non-carbon energy sources at a rate of about 2.1 percent per year. That comes out to building almost one new nuclear power plant per day.

An acre and one-half of rain forest is felled every second to make way for corporate agriculture

We humans consume 25% more of the world’s natural ‘products’ than the earth can replace, which will rise to 80% by the year 2050. Only one percent of the raw materials extracted from the earth actually end up in products, which is only one percent material efficiency.

He repeats, nature is finite, it has limits. But some people still believe that technology will save us, even though technology creates ecological problems. They believe the new technology like climate engineering will solve those ecological problems that technology creates. This is a Ponzi scheme in the making..

Sander then talks about the military/industrial complex and the corporate/government complex. U.S. military spending is now about half of the entire annual discretionary spending budget. Is it possible to believe that corporate interests, profits, and growth are not among the main determining factors? A high percentage of these military expenditures are completely useless for “fourth generation warfare”, spent on traditional weaponry

that is useless against terrorist suicide bombers. The United States now spends about six times as much on the military as our next largest competitor, China, and more than all of the other countries in the world combined.

It’s nearly as if government itself has become a subordinate division of a far larger capitalist enterprise. It is as if corporations and government have merged. The outcome of this newt rend is a startling decline in the practice of democracy, and its near replacement by an alternative form of governance in which 1% of the population, the wealthiest, controls the economy entirely: *plutonomy. *The world is dividing into two blocs: plutonomy and the rest, and it’s getting worse, not better. In America, since 2007, the wealthiest 10% of Americans are taking in 50% of the national income.

What the very rich and the politicians they have purchased want is neofeudalism, a privatized economy, in which the commons is commmodified.

Mander concludes the book with a great list of the changes that need to be made in global and American large corporations. The real purpose of the corporation should be to harness private interests to serve the common good. Corporations are *not* people and must never be permitted to donate funds or provide unpaid services to political campaigns. Corporations must engage in “true cost accounting” including recognition and responsibility for all external harms to people and nature from production. Boards of Directors of corporations must include at least 50% of voting members from workers. Each corporation will have a maximum size, based on the kind of business it is.

“Limited liability” for management and shareholders must be banned. Corporations must orient their activities primarily to local needs and are not permitted to move to other communities without specific approval of local elected authorities. Worker owned corporations and employee stock ownership plans should be encouraged and perhaps subsidized. Ratios of salaries within corporations from the highest-level executives to the lowest-level workers, which is now 185 to 1, should never exceed 10 to 1. Corporations should pay taxes on “surplus profits” at higher than normal rates. Fractional banking should be banned, and a small tax (.01%) should be levied on all financial transactions and currency speculations within the investment banking and trading system. Capital gains, investment income, and inheritance income must all be taxed at standard rates for ordinary income. To reflect environmental values all corporate activity should follow the principle of “the polluter pays”. Have new rules against lobbying on military policy and for military contracts, and rules against all campaign contributions from any corporation involved in military production.

Mander leaves unspoken as to how we are to get from where we are to where we need to be. If anyone can figure that out you can probably save mankind and you’ll win the Nobel Peace Prize.




BRIAN WILLIAMS. Excuse me, but what's all the fuss? So what if Williams is the kind of needy guy who's got to puff himself up by lying about the dangers he's faced as a show biz news reader who occasionally shows up in a war zone, broadly defined by news anchors as an entire country. These characters don a helmet for a photo op of a few lines scripted by someone else and fly the hell outtathere.

LISTEN CAREFULLY HERE: You've got to be a nut to be a news anchor. Think of the personality perversions involved — faking real feeling for sad events and all the rest of the manufactured feeling these people are handsomely paid to convey night after night, year after year. Unless they're total sociopaths — which in most cases seems to be the case — you know that what you're doing is all a lie, all faked, a soul destroying charade which, at some deep level of being the anchor knows has made him so cosmically false that he goes even crazier, as Williams did to make himself seem what his entire professional life puts the lie to. The poor guy is so removed from reality he forgot he was saying this stuff on national television, and that out of our fine, fat population of 300 million a few people were doing some fact checking.


CATCH OF THE DAY, Feb 8, 2015

TYLER BILLY, Hopland. DUI, driving on suspended license.

BRANDON BLEECKER, Willits. Unlicensed contractor, using contractor’s license number to defraud.

SERGIO CARRILLO-BUCIO, Ukiah. Pot cultivation, processing, sale.

EDWARD JOHNSON, Ukiah. Failure to appear. (Frequent flyer.)

ANDREW LLOYD, Ukiah. DUI with injuries.

ANTONIO MACIAS, Ukiah. Drunk in public, probation revocation.

KYLE MASON, Ukiah. DUI, probation revocation.

WILLIAM MATTHEWS, Albion. Drunk in public, resisting arrest, probation revocation.

CARL MCCASLIN, Ojai/Ukiah. Driving on suspended license.

MARIO PANIAGUA, Willits. Community Supervision violation.


Forest Preservation Society's public comment [2mb pdf] regarding Timber Harvest Plan 1-14-080 MEN (Railroad Gulch, Albion).



Effective Activism for World Peace, Justice, and Environmental Stability Rain from the Pineapple Express storm has subsided, and the afternoon sunlight brightens the writer's desk in my room at Berkeley's Piedmont House travelers hostel. Swami Sivananda's book entitled "Concentration and Meditation" is open. Practically, it comes down to having a yogic "double vision", wherein an aspect of the individual is always objectively witnessing, while one performs one's social role well. This, as opposed to unconsciously acting in a world defined by continuously changing phenomena. Cultivating an ongoing meditative awareness, is the critical direction to go, because anything else leaves one unconsciously entangled in samsara, disoriented, and vainly searching for an elixir to remedy the situation. As the ancient Indian rishis pointed out, there is no elixir! Regardless of any other factor, moment to moment to moment, the key is to cultivate an ongoing meditative awareness. Sages in every tradition have testified that identifying with the superconscious state is liberation from the suffering that results from identification with the body and mind. As Nisargadatta Maharaj, the cigarette salesman and jnana yoga master from Mumbai, India said: "Stop identifying with the body and mind, and your problem is solved." People the world over are concerned about peace and justice, and the condition of the planet earth's environment. Lately, there is concern about global climate destabilization. However, without a primary focus on realizing the superconscious state, called "sahaja samadhi avastha", the confusion which characterizes the postmodern global social situation has no possibility of significantly changing. Unless the individual consciously evolves, this civilization cannot possibly move in a spiritualized direction. Therefore, the most profoundly crucial activism is the conscious cultivation of unending meditative awareness. From that, world peace, justice, and environmental stability may manifest. OM Shanthi

Craig Louis Stehr

February 8th, 2015 A.D.



Snail mail: P.O. Box 809, Berkeley, CA 94701-0809



by Ted Shapiro

Years ago, there was a problem with predators getting into the chicken coop and carrying off chickens, so Congress formed a special committee to investigate, and see if something could be done about it. The fox came to the very first committee meeting and explained to the committee that he was an expert on chickens and was intimately familiar with the security issues that they face. He suggested to the committee that they hire him to guard the hen house. The members of the congressional committee thought that was a good idea, so they hired the fox to guard the hen house. Some time passed, and the losses of chickens continued, so Congress formed another special committee to investigate. The committee summoned the fox, and the chairman of the committee said to him, “What is going on here? We hired you to guard the hen house but we are still losing chickens.” The fox replied that he had to sleep sometimes, and there was no way he could stay awake twenty four hours a day. He suggested that the committee allow him to hire his brother in law to help him guard the hen house. The committee thought that was a good idea, so they authorized the fox to hire his brother in law to help him guard the hen house.

The fox hired his brother in law, and time passed, but the losses of chickens continued, so Congress formed another special committee to investigate. The special committee on investigations summoned the fox and demanded to know why the losses of chickens were continuing. The fox said that guarding the hen house was too big a job for two foxes and he asked that he be authorized to hire some of his friends and relatives to help guard the hen house. Congress thought that was a good idea, so they authorized the fox to hire his friends and relatives to help guard the hen house.

The fox hired his friends and relatives to help guard the hen house, but the losses of chickens continued. Indeed, they seemed to be worse than ever, so Congress appointed another special committee to investigate. The committee summoned the fox and complained to him that in spite of the fact that the fox had hired his friends and relatives to help guard the hen house, the loss of chickens was continuing. The fox said that they needed a larger, more secure facility for the chickens, so congress authorized the construction of a larger, more secure facility. Once the facility was built, the fox appeared before Congress and said “Now that we have the larger facility, let's fill it up with chickens, and let's not be myopically fixated on losses, as long as you are raising chickens, there are going to be losses, so let's concentrate on production, also, let's start a breeding program to produce bigger, fatter, tastier, chickens.”

So the fox lived happily ever after, doing what foxes do best, and Congress formed another special committee to investigate.


  1. Bill Pilgrim February 10, 2015

    …If only we could muster the same citizen resistance to the Napafication of Anderson Valley! One cannot drive along 128 these days without seeing yet another tasting room or vineyard materialize almost overnight. A little bit here, a little bit there…no one seems to notice, concerned only with their little affinity groups. Viewed together, more than 35 tasting rooms and their associated vineyards usurp a huge portion of valley land, infrastructure, and resources.

    RE: Brian Williams. Both Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush LIED about their military service. They got a pass.
    It’s farcical that the MSM are in a lather about Williams’ fibs when they have yet to fully acknowledge their compliant complicity in promoting the BIG LIES that pushed us into invading Iraq.
    It becomes more painfully obvious every day that the MSM are irrelevant as dispensers of important information.

  2. Michael Slaughter February 10, 2015

    Jerry Mander is like Piketty and much of Naomi Klein–just make “capitalism” a little less evil and we’ll all be better off.

    Which is to say, maybe if we beg hard enough, we won’t get trickled on so much.

    We don’t even have capitalism in the USA. And there’s never been such a thing as a free market. What we have an oligarchic kakistocracy. As Doug Dowd pointed out years ago, 10,000 people (at most) make all the decisions in this country. They must lead “the ignorant and meddlesome herd,” which is the early 20th century name for “the 99%.”

    As Noam Chomsky advises, anarchism is the notion that “all authority must justify itself. Most can’t.”

    Howard Zinn’s wise suggestion: “Become ungovernable.”

    We could also employ Bruce Anderson’s dictum, “It is my patriotic duty to destroy the Democratic Party.”

    Much to do, but to quote Noam Chomsky again, “It’s always a time for action!”

  3. Jim Updegraff February 10, 2015

    A few more years of drought and the vineyards will wither and die.

  4. Whyte Owen February 10, 2015

    On Mander: Margaret Atwood nailed the future of capitalism and its relation to nature in her Oryx and Crake trilogy.

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