- Three Sentencings
- Half Skunk
- Raid Video
- Catch of the Day
- Witchcamp Disinvitation
- Bypass Update
- Grid Alternatives
- The Rot
- Fucked-up Feedback
- Jesus Question
- Times Shame
- Indian Protest
- Corporate Monster
- Memo of the Air
by Bruce McEwen
Timothy Abshire was held to answer and bound over for trial on three felony counts last week, the most prominent being count one, the attempted murder of a police officer.
There had been some question of whether Abshire knew he was shooting at a police officer, but now Judge Ann Moorman has had time to consider the testimony, she believes there was sufficient evidence that Mr. Abshire knew CHP Officer John Heinke was a police officer and that as Abshire turned and raised his rifle in Heinke’s direction it was with the intent to kill Heinke.
“He had been ordered three times to stop, drop the rifle, and show his hands. He kept going, but not only that, he turned to face the officer, and raised the barrel of the gun in the officer’s direction. As to whether he knew Officer Heinke was a duly sworn law enforcement, he had been fleeing from officers ever since he left his house, and a police helicopter was circling above, searching for him. Earlier in the day, he had several times said he was going to kill someone, and that somebody was going to die.”
As for the defense that he was intoxicated to the point he didn’t know what he was doing, Judge Moorman was not convinced. After Officer Heinke shot him, Mr. Abshire was lucid enough to tell the EMT that he had a clear recollection of what had happened and that he was afraid he’d be “going away” for a long time.
The incident happened at the Piffero Vinyard and surrounding neighborhood in Redwood Valley last November 15. Abshire came uninvited to a birthday party with a loaded gun and threatened to kill people. When the police started to arrive, Abshire fled to his trailer house, armed himself with a rifle and disappeared into the woods. A search was initiated after dark, and he was eventually shot by Officer Heinke.
Counts two and three stem from the threats Abshire made to Members of the Piffero family earlier in the day when he came in and shot up the birthday party. Abshire’s attorney, Jan Cole-Wilson has been granted some to time to organize her case and confer with prosecution before setting a trial date.
* * *
Joshua Pollard was sentenced on a violation of his probation and his lawyer, Public Defender Linda Thompson was outraged.
“He wasn’t even the one driving,” she yelped.
Judge John Behnke was not moved. “Placing one’s foot over the driver’s foot does qualify as operating a motor vehicle,” he said.
“But the driver was intoxicated as well,” Thompson howled. “And this is only his first felony. He was intoxicated — they both were, and fighting in the vehicle — so we’re asking for the mitigated term.”
Deputy DA Dan Madow said, “I think it should be the aggravated term. I don’t see how being intoxicated mitigates it at all. The defendant forced her [the driver] to crash into a fence He has no concern for the safety of others, he’s constantly 647f. [drunk and disorderly in public], he ignores the terms of his probation, and I just think the aggravated term is appropriate in this case.”
“I agree,” Judge Behnke said. But I’d like to hear from probation.”
Probation Officer Sandra Plaza summed Pollard up: “He has five prior misdemeanors and counsel [Deputy DA Madow] is correct: his history before acquiring this conviction has been one of complete disregard for probation—if he wants to go out drinking, he does. It doesn’t matter if he has a no-alcohol clause in the terms of his probation, or anything else. The only trouble I have with imposing the aggravated term of three years is that he’s going to be getting out in less than a year-and-a-half, and he’ll go right back to drinking and driving and whatever else he wants to do.”
The Public Defender wanted to get him into a rehab program, instead of prison, “Otherwise, we’re just kicking the can down the road,” Thompson said.
Ms. Plaza said, “He has already been given a 90-day rehab program, but it didn’t take. Probation has nothing further to offer him, so we’d also be asking for the aggravated term.”
Madow said he only had 200 days credit for time served.
“He’s entitled to 90 more days in the program he completed,” Thompson insisted.
This would be a result of the day-for-day credits the court grants for those who go into rehab, and many have learned to jump through this hoop and come out the other side unscathed, as it were.
Judge Behnke wanted to revoke and reinstate the probation, but Ms. Thompson reminded the judge that her client could reject it if he wanted to.
Madow said, “The inability to monitor him makes him a danger to society.”
The judge postponed the sentencing for another two weeks.
“I wanna make sure he has the ability to reject reinstatement of his probation. He’ll be in custody for at least a year, so we’ll deal with this when the Public Defender gets back from vacation.”
* * *
Mr. Michael Brown was convicted of selling meth and coke out of his vehicle in the Wally World (aka Walmart) parking lot a few months ago and he came up for sentencing after Carly Dolan of the Public Defender’s Office fought the case all the way through jury trial. The defense has always tried to imply that the guy who called the cops on Brown was a racist, and now it seems defense hopes to suggest that the jurors were all racists, too.
Ms. Dolan had submitted a Romero Motion, asking Judge Ann Moorman to “strike the strike” – that is, ignore Brown’s prior strike on the grounds that he’s a black man and black men are disproportionately burdened by these onerous strike-prior prison enhancements. The [racist?] judge declined to do so.
Mr. Brown submitted an eight-page letter – he wanted to read it aloud in court, but after she heard what it was about, Judge Moorman said he should just put it in with the rest of the materials he has amassed for his appeal of the conviction.
Deputy DA Joshua Rosenfeld was asking for eight years and four months in prison and Judge Moorman imposed it.
Had the Romero Motion succeeded Brown would have got only three years and eight months. At 55 years of age, Mr. Brown has already spent a large portion of his career in prison and if his appeal fails he will undoubtedly retire there.
This trial was reported in the AVA and it does seem odd that of all the people selling meth and coke in the county out of their cars, out of their homes, even out of their pockets, right out in the open all over town, that a white guy from Crescent City in Ukiah for a Toastmaster’s confab should take notice of the only black man doing business in the WalMart parking lot.
THE SKUNK TRAIN is presently running daily from Willits to the midpoint Northspur, departing at 9:45am and return time is about 2:00pm. On Saturday evenings we have a 3:30pm BBQ dinner trip that goes to Northspur as well. Starting next week we will be running short trips "Pudding Creek Express" from Fort Bragg. Be sure to visit our calendar page http://skunktrain.com/calendar.html for the most up to date schedule.
VIDEO OF LAST WEEK’S BIG ISLAND MOUNTAIN POT RAID
CATCH OF THE DAY, June 27, 2015
MICHAEL BEERS, Ukiah. Probation revocation.
DAVID CALVO, Ukiah. Brandishing.
TAMBERLYN DAVENPORT, Ukiah. Probation revocation.
CORISA GRALAKALLEN, Willits. Possession of controlled substance, probation revocation.
TIMOTHY HIATT, Willits. Petty theft, possession of drug paraphernalia, probation revocation.
BENJAMIN HOFF, Ukiah. Under influence of controlled substance.
DONN KELSEY III, Fort Bragg. Commercial abalone diving, conspiracy.
ELIZABETH MCALLISTER, Ukiah. Probation revocation.
CARLOS MORALES-CARRILLO, Ukiah. Probation revocation.
STEVEN MUNSON, Willits. Court order violation.
KYLEE PETERSEN, Ukiah. DUI.
DAVID SALDONA, Redwood Valley. Fighting, resisting, suspended license.
CHARLES SCHLAPKOHL, Ukiah. Probation revocation.
STEVEN SERNA, Ukiah. Drunk in public.
DAVID WORTHY, Ukiah. Stolen vehicle, receiving stolen property, possession of drug paraphernalia.
WE'RE NOT SURPRISED, MR. THORNE.
There is an annual event which takes place towards the end of June at the Mendocino Woodlands (in Jackson Demonstration State Forest, about five miles east of the Coast) called California Witchcamp. My wife and I, who live in Los Angeles, attended there last year for my first time. This year my wife and I signed up and had received confirmation of attendance. Since confirmation and before the start of camp there were a series of online discussions I initiated about camp and how people connect with one another which led to my being disinvited from camp. Some parts of my online posts were taken down due to concerns over having shared too much personal information. This led to discussions about the proper use of this space.
In the process, since this was mostly taking place on social media, camp leadership learned of my history of depression and suicidal ideation.
Shortly after this I received an email from camp leadership stating that I would not be allowed to attend camp this year due to concerns over my mental health status. Additionally I was informed that I would be given a refund as the camp had cancelled on me but my wife would not be receiving a refund as she was still free to attend. To be sure there is more detail to this story. For purposes of a letter to the editor I have attempted to give a summary of the major details. I am writing to this newspaper based upon a suggestion of the local chapter of the National Association for Mental Illness (NAMI). I thought you would like to know about the mistreatment of people such as myself based upon my mental health status that is taking place in this community.
Kerry G. Thorne/Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist
WILLITS BYPASS PROJECT 2015 CONSTRUCTION SEASON JUNE 2015 UPDATE
The Contractor has completed approximately 70% of work on the project.
Southern Segment: Repair of winter storm damage to slopes is complete. Haehl Creek realignment and fish passage improvement work is complete. Final excavation and grading at the south interchange is in progress. Paving may be complete in October 2015. Right and left bridges for 101/20 Separation are complete, except for concrete barriers, joint seals, and deck grooving. These items of work will not begin until late in 2015 or early 2016. At Haehl Creek, right and left mainline bridges and southbound off-ramp S101/W20 Connector Bridge foundations and abutments are complete. Superstructure construction is in progress at all three, and will be completed in October 2015. Northbound onramp E20/N101 Connector Bridge is complete, except for concrete barriers, joint seals, and deck grooving. East Hill Road Undercrossing Bridge is complete except for concrete barriers, joints, and deck grooving. North Haehl Creek Bridge is complete except for concrete barriers, joint seals, and deck grinding. Pond relocation at Rutledge property is complete. Embankment and grading between shell lane and Center Valley Road is in progress. Paving may be complete in October 2015. Baechtel Creek Retaining Wall is complete. Concrete barrier, backfill and embankment will be completed in 2015. Erosion control materials are being monitored and maintained at all locations. Final erosion control work will be completed in September and October, 2015
Floodway Viaduct: Frames 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 are complete except for concrete barriers, deck grooving, and surface finishing. Hinges 8, 13, and 17 are complete. Hinge 4 is under construction Frames 6, 7, and 8 are under construction. Completion of the Viaduct by September 2015 is anticipated. City of Willits and Caltrans continue to coordinate work near WWTP facilities at Frames 6, 7, and 8.
North Segment: Redesign of the North interchange is complete and construction is in progress. Imported fill between the railroad overcrossing and the north tie-in is mostly complete and started into required fill settlement periods. Imported fill construction between the Floodway Viaduct and the railroad is in progress. Foundation pile are complete at Quail Meadows Overhead bridge and Quail Meadows Undercrossing bridge. Construction of abutments is in progress. Foundation pile are under construction at three Upp Creek bridges – (mainline, NB on-ramp, SB off-ramp.) Utility relocation work is ongoing. Completion of all mainline and interchange bridges in October 2015 is anticipated. Erosion control is being monitored and maintained at all locations. Completion of final grading and paving will be performed in 2016, after fill settlement is complete.
I THINK I CAN SAFELY SAY most of your readers missed the interesting Grid Alternative talk at the Grange Thursday night. A few folks showed and Kevin Jones’ Capoeira martial arts class stretched physically and mentally during the presentation. It was worthy of readers time, I think there was too much going on and it was not very well noticed, but Maggie of Grid Alternatives will be back. Grid Alternatives is like Habitat for Humanity by for solar grid ties. GA gets great deals by backers who are making tax write offs and uses a sharp lead person and volunteers plus OSHA level safety to put good power on your roof. The snag is that you need to own the house, have a good roof, and a limited income. There is some possibility that you can do this on rentals for low income renters. I think she said it was $.30 a watt. The other not so obvious idea is to allow volunteers to enter the solar construction market by learning hands on. Cool! The glory - watching your bill plummet and smile as the grid for once gives back. Hopefully the new battery technology will allow us to have local Solar pods that store neighborhood power and well rarely go down. The grid is old thinking. California will allow yet one more year of tax write offs for solar. Once you do this, the power monkey is off your back. The AV Solar Grange did it over 10 years ago and we paid off our investment. Clean power for nada! We hope to have the Grid Alternative folks back in the fall/winter when folks are more focused at home.
Meanwhile you can go to www.gridalternatives.org or call 510 731-1333. or email firstname.lastname@example.org. An aside, Kevin’s class is pretty cool. It is 7 PM Tuesday and Thursdays at the AV Solar Grange. More stuff about the grange at avgrange.org
— Greg Krouse
ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY
“You see it in the amazing decrepitude of the built environment — the cities and towns left for dead, the struggling suburban strip malls tenanted if at all by wig shops and check-cashing operations, the rusted bridges, pot-holed highways, the Third World style train service. Most sickeningly you see it in a population of formerly earnest, hard-working, basically-educated people with hopes and dreams transformed into a hopeless moiling underclass of tattooed savages dressed in baby clothes devoting their leisure hours (i.e. all their time) to drug-seeking and…”
You see and feel the decline everywhere… taking an AA plane from Seoul, one of the most modern and clean cities in the world, to the US further demonstrates the rot. A cramped and rickety 20 year old plane with entertainment fed by a loop-in-progress system where the food boxes were thrown at you by stewards too wide to pass unencumbered through the aisles brought it all home. An apparent immigrant commenting in heavily accented English in an elevator at JFK on just how truly embarrassing the dilapitated airport is. The desirable and maintained places in this country are fast becoming playgrounds for the super rich. Cities with (mostly) maintained amenities such as NY, SF, Chicago and portions of Washington (and NoVa) are no longer accesible to the middle classes. The tattooed childish clothed savages addicted to masturbation on all levels are just indicative of the free-fall to the lowest common denominator brought by multiculturalism and the dogmatic indoctrination of tolerance and acceptance of everything and anything. People may be equal, but some cultures are definitely better than others despite the PC protests to the contrary.
“THE THING ABOUT US, I guess, is that we’re not really layin' anything on anybody. I mean if you’re tellin' people directly how to ‘be right,’ how to act, how to do, if you’re talkin' to people on that level, then the kind of feedback you get is gonna be more of like, ‘You promised me this, man; now, where is it?’ It’s the I-demand-to-speak-to-John-Lennon-personally syndrome. Like, one time this guy came into our office, this fucked-up guy, just walked right up and started staring at me in this intense way, man, and he was so heavy, it was as if he was about to say something really important, you know, really urgent; he looked like he was on the verge of exploding or something, and finally he says, ‘Listen, when are you guys gonna get it on, man? Because you know Scientology’s got a good head start!’ But it’s just the price you pay for standin' up in public; you get stuff comin' back at you, and if you’re a little fucked up yourself, you get fucked-up feedback, that’s all.”
— Jerry Garcia (Grateful Dead)
LOUIS BEDROCK ALERTS US:
Robert Price has written about a dozen books on Christianity. He has two PhDs in theology, was a professor of religion at Mount Olive College, and was a member of The Jesus Seminar and its successor, The Jesus Project.
The following essay is the last chapter of his book, Jesus Is Dead.
I don’t know if you have any interest in publishing something like this, or whether you’d need Price's permission to do so.
There are a lot of bright, educated people like Mr. Jim Updegraff, who think that theories that Jesus Christ was merely a mythical figure are deranged conspiracy theories that originated in the last 100 years.
Actually, Docetism — the theory that Christ never existed in human form, probably originated with segments of the Gnostics, whom some scholars think may have pre-Christian roots; it is an element of the epistles of Paul of Tarsus, who never mentions the gospel stories, and found its strongest support among the Marcionites, a Gnostic sect eventually declared heretical by The Church of Rome, persecuted, and destroyed.
In any event, this is Price’s essay. I think it’s excellent. It summarizes well the arguments of those of us who doubt that Jesus Christ ever existed.
People who want to explore the theme further can begin with
Your Brother in Christ,
Louis S. Bedrock, Roselle, New Jersey
SHAME ON THE NEW YORK TIMES for Berkeley balcony collapse article
Former Irish President Mary McAleese has said the New York Times "should be hanging its head in shame" for its controversial article on the Berkeley balcony collapse.
The newspaper has attracted widespread criticism of its report on the accident which linked the partying lifestyle of Irish J1 students to the deaths of six young students.
The report also claimed the J1 visa program had become “a source of embarrassment for Ireland”.
In a letter to the newspaper, Mrs. McAleese said:
"Today in Ireland we are hanging our heads in shock and sorrow at the needless deaths of six of our brightest and best young adults and the serious injuries to others.
"Today the New York Times should be hanging its head in shame at how outrageously and without the remotest evidence it has rushed to judgment on those deaths.
"I was a J-1 visa student in California over 40 years ago.
"Tens of thousands of Irish J-1 students have spent happy summers there over the years since.
"By far the vast majority have been a credit to Ireland and only the very tiniest minority have not.
"Yet within hours of the most appalling tragedy in the history of the J-1 visa program, when the one salient fact to speak for itself is the ludicrous collapse of a fourth floor balcony in a relatively new building, New York Times journalists reached for the lazy tabloid stereotype and heaped deliberate injustice on top of the most awful grief.
"Shame on you.
Mary McAleese, former President of Ireland, 1997-2011; J-1 visa student in San Francisco summer of 1971."
Irish Times Ed Note:
In a statement to the Irish Examiner newspaper yesterday, the New York Times said the article was a "second-day story" following the collapse.
"It was intended to explain in greater detail why these young Irish students were in the US," its vice president of corporate communications, Eileen Murphy, said.
"We understand and agree that some of the language in the piece could be interpreted as insensitive, particularly in such close proximity to this tragedy.
"It was never our intention to blame the victims and we apologize if the piece left that impression.
"We will continue to cover this story and report on the young people who lost their lives."
(Courtesy, the Irish Examiner)
WINNEMEM WINTU AND ALLIES TO PROTEST EXCLUSION of California Indians from Gov. Brown’s California Water Summit
For Immediate Release: June 27, 2015
Press Contact: Caleen Sisk, (530) 229-4096
The Winnemem Wintu tribe, allies and other tribal representatives will be rallying and waving signs outside the 2nd California Water Summit this Monday, June 29, at the Westin Sacramento to protest Gov. Jerry Brown’s efforts to exclude California tribes, environmentalists and other important stakeholders in this public meeting about massive state water infrastructure projects.
The summit is being advertised by the Brown administration as a conference to discuss the “latest developments including project selection for the $7.5 billion water bond” that is now available after the passage of the Water Quality, Supply and Infrastructure Act of 2014.
Registration for the summit is nearly an astounding $1,500 per person, and there have been no efforts to include tribal representatives, environmentalists or anyone who is advocating for sound water policy that will benefit future generations, local ecosystems and salmon and other fisheries.
No mention of tribal water rights is listed on the agenda, and it seems the only people attending will be water districts’ staff, government scientists, corporate representatives and other advocates for Governor Brown’s pet water projects like the Shasta Dam raise and the twin Delta Tunnels, both of which would be devastating for salmon and tribal cultural resources and sacred sites.
“Most of the California Indians who are working on tribal water rights and for healthier rivers can’t afford a $1,500 registration fee,” said Winnemem Wintu Chief and Spiritual Leader Caleen Sisk. “This is clearly an effort by Governor Brown to exclude the tribal voice, shove out anyone who disagrees with his destructive water plans and provide an opportunity for government and the big water power brokers to collude behind closed doors.”
Though California is suffering through five years of drastically low rainfall, Chief Sisk said the water problems are all man-made, due to poor management and greed. As the low rainfall puts a stress on California’s boondoggle of a water system, it has never been more important for the indigenous perspective to be heard and for tribal water rights to be acknowledged and upheld. The Winnemem Wintu have an especially important stake in the bond funds, as many think they could be used to support the Shasta Dam raise to enlarge Shasta Lake’s capacity, which in turn would flood or damage about 40 sacred sites vital to the Winnemem’s religion and cultural practices.
“This is a summit that is meant to help these people peddle Brown’s projects that will benefit his buddies: agribusiness and water sellers in Southern California,” Sisk said. “They are not interested in what’s best for the people of California and their children.”
All supporters are invited to join the Winnemem and their allies at the Westin Sacramento, 4800 Riverside Boulevard, at 7 a.m. Monday June 29. Please bring signs and any other items to ensure Gov. Brown hears our message loud and clear: He can no longer ignore the indigenous people of California!
WHAT'S IT ALL ABOUT?
I've tried to find words -- there don't seem to be many -- to clearly convey the nature and magnitude of our peril. Simply adding to the white-out blizzard of the Information Age seems not just hopeless, but counterproductive. Still, the counsel at hand, like sandlot baseball, says if you don't swing, you'll never connect...same as in swordplay or fistfight. Or music. The man did say, 'It don't mean a thang if it ain't got that swang.'
We're deep in the thrall of a self-created and administered 'truth' far stranger than science fiction. Not the least bizarre feature of this historic fix is that it's so widely accepted as normal, natural, even desirable. This nightmare delusion is so confused, it's identified with progress, advance, civilization. Our picture of it is largely upside down, inside out, and backwards. This is not inadvertent, it's deliberate.
Shadowy larger forces rule violently by 'official' remote control under multiple layers of criminal secrecy, charging us an arm and a leg and then some for the privilege. Our outlay for contributions beyond available balance, our participations beyond life itself are sold to us as compulsory; Death and Taxes R Us, with a vengeance.
No one (nobody) in possession of a full set of their senses would start or take part in such an obviously terminal process. Nature is famously unforgiving of ignorance or disregard of Her laws, however immaculate our intentions. All of written history is an unbroken sequence of proofs of this Rule. Then, how is it we, the most powerful, civilized, educated folks ever, could actually be so stupid, with such determination? It takes some doing. And we've had 'help.' This is where things go seriously haywire for us homo sapiens sapiens critters, and pretty much everything else.
The vaunted course of Human progress -- troubled and troubling all along to hear History tell it -- really left the tracks right near the point of the invention we call 'railroad.' We've enthusiastically welcomed and celebrated this accomplishment with some good reason.
Wheeled vehicles under artificial power fast became the salient feature of our most advanced culture, the very symbol and vehicle of our superior and accelerating position atop the Scheme of Things. Yeeha. Less notice has been taken of the quick addition to our dictionary then of a related term: to railroad. How and why did the noun come to be also a verb?
With what results? What's the problem? Even the smaller, more personal automobile when it came along was cold, inert, and harmless until some Human crawled aboard and fired it up. Then, can't all this trouble be blamed on People alone?
Can't we just write the ticket to the nut that holds the wheel? I don't think so.
There's yet another, far more obscure layer of artifice quite deeply involved. Coincident with the dawn of our industrial revolution, there arose from the back rooms and boardrooms of commercial enterprise a new kind of synthetic creature: the corporation. This genetically non-existent organism had been a temporary utilitarian artifact until then, useful in convening and exercising the resources and efforts of communities to accomplish specific tasks. Once the town hall was built or the new bridge was in place, this handy little GNO had served its purpose and thereafter disappeared. The new 19th century model though, came with a couple of novel and critically important features: (1) permanence; a 'life-span' of indefinite duration, and (2) systemic growth; much like cancer, with the specified goal of indefinite gain, in pursuit of which 'more' is automatically 'better.' And for such a simple contrivance, this little device inscribed on paper has done damned well for itself.
It immediately defined greed (its One Value, and the ancient Root of All Evil) as 'good,' reversing the Lesson of the Ages. Too bad for us, it doesn't have the sense God gave a goose...or an amoeba. Nonetheless, without so much as a mind of its own or a leg to stand on, it's been able to acquire the best brains money can buy, and then some.
Once devised, it lost no time in taking on a 'life' of its own, rearing up and taking a proprietary look around at us and all of our world. A good trick was to entrain the very U.S. Supreme Court to recognize the corporation as a legal 'person' with full Rights, if you could afford it; the corporation could and did. Mary Bysse Shelley's contemporary fevered dream was thin, pale and tame in comparison. Verne was likewise out of his league, and Twain wide of the mark. In the heart of the world's first and foremost democratic republic -- right here -- this new handcrafted critter, animated by its own Human appendages, emerged larger than Life, immediately setting to work cashing in everything in sight. It terminated the hard-won American Revolution's gains barely 70 years into the Constitution's brief existence, disenfranchising and dispossessing the very People for whom and by whom the Revolution was fought. This would have been no new story to N. America's black folks nor to the Peoples of the First Nations.
How were we so easily convinced to buy in? Over in Europe, the Greens and Commons disappeared, their populations herded into urban camps, captive labor pools for the new Fake Beast. This also left fertile ground and vast impetus for social unrest. Farms and farmers were devoured, displaced, disappeared into the maw of agri-business. Ever wider and faster mobilization became the rule and ruler of all the lands and seas. America and the rest of our world have largely been persuaded to accept this deviously devised horseshit...at what cost? Everything. Our heart, soul, posterior, and posterity we have given away and are giving with some enthusiasm. Why?, Some might say, 'yeah, it's a monster alright, but it's our monster,' when in fact it's the monster who's in possession and a law unto itself, beyond the reach of the laws of Humans, and indifferent to the Laws of Nature...for a while.
The synthetic beast's disregard for Natural Law is not total. Adept at camouflage and subterfuge, it has paid specific attention to appearing altogether Natural, no more and no less. Early on, it appended itself with Human members eager to craft and adjust its image, achieving likeness so convincing, it's...damned near Human. "Naturally."
An early, stellar example of such shapeshifting corporate voodoo was the American Sugar Refining Corporation -- the Sugar Trust -- the invention of one Henry Havemeyer in the late 1800's. Having gained control of the very highest offices of the U.S. government and military through bribery, furtive 'gifts,' the rigging and theft of elections, and other corruptions, Havemeyer built an empire emblematic of all that was -- and is -- dead wrong with America. Almost overnight, our government of, by, and for People morphed into one of, by, and for Profit...as it remains today. This seemingly slight distinction, with almost no notice then or since, has made all the difference. When Wm. Jennings Bryan ran for President against the Sugar Trust's boy, McKinley, Ohio Republican Senator and 'fundraiser' Mark Hanna was asked what he thought of Bryan's candidacy. Also a major player in the Sugar Trust, Hanna responded, 'You don't think we'd let that fool in the White House, do you? You know you can pay half the people in this country to kill the other half, and we've got the money to hire them.' McKinley himself would later say, 'I should probably have gone to the penitentiary than to the White House.' Did any of this inspire Teddy Roosevelt's warning against '...that most dangerous of classes, the wealthy criminal class...'? You bet -- then and now -- what's left of yer booty. So, what has this onslaught meant in real time, in fact, on the ground? What's all this got to do with the American verb, to railroad?
This: Falsely assuming the guise of 'American Interests,' these distinctly unAmerican commercial organisms set about unprecedented imperial ravages continuing up through today and counting. The earlier European wave of 'settlement' in N. America, spurred by cultural elements and population influx and growth, set the stage and the tone for the military/industrial version of railroading. First, arriving on the East Coast as undocumented aliens, Europeans carried diseases that ripped through the First Nations, killing 80 - 90% almost immediately, various armed conflicts accounting for little of that. The subsequent 'Indian Wars' of the 1800's, concurrent with the advent and incursion of railroads, and so thoroughly mythologized in cheap fictions like Hollywood, would be more properly termed 'mopping-up' operations, nearly completing the genocides of those indigenous populations; the epic unsettling of North America.
The forced near-extinctions of the bison and predators of the Plains -- the husband species of the grasslands -- and rampant plowing and over-grazing later precipitated the Dust Bowl. Railroad rights-of-way superceded and displaced all other Rights in their path. Dispossessed Indians daring to resist were labeled hostiles and mown down. Dispossessed farmers, like the James family, daring to resist were tagged as outlaws and train robbers, their sons, like Frank and Jesse, hounded to prison and to death. These homemade hostiles and bandits would likely be termed 'terrorists' today.
Sugar beet farmers once thriving in America were ruined and sent packing by the hundreds when the cane-fed Sugar Trust wielded its black-hole market influence. In this process, the vast sugar beet industry in Germany was likewise wiped out, killing a large component of their economy, and gaining their grave disapproval. And the Kaiser's envy.
For cheap real estate and labor, the imperial bite of the Sugar Trust gobbled up Cuba, Puerto Rico, the Philippines, and indirectly, Hawai'i. Similar corporate imperial incursions disguised as American Interests made similar undeclared wars in lots of other places under the Stars and Stripes, with American troops, on the U.S. taxpayers' dime. Japan did not miss the significance of these apparent 'successes' nor their proximity to their own little islands. The U.S. public, long somnambulant, indulged the fantasy of America's 'isolationism.' Terroristic threats and actions were prepetrated for profit by these fraudulent 'American Interests' far and wide. Don't believe it?
Take a prominent professional's word for it, then go do a little amateur checking up on 'your' public servants.
The Professional's Confessional -- read General Smedley D. Butler's book, 'War Is A Racket' The DIY Private Eye -- find a near-current world atlas (at the library or buy one) and cruise the alphabetical index. Starting with 'A,' note each place you know of where 'American Interests' have wreaked unlawful violence (piracy; terrorism) on the seas and/or the shores of this and other nations.
This is not just a suggestion; go do it. Alternatively, you can shut up about this 'land of the free' crap, stop waving my flag around over these horrors, chanting 'support our troops,' and -- oh, yes -- put your mouth where my money was. I doubt you have any troops, and I know I don't. What I do have is brothers and sisters, sons and daughters, friends and neighbors.
Welcome as new arrivals may be, they don't replace or make up in any for those many who've been taken from us. Support our troops? You mean the ones KIA? It's a little late for those, but preventing yet more such losses is obviously called for. You mean the large percentage of the U.S. homeless who are veterans? Yes, by all means, if you mean it, support them...today would be a good day to start. You mean the shattered and ruined ones who take their own lives at a rate of 22 (twenty two) a day, and counting?
Yes, goddamnit, support them! You mean support the unHumanized apparatus that has them killing and killed? I don't say, 'no, thank you,' I say, 'HELL, NO!' What does it really mean for some fake 'American Interest' (aside from their immense profits) to dictate policy, deploy U.S. troops, and make illegal wars (piracy; terrorism)? What happens initially and what are the consequences? One of the worst among too many horrific examples is the case of the Philippines.
The 'Spanish-American War' was for the huge benefit of the burgeoning military/industrial cult, mostly the Sugar Trust. If you've been taught different, get over it; time's wasting, along with most everything else.
When war threatened, Spain quickly moved to meet Yankee demands to avert conflict, to no avail. U.S. troops were used for killing and to be killed to seize Cuba, Puerto Rico, and among other places, the Philippines for cheap real estate and labor, mainly for Sugar. 'American' interests so generously 'freed' the Philippines, U.S. forces moved right in to establish a new foreign occupation in place of the Spanish dominion there.
This was not well received by Filipinos. Their ensuing uprising against U.S. occupation was called the Philippine Insurrection and was met with vicious force. Millions of locals and way too many Yankees perished.
When the U.S. declared the Insurrection suppressed, the 'mission accomplished,' our commander there, General Arthur MacArthur (yep, Doug's daddy!) said he thought it would actually take another ten years or so of 'the bayonet treatment' to quell any lingering hard feelings. Knowing a little of what's going on there now, you'd see the General's prediction was off by over one hundred years and counting. That bleeding, smoking example of the apparent success of empire was not lost on other nations, notably Germany and Japan, who would go on to wield their own versions, infamously. So many of 'our' troops there got knifed to death in public by assailants who would fade into the crowds that a new handgun was developed and issued to G.I.'s for close-quarter combat in the Philippines: the Cold M-1911 .45 cal. semi-automatic pistol.
This hard-hitting little honey is still with us, making hay. Presently, the southern islands of the Philippines are still seething with resentment, mostly among the Moros -- Spanish for 'moors,' or Muslim folk. Abracadabra: 'Terrorists!' Back then, the American Sugar Refining Corporation's leading light, Henry Havemeyer, justifying his most unAmerican company's imperial triumphs, called it 'simply survival of the fittest,' invoking Natural Law. In practice, his outfit was deliberately and wholly contrived to benefit from systematic and most unNatural Selection. Hence, whence, and thence, the ascendancy of the least fit, most devious, murderous, thieving 'creature' ever devised...so far. Allergic to the full light of day, thriving on innocent blood, the Beast flourished. No vampire ever dreamed of having it so good, then or since.
Name any one of our many rocky problems (Mideast crises, Islamic fundamentalism, Terrorism; War on Drugs, Mexican cartels; Poverty; Political corruption, fake and stolen elections, etc., etc.,...), turn over that stone and you will certainly find the 'corporate being' at the base of it.
Rick Weddle, Hawaii
MEMO OF THE AIR
Subject: 1 pr MacGregor Bros.' elastic fire-resistant shorts, XL, teal w/black piping, used once, sterilized by fire (they work).
The recording of last night's (2015-06-26) KNYO Memo of the Air: Good Night Radio show is ready to download and keep or just play with one click at http://MemoOfTheAir.wordpress.com
Also at http://MemoOfTheAir.wordpress.com you'll find thousands and thousands of links to interesting things to see and do and learn about, such as:
The truth about trilobites.
And the fascinating puppetry of the giraffe.