- Teaching Violence
- Toby Shapiro
- Quake Mistake
- Beard Craze
- Record Management
- Best Burger
- Ukiah Decisions
- Yesterday's Catch
- No NeoClinton
- Killing Robots
- Explore Space
- Marine Base
- Good Americans
- Good Drunk
- Home Rule
- Dubya Dumb
- Big Ag
- Caspar Ukefest
- Outage Bill
ZERO SUM IN BRUSSELS: THE SAVAGE VISION DRIVING A TERROR-RIDDEN WORLD
by Chris Floyd
The atrocities in Brussels — and they are horrific, criminal atrocities — are not occurring in a vacuum. They are not springing from some unfathomable abyss of motiveless malevolence. They are a response, in kind, to the atrocious violence being committed by Western powers on a regular basis in many countries around the world. And just as there is no justification for the acts of carnage in Brussels (and Paris and Turkey and elsewhere), there is likewise no justification for the much larger and more murderous acts of carnage being carried out by the most powerful and prosperous nations on earth, day after day, year after year.
The Western powers know this. For many years, their own intelligence agencies — in study after study — have confirmed that the leading cause of violent “radicalization” among a small number of Muslims is the violent Western intervention in Muslim lands. These interventions are carried out for the purpose of securing the economic and political domination of Western interests over lands rich with energy resources, as well as their strategic surroundings. That they have not even the slightest connection to “liberating” people from religious or political persecution, or making the world “safer,” is glaringly transparent. They are about domination, pure and simple.
Indeed, this point is scarcely disputed, although champions of domination claim it is a good thing. For decades, one has heard the argument from American exceptionalists that “if we don’t do it” — that is, if we don’t dominate the world militarily and economically — “then somebody else will.” The implication, of course, is that such a “somebody else” will be far worse than our own divinely blessed, goodhearted selves.
There is a fiercely primitive worldview underlying this philosophy (which is held almost universally across the American political spectrum, and in those countries who cling to the coattails of American dominance). It says that violent domination is the only reality in human affairs: one must dominate, or be dominated. One must eat or be eaten. One must kill or be killed. There is no alternative. If “we” don’t dominate — by force if necessary, doing “whatever it takes” — then it is a given that some other power will do so. Domination and power are all that exists; the only question is how they are distributed, and who controls that distribution. And there is no price too high to pay in order to gain — or maintain — that control.
You can see how this primitive belief plays out in domestic politics, too. More and more, politics across the Western democracies (and other nations as well) are revolving around the question of who should dominate in a society — or more specifically, who feels their domination over society is being threatened. This dynamic is driving nationalist movements across the board. In the United States, it is expressed in the panic and dismay felt by an increasing number of white people — especially but by no means exclusively white males — that their “natural” domination of American society is slipping away. They want to “take our country back,” or else they’ll be overwhelmed — dominated — by a flood of unworthy others: African-Americans, Mexicans, Muslims, homosexuals, women, etc. This self-pitying fear has been rife in right-wing discourse for decades, and has now burst into the open, and into the mainstream, with the likely nomination of Donald Trump as presidential candidate of a major party.
Again, the dynamic of domination is key: since nothing exists outside this dynamic, since there is no other way, then one group MUST dominate the others. The idea of equal citizens working, living, and sharing together is a fantasy in this worldview. If blacks or immigrants or women or gays are perceived to have gained a small share in the national life, then that share must have been “taken” from the dominant group. And since, in this view, domination is the goal of all groups, since it is the organizing principle of human life, then those upstart groups are not just seeking a fair share of society’s bounty and freedoms and opportunities; no, they are actually aiming to subjugate the dominant group. In this extremely limited worldview, life is always a zero-sum game. To give someone else more opportunity means less for yourself, and your kind. The freer someone else is, the less free you are. There is only so much to go around. You will find more sophisticated and empathetic worldviews on grade-school playgrounds, or in wolf packs.
And so we come to the foreign policies of Western nations today. They are all, without exception, built on the goal of securing effective control (in whatever form) of economic and strategic resources for the benefit of their own power structures. Again, it is beyond dispute that these policies do NOT involve trying to make the world a better, safer place so that their own citizens might pursue their lives in peace. These policies manifestly do NOT involve trying to achieve “security” for their own people. Those who advance these policies knowingly and deliberately accept the fact that they will invariably cause destruction abroad and “blowback” at home. They know and accept that these policies will destabilize the world, that they will radicalize some of those who suffer from them, that they will lead to less security at home, that they will drain public treasuries and leave their own people to sink in broken communities with decaying infrastructure, mounting debt, shrinking opportunities, bleak futures and despairing lives.
They know all of this is true — not only because they can see it happening with their own eyes, as we all can, but also because their own experts tell them, time and time again, that this is so. But they accept all this as the price that must be paid to advance and maintain their dominance. In the words of Madeline Albright, when she was confronted with the fact that the US/UK sanctions on Iraq had at that time killed at least 500,000 children, our leaders believe this price “is worth it.”
In private, they no doubt tell themselves that it is the domination of their good and “special” nation, or the domination of the worthy “values” of “Western civilization” that they are trying to secure with their policies, by doing “whatever it takes.” But in practice, of course, the chief beneficiaries of these policies are invariably the ruling classes of the nations involved. This has become much more brazenly evident in recent years, as the conditions and prospects of even the middle classes are so clearly deteriorating. There is little room left to pretend that the “rising tide” of militarized hyper-capitalism is “lifting all boats” when even those who once benefitted from expanding opportunity (in the post-war boom) are now sinking. (The poor, of course, have almost always been invisible.)
The people in Brussels — like the people in Paris, and like the far greater multitude of victims in Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Sudan, Somalia, etc — are, yes, “reaping the whirlwind” of Western foreign policy. The criminals who carried out the most recent attacks have adopted the mindset of our Western elites, who teach the world, day after day, that the destruction of innocent lives is an acceptable price to pay in order to achieve your objectives. You can and must do “whatever it takes” — even if whatever it takes is, say, the death of half a million innocent children. Or a war of aggression that leaves a million innocent people dead. Or drone-bombing a wedding party. Or sending missiles into a hospital. Or sitting in the Oval Office — your Peace Prize gleaming on the mantelpiece — while you tick off the names of victims on your weekly “Kill List.”
We wonder how these terrorists can commit such barbarous atrocities as we see in Brussels — even while most of us happily countenance, even celebrate, far more extensive and continuous atrocities committed by our leaders in pursuit of domination. Then we pretend that the former has no connection to the latter. Yet the targets of these foreign policies live through a hundred Brussels attacks, a dozen 9/11s every year. We teach violence to the world — brutal destruction of individual lives, of societies and communities, of entire nations — yet are shocked when the world responds in kind.
I will say it again: there is absolutely no justification for the murder of innocent people such as we saw in Brussels today. None. But crimes of equal horror — killing innocent people, disrupting the lives of millions of others, and filling them with fear — are being carried out, routinely, and on a much larger scale, by the leaders of our Western nations and their allies. This is too is equally unjustifiable, and is worthy of the same level of rejection and outrage we rightly apply to the Brussels atrocity.
(Chris Floyd is a columnist for CounterPunch Magazine. His blog, Empire Burlesque, can be found at www.chris-floyd.com. Courtesy, CounterPunch.org)
TOBY MICHAEL SHAPIRO October 2, 1946 - March 6, 2016 Toby Shapiro quietly passed away on Sunday, March 6th, after a short battle with advanced lung cancer. He was surrounded by loved ones. Toby was born in Ross, California, and graduated from Sir Frances Drake High School. He attended Chico State where he perfected his bridge skills and ultimately achieved Master status. He was a carpenter by trade; a bridge teacher; a woman's softball coach; a gardener. He had a unique sense of humor and could be counted on to clearly see life's foibles. He was a good person who lived his life on his own terms. Toby was preceded in death by his mother Helen Frey Shapiro, and is survived by his father Carl Shapiro, his brother Joseph (Maxine) Shapiro, his sister Sylvia Shapiro, and his four children Amelia, Aaron (Melissa), Shirin (Luke) Martin, and Kevin (Danna) Davenport, and his grandchildren, Chloe, Emma, Orion, West and Lily. There will be a wake held on Saturday, April 2nd, at 1:00 p.m., at The Red Barn Ranch, 16181 Mountain House Road, Hopland.
THE FARTHER up the Coast you get, the smarter the voters. In Sonoma County, as in Mendo and Lake, donors are heavy for The Bern over Ms. Ghastly. As of the end of January, Bernie raised twice the money that Hillary did, a whole lot of it in individual donations. The Federal Election Commission also reports that Marin, Napa, and Frisco, Hillary leads Bernie about 3-1 in contributions, silent confirmation that the Silicon zomboids now dominate San Francisco politics.
IN MENDOCINO COUNTY, as of January 31st, Mendocino County fired off $46,400 to Bernie, $18,300 for the imperial she-hawk.
FROM THE AREA north of Marin, Bernie received 5,808 donations at an average of $84, Clinton 2,340 donations for an average of $475.
A HAPPY subscriber writes: "Pleased to renew subscription for one more year — before the End Times ring their final chimes, heralded by Trump bloviating now in the big tent as the latest in the bread and circuses crowd…"
THE NEWS that a 3.3 quake had "rocked" Kenwood last Sunday was all over the NorCal media, including this media. But the U.S. Geological Survey got the location wrong. “I’m embarrassed to report that, no, there was not” an earthquake, said Lind Gee, project manager for the USGS in Menlo Park. “The earthquake was actually in The Geysers.” Gee explained that the small quake actually occurred a few miles northwest of Cobb in The Geysers area at about 12:30 p.m. and that another little quake happened a few seconds before that, causing the system to briefly mislocate the one quake, putting it in east Sonoma County’s Wine Country.
THE BEARD CRAZE
by Jeff Costello
Okay, what is it with the beards? As a fashion trend, it seems a lot of young guys are sporting them. Of course there have always been men with beards, though usually older. Some because they don't like shaving, some perhaps to cover what they regard as an inadequate chin. Some just as a permanent fuck-you middle finger to all that is normal. Hooray for that, but I doubt mild-mannered "hipsters" at Microsoft give it much of a thought.
The late Larry Moyer, a New York beatnik type, avant-garde film maker and transplant to the Sausalito waterfront, never in the forty-plus years I knew him was clean shaven. He was close friends with Shel Silverstein, author of children's books, cartoonist and songwriter, another transplant to boat living on the waterfront. Shel also wore a beard but shaved his head bald. This look is very popular now and Silverstein was way ahead of his time. As the story goes, Moyer's demise (at age 92) was hastened when he set his prodigious beard on fire while lighting his pipe, which likely contained tobacco, because if I'm not mistaken, he smoked his pot in joints.
These days full beards are everywhere and I find it odd that it coincides with that whole muslim thing. You know, "terrorists, jihadists." Those guys all have beards, and paranoid politics being what they are, is their look influencing the hipster crowd? To my eyes, there's something not quite right about twenty-somethings with long beards. Do they have problems at airports? Do they secretly admire the jihadist look? Do they think it makes them more manly-looking? Here in the flyover zone (Colorado) there is a preponderance of redneck/cowboy types, Broncos fans who probably like Donald Trump, with his promise to ban muslims from the U.S.A. (shout it in unison: U-S-A! U-S-A!). So why are so many such guys imitating the look of some weird foreign "bad guys?"
These are not old beatniks or crusty Duck Dynasty types, or orthodox Jews. They're young men being "stylish." Is it television? Photos and videos of muslims abound on the screen. Does the facial hair idea just seep in? If muslim fanatics are considered dangerous, does the guy behind the counter at 7-11 think his beard might scare off robbers?
FOR THE RECORD: RECORDS MANAGEMENT IN MENDOCINO COUNTY GOVERNMENT
A Mendocino County Grand Jury Report
Summary: Mendocino County is taking steps to improve the management of its records, both in terms of response to public records requests and in regard to appropriate retention of its records. The County has implemented a new Internet portal to facilitate responses to records requests and has assigned staff in the Office of the Chief Executive (CEO) to administer the new system and coordinate responses. The County should also take steps to centralize coordination of its records retention practices and should consider establishment of a central records storage facility that meets records management industry standards.
MENDOCINO COAST'S BEST SACRED COWS
by B.B. Grace
“Sacred cows make the best hamburger.” — Mark Twain
For years, my favorite burger in Mendocino County is Mina's Burgers in Covelo. Worth the awesome drive, which is saying a lot for someone who prefers to cook at home, and thinks my own burger is the best. Now what I'm about to share, some of you may disagree, and some may not appreciate because I understand that when you have a special place you really don't want everyone to know about it because you're already phoning your order in as to not wait in a long line. Also, there is such a thing as too much success, and it could be that Sea Pal Cove Restaurant, 32390 North Harbor Drive, (707) 964-1300, is going to experience too much success this year. Why?
Not for their hamburgers because they don't sell hamburgers. They sell cheeseburgers; The best cheeseburger in Fort Bragg if not the Mendocino Coast. Sea Pal Cove Restaurant uses today's sacred cow for the patty, with a soft bun, red leaf lettuce, thick ripe juicy slabs of tomato, slices of red onion, a perfect secret sauce, and comes with a pile of crispy hot shoestring fries for $5.95. Double it for $8.50
Most folks do not go to Sea Pal Cove Restaurant for the cheeseburgers no matter how good because the cheeseburgers take longer to cook than three minutes for a basket of fresh fish and chips $11.95, or 5 jumbo shrimp and chips $15.95, accompanied with ample amounts of homemade cocktail and tartar sauces. And now a word about what they call, Clam Chowder; If clams produced pearls, they could call it, “Liquid Pearls”.
A more appropriate name could be “Clam Gravy”, or “Clams in Bechamel.” I've never seen so many clams in a cup of chowder. The chowder is so think with clams the spoon stands, and I believe, sincerely, Sea Pal Cove makes the best clam chowder because I've had what I can now assume are copies (former employees who know a golden recipe when they make it a lot). The only thing missing from the other similar chowder recipes is half the clams Sea Pal Cove uses and sells for $5.80 a 8 oz cup.
Fry houses, which is what I think of places like Sea Pal Cove, can go downhill fast when fries taste fishy. I'm satisfied they completely agree, as they offer fried desserts: Snickers, Milky Ways and Twinkies, $3.95. Indoor seating is limited to 5 chairs, two tables, beautiful redwood slabs in-bedded with abalone shell for bar dinning with 14 stools, lots of napkins and condiments, a small refrigerator offering the most expensive smoked salmon on the Mendocino Coast made from a 40 year old family recipe, and another self serve refrigerator filled with a short selection of soda's, lemonade, tea, wine and bottled beer. If you love beer, Sea Pal Cove has your name somewhere among the 18 crafted drafts on tap, including Boonville's Bourbon Barrel Stout 6.9%.
Rain or shine, open for lunch and dinner, Sea Pal Cove offers outdoor seating on the dock along the Northern side of the Noyo Harbor, where you can watch fishing boats come and go, seals playing, sea birds diving and flying under the Noyo Bridge so high above, it's nearly invisible. Across the Noyo, known as the working side of the harbor, you can see Caito's Fisheries Inc., standing as one of California's last canneries. There's plenty of parking available. Don't be put off by a long line of locals as the company and atmosphere are so nice, I didn't regret not calling in my order, at least the first time. And now Dear Reader, I leave you with my recipe for how to make sacred cow patties: Sacred Cow Patties (makes 3)
Shopping list: 1 pound fresh sacred cow (ground beef) 20% fat, salt.
Method: Gently pull ground beef apart into three equal pieces, careful not to press hard. If possible, and many times it is, peal the ground beef from the spiral shape, like scooping the ground beef into the palm of your hand. Please don't press hard, or squeeze, or smash the ground beef. It's important that the meat remain “fluffy”. BBQ to your taste and finish with a pinch of salt. Maybe I'm making it complicated, because it's the easiest way to make a burger, just peal one third of a pound of the ground meat into your palm and put on the BBQ. You may have heard of the, make a hole or indention in the middle? This is way better because the burger does not shrink, becomes very crispy on the outside due to the rendering of fat and remains very moist and juicy on the inside, melts in your mouth. Oh gosh, I'm talking myself into making burgers. Tell me about yours. Who makes the best burger in Mendocino? I want to know.
On March 21, 2016, the U. S. Library of Congress recognized Louis' Lunch Wagon, of New Haven Conn., for creating the hamburger. The hamburger is perhaps one of the most powerful and popular foods in the world, exported globally through fast food chains and gourmets alike. For over a century the origins of the hamburger have been nationally disputed. No doubt some states will challenge the Library of Congress recognition of Louis' Lunch Wagon; For example, the members of the Wisconsin legislature that named their City of Seymore, “The Home of the Hamburger”, on May 9, 2007; Or Akron, Ohio, that claimed May 28, 2005, the “120th Anniversary of the Invention of the Hamburger”; Or the governor of Oklahoma who declared, “Tulsa Oklahoma the Real Birthplace of the Hamburger”, April 12, 1995.
Goodness knows how many reinventions the hamburger has made this past century from a ground round patty between two slices of white bread, even abandoning the cow altogether for dozens of varieties of veggie burgers, or redefining sacred cow to mean no antibiotics, no GMOs, grass fed, grain finished, and worth more than gold when Mr. Twain was observing sacred cows. From the educated, trained, licensed, certified, highly awarded international super star TV food show chefs, to the creative young food explorers manning the BBQ for the first time, the titles of burger championships continue. Even Mendocino is no stranger to the hamburger championships. Several make the claim to be the best. I'd like to find out who really makes the best. To be fair, it might help to know that I've never been much of a meat eater. A little goes a long way for me, yet, I admit right here and now, from time to time, I want, no make that crave, a hamburger. For years I've asked, “Where can I get a good burger?” I've had lots of answers, and I've checked them all out, which is not a fair evaluation as some really good burger places have closed. Also, in my quest for the best burger I found a recipe I believe is the best, so that makes everyone else second to start. I'll share my recipe giving you the opportunity to make your own comparisons.
NO, WE DON'T
Recently, Ukiah Daily Journal reporter Justine Frederiksen wrote an article titled, “Does Ukiah need an upscale hotel downtown?” About like we need a hole in the head. Hampton Inn is owned by Hilton. Don’t you think their marketing people would have been here long ago if there was such a need? Now someone wants to spend $30,000 to do another study. At the same time they want to raise the sales tax rate to repair Observatory, Washington and Luce streets and all the while they are worried about building a roundabout on Low Gap.
I have done a lot of driving in England and roundabouts are wonderful in intersections with really heavy traffic. There may be a little traffic when school is letting out but otherwise that intersection needs a roundabout like we need an upscale hotel.
I thought we cleaned house on the City Council at the last election but maybe we need to have another look. We still don’t have a Costco and Palace Hotel is still rotting in place. I don’t know where the Council’s heads are, but wherever it is, it sure must be dark.
Roger Stange, Ukiah
CATCH OF THE DAY, March 22, 2016
JOSE AGUILAR, Ukiah. Domestic battery.
CARINA ALVAREZ-CARRILLO, Ukiah. Failure to appear.
JASON FRYMAN, Willits. Meth sales, probation revocation.
STEVEN GREEN, Ukiah. Controlled substance, suspended license, probation revocation.
JOHNNY LOPEZ, Santa Rosa/Ukiah. Drunk in public.
LUISE MANGUM, Stockton/Ukiah. Drunk in public.
TRAVIS RILEY, Ukiah. False reporting of a crime.
KINDRA RUDD, Willits. Harboring a wanted felon.
ROGER SCHOENAHL, Ukiah. Drunk in public, probation revocation.
WHY I WON’T BE VOTING FOR HILLARY IN NOVEMBER
by Dave Lindorff
I won’t be voting for Hillary Clinton if she wins the Democratic Party nomination for president, and I won’t heed Bernie Sanders if, as he has vowed to do, he calls on his supporters to “come together” after the convention, should he lose, to support Clinton and prevent Donald Trump or another Republican from becoming president.
Hillary Clinton on her best of days is still a serious menace to both the earth’s continuance as a habitable planet, and to peace. A committed neoliberal who has pursued, both as a senator and as a secretary of state, a policy of economic and military destabilization of sovereign governments, with no regard for the aftermath of such criminality (think Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia, Venezuela, Libya, Ukraine and Honduras, but especially Libya, Ukraine and Honduras, which were very much her doing in her last public position as secretary of state), Clinton has made it clear even on the campaign trail that she considers Russia to be an enemy. If elected, she has also made it clear she’ll continue a dangerous policy of brinksmanship, pushing for NATO membership of more nations bordering Russia, and moving offensive weapons and troops there too. The stated neoliberal (and neoconservative) goal is to ultimately destabilize Russia so that a) President Putin is removed, and b) so that Russia further fragments into smaller nation-states. This is a mad recipe for World War III, and Clinton, as a new president out to prove her toughness, is a good bet to push things to a point where that war could become a reality.
She would, as president, also continue the long-time US policy of destabilization of elected governments in Latin America, and, in the Middle East, the abject and unqualified support of the virtually fascist government in Israel, as well as of the islamo-fascist arab regimes like Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait — all of which she supported as a senator, and helped facilitate as Obama’s first secretary of state.
A supporter of fracking and of oil exploration, and even of the coal industry, all of which industries are funding her campaign, she will not take any consequential action to combat global warming that would threaten those industries. If she took the issue seriously, why would so many of the top “bundlers” of PAC contributions to her campaign be lobbyists from the energy industry?
If the rule is, judge a woman by who her friends are, let’s look at Clinton’s friends. So how about this rogue’s gallery: Henry Kissinger, one of the greatest US war criminals of the post-WWII era, arch-neocon Richard Kagan, a co-founder of the notorious Project for a New American Century (the playbook for the Bush/Cheney administration’s invasion of Iraq and demonization of Syria and Iran), and even G.W. Bush VP Dick Cheney, have all praised Clinton and she herself bragged about praise from Kissinger for her work as Secretary of State.
Here at home, Hillary is deep in the pocket of the banksters on Wall Street, as Sanders has repeatedly noted on the stump, having taken over $15 million in what amount to bribes from executives in that sector. What earthly good can come of that? (Except to her: much of the money came in the form of “speaking fees” for talks she gave before declaring her candidacy, and so were personal gifts.) Clinton’s also in the pocket of the oil and drug industries, and of the arms industry.
With friends, or really bosses, like these, the best we could hope for from this wretched politician as president are a few liberal sops like perhaps marginally better enforcement of laws against racial and sex discrimination or unequal pay for women. We won’t even see reform of the police, because Clinton is big on law and order, despite her feigned sympathy for some of the mothers of victims of our militarized police on the campaign trail. The real Clinton sees black victims of police violence as what she has called “superpredators” who have to be “brought to heel,” and she can be expected to continue with policies, like the drug war and like three-strikes-you’re-out sentencing, instituted during husband Bill Clinton’s years in the White House. These are the policies that have destroyed countless families in African American and Latino communities, and that quickly gave the US the world’s biggest prison population — composed mostly of blacks and latinos, and almost entirely of the poor. The evidence of where Clinton’s heart really is: her acceptance of big contributions from the for-profit prison industry that began, and that has grown fat on those very incarceration policies she and Bill have initiated.
Having said this, I am well aware that Trump, that quintessential narcissist money-grubber and (like all successful politicians and business leaders) sociopath, would also not do anything about climate change. But at least he is likely to be more of an isolationist on foreign policy (he has said the US should be friends with Russia, not enemies). He has also not been deferential to Israel, saying he will be “neutral” on Palestine and Israel, and that he will seek “harmony” in the Middle East. Now there’s a refreshing position for anyone running for president to be taking.
Unlike Clinton, a free-trade fanatic, Trump might even dump the disastrous Obama-and-Clinton-negotiated Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) awaiting congressional approval at this date, and revisit older job-killing trade deals like NAFTA. He’s indicated as much, and his own gambling and entertainment businesses doesn’t depend on such deals.
Is Trump a racist? Who knows? As a New Yorker who spent 12 years watching Trump operate, I would suspect not. But here’s the thing: Trump is basically a TV personality acting in a campaign reality show where he plays a candidate. Would he really deport 11 million immigrants if he were elected president? No of course not. First of all he couldn’t do that as president, and he knows it. Would he wall off Mexico? No, because it would be too expensive, and even most Texans, Arizonans, New Mexicans and Californians wouldn’t actually want one, since too much of their states’ economies depend on cross-border business. Congress and the courts would also have to back such draconian projects. It’s all just talk — a way of getting the low-wattage, fearful and hate-filled white people who are propelling his candidacy to vote for him. In the general election, he’ll have to change his tune in order to win an electoral majority.
Actually, for all the racist and crazy shit Trump has said, he’s also said some good things. Besides proposing a saner foreign policy than Clinton, he has said during this campaign that he favors single-payer Canadian-style health care. In a prior campaign effort back in 1999, he even said he’d favor a 14.5% wealth tax on the assets of anyone worth over $10 million — a fabulous idea that would raise trillions of otherwise useless dollars and painlessly wipe out much of the national debt or fund expanded Social Security, or whatever. Maybe he’d revive that idea. What’s 14.5% of Trump’s wealth to him, or to any millionaire or billionaire, after all?
My point is, with Hillary Clinton, we know what we’re getting — a corrupt war-mongering, duplicitous neoliberal Wall Street shill posing as a progressive. With Trump, we get a narcissistic businessman posing as a fascist. Neither one as president would actually be what they are pretending to be during the campaign.
I’m the first to admit they’re both unsavory human beings, and I won’t vote for either of them, but as far as those who would say that by not voting for Clinton, I’m helping to elect Trump, my reply is this: I know what Clinton will do as president, and that prospect is so frightening that I cannot in good conscience support her. If Trump were to win, we don’t know what he’d do, but it would probably not be to start another war, and certainly not one against Russia or China. I won’t vote for him, because what he is saying on the stump is reprehensible, but I’d feel better with him in the White House than with Hillary there.
By the way, I have to marvel at the suckers, many of them quite educated, who have been saying they like Sanders, but are voting for Clinton because they think she “knows Washington” and would “be able to work across the aisle and get things done.” Don’t they realize that Hillary Clinton is at least as loathed among Republicans, both among the public and in Congress, as Obama has been? There is no way a Republican Congress, or even a Democratic Senate with a large Republican minority (should we be so lucky as to see control of that chamber pass back to Democrats this fall), will allow Hillary Clinton to pass any legislation remotely important during her term of office.
So for now, I’m all in for Bernie Sanders (my state of Pennsylvania holds its primary on April 26). We’ve got the Democratic Convention here in Philadelphia too, so I plan to be inside as a reporter, and outside on the street, if there is any contest still at that point. But when it’s all over, if the Democrats nominate Hillary Clinton, I’m voting Green for Jill Stein’s candidacy in the general election. Hopefully Bernie Sanders, after having pointed out Hillary’s corrupt financing and having been the victim of her campaign of lies, backed by a corrupt corporate media, will rethink his plan to endorse her. But if he does endorse her, I, and I suspect a large segment of his backers, will ignore him.
Clinton is not the lesser of two evils. She is demonstrably worse than Trump in some crucial ways.
(Dave Lindorff is a founding member of ThisCantBeHappening!, an online newspaper collective, and is a contributor to Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion (AK Press). Courtesy, CounterPunch.org)
“TODAY, the radiation at the Fukushima plant is still so powerful it has proven impossible to get into its bowels to find and remove the extremely dangerous blobs of melted fuel rods, weighing hundreds of tonnes. Five robots sent into the reactors have failed to return,” Sheldrick and Funakoshi, Fukushima’s Ground Zero: No Place for Man or Robot,” Reuters, March 11, 2016. It’s killing robots!
THE GRAND OPENING of Explore Space: A Cosmic Journey, an American Library Association STARNet Exhibit at Ukiah Library, Friday, April 15th from 5-8 pm
On Friday, April 15th from 5 to 8 pm, Ukiah Library is opening its doors for adults (only) to enjoy the traveling exhibit, Explore Space: A Cosmic Journey.
Ukiah Library is the only California library among the fourteen libraries across the country who will be sharing this exhibit with their communities.
At 6:30 pm, Martin Bradley, Chairperson of the Ukiah Observatory, will speak on the history and future of our historic Latitude Observatory.
The Ukiah Valley Friends of the Library will provide refreshments and wine by donation.
Explore Space, a traveling exhibition for libraries, is part of the STAR Library Education Network (STAR_Net) led by the National Center for Interactive Learning at the Space Science Institute. Exhibit partners include the American Library Association, the Lunar and Planetary Institute, and Afterschool Alliance. Explore Earth is supported through a grant from the National Science Foundation.
The Pentagon on Monday confirmed it has set up a small Marine base in northern Iraq to protect a nearby Iraqi military base, in the wake of a weekend attack that left one Marine dead and several others injured. The new outpost was attacked again Monday, but no Marines were hurt, the Pentagon said. The Marines returned fire, killing at least two ISIS militants, according to Col. Steve Warren, a U.S. military spokesman in Iraq. Col. Warren also insisted the Marines are there to provide “force protection” and not to serve as combat forces. An estimated 100 to 200 Marines from the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit are stationed at the outpost.
KUNSTLER asks are there no persons with “comfortable fortunes and better minds bold enough to take on the matrix of mafias running our affairs into the ground?”
No, there aren’t. Our politicians are bought, blackmailed, and corrupted by these same mafias. Our academicians have rotted brains from appeasing the passive-aggressive, political correctness nazis. Meanwhile, our business leaders are blissfully riding the gravy train of unearned privilege. And the MSM pumps out the lie “It’s all good; why change anything?”
Maybe it takes a rude, combative, “I don’t give a shit” fighter to break this country’s spiral journey down the toilet bowl of history.
* * *
Yours may be the best comment of the day. I’d say of the week but it’s Monday.
outsider’s comment a couple posts ^above^ (among other reasons) is why Cruz isn’t the answer. I don’t want to see what it takes to “make sand glow.” We already know Hillary is of that war mongering ilk.
* * *
I found my thoughts today drifting to – of all people – Bil Cosby, as a metaphor for an American society embracing hypocrisy, wrapped in lies, comforted by delusion. Mr Pudding Pops, our ideal example of fatherhood, turned out to be a life long serial rapist and America goes “ho hum”. It’s a measure of our jaded, double-think, Orwellian condition. How would 1950’s America have reacted if they discovered Ozzie Nelson kept chained rape slaves in the fallout shelter?
Is Trump just more of the same, hypocrisy and delusion? Probably, but do we deserve any better?
We have a perpetual warfare state which causes untold suffering all over the globe in the service of the oligarchy’s financial hegemony. The media white washes it. The people ignore it. “Ho hum, let’s see what the Kardashians are up to.”
Americans vilify those “good” Germans who said nothing against Hitler. They had a reason to keep quiet. What’s your reason, America?
I'VE BEEN FLOATING DOWN THE OLD GREEN RIVER
(Joe Cooper / Bert Kalmar) (1915)
Recorded by: Rick Gay; Turk Murphy Jazz Band.
Half past four, Dan Mc Graw, came sneaking to his wifey's door.
She'd been waiting up all night, Waiting for him to go to bed.
Danny smiled, like a child, but his wifey grew very wild
Where have you been all night long?, she cried
And this is what Danny re-plied:
I've been floating down the old green river on the good ship Rock and Rye.
But I floated to far, I got stuck on a bar,
I was out there alone, wishing that I was home.
The ship got wrecked with the captain and crew,
And there was only one thing left to do,
So I had to drink the whole green river dry
to get back home to you.
* * *
Do you think she bought his story?
THE CHARTER PROJECT of Mendocino County is hosting a series of Town Hall meetings around the county to introduce people to Charter Commission candidates for the June 7th election, and also to canvass the public about what they would like to see in a county charter.
What is a charter, anyway? What does home rule mean to Mendocino County? Get answers at…
The 4th Town Hall meeting will be held on Monday, April 11, 2016 at the Anderson Valley Grange, 9800 Highway 128 in Philo from 4pm to 6pm.
The Measure W question will be in the ballot in the June election, "Shall a Charter Commission be elected to propose a Mendocino County Charter?"
There will also be candidates running for the post of Charter Commissioner. You will be able to vote for 15 of them in June.
Meet 2 Charter Commission candidates:
Ellen Ann Rosser, Ph.D. - retired English professor, social justice activist and union rep. Publisher of her 1914 award-winning poetry magazine, Hard Pressed. After visiting Jerusalem, she helped initiate peace talks with a Judeo-Christian-Islamic Council authorized to rebuild the Temple of King Solomon. Ellen demonstrates every Friday against wars, the occupation of Palestine, for Black Lives Matter and ending the oligarchic control by the big banks and corporations. She helped pass Measure F (Overturn Citizens United) and is now running for Charter Commissioner in order to authorize a county public bank.
Lynda McClure spent her childhood in Ukiah. After finishing a Masters in Social Work from CSU Sacramento, she worked most of her adult career as a labor organizer for SEIU. She has also worked at a battered women’s shelter, and sits on the boards of the Cloud Forest Institute and the Mendocino Women’s Political Coalition. She helps organize the annual Not So Simple Living Fair, co-hosts Corporations and Democracy on KZYX, and sings with the Raging Grannies and the Anderson Valley Chorus. Lynda is determined to strengthen Community Rights to protect our county from corporate rule.
We are delighted to feature famed Community Rights advocate Paul Cienfuegos, longtime activist and community organizer. In 1994, POCLAD helped Paul realize the insidious impact of corporate rule. In 1995, he co-founded Democracy Unlimited of Humboldt County, which began works to dismantle corporate political power. Paul now leads Democracy workshops and talks across the nation. He will speak about Community Rights and how the charter can secure our rights.
Free admission. Refreshments by donation. Raffle fundraiser.
Help us pay for these 9 Town Hall meetings with your financial support.
All registered voters are welcome!
More information is available on our website: http://mendocinocountycharter.org. You can also take the opportunity to donate money online there.
We welcome all idea contributions for a county charter at our WindTunneling page: <http://join.windtunneling.com>. Create a login & password, and choose Project Code: MendoCountyCharter.
HOW AMERICA MADE DONALD TRUMP UNSTOPPABLE
To hear GOP insiders tell it, Doomsday is here. If Donald Trump scores huge in the primaries and seizes control of the nomination in the Super Tuesday primaries, it will mark the beginning of the end of the Republican Party, and perhaps the presidency.
But Trump isn't the beginning of the end. George W. Bush was. The amazing anti-miracle of the Bush presidency is what makes today's nightmare possible.
People forget what an extraordinary thing it was that Bush was president. Dubya wasn't merely ignorant when compared with other politicians or other famous people. No, he would have stood out as dumb in just about any setting.
If you could somehow run simulations where Bush was repeatedly shipwrecked on a desert island with 20 other adults chosen at random, he would be the last person listened to by the group every single time. He knew absolutely nothing about anything. He wouldn't have been able to make fire, find water, build shelter or raise morale. It would have taken him days to get over the shock of no room service.
Bush went to the best schools but was totally ignorant of history, philosophy, science, geography, languages and the arts. Asked by a child in South Carolina in 1999 what his favorite book had been growing up, Bush replied, “I can’t remember any specific books.”
— Matt Taibbi
BIG AG FILES MOTION Attacking Hearing Officers In Delta Tunnels Proceedings
by Dan Bacher
On Monday, the San Luis Delta-Mendota Water Authority (SLDMWA), representing corporate agribusiness interests, filed a legal motion to disqualify State Water Resources Control Board Hearing Officers Felicia Marcus and Tam Doduc from overseeing the permit process for the California Water Fix to build the Delta Tunnels.
The Water Authority alleges the Hearing Officers have “predetermined a critical issue” before them, Delta flow criteria.
SLDMWA is one of the water districts placed on “negative credit watch” last week due to its bond guarantor, Westlands Water District, engaging in “Enron accounting.” The Water Authority consists of water agencies representing approximately 2,100,000 acres of 29 federal and exchange water service contractors within the western San Joaquin Valley, San Benito and Santa Clara counties.
Westlands agreed to pay $125,000 to settle the charges filed against them by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), making it only the second municipal issuer to pay a financial penalty in an SEC enforcement action. (http://www.nytimes.com/2016/03/11/us/california-water-district-fined-by-sec-over-enron-accounting.html)
“The San Luis & Delta-Mendota Water Authority (“Water Authority”) hereby moves for disqualification of Hearing Officers Felicia Marcus and Tam Doduc,” according to the motion. “This motion is made on the ground that the Hearing Officers have predetermined a critical issue that will be before them in this proceeding.”
“When a judge, in court or an administrative adjudication, has predetermined an issue, the judge must be disqualified to protect the due process rights of all parties,” the Water Authority claims.
The motion alleges that the Hearing Officers “revealed” that they “have already reached a “significant conclusion regarding appropriate Delta flow criteria” in a formal order issued on February 11, 2016.
In their order, the Hearing Officers conclude: “The appropriate Delta flow criteria will be more stringent than petitioners’ current obligations and may well be more stringent than petitioners’ preferred project.” Hearing Officers’ Ruling on Pre-Hearing Conference Procedural Issues (“February Order”), p 4.
The Water Authority claims the Hearing Officers “did not qualify or caveat their conclusion in any way. The February Order reveals they have already decided to impose ‘more stringent’ flow criteria.”
The motion is available at: http://farmwater.org/swrcbmotion.pdf?e1a235
Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla, executive director, of Restore the Delta, responded to the motion’s filing by stating, “Clearly, the large agribusiness water districts on the west side of the San Joaquin Valley know that the tunnels do not pencil out unless they grab more water from the Bay-Delta estuary.”
“They are seeking to manipulate the State Water Resources Control Board permitting process to that end. We can’t help wondering what they fear? Are they worried about what Department of Water Resources or Bureau of Reclamation staff testifying under oath will reveal about water flows?” she asked.
In 2010, fishery scientists from environmental NGO’s, fishery agencies, and independent groups reached consensus at State Water Resources Control Board hearings that the Bay-Delta estuary needed more water flow entering and flowing out of the Delta, according to Barrigan-Parrilla.
The State Water Resources Control Board concluded at that time, ‘The best available science suggests the current flows are insufficient to protect public trust resources.’
“The SLWDMA motion to disqualify hearing officers is an attempt to revise those findings,” she said. “They are vying to establish that more flows through the Delta are not needed so that they can, instead, grab the water to fill the tunnels, in order to make them financially viable.”
“What is an even greater shame is that Governor Brown has the power to stop this 12 to 24 month permit process currently underway at the State Water Resources Control Board for a project that does not have a detailed finance plan outlining who will pay. Westlands, one of the SLDMWA agencies, clearly does not have money to pay for the project. But instead, Governor Brown is allowing this ill-timed process to move forward and these special interest water districts to manipulate legal water planning processes that impact the Delta and the future of the entire state,” stated Barrigan-Parrilla.
She concluded, “California does not need the Delta Tunnels. It needs the Governor to stand up to special interest water districts that manipulate science and finances to their own ends, and to instead lead the real experts, who work for the public good, toward creating a sustainable water future for all Californians.”
The motion was filed at a time when opposition to Governor Jerry Brown’s Delta Tunnels Plan is mushrooming throughout the state – and as it is becoming increasingly clear that the California Water Fix makes no environmental, economic or scientific sense.
In fact, in the video from a recent hearing in the California Legislature, it appears that a Brown administration official is admitting that financial support for Governor Brown’s controversial Delta Tunnels Plan is rapidly collapsing.
On March 11, Secretary of Natural Resources John Laird spoke on behalf of the administration during a hearing in San Francisco by the Senate Select Committee on the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta entitled, “Pending Delta Decisions and their Potential Economic and Other Impacts on San Francisco & the Bay Area.”
Laird responded to the news that the Westlands Water District, the largest agricultural water district in California and longtime proponent of the tunnels, used “Enron accounting” to mislead investors about a $77 million bond sale, resulting in a settlement with the Securities and Exchange Commission over civil charges.
He described the news as “disturbing” – and then admitted that “it (the California Water Fix to build the Delta Tunnels) won’t move ahead unless people, it pencils out for people and they sign up and they pay.” (http://fishsniffer.com/index.php/2016/03/18/is-brown-administration-official-admitting-delta-tunnels-plan-is-collapsing/)
FIFTH ANNUAL CASPAR UKEFEST on April 29 & 30 at Caspar Community Center
Enjoy a weekend celebrating the ukulele as a friendly and playful instrument, beginning with The UkeFest Kick-Off on Friday, April 29 at Caspar Community Center, 15051 Caspar Rd, Caspar. The Ukulele Variety Show and Jam will start at 7:30PM with performances by the instructors followed by a ukulele jam session and sing-along led by Del Rey. Instructors this year include Del Rey, Mike DaSilva, Dennis Hudson, Denver Tuttle and Pattie DeMatteo. For this evening's event, doors open at 7PM for vendor area with snacks and beverages. $10 at the door, $5 if you play your uke.
An all-day ukulele festival is planned for Saturday. The activities start at 9AM with coffee, tea and muffins, a vendor area and orientation at 9:45AM. Morning ukulele workshops will be held at 10AM and 11:30AM, with instruction for beginners, intermediate and advanced players. After a break for lunch, two more workshops – one for intermediate/advanced players and one “Ensemble” workshop will be held. Featured instructor this year includes Del Rey, who takes the ukulele "to a new level of musicianship". A favorite of the UkeFest, Mike DaSilva from Berkeley returns, along with Dennis Hudson, Denver Tuttle, and Pattie DeMatteo.
Workshops will be followed by afternoon jam sessions while the performers have their sound checks and then a dinner break. Ticket price for all-day is $45 and includes three workshops and evening performances; $25 half-day; one workshop only $15.
To highlight the evening of the Caspar UkeFest, evening performances start at 7PM on Saturday, April 30. Performers include instructors Dennis Hudson and Pattie DeMatteo, ensemble workshop students and special guests in the first set with Del Rey headlining the second set. Price of admission is $15 at the door or will be included in the all-day pass.
From her first gig at the San Diego Folk festival in 1974, to her world travels today, Del Rey has played music that is slightly nostalgic, but fresh and thoughtful. "Whilst known for her amazing instrumental skills ... it should not be overlooked that she always provides a very entertaining show, full of variety, drama and humour." Blues In Britain http://delreyplays.com/
Caspar Community Center is at 15051 Caspar Rd, Caspar.
More updated info http://www.mendocinostories.com/UkeFest.html
LISTEN UP, BROADBANDERS!
Subject: Letter of Support for 911 Outage Notifications
Date: Tue, March 22, 2016 3:35 pm
State Senator McGuire has requested support for SB 1250, the 911 Emergency Reliability and Public Safety Act. Currently telecommunication carriers are required to report outages when they reach certain federal thresholds of disruption, which make sense in urban areas, but not in rural areas. Sparse populations mean that outages, including loss of 911, go unreported for significant periods of time.
SB 1250 specifically requires carriers to: inform the CPUC, county and state Offices of Emergency Service (OES) within 30 minutes of outages that last 30 minutes or longer in duration, or have the potential to affect 75,000 user minutes in rural areas of the state; provide the CPUC and Cal OES a secondary more detailed report within 120 minutes and; provide a detailed summary of the outage to the CPUC within 20 days, and what steps are being taken to avoid similar outages in the future.
See this link for more information: http://www.mendocinobroadband.org/wp-content/uploads/911-Emergency-Reliability-and-Public-Safety-Act.pdf
This bill is an important step for Mendocino County, in our efforts to minimize the impacts of outages and hold the carriers to a higher degree of accountability. Please consider taking the time to write a letter which you can send via email to McGuire’s Legislative Director Matthew Montgomery: email@example.com. Please cc Trish Steel at Chairman@mendocinobroadband.org
See this link to view a copy of the Alliance’s support letter: http://www.mendocinobroadband.org/wp-content/uploads/pdf.SB-1250-BAMC-LOS.03-22-16.pdf
The bill has a Senate hearing in the Energy, Utilities, and Commerce committee on April 5th. A letter of support will have more impact if received before the hearing.
Broadband Alliance of Mendocino County