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Mendocino County Today: Tuesday, May 31, 2016

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by Steve Heilig

Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children.

In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists, and will persist. We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals so that security and liberty may prosper together.

— President/General Dwight D. Eisenhower

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My father worked the “industrial” side of what Eisenhower famously called the military-industrial complex. He ran a division of a major automobile corporation that made weaponry, or parts thereof, for the military. After he died, we found a letter addressed to him from a senior general he worked with. The letter said (paraphrasing; I’ve misplaced it): “It has come to our attention that you have brought in a major project under budget and before deadline. Please don’t ever do that again, as it makes us all look bad.” The letter was a joke among old pals, but belied a major problem — these old military cronies (my father was a Navy man, and stayed involved the rest of his life) were used to going way over budget in their use of tax dollars to fund “defense” or, in the case of Vietnam at the time, offense. It was an offhand insider's joke among good old Cold Warriors — who didn’t seem to worry that their practices came at the expense of taxpayers’ funds and probably human lives.

This old letter came to mind as I read of the current election and national military budgetary debates and who might be the bigger military "hawk." I’m no expert in this realm, but have found some recent books to be illuminating about our nation’s military history, and how it has shaped and warped our economy and policy. Start with this fact: The U.S. spends more on “defense” than all other nations combined, but still we have lost and/or blundered most every war we’ve entered in the past half century. Whoever wins the White House will only tinker with this equation as the war machine rattles on. Now read on....

The first book is "National Insecurity: The Cost of American Militarism" by Melvin A. Goodman. Goodman, who spent 24 years with the CIA, provides an incisive insider’s examination of what he calls our “military economy,” and how outsized “defense” spending and profiteering results in much more “offense” than might otherwise be conducted or justified. The result is untold suffering and, in some cases, belated apologies. With a focus on the most recent such “adventures” in Iraq and Afghanistan, Goodman summarizes much of what any impartial informed view of these wars, especially the Iraq disaster, must conclude — they have been a “monumental blunder,” as former New York Times editor Bill Keller, a former supporter, had to conclude from the evidence a decade into the war.

Beyond the economic near-disaster brought to our own country, our national reputation was stained by our use of torture, which has again been confirmed by a recent bipartisan task force that concluded that such practices “had “no justification” and “damaged the standing of our nation, reduced our capacity to convey moral censure when necessary and potentially increased the danger to U.S. military personnel taken captive.”

 Further, we have provided oft-shameful care of veterans, and are now seeing a shameful scandal unfold regarding sexual abuse among our own soldiers.

 It thus should not be so surprising to read of the tragic frequency of suicides among those we send to war (on this latter tragic point, a letter in the New York Times by Sandy Savett offered this terse prescription: “A good way to cut down on suicides in the military is to stop sending young people to war”).

The second book is Nick Turse’s "Kill Anything that Moves: The Real War in Vietnam". The Vietnam War has been examined enough, with enough apology even by those who conducted it — see Robert McNamara’s belated mea culpa — that one might think there was nothing left to tell or lament. But Turse provides a catalog of atrocities so pervasive and inexcusable that this reader will never be able to feel unreservedly proud of our nation again, and never feel wholly justified in criticizing another. Our military in this war was as bad as any in history. America committed genocide there — and not for the first time.

The third book, also centered on the Vietnam War, is "Napalm: An American Biography" by Robert Neer. This one reads like a case study of arms development, with the product being deployed without discretion or mercy, in the name of victory but also profit. Countless humans — and, I can’t help but add, other creatures — suffered and died horribly from napalm’s use. True to form and too late for them, the United Nations called the use of napalm against civilians a war crime in 1980. Also true to form, our own nation admitted to that global consensus just a few years ago.

Napalm’s most visible and infamous victim was Kim Phuc, a nine-year-old girl photgraphed running down a road in agony. In Neer’s book, she now relates that she has been in physical pain ever since, but that for decades the psychic pain was even worse. She lived in anger and hatred of Americans, and “I had cursed them to death.” But after finding foregiveness, “I feel there are no more scars on my heart.” It’s a beautiful redemption; but her struggle did not have to happen in the first place.

The final book is "What Soldiers Do: Sex and the American GI in World War II" by Mary Louise Roberts. World War II was the one “good war,” supposedly, where “the greatest generation” were unequivocal heroes. Well, read this book and learn how many of our soldiers acted simiarly to the hated Japanese and Germans, raping and abusing the very people they had just “liberated” — with the acquiescence and even encouragement of their leaders. As the title says, maybe that’s just what soldiers do — history would seem to tell us so.

Currently there are budgetary debates about how much we might be able to cut “defense” spending. The argument becomes partisan, with “conservatives” arguing that this is the one area where we need to spend as much as we currently do — or more. Somehow, as even a Republican politician has lamented, “Conservatism came to mean ‘I deserve to drive my SUV as much as I want and will send other people’s kids to fight for that right.’” But increasingly, even self-identified conservatives are joining Eisenhower in seeing the folly of our being seduced by war — and that “support our troops” is an empty slogan when that just means a bumper sticker. How about cutting expenses on unneeded weaponry and bases, and spending that on better services for veterans — and others? There are many opportunity costs to us being the biggest military power of all time. Even a relatively small percentage cut in military spending could fund so much in terms of human services, and many experts feel it could be done with no loss in terms of our national security. Goodman, in his book, offers expert advice on how this might be attained.

Now, I’m very aware of George Orwell’s famed statement that “People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf.” The majority of soldiers likely go to war, at least at first, due to loyalty and even idealism (although it must also be noted that enlistment in a no-draft military is often, even mostly, driven by economic need). I’ve no illusions that the world can be dangerous and I’m glad I live in a relatively safe, and even relatively dominant, nation. I even admit to “interventionist” urges when I read of, say, Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad using language from his medical background to justify his regime’s slaughter ("When a surgeon in an operating room ... cuts and cleans and amputates, and the wound bleeds, do we say to him your hands are stained with blood?”). That makes me wish we could somehow remove him from power, and save lives at a minimum.

But there is such a thing as overkill — literally. It’s said that everything looks like a nail if you’re holding a hammer; the United States has long had many more “hammers” than it needs. We need to scale it back, and maybe these books and other viewpoints, even though they might not be entirely new, indicate a growing awareness of that. I consider myself a patriot, but blind patriotism is really meaningless; “my country, right or wrong” is the slogan of the blind. We can both honor those who have sacrificed and do much better. Even my hawkish and lifelong Republican father, as he was a highly-educated man, came to see Iraq as a mistake. And when the historical evidence is reviewed, it seems that the old 1969 Temptations/Edwin Starr Motown hit — later revived by Bruce Springsteen — had it right:

“War! What is it good for? Absolutely nothin’!”

Say it again.

I hate war as only a soldier who has lived it can, only as one who has seen its brutality, its stupidity.

— Ernest Hemingway

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AS WE NEVER tire of pointing out, Mendocino County must lead the nation in self-reinventions. Kelly Boss, of Cameron Road and the Holmes Ranch, was subject two years ago to a large-scale pot bust, with side charges of harder drugs and guns, but here he is all dressed up and re-branded as Panthea Wine complete with an open house at the Boonville Hotel for Pinot Fest. You da boss, Boss. Nobody will ever know you're the same guy…

Boss & Family
Boss & Family

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COURTSIDE seats to Monday night's game between the Golden State Warriors and Oklahoma City Thunder are selling for nearly $30,000 a pop on online resale sites. StubHub currently has two VIP courtside tickets to Game 7 of the Western Conference Finals available at $29,680 apiece, while TicketMaster has a few tickets going for $25,938 per seat.

THINK OF IT! You could reach out and touch Larry Ellison! Saturday night, right after the Warrior's miracle comeback win over Oklahoma with Klay Thompson's even more miraculous performance to keep the Warriors in it, I could hear jubilation throughout my otherwise tomb-like San Anselmo neighborhood. Someone was blowing "Charge" on a trumpet. Tonight? Like every other Warrior's fan, I'm looking for a win, maybe a big win.

ALL SEASON I've urged non-fans to look in on the Warriors. "You'll see guys doing things you didn't think possible, things Baryshnikov couldn't manage." All sports offer up amazing feats at the highest levels of sport, but Steph Curry and Klay Thompson have taken their sport, which is basketball if you're totally unaware of sports world, to whole new levels. Curry's the most exciting athlete I've ever seen, and I go all the way back to Hurryin' Hugh McElhenny at Kezar.

AND IF YOU WATCHED MONDAY’S Western Conference Finals you saw exactly what I’m talking about.

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by B.B. Grace

Everywhere in Mendocino County there are signs, natural and unnatural indications known only by those with open hearts and minds that journey to find nuance in the emerald serpentine Noyo River, the profundity of the coastal cloud forest, and the complexity suggested in the heads, hands and carvings of Buddha, all clues that Nagas live to serve elixirs of immortality to those who are strong in their convictions to live long, love much, and have the wisdom and courage to say, “I want the feel the burn!”, when they find one. Those magic words may cure whatever ails lucky you who have not one Naga, but three of Fort Bragg's Noyo.

The story begins long long ago and very far away where magic is the norm climaxing once a year with various sizes of balls of fire rising from river water with sparkling radiant seventh dimensional iridescent beauty impregnating the souls watching in delight, the quest to live long, love much, for as long and as much as possible. These sparks are sourced from the Naga, which many say looks like a dragon, though others claim a snake, a cobra, or a cobra with many heads as in medicinal.

The Naga can take human forms, emerging all over the world at the same time to celebrate life and love with amazing arts to share, the most appreciated materialized in culinary form called Thai food. Unlike pyramidal Western food, Thai food is circular and cyclic, medicinally focused, with rice as important as the sun, and given the most honored space on the table. Rice is the national dish of Thailand, where it is preferred polished, unsalted and fortified with fish sauce called Nam Pla, thus Thai food is not vegan unless upon request. Nagas live for requests that honor the rice bowl. It's the secret to awaken the Naga in the Thai kitchen. Before you awaken the Naga, you need to find out what kind of Naga you have found by requesting a bowl of rice and pot of hot tea. The rice will tell you what kind of Naga is cooking, for example, long grain rice means the Naga is ex-patronized or Americanized and dull from too many half hearts that live with abundance but don't know how to appreciate it. If sticky rice arrives you have found a conservative Naga whose fare is made for eating with fingers and mopping up medicinal curries concocted to explode or implode your organs with layers of flavors and sensations. My favorite of all is the Naga that serves jasmine rice because they not just want you make you feel good, but happy. Are you ready to be happy? You have three Nagas in Fort Bragg for the order of a bowl of rice.

When your rice arrives slowly and deeply inhale the steam to cleanse your sinus. Smell for the jasmine scent and enjoy the simplicity. Sip a little tea to whet your pallet and encourage your cravings to emerge. Take another slow deep breath and search for your yen. Is it hot? Cold? Dry/wet? Sweet, sour, salty, bitter, spicy hot or any combination are the powers of the Naga? The Naga wants to know the whole truth about your yen.

As you prepare to make your request, understand, that Nagas thrive on details. Orders are orders, not guesses or doubts. You will get exactly what you order. Make a wish y-washy order and you'll get a wish y-washy spring roll. If you don't care what you eat or what your body needs, neither will the Naga. Nagas love what we might consider picky eaters. Picky eaters should always feel at home in a Thai restaurant with a Naga serving Jasmine Rice, for they will make anything you want exactly as you want, You just have to know exactly what you want. The more orders you give the Naga the better they like it. Ask their name. They love to be called by name. They get very excited over little things like, “Make my Pad Thai noodles more crispy! I want more grated carrots. No MSG!, No Gluten! More chilies! I want to feel the burn!” They want to know. They need to know, and so should you where to find the Nagas of the Noyo:

G.G.'s Thai Café: 500 South Main Street

Nit's Café: 322 North Main Street

Viraporn's Thai Café:16810 Ocean Drive

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by Kym Kemp

A counterfeit bill was passed at a garage sale in Eureka yesterday. While fake money is passed relatively frequently, being alert to the problem can help you avoid being a victim.

(Photo by Robert Taylor)
(Photo by Robert Taylor)

A reader, Robert Taylor, sent in the above photo and warned us to be extra alert when dealing with money in the Eureka area. A fake $20 bill, he said,  was used at a garage sale in the area of Hemlock and Dolbeer Streets yesterday. A Humboldt County Sheriff’s deputy was dispatched to the scene and information was collected on the person involved in passing the bill.

Here is a link to information from the Secret Service on specific details you can check to determine if money is real.

(Courtesy, / Redheaded Black Belt)

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CATCH OF THE DAY, May 30, 2016

Deleal, Ellingwood, Escobar, Green
Deleal, Ellingwood, Escobar, Green

JEREMY DELEAL, Eureka/Leggett. DUI, suspended license, concealed firearm, probation revocation.

EMERY ELLINGWOOD, Willits. Probation revocation.

RUTILIO ESCOBAR, Redwood Valley. DUI, misdemeanor hit&run.

JOHNNY GREEN, Ukiah. Assault with deadly weapon not a gun, drunk in public, parole violation.

Jones, McPherson, Williams
Jones, McPherson, Williams

CRAIG JONES, Ukiah. Arson.

SHAWN MCPHERSON, Ukiah. More than one ounce of pot.

EDNA WILLIAMS, Ukiah. Resisting.

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My favorite definition of the Libertarian philosophy is: anarchy for rich people. 
Thanks but no thanks. I like the lines up and down my roads indicating who has the right of way, traffic lights, fire and police departments, water and sewer plants, and garbage collection. 
I do not want to end up like Detroit and Flint where private “emergency managers” screwed up bad situations and made them worse. Or Illinois where they haven’t had a state budget for the past year and are in danger of having to cut vital services because “private contractors” have not been paid for that long a time.

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Here's Why.

By Jennie Haskamp, The Washington Post

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DIMINUTION — Socrates taught Plato and Plato taught Aristotle and Aristotle taught Alexander the Great, who founded a city that would house the most voluminous library of the ancient world — until is was burned, until forgetting came back into vogue. The great minds come down through the years like monkeys descending from high branches. Always, a leopard is waiting to greet them — in the tall grass, among the magnetic berries, in the place they should have checked.

— Charles Rafferty

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by James Kunstler

That was the week Hillary began to look like the candidate who fell off a truck wearing a Nixon mask. Email-gate is taking on the odor of Watergate — the main ingredient of which was not the dopey crime itself but the stonewalling around it. The State Department Inspector General’s report saying definitively, no, she was not “allowed” to use a private, unsecured email server validated Donald Trump’s juvenile name-calling of “Crooked Hillary.”

We may never hear the end of that now (if Trump is actually nominated). And, of course, there lurks the Godzilla-sized skeleton in her closet of the still-unreleased Goldman Sachs speech transcripts, the clamor over which is sure to grow. Meanwhile the specter of the California primary looms, a not inconceivable loss to Bernie Sanders. And onto the convention in Philly which I contend will be even more fractious and violent than the 1968 fiasco in Chicago.

I’ll say it again: Hillary is a horse that ain’t gonna finish. The Democrats better be prepared to haul Uncle Joe out of the closet, fluff up his transplanted hair, wax his dentures, give him a few Vitamin B-12 shots, and stick a harpoon in his fist for the autumn run against the White Whale (if Trump is actually nominated).

The Republican convention in Cleveland is apt to be as bloody and violent a spectacle too (if Trump is actually nominated), with Black Lives Matters cadres having already promised to put on a show for global television and their Latino counterparts marching with Mexican Flags and cute signs saying: Trump: Chingate tu madre, perhaps garnished with the sobriquet pendejo. In such a situation, Trump has enormous potential to make things worse with his childish snap-backs. Hubert Humphrey in 1968 at least had the good sense to keep his mouth shut about the moiling multitudes out on Michigan Avenue inveighing against him.

The Vietnam War was a grave debacle, and it especially pissed off the young men subject to being drafted to fight in it, but the woof and warp of American life was otherwise intact. Blue collar workers still pulled in high wages in the Big Three auto plants, and women had not yet declared war on men, and the airwaves weren’t pornified, and there were still people in government with moral authority who loudly opposed official policy. The sobering martyrdoms of Martin Luther King and Robert Kennedy sanctified the opposition to the status quo. Even Hubert Humphrey himself, a thoughtful man underneath his Rotarian clown mask, began to turn away from Lyndon Johnson’s war hawks.

Nixon won. He surely benefited most not so much from the war issue and the riots in the streets as from the mass defection of Southern states from the long-entrenched domination of the Democratic Party — directly due to Johnson’s dismantling of the old Jim Crow laws. As a personality, Nixon was as much a pendejo as Donald Trump, but no one doubted his ability to run the machinery of government, if not the way they wanted it run.

One difference today is that the two supposedly leading candidates, Hillary and Trump, are broadly loathed and mocked by people of all ages, not just disaffected youth. Trump appears to actually know so little about the major problems the country faces — energy, trade, the animus of foreigners — that he would be literally helpless in crisis. Hillary would enter the White House more mistrusted than Tricky Dick, and more starkly wired into the parasitical elites draining the body politic of its precious bodily fluids — in the immortal words of Doctor Strangelove.

Though it appears that Trump has consolidated the delegate vote needed for nomination, something tells me that a move is yet afoot to knock the gold ring out of his grubby fingers. Speaker of the House Paul Ryan is playing it very cagey and you can imagine that current party stalwarts and office-holders all over the land are wringing their hands over being asked to follow Trump into some dark night of the American soul. Paul Ryan must know that a coup at the convention is still conceivable and that the action inside the hall will be as violent as the street-fighting outside.

(Support Kunstler’s writing at his Patreon Page:

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A 4th millennium BC Sumerian warrior smashing the head of his victim and a 2016 ISIS fighter doing the same.

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While age means he has a wonderful, mellow disposition, Caesar is also in great health. This dog loves walks, but his true passion is chasing tennis balls; once he's got one, if you are not engaged in the game, he will plop the ball on the ground and roll it to you, as if to say, "HEY, wake up and play with me!" Caesar has many years ahead to be your loyal and loving companion, and will be thrilled to lie by your feet, sniff in the yard and cuddle on the couch. His easy going nature makes him a great dog to take on outings, long or short. Caesar is about 50 pounds, low slung, and the folks who foster him occasionally have only great things to say about him. He's neutered, and ready to go home now! Caesar is also sponsored, so ALL of his adoption fees have been paid! Think you might want to become Caesar's loyal tennis ball pitcher? Call the shelter Adoption Coordinator--707-467-6453, or stop by the shelter at 298 Plant Road in Ukiah. Make sure to check out and bookmark the shelter's official webpage:

for information on all the cats and dogs, sponsorship and foster programs, and volunteer information.

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After five or more decades of political analysis and activism plus advocacy journalism, I don't get upset easily when stories or deeds of government abuse or corruption come my way. But the film linked below [Ed note: missing, sorry] sickens me especially coming this Memorial Day / Veterans Day when the politicians and super-patriots spout their gibberish about supporting the troops.

My own story of abuse by the military when I was a teenager in Air Force intelligence back in the 1950s is trivial compared to the horror stories in the video below. Nevertheless it has affected me to this day when I'm in my 80th year.

After almost two years on the job in Germany and after several men in our unit had psychotic breakdowns, when I showed signs of stress, I was examined by a psychiatrist who recommended two weeks "R & R" (rest and relaxation). Instead--six months later--I was punished for two weeks without anything on my record. My useful time to the Air Force over, I was then offered a six-month early-out again with nothing on my record.

In 2013 at age 76, the Department of Veterans Affairs declared me "delusional" etc, and awarded me a big enough "compensation" that I was able move to France to avoid, among other things, the American flag that has become for me a symbol of fascism. But remember, I'm "delusional."

Tom Cahill

Malay, France

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by Ralph Nader

In May of 1998 we held a conference dedicated to two Government-sponsored Enterprises (GSEs) – Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. In my statement to that assembly, I noted that both corporations had been enjoying good times, but cautioned that one of the unintended consequences of fat profits over a long period is the tendency of both government and private corporations to start believing in the fantasy of ever-rising profits. GSEs often escape the accountability that Congress or regulatory agencies should impose.

Recent hearings in the U.S. House and Senate have provided some much needed oversight on another GSE―the Farm Credit System (FCS).

The Farm Credit System was the first GSE to be established by the United States in 1916. Unlike Fannie and Freddie, the Farm Credit System can make direct loans to farmers, ranchers and others involved in agriculture. However, as The Wall Street Journalreported back in 1985: “the Farm Credit System would lend money to anyone. Herbert Ashton, an Indiana fruit farmer, recalls being wined and dined at a local country club by bankers from his local [farm credit] system bank who extolled the virtues of inflation and offered to lend him $1 million on the spot. ‘I turned it down,’ he recalls. ‘But they sounded like a soap testimonial. They were giving money to whoever passed their way, and they didn’t ask too many questions.’”

Not surprisingly, The Farm Credit System was also the first GSE to be bailed out by taxpayers at a cost of $4 billion when the farm economy collapsed in 1987.

The Farm Credit System reported a net income of $4.7 billion and assets of $283 billion in 2014. It gets its huge funding capital from the Federal Farm Credit Banks Funding Corporation which sells bonds on securities markets. It receives exemptions from Dodd-Frank Wall Street reform and pays only a small percentage of state and local taxes. With these facts in mind, the FCS has veered off course from the mission Congress originally intended for it to do―“…to make loans for the production and marketing of agricultural products.”  The FCS’s lending practices are less focused on serving the credit needs of new farmers and ranchers, but instead lending today focuses on large farmers, agribusinesses, utilities and even businesses having nothing to do with farming!

For example, in 2004 twenty-five percent of new FCS loans went to owners of small farms and ranches while seventy-five percent went to owners of large farms. In 2014, less than 14 percent of new FCS loans went to owners of small farms and ranches, while over 86 percent went to owners of large farms. On their website, FCS addresses the open question of whether or not they exist to just serve farmers and ranchers by elaborating: “The System’s mission is to serve all types of agricultural producers who have a basis for rural credit, as well as others who help ensure that agriculture and rural America are economically successful. This includes farm-related businesses, rural homeowners, rural infrastructure providers, including electric, telecommunications, water and waste, as well as other rural service providers.” This open-ended description leaves a lot of wiggle room about who FCS chooses to lend to―which is problematic.

Providing loans to large corporations, to non-farm enterprises and to wealthy individuals and families for a variety of non-farm investments goes well beyond what the Farm Credit System was set up to do. Some eye-opening examples follow:

* In October 2013 – CoBank, a $93 billion Farm Credit System bank, loaned $725 million to Verizon to help finance its acquisition of Vodafone -a London-based telecom giant. At a June 25, 2014 hearing, Rep. Mike Rogers (R-MI) told Jill Long Thompson, Chairman and CEO of the Farm Credit Administration, “I have been a supporter of the Farm Credit System. But, it is pretty hard for me to explain—I can’t explain why you are financing a merger deal with Verizon, or the Farm Credit System is.”

(*) In April 2015 – CoBank participated in a $300 million unsecured term loan to Black Hills Corp., a vertically integrated energy company with natural gas and electric utility operations in Colorado, Iowa, Kansas, Montana, Nebraska, South Dakota and Wyoming.

(*) In January 2015, Greenstone Farm Credit Services ACA/FLCA joined with several large commercial banks in providing “a five-year $750 million revolving line of credit” to Cracker Barrel Old Country Store, Inc., a national restaurant chain.

(*) In 2007, Farm Credit of the Virginias loaned the Kluge Estate Winery and Vineyard $34 million to increase the winery’s output and construct luxury homes on the estate.

Former Farm Credit Administration Chairman and CEO Leland A. Strom pointed out that Farm Credit System associations “have developed very efficient marketing programs for farmers and ranchers involved in commodity-type agriculture (from corn and soybean production to livestock, for example) in addition to an “ongoing and impressive” effort at “education and outreach to these farmers and their children.” But he warned, the Farm Credit System was not providing the same level of service to those who “farm and market their products directly to consumers, local restaurants, schools, hospitals, etc., in what many call the Local Foods System.”

The Farm Credit System needs congressional oversight of its operations and lending. In addition to regular congressional oversight―the recent hearings were the first in over a decade―Congress should also consider new legislation that would make the FCS subject to Dodd-Frank, require FCS to increase lending to young, beginning and small farmers and ranchers and limit lending to non-farm corporations and non-farm activities.

Small farmers, let your member of Congress know what you think.

(Ralph Nader is a consumer advocate, lawyer and author of Only the Super-Rich Can Save Us!)

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Dear Editor:

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu after a week of negotiations reached a deal to bring the Yisreal Beiteinu (Israel our Home) party into a coalition with his Likud party. The deal will increase the number of seats in the coalition from 61 to 66 seats in the 120 seat Parliament. The result will be a ultra right wing government. A condition of the agreement is that Avigdor Lieberman would be named Defense Minister. Mr. Lieberman, an immigrant from the former Soviet Union was a member of the Likud Party before forming his own party, Israel our Home. His main source of support are the 1,000,000 immigrants from Russia. His military experience was as a corporal in the IDF and apparently he is not held in high regard by the military. He is give to bombastic statements like recommending the beheading of Arab citizens who show disloyalty. He has a peace plan which is not doable.

The future does not look good for Israel - they have few friends in the world except for the U. S. who they have to come to periodically with a tin cup looking for a dole to keep its economy going and to cast a veto at the Security Council if a vote comes for UN membership for the State of Palestine. Over the long run the demographics are against Israel with the Arabs in the majority along with the difficulty in maintaining an apartheid state. Also, if there is another war the IDF may not be able to stop a coalition of invading troops.

In peace and love,

Jim Updegraff


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It's Memorial Day, and I am sending this out to you on a University of Florida computer using my guest pass. I gave Zen Hostel here in Gainesville $200 for another week's stay, because I don't have anywhere to go right now to perform spiritual rituals in coordination with radical environmental direct action (which includes street protests, outside of government buildings protests, extreme profit-driven energy company facilities protests, etcetera). Although I am thoroughly enjoying my stay at Zen Hostel, I am eager to move on. I need to find others who are interested in what I've been advocating....specifically, attending the Earth First! annual gathering beginning June 29th in Michigan, and then being an effective presence at the bogus conventions in late July in Cleveland and Philadelphia. Now is the time to plan our collective response to the insane stupidity which is attempting to dominate the United States of America, and in fact, the entire world. That's right, this totally fucked national situation is how it is and where we are. And do you know what? We need to do something about this! Because if we don't, we are stuck in a materialistic crazy hell realm. So here's a Memorial Day Special to take advantage of: You send me an email inviting me to go where you are, and then using my money, good health, considerable experience, and accrued spiritual wisdom, I will show up, and then we will mutually create a ritually based direct action group, for the expressed purpose of destroying our common demonic problem. Please reflect on the ancient epics in which Avatars appeared and destroyed the demonic forces, such as when Krishna, Rama, Durga (and Her most intense manifestation Mother Kali) prevailed, returning the world to righteousness. And also reflect on other traditions, with their emergency solutions to circumstances which were similar to the wholesale confusion which characterizes the present time. It's late! We are in the darkest phase of Kali Yuga in the Vedic time cycles. Feel free to look it up on Wikipedia if you are not informed about where you are. I am ready to pack up and leave the travel hostel, to go forth, and with you take on the deranged consciousness that is responsible for these contemporary times being so dangerous, spiritually depraved, and ultimately stark raving mad. If this email message resonates with you, then I invite you to take advantage of today's Memorial Day Special, and email me back. Thanks for your time, and of course I love you...what else?

Craig Louis Stehr



  1. chuck dunbar May 31, 2016

    Thank you, Steve Heilig, for your fine post, “Memorial Day Reality.” It was informative and made many important points about our ongoing war efforts. I intend to read the Melvin Goodman book you cited.

  2. Whyte Owen May 31, 2016

    The Helig piece is three years old, but timeless. Yesterday’s “Memorial Remembrances” (by Mr. Anderson?): also an outstanding essay.

  3. Bruce McEwen May 31, 2016

    Reading a bio of Stephen Sondheim, and the curious thing is, it proves all the liberal identity politics absolutely wrongheaded and misguided, esp. the popular notion that military indoctrination makes boys “…ostensibly ominous in the overview…” when the facts of Sondheim’s life prove otherwise.

    !st): All the women felt so sorry for him because he was neglected by his parents who were wrapped up in the fashion industry and too busy to spend much time with him. These women remember the “abuse,” the “neglect,” how “awful” it must have been for him.

    Stephen, however, remembers it all as being “completely, sometimes, indescribably, happy.”

    When his parents divorced and sent him to a military academy, the women in his life began to tear their hear and wail,lamenting on the cruelty of such a decision by “heartless” parents. But Stephen remembers it as one of the the finest adventures of his youth.

    In later life, he was so bombarded with feminine notions that he must necessarily be a mental case, that he obligingly deferred to their judgment and went into “treatment” with a prominent psychologist, and despite straining every angle of this psuedo-science to determine how much of poor Stephen’s psyche had been “stuffed,” he emerged as one of the most psychologically — and physically — healthy specimens of his age and social standing.

    In my work at the courthouse, I see so many young people, most of them raised by their mothers and other women — having run off their menfolk and “allowed their children to develop” (read, discarded all conventional boundries)– that hardly any of them have any self-respect, let alone respect for others, and indulge generally in such state of foul-mouthed, narcissistic indolence, that is only marginally above what in former times was called a complete moron, idiot or, to be more politically correct, a mentally challenged Hero in the Special Olympics.

    Yes, it is wise to keep the arrogance of the military in check on these holidays, when the flag waving and trumpet blaring gets a bit much, but also it doesn’t appear to have helped the overall health of society the way a certain demographic majority went completely overboard in the other direction, does it?

  4. Rick Weddle May 31, 2016

    re: “Kill anything that moves.”…

    Thanks, Mr. Heilig, for the titles. Turse’s title happens to be a set of words I recall in some detail.

    Ft. Lewis, Washington, Fall of 1964. Days before my term of enlistment expired, Lt. G. came in, all talking out the side of his mouth like he did when he was pissed or scared. He flapped a few sheets of paper against his thigh and paced around with determination but no particular aim. He knew I was going home, and that I was relieved to be getting out. (Everything was supposed to be ‘Top Secret’ but grunts develop a seismic sense, ears perked for the hint of thunder that precedes a Big SNAFU.) Lt. G was small and mean in a good-natured kind of way, with a loud, assertive presence he’d cultivated as a radio pop music DJ in Florida. A bad car wreck had laced a scar down across his face, from above his hairline, down over one ear and an eye, cheek and jaw. He wasn’t pretty, but Lt. G was very clear about his not caring very much about that or anything whatever. He flailed himself with the papers and muttered, “I got orders…,” his meaning known universally. His usual ‘do not give a fraction of a shit about anything’ had slipped off to the side; he was worried. Our mutual friend and Prize-Winning plowboy, Lt. F had already departed on orders to rotary-wing school on his way to Nam. Lt. G stopped smacking his leg and looked at me. “I’m telling you: When they give me my little AR15 and point me out the door, I’m gonna kill anything that moves. I’m NOT dyin’ over there!”

    Whatever else he did over there, he didn’t exactly die. He looked me up immediately when he landed in SF, apparently thinking I needed to know his ‘news.’ Lt. F, a beautiful hillbilly gentleman we both loved like a favorite Brother, died trying to take his ship into the same LZ another evac ship was coming out of. All were lost.

    Lt. G didn’t hang around more than a couple hours, just long enough to bring the tidings about Ernie, and to make a couple amazed remarks about the middle of Berkeley in the middle of ’65. He wore his dress greens, bloused into spitshined combat boots like Airborne, which he was not. He sported a green beret signifying membership in Special Forces, which he was not, and for which, had he been discovered by a real Green Beanie, he’d have taken a brisk whipping.

    After a couple awkward silences, we made farewells, and he disappeared, back to Florida, I guess.

    I’d already picked up a couple lessons on the street about what was being perpetrated on Viet Nam in our name, under our flag, with our brothers and sisters, so Lt. G didn’t surprise me that much, except with the grief for Ernie. He did help put another little page in my notes on How War Makes Peace, and we oughta be grateful, to the point of the Ultimate Sacrifice and Then Some. This in spite of the glaring fact the sponsors of the Sacrificing never sacrifice a molecule of Nothing…on the contrary, they Make a Killing, as the picturesque saying used to go…

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