- Decoration Day
- For The Union Dead
- Arbanovella Cancels
- Counselor Rawlins
- Navarro River
- Industrial Marijuana
- Break-in Video
- Little Dog
- Socialists Everywhere
- Cannabis Criminals
- Yesterday's Catch
- Mendo Greens
- Private School
- Reasonable Response
MEMORIAL DAY, 1963
by Herb Caen
If you’re old enough, you remember when they called it Decoration Day. If you’re old enough, you’ve survived two and a half World Wars and any number of long holiday weekends.
Since the odds on the latter are considerably shorter, perhaps there should be a holiday dedicated to those killed on long holiday weekends, except that dying on the highways is part of that American Way of Life preserved by those whose deaths we are presumably honoring today.
I once asked a psychiatrist why Americans are still so shocked by deaths in plane crashes, while remaining uninvolved by the vastly larger automobile toll. “Simple,” he replied. “Taking a plane is an act of choice. Driving is as natural to an American as walking — perhaps more so.”
Besides it’s always somebody else who’s going to get killed, not you. Every man in uniform felt the same way, including those whose graves are supposed to be decorated with flowers today. I don’t know what one does to honor the thousands who simply disintegrated in the mud of battle fields like Arras in World War I.
In their memory, I suppose you could affix a plastic flower to the aerial of your car.
Today some speaker somewhere will remind us that our boys did not die in vain, a sentiment unspoken to this day by the victims or their survivors. The patriots who didn’t get killed are always around to tell us about somebody else’s last full measure of devotion.
However, the subject is fast becoming academic. War is “unthinkable,” and for this we have the word of people like Herman Kahn, who go on thinking about it. It is also “outdated,” announced a physicist who is working on even more up-to-date weapons than those that overkill only up to a factor of 10, but are “dirty.” The nuclear stockpile contains the equivalent of 20 tons of TNT for every person on the face of the earth, and that’s progress.
In the good old days of war there was a bullet with your number on it. Today 40,000 pounds of dynamite have been set aside for you, a flattering amount indeed.
All we learn from history is that we don’t learn anything from history. If we did, the orators today would be right, and all those thousands of young men would not have died in vain.
We’re spending 50-odd billion dollars a year on armaments — for defensive purposes only — because of The Other Guy, correct? To suggest otherwise would be unpatriotic. But if we read history (while not learning from it) we know it was no Red who said “The increase of armaments that is intended in each nation to produce consciousness of strength and a sense of security does not achieve these effects. On the contrary, it produces a consciousness of the strength of other nations and a sense of fear. Fear begets suspicion and distrust and evil imagining of all sorts.” Those are the words of Lord Grey of Falladon, Britain’s Foreign Secretary in 1905-1915.
Nor was it a deluded, softheaded pinko fellow traveler who pointed out: “As one who passed half a century in the study and practice of war, I suggest that you should give your support to disarmament and so do your best to ensure the promotion of peace.” That was Field Marshal Sir William Roberson, Chief of the Imperial General Staff, 1915-1918.
On this Memorial Day atop the nuclear stockpile there is still time to read that global war has become a Frankenstein to destroy both sides. No longer is it a weapon of adventure — the short cut to international power. If you lose, you are annihilated. If you win, you stand only to lose. No longer does it possess even the chance of the winner of a duel. It contains now only the germs of double suicide. General of the Army Douglas MacArthur has been heard from.
”Tell me who profits by war and I will tell you how to stop it,” Henry Ford once said. I think foxy old Henry knew, but didn’t want to offend some of his friends.
In a recent issue of the Saturday Evening Post, Dwight D. Eisenhower complained that “I have participated in two world wars, and there was one striking difference between the first and second that perplexed me and made me a little sad. The American Army in the first World War was a singing army; in the second it was not.”
Well, for one thing, there were better songs in the first war, but they died soon enough on the lips of the men who were slaughtered needlessly at Belleau Wood, the first American action. There wasn’t much singing after that and by the time World War II rolled around the songs had become third-rate and the troops had lost their naïveté, an invaluable ingredient if you are not to die in vain.
Mr. Eisenhower also felt impelled to report that he had seen the Irving Berlin musical, “Mr. President,” and had enjoyed it, although some critics had panned it as “corny.” Too many of us Americans are included to think of any honest emotion, including a public display of patriotism, as “corny.” Not so. Patriotism might not be corny, but Irving Berlin is. The emotion that produced “God Bless America” was undoubtedly honest, which has nothing to do with the fact that it is a lamentably bad song.
Well we have corn on all sides this Memorial Day. A Women Strike for Peace group in an attempt at Madison Ave. humor, came up with a slogan reading, “If You Liked World War II, you’ll LOVE World War III!”
God Bless America. And soon.
(The San Francisco Chronicle, May 29, 1963.)
FOR THE UNION DEAD
by Robert Lowell
The old South Boston Aquarium stands
in a Sahara of snow now. Its broken windows are boarded.
The bronze weathervane cod has lost half its scales.
The airy tanks are dry.
Once my nose crawled like a snail on the glass;
my hand tingled
to burst the bubbles
drifting from the noses of the cowed, compliant fish.
My hand draws back. I often sigh still
for the dark downward and vegetating kingdom
of the fish and reptile. One morning last March,
I pressed against the new barbed and galvanized
fence on the Boston Common. Behind their cage,
yellow dinosaur steamshovels were grunting
as they cropped up tons of mush and grass
to gouge their underworld garage.
Parking spaces luxuriate like civic
sandpiles in the heart of Boston.
A girdle of orange, Puritan-pumpkin colored girders
braces the tingling Statehouse,
shaking over the excavations, as it faces Colonel Shaw
and his bell-cheeked Negro infantry
on St. Gaudens' shaking Civil War relief,
propped by a plank splint against the garage's earthquake.
Two months after marching through Boston,
half the regiment was dead;
at the dedication,
William James could almost hear the bronze Negroes breathe.
Their monument sticks like a fishbone
in the city's throat.
Its Colonel is as lean
as a compass-needle.
He has an angry wrenlike vigilance,
a greyhound's gentle tautness;
he seems to wince at pleasure,
and suffocate for privacy.
He is out of bounds now. He rejoices in man's lovely,
peculiar power to choose life and die—
when he leads his black soldiers to death,
he cannot bend his back.
On a thousand small town New England greens,
the old white churches hold their air
of sparse, sincere rebellion; frayed flags
quilt the graveyards of the Grand Army of the Republic.
The stone statues of the abstract Union Soldier
grow slimmer and younger each year—
wasp-waisted, they doze over muskets
and muse through their sideburns . . .
Shaw's father wanted no monument
except the ditch,
where his son's body was thrown
and lost with his "niggers."
The ditch is nearer.
There are no statues for the last war here;
on Boylston Street, a commercial photograph
shows Hiroshima boiling
over a Mosler Safe, the "Rock of Ages"
that survived the blast. Space is nearer.
When I crouch to my television set,
the drained faces of Negro school-children rise like balloons.
is riding on his bubble,
for the blessèd break.
The Aquarium is gone. Everywhere,
giant finned cars nose forward like fish;
a savage servility
slides by on grease.
ED NOTE: Mr. Arbanovella also resigned his position on the Boonville school board effective 30 June. If I were to guess, I'd say he doesn't appreciate our coverage of his performance, which can be described as obfuscating bordering on clinically compulsive. He seems to have hand-delivered his message to us; unfortunately, we weren't here to receive it.
WE FIRST ENCOUNTERED Point Arena School Counselor Holly Rawlins back in 2010 when she was a called as a witness at the civil trial when Point Arena Elementary School Principal Matt Murray sued PA Superintendent Mark Iacuaniello for misrepresenting the job Murray hired on to. The weaselly Iacuaniello then failed to back Murray up as Iacuaniello succumbed to the predictable pushback from teachers after the extremely professional Murray attempted to compel them to do the work they were hired to do and carefully monitor their classroom’s academic progress.
RAWLINS was one of several school staffers who complained about Murray’s “style.” At that time Ms. Rawlins testifed that she and Murray had “philosophical disagreements.” When asked what they were, she said she remembered one had to do with “retention of students.” (Retention is educratese for holding a student back for a year.)
MURRAY'S then-attorney Keith Faulder asked Rawlins, “How many students were retained while Mr. Murray was there?”
Rawlins did not remember.
“Were there one, two, ten?”
Rawlins did not remember.
“Isn't it true that there were no students retained while Mr. Murray was principal?” asked Faulder.
Rawlins still did not remember, but she “believed” there had been students retained.
Murray had not held any students back.
Rawlins had complained that Murray typed on his computer during their meetings in his office.
Faulder asked, “Could he have been taking notes regarding the meeting?”
Rawlins replied he should have written notes instead of typing them.
Rawlins also said that she felt it was “quite inappropriate” for Murray to have left a memo slip in her box that he wanted to meet with her. She believed he should have waited until she returned to her office to tell her he wanted to see her. She said often teachers would hold slips up in front of other teachers and mockingly say “Got another one!”
Rawlins also testified as an “expert witness” when it came to non-English speaking (ELD) students. Superintendent Iacuaniello had hired “ELD teacher” Heather Regelbrugge without discussing her hiring with Murray. After Murray observed Regelbrugge in the classroom, Murray told Iacuaniello that she should be removed from his school as she was totally unqualified to be an ELD teacher.
Iacuaniello refused. Shortly after that Murray discovered that Regelbrugge had falsified her credentials and had not taken the required test (the applicable CBEST test) to become a teacher (a misdemeanor according to Government and Education Code).
Expert witness Rawlins went to Iacuaniello and told him Regelbrugge was “great” and that she (Regelbrugge) should stay. Iacuaniello simply changed Regelbrugge's job description from “teacher” to “ELD coordinator” and kept her at the elementary school doing exactly what Murray had objected to.
(Coincidentally, Ms. Regelbrugge co-wrote an article in last week’s Independent Coast Observer entitled “Talking With Kids About Drugs,” where she is described as “Community Health Outreach at Redwood Coast Medical Services” in Gualala. And Mr. Daniel Ruggelbrugge is listed on Point Arena Unified’s staff as a special education teacher.)
* * *
In April Ms. Rollins came to our attention again when we reprinted her Letter to the Editor of the Indendent Coast Observer:
BANNED FOR TELLING THE TRUTH
There are three things the community needs to know:
I have filed a Title IX violation complaint with the Office of Civil Rights against the Point Arena school district for the handling of alleged sexual harassment of female students at the high school.
Superintendent Brent Cushenbery accused me of creating a "hostile work environment." (I think that means telling the truth) and then banned me from campus. My banishment meant that I was not able to say goodbye to my individual counseling students or to the student body at large which is very confusing for vulnerable small children.
While at home on Wednesday, March 29, I received a phone call from the district office demanding that I return my school computer that same day. My concern is this: if Mr. Cushenbery pays a professional to recover confidential information from my computer, it is your information he will be reading via confidential counseling files. I'm so sorry.
If you are concerned about your confidential information, or your child's, being read by school district office staff and board members, I suggest you make your voice known. Call the district office at 707-882-2803. Trolling through counseling records is an ethical and moral violation that does not have to be tolerated.
Arena Elementary and Point Arena high school belong to you, the community. You elected school board members and their job is to make sure the superintendent's actions are responsible, honest, ethical and transparent. A school district is not a personal fiefdom to be ruled. And as we still live in a democracy, I hope you will take whatever action seems right and correct to you.
It's been my privilege to know so many of you and to have known your children.
* * *
Typical of most school matters, Ms. Rawlins declined to provide any particulars about the “hostile work environment” allegations against her in her letter, choosing instead to advise parents about the “confidential information from my computer,” and remind people that “we still live in a democracy.” At the time that Ms. Rawlins wrote her letter in April we didn’t realize that she was a school counselor, not a teacher. So the files she was referring to were counseling files, not academic files, and may have contained “confidential” information.
* * *
This week we see in the Independent Coast Observer’s lead story that Ms. Rawlins has indeed filed a civil rights lawsuit with the US Department of Education against Point Arena Unified after Ms. Rawlins was, she says, fired because she blew the whistle on another teacher named Daniel Huddleston who was accused of the sexual harassment of female students.
Most of reporter S.J. Black’s ICO article is a rote description of the Civil Rights office’s processes and procedures, not the underlying case or allegations. But apparently Huddleston is accused of ineffectiveness as a teacher (hardly a unique complaint) and “unhygienic behavior including handing students’ papers back with bloody fingerprints on them.”
Rawlins says the school district has a list of eleven students who complained about Huddleston’s behavior in class, making them “uncomfortable” and “affecting their ability to learn.”
It’s hard to know what to make of the situation or the allegations since, based on the high level of sensitivity she showed in the Murray case, Ms. Rawlins seems pretty keen on co-worker behavior to the point that even Murray leaving a note in her staff cubbyhole was deemed "quite inappropriate."
The ICO report fails to mention whether Mr. Huddleston, a math teacher first employed by Point Arena High School in 2016, is still employed by Point Arena Unified. However, Point Arena’s current “faculty & staff” list does not include him. Minutes of a Point Arena Unified Board meeting say that Huddleston resigned in February after only about six months of teaching. For her part, Counselor Rawlins is still listed on the Arena Unified Elementary School’s “faculty & staff” list with the oh-so friendly email address of “email@example.com.”
Ms. Rawlins also was very appreciative of some money her elementary school got from the Mendocino Coast Children’s fund not long ago:
“Twice a year my school, Arena Elementary, gets a gift of money from the Mendocino Coast Children’s Fund. The dollars go into a special fund called “Arena Needy Kids,” and it is used for so MANY things! It buys the peanut butter and jelly we use to make morning snacks for our youngest children. It buys shoes for the poorly shod, sweatshirts for the chilly. I’ve used it for haircuts, basketball shoes, a team sweatshirt, and once to buy shower tokens for a child who was living without running water in his home. This money allows students to not stand out in the crowd of their peers. More than this, MCCF allows me to send students to camp for free, provides my students with back-to-school clothes and supplies, stocks my shelves with backpacks and sleeping bags for those who need them. In short, MCCF makes the lives of my student better! Forever grateful, Holly Rawlins, Counselor, Point Arena Schools”
NAVARRO MOUTH & ESTUARY (taken May 24, 2017)
FETZER’S REDWOOD VALLEY WINERY set to become the “Whole Foods Of Pot.”
Big plans for the Fetzer family Redwood Valley estate envision it as a marijuana production and tourism site, a transformation emblematic of the changes coming to the North Coast in the era of legal cannabis.
POT THIEVES THWARTED IN POINT ARENA
$1000 DOLLAR REWARD. The Green Room is open and doing great after five low lifes managed to break in last night. Unaware that we lock our valuables up in an 800lb safe, they didn't get much for their effort. The sheriff responded quickly to the alarm and has been a huge help in collecting information. The business community of Point Arena is concerned that there is a gang of burglars roaming the street and has offered to match our reward of $500 dollars for a total reward of $1000 dollars for information leading to the arrest and prosecution of the men in this video. We have filed a report and have shared all of the security video with the sheriff. Point Arena is a vibrant community and we all look out for one another. This kind of behavior is not welcome here.
LITTLE DOG SAYS, “Watching the tourist tide wash in from the south on Friday,"
"I'll watch it wash out to the south again on Monday. Remember that song ‘Ebb Tide’ by the Righteous Brothers? I've changed the lyrics a little to reflect my feelings.”
First the Beamers rush in
Plant a kiss on the Pinot
Then roll out drunk to Mendocino
and the tasting rooms are silent
So I rush to the liquor store
with one burning thought:
are they still open?
At last we're face to face
I slap down a twenty from my embrace
I can tell, I can feel
that first shot of Jack
in the rain, in the dark, in the sun
I'm at peace in the web of John Barleycorn
A COUPLE of weeks ago, my old friend, Tom Hine, aka Tommy Wayne Kramer, got off a bilious and uninformed column for the Ukiah Daily Journal called, "Jim Jones’s Socialist Utopia: All equal, impoverished or dead."
TWK and I go back to fast pitch softball in Cloverdale, circa 1972 . I want to state clearly and for the record that there were no communists and only one socialist in that league at that time. There were prodigious beer drinkers and pot smokers, and never a political word was heard.
I WAS and am the softball socialist, which, I add with a haughty huff, I feel no need to explain or defend other than to say the term is synonymous with misunderstanding, deliberate misunderstanding in TWK's case because he isn't a dummy.
IF IT weren't for socialists children would still be working in coal mines and TWK would not be cashing his social security checks and medicare wouldn't be paying for his doctor's visits. Anybody out there want to give it up? Thank FDR and the New Deal when there were still Democrats.
TWK was ignited by reading “The Road to Jonestown” by Jeff Guinn. I read the same book. TWK came away taking the lunatic's self-description that the worst thing about Jones was his "socialism." I came away from the same book with the same opinion of Jones that I had before I read the book — Jones was simply a drugged out criminal lunatic who called himself a socialist because, in his amphetamine-driven head, it aggrandized him as a great opponent of capitalism. And, given the times — the late sixties into the middle 70s — it was fashionable to be in opposition to everything. All kinds of demagogues were stomping around in leather jackets calling themselves revolutionary socialists, just as many more people were weekend hippies. It was all cool, all part of the zeitgeist.
ONE MORE TIME: Socialism is not the same thing as communism, especially communism of the Lenin type. Bernie Sanders is not Pol Pot or Fidel Castro or Mao Tse Tung. Mendocino County's pioneer tweaker, Jones, was simply a nut with the gift of gab who called his robbery of dependent persons and exploitation of credulous lawyers like Tim Stoen "socialism" because to the fashion-driven sectors of the population in those days, that made Jones much cooler, more sophisticated than the acquisitive faith healer he was.
AS AMERICA CAREENS politically rightward with catastrophic results for everyday citizens — cf Trump's proposed budget — the opposition will be called socialists on the safe assumption that to millions of people socialism is what TWK says it is — versions of Jim Jones.
WHAT IT IS, and what it has been in this country is medicare and social security and, hopefully, single payer health insurance. Socialist ideas have a long and honorable tradition in this country and characterize all the governments of Western Europe.
IF YOU WORK for wages and you aren't a socialist you are politically in opposition to yourself.
"TWK fears that ‘Bernie Sanders-type Socialist candidates will start sweeping onto ballots in the next few years.’ If so, Tom Hine asks what America will look like by 2040."
IT'LL LOOK a lot better than it does now, that's for sure.
ANOTHER SPIN ON THE COUNTY MARIJUANA-GO-ROUND
by Tommy Wayne Kramer
Our elected representatives are engaged once again in the struggle to wrench tax dollars out of local marijuana growers but I predict it will wind up where all the other efforts to haul the industry into the mainstream have gone, which is nowhere.
We’ve been down this road before. The medical marijuana charade, the various semi-legalization reforms, the endless ballot initiatives have all come wrapped up in tidy packages with bright bows and gift tags that say “Tax Money” on them. But whenever the citizens open a box it’s empty.
This new round of cultivation regulation will end up the same. In a recent front page story on the fancy new rules and regs that will guide Mendocino County’s marijuana policies, the Daily Journal’s Ashley Tressel provided a succinct overview of how the new laws will supposedly work. Keep your eye on the word “supposedly.”
The ultimate goal is to reap big tax rewards from pot farms that have skated decades without paying a penny into county coffers. The assumption is that this will change when supervisors sign a proclamation deeming it mandatory that the county shall henceforth accumulate tax dollars.
Question: What is the first thing that will need to happen for the county to collect tax dollars?
Answer: Hire a bunch of new county employees to implement the rules.
This means the county will first spend lots of money gambling that the big new avalanche of cash will more than offset the costs. I’m here to say it won’t. The system won’t work, the taxes won’t materialize and the cash won’t suddenly drop from the sky. But those employees will still need to get paid.
What everyone should understand is that all these big new changes are aimed at criminals. Criminals don’t follow laws and they don’t follow rules. They don’t pay taxes. They haven’t in the past and they won’t in the future. This is because they are c-r-i-m-i-n-a-l-s.
Does anybody think a big fat book full of new regulations is going to be studied, understood and adhered to by bands of outlaws out on Spy Rock Road?
Among the government agencies that will enforce the new rules are the County Department of Planning and Building Services, the Agricultural Commissioner, California State Fish and Wildlife, the North Coast Water Quality Control Board and the Cannabis Compliance Unit. What enforcement units won’t be involved? The Bureau of Weights and Measures? The State Board of Equalization? Will the Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act come into play? Will camouflage-clad Commerce Department federal agents with walkie-talkies start creeping through the hills of Laytonville?
Does anyone (other than a county supervisor) think growers operating outside the law for the past 30 years will invite bureaucrats wearing name tags and carrying clipboards to come tramp around their property? According to Tressel in the UDJ story, officials actually plan to measure canopy cover, inspect the number and wattage of light bulbs, monitor the noise from generators and review the pages of documents the grower will have been required to fill out. All this is designed to guarantee growers are in compliance and to assure the tax money will start to roll in.
Or will the grower simply go on merrily as before and ignore the permit fees and the application fees and the requirements to submit to the SICPA “track and trace” system, whatever the heck that entails? I think we all know the answer.
Today, a grower who pretty much ignores the rules and laws faces little chance of being arrested, let alone convicted and sent to prison and / or made to pay a crippling fine. At most there’s some modest asset forfeiture involved and then it’s back to business.
Why would anyone in the marijuana trade wake up in 2018 filled with dread that tomorrow might bring revenue inspectors to his remote patch nine miles past Third Gate? Do we honestly think some guy who’s been growing since 1977 will live in fear a county bureaucrat might some day deliver a summons that his agricultural parcel appears to be in noncompliance with County Code 407.15 (c), to wit, failure to adhere to tire size requirements on vehicles used in transporting non-organic materials, i.e., dirt, onto potential growing areas within the meaning of the McGowen Crumbling Roads and Infrastructure Act of 2017?
Oh my. DA Dave Eyster is sure to throw the book at him this time. Judge Keith Faulder will doubtless sentence him to heavy library bookmobile duty. If only he had paid that $22,500 tax liability assessment last June!
Why oh why did he ever stray into a life of crime?
Modest Servants Of The Public
California Governor Jerry Brown gets an annual salary of $183,000 (plus benefits) which is less than the $189,000 (plus benefits) Sage Sangiacomo “earns” while running the city of Ukiah.
This is utterly preposterous in a city of 16,000, but it’s what your elected city representatives thought was a reasonable salary. His assistant, Shannon Riley, “earns” $167,000 annually, and like Sage they get hefty benefits and a pension of more than $100,000 a year for the rest of their lives.
Next time you see Doug Crane, Kevin Doble, Jim Brown, Maureen Mulheren or Steve Scalmanini ask if they think this is a prudent use of local taxpayer money.
Be ready to laugh.
(Tom Hine has lived, worked, screwed off and retired in Ukiah over some 35 or so years. He often writes under the Tommy Wayne Kramer byline. Courtesy, the Ukiah Daily Journal.)
CATCH OF THE DAY, May 28, 2017
TINA CORNWALL, Willits. Probation revocation.
JONI DEARING, Fort Bragg. Paraphernalia. (Frequent Flyer)
VIRGINIA DRESSING, Clearlake/Ukiah Camping in Ukiah, resisting.
ALEXANDER EARL, Ukiah. Resisting.
DAVID JOHNSTON, Ukiah. Probation revocation.
JUSTIN JUSTICE, Ukiah. Drunk in public.
JONATHAN LARSEN, Crescent City/Ukiah. Domestic battery, false imprisonment, vandalism, probation revocation.
CHRISTINA MALSEED, Willits. Pot possession for sale.
NATHEN MARTIN, Willits. Controlled substance.
KELLI McCOSKER, Ukiah. Failure to appear, probation revocation.
ANDREW MARTINEZ, Ukiah. Failure to appear, parole violation
BRYAN NEWBERRY, Willits. Failure to appear.
DEVIN NIELSON, Laytonville. Failure to appear.
JUSTIN OVERHOLT, Ukiah. Probation revocation.
TONY PAUL, Ukiah. Probation revocation.
NICOLAS SHEON, Oakland/Ukiah. DUI.
JESSIE SLOTTE, Lakeport/Ukiah. Domestic abuse, assault with deadly weapon not a gun.
ANTHONY WELLER, Ukiah. Suspended license, “SA Drive w/priors” (?), no insurance, failure to appear.
PATRICK WILLIS, Ukiah. Drunk in public.
ANDREA WRIGHT, Ukiah. Drunk in public, probation revocation.
SHEILA DAWN NOTES: The Green Party of Mendocino County re-formed last Sunday. About 16 people attended including David Cobb from Humboldt Co. to help us reorganize. As our first action (after getting five volunteers to be on the Council) we are sending two delegates to the Green Party State Assembly which will be in Sacramento the weekend of June 16th thru the 18th.
ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY
I think it’s only possible to see the future in general terms. For example, you only know you are in a drought, two or three years after it has started. Then is when you can point back and say yes, that’s when it began. Even then, you don’t know when it will end. Life is slippery that way, and it defies our attempts at predictions. All I can say is that for myself, considering what I have learned in my life, things do not look good for humanity in general. I also understand that the only things I can do to affect my life are the things that I do personally. If I lived at the foot of a dam, and I began to see cracks in the wall, I would probably move to higher ground, or at least buy some life preservers (joke). It’s up to each person to consider whats going on, and to make whatever decisions they consider to be a reasonable response to what they think will happen. Some will make the right decisions, and some will have guessed wrong, and some will be completely unprepared. Life is a motherfucker, and it comes at you full speed. Bless us all.