- Hot Coming
- Rastafarian Landing
- Little Dog
- AV Graduation
- Bold Valediction
- Gualala Stick-up
- Greene Sentenced
- Homeless Plan
- Art Scholarships
- Retirement Agenda
- Ferndale Exorcism
- Yesterday's Catch
- Lawn Jazz
- Kardashian Dreamland
- Crazy Choices
- Alexandria Ironies
- Bat Radio
HOT! Ukiah will reach the high 90s on Saturday, then exceed 100 by several degrees starting on Sunday and continuing through Thursday or Friday. Temps should return to the 90s on Friday and maybe below 90s by next Sunday.
Boonville and Philo will track a similar pattern but about ten degrees lower.
And on the Coast a corresponding drop of ten more degrees or so, approaching 80 at times.
OBVIOUSLY there’s a high fire danger in inland areas of Mendocino County, but we couldn’t find any quantification of the hazard.
THE RASTAFARIANS and their fans, bands and performers arrived in Boonville at the Fairgrounds Friday night. Locals reported what appeared to be a lighter turn out than recent years, judging by traffic and noise. The best idea we saw was the clever spread put out under an outdoor awning in front of Lizbby’s Mexican restaurant in downtown Boonville with chairs, picnic tables and carryout Mexican food. Lots of Rastafest goers seemed to be taking them up on their popular spicy offerings.
LITTLE DOG SAYS, “I don't know about this Scrag thing, and I say ‘thing’ because we don't even know its gender, no offense intended the lgbtqni community, but it's only been here a couple of weeks and it's already walking around like it owns the place. I'm the only four-footer here and, sorry, I want to keep it that way!”
GANG FIGHT ON GRADUATION NIGHT IN DOWNTOWN BOONVILLE?
The scanner said there was a "physical 415" (disturbance) @ 9:44 pm on SR-128 in Boonville in front of the Boonville Post Office @ 9:44 pm "between about 20 youths." It was reportedly just breaking up.
A patrol unit asked, "There was a graduation there tonight."
But dispatch said it was reported as a "physical" 415, and then a "verbal 415."
People are also arriving for the annual Sierra Nevada World Music Festival too.
The Anderson Valley Fire Department (and ambulance) were dispatched (9:48 pm) right after the "415" call - but it was NOT for the "415" incident. It was for a 60-year old male who had fainted at an address we couldn't make out due to cross traffic on the scanner. The REACH 18 air ambulance was also dispatched to the Boonville Airport.
* * *
NO SIGNS OF TRUCULENCE at the high school graduation in Boonville last night before a packed-house crowd in the high school gym. And, oddly enough, no mention of a fight last night this morning. One that size would draw lots of Facebook comment but the only comment we could find alluded vaguely to "wannabe gang bangers."
THE GRADUATION showed no signs of the admin turbulence roiling AV Unified as the district's brass carried out their responsibilities with no sign of acrimony. A graduating senior, the truly gifted Riley Lemons, brought the crowd to its feet for a standing ovation with a song she wrote and delivered in her inimitable voice marking the passage she and her classmates began as pre-schoolers and completed last night with their graduation from high school.
FRONT PAGE HEADLINE in Thursday’s Independent Coast Observer: “Valedictorian Excoriates School Administration.”
Excoriate, v. Censure or criticize severely.
So of course the ICO headline draws one’s attention. In the article, Point Arena High School class valedictorian Elise Allen was complimented for her courage, and ICO reporter S.J. Black said Allen “held nothing back” as Ms. Allen spoke about “injustices.”
Ms. Allen also served as student rep on the Point Arena school board for three years. There’s no indication how many of the targets of her complaints were raised during those board meetings.
Fortunately, the ICO printed Ms. Allen’s full speech so we could read what she was complaining about.
Ms. Allen described the atmosphere at Point Arena High during her four years there as “fraudulent and tumultuous” and said PAHS implemented programs that were “controversial and poorly-drawn out” that were “not approved.” She complained about a mandatory drug testing policy for High School ahtletes which “three years later continues to be so ineffectual it’s considered a joke.” She specifically cited PAHS’s implementation of a new education program called New Tech Network which is “disputed” and too expensive, especially when “our classrooms were literally falling apart,” after which administration “turned a blind eye to its students.” In particular, Ms. Allen said one teacher “utilized manipulation, blackmail and intimidation tactics to suppress opposition from her students,” while “the true travesty in this situation were the irreplaceable and invaluable instructors that we as students were forced to lose. Beloved teachers were fired during finals week, one teacher received a gag order to silence any opinions he had about the program, and other teachers simply could not stand the toxic and pernicious environment created by the administration.”
The rest of the speech was less specific, describing her fellow graduates as “survivors” and encouraging more people to get involved with the school, concluding on a positive note about being “progressive and ever forward reaching.”
ICO Reporter Buck wasn’t able to reach Point Arena Unified’s Superintendent Brent Cushenberry, nor school board president Vikki Robinson, but school board member Bob Gardiner defended the New Tech Network program saying it somehow gives “leverage” to students “who are routinely left behind.”
According to New Tech Network’s website, they are a new non-profit that “partners” with school districts to design and develop “comprehensive school change” using “project-based learning.” To read their testimonials and edu-lingo you’d think NTN has found a dramatically better way to educate by assigning projects to teams of students and then teaching subjects that come up in the course of the project.
One on-line study of NTN at Mount Tam High in Marin described similar “culture” problems created when a large number of teachers balked at the “top-down” non-traditional NTN approach and questioned the academic results.
It’s hard to evaluate from this distance, but we prefer more traditional teaching with actual books and backboards on old-fashioned subjects like English, composition, math, science, and civics, combined with more emphasis on practical skills like vocational training and home economics. Modern schools don’t suffer so much from pedagogical approach as they do from simply moving too many kids through various grades without enough correction and fall-back prevention. And Ms. Allen is right to be suspicious about expensive, untested, and faddish education schemes with “non-profit” in their name.
A reader on the coast was impressed enough with Ms. Allen’s speech to send us a link to a video of Ms. Allen’s speech last week but the sound quality (recorded in a gym from a distance with echos) was poor and we couldn’t make it out.
Congratulations to Ms. Allen for addressing the problems she identified in her bold speech. Too bad she won’t be around to see if anything is done about them.
On June 15, 2017 at 2:04 PM the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office dispatch center received a 911 call reporting an armed robbery of the Westamerica Bank located in Gualala.
A Mendocino County Sheriff's Office K9 handler working in the Gualala area was dispatched and arrived shortly thereafter.
Upon arrival the Deputy learned the suspect had entered the bank at approximately 2:00 PM armed with a handgun. The suspect took bank employees hostage and demanded they produce and provide him with US currency. During this process the robbery was interrupted by a bystander who had entered the bank to investigate their observations of the suspect entering into the bank. The suspect fled the bank on foot with an undisclosed amount of US currency and was last seen running into a wooded area along Church Street to the north of the bank. A search of the wooded area was conducted by the Sheriff's Deputy and his K9 partner and the suspect was not located.
The suspect was described as being a white male adult approximately 25-35 years-old, approximately 5 feet 9 inches to 5 feet 10 inches tall and having a slender build of approximately 160-170 pounds. The suspect was described as wearing a baseball hat, sunglasses, a wrinkled beige/khaki button up baggy fitting shirt, baggy fitting black pants and dark green or black shoes. The suspect appeared to be wearing a back wig and was in possession of a black semi-automatic handgun. Photographs of the suspect obtained from a bank security camera are attached to this press release. Sheriff's Office Detectives were summoned to the bank and further investigations were conducted into the robbery including notification to the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI). Anyone with information in regards to the robbery are urged to contact the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office Tip-Line by calling 707-234-2100.
ALEX GREENE sentenced for sexual assault on stranded Highway 101 motorist
FORT BRAGG TALKS ABOUT THE HOMELESS
AVARTS SCHOLARSHIPS AWARDED to Aspiring Young Artist Graduates!
Anderson Valley Arts (AVArts) awarded Arts Scholarships for Graduating Seniors to three Anderson Valley Junior & Senior High School students on Thursday, June 15, 2017. AVArts member Terry Ryder presented the scholarships to these talented graduates who will be continuing their arts education beyond high school as follows:
- an award of $5,000 to Julia Brock, daughter of Vickie and Michael Brock of Boonville, to pursue a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Cinematography at Columbia College Hollywood (Los Angeles);
- an award of $750 to Riley Lemons, daughter of Erica and Matt Lemons of Philo, to pursue an Associate of Arts degree in Music at Butte Community College (Oroville); and
- an award of $750 to Raul Ellison-Malfavon, son of Erin and Fernando Malfavon of Philo, to pursue a Bachelor of Science Degree in Computer Animation and Game Development at California State University, Chico.
AVArts also recently awarded a $1,600 Special Arts Related Scholarship to Hannah Woolfenden (class of 2019), daughter of Ann Panttaja of Boonville, to attend the American Ballet Theater’s summer intensive dance program in Austin, Texas. Hannah will study technique and artistry and will participate in a performance at the end of the four-week program.
AVArts is a 501(c)3 non-profit made up of volunteer members dedicated to supporting and promoting the arts in Anderson Valley since 1999. We generate our funding primarily through volunteer events and depend on community participation and support. AVArts provides scholarship support to graduating students pursuing further education in the visual, performing, literary and multimedia arts and students in grades 3-12 who attend arts-related classes, workshops and events. AVArts also supports bringing diverse, quality supplemental arts programs to Anderson Valley schools that would otherwise not be possible. The scholarships and arts in the schools programs are made possible by the generous support of local artists, educators and supporters of the arts in Anderson Valley and beyond. AVArts welcomes donations, ideas and involvement from the community. For more information about AVArts and its programs see www.av-arts.org.
Anderson Valley Arts Members
Karen Altaras, Peggy Dart, Cathy Evans, Paula Gray, Dennis Hudson, Glynnis Jones, Lauren Keating, Xenia King, Cathleen Micheaels, Terry Ryder and Jody Williams
JUNE 21, 2017 BOARD OF RETIREMENT MEETING AGENDA
Please visit https://www.mendocinocounty.org/retirement to view the agenda and supporting documents.
(Judy Zeller, Retirement system administrative assistant)
AND A DOZEN PEOPLE STOOD AROUND WATCHING
Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office press release
On Friday June 16th at approximately 9 a.m. the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office received a 911 call in regards to a small child being attacked by the child’s mother at Centerville beach near Ferndale. The caller stated that the mother was attempting to perform an exorcism on the 11 year old child. The mother had stripped the child naked and was shoving handfuls of sand in the child’s eyes and into the child’s mouth. The mother stated she was trying to remove the Demons from the child.
The mother, 45 year old Kimberly Felder of Ferndale, continued the assault by viciously striking, biting, and choking the child. This assault was being witnessed by a crowd of approximately 10 to 12 people. When local citizen John Marciel arrived on scene, he immediately stepped in and attempted to restrain Felder and prevent further assault to the child. Marciel struggled on the ground with the Felder, while Felder continued her persistent attack on the child by hitting the child in the head with a piece of driftwood. A short time later a Sheriff’s Deputy arrived and Felder was finally pulled from the child and placed in handcuffs.
John Marceil further assisted by tending to the child while deputies controlled Felder. Emergency Medical technicians arrived and transported the child to a hospital where she received further treatment for her injuries. The child received multiple injuries from the attack including severe damage to her right ear.
Kimberly Felder was later booked into the Humboldt County Correctional Facility for attempted homicide, assault with a deadly weapon, felony child abuse, and aggravated mayhem.
If it were not for the intervention and heroic actions of John Marciel, it is very likely that the child would have been killed by Felder. The Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office would like to offer special thanks for his assistance. The Sheriff’s Office will also be requesting that John Marciel be recognized for the Red Cross Life Saving Award.
Anyone with information regarding this case is encouraged to contact the Sheriff’s Office at 707-445- 7251 or the Crime Tip line at 707-268- 2539.
CATCH OF THE DAY, June 16, 2017
JESSICA BRUCE, Willits. Parole violation, probation revocation.
JAGGER FARIA, Ukiah. Failure to appear.
ASHLEY IRELAND, Ukiah. Criminal threats, failure to appear.
JONATHAN MATLIN, Mendocino. Assault, battery, drunk in public, resisting.
JESSICA PEREZ, Ukiah. Pot cultivation, possession for sale.
SHANE ROORK, Ukiah. Paraphernalia.
KELLY STANTON, Ukiah. Petty theft, probatioin revocation.
CHRISTOPHER SWIFT, Fort Bragg. DUI-drugs&alcohol.
HARLAN WILLIAMS, Covelo. Parole violation, evasion.
FREE BIG BAND CONCERT IN MENDOCINO
Jazz on the Lawn
The Swingin' Boonville Big Band is performing a FREE CONCERT at the Mendocino Art Center, 45200 Little Lake Street, Saturday July 1st starting at 1PM and going till 4. Barbeque, picnicking and dancing on the lawn. Presented by the Mendocino Coast Jazz Society and the Mendocino Art Center.
More information: This is the Swingin' Boonville Big Band's only gig this year at senior friendly hours. Most of our gigs are late at night and so the senior element is largely shut out. We welcome seniors and hope that caregivers and others will help with carpooling and whatever other supports are necessary for older seniors.
by James Kunstler
Historians of the future, huddled around their goose-fat lamps in muddy woolen cloaks, may cite this as the month that the Kardashian Dreamland formerly known as “The USA” finally lost its collective mind.
Submitted for your approval, as the late, great Rod Serling (senator from The Twilight Zone) used to say: this week’s Russia-Russia-Russia hearing on Capital Hill. I caught the final hour of this circus when freshman senator Kamala Harris (D – Cal) was hectoring Attorney General Jeff Sessions about his “contact with Russian Officials” and had to be reprimanded by the chair for her rude behavior.
Note: it’s now deemed illicit for US government officials to talk to Russian diplomats. I wonder what would happen if government officials in other lands decided that it was improper to talk with US diplomats. The Democratic Party seems to be building a case that the world would be better off without diplomats cluttering up each other’s capital cities. Hey hey, ho ho, Di-plo-macy has got to go! Now that’s a most progressive idea! Apparently, AG Sessions riled Senator Harris by pointing out that the Soviet Union collapsed nearly thirty years ago — a typical white privilege thing to say, right?
Next up was Senator Mark Warner (D – Va), Vice-Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, who grilled Sessions about Russia’s electronic warfare capability. Say what? First of all, wouldn’t Senator Warner find more enlightenment on the subject by calling the Secretary of Defense, or the top military brass, or the NSA Director to the witness table? Does he know where the duties of the US Attorney General begin and end?
Secondly, Is there anybody in this country with an IQ above room temperature who thinks that the USA is not similarly disposed to carry out electronic warfare? Or that all the advanced nations of the world are not toying with internet intrusions into each other’s cyber space? Perhaps this is a manifestation of the political neurosis called American Exceptionalism, the idea that we’re so unlike people in other lands that they might as well be space aliens. (A sweet idea for a new Twilight Zoneepisode.)
All this idiocy suggests that the Russia meme is losing its mojo and the forces dedicated to dump Trump might have to look elsewhere for some legal ground to stand on. For the moment, they’re veering into the darkling woods where obstruction of justice lives, a Blair Witch Project of politics, where any old assemblage of broken twigs is a sure sign of the lurking beast — but perhaps that’s exactly where witch-hunting takes you.
Personally, I still believe they’ll run him over with the 25th Amendment, which allows for simple removal of a batshit incompetent executive without the pain-in-the-ass rigmarole of due process. You just get a consensus of the highest officials in the land to agree that guy has to go, and they get him gone, and, in this case, you get yourself Mike Pence, a tranny-like Church-Lady with a hard-on for the Koch Brothers. That’ll get the country great fast, I’m sure.
Then, of course, there was the gunning down of House Majority Whip Steve Scalise and others on a Virginia ballfield by a disgruntled Bernie Sanders fan, of all things. Is it hyperbole to say that this incident had the tone of a first shot in a new civil war? Even the hysterical elements over at CNN rushed to put out the very brushfires they had been kindling by broadcasting the Thursday night news against the backdrop of the annual congressional charity baseball gamed held at the Washington Nationals ballpark — as if the sore-beset people of this dissolute land might be stirred from their anomie by the comforting sound of wood on horsehide. Summer’s not quite officially here yet, but who feels like dancing in the streets? It’s more like wanting to hide behind the nearest trash can.
(Support Kunstler’s writing by visiting his Patreon page: https://www.patreon.com/JamesHowardKunstler)
ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY
The only places I’ve been that resemble current southern humboldt are third world countries. The place is completely out of control and there is absolutely no regulation. It’s like a scene from mad max and the walking dead combined. It’s terrible.
FIVE AMERICAN PASTIMES, SIX DARK IRONIES: REFLECTIONS ON ALEXANDRIA
by Paul Street
When the bitter Bernie Sanders fan James T. Hodgkinson shot up the Republican congressional baseball team on a practice diamond in fashionable Alexandria, Virginia this last Wednesday, five great American pastimes – baseball, bad politics, deadly gun violence, the sensationalist news cycle, and the police state – came together with great and dark irony.
Hodgkinson was a liberal Democrat and Bernie Sanders supporter who posted this on Facebook last March 22nd: “Trump is a Traitor. Trump Has Destroyed Our Democracy.”
Shooter, please. Forget the unproven assertions of collusion with Russia and ask yourself just what democracy it was exactly that Donald Trump wrecked? The Big Money-managed United States is a damn near openly plutocratic oligarchy where the wealthy Few get what they want again and again regardless of majority working class sentiment. There’s a strong body of solid academic research demonstrating what Joe and Jane Six Pack already know about U.S. politics and policy: “money talks, bullshit walks.” The game is rigged.
It’s been going on for a long time. The capitalist class has been destroying what’s left of U.S. democracy for decades and it’s been doing this as much through Democrats like the Clintons, Obama, Pelosi and Schumer as with Republicans like Reagan, the Bushes, Trump, Ryan, and McConnell et al.
You can’t have meaningful “democracy” in a nation where the top tenth of the upper 1 Percent owns as much wealth as the bottom 90 percent.
Fellow leftists, don’t let the right-wing link you to the Trump-pricked madness of James Hodgkinson. When we come for the ruling class, it won’t be as wild lone gunmen. We’ll come with great dignity and en masse, after a highly organized uprising, with handcuffs and a summons from the People’s Revolutionary Tribunal. We’ll be after a system, the profits system, not just that system’s richest and most powerful “elites.”
One among six ironies I count in this terrible story is that the Hodgkinson’s rampage has given the quasi-fascist Malignant Narcissist-in-Chief Donald Trump an opportunity to seem human and concerned with “bringing the American people together.” For Herr Donald, who has done more to legitimize violence in American public life than any politico I can recall, it’s been an undeserved opportunity to boost his miserable approval numbers by appearing “presidential.”
Nice job, James Hodgkinson.
Trump left it to surrogates like that slimly and Satanic sociopath Newt Gingrich to blame “The Left” for egging Hodgkinson into his action. On the FOX News and talk radio right, of course, “The Left” is anyone and anything to the portside of Charles Grassley – anyone from your local Marxist-Leninist or left-anarchist discussion group or Jacobin reading club to Mark Cuban and the editors of the New York Times and the Washington Post.
The insane fascist radio host Michael Savage took to Twitter to say “I warned America the Dems constant drumbeat of hatred would lead to violence!” (Want to hear a “constant drumbeat of hatred”? Listen to Savage). Right wing shock jock Bill Mitchell Tweeted that “The Left in this country is ushering in a new #CultureOfViolence where violent hate is the new normal.”
Right, it’s “The [U.S.] Left,” with all those highly weaponized Maoist and Trotskyist paramilitary groups, that is making violence and hatred ubiquitous across the U.S. You betchya! (That reminds me, I’m late for my assault rifle training. My regional subcomandante will not be pleased.)
Sadly but predictably enough, the actually not-at-all Left Times printed a Thursday morning report in which it took seriously the suggestion that the centrist social democrat Bernie Sanders might bear some responsibility for the bloodshed in Alexandria because he has had the elementary, truth-telling decency to observe that the demagogic Trump is a “demagogue” and to note that the orange-tinted beast is “perhaps the worst and most dangerous president in the history of our country.” The title of the Times article was “Attack Tests Movement Sanders Founded.” (What “movement” would that be exactly?)
A second irony is that Hodgkinson gave the Clockwork Orangutan some welcome news-cycle respite from the rolling spectacle of Russiagate/Obstructogate/Comeygate – the great “cloud over my presidency” Trump wants evaporated.
Poor Jeffrey Toobin looked more than a little depressed as the Alexandria story stole Russiagate’s thunder for at least a night on CNN.
A much bigger tragedy occurred the same day – a horrifying fast-moving fire at a hazardous public housing high-rise (Grenfell Tower) in London. The victims were mainly nonwhite and working and lower class. The charred tower’s low-status residents had long complained about unsafe conditions there, particularly noting fire risks, only to be told “shut up or else” by the local (Kensington) council and their counterfeit Tenant Management Organisation.
The corporate media attention given their appalling deaths (the final toll will certainly rise well past the initial official count of 12) did not come anywhere close to that received by the wounding of a Republican congressman, a Republican congressional staffer, a Republican lobbyist, and two police officers in Alexandria. Some victims of tragedy are more officially media-worthy than others.
A third irony is that Hodgkinson’s act seems almost calculated to generate sympathy for a party, the arch-plutocratic Republicans, that Noam Chomsky has called “the most dangerous organization in human history.” No love for the dismal, neoliberal, dollar-drenched, imperial, and planet-wrecking Dems here, but Chomsky’s comment has some merit. What gives his “outrageous statement” (as Chomsky himself calls it) some credence is the Republicans’ extreme commitment to the escalation of climate change through the radical deregulation of energy. As Chomsky told the BBC last May:
“It’s a crucial issue. It’s an existential threat. Now we have this astonishing spectacle of the United States alone in the world, not only refusing to participate in efforts to deal with climate change but dedicated to undermining them….It’s not just Trump – every single Republican leader is the same…In the Republican primaries, every single candidate either denied that climate change was happening or, when you get to the so-called moderates like Jeb Bush or [John] Kasich, they say ‘well maybe it’s happening but we shouldn’t do anything about it’. It’s 100 per cent refusal.”
And it’s insane. Atmospheric carbon parts per million (ppm) is now at a shocking 409.21, nearly full 10 points above the mark set just four years ago. We are now heading to 500 ppm by or before 2050 – a level that will melt the Antarctic and wipe out all prospects for a decent human future.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: the eco-Exterminist crime of Geocide will make the Nazis look like small time thugs by comparison. I don’t say this to provoke crazy lunatics to start shooting right-wingers. I say it to spark some awareness of the urgent need for revolutionary social, political, and environmental transformation. Am I supposed to muzzle such reflections thoughts because we live in an Armed Madhouse (Greg Palast’s term) where demented men like James Hodgkinson might take one’s simple truth-telling as a reason to wreak havoc?
Should the Beatles not have recorded The White Album because it might have been sucked into the demented cranium of Charles Manson? (If you want to see some truly violent messages, read The Holy Bible, and not just the Old Testament. Or play some American video games with some of your favorite twenty-somethings living in their parents’ basement.)
A fourth irony is that the white Republican white nationalists on the Alexandria ba[tt]l[e]lfield appear to have had their lives saved by Black police officers from the Capitol Hill security detail. The officers were present because one of the Congressmen present, the critically injured Steve Scalise (R-La), is the third ranking Republican (the party “whip”) in the U.S. House of Representatives. He’s also a racist. As Democracy Now! reported two and a half years ago:
“…Scalise once addressed a gathering of white supremacists and neo-Nazis. House Majority Whip Steve Scalise has confirmed reports he spoke at a 2002 convention of EURO — the European-American Unity and Rights Organization. EURO is founded by David Duke, a former Ku Klux Klan leader and perhaps the country’s most notorious white supremacist. Scalise was serving as a Louisiana state representative at the time. ‘Mr. Scalise reportedly described himself as “David Duke without the baggage,” so it’ll be up to Republicans to decide what that says about their conference,’ White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said…” (emphasis added).
A fifth irony is that Scalise and most in his party are militant gun advocates, opponents of even most elementary restriction on gun ownership, including assault rifles. Scalise boasted an A+ Rating from the neo-fascistic National Rifle Association, whose gun industry-funded campaign to put an assault weapon in every ammunition-stocked U.S. household is perfectly matched to the neoliberal, arch-capitalist ideal of total Hobbesian human atomization – the war of each against all. Well, almost all: it’s a barbarian bloodbath meant to be viewed from the safety of high-security gated communities for the One Percent.
One of Wednesday’s Alexandria’s victims was a top lobbyist for Tyson Foods, a truly vicious and socio-pathological corporation that ranks very high on the scales of worker exploitation and environmental spoliation. I asked my “social media” correspondents if this lobbyist was actually playing on the Republican Congressional baseball team. Someone wrote back with a clever line: “Probably was the manager.”
I doubt that that’s true but my correspondent has a good understanding of the relationship between the corporate class and the political class in the U.S. Big Business calls the shots, as Hodgkinson himself noted in a Facebook post that went up the day before his assault. The doomed assailant put up a cartoon explaining “How does a bill work?” “That’s an easy one, Billy,” the cartoon reads. “Corporations write the bill and then bribe Congress until it becomes law.”
“That’s Exactly How It Works. ….” Mr. Hodgkinson wrote.
Not completely, of course, but all-too sadly close to the dark plutocratic reality of what passes for popular governance in Washington DC and the fifty state capitals. Which takes us back, ironically enough (this is number six) to my original question to the late Hodgkinson: what “democracy” was it exactly that Trump and/or Russia supposedly ruined?
Help keep Paul Street writing at www.paulstreet.org.
Paul Street’s latest book is They Rule: The 1% v. Democracy (Paradigm, 2014)
MEMO OF THE AIR FRIDAY NIGHT
Frank Hartzell wrote (on MCN Listserve):
Yes, the others are correct. Sometimes they can find another way out but that could be bad news too! Plug it at night. Make sure they don't have babies, that could be bad.
No-one mentioned that Batman died last week, and it's sad, too. Adam West wasn't just Batman, he also did the voices of plenty of cartoon characters, and once he played a space explorer in an episode of the The Outer Limits (the real Outer Limits in the early 1960s, not the awful psychic-investigator series twenty years later). That episode was about creatures living in the sand on Mars, and to get back to the ship you had to jump from rock to rock and never touch the sand or the monsters would pull you down and crush your space helmet and kill you. It's a game all children invent over and over again. Probably it's instinct.
It interests me that there was no mention here about bats in February. Exactly on the 14th of February, it never fails, the Caspar blood bats return from wherever they go in the fall. But they're more heard than seen, and the goofy loose-lipped geeble-gobble sound they make overhead is not scary at all. They eat the bugs that bug us, and they eat holly and lichen, helping the trees. And they're clumsy. They can fly right into a porch post and knock themselves out.
In other news, tonight I'll be doing my show from Fort Bragg, not by live remote from away, so if you want to come in and play your musical instrument(s) or talk about your project, or whatever, and you're nearby 325 N. Franklin (next to the Tip Top bar), just waltz in any time after 9pm, head for the lighted room at the back and get my attention away from whatever I'm doing, and I'll turn on a microphone for you.
(I often forget to say: The main thing about the show is reading aloud. If you write something you want me to read on the air, email it to me and I'll do that. The deadline is always around 5:30 or 6pm the night of the show. Or bring it in after nine and read it yourself.) Memo of the Air: Good Night Radio. Friday, 9pm to about 4am on 107.7fm KNYO-LP Fort Bragg, including midnight to 3am 105.1fm KMEC-LP Ukiah. And also there and anywhere else via http://knyo.org or http://TuneIn.com