Mendocino County Today: Friday, Sep. 15, 2017

by AVA News Service, September 15, 2017

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FAIR WEATHER

Dry and seasonable weather conditions are forecast through Saturday. A cold front will approach the area on Sunday. This will bring a chance of rain Sunday night and Monday. Unsettled and cool weather will persist into the middle of next week. (National Weather Service)

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BRUCE McEWEN has begun to read the hundreds of pages that make up the criminal grand jury transcript that has led to the indictment of Dr. Peter Keegan, Ukiah, for the murder of his wife, Susan Keegan in November of 2010. The Jury was convened in the mostly abandoned Willits Courthouse to avoid attention that might be attracted to the testimony if it were heard in Ukiah.

According to Prosecutor Tim Stoen: The rules of the Grand Jury indictment require 12 members to be convinced they would convict on the charges, just by being presented with the testimony of the prosecution's witnesses. In this respect, it is much the same burden as a preliminary hearing, the jurors are looking for inculpatory (as opposed to exculpatory) evidence showing fault or blame. Mr. Stoen explained this to the Grand Jury and glossed the Latin roots of the term.

Mr. Stoen then said it was his duty to keep all questions strictly within the Rules of Evidence Code, all hearsay being excluded with the single exception that any party to the action, such as the defendant would be admissible.

Stoen then distributed Exhibit No. 1, the Grand Jury Packet, which held four things: 1. The proposed indictment; 2. The witness list; 3. The list of exhibits; 4. Jury instructions.

Next came his lengthy Opening Statement. He said that his opening statement was not evidence, only the testimony and exhibits were evidence, and the opening statement was only a map, to show the jurors where he expected the evidence would lead them.

Stoen then read the Johnson Rule, that the Grand Jury was not requested to hear defense evidence, but when one of the jurors had reason to believe any defense evidence would explain the charges, it shall order the evidence to be provided.

(There were only three instances where this happened — which I'll get back to, eventually: 1. the "secret journal," 2. the shared computer Dr. Keegan took to a Lake County Private Investigator 3. A letter.)

When the time came, that is after all the evidence had been presented, the jurors no longer wanted to see these things, because the testimony of the witnesses had already satisfied their curiosity in the matter — for instance, Investigators Kevin Bailey and Andy Alvarado, had been so thoroughly vetted on the contents of the "secret journal" that the jurors had no more questions on the subject.

(I'll send out a precis of the Opening Statement, and the conclusions to it, by the jurors, in a follow-up.)

I don't know whether Keegan said anything to the Grand Jury or not, although we heard that he did. It simply isn't feasible to read 737 pages in such a setting, and of course that's why they allowed me to see it in the first place.

The bit about the suicide was in a note* left on Oni LaGioia's porch with a copy of the AVA. The note said Dr. Keegan had read a "secret journal" and based his suicide theory on that. But the DA's Investigators, Kevin Bailey and Andy Alvarado, read these journals and found nothing to support the suicide theory.

You probably already knew as much.

As I noted earlier, there were no surprises in the transcript — not that anyone could find any on such a cursory look at it — and it's hard to imagine how you could sit at the little kid's desk they provide for you right there in the corner under their watch, and read such a massive amount of paperwork.

But I did take a lot of notes, chronologically dated, got the names of all the witnesses and the gist of their testimony, and it was plain to me that it will take a very good lawyer to get an acquittal if DA David Eyster proceeds with the prosecution.

And so, again, at this point it looks like the game plan is to drag it out until the good doctor goes to his just reward.

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Stoen’s Opening Statement

by Bruce McEwen

Prosecutor Tim Stoen’s opening statement to the criminal grand jury impaneled to hear the charges against Dr. Keegan, admitted that the initial investigation by law enforcement was flawed; the first responders, rather than invoke standard crime scene protocols, had simply taken the doctor’s word for it that he’d found Mrs. Keegan dead on her bathroom floor at approximately 7:30 AM and had called 911. Ukiah Fire Department Battalion Chief Jay Beristianos was the first witness to arrive on the scene.

Stoen conceded that no effort had been made to search the Keegan's South Ukiah home for a possible weapon, and no effort had been made to obtain or seize any records at the home.

The first responders simply took the doctor's explanation that his wife of thirty-two years had apparently fallen in her bathroom, hit her head, and died.

Mrs. Keegan was found dead on November 11, 2010.

Dr. Keegan said he’d last seen his wife alive the morning of November 10th as she departed to visit a friend in Santa Rosa.

It was known that in October of 2010 Dr. Keegan had filed for dissolution of his 32-year marriage to Susan Keegan. During this time Dr. Keegan took a computer he shared with his wife to a P.I. in Lake County, Mike Harmann, and asked Harmann to search it for deleted emails, to basically hack into Mrs. Keegan's email accounts. Mr. Harmann testified that he advised Dr. Keegan this was illegal. Harmann had had to repeat this stipulation to Keegan several times, Harmann would testify – and no doubt he did. Harmann said Keegan also wanted spywear installed because he thought his wife was cheating on him.

Keegan subsequently went to visit his wife’s long-time friend, Oni LaGioia, by bicycle to complain about his wife’s alleged "addiction to Vicodin and whisky.”

Ms. LaGioia was expected to testify that Dr. Keegan, on this visit to her home, was “highly agitated, angry, and manic.”

On November 10th, around 5 o’clock in the afternoon, the late Mrs. Keegan drove to Santa Rosa to visit her friend Mary Pierce. She had one scotch on the rocks and then appetizers and a dinner while the evening was spent going over the details of the pending divorce. Mrs. Keegan left the Pierce home for Ukiah around 9:00. (Dr. Keegan said he went to bed at 10:00 PM, about the time Mrs. Keegan would have arrived home.

On October 26, 2010, Susan Keegan had emailed Ukiah attorney Norm Rosen asking him to “file the papers, get the temporary spousal support started for me.”

Rosen calculated that Dr. Keegan would have to pay his wife $2210 monthly in spousal support.

On November 4th Dr. Keegan emailed Rosen saying he was unwilling to pay legally mandated spousal support.

Nov. 11th 7:42 Battalion Chief Beristianos arrives at the Keegan home to confirm that Mrs. Keegan was indeed dead.

November 11th at 8:25 Deputy Jacquelyn Rainwater of the MCSO coroner unit arrived at the Keegan home. Dr. Keegan tells Deputy Rainwater he last saw his wife alive around 5:00 PM the day before when she left for Santa Rosa. He went to bed around 10:00 PM and never heard her come in – they’d been sleeping in separate bedrooms. He said their sex life was poor and they were in the process of divorce; yes, they’d had arguments, “but nothing physically assaultive.” He said he hadn’t moved the body and wanted a copy of the autopsy report because he was “nervous about what the outcome might be.”

Deputy Rainwater examined the back of the decedent’s head, found a four-inch long and three-inch wide laceration, which the deputy concluded was consistent with a fall and Mrs. Keegan's head striking the edge of a vanity.

The same day his wife was found dead, Dr. Keegan called Ms. LaGioia to inform her of the death, and told her “The boys want to have a memorial service, but I don’t give a fuck.”

Deputy Rainwater had gone to the autopsy at Eversole Mortuary where Dr. Jason Trent told her the injuries were consistent with ground-level fall (no mention of the vanity striking the head on the way down) and therefore it was not a suspicious death.

On November 16th Dr. Keegan had created a Facebook page soliciting women for “friendship.”

On Nov. 21st Dr. Keegan called Mary Pierce and asked her to write an obituary.

It was reported that Dr. Keegan did not want his wife’s ashes – and yet, later we find him scooping them out into plastic bags, a bit for you, some for so-&-so, and here’s yours…! None of this would be allowed in court, especially the comment that this “amounted to a callous and cold lack of solemnity.”

Nov. 22nd Linda Puls, Susan’s sister, came for the ashes. She was given a few scoops in a plastic bag, and later in the night, a plastic bag of ashes was left hanging on Oni LaGioia’s door knob.

On Dec. 14th Karyn Feiden, a cousin of Susan’s, and Mary Pierce, contacted P.I. Gary Hill in Lake County. The private eye declined a retainer fee, but accepted numerous emails from the decedent.

From Dec. 16th through Jan. 7th Dr. Keegan sent a series of emails to Ms. Feiden alleging Susan’s addictions and drinking.

In early January Sgt. Scott Poma, MCSO Chief Deputy Coroner reviewed photos of the dead woman and interviewed Dr. Trent. Poma had a problem with swelling on the deceased woman’s hands and wrists, and the position of her arms, which would indicate that Mrs. Keegan had tried to defend herself against a physical assault. Sgt. Poma asked for a second opinion, and Trent suggested an old friend in Maine, Michale J. Ferenc – Alameda County’s forensic pathologist.

Nearly a year later, Nov. 9th, 2011, the toxicology report arrived. There were a number of drugs in Susan’s system, including the pain-killer hydrocodone, and her blood alcohol level was 0.16; (It’s impossible, incidentally, that these two docs, Keegan and Trent, didn’t know each other.) Dr. Trent’s necropsy report concluded the cause of death to be acute craniocerebral trauma from a fall due to hydrocodone and ethanol toxicity.

Feb. 4th Kay Belschner of the Dept. of Justice labs in Eureka conducted an on-scene investigation and concluded there were two possible scenarios of events. But in neither one was it possible that the decedent’s head had struck the vanity. In her opinion “another person” was involved in Susan’s death.

Feb. 11th Dr. Keegan responded to an article in the AVA stating the reasons that Keegan probably did it saying, “I can’t wait to see what imaginative fun you have with me next week. Things like truth and facts have always been the AVA’s weak point.”

Feb. 28th Dr. Keegan appeared on the porch of Oni LaGioia’s residence and dropped off a copy of the AVA along with a note in reference to a “secret journal” that would “prove” Susan’s death was a suicide. The note was from Dr. Keegan, saying, “the scandalous AVA article you contributed to.” Ms. LaGioia said she was afraid for her safety.

The November 21st memorial service for Mrs. Keegan was held at the Methodist Church, Ukiah. It was reported that Dr. Keegan did not sit with his sons, and showed no remorse – in trial this will not only draw an objection, but probably be stricken from the record, for who can see that clearly into the human heart? (Other witnesses said the Keegans sat together.)

April 2nd Dr. Ferenc sent Sgt. Poma his report, wherein he indicated that the lividity in Susan’s wrists and hands could represent the body having been moved, but was “not particularly suggestive of defensive injuries or restraint injuries.” He concluded he did “not find it convincing that this lady was the victim of an assault.”

Later in April the DA’s Office requested a review of the case by forensic pathologist Jay Chapman, MD, the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office’s Chief Medical Examiner.

On April 12 Chief Investigator Kevin Bailey and lieutenant Andrew Alvarado viewed Mrs. Keegan's “secret journals,” and found nothing to suggest that she was suicidal.

On April 20th Dr. Chapman sent the DA a letter stating, “after reviewing the autopsy report it’s my opinion that the injuries observed on the body are assaultive [in nature], and could not have reasonably been produced by any accidental means.”

On April 27th Dr. Trent submitted a supplement to his necropsy report stating, “Cause of death: aspiration of vomitus due to blunt force trauma to the head with ethanol and hydrocodone toxcicity.”

On August 8th, 2012, Sgt. Poma amended his report from March 23, 2011 – to state the cause of death as “homicide.”

On August 27th Dr. Keegan phoned Linda Puls and left a message that he desired to speak to her. Three weeks later, Ms. Puls made a pretext call (monitored by law enforcement) to Dr. Keegan and he, Keegan, said that three newspapers were now calling his wife’s death a homicide and he had no idea how they had come to “reclassify” it—?!” He added a gratuitous comment about the police never having liked him.

At this point, Stoen’s opening statement concluded before the grand jury, and all the witnesses Mr. Stoen had promised were brought in over the subsequent week or so, and the evidence referred to here was duly testified to.

On August 9th, 2017, Judge John Behnke was summoned to Willits to hear the verdict.

The Court: “Did at least 12 of you vote to convict?”

Jury Foreperson: “Yes.”

That was enough for an indictment.

Stoen: “What about the transcript?”

The Court: “Well, the way it works is the transcript isn’t open to the public until ten calendar days after it’s been given to defense counsel, or to the defendant. Is that what you’re referring to?”

Stoen: “But I thought there was some reference that after the defense attorney gets it, that he has ten days in which to file for some sort of sealing order, if he wishes.”

The Court: “Well, there is a provision that the defense counsel can bring a motion to keep the proceedings under seal until the conclusion of the case. I believe that’s under Penal Code Section 938.1 (b). The defense in order to do that has to show a reasonable likelihood that it would prejudice defense [if otherwise].”

Having heard all the evidence at least 12 of the Grand Jurors would have voted to convict on the charge of Second Degree Murder, so Stoen was obliged to ask for the indictment and the court handed it down.

As I said, no surprises here. Almost all of this was already known to the AVA but there are, we understand, evidence that Mrs. Keegan suffered at least two blows to the head and, in the all-time Freudian Slip, when the doctor called her death in he asked if the response could be minimized, that he didn't want lots of people tromping through "the crime scene." There is a tape recording of that call.

Attorney Rosen lied that his records having to do with the Keegans were confidential because he was their attorney. He wasn't. The DA's office subpoened Rosen's records and raided his office to get them when Judge Henderson, after an over-long consideration of the DA’s subpoena request, finally authorized it.

The only way, in my own jaundiced opinion, Mr. Andrian could win this case is if Andrian had a list of Dr. Keegan’s former patients — half the population of Ukiah's Westside — so he could get one or two of them on the jury for trial.

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BACKGROUND: "Susan Keegan Was Murdered" (August 22, 2012)

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DOWN WITH AIRBNBS

A Reader Writes: Years ago, Mendocino County allowed “granny units” to be on single residence parcels. The idea was this would provide for low-cost housing for elders or young couples who also need housing so they can stay in the community. BUT then the local realtors started out by grabbing any home they could get on rental lists in their offices (and places like Craiglist) for rentals and then turned granny units into vacation houses. Now, the REALTORS also show even properties upfront as AirBnBs as the way newcomers can afford the REALTORS' inflated house prices, but many of those units sit empty, except on the weekends. Again, only a few are really “winning” in this game — the Realtors! How nice they toss out a few crumbs to the illegal maids. Shall all Mendocinos’ become waitresses and maids, because our County has turned it into DisneyLand? Check out all of South Caspar, Little Lake Road, Little River Road, Albion Road, Middle Ridge Road, 409 Road and many of the homes in Fort Bragg city limits. The list goes on. Just scan the current AirBnb vacation houses. These houses all used to be places where families lived, woodworkers, fishermen, artists, musicians, craftworkers, writers. Now, they are families who are living in their cars, even in the Mendocino School District! All the old “neighborhoods” are like ghosts — all so “visitors” can play a fantasy of what life would be like if they were like “the locals” (i.e. “roughing it in the redwoods, where the air is still clear”) without realizing that the people who have spent their entire lives, not making big paychecks, but living humble lives in our rural county and conserving the ocean and the forests for future generations. The very qualities that now are so rare, and so coveted by the greedy! “We LOVE it! We’ll TAKE it!” they say with glee.) And local elders and young families? They cannot even afford the few rentals still available.

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LITTLE DOG SAYS, “I always have a good time at the Boonville Fair. I get to meet some new babes, like those fluffy white jobs outta Frisco and Marin. ‘Try a real man for a change,’ I tell 'em, and they roll right over when I put on the dawg, so to speak.”

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MENDOCINO NATIONAL FOREST FIRE UPDATE

Willows, Calif.; Sept. 13, 2017 - Mendocino National Forest fire personnel are managing several fires across the forest after thunderstorms on Tuesday. The largest incidents are the Skeleton Fire and the Slides Fire, located on the Upper Lake Ranger District.  The Slides Fire is approximately four miles west of Lake Pillsbury and is estimated at 50 acres. Resources ordered for this incident include smokejumpers, airtankers and helicopters. There is private property in proximity to the fire. The Mendocino Emergency Communication Center reports it is having difficulty filling resource orders.  The Skeleton Fire is approximately four miles east of Lake Pillsbury near the boundary of the Snow Mountain Wilderness after a location correction that originally placed it within the Wilderness. It is estimated at 200 acres with two crews assigned. It is growing at a moderate rate of spread in chaparral, timber and grass.  There are several other new fires across the forest and information about these will be provided as it becomes available. The forecast for Wednesday shows a slight chance of thunderstorms, temperatures 87 to 92 degrees, partly cloudy with light variable winds.  The fire information line is 530-640-1168. https://www.fs.usda.gov/mendocino/

(Click To Enlarge)

This photo was taken by Air Attack of the VLAT assisting firefighters on the ground of the Slides fire.

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THE NEW SHELTER WILL HELP

To the Editor:

I tried to ignore the depth of ignorance displayed in some recent letters in the paper but they finally got the best of me. It’s no wonder this country appears to be adrift these days with no moral compass. The delusion that everyone successful finds themselves in the socio-economic situation they’re currently in due solely to their own superiority is utter nonsense. Denying the kaleidoscope of fortune, good and bad, that influences our lives profoundly is just plain dumb. Sadly, there are too many of us who, when looking into the image staring back at us from our bathroom mirrors, think they see God’s perfect specimen.

This grand delusion drives too many to a point of measuring everyone else against themselves. They see and marginalize other fellow human beings suffering from a variety of severe life crises as insufferable inconveniences measured by some metric assigning degrees of nuisance and guilt to the impact of their existence.

Fellow citizens without the luxury of even the simplest conveniences of a home do not choose to do so as some kind of European adventure. While the rest of us have rooms or garages packed with treasured trinkets of our so called normal lives, the homeless exist with one or two garbage bags of every tangible thing that comforts them.

It would be dishonest to deny the nuisance caused by people living on the streets and by their lack of access to facilities to decently take care of basic human needs; but it should be readily apparent to even the simplest minded of us that it must be a far greater nuisance to curl up in a ball in the open elements every night and clutch a bag containing all one has.

Common citizens aren’t expected to be social workers, medical technicians, or mental illness counselors; but, for heaven’s sake, those with even the most primitive human compassion should do all they can to support those who have the skills to help.

I strongly support the proposed shelter and Redwood Community Services’ strong statement against the status quo; and I vehemently oppose the fascist demand that the unfortunate among us get out of sight or get out of town. It’s the height of ironic stupidity that we would fight an opportunity to actually help the poorest among us get off the streets and reduce the human inconvenience of homelessness.

Don Crawford, Ukiah

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SONOMA COUNTY'S WILD WEST: SALOONS, BARS AND TAVERNS OF THE PAST

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$500K WASTED: DOES ANYONE CARE?

Editor,

Agenda Item 5f on the Mendocino County Board of Supervisor meeting for Sept 12, 2017 was a total disregard for the rule of law, I would hope that this kind of action will stop.

I take exception to County Counsel letter to the Board of Supervisors September 12, 2017

Re: NCCT memo Attached.

NCCT Memo for 9-12-17 BOS Meeting

County Counsel Blanton missed the fact, NO CONTRACT existed in any form.

Also attached is a memo from Supervisor McCowen which I feel is on point.

9/12/2017 John McCowen-Document1.docx Page 1

Memo

Date: September 12, 2017-09-13

To: Board of Supervisors

From: Supervisor John McCowen:

Re: Agenda Item 5(f) Northern California Construction Training Inc.

On June 20, 2017, the Board considered this issue and referred it back to staff to determine what work had been done after the expiration of the original contract and if there were legal grounds to deny the requsted payment amount. Despite Board direction, the Agenda Summary for this item does not address the issue of grounds for denial.

Section 25. Entire Agreement, of the original contract, reads in pertinent part: “This Agreement may not be modified except by a written document signed by both parties.”

Section 27. Modification of Agreement, of the original contract, reads in pertinent part: “No supplement, amendment or modification of this Agreement shall be binding unless it is in writing and signed by authorized representatives of both parties.”

By the plain terms of the contract, upon expiration of the original contract, there was no legal authority to incur additional charges. Further, there is no County policy that would allow any employee at any level to authorize additional charges beyond the original contract amount. Aside from the very questionable performance of the contractor, which provides grounds for denial of some or all of the unauthorized charges, the terms of the contract provide ample grounds for denial of these charges.

If the Board of Supervisors authorizes payment in full of the requested amount, it is tantamount to reaffirming that no contract with the County means what it says it means and no staff member is bound by approved County policy.

Unauthorized payments requested in the last few weeks will total over $300,000

Lee Howard, Ukiah

ED NOTE: The consent calendar for September 12 that Mr. Howard refers to also included that $175k that the County is giving to MCOE to do what the local school districts are already doing: notifying low income students and families that they may qualify for food assistance and they should apply. Even though, as Mr. Howard notes, Supervisor McCowen pointedly objected to giving NCCT over $300k for shoddy or unauthorized work, the Board approved the consent calendar unanimously without even discussing the NCCT payment. That brings the total wastage for just those two items to almost $500k. Compare that, say, with 2015’s $250k “community benefit fund” that the Supervisors required small local groups to beg for in teensy little amounts with multipage applications and tedious judgments imposed as to which one was more desirable — and they were all decent proposals about half of which went without. Here, on the other hand, we see twice that amount of money being approved on the consent calendar for two blatant wastes of money.

WHAT’S DOUBLY OUTRAGEOUS about these blithe consent calendar expenditures is that the Supervisors will occasionally defend them with some irrelevant cliché like “hungry children can’t learn.” Neither, it seems, can well-fed supervisors. We sure miss Johnny Pinches, the only supervisor in years with a functioning bullshit detector.

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TONE DOGG, the feedback, via a caller: "Pops, Tone Dogg's father, has a long criminal history including sexual offenses. Mom and Pops both were drug addicts, Anthony, or Tone Dogg as he calls himself, should be locked up permanently because he's dangerous. If it were up to me I'd put a bullet in his head. I'm surprised he can put a whole sentence together, and I admit I laughed a few times, but he's bad news. And I just heard he's out of jail again! I'd like to know who made that decision."

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OLD FASHIONED VANDALISM. Last night (Wednesday) a car load of fun-loving local rover boys, presumably, knocked a number of mail boxes off their stanchions on Anderson Valley Way. The culprits are males because we've never heard of girls leaning out of the passenger side of vehicles to club residential mai boxes, although girls could have been along for the ride as enablers. Back in the day this particular strain of random destruction was called baseball. The kid wielding the bat would yell "Home run!" if he was able to knock the mail box clean off it's post.

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CATCH OF THE DAY, September 14, 2017

Bengston, Bennett, Betts, Decanti

BRETT BENGSTON, Ukiah. Camping in Ukiah, parole violation.

JOSHUA BENNETT, Fort Bragg. Community supervision violation.

KEITH BETTS, Covelo. Probation revocation.

STACEY DECANTI, Elk Grove/Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.

Denis, Hoisington, Hull, Kenny

CAMILLE DENIS, Willits. DUI.

MICHAEL HOISINGTON, Ukiah. Failure to appear, disobeying a court order.

ELIZABETH HULL, Fort Bragg. Probation revocation.

COLLEEN KENNY, Willits. Domestic battery.

Koski, Maciel-Garcia, Maxfield

WANDA KOSKI, Fort Bragg. Domestic abuse, probation revocation.

JOSE MACIEL-GARCIA, Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.

BREANNA MAXFIELD, Willits. Under influence, paraphernalia, receiving stolen property.

Quijada, Reyes-Leon, Silvey

KEVIN QUIJADA, Ukiah. Probation revocation.

RAMIRO REYES-LEON, Stockton/Hopland. Battery, vandalism, controlled substance, under influence.

HEATHER SILVEY, San Jose/Ukiah. Taking vehicle without owner’s consent.

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MY KINGDOM FOR A WAR

by Bruce Patterson

Potemkin Village: an impressive façade or show designed to hide an undesirable fact or condition.  

When, immediately after taking office, our Emperor Orange Julius made it clear to the world that he, the self-described “Most Powerful Man on Earth,” was going to use the “Dictatorial Executive Orders” he’d so passionately run against to trash our civil service, trade agreements and treaties, International Law and Constitution (it’s up to the stuffed suits in Congress to instigate, fund and lose wars of agression), I realized this obscene swamp thing must be a front man for creatures a whole lot more powerful than he. Listen to him: at best he’s a sidewalk barker. By now most everybody in the world knows this dude’s an automated fiasco constantly flashing a trademark printed with Invisible Ink. Myself, I see this guy as no more talented than a third-rate Poker player working as a shill for a third-rate, off-Strip casino while pretending he’s just in from Sheboygan and, howdy, pardners, hot to trot.

We’re eight months into this swamp thing’s slo-mo nuthouse playhouse and—it’s a miracle!—the dude’s still in biz. Except now our man with the big plans is reduced to swallowing swords, biting the heads off chickens and, between acts, gathering up the coins his happy customers have tossed through the bars of his cage. Still itching to “win a war” to prove himself the New, New Global World Economy’s Samurai King Kong LLC, not to mention maybe getting to outrun our posse, after properly securing his coinage in his belly pouch, old Swampy he glares up at the sky, pounds his chest and roars his complaints and commands:

“If Congress doesn’t give me funding for my Beautiful Border Wall, I just might shut down the Federal Government. I just might and it’ll be all your fault, people.”

I expected far more out of these Republican politicians currently lined up tossing rose petals over the spray-painted heads of their trigger-happy, double-wide Emperor and his procession of rickety crawdaddies. I swear to god I expected more. I’ve had plenty of family and friends who were Republicans, including my dad, nephew and big sister. Also I spent 40 years taking care of other people’s land, crops and livestock, and virtually everybody I worked with and drank with over all those decades (except the “colored” ones) were Republicans. Still we could talk politics without having at each other with Bowie knives in the name of the Yellow Rose of Baja Oklahoma or Those Green Fields of Home.

As a growing boy, I was a militantly Pro-War, Pro-Military, Pro-Protestant Work Ethic and WASP Civilization. I was a righteously Pro-American, Pro-War, E-1, shit-green, no-class Republican wannabe since, from the day I took my sacred oath, I wouldn’t get the right to vote for another five full years. Still I became full-fledged, small arms combat infantryman and mighty proud of it, thus inaugurating what would become my lifelong pattern of, on the stuff that counts, putting my ass where my mouth is.

So I submit that today this chemically-stunted crop of old-aged retrogrades masquerading as Republicans ain’t any such thing. Check out the Republican’s “House Freedom Caucus.” Check out this spit-polished Fraternity’s political positions and programs: know thy sticky-fingered cornpone Messiahs. Then check out the portraits of these esteemed gentlemen in their dagger-sharp, snow-white starched collars and the bright shining knotted nooses cinched tight around the sagging necks and you’ll catch a glimpse of just how shithouse nasty these zombie Puritans can get when they’re drunk with Power and vainglory. Check them out and you just might get reminded of why the Nazis so proudly proclaimed themselves “Nationalist/Socialist.”

Can’t rightly call them phony-cheap old fossils “Conservatives,” either, not when they’re adamantly refusing to open their eyes to the irreparable harms being done to Nature and Humankind by Mr. Libertarian B. Petrochemical (ever wonder who gave the Gulf of Texas its blue lighter fluid sheen and sprawling Dead Zones?). Old Fossil Fuel Man his self with his third wife, Mrs. Massive Consumer Waste, and their adorable daughter, Ms. Stealth B. Bomber and—the apple of their eyes—their Annapolis-bound son, Sir $14 Billion-Aircraft-Carrier (one each) called McCain the 3rd.

Yet, I can assure you, nobody is going to make money searching dead oceans for seaborn Terrorists in suicide vests. There’ll be no more fun in the sun when Florida, along with Wall Street and lots more, go underwater. Then, lest we forget, putting your party/tribe/sect/wallet above the well-being of your people and your people’s children is a mighty sorry way of showing your patriotism. Subverting the Constitution by handing over all, including thermonuclear, War Powers to one person—even if he or she wasn’t a bloodthirsty geek—is also a mighty sorry way of showing your patriotism.

It scares me seeing the mangy, flea-bit rump of the Republican Party acting as this naked Emperor’s clothes, umbrella, shoes, socks and foot stools. Goes to show what happens when, thanks to a Supreme Court packed with dithering, bleached bone-chucking clairvoyants piously intuiting the “Original Intent” of a very select group of very argumentative English Gentlemen Slave Owners who’ve been dead for two centuries, We the People get sold down the river. The Supreme’s proclamation that Conglomerates are Sovereign Individuals and that their money is entitled to talk every bit as loudly as poor people’s money gets to talk, was so atrocious it helped make our rule by geek possible. Moreover, according to these robed Titans of Wall Street and Princes of the Pentagon axis, actively buying and selling the people’s representatives is just another presumably fair exchange and cost of doing business.

Today also goes to show what happens when “we the people” lose ourselves in mass-produced holographic postcards of ourselves while a very select number of very special children are groomed and doomed to become highflying corporate lawyers. Corporate lawyers flying in formation like stratospheric ICBMs and then, with age, morphing into hanging judges, experts, advisors, spokespeople for “Law and Order” conglomerates and politicians all joined at the hip with megachurch Holy Anti-Terror War Crusader pitchmen and plate-passers, featherbedding admirals and generals all at once morphing into Born Again lobbyists with the bottomless perks of Hollywood’s Biggest Stars except while getting to work a whole lot less, getting to lie a whole bunch more and, like hopeless lushes and vampires, being unable to stand the light of day.

Is it “The End of History” when today’s young people are getting pushed kicking and screaming into another solid-gold, self-defeating bloodbath instigated by lobbyists selling yesterday’s Roman Imperial fantasies delivered with Free Shipping and No Money Down? Anonymous legions of lobbyists morphed into Opera House bag men for war-profiteering and too big to fail “institutional investors” owned by politicians, generals, admirals, lawyers, lawmen, lobbyists for lawyers, lawyers for lobbyists and, as always, all done in broad daylight and in the name of inspiring the little children with these shining examples of Heavenly Worldly Success.

When, for Wall Street’s institutional investors, endlessly preparing for war becomes even more profitable than “fighting” wars, and financing wars, and tinhorn war machines strung around the world like rusty razor wire, how sweet is it having nobody looking over your shoulders? Can you even imagine your Possibilities for Growth?

Yet, if “power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely,” where does that leave the rest of us?

Atop the world if you’re a war lover. If you’re a war lover, absolute power puts you sitting mighty pretty. It’s so easy for these money-clipped flippers of military hardware to tend to their own biz while everybody else is either doing likewise or busy watching this geek going through his routines on TV. Being the material beneficiaries of timing so extraordinary fortuitous—how often do the inmates get to run the asylum?—these Masters of the Universe can be forgiven for, while raking in money with both hands, convincing themselves they’re being Blessed by God.

Our gluttonous, vacuous and tottering Wall Street Pentagon Estate Planners can even be forgiven for convincing themselves that they’ve invented the gift that keeps on giving. Their gift to the world that’s so precious it should be put up there in lights right beside the Invisible Hand of Justice and the Miracle of Interest Compounding Daily. So far as these thermonuclear Old Men of the Steaming Plastic Sea are concerned, they’re at the controls of a hotrod jalopy Perpetual Motion Machine and they’re racing it no matter because they paid cash for it and, by golly, they own it bumper to bumper, sunroof to muffler.

This Labor Day our man on the moon publically ordered the South Koreans to halt their “Policy of Appeasement” toward that fat Northerner kid with his scary missiles and the soup bowl haircut. Our Caudillo he threatens to unilaterally start a “preventative war” over there just as if the consequences for that ancient peninsular home to 77,000,000 people represents no more than a dollar ante in a hand of pot-limit, 7-headed, 7-Card Mexican Stud. As if, from his Ivory Tower War Room, our geek gets to decide who lives and dies exactly like he gets to decide whether to bet, or fold, his 7-high Straight in a four-headed showdown. As if Korea’s neighbors, China, Japan and Russia, haven’t contributed any chips to the pot, have no hole cards fanned in their hands and glints in their eyes. As if it isn’t the international community, and children unborn, providing these players with their room, lights, carpet, table, chips, ashtrays, peanuts and drinks.

As if Labor Day is for celebrating the elephant that, scared out of its wits, squishes a mouse in self-defense, our Primetime Commander-in-Grief, in the name of preserving our precious bodily fluids, declares that he has revoked the de-facto “illegal amnesty” granted by Obama the Kenyan spear-chucker to roughly 800,000 of America’s young, colored, spiffy-clean, de-facto Americans who, well, signed a contract with the federales and have faithfully met its terms but still, well, listen: Anything’s possible: who knows? We won’t deport all of these Illegal Alien law-breakers immediately, of course—we don’t want to unduly inconvenience anybody. We’ll just lock their “Mexican” and “Latin American” necks into the collars of our Great American guillotines without dropping the blades for, oh, at max, 90 days. You know, in the name of Family Values and Christian Mercy. We’ll see how it looks after 90 days, I promise you. I’m fine with them staying till then. I love these people: I love all people.

As all of the world’s Great Philosophers—and slaves and convicts—have always known, chickenshit is as chickenshit does. Nobody is more dangerous than cold-blooded, power-drunk cowards armed with global suicide vests. Think giant soaring chickenhawks painted black and blocking out the sun to rob their violent crimes of their color, texture and scale. Civilization’s oldest racket: gouge out the people’s eyes and then sell them red-tipped canes.

Orange Julius going around mis-quoting Abe Lincoln rubs me wrong. As if, knowing all he touches turns to shit, he wishes to sully a real American’s reputation to maybe help keep him silent in his grave. But here’s a bit of what Abraham had to say to we caught in this historical moment:

“Familiarize yourselves with the chains of bondage and you prepare your own limbs to wear them. . . Accustomed to trample on the rights of others, you have lost the genius of your own independence and become fit subjects of the first cunning tyrant who rises among you.”

* * *

NANCY COLLINS is Featured Artist at Edgewater Gallery for October

Nancy has spent more than 40 years making art. Watercolor is her true passion and her use of robust colors often leads to the question, "Is this watercolor?" The answer is 'yes'. It's transparent, staining color creating an alluring luminosity. Her work has been exhibited around the globe. Nancy's show opens at Edgewater Gallery on Main St. in Fort Bragg on Friday, Oct. 6, from 5 to 8pm. She will do a presentation about her work at 6pm. Light refreshments served.

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MEDICARE FOR ALL NOW

by Bernie Sanders

This is a pivotal moment in American history. Do we, as a nation, join the rest of the industrialized world and guarantee comprehensive health care to every person as a human right? Or do we maintain a system that is enormously expensive, wasteful and bureaucratic, and is designed to maximize profits for big insurance companies, the pharmaceutical industry, Wall Street and medical equipment suppliers?

We remain the only major country on earth that allows chief executives and stockholders in the health care industry to get incredibly rich, while tens of millions of people suffer because they can’t get the health care they need. This is not what the United States should be about.

All over this country, I have heard from Americans who have shared heartbreaking stories about our dysfunctional system. Doctors have told me about patients who died because they put off their medical visits until it was too late. These were people who had no insurance or could not afford out-of-pocket costs imposed by their insurance plans.

I have heard from older people who have been forced to split their pills in half because they couldn’t pay the outrageously high price of prescription drugs. Oncologists have told me about cancer patients who have been unable to acquire lifesaving treatments because they could not afford them. This should not be happening in the world’s wealthiest country.

Americans should not hesitate about going to the doctor because they do not have enough money. They should not worry that a hospital stay will bankrupt them or leave them deeply in debt. They should be able to go to the doctor they want, not just one in a particular network. They should not have to spend huge amounts of time filling out complicated forms and arguing with insurance companies as to whether or not they have the coverage they expected.

Even though 28 million Americans remain uninsured and even more are underinsured, we spend far more per capita on health care than any other industrialized nation. In 2015, the United States spent almost $10,000 per person for health care; the Canadians, Germans, French and British spent less than half of that, while guaranteeing health care to everyone. Further, these countries have higher life expectancy rates and lower infant mortality rates than we do.

The reason that our health care system is so outrageously expensive is that it is not designed to provide quality care to all in a cost-effective way, but to provide huge profits to the medical-industrial complex. Layers of bureaucracy associated with the administration of hundreds of individual and complicated insurance plans is stunningly wasteful, costing us hundreds of billions of dollars a year. As the only major country not to negotiate drug prices with the pharmaceutical industry, we spend tens of billions more than we should.

The solution to this crisis is not hard to understand. A half-century ago, the United States established Medicare. Guaranteeing comprehensive health benefits to Americans over 65 has proved to be enormously successful, cost-effective and popular. Now is the time to expand and improve Medicare to cover all Americans.

This is not a radical idea. I live 50 miles south of the Canadian border. For decades, every man, woman and child in Canada has been guaranteed health care through a single-payer, publicly funded health care program. This system has not only improved the lives of the Canadian people but has also saved families and businesses an immense amount of money.

On Wednesday I will introduce the Medicare for All Act in the Senate with 15 co-sponsors and support from dozens of grass-roots organizations. Under this legislation, every family in America would receive comprehensive coverage, and middle-class families would save thousands of dollars a year by eliminating their private insurance costs as we move to a publicly funded program.

The transition to the Medicare for All program would take place over four years. In the first year, benefits to older people would be expanded to include dental care, vision coverage and hearing aids, and the eligibility age for Medicare would be lowered to 55. All children under the age of 18 would also be covered. In the second year, the eligibility age would be lowered to 45 and in the third year to 35. By the fourth year, every man, woman and child in the country would be covered by Medicare for All.

Needless to say, there will be huge opposition to this legislation from the powerful special interests that profit from the current wasteful system. The insurance companies, the drug companies and Wall Street will undoubtedly devote a lot of money to lobbying, campaign contributions and television ads to defeat this proposal. But they are on the wrong side of history.

Guaranteeing health care as a right is important to the American people not just from a moral and financial perspective; it also happens to be what the majority of the American people want. According to an April poll by The Economist/YouGov, 60 percent of the American people want to “expand Medicare to provide health insurance to every American,” including 75 percent of Democrats, 58 percent of independents and 46 percent of Republicans.

Now is the time for Congress to stand with the American people and take on the special interests that dominate health care in the United States. Now is the time to extend Medicare to everyone.

* * *

FACTOID we only recently heard: The reason there was little opposition to single-payer style Medicare from the insurance industry back in the 60s when it passed as part of LBJ’s Great Society program was that the insurance industry cynically calculated that people 65 or older cost a lot more to care for. They were happy to see the government take responsibility for older, sicker people so they could make more money insuring younger, healthier people. But when you start talking about single-payer/medicare for all for people under-65 you’re dipping right into their pockets. At the same time you would also strengthen Medicare by including younger people in the single-payer insurance pool — just one more of the many, many benefits that single-payer for all has that the insurance industry will resist with every last breath. PS. Single payer would also make most US companies and the government more profitable or balanced because healthcare costs would be taken out of their budgets. As General Motors vice president Bob Lutz famously said: "Sometimes it feels like we're a health-care company that tries to sell enough cars to pay the bills." In 2006, health benefits for unionized autoworkers under Canada’s single payer program cost $120 per car. In the same year, health benefits for Big Three autoworkers cost $1,500, and they're still rising. — ms

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* * *

ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY

The New York Times is one of those faux intellectual publications that tout prevailing preposterisms; currently Russia and trannies. But these fashionable idiocies will run their course. If you’re a faithful reader and believer, don’t worry, they’ll find more and you can use these to do more virtue-signalling.

But does this point the way to oblivion for the Times and others of its ilk? To people that don’t buy their bullshit, that see them as they are, a distractive and corrosive force in American affairs, don’t you worry either, they’ll soon enough be ass-wipe, run over by the exigencies of the times.

Trump, whatever his personal failings, was always an outsider at least in part because he called bullshit on nonsensical economic models that couldn’t possibly stay upright. And Trump is uniquely qualified in this, he was the author of his own serial disasters.

* * *

WHAT HAPPENED?

by Piers Morgan

We all know What Happened, Hillary: you’re a loser! Now get over it and give the rest of us a break

There hasn't been a more whiny, self-pitying, deluded load of literary claptrap than Hillary's new book since Kim Kardashian's 'I was empowering women' defense for posting naked bird-flipping selfies. It's an absurdly self-indulgent tome.

'What happened' is the title of Hillary Clinton's new 464-page book.

By the time I'd finished wading through Hillary's absurdly self-indulgent tome, I felt like I'd been lowered into a large vat of violently indignant, furiously self-justifying, boiling mad spittle.

This is the tormented, tragic work of a spurned woman who never thought she could possibly lose to Donald Trump, a man she considered her inferior opponent in every possible way imaginable from intellect and political experience to credibility and popularity.

Such was Hillary's self-confidence she would win, it emerged this week she even paid $1.6 million for the property next door to her home to house her Secret Service detail once she was elected.

Yet she lost.

The reasons for this have been raked over so voraciously since last November that there is nothing new left to say.

But that hasn't stopped Hillary saying it all over again, page after page, chapter after chapter, moan after moan.

It's not so much a book as an elongated case for the defense of abject failure, presented by a lawyer who's just lost a slam-dunk court battle that no good lawyer should ever have lost.

Readers are left in absolutely no doubt who's to blame, and it's most definitely NOT Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Oh no, she's absolutely the last name on the list of culprits for the most humiliating beat-down in US political history.

The list of people and entities that Hillary DOES blame is laughably long, and includes Bernie Sanders, Barack Obama, James Comey, Vladimir Putin, Julian Assange and the media.

It was James Comey's fault: 'If not for the dramatic intervention of the FBI director in the final days,' she wails, 'we would have won the White House.'

It was Vladimir Putin's fault for waging a 'personal vendetta' against her. 'I never imagined that he would have the audacity to launch a massive covert attack against our own democracy,' she rants, 'right under our noses – and that he'd get away with it.'

It was 'odious hypocrite' Julian Assange's fault for supposedly aiding and abetting Putin. She says of the Wikileaks founder: 'I had to face not just one America-bashing misogynist, but three. I'd have to get by Putin and Assange as well.'

It was Barack Obama's fault: 'I do wonder sometimes about what would have happened if President Obama had made a televised address to the nation in the fall of 2016 warning that our democracy was under attack,' she snarls. 'Maybe more Americans would have woken up to the threat at the time.' She also slams Obama for telling her to 'lay off' Bernie Sanders: 'I felt like I was in a straightjacket.'

It was Sanders' fault for 'resorting to innuendo and impugning my character'. Hillary spat: 'His attacks caused lasting damage, making it harder to unify progressives in the general election and paving the way for Trump's 'Crooked Hillary' campaign.'

It was also Sanders supporters' fault for 'harassing my supporters online' with attacks that were 'ugly and more than a little sexist.'

It was GOP leader Mitch McConnell's fault for putting partisanship ahead of national security: 'McConnell knew better,' Hillary slammed, 'but he did it anyway.'

It was the mainstream media's fault: 'Many in the political media can't bear to face their own role in helping elect Trump,' she fumed, 'from providing him free airtime to giving my emails three times more coverage than all the issues affecting people's lives combined.'

In particular, she says it was the New York Times' fault for reporting on her emails in such a relentless way that it 'affected the outcome of the election.'

It was Today Show host Matt Lauer's fault for grilling her during a NBC presidential debate about her emails to the extent she was 'ticked off' and 'almost physically sick'.

It was Fox News' fault for 'turning politics into an evidence-free zone of seething resentment.'

It was Green Party candidate Jill Stein's fault: 'There were more than enough Stein voters to swing the result, just like Ralph Nader did in Florida and New Hampshire in 2000.'

It was men's fault: 'Sexism and misogyny played a role in the election. Exhibit A is that the flagrantly sexist candidate won.'

It was women's fault, especially those who joined anti-Trump marches after he won: 'I couldn't help but ask where those feelings of solidarity, outrage and passion had been during the election.'

It was white people's fault: 'He (Trump) was quite successful in referencing a nostalgia that would give hope, settle grievances, for millions of people who were upset about gains that were made by others…millions of white people.'

It was black people's fault, especially Black Lives Matter protestors who questioned her commitment to their cause and heckled her at events. Hillary accuses them of being 'more interested in disruption and confrontation than in working together to change policies.'

It was former Vice President Joe Biden's fault for saying the Democratic Party 'did not talk about what it always stood for' in the campaign, which was 'how to maintain a burgeoning middle class.' Hillary seethes: 'I find this fairly remarkable, considering Joe himself campaigned for me all over the Midwest and talked plenty about the middle class.'

It was her aide Huma Abedin's husband Anthony Weiner's fault for the teenage sexting scandal that blew up just before election day – forcing the emails back into public focus.

It was the 'godforsaken' Electoral College's fault because she won the meaningless popular vote by three million.

Finally, it was history's fault: 'The problems started with history,' she insists. 'It was exceedingly difficult for either party to hold onto the White House for more than eight years in a row.'

Summing things up, Hillary asks herself: 'What makes me such a lightning rod for fury? I'm at a loss.'

Hmmm, where do we start?

The truth is that everyone knows exactly what happened.

Hillary ran a diabolically elitist and blinkered campaign that basically boiled down to this mantra: 'Trump's disgusting, his supporters are a basket of deplorable idiots, I'm a brilliant woman, my husband used to be President, and I have lots of rich, famous friends – so vote for me.'

As sales pitches go, this was right up there with Pepsi trying to convince us Kendall Jenner could end all America's racial tensions by handing out cola to cops at protest marches.

America didn't vote for Hillary because they didn't like what she represents and rejected her vague, unimaginative vision for the country.

It's as simple as that and to pretend otherwise is to ignore the harsh, cold reality that the most qualified candidate in history lost to the least qualified candidate in history.

America didn't vote for Hillary because they didn't like what she represents. She is doing herself no favors with this prolonged, agonizing Loser tour, and also doing huge damage to Democrats moving forward.

In fact, with every new appearance she makes to complain ever more bitterly about the unfairness of her defeat, and to blame an ever longer list of people other than herself for it, she is further diminished.

More worryingly for the Democrats, what she is doing is causing huge damage to the party's chances of rebounding from the catastrophe of last November.

Hillary has become a walking, whining by-word for political disaster and carries with her an overpowering stench of electoral death.

This book is thus utterly pointless.

Nobody wants to hear any more about 'what happened'.

It happened, and we all know why. End.

Now please Hillary, for the love of God, just accept you blew it and shut up, before you take your party down with you.

* * *

Burning Man 2017 #7

* * *

THE MOON IS SET. And the Pleiades. It’s the middle of the night

And time passes, time passes, And I lie alone.

(Sappho)

* * *

DOUGLAS DOWD, 97, ANTIWAR ACTIVIST AND CRITIC OF CAPITALISM, IS DEAD

by Sam Roberts

Douglas Dowd, a radical economics professor and author who was in the vanguard of early teach-ins and other demonstrations against the Vietnam War, died on Friday at his home in Bologna, Italy. He was 97.

The cause was congestive heart failure, his wife, Anna Hilbe, said.

Professor Dowd, who wrote more than a dozen books and taught for many years at Cornell University, drew on Marxism and Thorstein Veblen’s theory of conspicuous consumption to deliver what Todd Gitlin, a leftist sociologist himself, described as a “refreshingly undogmatic” view of economic history.

His critical view of capitalism was largely shaped by his disappointment that the United States, as he saw it, had failed to live up to its ideals.

“We thought we were liberating Europe and fending off the imperialism of feudal Japan,” Professor Dowd wrote in his autobiographical “Blues for America: A Critique, a Lament, and Some Memories” (1997), “but we turned up after the war occupying or controlling foreign countries all over.”

He was no ivory-tower utopian, however. He endured the Depression as a teenager, survived World War II as a bomber pilot downed over the Pacific, managed former Vice President Henry Wallace’s Progressive Party presidential campaign in 1948 in Berkeley, Calif., and spearheaded voter registration drives in Tennessee with his Cornell students in the early days of the civil rights struggle.

Beginning in the mid-1960s, Professor Dowd struggled to unify the fractious antiwar movement behind marathon campus teach-ins and debates, civil disobedience and nonviolent public protests. (He told The Boston Globe in 1970 that leftist bomb-throwers were serious, committed and desperate people who had “given up the idea that a movement can get anyplace without violence.”)

He repeatedly reminded students that universities were not isolated havens but “an integral and functioning part of an American socio-economic-military system,” and he argued that some radical groups had failed because they never ventured beyond the college gates to confront the real world.

“You can’t fight imperialism on campus, you can’t fight racism on campus,” Professor Dowd said. “You can only fight their manifestations.”

The role of the university, he wrote in an Op-Ed article in The New York Times in 1971, is to become a place where “re-examination, uncertainty, change and conflict become an integral part of what is studied.”

He mentored budding academicians and dissidents, including Daniel Ellsberg, the military analyst who delivered to The Times a secret government history of the Vietnam War, which became known as the Pentagon Papers after it was published in 1971.

“As I could say also of Noam Chomsky and Howard Zinn,” Mr. Ellsberg wrote in 2004, “there’s no one in my life from whom I’ve learned more than my friend and mentor Douglas Dowd.”

Bruce Dancis, Professor Dowd’s friend and former student and the author of “Resister: A Story of Protest and Prison During the Vietnam War” (2013), recalled in an interview: “Doug opened up new ideas of looking at the world, of not accepting the established order as the way things had to remain. He was dealing with people half his age, and we must have made plenty of mistakes that made him cringe, but he was never condescending.”

Douglas Fitzgerald Dowd was born in San Francisco on Dec. 7, 1919, to Mervyn Dowd, a lawyer, and the former Sybil Seid.

He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of California, Berkeley, in 1949 and later earned a doctorate there.

In addition to his wife, he is survived by two children, Jeff and Jenny Dowd, from his marriage to Zirel Druskin, which ended in divorce; and two grandchildren.

He joined the Cornell faculty in 1953 and taught there through 1970, serving as chairman of the economics department. He also taught at San Jose State University, the University of California, at Berkeley and at Santa Cruz, and, in Italy, the University of Modena and the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies Bologna Center.

He ventured into electoral politics briefly in 1968 when he reluctantly agreed to be nominated in New York for vice president,as Eldridge Cleaver’s running mate, by the Peace and Freedom Party, a loose coalition of radical leftists and Black Panthers. He agreed to join the ticket, he said, only to thwart the nomination of Jerry Rubin, the Yippie leader whom Professor Dowd considered a publicity hound prone to violence. (Because of several election law twists, though, he and Mr. Cleaver never made it onto the ballot.)

In 1970, Professor Dowd, as co-chairman of the New Mobilization Committee to End the War in Vietnam, joined Professor Chomsky (like Professor Zinn, a historian and social critic) and other antiwar spokesmen on a visit to North Vietnam.

Later that year, the House Internal Security Committee identified Professor Dowd as one of 65 “radical and/or revolutionary” campus speakers.

In his “U.S. Capitalist Development Since 1776: Of, by and for Which People?” (1993), Professor Dowd wrote that capitalism requires expansion and exploitation. He suggested that the Cold War was less a necessary response to contain communism than a strategy to spread capitalism.

“Well before World War I, the philosopher William James, apprehensive of what lay ahead, said, ‘We must find the moral equivalent of war’ to give unity and direction to our society,” Professor Dowd wrote. “Now we must find the moral equivalent of cold war.”

(New York Times)

* * *

ANDY BOROWITZ quipped in a recent New Yorker that "No one has done more than Trump to prove white people are not superior." I haven't myself encountered a white person in many years who made the claim, and even back in the day, say the 1950s when I became more or less conscious of the big, wide world, and racism was federal, state and local policy, the white people claiming ethnic superiority seemed to be walking proof of the opposite. Virtue signaling at the ball park aside, race relations are better than they've ever been, where there were virtually no inter-racial relationships there are now millions of them. Racism is obviously out there still, but the underlying exacerbation of race reversion is economic. Even the mild, Scandinavian socialism represented by the Sanders wing of the Democratic Party — single payer, a federal housing, jobs program, free college and so on — would do more to beat back racism than caterwauling about it from the safety of white academic bantusans and white suburbs. PS: Sports and the military did more to beat back racism in this country than all its liberals put together. The banner should say, "Thank You, Baseball, For All You've Done To Slay The Race Monster."

* * *

BANNED BOOKS WEEK

Read Out & Live Art at Ukiah Library

The Mendocino County Library, Ukiah Branch presents:

Banned Books Week (Sept. 24th * Sept. 30th) with the following events:

Library Booth at Youth Action Party (YAP)

* September 23rd 3-8pmBanned Books Read-Out & Live Art

* Friday, Sept. 29th 5-7pmBanned Books T-Shirt Art

* Saturday, Sept. 30th 1-3 pm. All Ages

By focusing on efforts across the country to remove or restrict access to books, Banned Books Week draws national attention to the harms of censorship. The books featured during Banned Books Week have all been targeted with removal or restrictions in libraries and schools. While books have been and continue to be banned, part of the Banned Books Week celebration is the fact that, in a majority of cases, the books have remained available. This happens only thanks to the efforts of librarians, teachers, students, and community members who stand up and speak out for the freedom to read.

Banned Books Week is an annual event celebrating the freedom to read. Typically held during the last week of September, it highlights the value of free and open access to information. Banned Books Week brings together the entire book community — librarians, booksellers, publishers, journalists, teachers, and readers of all types — in shared support of the freedom to seek and to express ideas, even those some consider unorthodox or unpopular.

On Saturday, Sept. 23rd , the Ukiah Library will be kicking off Banned Books Week with a DUNK TANK at Youth Action Party! Come Dunk a Librarian or make a button/ bookmark! Join us for a Banned Books Read Out & Live Art Drawing on Friday, Sept. 29that 5 pm where participants will read aloud from banned books and make a live art collage from banned book cover designs. And don’t miss the grand finale on Saturday, Sept. 30th at 1 pm where you can design your own Banned Book T-Shirt Art!

American libraries are the cornerstones of our democracy. Libraries are for everyone, everywhere. Because libraries provide free access to a world of information, they bring opportunity to all people. Now, more than ever, celebrate the freedom to read @ your library! Read an old favorite or a new banned book this week.

This year's observance commemorates the most basic freedom in a democratic society -”the freedom to read freely”, and encourages us not to take this freedom for granted. By focusing on efforts across the country to remove or restrict access to books, Banned Books Week draws national attention to the harms of censorship. The ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom (http://www.ala.org/offices/oif)

(OIF) compiles lists of challenged books

(http://www.ala.org/bbooks/frequentlychallengedbooks)

as reported in the media and submitted by librarians and teachers across the country. Find out which challenged books made the 2015 list

(http://www.ala.org/bbooks/frequentlychallengedbooks/top10)

which was released as part of the 2016 State of America’s Library Report(http://www.ala.org/news/state-americas-libraries-report-2016) .

For more information please contact Melissa at the Ukiah Library: 467-6434

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"THE LEGISLATIVE SESSION ends this Friday and time will not allow SB 562 [Single Payer California] to be heard." — Assemblyman Jim Wood

* * *

THERE ARE CERTAIN ADVANTAGES in being cursed by all and sundry — especially, it dispenses you with having to be nice to anybody — there's nothing more emollient, stultifying, emasculating than wanting to be liked — "not nice!" — that does it, you're free!

— Louis-Ferdinand Celine, after a weekend with the Democratic Party of Mendocino

 

22 Responses to Mendocino County Today: Friday, Sep. 15, 2017

  1. Kathy Reply

    September 15, 2017 at 4:44 am

    Here’s what Monterey does with vacation rentals, beginning with $ 1000 initial fine followed by daily fines when the advertising isn’t pulled: http://www.montereyherald.com/government-and-politics/20170913/monterey-to-enforce-daily-fines-on-short-term-rental-operators

  2. Alice Chouteau Reply

    September 15, 2017 at 8:51 am

    Watch it Bruce! LD is looking a lot like Walter White in that hat, meth making genius, Breaking Bad…maybe he hangs out too much with the tweaker pits next door?

    • Mark Scaramella Reply

      September 15, 2017 at 10:30 am

      It’s Popeye Doyle’s hat, not Heisenberg’s.

  3. Harvey Reading Reply

    September 15, 2017 at 10:25 am

    Re: MY KINGDOM FOR A WAR

    Excellent and true. As far as for your, “I expected far more out of these Republican politicians currently lined up tossing rose petals over the spray-painted heads of their trigger-happy, double-wide Emperor and his procession of rickety crawdaddies,” all I can say is that we’re all entitled to our dreams…

    Re: WHAT HAPPENED?

    Yes, she lost, given our totally non-democratic system for choosing presidents. The electoral college is apportioned based on representation in congress, which includes 100 non-democratically apportioned senators (100 non-democratically chosen electors). Further, in most cases ALL the electors from a state vote for the candidate who got a majority in that state, that is, winner-take-all, not democracy at all.

    I am glad the Clinton monster “lost”. I voted for Stein. Clinton was a worse choice than the clown prince, and had the track record to back up that conclusion. But, if the country had a democratic system for choosing its executive ruler, she would be sitting in the casa blanca, assuming, of course that D.C. still would have existed at this point under her insane rule.

    If we expect to have a country for much longer, we need to clean up our pathetic act and become a democracy…for the first time ever.

    • LouisBedrock Reply

      September 15, 2017 at 11:03 am

      “If we expect to have a country for much longer, we need to clean up our pathetic act and become a democracy…for the first time ever.”

      Go and catch a falling star,
      Get with child a mandrake root,
      Tell me where all past years are,
      Or who cleft the devil’s foot,
      Teach me to hear mermaids singing,
      Or to keep off envy’s stinging,
      And find
      What wind
      Serves to advance an honest mind.

      If thou be’st born to strange sights,
      Things invisible to see,
      Ride ten thousand days and nights,
      Till age snow white hairs on thee,
      Thou, when thou return’st, wilt tell me,
      All strange wonders that befell thee,
      And swear,
      No where
      Lives a gov’ment true, and fair.

      If thou find’st one, let me know,
      Such a pilgrimage were sweet;
      Yet do not, I would not go,
      Though at next door we might meet;
      Though she were true, when you met her,
      And last, till you write your letter,
      Yet she
      Will be
      False, ere I come, to two, or three.

      (John Donne and Louis Bedrock)

      • james marmon Reply

        September 15, 2017 at 11:32 am

        “The United States is not a ‘democracy,’ it is ‘a Republic.’”

        This is such a frustratingly ill-informed argument that the other side needs a simple link to address it. So here it is —remember it:

        http://bit.ly/ARepublic

        “Yes, it is true, the Framers meant to establish “a Republic.”

        And yes, they openly and repeatedly criticized “democracy.”

        But the “democracy” they were criticizing was “direct democracy,” and the “Republic” they were championing was “representative democracy.”

        California is a direct democracy, California’s voters can make laws by creating ballot propositions. Propositions are ideas citizens have for new laws or changes to the Constitution. Voting on whether or not to make a new law is direct democracy.

        We rural citizens are ruled by Los Angeles and the Bay Area, screw majority rules. Look at what Proposition 64 has done to Mendocino County, things are not good, not good at all.

        “I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”

        James Marmon
        Born on the 4th of July

        • Harvey Reading Reply

          September 15, 2017 at 12:17 pm

          Mr. Marmon, I must ask you this: were things so much better in your beloved Mendocino County before Prop. 64? I believe not.

          • Harvey Reading Reply

            September 15, 2017 at 1:05 pm

            You good folks have had problems with marijuana for decades. I remember the reports–including the one about the Ag Commissioner getting fired for telling the truth–coming out of Mendocino ‘way back during the 70s when I lived south of Sonoma. So now it appears you want to trash democracy as a scapegoat for problems that you’ve never been able to solve locally. Typical right-wing thinking.

        • LouisBedrock Reply

          September 15, 2017 at 12:20 pm

      • Harvey Reading Reply

        September 15, 2017 at 12:08 pm

        I know, I know. At least we should be able to do better. Of course that assumes I even came close to the meaning of the poem. They’ve always been beyond my perceptive ability.

        • LouisBedrock Reply

          September 15, 2017 at 12:18 pm

          Harvey,

          The original poem is a bitter, misogynistic piece.
          I substituted the word “government” for woman.
          Donne’s poem laments the possibility of finding a woman “true and fair”.

  4. Stephen Rosenthal Reply

    September 15, 2017 at 11:21 am

    “THE LEGISLATIVE SESSION ends this Friday and time will not allow SB 562 [Single Payer California] to be heard.” — Assemblyman Jim Wood

    But they had plenty of time to hear, review and pass a plethora of uber-redundant, draconian and meaningless (as in, it will not affect the criminal element one iota) anti-gun legislation. Just sayin’

  5. michael turner Reply

    September 15, 2017 at 11:54 am

    “McEwen’s reporting on the Keegan case continues to be marred by his chronic doctor phobia “(It’s impossible, incidentally, that these two docs, Keegan and Trent, didn’t know each other.)” Leave off Bruce, it’s really not germane that you didn’t enjoy your long stay in some doctor’s waiting room.
    I have no doubt that if he’s found innocent Bruce won’t retract a single word from the tens of thousands he’s devoted to this case. In fact an innocent verdict will surely spawn thousands more about miscarriage of justice.

    • Bruce McEwen Reply

      September 15, 2017 at 8:47 pm

      You speak with the authority of a man who has more knowledge about the case than you are willing to divulge, Sir.

      Please, Sir, tell us fools, tells us all you know about why it is exactly you are so sure the evidence is false…?

      Come now, do you have a source?

      • michael turner Reply

        September 16, 2017 at 4:16 am

        Nope. No certainty. And no. He might be guilty or he might be innocent. Very few know and you’re not one of them.

  6. Mike Williams Reply

    September 15, 2017 at 2:06 pm

    Piers Morgan? Really? The hack won “Celebrity Apprentice” and is one of Big D’s best buddies, if there is such a thing. He called the Womens March “a bunch of rabid feminists”. Surprised that you used his rant against Hillary, kind of like beating a dead horse. Fifteen yard penalty for piling on!

    • Stephen Rosenthal Reply

      September 15, 2017 at 3:11 pm

      Well, cite one thing that he wrote that isn’t true. After further review, 15 yard penalty is reversed!

  7. james marmon Reply

    September 15, 2017 at 6:19 pm

    On Tuesday September 12th the Board of Supervisors denied a claim filed by Cecil Dixon in the amount of 13 million.

    file:///C:/Users/user1/Downloads/Agenda%20(5).pdf

    Several months ago I was asked to review the case and I discovered that Family and Children’s Services not only unlawfully detained (kidnapped) the child from Mr. Dixon once, but did it 4 times, and still have him.

    https://files.acrobat.com/a/preview/5d736987-79ae-4f6c-a67d-86b1d0b734a9

    The mother in this case worked at Family and Children’ Services at the time of her death, and her co-workers blocked the father from taking custody of his son, even hours after Judge Mayfield ordered custody of the boy to the father in Family Court. They lied and withheld exculpatory evidence in order to obtain a protective custody warrant from Dependency Court in order to trump the Family Court order.

    Ukiah woman killed by fallen tree feared it for months

    http://www.pressdemocrat.com/news/6578777-181/ukiah-woman-killed-by-oak?artslide=0

    Mr. Dixon and I are both convinced her death was an act of God. This case should clean up Mendocino County Family and Children’s Services once and for all. It will be headed to federal court.

    James Marmon MSW
    Former Social Worker V
    Mendocino County Family and Children’s

    • james marmon Reply

      September 15, 2017 at 7:02 pm

      Mr. Dixon had no prior Child Welfare history, Ms. Tyler had a long history of prior substantiated child abuse and neglect against her son long before and after being employed by Family and Children’s Services as a legal clerk.

      This father has been protesting in front of the Courthouse, his 1983 claim should be filed in Federal Court any day now.

  8. Bruce McEwen Reply

    September 15, 2017 at 6:46 pm

    To the AVA’s mascot, Li’l Dawg, I bequeath my standing at the head of the masthead, and hereby submit my vote that I should like to make one of those flourishing bows French courtiers perfected, and resign my post at the top of the troops, to Little Dog, sometimes called “MoJo” when he’s wanted to walk point on the AVA’s weekly patrols into … !

    I remember when I used to dress up for the Boont Fair, and I cannot but defer to the way my very deserving successor, LD, has turned out for today’s post.

  9. Bruce McEwen Reply

    September 15, 2017 at 8:40 pm

    The Library has banned the AVA for going on ten years now, but they refuse to ban a book about — ?

  10. Bruce McEwen Reply

    September 15, 2017 at 8:41 pm

    HUH

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