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Bird’s Eye View (Oct. 25, 2017)

“This Trump Thing,” or as it had been known previously for nearly 250 years up until now, The US Presidency. In an era of renewed political activism in major American sports leagues, Gregg Popovich has the assuredness of a seasoned veteran. The San Antonio Spurs head coach is a five-time NBA champion and a first-ballot Hall of Famer, but he has always had vision that extends beyond the game. The Wall Street Journal once explored quite wonderfully how Popovich discusses and tests his players on American history and current events, with the ultimate goal that they will be more informed and discerning citizens. He has mused openly about whether America is an empire in decline akin to Rome, and how Donald Trump seems to think the presidency is “a game show.” So it was no surprise to see an interview with Popovich after the same Donald J. Trump produced one of the more grotesque lies in a years-long line of them Monday. Trump threw out the wild accusation that President Obama and “others” among his presidential predecessors did not call the families of American military service members killed in combat. This was not true in any way, but Trump seemed to throw it out there to see if it would stick, and to deflect attention from the fact he had not yet spoken publicly about the deaths of four Green Berets in Niger two weeks ago. The appalling episode struck such a chord with Popovich, an Air Force veteran, that he called up Dave Zirin of The Nation magazine and insisted his comments go on the record. He did not disappoint.

“I’ve been amazed and disappointed by so much of what this president had said, and his approach to running this country, which seems to be one of just a never ending divisiveness. But his comments today about those who have lost loved ones in times of war and his lies that previous presidents Obama and Bush never contacted their families are so beyond the pale, I almost don’t have the words.”

At this point, Zirin said, he thought Popovich didn't have the words to go forward with the conversation. But then:

“This man in the Oval Office is a soulless coward who thinks that he can only become large by belittling others. This has of course been a common practice of his, but to do it in this manner, and to lie about how previous presidents responded to the deaths of soldiers, is as low as it gets. We have a pathological liar in the White House, unfit intellectually, emotionally, and psychologically to hold this office, and the whole world knows it, especially those around him every day. The people who work with this president should be ashamed, because they know better than anyone just how unfit he is, and yet they choose to do nothing about it. This is their shame most of all.”

Wow. Has anyone summed up the current awful situation any better? Excellent work, Pop!

Evening Dining in the Valley — Let’s concentrate on the options outside Boonville this week. Stone and Embers in The Madrones south of Philo is open from Noon to 8pm, Thursday to Monday. Down in the Deep End, the Happy Hour at The Bewildered Pig has the Sunday brunch from 11am-2.30pm; dinner served from 5.30-9pm Thursday-Sunday. Meanwhile, Bruxo, the brightly colored, high-end food truck roams the Valley and is tentatively at the AV Brewery Visitor Center on Friday and Sunday, noon to 7pm; the Boonville Hotel on Wednesday, noon to 8pm; and at Balo Winery on Thursday evenings.

Public Service Announcements. #542. The Vets from the Mendocino Animal Hospital had to cancel this month’s visits to the Valley due to the number of injured pets arriving at their hospital in Ukiah following the fires. So they are scheduled to visit twice in November on Thursdays 2 and 16. #543. It’s the annual Oktoberfest Fundraiser for the Senior Center this coming Saturday, October 28, 2017 at the Big Barn in Philo, next to the AV Farm Supply. Happy Hour is at 5pm; Dinner follows at 6pm. Featuring Pork sausage, Beer-steeped sauerkraut, German-style warm potato salad with onions and bacon, and dessert. Beer, wine, and non-alcoholic drinks served. Tickets $30 for dinner and dessert, a beverage of your choice, and $10 donation to the Senior Center. Tickets are limited so get them early from the AV Senior Center (895-3609), Lemons Philo Market, or AV Market in Boonville. #544. The Unity Club AV Lending Library at the Fairgrounds is open Tuesday 1.30-4.30pm, Saturday 2-4pm. #545. The County Dump is open from 9am-4pm Tuesday, Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday. Dump Executive Director, Mike Mannix, no dead animals, please! #546. The Boonville Farmers Market concludes its summer season Saturday, October 28 from 9.30am-noon, at the Boonville Hotel parking lot. Starting on November 4 they will move across the street to their Winter venue at The General Store. For more info, call Cindy at 895-2949.

Community lunches next week in the Senior Center at the Veterans Building in Boonville. $6 donation from seniors and $7 for Non-seniors. Tomorrow, Thursday, October 26, the lunch, served by Marti Titus and her crew at Noon, will be Creamy Poblano Soup followed by Banana Cake. Then, next Tuesday, October 31, the lunch will feature Chicken with Kale and then Berry Cream Dessert. All meals include vegetables, salad bar, and fruit, plus milk, coffee, tea, and lemonade. Maybe the best value for money you’ll get all week! ALL ages welcome! Hope to see you there.

I’m outta here. I’ve got see a man about a sheep. Be careful out there; if you break a leg don’t come running to me; stay out of the ditches; be wary of strangers with more dogs than teeth; the hot weather is back with us so remember to keep your windows cracked if you leave pets in your vehicle; May your god go with you, and may your dog go with you too. And, “Let us prey.” Humbly yours, Turkey Vulture. Contact me through the Letters Page or at PS. Skylark, read any good books lately? Hi, Silver Swan, behaving yourself? Hopefully not! Everything cool with you, O.J.? Of course it is.


  1. Marshall Newman October 25, 2017

    Coach Popovich really respects performance and really hates BS. There already is a “Popovich/Kerr 2020” tee-shirt available.

  2. George Hollister October 29, 2017

    The good thing about Trump’s boorish, and thoughtless rants is there is no need to read between the lines. It’s all out there.

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