- Calm Before
- Shanahan Exhibit
- Gurr Claim
- Hiring Trick
- Little Dog
- De Vall Interview
- Offshore Comment
- Ed Notes
- Yesterday's Catch
- Maiming People
- Gun Show
- Ramshackle Farm
- Opening Day
- State Sovereignty
- No Plan
- Community Sense
- BART Intimidated
- Standing Rock
- Discussing Inequality
- Marco Radio
- Standing By
A BRIEF PERIOD OF DRY AND SUNNY WEATHER is expected later today and part of Monday before another storm system arrives. Rain and gusty south winds are expected late Monday and Tuesday, followed by periods of light rain through Friday. (National Weather Service)
COMPTCHE ARTIST PATTY SHANAHAN exhibits her Plein Air Paintings of Mendocino County at Lauren’s Restaurant in Boonville in March and April. Opening reception for the Artist is set for St. Patrick’s Day, Saturday, March 17 from 3-5pm. Highly Recommended.
Readers may recall that Ms. Shanahan lost her Comptche home in a fire last January. Her studio survived. Ms. Shanahan is not only a fine artist but the focus of her 30-plus year career is primarily based in Mendocino County. gofundme.com/8yezuh-patty-shanahan-house-fire
LAST OCTOBER, Acting Ag Commissioner Diane Curry told the Board of Supervisors that as far as she knew “only three” of the 734 pot cultivation applicants up to that point had suffered Fish & Wildlife raids — “which is not terrible,” she added.
NOT UNLESS they create a significant liability for Mendocino County, especially if Mendo had approved (or perhaps at least not denied) the permit or was somehow involved in initiating the raid.
According to press reports of the August 10 Fish & Wildlife raid, wardens had 61-year old Mr. Chris Gurr in cuffs standing for hours in the sun as they cut something like 60 of his plants down, an added bit of sadism by the alleged guardians of wild things. Gurr said he had his paperwork in order or pending and showed it to the officers on hand, but it didn’t matter. Wardens also took Gurr’s paperwork.
A Fish and Wildlife spokesman later said the property was raided because they suspected a well was diverting water from a nearby creek, a common practice by grape growers, but a raidable offense for pot growers. Fish & Wildlife Department Lt. Chris Stoots said the agency’s Watershed Enforcement Program — tasked to investigate, enforce and remediate environmental damage from cannabis cultivation on private land — launched the investigation. Stoots said they had to act quickly and in force “when misdemeanors or felonies are committed in the presence of an officer. … The legal status of it or the political opinion of it has nothing to do with the burden people have to (protect) the environment and the fact that they’re obligated to follow environmental laws.”
At that time back in August Curry said the property owners targeted during the Aug. 10 raid were working with county staff to address the potential water source issue and several others, such as greenhouse design. (Improper greenhouse design is not yet a felony as far as we know.) The owners seemed to “want to do whatever needs to be done to be in compliance,” Curry said.
“We had done our site inspection and things looked good,” Curry added, noting the county had also issued a May 4 document stating such. Curry notified Fish and Wildlife several weeks earlier about the water source question as standard practice and was surprised the agency had raided Mr. Gurr without contacting her department first. “I’m really concerned,” Curry said. “We want to get people doing the right thing, and if we don’t have support from all these agencies we’re just helping to keep people in the black market and creating all the things people don’t want like health and safety issues and environmental crimes.”
At the October 3, Board meeting, almost two months later, Curry said she spoke to Fish & Wildlife's boss who told her that “he understood we had denied the application, but that’s not true.” The raid was conducted based on an allegation of illegal water diversion, Curry said, and “staff was out there and working with them. It was another surprise as to why that applicant was targeted.”
SEVERAL BOARD MEMBERS and a number of pot growers in the Board chambers bemoaned the raid and wondered why F&W wouldn’t at least check with Mendo to verify the permit application status. Apparently, after an earlier raid, the Board had thought that F&W had promised to check with Mendo before any further raids.
CODE ENFORCEMENT CHIEF, Trent Taylor, said that as far as he knew Fish & Wildlife raids are based on calls to the state’s anonymous Cal-Tip line, so that growers with annoyed neighbors, whatever their permit status, are more likely to be raided than totally illegal outback growers who are far from any neighbors.
WHICH BRINGS US TO:
Notice of Claim against the County of Mendocino
Claimant: Chris Gurr and Ann Marie Borges
Boonville Road, Ukiah, CA 95482
Attorney for Plaintiff: Henry G. Wykowski, 235 Montgomery Street, Suite 657, San Francisco, CA 94104. 415-788-4545. firstname.lastname@example.org
Date of loss: August 10, 2017 at approximately 9:30 AM.
Location of loss: The buildings, land and gardens located at [claimant address] in Ukiah, CA 95482
Description of incident that caused you to make this claim: False or improper claims and statements made by Mendocino County Sheriff's Department employee Sue Anzillotti, her associates, and other currently unknown Mendocino County officers and employees which led to execution of search warrant identified as number [redacted] Superior Court of California, County of Mendocino, August 9, 2017 at 9:30 AM. This search resulted in a raid and seizure operations carried out by California Fish and wildlife agents and employees on August 10, 2017. The warrant was issued for the premises at the claimant address.
What specific injury, damages or other losses did you incur? Unlawful seizure and/or destruction of entire, nearly mature crop of medicinal grade cannabis plants growing on the claimants’ property; damage to agricultural infrastructure and materials; cost of labor and materials to grow the plants; loss of reputation and standing in the Mendocino community; emotional distress. These injuries meet the definition of "injury." Per Government code section 810.8.
(Unreasonable search and seizure in violation of the Fourth amendment to the United States Constitution, a violation of claimants’ due process rights as guaranteed by the 14th amendment, unreasonable search and seizure in violation of California Constitution, violation of claimants’ due process in violation of California Constitution, conversion under California law. Claim and delivery under California law. Trespass under California law. Petition for an order for restitution for the removed, confiscated and/or destroyed property identified in this claim from Mendocino County, or its officials, agents or employees. Attorney fees and costs.
Amount of money being sought? The amount claimed is more than $2000. The amount claimed is in excess of $10,000 as it involves damages subject to proof of damages in a trial that include without limitation damages associated with property removed/confiscated/destroyed including but not limited to the cost of lands, costs associated with damage to the agricultural infrastructure and materials, labor costs associated with seized plants, expectation damages related to the medical grade cannabis to be derived from the plants and receipts and paperwork related to the operation. Additionally, the amount of money in damages to be recovered on this claim exceeds $25,000 and therefore this will not be a limited the case.
Names of county employees whom you allege caused your injury, damage or loss if known? Mendocino County, Mendocino County Board of Supervisors, Mendocino County District Attorney, Mendocino County Sheriff Thomas D. Allman, Mendocino County Sheriff employee Sue Anzillotti, all other agents, officers and employees of Mendocino County who were present at and or performed work related to the August 10, 2017 raid and seizure.
Signed Chris Gurr, 2/8/18 and Ann Marie Borges, 2/8/18.
SO, ACCORDING TO THE CLAIM, a Sheriff’s department employee named Sue Anzillotti is somehow responsible for an illegal Fish & Wildlife raid, and that makes the County and top officials responsible? The plot thus thickens. We expect the claim to be denied without comment at next Tuesday's board meeting. And later this year we may know more about Mendo's alleged involvement when the claim matures into a lawsuit in Mendocino County courts.
WE HAVE NOT seen a claim against State Fish & Wildlife, so far, but we assume one is pending.
UKIAH SHELTER PETS OF THE WEEK
BUBBA is a 5 year old, neutered male, black and white cat. He was brought to the Shelter when his guardian passed away. Bubba is positive for F.I.V.— feline immunodeficiency virus. Because of this, he is looking for an indoor only home where he is the only cat. If you’re looking for a mellow companion who stays out of trouble — Bubba is your guy. Do you have a cozy spot in your home for this sweet cat who's had a pretty tough time? If you come to the Shelter to meet him you won't have to look far: he's the handsome cat who lives in the lobby.
ROCKY is a shelter favorite and a great dog. Here's what one of our volunteers says about this handsome dog: "Rocky is a delight. I spent an hour with him yesterday. Very easy to handle, listens well and just as sweet as can be. He gets A+ on his leash manners."
Visit Rocky's webpage at mendoanimalshelter.com/dogblog/buster-jarm9-j29w4
The Ukiah Animal Shelter is located at 298 Plant Road in Ukiah; adoption hours are Tuesday - Saturday 10 am to 4:30 pm and Wednesday till 6:30 pm. To view photos and bios of our adoptable dogs and cats, please us visit online at mendoanimalshelter.com or visit theÂ shelter at 298 Plant Road in Ukiah. The shelter’s Dog Adoption Event is ongoing through March 17—the adoption fee for spayed/neutered dogs is only $50!Â For more information about adoptions please call 707-467-6453.
SUPERVISOR DAN GJERDE told us recently that he’s getting a little irritated at the “pattern” of Department heads requesting board approval to hire recently retired top officials back as extra help under the heading of “critically needed.” The latest example is County Auditor Lloyd Weer’s request to hire his recently retired Assistant Auditor Margaret Simonson back for about 30 hours on and off for the next six months “to fulfill critical duties including training her successor and other Auditor-Controller's office staff on the property tax system and related critical processes and deadlines which occur during the 180 days following her retirement.”
GJERDE said the Board already authorized Weer to hire a new assistant weeks ago and now here he is asking pay Simonson $50 bucks an hour to train her? Weer and Simonson had weeks to do that already. Now the County has to spend a couple thou more? What gives?
LITTLE DOG SAYS, “Just sayin' but none of these guys shooting innocent people are dog owners. Dog people don't just go off for no reason. My idea is every gun owner has to have a dog.”
TALKING TO NORM
Enjoy this “story time” interview with Norman de Vall, a Mendocino County supervisor from the 5th district for 4 terms, 1979-1995. Find out how the Cuban missile crisis propelled folks from San Francisco to the refuge of a dada house in Caspar. Learn about the skeletons and confrontations around Ames lodge and what transpired with an outrageous building inspector that led Norman to become a supervisor. Names are named and the ongoing political battles of the era are given new life with the wisdom of age and an excellent memory for human details. What Norman offers is wise counsel and keen insight. He is so worthy of our attention; as Kate Wolf so softly put it: “We've only got these times we’re living in."
— Skip Taube
EXCERPT (Norm de Vall on Mendo's pot regulation):
We are facing the all but total loss of the marijuana industry. We have several thousand people not really trained for anything else. They're not educated for anything else. Where are they going to go? What are they going to do? Most of them have nowhere else to go. They’re here. We are going to have a real challenge. Our dope growers, and trimmers and trimmigrants are not really employable for other technologies. It should be and I'm sure it will be a major issue in the campaigns for 2018. In many ways for a couple of years I've had the thinking that Mendocino County was not really there to make it work. They were there to frustrate, confuse and put together a system. We only had three supervisors. Hamburg walked out of the room with his so-called conflict. And the Third District supervisor was more or less vacant and disappeared. So that the three supervisors that were left put together the ordinances. I spoke to the DA, David Eyster, and asked him what was your participation in this? He said they didn't ask me anything. He had no contribution. I asked Kit Elliott, the County Council, what was your participation? We were not part of it, she said. So these three people without the legal aspect involved did it. The mom and pop growers tried to come in and maintain a reasonable livelihood that and they basically ran into a chainsaw. The county's intention was to balance the budget on code enforcement, on fines and fees and penalties. People are going to say, Why go in and get a permit? It's outrageous. There's plenty there for these supervisor candidates to chew on — if they are willing to get out there and push back.
TED WILLIAMS WRITES: The deadline (for this round) to enter a comment into the record in regards to Trump Administration’s proposed offshore oil and gas plan is 9pm today. Please, if you haven’t already commented, do so now. Use your own words. savethecoast.org/contact/
I write in strong opposition to the Trump administration's proposed "Five-Year OCS Offshore Oil and Gas Leasing Plan". Please file under requested public comments in the Federal Register at 2018-00083.
I live on the coast of Mendocino County, California. Our local economy is largely based on visitors from around the country and world. Visitors come to enjoy the spectacular views of our coastline and ocean. Many come to swim, surf, kayak, fish and explore marine biology. The pristine natural beauty is the main attraction for tourists and the proposed oil plan places it in jeopardy. An important secondary economy is fishing. Offshore oil rigs and related onshore infrastructure would negatively impact tourism, reducing economic activity, hitting hard working Americans. Accidents resulting in oil spill are inherent in extraction. Such an event would create an unrecoverable impact on our tourism and fishing economy. Our ocean fisheries are already at a breaking point, largely due to human activity. Further eroding environmental dependencies will permanently injure our economy, environment and natural treasure.
At a time when humanity's future depends on addressing greenhouse gases and climate change, we should be working towards clean energy. This proposal instead encourages destructive energy. Please halt this plan. It is short sighted and places corporate interests above hard working Americans. It has the potential to trigger an economic death spiral, placing citizens out of work. Further, it has the potential to take from the indigenous people of California, namely the Pomo, who have been harvesting Coho Salmon since before Europeans invaded the Americas.
ED NOTES, SHORT ROUNDS
I WAS COMPLAINING to a female friend about the males dominant in Mendo's lib circles, when she said, "l always felt a lot of the hippie men, circa 1970, were basically frustrated business men in tie-dye. Guys who pretended to be groovy, but secretly treated their wives or girlfriends like they were idiots. Or espousing love and communes but being unable to hear their own neighbor's thoughts about land problems. Or pretedning to be so hip and pc and un-sexist, but subscribing to playboy/penthouse, and making crude (and very stupid) asides to women." Which coincides with my blazing insights exactly.
* * *
I'LL BET that Oakland Cafe's ban on police will turn out to be as intended — a great publicity ploy for the coffee shop which, a friend tells me, doesn't exactly do a robust business. The sight of police is likely to "trigger" PTSD among patrons with unhappy police encounters? My, what a sensitive people we've become. I accidentally walked in on a meeting of the Mendocino County Democratic Central Committee one night. Scared hell outta me!
* * *
WHEN I WAS YOUNG — Wait! Please don't run! I'll be brief — cops used to scare me. Check that. Not scare me, but I was always extremely wary around groups of them, and ready to run when colleagues began throwing stuff at them. In the sixties and seventies the San Francisco and Oakland cops were no joke. Beatings, if you got caught in the act of vigorously exerting your Constitutionally-protected right to free speech, were routine. One night on Nob Hill, a guy I'd grown up with, Dick Yoell, then a member of Frisco's legendary Tac Squad, got me cornered in the courtyard of the Mark Hopkins Hotel. (Visiting Vietnamese fascists often stayed at the Fairmont across the street.) I recognized him before he recognized me, but then, "Anderson, you asshole! What are you doing with these fucks?" I said I'd just come down from the bar up top and walked straight into what seems to be some kind of riot. What the heck is going on? "Bullshit!" Yoell said. "Get your ass outta here!" I did, too.
PEOPLE with Bay Area mob demo experience may agree that the police are generally much more benign these days, much more responsibly led, much more dispassionate. I think as they've become better at policing the social implosion, not to mention history, has combined to make them the target of the terminal, often suicidal, alienation that now exists among the growing numbers of the doomed. All the good things that could be done to make US a much less violent country haven't even been seriously discussed since LBJ's Great Society.
* * *
IN 2016 MENDOCINO COUNTY voted about 58% Democratic (Clinton), 29% Republican (Trump), and 13% “Other” including Green, Libertarian, Peace & Freedom and American Independent candidates.
Political registration (as of 2008, the latest we could find) was about 47% Democratic, 24% Republican, 20% declined to state, and 9% “other.”
IT'S THAT 29% that keeps professional officeholders of the Huffman-Thompson-Wood-McGuire type looking over their rote shoulders. The Northcoast has never been a sure thing for soft conservatives of the Demo type.
ASSEMBLYMAN WOOD. Every time I see a mailing with his blandly uncomprehending mug on it I think it's an ad for hair care products.
* * *
THIS BELLOWING OAF berating the beleaguered woman at Berkeley's Revolution Books, is one more sign that we're in the early Weimar period of American history. Where's AntiFa when they're really needed? Bay Area book readers are encouraged to shop Rev Books, a store that carries a wide range of titles, not only left stuff.
* * *
HEY! A reader passes along a video of the Academy Awards, and guess what was in the gift boxes the stars got? Mendo Mellow from FlowCanna, the Redwood-Valley pot marketers. "No wonder there were so many pot remarks," our informant comments.
* * *
ALDEN GLOBAL CAPITAL is the hedge fund that has siphoned hundreds of millions of dollars from Digital First Media, far away owners of the Ukiah Daily Journal, The Willits News, the Advocate/Beacon right here in Mendo. A belated suit charges correctly that the Hedge boys are stripping the newspaper chain of both its physical assets and its reporters, thus further weakening America's staggering media.
* * *
SAD SIGHT in Ukiah. The pear orchard on the east side of 101 at Ukiah has been bulldozed into burn piles.
* * *
A READER WRITES: "I missed your inflammatory candidate's night appearance on kzyx the other night. I tried to listen on KZYX jukebox but you are inaudible, probably on purpose." Probably, but once was enough for me.
* * *
THE SHOOTING at the Vet's Home in Yountville has inspired the predictable range of comment, at least on mainstream media. It goes from rote calls from politicians for gun control to teary-eyed laments for veterans suffering post traumatic stress who aren't getting enough rehab. This particular vet was not in any way a sympathetic character. Murdering three women is recompense for a year in an Afghan combat zone?
TACTICALLY, the huge police presence served no purpose beyond confining the shooter to the room he'd immediately occupied, which could have been accomplished by a dozen cops. The shooter, it seems, freed several women before shooting the remaining three. The cops all stood around for the next eight hours doing what? We had every police agency in the North Bay on-site, plus a gang of FBI agents. Why? These lone shooter episodes shouldn't require more than a dozen people who know what they're doing and maybe an ambulance. There must have been five hundred cops at Yountville yesterday. The television coverage was beyond lame, and endless.
CATCH OF THE DAY, March 10, 2018
SHANNON ARNOLD, Santa Barbara/Fort Bragg. Public nuisance, disorderly conduct-alcohol, trespassing, probation revocation. (Frequent Flyer)
WILLIAM BARRY, Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol. (Frequent Flyer)
LELAND BEAN JR., Willits. County parole violation.
JESSE BEVAN, Fort Bragg. Contempt of court/disordery behavior.
LEONARD CAMPBELL JR., Hopland. DUI, disorderly conduct-alcohol.
GERARDO CERVANTES, Stockton/Hopland. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.
PARKER FARRIS, San Diego/Ukiah. DUI.
DANIEL HEATH, Ukiah. Failure to appear.
CHARLES HENSLEY, Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol, probation revocation. (Frequent flyer.)
DANIEL HOAGLEN-LOCKART, Hopland. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.
BRANDON OROZCO, Upper Lake/Ukiah. DUI.
SHALA PUGH, Ukiah. DUI causing bodily injury, willful cruelty to child with possible injury or death.
BOBBY ROSTON, Ukiah. Indecent exposure, petty theft, parole violation.
ASHLEY SCHUCKER, Myerstown, Pennsylvania/Leggett. Carjacking, vehicle theft, obtaining vehicle by theft/extortion, taking vehicle without owner’s consent.
WILLIAM SCHULER, Ukiah. Evasion.
GREAT WHITE HUNTERS
by Bruce Patterson
“When the people fear government, it is tyranny. When government fears the people, it is liberty.” —Thomas Jefferson
This last St. Valentine’s Day there was another terrorist attack on an American high school. Down in Florida in a place called Parkfield. It’s the 18th time so far this year that somebody has fired up an American school. Since the massacre of twenty 1st Graders, and six women teachers, at Sandy Hook elementary school some five years ago, there’s been 1,800 mass (multiple targets) shootings in this country, 273 of them at schools.
If this is news to you (as it was to me), it’s because the story isn’t getting properly told. Nobody steps on the toes of the Almighty National Rifle Association: the Pentagon Gun Lobby masquerading as a “populist” White Nationalist political movement for National Security and National Greatness, the Mother Country now being refashioned into The Fatherland. If your mind’s wicked enough, you can see how it’s only fitting that the planet’s preeminent War Machine and international gunrunner should also have preeminent representation in the Imperial Halls of the travelling weapons bazaar — freedom for lobbyists as movers, shakers, porkbarrel rollers and Law Givers.
If you’re a Law Giver today and you’re acting like you’re profiling down some Mira Mas Mal country club mess hall chow line asking for, and receiving, double and triple rations of everything, for you this kleptomaniacal war cult is a gift from the gods. With the Emperor and his highrise tribe busy stealing everything they can lay their hands on, imagine all you could get for your own pitiful self if only you could ante up the kind of money that is their birthrights.
So down in Florida this throwaway orphan terrorist boy buys himself an AR-15. He visits his old high school and shoots 17 people dead and leaves 14 others “injured.” Doesn’t say how many he wounded or anything about the nature or number of those wounds: Military Assault Rifles ain’t allowed to wound people anymore. Too messy. The best military-grade munitions can do nowadays is either kill or “injure” people.
Since, when I turned 17 in 1966, I joined the Army Infantry and volunteered for Nam, I got a full year’s worth of Stateside tactical and weapons training before I turned 18 and the government granted me my wish. So I either became target range acquainted with, or officially “qualified” with: a Thompson sub-machinegun, a Browning Automatic Rifle, a 50 caliber machinegun, an M-60 machinegun, an M-1/M-2 carbine, a M-14, AR-15/M-16, 45 caliber semi-automatic hand cannon, an M-79 grenade launcher, hand grenades, portable anti-tank weapons — talk about liquidating a human — claymore mines, landmines, booby-traps, bayonets, machetes and, if need be, bare hands, feet and teeth.
I’ve seen what a single .22 bullet fired from an AR-15 does to a body. The first time I caught a glimpse, my company was settled in perimeter atop a mountain. It was nearing sundown, and to our immediate right somebody popped a cap and then somebody let out with a single siren scream. It sounded like Peron, a riflemen in the hole next door, and so it was.
While our Order of Battle declared that we were forbidden to keep a round in our chambers, and while that made sense if we were back inside a fire support base, no way were we going off un-cocked when we were beating the bushes. Peron, a mutt kid out of Louisiana, had dropped his AR-15 butt first and his chambered round had caught him in the ball of his right shoulder. His exit wound (“exit injury?”) was the size of a fist. Although our medic got his severed bleeders clamped, his wound stuffed and dangling arm secured, and even though we were into a quiet spell that allowed the medivac pilot to confidently swoop in unaccompanied and in a flash, I don’t think Peron survived. If by chance he did, then no way was his single AR-15 wound ever going to fully heal, and losing his arm didn’t mean it’d stop hurting him.
Back in 1971 or ’72, my old LA VVAW compadre Ron Kovic, author of Born on the 4th of July, and I once gave anti-war talks at the Cal Arts Institute located up at the foot of the Ridge Route. Ron drove us up there in his brand-new hand-controlled land yacht, and along the way he told me one story that strengthened my anti-war resolve and another that wounded my conscience.
The first story was about the treatment he’d gotten as a paraplegic war hero in the Bronx VA Hospital. About the time Ron was enduring the unspeakable, I was leapfrogging the Pacific Ocean via four military hospitals before landing inside Letterman in the Presidio. All the treatment I got during my six or eight week journey I took to be 1st Class. So I was skeptical about Ron’s memories until I informed myself and, as one result, resolved to never fucking forgive or forget.
The second story had to do with Ron having accidentally blown away some noncombatants with his AR-15/M-16. Don’t care to try’n remember the details (back then I hated crying so much I’d much rather bloody my knuckles). But knowing what the little bodies must’ve looked like made me realize I’d be carrying my passionate hatred of war to my grave. After Ron finished his story and his words sank in, I cried.
Military weapons are designed to maim people even though killing them counts as a good enough second best. That’s because, in military think, one grotesquely wounded enemy soldier is worth at least three dead ones. So flooding today’s Domestic Consumer Market with weapons of war (16,000,000 AR-15s in circulation) is good business if you own stock in a HMO. A little school girl survives getting shot with an AR-15 and you’ve got yourself a lifelong customer.
It’s 2/22 and I just listened to Wayne Lapierre, The Grand Wizard of the NRA, deliver a speech about the terrorist attack at Parkfield while placing the blame on “the socialists” who “hate the 4th Amendment” and wish to disarm us “law-abiding Americans” and, lo, verily, strip us of our ability to defend ourselves against our 5th Columnist enemies. And, seeing how this empty suit was born just five days before me back in 1949, I pegged him as just another Vietnam-era draft-dodging demagogue made blood-money-rich telling lies as a paid gun lobbyist ($5mil+ is just this guy’s NRA salary) to the Merchants of Death cheering in his audience. The way Hitler blamed the Communists for everything and saw Communists everywhere, and the way Stalin blamed the Nazis for everything and saw Nazis everywhere, this creep blames this latest St. Valentine’s Day Massacre on female school teachers irresponsibly refusing to arm themselves with hand cannons and, all Super Woman-like, going to war against AR-15s.
Speaking of steam bath banana slugs gone bananas, His Trumpiness just got on his bullhorn to second the emotions of that NRA dude and his cohorts. By the way, does anybody remember way back when Candidate Trump swore up and down he was self-financing his selfless campaign to rescue dah liddle guy? Seems at least half the country believed that horseshit even though there is absolutely nothing in Trump’s personal history to indicate that he’d ever do any such thing. To the contrary: how much money you think the Trump campaign took from just the NRA? $31,000,000, at last count.
Last October 17th in Las Vegas, one highly successful Sunbelt retiree launched the bloodiest single-shooter terrorist attack in American history. His target was 22,000 people gathered at an outdoor nighttime country music festival happening approximately 500 yards away from his highrise firing platforms. Using 14 individual AR-15s equipped with banana clips and bump stocks, in ten minutes he got off 1,100 rounds. 58 people died of gunshot wounds and 851 were “injured,” either gunshot or injured by the stampeding crowd I suppose.
Since it seemed inconceivable that 851 people could be injured, or gunshot, without any of them dying as a result, I waited a month before getting the final official body count: still just 58 dead. But now 422 people are listed as having gotten at least one gunshot wound, for a total of at least 480 AR-15 wounds inflicted for 1,100 rounds expended. This at a firing rate of roughly 110 rounds per minute for ten minutes even though the Great White Hunter was changing weapons and locations.
No American machine gunner in Vietnam — whether jungle bunny or door gunner — ever produced so many casualties for so few bullets expended so rapidly, so this guy in Vegas accomplished quite some feat. So massacres of innocents are what we inevitably get when we allow military weaponry to become toys in the hands of tens of millions of civilians.
Have we really become so oblivious to human suffering that we want to raise up our kids inside our own local war zone? Do we really want American schools as cold-stone medieval fortresses with platoons of extremely well-paid robo-reinforcements bivouacked somewhere nearby to assist schoolteachers acting as 1950’s TV matinee idol cowgirl gunslingers with chalkboards? Come on, people, it’s 2018. Are our Great White Hunters evolutionary culls or just doorjamb stupid?
We the people are neither. Except at our lowest common denominators, the great mass of us are not getting the things we want out of a supposedly free society and, seeing how we’re simultaneously getting so much of what we flat-out don’t want, and should never want, we’re ripe for some healthy change. We’re living under an Authoritarian regime that’s so corrupt that they’ve committed of all kinds of High Crimes and Misdemeanors as if to brag about it. So what’s holding them hold up? When do hot air balloons run out of hot air?
Truth is most of us would happily rid our society of military weaponry, even of the arsenals now in the hands of law enforcement. Considering all of the lives, worry, grief, time and money we’d save, turning our swords into plowshares would make the great bulk of us happier than we’ve been in quite some while. We’re not getting what we want, and we’re not getting what we know is right for our country. We ain’t helpless, either. The sooner we stop acting helpless, the better off we’ll be.
ROTTEN EGGS & RUMPKE MOUNTAINS
by Spec Macquayde
A mostly full moon reflects off the floodwaters to the west of my bedroom window. It is quiet at the farmhouse, 2:36 a.m. The tom cat from our hay loft must have snuck in the back door when I was lugging firewood, because his whining just woke me up.
All my friends are staying in hotels in the flooded city of Louisville, Kentucky, because the "trashgrass" band, the Rumpke Mountain Boys, are playing a virtual all-nighter, but you know I got two heifers in the barn about to calf. Then there's the tomatoes, peppers, etc. in the greenhouse, with an overnight low about 28 according to my smart phone. These days I'm keeping a woodstove going out there at night, letting the main rooms of the house get cold unless Tracy spends the night.
"That space between the oven and refrigerator — that little gap where I stuck the broom? I know why it's there," she said yesterday morning as we sat at the round table in the dining room waiting for the school bus to stop out front and pick up the kid. "They used to make ovens a lot wider back in the '50's, and your refrigerator belongs right where it's at, see — in the space between those two sets of windows."
I was still waiting for my green tea to cool down.
She was sipping coffee. "It's so disgusting down there. I think maybe a combination of vinegar and bleach — I just can't stop thinking about how we need to pull the refrigerator and the stove out from the wall. I bet nobody's done that in five years."
"It's seven o'clock!" I said.
The kid was sitting on a stool at the much shorter table in the kitchen, staring at the digital clock on the oven. His grandmother had dropped him off at 6:42, en route to her factory job half an hour up the road in Seymour. She lives across the Musckatuck river, a mile to the south of our farm, in what is known locally as "Kincaid Holler," and has had custody of her grandchildren ever since their parents went to rehab. With the recent flooding at near record levels, the kid and his grandma had to barge out in the stormy winds at about 6:15 to use a john boat with an electric trolling motor to ferry across the waters to an impromptu dock on a little creek bridge, where they tied off, jumped in her minivan, and made their way to our farm. Now the kid was asleep at the table.
"It's seven!" I said, louder, getting up.
"Oh!" He grabbed his pack and raced out the front door, up the gravel driveway to the pines along the road. So close to the county line, he is the first on at about 7:03. School doesn't start until 8:30. After the gamut of classes, he gets dropped off at our farm about 4:08 in the afternoon, runs around gathering eggs, chasing chickens and bunnies, wolfing grilled cheese sandwiches until 5:36 when his grandma pulls in the drive on her way home from the factory. Until the floodwaters recede, this means they will be parking on the hill beside the little creek bridge where their johnboat is docked, finally returning from the day's adventure almost twelve hours after it began. All this for a day at work or school.
"Kind of feel sorry for the kid, having to go all the way to town just to sit through eight hours of bullshit, him only eight years old and hearing about all these damn school shootings. Maybe parents should quit sending their kids to school in the first place," I said.
"Maybe parents should BE THERE in the first place. Oh, you hippies and your crazy ideas. I do agree with you people about microwaves. I saw a baby cockroach on the counter. It's a good thing you got rid of that contraption. Microwaves are only good for three things: telling the time, heating a cup of coffee, and breeding cockroaches. Basically to me they are nothing more than expensive clocks."
Air brakes hissed. Lights flashed. Through the trees we could barely see the kid, but after crossing the river in the dark with his grandma, getting on the bus probably wasn't going to be a challenge for him.
"Anymore I don't see the point in going back to bed," I said. "It's pretty much daylight."
"What do you reckon the temperature is in the greenhouse?"
"Because your smart phone says it's 31? Why don't you check the thermometer by the kitchen window?"
Thirty years ago Tracy and I rode the bus to the same school in town where the kid was headed. She lived in the hills to the northwest, then, and still does. Lately she has been taking an interest in things like the kitchen cabinets at our farmhouse. They are homemade, and the bottom shelves pull out to make cleaning easy, which turned out to be a great thing since there were dried piles of catshit behind stacks of useless utensils and miscellaneous items accumulated by my son, his friends, me, and the host of travelers who'd occupied the house while I was away. There were cabinets full of outdated cereal that I didn't even know existed, crap I never would have wanted in the first place.
"Where did this come from?" asked Tracy.
"I don't know."
"I'm dumping it all in the compost. No wonder you have cockroaches!"
"What? I hope you don't think I'm trying to run your life."
"You're delving into matters that I might have overlooked indefinitely."
"That's a fancy way of saying you don't give a shit." Her coffee cup was empty, and she refilled it, started on the dishes, what few there were. "I'm not a genius, but I'm practical."
I don't dare leave too many dishes out, these days. Clearly Tracy'd had enough chit chat and was ready to tear into that kitchen. I took that as a cue that my words of wisdom probably weren't doing the world a hell of a lot of good at that moment, and maybe getting outside to see what there was to accomplish might be a better idea. The options were staggeringly endless upon stepping out what you might call the back door, though on this old farmhouse it is difficult to say which is the front door, which is the back. There's sort of one on all four sides. The door to what most people would call the back yard opens from a crossroads of stairs down from the kitchen and up from the basement, and is the most convenient for people who are going out to work. Lately we've been encouraging guests to use that one more frequently. There is a bristle mat on the sidewalk.
There is a dumpster parked in the driveway, a giant brown dumpster with white letters spelling "RUMPKE."
The thing is parked there indefinitely, since we are lucky enough to live within ten miles of one of the largest landfills in the region, and most of the people doing the shit work on the ground level there are locals.
I wasn't the least bit surprised last October, after a six month vacation in Mendo reuniting with my youngest two boys, to find a catastrophe at the farmhouse. The sump pump in the basement was broken, and the guy crashing with his pregnant girlfriend in a camper out back was using a shop vac to suck the bilge water, hefting that crap up the basement stairs to the convenient door that you can kick open from the outside. I made it that way several years back after it was damaged in a crude home invasion attempt. I figured it was better if when they kicked it nothing got broken, and now if you're carrying firewood down to the woodstove and wearing boots it's real easy to open. Our dog, Mack, who is part Newfoundland and has giant front paws, can use his intelligence and inertia to force it open if you don't slam it tight enough. That's how the tomcat sneaks in.
Before returning home from Cali, I'd already known the house was full of bedbugs, and that all the furniture, clothes, TV's, stereos, speakers, and other random crap would have been removed, in a giant pile out back. Basically I had abandoned the farm in January of the previous year because I couldn't handle another day without the company of my youngest two boys, who tend sheep on ranch near Sebastopol. Their mother has never felt inclined to send them out to our Hoosier farm, mostly because the connotations with Indiana these days are about as accurate as those about "Cali" are to people in the midwest. There are literally millions of different Indianas or Californias depending on where you are in what state. There are literally millions of people whacked out on crank, heroin, pills, booze, religion, etc. who can barely take care of themselves in the state they are in, let alone an old farmhouse that requires constant attention. The people who tried to watch the place while I was gone did the best they could, but nobody had ever taught them the basics, they finally assured me. They needed someone to instruct them, they said.
Nobody had taught them things like separating garbage from recycling, for instance. Or just thinking when you buy something, what will I be tossing in the old dumpster? Not much, if it's an apple. When this farmhouse was built, your apple core went to chickens, geese, horses, cows, sheep, or maybe at your brother's head when he wasn't looking. Your meat packaging consisted of feathers or leather, not plastic and styrofoam. Your water came from the kitchen sink, not a bottle.
When the air brakes hiss at 4:08 in the evenings, and I have to run from the greenhouse out back past the RUMPKE dumpster to wave to the driver, who waits until he sees somebody in this world full of cracked out adult children that reminds you more every day of a zombie apocalypse, I hand the kid a Bundy's feed sack, tell him to wander around the farm, pick up cans, oreo cookie containers, pizza boxes, used tampons, condoms. . .I don't expect him to get all of that shit. I don't want to make this situation sound unique for 2018. I have taken a train across the country and seen the way people in the "depressed" parts probably willfully toss trash as casually as cows squirt out piles of shit. I understand the depression part.
Today a girl maybe ten came out to the farm on her weekly visit with her dad, who is 35 and showed me the guitar he just got in a trade. He was on the phone with somebody so she ended up asking me if there was anything she could do.
I handed her a feed sack. "Walk around those woods, pick up anything you see that isn't brown. Time is of the essence. In a few weeks the ground will be covered by weeds, and we won't see the trash no more."
"How much do I get paid?"
"Ten dollars an hour."
She meandered around the woods for a while while her dad paced the farm and ranted like a bookie on his speaker phone.
I was actually screwing around, assembling the steel hoops for what they call a "high tunnel" greenhouse where I plan to grow grean beans and cantaloupe, and listening to the Real Sarahs live streaming on KZYX.org. They were doing "Headed for the Hills." I'm not a big fan of technology but have to admit it's amazing to be working on a farm in Indiana listening to live radio from Mendo.
Eventually the girl returned with the bag half full.
"There's got to be more trash out there," I said.
"Well, some of it was under fallen trees."
"I hear ya." I took her bag and started walking into this grove of elms where we plan to have goats and chickens fenced in a few weeks. There wasn't too much garbage, not to exaggerate, but those winds in the winter when the ground is bare will really strew it. It is painfully visible after the winter snows melt and the dead foliage is smashed on the soil. "We're putting goats in here soon, and they'll eat stuff like that," I said.
She held a dirty potato chip sack by the corner and dropped it in the feed bag. "I'm gonna be a rock star when I grow up, like my dad."
"You want to be a rock star? Hey, see that green thing?"
"Either I want to be a rock star or an actress."
"That bottle, there," I pointed to a smashed, plastic, mountain dew two liter that was perforated by dog teeth. "Goats will eat that. They'll eat anything."
"I can't decide if I'd rather be a singer or an actress. Guess I could be both."
The woods were fairly clean. I looked around the farm, wondering where the hell her dad was. "Let's go find your dad. Think we got all the trash."
"I think I'd rather be an actress, but I'm probably a better singer."
"You know, on that subject, let me plug this here smart phone into the amp." Our front room is all set up for live music. "You're gonna hear a friend of mine who is a professional singer. Her name is Sarah."
"Sarah? The one who sang with you?"
For better or worse, Sarah Songbird did participate on a recording project at Russian River Studios in Talmage with me last summer, mostly tunes based on life in rural Indiana. Basically I had taken advantage of our friendship and Sarah's musical connections to record. Being around professional musicians had convinced me that I am not one, that farming is where my creative spark belongs, one reason I decided to go back home. "Yeah. She sings with two other women. They are actually making it as pros. But you know how they got there?"
"Working. Not singing. They had real jobs. They did what they had to do when it wasn't fun. Like picking up trash."
"How long did I work?"
"It's hard to say. Let's see that Bundy's sack." Feed sacks work way better than trash bags for picking up garbage, I keep reminding people. The sack was on the back porch. You could hear the Real Sarahs on the powerful amp system Hippie Mike installed as we inspected the bag. They were pitching the upcoming tour in Oregon and Washington, talking with Jimmy Humble. "How about ten bucks and a few dozen eggs?"
We tossed the feed sack over the bold, white, RUMPKE letters, and returned through the back door to the kitchen where the spare refrigerator held about twenty dozen. Round these parts they go for only two bucks a dozen, or less, and you see the signs up and down the county roads. Up in Bloomington the Democrats and Republicans and rich hippies pay more than five at the farmers' markets, but this time of year it's not worth the drive.
"Five Ninety-Nine a dozen? Huh!" said Tracy on her first trip to Bloomingfoods, the original hippie co-op in Bloomington. "Who on earth would pay that much? These hippies act smart, but they're dumb. You can get them two bucks anywhere in Clearspring, the Holler. Well you know that. I'm not a genius. Just practical."
"I'm not making the rules. I'm just playing the game."
I usually start the frying pan about 11:30 a.m., after Tracy has gone home to her dogs and own farmhouse. It's nearly the same routine every day. Three eggs, plus whatever vegetables to throw in. Thanks to the Bloomington trip I had organic yukon gold potatoes, grown somewhere in the midwest. You can't get those in our county. I chopped them thin and stir-fried them in olive oil. They were crisp to perfection, with the diced garlic and green onion, when I thought it was the perfect time to add an egg.
The kid had run around the barn the night before, where two heifers are lounging, expecting to calf soon, and some stray hens lay eggs in random clumps of hay or straw. I guess he'd also climbed around in the loft, where eggs may have been laid without an expiration date labeled on them. A bunch of the eggs on the top of the basket were matted with dried yolk and manure, and I figured they were the ones he'd discovered.
Out of habit I grabbed the dirtiest ones and dropped them into the compost bucket, just to make sure.
They sunk in the combination of weirdly clumped chocolate soy milk, soggy fruit loops, and pro-biotic Kimpche juice, without cracking.
The next egg wasn't so dirty, so I gently tapped it on the rim of the skillet.
It exploded, sent a glob of green slime about the size of an iris flower that clung to the side of the refrigerator Tracy had just cleaned.
Another glob, equally as green and slimy, oozed down the front of the stove, between the control devices. Of course the rest had gathered in the space between the stove and refrigerator.
Hippie Mike was out in the shop, straightening up and organizing. He heard me hacking, saw me toss the skillet in the general direction of the dumpster, hitting it smack on the "U." "What the hell, Spec? You okay?"
"It was a teflon skillet — somebody — left here. I don't give a — " I had smelled rotten egg before, discovering them in sheds or the shop, but always in a ventillated place, outdoors. Nothing turns your gut like that stench. It floats heavilly in the atmosphere, like a cloud you don't detect in one breath and are immersed in the next, causing involuntary muscle reflexes. The visual effect of the green slime only amplifies the gag fit.
"Oh, man! Oh!" said Hippie. "It's in the kitchen?"
Two washcloths were sacrificed immediately. We opened the windows, turned on the fan. Luckily it was a warm day, and we had plenty vinegar, plus that dumpster.
That space between the refrigerator and stove got scrubbed real good.
I lived through the civil rights era in the 1950s and ’60s. Not many of us are left to remember the logic and language of the Democratic governors who ruled the segregated Southern states at that time. Words like sovereignty, states’ rights and nullification were bandied when arguing against federal laws. It’s interesting to listen now to a Democratic governor, Jerry Brown, claim California sovereignty and argue for state laws that contradict federal laws.
In effect, the Democratic Party, which owns and operates the state of California, has declared states’ rights to nullify federal law.
Ironically, the media (including The Press Democrat) give this new iteration of states’ rights and nullification a pass since it suits your political agenda. What would your paper have said about nullification in the early days of the civil rights movement?
ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY
Crime in Portland is rampant because city government does nothing about it. Investigation and prosecution into property crimes is non-existent. When someone tried to steal my car in my own driveway last year (damaging my car in the process), the responding police officer said that filing a report was a formality, only to be filed away as a statistic. If your car is actually stolen, good luck with getting it back. The same goes for home and car burglaries - you’ll never see your stuff again. The perpetrators know this, so there is no incentive for them to stop.
The same goes for homelessness. Camps are swept, the homeless are displaced into another neighborhood, where they accumulate piles of garbage, human excrement and dirty needles, until their camp is swept again. Rinse and repeat. Nothing is being done to get these people off the street and into housing or treatment, so the problem grows exponentially worse.
The City of Portland has no plan for dealing with any of it. That pretty much sums up our society today.
GUNS, GUNS, GUNS
Guns, guns and more guns. You know what and whom I am not worried about? All those people who already have a bunch of firepower, may belong to the National Rifle Association and/or belong to a survivalist group.
Why worry about them? They have their community. It may be different than mine or yours, but as a community, they understand one another and, in that sense, they police one another. It’s the young outsider with access to that same firepower we should fear.
These kids would not have access to these weapons in a small community, such as a survivalist group in some rural place off the beaten path. The community would have the sense to keep these weapons away from those with serious mental problems. Why can’t we?
ALLOW DRUG DEALERS AND THE HOMELESS TO TAKE OVER A BART STATION?
Wait a minute, what? BART’s board director Bevan Dufty fears they may have to close down the Civic Center BART station because of the intimidating homeless, drug dealers and grime?
When will someone be announcing that the entire city of San Francisco will be closed down due to the exact same reasons? That reality should be a somewhat larger worry for the arts groups here, indeed.
EUREKA PRODUCTIONS of Mendocino County presents a 2017 Gold Remi winner “When Possible, Pray: Standing With Standing Rock" — a glimpse into the pilgrimage to support opposition to the Dakota Access Pipeline.
BERNIE SANDERS, MICHAEL MOORE & ELIZABETH WARREN TO HOST TOWN HALL ON INCOME INEQUALITY
The town hall will focus on poverty in America, the 40-year decline of the middle class, and the growing power and political influence of corporate interests.
by Andrew Emett
In partnership with The Guardian, NowThis, The Young Turks and Act.tv, Sen. Bernie Sanders announced on Thursday that he will be hosting a televised town hall meeting on March 19 with Sen. Elizabeth Warren, documentary filmmaker Michael Moore, and many others. Titled “Inequality in America: The Rise of Oligarchy and Collapse of the Middle Class,” the town hall will focus on poverty in America, the 40-year decline of the middle class, and the growing power and political influence of corporate interests.
“The goal is twofold: No. 1 is to have a serious discussion on one of the most important issues facing our country, and that is who owns America, who has the power, why the middle class is declining,” Sanders recently told HuffPost. “We’re going to talk about extreme poverty in America.
“Then we’re going to be talking about where we go from here. How do we create an economy that works for everybody and not just the 1 percent?”
The event is scheduled to take place in front of a live audience at the Capitol Visitor Center’s Congressional Auditorium in Washington from 7:00 to 8:20 p.m.and live-streamed across the partners’ social media channels. Joining Moore and Sen. Warren on the panel will be economist Darrick Hamilton; Catherine Coleman Flowers, founder of the Alabama Center for Rural Enterprise Community Development Corporation; Cindy Estrada, Vice President of the United Auto Workers Union; and political economist Dr. Gordon Lafer.
“The political establishment has completely turned away from the middle class and abandoned the American blue collar workers in favor of the wealthy elite,” said TYT host Ana Kasparian. “Tax cuts are only helping the top one percent and have become corporations’ best and most loyal friend. Our government needs to create opportunity for all people, and it’s imperative that our elected officials make sure wages increase with the productivity of this country. I applaud Sen. Sanders’ work in making this the issue of our time. I look forward to working with Michael Moore, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Darrick Hamilton and the many other esteemed guests to advance the conversation and create change.”
John Mulholland, Guardian U.S. editor added, “The Guardian strives to illuminate the most pressing and under-reported issues facing America today. Widening levels of inequality are of huge concern to our American readers. We’re pleased to be involved in this event, helping to amplify one of the most endemic injustices in our society.”
In a statement issued on Thursday, Sanders wrote, “The issue of oligarchy and wealth and income inequality is the great moral issue of our time, it is the great economic issue of our time and it is the great political issue of our time, yet it gets very little coverage from the corporate media. I am excited to build on the success of our Medicare for All town hall and go outside the traditional media to talk about who owns America, why the middle class is declining, extreme poverty and how we create an economy that works for everybody, not just the 1 percent.”
In preparation for the event, Sanders asked, “What do we need to do to join the rest of the world in guaranteeing health care for all people, have a livable minimum wage, build the affordable housing, make sure that every kid in this country is able to go to college regardless of his or her income, and how do we rebuild the infrastructure?”
THE TIME OF SHEDDING AND COLD ROCKS.
"A wee heather esk skeethered athort my paith ane ewe-tremmlin' day. An afore I got a guid luik he gaed inunner a hiddly rock, whan I wissed him tae stay.” — Hugh Macdiarmid
The recording of last night's (2018-03-09) KNYO and KMEC Memo of the Air: Good Night Radio show is ready to safely download for free and enjoy at any time of the day or night. Right here: https://tinyurl.com/KNYO-MOTA-0271
Besides that, as usual at http://MemoOfTheAir.wordpress.com you'll find a fresh batch of links to worthwhile items I set aside for you while pulling the show together, things where just hearing it would be varying degrees of not enough. Such as:
"No flies on me, thanks to DDT!" Elsewhere on the same page, it turns out you can also keep flies off a baby by asphyxiating it in hygienic cellophane. And you can keep your husband from cheating by sweeping up in just a French maid apron and high heels, wash away unsightly fat with La-Mar Reducing Soap, relax in your modern vibrating brassiere, pinch a genuine Italian fanny... My favorite: "Amy doesn’t need to douche, but she knows I love apricots." (!) https://www.pinterest.com/pin/89368373839835284/
"It’s true. I once brandished a sword in a summer stock production of Much Ado About Nothing." https://tinyurl.com/ArmTheCrisisActors
The news hasn't happened yet. (This might be a little disturbing if all teevee doesn't already look very like this to you.) https://tinyurl.com/WhatAllTVLooksLikeToMe
And, yup, that's definitely some Men In Black space-alien sky-shit there. There's an alien mothership hidden in every one of those, especially that one. This one's Shai Hulud. And this one over here is clearly a battle between Ba'al and Thor, or maybe two bunnies in a basket, or a cake rosette. You can argue about this all day, Kenny, but the truth is out there and pictures don’t lie. http://www.amusingplanet.com/2012/06/beautiful-black-white-storm-photography.html
AN OPERATOR IS STANDING BY
Self Realization in Samsara
Please know that I have been given a mobile phone as a gift, and am now contactable in Honolulu at: (808)783-4063. If anybody ever would like to do anything truly amazing in this hugely depressing, postmodern quagmire of samsara, then let's go ahead and make it happen. I am just chilling out in Hawaii. I have nothing to do. I don't care anymore about materialism. I think that the current American political situation is deranged.
Craig Louis Stehr