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Letters to the Editor


Dr. Herb Ruhs,

It is sadly disappointing that you blame your own error on the hard-working women providing an irre­placeable service to our community for what others choose to do around their business. Last time I checked a hard working business owner is just as much a victim to those same individuals burning rubber in the streets as you are, and there are laws to protect all of us from the same abhorrent behavior. But unfortunately more intelli­gent people are cutting the hardworking Sheriffs’ pres­ence in the Valley leading to only more of the same, and screaming to get help from a broken, broke State Bureaucracy is the definition of insanity.

Having more than my share of experience with all of what your damaging and spiteful rant expressed is hard to stomach, because it is based on what could be one of the many reasons we as a society are broken: the total disregard of common sense, but more a lack of effort or the ability to solve the problem locally.

Did you approach them with your concerns? Do you even know who they are? I’m sure if you would have given Marcia and Shelly the courtesy to address your concerns within their control you probably would have gotten better results than your pathetic opening salvo trying to shut them down will get.

When a Medical Doctor, a supposed man of higher intelligence, moves across from the bar that has been there since 1921, a bar that is the last full bar in the Val­ley next to the late night liquor store in downtown Boon­ville along a busy Highway 128, then cries foul is laugh­able, but more telling of your own error, the lack of common sense. You got your front row seat, and now you’re not happy with the realities of the view or the noise that comes along with it.

I would play you some amplified music for your whine and tears, but because of another front row spec­tators’ shortsighted and damaging complaint to that same dysfunctional State Bureaucracy I can only play you a violin, and more sadly only a small one.

Name not withheld,

Tom Towey





Re: Will Parrish’s “When They Came For The Navarro,” in last week’s AVA.

This is a phenomenal piece that deserves statewide, if not nationwide attention. I remember as a kid growing up in AV, water was always an issue. There was only so much, and some years it wasn’t enough. Had water usage been managed properly, this should have been the natural limit to how much development could be supported. It looks like money trumped good stewardship and sustainability. It’s too bad, because some limited amount of viticulture could have been a real good thing.

Lemme ask this (ignorance from living in the ‘burbs): Is there a county review now that evaluates water usage, etc and issues permits for vineyard usage?

Chuck Becker, 
AVHS ’68

East of the Farallones

Ed reply: No.




I thought I would give a little more analysis of the highly publicized AV vs PA game written about in last week’s paper. After speaking to the coaches, Athletic Directors, and players from both teams, I thought some credit should be given in print to some of the finer athletes in this game. The only reason (excuses) for the loss offered in your fine paper were that 1. the refs screwed your team, 2. the crowd was too rowdy, and 3. Coach Galletti was speaking in tongues.

I would like to add that the league’s two best offensive big players right now, Garrett Mezzanatto and Hunter Sagaiga, were shut down by the league’s best defender and rebounder Juan Dominguez, aided by his junior teammates Will Stornetta and Matte Sundstrom. Dominguez, the sea­soned senior from PA plays as tough as any high school player I've seen. The highly skilled Hunter Sagaiga and Mezzanato were held to 5 points between them. As Trace Yagar was crowd pleasing and getting awards, my vote for league MVP, Dominguez, was collecting 16 points, 12 rebounds and 7 assists.

I guess now that AV dropped another game to “Legget­ville” (named after the combination of Legget players all going to Laytonville), AV will have to depend on my AVA noted “pathetic” Mendocino team to knock off Point Arena. We will do our best with five 10th graders making up half my team.

Jim Young,

Mendocino High School Basketball Coach


Ed note: My account clearly said, and one can never be TOO clear in dear old Mendoland, that bad as the refs might be, they can't be 30 points bad.




Please let Bruce McEwen know his court report in the February 2 edition was a classic. His writing style is special and fun!

Naturally, the Major's work remains on target.

Stay strong!

Fred Sternkopf/aka Doctor Doo




Dear Editor,

In my letter last week, thanking the many sponsors who contributed so generously to this year's AV Film Festival, along with the volunteers etc, I failed to men­tion the invaluable assistance that was given by two peo­ple whose efforts must not be overlooked. Firstly, Torrey Douglass at Boonville's Lemon Fresh Design whose work and input on our postcards, brochures, and website was vital to the Festival's success and secondly, the one and only Mike Crutcher who, as our video and sound engineer, was on hand all weekend to ensure the Festival went off without technical difficulties and whose know­ledge and passion for his craft is second to none. On behalf of the Festival Committee I should like to publicly thank them both very much indeed.


Steve Sparks, AVFF 2011





On behalf of the parishioners of St. Elizabeth Seton Catholic Church, I would like to thank the volunteers who donated their time and energy, those who donated prizes for our exciting raffle, the wineries that donated their fine wines and the food service students from Terri Rhoades’ classes who professionally served.

And a Big Thank You to our guests who made our Ninth Annual Crab Feed one of the best!

Many thanks to all who helped make this annual event a great success again. See you next year on Feb. 4, 2012 at the Tenth Annual Crab Feed.


Gloria Ross, Chairperson





Drag the Saloon into it:

The Feb. 9 letter last week — “Drunks On The Loose” — insinuates that “The Boonville Saloon” is responsible for drag racing on Highway 128 in the early hours of the morning.

Well, I also live next to “this establishment” and I know that dragging on Highway 128 has been a problem for years, and has little, if anything, to do with “this establishment.”

The Highway is right in front of it; how can you put blame on “The Boonville Saloon” and not “Pic’N’Pay” or “Yuri’s” next door, all in the same building? Cars are parked all over the place. Are they all drunk? All of them are patrons of “The Boonville Saloon”?

This letter of complaint is taking too much for granted. “The Boonville Saloon” has a license to sell alcoholic beverages, a “legal” endeavor in this state. As a neighbor, I don’t expect people to always be at their best for me. Cut some slack. Stay in back. Don’t pay so much attention.

Arlene Guest




To the Editor,

I am writing in response to last week’s complaint on the Boonville Saloon, “Drunks on the loose.”

I have been in the Saloon during the Boonville Fair and the Crab Feed. During both of those events, I am pleased to say that the bar and people going in and out have the up most respect to the premises. As for the racing up and down the street, I drove through Boonville yesterday and seen where the people burned what they call “doughnuts.” This was not in front of the Saloon, and fingers should not be pointed at the customers of the Saloon. There is only one main street in Boonville, Highway 128. Who’s to say who left these marks with an X-amount of different people driving through this town. If you have not yet been in the Boonville Saloon, stop in and see some of the history that has taken place in Boon­ville.

I have to say, what a wonderful and respected estab­lishment the Saloon is. Thank you girls for all of the support you have given the Valley and the dedication you have put in to keeping the Boonville Saloon alive.





To Whom It May Concern:

We are writing this letter in response to last week’s complaint in the AVA.

As business owners, we don’t like to see our streets branded with tire marks and donuts up and down our Valley floor. We have worked too hard financially, mentally and physically, not to mention our families, loved ones and dear local Valley friends to get to where we are today.

It’s unfair that one person can assume that such activ­ity is solely a result of our Saloon. There is only one stretch of Highway that runs through this Valley. Our establishment as well as our fellow downtown merchants thrive on this stretch of highway. We have no control over who or what happens on the street. In fact, it is our understanding that it was not one of our patrons at all. Our patrons have been nothing but respectful and caring for us and the Saloon. For this we are grateful.

Thankfully, we do not live in the town of Deadwood.






I was completely amazed at the letter from Herb Ruhs. You'd think an intelligent doctor wouldn’t move across the street from the Boonville Saloon/Lodge and then complain abut drinking and noise. He lives on the highway for God’s sake.

In the last five years, of the 43 I've lived in this Val­ley, the “Saloon/Lodge” has been the calmest it's ever been.

On the particular night in question the Catholic Church charity fundraiser, poured more alcohol than the saloon does in a month. Also the locals all seem to know that it was underage kids, not allowed in bars, spinning their tires and generally doing what the kids here have done since before my time.

In a commentary by Herb Ruhs MD dated Feb. 3rd 2006 titled “In case you wondered why your doctor would sell you down the river,” Herb appears to have decent feelings, but his bitterness shines through as he shows how proud he is of “ratting out” anybody with different feelings than he. Typical sniveler.

Also interesting is a commentary by Ruhs titled “A plague of criminals dated April 25th, 2006. In his first sentence he states “My soon to be former home, Mendo­cino County” (how soon?)… and then Mr. Ruhs com­mences to badmouth the people of our County (mostly new people) followed by more senseless sniveling. I must admit I agree with some of his ramblings but cer­tainly not the backstabbing. At any rate you can see a pattern here. Dr. Ruhs is a bitcher. He's not happy unless he's making life miserable for others.

If Dr. Ruhs had the cajones to walk across the street and talk to his neighbors about his concerns I think he would find that these new owners have the same con­cerns as he does and would've been glad to work on solutions. Hopefully someone in his coffee club can explain what it was like at the Lodge before now.

Please remember, if you don't like the sound of air­planes, you don't move next door to the runway!


Michael Brendlen




Dear Editor,

The good doctor’s rant which no doubt sold a few papers last week brings to mind the story of the man who moved in next to a church. After a short time the incessant ringing of the bells began to upset him. At all hours: ringing, ringing. He sued to silence a several hundred-year old church and no doubt slept all the better for it.

In Boonville we have our own non-denominational church where friends from all walks of life gather. Teachers, policemen, firemen, lawyers, loggers, ranchers, bikers, students — especially after such institutions such as the Apple Show, Crab Feed, Variety Show and other old-home-week types of things. It seems we now have our very own heretic intent on silencing the bells.

The first thing most reasonable people would ask themselves prior to renting a house directly across the highway from the nighttime social center of this town, a bar, quick-stop, laundromat, on a periodically busy highway is: “What am I getting myself into?” The sidewalk in front of the market, open until late evening, is the gathering place for many local youth. For over 80 years the bar next door has served the community. In fact, under the new owners, the bar is much calmer due, I think, to the patrons’ respect for them. The good doctor mentions cars spinning donuts in the street as if the “bar” was somehow in the driver’s seat doing this. I measured the tracks left by the offending vehicle. These marks indicated a small Japanese vehicle. This in itself exonerates the bar’s owners because most regular patrons drive larger pickup trucks. Therefore, this hysterical anger and finger-pointing is an indictment of the whole town. It is divisive, has caused law enforcement to pursue ghosts in an effort to catch an imaginary drunken mob.

Rather than self-righteously goading every over-taxed and under-funded agency known to man to drop an A-bomb on the whole nest of sinners in Boonville (with very few exceptions everyone must confess to a drink or two at the bar over the course of a year), I suggest that the offended party communicate directly with the supposed source of his misery to determine if they are indeed to blame, and to work out some agreement until he can find a more practical permanent residence. Somewhere with a meadow, a pond, a creek, and birds idyllically chirping. It’s really that easy — can’t we all just get along?

Name Withheld




Dear Anderson Valley Community,

The amazing "Get Zoë to South Africa" raffle results are as follows: Jeff Ellis Handyman Service- Joansey DeWolff, Healing Arts massages- Paula Kesenheimer , Dinner for Two at the Boonville Hotel- Maria Goodwin , SF Giants tickets- Doug Read, 24 hours carpentry service from Mark Triplett- Tim Bates. The raffle raised $1,430.00! Thank you to all who donated towards my American Field Service program. I feel such support from your contributions and words of encouragement.

Also, I'd like to thank the following organizations and individuals who contributed towards my sponsorship fund: Robert Mailer Anderson, Eric & Kathy Waldmen, Anderson Valley Education Foundation, Bill & Nancy Hoffman, Anderson Valley Lion's Club , Anderson Valley Unity Club, Miriam Martinez, Alice Bonner, Robyn Harper, Bev Dutra, Sandra Nimmons, American Legion Aux. Unit 385, Christine & Fred Brown, Navarro Vineyards, Bill & Sabina McMahon, Kara & Jeff Hooper, plus other anonymous cash donations. The sponsorship fund raised: $2,566.00!

My AFS fundraising goals were met due to the generosity of so many in my community. Thank you for your support and I'll see you six months.

Enkosi kakhulu, (Thank You Very Much in Xhosa)

Zoë Triplett




Letter to the Editor

Who funds the Egyptian Military?

A short note to keep euphoria from clouding the mind, here is a quote from the Wall Str. J: Feb 12-13, 2011 p. A9. “Military’s Role Crucial in Egypt’s Path Ahead.” (by Charles Levinson, Julian E. Barnes)

“Senior, US defense officials remained in close contact with their          counterparts throughout the crisis. Those conversations were echoed, officials said, by dozens, or even hundreds of calls between midlevel US officers and members of the Egyptian armed forces who had trained in the  US.”

Nevertheless army conscripts might have a different view, however, when democracy becomes the signifier for capitalism, US foreign & military policy is united. At the reception level, a disjuncture occurs when Egyptian youths think the US military and its clients mean democracy separate from the economic exploitive habits inscribed in capitalism. For the Wall Str. J. and the USA Democracy is sublated by capitalism’s modus operandi.

R.G.Davis, Ph.D.

San Francisco



Dear Col. Anderson,

In re the fine John Ross piece, a thought (not new): legalize all narcotics. Then when a large percentage of our population persists in getting high most of the time (including our youth), maybe some folks will begin asking why. This would lead to all sorts of subjects being discussed around the pollster’s finding that a substantial proportion of citizens believe “the Country is moving in the wrong direction.” Come to think of it, the Big Shots likely prefer to continue spending futile billions on “Wars on Drugs.” The only changes they’re comfortable with — other than retreating several hundred years — are those which result in lower labor costs.


Don MacQueen

Eugene, Oregon



To the editor:

Love your paper. Haven't missed an issue in years. One of the best entertainment values in Mendocino County.

Imagine my surprise yesterday evening, when I found I was one of the stars in "Off The Record" regarding my wife's death.

You wrote "We're more than four months from Susan's death."  But if she died on November 11, 2010, and you published on February 9, 2011, that's actually less than 3 months. Forgot your "thinking cap" again?

"Susan was always active in the community, most recently with Ukiah Players..." No, that's not correct either. She worked for Ukiah Players Theater 15 years ago and hasn't been in one of their performances in more than a decade.

Can't wait to see what imaginative fun you have in store for me next week. Things like the truth and facts and always been the AVA's weak point, but it's so much fun to watch you trash people.


Peter Keegan




Dear Editor,

I am writing you this letter to share with you and your readers the reaction our Alpine section had to your article from the December 22 AVA called “The Case of the Ford Focus.”

Thank you for bringing such a heart-wrenching story to our attention.

We would like to let you, Tamara and Katy, know we just shared the whole article verbatim with every man in this unit, 500 men. Picture five lines of 50 cells (at two per cell) all of them stone cold silent hanging on every word of this story being read aloud before we all said our prayers and went to bed for the night. I believe the fear of God might have reached Ryan Jr. sitting in the very middle a lot of hostile convicts. I doubt there will be much sleep for cell 323 tonight!

As the father of a 10-year-old girl myself, this story truly hit home. My eyes filled with tears reading Katy's words and I want her to know none of it could ever be her fault. My heart goes out to her and her mother.

For his actions and stealing that child's innocence I can promise, he won't ever have peace of mind again and thanks to this article and the publication his number has been pulled. He has been labeled and must wear this jacket for as long as God chooses he should live.

I will update you if you would like me to write back.


Ronnie Rhea

San Quentin

PS. I include my journal entry upon my arrival last Thursday to let you know what it's like in here — at least in my head.

“Play now, pay later.” I made it to my destination finally. The day has been long and relatively uneventful. I have not found any great wisdom or had any visions of clarity since my arrival back to this historic stomping ground known as San Quentin. I now share residence with some of the most notorious criminals in California history. I tell you this though, the history screams at you from within the walls. I can feel so much trapped sorrow and grief through every brick and bar. So many lives wasted and ruined inside the confines surrounding me. This is my third time inside these electrified razor wire fences. I would have thought it wouldn't affect me so profoundly spiritually — is that the right word? What I'm trying to describe to you now — I don't know. Reading the sign that seems to be pasted everywhere — “no warning shots fired” — I am reminded of my first night spent here some seven years ago. I was so scared and so alone but yet I was surrounded by more people than I've ever been around in my entire life. Somehow I never felt so isolated and claustrophobic in my entire 28 years of existence. I shrunk into myself like a turtle in his shell, only internally so to speak. I remember writing home that first night and telling my loved ones that it's not quite hell, but I can see it from here.

Right now I am reminded that those very words could not possibly be closer to the truth. I imagine this place could and does drive a spiritually weaker man insane in a matter of weeks if not days. Now here I am poised to spend my longest stretch of time locked down/up to date and all those feelings come rushing back to me that I experienced seven years ago. All except maybe fear, although fear is undoubtedly still here — fear of the unknown it is not. This is not my first rodeo as they say and all my fears are of known threats and experiences that I know all too well.

I believe my first time around prison made me a man, and I paroled with a new understanding of what I wanted in life and a previously unknown knowledge of myself. As I write this now, I hope to parole this time around as a wiser and better man still. Maybe this might be my last time around this vicious cycle that has become my life. Time will only tell and as days go by I realize my choices have taken life's most precious gift away from me and my loved ones. That gift being time itself. Time I can never get back as my life stands still in this 5.5' x 7.5' cell. So many memories and moments missed as my children continue to learn and grow. So much heartache for my girl/lover. So many missed kisses and hugs. Such a waste of love. To be in love and apart is the hardest love of all. “To be in love and do time is the worst time one could do.” I personally would prefer to do time alone. That is, not in a relationship or in love for that matter. Because as I like to say, love is a contact sport. But I've never been able to turn love on and off or even be able to choose who my heart yearns for that matter. Right now I find myself head over heels still for over four years now and I wouldn't change a thing other than to have her in my arms every minute of every day. I would like to think and hope she knows it, not just because I tell her but because she feels it in her heart. I got it bad for this one. One day she will bring me to my knees with a diamond and a promise and I will ask her to continue playing this game called life with me for keeps. To grow old together. To love each other and no other until death do us part. To heaven and hell and back. Yes, I hope she feels that.

But for now I find myself pulling a wagon full of regrets and carrying a teddy bear that's not really here. The sun burning all my mistakes into my memory when all I wanted to do was forget about what beat me down, what brought me here, directed only by sin and sunshine and all that could possibly be. I feel I'm just an inch away from all my troubles and a teardrop away from remembering my past. All of it disappeared on that gray goose (the California Department of Corrections prison bus carrying inmates) that seemed to manifest from my nightmares and has me shackled and chained, dragging me further and further away from the town where my heart was crucified and any other place they didn't care enough to let me be my myself or patient enough to understand me. In the end I hate them for hating me. All I wanted to do was accept myself and my life and my mistakes but they wouldn't let me. So I lost everything and everything that wasn't lost was broken into tiny pieces.




The trouble with most organized religions is that the “one true God, holier than thou” types tend to lapse into aggressive evangelism. Millions of people worldwide believe that Elvis was the second coming and a growing number believe that Alvin and the Chipmunks were Christ's true disciples. If the Elvians and Alvians gain power, we are in deep doo-doo.

Joe Don Mooney


PS. It is not entirely true that “you are what you eat.” In fact, you are what you don't poop.




On Corporate Personhood

In Late January, a dozen or so coastal residents lined up before the Fort Bragg City Council to exercise their free speech rights on the topic of corporate personhood. The diverse negative impacts on our community were clearly outlined by each speaker ranging from the dangers to the right to self govern to the effects of corporate influence on our ever shrinking local government budget. Requests were made to place the subject of corporate personhood on a future agenda for a wider discussion. It is hoped that the Council would take the opportunity to discuss with the community the pros and cons of passing a resolution in support of a constitutional amendment that would redefine the rights of a corporation as very distinct from the rights of an individual. Across the state and country, there is a groundswell of support from citizens and their local repre­sentatives to correct the wrong headed thinking in the con­cept of corporate personhood.

That term, itself, is an oxymoron — a combination of incongruous words — for a person is single while a corpo­ration, by definition, is a group of people. Corporations already are granted a charter which specifically details their rights, privileges and liabilities as distinct from those of its members.

A spotlight on the history of the concept is illuminating. Added as an adjunct by a court reporter with ties to the railroad industry in 1886, (Santa Clara vs. Southern Pacific RR) the term lacked legal authority.

Recognizable today as a clear conflict of interest, the term was then erroneously cited as a precedent in a subse­quent court case, entrenching it as law, even though nu­merous court decisions in the 100 years prior to 1886 had rejected the validity of the concept.

Common sense tells us that a corporation is not a per­son. If corporations are given equal rights with people, should they not also be bound by the limitations of people? Mortality, for one. Should they not be required to dissolve after a normal lifespan of 100 years to keep from amassing the wealth, power and influence that immortality favors? Individuals pay an inheritance tax when handing down wealth to successive generations- not so with corporations.

Additionally, the governing boards of corporations are not held accountable for decisions that result in the destruction of life & the environment with jail time, as are individuals, but by fines. In terms of their net worth, fines cannot command obedience to the law. Compared to the Three Strikes laws for individuals in many states, corpora­tions are not held accountable in degree and severity as are people.

While it is recognized the employees of corporations are generally honest & hardworking, the decisions of the governing boards of B.P., Enron, Maxxam, Monsanto, PG&E, Georgia Pacific and others of the corporate world are required to be driven by profit. Executives are finan­cially rewarded for leaving their compassion, ethics, morality and conscience outside the office door. They are shielded by distance, geographical and emotional to the human suffering that occurs as a result of those decisions. These are the very traits that define people as human as opposed to robots of the corporate will.

With last years' Supreme Court decision that gives cor­porations the right to unlimited intrusion into elec­tions, by equating campaign contributions with free speech, we, as citizens lose more of what little voice we have to self gov­ern. Voices speak; influence speaks through the words of honestly elected representatives and through sometimes not so honest lobbyists. Money, in reality, does not speak. No one really expects George Washington to impart wisdom from the $1 bill to help us through an economic crisis cre­ated out of the lobbying efforts of the financial institutions to successfully repeal the Glass-Steagall Act. This law was enacted by Con­gress as a protection from the speculation which pre­ceded the last Great Depression and is at the crux of the current one. If Washington did, miraculously, come to life to counsel us through these dire times, I’m sure he’d find it inconceivable to equate money w/ free speech.

The logic fails to convince. Conversely, do the penni­less now lose their right to free speech? One might rea­sonably argue that this theoretical question is not a condi­tion of the future but of our present day scenario.

These inequities create an imbalance in our country that undermines our democracy much more profoundly than any outside intervention ever could. They are insidious in the silent, slow manner they muddy our perception with distortions of what it means to be human — to have a mind, body, heart and a sense of a spiritual connection to each other that imbues people with the ability to be fair and just in their relationships to each other and the planet.

It is long past the time to courageously take a stand to rectify the falseness of words and laws that corrupt our ideals, our language and our future.

I urge others to use their voice to speak in support of a much needed constitutional amendment to restore the sanc­tity of the rights of the individual.

Sheila Dawn Tracy

Former reporter for KZYX&Z Radio,  active member of Mendocino Coast Transition Towns —Comptche




Inside the inside passage the octopus reaches for prey with 15 foot arms. The whale. a komogwa (Kwakiutl name) is a wooden fat man with protruding eyes that see all gothic humor. Komogwa, the bloated plutocrat whale of the wealthy Lord Whales whose whale of a wife is well read. Chaos and disorder descends. Komogwa dances green in candlelight. Komogwa dwells in the dark depths. The Seattle suburbs stretch to the line of oil tanks on Edwards Point. The thick and rainy weather hasn't been here for six years, the redwood rainforest awaits rain in Mendocino, 200 miles north of the 1791 Spanish garrison in San Francisco. Vancouver called the inside passage “expansive Mediterranean Ocean” to ride on the lip of a whirlpool three meters deep, away you go — February is the best month for reliable winds, gunk­holding around the islands orcas cavort in the murk off Seattle. The tide runs 16 knots at spring. Whirlpools 10 feet deep. With sea flat as a lake simultaneous sun-moon-sky, “that state of barbaric vagueness and disorder out of which civilization has emerged and into which, unless saved by efforts of gods and men, it is always liable to relapse.”

Homer's four winds are Notus from the south, Eurus from the east, Boreas from the north, and Zephyrus from the West. Tamanamis secret knowledge. Klo-nas, I don't know, Kee mo sabe.

Diana Vance

In the outback of Mendocino

PS. All's whale that ends whale.




I have a problem.

It started out innocently enough. I began to think at parties now and then — just to loosen up and be a part of the crowd.

Inevitably, though, one thought led to another and soon I was more than just a social thinker.

I began to think alone — “to relax,” I told myself — but I knew it wasn't true. Thinking became more and more important to me, and finally I was thinking all the time.

That was when things began to sour at home. One eve­ning I turned off the TV and asked my wife about the meaning of life. She spent that tnight at her mother's.

I began to think on the job. I knew that thinking and employment don't mix, but I couldn't help myself.

I began to avoid friends at lunchtime so I could read Thoreau, Muir, Confucius, Camus and Kafka. I would return to the office dizzied and confused, asking, “What is it exactly that we are doing here?”

One day the boss called me in. He said, “Listen, I like you, and it hurts me to say this, but your thinking has become a real problem. If you don't stop thinking on the job, you'll have to find another job.”

This gave me a lot to think about. I came home early after my conversation with the boss. “Honey,” I confessed, “I've been thinking…”

“I know you've been thinking,” she said, “and I want a divorce!”

“But Honey, surely it's not that serious.”

“It is serious,” she said, her lower lip aquiver. “You think as much as college professors and college professors don't make any money, so if you keep on thinking, we won't have any money!”

“That's a fallacious syllogism,” I said impatiently.

She exploded in tears of rage and frustration, but I was in no mood to deal with the emotional drama.

“I'm going to the library,” I snarled as I stomped out the door.

I headed for the library, in the mood for some John Locke. I roared into the parking lot with NPR on the radio and ran up to the big glass doors.

They didn't open. The library was closed.

To this day, I believe that a Higher Power was looking out for me that night.

Leaning on the unfeeling glass and whimpering for Emerson, a poster caught my eye, “Friend, is heavy think­ing ruining your life?” it asked.

You probably recognize that line. It comes from the standard Thinkers Anonymous poster.

This is why I am what I am today: a recovering thinker.

I never miss a TA meeting. At each meeting we watch a non-educational video; last week it was “Porky's.” Then we share experiences about how we avoided thinking since the last meeting.

I still have my job, and things are a lot better at home. Life just seemed easier, somehow, as soon as I stopped thinking. I think the road to recovery is nearly complete for me.

Today I took the final step — I joined the Republican Party.

John Wester

San Diego



Editor —

The American Legion, for almost a century, has misin­formed and misguided citizens of our country. Now, for some totally bogus reason, Roger Ham and fellow Legion­naires in Ukiah won’t allow members of Veterans For Peace to use the Veterans Hall there — as if the Legion owned it. A little history of the American Legion is in order here.

As a direct result of World War I, the number of million­aires almost tripled from about 8,000 to 22,000. Among the shoddy equipment “made in the USA” and issued to America’s fighting men were raincoats that dis­solved in the rain. The price of flags, among other goods, rose so dramatically the assistant secretary of the Treasury denounced as “unpatriotic profiteers” — of all people — the flag manufacturers.

Some working-class, American “doughboys” returning home from the “Great War” became furious when they learned of the mountains of wealth made by some busi­nessmen safely at home while they were living and fighting in the muddy, bloody trenches of France and Flanders. In organized groups, they demanded that in future wars capital be conscripted as well as men. In other words tax hell out of all those who profit from war.

So united and loud became the voice of outrage of these justice-demanding ex-soldiers that some businessmen and their servants in government funded and organized other, less aware, working-class vets into such groups as the American Legion to paint the better-informed veterans as “un-American radicals.” This, of course, is much like the billionaire Koch brothers bankrolling the Tea Party today, thus conning blue collar citizens into working against their own best interests.

Tom Cahill

Fort Bragg

Member, Veterans For Peace



Editor —

First they came…

First they came for the Communists, and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a Communist.

Then they came for the trade unionists, and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a trade unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a Jew.

Then they came for me, and there was no one left to speak out for me.

— Pastor Martin Niemoller

This poem could be updated with:

Then they came for enemy combatants, and I didn't speak out because I wasn't an enemy combatant.

With the simple expedient of labeling Yaser Esam Hamdi and Jose Padilla “enemy combatants” President Bush eliminated their rights as US citizens.

Best regards,

Bart Boyer

San Diego



Dear John Arteaga,

Your PS is BS!

Isn't it annoying when people carry on, nay say things they know little to nothing about? We all do it now and then.

Regarding your jab at contrail fringe folk, I'd like to help you and any of your blind and deaf fellows cross the street over to uncommon sense.

Here are some facts based on actual events taking place very much outside my head. Opposed to the realm you imply, the paranoid one inside some heads.

In fact, in the skies of this entire region and way beyond most days of the year are at least 20 military tanker plane fly overs per day. Typically on an East-West pattern, though not exclusively. They fly on a 12 hour cycle starting around 12 until five-ish, though not only in this time pattern, but mostly.

Three types of plane are used in this geo-engineering project. In order of most sighted to least, they are: the KC-10 stratotanker, a two-engine 737 or DC-10; the KC-135 stratotanker, a four engine 707, and the C-141 Star­lifter with four whisper-quiet engines.

Obviously none of these airplanes have windows for passengers nor do they have any insignia. The strato­tankers spray huge white plumes wrongly called con­trails. The C-141 Starlifter has a support role apparently for refueling.

A contrail is a very thin, very temporary line formed of ice vapor due to airplane speed, design and altitude. Contrails in reality last only moments, then dissipate. Only the contrail created by the conman can last for hours or days becoming a sickly smear of sunblocking overcast or clouds.

I dare any of you misinformed loudmouths to invest in a spotting and began removing the log from your eye. Turn off the TV, the computer, and go outside to see and hear the blatantly obvious. You will see things that do not make sense. What the hell are tanker planes doing in such numbers in a non-theater of war? Where has the KC-10 been that it needs refueling from the C-141 com­ing in from the ocean?

The so-called experts would have us believe the giant contrails have something to do with engine exhaust in certain atmospheric conditions. This is extreme bullshit! For example, a few days ago I saw a KC-10 heading out to the ocean with only the left engine leaving a trail. Zip, zero, nada from starboard engine. According to the liars this craft was in extreme distress flying with one engine heading out to sea for a water landing. I didn't hear about a crash landing off the Mendocino Coast. Did you? I see a lot of irregularity in plumw size, angle and density on a given plane to make it really clear they only relate to engines in so far as the spray nozzles are located to take advantage of exhaust thrust for disbursement and mind control.

Best wishes with your observations and thanks for daring to speak against the United States/Israel syndrome which of course puts you squarely in the fringe nuthouse of anti-Semitic Jewish conspiracies.

Marvin Blake


PS. Try for more facts on this insane crime against us all.

One Comment

  1. rgdavis February 22, 2011

    Would someone translate Marvin Blake’s letter?
    Take out the hot lip stuff and analytically explain if
    he is on to some ‘facts’ re; overhead flights.

    And edit the last three lines — it confuses and is confused.

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