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Letters (May 22, 2019)

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Dear Editor,

When I saw page 3 in the April 17, 2019 AVA, I wondered what misfortune had befallen you or your family. I hope you and yours are all well. That notwithstanding, I am in agreement with Mr. Simon. As a self identified for “transcendental atheist," I was taken aback. Since when are liberals (even the greatest) imagined to be our saviors? I don't hold a 2000 year old historical figure responsible for all the hypocrisy and evil — i.e. the Inquisition, etc. — perpetrated in his name, but the resurrection myth is more absurd than our creation myth — a singularity of no volume and infinite mass! It is your paper and your right to print what you wish but we simpleminded folk have a tin ear for satire, if that is what it was. I was shocked to read it as I am a recovering Catholic, 12 years of indoctrination. I can feel the guilt outside the confessional box regarding those "impure thoughts." I always preferred churchgoers over nihilistic coworkers. And I know of many good people who are Catholic. And the current Pope is the best in 60 years. But it was quite a surprising page 3!

Best wishes,

Iggy Ignoffo


PS. Did you have a road to Damascus moment?

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Jackie Braun points to two “facts” to argue the anti-vaccine position in a recent letter to the Santa Rosa Press Democrat. Her first fact — that most contagious diseases are handled by better sanitation — has been proven false by the latest outbreak of measles. That outbreak is the direct result of parents not having their children vaccinated, which undermined the herd effect of vaccinations.

Her second fact — that the US government has paid $4 billion compensation to those hurt by vaccines — is meaningless without additional facts about the number of people vaccinated versus the number of people injured by vaccines. That is the crucial data that allows us to undertake a cost/benefit analysis.

I don’t know how old Braun is, but I would venture that she is too young to remember the awful consequences of polio, measles, chicken pox, mumps and German measles that my generation witnessed, not to mention the terrible consequences of small pox, whooping cough and diphtheria experienced by my parents’ generation.

Those of us who remember how many children were harmed and, yes, killed, by those diseases recognize what a gift vaccines are and are appalled by the ignorance of those who refuse to recognize the importance of vaccines to a healthy society.

Nancy Pemberton


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“Kerouac, who died 60 years ago in 1969 at the age of 47…” You [Jonah Raskin] meant fifty years ago.

The essay, comparing politically naive but sincere Kerouac with the incarnate demons of American political psychopathology, is much appreciated. 

Anecdotally I would like to add an excerpt from Ann Charters’s ‘Jack Kerouac/Selected Letters’: a 1948 whimsy or imagination of communal life by the prose-poet of American existentialism. The locale is familiar.

“A ranch say. In Mendocino county, or around Clear Lake, or the Russian River valley around Ukiah, or even Eel River. I even saw some stock-ranches near Stimson beach [sic], in Muir woods. All wonderful country not far from Frisco.” (p.159) 

This would put Kerouac in the intuitive prediction business shared by Whitman who wrote:

“Along the northern coast,/ Just back from the rock-bound shore and the caves,/ In the saline air from the sea in the Mendocino country,/ With the surge for base and accompaniment low and hoarse,/ With crackling blows of axes sounding musically driven by strong arms,/ Riven deep by the sharp tongues of the axes, there in the redwood forest dense,/ I heard the mighty tree its death-chant chanting.” (Song of the Redwood-Tree)

Like Kerouac, Whitman was a literary prophet, foreseeing that the endless redwood forests, which Theodore Roosevelt would soon say could not be cut down in 10,000 years, were doomed to disappear. Roosevelt knew only the pulling power of ox teams in the timber industry. The incipient motor increased industrial removal by a factor of one hundred times. Boards of directors take heed of your poets, no pun intended.

William Ray


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To the Editor:

If Adventist Health would create a PHF (Ukiah or Willits) and staff it with their compassionate medical teams, then Measure B money would not have to build a PHF. Measure B money could build the first of three Crisis Residential Treatment Centers (CRTC) on Orchard Street with program and staff. The CRTC could begin earlier in any appropriate available space and later move into their building when completed.

As more Measure B money becomes available, a second CRTC could be built on land in Fort Bragg (maybe MCDH land). This CRTC could also operate elsewhere until construction was completed. Then with more Measure B money available, a third CRTC could be built on South Coast, also starting earlier elsewhere.

If there is enough money, an Addiction Recovery Center could begin on the same land as one of the CRTCs.

Sonya Nesch, Teacher


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“How Stupid Can People Be! “ — Jerry Philbrick, AVA, 5-15-19

Mr. Philbrick goes on to answer his own question as he careens off into incoherent nonsense, as usual confirming his well worn place as Exhibit-A for the very reason education was destroyed in this country by the Republican led antisocial dismantlers of civil society. To keep democracy from functioning, keep people stupid! 

Anyone ignorant enough to think exhaust fumes or any other form of human created pollution, can just blow away into the great blue yonder; is in the same nut house with those who believe in virgin birth, flat earth, or white supremacy. The lunacy of believing industrial pollution simply gets borne off the planet on some fairy tale wind may come as a huge surprise to all the mammals who ended up with DDT in their milk. And to all the slaves who ended up with coal dust and asbestos in their lungs, or the fish with heavy metals in their flesh. 

I guess it would follow in Philbrick’s delusional world that the thousands of troops from Desert Storm are just making up stories about the terrible ailments they suffer from exposure to Uncle Sam’s first evil destruction derby in Iraq. The same bullshit that the VA welcomed these hapless warriors with. Also it’s logical to conclude the Japanese were imagining all the radiation poisoning and birth defects after the US atomic terrorism landed on them. Ditto for the deadly smog in the LA basin in the 50s and 60s which was caused by poorly engineered, poorly built gas-hog death-trap cars and an intentionally failed public transportation system. I guess the fairy tale wind just didn’t make it there. Maybe God just isn’t interested in fresh air in places not as sacred as Comptche. 

Anyhow. I look forward to the day when this fine paper will be free from this editorial blight. Please move on from this boring Philbrick obsession. A waste of precious space. 

Ross Dendy


PS: Our world is dominated by bad news and useless distraction. Our country is run by bastards and bitches, idiots and fools. Thieves, liars, charlatans, and sociopaths. Do the readers of the AVA really need to be insulted every week by this local idiot who is a sorry reminder to us all that 60,000,000 dumb shits voted for the colossal fraud now occupying what has become the lowest office in the land. 

PPS: Ignorance is the bedrock of tyranny.

Violence is the logic of confused minds.

Bombast is the style of the brainwashed.

Patriotism is the first refuge of conformist cowards and blind sheep.

PPPS: “Scientists say that the universe is constructed mainly of atomic particles, I disagree. It looks to me that it is made up mainly of stupidity.” — Frank Zappa

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David Severn:

This information is courtesy of Katy Tahja, one of Mendocino's leading book nuts. Anyone in the Philo area who has vision problems or is having difficulty reading standard print is eligible to receive "talking books" from the Library of Congress collection of hundreds of thousands of titles. In this area "talking books" are distributed through the California State Library in Sacramento. Write the authors and titles of your request and send it to talking books in Sacramento. You must return them within five weeks. They will start sending books right away and they will also send a digital machine to play them with plus earphones. Everything is free. No cost whatsoever. To learn what is available use the Internet. A catalog is sent every two months listing new titles.

Ralph Bostrom


PS. Website: Select "catalog search," arranged by author. They have almost a million titles now. Mention the name of the author you want and all books by the author will be listed.

Write to: "talking books" P.O. Box 942837, Sacramento CA 94237 and request an application.

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