WE’RE trying to confirm that the new AG Commissioner, Mr. Harinder Grewal, has been placed on Administrative Leave. We don't know yet if he got the standard Perp Walk, or if he’s on leave of his own volition.
THE LINEAR homeless camp arrayed along Airport Blvd, Ukiah, had disappeared by Tuesday morning of last week. I’d driven over the hill hoping to talk to some of the about-to-be displaced persons, but they were gone, every one of them, and gone without leaving so much as a trace they’d been there. I learned from Justine Frederiksen of the Ukiah Daily Journal that County workers had picked up the mounds of residual trash as site prep before a crew from the County Jail cut the roadside grass. Ms. F's story on the camp quoted some helping professionals claiming they’d made other arrangements for the persons who were ordered to leave the camp. A homeless shelter is in the works for South State at a site I remember as a sports equipment sales office owned by Mr. and Mrs. Fitzgerald of Ukiah. The late Brad Shear, a prominent County-wide sports guy, was salesman for the Fitzgeralds. The in-the-works shelter, incidentally, was shoved down the opposed throats of adjoining businesses and property owners. And it’s been in the works for months.
THE DEA, via your tax dollars of course, is funding all that helicopter traffic over the county lately. The feds are showing several local deputies and other agency trainees how to spot illegal activity from the air. Stand by, hill muffins, to get raided, just like the old days in Mendo.
WE GOT A BIG LAUGH when the Supes discussed wasting $85k on a consultant to do a “needs assessment” of the County six or seven semi-abandoned parks. Supervisor Williams said he was for it based on staff’s assurance that the money would come back later via grants based on the assessment. To drive home the point Board Chair Carre Brown added: “We will hold their feet to the fire.”
WHICH would be the first time in County history that anybody’s tootsies came anywhere near the flames of accountability. In fact, nobody will follow up on this pointless expenditure, much less hold anybody’s “feet to the fire.”
The board duly voted 3-2 with Gjerde and Haschak dissenting to have the supposedly broke County spend the $85k.
JEREMY CORBYN says, like many people, at first he found Joyce's Ulysses “incomprehensible.” But then “you stop trying to focus on the narrative and start just enjoying the vignettes. Read a little bit at a time and think about it and then move on, but don’t beat yourself up if you don’t understand it.”
EGGS-AXTLY. I bring it up because that's how I read it. I also bring it up because it's not surprising that a Brit politician reads books, but the habit is rare among our reps. Biden, for instance, claims he's read Ulysses, but then he says lots of things, depending on who's listening. Lots of people try to plow straight ahead through the book like it's a regular novel, but they give up, and those defeated include none other than Philip Roth. I gave up, too, when I first tried, too young to have any idea of the context. But even in my primitive state I got some of the humor. Corbyn's advice is sound. Read around in it, and you'll have a heckuva good time. But ‘Finnegan's Wake’? Absolutely impenetrable, but fun to read aloud just for the sound of it, as Joyceans gather to do every year in San Francisco.
BRUCE MCEWEN offers a more comprehensive account of the Barbara Howe matter elsewhere in this week’s paper, but last Wednesday's TRO hearing before Judge Nadel was uneventful. The order was sought by Tammy Moss-Chandler to prevent, Moss-Chandler alleged, Ms. Howe from murdering her. What? Did you say murder? Yes, that was the implied reason Moss-Chandler sought to keep Ms. Howe away from her.
MS. HOWE was, until she was brutally fired, head of the Mendocino County Public Health Department. Then she was suddenly offed in the patented Mendo manner — “Give us your keys, get your stuff and get out,” complete with an escort out the door. Moss-Chandler was Ms. Howe's boss with overall responsibility for the County's Health and Human Services apparatus until Moss-Chandler, at the direction of personnel boss Heidi Dunham in turn acting at the direction of County CEO Carmel Angelo.
THE DISMISSAL of Ms. Howe came from the County's chief executive, Carmel Angelo who, famously, has similarly non-personed other County employees who don't, and not to put too fine a point on it, approach her throne on bended knee, hence the shameless ass kissing we see at County meetings — pure fear expressing itself in excessive niceness. The stated reason for Ms. Howe's dismissal does not, by any rational standard, amount to just cause. She allocated generators that were stored for — you guessed it, allocation. This is the stated reason, plus the alleged threats from Howe to Moss-Chandler.
IN DISGUST at the non-reason for her clearly wrongful termination, Ms. Howe fired off a few intemperate but obviously advisory messages to Moss-Chandler, words to the effect that if Moss-Chandler continued to lash out on behalf of The Ogress, she herself could get sick, that doing bad things against one's better instincts can manifest itself in physical ill health.
THERE'S a large psycho-physio oeuvre alleging the very same. More specifically if, say, you live your life amid bad feeling, bad food, bad materials, bad architecture — in other words, if you live and work in Ukiah in a job that compels you to do bad things to other people, many of them fast food-fattened and unhappy in the first place, you are likely to short out your own psycho-physio apparat. Ms. Howe was simply stating the obvious, warning Moss-Chandler for her own good that a life of cringing butt-nuzzling could kill her!
SOUND advice by any standard, but the literal-minded Moss-Chandler… Well, this poor thing, raised in the frightening context of contemporary America with lunatics seeming to be coming in the windows, victimized by the Ukiah schools and therefore unable to realistically contextualize her experience, stumbling on into County employment out of pure proximity of home and employment, working her way upwards in a bungling bureaucracy that rewards fealty to the next incompetent up the ladder, and here she is.
LONG STORY SHORT, although it's shaping up as a fairly long story thanks to the legal system, a system that's an exact psychic match for the doomed society it reflects, the two sides to this only-in-Mendo tale worked out a compromise of sorts, with Ms. Howe, never having intended harm to Ms. Chandler-Moss anyway, agreeing to stay away from the poor dear, which Ms. Howe, who remains shocked that anyone could possibly think otherwise, and having suffered a humiliatingly cruel dismissal….. the two parties and their lawyers have agreed informally that Moss-Chandler doesn’t need a formal court order keeping Ms. Howe from the princess and the pea brains.
A LOCK STEP PC thumbsucker appeared in a recent Chron by a guy who identifies himself this way: "John Briscoe is a Distinguished Fellow of the Law of the Sea Institute at UC Berkeley School of Law and an adjunct professor at UC Hastings College of the Law." I've extracted these few lines from the distinguished fellow's editorial: "Serranus Clinton Hastings was promoter and financier of Indian-hunting expeditions in the 1850s. Hastings later founded Hastings College of Law in San Francisco, now the oldest law school in the state, and a part of the University of California system."
(HASTINGS arranged for and promoted but didn't fund Indian hunts, and he didn't found the school of law named after him; he gave U.C. a million bucks and its trustees named the law school after the mass murderer in gratitude for the money.)
THE EDITORIAL by the distinguished fellow appeared the same week Governor Newsom, the penultimate empty suit (second only to Biden), "apologized" to Native Americans for the attempt to exterminate them. (The libs are great ones for symbolic posturing — anything but actually funding meaningful recompense. The distinguished fellow's Chron piece, in that lib tradition, thinks it's time to re-name Hastings law school.)
ANYWAY, and as the Boonville weekly has pointed out at length but hopefully not ad nauseum, Hastings maintained a ranch in a little valley southwest of Willits which he called Eden Valley, which of course, he'd ripped off from the Indians who had lived there for the preceding ten thousand years. An absentee landlord who lived mostly in Benicia, Hastings managed his ranch via a murderous, 6'7" psychopath of a ranch foreman called Texan Boy Hall while Hastings was busy becoming this state's first state supreme court justice. He left a million dollars to U.C. when he died, a lot of money at the turn of the century, and in gratitude U.C. named Hastings Law School after the old lawyer, a thief and a killer all his days.
IN THE EARLY DAYS of Hastings' appropriation of the whole of Eden Valley for himself, Hall, the giant psycho, hired some of the Indians still living in the now much less edenic Eden Valley, to carry some furniture Hastings had bought for his new ranch house, a primitive affair by today's standards but still in need of basic furnishings. Hall promised the Indians canvas shirts they much coveted if they carried the off-loaded goods from Mendocino back to Eden Valley, a long slog the Indians duly carried out via what is now the Branscomb Road, through Long Valley, now Laytonville basically, and on to Eden Valley, which is damn near to Covelo.
WHEN THE INDIANS arrived with the goods, Hall said, "Thanks boys, but no shirts." In retaliation, the Indians killed a stallion that Hastings claimed was worth ten thousand dollars. His Honor had hoped to create a herd of fine animals with the stallion so, in his own retaliation, the judge persuaded his pal, the governor, and his pals in the first state legislature, to pay mercenaries to kill all the Indians in the entire Eel River Basin of Mendo and Humboldt counties. The state paid per scalp. One of the primary Indian killers was a fellow named Jarboe, who became Mendocino County's first badged lawman based in Ukiah.
OVER THE YEARS, we have taken lots of calls and letters, one batch from Native American law students, asking if our version of their school's patronymic was true. Yes, it is, and there’s plenty of scholarly corroboration. For the school's faculty, nevermind the university, to pretend ignorance of its etymology seems from here either naive beyond belief or simply the kind of posturing we see from "liberals" of the Newsom type these days.
IN THE JUNE 24th issue of The New Yorker, the “Talk of the Town’s” columnist, Amy Davidson Sorkin, nicely expresses the mag's middle of the road extremism with this line: "…Bernie Sanders, who offers an ideological alternative to Biden's moderation." The descriptive “Ideological” implies that The Bern, the tamest socialist there ever was, is Lenin reincarnated. Who else but an ideologue with all the unyielding rigidity the term implies would challenge a reasonable guy like Biden? One more example, it seems to me, of how far to the political right the discussion has shifted.
IN THE SAME edition of the magazine, there's Sheelah Kolhatkar with an admiring profile of Elizabeth Warren who, along with Sanders, are the only two Democrats running for president who scare all the right people, and Warren the only candidate who has a specific plan for harnessing free enterprise in the general interest. The piece is fair to Warren but chock full of quotes from financial big shots worrying that she's too extreme, a regular Che Guevara who just might bring down the whole house.
EXTREME? Here's the candidate: "The banks were getting away with so much, without any accountability. Here they had just gotten this huge bailout, and no one was insisting on replacing the CEOs and forcing some of these banks to own up to what they'd done.” [With that $750 billion bailout.] "We could have fixed our roads and bridges and public transportation. We could have launched universal preschool and made state universities affordable again. We could have doubled our federal investments in medical research and scientific research for the net twenty years. Markets are terrific at spurring innovation, driving down costs, and producing consumer benefits IF those markets operate according to some basic rules."
SPECIFICALLY, Warren wants "a wealth tax of two per cent on assets above $50 million of 75,000 richest families in the country, and a surcharge for billionaires."
WARREN'S early life was lived with the wolf at the door. She's the only candidate in years who has met the Repo Man. Her stand for universal daycare arises out of her own experience as a single mother, and would be almost like hitting the lottery for many women if Warren became president and enacted it.
CAVEAT, and go ahead with the accusation of sexism, but I wish someone associated with Warren's campaign would get her to tone down her hyper-presentations. When she bounds on stage with a greeting that cracks glass for miles… Well, she comes off as kinda nuts. From the diaphragm, Liz, the diaphragm. And then, over the weekend, Senator Warren, descending into pure pander, said she thought “reparations for gay and lesbian couples” were warranted because gay couples had to file taxes as individuals prior to sanction for gay marriage! Senator. Please.
THE AVA bounced two checks recently on the Bank of America, with whom we've conducted our modest financial business for some time. Our treasurer is fond of a teller at our branch, an older woman who is also a devoted reader of the Boonville weekly, hence BofA. In Mendo, we banked with the Redwood Credit Union, the closest thing to a people's bank there is. (The cavernous Ukiah Bank of America is closed. Only an atm machine is left at the back door.)
ANYWAY, for our two over-drafts, the BofA paid both checks but charged us $35 for each one, and one of the bounced checks was for $36! Seventy bucks!
ORGANIZED crime loan sharks, if you are lucky enough to have one in the neighborhood, charge comparable interest, but you can negotiate with them at the risk of your knees. The legitimate (sic) banks charge criminal rates of interest but you can't negotiate with them. Unfortunately for me, the criminals I know are unorganized, and invest only in no return white powders rather than usury.
FROM THE UKIAH DISPATCH-DEMOCRAT, 29 JANUARY, 1904: "The Ukiah Orphanage. Perhaps a majority of our readers are unaware of the fact that a complete change has been made in the character and management of what was the Sacred Heart convent in this city. It is no longer a school in the sense in which it was conducted for so many years, but is now an orphanage under the management of the Dominican Sisters and has been named 'The Albertinium Orphanage.' Already there have been admitted within its benevolent walls twenty-four full orphans, thirteen half-orphans and one abandoned child."
BEGINNING about 1960, orphanages were either phased out altogether or converted to secular group facilities for "troubled youth." And ever since orphanages were phased out and the dependent child industry phased in, the children of the poor have been big business, supporting an army of handsomely compensated social workers and therapists, in my experience with only a few exceptions, a badly educated and staggeringly irresponsible group, presiding over a system that provides the child victim the opposite of what he or she needs — stability, predictability, safety. Orphanages raised children from infancy to adulthood in stable, predictable, safe, humane conditions, and there's a whole oeuvre of fond memoirs by orphanage-raised people to verify the claim.
HERE IN MENDOCINO COUNTY, the foster system has been privatized, dependent children monetized big time. Do the children doomed to the foster system get the stability they need? No telling because, "in the best interests of the child" what actually happens to the kid is top secret. But having seen the system in action, criminal neglect and instability best describes it.
SPEAKING as a former foster parent of many years duration, I can tell you the kid is bounced from home to home, never really plugged in anywhere, moved hither-thither at the whim of… well, rather than string out the insults I can say with all the objectivity I can muster, that if my children or grandchildren had been captured by the system I'd have immediately resorted to ultra-vi of the stealth and cunning variety. Of all the evils engendered by our class system, the crimes committed against the children of the poor are the most egregious.
ROBERT DOYLE is Marin's sheriff-coroner. Responding to a letter in the San Rafael Independent Journal, Doyle wrote: "Recently Alex Easton-Brown wrote a letter to the editor claiming that profits from inmate telephones and commissary were being used to purchase drones and surveillance equipment for the Marin County Sheriff’s Office. It is true that profit is derived from inmate telephones and commissary. However, those profits are deposited in an inmate welfare account and by law can only be used to benefit Marin County Jail inmates. So I say to you Alex Easton-Brown: Next time, get the facts straight.”
NOT EXACTLY, Sheriff Doyle. Families of inmates are charged exorbitant rates for the necessarily collect calls placed by prisoners. The private company providing the "service" takes a big whack of the big profits generated by the telephone "service," while a small portion is indeed placed in beneficial inmate services. Additionally, the last time I put a small amount of money on an inmate's books, the privatized service charge for the automated process was five bucks for twenty bucks, which is an extortionate amount charged, I'd say.
ON LINE COMMENTS OF THE WEEK
 I spent the day with a poli sci major from UC Davis who was clueless about anything including how our government really functions. I was really sad to see she knew nothing while claiming to know everything. The only thing that popped out of her mouth obsessively was orange man bad, Hillary wonderful, toxic male masculinity and man spreading all said to her father on Father’s day. Not my kid thank god I would be pissed about spending that much to get so little in return. Honor roll student straight a’s and clueless.
 A vignette of American life: The neighbor’s boy went to his high school prom the other evening.
We say “the prom” where I live, other places call it “prom”.
It seems to be an American tradition.
What was slightly different about this couple, at least from prom couples in my day, was that the girl is bi-racial. Interracial couples at the prom are nothing new, but it used to be almost exclusively the male half being black and the female being white.
I looked at the prom photos in the paper, and the boy next door and his date, while different from my era, did not stand out at the dance, because there were quite a few couples with a white boy and a black girl, even dark-skinned black girls now date white boys.
Everybody looked happy, vibrant, and full of hope for the future, just the way youth should look.
If they and their parents are careful about where the kids go on to higher education at, most of these kids will enter adulthood just as free from hateful notions as they are right now.
God forbid they attend a cesspit like Oberlin.
When “they” in the MSM, and our politicians tell us where we are on race, they are holding a mirror up to their biased and obsessed selves.
The real world has moved on.