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MCT: Sunday, June 30, 2019

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COOL TEMPERATURES will persist along the coast for the next few days, with an increase in marine clouds and a deepening marine layer expected. Warm and dry interior conditions are expected for the most part through mid week, although isolated thunderstorms will be possible near the Trinity Horn Sunday and Monday afternoons. Above normal interior temperatures will return for the second half of the week. (National Weather Service)

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UKIAH SHELTER PETS OF THE WEEK

Planet wins the cutest kitten contest, paws down! Planet is a 2 month old, neutered male brown tabby. He recently came back to the shelter from a foster home and is available for adoption and ready to check out your couch ASAP. In his foster home, Planet received a lot of attention, and he is now super social and playful. Planet lives with his brother, Galaxy, and sister, Star, who are also very cute and available for adoption.

Calling all big dog lovers!! Hank is a 5 year old, neutered male, Cane Corso mix who weighs in at a hefty 90 pounds. We found Hank to be playful and he did well interacting with another big dog. We know Hank had a canine friend in his previous home. His former guardian described Hank as a chill dog with a low activity level and not a barker. Hank will need a special adopter who is experienced with the Cane Corso breed and willing to work with him to ensure that Hank is a great ambassador for the breed.

The Ukiah Animal Shelter is located at 298 Plant Road in Ukiah; adoption hours are Tuesday, Thursday, Friday & Saturday from 10 am to 4:30 pm and Wednesday from 10 am to 6:30 pm. To see photos and bios of the shelter's adoptable animals, and the shelter's programs, services and events, please visit us online at http://www.mendoanimalshelter.com

For more information about adoptions please call 707-467-6453.

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PS. Please RSVP for our First Friday dinner. We have a few more open spots for the flea market, if you are interested please contact the market ASAP. 894-9456

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GOOD NEWS!

Editor,

Converting the Northwestern Pacific Railroad line through the Eel River canyon into the Great Redwood Trail will be some feat. According to the books written about the NWP, that hundred mile stretch of track was, per mile, the most expensive railroad line in the entire country to maintain. Every year slides buried the tracks, and washouts left tracks hanging in mid-air.

Since the last train ran 15 or 20 years ago, the right of way has suffered immense damage. Between Willits, the proposed start of the trail, and Longvale on the Covelo Road, there is a collapsed tunnel. Between Longvale and Dos Rios, there is a massive quarter-mile-long slide where the mountain came down into the Eel River, burying the tracks and destroying the right of way. You can see it from the Covelo Road. A mile north of Dos Rios is another large slide, and a mile north of that is a collapsed tunnel, with no way around it. That’s as far as I hiked, with another 80 miles to go.

Between Dos Rios near the start of the trail, and Alderpoint, about half way to the end, 56 miles, there are no public roads to access the trail. In the middle of that 56 mile wilderness, the trail will go through the Island Mountain tunnel, a mile long! If someone is hurt or in trouble, I doubt there is much cell service out there. The biggest threat is that some careless hiker will make a campfire or light a match and set the entire canyon ablaze.

This is a foolish project. The good news, I guess, is that it never will get built.

LC Lewis

Willits

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REPORTER W.W. KELLER has been following the Measure B Advisory Committee for the Gualala-based Independent Coast Observer from the beginning. In the current edition of the ICO Keller summarizes the recent Grand Jury report which complains about the slow progress of the Measure B Committee and the overall lack of much progress on developing some crisis and psychiatric health facilities. Keller then asked Measure B Chairman Dr. Ace Barash of Willits what he thought of the Grand Jury’s report.

HOW do you think Dr. Barash responded? Did he say they’re doing the best they can? Did he disagree that there’s been slow progress? Did he agree and say they were trying to do better? Did he say, Sorry about that? Did he say he couldn’t respond until the entire committee had a chance to look at the Grand Jury Report or that they’d be preparing their own response later?

NO, none of that. Dr. Barash told Keller: “The report is nonsense. What does the Measure B Committee and the Board of Supervisors know about these matters? We are not a human relations board. Our job here is to hire a project manager, an expert who knows how to proceed and can report to us. We are not the ones to make technical decisions.”

IN EFFECT, Dr. Barash says it’s not their fault, implying that the rules are the rules and the County is the County and how dare anyone complain?

DR. BARASH went on to unquestionably describe the convoluted processes that get in the way of starting a facilities project in the 21st Century, adding, “The Measure B Committee cannot address policies, procedures, and job descriptions during construction. This must be done by the project manager and/or county mental health personnel.”

DR. BARASH ignores the Measure B Committee’s year long foot dragging on even suggesting a project manager be hired, much less getting going on interim steps or evaluations of the alternative sites. He seems to think that the Committee’s role is to sit back and let things happen whenever they happen and not worry about the timing. His total lack of concern for the lack of any progress on the facilities that the Measure B voters wanted to see in place demonstrates nicely why nothing significant has happened so far and isn’t likely to move any faster in the future.

NEXT LIKELY STEP: When the County/Board of Supervisors get around to answering the Grand Jury report, they’ll say they haven’t done anything because they didn’t get any recommendations from the Measure B Committee.

(Mark Scaramella)

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THE MENDOCINO COUNCIL OF GOVERNMENTS released their year-long county-wide pedestrian planning study last month. They called it the “Mendocino County Pedestrian Needs Assessment and Engineered Feasibility Study.” With a title like that you know it was expensive, but we couldn’t find the actual amount of money they spent to have a Bay Area consulting outfit called “Trailpeople” along with “GHD Engineers” do (another) study of walking, hiking, trails and bicycle improvements in Mendocino County, but they must have spent over $100k of Caltrans planning grant money for the report and the detailed set of engineered plans, suggestions and recommendations for pedestrian and bicycle changes and upgrades in Mendocino County that will never happen.

BOONVILLE was amusingly described as “the largest urban area in Anderson Valley.” Accordingly, the Boonville area got a bit of attention in the study; Philo, Navarro, Yorkville and other areas were ignored. The consultants keenly noted that “Highway 128 features wide shoulders that serve as both parking spaces for cars and walking space for pedestrians. However, there are relatively few crossing facilities throughout this corridor.” So they recommend “two additional high visibility crosswalks be installed on the north and west sides of the intersections of Highway 128 and Mountain View Road. The crossing of Highway 128 would feature a median refuge island and user activated warning lights. An additional high visibility crosswalk would also be installed across Highway 128 on the north side of the intersection with Lambert Lane. At this intersection user-activated pedestrian lights would be added to improve visibility and accessibility of the crossing.

YES, they actually suggested a “median refuge island” for Boonville.

A NICE MULTI-USE PATH on the outskirts of Boonville, mostly along Anderson Valley Way, is also proposed, along with some downtown sidewalk improvements.

BUT THERE’S NO MENTION of how these wonderful improvements would be financed. (But, to be fair, a few of the improvements would only involve having Caltrans change some striping along Highway 128 — if they ever would.)

TO READ THE ENTIRE humongous county-wide report go to: https://mendopedestrian.org/

(Mark Scaramella)

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ED NOTES

WORKING in one of Mendocino County's top jobs seems awfully harrowing. You can not only be fired for no stated reason, likely as not the bad news will suddenly descend while you're at your desk. As you're absorbing the news that you are no longer employed, "security" appears to perp walk you off the premises, an added bit of sadism that seems unique to Mendo. Whatever happened to counseling, the taking aside of an errant employee to warn him or her of the thinning employment ice he or she will surely plunge through if the boss is again displeased? Instead, it's the sudden pink slip and the escort out to the parking lot. If this management style persists… Well, fired employees go berserkers on a daily basis somewhere in our unhappy country every day.


UNTIL I READ Jim Kunstler's column on the second debate I thought I had mis-heard candidate Castro's lunatic statement about abortion rights for transexuals. So I looked it up, and there it was: "Just because a woman — or let’s also not forget someone in the trans community, a trans female — is poor, doesn’t mean they shouldn’t have the right to exercise that right to choose” regarding abortion rights. Assuming I understand the mechanics that might be involved, what exactly are the odds?


MY FRIEND NANCY MCLEOD objected to my complaint about movie sex scenes. The reason I complained is that they exhibit a lack of imagination on the director's part and, to the rest of us — excluding committed voyeurs — a visual cliche since few contempo movies are without them. Two handsome young people meet early in the film, and when the inevitable occurs a half hour later you groan to yourself as the actors feign carnality while you wait for the narrative to resume. Given the innocent peasant-comes-to-the-debauched-city theme of ‘Windows on the World,’ I would have begun the obligatory boff like every other sex scene begins then, suddenly, the girl would say, "Time out. I've got to carb-load before I work out. Wait here. I'll be right back."

IT COULD HAPPEN HERE! A Brazilian series on Netflix is about a killer cult of anti-vaxxers. It could be set in Mendo if all the humor was expunged.


THE ONLY DEMO candidates who offer anything new are Bernie and Liz. As one big example of how stale Demo thinking is, Biden kicked off a fast round of Cold War Retro when he said he wanted to beef up NATO and return to Russia as our perennial enemy. Four of the other candidates held out for China as a better candidate for primo menace status.

ALSO TIRESOME in the extreme was the cross talk about how to fund single payer. As Ms. Warren explained, and explained clearer than clear, the money would come from a fair rate of taxation on fortunes worth more than forty million.

BUT, BUT, BUT… What would happen to private insurance? Those who can afford and prefer it would of course keep it, but if the entire parasitic industry is destroyed in favor of single payer we'll all be better off for it.


LAST WEEK the Supreme Court ruled that gerrymandering was a local matter. The Libs moaned that Republicans were doing it all over the place. But how about us here in the 1st and 2nd Districts of California, carefully rigged by the Demo-controlled state legislature to ensure there is never an alternative to the blandly corporate reps we have in people like Huffman, Mike Thompson, Woods, McGuire et al.

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AFFINITO, BURNS, MITCHELL (AHA!)

Dearest Editoria,

At long last, thanks to this blast from the past, the connections between Dominic Affinito, the Mitchell Brothers, and Jim Burns et al associated with City of Ft. Bragg and County of Mendocino major “players” are illuminated — for me, anyway — in today's repub from the year 2000 (The Legacy of Patti Campbell).

In 2009, while assisting a newly elected City Council Member, Suzanne Lyons, in the City of Lakeport, I investigated a very crooked deal cooked up by Mark Mitchell (Origin Construction), his former employee Dale Neiman, attorney Jim Burns, and real estate speculator Matt Boeger (Boeger Land Investments, LCC). In cahoots with two sitting City Council Members, a former City Council Member, and the City’s attorney, the City formed a Planned Unit Development committee supporting (in meetings shunned by the City’s then Planning Department Director, Richard Knoll) a future gated community — complete with golf course, club house, and other white, middle-class wannabe amenities — to be created on publicly owned lands then and now occupied by the City’s wastewater treatment system. The creators of a highly suspect “Development Agreement” — favored by the “ad hoc” City Council members and the municipal shylock — cooked up a deal that required the City to “update” its General Plan (several years before it was due for the usual 20-year overhaul), adding a “Special Plan Area” including the sanitation system disposal fields. No alternative disposal method was divined in this hastily devised General Plan scam, to which the then Planning Director objected strongly and as a result was summarily shunted aside as the City's Redevelopment Agency Director.

[The ~800 acres surrounding their wastewater treatment ponds are used as disposal “spray fields,” annually leased to cattle operations for grazing; funding for the purchase of those acres and development of the City’s separate wastewater treatment system — not linked to the mega-million-dollar “Basin 2000 Plan” installation of a pipeline that removes treated wastewater from North Lakeport’s facility, fed as well by Northshore communities Upper Lake, Nice, and Lucerne; supplemented by Clearlake Oaks wastewater treatment plant; added to the Southeast Wastewater Treatment Plant serving the City of Clearlake and the town of Lower Lake; transported to the Geysers along with the collection and treatment facilities serving Middletown (Hidden Valley Lake provides its own separate water and sewer system) — provided by a US EPA grant and USDA RDA loans, the latter of which is still a fiscal obligation of the rate payers in the City of Lakeport.]

Lake County’s Grand Jury looked into it, based on my complaint (also sent to the state’s AG, who referred it back to them anyway, six months after the local GJ had taken action); although no “report” was ever published, the two then sitting City Council Members opted not to run for re-election the next year and a year after that the City Attorney was fired. It took another year or so to invalidate the “Developer Agreement” which, among other things, gave the developers rights of first refusal on the purchase of the City’s most popular open shoreline area — Dutch Harbor, the northernmost extension of the City’s popular Library Park and Yacht Club waterfront (with its three well-used launch ramps and ample parking for trailered watercraft).

Simultaenous to the spinning of the Sewer Golf Course yarn, Jim Burns et al were proposing a massively unsuitable “mixed use” PUD on sparsely vegetated uplands adjacent to the County Jail and the North Lakeport Wastewater Treatment plant — called “Cristallago” (800 homes priced in the $600K range, dozens of “timeshare” condominiums, completion of a 9-hole golf course that was approved on paper many years before, but never built [first called “Spider Mountain,” then “Las Fuentes”], and for decorative embellishment an olive orchard and mini-commercial operation including the olive oil press.)

Google supplied the link between Boeger Land Investments and Cristallago Development Corporation, based in Gridley, CA. The final act of the failed project proponents was the relinquishment of a piece of property destined to become a massive marina and hotel operation linking the inland Cristallago project with the lucrative waters of Clear Lake (destroying a valuable remaining wetland interface in the process), and sinking forever the speculative investments of 8 separate development groups (including Sutter Lakeside Hospital) supporting an $8M upgrade of the North Lakeport water treatment plant. Thank God the 2008 “crash” happened before these projects became a semi-reality — realism being excluded from the City of Lakeport and County of Lake Planning Department “analysis” of environmental impacts on large tracts of irreplaceable terrain meeting critical State sanitation compliance criteria.

In the repub of “The Legacy of…” I find linkages to names that later became of importance — as they came into prominence and faded away, over the last 20 years (I moved to Lake County in 2000 from the Bay Area) — as other half-assed development schemes came to light (Affinito’s failed 63-acre, multi-use PUD in the town of Nice; his scuttled slum motels in Lucerne, tied to Dr. Gardner’s methadone clinic; and a Cristallago-like PUD just outside the City of Clearlake, which is still somehow slumbering on the back burners of Clearlake’s real estate mongers, “Provincalia").

County Supervisors, Planning Commissioners, City and County Planning Departments, complicit with and enraptured by these machers and their magic mountain of made-up money, wasted decades of lost time on petty self-serving schemes in lieu of investments in public health and safety infrastructure, betting on the come that never came. John Mayfield’s ex-wife, Cindy, is a Mendo County judge; Pinches was the best of your bunch, as far as I can tell. Mark Mitchell’s the only one left standing, near as I can tell, over here in Lake County (but it seems to me he changed the name of his business to Lake County Contractors a while ago).

What continues to amaze me is the lack of state oversight, which continues to ignore the horrid work products of municipal planning driven by special interests and Chamber of Commerce club members — General Plans, Special Area Plans, and (most ignominously) approval of insupportable land use expansions by the Local Agency Formation Commission. The latter is one of the most egregious examples of mad masterminding and political perversion I have encountered so far.

Thanks a million, AVA — you make my day!

Betsy Cawn

Upper Lake

PS. Can you possibly tell me what the connection, if any, is between Roy Mitchell and Mark — brothers, cousins, father and son? Just curious, of course, as always.

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CATCH OF THE DAY, JUNE 29, 2019

Beard, Esquivel, Fillion

ELECTRA BEARD, Fort Bragg. Protective order violation.

RUDOLPH ESQUIVEL JR., Contempt of court, parole violation, disobeying court order, probation revocation.

HAZEL FILLION, Lakeport/Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.

French, Heath, Karst

THOMAS FRENCH, Ukiah. Taking vehicle without owner’s consent.

JACOB HEATH, Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.

TANTAH KARST, Fort Bragg. Manufacture of leaded cane or billy club, switchblade, metal knuckles, prior felonies.

Linker, Lopez, Maxfield, McCoy

SUZANNE LINKER, Branscomb. Failure to appear, offenses while on bail.

CHRISTOPHER LOPEZ, Ukiah. Probation revocation.

JUSTIN MAXFIELD, Ukiah. Criminal threats, probation revocation.

JODY MCCOY, Covelo. Unlawful display of registration, failure to appear, probation revocation.

Punihaole-Figueroa, Ramirez, Rowe, Vikart

JERRY PUNIHAOLE-FIGUEROA, Boonville. Domestic abuse.

RAFAEL RAMIREZ, Healdsburg/Calpella. False personation of another, no license, false ID, failure to appear.

JEREMIAH ROWE, Ukiah. Controlled substance/for sale.

EDWARD VIKART, Ukiah. DUI-alcohol&drugs.

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RIPTIDES

by Robert O'Brien

In the fall of 1848 San Francisco was in a curious state of suspension.

Gold had been discovered in January, but the San Franciscans hadn't put much faith in it; they had kept on with their business -- the filling in of the shoreline along Montgomery Street, the new school, putting up homes and warehouses -- and looked forward to the day when California would be a state and their town would be the great seaport metropolis of the Pacific Coast.

Then in May they had seen the gold dust. They had talked with men who had come from the diggings and had heard from these men fantastic and incredible stories about the wealth that lay in the Sierra foothills, waiting there in the red earth and the river beds and ready to make a millionaire of the first man to come along.

San Franciscans stared at the glinting dust. The traveler's words rang in their ears. Then all at once life in San Francisco lost all point. What, they asked themselves, are we doing here? We could be digging gold out of the ground!

In that month of May one of every four adult male San Franciscans felt what one of them put into words after gazing at the contents of a miner's poke: "I looked for a moment, a frenzy seized my soul; unbidden, my legs perform some entirely new movements of polka steps. I was soon in the street in search of necessary outfits. Piles of gold rose before me at every step. Castles of marble — myriads of fair virgins contending with each other for my love — these were among the fancies of my imagination. The Rothschilds, Gerards and Astors appeared to me but poor people. In short, I had a very violent attack of the gold fever."

The half built homes could wait. They were off to the diggings.

"About the end of May," wrote the authors of "The Annals of San Francisco," "we left San Francisco almost a desert place, and such it continued during the whole summer and autumn months."

It is perhaps safe to say that by the middle of October at least half the adult male population of San Francisco had gone to the mines, which would leave the number remaining in the community at about 500. And of these about 50% were women and children.

Ranged up the side of the Clay Street hill and Telegraph Hill and as far north as Vallejo Street and as far south as California Street and not much farther west than Stockton Street, were the 200 buildings of the settlement, 35 adobes and about 160 woodframe structures.

There were three wharfs, at the foot of Broadway, Clay Street and California Street, and on their planks piles of merchandise lay exposed to wind and rain for want of men to move them. Out in the bay, several ships — forerunners of the great gold rush fleet that would arrive the next year — swung at anchor with the tides, sails furled, silent and left to the rats by their gold-hungry crews.

Cows grazed on Portsmouth Square, where stood the little red schoolhouse and the one-story, four room adobe customs house. With the coming of the fall rains, the streets had turned into boulevards of mud, deep enough to swallow a horse and wagon. "It was no uncommon occurrence," noted one writer of the period, "to see at the same time a mule stalled in the mud of the street with only his head above the mud and an unfortunate pedestrian who had slipped off the plank sidewalk being fished out by a companion."

The summits of the hills then were bare except for the thin grass and the grotesquely stunted oaks through whose twisted branches whistled the bitter, sand-laden winds from the dunes and the sea to the west. Across these hills meandered two trails, one of which passed Washerwomans Lagoon on its way to the Presidio. The other led off to the southwest and the dilapidated adobes of Mission Dolores.

Not everything had ceased with the spring departure for the foothills. In August, Presidio guns boomed and tar barrels blazed to celebrate the news of peace between the United States and Mexico. In September, the town's first brick house (at Clay and Montgomery) was finished. On October 3, 158 voters took part in the town election and chose Dr. T.M. Leavenworth as their alcalde, and six days later enough councilmen had returned from the diggings to enable the town council to hold its first meeting since May.

Even so, there wasn't much to do with so many men away from home, and certainly no one dreamed that by the end of next year San Francisco would be a bedlam town of 25,000 souls.

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FOR THOSE OF YOU who didn’t get to see President Donald Trump’s news conference early Saturday, let’s recap what he said: Former Secretary of State John Kerry broke the law in talking to Iran about its nuclear program. Jimmy Carter was a terrible president. Russian President Vladimir Putin says he didn’t interfere in the 2016 elections, and, come on, how many times are you going to push the guy on that point? Vast numbers of illegal immigrants may soon be deported from the United States. And, circling back to Putin, the Russian president kind of makes sense when he says that Western-style liberalism is dead, at least when you consider the sorry state of a couple of Democratic-run cities in California.

That’s by no means a comprehensive list. At one point in the hour-and-15-minute news conference in Japan, Trump squinted at the roomful of reporters with their hands raised and asked whether they’d had enough. Did they want him to stop or keep going? Watching from home at 3 a.m., I didn’t get a vote. But I have to confess: If my colleagues in Japan had opted to pack it in, I wouldn’t have been inconsolable. Speaking in a low monotone at the Imperial Hotel Osaka, Trump seemed to be pushing the outer limits of how much news the bloodstream can safely absorb.

After the press conference, Trump boarded Air Force One for a trip to Seoul, South Korea. He has dangled the possibility of a meeting with the North Korean leader, Kim Jong Un, at the demilitarized zone between the two countries. He tweeted about the plan Friday night, and noted at the news conference that Kim reads his tweets and that North Korea is open to the idea (CNN chyron: “Trump says Kim Jong Un follows his Twitter feed.”). It is unclear whether Kim has a Twitter account—and if he does, whether it’s under his own name.

— Peter Nicholas, writing in The Atlantic

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JAZZ ON THE LAWN at Mendocino Art Center July 5. Free Concert Lounge on the lawn and enjoy the 21 piece Boonville jazz big band at the Mendocino Art Center. Led by director Bob Ayres, featuring the creative styling of vocalist Sharron Garner, the band romps through a sumptuous and toe tapping collection of classic swing and jazz tunes. Bring a blanket or chair and a picnic lunch to celebrate Summer and the 4th and 5th of July!

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ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY

Ever since the late 1960s, when I decided to abstain from meat-eating, the spectre of factory livestock (aka “mystery meat”) has become more and more alarming. In the early 1970s there was a “Sixty Minutes” expose on the poultry concentration camps and the slack attitude of the FDA, including such delicate mentions as the percentage of feces allowed in chicken meat for sale in markets. Poultry, by the way, has historically been the most likely vector for disease transmission.

One physician on YouTube joked that cleaning up a kitchen where raw chicken had been prepared was like attempting to sterilize a biohazards lab.

Apart from the pathogens there are all the antibiotics, hormones, etc. added. Little boys in Puerto Rico were growing female breasts, and this was traced to excessive estrogen in chicken meat.

My own father died of diverticulitis and I am convinced it was in part because of steadily feeding hostile bacteria in his intestines with contaminated animal flesh.

Sermon is finished. Pass the collection plate there, Young Billy would you?

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SAUSALITO-BASED NON-PROFIT pulls 40 tons of abandoned fishing nets from Great Pacific Garbage Patch

40 tons of fishing nets retrieved in Pacific Ocean cleanup

time.com/5617523/great-pacific-garbage-patch-fishing-nets/

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BARN DANCE in MENDOCINO with local band "the BARNSTORMERS"

Featuring OLD-TIME SQUARES, CIRCLES, and CONTRAS

Dances taught and prompted by Lea Smith

WEDNESDAY, JULY 3, 2019, 7:00 - 9:00 PM.

PRESTON HALL, 44831 Main St., Mendocino

$5 adults, 17 & under FREE!

A portion of the proceeds go to support the residents of Puerto Rico.

No partner or previous experience necessary.

Please wear smooth-soled shoes to protect our floor.

info at 964-7525

Next BARN DANCE AUGUST 7, 2019

Volunteer helpers needed before and after the dance, come early or stay late to help.

info at 964-7525

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“MY HUSBAND AND I have been trying to adopt a child from foster care for six years. The process is unbelievably difficult. There’s a reason people choose to adopt from foreign countries. Right now I’m waiting on my son to finish his ballet performance. He came from an orphanage in Guatemala. Can you imagine how different his life would be if we hadn’t adopted him? So this time we tried to adopt in America. We’ve inquired on 530 cases in five years. We’ve reached the final round several times, but each time we’re not chosen. Once it seemed like we were finally on the brink of adopting five siblings. We spent so much time with them. We were bonded with them. But at the last moment, the top administrator vetoed our case. No reason was given. He thought we ‘weren’t a good fit.’ We were devastated. I still have their pictures. We’re good parents. We have six grown children and two who still live with us. Everyone is doing well. There’s no reason we shouldn’t be able to adopt. Everything moves so slowly because the bureaucracy is overloaded and underfunded. These kids have no money so they have no voice. I’m in a support group on Facebook full of people like me. Everyone is agonizing over the reasons that they aren’t being matched: too old, too many children, not enough children, not enough money. The guesses are endless. In the meantime there are 100,000 kids in this country who are waiting for a family.”

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IS THE US MILITARY PREPARING US FOR STARTING A "LIMITED" NUCLEAR WAR?

by John Lewallen

The June 11, 2019 public release of Joint Publication 3 72 "US Joint Operations Nuclear Strategy" is a terrifying escalation of US nuclear war threat. This plan to integrate "limited" nuclear weapon use with "conventional" US warfighting, with the assertion that nuclear weapons may be used in any conflict involving the US, its allies or partners, makes a nuclear war risking catastrophic attack against the US homeland much more likely.

Coming now, with active military confrontations between the United States and Russia, China, and Iran, and an ongoing war on North Korea involving the US and United Nations, it amounts to a threat to use "limited" nuclear war against these nations. Without strong opposition from the US Congress and an informed public outcry, I'm afraid our military leaders will believe they have enough public support to escalate threat of nuclear war on many fronts.

The following facts and analysis are intended to inform and stimulate people to study this strategic statement which explicitly makes nuclear weapons the foundation of US strategy "to preserve peace and stability by deterring aggression against the US, our allies, and our partners." The document clearly states that the President has sole command of nuclear strategy and operations, and goes to great lengths to assure that the President will have reliable command and communication means to direct an ongoing nuclear war at all phases. It revives long-debunked theories based on the idea that a phased escalation of nuclear war would cause an enemy to surrender, rather than launching a nuclear counter-strike.

In brief, it is a blueprint risking national suicide and global omnicide (destruction of everything), based on a fantasy world where nuclear weapons are limited and controllable, and human beings follow the rules set by the nuclear attacker.

To me, the craziest thing about this "US Joint Operations Nuclear Strategy" is that it continues to drive the US toward a nuclear field of battle, the only domain of war where the US is at a catastrophic disadvantage, and possibly could see its whole nation and civilization destroyed at the blink of an eye, for no reason at all. A sane nuclear posture would see US "hawks" and "doves" working together to de-escalate nuclear threat, support treaties limiting nuclear weapons, and move toward a complete ban on nuclear weapons.

Nuclear Bombs are Instruments of All-Destroying Suicide, Not Weapons of War

There are no "limited" nuclear bombs. Modern thermonuclear weapons have unlimited destructive power. Fission weapons such as were used to destroy Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945 are now used as triggers to detonate thermonuclear weapons. A single nuclear missile strike could cause tens of millions of casualties, with uncontainable consequences of deadly radioactivity and firestorms threatening "nuclear winter," years of global darkness caused by stratospheric debris.

President Trump is the first president to face the fact that a single nuclear bomb detonated in space could damage or destroy global computerized civilization with an electromagnetic pulse (EMP). His directive calling on government agencies to protect US electronics from nuclear EMP will take some time to carry out, and may be impossible to achieve. Nations on the US "adversaries" list, notably Russia, China, North Korea, and possibly Iran, are fully prepared to wipe out US electronic civilization with a nuclear EMP strike. This threat is indefensible, and would surely become possible if any of these nations believe US nuclear attack against them is imminent. Here the only sane US option is an end of nuclear confrontation and the beginning pf peace talks, such as President Trump started with North Korea.

Nuclear weapons now are "The Great Equalizer." Now there are nine nuclear-armed nations who can threaten catastrophic damage with a single nuclear weapon. Peace conversion of the nuclear-industrial complex will take awhile to achieve, but really is the only survival option for all of us.

The Omnicidal Illusion of Limited Nuclear War

The key elements of "US Joint Operations Nuclear Strategy" are concepts of how to fight "limited" nuclear war developed over many decades by a small group of strategists. The best book describing these strategies and the men who made them is Fred Kaplan's The Wizards of Armageddon (Stanford University Press, 1983) All current nuclear strategists would do well to read Kaplan's exciting, fully documented history of attempts to make a rational weapon of war out of an uncontrollable apocalyptic bomb. Most notable are the Berlin Crisis and Cuban Missile Crisis" of the 1960s, when even the key architects of "limited" nuclear war, knowing they had huge superiority over Soviet nuclear forces, drew back from the brink of using nuclear weapons. There will never be a time when one, just one, nuclear weapon might slip by the best defenses after surviving the most destructive attack, risking the death of millions or even the destruction of computerized civilization.

As one reads the coolly confident plans for a limited nuclear war, constantly controlled by the President, a winnable war which follows the laws of war and minimizes casualties, it is well to keep in mind the conclusion of Kaplan's book amid the nuclear strategists of the Reagan administration.

"In the absence of any reality that was congenial to their abstract theorizing," Kaplan concluded, "the strategists in power treated the theory as if it were reality. For those mired in thinking about it all day, every day, in the corridors of officialdom, nuclear strategy had become the stuff of a living dreamworld..It was, after all, only rational to try to keep a nuclear war limited if one ever broke out, to devise plans and options ahead of time that might end the war quickly and favorably, to keep the scope of damage not too far out of tune with the importance of the political objectives over which the war was declared to begin with. Yet over the years, despite endless studies, nobody could find any options that seemed practical or made sense.

"In 1946, in the beginning, Bernard Brodie wrote, 'Everything about the atomic bomb is overshadowed by the twin facts that it exists and that its destructive power is fantastically great.' The story of nuclear strategy, from that moment on, has been the story of intellectuals-not least of them, for many years anyway, Brodie himself-trying to outmaneuver the force of those axioms, trying to make the atomic bomb and later the hydrogen bomb manageable, controllable, to make it conform to human proportions..They contrived their options because without them the bomb would appear too starkly as the thing they had tried to prevent it from being but that ultimately it would become if it ever were used-a device of sheer mayhem, a weapon whose cataclysmic powers no one really had the faintest idea how to control. The nuclear strategists had come to impose order-but in the end, chaos still prevailed."

Key Elements of JP3 72,"Joint Operations Nuclear Strategy" "National Security Strategy of the United States of America: This presidential document states that nuclear weapons are the foundation of our strategy to preserve peace and stability by deterring aggression against the US, our allies, and our partners." (pages I3 and V)

Comment: This suicidal strategy bases national defense on bombs so uncontrollably destructive they can never be used, and extends a "nuclear umbrella" to deter any attack against US "allies and partners" which commits the US to use nuclear weapons in conflicts over which it has no control.

President Trump, who has complete command and control over nuclear strategy according to JP3 72, should immediately announce that the US has no intention of ever being the first to use nuclear weapons in conflict, and does not offer nuclear protection to all allies and partners.

US Congress should assert its constitutional responsibility over war declaration to declare that the US has no intention of fighting any "limited" nuclear war. Both House and Senate should move quickly to enact the one-sentence law to establish the policy of no first use of nuclear weapons, now introduced as H 921 by Rep. Adam Smith, and S272 by Senator Elizabeth Warren, which reads: "It is the policy of the United States to not use nuclear weapons first."

The rest of us are invited to join me in declaring that we refuse to be used as helpless hostages in the war of nuclear threat, and demand a complete conversion of the nuclear-industrial complex to free human resources to deal with urgent human problems. Chapters on "Nuclear Forces and Support Structures" and "Planning and Targeting" assert that a diversity of nuclear weapons and scenarios for their use permits the US "the capability of escalating or de-escalating the level of conflict" (page II 1)

Comment: These plans enter the dangerous dreamworld where nuclear weapons are controllable, not what they really are, instruments of all-destruction. The US should reverse its recent history of abandoning arms control treaties, and join the worldwide movement to ban and eliminate nuclear weapons. Emphasis is on presidential control over all nuclear strategy, and command of nuclear operations at all phases. Focus is on the vital maintenance of a reliable communication system to enable presidential command in a nuclear war environment.

Comment: "US Joint Operations Nuclear Strategy," now available to anyone in the world, seems to make the US President the hottest nuclear target in the world. If the whole strange architecture of nuclear weapons completely dependent on indefensibly vulnerable electronics breaks out into the global battlefields, there's going to be cyber mayhem and nuclear EMP mayhem. Our civilization may be collateral damage, but the US President, as sole and indispensable commander, may be the first target, or even the target of a pre-emptive strike by a nation believing it faces imminent nuclear attack by the US.

Public awareness and outcry has convinced US Presidents not to use nuclear weapons several times in the past. Now it's our turn. Consider the consequences if we get this one wrong. Peace will prevail if we inform the president and public.

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FOUND OBJECT

9 Comments

  1. Brian Wood June 30, 2019

    Neither are they going to increase the minimum wage seven fold. Since we’re both fantasizing it makes more sense to me to put a lid on the top. But heck, maybe both as long as we’re dreaming.

    • Harvey Reading July 1, 2019

      It wouldn’t be dreaming if working people would stand up and band together as they did at times during the labor movement, which was still alive, if crippled, during my youth, even in the face of the despicable Taft-Harley legislation. The Working Class simply had gaven up by the end of the 60s, buying into the baloney that they had magically become middle class that was peddled by the ruling class. By the time Reagan fired the PATCO controllers, they had completely sold out, and they have paid the price.

  2. Brian Wood June 30, 2019

    “We need a sevenfold increase in wages across the board…”

    Actually we need something like a sevenfold decrease in the maximum wage across the board for anything to change. In other words seriously tax the very rich.

    • Harvey Reading June 30, 2019

      Neither wing of the wealth party is about to significantly increase taxes on the wealthy.

      Actually, we need to shitcan kaputalism, seize all the wealth, including real property of the kaputalists, redistribute that wealth among the whole population, then lop off the kaputalists’ heads. But, since people would wail and feel sorry for the “poor, kindly” wealthy rulers should that happen, we need to make sure workers are paid a living wage. A sevenfold increase would place wages at about where they were, in real dollars, at the beginning of the 70s before real wages started declining for workers and started rising in leaps and bounds for management and owners.

      I’m counting on global warming and overpopulation to solve the problem, and my belief is that it will happen far sooner than expected. Our demise will make room for a truly intelligent species to emerge. We’re nothing but a gang of losers who have to build up our egos by imagining that advanced beings from off-planet could possibly have any real interest in a gang of morons like us. If such have been here–which I very much doubt–it was probably their kids out for a joyride at best.

  3. Harvey Reading June 30, 2019

    https://www.counterpunch.org/2019/06/28/roaming-charges-crash-test-dummy-politics/

    “+ The Booming Economy by the numbers (courtesy of Public Citizen):

    39% of Americans have $0 in savings

    Families put up to 30% of their income toward child care

    40% of Americans hold a second job

    1 in 4 people make less than $10/hr

    + Meanwhile, CEO pay increased at twice the rate of ordinary wages last year.

    + How the rich got super-rich since the de-regulation frenzy of Reagan-time…”

    And, don’t forget, dems, the drunken, dimwitted, killer Teddy boy (Kennedy for you youngsters) in particular, were all for policies that led to all of the above. You think they’re gonna help you now? LOL.

    Here’s the solution from Comptche: turn public forests into tree farms and pay the loggers and millworkers slave wages … but tell-em it’s damned good money and they’re lucky to get it. The same old tired, conservative, reactionary BS.

    We need a sevenfold increase in wages across the board, and NOW. Rich morons like Feinstein should be dumped and be damned.

  4. Stephen Rosenthal June 30, 2019

    Measure B, et al: When are people going to stop voting to tax themselves at the behest of the silver-tongued proponents of such taxes? Stupid is as stupid does, I suppose.

  5. Harvey Reading June 30, 2019

    Found Object:

    Forgive me for wiping my nose on your shoulder. I thought you were the butler.

  6. Randy Burke June 30, 2019

    FOUND OBJECT: ” I sure would like to use your hat as a table cloth back at the Oval Office.”

  7. James Marmon June 30, 2019

    RE: LYING SOCIAL WORKERS AND D.A. EYSTER (who turned his head)

    Social worker arrested, accused of falsifying records at least 125 times
    He did work on behalf of the Florida Department of Children and Families.

    https://www.wtsp.com/article/news/local/social-worker-arrested-accused-of-falsifying-records-at-least-125-times/67-33dd31e8-f892-4154-8833-13b535141e01?fbclid=IwAR13Jztj59PyDRaJeNC3kKhh7hYojKr0mlC7vRSFeupXATHB70XO63KNizw

    James Marmon MSW
    Whistle-blower
    Mendocino County Family and Children’s Services.

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