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MCT: Saturday, September 7, 2019

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COOLER TEMPERATURES are forecast across the interior this weekend and into early next week as couple of upper-level disturbances move across the region. Scattered showers will be possible, mostly over portions of Del Norte and Humboldt counties, starting late on Sunday and continuing through Tuesday. (National Weather Service)

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TIME TRAPPED PAINTINGS by Virginia Sharkey, September 5 - 30, 2019

First Friday Reception, September 6, 5-8pm

In September Virginia Sharkey is showing seven large acrylic paintings reflecting her continuing exploration on the subject of time as codified in daily parlance: dawn, noon, and evening. The artist begins with a feeling tone manifested by color, augmented by the ingredients of space, gravity and energy which when combined produce their own kind of resonance—harmonious or not— but with a result that is evocative and mysterious.

HOURS: Wednesday through Monday, 11 am to 5 pm and Sundays, 11 am to 4pm., or by appointment. 707 964-6448 or 707-962-0655

Partners Gallery, 335 N. Franklin St, Fort Bragg, Ca 95437

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WOMAN CHARGED WITH KIDNAPPING After Taking Vehicle Containing Infant, Says Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office

On September 5, 2019 at about 5:25 PM, Deputies were dispatched to a possible stolen vehicle and child abduction at the Coyote Valley Casino in Redwood Valley, California.

Upon their arrival, Deputies contacted an adult female who advised that a someone took her vehicle with her 16 month old infant inside it.

The adult female had met the suspect, later identified as Wanda Cowan, the previous night and had traveled from Lake County to the Coyote Valley Casino on 09-05-2019 with her. When the adult female walked into the casino, Cowan left the area in the adult female’s vehicle.

Cowan reportedly did not have permission to take the adult female’s child, or her vehicle from the casino area.

Deputies immediately issued a Be-On-The-Look-Out (BOLO) to surrounding law enforcement agencies for the vehicle and the infant .

Deputies were in the process of getting an AMBER Alert issued, when a California Highway Patrol (CHP) Officer located the vehicle traveling on Highway 101 in Willits.

The vehicle was stopped by CHP and the infant was located on the back seat unrestrained. The infant was not injured and was quickly reunited with her mother.

Cowan was arrested for possession of stolen property, kidnapping, and child endangerment.


Cowan was booked into the Mendocino County Jail without incident, where she was to be held in lieu of $250,000 bail.

(Sheriff’s Press Release)

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Consent Calendar Agenda Item 4(U), Mendocino County Board Of Supervisors Meeting, September 10.

Ratification of Submission of 2019-20 Application for Domestic Cannabis Eradication Suppression Program (DCESP) Funding from the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA)

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THE FOLLOWING EXCERPTS are from an attachment to an item on next week’s Supervisors agenda entitled “Discussion and Possible Action Including Direction to County Counsel to File Comments in Phase Two of the California Public Utilities Commission Investigation Regarding De-energization Protocols.”

The accompanying “fact sheet” is prepared by a well-regarded private attorney named Megan Somogyi apparently paid in part by Mendocino County to represent several northern California counties in front of the Public Utilities Commission during the power shutoff regulatory hearings. Ms. Somogyi appears almost indignant that anyone would question her representation in the wake of the PG&E and CPUC rep appearances at the Supes chambers. In her defense of her representation Ms. Somogyi claims several things that are at odds with what the PG&E rep and the CPUC rep have told the Board, particularly in regard to notification procedures. Right off we noticed these surprising “adopted recommendations” which Ms Somogyi says are her own doing:

“Requiring PG&E to partner with local governments and first responders to ensure effective notice and improve communication…”


“Requiring PG&E to share its internal situational awareness information (e.g., weather and fire modeling data and metrics) with local governments and first responders…”


“…requirement to embed a local liaison in PG&E’s EOC [Emergency Operations Center] at the [local] government’s request.”

These and the other “requirements” imposed on PG&E mentioned by attorney Somogyi come as news to us and presumably to Supervisor Williams and the rest of the Board who tried hard to pin down the reps on the subject of “effective communications,” but only getting “robo-calls” in response, and nothing about confirmation that the call was received and understood.

So it will be interesting to see how Ms. Somogyi’s version of how cooperative the CPUC and PG&E will be with Mendocino County during a shut off will play out next Tuesday.

Summary of Request [by County Counsel]:

Mendocino County has actively participated in the CPUC administrative proceedings relating to PG&E including their plan of de-energization (now known as their Public Safety Power Shutoff “PSPS”.) Comments are to be submitted by September 17, 2019 in order to be considered by the Commission [for “Phase 2”]. County Counsel is looking for direction from the Board of Supervisors regarding comments to be made. A fact sheet has been provided by our counsel in the matter, Megan Somogyi.

“Fact Sheet Submitted by Megan Somogyi, Attorney at Law, for CPUC De-Energization (PSPS) Rulemaking No. 18-12-005”

[Selected excerpts]

“Mendocino participated fully in Phase 1 as part of a coalition (the Joint Local Governments) with Napa and Sonoma Counties and the City of Santa Rosa … Participation in Phase 1, for all parties, was done through written comments submitted to the CPUC … The CPUC adopted virtually all of the recommendations regarding notification and communication made by Mendocino and its fellow local governments. The adopted recommendations include:

Requiring PG&E to partner with local governments and first responders to ensure effective notice and improve communication [our emphasis];

Requiring PG&E to work with local governments to improve the utility’s medical baseline registry and to develop ways to improve outreach to AFN populations;

Requiring PG&E to leverage existing communication and notification systems (e.g., Nixle, Reverse 911, etc.) instead of developing its own duplicative systems;

Requiring PG&E to use the SEMS model for communication with public safety partners, and to update local government contact information annually;

Requiring PG&E to establish a 24-hour information hotline that will remain active until power is restored;

Requiring better outreach and education for tenants of master-metered properties, such as mobile home parks [some of whom buy their juice from the park, not PG&E];

Requiring PG&E to share its internal situational awareness information (e.g., weather and fire modeling data and metrics) with local governments and first responders;

Requiring PG&E to establish a web-based information portal that will provide situational awareness information, outage maps, affected customer information, and other relevant information to public safety partners;

Requiring PG&E to establish a direct line of communication for local governments and first responders to its EOC during PSPS events, including the requirement to embed a local liaison in PG&E’s EOC at the government’s request, and vice versa;

Requiring PG&E to participate in increased table-top exercises with local public safety partners, and to continue readiness preparations throughout the year;

Requiring PG&E to give local governments and first responders the opportunity to submit comments to the CPUC on the utility’s PSPS after-action reports;

Ensuring that PSPS communications and educational material is provided in California’s threshold languages.

The extent to which the CPUC adopted the Joint Local Governments’ recommendations is unusual. The CPUC afforded a high level of credibility to Mendocino and its fellow local governments.

Mendocino and its fellow local governments will continue to participate fully in the CPUC process during Phase 2

The discussions have been productive.

There is still room for improvement in PG&E’s implementation of its de-energization programs and measures, but the open dialogue is an asset to both local governments and PG&E as its protocols are being developed.

The full “fact sheet” memo is at:

(Mark Scaramella)

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SUPERVISOR WILLIAMS notes: "In the period ending March 2019, Mendocino County had 39,555 residents on Partnership HealthPlan, the non-profit community based health care organization that contracts with the State to administer Medi-Cal benefits through local care providers. If you use the 2019 population number of 87,697 that equates to 45% of the entire county population on MediCal. When we talk about ambulance services and Mendocino Coast District Hospital financials, it's important to keep the significant MediCal number in mind. I recently heard Medstar (ambulance service) describe the significant increase in MediCal transports within the past few years. MediCal reimbursement is less than from other insurance. With the proportion growing, keeping services afloat becomes difficult. (Thank you Paula Cohen, former Executive Director at Mendocino Coast Clinics, Inc. for data)"

THOSE OF US fortunate to live inside the bubble, or are old enough to get MediCare, we tend not to know how poor at least half of our Mendo neighbors are, as the Supervisor's MediCal statistic confirms for us. Even the vaunted MediCare requires a couple, like me and my Missus, to pay another $400-plus for "gap" insurance, the stuff MediCare doesn't cover, and an impossibly large amount to pay for the millions of Americans on Social Security. And don't even talk about dental insurance, which runs us another hundred-plus bucks and unaffordable for most Americans who go without dental care. Single Payer, on the off chance Bernie is elected, would be of enormous immediate value to a solid half of our population, and it should include dental care. Mean time in Mendo, and in most of the country, people lie awake at night wondering how they're going to stay sheltered, eat, make their car payments, and keep their children clothed. Small wonder so many people turn to drugs or dive all the way into the bottle.

ON THE SUBJECT of despair, I saw a notice for a forthcoming mental health discussion in Caspar. (It's a month or so away.) It includes, as they say, the usual "stakeholders" — a couple of supervisors, several helping pros, maybe a therapist or two — everyone but a cop or a line social services worker, the two reps best equipped to tell us how this county's mental health efforts are really doing. We don't need a police chief or a social services bureaucrat, but a cop who answers 911 calls and the social services person who deals with the poor as they walk through the door looking for help. (And who better to tell us about the true state of the inland homeless than the legendary Mendo lawman, Pete Hoyle, presently in charge of rousting them?) The police and the intake social services people know first hand how effectively the millions annually spent by Mendo on mental health are being spent.


The League of Women Voters of Mendocino County presents a Behavioral Health Forum for our community

Tuesday October 8, 6PM @ Caspar Community Center

Please join us for this important conversation. Learn where we are going with MEASURE B and with Mental Health Services in our community.

The participants:

  • Dan Gjerde - Mendocino County Supervisor, District Four
  • Ted Williams - Moderator / Mendocino County Supervisor, District Five
  • Tammy Moss-Chandler - Director, Mendocino County Health & Human Services Agency
  • Dr. Jenine Miller - Director, Mendocino County Behavioral Health Services & Measure B Committee Member
  • Emily Strachan - Vice Chair, Mendocino County Behavioral Health Board
  • Camille Schrader - Chief Financial Officer of Redwood Quality Management
  • John Wetzler - Former Chair of Mental Health Board & caretaker for SMI family member

OFF THE TOP I can't remember ever sitting in on a serious Mendo discussion characterized by true adult give and take. Listening to local discussions on public affairs, say on KZYX, is, intellectually, like treading water in a vat of lukewarm piss. And public meetings of whatever type may be seething beneath the smiley surface, and often are, but for public consumption what you get is bland stupification, all of it dispensed by people nicely paid to dispense it.

INSTANT CHLOROFORM: From the intro to NPR's Terry Gross interview show, a show of almost pure showbiz fluff: "Today's guest plays a porno film actress who became a prostitute and…" I tuned out at "and." A woman who survived those experiences might be interesting, but the actress pretending to be her is not, at least to me. I think actors and musicians are boring as hell. They're so practiced at being interviewed they have their inoffensive patters down. Quick! Tell me from memory one, only one, interesting thing you've heard on the radio from a musician or an actor. If any of these people had something out of the People Magazine parameters to say, Terry Gross and NPR wouldn't be talking to them. Candor might be bad for business. It's no accident that Dean Witter and Google bring us NPR. (KZYX, Philo, just raked in a cool hundred grand from Witter, a stock brokerage grandee. The ruling classes don't fund their critics. Doubt if Witter would write a big check for Counterpunch or the ava.)

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‘Twas a woman named Nellie, AKA the Cat Lady, a tourist attraction in cute, curious, adorable Mendocino. You had your Street People of Note, and Nellie was queen, obese, rather solitary in full view of everybody, ill clad, probably with a big cat on a rope, with her face decorated with black magic-marker lines that stood for cat’s whiskers. You maybe would change your location if you were downwind of Nellie, just as you move away from smoke on the downwind side of a campfire. She was mostly homeless, but for a while she had a truck with a camper on it. She slept in it with countless cats, as disreputable as she. It was said she sometimes got lucky with some homeless guys who were drunk enough (she liked company with her libating) to feel like THEY were getting lucky with this great tub o’ love. The mind recoils. I once left my newspaper office in San Francisco out a backdoor onto the alley on a typical cold, windy San Francisco day, only to step over two scruffy (what little you could see of them) horizontal men, prostrate on the hem of the alley sidewalk, covered in some rag of a blanket, rhythmically, um, comforting each other, the brown-bagged wine or fortified ale next to them, etc. etc. My mind recoiled. I love love, but sometimes its forms are, well…

Anyway, Nellie had a good long run in Mendocino, getting a little help from us regular chumps, a buck or two to go toward her wine and kitties and whatever she ate. She obliged by doing outlandish things. Once she had an old nag from God knows where that could’ve been related to her. She set up some obstacles on the block-square empty lot the Village of Mendocino maintains for some obscure reason and which she was then claiming for her domain, and she was riding the horse over and around these unchallenging obstacles as if she were a one-rider foxhunt—that sort of thing. Tourists took pictures.

When she had to do her business she wasn’t overly fussy about privacy. Her condition was in slow, very slow, decline. Came a winter, her truck long since towed away, most of the cats gone, she sleeping out, gradually becoming more indifferent to the chill and drizzle, booze is warming, snoring in full view of the streets of our precious village, turning into a near-future corpse in the world’s clear view. She was not even marginally an asset, now, and the unseen eyes of the Village matrons, those final arbiters of Acceptable without whom the world would quickly devolve into some purgatory—those eyes were on her.

The matrons acted. I don’t know any of the real skinny. One doesn’t ask too much in these affairs. No cop or sheriff would take on something under the wings of the matrons. All’s I know, under cover of night or whenever, Nellie vanished.

And that might be the end of my story, except one day, after a long absence, Nellie appeared again on the streets of the Village. She was hardly recognizable, so crisp and clean was she. Her hair had a ribbon. Her pinafore was clean, her face without a single whisker and there she was, graciously ignoring the little utterances of surprise and greeting, looking healthy and content and very puzzling, and then, almost immediately, she vanished again.

Almost. In that small interval, my Ellie talked with our Nellie. The onetime Cat Lady told Ellie (a rival—Ellie had the reputation of being the Cat Lady owing to her custom of feeding strays at various spots around town and hauling un-neutered cats to the vet. A dead rich lady had set up a fund for neutering animals, so Ellie got it done free, then released the infertile cats. Usually. Some won her—or maybe they just signaled that they couldn’t make it on their own. At our cattiest, we had fourteen with residence privileges on premises. We now have two. Ellie retired from cat-ladydom.

Anyway, she talked with Nellie and told me this: Nellie’s mildly retarded, fully innocent and living in a group home on the other side of the hill. “The hill” is the first rank of mountains in the rumpled Coast Range. The county seat is over there, and Nellie, if still she abides, has a clean & soapy indoors existence there, without glue to snort nor booze to chug. Ellie wrote her up. Ellie is a better and more prolific writer than I. She gives Nellie a skilled, watchful and respectful treatment.

All This Is Merely Prelude.

What I really want to talk about is Jeffrey Epstein the Late. Was Jeffrey a man of influence? Was he?! here’s a snippet from Wikipedia, shorn only of footnote numbers: "Epstein was a longtime acquaintance of and Tom Barrack, and attended parties with many prominent people, including Bill Clinton, Prince Andrew, Donald Trump, Katie Couric, and Woody Allen. His contacts included Rupert Murdoch, Michael Bloomberg, Richard Branson, Michael Jackson, Alec Baldwin, Kennedys, Rockefellers and Rothschilds. His contacts also included Israeli prime minister Ehud Barak, British prime minister Tony Blair, and Saudi Arabian crown prince Mohammed bin Salman. Both Clinton and Trump claimed that they never visited Epstein's island. Epstein owned a private jet, nicknamed the "Lolita Express", and traveled in it frequently, logging "600 flying hours a year … usually with guests on board". Virginia Roberts Guiffre claimed that in 2001, Epstein flew from Carmel, California to Los Angeles with Matt Groening, the creator of The Simpsons, and that she was asked to give Groening a foot massage. In 2003, Epstein flew to Cuba aboard his plane with Columbian president Andrés Pastrana Arango at the invitation of Cuban president Fidel Castro. According to Fabiola Santiago of the Miami Herald, Epstein was likely considering relocating to Cuba in order to escape U.S. law enforcement; Epstein was under investigation from U.S. law enforcement at the time. In 2009, Epstein's brother Mark claimed Trump had flown on Epstein's plane at least once. He later told The Washington Post that Trump flew "numerous times" on Epstein's airplane, although Mark was only present on one of the flights. According to Michael Corcoran, Trump flew Epstein on his own airplane at least once. In September 2002, Epstein flew Clinton, Kevin Spacey, and Chris Tucker to Africa in this jet. Flight records obtained in 2016 show Bill Clinton flew 27 times to at least a dozen international locations. Flight logs did not list any Secret Service detail for at least five flights, all in Asia, and Secret Service stated that there is no evidence of the former President making a trip to Epstein's private island. In 2019, a Clinton spokesperson stated that, in 2002 and 2003, Clinton took four trips on Epstein's airplane, making stops on three continents, all with his staff and Secret Service detail. At the time of Epstein's 2019 arrest, Clinton's spokeswoman Angel Ureña stated that Clinton had 'not spoken to Epstein in well over a decade, and has never been to Little St. James Island, Epstein's ranch in New Mexico, or his residence in Florida.' In documents unsealed the day before Epstein's death, the deposition of alleged sex slave Virginia Giuffre includes her allegations that when she was 17, Clinton visited Little St. James island, that underage girls were present, and that Epstein threw a dinner party for Clinton. She stated Secret Service was present, but not at all times. The Secret Service told Fox News in 2016 it had no record of agents being on the island. The unsealed court documents also showed that Giuffre later acknowledged her previous claim that Clinton had visited the island was false. Giuffre claims Maxwell told her she flew Clinton to the island on her helicopter, although she conceded, "I heard a lot of things from Ghislaine that sounded too true – too outrageous to be true, but you never knew what to believe."

President Trump states ‘I knew him like everybody in Palm Beach knew him.’

In a profile of Epstein in New York magazine in 2002, former Democratic Senate leader George J. Mitchell said of Epstein, ‘I would certainly call him a friend and a supporter.’ In the same article, Donald Trump remarked, "I've known Jeff for fifteen years. Terrific guy. He's a lot of fun to be with. It is even said that he likes beautiful women as much as I do, and many of them are on the younger side.’”

That’s just a snippet, but have a caution. We are eternally adolescent. Given America’s sturdy and reliable titillation at all things sexual, we are in danger of seeing Jeffrey as just a whoremaster. That he was, but he was also regarded as a patron of the sciences, a big donor to Harvards and things like that, a philanthropist, a very rich guy and I don’t know what-all. Did this guy have “juice”? Was his rolodex heavy with celebrities? Was he honored and awarded nearly to sainthood. You betcha, Kemosabe!

And when he first got busted for sex crimes, what a murmuring was there! He got clean out of it, almost, when his first whore empire got outed. He was convicted of being naughty and sentenced, basically, to nothing much by acolytes of the very Bill Barr who now calls down justice for the entire nation.

So, now Nellie. Just as the matrons of Mendocino, the bluehaired gentleladies of civic decency, had tea or something at undisclosed locations to arrange a solution for Nellie, the gofers of the Huge, the Dershowitzes and the Clintons met for tea and crumpets to decide how best to silence the natterers on Jefferey Epstein. His arrest and caging represented unspeakable exposure for dozens of, um, job creators and other such, and just like the Mendo matrons, they decided he needed to be suicided. Is there anyone who doubts this? You don’t leave a tongue like that in enemy hands. Read this next Wiki snippet closely:

“On August 11, an autopsy was performed. The preliminary result of the autopsy found that Epstein sustained multiple breaks in his neck bones. Among the bones broken in Epstein's neck was the hyoid bone. Such breaks of the hyoid bone can occur from those who hang themselves, but they are more common in victims of homicide by strangulation. A 2010 study found broken hyoids in one-fourth of suicides, and a larger study conducted from 2010 to 2016 found hyoid damage in just 16 of 264 suicides, or six percent of cases. Hyoid bone breaks are more common in older individuals, as the bones become more brittle upon reaching middle age. Forensic pathologist Cyril Wecht noted that hanging by leaning forward would not result in broken cervical bones.

“On August 16, Barbara Sampson, the New York City medical examiner, ruled Epstein's death a suicide by hanging. The medical examiner, according to Epstein's defense counsel, only saw nine minutes of footage from one security camera to help her arrive at her conclusion. Epstein's estate independent pathologist, Michael Baden, who was at the examination, was unable to discuss the result, since, as of August 16, he was bound by a gag order from the medical examiner office and Epstein's estate. Epstein's defense lawyers were not satisfied with the conclusion of the medical examiner and were conducting their own independent investigation into the cause of Epstein's death, including taking legal action, if necessary, to view the pivotal camera footage near his cell during the night of his death Epstein's lawyers said that the evidence concerning Epstein's death was ‘far more consistent’ with murder than suicide.”

So. Repeat after me: the official determination is that Free Spirit Jeff killed himself. Do I believe it? No. The explanations and investigations were too pat, too slick. They fell off Page One and into the forgettable inside pages too fast. After Jeff left his vale of tears, I could, in the silence of the night, hear the soft sighs of relief. The bluehaired ladies of the One Percent—male, burly and shave-headed, with bristling hair and tatts—saw to it.

It was either that or this: somebody spoke to him through the bars: We know where you live, where your closest people live. We’ll help you out or arrange for you to do the deed without interference. Man up or else.

American leadership--political and economic leadership anywhere, at any time--requires the readiness to kill--Nero, Lincoln, FDR, Obama, Bush--the lot of them. Facebook friend, do not doubt that we are led, commanded and controlled by murderers. Do not doubt that a correction to the misdirection of our republic, our (Latin) res publicus, our "public thing," will raise the question of how far we will go to return to the straight and narrow.

Do I know all this for a fact? In the immortal words of Bill Maher, “I don’t know it for a fact. I just know it’s true.”

Completely Off-Topic Postscript

If Hurricane Dorian had stopped and stayed at Mar-a-Lago instead of Abaco for forty cringing, ground-clearing hours, I would have got religion.

(Mitch Clogg)

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I am an optimist. I am also a realist, and realistically, we are all doomed. Toast.

The people that live and that have lived on this planet have acted selfishly and been too abusive to our limited resources. We have looked harder at war than at peace. We have always spent too much of our own future, and our children’s future, and our children’s children’s future. Indeed, we have all, throughout time, robbed our kids piggy banks, so that we could live beyond our planets means. To me, it’s kind of weird.

Think about it. We live on a planet that has sustained life for over 200,000 years, so it is not like we haven’t had enough time to make changes. We are now lucky enough to be living at a time when we will soon run out of time. It’s over. We are all going to die. Even Steven Hawkin, the noted English theoretical physicist, cosmologist, and author says that we only have 100 years to find another planet on which to live. In other words, we have destroyed this planet, so we had better find another one fast, or we become extinct. So, what do we do?

In a thoughtful letter to the editor recently, Karen Rifkin stated. “As defeatist as it sounds, the only change I feel I am capable of making is at the personal level-in how I view my circumstances and in how I behave towards others”.

Battabing Karen. BINGO! Me too. And this advice may be key. Focus on the inside, moving towards and impacting the outside world. Sure, we are all are going to die, but now, our planet may not live as long as our children will. So, I would ask, what does one do?

Well, my answer would be the following: Death is death, so let’s look at the regrets that most people have just before they die, and glean some answers and advice on how to proceed. The following article is credited to Lolly Daskal, and posted on the website.

12 Things People Regret the Most Before They Die.

Lolly listed these ideas as regrets and wishes. I prefer to view them as a “to do today” list. Start now. Start doing these ideas like there is no tomorrow. Start doing these things right after you stop reading this letter to the editor. I have posted the regrets below, directly from her article, but I will list them now as “answers” or solutions”, and not as regrets or wishes.

1) Spend more time with the people you love

2) Worry less

3) Forgive more

4) Stand up for yourself

5) Live your own life

6) Be more honest (with yourself and with others)

7) Work less, unless your work is your passion

8) Care less about what other people think

9) Live up to your full potential

10) Face your fears head-on

11) Stop chasing the wrong things

12) Live in the moment

These 12 ideas help to provide a roadmap forward. These ideas regard personal change. Positive personal change. And if we all can do these 12 things, and I mean right now, then we may all be able to leave the planet better than we found it, through personal and individual change. Karen Rifkin, thank you for your honest and personal reflections.

Make a difference today. Make it a day worth remembering.

Take a few moments now and then and revisit your business, your life, your leadership.

Ask yourself if there is anything that you might regret later. And if there is, take action.

Later will be now before you know it.

Angus Young


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It cracked me up a little bit to read in the Off the Record section this week that Branson High School's 8-man football team is undefeated in four years of play. Living amongst the affluent class almost all my life, I've noticed an elitist obsession with winning at all costs, or to put it another way, a pathological intolerance of losing.

It reminds me of my father who went to a college prep school in Connecticut before attending Dartmouth and Stanford and working in the business world. When I was in the fourth grade we would sometimes play one-on-one basketball on Saturdays at a local junior high school in affluent Orinda where we lived. Starting when I was in the fifth grade I began beating him regularly in basketball, like 8 out of 10 times, and all of a sudden he didn't want to play basketball anymore. He didn't admit why but it was clear he was saying "If I can't beat you then I don't want to play anymore." I mentioned this to a woman several years ago and she said that my father could have expressed a sense of pride that his son could beat him regularly at basketball (which I suppose would be what some modern fathers would have done) but since my old man saw me primarily as a competitor the last thing he wanted to do was boost my ego.

I also had a male friend in Orinda in junior high school who was a math and numbers geek, and who I unsurprisingly discovered years ago on Facebook now owns his own accounting firm. In the eighth grade he and my father and I did a pool where we each chose ten companies on the New York Stock Exchange to see whose stocks did the best over the course of one year. The winner would win a whopping five dollars each from the other two competitors.

I was keeping track of our stocks in the Sunday paper every week and after a year my stocks did the best of the three of us. When I informed my friend of this, his numbers-obsessed ego couldn't handle that he hadn't won and he accused me of cheating. I offered to show him the meticulous records I'd kept for 52 weeks of our stocks but he refused and he never did pay me the five dollars. I'm sure he never felt any guilt whatsoever about stiffing me, either. Not surprisingly within several months I dumped him and our friendship was over.

So it didn't surprise me that elitist Branson High School would compete in an 8-man football league where they could dominate rather than struggle in 11-man football against local high schools like another elite private school (and football powerhouse) Marin Catholic, who if they played Branson every year would probably beat them by seven or eight touchdowns.

Keith Bramstedt

San Anselmo

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DORIS SALCEDO (born in Bogotá, Colombia, 1958) 1550 Chairs Stacked Between Buildings, Istanbul Biennale, 2003

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SATURDAY EVENING POST COVER art ‘The Connoisseur’ by Norman Rockwell, January 13, 1962. Saturday Evening Post & Curtis Publishing ©.

This is one of the most memorable covers that Rockwell painted for the Post. Its effectiveness lies largely in the contrast between the dapper clothes of the "connoisseur" and the splashed pigment of the "action painting." The painting is in the style of Jackson Pollock but was in fact painted by Rockwell himself. Under an assumed name, he entered it in a local art show—it won first prize.

~via the Norman Rockwell page.

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Alvarez, Anderson, Cowan

JAVIER ALVAREZ, Ukiah. Burglary, probation revocation.

TYLER ANDERSON, Willits. Domestic abuse, child endangerment.

WANDA COWAN, American Canyon/Willits. Kidnapping, stolen property.

Fischer, Gaeta, Humphrey

TIMOTHY FISCHER, Disorderly conduct-alcohol, resisting, probation revocation.

ESTEBAN GAETA, Fort Bragg. Domestic abuse, failure to apepar.

TRAVIS ‘THE HUMP’ HUMPHREY, Redwood Valley. Resisting, probation revocation.

Ickes, Parmely, Powell

COLE ICKES, Fort Bragg. Domestic battery, trespassing/refusing to leave, petty theft, resisting.

JACOB PARMELY, Ukiah. Parole violation.

WILLIAM POWELL II, Ukiah. Failure to appear, probation revocation.

Sanders, Thompson, Zakedis

JENNIFER SANDERS, Ukiah. Assault, criminal threats, disobeying court order.

CLIFTON THOMPSON, Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.

DAVID ZAKEDIS, Willits. Domestic battery, probation revocation.

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LOUISE BROOKS in a promotional photo for the 1929 film The Canary Murder Case.

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by James Kunstler

After leaving the Bahamas for dead, Hurricane Dorian barely grazed the US mainland en route to the Canadian shoals of oblivion, perhaps saving America’s insurance industry. But the steamy west coast of Africa is hurling out a cavalcade of replacements as the high season for Atlantic storms commences, so better keep the plywood sheets at hand. Lots of things are looking stormy around the world just now: nations, markets, politics — everything really except all three divisions of the American League… yawn….

The world is in a nervous place these days. The US is something like the world’s crazy old auntie, whom everyone else would like to lock in the attic. Except she happens to be cradling a bazooka, so they’ll go on trying to ignore her a while longer, hoping she doesn’t launch any rockets at the neighbors.

Britain courts chaos in its attempt to keep staving off the Brexit quandary, which itself seems to promise a hearty dose of chaos as thousands of unresolved trade issues threaten the country’s economic future walking out on Europe. The majority who voted Brexit feel that the EU is already crushing them under bureaucratic diktat and immigration quotas. New Prime Minister Bo-Jo has tried one ploy after another in his quest to reach the Halloween Brexit ramp. Everyone is ganging up on him, even his own brother, Jo Johnson, who has quit the cabinet and is ditching his seat in parliament. Bo-Jo wants to call an election because there is no one else to take his place, and many of those piling on him also detest the opposition Labor Party leader, Jeremy Corbyn. Events are outrunning anybody’s ability to see what happens next. Street violence is not out of the question.

What’s at stake behind all the pushing-and-shoving is the question of national sovereignty. Does it matter anymore? I suspect it will matter increasingly for everyone in many nations, and at a smaller and smaller scale of political divisions so that, for instance, Great Britain itself will be faced with surrendering its dominion over Scotland and Northern Ireland. This is churning in the zeitgeist now, actually has been for some time since the Soviet Union and Yugoslavia cracked up. Even the United States finds itself increasingly disunited and it’s not inconceivable that before the century ends some regions may go their own way. Texans have been talking it up for years, and California is already acting like she’s started divorce proceedings.

China, meanwhile, is whipping its quasi-vassal Hong Kong like a dog because Xi Jinping is not in a position to bust Donald Trump upside the head and Xi’s got to take it out on somebody. Everything was looking so rosy for China as it burst out of its medieval cocoon into industrial adulthood, and now Mr. Trump is ruining the global arrangements that turned the sclerotic old outfit into a global super-dragon. They’ve had a blast driving down the capitalist road — even if they’re actually ruled by communists — but a storm of bad debt is coming up on them from behind, and if it catches up, the joyride is over and some kind of dreadful crackup happens.

All the abiding normality of the past seventy years is slipping away into flux. Modernity is finally yielding – to what? Nobody knows. And nowhere is this more obvious than in the realm of money and economy. Beyond all the other quarrels of modern times — democracy versus communism, Islam versus the West, the wealthy north versus the poor south — one thing remained pretty steady: the flow of oil into the engines of economy. Turned out, the world didn’t have to run out of oil for that normality to fray badly; the oil just had to become marginally unaffordable, and voila! It’s hard for people to grok, especially here in the USA with oil production so far above the old 1970 prior peak that the proposition seems absurd.

But it is so. The companies chasing shale oil have done it on tons of borrowed money, and now having demonstrated that it’s not a profitable business, investors have soured on them and they can’t get new loans. A contagion of bankruptcies is underway among them and it’s going to get worse because the business model for shale oil is a joke.

But the business model for the nations of the world is also a joke: borrow as much as you can from your own future and pray for a happy ending. It is driving the whole world insane. It’s exactly why people in the USA think it’s a good idea for trannies with arrest records to read stories to six-year-olds. These delusions and the financial head trips that spawn them will also get worse as the nations of the world go deeper into the alternative universe of zero-interest financing and Ponzi pretense. Without that cheap oil, growth is impossible, and without growth, crackup is inevitable.

(Support Kunstler’s writing by visiting his Patreon Page.)

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Gabe Stutman:

“…Photos sent to J. show a large-scale diorama that one person described as “Auschwitz-themed” made with Barbie dolls. A sea of nude Barbies is seen moving toward three full-size kitchen ovens. Some are “crucified” on bright pink crosses. Other photos show toy soldiers with semi-automatic rifles “marching” the Barbies from the rear. A banner strapped to an RV proclaims the Barbie Death Camp “the friendliest concentration camp” at Burning Man. Another reads “arbeit macht plastik frei,” a reference to the message over the Auschwitz gate meaning “work makes you free.”

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Every time I watch disasters on TV, I cringe at the number of small plastic water bottles being thrown around. On the news recently I saw a woman from Flint, Michigan, who was still using bottled water for all her household needs. She said she used about a hundred bottles daily. Agencies involved in disaster preparation know in advance what to expect. Why aren’t they distributing gallon jugs? Why did the 16-ounce bottle become the default method of delivering water?

Janyce Bodeson

Santa Rosa

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by William Rivers Pitt

Adding climate change to school curriculums. Geoengineering. Thorium fuel reactors. A Blue New Deal. The Syrian war was a climate war. Climate distress included in asylum petitions. Food deserts. Climate denial is a literal sin. “Democracy” is a verb.

For the first time in the history of the country, these topics and others like them were discussed in detail by presidential candidates on live television, and all with the words “Climate Crisis” in huge letters above them on the stage and flashed in chyrons across the screen. Underscoring the gravity of the topic were constant updates on the ruinous progress of Hurricane Dorian, which reclaimed Category 3 status as it clawed its way toward landfall once again.

“Be careful what you wish for” was the first thing to cross my mind when I heard about CNN’s plans for a climate-related town hall involving the top 10 Democratic presidential candidates. I’ve been howling about the short shrift the climate crisis has gotten since the debates began, and gadzooks, was this ever an answer to that complaint.

For the record: Climate activists got this done, in the face of incomprehensible resistance from the Democratic National Committee (DNC), which resoundingly rejected a proposal for a climate-only debate late last month. “I’m so proud of and grateful for the climate activist community,” Michelle Deatrick, representative to the DNC Women’s Caucus and co-sponsor of the defeated climate debate proposal, told Truthout, “which fought for a climate debate and succeeded in getting us this town hall.”

Ten candidates were given 40 clean minutes each to answer pointed, detailed, climate-specific questions over the course of seven hours. A cynic (or a Trump fan) might argue this was unwatchable overkill; who is going to sit through such a marathon?

I did, and I was glad to do it. I imagine many of the viewers who tuned in opted to dip in and out of the broadcast throughout the night, and though they may have missed the totality of the event, whatever parts they saw were generally uniform in content.

Virtually every candidate described climate change as an “existential crisis” that needs to be addressed immediately, and whatever parts people missed will be clipped and shared on social media for weeks to come. Everything they said is out there now, and will be for the rest of the race.

It’s about damn time.

The overarching message rang loud and clear, and refreshingly, the format did not involve the candidates attacking or interrupting each other. Cory Booker even praised his rivals for their insight and attention to the issue he described as the lens through which we must view everything else.

There was unified consensus on the pressing nature of the crisis, with enough nuance within the proffered policies to provide clear differentiation between 10 people running for the same nomination. Any damage done was self-inflicted (looking at you, Joe Biden), which was the best possible outcome for a party seeking unity around the belief that defeating Donald Trump must come first.

By far and away, Bernie Sanders owned the event. His forceful yet understated advocacy for policies he has championed over the entire course of his life in public service placed him in a different category than even Elizabeth Warren or Cory Booker, who also comported themselves well. Warren and Booker’s grasp of the details, along with their enthusiasm in imparting them, set them apart from the crowd, but this was Sanders’s home turf, and it showed.

Sanders brought specificity to how he would pay for the $16 trillion price tag on his climate plan. More than that, he was honest about what this crisis will require of us all. “There will be a transition, and there will be some pain,” he said. “We are going to have to ask people to make those changes now, even though they may be uncomfortable, for the sake of future generations.”

This was needed medicine on a night when many of the candidates — Andrew Yang, Amy Klobuchar, Pete Buttigieg, Beto O’Rourke and even Warren — preached the gospel of the market as a cure-all: We can only address climate change if someone can make money doing it.

Corporations, corporations, corporations went the drumbeat of blame from the candidates; but corporations, after all, are but a symptom of the disease, and only Sanders was bold enough to suggest that the voracious nature of U.S.-style capitalism must first be confronted if true climate reform is to be undertaken: “We are going to have to change the nature of many of the things we are doing right now,” he said. The meaning behind his words was unmistakable.

The evening saw its fair share of clunkers, to be sure. Amy Klobuchar spent a sizeable portion of her 40 minutes telling the audience what can’t be done while reminding everyone she was “being honest.” Kamala Harris weaved story after story, simultaneously demonstrating her talent as a politician even as she tap-danced around her faint grasp of the details. Julian Castro, like Harris, was engaging personally but ultimately failed to stand out.

Andrew Yang and his supporters have complained about not getting a fair amount of media coverage. Personally, I think he should be grateful for that; if people had seen more of what Yang had to offer on Wednesday night, he probably wouldn’t have made the cut. “The Earth is likely getting warmer around us,” he said at one point. Likely? Yang laughed his way through much of his time, and though he landed some good zingers — “You know what’s expensive? Poisoning our kids!” — his oft-professed belief in the market as a solution to climate disruption was disqualifying.

And then there was Biden. Picture in your mind a plane crash on top of a train wreck in the middle of an earthquake after an attack by Godzilla, and you’ll still fall short of fully encompassing what the former vice president did to himself on Wednesday night.

The story of the night was Biden’s defenestration at the hands of a young man who asked why Biden was set to attend a big-dollar fundraiser co-hosted by a fossil fuel executive, despite his pledge not to accept fossil fuel campaign money. “I didn’t know he did that,” Biden exclaimed, which was a curious statement: The executive in question, Andrew Goldman, was the northeast director of finance for Biden’s doomed 2008 presidential campaign. Biden’s feigned (or actual) ignorance about the company he was set to keep the very next night was as hollow as it was humiliating.

Had that been the extent of the damage, it would have been a mercy, but it was not. Biden did not need nine other candidates to interrupt him, because he interrupted himself time and again as he staggered through a series of fathomless half-statements that exposed his gossamer grasp of the subject matter. Biden’s prattle about “safe fracking” rang about as true as “clean coal.” Topping it all off was his left eye, which visibly filled with blood halfway through his allotted time. I suppose it could have been worse, but I’m not quite sure how.

With the glaring exception of Biden, all the candidates had their moments to shine. “It’s happening right now,” said Klobuchar of climate change. “It’s happening today.” O’Rourke’s suggestion that climate distress be added to the list of reasons why migrants can petition for amnesty, which he pointedly offered in the context of the Dorian catastrophe suffered by the Bahamas, brought a welcome dollop of humanity to an immigration debate that has been deeply stained by cruelty and racism.

Among the many themes that stood out on Wednesday night was the shared consensus that climate disruption is inextricably entwined with racial and economic justice. “Race and ethnicity is the best predictor of your proximity to a polluter,” said O’Rourke at one point. Castro, Booker, Warren, Buttigieg, Sanders and Harris eloquently echoed their versions of this truth.

For all the good done by CNN’s town hall, the Overton Window of permissible debate was very much on display. Voters with a keen grasp of the stakes may well have come away from it rightfully disappointed, either by the candidates’ climate plans or by their words from that stage.

Wednesday night was not intended for those voters, I suspect. It was aimed at the large and growing body of citizens who may not have the minutiae in hand, yet still feel strongly that climate disruption is as much a here-and-now issue as the economy and health care.

Climate change voters are now numerous enough to compel a major news network to devote seven solid hours of broadcast time to a single topic, and that’s not nothing. Bernie Sanders, as has been his practice since the 2016 presidential campaign, led the way on Wednesday night.

Everything has a beginning. It is far too late to “fix” climate disruption, but CNN’s town hall on the topic may serve as a needed catalyst for a mass movement toward mitigating the damage, or at least toward a general acceptance that it is really happening, right here, right now. Seven hours was a lot, and not nearly enough, but it’s a start.


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The basic question of the nation state is whether it works in the interest of its citizens. If it doesn’t, it’s a no go. If it works only for a small cohort, the rest compelled by force to live by the state’s dictates, sooner or later, it gets overturned. It’s a question that the small handful of people calling the shots in each and every country ought to be asking themselves.

This is the situation in much of the world, elites in advanced, industrialized states, dissatisfied at their opulent lives, decided to foist arrangements that impoverished their fellow citizens, the ones that were formerly paid to produce and to buy their own output. What, after all did Henry Ford do? He paid his workers enough to buy the cars they made.

For forty years after WW2, people worked, and round and round the money went through the productive mechanisms of the economy, from one hand to the next, but with enough people able to scrape off enough to live in a house with indoor plumbing and electric lights and a car. And enough grub.

No more, those arrangements are gone and that’s the discontent roiling the western world – and also the east. The only way to make like it’s still 1964 is to borrow, at all levels, personal, corporate and governmental, with an ever upward ratcheting stock market making the rich think they’re richer than they actually are.

One of the basic delusions is that ever upward stock prices indicate ever increasing wealth. But the price gotten by the seller is the cost to the buyer. On an aggregate level, it’s left pocket-right pocket. Where no effort is expended, ie productive work, then no wealth is created.

That shouldn’t be rocket science, but to the economics profession, to governmental policy-makers, to Alan Greenspan, to Larry Summers, to Bob Rubin, to Bill Clinton, to a panoply of people that figure they sure know what’s what, it’s an imponderable, as difficult as Einstein’s deepest musings.

But, to the rest of us that live in the real world, it isn’t. It’s as obvious, as axiomatic, as intuitive as breathing air. It’s astounding the damage that higher education has done to people’s ability to think, albeit with a lot of help from generations of Wall Street smart-guys. All of them are so god-damned smart. One plus one does not equal two, and black is white.

It didn’t end so good for Eddy Dane. But he had it right all along. It’s like he said, we’ll see who’s smart.

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“SOCIAL MEDIA ISN’T EVIL. There are neuroscientists in some of these companies, but for the most part I don’t think it was done maliciously. But advertising is the business model. And if advertising is the business model-- our attention becomes the product. Two variables matter to the bottom line: the amount of users and the amount of time they spend on platform. And what gets measured gets optimized. So our phones have become slot machines. We scroll and scroll and scroll, and eventually we hit something that gives us a dopamine reward. It’s by design. Because slot machines make more money in the US than theme parks, baseball, and movies combined. Both Vegas and Silicon Valley know that our brains can be manipulated if presented with a certain set of choices. Obviously addictiveness isn’t the only feature of these platforms. They’ve empowered so many voices. I’d just love to live in a world where our most influential technology didn’t measure its success by the time it took from us.”

(Humans of New York)

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The September 19, 2019 Planning Commission agenda has been posted to the department website at the below link:

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USEFUL IDIOTS (Matt Taibbi & Katie Halpern) talk with Jimmy Dore about "the media."


  1. George Hollister September 7, 2019

    “Quick! Tell me from memory one, only one, interesting thing you’ve heard on the radio from a musician or an actor.”

    George C Scott: “The (Academy Award) ceremonies are a two-hour meat parade, a public display with contrived suspense for economic reasons.”

    • Bruce Anderson September 7, 2019

      I’ll be darned. Thanks, George.

    • Harvey Reading September 7, 2019

      This was after Scott’s performance in Patton (1970), a “blockbuster” propaganda war movie apparently made in an attempt to boost morale at home over the Vietnam atrocity, but a well-done one, and one of two decent movies Scott made in my opinion. The other was The Flim-Flam Man(1967), with Michael Sarrazin. So, it was a time when he was flying high. Didn’t last long, though …

      Patton was one of only two movies I ever saw in San Francisco. The other was 2001: A Space Odyssey.

  2. Ted Williams September 7, 2019

    “everyone but a cop or a line social services worker, the two reps best equipped to tell us how this county’s mental health efforts are really doing”

    Line social workers are welcome to contact me. Input from the people actually executing the work would be valuable.

    • James Marmon September 7, 2019

      Do you mean County Social Workers with only high school degrees or so called RQMC social workers without any degrees at all? I’m not sure who does what anymore. That crazy shell game that’s going on with Mental-cino’s mental health dollars is really nuts. Meanwhile thousands of 5150 crisis evaluations with hundreds of hospitalizations each year, and increasing. I wonder if there will be enough “brick and mortar” available if the County stays on the same track? If you look at who are considered to be line social workers you would be surprised. They may be working hard, but working smarter would be better.

      “If you’re just going to do crisis, then you’re just going to do crisis”
      -Lee Kemper

      James Marmon MSW

      • James Marmon September 7, 2019

        Master level social workers who actually attended a real school of social work do not last long because they start asking questions. Questioning authority in Mental-cino will get you perp walked out of the building.

      • James Marmon September 7, 2019

        The County’s “grow our own social workers” policy is a complete disaster.

      • Harvey Reading September 7, 2019

        Good comment, James. For once I agree with you. Social work is not for the uneducated.

      • Ted Williams September 7, 2019

        “If you look at who are considered to be line social workers you would be surprised.”

        I’ll ask for an org chart of credentials and years experience.

        • James Marmon September 7, 2019

          Can you get that information from RQMC? A lot of services that they claim are going to be on are being done by agencies under their umbrella are substandard and don’t meet Medi-Cal standards for billing.

          As far as employees contacting supervisors, I am will to share with you a copy of my State Personnel Board hearing where the administrative judged ruled me guilty of breaking the chain of commend by directly contacting BoS members. They did so because there was a correction of action plan that I refused to sign agreeing that I would not contact the supervisors. I’m not fucking around Ted, stay safe.


        • James Marmon September 7, 2019

          They also took out a 3 year restraining order keeping me from communicating with the BoS. Clean it up!

  3. Ted Williams September 7, 2019

    “OFF THE TOP I can’t remember ever sitting in on a serious Mendo discussion characterized by true adult give and take. Listening to local discussions on public affairs, say on KZYX, is, intellectually, like treading water in a vat of lukewarm piss. And public meetings of whatever type may be seething beneath the smiley surface, and often are, but for public consumption what you get is bland stupification, all of it dispensed by people nicely paid to dispense it.”

    Sit up front with post-it notes and I’ll give you a direct conduit to the moderator.

  4. Eric Sunswheat September 7, 2019

    RE: Quick! Tell me from memory one, only one, interesting thing you’ve heard on the radio from a musician or an actor.

    ————>. Pebbles Trippet spoke well on Flashpoint KPFA, Friday, September 6th 2019, 5-6pm, (actual broadcast date) about Mendocino cannabis history, and the right to grow medicine forward, with an evolving position paper political platform, to outfox the money people.


    Flashpoints – September 6, 2019
    09.06.19 – 5:00PMAn award winning front-line investigative news magazine, that focuses on human, civil and workers right, issues of war and peace, Global Warming, racism and poverty, and other issues. Hosted by Dennis J. Bernstein.

    Cannabis in California: The Roll Out Series Continues

    09.05.19 – 5:00PMToday on the program, we continue our multi part series on cannabis in California: The rollout, the current ups and downs and the multiple impacts of extreme tax, packaging and government micro control

  5. Jim Armstrong September 7, 2019

    I am glad you published William Rivers Pitt’s essay on CNN’s climate debate, even though I had already read it on Truthout.
    He is one of the best journalist/columnists working today.

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