- Phone Service
- Book/Antique Sale
- Denise Garcia
- Vaughn Out
- Ocean Disaster
- Mendo What
- Pension Obligation
- No AutoZone
- Lion Talk
- Local Grains
- New Book
- Health Forum
- Blackwell Bookstore
- Banjo Boy
- Arms Trading
- Yesterday's Catch
- Climate Crisis
- Red Button
- Census Security
- Seals Stadium
- GOP It
- Decent Guys
- Dolly Talk
- Chipmunk Fable
- Hemp Helps
- Drab Housing
- Social Drinker
- Dear Snoop
- Canna Buzz
- Found Object
OUR PHONES at the AVA have been out for three days despite assurances, by e-mail, that AT&T would have the phones back on "by October 4th, " subject to change, natch. We regret the inconvenience to many of you who tried to break the sound barrier.
UPDATE: At about 1:30pm Thursday afternoon, the phone rang, and we were back. We received no direct notice from Ma Bell. The process of even getting hold of them was one of the most frustrating little hassles we’ve had this year. An AT&T lady we found in the company's Boonville bunker was very helpful, and we suspect she accelerated the restoration process, reminding us of the halcyon communication days when the late John Hulbert was AT&T's man in the Anderson Valley, and we all went directly to him with phone problems and he fixed 'em pronto.
"THE MENDOCINO COUNTY HISTORICAL SOCIETY, in Ukiah, has been moving their collections from the Held-Poage Home into their new archival building. During this process, they have been narrowing their holdings to better reflect their mission to specifically preserve Mendocino County history and the history of the neighboring counties. They are letting go of hundreds of history books, first editions, antique books, antiques, and items from their collection that have been cleared as having no historical significance.
Hundreds Of Items Added. They are adding hundreds of books to this sale and just received a large donation of antiques ready for a new homes. So it’s definitely worth a look if you came to their first sale.
Members Only Preview Mixer: MCHS members are invited to get first pick of the sale the night before the sale opens the public. Members can stop by on October 11th (Friday) from 5-7pm. Don’t worry if you are not a member, you can join at the door!
MCHS Book & Antique Sale: Sale opens to the public October 12th (Saturday) from 10-2pm.
If you are not a member, they welcome you to join!
- Couple Life Membership: $500
- Individual Life Membership: $300
- Patron: $100
- Couple (one address): $40
- Individual: $30
Membership includes an invite to our quarterly luncheon, a subscription to our quarterly historical journal, discounts on our publications and exclusive perks for MCHS events.
To become a member please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or (707) 462-6969 or sign up online at mendohistoricalsociety.com"
Denise Garcia of Albion passed on August 13, 2019. A childhood cancer survivor for 55 years, its shadow followed her the rest of her days. She is survived by her beloved partner of 30 years, J.W. "Luke" Lane. Along with her many artistic talents, she was a genuine clothing fashionista and also possessed a unique knowledge of beautician skills. She was an avid gardener, with an original hybrid rose named after her, the Donicia Dawn. D- was also a creative and talented gourmet chef. A friend to anyone who met her. Her warm and generous spirit will be missed by all. A celebration of Denise's life will occur at a later date. Rest in peace, dear lady.
Terry Vaughn Writes: "As of today I am dropping out of the race for 4th District Supervisor. Diabetes management has become a major focus in my life and the stress of running a campaign is too much. good luck Dan & Lindy"
FISHERY DISASTER DECLARED FOR MENDOCINO COAST RED SEA URCHIN DIVERS, PROCESSORS
The red sea urchin fishery — already substantially smaller than in its heyday in the late 1980s and early 1990s — has been devastated by the recent collapse of the bull kelp forest and the related invasion of voracious purple urchins, smaller cousins with no commercial value that have taken over the ocean floor.
SUPERVISOR WILLIAMS ON THE ROAD:
Curious about name recognition and quality perception of Mendocino County produced Cannabis, I set out to perform field research. Visiting several southern California dispensaries, I was able to speak at length with employees and consumers about their product preferences. The answers tended to be consistent. Where is the best Cannabis produced? Los Angeles warehouses, because the terpenes are better preserved indoors. Best outdoor? Mexico. How about the Emerald Triangle? What’s that? What do you think of flower from Mendocino? Blank expression, where is that? Humboldt? No idea. Do you consider the county of origin when buying outdoor flower? No. What do you look for when purchasing? Strain, price. Perhaps there is an opportunity for the industry to create County brand recognition, but if it exists today, I couldn’t find it. One gentleman, when asked about Mendocino farms, did direct me to Amazon-owned Whole Foods. And, despite a dispensary telling me they didn’t have product from Mendocino, I did notice Flow Kana on their menu.
KATHY WYLIE asks the candidates a pertinent question: Pensions and county debt.
There has been a LOT of talk about the retirement plan potentially bankrupting the county. Dan, Lindy, Terrence, I'm curious about your stance on this issue, (as it has some of the biggest financial implications to the county IMO). Thanks.
LINDY PETERS: Briefly stated, all of us at the County and City level need to build up our reserves and keep a careful and watchful eye on the bottom line. Placing the burden on taxpayers by increasing the sales tax percentage proved to be unpopular with the voters. They expect sound fiduciary decisions so we don’t have a “balloon payment” type of situation staring us down in a few years. I have been harping on this point at the City level for the last few years.
DAN GJERDE: Mendocino County has received some well deserved criticism for actions it took 10 to 20 years ago. But since that time, before I joined the board and during my time, Mendocino County has moved more swiftly to reform its pension system than has CalPERS, the statewide pension system.
For example, Mendocino County has moved more swiftly to reduce its assumptions of investment returns, to make the assumptions align with past performance. In the past 15 years Mendocino's pension system has earned returns of just over 7%, and that time period includes the Great Recession. As of two years ago, our forecasts now assume a 7% return.
Mendocino County's pension system will definitely not bankrupt Mendocino County, but it does require constant monitoring. For the past five and a half years the board of supervisors has entrusted me to provide that watchful eye, as their appointee to the investment and management board for the retirement system.
MARK SCARAMELLA COMMENTS: On a conventional level, both of these comments are reasonable as far as they go. (Although we can live without the silly “watchful eye” metaphor — how can they do that when the can’t even bring themselves to stay on top of the county budget with ordinary monthly reporting?) But the County has indeed bumped up their contribution a bit based upon the 7% rate of return assumption for the stock market (which has indeed gone up and up and up for the last few years and will inevitably go down, down, down) and the County has forced new hires into "defined contribution" 401k-style pension plans instead of the "defined benefit" most county employees still have. The entire pension arrangement, of course, is highly dependent on the extremely volatile stock market; if the stock market took a significant dive for any significant length of time, the precarious balancing act that the county is doing to cover their pension obligations could be thrown seriously out of whack — meaning, the county would be compelled to pay pension obligations out of the general fund, meaning reduction in county services provided.
Making the problem much worse, however, is the county’s sustained handing out of ever larger salaries to their upper management class along with the associated increased pension liability which goes with them. The county could theoretically lobby the state to put a cap on pensions, we suppose, and they could include a provision in management pay raises that says something to the effect that these raises do not affect pension rates. Not that these belated provisions would improve the big picture at this point.
But, such proposals would require that the very people who benefit from the lopsided pension arrangements advocate against themselves. Nobody seriously begrudges the relatively low line worker pensions that are part of collective bargaining, especially given the workloads many of them have to put up with these days. But those few of us who watch the county budget closely know that the pension obligation is a time-bomb of a problem, made much worse by the skewed high salaries and pensions of upper management.
KUDOS TO THE FORT BRAGG PLANNING COMMISSION for their 4-1 vote against an Auto Zone chain store at the town's south end. Auto Zone would be welcome in Ukiah, if they aren't already there, but more visual blight at FB's first mile is definitely not on.
RONNIE KNOWS HER CREATURES!
Local wildlife expert, Ronnie James of Woodland Wildlife, will be at Fort Bragg Library this Saturday, Sep. 28 @ 2 pm to discuss our resident mountain lions ~ their habits, habitats, eating patterns, etc. She'll teach us what to do if we encounter one and how to live peacefully together with these beautiful creatures. Please join us for this discussion. 499 Laurel St. Fort Bragg.
THE FUTURE OF LOCAL GRAINS
September 24, 2019
Dear colleagues and friends of local grains,
This is an urgent call for help.
For the last decade the Mendocino Grain Project has been at the center of a quest with other farmers to demonstrate the possibility of restoring local grain production in Mendocino County and beyond. First inspired by the work of the Anderson Valley Foodshed group, we've done a pretty good job of creating an appetite for the wonderful landrace wheats and other grains we've been growing. Now in place is the necessary infrastructure for harvesting, cleaning and milling. We've supported farmers in eight counties. I'm deeply grateful for the “calling” into the local grain journey!
Now, even as we conduct our first successful Grain School and the prospect of increasing production shows promise, the grain project faces the very real probability of reaching the end of its run by the end of 2019.
Circumstances of injury, age, health, and economics have conspired to require that I face the reality of no longer being able to do this work alone or carry the expense of continued operation.
What is needed: a way out from under the current monthly overhead. We hope this will take the form of a building provided for the grain project in the Ukiah-Upper Lake area for cleaning and safely storing locally-produced grain (see the following letter from John LaBoyteaux, fellow grain farmer).
We need solid options and concrete support in short order. If we can't find a way to do this in the next 30-60 days, grain production in Mendocino and Lake counties will end, grain cleaning and milling equipment will be sold to buyers out of the area, and at least two other farmers in Sonoma County will no longer grow grains.
A lot of work remains to realize our collective dream of a real local grain economy that provides not only flavorful and nutritious whole grain products but a sustainable livelihood for those who produce them.
The best scenario for the future is a non-profit, benefactor-supported processing, teaching and research facility to continue local production, support other farmers, prepare the next generation of grain growers, and find the grain varieties best suited to our rapidly changing climate.
We have sent this letter to many friends and customers in hope that you will help us find the special person(s) to make this idea a reality to continue and expand production of local grain on the North Coast.
I will make this as brief and direct as possible.
Local grains on the North Coast are facing a crisis because of the age and health of many of our farmers. Several have already retired from raising grains.
The loss of Doug Mosel's Mendocino Grain Project cleaning facility by the end of this year is a really big problem. Right now it provides the only fully equiped, commercially viable grain cleaning anywhere on the North Coast, absolutely essential, and it may be the only certified organic facility in the State, cleaning grain from Marin, Sonoma, Napa, Mendocino, Lake and Humboldt Counties. Several farmers, including myself, will be forced to quit without this facility. Farm scale cleaning really has not proven to be adequate for quality baking and distilling.
We have an idea and we have an opportunity to preserve this infrastructure and attract younger farmers.
We need a financial benefactor (or more than one) to purchase and help us establish a North Coast Grain Institute, which we envision as an agricultural research station dedicated to grains but including also other organic crops, which would also house and operate the cleaning equipment and other grain infrastructure as well as serving as a place to train younger farmers.
The opportunity is a 25 acre certified organic walnut orchard in Lake County which has the industrial structures needed to clean and store grain and provide research and educational facilities. (You can view this property on Zillow at 1175 Pitney Lane in Upper Lake. The current listing agent is emphasizing the house rather than the agricultural uses.) We would propose to continue the walnut operation to support the Institute but remove older non-productive sections to devote to grains and other crop research.
We have this urgent need right now and we have this near perfect opportunity right now and we need to act promptly.
We are not looking for investors in the traditional sense. We are looking for a person or persons who can front the money, at least in the short term, to acquire the property and continue cleaning grain while pursuing public benefit grants and matching fund options. The ranch does have continued income from the walnuts to cover the property taxes and other expenses. However, in the short term we need benefactors who have the cash, understand the importance of the project for North Coast grains and are willing to work with us to make this happen and put the Institute on a sound financial footing.
Please contact John LaBoyteaux (707) 496-3270 or Doug Mosel (707) 621-0972.
Elk Mountain Road
Upper Lake, CA 95485
SONYA NESCH, one of our most valiant local soldiers in the unending struggle for decent mental health services in Mendocino County (and everywhere) has just published a very interesting memoir of her illustrious 101-year-old cousin, Jean Landis, a World War II pilot. Ms. Nesch's title explains much: "WWII Pilot, Then Congressional Medal: A Great Ride for WASP, Jean Landis." WW II female pilots weren't recognized by the Army until President Obama awarded them their long-denied recognition. Ms. N's book is available via Amazon, as is her invaluable "Advocating for Someone with a Mental Illness."
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.
- 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
RANDY BURKE writes from Oxford, England: “Inquired if they had a copy of Mendocino Papers. Answer: "No, but we can order it for you." Funny thing, I had to spell Mendocino a couple of times — must have been my accent.
LIFE IN THE SRO
I figured that Editor Anderson was around my age. I am 78. This was revealed when you wrote about Single Room Occupancys (SROs). I was particularly amused by the account of your girlfriend's response to being asked to your room and her quick refusal and retreat. Probably because she had heard that only prostitutes would agree. You should have informed readers that most SROs had a gatekeeper or self-appointed guardian of the house’s of morality. Most of them forbade women and cohabitation was prohibited. These ladies were usually late middle age and were previously booted out of the Marine Corps for excessive cruelty to female recruits. Some looked like Mother Teresa with acute constipation but all had the soul of Lady Macbeth. This hidden knowledge might have hastened her retreat.
I used to live in SROs when work dried up in the Central Valley and I would head to the city to work off the board for local #580 Brotherhood of Plasterers and Cement Masons to winter out.
The hallways of SROs I still remember with a shudder — the smell of fried meat, urine and spilt wine. Added to this was a perpetual yellow light and the sad silence of melancholy punctuated by coughing from other tenants. The room walls were mostly yellow from tobacco smoke. One bathroom per floor and only one shower. Most tenants pissed in the sink and failed to run water after it.
Like you, I tried to get my then girlfriend to come up with me. Although we had previously had had uninhibited sex before, she recoiled and I could see her on her face: You have got to be kidding! She didn't say so but instead said she had promised friends — etc.. As I walked by the manager’s door I heard the latch close. The monsters encountered in life never sleep.
I must have stayed in three different SROs. The first one was on Fell Street next to the fire station with the siren on the roof 15 feet from my window. The effect at night was heart stopping. One SRO was filled with old men in serious decay: physical, mental, spiritual. Most were dying of drink, smoke, baldness and loneliness. My last SRO, I think, was on Golden Gate Avenue and the only one where I successfully snuck in a woman. She refused to enter a second time out of fear of the doorkeeper. She suggested that we move in together. We did. And we married. But before I could accomplish that I continued to live there for my first attempt at higher education at San Francisco State.
One evening a neighbor started playing a record of the Banjo Boys and he set it on repeat. I was trying to study for a midterm in a course called "History of Natural Law" and I was trying to read Richard Hooker, the 17th century Anglican bishop’s "Law of Ecclesiastical Politiie — Foundation in Nature." I struggled with the first two pages filled with clauses wandering down like lost sheep searching for a herder and I couldn't take anymore. I beat on the wall to no answer. I stepped out of our apartment and pounded on his door. Nothing but “Play for me Banjo Boy, Play for me Banjo Boy, play.” Caught between a theologian who couldn't state to clear idea, a genetic trait I am sure, and test failure, I surmised my neighbor had gone to work and forgot to turn off the record player. With deep reluctance and trapped between neurological paralysis and academic disaster, I knocked on the door of the manager and explained the situation. She looked like Martha Stewart with wrinkles and possessed all of the ruthless aura of a public hangman.
"We will sort this out," she declared, grabbing her passkey. She reached the door and banged loudly, calling out his name and demanding he open up. Nothing. Just Banjo Boy sitting music back 200 years.
She unlocked the door and opened it and there was, Al, naked, empty bottle of Four Roses straight bourbon whiskey on the nightstand, and next to him with the broadest rear end I have every seen since I quit judging draft horses for 4-H — an equally naked woman was passed out, face down and her legs spread.
"Well! This won't do! It's against the rules!” she shouted at Al who weakly raised his arm and beckoned us like Ahab in the movie of Moby Dick when the whale took him under for the last time. We both declined to descend into this sordid mess.
The manager marched over to the record player and pulled the plug so as not to get close. It drawled into silence and we retreated.
"Can you believe it? That bitch isn't even a resident here!" the manager said.
I said I couldn't either and moved out at the end of the month.
I passed of course, continued finishing concrete on the high-rise boom downtown. Going to San Francisco State by night often in my work clothes. I still have Hooker’s book. I still haven't finished it.
PS. We got an apartment right over Benedetti's liquor store and Haight and Clayton down the block from Ashbury. $65 a month with our own bathroom. 1962. I thought I was going to live there forever. But I still don't like banjos or doorkeepers.
LOST amid the nearly constant news noise about Trump’s alleged attempts to lean on the Ukrainian Prime Minister for dirt on Joe Biden's son, is the underlying issue revolving around the lucrative sale of antitank missiles to Ukraine. Ever since the breakup of the Soviet Union, Defense insiders and middlemen of all political stripes have been looking for ways to sell pricy military equipment to any place where there seems to be "conflict" or potential conflict that they can cash in on. And “conflict” between the breakaway republics and Russia has become a whole new market for the defense industry arms trade overseas in the 21st Century.
In the current case, it didn't take us much research to find that Congress appropriated $115 million for military equipment to send to Ukraine in 2018 on the promise that the Ukrainians would turn around and hand it over to Raytheon/Lockheed Martin and whatever middlemen were involved who sell their somewhat dated shoulder-fired Javelin antitank missiles to Ukraine on the grounds that the Ukrainians need them to somehow fend off Russian tanks rumbling their way to the Crimea. According to one defense industry website, Trump’s Office of Management and Budget blocked those sales without giving any reason in August of this year and that's what prompted the so-called whistleblower leak that Trump somehow used the pending sale to pressure the Ukrainian Prime Minister for politically useful dirt on Biden's son. This is an updated variation on the standard arms trade business which has been a bipartisan staple going back to the Cold War. Similar to the Iran-Contra scandal in the 1980s (which I was on the periphery of, btw — a long story involving a real piece of work known as former USAF Major General Richard Secord), we suspect that the entire Ukraine flap stems from the usual shady middlemen, probably including Biden's son, who are attempting to make money off the arms trade in Ukraine — and any other “conflict area” they can semi-extort into these kinds of insider arrangements. You won't read anything about the arms trading activity in Ukraine behind this current flap, much less the other multibillion-dollar arms trade in Ukraine or the other breakaway republics, in any of the current news coverage because the Trump stuff trumps everything these days and makes for shallow, easy “reporting.”
— Mark Scaramella
CATCH OF THE DAY, SEPTEMBER 26, 2019
CARLOS ADAN-CORONA, Santa Rosa/Ukiah. Stolen property, loaded handgun not registered owner, conspiracy.
JUAN DELGADO, Ukiah. Under influence, paraphernalia.
ROBERT MAREK JR., Ukiah. Probation revocation.
DEREK MCCORMACK, Covelo. Arson of inhabitated structure, protective order violation.
SERGIO MENDEZ-ZURITA, Santa Rosa. Stolen property, loaded handgun not registered owner, conspiracy.
LUIS OLIVER, Covelo. Controlled substance while armed with loaded firearm, paraphernalia, ammo possession by prohibited person, large capacity magazine, felon-addict with firearm, loaded firearm in public, offenses while on bail.
FRANK OVIEDO, Santa Rosa/Ukiah. Stolen property, loaded handgun not registered owner, felon-addict with firearm, conspiracy.
KEVIN PINMIENTA-MARTINEZ, Santa Rosa/Ukiah. Stolen property, loaded handgun not registered owner, conspiracy.
GREEN NEW DEAL — NOW!
Letter to the Editor:
The climate crisis is painfully obvious, with deadly hurricanes, droughts, wildfires, floods, heat waves, and melting glaciers. The scientists have been warning us for decades, despite oil companies’ and politicians’ denials and deception. We face an existential threat to life on this planet. We must act now to avoid irreversible catastrophe.
Simultaneously, we face a serious threat to our constitutional democracy. Trump has committed dozens of impeachable offenses; has openly incited racial hatred and violence; and has now confirmed asking a foreign government to meddle in our elections.
The integrity of our democracy, like the health of our planet, should not be partisan nor negotiable. A president who denies the reality of climate change (going full speed to make it worse) and who simultaneously subverts the basic tenets of our Constitution must be impeached and removed from office.
Meanwhile, the window for addressing the climate emergency is extremely short. We must begin a Green New Deal immediately. Then, in 2020, let’s elect a President and Congress who will be true leaders for a healthy future.
I had a knock at the door the other day. It turned out to be a lady from the US Census. She asked a few questions and then handed me a paper stating “Your answers are confidential.” Apparently, the census bureau is worried that people won’t participate because of the fear that their privacy might be compromised. The paper says that the penalty for unauthorized disclosure is a fine of $250,000 and/or up to five years in the pokey.
I started to think about that. Just how much would the raw census data be worth to a hacker, foreign government, corporation or intel agency? It could be worth as much as $100 million or more. In the old days census data was pretty safe. Who could cart away hundreds of filing cabiniets? The computer age has changed all that. Edward Snowden and others showed us that the theft of even the most sensitve data is only a mouse click away. Given the value of this data and the relatively small penalty for theft, it’s probably naïve to think that census data can be protected. If you value your privacy you might be wise to just ignore census 2020.
SEALS STADIUM: When SF’s first big-thrills ballpark faced the wrecking ball
by Bill Van Niekerken
In 1957, San Francisco got its long-awaited Major League Baseball team, when the New York Giants’ ownership signed a deal to move the team to the West Coast.
But the move meant the end for Seals Stadium, the popular Potrero ballpark that was the home of the San Francisco Seals, a Pacific Coast League baseball team with a five-decade history.
It’s been 60 years since the demolition of the beloved stadium, and a search through The Chronicle’s archive turned up not only photos of its demise but images from the stadium’s heyday, as well.
The Seals were one of the founding teams of the PCL, a regional baseball league, in 1903. Before they moved into the stadium bearing their name, the Seals played primarily in Recreation Park, a wooden ballpark in the Mission.
Opened in 1931, Seals Stadium was something new: a $1 million, concrete park with a public address system and lighting to play night games — four years before Major League Baseball.
The first home opener saw the Seals beat Portland 8-0, in front of the “biggest that ever looked at a ball game in San Francisco,” Ed R. Hughes wrote on the front page of The Chronicle’s Sporting Green on April 8, 1931.
Many future major-league ballplayers, including Joe DiMaggio, would get their start as a Seal at the ballpark at 16th and Bryant streets.
“Most everyone who went to Seals Stadium seemed to love it,” Kevin Nelson writes in “The Golden Game: The Story of California Baseball,” “Seals Stadium was built at a time when all the ballparks were neighborhood ballparks. Its Potrero Hill neighborhood was a bustling city landscape.”
When the Giants moved into town though, the San Francisco Seals run ended. They won the last of their 13 PCL championships on the way out, moving to Phoenix to become a Giants farm team.
The Giants played their first game at Seals Stadium on April 15, 1958, beating their longtime rivals the Dodgers 8-0. The ballpark was filled to the brim, and the Giants’ attendance hit around 1.3 million for the season, nearly doubling the attendance in New York the year before.
Crowds weren’t enough to save Seals Stadium. The Giants’ move to San Francisco was always predicated on the idea that a big-league stadium would eventually be built in the city.
On the same day the Giants signed a lease to play at Seals Stadium, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors and the mayor had approved the construction of a 40,000-seat stadium for the new home team.
The three-month demolition of Seals Stadium began on Oct. 6, 1959, a little more than a week after the major-league baseball season ended.
“It’s a shame, just a doggone shame,” muttered Jerry Warner of Swinerton & Walberg, the company that built the ballpark 29 years before, Chronicle reporter Donovan McClure wrote.
“Even as he spoke, the first of 18,644 box and reserved seats were being ripped from their crusty moorings,” McClure wrote.
But not all of the stadium was thrown away. Six light towers and all the fixed seats in the stadium were put on a barge and sent to Cheney Stadium in Tacoma, Wash.
Some of Seals Stadium is still there to this day.
TO JOE BIDEN, TRUMP'S POTENTIAL SUCCESSOR MIKE PENCE "IS A DECENT GUY"
That the former vice president could say such a thing about his successor—who has loyally served as Trump's highest-ranking henchman—illuminates a lot about Biden's style and his substance.
by Norman Solomon
When Joe Biden told an audience that Mike Pence "is a decent guy," Pence had already been vice president for more than two years. After the comment drew fierce criticism, Biden responded that he'd said it "in a foreign policy context"—an odd effort at damage control, given that Pence has publicly backed every one of President Trump's countless abhorrent policies, whether foreign or domestic.
Now, with impeachment in the air and the remote but real possibility that Trump might not end up running for re-election, Biden's attitude toward Pence and Republicans overall should get a closer look.
That he could call Pence "a decent guy" after loyally serving as Trump's highest-ranking henchman illuminates a lot about Biden's style—and substance. His praise of Pence's purported decency was not atypical. Biden has long praised racist Republican senators and defended his past collaborations with them.
And Biden has been effusive in expressing warmth toward the notorious man who preceded him as vice president. "I really like Dick Cheney for real," Biden said while speaking at George Washington University in October 2015. "I get on with him, I think he's a decent man."
Such statements speak volumes about Biden's standards of decency and about his suitability to be the Democratic presidential nominee. At a time when elected Republicans in Washington have amply shown themselves to be depraved sycophants to Trump—no matter how viciously vile and deadly his policies—Biden still wants to pretend that those GOP stalwarts can be brought into the fold of democratic civility, from the current vice president on down.
Insisting that "history will treat this administration's time as an aberration," Biden contended during a campaign swing in Iowa a few months ago: "This is not the Republican Party." He went on to cite his bonds with "my Republican friends in the House and Senate."
The latest polling tells us that Biden should no longer be called the "frontrunner" for the nomination. (Elizabeth Warren's numbers are now at least as strong.) On Wednesday, Politico pointed out: "Biden's descent has been months in the making, the result of continuous fire from progressives, questions about his age and stamina, a drumbeat of negative coverage over lackluster debate performances and frequent misstatements, according to pollsters and party insiders."
But Biden still has plenty of aces in the hole—including corporate media outlets that go easy on him and wealthy donors who lavish high-dollar fundraisers on him to shore up a largely AstroTurf campaign. There's a big market among mainstream political journalists and Wall Street types for the reach-across-the-aisle blather that Biden supplies.
Biden's praise for Pence has a perverse logic. "His pitch is that with Trump gone, things—and Republicans—will return to 'normal,'" CNN pundit Chris Cillizza wrote. When Biden spoke to a gathering of lobbyists and donors in early summer, he sounded an upbeat note about the basic character of Republican leaders. "With Trump gone you're going to begin to see things change," Biden said. "Because these folks know better. They know this isn't what they're supposed to be doing."
Biden is campaigning with the central claim that he's the most qualified candidate to restore bipartisan cooperation after defeating Trump. As if Republicans should be wooed more than fought, Biden likes to portray typical GOP leaders as honorable—a pretense that is in harmony with calling Mike Pence "a decent guy" regardless of his absolutely despicable record.
Biden apparently views that approach as helpful to winning the White House. And it's certainly in sync with Biden's own record of teaming up with Republicans. But whether progressives support Bernie Sanders (as I do) or Elizabeth Warren or one of the other candidates, it's essential to recognize—and avert—the dangers posed by the Biden for President campaign.
Progressives often feel that they're on the outside of electoral politics, looking in. Corporate news media routinely reinforce that impression, treating progressive activism as invisible or inconsequential. But Politico's latest assessment—that Biden's steep fall in the polls is partly due to "continuous fire from progressives"—tells us something important.
(Norman Solomon is co-founder and national coordinator of RootsAction.org. His books include "War Made Easy: How Presidents and Pundits Keep Spinning Us to Death" and "Made Love, Got War: Close Encounters with America's Warfare State." He is the founder and executive director of the Institute for Public Accuracy.)
THE SHRIKE & THE CHIPMUNKS
Once upon a time there were two chipmunks, a male and a female. The male chipmunk thought that arranging nuts in artistic patters was more fun that just piling them up to see how many you could pile up. The female was all for piling up as many as you could. She told her husband that if he gave up making designs with the nuts there would be room in their large cave for a great many more and he would soon become the wealthiest chipmunk in the woods. But he would not let her interfere with his designs, so she flew into a rage and left him.. "The shrike will get you," she said, "because you are helpless and cannot look after yourself." To be sure, the female chipmunk had not been gone three nights before the male had to dress for a banquet and could not find his studs or shirt or suspenders. So he couldn’t go to the banquet, but that was just as well, because all the chipmunks who did go were attached and killed by a weasel.
The next day the shrike began hanging around outside the chipmunk’s cave, waiting to catch him. The shrike couldn’t get in because the doorway was clogged up with soiled laundry and dirty dishes. "He will come out for a walk after breakfast and I will get him then," thought the shrike. But the chipmunk slept all day and did not get up and have breakfast until after dark. Then he came out for a breath of fresh air before beginning work on a new design. The shrike swooped down to snatch the chipmunk, but could not see very well on account of the dark, so he batted his head against an alder branch and was killed.
A few days later the female chipmunk returned and saw the awful mess the house was in. She went to the bed and shook her husband. "What would you do without me?" she demanded. "Just go on living, I guess," he said. "You wouldn’t last five days," she told him. She swept the house and did the dishes and sent out the laundry, and then she made the chipmunk get up and wash and dress. "You can’t be healthy in you lie in bed all day and never get any exercise," she told him. So she took him for a walk in the bright sunlight and they were both caught and killed by the shrike’s brother, a shrike named Stoop.
Moral: Early to rise and early to bed makes a man healthy and wealthy and dead.
HEMP TO THE RESCUE
In 2018 Pres Trump signed the Agricultural Improvement Act allowing Hemp to be grown.
To find out the cheapest way to save the planet go to: truthdig.com/articles/the-cheapest-way-to-save-the-planet-grows-like-a-weed/
Markets were opened with President Trump signing the Agricultural Improvement Act of 2018. Industrial Hemp has been proved to absorb more CO2 per hectare than any forest or commercial crop, making it the ideal carbon sink. It can be grown on a wide scale on nutrient-poor soils with small amounts of water and no fertilizers.
For more advantages of growing hemp read the 18 page article above.
WHAT WOULD YOU DO?
What would you do in this world if you knew that you could not fail?
Good morning everybody, Whereas I am now able to support myself with the SSI increased benefits, Food Stamps, and Medical, I am seeking others for creative writing association. In these times when America appears to have lost its moorings, I am praying a lot and chanting mantrams to keep the mind spiritually focused, because it is hell otherwise with miserable discursive thinking. That's the just the way it is. Since I can now support myself, some of the stress related to survival is less. This has resulted in a more relaxed mental situation. Except for an occasional beer and watching baseball, I've reduced my intake of the microbrewing product, and there is no problem at all. Some of my friends were wondering if I had an addiction. No, I do NOT have any addictions. I have been attempting to live in the United States of America. This resulted in going to pubs on occasion to socialize. I'm not a natural hermit. I am NOT an alcoholic. Basically, I don't even think about drinking beer. I go to pubs to socialize because I am not married, have no children, and would like on occasion to interact with others for intelligent conversation and comraderie. For a long time I have wanted to clarify this. In a different society I'd probably not even bother to go to pubs, which would eliminate the occasional hangover. In the future, I would prefer to be in a community environment where socializing happens naturally, spiritually, and creatively. This is what modern society really needs. And no, alcoholics anonymous is not relevant. I am NOT an alcoholic. I am happy to be able to send this message out, because America is plagued with social alienation, loneliness, and drug and alcohol intake is directly related to this unfortunate national social failure. I am looking for a community to live with. I am looking for others who are creative and spiritual. I am looking for a nice place to live for myself. I am looking for a social environment that is happy. I am looking for this in the United States of America. Otherwise, I feel pretty good this morning. How are you doing? Thank you, and have a good day.
Craig Louis Stehr
Telephone messages: (707) 923-2114
Mailing address: c/o Andy Caffrey
816 Locust St. #C, Garberville, CA 95542
Flow Kana hosted you and others at a recent PR Blitz here in Mendocino County. Flow Kana paid a hefty price to TRY AND DISTRACT from the damaging facts now circulating within our communities - facts that arise from Flow Kana's cooperate business model and distain for growing cannabis as a craft and art.
Picking up on what one local Board of Supervisor candidate recently wrote among other comments:
'The strategy is to build capacity -- take advantage of Mendocino County's desperate cannabis farmers who either can't get permits and/or are under-capitalized -- and then exit. FK will either cash out in an IPO or sell out in an acquisition by Big Pharma, Big Tobacco, or Big Booze."
John Sakowicz, Candidate, 1st District, Board of Supervisor
Mr. Dogg, Mendocino County's small legacy farmers are seriously hurting. The black market is looking more and more attractive to growers who want to be in compliance but are being forced to leave a way of life because of the likes of Flow Kana's owners, investors and employees.
I want to make a request of you. I want to issue a challenge.
In light of the fact that Flow Kana will not permit local growers the right to ownership and/or financial partnership, our growers need to organize a 501 © (3) co-op that will help continue and sustain the craft of creating new strains of cannabis while ensuring the legacy of the past. A locally owned co-op of growers would provide assurance that cannabis will not be commercialized to the extent that the supply chain results in inferior product; drive long-standing farms out of business; nor remove the hand-crafted quality that local growers have provided for many decades in Mendocino County.
My challenge is this: Take the endorsement fee Flow Kana gave to you whatever that may be, double it and provide the seed money to help organize and create a locally owned and operated Mendocino Growers Co-Op. And if you have friends so inclined, help them help us.
Mr. Dogg, I hope you were able to see the beautiful country and people in Mendocino County on your visit. There is another side to the cannabis industry you may have not had the opportunity to see. Please, come back soon.
MEMO OF THE WEEK
$5000 Legal Canna Company Looking for Prop 64 Property For Lease (Ukiah)
Canna Buzz, currently located in Mendocino County, is looking for additional locations to expand their cannabis cultivation venture in Mendocino County. With the re-opening of commercial cannabis applications within the county, the opportunity to establish a relationship with an existing cannabis corporation has now risen to the forefront for many property owners. As an established cannabis company we can offer proof of income, tax returns, verification of existing licenses for properties we currently have control over, exceptional credit score(s) by the owners and steady cash flow. We are ready to sign a long-term lease for prime locations that meet the cannabis cultivation guidelines in the existing guidelines in the county.
What are we looking for in a property?
10 or more acres.
A residential structure that is permitted.
Owners permission to cultivate cannabis at a commercial level.
On grid power
City or well water
Budget may vary depending on how much your property matches our needs.
What we are NOT looking for:
A profit share.
An existing farm that needs partners.
An existing farm that needs investors.
(seen on craigslist)