MCT: Wednesday, October 9, 2019

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DRY WEATHER AND BREEZY RIDGETOP WINDS will develop Wednesday into Thursday. Winds will decrease on Friday, but dry weather will continue through Saturday morning. Thereafter, light rain will be possible Saturday afternoon and evening, followed by a more substantial chance of rain during the middle of next week. (National Weather Service)

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PG&E OUTAGE MAP (Wednesday morning)

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POWER SHUTOFF UPDATE

The County of Mendocino has been continually monitoring the scope of the upcoming Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS) event scheduled for our area.

At this time, affected areas have been identified as being:

Redwood Valley, Potter Valley, Hopland, portions of unincorporated areas of the Ukiah Valley, 62 PG&E service points in the Willits area (unknown locations at this time), Leggett, Piercy, Whitethorn and Whale Gulch.

It is anticipated that approximately 88% of PG&E customers in these areas will begin losing power beginning at midnight Tuesday night (10-08-2019).

At this time, UNAFFECTED areas have been identified as being:

City of Ukiah, City of Fort Bragg, City of Point Arena, entire unincorporated Mendocino County coastal communities.

The Mendocino County Office of Emergency Services is currently aware of sporadic power outages in Potter Valley but according to PG&E representatives, the power outages are not connected to the PSPS and attempts to restore services are underway."

(Sheriff’s Presser)


JUST IN (Wednesday 9:23am)

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ED NOTES — WELCOME TO VENEZUELA!

SUPERVISOR WILLIAMS has kept us fully informed all day as we note the silence from our state and national reps. From the Supervisor Tuesday afternoon about 3, perhaps earlier but we saw it at 3: "We are continuing to head towards a power safety shutoff. The shut offs will start from the north and work south as the wind event comes on land from the north and moves south through the state. There are now three planned phases. Kern county was added as phase III. Notices went out to many Mendocino operational units. We’ll go dark in the first phase, which starts at midnight. The county is ready to open up call center at 5am. 707 467 6428. The County’s Emergency Communication Center will open at 5am. CEO’s office and Sheriff are coordinating public information with cities. The outages are expected to impact 790,000 people with the additional of Kern. PG&E is updating mapping. They are aware their website is broken. They’re working to bring it back online. If they cannot, they’ll send a rep to each operational area (not clear on how this will help with outreach). PG&E anticipates 500k people in the first phase. Additional helicopters have been brought in to examine infrastructure once the wind event has passed. This will help reduce time before reenergizing lines. Transmission lines to the City of Ukiah are not currently included in the outage. Fort Bragg and Willits have been receiving notices of pending outage. The County is working to clarify. Point Arena and Gualala are believed to not be included in outage. There will be instability in the system as PG&E manages shutoff (everyone should prepare). Partial transmission could cause rolling outages through management. Wind damage to infrastructure should be reported to PG&E as always. Do not approach or drive over downed lines. The City of Willits is still concerned about ambiguity in whether the city will be shut off -- they don't yet know for certain. Willits suggest monitoring the city website for updates. The County believes Willits will not be included. City of Fort Bragg does not believe the city will be included, but is awaiting a press release from PG&E for confirmation. City of Point Arena is suffering similar confusing, because PG&E has said “yes” and “no”. The County believes Point Arena will not be included. The current map does not show Anderson Valley or Yorkville included in outage. Hopland is sending a large strike team of engines to Lake County. CalFire is staffing up additional engines. Schools without electricity will close. Those waking up with electricity should assume school is closed. City of Ukiah will have uninterrupted water. Ukiah Sanitation District will also run uninterrupted. Phase I is expected to go dark between midnight and Wednesday morning. We anticipate restore time after the wind event to be 12-24 hours best case, 5 days worst case. The County's executive office is working on clarification of unincorporated towns."


FROM the Anderson Valley Health Center:

"POTENTIAL POWER CUTTING ALERT: if Boonville is without energy, we will be open during the day from 9 AM-5 PM. We will not be able to dispense drugs or do urgent care, EKG or other important procedures, since we do not have a backup generator. Please go to the emergency room for any complex medical condition. If you have less than a week of medicines available, contact us today to fill out your medicine. Don't hesitate to contact us with any questions!"


PG&E WEBSITE DOWN Amid 'High Volume' Of People Seeking Power Shutoff Info

sfgate.com/news/bayarea/article/Pg-E-Website-Down-Amid-High-Volume-Of-People-14501417.php


A READER WRITES: Dog woke me up at four this morning, wanting out. I noticed the power was on, so I got dressed and checked into the PG&E website (which was down most of yesterday) for shutoff updates. Had no problem accessing the site at that wee hour; however, a couple hours later the site already appears to be choking on heavy traffic, once again:

pge.com/en_US/safety/emergency-preparedness/natural-disaster/wildfires/public-safety-event.page


IT APPEARS that the Anderson Valley will not lose power, nor will other areas of the county which have suffered under contradictory information from PG&E all day.

POTENTIAL DISASTERS always bring out the wit in the citizen body. We liked "PG&E: Portable Generators & Extra Fuel." And from the PG&E insert with out latest bill, "Safety is our highest priority" becomes, "Shareholder and Executive Safety is our highest priority."

AS ITS MANY CRITICS have suggested, PG&E should be broken up into regional, not-for-profit power companies. As is, and as has been from its consolidated beginnings, PG&E has flouted the Public Utilities Commission, weak and as company-oriented as it is, to ensure its shareholders a steady blue chip return. Prioritizing private interests over the public interest has meant that instead of investing in infrastructure safety, shareholders (and outrageous executive pay) come first, hence, count on it, annual power shut-downs.


EARLY AFTERNOON from Supervisor Williams: "PG&E Public $afety Power Shutoff update coming this afternoon. Apparently previous releases contained erroneous data (including cities -- how do you get that wrong?) Fort Bragg, Boonville, Talmage and Willits were previously included in error. The PSPS website isn't handling load. No confidence."

AMEN, BRO. The ten percenters around here have been in a tiz all day because Boonville was listed by PG&E for a power shut down. Then we got the note above de-listing us. And, from all reports, PG&E's website customers are referred to for up to the minute info has been down all day.

HERE at the AVA bunker we've taken exactly one precaution: Filling the bathtub with emergency water. Generator? No. Too expensive and fuel storage would probably see us setting the whole town ablaze.

SPARE US: “The safety of our customers and the communities we serve is our most important responsibility, which is why PG&E has decided to turn power off to customers during this widespread, severe wind event. We understand the effects this event will have on our customers and appreciate the public’s patience as we do what is necessary to keep our communities safe and reduce the risk of wildfire,” Michael Lewis, PG&E’s senior vice president of electric operations, said in a statement.

I'D PREFER, "Gitchy goo, you bastards. Try and stop us!"


REPRESENTATIVE ON-LINE COMMENT:

PG&E who may have caused the previous fires is threatening to turnoff our power because they failed to maintain their infrastructure. If PG&E thinks their public image is bad now I would caution them on what will happen if they pull this stunt for even one day. The company has been remiss and derelict with regard to their responsibility for many years. Their selfishness and greed has landed them where they are and as usual we sucker rate payers will be forced to bail them out. California Assembly passed AB 1054 recently which is a bailout for utilities, a $21billion reward for monstrous behavior. They (PG&E) haven’t done the work. They should not be rewarded. If they invested ratepayers money on a more fire resistant infrastructure those trucks might not be as bright and shiny but we would have fewer fires or in cases like San Carlos, explosions. The bottom line is they need to take some pay concessions and spend that savings on better maintenance. The average pay for PG&E construction workers is $62.54 per hour plus great benefits and that would be ok if they properly maintained the infrastructure. Geisha J. Williams Chief Executive Officer and President, PG&E Corporation made $9,249,501 in annual compensation last year. For what? Heading up a bankrupt company.


All of the damage and/or inconvenience ratepayers incur from being cut off should be deductible from future bills.


JIM ARMSTRONG: It is a little disconcerting to find that all our lives will be seriously affected for up to five days because PG&E has failed to build power lines that resist high wind. Then that those winds are coming tomorrow. Then to read that the US Weather Service predicts for Ukiah peak winds of 9 miles per hour during the wind event. Hold on to your hats.

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AN OPEN HOUSE TO REMEMBER!

Off the beaten path, in the middle of a redwood forest, we have built a beautiful straw bale house, full of our hand made furniture and paintings, finally finished and open for viewing. Nancy MacLeod and William Allen collaborate on functional and fun "folk art" furniture, mostly cupboards and small tables; Nancy paints colorful and playful acrylic works on canvas, as well. Our greatest collaboration has been building this wonderful big house, in which we have our studio and home. 15 years in the making, we are celebrating the completion with an Open House Oct 11-13, 10am-5pm.

We are in the hills above Anderson Valley, :30 outside Boonville, off Philo-Greenwood Rd, on the way to Elk and the Mendocino coast. 21921 Panorama Way, off Signal Ridge Rd. more info at folkartfantasyfurniture.com, or 895-3134

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TREATMENT PLANT TOUR UPDATE: The Anderson Valley Community Services District’s planned tour of the Francis Ford Coppola sewage treatment plant to demonstrate the lack of odor from treated sewage has been temporarily canceled and will be re-announced soon for a later date.

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GREENWOOD RIDGE FIRE ENGINE FUNDRAISER

by Anne Fashauer

As I write this Tuesday, Tuesday the 8, we are in the midst of high winds and potential PG&E shutdowns – both harbingers of the season of fire here in Northern California. It seems appropriate, then, to bring up the fundraiser that I’m working on with the Anderson Valley Volunteer Fire Department. The engine that is stationed on the East end of Greenwood Ridge is an older one and it’s time to get a new one. The cost is high, as can be expected of things such as this. So we’re trying to raise some of the money needed to purchase this new engine.

We are holding the fundraiser at our property on Greenwood Ridge; in our vineyard we have a lovely area underneath three oak trees that we use for parties and events. We have five large picnic tables, a BBQ, a fire pit and a setting that is unparalleled. We held our wedding reception here and we’ve had baby showers, birthday parties and other wedding receptions, so a fundraiser seems appropriate. Especially as it will contribute to the safety of our community.

The event will be on October 26, from 2:00 PM to 6:00 PM. We will have BBQ tri tip and vegetarian spaghetti plus other dishes. The suggested donation is $20/person. We are planning to have beer and wine for sale. All proceeds will go toward the new fire engine. We will have posters up and ads in the paper as well.

We are hoping to get a visit from the Reach medical helicopter as well, sometime during the event, which will be very exciting!

If you can’t make it we have set up a GoFundMe page where you can make a donation. We currently have two matching donations, one for $3,000 and one for $15,000. We hope to get enough donations to qualify for these matches!

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YORKVILLE MARKET Fire Station Appreciation Dinner

Saturday, October 12, 2019

Featuring live music by Dean Titus and the Boont Jack 5

Barbecue Tri-Tip, salads, baked potatoes, chocolaty sundaes.

$35 per person, a portion of proceeds donated to Yorkville Community Center/Benefit Association. Dinner and Dancing start at 5:30pm. “Thanks to all of our first responders!”

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THE REX REPORT: Hospital Affiliation

by Rex Gressett

It was great to go to a community meeting in Elk. John Redding of the Mendocino Coast District Hospital board, Dr. William Miller and Wayne Allen, chief hospital guy, came down to the little town to make the first presentation in the District Hospital-Adventists affiliation roadshow. After personally attending a million or so city council meetings in Fort Bragg, it was like walking out of a rock concert into the clarity and peace of a summer evening. The high-intensity public manipulation, repression of public comments, grandstanding and councilperson grandstanding that distinguish a Fort Bragg City Council meeting were blessedly absent. Regular Americans came and spoke freely. It was weird.

The gavel-busting former mayor Lindy Peters and his protege baby mayor Will Lee were not present, of course, but had they been I have to imagine they would have had to blush to see a meeting where regular people were accorded reasonable respect.

Local democracy in Fort Bragg has a tumor. Fort Bragg City Manager Tabatha Miller was present, did not speak but somehow conveyed her characteristic perspicuity and intelligence. She stayed after the meeting to put away the chairs.

The meeting was live-streamed on MSP, of course, and the presenters almost fainted when they checked the viewer numbers. There were a couple of thousand people at that meeting through the grace and diligence of the MSP internet community. In the post-newspaper world, local American democracy has found a way.

It could have been a sales job. Newly-elected Coast Hospital Chief of Staff, Dr. William Miller, ran down the long line of benefits that affiliation with the hospital behemoth would bring us and recapitulated the financial black hole into which the management at the district hospital has driven us with their half-million-dollar golden parachutes and endemic billing ineptitude.

He contrasted the grim reality of the present with the bright hope of a future with Adventist Health and explained delicately that, practically speaking, there is no future for our local hospital without an Adventist takeover.

Community hospitals like ours are closing around the state with horrifying regularity. Countywide poverty has pushed thousands onto a reliance on Medi-Cal and the government system is quietly strangling public health care. He ducked the district's scandalous billing incompetence that everyone who follows the story closely knows — which accounts for millions in lost revenue.

It could have been just a pitch. But gradually the meeting loosened up a bit, and somehow candor and even honesty got out of the box and the discussion became less of a pitch and more an honest discussion. We have a community that depends to an untenable degree on public funding for their health plans. Rich communities where private health plans predominate are doing fine. Mendocino County folk depend on Medi-Cal and the public system does not pay enough or on time.

Bottom line, as a county we are too poor to afford quality health care. By bringing more heads under one system Adventist thinks they can (might be able to) make it work. They aren't promising much. Delivering babies at the local hospital will continue for two years. After that — no guarantees — and we were told that we must reasonably expect that after two years Adventist will shut it down.

Adventist will not build a new building, that remains up to the community. Adventist appears to be betting that with their more competent administration, the community will opt-in for a bond or some other local tax to raise the $20 million or so for state-mandated seismic upgrades. No new taxes, no hospital. The Adventists will make $9 million available and help us out with cash flow, but they will also cut services, end OB/GYN, and provide no real guarantees if the numbers don’t work. Every five years they will have the option of dumping us. They are buying us cheap.

John Redding assured the crowd that it was a "friendly," not "hostile," takeover and not really a buyout — just a 30-year lease with the power to shut down the hospital if they don’t like the numbers.

The unstated context was that if we don’t build them a building on our dime they can pull the plug. It was like agreeing to a kidnapping just to cop a ride.

The questions from the people in attendance were sincere and smart and Dr. Miller was fast on his feet, basically honest and clearly intelligent. Because he did a make a pitch — but eschewed spinning it — we somehow got down the bottom line and it surprised me very much.

We are having a poverty crisis. Who knew? We have lost logging he told us, we have lost fishing for the most part and then it got really strange. This was a "suit" talking — a charter member of the status quo.

We used to have pot, he told us. Back in the day pot made money, then the county stepped in with byzantine, crazy massively convoluted regulations and botched that up. Now the growers are trying to heft the weight of county supervisorial overregulation and idiot rules and protocols and procedures and restrictions that make an industry that used to be insanely profitable into a losing battle with government overreach on a mighty scale.

If we lose the hospital, the elderly will have to leave Fort Bragg, the value of homes in the city will undoubtedly fall. The young will know that they have to drive pregnant wives over Highway 20. Or do some damn thing.

If we lose the hospital, the city services that we depend on will deteriorate. The hospital is the key to living in this remotest, most beautiful corner of the most beautiful state.

Adventist is willing to pick us up on a highly provisional basis — but the price is total uncertainty and the definite possibility is that they will shut the hospital down. We will have to fund the $20 million dollar building on our own and give it to them.

After the meeting, It was a hop, skip and jump back to my pleasant little pad in Elk. As City Manager Tabatha Miller drove home to the city, she must have been thinking hard.

MCDH Board member John Redding (left) and Dr. William Miller (right) at the Elk meeting Monday night. (Pic from Mendocinosportsplus)

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WELL-KNOWN ATTORNEYS STEP IN TO DEFEND SEPTUAGENARIAN RAINBOW RIDGE ACTIVISTS — Tony Serra and team join Omar Figueroa and other defense attorney for protesters protesting Humboldt/Mendocino Redwoods logging plans for Mattole area Rainbow Ridge old growth.

kymkemp.com/2019/10/08/well-known-attorneys-step-in-to-defend-septuagenarian-rainbow-ridge-activists/

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COMPTCHE WANTS TO DETACH!

by Mark Scaramella

With all the problems facing Mendo, the state and the nation these days, what issue would you expect would draw a large contingent of angry Comptche landowners to an otherwise inconsequential Mendocino Local Area Formation Commission (LAFCo) Board meeting?

Fire danger? Mendo’s Anti-MRC Public Nuisance Ordinance? MRC’s attempt to combine their parcels so the billionaire Fisher family can pay less to the Coast Hospital District? Planning Department problems? Pot zoning? Road Conditions? Evacuation routes? The pending absorption of Coast Hospital into the Adventist Health monopoly? PG&E?

Nope. The Comptche-ites seem to have just discovered that although they’ve been paying a small parcel tax to Coast Hospital District for decades now, they don’t use Coast Hospital much. So they don’t want to pay the recently bumped-up parcel tax that supports the hospital any more.

You'd have thought from the angry tone of some of the dozen or so speakers that Comptche had been appropriated for a Trump Tower. Led by local attorney and KZYX talk show host Barry Vogel, who lives in Ukiah but apparently owns land in the Comptche district, Comptche’s petite bourgeosie argued that they want to be “detached” from the Coast Hospital District that they’ve been part of since the 70s.

Granted that these property owners, mostly on Orr Springs Road west of Ukiah, are closer to Ukiah than they are Fort Bragg, and granted that their most severe medical emergencies are handled by air ambulance (weather permitting) or, for less severe situations, by the Comptche Volunteer Fire Department and they usually end up in Ukiah or Santa Rosa. But is this newly discovered tax bump so “unfair” that they went to all the trouble to put together a formal LAFCO application to compel LAFCO to “analyze” their petition and arguments? Are the Vogel-ites facing destitution if not permitted to exit the Coast Hospital District?

Mendo’s outback property owners, many of them back to the land hippies who have grown older but no less self-centered, have always had a strong libertarian/me-first streak. Most of the major issues Mendo’s “liberals” have supported over the years have not been very “liberal,” but more of the “leave me alone to do whatever I want on my property and I don’t care what happens to the rest of the County” variety.

The Class K housing movement of the 70s was more about leaving hippie shacks as Hindu funeral pyres than lowering housing costs. The early pot initiatives were more about wanting cops to leave them alone to smoke dope than about any general public benefit. The anti-GMO measure was more about their food than about a nearly non-existent public health threat from genetically modified organisms. Even Measure V, the anti-tanoak poisoning measure, while obviously aimed at a real fire hazard, got a lot of support from Mendolanders worried more about their own property than the overall public good.

If MendoLib was actually “liberal” they’d have at least organized some liberal proposals in addition to their leave me alone proposals.

Public transparency/sunshine laws? Never came up (meanwhile official Mendo did improve public access on their own).

Living wage ordinances? Never came up.

Subsidized childcare or garbage vouchers for low-income people? Never mentioned.

Improved mental health services for outback patients with less than “severe” mental problems? Of course not.

Restrictions on the wine industry’s toxic applicaions or water thefts? Nada.

Trailer park housing set-asides? Cowboy John Pinches of Laytonville was the only candidate for office who has even brought that up, not snugly housed MendoLib.

And me-o my-o look at the “liberal” officeholders they've foisted off on an unsuspecting public! Is it necessary to list them?

At one point in last Monday’s LAFCO hearing, LAFCO Commissioner and retired South Coast emergency responder and current Point Arena Mayor Scott Ignacio alertly asked LAFCO’s young-woman analyst Larkin Filer what would happen to the Comptche-ites’ tax bill if they detached from the Coast Hospital district.

Ms. Filer correctly responded: “That’s a good question.” Then she proceeded to say that although she had done a lot of “reaching out” to lots of local agencies about the Comptche proposal, she had somehow overlooked that particular “good question.” After apologizing for the omission, she said that it would be a question for the Treasurer-Tax Collector’s office which she had not “reached out” to.

But later in the meeting when the Commissioners were discussing what to do about the detachment idea, Commissioner Ignacio said he was all for it — never mind the tax implications.

Coast Hospital CEO Wayne Allen appeared a little flummoxed by the Comptche application to sever relations, commenting that he had only recently seen the LAFCO staff “analysis” and needed more time for himself and his Coast Hospital Board to consider the proposal.

This in turn brought howls of outrage from the Comptche-ites who said he had had plenty of time to consider the question, which apparently has been in the works for months now! The Comptche-ites wanted the Commission to vote on the spot and not wait for an official input from the Coast Hospital CEO/Board. They were afraid they might have to pay another year of “unfair” property tax increment. (Surprisingly, the actual amount of the tax was never mentioned during the hour-long discussion.)

But cooler heads prevailed. The majority of the LAFCO commissioners decided to put the item over for a month while they and Coast Hospital think about it.

If we had to guess from the vague comments of the Commissioners (most of whom come from the same comfortable class of people as the Comptche Detachment), we expect that they’ll end up supporting the “detachment” on geographical grounds.

Congratulations East Comptche on your pending semi-affiliation with a vegetarian Christ cult! Congratulations on doing your part to further the Adventist medical monopoly in Mendocino County! Monopolies always mean better and cheaper medical services, right?

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AMBULANCE INSURANCE?

Editor,

I recently read an article (“Column: His doctors ordered an emergency flight by air ambulance. His Insurer won’t pay.” LA times Oct 8, 2019,”) that provoked a lot of concerns in me regarding a family, who had to take their son with a special life threatening concern to the local hospital in Rancho Palos Verdes in SoCal. He had previous had a special operation to deal with a drainage blockage in his brain that appear to be failing; causing serious nausea, headaches and potential death. He is a young man that has had many challenges including cerebral palsy, a real burden for a family, but they were covered with insurance, at least the thought so. The local doctors contacted the pediatric neurosurgeon in UCLA and he insisted in rapid transport, which in LA area means medical helicopter. All decisions by medical personnel.

The young man is fine, but his parents are now burdened with an extreme fiscal issue. Their insurance company, Blue Cross Anthem has refused to pay the $50,000, flight cost. Apparently the insurance company had no agreement with REACH, the medical helicopter company. As second appeal brought the same response from Anthem. After one threat from REACH, the ambulance company decided that the family may be able to use their compassionate care program to lower cost. Should they be footing the bill? What was the health care premium payment for?

I also had to fly to Ukiah some 20 years back from two yellow jacket bites after a history of many. These little devils literally went for my jugular and it was clear this was no normal bite. The air ambulance cost $8,000 then and fortunately Blue Shield covered half. Initially my client balked, but then paid the balance. What kind of insurance leaves people with these sort of huge burdens? Clearly a flight to Ukiah is much steeper now, but alas we have the Ambulance membership program which in my mind is a no-brainer-real-darn-cool-deal-you-can’t-pass-up. Just $120 covers a year’s subscription for your entire immediate family, even unwedded ones. Total ambulance cost covered! Which could be ambulance to helicopter to hospital. Get it immediately even as it is half done for the year. Don’t get caught without this very very cheap insurance! Call the AV Fire Dept.

However, to the rest of the story. This is the great current system that forces you to study your policy to get not your desired service, but a prearranged one for your insurance company. What if only REACH was available? There are times when medical transport is overburdened. Anthem would probably say, “wait.” Remember a neurosurgeon ordered immediate. Who has the authority here? Where is the choice that is being touted by those who do not want to go forward with single payer health care? You have to pay attention in the throes of a medical emergency to follow your insurance P’s and Q’s or suffer another emergency that could make your family homeless after years of premium payment.

As the article pointed out, Anthem is second largest medical insurer, growing 8% to 1.14 billion in quarter ending last June with profits at $3.75 million. Compassionate care? No, Bottom line greed and nonsupport. These are the folks that take a huge part of the medical pie, so they can bilk policy owners out of their need for basic medical support. Obviously, I am leading towards a single payer system that cuts out the middle man super profit in favor of real no-questions-asked, quality care. If we have this system, like Canada, Workman’s compensation would drop dramatically helping the self-employed and for that matter the corporations. I do not know how this would be done, but clearly incrementally as the Affordable-Care act was destined to do until some members of Congress started dismantling it. One thing you can say about it. It is a “care” package, all puns intended. Relief from fear of medical fiscal collapse is now possible. That alone is incredible. A testimony to the last President. It may not have been perfect, but it was a huge step forward.

So pay attention to your “choice health insurers,” get the local cheap ambulance insurance and enjoy the cooler weather.

Greg Krouse

Philo

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THE LIGHTS OF HOLLYWOOD glow behind P-22, a 125-pound mountain lion in Griffith Park. This incredible photo was taken with a remote trail camera and was published in National Geographic magazine. Steve Winter March 2, 2013

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GOODBYE STRANGER: A Wildcard in Three Acts

by Zack Anderson

Act One: When I was a freshman in high school Julie Pardini would drive Mr. Biggins and me 26.2 miles every morning from Boonville over the hill to Ukiah High on Low Gap Road, located conveniently just down the street from a kindred institution of higher learning, the county jail. In those days logging was still king, and the morning roads were full of familiar faces like Rodger Tolman, Leroy Perry and Paul Hughbanks hauling logs in their big rigs to the mills that operated in Ukiah, Fort Bragg and Cloverdale, or hurtling past in their empty trucks towards Comptche or Navarro or up Signal Ridge Road for another load. On many days, when the fog had galloped south from Navarro, we'd climb east up Highway 253, past the Tollhouse and through Bell Valley and up the long slow curve to the top, then find ourselves above a sparkling carpet of diaphanous silver stretching out towards Hopland and clinging to the tan oaks and steep ravines and places only the birds and raindrops know. I've been all around the world, and have seen all kinds of things, but nothing beats winding through a thick valley fog, its wet cocoon mysterious and opaque, and suddenly without warning break through into the light of an unobstructed, unfiltered, unrepentant sun, the newborn rays chasing the morning's milky clouded damp from the leaves and grass and grudging boulders.

When I was young, it seemed that life was so wonderful

A miracle, oh it was beautiful, magical

And all the birds in the trees, well they'd be singing so happily

Oh joyfully, playfully watching me

— "The Logical Song" (Supertramp)

Every morning, five days a week, Julie would play Supertramp the entire ride to school; better than listening to Yuri Andropov lecturing the KGB's Women Auxiliary on the socialist merits of cast iron bedsheets, one supposes, but it does seem a bit odd in retrospect. Of course Mr. Biggins and I were not the type to complain, or even comment, perhaps suspecting that the soundtrack was part of our new curriculum, which included the peculiar fact that Ukiah High's classrooms had no windows facing outward, towards the Sun and natural light of day.

Goodbye stranger, it's been nice

Hope you find your paradise

Tried to see your point of view

Hope your dreams will all come true

*Goodbye Mary, goodbye Jane

Will we ever meet again…?

"Goodbye Stranger" (Supertramp)


Act Two: I've seen many sea lions and porpoises swimming by the pier in Sausalito, and also herons, geese and pelicans and once even a young hawk watching from atop a wire as a fisherman released a stingray back into the grateful bay. On several occasions I've been lucky enough to glimpse the graceful shapes of sea otters, a beautiful almost holy sight, given that the species was once hunted to near extinction.

The first time I saw a living otter outside of a television screen was when I was in grade school. In the summer when Anderson Valley Creek was easy to cross Eric June and I would ride his red Rupster dune buggy miles deep into the June Ranch, up a rutted track over the hills and nothing but crickets click-clicking and one or two buzzards circling in the sky above. We'd pass the old James Place homestead which once belonged to a freed slave who old timers said had whip scars on his back. The only signs of James' historic life were a little falling down house and an unruly orchard with apple and plum trees gone wild, and further we'd drive, through the dust and up and over a ridge and through another meadow full of dragonflies and it was beautiful to be alive then, just kids in the woods during summer and a swimming hole to get to.

And what a spot it was: a deep crevice carved naturally from the riverbed, on one side a giant rock worn smooth by water and time with a lip of soft sand beach edging into the Rancheria's waters pooling in blue emerald shimmers.

Once coming over the rise we stopped and pointed: a river otter was splashing around like river otters do! An otter! And in our private swimming hole! And if you don’t believe me ask the trees and the rocks, ask them politely just once, without making a sound, and if you’re respectful enough, they’ll teach you things that’ll make your head spin, and you’ll get dizzy, and excited, and the next thing you know the modern world with all its so-called conveniences and polite backstabbing and self-involved inanities will become as useful as a sparrow with a parachute. People talk about mermaids and pirate treasure and lost colonies of hairy ape men living in cavern palaces beneath Mount Shasta, but there is nothing more romantic or alluring than a secret swimming hole when you're twelve years old on a July day and the sky is overflowing with blue and the otters are dancing and diving and making it all truer than true.


Act Three: Burdened thusly with bittersweet memories of faraway friends and distant summers I go to the picture show. There has been much handwringing kerfuffle from the mainstream media about this Joker, a big budget Hollywood film starring Joaquin Phoenix in the title role. It's too violent, they whine, too cynical, too dark, too artless and disdainful of what passes for a social contract. Typical of the naysayers is reviewer A.O. Scott of the congenitally overrated New York Times, who claims:

"To be worth arguing about, a movie must first of all be interesting: it must have, if not a coherent point of view, at least a worked-out, thought-provoking set of themes, some kind of imaginative contact with the world as we know it. Joker, an empty, foggy exercise in second-hand style and second-rate philosophizing, has none of that. Besotted with the notion of its own audacity — as if willful unpleasantness were a form of artistic courage — the film turns out to be afraid of its own shadow, or at least of the faintest shadow of any actual relevance."

Whether fried, boiled or canned in a gelatinous slime of mystery quiver, bollocks are bollocks, and Scott's take on Joker is a steaming platter full, with a bollocks fondue for dessert and a snifter full of fermented bollocks juice over shaved bollock ice in the billiards room post-repast.

The truth is that Joker is an honest and fascinating pop movie critique of post-capitalist America; a well-made, well-acted riff on what's obvious to anyone with cataracts for eyes and half an ear: ours is a society well on its way towards ugly implosion. The movie conjures faint echoes of Walker Percy's The Moviegoer, the seminal film Network, Scorcese's The King of Comedy and Taxi Driver, along with the gonzo nihilism of Kurt Russell's B-movie classic, Escape From New York. And with a hearty 90% approval rating on the popular movie site, IMDB, it proves that more than just a handful of disaffected Laytonville hill muffins are mad as hell and not going to take it anymore.

Played hauntingly by Joaquin Phoenix, Joker is the sad, sordid tale of Arthur Fleck evolving into his dark and empowering alter ego, a homicidal clown who inadvertently inspires his fellow disaffected thousands to riot and rage against the machine. Fleck is a sad-sack flailing in an abyss of poverty, mental illness, and a home life where he must care for his delusional shut-in mother, who sends daily letters to a Trump-like figure pleading for some hand-of-billionaire-god relief from the grinding despair of their hopeless lives. Like many Americans, Fleck takes multiple prescription mood-alterants and sees a shrink, until the bankrupt city cuts mental health funding and yanks his problematic care (arguably a good thing). Fleck also has a rare medical condition that causes him to laugh riotously at odd, often inopportune times, a Tourette’s-like quirk that leads eventually to gunplay and blood. In this uber-dystopian Gotham City besieged by super vermin of both the two- and four-legged variety, mountains of filth and menace, and dwindling welfare services, time and place are twin powder kegs, and Arthur Fleck is a flaming jug of high-octane gasoline.

The story opens with Fleck trying to make an honest buck, kitted out in face paint, red nose and fire-wire hair, and toting a GOING OUT OF BUSINESS sign on a busy street corner, another pathetic cog in the free enterprise wheel. He's set upon by feral youths who steal his sign then beat him senseless. Overwhelmed, the man in the clown suit trudges home to lick his wounds and watch TV with his handicapped mother in a hellhole apartment building surrounded by similar demon-realms of crumbling cinder block and broken elevators. And then things start to go downhill.

When a fellow clown-for-hire loans Fleck a gun, we know that the bats have left the bell tower in search of fresh soft throats. Soon enough Fleck is forced into dispensing vigilante justice to three lupine stockbrokers on the subway, the painful and riveting sequence a polite nod to amateur sheriff Bernhard Goetz's hijinks on a downtown 2 train back in 1984. Unlike Goetz, Fleck doesn't go looking for trouble, but it has a knack for finding him, partly because of the way he scream-laughs like the insane person he is, partly because he is a victim too in a world that has neither the patience nor interest in listening to his barbaric wailing, which is in reality nothing more than a cry to be recognized as a human being, to have friends and dignity, to be rescued from the horrible and relentless fate of a freakish Elephant Man-like crypto-life and excruciating death, ignored, scorned, and left to perish without priest or purpose in time's grey sewers, like a rat caught in a rusty trap beneath a Chernobyl bomb shelter. There are no happy endings in Joker, no teaching moments or fey love interests or overcoming all odds to add one's light to the sum of light via some clunky plot device like a prom date corsage or winning field goal or improbable victory over hordes of yellow-fanged zombies with only bungee cords and a George Foreman Grill for weapons. Indeed, the film's ruthless milieu and spiraling despair are so dark that it feels like a righteous blow for truth and freedom has been struck when the beleaguered and besieged Arthur Fleck finally lashes out, and with murderous and bloody results.

Joker succeeds as Hollywood fable because the so-called average person is tired of barely treading water in this soul-crushing sea of corruption and lies and filth. We know that the center cannot hold. We understand that the water broke years ago and now we wait to see what monstrous beast lurches forth from the womb of our collective sins to wreak existential havoc on what remains of our once divine souls. We know our current prison must be slashed and burned and replanted with seeds of hope and justice. We know too that the shameless greedy whores and perverts who run this country and the world will not surrender their disgusting thrones without the reins being pulled from their cold dead hands. Like Arthur Fleck, we begin to laugh uncontrollably at things that aren't funny, maybe just to prove to ourselves we can still crack a smile.

Meanwhile, the shadows lengthen. Winter is coming. All the clown, would-be clowns and bullied, lonely people shuffle from drug store to parking structure in the morbid cloak of two-dimensional meaning, not human beings so much as shadow puppets on a piss-stained concrete wall. Maybe one day soon the disaffected and disavowed and humble kind-hearted millions will start to laugh together and all at once. Maybe we won't stop laughing until a Biblical torrent of tears is unleashed, drowning the rotten and the rotting old in a flood of justice and truth, a billion-trillion-footed tidal wave that clears the stage for the next epic melodrama. I don't know if there will be caped crusaders or wild apples or otters frolicking with mermaids in the deep. But, as with any birth of a new civilization, there will be blood.

* * *

CATCH OF THE DAY, OCTOBER 8, 2019

Ceja-Lopez, Cook, Dalmas

JOSE CEJA-LOPEZ, Ukiah. Disobeying court order, failure to appear, probation revocation.

ANDREW COOK, San Francisco/Fort Bragg. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.

MARTINE DALMAS, Fort Bragg. Elder abuse.

Hensley, Jackson, Laflin

CHARLES HENSLEY, Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol, failure to appear, probation revocation. (Frequent flyer.)

JAMESON JACKSON, Talmage. Domestic battery.

ADAM LAFLIN, Willits. Disorderly conduct-alcohol, probation revocation.

Lusk, Mabery, Maxfield

JASON LUSK, Gualala. Probation revocation.

CHAD MABERY, Oakland/Ukiah. Probation revocation.

BRADLEY MAXFIELD, Willits. Trespassing/refusing to leave, controlled substance, disobeying court order.

Peak, Sanchez, White

MATHEW PEAK, Fort Bragg. Probation revocation.

SAMUEL SANCHEZ, Ukiah. Parole violation. (Frequent Flyer)

ARIANA WHITE, Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-loitering on private property.

* * *

THE AV SENIOR CENTER is sponsoring another live screening of the Democratic debates on a large screen with a loud sound system Oct 15th Tuesday 5-8 PM. Light refreshments or bring your own. All no charge is required, donations to cover live feed costs are appreciated. The Debate screening will continue through the 2020 election for any party debating.

— Greg Krouse

* * *

PARKSIDE THEATRE in San Francisco, CA

* * *

SELF-PITY

I never saw a wild thing

sorry for itself.

A small bird will drop frozen dead from a bough

without ever having felt sorry for itself.

(D.H. Lawrence)

* * *

A LATE 1940'S ERA COAST GUARD PHOTO with clear views of the lighthouse patio, the second floor sun room and greenhouse of the Warden's mansion (during Warden Swope's tenure).

* * *

POLITICS AND THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE

by George Orwell

Modern English, especially written English, is full of bad habits which spread by imitation and which can be avoided if one is willing to take the necessary trouble.

In our age there is no such thing as “keeping out of politics.” All issues are political issues, and politics itself is a mass of lies, evasions, folly, hatred and schizophrenia.

A man may take to drink because he feels himself to be a failure, and then fail all the more completely because he drinks. It is rather the same thing that is happening to the English language. It becomes ugly and inaccurate because our thoughts are foolish, but the slovenliness of our language makes it easier for us to have foolish thoughts.

The word Fascism has now no meaning except in so far as it signifies "something not desirable." The words democracy, socialism, freedom, patriotic, realistic, justice have each of them several different meanings which cannot be reconciled with one another. In the case of a word like democracy, not only is there no agreed definition, but the attempt to make one is resisted from all sides. It is almost universally felt that when we call a country democratic we are praising it: consequently the defenders of every kind of regime claim that it is a democracy, and fear that they might have to stop using that word if it were tied down to any one meaning. Words of this kind are often used in a consciously dishonest way. That is, the person who uses them has his own private definition, but allows his hearer to think he means something quite different. Statements like “Marshal Petain was a true patriot,” “The Soviet press is the freest in the world,” “The Catholic Church is opposed to persecution,” are almost always made with intent to deceive. Other words used in variable meanings, in most cases more or less dishonestly, are: class, totalitarian, science, progressive, reactionary, bourgeois, equality.

When one watches some tired hack on the platform mechanically repeating the familiar phrases -- bestial, atrocities, iron heel, bloodstained tyranny, free peoples of the world, stand shoulder to shoulder… -- one often has a curious feeling that one is not watching a live human being but some kind of dummy: a feeling which suddenly becomes stronger at moments when the light catches the speaker's spectacles and turns them into blank discs which seem to have no eyes behind them. And this is not altogether fanciful. A speaker who uses that kind of phraseology has gone some distance toward turning himself into a machine. The appropriate noises are coming out of his larynx, but his brain is not involved, as it would be if he were choosing his words for himself. If the speech he is making is one that he is accustomed to make over and over again, he may be almost unconscious of what he is saying, as one is when one utters the responses in church. And this reduced state of consciousness, if not indispensable, is at any rate favourable to political conformity.

The great enemy of clear language is insincerity. When there is a gap between one's real and one's declared aims, one turns as it were instinctively to long words and exhausted idioms, like a cuttlefish spurting out ink.

All issues are political issues, and politics itself is a mass of lies, evasions, folly, hatred, and schizophrenia. When the general atmosphere is bad, language must suffer. I should expect to find — this is a guess which I have not sufficient knowledge to verify — that the German, Russian and Italian languages have all deteriorated in the last ten or fifteen years, as a result of dictatorship.

But if thought corrupts language, language can also corrupt thought. A bad usage can spread by tradition and imitation even among people who should and do know better.

Orthodoxy, of whatever color, seems to demand a lifeless, imitative style.

Political language — and with variations this is true of all political parties, from Conservatives to Anarchists — is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind.

Never use a metaphor, simile, or other figure of speech which you are used to seeing in print. Never use a long word where a short one will do. If it is possible to cut a word out, always cut it out. Never use the passive voice where you can use the active. Never use a foreign phrase, a scientific word, or a jargon word if you can think of an everyday English equivalent. Break any of these rules sooner than say anything outright barbarous.

One can cure oneself of the not un-formation by memorizing this sentence: A not unblack dog was chasing a not unsmall rabbit across a not ungreen field.

* * *

“Don’t worry — he was just kidding.”

* * *

ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY

Being what would probably considered a semi urban-rural dweller I see it all around me. My apples might have a worm but it is chemical free. There is an old Polish lady up the road 90 years plus and built like a truck with a heavy accent. She comes by and picks up all the drops and makes pies, perogies, and sauce. She went through WWII in the homeland. She knows about hardship. On the other hand I can’t even give the good fruit away because it has “spots”, no bugs just spots. I see the local supermarket throwing away lots of produce because of “spots”. People are gonna get a good “smack upside the head” when hard times come.

* * *

* * *

STITCHING TOGETHER LIFE AND ART: QUILT ARTISTS DISCUSS THEIR WORK

by Roberta Werdinger

On Saturday, October 12, from 2 to 3 p.m., Grace Hudson Museum presents "Art Used to Process Life," a panel discussion moderated by quilt artist and retired Mendocino College instructor, Holly Brackmann. Brackmann, along with local quilt artists Laura Fogg, Ann Horton, Betty Lacy, and Dede Ledford, will discuss the intersection of fiber, aesthetics, and social life. The event is free with Museum admission.

"Look deeply into these quilts," panelist Lacy says of traditional American quilts, "and you will see the tears of pain and the tears of joy." At once an art, a craft, and--in many climates--a necessity, quilting has deep roots in American history. Traditionally plied by women, quilters recycled materials on hand--scraps we might now deem worthless--to make patterns that reflected their environment and told individual, familial, and collective stories. Quilts were used and produced for all the stages of early Americans' life cycle--birth, marriage, love-making, and nursing new babies. At once concrete and symbolic, quilts gave an intentionality to the rounds of everyday life.

In more recent times, quilting has made a comeback as both a craft and a major art form. The AIDS Memorial Quilt, a massive project initiated in the 1980s in response to this deadly epidemic, grew to 48,000 panels and covered the entire Mall in Washington, D.C. at its last showing.

In "Art Used to Process Life," each panelist will bring one quilt that illustrates the interweaving of life and art. Lacy uses her work as a way to come into relationship with her mother, who has Alzheimer's. "I work with images of bridges," she explains. "They are a symbol for me of beginning to cross over into understanding her world--and to find my way to deal with this devastating illness." Fogg also employs quilting as a means of inner navigation, in order to come to terms with the outer world. "I am trying to find my way through the political and environmental situation in this country, and through the grief and anxiety this gives me," she states. "I use the art to give myself a voice," regardless of the results.

Brackmann explains that the panel is designed to tie into the Museum's current exhibit, "Stitching California: Fiber Artists Interpret the State's People, Life, and Land," on display through Jan. 5, 2020. "Stitching California" uses quilts both conventional and unconventional to narrate the political, personal, and local concerns of its makers. She emphasizes that the panel will be a discussion that includes audience participation, because "It's not all about quilts. It's all about art. Art is an avenue for working through life's challenges."

The Grace Hudson Museum is at 431 S. Main St. in Ukiah. The Museum is open Wednesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and Sunday from noon to 4:30 p.m. General admission is $4; $10 per family; $3 for students and seniors; free to all on the first Friday of the month; and always free to members. For more information please go to www.gracehudsonmuseum.org or call (707) 467-2836.

* * *

1958: “17-year-old Bianca Passarge of Hamburg dresses up as a cat, complete with furry tail, and dances on wine bottles. Her performance was based on a dream and she practised for eight hours every day in order to perfect her dance.”

* * *

AS THE ADVENTISTS WRAP UP MENDOCINO COUNTY…

nytimes.com/2019/10/03/health/sutter-hospitals-medical-bills.html

* * *

MENDOCINO COAST CLINICS EARNS FEDERAL GRANT FUNDING FOR EXCELLENCE AND EXPANSION

Fort Bragg, CA — Mendocino Coast Clinics (MCC) recently received $48,551 based on the quality of the health care they provided in 2018 and $167,000 to expand behavioral health services. The quality award included $30,000 for MCC’s patient-centered medical home (PCMH) designation, $12,551 for their 15% improvement on clinical quality from 2017 to 2018, and $6,000 for their use of health information technology to increase access to care and to advance the quality of care between 2017 and 2018. The behavioral health expansion grant funding will allow MCC to provide additional services, including child psychiatry via video conference, often referred to as telemedicine.

Funded by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), MCC and other health centers like them will use quality awards to improve the quality, efficiency, and value of the health care they provide. According to HRSA, “By providing patients access to high quality, value-based care, health centers are uniquely positioned to meet the nation's most pressing health care needs, as well as emerging health priorities. HRSA-funded health centers are the first line of care in combatting the nation's opioid crisis. In 2018, health centers screened nearly 1.1 million people for substance use disorder and ultimately provided medication-assisted treatment to nearly 95,000 patients nationwide.”

MCC provides a variety of healthcare services, including medication-assisted treatment for people struggling with substance use disorder. Other services include medical, dental and behavioral health care, as well as some specialty services such as chiropractic. MCC also creates special clinics within the broader service offerings to support special populations, such as BlueDoor@MCC for teens and OpenDoor@MCC for the LGTBQ community.

MCC Executive Director Lucresha Renteria said, “We’re really proud of the care we provide. It’s nice to receive additional federal funds so we can take care of even more people here in our community.”

MCC is a local, non-profit, federally qualified health center offering medical, dental and behavioral health care to people in the coastal communities of Mendocino County. Learn more at www.mendocinocoastclinics.org

* * *

* * *

THE DOLL

by Manuel Vicent (translated by Louis S. Bedrock)

Greta Thunberg

In horror movies, the rag doll with a porcelain head that looks at you from a shelf of the bookcase is always unsettling; or the kid on a tricycle riding around the carpeted hallway of a deserted hotel; or the little dancer on a music box that spins around without stopping to the sound of a barcarolle. Children are effective props in a horror movie. And so are phony clowns. Anyone would be terrified if, on some foggy night in a remote gas station, a clown, laughing hysterically, came out with a gas hose in his hand to serve you.

The masters of the genre know that the terror is produced more by what the spectator imagines or anticipates than by what he sees upon the screen. That's what is happening in our screwed up world in which the glaciers are melting, storms are increasingly more violent, conflagrations more terrifying, and droughts ore distressing. Scientists affirm that the increasing intensity of these catastrophes is due to climate change, although not everyone agrees.

Suddenly, in the middle of this debate, an adolescent named Greta Thunberg, whose disconcerting face is reminiscent of that porcelain doll that looks at you from the shelf, has appeared. Her mere presence has converted climate change into a horror movie.

Through her tears and her rage, she has performed an exorcism in the gallery of the United Nations, as if she were a clairvoyant from the depths of the imminent darkness, facing down Trump, who plays the role of a sinister, pumpkin-colored clown.

The horror of climate change doesn't come from what we see but rather from what we anticipate in the future—a future that is being debated between a porcelain doll and a leering clown. Perhaps the revenge of an ocean filled with garbage that is ready to drown humanity in its own shit.

* * *

OIL IN HUNTINGTON BEACH, 1940s

* * *

ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY #2

This “Resistance” is a fraud, in the first place for appropriating the term given to those numerous forces under the fascist boot during the 1930a and 1940s and whose efforts got them arrested, tortured, shot, hung, gassed, and, in the second place, because this “Resistance” is about nothing except their own power and advantage and not one jot more. Blacks? Hispanics? Bollocks. Blacks and Hispanics make for handy stage props, their general condition getting more disastrous by the day and worse especially in places run by Democrats. Women? Get the hell outta here, women’s lives are worse than in my mother’s day notwithstanding a multi-generation gab-fest about improving their lot, that is, except for women in the managerial clerisy and who, by the way, could give a shit about women not in their societal class. Does anyone think that Hillary gave a second’s worth of consideration for anyone except White college educated women in professional and academic ranks?

Forget White Deplorable women, do Black and Hispanic women think that a President Hillary Clinton would have had the time of day for them?

I don’t judge people by what they say, I judge them by what they do, what they achieve. What has this “Resistance” achieved?

Can you even believe that Trump won? He did. Can you even believe that after three years of effort to bring him down that he’s still standing? He is. You have to believe your own eyes.

Trump is still in the White House and so, despite having the institutional armature of the Deep State at their disposal, this “Resistance” got nowhere in their self appointed task of overturning the 2016 election.

Never mind about this “Resistance”. What does this tell you about the power and might of this Deep State? It tells you that they are Three Stooges quality stumbling, fumbling, bumblers, maybe able to ruin the lives of bona-fide whistle-blowers, but essentially ordinary people without the resources to defend themselves.

But when confronted with a bigger challenge – Trump – they proved unable, promoting a farcical narrative about collusion with Russians, which made zero sense from the get-go and which came apart in an epic fuck-up of an investigation.

What of this latest Ukraine imbroglio? The same, going nowhere, a complete discredit to the mendacious shits behind it.

What these nit-wits forget is that there are people watching this clown show. And some of these watchers are serious assholes with serious power in foreign capitols who would like to supplant Americans as the world’s hegemon. These people are aggressive and resource hungry and they want their time in the sun. This joke of a “Resistance” and their preposterous Deep State backers are being measured and assessed. They might want to give that a thought.

* * *

* * *

LUNCH WITH MICHAEL MARTONE

Pie. Pie. Pie.

Down 67 and lunch at the Gray Brothers Cafeteria. Classic Hoosier cafeteria food. There's pie, of course. Pie and plenty of it. Display cases of pie. Rows of display cases of pie. Rows and rows.

I stare blankly at all that pie. The din of the world ceases. The mind closes down. All those slices of pie behind all that glass stare back at me. Blankly. Silently. Thousands of slices of pie.

For a moment, pie is all there is in the world. Innumerable slices of pie. Boundless pie. A million multicolored fruit pies. Cream pies. Meringue pies. Peanut butter pie. Pecan pie. Cheese pie. Sweet potato pie. Grasshopper pie.

Pie. Pie. Pie.

And suddenly the world is beautiful again. The mind opens. Candelabras are lit. Magnolias bloom. Statues of translucent marble come to life.

Pie did this!

Pie to delight us. All of us. Pie forever and a day.

The rest to delight us?

Artistry. Poetry. Music. But today, it's pie. There is only pie.

John Sakowicz

Ukiah

* * *

FOUND OBJECT

9 Responses to "MCT: Wednesday, October 9, 2019"

  1. Scott Ward   October 9, 2019 at 1:33 am

    Convicted felon PG&E donated $200,000 to Governor Newsome. Do you really think that the politicians give a shit about the little people that can’t afford the highest electric rates in the nation?

    Reply
  2. Lazarus   October 9, 2019 at 7:18 am

    FOUND OBJECT

    Harris Quarry near Willits, circa 2030.

    As always,
    Laz

    Reply
  3. Will Lee   October 9, 2019 at 7:56 am

    Wow, the Mayor and Councilman Peters get hammered even when we are NOT at a meeting. So it went so well because the Fort Bragg City Council was not present at a meeting in Elk? Come on. The future of quality healthcare on the Coast is of utmost importance to all of us, especially to the City of Fort Bragg. The Coast Hospital and clinics are the largest employer on the coast.
    So the “reporter” who is charged with “covering” the FB City Council somehow missed the fact that the Council had already received a presentation on the affiliation process on September 23rd. It went well precisely because he was derelict in his duty and somehow missed the meeting.
    Many intelligent questions were asked and were answered and useful information was shared.
    I approved a more detailed presentation by the Affiliation Board at Town Hall for the people of Fort Bragg on October 21st At 6 pm. Please come and hear the full presentation and have your questions answered. Your input is most valuable as this process will go to the voters in March.

    Reply
  4. Louis Bedrock   October 9, 2019 at 8:59 am

    Michel Meyers, 2019 Nobel Prize in Physics, on God’s place in the universe:

    EL PAÍS: Giordano Bruno, que fue quemado por la Iglesia en el siglo XVII, propuso que hay muchos otros sistemas solares en el universo, lo que no encaja con el relato cristiano de la creación ¿Cuál es el sitio de Dios en el universo?

    Michel Mayer: La visión religiosa dice que Dios decidió que solo hubiese vida aquí, en la Tierra, y la creó. Los hechos científicos dicen que la vida es un proceso natural. Yo creo que la única respuesta es investigar y encontrar la respuesta, pero para mí no hay sitio para Dios en el universo.

    https://elpais.com/elpais/2019/10/08/ciencia/1570566287_988305.html

    EL PAÍS: Giordano Bruno, who was burned at the stake by the Church in the 17th Century, suggested that there were many other solar systems in the universe, which didn’t conform to the Christian myth of creation. What place does God have in the universe?

    Michel Mayer: The religious view says that God decided that there would only be life here on Earth, I believe. Scientific facts suggest that life is a natural process. I believe that the only answer is to investigate and find the truth, but for me there is no place for God in the Universe.

    (Translation by Louis S.Bedrock)

    Reply
  5. Harvey Reading   October 9, 2019 at 9:46 am

    ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY #2

    Be afraid, be very afraid? Typical garbled conservative tripe. And, conservative includes democrats who barely give lip service to progressive views. Was this an anonymous missive from the guy who can’t hit a gopher with a .357?

    Reply
  6. Louis Bedrock   October 9, 2019 at 10:11 am

    I enjoy reading and translating Manuel Vicent’s columns, including the one in today’s MCT.

    I must confess, however, that I despise Greta Thunberg, who, as Mr. Vicent suggests, reminds one of Chucky from the movie, CHILD’S PLAY.

    I can’t understand why this demonic 16 year old gets all the attention she gets—as well as the venues she’s offered—venues not available to more qualified veterans of the environmental movement like Guy McPherson, Helen Caldicott, Harvey Wasserman, and Dane Wigington—to name just a few.

    https://skepticalscience.com offers solid information about climate change without Greta’s phony grimaces and tears.

    If I never again saw this roundheaded little icon of earnest concern for the human race, it would be too soon.

    Reply
  7. Eric Sunswheat   October 9, 2019 at 10:43 am

    Peter Phillips, the author of the book, “Giants: The Global Power Elite,” examines the roles and networks of the world’s richest and most powerful. This class is no longer bound to national concerns, only to the expansion of its own power, says Phillips. December 26, 2018

    The Cult of Trump: A Leading Cult Expert Explains How the President Uses Mind Control Hardcover – October 15, 2019

    Reply
    • Harvey Reading   October 9, 2019 at 1:50 pm

      The minds he controls are those of people who want to be controlled,the born followers.

      Reply
  8. Susie de Castro   October 9, 2019 at 11:56 am

    Notice the word ‘liberal’ is missing? It’s been appropriated and distorted.

    ‘I’m a lover, not a fighter’

    It means that you are a peaceful person, who would prefer not to fight, anyone!

    Reply

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