- Drying Trend
- Candidate Debate
- Variety Show
- Plea Withdrawal
- Mendo Piechart
- AV Village
- Ed Notes
- Ukiah Rainbow
- Ignoring V
- Musical Czars
- Mailing Costs
- Simpson Apartments
- Climate Politics
- Pot Ordinance
- Debate Questions
- Yesterday's Catch
- Chopper Crash
- Philistine Pompeo
- Runs Gooder
- Thought Language
- War Criminal
- Wait Up
- Venture World
- Cave Dreamer
- White Right
- Hardboiled Dicks
- Impeachment Halftime
- Ocean Warming
- Found Object
Showery conditions can be expected in Del Norte and Humboldt counties today, with dry conditions elsewhere. More widespread rain is expected overnight tonight and Tuesday morning, followed by dry conditions Wednesday and a few showers Wednesday night. A warming and drying trend is expected over the 2nd half of the week. (NWS)
MEET THE FIRST DISTRICT CANDIDATES at their First Debate Tuesday January 28, 2020 at 6:00pm at the City Hall in Ukiah.
VARIETY SHOW 2020
It's 2020 and time to get your vision for an act into focus for the stage. YES, the 29th annual AV solar grange variety show is prepared to accept your act. This year the show is Friday, March 6th and Saturday, March 7th. But now is the time to call Cap Rainbow at 895-3807 or since he's having trouble with his phone if you can't get through call Kate at 357-7682. You don't have to be from the valley to participate— come over the hill, in from the fog, away from the brightlighters and experience the best audience anywhere; you will be welcomed. Especially seeking animal acts, magic, demonstrations of skill, or erudition. We bill it as four minutes in front of 400 people. Operators are waiting at the phone(s), or leave a message and hopefully the phones will be working. Keep trying.
Don’t wait. Call Cap Rainbow at 895-3807 or Kate at 357-7682.
JOE CORRAL WANTS TO WITHDRAW HIS PLEA
by Bruce McEwen
Joseph Corral, Jr. had previously entered a plea of guilty to shooting at two sheriff’s deputies with a .50 caliber handgun, a Desert Eagle, the most powerful semi-auto pistol on the market, last summer in Redwood Valley. The plea arrangement would have meant that Corrall would get 29 years in prison, rather than 54 years, for two counts of attempted murder on Deputies Thong and Vasquez. But at the last moment Mr. Corral decided to fire his lawyer, Daniel Moss of the Public Defender’s Office, and withdraw his plea.
The presentencing report had just come in from the Probation Office and in it Mr. Corral gave a sketch of his biography, how his mother went to prison when he was two years old, how he grew up in southern California and joined the Lopez Maravilla street gang and adopted the moniker “Bad Man.” Corral said that his mother finally got out of prison last year and that he drove up to San Francisco to see her and, as he got closer, he tried to call her but she wouldn’t answer his call, so he started drinking, found some meth, bought more booze and kept on driving past San Francisco, and ended up parked alongside the road in Redwood Valley, passed out in his car.
The Probation officer asked Corral what he was thinking when he decided to open fire on the deputies; specifically asking him if he was contemplating committing “suicide-by-cop” (as it is colloquially called when someone pulls a gun on a police officer)? To which Corral replied he didn’t know, but that he always became suicidal when he used meth. The last thing he remembered was driving on by San Francisco, and waking up in a hospital bed with a gunshot wound. The deputies had returned fire after Corral fired first, a shot that blew off the rearview mirror on the passenger door of the soccer van he was driving. The .50 caliber is a big bullet, half an inch in diameter, with tremendous muzzle velocity, and it is necessarily a heavy weapon to wield, so it is understandable that Corral in his inebriated state perhaps didn’t have a chance to get the muzzle up and align the sights before pulling the trigger. Also, it would be easy to pull that trigger again, spontaneously, even unintentionally, after such a powerful recoil, as the big gun bucked in his hand; and investigators believe Corral did fire a second shot, intentionally or not, at the deputies.
The deputies in question, Miguel Vasquez and Alexander Thong were present for the sentencing, which was scheduled for last Wednesday, but at the last moment Corral asked to withdraw his plea and be given a new lawyer, a “Marsden motion,” the legal beagles call it, which required Judge Keith Faulder to clear the courtroom to hear Corral’s complaint about his lawyer. We later learned that the Marsden motion was denied, but another lawyer, one from the Alternate Defender’s Office, had to be appointed to see if there was legal standing for Corral to withdraw his plea – effectively postponing the inevitable, there being a widely disseminated video of the incident on the internet, which shows beyond any doubt that he fired on the deputies.
“Gunshot experts will be called in,” District Attorney David Eyster said, “if this goes to trial, because we believe there was a second shot fired.” If it can be shown that two shots were fired, a second count of attempted murder will be added to the charges, increasing the maximum exposure to 54 years in prison, as opposed to the 29 years offered in the stipulated plea deal that Corral backed out of last week.
MENDO AT WORK (via Ted Williams)
ANDERSON VALLEY VILLAGE - WEEKLY UPDATE
Here is a link to the calendar events for the next two weeks that are hosted by The Anderson Valley Village as well as events in our community at large. Plenty to keep you busy! If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact us:
KICKING OFF SUNDAY MORNING with my usual PowerBall loss — not one correct number — I hit the pavement in a fine, damp drizzle lamenting the loss of the frogs that used to be everywhere after a rain before the vineyards poisoned them unto extinction, and mulling over the morning headlines that said the "prestigious" Des Moines Register had endorsed Elizabeth Warren. The newspaper said Warren would "push an unequal America in the right direction," but not to worry Cheeseburger Nation, "she's no radical" although she's "viewed by some as too far left." Continuing, the prestigious newspaper's presumably prestigious editorialists declared, "The senior U.S. senator from Massachusetts is not the radical some perceive her to be. She was a registered Republican until 1996. She is a capitalist." Whew! Spare us the wrath of non-believers in capitalism — more stuff for more people forever! What kind of nut could possibly oppose it?
THE 27 JANUARY edition of The New Yorker contains the strongest short story I've read in a long time. It's called "You Will Never Be Forgotten" by Mary South. Not to give anything away but the writer manages in a few thousand words to indict everything that needs indicting — modern romance, esp among the trendo-groovies, to tech world. Here's what the author says about her story: "Here’s a sentence I’ve dreamed of writing for most of my life: I have fiction in the @NewYorker. It's about a woman who screens traumatizing videos while surveilling her rapist online and in the real world. (It may be emotionally difficult to read.)"
AS MOST OF US KNOW, court schedules are arranged for the convenience of judges and those who serve them. But this notice from their majesties, casually appended to their on-line notices, neatly puts their priorities in frank perspective, and you, Mr. and Mrs. Shlub, are barely a consideration: "Parents, have parenting time/custody mediation coming up in court? Make sure you set aside the FULL day to be in court, as your mediation may take a few hours and could be in the morning or afternoon, even if your court papers say 8:30 or 9:30 a.m."
TABLOID STORY: "Why the US is NOT a good place to raise a child: Gun violence, sky-high cost of living and lack of paid parental leave make America the 18th choice for bringing up kids behind Canada, Australia and much of Europe."
PLEASE. What are the odds of your little Americano getting gunned down at school? And if you class angle the proposition taking into consideration the new American fact that the wealthy long ago abandoned the public schools even in small towns like Boonville, gun play is much more likely at prole schools than it is at private schools. And, statistically, also rare at the prole academies. I'd say the internet kills more kids, a lot more kids, than guns do, and kills him no matter where he is on the globe. At a tap of his finger the ten-year-old sees what the worst of humanity has on offer, and that depraved daily deluge does him more harm than random gun fire does.
GIVEN that we seem doomed as a species, the young ones should probably be spared the bad news, at least until they're old enough to reasonably process that they might live long enough to witness the final curtain come down. In that interim-innocence between infancy and puberty, I'm here today to urge that the Boonville schools re-institute Arbor Day, accompanying the annual hour or so that might be devoted to it with a riff or two about how trees not only cleanse the air we breathe they help beat back global warming. I've suggested as much to the school people who, of course, instinctively reject any suggestion coming from Boonville's beloved weekly but I try, he said, choking back a sob. The Arbor Day Foundation gives away trees. All you gotta do is ask. No in-services, no grant apps, simply the request. Why, just a week ago the Foundation offered 10 free flowering trees or 5 free crapemyrtles for the asking, not that these particular parking lot species are what I have in mind, but the grander tree seedlings are also free for the asking from not only the Arbor Foundation but local timber companies. Both local school campuses badly need trees, and what better excuse to combine a "learning experience" with beautification?
FROM THE SHERIFF'S DEPT
TERRY D’SELKIE POSTED on the Fifth District Supervisor Facebook page:
So, this thing happened and I filed a complaint with Mendocino County enforcement. A law was broken by Mendocino Redwood Company, many, many times. I can see one of these stands and it is ugly and sad. I have heard nothing from enforcement about what they plan to do. They called me one time and wanted to come out and see what I can see from my deck, when I look across the river at MRC land. They never came. They never called back. What is happening with the enforcement of the law, Ted Williams? If I break the law, I get a ticket or I am arrested. What happens when MRC breaks the law? NOTHING! They get to be involved in an Ad hoc meeting to see how they can get around breaking the law. They are not held accountable. Democracy is broken when the voices of the people are drowned out by the corporations breaking the laws. Pitiful! I expect better and so do my neighbors! PS. If any of my facebook friends can see any of these dead standing trees from their land, PLEASE I implore you to file a complaint with county enforcement. This is not going away, according to MRC for at least 20 more years! Devastating our forests!”
TED WILLIAMS REPLIED (to the question about what is being done): “To be blunt, not much.”
IN A RELATED ITEM, buried deep in a recent summary of the “debate” between Fourth District Supervisor candidates Dan Gjerde and Lindy Peters by Fort Bragg Advocate editor Chris Calder we found this:
“Gjerde said county counsel has told supervisors the county is unlikely to prevail in court. ‘We have not been given the go-ahead with legal advice that the county would win that lawsuit,’ he said. ‘If you lose the case, if the government loses the case, it would have to pay the legal bills of the people sued. That could easily be a million dollars that’s as much as we spend in any one year on extra paving of roads.’
“Peters said he would push to enforce the measure anyway. ‘If we lose the court case, we lose the court case,’ he said. ‘This is a democracy,’ he said. ‘Basically, you folks out in Mendocino County came up with this initiative. You supported this and put it on the ballot. So, I don’t think it’s a sign, whether I’m for something or not. You folks voted for something, and you’re expecting your elected officials to follow through’.”
THERE IS NOTHING on the record indicating that County Counsel Christian Curtis has “told supervisors the county is unlikely to prevail in court.” In fact, Curtis wrote a convincing formal opinion that MRC’s “we’re exempt” argument is wrong in several respects. If Gjerde wants to ignore Measure V and the voters who approved it, he should just say so like McCowen, not cite non-existent opinions from County Counsel or pretend that pursuing the case would take a million dollars from the road fund.
COMMENTING ON THE RESIGNATION OF SEAN CONNELL and recent hiring of “acting” Cannabis Program Manager Megan Dukett on the Mendocino Voice website, a commenter calling him/herself “disaster” said:
“What a disaster the cannabis program is. I am not surprised he left. The planning and building dept are too busy trying to tell people no, even when they are allowed to do it. Sorry MR. McCowen but no it is not more streamlined. The moment I bring up the word cannabis in planning and building everything changes, it slows everything down, and I am treated like I am trying to do something wrong. I have built 2 class K homes in the past and everything went smooth, I am no stranger to government and there is no reason to treat me like this. The whole program needs major help.”
LET’S REVIEW the recent history of County officials who have resigned or been fired after having one or another responsibility for the Cannabis Program: Chuck Morse resigned when told he’d be responsible for cannabis, Diane Curry (resigned over a clash with CEO Angelo), Joe Moreo (resigned after a week over a dispute over who’d be in charge of cannabis), Kelly Overton (resigned without notice or explanation), Sean Connell (resigned without notice or explanation), and now Ms. Dukett, with zero cannabis program experience (she had been the museum “program administrator” in the newly formed Cultural Services Agency) and apparent sister of Deputy CEO Sarah Dukett is handed the job. The salary for the job was listed in 2018 as up to about $80k a year, but Mr. Overton somehow managed to earn a $100k/year salary for his four months (plus generous severance) — all with another 50% more in perks and bennies.
AVA POSTAL RATES are up again for 2020, especially out of county and out of state. Many out-of-the-area subscribers have shifted to on-line where the goods are cheaper and faster. It now costs us about 80 cents to mail a paper out of state on top of the 40 cents per copy printing cost, a little less out of county. We have not raised our rates on our loyal subscribers, but it now costs us about 20 cents more per paper per week in direct out of pocket print/mailcosts over the $50 sub rate (which goes back to the mid-90s) — or $1.20 cost for a $1 price. And that doesn’t include our other costs: contributors, office, us, taxes, etc. By comparison the weekly New Yorker with much less readable material is now up to $3 a week and they still have lots of ads. On a three-glub scale, we're at two-and-a-half from glub, glub, glub.
THE JOKE AT LOW GAP & BUSH
To the Editor:
This is an open letter to Brad McDonald CEO of Rural Communities Housing Development Corp. I have been a resident of Jack Simpson apartments at the corner of North Bush and Low Gap for over 22 years. At no time during that span have conditions at Jack Simpson been as bad as they are under your administration.
Maintenance is a joke. You have tenants cleaning the hallway out in front of their apartment because there is no one else to do it. Tenants are having to get friends or relatives to make repairs because RCHDC will not respond to their requests. I, myself, put in three maintenance requests two weeks ago on Dec. 26, 2019 with no response. One glaring example of your approach to maintenance occurred one day last year when I was in the on-site manager’s office. A maintenance worker came in and I asked him “When do you plan on replacing the hall light upstairs that’s been burned out for almost two months?” His response was: “I’ll do it when I f—ing well get around to it.”
Your manager, who was standing right there, didn’t bat an eye.
Why is our community room locked every day at 5 p.m. and locked on weekends and holidays?
Why is the upstairs activity room always locked and access denied to tenants and the exercise equipment therein?
Why did you eliminate the small stipend for the tenant who unlocks and locks the doors in the morning and evening? He still does it anyway gratis; how cheap can you get?
The on-site manager’s office hours, which are frequently changed, are now Tuesday and Thursday only from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Unfortunately many times he is not there during the stated hours.
That makes it extremely difficult for a tenant to schedule appointments for cable, phone, internet or anyone who needs to access the “electronics room” which is always locked and has to be opened by the manager.
Why did your manager enter my apartment without prior notice and against my wishes while I wasn’t at home?
Why was my request for a set of keys for my IHSS worker denied? I am 85 years old and vision impaired; it may not be a big deal to you, but it would make my life a little easier. Just another example of RCHDC’s indifference toward its tenants. There are numerous other management shortcomings I would be happy to discuss with you if you are interested, which based on past experience is extremely doubtful.
All this with the apprent blessing of the Board of Directors who bear the ultimate responsibility. The Board’s disinterest in tenant’s problems is long standing and well documented despite the fact tenants are the only reason RCHDC is in business.
I am very appreciative of the housing RCHDC provides. But, you seem to think your responsibility ends once the final nail is hammered. You are fully paid to carry out your management responsibilities and that is where you are sadly lacking. To quote a former RCHDC Board member: “It’s too bad that an organization that does such a good job of creating housing does such a poor job of managing it.”
If this public airing of problems at RCHDC causes you any discomfort, so be it, you earned it. As to whether or not it will generate any positive results, that remains to be seen. It all depends on what you’re made of.
WHEN YOU’VE GOT NOTHING TO LOSE AND EVERYTHING TO GAIN
by Jim Shields
A new Sonoma County marijuana business group is calling for some of the very same types of changes I’ve proposed for the last several years with respect to Mendocino County’s cannabis ordinance.
Recently I wrote in this space that notwithstanding the fact that after four-plus years of the Cannabis Ordinance being on the books, only 10 percent of pot farmers have made application to the program. By any process of program evaluation or measure of a program’s effectiveness, the Mendocino County pot ordinance is an abysmal failure. The people it is supposed to shepherd into legal status have voted with their feet. They will not be forming a line at the county’s pot application drop box any time soon, if ever.
I said that there’s really only one viable option left to the Board of Supervisors:
Repeal the existing non-workable cultivation ordinance, thereby deferring to the state’s regulatory framework, rules and regulations.
Self-described as a new member-driven group of entrepreneurs that calls itself the Cannabis Business Association of Sonoma County (CBASC), “has joined forces to help their colleagues in the cannabis and hemp sectors survive and thrive as this nascent market matures.”
According to a statement released this past week, CBASC is “composed of leaders in Sonoma County’s cannabis marketplace, (who) represents cannabis and hemp member-businesses and professionals who are leading the charge to make local regulations more supportive of craft cannabis businesses and transforming Sonoma County into a world-class cannabis tourism destination.”
Erich Pearson, a CBASC co-founder, says that the group is currently prioritizing Sonoma County’s Cannabis Ordinance revisions as its top aim.
“Making Sonoma County a better place for our industry is our No. 1 goal,” Pearson says, “because it ultimately aligns with our other mandates. We’re hoping to bring the county into line with the state of California on many levels, from code definitions to licensing types to special events planning to disaster relief and more. We also want to help reframe the discussion about permit renewals, sensitive use set-backs, tourism, and land-use.
“Any of these things would make an enormous impact on the cannabis and hemp industry’s success here in Sonoma County,” Pearson adds. “Successfully reframing them all would allow us to truly flourish and bring in the ancillary tax revenue that state, county, and civic stakeholders have been promised in tandem with legalization. I think it’s safe to say that’s something that everyone wants.”
In sharp contrast to Mendocino County where officials hypocritically scapegoat the state for the failure of the local pot ordinance, the Sonoma County organization has come up with a winning strategy: Don’t waste time unloading responsibility and accountability on the state when your local rules and regulations aren’t working. Get rid of convoluted and redundant local regulations, adopt the state’s basic framework, and the result will be an exceptionally lean and streamlined set of local pot rules.
Mendocino County should not only follow their lead, but join forces with the Cannabis Business Association of Sonoma County because they’ve not only identified what the problem is, they’ve also devised a feasible and simple-to-implement solution to the problem.
The county has spent more time, taxpayer money and resources on this marijuana issue than any other matter in county history — and there is nothing to show for it.
The proposed plan by the Sonoma organization is comprised of just basic, simple improvements to a system that is currently not working for anybody.
Mendocino County has absolutely nothing to lose and everything to gain by taking this course of action.
(Jim Shields is the Mendocino County Observer’s editor and publisher, and is also the long-time district manager of the Laytonville County Water District. Listen to his radio program “This and That” every Saturday at 12 noon on KPFN 105.1 FM, also streamed live: http://www.kpfn.org.)
MENDOCINO COAST WOMEN'S MARCH AND NO WAR IN IRAN DEMONSTRATIONS
POTENTIAL QUESTIONS FOR TUESDAY’S DEBATE
by Tommy Wayne Kramer
With the upcoming debates on all our minds, a few clarifying thoughts and questions for candidates running for Second District Supervisor.
If elected will you promise to head the celebration and once again parade down State Street riding a white horse, dressed like Wonder Woman, blowing kisses to the adoring crowd?
Is now a good time to explain your thinking when you and other council members spent two years doing your best to prevent a citizen from flying the American flag on his own property in the western hills?
Would you have worked just as hard to rid the skies of a rainbow flag?
As a tourism gimmick you sponsored the gluing down of plastic squares on street corners around Ukiah’s west side. Most peeled up and disappeared within a few months due to faulty installation. Are surviving tiles collectible today, and what do you estimate to be the value of a red one I might have confiscated a few years ago and hidden in my garage?
If elected will you orchestrate any novel ploys to consolidate power with another supervisor? (I’m thinking of the stunt you and council member Mary Ann Landis pulled to subvert the rules and cut in line ahead of Doug Crane to become mayor, despite it being his turn.)
You have made a de facto alliance with Elizabeth Warren’s national nutball progressive socialist wing by accepting her money for your campaign. Might we expect an avalanche of county taxpayer funded giveaway programs (like Warren’s notions of free college, free healthcare and reparations for gays and blacks) to favored local beneficiaries?
How do you square cozying up to Warren and her leftwing supporters, noted for their hostility to the Second Amendment (a citizen’s legal right to own guns), with the firearms you possess?
If, hypothetically, a columnist for the Ukiah Daily Journal were to endorse you in highly flattering terms, could he expect free beer for life at Vic’s Bar in Redwood Valley, which your family has owned for about a hundred years?
Will people vote for a candidate whose name they can’t pronounce?
Most citizens think the never-ending influx of transients into town is a problem. What have you done during your tenure on council to make the situation better?
Now please explain why the situation is worse.
How do you justify paying the Ukiah city manager running a town of 16,000 a salary exceeding that of the California governor in charge of a state of 40 million?
Do you keep a scrapbook of all the newspaper pictures that have appeared featuring you at ceremonies for new bike paths, Rail Trail grand openings, etc?
Given the condition of Ukiah streets, can we look forward to a similar approach to keeping county roads in top shape? When they fall apart will you urge voters to increase their own taxes to pay for improvements, then recommend spending the money on narrowing Highway 101 to a single lane?
Will parking meters be installed along Orr Springs Road?
Everybody seems to have read the recent story in the UDJ about the jail corrections officer using excessive force to subdue an inmate, and his follow-up suspension and job transfer. Letters have been written; everyone has opinions about the officer and all of them are bad.
I’ve known this corrections deputy more than 20 years, mostly from jail visits as a defense investigator to meet with clients awaiting trial. These people are not shy voicing their displeasures with jail life, including the officers.
Over the years I never heard any criticism from any inmate directed toward that deputy. To the contrary he was considered one of the friendliest, most understanding and congenial officers in the building. He listened to inmate complaints, helped when he could, and seemed concerned for their future. More than once I subpoenaed him to court to verify information beneficial to clients and he always cheerfully complied.
I don’t know just what happened on the day this misfortune took place, but neither do you. I’m saying that in all my years working in the justice system I never encountered a corrections officer with more heart, more compassion, more willingness to help inmates, and more committed to doing the job right than Zohar Zaied.
(Tom Hine is a former journalist and criminal defense investigator. He and his subterranean sidekick, Tommy Wayne Kramer, live in Ukiah.)
(Courtesy, the Ukiah Daily Journal)
CATCH OF THE DAY, January 26, 2020
MIRANDA ALLARD, Willits. False info to police officer.
MARK BEARDSLEE, Ukiah. Paraphernalia, probation revocation.
MEREDITH BOONE-DENHEM, Ukiah. Failure to appear, probation revocation.
NATHANIEL CHIM, Fort Bragg. Parole violation.
BILLY DOAK, Navarro. Unauthorized entry of dwelling without owner’s consent, controlled substance for sale, paraphernalia. (Frequent Flyer)
CAPDESUNER GONZALEZ, Tampa, Florida/Ukiah. DUI.
JODI HODGES, Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol, probation revocation.
GLEN LANE, Fort Bragg. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.
CHRISTOPHER LOPEZ, Ukiah. Probation revocation.
JORGE LUGO, Ukiah. Failure to appear.
ORLANDO MUNOZ, Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol, probation revocation.
STEVEN RICH, Ukiah. Parole violation.
SAMUEL SALDANA, Fort Bragg. DUI, reckless driving, probation revocation.
KEVIN SHAW, Ukiah. Assault with deadly weapon not a gun, probation revocation.
LEONEL VALENZUELA, Ukiah. DUI-alcohol&drugs.
MYCHELL VEGA-AYALA, Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.
KOBE BRYANT & DAUGHTER KILLED IN SOCAL CHOPPER CRASH
NBA legend Kobe Bryant and his daughter were among several people killed in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, California, on Sunday, a source confirmed to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski. Bryant was 41.
A HARD FALL
Truly a driveway moment just now; Mary Louise Kelly's interview with Mike Pompeo started out as what seemed like a softball slow pitch free propaganda opportunity for this transparently Kool-Aid guzzling tool of the out-of-control Middle East war industry. My ire rose with each of the unrefuted canards that he trotted out in support of pointless and endless conflict with Iran.
Fortunately, having parked the car, Ms. Kelly adroitly came to my rescue and that of all of her fair-minded listeners when she drilled down on the endless falsehoods being promulgated by the Secretary of State, finally insisting that, his stated position notwithstanding, what is one to make of the testimony of people like Amb. Jovanovich, whose sworn statements contradict utterly the nonsense that he had just propounded? God bless her for finally standing up for known fact and not permitting the corpulent Christianist from flyover country to continue to crank out his lies without challenge.
It was a sweet bonus for her to report to her listeners that, after one of Pompeo's underlings suddenly terminated the interview, she was summoned into his offices for an X-rated-language scolding. I love it! These people are simply not thinkers; those of us who have actually studied and thought about such abstract considerations as morality and rationality and the continued viability of human species, cannot help but recognize people like Mike Pompeo as the Philistine; someone interested in, and only in, the most crass and simplistic values of power, money, influence etc. They don’t even understand such things as moral, ethical behavior!
As the great Jimmy Cliff sings, "the harder they come, the harder they fall". May their fall be hard!
AS A WRITER, one spends a lifetime journeying into the heart of language, trying to minimize, if not eliminate, the distance between language and thought.
— Arundhati Roy
WAR CRIMINAL: 31 TO 7
by Stephen Elliott
The end came to scattered boos and palpable angst with just under two minutes left in the first half of the final regular season game, at home against the Dolphins. The Fish were in a must-punt situation, around their own 35. Alone at home, I cursed aloud as Belichick failed to call the 1st of our remaining three time-outs.
Walk me through it, Bill. Here’s a 4-11 team, whom we’d crushed 43 to 0 in our first meeting. As the half progressed, we’d started to jell, tying it at 10 after being down 10-0. The Book says you call an immediate time-out and put in a set-piece, hurry-up offense. Handle the punt return, and, with enough time to even insert a running play or two if desired, try to pick up 40 or 50 yards for a field goal attempt. Then we get the 2nd half kick-off and – who knows? – maybe ice the game right there. Instead, you let the clock dwindle, we shoot a couple of indifferent runs up the middle, and slink into the locker room!
Whoa, we’ve still got Tom Brady! We have a bunch of other players who, whatever their limitations, seem perfectly willing to TRY. Get it? TRY! A perverse and reverse re-enactment of that long-ago moment when we got the ball back in just such circumstances at the end of our first Super Bowl win. John Madden infamously announced that Brady should take a knee and take our chances in overtime. As if!
Bad vibes and evil spirits had dogged us through the last weeks of the season. Ex-Pat Eric “Death” Rowe, as it turned out, made the play that sent us to death row, an early pick-six of a Brady duck. There would be no reprieve. It was a painful reminder that this same Eric Rowe was the sub for Malcolm Butler against the Eagles a couple of years ago – and got torched all night long, as Belichick blew the Super Bowl – out of, to all appearances, mere spite against Malcolm Butler – who’d played 98% of the defensive snaps that season and now sat on the bench.
After Miami, it was a foregone conclusion that we were cooked. Belichick quit on the team. We’d blown the first-round bye and the home field against Kansas City, things we needed with Edelman hurting and all hands wanting extra practice and rest. So, when old friend Make Vrabel, whose pressure on Kurt Warner in that first Super Bowl had led to Ty Law’s early pick-six, also, finally, The Play of the game – when Vrabel brought his Titans to town, it was all about being put out of our misery.
Four days after the Miami debacle, Fat Boy, a great favorite of genius Belichick and Bob “Happy Ending” Kraft, ate three cheeseburgers and, by drone attack, murdered General Soleimani and companions at the Baghdad Airport. Such astonishing physical courage! Bone Spurs then crowed to a crowd of fellow fatties in Ohio that he was greater than – get this! – Lincoln!
I put on a nice suit and tie, my strict rule for standing out and canvassing, and stood in the center of Bridgewater (20 miles east of Patriots’ home in Foxboro) with a sign saying TRUMP = WAR CRIMINAL. I’d anticipated some flack, as Bridgewater, and neighboring East Bridgewater, West Bridgewater, Lakeville, and Middleboro, had all gone for Trump in 2016. Factor in the demonization of Iran from most quarters, and the danger of “war” fever, even when the “war” is waged at long distance by drones.
When standing out I keep count of smiles and thumbs up versus obscene gestures and orc yells by the Trump people. I’d had very good luck with my [HEART] ILHAN OMAR and TRUMP = LIAR, COWARD, BULLY signs last summer, but I thought this might be problematic. Given everything, I figured around 60% my way. I planned to leave when the numbers fell into a good, round football score. Imagine my delight at the numbers the early rush hour yielded:
Thirty-one to seven!
A few days later I stood outside the large VA Hospital in Brockton with a sign saying, over a bed of flames, SEND TRUMP.
All good, but couldn’t get a football score:
Twenty to one.
So now the chatter here in New England is about where free agent Brady will land. Will he return? Some say he’ll be with the Las Vegas Raiders, a proposition so obscene on so many levels that you can only cover your ears.
So, Northern California, thanks for giving us Tom Brady. Twenty years of great play and a familiarity that made it seem like the he was playing with the kids in the back yard or on the village green.
May blameless Jimmy Garoppolo and the Niners bring you joy! Jimmy was great in our epic 2016-17 season, filling in during Brady’s Deflate-Gate suspension.
Many remember Bob St. Clair, featured in the wonderful old Sport magazine as “The Forty-Niner Who Eats Raw Meat,” and have had a soft spot for the Niners ever since. You’ve got fans across the nation.
We trust you can run and control the clock. We hope you’ve got two or three linebackers and safeties who can run and tackle. You’ll need them, because Texas Red is no joke. As the song says,
He was vicious and a killer,
Though a youth of twenty-four,
And the notches in his pistol
Numbered one and nineteen more!
Go Niners! God Bless Ilhan Omar!
P.S. A random factoid: Just reading a book about Robert Frost and learned that in September 1891 he was a walk-on right end for the Lawrence High School football team, undefeated that season. He apparently played pretty well, perhaps Massachusetts' best end prior to another Rob, Gronkowski. Remember when ends were designated as "left ends" and "right ends"? Also, in those days, if you played end on offense, you were generally simply flipped and played end on defense too.
Much as a private table at the Casino de Monte-Carlo is off limits to those who can’t pony up for chips, venture capital is off limits to most of us as a direct investment. Funds typically have at least a million-dollar buy-in, available only to accredited investors, so unless you’re the Monopoly Man you’ll be unable to put your daughter’s college fund into some of that. Yet most of us now have daily contact with the world of venture capital, because its sphere of influence has exploded. Once, venture capital was sought by risky startups needing lots of up-front cash, whether for research and development (Genentech had to fund academic-grade research before it had a product to bring to market) or for essential leaps in scale (Uber is appealing only if it’s big enough to get a car to you quickly). Such financing seemed especially suited to proprietary technology, which was expensive, hard to seed into the market, and yet, if things went right, extremely lucrative. That has changed. Since extending its focus to direct-to-consumer retail, venture capital has come to fund delivery services, financial services, car companies, shoe companies, office real estate, leisure real estate, coffee brewers, beer brewers, smoothies, razors, trousers, speakers, scooters, mattresses, toothbrushes, socks, and underwear.
This realm of direct commerce could be called Venture World. You know what its businesses are like. They appear suddenly, everywhere, with chatty ad campaigns on public transit starring cool, young people who were clearly nerds in high school but who have since mastered impressive dance moves. They tell you that their products aren’t just better; they are simplifying the whole deal, changing how stuff works across society, and not a moment too soon. If you are buying an actual object and live in a major city, you might find a brick-and-mortar storefront decked with ha-ha-clever wallpaper where you can hold the toothbrush of the future or try one of five purportedly game-changing eyeglass frames. But the bulk of Venture World’s offerings are online, where they are hawked on bright, uncluttered sites that scroll down, down, and down again with charming animations, offering moving stories about one big idea that will change the industry, about community, about zero-impact supply chains, which, thanks to their backing, they can afford. In Venture World, everyone seems to be more or less on your wavelength. Its companies are geared toward unfussed people who keep their phones silenced and close. Venture capitalism is behind most of the platforms on which people lament the gaucherie of “late-stage capitalism”; it has become the chief industrial backer of the self-aware, predominantly upper-middle-class approach to lifestyle now called woke.
A marriage between social enlightenment and manic growth defines the business of the past decade. Venture capitalists, having helped officiate the ceremony, often find themselves in awkward standing when the marriage falls apart. In the fall, WeWork, a venture-founded office-rental company, tried to enter the public markets with a $47 billion-dollar valuation and the pixie dust of world-changing rhetoric, only to postpone the I.P.O. indefinitely when the valuation dropped by about 75% and its lion-haired C.E.O. resigned amid disturbing revelations about his management style. Before that, there was Theranos, the fraudulent blood-testing company, which, despite the absence of evidence that it could do what it promised, raised a mint in venture-capital funding—then, on the basis of that, hundreds of millions more—and Juicero, which, before the company’s abrupt shutdown, in 2017, had raised $118 million dollars for $700 Wi-Fi-enabled squeezers of juice packets. Last week, news broke that Zume—a startup whose business centered on pizza par-baked by robots, then loaded into delivery trucks filled with ovens that finished each pie en route to its destination—had been compelled to lay off more than half of its employees because SoftBank’s venture-capital arm, which had already invested $375 million dollars in the company, had backed away from further funding, wanting Zume to pursue more aggressive “global domination” in its pizza craft. The startup (which, despite its robust funding, delivered pizza to only a small portion of the San Francisco Bay Area) is pivoting its business to “compostable molded-fiber packaging.”
— Nathan Heller, The New Yorker
"The country weekly that tells it like it is." "Fanning the flames of discontent." I guess we'll see about that. Here's what the radical left might call a little hate mail.
"James Earl Ray Day" just passed. Celebrated on January 24 the birthdate of that liberal universalist profiteer he shot, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Now of course this statement will have all of the antifa fags up in arms. To which I say, "One country's freedom fighter is another country's terrorist.” And everybody knows this is a country divided.
The great melting pot is a great big joke. Every other day there is some great big racial catastrophe on the news and some liberal black lives matter idiot is saying how we need to have this great big talk. Let me tell you how this talk is going to go on behalf of everybody who is guilty of the great liberal crime of being "white" and being "right." First off, Hitler was right. Second off, fuck your reparations. And last but not least, Brenton Tarrent is a hero and one day sooner or later there is going to be a "reckoning" in this country. "MLK," you had a dream but this ain't it. Remember that every day your stupid statue in Washington DC is made a mockery of by the Washington monument itself, built by black slave labor. You will not replace us, even though you try to destroy the very foundations of this once great country. Attempting to replace war heroes like Andrew Jackson and everything that is strong and healthy with everything that is sick and weak — "the cult of victimhood."
I was born and raised in liberal hippie Mendocino County in liberal Democratic California and I have had many "different kinds of friends" and I can tell you first-hand from experience that "one world" all get along bullshit will never work. Take a long hard look around you at all the unnecessary tragedy that it causes. How many of you liberal Democrats want to live in East Oakland? Or bring East Oakland to you? It is nature's innermost will that all races go their own way. After all, if blacks were being policed by blacks in their own country you wouldn't have to speculate if the police shootings were racially motivated, would you?
Quit kneeling during the national anthem and get the fuck out of here. All of you bleeding heart liberals need to wake up and face the truth: "whoever strives for what is highest must turn his back on what's lesser." — Alfred Rosenberg, 1893-1946, The Myth of the 20th Century.
Guilty of being white and guilty of being right, a true Mendocino County son. Read books. They change lives! (Mein Kampf, The Myth of the 20th Century). Mendocino County is the last place I would want to end up in and I’m in Pelican Bay SHU. Take care and die you liberal scum. Please send me a free subscription to the Anderson Valley Advertiser. White privilege of the meth/falsehood. The downtrodden have stolen all my money! "Raise the flag!"
Luke Gutmann AC# 1022
Pelican Bay State Prison
C5 SHU 202
P.O. Box 7500
Crescent City CA 95532
PS. The same liberal idiots who want to tear down past American heroes because they were slave owners will also be tearing down their own Communist heroes in the future because they ate meat. There is a sickness on the left that ignores achievements and seeks reasons to destroy. No wonder Communism always fails in the end! PS. Who the fuck is in charge of the kitchen at Pelican Bay SHU!? Kim Jong-Un? Who the fuck puts celery in the onions?
ED NOTE: Mr. Gutmann was convicted of attempted murder in 2009. He's presently locked up at Pelican Bay, a state prison in Crescent City built by liberals forty years ago because there's nothing else in Crescent City besides tsunamis. The guy doesn't seem to understand that it's liberals keeping him alive. Republicans would have offed him a long time ago.
ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY
Tough to beat Bogart as Phillip Marlowe in “The Big Sleep.” Dick Powell was a good Marlowe in “Murder, My Sweet.” Robert Mitchum and Robert Montgomery were pretty good also.
Those earlier private eyes from the 40s and 50s had “it” in spades. Hard boiled and usually a move ahead. Tough nuts to crack, better bring a black jack.
Mitchum in “Farewell, My Lovely”:
“I was having lunch in a Chinese restaurant when a dark shadow fell across my chop suey.”
“I sparred with the night clerk for a couple of minutes, but it was like trying to open a sardine can after you broke off the metal lip. There was something about Abraham Lincoln’s picture that loosened him up.”
“This car sticks out like spats at an Iowa picnic.”
“She gave me a smile I could feel in my hip pocket.”
“I like smooth shiny girls, hardboiled and loaded with sin.”
Priceless. Reminds me of Melanie Griffith’s line in “Working Girl”: “I have a head for business and a bod for sin.”
“The wet air was as cold as the ashes of love.”
“The coffee shop smell was strong enough to build a garage on.”
Thanks to Raymond Chandler.
SCHIFF CALLS ON BEYONCE FOR RATINGS BOOST
In a desperate bid to garner interest from the lethargic American public, officials involved in the Trump impeachment proceedings have announced that Beyoncé Knowles will perform at today’s Superbowl-styled halftime show, along with an array of supporting acts, WWN can confirm.
Are the oceans really getting warmer all around the world? Historical ocean temperature records exist. They all show warming. But glaciers are melting, the arctic sea ice is melting, and more icebergs are appearing. They all add cold water to the oceans. Why is the ocean not cooling?
Perhaps there is an unknown huge fissure in the ocean somewhere and hot magma is spewing out. Or possibly there are hundreds of submerged volcanoes. It would take a lot of heat to warm the oceans. Could that all be happening without our knowing?
The arctic sea ice is melting, and the sun is warming the new open waters. Possibly it is getting colder in the really deep waters and only warmer on the surface, but the average temperature stays the same. We are now measuring temperatures to the deepest parts of the ocean in the Mariana Trench, and the warming is also appearing there.
Coral reefs are bleaching all around the world. Is the warmer ocean water killing them? But, most importantly, the warmer waters off our Sonoma Coast are hurting our salmon run. And I want my dungeness crab and hope that prices don’t continue to climb.