Off the Record (February 12, 2020)

DURING PUBLIC EXPRESSION last Tuesday morning, John Sakowicz mentioned in passing that “little oversight is provided for the $20 million the County gives Redwood Community Services.” Sako’s primary subject, however, was the thuggish dismissal of public health director Barbara Howe, who has re-filed an “amended” wrongful termination lawsuit. 

SUPERVISOR John McCowen immediately denounced Sakowicz, saying his remarks were “an example of how easy it is to make a series of false accusations with no accountability.” McCowen didn’t clarify which of Sako’s accusations were false. 

AND Redwood Community Services (RCS) CEO Dan Anderson said that Sakowicz, “made a comment about Redwood Community Services getting $20 million from the County that’s just offensive because it’s not true. To have somebody come up here and make that comment just without checking seems really unfortunate, and I don’t know about all the other things this person [Sakowicz] said, but I just, I was just sitting there and I felt like I needed to come up and say something. That’s not ok. It’s not ok.” 

HMMM. On July 22, 2019 the Board approved the following “retroactive” agenda item: “5d) Discussion and Possible Action Including Acceptance of Presentation Regarding Redwood Quality Management Company and Approval of Retroactive Agreement with Redwood Quality Management Company, Inc. in the Amount of $18,976,773 to Arrange and Pay for Medically Necessary Specialty Mental Health Services and Mental Health Service Act Programs to Medi-Cal Beneficiaries and the Indigent Population, Effective July 1, 2019 through June 30, 2020.” 

AT THE TIME, Supervisor Ted Williams had dissented, saying that the item was presented without alternatives and should have been broken into smaller segments so that options could be considered. 

ALSO, RQMC/RCS gets other money from the County (for homeless services separate from mental health) which indeed brings their total annual receipts to something like $20 million, probably more. 

WE FAIL to see anything “not true” about the $20 million estimate. And if Mr. Anderson is alleging that there is more than “little oversight” of that contract, we’d sure like to see it, and we certainly have unsuccessfully “checked” to try to find it. Besides, Mr. Sakowicz’s opinion that there’s little oversight over the $20 million is a legitimate opinion, hardly worth the self-interested denunciation that it’s “not ok.” What’s next? An emergency request for The Appropriate Police to pre-screen public comment.

GONZALEZ RESIGNS: Measure B Committee Chair Donna Moschetti told the Supes Tuesday that their highly touted Measure B Committee Project Manager Isabel Gonzalez — briefly famous for her first official statement at the December meeting that she was “100% Mendocino illiterate” — has “resigned” having started in the job less than two months ago. Her last day was Friday, February 7. Apparently Mendo has now re-started a recruitment and replacement process. Deputy CEO Sarah Dukett will fill in until the next Project Manager is hired. (Never mind that CEO Angelo made a big point of telling the Measure B Committee that she wanted to make sure that anyone they hired would stick around for a few years at least.) Ms. Gonzalez’s sole accomplishment during her short tenure was getting the Measure B Committee to buy her some fancy AcrobatPro software so that she could more easily post committee agendas and minutes. Supervisor Williams guessed that Ms. Gonzalez quit because she didn’t have enough of her own staff (!), and Ms. Moschetti agreed. But of course there are other more likely reasons given Mendo’s management-staff employment climate these days.

ANOTHER SIGN the Apocalypse is upon us: More people tuned in for the Super Bowl half-time show than watched the game.

FRISCO AS CESSPOOL? The debate rages. Well, not exactly a debate about the obvious deterioration of Baghdad by the Bay so much as unanimity from everyone except the incompetent mayor that a large swathe of the city has become a combination outdoor asylum and free range habitat for drunks and drug addicts. But. But the street chaos is pretty much confined to downtown. Unfortunately, San Francisco being a small city, downtown is unavoidable by citizens and visitors alike. But most of The City is free of the unremediated homeless. The Inner Sunset, Golden Gate Park, the several thousand acres comprising the Presidio managed by the federal government, and pretty much all the rest of the residential neighborhoods are homeless no-go zones, as is much of Chinatown and North Beach. The Feds immediately roust anybody camping on federal property, and the cops do roust the "inappropriate" from tourist areas like Chinatown, North Beach and Fisherman's Wharf. But city police, as per City Hall, aren't allowed to enforce "quality of life" violations. The nut of the prob, as here in Mendo, is the Homeless Industrial Complex who, in SF, rake in $350 million annually ensuring that the homeless remain homeless. Not that the Complex sees it that way, but their annual work product is visible to everyone who lives or works in San Francisco. Why is a self-interested (and well-paid) apparatus of "helping professionals" allowed to destroy the very heart of the city? Because enforcement and even whispered suggestions to compel are off the discussion table. Persons unable or unwilling to care for themselves are to be negotiated with, not cared for.

TAKE MY HAND, come with me as we part the mists of time back to the magic year of 1967. I was driving a cab at night and working to overthrow the government during the day, both being part-time jobs to be honest about it. One night, I was sitting at the cab stand in front of the Palace Hotel about a half-block off Market. Which I mention because unwritten city policy in all the years prior to Do Your Own Thing-ism was that vagrants and winos, as bums and drunks were categorized, could not linger on Market or anywhere north of Market. But there were still a lot of single room hotels where all but the people now unhouseable could find a cheap berth. The absolutely unhouseable — the insane, the drop-fall drunks, and the incompetent were confined to hospitals; straight-up petty criminals went to jail. Dope was still in its infancy, but now, as we know, the drug addicted shoot up on the street and whatever public place they choose to obliterate themselves in without fear of arrest. Anyway, I'm sitting there in my Yellow cab on a slow night when this neatly dressed young man collapses and begins to spasm as if in an epileptic seizure at the entrance to the hotel. A crowd gathers. Two young cops soon arrive. One cop says loudly to the other, "It's this asshole again," and turning to the young man shaking on the sidewalk, orders, "Stand up, goddammit." The guy had already stopped shaking at the appearance of the cop car, and stood up as ordered. The cop says to him, "You do this again tonight and we're going to arrest you." The cop then explained to the gallery, "This guy does this all over town." Thinking about this episode, I see Seizure Man as the great turning point in what's tolerated and what's not. 

OUR PREFERRED CONSPIRACY: The bungled Iowa Caucuses were deliberately bungled because Bernie was running away with the vote, so the DNC pulled the plug so his numbers could be adjusted downward. Thereupon commenced the excuses: "There was a problem with the APP." "Couldn't get anybody on the phone to turn in our results." Etc. By midnight, it was obvious that the clear winner was Trump.

DENIS ROUSE WRITES: “The paper's arrival lately seems like good company I need in this vacuous little burg in Washington in which I reside. Your comments re MLK much appreciated, I remember the power of his anti-Vietnam War speech, and am hopeful the stats are true that currently Black unemployment is at an all-time low. Also liked the filler from Philip Roth's "I Married A Communist" (my favorite of his) and remember that he wrote the book in answer to his actress ex-wife's, Claire Bloom's, awkward mean-spirited tell-all about their marriage, "Leaving A Doll's House". It was a literary match he of course won handily. McEwen's court report "Honor Thy Father & Mother" got me thinking about my liquor cabinet and there were hours to go before five pm. Keep the flames fanned, I have a feeling the AVA has burgeoning readership in these dark days that so need more light. “

DA NOW SEEING IT CLEARLY: No sooner had I written last week that DA Eyster intended to re-try Tai Abreu for murder than Tai himself writes, 

"District Attorney Eyster counter offered 24 to life which I turned down… Were District Attorney Eyster to offer something more commensurate to my actual involvement I would be more inclined to save the state and county time and money by resolving this issue prior to the actual hearing. As it stands, I have served just over 18 years in prison (October 4, 2001 to present) for what amounts to an absolute maximum of nine years on a robbery. The evidence of my involvement on even that crime is shoddy, though I have never denied that I was in fact participant in a robbery.

"According to the absolute worst interpretation of the evidence, I served as a getaway driver in a planned robbery. During the course of this robbery my two compatriots chased the victim down the road and down an embankment while I remained at the victim's vehicle out of sight or knowledge of their actions. According to one statement, I was informed after the fact that Mr. Channel had killed the victim using a knife (though I never saw a knife, handled a knife, was aware a knife even existed, nor was any knife ever recovered -- or cause of death definitively determined).

"As you are aware, Mr. Channel was released from prison approximately 2 years ago and is now at home in Reno with his wife and (two?) children, thus prompting the question — How can the actual killer in this felony murder be out with his family while I sit here with life without parole?"

"I don't know if it has been made public as of yet, but during the course of my incarceration, I have completed Alternatives To Violence Training, Getting Out By Going in (GOGI) lifestyle training, achieved a Certificate of Accomplishment in Business Administration from Lassen Community College, have nearly completed an Associates in Science Degree in Business Administration through Lassen Community College (which is transferable), have obtained Credentials of Ministry, and secured admission to Sacramento State University through Project Rebound upon my eventual release, have attained numerous related certifications through correspondence programs such as Herbert W. Armstrong College, Scriptures for America Ministries, and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. I am computer literate with an interest in coding, and capable of learning nearly any job you can put in front of me. I have a near perfect prison disciplinary record including previous employment in positions with constant contact with correctional staff. I have worked for the prison administration in official and unofficial capacities and I am currently employed as a teacher's aide instructing students with between ninth and twelfth grade educations in the field of mathematics (my personal math training includes college-level algebra, statistics, trigonometry, and introductory calculus).

"I have secured housing in Redding with my sister Shadow, have a property management offer in Humboldt County, and have created a viable business opportunity. 

"With all of this in consideration hopefully the judiciary of Mendocino County will recognize that not only am I NOT a threat to society, I am an asset with extremely high potential to succeed and give back to the community which I have damaged."

Tai Abreu

CDCR#T61118

HDSP Facility A5-205

Susanville, CA 96127

RECOMMENDED READING: ‘American Pastoral’ by Philip Roth. If you’re prepared to take the word of this book dino, give ‘American Pastoral’ a read. Roth’s novel manages to encapsulate in the collapse of one solidly middleclass family what amounts to the end of a bold and confident American bourgeoisie. A perfect couple, circa 1950, produces a child who grows up to become a Weatherman-style revolutionary, blowing up irrelevant structures and harmless people just like the real life sons and daughters of the privileged occasionally did during the 60s and the early 70s. The parents of this ingrate and lunatic are of course bewildered by their daughter’s choice of vocations, ignoring one relative’s sane insight that the kid is more at war with her parents than she is capitalism and/or fascism. It's fair to say that Trump is at least a proto-fascist and America has always had a large and strongly authoritarian-oriented segment of its population. If you, as a liberal, or even a radical political person, have ever had the experience of being denounced with more vehemence than the nutso left ever seems to muster for their official enemies, you’ll appreciate the masterful job Roth does here of getting inside the mind of a person who translates her personal misery into a dangerously deluded and ultimately false leftwing radicalism. Mendo examples abound. 

ALSO KINDA RECOMMENDED as an inside look at the working of the efficiently repressive modern Chinese state, "Bullets and Opium — China after the Tiananmen Square Massacre" by Liao Yi Wu. This is a grim account by survivors of harsh prison sentences meted out in the aftermath of Tiananmen in startlingly harsh prison conditions told by ordinary democracy protesters and a few leaders of the protests. Many of the better-connected university students who began the famous agitation of April 1989 for democratic reforms either escaped to the West or eluded prison. But the rest, even those only marginally involved, were systematically hunted down, tortured and imprisoned for, at a minimum, seven years. Since Tiananmen, China, a capitalist police state with a few socialist guarantees, has perfected its repressive apparatus to include face-recognition technology. All correct-thinking people will support Hong Kong's fight to stay free of the monster next door.

FIFTH DISTRICT SUPERVISOR Ted Williams uses his “Supervisors Report” to address real issues, in stark contrast to his four colleagues who mostly drone on at length about meetings they’ve attended and what the topics of the other meetings were.

For example, on Tuesday, Williams somewhat belatedly realized that the County had been bum-rushed into a major Mental Health project that was not thought through and should be reconsidered: The Orchard Street mental health facilities project (conveniently next door to Redwood Community Services’ existing operation) was pushed through on the basis that the County had to act fast (nevermind that the project has been on the table for three years now) or the County might lose a half a mil in state grant funds. (The state has threatened to withhold the funds at least three times now, each time extending the deadline to allow Mendo to apply so there’s no real rush.) 

WILLIAMS: “The Orchard Street Project. I know we did not want to give up $500,000. But the more I learn about how crisis residential works, I'm regretful. I don't think it's the right location. I think that you need transitional housing because nobody gets completely treated in a CSU [crisis stabilization unit] in 23 hours or in CRT [crisis residential treatment] in 30 days. There has to be follow-up, otherwise you're just throwing money away, it's not effective. So the continuum is what's critical. I see us working on this piecemeal. Checking boxes. We will do a CSU. We'll do a CRT. But we need a complete end to end plan. The Sheriff came and asked about a business plan and that's exactly what we need, the full scope. I'm afraid we are endeavoring down a piecemeal path that in the end may not provide a full spectrum of care. So we will not maximize the value on the public funds. Additionally, I understand the CRT may not fully reimbursable. I'm sure staff will address this at some point. But my understanding is that it is up to 50% match with Medicaid. Maybe there's some realignment dollars. But that comes to, We need a business plan with a financial statement that shows the breakdown of how this will work. Residential treatment works well when it's in a residential setting with a residential structure. The idea that this county government can build a structure for less than buying an existing structure — even when you figure the $500,000 from the state — I don't see how that's possible. I think in the end by taking this grant we are going to spend more money overall.”

RATHER THAN DENOUNCE Williams for this minor heresy like they did Sakowicz earlier in the day, the Board simply ignored him. Later Supervisor McCowen made some vague reference to the “feasibility study” that the expensive Sacramento consultant is supposedly doing (to justify the Orchard Street project, not objectively consider it). And CEO Angelo mentioned how the Adventists have been asked for input. But neither of those comments addressed Williams’ question. Nobody is interested in revisiting the Orchard Avenue property project because nobody but Williams cares how much it will end up costing or whether any of it is effective.

WILLIAMS also found fault with the bi-annual “Point In Time” count of homeless people in Mendocino County. “I volunteered to participate in the homeless point in time count. What I saw was volunteers working extremely hard to pull it off and for the most part I think it follows the HUD guidelines. I also don't believe we have an accurate count. There must be a better way for this county to count the homeless population, whether it's looking at records from the previous 12 months to see who got services or… But simply having volunteers drive around trying to spot homeless between a certain window of time is not accurate. I know that funding is attached to it so we are likely to see, not in this county but elsewhere, exaggerations…”

OH HELL NO, Mendo would never exaggerate their homeless numbers to keep the legions of helping pros employed, never mind that Supervisor McCowen and homeless consultant Robert Marbut have both said Mendo’s count was way too high.

WILLIAMS: “I also think it's possible to undercount. I know one area where I usually see 15 or 20 homeless, we only counted four. Maybe we were there at the wrong time of day, maybe the weather conditions pushed them somewhere else where they were having a party down the road. The bottom line is we do not get funding for people that we know are homeless and need services. I brought this to HHSA [Health & Human Services Agency] and it looks like it's more of the continuum of care problem which got me thinking why the continuum of care is not reporting to the county directly.”

THE SUPERVISOR will be wondering about that for a long, long time. The “Continuum of Care” is nothing but an empty phrase describing an overlarge amorphous lump (aka “collaborative” or “broad spectrum”) of local self-interested homeless helping staffers (County employees and government-funded non-profits) described on the County’s website as “The Mendocino County Homeless Services Continuum of Care (MCHSCoC) is a collaborative of over thirty-one agencies throughout Mendocino County” with their own self-selected 19-member “governing board.” Marbut also noted that that the MCHSCoC was not doing much to actually help the homeless, much less house them. 

(Mark Scaramella)

ANOTHER BIG free association presentation by Trump last week. Brandishing a copy of The Washington Post with a headline saying “Acquitted,” Trump slammed the impeachment process as a “hoax,” and went on to say, “It was the only good headline I've ever had in the Washington Post,” He called Nancy Pelosi and Adam Schiff “vicious,” “horrible” and “mean” people. He also referred to the FBI as “top scum,” called out James Comey and ripped the Mueller report and its dubious origins. Rambling on, Trump referred to the Russia investigation as “all bullshit,” the first time a president has resorted to that handy, all-purpose pejorative in public. He complimented the odious Rep. John Ratcliffe for being “straight out of Central Casting.” “If we're doing a remake of Perry Mason,” Trump said, nodding at Ratcliffe. “There's nobody in Hollywood like this.” Trump said the cretinous Rep. Steve Scalise became more attractive after recovering from a gunshot wound. “You weren't that good looking,” Trump said. “You look good now.” He finished his speech by saying: “I want to apologize to my family for having them have to go through a phony rotten deal by some very evil and sick people.” He then hugged daughter Ivanka and his wife Melania.

I’VE NEVER BEEN ABLE to read detective fiction, even the good stuff by Hammett, Chandler, Ellroy, etc. It doesn’t hold my interest. Their biographies are more interesting than their art, it seems to me. I have the usual complaints about tough guy fiction — the characters are one-dimensional, women are cartoon figures, and it’s hard to stay interested in either stick figures or plots whose resolution one is uninterested in. Besides which the so-called tough guys presented are so crudely drawn that it’s obvious the writers don’t know the difference between tough and vicious. But the other day I received an anonymous gift of a book called ‘The Steam Pig’ (1971) by James McClure, a South African writer. I made the schedule-destroying mistake of reading the first page and didn’t look up for the next six hours. It’s much better than a detective story in that it also provides a hundred little glimpses of the reality of South Africa circa 1960, the kind of detail through which one finally gets the full picture of what the apartheid society really meant in human terms. Over the years, I’ve relied on J.M. Coetzee, Doris Lessing and an essay writer named R.W. Johnson for my information on South Africa, but this mystery writer McClure manages to convey more about the country in this unlikely genre than all of them put together. Many thanks to the Ukiah person, whoever you are, for alerting me to this wonderful writer. 

TOM ALLMAN posed this question last week: “If the Coronavirus epidemic happens right here, can you sustain your family for a couple of weeks without leaving home?”

HMMM. A criminal acquaintance of mine, responding to the end-of-the-world hysteria at the millennium, was asked a similar question: "Me? I'll buy an extra box of shotgun shells and harvest my neighborhood if it comes to it.”

THE MEDIA — the chuckle buddy outlets anyway — are creating a lot of the fear around the coronavirus. It's not yet known how it's spread, but what is known is you won't die from it if you're reasonably healthy. But you get the overall impression from the mainstream media that if you get it, you die. This dangerously false impression is reinforced with clips of Chinese authorities dragging suspected cases out of their homes, and the still photo of the same dead Wuhan guy lying in the street who's been lying there for two weeks now.

SO FAR, the risk factors for developing severe illness from this virus are thought to be similar to those for other respiratory illnesses. You're not going to drop dead because an infected person breathes on you. Older people and those with underlying illnesses, such as diabetes or high blood pressure, and men generally, are so far the primary vics.

DISASTER PREP. My impression is that given the now annual enhanced fire danger, and the general anxiousness about the drift of big events that many people feel, that us rustics anyway are pretty well prepared for a brief collapse of Western Civ. Any longer than a month, say, we're talking Donner Party. 

SORRY to see this casual libel from James Kunstler: "The Iowa fiasco was universally seen as an effort to trip-up Bernie Sanders, the elderly Leninist who, ironically, seeks to turn the entire federal bureaucracy into a colossal version of the very Iowa caucus that was engineered to thwart him."

THE ORIGINAL LENINISTS murdered and jailed conservative socialists of the Bernie type. On the off chance Bernie isn't sabbed again by the middle-of-the-road extremists of the Biden-Pete-Klob type and is elected, and by some even greater miracle enacts medicare for all and the Green New Deal, he's still to the political right of FDR's New Deal, which was very good for most Americans, opposed, of course, by plutocrats, grandparents of today's plutocrats who dutifully malign the senator from Vermont.

NOT A ‘TRAIL TO NOWHERE.’ At a Ukiah City Council meeting on Feb. 5, the subject of the safety of the “Great Redwood Trail” Ukiah segment arose. When we first read Ukiah Daily Journal reporter Justine Frederiksen’s title — “Getting more people on Ukiah’s Rail Trail - New rules intended to help people feel safe,” we assumed that the issue of the trail being used by transients and druggies would be discussed. We were wrong. Apparently, the “safety” issues were “slow speed” electric vehicles (yes/allowed) and vaping (no smoking including vaping), as if the cops don't have enough to do without enforcing smoking restrictions. Deputy City Attorney Darcy Vaughn added that improving safety would “allow us to improve public perception of the trail.” Perhaps she was addressing the common view in Ukiah that the trail is either a lib-lab fantasy or a hobo highway — but, of course, these common perceptions of this particular boondoggle were not mentioned. 

Later in Ms. Frederiksen’s report we were told that Ukiah City Councilwoman (and Second District Supervisor candidate) Maureen ‘Mo’ Mulheren has an upbeat opinion of the trail now that it extends almost three miles (!) along the tracks in Ukiah. Mulheren has been hosting monthly (sic) walks on the trail and is glad it’s been lengthened recently, albeit at a cost of about $4.5 mil. 

Mulheren’s next trail walk on Feb. 15 is called “the Cupid Shuffle” when people can walk “all the way to Brush Street and back which is about three miles!” “It used to be a ‘trail to nowhere’,” said Mulheren, but now that it’s a whopping three miles long, “you can go up and back and get in a 5K.” 

Which is about as far from nowhere as you can get. 

(Mark Scaramella)

GENTLEMAN JOE. Increasingly ga-ga, Joe Biden launched a confusing insult at a female voter during a town hall in Hampton, New Hampshire Sunday, denouncing her as "a lying, dog-faced pony soldier." The young woman from Mercer University had merely asked Biden why voters should believe he could win in New Hampshire after his losing performance in Iowa where he'd finished fourth.

NOT TO BE a look-sist about appearances, but if Biden and Pelosi get one more face-lift their eyeballs will be on the back of their heads. 

IF ELECTED OFFICIALS were video-taped during work hours and performance-evaluated like professional athletes are, how many of the Northcoast's elected reps would survive the scrutiny?

CHILDREN'S PROTECTIVE SERVICES units are America's clearest example of class warfare. In Mendocino County, as everywhere else, decisions to break up under-class families occur behind closed doors "for the protection of the child," authorities claim. Typically, though, the children do in fact need protecting, but in practice bouncing them from foster home to foster home until they're 18 then booting them out the door as funding for them ceases is nearly as psychologically damaging to state-raised children as the hellish homes they're extracted from. The Mendo helping pros inspire zero confidence generally, and the CPS apparatuses' ability to make intelligent, humane decisions inspire (in me) even less confidence. But our judges simply sign off on whatever this dubious apparat puts in front of them and on and on it goes. I'd like to see custody hearings opened up to the public and have juries make the final decision.

RECOMMENDED VIEWING: Two excellent Netflix documentary films, one on the sad case of Aaron Hernandez, the brain-damaged NFL star turned gangster. It's called "Killer Inside: The Mind of Aaron Hernandez." The second is a six-parter I binge-watched Saturday afternoon, called, "Who Killed Malcom X?" Not two of the young men who went to jail for doing it, a fact known to the authorities at the time, and a fact verified by one of the actual killers. Malcolm was murdered out of a nexus of police and FBI malice with the jealousy Malcolm inspired in the corrupt leadership of the Black Muslims. Fascinating history of those murderous times, and a touching story of a man who'd grown past the crude racism preached by the Black Muslims of America.

POETRY SLAM

The Great Way has no gate;

There are a thousand paths to it.

If you pass through the barrier,

You walk the universe alone.

- Wu-Men, 1183–1260 (via Craig Stehr)

The chewed gum has no sugar;

A thousand chaws foul a thousand sidewalks

Except in Singapore where possession

Earns Juicy Fruit rattan on your bare back.

If you chew it anyway,

You get hit again, this time

With the Straits of Malacca.

— Bruce Anderson (1939-Soon)

ON LINE COMMENTS OF THE WEEK

 [1] The battle is not between Republicans and Democrats – that one is lost – Republican ruthlessness and corruption has trumped Democrat commitment to fair play mixed with naive incompetence, plus the decline of its union base.

The battle is not between “Progressive, One-World, Globalist Socialists” and “Freedom-Loving, Small-Government Conservatives” either … another total myth that might play night after night on Fox News, but hardly anywhere else.

Anyway – the US doesn’t have a social-democrat worthy of the name, let alone a genuine “socialist” – in many Western countries including mine, Backdoor Bernie would be indistinguishable from the local conservative Tories.

No – the battle is between decent people who care about the 75% of the population who do it tough every day, and those whose attitude seems to be “I’ve got mine (usually through daddy, like the Dumpster), go get yours!”.

Sure they wrap themselves in the flag and preach about individual freedom and individual liberty, but in fact it’s the wealthy who gain the most from government – they get far more.

They are the kiddies who read Ayn Rand at 18, had a few dorm sessions in college, and then never ever grew up. Trump is one of them … and he has surrounded himself with the swampiest cabinet and administration possible … he’s shit-scared because he knows he is unfit for the job.

But I don’t think anyone in the Democratic circus is fit for it either.

[2] I did not attend my precinct caucus here in Des Moines, Iowa. If it had been a normal primary election, I would have voted. Voting takes only minutes, not hours like a caucus. And the caucuses are an unreasonable challenge for citizens with a mobility problem, like I developed recently. (No, not a stroke, for which I am thankful.)

So Nancy Pelosi is disgusted with our President’s State of the Union speech to the point that she tore up her copy of it. Well, Nancy, I am disgusted with your “Democratic” Party, which conducts this travesty of democracy called the Iowa Caucuses. Your party could not manage a kindergarten classroom, let alone a national government.

Computer applications must be tested, and people must be trained in their use. Who doesn’t know that?

And why do the caucuses not have a secret ballot? No good reason comes to mind, only bad ones.

Why is the caucus procedure so complicated and error-prone? Any good reason?

Iowa has the caucus system so that we do not compete with New Hampshire for the first in the nation primary. That’s not good enough. The Iowa Caucuses should be abolished and replaced with a normal primary election.

The news media will oppose this change because they are addicted to the advertising revenue they get from the campaigns.

2 Responses to "Off the Record (February 12, 2020)"

  1. John Sakowicz   February 12, 2020 at 11:34 am

    Déjà Vu All Over Again:

    Anderson Valley Advertiser, Off the Record (July 3, 2019)

    “AS MOST of us know by now, much of Mendocino County’s social work obligation has been privatized. The Mental Health Contract is worth about $20 million a year, and includes responsibilities for dependent persons, including children. The franchise is owned by Mr. and Mrs. Schraeder who, near as we can tell, pay themselves somewhere around two hundred thousand a year to administer the helping programs the County of Mendocino gifted them. The Schraeders are a for-profit business with a cover-all-the-bases board of directors consisting of Ukiah law partners Brian Carter and Brian Momson; Nancy Borecky of Selzer Realty; and Donna Wright Gradek of the Savings Bank of Mendocino. But how effective are these privatized programs? No telling because there’s no public reporting, although public money funds them.”

    Reply
  2. Ted Dace   February 20, 2020 at 4:54 pm

    Imitation nonsense doesn’t stand a chance against the real thing. It has to read like it wasn’t composed but just bubbled up of its own accord. The other one reads like it was slapped together by an octocontrarian. Happy 80th, belatedly. And many more, Mr. A.

    Reply

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