Off the Record (May 27, 2020)

MEMORIAL DAY MEMORY. As a kid I always had a paper route. At the time, Frisco published several dailies and plenty of news to deliver. I remember carrying the afternoon SF Call-Bulletin and the morning SF Chronicle. The newspapers of the forties and fifties came with a genius sales strategy — child labor, armies of young boys who not only delivered the news to the customer's door, but had to collect the subscription price in cash, most of which was turned over to an irascible adult-type guy who would often brace his deficient juvenile delivery crew with this blanket denunciation: "You little bastards are enough to drive me fruit!" What he had against apples and oranges mystified me until, as an adolescent, I understood “fruit” as one of many unkind references to homosexuals who, at the time, were not only invisible but so far off the social radar they might as well have been Martians, at least until Liberace showed up on national television when you could almost hear a national cry go up, “Wha..wha.... what the hell?”

ONE of my customers was the Diebel family. The old man had easily won me over when he not only paid his sub on time, he gave me a couple of extra bucks tip, a small fortune to a kid in 1949. I also remember a young Diebel who enjoyed a local reputation as a tough guy even before he joined the Marines to see heavy combat in Korea. He was also crazy, at least temporarily, because one night he and two other former Marines, one of them a guy named Bynum who'd lost an arm in Korea, invaded the Hallinan home in the posh Marin community of Ross, threatening to rape Mrs. Hallinan. (AVA readers know the Hallinans from the excellent series by Fred Gardner.) 

THE OPPRESSIVE POLITICS of the time was dominated by anti-communism when there was still something of a viable American left in the form of a Communist Party, USA that made a lot of desirable political noise out of all proportion to its tiny numbers. The Diebel invasion of the Hallinan home was ignited by the Hallinan's prominent opposition to the war in Korea, that and the fact that they were prominent communists. It seems that in the Diebel view he'd fought communists in Korea and here was a nest of them right up the road from his house. It was an ugly episode which, in those smothering times, soon faded without, I've always assumed, Diebel and the two other invaders doing any jail time because popular opinion excused their felonious behavior as the understandable frustration of brave American patriots who'd been on the Korean front lines of the anti-communist crusade. 

THE HALLINAN BOYS were not at home that night. Neither was their famous father, who was also handy with his fists, on one headline occasion slugging a legal adversary in court. If you have minority opinions, which in those days were definitely left-liberal, and you don't keep them to yourself, it's a good idea to take self-defense lessons, which all the Hallinan boys did from a professional fighter. Terrance Hallinan turned out to have a real aptitude for boxing, which he pursued at the college level and, as a high school kid, also at late night venues around the Bay Area. We've come a long way backwards from the days there was a proud, identifiable left in this country — "We oppose capitalism and we're committed to destroying it" — to the wuss-wamp irrelevant left of today, so steadily and effectively misrepresented by the neo-fascist political right that millions of deluded Americans think the left is Nancy Pelosi.

THAT'S all I could remember of the Hallinan home invasion and Bill Diebel until I asked Deb Silva, the formidable Point Arena sleuth, to see what she could find. It was of course a big story at the time because the Hallinans were a famous family. Deb unearthed a fascinating trove on the case; I've appended one of the below. I hadn't known that the lead perp, Diebel, got a year in the Marin County Jail and had wept in court when his sentencing judge let him and the world know what a lowdown beast he'd been in the assault on Mrs. Hallinan. And that's another thing you don't see often from defendants in contemporary courtrooms — remorse.

THIS IS THE MOST COMPLETE account of the event at the time: 

“Vivian Hallinan Fends off Rape Try in Ross Home—

(Marin Daily Independent Journal, San Rafael, June 16, 1956.)

Mrs. Vincent Hallinan, wife of the controversial San Francisco attorney, fended off a would-be rapist who broke into her Ross mansion with two companions last night. The attractive Vivian Hallinan, mother of six, was stripped of her robe and nightgown by the assailant after the trio entered the house through an unlocked front door at 11 PM. After terrorizing Ms. Hallinan in her bedroom and kitchen, he and his companions left with cash and liquor. Ross police chief Joseph Regoni gave this account of Mrs. Hallinan's terrorizing experience:

Mrs. Hallinan was in her upstairs bedroom alone in the 22 room mansion except for a maid who was sleeping in a downstairs bedroom. She told police she heard footsteps on the stairs and thought it was her husband returning early from a business trip to New York City. She said she went to the bedroom door and called "Vince, is that you?" As she did she saw the would-be attacker duck into a bedroom door down the hall. She locked herself in the room but before she could call police on her bedroom phone the man kicked in her door and ordered her to remove her clothes. 

According to police reports Mrs. Hallinan who underwent surgery last year pleaded with the attacker saying "leave me alone. I have cancer. I'm a sick woman." The assailant allegedly replied, "I don't give a rat’s ass what you have," and tore off her robe and nightgown. Mrs. Hallinan told police she succeeded in talking the man, who she said "looked like a thug," out of assaulting her. 

By this time the attacker, described as about 25 years old, had ripped the phone off the bedroom wall. Mrs. Hallinan got him to go downstairs with her hoping she could use another telephone extension to call for help. In her kitchen she found two other men also between 22 and 25 years old and another phone ripped off the wall. Mrs. Hallinan told police that she was again threatened with rape while she was in the kitchen with the three youths, all of whom had evidently been drinking. She said the man who kicked in her door asked her to sit on his knee. When she refused his advances and again succeeded in calming him somewhat, he told her he had a wife and a two-week-old baby. According to the police report, the other men did not join in the rape attempts and remained quiet while Mrs. Hallinan talked except to address their companion as "Johnson" and say "Let's get going out of here or you'll have to walk home."

When Mrs. Hallinan told "Johnson" her name, he reportedly apologized and said he "didn't mean any harm." To get rid of the trio Mrs. Hallinan offered them money. She said they took about $30 from her wallet and six quarts of liquor and left. Mrs. Hallinan then used one of the remaining telephone extensions to call the Ross Police Department. Chief Joseph Regoni and Officer Leslie Flowers responded to Mrs. Hallinan's call and spent the rest of the night in the Hallinan home taking fingerprints and photographs.

After she called police Mrs. Hallinan succeeded in reaching their sons Terrence (Kayo( and Michael (Toughy) at a party celebrating their Sir Francis Drake high school graduation night at which Michael received his diploma. They returned home immediately and were with their mother this morning. The Hallinans’ oldest son Patrick (Butch) was away from home and her younger sons were reported to be staying at the Hallinans’ mountain cabin near Yosemite.

Mrs. Hallinan was not available for comment. She was reported in bed in a state of shock and extreme nervousness. According to Regoni Mrs. Hallinan could give only vague description of the three men. The first man sought on a felony charge of assault with intent to commit rape is described as about 6 feet tall with "dirty blond" crew cut hair, even features and wearing a tan tweed sport jacket.

One of the other two men who are wanted as accessories to the attempted assault was described by Mrs. Hallinan as about 5 feet seven with slim build and wearing dark rimmed glasses. The third man was described as about 22 years old, heavyset with broad shoulders, dark complexion and wearing a slip on sweater. According to Mrs. Hallinan he walked with a limp as if he had a sore knee.

An all points bulletin has been issued for the three men. All will be charged with breaking and entering.

The Hallinan home was relatively unharmed. Total damage was the broken bedroom door and the two telephones.

Mrs. Hallinan is the author of a book on her family, "My Wild Irish Rogues." Her husband, Independent Progressive Party candidate for President in 1952 has twice been sent to the federal penitentiary, once for his conduct during trial defense of longshore leader Harry Bridges, and once for income tax evasion. The State Bar Board of Governors has moved for his disbarment. (Later denied.)

Hallinan’s son Terrence ‘Kayo’ Hallinan was dissuaded from going out looking for Diebel after the assault on his mother with a warning "not to get into trouble."

The three perps were soon identified and arrested. Diebel later pled guilty to first-degree burglary after the assault with intent to commit rape charge was withdrawn. Jeffries pled guilty to vagrancy and Bynum pled guilty to simple assault. Diebel did a year in the Marin County Jail and was last heard from as a resident of Cloverdale.

EVERYONE JUMPED our dear leader's bones this week when he announced that he not only approved of hydroxychloroquine to prevent COVID-19, he took it himself, and took it against the advice of his own White House medical man. Then, here comes Nancy Pelosi irrelevantly denouncing Don as "morbidly obese." Which he isn't; he's just a fat guy. We had a morbidly obese president named Taft, the only truly obese person to hold the office, although there have been a few pudges including my fave, Ulysses S. Grant who got fat on the job. When Trump said he popped hydro, I assumed, and still assume, he's got an interest in the company whose value shot up immediately after Fatso's endorsement. 

WE'VE GOT GLOBAL CRISES SQUARED and the people at the top have nothing better to do than swap lame insults? Pelosi says, apropos nothing at all, that Trump is "morbidly obese." As the child he is, Trump responds by saying Pelosi is "crazy" and "sick." Pelosi, third in line to be president after zomboid Pence, comes back with, "The things he says are so inappropriate for a president of the United States. The comments he makes about women… It's like a child who comes in with mud on their pants or something. He comes in with doggy doo on his shoes and everybody who works with him has that on their shoes too for a very long time to come. I don't take offense at anything. The president says things about me all the time, I say one thing about him and it's like, 'oh,' some equivalence here'." 

THERE'S no equivalence, Nancy. It's all just stupid. You'd think Pelosi would simply ignore Trump's gratuitous remarks, and doesn't seem to realize she really does look like a nut by responding to him. 

A MATH STUDY from Columbia University, coordinated by Dr. David Kipping, has analyzed all the existing research to determine how likely it was that life would blossom on Earth. The research suggests if Earth's history were to be repeated, intelligent life forms like humans could not be guaranteed to re-occur. "If we re-ran Earth’s clock, one should statistically favor life to frequently re-emerge, but intelligence may not be as inevitable," Kipping said. His statistical experiment found that the very first primitive lifeforms were statistically most likely to evolve 190 million years after habitable conditions existed, a point believed to be around 4.2 billion years ago. You might expect that the more literal Christians, the ones who believe the Bible is the actual history of our species, would jump on this finding to argue divine intervention. I'm not exactly C.S. Lewis, but the atheists who argue cosmic accident or evolutionary up-from-primal sludge seem as implausible as the literalists.

MENDOCINO COUNTY'S taxpayers cough up $20 million a year for privatized mental health owned by Mr. and Mrs. Schraeder. Measure B is a sales tax aimed at coughing up another $38 mil for a safe place to sequester the seriously mentally ill. “Seriously,” in mental health terms means the person so designated needs to be locked up for however long it may take to get them to where they aren’t a danger to themselves or others. A large percentage of the local disturbed are cyclical, more or less functional while they stick to their pharmaceutical regimens but, unsupervised, they run off the rails.

THE TWENTY annual tax millions are vaguely dispensed by the enterprising Mr. and Mrs. Schraeder, on top of whom there’s a county apparat of forty or so people who do Christ knows what all day, for several more annual millions. Add it up: $20 mil to the Schraeders; $38 mil from Measure B; and somewhere between five and ten annual millions for the county-paid mental health people — well over $60 million.

FOR A POPULATION of only 90,000 people this is a helluva lot of money. 

AS NEAR as we can tell, and even asking anybody in charge of the money where it all goes is to risk death in a blizzard of bullshit. There seem to be roughly 2000 Mendo people who require varying degrees of attention, and that figure includes maybe a thousand children lost in the psycho-factories known as the foster system. (Two thousand still seems way high even including foster children and the Albion-KZYX demographic.) You can be sure, however, the helping apparat knows how much their cut is worth down to the penny.

MEASURE B is aimed at $38 million MORE mental health on top of the Schraeders’ twenty mil, and the several annual millions paid to the county’s 40 helping pros. 

MEASURE B is clearly being sabbed by the gynocracy clustered around County CEO Carmel Angelo whose attitude seems to be, “See here, Mr. Man. If you think you can do mental health without us, well….”

THEN-SHERIFF ALLMAN breathed Measure B into life on the obvious assumption that an in-county, secure mental health facility would, over the long haul, save a lot of money. And would also give the county’s police forces — who do all the county’s mental health heavy lifting — a place to put the most volatile 5150s. However, because Allman bypassed the existing mental health fiefdoms, and appointed an oversight committee heavy on obfuscators, Ms. Angelo managed to link Measure B to a brand new lock-up psych building on Orchard Avenue, Ukiah, which, she now says, can’t be done and staffed for a mere $38 million, the cost, I believe, of first-phase Hearst Castle. Sad to say, the old girl is probably right, especially the way she and the county’s helping pros do their thing.

WE THINK the solution to the Measure B dilemma (it’s become one) lies with a version of Supervisor Gjerde’s suggestion to buy a few existing buildings and retool them to purpose: Building One for the people temporarily wigged out on drugs or simply wigged out, short-term; Building Two for the self-destructive; Building Three for the insanely dangerous, the kinda guy likely to go off in Safeway with a machete; Building Four the habituals. There aren’t that many of them in total and, boiled down, we’re only talking about safe places for the deranged staffed by sympathetic people, a few of whom with fancy credentials. Never happen, though. It’s Mendo, Jake.

MY FAVORITE writer, SF Chronicle's, Esther Mobley, seems to have stumbled on a byproduct of that essential Mendocino County landmark, Feliz Creek, named after Frank Feliz of the Rancho Feliz, an original Spanish land grant that covered miles and miles around Hopland and all the people in those miles and miles. The native people of the area used to flee up Feliz Creek from slavers both freelance and church-sponsored, the latter riding up from the mission at San Rafael to press-gang Indians into getting their souls saved while they worked the fields for the padres. Feliz Creek doesn't look like much where it flows under 101, and only flows in the rainy season, but a few hard miles west at its headwaters, Feliz Creek is both oasis and, in the awful past, before the curtain rang down on paradise, as beautiful a place as you'll see in Mendocino County and, in the peaceful eons prior to the padres and the first waves of white killers, a way station on the trail trod for centuries from Lake County to the Mendocino Coast, many of those ancient travelers carving an eternal presence into a huge stone latterly called a spirit rock. Fast forward to the Last of Days, or whatever it is that has recently kicked off with the killer virus, Ms. Mobley brings us the news that “Minus Tide Rosé from Feliz Creek Vineyard of Mendocino County” is juiced from 112-year-old Carignan vines, assuring us that "this lean, acid-driven rosé tastes like a just-ripe peach, with lots of red berry notes, and smells like lavender and wet stones. It achieves lots of flavor in a very delicate frame." The old ones knew the Feliz headwaters were sweet, but probably didn’t think they smelled like lavender and wet stones. 

THE SUPERVISORS, with minimal comment, have unanimously approved another round of funding for Visit Mendocino (formerly the Promotional Alliance), which is basically tax-funded advertising for (mostly) wineries but also the general splendors of Mendocino County. Check that: the splendors of the Mendocino Coast, which are indeed splendid but kinda crowded in the hot weather. 

VISIT MENDOCINO, is, in reality, ten or so slicksters and their telephones who get paid to go to Frisco wine tastings. Anyway, they're funded at around $1.5 million annually for these demanding jaunts, and I say “around” $1.5 mil because to ask for the exact number is to get a lot of blah-blah about this funding source and that funding source, but boiled down it's mostly government money. 

THE IRONY, though, is that visitors to Mendocino County are presently unwelcome, so promoting visitation is on hold. Locals do not want you to come here at this time, and if you do motor on up from the Bay Area there are no accommodations, no wine bars for you. They're still closed, although the beaches of Mendocino County and state parks were reopened to LOCALS on Wednesday. (Who's checking who's local?) The upshot? We're presently paying Visit Mendocino to do double-nothing — their usual nothing plus virus-nothing. 

I GAVE UP ON The Nation magazine years ago, after years of being a faithful, even avid subscriber. The Nation finished me off when they signed off on an editorial (except Cockburn, of course) declaring that it was crucial to support Gore over Bush, and that Ralph Nader was an enemy of the people for running in opposition to Gore and flab-glab neo-liberalism. Now we have Katha Pollit of The Nation writing, "I would vote for Joe Biden if he boiled babies and ate them. I cannot believe that a rational person can grasp the disaster that is Donald Trump and withhold their support from Biden because of Tara Reade. I would say this even if I had no problems with Reade's account." 

I THINK I'm a reasonably rational person who grasps the Trump disaster who wouldn't vote for Biden if he married Tara Reade and don't think she's pivotal to anything anyway, and certainly not cash and carry liberalism of The Nation type. Orange Man, and trying hard here to be objective, is actually better than Bush certainly, and better on lots of stuff than Hillary would have been. He cooled out Little Rocket Man; he got a peace process going in Afghanistan; and he turned the FBI and all the spy agencies upside down. Of course he, like Obama before him, has shoveled billions upwards to the people who fund both him and the Democrats. Biden has signed off on every disaster since he first took office. A vote for him is a lateral move from Trump. But, with the curtain apparently ringing down on the whole show anyway this particular conversation is probably moot.

WE'VE GOT a nut out of Oregon running for U.S. senator who, like millions of her fellow screwballs, get their political views from the QAnon website, the ultimate in conspiracy-think. According to these people, Trump is fighting a secret war against a “cabal” made up pedophile-cannibals in the global elite and Democratic Party. They are also convinced that Trump will soon imprison or execute top Democrats, including Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. Trump has invited QAnon promoters to the White House, and frequently retweets their opinions. His nominee for director of national intelligence, Rep. John Ratcliffe a Texas Republican, has been revealed as a QAnon guy.

PERSONAL ANECDOTE. A Mexican kid who does odd jobs for us also works for a guy whose views seem to come from Alex Jones. One day the kid says, "So and So told me that Michelle Obama is really a man. That's why they call her Mike." Young man, the people who say stuff like that are the same people who want to wall you out. And you come to us any time you need a reality check.

WITH one in four working persons now unemployed, 1.6 million people, just in April, are unable to pay their mortgages, the largest single-month jump in history. With all the talking teeth and hair-do's saying the economy will bounce back as soon as it's re-opened are simply relaying the Trump party line. The pre-plague economy isn't coming back, and for millions of Americans it’s a very rough road ahead.

FOR YEARS, HIGH SCHOOLS have boasted of their effectiveness by how many graduates they pack off to college, a meaningless standard if there ever was one since anybody can go who can pay the freight. Any anybody can emerge from four years of college grabass with a diploma, especially in the liberal arts with its jive-o gender studies and the rest of it. Engineering? Architecture? Medicine? Ability and discipline required. These show biz people bribing admission's offices to get their little bubbleheads into "elite" schools — USC is elite? The football team certainly, but the rest of it? — deserve at least a year in their local county drunk tank for being as silly as their children.

NOW THAT THE UC system is dumping the SAT and other alleged winnowing entrance exams, tests any young grind can ace simply by applying himself, there still has to be some kind of means to tell if the kid is up to it. High school grades and standards having become so inflated as to be meaningless, admitting a young person to one of the UC schools on the basis of his grades and self-alleged involvement in his "community," means a lot of admittees will drown the first semester, at least in the more demanding studies. The blah-blah majors are duck soup for anybody with a pulse. I'd ask the college bound to write an essay to check if he can read the NYT with reasonable understanding plus a couple of those math questions like, "If one airplane leaves Omaha at 8am Americano time, and another one departs Mobile at 10am, what time will the flight crews hand out tiny packages of Eagle Nuts when both planes are over Hong Kong on their way to Peking?" But the higher ed racket, like many other rackets — Hertz bit the dust Friday — would seem to be mostly over, at least in their present incarnations. There's not going to be some kind of magic resumption of life as we knew it.

AND SHE DIED IN '75: "Never has our future been more unpredictable, never have we depended so much on political forces that cannot be trusted to follow the rules of common sense and self-interest—forces that look like sheer insanity, if judged by the standards of other centuries." — Hannah Arendt

THE BEAUTIFUL WOMEN with big white teeth and the soft-looking blow-dry boys, television sector, are all agog at Joe Biden's latest gaffe where Biden told a black radio host calling himself Charlamagne tha God, that Mr. God "ain't black" if he can't figure out who to pick between Biden and Trump in November. Biden of course, like all the big shot Democrats, talks about his defense of African-Americans like he was the reincarnation of John Brown. 

IT WAS ALREADY totally farcical when one of Trump's moronic sons immediately denounced Biden as a racist, an accusation usually hurled by libs at other libs who are perceived as not quite up to virtuous standard on the race question. Conservatives, especially of the Trump type, are assumed to be synonymous with the Klan. Myself, I think race relations are better than they've ever been, which seems to be a minority opinion these days, although racism is certainly real enough, especially at the command levels where the national treasure is divvied up. Of course from the tv news you’d think all crime was exclusively committed by black and brown people, with only an occasional white crook getting the spotlight. The real issue with Biden is his record plus his current functioning. He's obviously past it, and here we go again with the Democrat’s candidate the only possible phony liberal in the country who could possibly lose to the Orange Monster.

IS TRUMP a conscious liar or simply so dumb, so inarticulate he literally doesn't understand what he's saying, and can't remember what he's said minute-to-minute? The old boy obviously has basic animal cunning superior to most of us animals, but I'd say, like Biden, he's a diminished capacity case. Their "debates" are going to be something, and this is the country of Lincoln-Douglas?

ON LINE COMMENTS OF THE WEEK

[1] Except this isn’t the flu – it is far more contagious and attacks bodily systems that the seasonal flu does not.

What freedoms have you lost??? What essential to life activities have you been denied from participating in??? You were able to go and purchase food, go to the pharmacy, obtain medical care, and walk your dog. So what freedom during a public health crisis have you lost? When did people become so inflexible that in the midst of a Pandemic you can’t stay the fuck in your house for a few weeks until the dust settles and to help the I.C.U. wards not be overrun? Do you really need a drink at the bar so badly that you can’t abstain from social-booze-ups until the curve is flattened? Are those dollar bills burning such a hole in your pocket that if you can’t get down to your local strip joint and start shoving cash into the g-strings of scantily-clad ‘dancers’ you might be driven to the edge of insanity???

Freedom, Freedom, Freedom my ass – You remind me of the brain-trusts running around waving their peashooters in State Capitals screaming about their Freedom draped in Confederate Flags and sportin’ Swastikas. How about this time the greater good Trumps your theoretical Freedom.

[2] “Trump fights problems, brings up issues, makes things happen.” A vague and frivolous statement. You might just as well have said, “Trump does stuff!” What has he accomplished, specifically – besides signing the same McConnell/Ryan tax cut and appointing the same judges that Jeb or Rubio would have? Have you noticed that he has appointed a bunch of donor billionaires and bankers (DeVos, Ross, Mnuchin) and lobbyists (wtf are their names anyway?) to his cabinet, to run the federal government? McConnell’s wife, for Chrissakes? Are trillion dollar deficits what you meant by “making things happen”? Because you couldn’t possibly have meant effectively fighting the pandemic. Hasn’t he just run his mouth for three-plus years?

[3] We live in the most interesting of times. Within the next three or four months, life as we know it will change, and I would expect not for the better. The changes will be organic…systemic. The center may or may not hold. There may be elections, there may not. The upcoming summer may be sporty beyond our usual expectations. Civil authority, rule of law, Constitutional protection…all things we take for granted, will most likely change. The social contract is about to be (I believe) broached. The infrastructure will be tested. Our worst fears of collapse will be proved or otherwise. All in the next three months. We will not suffer boredom.

[4] I forgive the optimism. It is easy to fall into. People with a brain, even twisted ones always assume the other guy has one too. Young people, freed from the fate of becoming serfs to corporate giants, can start right now at least imagining what they can do to be useful others in exchange for a livelihood.

Young people don’t know what being a serf is. Instant mobility lets everyone in America cover a geographic range which would define their entire life’s if the Toyota gods did not have ships. Serfs are prisoners of place and the young of America have no place. They are everywhere and nowhere all at the same time. Community? Where are the values that define what a community is going to come from? Before isolation was encouraged community was already destroyed. Standing six feet apart when you stare at a phone screen is only different to a space alien watching through an eye in the sky. Surface targets are traveling less and standing apart. Their economy has imploded. Beyond that they note no difference.

The virus is not making anyone smarter. A new golden age might emerge but no time soon and not from this lot. This lot wands free stuff and they stand on state capitol steps with huge guns. They don’t believe in anything and certainly not community. Community means obligations and they don’t have an app for that. They all believe in themselves and their freedoms. Whatever those are.

[5] I get a bit wearied with the “mom and pop” idea that they held America and its communities together. If they got crushed they deserved it. Recall on payday when theirs was the only game in town and their prices were usury in disguise. You can have that shirt in blue or white or white or blue. We forget that before Walmart, a company called Sears/Roebuck showed up with a catalogue from which you had choice even to buying a house. Montgomery Ward and JC Penny were also in the game crushing M & P. Walmart brought a bigger game to the economic fight but then Amazon showed up and you can order a house from them. Mom and Pop were doomed due to better ideas and consumer demand. I haven’t been to a Walmart for several months and am doing okay. But I’m glad it’s there so I can get my car serviced, eat lunch, get my eyes checked and a haircut, grocery shop, get a new shirt in any color I want and do it under one roof in climate controlled comfort. Mom and Pop are also in the store shopping. They are on the scooters filling their basket.” There is an ongoing myth of some sort of golden age when people were not greedy nor looked after their own self-interest. It is a myth. Greed has always existed. Wealth has never been equal. All men are not created equal nor treated equally. If anything, Walmart leveled the playing field. A set of dishes cost the same regardless of race or financial status.

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