I am sorry to have missed both of the Occupy Wall Street actions that took place recently in Ukiah. This genuinely spontaneous, grassroots movement is truly one of the most exciting and encouraging developments that have taken place in the political arena in several decades.
Just as the self-immolation of a young college grad in Tunisia, trying to eek out a living selling vegetables, only to be busted for not having the proper permit, set off the spectacular cascade of falling dictator dominos across the Middle East this spring, it is beginning to look like a critical mass of Americans, traditionally lulled into political complacency with toys and consumption, have finally had it dawn on them that business as usual is simply not going to cut it anymore; that they, we, have finally been pushed up against the economic wall as a result of the criminal machinations of Wall Street, which were abetted by our degraded state that our supposed representative democracy has been reduced to in this country over the last few decades.
While as recently as Jimmy Carter’s campaign, presidential candidates did NO fundraising (running their presidential bids solely on the monies raised by the several dollar check box that people would check on their tax forms). Today we have a man of the people, Barack Obama, setting a goal for his reelection bid of $1 billion in fund raising! What does this mean for small-d democracy? It means that The People are not even the politician’s constituents anymore; the only constituents that matter to today’s campaign-cash hungry politicos are the well-heeled, those who can hire phalanxes of lobbyists; the oil companies, big Pharma, Wall Street and the banking sector, and above all, a colossal military industrial complex, for whom a state of constant war is a given, and is their bottom-line demand from the rest of us. The wants and needs of actual voting citizens are hardly even an afterthought in today's demented political realm.
A wealth of graphs lays it out as plain as black and white; how the free-trade globalization mania pursued relentlessly for decades by both parties has resulted in exactly what Ross Perot predicted so many years ago, the giant sucking sound of just about all of our good middle-class manufacturing-type jobs taking flight to places where oppressed and disorganized workers will do those jobs for MUCH less. And who exactly profits from this enormous social/political change? Those few at the very top, of course; the Walton family, for example, who can now drive down the costs of goods they sell at the Wal-Mart stores that they inherited, and pocket the difference. Or the Koch brothers, the cartoonishly evil greedheads who have employed their vast inherited wealth to fund virtually every anti-people, pro-mega-rich project out there.
Hooray for the hardy souls out there in the cold, maintaining their Occupy Wall Street events in big cities and the little towns across the nation. We are the 99%, though in terms of political influence, I suspect that our collective control over the levers of government power is closer to 1%.
I don't know exactly what sort of accommodations those in power must make in order to end the ongoing (perhaps even growing) OWS protests, but I don’t think that a little tinkering around the edges, a few symbolic gestures, are going to do it. The Great Recession is BIG, devastating the lives of scores of millions of our fellow Americans, and only BIG solutions will be any kind of solution at all to our nation's problems. I don't think that the OWSers will settle for less; we just cannot survive as a prosperous, democratic nation with anything less.
BE A FIREFIGHTER
Dear Anderson Valley Residents,
The Anderson Valley Fire Department is now conducting a recruiting drive for Volunteer Firefighters. We have a total of approximately 10 openings for Volunteers at our nine stations located throughout the Valley. We need Volunteers to staff a wide range of positions including; Interior and Wildland Firefighters, Apparatus Engineers and EMTs. In all cases we provide the required training. Recruits must be at least 18 years of age and in reasonable health. All positions are open to both men and women and we are actively recruiting Spanish speakers (all Volunteers must be fluent in English).
We respond to approximately 300 calls each year from our seven stations located throughout the Valley. We currently have about 40 Volunteers and 20 pieces of apparatus ranging from pick-up pumpers to 30,000-pound structure engines. We cover approximately 200 square mile of service area including the communities of Yorkville, Boonville, Philo and Navarro.
Why volunteer? The most commonly given answer to this question is a desire to contribute to your community. Members of the Fire Department are called upon to perform a wide variety of services. We regularly respond to: medical aids (initial care to victims of accident and injury), Traffic Accidents (where we provide scene management, patient care, fire suppression, extrication and traffic control), Hazardous Conditions (power lines down, trees in the roadway, landslides, flooding etc.), Public Assists (helping people with non-emergency events that have the potential to cause harm), Agency Assist (assistance to other agencies such as the Sheriff’s Office, CHP, Air Quality Management etc.) and all types of fires.
If you would like to learn more about becoming a Volunteer Firefighter you can do any of the following; Talk to one of our Volunteers or stop by our main station in Boonville, or call us at 895-2020.
OCCUPY DC-STOP THE MACHINE!
Warm spiritual greetings, Arriving on a megabus from NYC, I went directly to the Occupy D.C. emcampment at McPherson Square. My friend Jesse Schultz (who was on the DNC2RNC march some years back) greeted me, and showed me around. The encampment is similar to the OWS encampment in NYC, but smaller in size and less intense. Occupy DC has a People's Library, Medic Tent, Kitchen Working Group, Comfort Zone, Media Group, and nightly general assembly. Small size tents and porto-potties is the basic housing condition. A minimum police presence monitors from across the street.
Occupy DC is primarily focused on social issues, and the marches, demonstrations, and protests at various DC administrative buildings address issues of health, housing, education, and employment plus related other concerns. (A lengthy march yesterday with labor union protesters to the Key Bridge, emphasized the need to strengthen a crumbling infrastructure and demanded union infrastructure repair jobs).
The second encampment in Washington DC was begun by Veterans for Peace, and has a permit through December 30th at Freedom Plaza. This is the Stop the Machine! encampment, and its primary focus is dissent against the military-industrial complex. Together with Occupy D.C., they created a November 2011 report entitled: “The 99% Deficit Proposal: How to Create Jobs, Reduce the Wealth Divide and Control Spending.” The report was presented to the congressional super-committee, which is currently failing to accomplish anything significant. The text may be viewed online at: http://occupywashingtondc.org In addition, Occupy DC held a public hearing on November 9th, viewable at: CSPAN Coverage of Occupied Super Committee Hearings.
Right now, marchers from OWS/Zuccotti Park/NYC are enroute to join with Occupy DC and Stop the Machine! for a December 5th mega-direct action: OCCUPY THE FED! Buses will leave NYC Dec. 2nd, and both Washington DC encampments are prepared to host arriving participants.
Please understand that you are cordially invited to be with us December 5th, 2011 in Washington DC to OCCUPY THE FED!
For additional information, go to http://occupydc.org
Craig Louis Stehr, Occupy DC/McPherson Square, Washington DC, November 18, 2011
PS. Yo, I need a good tent and a warmer sleeping bag, because the New York police department bulldozed mine in the police raid at Zuccotti Park in NYC. Please send donations for me to: Craig Louis Stehr, c/o Ali Madigan, 601 W. 113th Street, #5A, New York, NY 10025
HANDS OFF SOCIAL SECURITY!
Open Letter To Our Congressional Leaders, And The White House:
Subj: Keep your hands off our Social Security.
We gave you a ton of money to run the country; you squandered it. You spent it all, then borrowed even more from the likes of China (thereby incurring huge interest payments that our grandchildren will be paying for decades to come.)
Then, using this borrowed money, you started a war with a country (Iraq) which had done us no harm, nor was it a threat to the USA. (The military/industrial complex smiled hugely since for ten years they have made obscene profits.)
Then, to please the lobbyist — those who lined your pockets — you gave even more of that borrowed money to the banks, Wall Street, and the investment houses.
Now your pockets are turned out. So what is your solution? You want to reach into our pockets to take our money from our Social Security retirement accounts to continue your wild spending.
You folks are worse than a bunch of drunken sailors on shore leave after a nine-month deployment. This is not your money; This is our money, so hands off!
We seniors are watching, and, we seniors are a huge voting block. You can bet your (our) bottom dollar, that if you pickpocket us, our voting will reflect our rage — and, you can take that to the bank.
KEEP YOUR FOCUS, OCCUPIERS
Good description in last week's paper about the devolution of OWS call-and-response. Initially, the “Human Microphone” probably had excellent purpose and effect (in a vast crowd without electronic amplification) but it has quickly morphed into pale parody.
We endured similar silliness in Ukiah, a couple weeks ago, in a group of about 30. A young fellow (armed with a fully functioning bullhorn, by the way) explained how the Human Microphone worked, with the added proviso that we were supposed to repeat whatever was said, even if we disagreed with it! (Hooray for democracy?) Here we were, a small group who could easily converse in normal speaking voices, yet we were using both a megaphone and shout-and-repeat. It immediately felt like a stupid exercise, and most participants displayed little to no enthusiasm. It was unnecessary, weird, and, frankly, demoralizing.
I think the Occupy Movement is great, a long time coming, and I welcome and support it. But I am also concerned about it veering off in bad directions, and losing momentum and focus. We badly need this movement to develop and prosper. Those of us over fifty saw what happened to the Sixties, and we can help steer the TwentyTeens away from similar temptations, fallacies, and pitfalls. Carefully tended, these small embers can become a great edifying fire.
Beyond the Deep End (Navarro)
HOW MANY PENN STATES?
Not to detract in any way from the total sleaze at Penn State, but I'll bet that every football enterprise at every school from regional state schools on up has equally degenerate skeletons in their closets.
Some real life examples: I was an Asst. Prof (prior to getting out of teaching/academia and going to med school) at a branch of a major state university in the Southeast. It was a running joke among the profs that if looked like you were going to give a football jock a D or F (both would foul his “scholarship”) in one of the big 300 person Psych 101 classes (they seemed to only take 101 classes in all subjects), the assistant coaches would send in test taker for the final. We caught this happening on numerous occasions, reported it, and were told to shut the hell up by the dean. The jocks involved were never punished to our knowledge.
On many occasions that I personally know about, the dean or his assistant would actually effect an over-ride grade change after some sort of “paper” was written in lieu of the jock passing an exam (the paper, I'm sure, was written by one of the teams of cute girls that the football team hired as “tutors”).
On a non academic level, the local Chevy dealers competed to “loan” brand new sports cars to the football players. There was evidence that these cars were kept by the players even after they left, in flagrant violation of the supposed SEC “rules.”
Two of the assistant coaches were caught bringing underage high school girls to the jock dorm for sex parties. It all got hushed up and no one was punished. No one! (The cops probably got free tickets to the games for a season or two and thought they were special)
In talking with many other faculty members from schools in all regions and all levels of academic status, it is clear to me that the above goes on everywhere college football is played. Many faculty members, out of cognitive dissonance, attempt to minimize this sort of thing by referencing the need for sports to fund academics, or by writing it all off as young dumb jocks just “sowing their wild oats.” What it really is, is a reflection of a completely debased and degenerate culture and a completely debased and degenerate people with no hope whatsoever of redemption. As a culture, we deserve what's coming.
Ra Ra, go team!
WHO WE ARE
“We are the huddled masses. We breathe across oceans. We stare across rivers. We peer over mountaintops that range our borders. We are surrounded by natural walls and yet they come. By raft, by run, they sneak as if crossing battlelines in the night, they come. They slip by mule, by horse, from both land and sea. The risk life. They risk limb. There are bullets and billy clubs. There are storms, hunger, disease and death and still they come. For life, for family and for theory, for hope they come. They come because they see lands of gold, hear of prosperity, they come for a sip at the nectar of milk and honey that is freedom. They come. They want a taste. They want what they see and believe. They want what we show and display for the world to see, they come. We don't remember, but it happened in 1886. We forget to stand by it, as it has been and is still the symbol of what we believe, what we are, and what we have. We have and they see and they come. Slapped in the face they come. Beaten they come. Scorched and disheveled they come, because we asked and told and declared by a Lazarus at the foot of a Colossus. She stands looking far and wide. Not like the great ancient stone, wooden leviathans now past, this great she at our golden gates. Some of us hate and still they come. They come tentative, hopeful and frightened, hiding their faces they come. They come to chase the dream we all face every day. We don't remember, but we came, by land and by sea. Some forced, some willing, but we came. We believed and we thrived. We don't remember but we came. We must remember who we are. We must remember we have opened our bosom to the world, for it is what made us. It is what we are. We are the children of the tired and poor. We must remember that we are the children of the huddled masses who once hoped to be free. We are the children of the wretched refuse and today we still speak through silent lips, blessings to God, this land we inherited, your land and mine, from mountains to prairies, from sea to shining sea. We must remember that we say every day, “Send these, the homeless, tempest tossed, to me.” Our representative standing with her lamp raised beside the golden door. Our Lady, Liberty.”
* * *
I am sending this newspaper clipping from years ago anonymously because I've had a select group of really great guys, mostly undocumented, who I pay $12.50 to $15 per hour to do what a 68-year-old man cannot do. I'm sending this from my town, Watsonville, which is populated by thousands of Mexican farmworkers. Some Michoacan towns have been responsible for the bounty of strawberries, raspberries, artichokes and apples since the 1940s. Border security racism (read Republicans) have taken the blind idea that this indispensable asset is a drain on our economy. If the expulsion of undocumented (peaceful, hard-working) tillers and pickers should ever succeed, you can say goodbye to the Salinas Valley, the salad bowl of the nation and Watsonville's strawberries and much more including those precious wine grape fields. I think this sentiment from an old newspaper summed it up pretty good.
SO SIMPLE, YET…
I keep hearing the same old stuff from Republicans and Tea Partyers: “Cut, cut, cut.” In science we are told to propose a theory and see if the facts or experimental results support the theory or not. If they don't then change the theory, not the facts.
Well, the theory is that cutting taxes on the rich and the incorporated will lead to a better economy and more jobs. The facts are that the more taxes have been cut the worse our overall American citizens' lives have become! The more government programs that are cut, the worse the economy gets, the worse off our children's health and education becomes, and more and more families are living in relatives' livingrooms, in back of their cars or begging on the streets.
So let's stop pushing a disproven theory and get back to what works! What works is a fair and progressive equity in taxation, is investing in our children's educations, is providing the life essential to our society's most vulnerable citizens: the elderly, single parents and such. What works is providing health care to all citizens — single-payer health care is proven to work better and cost less. That is government for and by the people.
Lastly, the Ukiah newspaper has called for “How has 9/11 affected” me? When I see that I have less civil rights than ever, that corporations have co-opted much of our government's regulating functions, that I am now subject to search every time I want to fly commercially, that my children's toys may be taken at airports… I would say that 9/11 has worsened my quality of life. When I see that 9/11 was used as an excuse to go to war — that maybe 10,000 US soldiers have lost their lives and tens of thousands have been maimed physically and/or emotionally for the rest of their lives, that America is responsible for the killing of somewhere close to one million Iraqis and Afghans, that many in the world now consider us war criminals… I feel so much shame for us and hope we can still get to a time where war is truly “never again.”
We are capable of loving each other. All it will take is compassion and truth-telling by our so-called leaders. To follow the Golden Rule and the Ten Commandments seems so simple and so needed. Some will offer this or that excuse for why they “can't afford” to follow God's commandments. But they are in denial. Denial leads to abuse. We can no longer afford that abuse.
Environmental Lawsuit Filed By Friends of Rattlesnake Island —
On November 18, 2011, the Friends of Rattlesnake Island filed a lawsuit in Lake County Superior Court (Case No. CV 410834) that seeks to set aside the Lake County Board of Supervisors’ approval of permits sought by John Nady to build three structures on Rattlesnake Island. The Petition for Writ of Mandamus asks the Court to order that the County Board reconsider the project only after preparing an Environmental Impact Report as required by the California Environmental Quality Act, commonly known as CEQA.
Upon confirmation of the filing, Jim Brown, a traditional Tribal leader of the Elem Pomo, said: “On behalf of Elem Nation, our ancestors and the direct living descendants of Elem-Modun, and the Friends of Rattlesnake Island, I am honored to be a part of this legal case to help preserve and protect the most ancient, sacred Tribal homeland Island village of Elem-Modun, also known as Rattlesnake Island.”
“When the Board of Supervisors overturned the Planning Commission’s unanimous decision to require an EIR for this project, it ignored the significant impacts of grading and construction on the Island, which is eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places and is a designated historic resource,” said Sarah Ryan, Environmental Director of Big Valley Rancheria Band of Pomo Indians. “The County must prepare an EIR to study impacts and consider feasible mitigation measures and alternatives, and it did not.”
The Lake County Board of Supervisors voted 3-2 to approve the project without an EIR. Without an analysis of impacts or the scope and quality of the affected historic resources, nor any data recovery plan, the Board approved the project by simply requiring monitoring.
“CEQA is a citizen-enforced statute,” remarked Herb Gura, who runs the local Self Help Law Center and is assisting the Friends. “The law mandates an EIR process, not only for analysis of environmental impacts and mitigations, but so the public can weigh in and offer valuable information to the County. In this case, the Board of Supervisors skipped CEQA’s fundamental safeguards and approved the project prematurely.”
CEQA mandates that the County prepare an EIR if there is any “fair argument” of significant environmental impacts, even if environmental experts disagree. That is because the EIR is CEQA’s preferred method of environmental review. A fair argument of significant environmental impacts was provided by County Planning Commissioners, members of the Elem Pomo Tribe, a local archaeologist familiar with Rattlesnake Island, and even the California Office of Historic Preservation.
In a letter, State Historic Preservation Officer, M. Wayne Donaldson, advised the County that “given the significance of the cultural resources on Rattlesnake Island, we reiterate our recommendation that the County of Lake require an EIR for any projects ... the EIR needs to address, in detail, mitigation measures … that avoid any substantial change in the significance of an historical resource.”
Brandt-Hawley Law Group
For: Friends of Rattlesnake Island, dedicated to preserving cultural and environmental resources in Lake County and elsewhere
HENDY OCCUPIERS CLARIFY
I’d like to correct the assumption made by Bruce McEwen in his article about Occupy Hendy Woods (OHW), that “a great deal of money was spent to ensure that this thing went off without unpleasant hitches.” OHW’s organizers only spent slightly more than $200 on the weekend long event — not a great deal of money in my book.
For one thing, a helicopter landing zone was not created for the weekend. The meadow beyond the day use area is one of the Anderson Valley Fire Department’s permanent landing zones and was mowed by park staff before the event at the request of Fire Chief Colin Wilson.
The use of the Mendocino Environmental Center’s insurance — which was provided to OHW at no cost and is carried by the Environmental Center in order to support events like this — and our willingness to pay camping and day use fees does however raise an interesting question: is it really an occupation, if you occupy something you want to support and work with the people who run it to create an event that you both hope will help achieve your mutual goal?
From the start it was clear to the OHW organizers that what we were doing was different from Occupy Wall Street or Oakland, which were organized to point to the 1%’s control of wealth and power. Whereas OHW was being organized to point to what the 99% is losing as a result of that control of wealth and, specifically, of tax policy.
When Cyd first thought of occupying Hendy, we believed that it was closing when the campground closed at the end of October and we would be occupying a closed park to keep it open. We soon learned that the actual closing of the park would not take place until the end of June 2012. We decided to go ahead with our plans to occupy it to draw the attention of state government to how our community felt about what was happening to Hendy Woods and the other parks slated for closing. From the beginning, we thought of the park staff as our allies and we asked them how we could work together. In the end, we provided an insurance certificate, paid camping and day use fees and camped in the camp ground, not the day use area; they opened the restrooms, let us have a fire in the day use area, and collected fees (which we might have felt differently about if we had realized at the time that they were going to the state’s general fund, not the park).
Personally I hope that what we did — highlighting the impact of the 1% on the services and public spaces that serve the 99% — will be adopted by the larger movement and that in addition to encampments we will see creative occupations of what we are losing — State Parks, Adult Day Care and Child Care Centers, rural post offices, foreclosed homes, etc., until we force a change in the policies that are allowing the 1% to impoverish the rest of us.
THE CONSPIRACY CONSPIRACY
To the Editor:
AVA recently reprinted a column by Michael Shermer, the editor-in-chief of Skeptic, in which Shermer belittles “Conspiracy Theories,” also a favorite sport of Bruce Anderson’s.
According to professional skeptic Shermer, “Nevertheless, we cannot just dismiss all such theories out of hand, because real conspiracies do sometimes happen.” Alas, he fails to disclose a Shermer approved real world conspiracy along with the supporting evidence he finds convincing. Therefore, it’s impossible for us to judge his standards of proof. But, instead, he lists ten precepts that make, according to Shermer, a “conspiracy theory” unlikely.
In a nutshell, Shermer finds conspiracy theories dubious that are complex, and that involve a lot of people who keep secrets. And he rejects those theories with “world domination” as their goal. His tenth precept is worth quoting in full: “The conspiracy theorist refuses to consider alternative explanations, rejecting all disconfirming evidence and blatantly seeking only confirmatory evidence to support that he or she has a priori determined to be the truth.” Mr. Shermer take a look in the mirror and say hello.
A relevant Michael Shermer fun fact discovered on Wikipedia: Although coming from a family indifferent to religion, Shermer declared himself a born again Christian when he was a high school senior. And for the next seven years he spread the good news of the lord door to door. Although he now considers himself an agnostic or atheist, Shermer certainly had a lot of practice, when he was washed in the blood of the lamb, “rejecting all disconfirming evidence.”
Shermer still seeks orthodoxy but now he’s only left defended a half assed secular faith. After abandoning the purity of Yahweh and Jesus, he’s floundering in the church of Huffingtonpost and NPR. Forget this guy, he’s lost.
Enough. Here’s a recommendation: Family of Secrets by Russ Baker. Gore Vidal says it’s “one of the most important books of the past ten years.” I think it’s more than that. It’s the best book I’ve read about our hidden history since Carl Oglesby’s, The Yankee Cowboy War. If you thought you knew enough about the Bush family, especially Poppy Bush, you’d be wrong.
Ed reply: I don't know anybody whose intellectual journey is undeviating, but I think conspiracy thinking is demoralizing in subtle ways because what it says is this: “If these people are so powerful that they can murder presidents and rig whole Manhattan buildings with explosives to blow them up, THEY just might fly a drone over my house and blow me up if I get outta line. Fear Talk, and conspiracy thinking is Fear Talk, scares and discourages people from standing up for themselves.
ELDERHOME IN THE BLACK
The directors of the Anderson Valley Elder Home are proud to announce that we successfully completed a restructuring of our debts. We replaced loans from a commercial bank with financing from community members at a much lower interest rate. At the same time we paid down an additional $100,000 on our loans. Now with the income from our rentals, the Elder Home operates with a positive monthly cash flow of $300 instead of our previous monthly hemorrhage of $2400. The restructure process was complex. It began with an anonymous pledge of $50,000 for them to match in order to pay down our existing mortgages. We used the funds raised at past events such as our Fair booth, Lion's Club barbecue and silent auction, and the Anderson Valley Brewfest and individual contributions to match the $50,000 pledge. In that process, some community members came forward wanting to support us by recasting our existing three mortgages at a lower interest rate. It took time to accomplish, but we finally did it. We recognize the frustration in the community for what seemingly has been inactivity on our part for the last two years. It took us that long to accomplish this restructuring. “Now that the refinance is complete, we can focus our energies on raising funds to build our assisted living facility,” said Steve Krieg, our Elder Home president. “Every dollar raised from this day forward can go directly to construction, rather than paying interest to the bank.”
Mr. Ted Dace attempts to undermine decades of research and work for those suffering from schizophrenia.
He cites M. Scott Peck as a psychiatric authority in the field, while not mentioning Peck became a convert of Catholicism; from that, Peck deduced this devastating illness is caused by demonic possession and can be “cured” by exorcism.
Hopefully, Mr. Dace realizes this “approach” to mental illness is archaic and rife with medieval thinking. In no way does Mr. Dace understand the complexities of the human brain and its myriad influences, including brain chemistry and the remarkable strides in psychopharmacology. I am concerned Dace's “take” on mental illness will be accepted by those who want to blame these illnesses on lack of religious grace. There is no blame or shame to be had with mental illness; Dace would recreate all the stigma mentally ill people and their supporters have overcome; you are a dangerous man, Ted Dace. Please educate yourself before writing such insidious statements about mental illness, particularly schizophrenia. NAMI is the best source for up-to-date information. Please educate yourself!
OCCUPY ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
As I explained to you, Mr. Editor. The systematic suppression of alternative medicine has resulted in the appearance of specialists — specialists in the less controversial practices such as massage, acupuncture, chiropractic, herbology, and nutrition. Dr. Julian Whitaker refused to be inimidated by a Federal Food and Drug Administrator's commando raid on his offices. He fought back legally. Dr. Richard Schulze has also been targeted. The persecution of Royal Rife by Morris Fishbein, founder of the American Medical Association trade monopoly is one of the saddest stories in medical history. This included the destruction of his lab, his cancer microbe killing frequency generators, even his three crystal microscopes thru which he could observe his frequency generator destroy cancerous cells. One original crystal microscope is reportedly secured in a hidden vault somewhere in England. Also in existence are are video copies of Royal Rife sitting as a yogi before his microscope viewing the RX virus, as he dubbed the cancer virus, being zapped by his frequency generator. This footage still exists.
Today there are innovations in frequency generators, including cheap copies of dubious value, to be used to stop all degenerative diseases by zapping the microscopic parasites responsible for the separately categorized afflictions. There is an enormous amount of documentation available to those who are willing to eliminate outmoded ideas, to search and learn.
For me, it's been a case of learn or die, as did so many of the other downwinders from the US Government's plutonium manufacturing Rocky Flats factory. Rocky Flats, with its toxic radioactive emissions was finally closed because of massive public protest. Still the criminal business of nuclear weapons manufacturing continues today at Los Alamos, New Mexico.
As a result of these and many other persecutions, some of the finest alternative practitioners have left the US. In the predictable brain drain. Dr. Huelda Clark, Magna Cum Laude scholar, moved to Mexico, as did Charlotte Gerson and the Gerson Institute. Dr. Tang left California for the less medically oppressive state of Nevada. Others like Dr. Jonathon Wright, Dr. Richard Schulze, and Dr. Julian Whitaker have stayed here to resist and prosper.
Dorotheya M Dorman
CRACKPOT ANALYSIS III
I am writing to respond to Todd Walton’s gracious and playful repartee that appeared in the letter section of AVA of 16 November 11.
Firstly, I do not disagree with Todd’s revision (or restatement) — “He who believes something is true, does not think his belief is crackpot.”
I have some problems with the statement that “most of the greatest scientific theories that have turned out to be true were initially thought by most members of the scientific establishment to be false.”
My disagreements concern the word “true,” and the identification of “science” with “most members of the scientific community.”
Dealing with the second issue, I will borrow from Malcom X and divide scientists into “house scientists” and “field scientists.” The tobacco industry, pharmaceutical industry, fossil fuel industry, and the religion industry–The Catholic Church is the oldest still extant corporation, never have had problems finding and hiring “house scientists” to attack new ideas that threaten their business practices and their profits. The existence of an ozone hole or anthropic global climate change, or the discovery that earth is not the center of the universe, have implications that can impose mandated changes in the way corporations do business, thus diminishing their profits. So they spend billions of dollars hiring “house scientists” and lawyers to ridicule and suppress these ideas.
The word “true” is not the issue in science. Science cannot prove that Mormonism, Scientology, Astrology, or Islam are untrue, or that prayer and homeopathy don’t work. What it can demonstrate is that there is no proof that the claims of these belief systems have any validity, and that in carefully controlled, double-blind, reproducible experiments, prayer and homeopathy are no more effective than placebos.
Field scientists practice the scientific method and would say of even the most accepted and cherished theories, “This will work until we find something that explains things better.”
Let me expand the citation from Massimo Pigliiucci–a name I too think is pretty cool, although when your name is Louis Simon Bedrock, “Todd Walton” seems pretty cool in comparison.
“What all scientific inquiry has in common… are the fundamental aspects of being an investigation of nature, based on the construction of empirically verifiable theories and hypotheses. These three elements, naturalism, theory, and empiricism, are what make science different from any other human activity.
The presence of coherent conceptual constructs in the form of theories and hypotheses is also a necessary component of science. Science is not just a collection of facts about the world, nor do scientific theories emerge from the accumulation of facts, as Francis Bacon thought. Theories are creative productions of the human mind and reflect our best attempts at making sense of the world as it is.* But theories are not enough, otherwise science would be no different from philosophy. It is the crucial role of empirical information that completes the trinity that underlies all scientific research. Empirical evidence...does not necessarily mean experiment, but more broadly refers to any combination of experimentation and systematic observation that produces not just facts, but data.”
(Nonsense On Stilts, pp303-304)
*My emphasis, not Mr. Pigliucci’s.
I’d like to conclude by observing that although Todd Walton’s moon and sun may be in Libra, his head and heart are always in the right place.
I return his salute.
Louis S. Bedrock
Roselle, New Jersey
NO PARKS, NO VOTE
Dear Assemblymember Jared Huffman:
After hearing you speak on November 18 at Hendy Woods State Park, I have decided to reserve my support and financial donation to your campaign for Congress. The proposed solution to our Park’s closure crisis — “Elect More Democrats in 2011/2012” — is neither sufficient nor timely.
Show me, now, before 6/30/2012 a non-partisan effort to stop closures of our parks along Highway 128 and Highway 1 in Mendocino County. We don’t need to expand the Lost Coast. Feral Parklands do not equal wilderness which you, as an environmental lawyer, should know. I want you to expose the behind-closed-doors deals which result in the proposed unexplained plans to close Mendocino and California State Parks. Who decided? On what criteria? Who voted in favor or opposition? If they lost the verifying paperwork, they can document a repeated series of meetings. Call for transparent decision-making.
Call for taxes to support public access to public lands. Call for coor4dination of services with State, Federal and locally-funded departments — i.e., Forestry, Education, Employment, transportation, etc. These can all reduce duplication of services via coordination. Reduce funding for administrative salaries in these departments if you need cuts.
Call for employment of the many unemployed in Mendocino County, especially our youth and veterans.
Any solution must include us — the organized voting citizens who occupy your proposed district. We are ready to disrupt business as usual to achieve our goals. These goals include continued public access to our state parks.
There should be no fee hike for park usage until we know why they proposed closures ware being considered. Show us the cost-benefit numbers. Call for a public assembly-wide vote on Park closures and cuts.
I am a registered Democrat who wants some evidence that elected public officials of my party actually stand for something.
I hope that I have said this before but if I haven't, thank you for your wonderful paper. Thank you, St. Mary's Hospital, tambien. I hope that your wife and family are well and happy. Anything I read in the paper serves to educate me. Thank you, Major and Bruce McEwen for reporting truth with wit. Please take care. This is not a letter to the editor, it's fan mail, fanning the flames of discontent that I wish will burn longer.
NOT EATING IT
Alexander Cockburn in November 2's column discussing animal rights begs the age-old question: If we are supposed to eat the animals, why are they made of meat?
THE OTHER WAY AROUND
Letter to Editor
Questions for Repugs:
If by feeding the rich you are feeding the poor, why not the other way around? If by serving the few you are serving the many, why not the other way around?
HUFFMAN: BETTER, BUT NOW…
Thanks for showing up on a cold Saturday afternoon to the 130 or so people at the Jared Huffman visit to Hendy Woods State Park. Our obviously concerned community asked smart questions and Assembly Member Huffman provided answers, to the extent they were known. Huffman promised to introduce legislation in January that would try to modify the deeply dysfunctional process of designating parks for closure and find ways to enhance revenue. But he was clear that did not mean all is well.
On Wednesday, December 7 at 7pm, the newly formed “Hendy Woods Community” will host a public meeting at the Philo Grange. We will explore ways we can provide volunteer services like trail maintenance and interpretive/docent activities as well as brainstorm about fundraising to help bridge the budget gap for the next two years. We hope to see you there.
What does a guy sitting in prison hope for every day besides extremely localized earthquakes and overthrown government? If you are this guy, it's opportunities to laugh, and the “Found Cat” flyer in “Valley Living” of November 2 like to bust my gut. “Not very friendly,” indeed. I think I laughed for about five minutes straight.
Conversely, somebody sending these idiotic “musings” in for publication that we've all heard and read from bad comedians, pennysavers, drive-time DJs, and anyone in need of space to fill with copy and too lazy to come up with anything original, that wasn't even funny the first time? Coming at this a tad obliquely, allow me to quote the great Ralph Wiggum who so often says what's in all of our hearts: “Lisa's bad dancing makes my feet sad.”
Shame, Dennis Jones of Cottage Grove, Minnesota. If that is in fact your real name and residence. “Minnesota”? Sounds made up.
In the immortally stoned words of the great 311: “Come original, you got to come original. All entertainers, come original.”
Yours in captivity,