Re: “Let Them Eat Yachts” —
That’s a great story, just a few personal details and some historical trivia to add.
I joined my first ship, the APL cargo liner SS President McKinley, at Pier 29 in September, 1969. Your first ship becomes you first love, and she was a magnificent beauty. A C-6 six hatcher, booms and guys and topping lifts and cargo runners from here until the cows come home. We crossed westbound to Yokohama, basing ourselves and that ship to pieces, in what the Second Mate claimed was record time. It was five days and something, as I recall.
The crew was Sailor’s Union of the Pacific on deck, Marine Firemen, Oilers, and Watertenders in the engineroom, Marine Cooks and Stewards in the galley. The officers were Masters, Mates and Pilots for the Deck Officers and Marine Engineers Beneficiary Association for the Engine Officers. At 18, I was steeped in first and second hand stories of the 1934 waterfront strike.
I sailed for 40 years, the last 26 as Master, but there are only two ships I care to recall. President McKinley is the first, and the last ship I took delivery of as Master, USNS Rappahannock, which I was responsible for 11 years, is the other.
As for the yacht “America,” she was a rich man’s toy, but there’s a working class backstory. She was commanded by a Sandy Hook pilot, I forget his name (could google it, but I guess that would be cheating). Sandy Hook was to New York harbor about as the Farallons are to San Francisco … how far out you had to take a sailing ship before she was free and clear to proceed to sea on her own. The pilots raced to get to each incoming ship first, that’s how they made their money, so they were working class racers. That Sandy Hook pilot was hired to take the yacht “America” to Great Britain and see if he could pick up some races. The rest is history. (When Victoria asked “Who is in second?” she was informed, “There is no second.”)
But at the same time, on a far grander scale, a much more significant, heroic, and memorable race was being waged and won. By the summer of 1851, as “America” was headed east to Great Britain, the passage from New York to San Francisco was a voyage to riches, and worth whatever a person could afford. Donald McKay, who’d been building fast ships for some time, was exceeding himself with each new commission. In competition with other East Coast shipbuilders, each new launch set new standards, until that summer of 1851.
From McKay’s yard was launched the clipper “Flying Cloud.” Wait until you hear this story.
Flying Cloud was built on speculation and owned by a fellow who probably never intended to take her to sea. But a spot on McKay’s delivery list was worth gold, so he put up $50,000 for the right to call Flying Cloud his own. A New York shipping company, Minturn & Grinnell, needed a big fast clipper to send to San Francisco, so they paid the original owner $90,00 to buy his ship, before she was even delivered.
So Minturn & Grinnell had the ship they needed, but lacked a Captain who was up to the task. Because on a square rigger (unlike today), the Captain was the difference between success and failure. Ships in those days were owned in “shares,” usually 32 or 64 shares, depending. One of the Minturn & Grinnel principals, holder of 4 shares, nominated Captain Josiah P Creesy to be Master. The other partners agreed, so Captain Creesy was offered the job, on condition of buying 2 shares (to insure his interest in the outcome, and a great bonus for himself).
Captain Creesy was a pretty ordinary, reliable, dependable, hard driving clipper Captain, successful on the China trade through the 1840s. But his wife, Eleanor, was the real prize. Eleanor Creesy proved herself the finest navigator of her age. Which will shortly bring us to San Francisco.
Sailing ships depend on wind and current to make progress, and man’s knowledge of the wind and current patterns in 1851 was only just becoming scientific. A Navy Lieutenant, Matthew Maury, having been injured on duty, was assigned to the Navy’s Hydrographic Office in Washington, where he set out to find useful work. Having the logbooks from thousands of voyages, from the Revolution to the 1840′s, he set out to extract all possible data and plot it. By the time Eleanor Creesy assumed the duties as navigator of the clipper Flying Cloud, this information was available, and Eleanor was one of the few who saw the potential.
On June 2nd, 1851 the clipper Flying Cloud cleared New York harbor, dropped her pilot at Sandy Hook, and set sail for San Francisco via Cape Horn. A brand new ship never runs just right, and on a sailing ship the standing rigging has to stretch and set, but Captain Creesy didn’t have time to wait. Flying Cloud took off from Sandy Hook and immediately began ripping off fantastic “day’s runs.” On the third day out, this all caught up with them.
Everything on the main and mizzen above the topsails came crashing down on deck, and over the side. She had experienced a major partial dismasting, bad news, unbelievable man-killing work (much of which would later be enshrined in the ethic of the Sailor’s Union of the Pacific and other maritime unions). But in 24 hours, Captain Creesy and his crew had Flying Cloud back to work and headed for Cape Horn.
This is where Eleanor comes in, because she was the one who could read the magic charts, and plotted a highly unconventional course for Flying Cloud. Eleanor’s course would take Flying Cloud through the Doldrums (still air, high pressure just above the equator) and across the equator faster than anyone aboard had ever seen before. Working down the coast of South America, weirdness cropped up.
The carpenter reported flooding in the forepeak, lots of water coming in. He consulted with Captain Creesy and they estimated that one of the hawsehole plugs, now underwater due to the ship being driven so hard, had come out. So the Captain brought the ship before the wind and when she stood up, the carpenter replaced the missing hawsehole plug. Put back on course, water continued to pour into Flying Cloud. Finally, a crewmember worked his way aft and reported that he’d seen two fellow crewmembers secreting an auger out of the crew’s quarters in the foc’sle (sleeping in the hole, also enshrined in maritime union culture).
With Flying Cloud running before the wind again, the carpenter found the auger holes and plugged them. Flying Cloud began pounding out astonishing day’s runs toward Cape Horn and San Francisco. I’ve never rounded Cape Horn in a square rigger, but I’ve looked at the charts and I’ve been enough other places (including two trips to Antarctica) that I can see what would be going on. Rounding Cape Horn from East to West is probably the most difficult, treacherous task that any ship, crew, and captain ever faced.
Eleanor Creesy again saw the way, she used the high technology of the day in ways nobody else had ever done before, and she guided Flying Cloud “from 50 to 50″ (50 degrees south to in the Atlantic to 50 degrees south in the Pacific, around Cape Horn at 55 South) in record time. Clear of Cape Horn, Flying Cloud earned her name and began tearing north toward San Francisco.
In the most astonishing display of sustained speed under sail, Flying Cloud ran off the stunning total of 374 miles, noon to noon. To shorten this a bit, Flying Cloud followed Eleanor Creesy’s hand, ran out almost to Hawaii to find good winds, met up with a British packet 200 days out of Liverpool, when they “spoke” Flying Cloud was 83 days out of New York. When the wind picked up, observers on the British packet watched in awe as Flying Cloud tore free for the horizon and disappeared in no time.
Her Main topmast came down one more time, just a couple days out of San Francisco, but captain and crew restepped the mast and Flying Cloud headed for the San Francisco pilot station. Arriving in the late evening, Eleanor told her husband to stand “on and off” until morning. The morning of Aug 31st, 1851, Flying Cloud boarded her San Francisco pilot and proceeded to anchor in five fathoms of water between North Point and Alcatraz. Flying Cloud had made the passage from NY to SF in 89d, 21h with Eleanor Creesy navigating. They had broken the previous record by seven day, a full week.
This story is not as famous as the yacht America, but consider this. Two years later, Josiah and Eleanor did it again, this time NY to SF in 89d and 9h. That record stood for something like 130 years, until finally broken by a special built racing yacht with modern electronics. Having volunteered at the San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park since I retired, I can say without regret or rancor that San Francisco has no idea the stories its waterfront could tell … nor much cares.
West of the Farallons, San Francisco
THE BELTWAY BUG
Dan Hamburg went to Washington DC as a one term congressman and seems to have been infected with the Beltway greed-bug. By automatically increasing their pay every year, today's congressperson makes nearly a fifth of a million in salaries, plus a ton of other benefits. For the most part, they no longer are “public” servants: they are the greedy servants of their corporate masters who fill their election wickers with Supreme Court sanctioned, unlimited, corporate largess.
Now that Hamburg got himself elected to the Mendo Board of Supervisors, he believes he's somehow different from the rest of Mendo’s public servants, and should not be required to bite the economic-bullet along with them. Shame. What type of leadership is that? He, and Smith, are studies in leading from the rear. They seem to feel the old “What's good for the goose is good for the gander” rule doesn't apply to them.
Please pass along the message that I will gladly exchange my $9,000 a year from my Social Security pension for his “crappy” $68,000, plus his expense account — I think I can scrape by on that.
WE'RE NUMBER ONE!?
A few months ago we had an elderly dinner guest. She was raised in East Germany. She was 17 when neighbors told her Russian troops were about two miles from her farm.
Until that moment she thought Germany was winning the war. Nazi propaganda.
In a like manner, and effective BS machine is at work in North Korea. North Korean citizens know little of the outside world. They think they're doing fine. Starving, but fine.
Peculiarly, Americans are similarly impaired. It's astonishing, but most of us think America is tops in the world. We're told social democracy is bad and countries that practice such are communists.
We are fed this crap by the 1%. And 95% believe it.
The truth is very different — and easily verifiable. But most of us are too indifferent to check. Independent travel would help. But if we travel at all (85-90% don't) we timidly tour in escorted groups. In foreign countries we are like children, clutching our mother's hand on the first day of kindergarten. We visit famous sites but we learn nothing.
A recent Newsweek article (Google: the best countries in the world) gives some inkling of the truth. America isn't even in the top 10.
For income inequality the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development ranks the US 20th. Were barely ahead of Turkey and Mexico.
But, we work our asses off. Americans are the most overworked developed nation in the world. In the best countries workers (by law!) get 4-6 weeks vacation and innumerable holidays. Americans get holidays or vacations at the discretion of their employer — unless a union has bargained for more.
Consider Japan. They're having their problems. But even during the so-called “lost decade” Japan's unemployment rate was half ours, longevity is the longest, and infant mortality is the lowest in the world. They, like the rest of the civilized world, have universal health care.
Wake up people. There's more to life than raised pickups, football and Bud Light.
RETURN OUR MONEY
A reporter from the Independent Coast Observe (ICO) recently obtained an answer regarding the discrepancy in Point Arena’s Measure E Bond Funds of $233,250. Superintendent Colleen Cross stated, “the money discrepancy Rush is inquiring about went toward improvements to school structures which have not yet been paid out.” Below is a brief synopsis of what transpired in 2011:
January 18, 2011: Bond Oversight Committee (BOC) held their final meeting with Superintendent Cross as chairperson/secretary (per state law it is illegal for any district employee be on this oversight committee). The BOC was presented with a record of bond funds remaining (after deducting the cost of $33,500 to retire bond) of $1,848,250 back to the taxpayers. The committee was “disbanded” by Cross the same day (although the independent audit states it was disbanded June 30, 2011). Ms. Cross informed members’ the only project remaining was building an overhang at Point Arena Elementary ($82,619) in which funds had already been set aside which the BOC approved. I questioned Dr. Cross regarding retiring the BOC because I believed that until the funds were retired the BOC should continue to meet. Of course, this suggestion was ignored by Dr. Cross.
January 20, 2011: The Point Arena Unified school board “agreed to defease $1,848,250 back to taxpayers, and use $82,619 to complete the Arena/Middle School cafeteria’s covered walkway to provide weather protection for students.”
May 19, 2011: Regular Board Meeting, under correspondence: “Superintendent Cross informed the Board that the defeasance of $1,848,250 of the Measure E bonds, as approved by the board on October 21, 2010 and January 20, 2011, is now complete.”
The BOC had no other meetings authorizing the setting aside of $233,250 “toward improvements to school structures” as Cross stated in the ICO. No regular school board meetings were held authorizing this. So, how can bond funds be “set aside” without authorization from BOC (whom are the ones who oversee bond funds being spent in accordance with law and report to the board)? The board gives final authorization on dispersing funds. The school board also had no meetings regarding setting this money aside. So, who gave Dr. Cross the authorization to do this and when?
This item was slipped into the “consent agenda” without allowing any questions from the public when the board approved the inaccurate audit without question. Do any other taxpayers see this as wrong? I believe $1,848,250 should be returned to taxpayers as approved by the BOC and school board. I hope other taxpayers and those in authority join me in this quest.
Also, reported in the ICO, at the Board’s February 15th “Special Meeting,” “Cross described the protocol as follows: each item listed under Discussion/Action portion of the agenda will be assigned to one Trustee who will be responsible for researching and presenting their findings during the regular meeting.” Unfortunately, President Nick Scanlon-Hill never received this protocol because this never happened, at least, not at this meeting. Obviously, this information was given to the reporter prior to the meeting ever taking place. The meeting was a “carryover of items” per Cross from their “Special Meeting: Board/Superintendent Retreat” held on January 18, 2012. Items discussed:
District Goals: Cross led the board in goals for the district, high school and elementary school. However, since no motion could be made to adopt these goals this will be revisited at a Regular School Board Meeting.
Governance: Hill addressed what he wanted (not Cross as stated by the ICO) regarding how the meetings should run. At first, he stated it was the board’s agenda but was quick to change his opinion and stated “really, it is Dr. Cross’s agenda.” Hill informed the board he would allow comment on discussion items on the agenda but, again, insinuated nothing on the consent agenda items could be addressed. Again, this is a violation of Brown Act Law: “the public must be given the opportunity to comment before or during the legislative body’s consideration of the item.” Once again, not one board member corrected Hill. I was told by a person of authority In Mendocino County, items which can be “discussed by a constituent also included the consent agenda items.” They discussed changing the time of the meetings from 6pm to 4 or 5pm. Someone in the audience stated, “What about people who are employed”? It was stated by a member of the board this would have to be taken into consideration. Finally, it was discussed holding the closed door session after the open session of the meeting. I informed the board that would mean those in attendance would have to wait until after closed session, to hear results. A member of the board (whom I had in my notes but vehemently denied this) stated, “We will just report it at the next regular meeting.” Truthfully, it doesn’t matter who made this ridiculous statement but, again, NOT ONE board member corrected him! Brown Act Law: “Once closed door session has been completed, the legislative body must convene in open session.” Mr. Hill stated he would put the items on the next agenda and asked for a vote to do this but quickly remembered no vote could be taken stated, “I guess with the nod of the heads that means, yes”!
Coast Life Support District Measure: A gentleman made a presentation requesting the board to give their support to the upcoming measure. However, Trustee Sandoval informed him that no motion could be made. So, he passed out flyers for everyone to distribute to the community.
With the retreat portion of the Special Meeting finished, the board stated the meeting was adjourned (at 2:55 P.M.) until 3:30 P.M. to hear the final item on the agenda: 2012-2013 Budget Development.
Mind you, nothing was on the agenda indicating this item would not be heard until 3:30pm. I am not sure how the staff found out exactly when it would be held without the proper notification but when I returned at 4:04pm from another meeting I was previously obligated to, the parking lot was full. I walked in and the room was packed with staff, the board, principals of the high school and the elementary school with Cross and the District’s Chief Financial Officer going over the “Budget Development.” After the meeting, I was informed that at each step of this presentation those present could ask questions and the questions were answered.
LET NATIVES BE NATIVES
There are lots of things that go on when it comes to Indian tribes and the way they run their administration, councils and casinos. One tripe that really makes a point of keeping their tribal members in the dark is the Hopland band of Pomo Indians. The Council who controls the money that the casino makes has no problem funneling this money to feed their own personal need. Embezzlement is not unheard of for the Council of the Hopland tribe. Hiding and misdirecting funds is how the council pays themselves. However, if a tribal member needs some help with housing or a job, that isn't going to happen. One tribal member asked a question about last year's graduation. They were a little confused about the party that was given for the graduates and wondered why there wasn't a party thrown for them last year. Another member of the tribe ventured, “because Pam Espinoza's (councilmember) daughter didn't graduate last year.” You see, the point of this is the tribal council in Hopland continues to tell its members there is no money, yet when a council member's daughter graduates high school there is enough money to have a party estimated to cost around $10,000. If there is “no money” like the council keeps saying, where did the money come from for their Christmas bonuses? According to my source the bonuses came into the tens of thousands of dollars. I know that I'm focusing on the Hopland band but hey, if the shoe fits, right? Well, the truth of the matter is that Hopland is not the only tribe that is doing the types of things I am talking about.
Every tribe that has any kind of money is experiencing illegal activities and there is nothing being done about this. The people who are most affected, “the tribal members,” need to stand up and voice themselves because if they don't then things happen like what happened on the Robinson Rancheria. “Disenrollment.” You see if those who were disenrolled would have spoken up sooner and gotten involved then maybe they wouldn't be in the position they are in now. Robinson is not the only tribe that has had members disenrolled. There are more tribes that this is being done to and sooner or later the members need to stand up and make some kind of statement. Otherwise this kind of thing will continue. Recently there was a benefit set up to raise funds for those disenrolled. This fundraiser was to be held on the Mission Rez just outside of Lakeport. Well, the fundraiser was canceled because the tribal council didn't want to get involved in another round of tribal-band politics. I would think that as Natives themselves they would have been more than willing to show support against the wrong that was being done to their cousins across the lake.
Ever since the white man came they have been trying to do one thing to the Native people of this land — “annihilation” — annihilate the Indian. This was their intention. And they tried it by killing our women, children and then our elders. Kill the women so they can't have any more children. Kill the children so they can't grow up and fight us. And then kill the old people so there is no one to guide the rest. But this did not work, so they herded us to these little pieces of land, “the reservations,” where they fed us the most deadliest diseases known to man and yet we are still here. So what did they do? They gave us their most deadly weapon: “Money.” And it's working just like they, the white men, knew it would. The tribal councils are taking the money with greedy intentions and using it to do the United States government's dirty work and in return the US government allows the council to embezzle money and act with no regard for state or federal law. The reason the Department of Interior gives for not interfering is that they will not get involved in internal conflicts. So the Department of Interior and the Justice Department are willing to sit back and allow federal law to be violated in the name of financially annihilating the Native people of this land.
I remember the words of rapper 2-Pac Shakur. He said, “They say it's the white man I should fear when it's my own time doing all the killing here.” I remember a while back a couple of brothers from Hopland wanted to hold a sweat ceremony. The council freaked out saying that those two brothers were trying to take over. All the brothers wanted was to pray in the old way. Once again I remind the Council of the Hopland band that you are also Natives and it's okay to be Native.
One of many concerned Indians
I have been a supporter of public radio for 30 years. It's one of the best things the government does with its money. For the past 20 years I have had a weekly music show on KZYX. I think public radio does a great job of telling all sides of the story in this increasingly heated political atmosphere. In short, it's the best thing on the radio and in many rural places the only thing on the radio.
For years I have read your snide comments about KZYX in the AVA. Hardly a week goes by that you don't have some snotty remark about our local radio station, often grossly misrepresenting the facts. Most of us who work to put KZYX on the air do it for nothing, and those who get paid are definitely not getting rich. Please tell me why you hate us so much. I await your response.
Ed reply: Misrepresentations? Maybe if you'd cite one I could un-misrepresent it for you. If I can't, send it on into the shop for repairs. I wonder, though, is it just me or is cognition a prevalent problem around here, a kind of low-grade contagion? A lot of people don't seem able to distinguish fact from opinion, and maybe you got bit by one of them. Here's a test for you, short round: Fact or opinion? KZYX is badly managed. Answer: Both.
I very much appreciate Michael Bear Carson's most thoughtful and polite response to my letter a few weeks back. I would like to respond in a similar vein. I do closely share Mr. Carson's antecedents as Dad was Irish and Mom Russian Jewish. But the charge of warmonger applies much more to FDR than to LBJ as Alex Cockburn’s column brilliantly documented the various steps and lies by which Mr. Roosevelt led an unwilling nation into war. This war dwarfed Vietnam many times over. Hitler was an almost incurable Anglophile. Dunkirk was no “miracle” because he let the Brits escape as a gesture to get them out of the war. He admired the British Empire as a great force for stability in the world. People in India and Ireland strongly disagreed. Hitler had no desire or stomach to conquer Britain. He knew the UK-Franco Pledge to Poland was untenable and thought that they would recognize that.
The USSR evacuated millions of Jews from eastern Poland during the Hitler-Stalin Pact and also millions of Jews both before and after the German invasion of the USSR. All historians are agreed that up till July 1942 Hitler wanted emigration for Jews in Europe, not extermination. The UK-Franco Declaration of war on Germany, after Hitler invaded Poland to get the German populated areas around Danzig returned to Germany, closed off avenues of escape.
About 80% of Germany's 600,000 Jews had left by 1939. FDR's true feelings were revealed in 1938 when he turned back a ship carrying European Jews to the US. Both Churchill and Roosevelt could care less about Jews anyplace, their struggle with Germany and Japan was over rival imperialisms just as with the pompous Wilson in WW1.
FDR was not a leftist, his wife was, but he was a consummate pragmatist uninterested in theory and philosophy. Much of his New Deal was inspired by Mussolini's Corporate State in Italy.
He was an Anglophile like Wilson and shared the popular Japanophobic feelings of the time. There would have been no need for Truman's interventions in Western Europe and Japan if Roosevelt had not gotten us into the war. Just as in the case of Wilson the US intervention turned a stalemate into a disastrous victory.
WW2 inevitably followed from the disastrous “victory” of WW1 and the Cold War inevitably followed from the “victory” of WW2. By late 1945 Churchill was whining that “we shot the wrong pig.” Typical of his bad judgment.
The US never saved any Jews in Poland or the USSR. 90% of our battle was with Japan. Hitler was never going to be able to fully conquer and hold on to Russia. The tale that 3,000 Einsatzgruppen exterminated two million Russian Jews is now widely discredited and I can give references if people require them.
The benevolence of marijuana is a myth. It should only be legal like all other drugs because people have a right to do themselves in if they so choose.
On Ayn Rand Mr. Carson has a nuanced view. I agree with her endorsement of Austrian economics but she was not a fanatical atheist a la Madalyn Murray O'Hair. Her atheism was derivative of her belief in empirical reason and opposition to apriori idealism (in the philosophical sense.) That label was unfairly stuck on Rand by the Religious Right starting with Buckley in 1957. On sex Rand's philosophy is beautifully stated on pages 489-493 of Atlas Shrugged, hardbound edition. I don't know what Mr. Carson means by “sexual mysticism” allegedly of Rand. She made a disastrous mistake ever getting involved at all with the Brandens and not just sexually with Nathaniel. Those who haven't screwed up here are invited to throw the first rock.
Thanks for your great forum and for a consistently provocative newspaper.
To the Poetry Editor
His game isn't beautiful, but...
Palo Alto, local kid
Went to church and Hah-vid
Undrafted won the heart
Of sweet wise Keith Smart
If you root for Golden State
you will have a long wait
management can never win
who let go jeremy lin
Name de names, bro
Mark Jackson had a share
Joe Lacob, the buck stops there
Larry Riley, the kept GM
Jeremy Lin, who needs him?
If you root for Golden State
you will have a lonng wait
management can never win
who let go jeremy lin
Oh you poor Golden fans
every year you make plans
“your” owners wouldn't draft
kobe bryant they be daft!
If you root for Golden State
you will have a lonnng wait
management can never win
who let go jeremy lin
Every year Joe Barry's ghost
gets outhustled in the post
grateful deadheads for relief
play McHale to The Chief
If you root for Golden State
you will have a lonnnng wait
management can never win
who let go jeremy lin
REALLY BIG DEAL
The SF Chronicle “Covered” this in their usual style. “No big deal” according to them. It got better coverage on the web at “Naked Capitalism” and at “Credit Slips.” I'm a Real Estate broker who has been screaming about this for years and who naively thought that proof that hundreds if not thousands of San Franciscans had had their homes stolen would be considered big news. The word is out that Kammie Harris got promised a seat on SCOTUS for going along with the (Not yet signed) “Mortgage Settlement,” if so she will be a worthy peer of Clarence “Long Dong” Thomas.
LILACS IN THE COAL MINE
This letter is to ask other people of the northcoast to take a moment to observe some of the strange and unusual changes and anomalies taking place in nature. For instance, my neighbor had an iris plant flower in full bloom for Christmas during the frizzing cold. Next door my friend’s lilac bush is showing signs of spring buds? A friend and I went out to Usal beach after the first long awaited rainstorm. We found a patch of daffodils in full bloom near the beach. Then we noticed a patch of wild raspberries had small berries forming, and next to it we discovered a blackberry bush full of white blooms soon to become berries? This is mid-January! What’s up? The spookiest thing of all was the 14-legged large starfish we found while exploring the tide pools. We took a picture, than left the starfish alive and well. Now I feel compelled to ask others to share their sightings or things observed in nature that seem out of synch and just plain strange. I will log your reports and depending on the information I receive, if it’s compelling enough, I will share the data collected with this newspaper.
Christina Haley, (707) 349-3912
Susan Green's fine essay ‘The Gray Box’ in last week's AVA has more social/spiritual relevance than all 756 hours (so far) of broadcast Whitney Houston post mortems. Many thanks.
NO TIMBERLAND CONVERSION
We, The Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria in support of the Kashaya Pomo (Stewarts Point Rancheria) oppose the development of the 324 acres purchased by the Artesa Vineyard (Codorniu Napa, Inc.) and the 1,769 acres of the 20,000 acres owned by CalPERS called Preservation Ranch. This land is sacred to us, and we do not want to see it decimated for vineyard production in Sonoma County
Furthermore, we know that vineyard development of these acres will have a dramatic negative impact on the environment, including the destruction of habitat for several species of plants and animals that are sacred and integral to local Indian culture as it has been practiced for thousands of years.
The destruction of this land for timber-to-vineyard conversion will affect the Gualala River and all the flora and fauna associated with it and the associated coastal region — again, all things sacred to us and our culture.
We demand that further plans for development be halted, certainly until the developers, the County and the State have engaged in government-to-government consultation to discuss our concerns as the united tribes of Sonoma County.
Greg Sarris, Tribal Chairman
HOPE AND $2…
Tell me again why the Nobel Committee gave Pres. Obama a Peace Prize soon after he took office in 2009?
This is of course a rhetorical question. But really, what did Obama do beside give great speeches about hope and lead people to believe he was for peace in the Mideast while campaigning for President in 2008?
If the Nobel Committee can give a politician a prize for promises, why can't it give a soldier a prize for an act of conscience?
Please sign and forward to your network the attachment below. If you can't open it, Google: “Give Bradley Manning the 2012 Nobel Peace Prize.”
Bradley Manning is suffering for our sins.
Am I my brother’s keeper? Hell No! said Friedrich Nietzsche in a book by H. L. Mencken titled The Philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche. He, Nietzsche, was a product of his time, having bought into Social Darwinism to a fanatical degree. He held that the prime instinct of all mammals, including humans, is the will to survive. He called it the will to power.
Nietzsche makes Ron Paul look like a Socialist. His extreme individualism , which he called intelligent selfishness, included the idea that all communal, communitarian endeavors are solely for the protection they provide that the individual cannot provide for himself. Thus, Nietzsche said that all moral rules, all ideas of good and evil are man-made, as are all religions. He was a total atheist, and said that God is dead.
How could he believe this ? He held to the basic premise that human society is a struggle for the survival of the fittest. There are, said he, three classes of people; the masses, who are too dumb or too lazy to think for themselves, and are there to be exploited by the top class. Thus, in his view, democracy is a really bad idea because it is based on the idea of equality of all citizens, at least in theory. Also, he said, it puts power in the hands of the masses, who do not reason clearly. The masses, the drudge class, are there to serve and obey the top group
The second group, the one in the middle, is made up of those who make and administer the laws; the judges, the lawyers, the teachers, the police, the governmental functionaries, who are there to keep the masses from rebelling. The top group, which is not necessarily based on wealth, is made up of those few people who are smart, courageous, thoughtful, industrious, free-thinking, clear thinking people, the ones who move mankind forward, via science and industry. He called this person the Superman, who will reject all notions of brotherhood. He should let the unfit perish. To not do so is to buy into the mob morality. Sympathy and compassion stand in direct antithesis to the human passions that elevate efficiency and power; it is a depressant. Only oneself and one’s children should matter to a man.
This top group, said Nietzsche, have no obligation of any kind to obey laws, or adhere to social mores, or to exhibit moral consciousness or any sympathy toward their inferiors. They move progress forward. Anyone in the lower two groups can move up into the top group if they have the necessary brains and drive and clear reasoning.. He did not expect very many to be able to do this, and he said that the masses should be left in their mental and emotional sloth and their religions. They are losers, drones, who do nothing to benefit mankind.
I quote Mr. Nietzsche. “Why should any superior man bother about moral rules and regulations? Why should any man conform to laws formulated by a people whose outlook on the universe probably differed diametrically from his own? Why should any man obey a regulation which is denounced by his common-sense as a hodge-podge of absurdities?” Only because, he said, he doesn’t want to pay the penalty if he does not obey it. Thus Nietzsche rejected all fixed codes of morality, and with them all gods, messiahs, prophets, saints, popes, priests, and rulers.
A superior man should obey only his own instinct to survive. He is to be a master, not a slave to the ideas of the weak, the rabble.
Also to be ruled out are the landed aristocracy; they rule by divine right, by inheritance, and thus have no merit. They want only to keep the status quo.
Nietzsche was an anti-Christian, saying that it was a religion of and for the weak; that those who sacrifice themselves for others are going against themselves and their instinct to survive. He said that Christianity orders the strong to give part of their strength to the weak, and so tends to weaken mankind. He called it “the greatest of all imaginable corruptions”. It does not conform to the idea of natural selection, because it teaches disregard of the self. That’s why most Christians, he said, make no effort to be absolute Christians
Nietzsche was a strong believer in the scientific method, saying that is discourages unreasoning faith. It is skeptical and doubts its own truths. His higher man, his “superman” is the man who advances the human race. Not a woman; women are to be property of men, period.
All religions, being man-made, do not teach any ideas that are absolute, because there is no absolute truth; they just think they have the absolute truth, and thus are deluded. Good and evil are relative terms, not absolutes. Times change and truths change, and thus are relative to the culture and the times. The religious person looks toward the past for truth, denigrates the present, and has faith in an eternal future after death. There is no evidence for any of that, and without evidence to support it, he said, the holding of any idea is immoral. Thus he felt that all religion is immoral.
Another thinker in the late 1800’s was Karl Marx, who held exactly the opposite ideas, in which the individual was subsumed to the needs of the State, the collective, the communal. Marx, like Nietzsche, was also an atheist, but came to the exact opposite conclusion about human nature. Marx held that there is, inside of every human being, a moral compass, a conscience, and that people will be good to each other if society is organized in way that does not exploit the masses. Communism, unfortunately, has not been able to produce that “New Socialist Man”, even after resorting to extreme totalitarianism in the attempt to do so. Nietzsche held that there is no such thing as a “natural morality”.
What can we conclude from this? Are the Republicans correct in their basic assumptions and programs? Or, are they Neanderthals? Are the Progressives correct with their contrary assumptions and programs? Is the middle path, moderation in all things, the way to avoid the extremes of both Nietzsche and Marx?
Some of the ideas of Nietzsche are obviously right-on. If you look at the Republican candidates for President you can only conclude that they are not clear reasoning men. Many of them are antithetical to science and are religious crackpots. Do we want to be ruled by their ilk? No way!
Then we look at Obama, who purports to be a Progressive, but who acts unlike one all the time.
What he says and what he does are not in sync. He is simply one of Nietzsche’s second group, a functionary to maintain the present system, with a tweak now and then when its absurdities rise to the surface.
There is always, in human affairs, the tug-of-war between the needs of the individual and the needs of society. There is always a tension between the need for order and the need for progress. The pendulum is swinging back again, moving toward the individual as against social needs. Should it, or was Nietzsche correct? When 50 million people vote for idiots it makes one wonder, does it not?
Far ‘n Away Farm, Virginia
Memo Of The Week
Dear Farmers —
This will be the last email from me regarding the program. It is a sad day to see this program go away. I want to extend a heartfelt thanks to all of you for all you have done to make this program work as well as it has. I truly believe that the Feds were concerned about the success of the program. I have a new found respect for what you are doing and have learned more about MJ than I ever thought I would!! As you know I was a bit skeptical when I started the program, but as I learned who you were and what you represented I felt the need to make this program work, for you, for the community and for the Sheriff's Office You were all very compliant as you were trying to make the program work. For this I thank you. I hope that in the near future there will be another similar alternative for you to work with. I have heard rumors of an initiative process being explored. Please keep in mind the guidelines of 9.31 as this program was widely known here and seemed restrictive enough to have the public support but with enough latitude to allow you to be successful with your work. I honestly don't see this program coming back to Mendocino County as it was because of the Fed threat to the County. I expect that one of two things will occur for this to move forward in a similar fashion. Either you will be successful with an initiative process or the Feds will legalize MJ. I suggest you work on the first as I don't expect the second to change anytime soon!
As you move forward please keep the big picture in mind and work towards the common good for your community. Remember to support your community both in time and donations that you can spare, and keep in mind the issue of putting a more medicinal title, name for the various strains to move more in the direction of public support. If you are in it strictly for the money you are at risk. This will not support your cause and will not give you any kind of protection moving forward. The Sheriff and DA are talking to determine a common ground for what their respective in-house policy will be regarding MJ. Keep in mind this will still have no impact on any federal action against a person.
Good Luck, be safe and stay within the laws of the land.
Sgt. Randy Johnson
Mendocino County Sheriff's Office
Professional Standards Bureau
(707) 463-5416 Direct
(707) 463-4689 FAX