QUOTE OF THE DAY: “The whole world is hanging by its fingernails, refusing to be dragged into the future. That future is all about contraction. We could navigate our way into it but we don't want to. We want to stay right where we are with all our stuff and no need to make new arrangements and we are trying every last trick to do that. Can you not sense a terrible tidal surge of implacable forces under the headlines' placid surface?” (James Kunstler)
GOVERNOR BROWN said Tuesday that if his tax initiative on the November ballot doesn't pass he’ll shorten the school year by a month. What Brown doesn't say in his extortion demand is that his proposed cuts represent about twice what the schools would get from his tax increase. And part of the tax increase will go to fortify the teacher's pension fund, which is about $64 billion short. The tax increase would go straight into the general fund anyway. Mr. Talk Liberal Act Conservative is basically holding schools hostage.
MEANWHILE, the secure sectors of the upper middleclass continue to flee the public schools, as they are doing in Ukiah for UKIAH'S REDWOOD ACADEMY, which has been cited by Newsweek and the Daily Beast as among the nation’s top 1000 High Schools. The list is based on graduation rate, college matriculation, average SAT/ACT scores, and so on. Redwood Academy is a charter school established in 2000 with a current enrollment of 140 students from 7th through 12th grade. The class days are more than 7 hours long, and the school, popular among Ukiah's professional classes, enforces a dress code.
I BELONG TO AARP to get Medi-Gap coverage, not because I don't know that AARP is basically an insurance sales force and a slave to the worst elements of the Democratic Party. The phony organization is also a major obstacle to single-payer, sells its membership lists to other hustlers, and has come out for Medicare “reform.” I never hear back. But, like a nut, every time I get an e-mail or letter message from AARP, I amuse myself by writing an abusive reply, and I mean abusive, complete with strings of creative obscenities. I seem to have finally drawn bloodless blood as the following blandly corrupt response from AARP indicates:
“DEAR MR. ANDERSON: Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts and concerns with us. While our goal is to act on behalf of our membership at large, I hope you can appreciate that with such a diverse membership; we are unable to craft a single policy directive in agreement with every member. Our membership demographic includes, among other variables, men and women from several political parties including Republicans, Democrats, Independents, and other third-party affiliations, an array of nationalities, incomes, and educational backgrounds, the employed and the retired. We work hard in the federal and state legislatures to advocate for our members, their families and society as a whole. We certainly appreciate communications such as yours because they help us know how to spend our time and resources on behalf of the 50+ population. I have taken note of your views; member feedback is reported to our leadership on a regular basis. While we may disagree on this issue, it is our hope that you find the many services, products, and other issues that AARP is engaged in beneficial to you and your family. Thank you again for writing and please continue to share your opinions with us. It is the combined interest, energy and commitment from members like you that gives AARP the power to make life better. Sincerely, Colin W., Member Communications”
“COLIN W.” I love that. What's the W stand for, Wuss? What they should have said: “Dear Mr. Anderson. We're really tired of your demented responses to our tireless efforts to help you find great deals on denture glue and the other fine products we recommend to you and the rest of our senile suckers. We really hope your bedpan blows up and your catheter runs from your peenie out your nose so you can really have something to talk about at the Anderson Valley Senior Center. But seriously, you either end your abusive bullshit or we'll send someone out to Boonville to end YOU. Got that, gramps? Sincerely Colin W.”
EDWARD TWO-FEATHERS STEELE, 22, was arrested Saturday in south Ukiah for battery and committing a hate crime. He also was in violation of his parole, according to Ukiah police. Police said Steele, who was clearly drunk, shouted homophobic insults at his victim, who was out for a walk, then ran up on the man and repeatedly punched him in the face. Several shocked eyewitnesses said Steele ran into a Mulberry Street residence where Ukiah police found him “hiding” in a bathtub.
JUST IN FROM THE NATO PROTEST: “We attended the National Nurses United protest on Friday and the Anti War yesterday. I have never seen so many cops in my life as I saw yesterday: Chicago cops, state police, National Guard, so many in riot gear. We were told there were 11,000. If the preliminary reports were right and there were 10,000 protesters, then that's more than one police officer for each of us. It was stunning and frightening. But peaceful — except for those mostly testosterone fueled Labrador brains who acted out when most of us were leaving. We headed toward Chinatown for a meal, four blocks away, and could see the violence on the TV screen in the bar, even before we had been served. It really was a shame. I've participated in a fair number of protests over the years and it strikes me that the difference between protesting in your 20s and in your 50s is ego. In your 50s it's really about the issue(s), period. In your 20s it's also about YOU. All in all, I think it's the nurses who will really get things going, and we were proud to stand with them. And, for us, it was worth walking 14 miles (the day's tally) in 90 degree heat to connect with all of the peaceful folks who were there, acting up.”