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Off The Record

ELIZABETH GOLDSTEIN of the State Parks Foundation called Tuesday morning. She wasn't happy, and Franklin Graham, who has been writing and writing well about the ongoing State Parks crisis, may not be happy that I think it's only fair that I repeat Ms. Goldstein's complaints. She said she, personally, and her organization, were being unfairly maligned by Mr. Graham. "How dare he characterize me as a privatizer. My organization has given $850,000 over the last five months to 29 parks to keep them open, not sell them." That was basically it, although Ms. G complained that Mr. G had threatened to "get her." I said threats were not the Franklin Graham I know. She may have also meant by threats that Mr. G sends copies of his letters to Ms. G to Assemblyman Huffman and State Senator Evans, which does seem kinda like Gotcha Games.

EXCUSE ME, DOCTOR, but the symptoms you described in Mr. Norbury during his just concluded trial for the murder of Jamal Andrews describe textbook methamphetamine-induced psychosis. Quoting from Tiffany Revelle's fine work on the trial, "Norbury's mother, Michele Norbury, gave a statement saying her son had claimed 'that black guy down the road is doing voodoo on me,' Apostle (psychiatrist for the defense) testified. Apostle said he had also read a statement from Norbury's father, Billy Dean Norbury, who had observed his son at times trying to remove bugs from his body that weren't there, even using a hose to do so."

THIS GUY isn't nuts, he's a tweeker. Take away the tweek, no paranoia, no murder. Additionally, from what we can gather, Norbury has demonstrated zero signs of mental illness as an inmate. Conclusion? Norbury's psychotic behavior is chemically induced.

BACK IN '72, and still relatively new to the Anderson Valley, my house became campaign headquarters for George McGovern, the last Democrat as he turned out to be. Mendocino County was not the liberal hothouse it has since become, going something like 80% for Nixon. We gave it a good shot for George, though, relentlessly calling Democrats from the Anderson Valley to the Mendocino Coast and urging them to vote for George. There were a lot more registered Republicans in The Valley, and maybe more in the County as a whole than Democrats, the reverse of today's registration. During the Giants game commercials last night (Monday) I watched snatches of the debate between the presidential candidates, lamenting every word I heard from both of them as they outdid each other in imperial assumptions and promises of more Drone murders and big blank checks for submarines and all kinds of lethal gadgetry presently being fought to a standstill by medieval gunmen fighting out of caves. Can you even imagine either of these two Wall Street-funded ciphers saying anything like George McGovern what was cheered for saying in 1970: "This chamber reeks of blood. Every senator here is partly responsible for that human wreckage at Walter Reed and Bethesda Naval and all across our land.... Do not talk to them about bugging out, or national honor or courage. It does not take any courage at all for a congressman or a senator, or a president to wrap himself in the flag and say we are staying in Vietnam, because it is not our blood that is being shed."

ON THE OTHER HAND, as a reader points out, "The liberal media fails to note that George McGovern in his role as United States Senator called upon the federal government to use U.S. troops against the uprising at Wounded Knee. It is fitting that Russell Means would outlive George McGovern even if only by a few hours."

SPEAKING of ballgames, much as I admire the Giants' Ryan Vogelsong, his post-game spiel after beating the Cardinals about how God had taken a personal interest in him and the National League playoffs, reminded me that it was time to grab my Old Testament for Mathew 6:5-6: "And when you pray you must not be like the hypocrites. For they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, that they may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you." Play ball!

WHILE WE'RE at the ballpark, how about an end to champagne showers in the locker room. It's sooooooooo old, as are the Gatorade showers for winning football coaches. The champagne sprays are sooooooooo old even the ballplayers find them tedious, as their retreat to goggles indicate.

SUPERVISOR HAMBURG sends along an invitation for "Luncheon with First 5 Mendocino Commissioners at the Adult School, Boonville." First 5 basically serves as funding for nice jobs for Nice Ukiah Ladies. The money comes from the cigarette tax. It's supposed to help the children of the poor, and maybe it occasionally does but myself, I think it's just a lot of rakeoff by the Nice Ladies who 'luncheon" in Boonville while everyone else eats lunch, and many of the children the money is supposed to benefit eat no lunch at all.

ESPECIALLY CONSIDERING the true state of hundreds, if not thousands, of children in Mendocino County whose third graders rank last in the state in reading to grade level and few of whose children in the welfare system live in stable, safe, healthy families. According to Children Now, a statewide organization that says it "promotes children's health and education," also says some 15% of Mendocino County youngsters "experience recurring abuse or neglect." And so on. Maybe Supervisor Hamburg can an effort to disband First 5 with a view to distributing its million dollars a year directly in subsidies to the worst off children. First 5 doesn't do them any good at all.

COMMENT OF THE WEEK, Paul Craig Roberts: “Right-wing Republicans, free market ideologues, and the left-wing have all indoctrinated themselves with incorrect beliefs about Social Security and Medicare. The right-wing claims that a safety net financed with 15.3% of payrolls is a 'Ponzi scheme' and an 'unfunded liability.' If that is the case, then so are veterans benefits, military pensions, and federal pensions, all of which are financed by the income tax, the basis for the payroll tax. The left-wing claims that the rich do not pay high enough payroll taxes, because the income subject to Social Security payroll tax is capped at about $110,000. But the benefits are also capped. Social Security is not supposed to be an income redistribution scheme from rich to poor, and it is not supposed to be a pension system for the rich. The pension paid is supposed to correlate with the pre-retirement income level of the retiree. Those who had higher wages or salaries and consequently paid more in payroll taxes receive a larger Social Security check than those who had lower wages and salaries and paid less payroll taxes, although there is favoritism toward the lower income earners who receive proportionally more in respect to their payroll taxes than higher income earners. There is no cap on income subject to the Medicare portion of the payroll tax. Moreover, Medicare charges a Medicare Part B premium that is deducted from the Social Security monthly check. In addition, there is a further Part B premium based on retirement age income. For example, someone working beyond retirement age and making $250,000 per year pays about $3,800 in Medicare Part B premium in addition to the Medicare portion of the payroll tax of about $7,500. The annual premium he pays for his 'free' Medicare for which he has paid all his working life with a payroll tax is about $11,300. Moreover, Medicare by itself is insufficient coverage. To actually have medical coverage, those covered by Medicare have to purchase a supplementary private policy to cover the large gaps in Medicare. Depending on the range of coverage, a supplementary policy costs approximately $100 to $300 per month. As the person making $250,000 per year is likely to go for the most coverage, he will be paying about $14,900 (excluding deductions and co-payments) per year for his 'free' Medicare. This is despite having paid the Medicare payroll tax each year of his working life. A person who made $250,000 in taxable income per year for 30 years would have paid $217,500 into Medicare at the current Medicare payroll tax rate. The right-wing’s notion that Social Security and Medicare are handouts, part of the welfare state’s bread and circuses, and the left-wing’s idea that the rich get a free ride are equally untrue.”

THE SHERIFF'S DEPARTMENT announced last week that “a small package of marijuana” was found in the County Jail cell of Jesse Bacon, 51, of Willits. A drug-sniffing dog sniffed out the dope in a toilet paper roll holding a mix of tobacco and marijuana. Then, proceeding to a suspiciously odiferous sock, Deputy Dog soon discovered six small bundles of tobacco and marijuana. Bacon was charged with felony possession of drugs in jail, “and other misdemeanors."

JESSE DENVER BACON, 29, is Jesse Willard Bacon’s son. Jesse Willard Bacon appears so frequently in the Sheriff’s booking log that we inadvertently ran the son’s picture in our on-line edition with the item about his incarcerated father.

A READER IN UKIAH familiar with the Bacons tells us that Bacon Jr. is a “traveler” (aka itinerant dopehead) who has stopped traveling and has become a more or less permanent fixture in the Ukiah WalMart's parking lot. Bacon Sr. was recently arrested and jailed after he stole a Fort Bragg vehicle containing a sleeping teenager conked out on the back seat. When Bacon Sr. saw the keen teen bolt upright, he stopped the car and let the kid got out. Jesse Sr. was offered a plea deal on the lenient side, which he took. Bacon was let out of jail for a few days to get his affairs in order, an interim he partly spent packing his rectum with enough dope to ease his stay at the County Jail. Originally from Tennessee, Jesse Sr. is said to be one of the numerous marijuana migrants drawn here by Mendo’s pot friendly reputation. His more serious problems (the car heist, etc.) are said to stem from involvement with... You guessed it, methamphetamine.

BACK IN THE MIDDLE 1980s, long before the present jail was built, inmates spent a large part of the day lounging around an interior lawn. Only a see-through fence topped with razor wire separated the incarcerated from the semi-incarcerated tooling back and forth along Low Gap Road between their mortgages and WalMart, secure in the delusion that they were freer than the people officially locked up. Some of these passing motorists, in solidarity with dope-starved inmates, would toss tennis balls stuffed with dope over the fence onto the lawn, sending the Jail's stoners in a mad scramble for the little care packages. It happened all the time, as the editor himself can confirm. He was confined to a month of lawn duty at Camp Low Gap at the time, and remembers that essence of herb competed with Lysol as the Jail's dominant odor.

JOSHUA COWAN, a young Brit reported missing in the Garberville area by his family, wasn't really missing. Cowan, perhaps engaged in the seasonal harvest deep in the hills of Southern Humboldt, called his family last week to say that he was fine. Cowan's brother had told local authorities, "We are all very concerned as to Joshua's whereabouts and a little worried due to the nature of the area." The Cowans probably don't know that people who've lived in Garberville for generations have also and always been "a little worried due to the nature of the area."

HOME INVASION/HOMICIDE in Redwood Valley. 23-year-old Celso Madueno was shot dead and his younger brother, Abel Madueno, 19, badly injured in an early morning home invasion Friday, 19th October, in Redwood Valley. The Sheriff's Department said two armed men — one of them wearing a hood and a bandana over his face — forced their way into the East Road home sometime before 3am when the 911 call was received. The younger brother, his parents and grandparents, and a younger child live in the house.

Celso Madueno entered the main house at the sound of a commotion and was shot dead. His younger brother, Abel Madueno, was also shot but is expected to recover. Sheriff's Department spokesman Greg Van Patten said “multiple rounds were fired.” Van Patten also said “marijuana was growing on the property,” but added, “It’s way too early in this investigation to put our finger on what the motive is. Anything is a possibility at this point, and we’re exploring all avenues.” A neighbor saw a black Cadillac Escalade SUV leave the area after the shooting, headed northbound on East Road.

A 19-YEAR OLD Santa Rosa man remains in the Mendocino County jail after a pointless high-speed chase last Wednesday on Highway 101. Matthew Thomas Fudge, running from nothing but the patrol cars trying to stop him for speeding, was eventually arrested on suspicion of felony evasion of officers. The CHP said Fudge drove into oncoming traffic during the pursuit but had not hit any vehicles. The chase began at 2:40pm when a CHP officer observed Fudge driving a blue Chevy pickup at speeds of up to 90 mph northbound on Highway 101 near Ukiah. When the officer attempted to stop the truck, Fudge accelerated to 100 mph, evading a spike strip and continued through Willits where officers gave up the chase as Fudge sped through town. The chase resumed at the north end of town when Fudge emerged from Willits six miles of sprawl his foot stomped on the accelerator. Fudge was soon boxed in and stopped by Mendocino County Sheriff’s deputies and Willits police and taken into custody. Fudge's explanation for his kamikaze careen up 101 ought to be a hot one, so to speak.

JACQUELINE AUDET, 22, aka Goldilocks, aka Pixie, 4'11" and 97 pounds, was arrested on the Mendocino Headlands last Thursday (October 18th) for public intoxication, illegal camping and for violation of the probation she was already on for public intoxication. She was accompanied by Donald Jordan, 49, of Willits. Jordan was also arrested for public intoxication and illegal camping. The guy's obviously a romantic. "Hey, Pix, lets have a couple of drinks and watch the sun set in the Pacific." Pixie, swooning, "Oh Donny, you sure know how to show a girl a good time!" Ten quarts of vodka and three sunsets later Pix and Lover Boy are in handcuffs in the back of a Sheriff's wagon on their way over the hill to the County Jail.

A DROP-FALL INEBRIATE, Ms. Audet was so drunk that when the State Parks ranger took her into custody she became incontinent. We have discovered that Ms. Audet was born in Boone, North Carolina, and seems to have been raised in the Big Bend area of Shasta County. Her mother is Pamela Audet. We couldn't find any information about her father, and we don't know if mother and daughter remain in contact. Ms. Audet came to our attention three years ago when a caller, worried about her welfare, asked us to draw attention to Ms. Audet's self-destructive behavior with a view to perhaps getting her some help. If there is help for determined drunks. They either decide on their own to stop or they die. We hope this kid can be held long enough in the County Jail to come to her senses, if she's got senses left to come to. At the time of Thursday's arrest, Ms. Audet was on probation out of Ten Mile Court for public intoxication, which should be the pretext for keeping her in custody beyond the usual weekend.

MISS AUDET, now something of a local celebrity, has written to us the following delusional letter. She isn't killing herself from drink, she's a seeker, a spiritual person. Which she seems partly to be, but the way she lives, the determined way she harms herself, she's got to know she's committing a mortal sin against life.

MISS AUDET wrote from the County Jail last May where she was briefly incarcerated for the umpteenth time for drunk in public: “Dear People of Concern and Interest, God Bless you all! We all live our lives according to what we’ve learned and picked up throughout it all. For me I have a kinda rebellious manner, with the only wish to live off the land and my group of close friends and family, outside of this too populated and corrupt system. If I could share anything of importance to anyone it would be about love and goodness through the Christ and Great Spirit or whatever you may believe in; it is the love and forgiveness that we’ve been given that I’m proud to know in myself and proud to see it throughout this community. I’ve lived here for the winter and living here and experiencing the good and the bad is what I needed to learn and keep myself strong to continue on in my life as I leave and continue on in my journey that God has given me. Many people help me out every day with money or food or even concern. Thank you. I can’t offer the same, but I would love to give you encouragement. I encourage everyone throughout the good and bad. Everything happens for reasons in life and I pray for you to learn and get stronger through these things. Don’t let the world break you down. Thank you Great Spirit for another day to be with you. — Jacqueline Audet (Pixie), Mendocino County Jail, Ukiah.”

C.W. NEVIUS writes for the SF Chronicle. Last week one of his columns was headlined, “City's progressives have lost their way,” and his lead sentence read, “There was a time when the far left wing of the Democratic Party stood for something.” The city's “progressives,” as Nevius describes the conventional liberals he's talking about, are not “left” in any traditional sense of the term which, in the days when words still had meaning, meant persons hostile to capitalism as the basis for social-economic-political organization. That's what 'left' means. 'Far left' doesn't mean anything except as a lazy pejorative for hack journalists to describe people they don't like. The SF progs are not hostile to capitalism, and “far left” applied to any sector of the Democratic Party makes no sense. If the Frisco Progs broke from the Democrats they might again stand for something, but so long as they faithfully get behind death and destruction as national policy. The whole political show has been shoved so far to the right that the left is now code for mainstream liberals. The nutballs of the Tea Party even describe Diane Feinstein as a "leftist." But there isn't an organized left in America. There are rearguard elements, I guess you could say, but out there in media fantasyland there's really only this purplish poison miasma slowly asphyxiating all of us. "Progressive' is merely a term some liberals apply to themselves to distance themselves from the Democratic Party lib-labism they can be counted on to support at election time. They know the Party is evil but they're afraid to be left (sic) out of it.

THERE WERE LEFTISTS, real ones, coming in the windows at Saturday night's San Francisco tribute to Alexander Cockburn. Many of us who were there, including our late comrade while he lived, have been cordoned off by the $400,000 a year capos at places like Democracy Now and the Pacifica Network, interchangeable homes of the cult-brained clay foot worshippers. Cockburn was always too much for them, their phony post-mortems to the contrary, and he never argued with me when I went off on how sneaky and dishonest and stupid and how generally awful on a personal level so many of them are, how non-left they are, faithfully shuffling in behind the Democrats at election time. And their constant talk about "doing good" as they raise one dollar for good and five for themselves. CounterPunch is a fitting gift from Cockburn, a legacy that will keep on giving as the last place where the unfettered left, the unbought left, will always roam free.

STEVE DUNNICLIFF has been appointed Mendocino County's director of Planning and Building Services. Dunnicliff has worked in the County CEO's office as Deputy CEO since June 2008. He is also licensed as a real estate broker and as a general building contractor. Dunnicliff has been working in the Planning and Building Department since former interim planning director Roger Mobley resigned in August.

MANBEATER OF THE WEEK: Esperanza Alfaro, 20, 5'3" and 140 pounds. Obviously she didn't do it, and if she did he undoubtedly had it coming. You can tell from Esperanza's pretty and guileless face that the kid doesn't have a malicious bone in her body.

PERTINENT COMMENT from the crucial Lost Coast Outpost: “There's an ethical issue that seems to be left out of most conversations regarding "the industry." The sheer volume of product assures even the most skeptical that most leaves the state. So for every dollar the grower makes, organized criminal gangs make five before that tasty bud reaches the hands of the happy American stoner. Or are we to believe that Humboldt growers only sell to clean-cut college frat kids and single moms augmenting their e-Bay income by buying wholesale? While a few billion in weed sales is a drop in the bucket compared to the scarier stuff they peddle, it doesn't seem very responsible to line the pockets of the very cartels who seek to undercut your profit by starting their own grows. Historically, their business model tends to encourage source efficiency, though. Like Amway. My guess is you won't see too many "Think Globally — Act Locally" bumper stickers in Cartegena or Kabul. But one might expect a bit more social conscience from the benevolent groovsters of Humboldt. Legalize it and stop feeding the gangsters. Or settle for your DA-approved 99-plant limit and set up roadside stands for sweet corn and kush. But no, it's all about the money now, isn't it?”

MENDOCINO COUNTY'S tiny band of residual Republicans have opened an Election Headquarters in Fort Bragg at 247 N. Main Street, #1. The Headquarters will be open 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM Monday — Saturday through Tuesday, November 6th. In addition to election information materials, the movie “2016 Obama’s America” will be shown each day at 11:00 AM and 2:00 PM at no charge. For further information contact Stan Anderson, 707-321-2592.

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