A MEETING to discuss the announcement that the College of the Redwoods plans to close its Fort Bragg campus was held Monday, February 17th at Fort Bragg Town Hall, 12 noon to 2 pm. No word yet on the upshot other than a preliminary report on the meeting itself, but we understand an appeal will be made to Mendocino College to assume responsibility for COR's fallen Fort Bragg branch.
ANOTHER CRUCIAL FORT BRAGG meeting occurs Wednesday, February 19th at Town Hall, 363 N. Main Street. That one is a “scoping session” for County garbage czar Mike Sweeney's preposterous plan to build a $5 million trash transfer station off Highway 20 east of town. Never mind that there's an existing transfer station at Pudding Creek that could be employed for the simple process of hauling Coast trash outtahere when the Caspar dump is closed, but Sweeney has already convinced Fort Bragg's City Council and his captive board of directors that he needs a brand new Taj Mahal of a transfer installation on Highway 20. For what? Ten loads a day? Supervisor Pinches nicely summed up Sweeney's plan. “You could do the same thing at a wide spot in the road.” Highway 20 neighbors of the proposed transfer station have mobilized in opposition.
THAT ODD ATTACK on Fort Bragg's PG&E substation back on October 19th has apparently been resolved, thanks, at least in part, to some excellent police work by Fort Bragg's finest. A 47-year-old fisherman named Brian Clay Stacy, who lived in Fort Bragg at the time, has been arrested in Arkansas by Homeland Security agents. The Fort Bragg episode occurred just before two gunmen shot up a PG&E substation near San Jose. The two events were regarded by the feds as "the most significant attack" on the country since 911, an opinion so clearly inflated out of all proportion to the events that it was of course immediately disseminated by Fox News and kindred hysterics.
WHAT EXACTLY STACY was up to in Fort Bragg is not known, but local cops soon had a line on him and knew that he had a prior for vandalism and that he'd lived in Morro Bay before moving north to Fort Bragg. The feds have been looking for him ever since.
IT WAS LATE the night of October 19th when Stacy was observed blasting away at the Fort Bragg substation with a 12-gauge shotgun before disappearing into nearby woods. The substation sustained what was subsequently described as "significant damage." Taken together, the Fort Bragg and San Jose events have led to calls to amp up security measures around substations.
PREDICTION: Stacy will turn out to be a drop-fall drunk with a propensity to wreck stuff when he's loaded. Or, he's an MCN ListServe-type nutball inspired by some lunatic theory derived from tinfoil hat-think. "I've got to kill these transmitters before their vibes kill me." That kind of thing. The internet, natch, is replete with aberrant thought processes. But coupled to revelations that the government now has the ability to keep us all under total surveillance, and the Obama Gang has dispatched drones to murder American citizens, every paranoid's darkest nightmares seem to have been realized.
WE CELEBRATED President's Day by trying not to think about them. I can remember a series of books I read as a kid, a little kid: George Washington Grows Up. Tom Jefferson Grows Up. And on through the boys considered the Founding Fathers. I was very enthusiastic. "Wow! How about these guys! Is this a special place, or what?" Well, yes it is, but only because we've survived most of them. The series probably ended with the Adams', because as the country grew older there was Honest Abe, and after him maybe FDR, but other than them there wasn't much to celebrate in the way of presidents. But as a child, I thought they were all pretty much swell until the revelations of adulthood when I read about Jefferson's long evenings in the slave quarters, Wilson's favorite movie being Birth of a Nation, and so on through the sloughs of serial disillusion that is life's journey. I always had a soft spot for Jimmy Carter, though, ineffectual as he was. After him? The mere mention of their names induces mass nausea, at least in the circles I travel. Alright, on a personal level Obama is probably a Nice Person. But his policies are Bush Squared. I think we ought to limit the celebration of this pointless memorial day off, to Lincoln. He's the only giant in the whole bunch.
WILLIAM CORLEY, 53, Laytonville, has been arrested for a minor explosion in his rented room while brewing up some hash oil, a marijuana extract. The refining process involves butane. If you aren't careful or don't know what you're doing, BOOM! Which is what often happens, especially to inexperienced brewmasters. Corley's explosion occurred on Monday, February 3rd, the owner of the building heard about it on the 7th, Corley was taken into custody on the 8th. It damaged his room but was apparently confined to a small area of his space. Corley was also discovered to be in possession of 33 marijuana plants of the seedling type, three methamphetamine smoking pipes, five pounds of processed marijuana, and 114 grams of honey oil, as the finished product is called. Bail was set at $50,000.
THE SUPERVISORS have “accepted” the resignation of County Counsel, Tom Parker, effective April 10th. There has been grumbling about Parker virtually since the day he arrived from Colusa County and he was forced out.
WHO WILL SUCCEED HIM? Logically, it would have been the capable Terry Gross, but she has recently left the office to become Point Arena’s city attorney. Doug Losak, also a capable person who’s worked in the office for several years, might be appointed to the position, but the Supervisors went all blue nose on Losak when he was stopped one midnight last year and found with a joint’s worth of marijuana and a gun in a locked case. That minor episode seems to have disqualified him from getting the top job, but shouldn’t, especially in a county where the closets are so packed with skeletons the overflow has to be stored in Cloverdale.
THE COUNTY’S ANON press release announcing that Parker has been “retired” was written in the usual neo-Stalinist prose that bureaucrats resort to when they're giving someone the knife: “Mendocino County Board of Supervisors chairman 3rd District Supervisor John Pinches on Wednesday announced that County Counsel Thomas R. Parker will resign from his position, effective April 10. The board appointed Parker to lead the county’s legal department in September 2012. He had been Colusa County counsel since July 2010, and replaced former county counsel Jeanine Nadel on her appointment to judgeship in the Mendocino County Superior Court. In his letter of resignation Parker wrote, 'It is with regret that I am resigning from my position as County Counsel due to personal reasons. I will be taking early retirement from Mendocino County as well. I want to thank all those who have worked and supported me during my tenure here...'"
TRANSLATION: "The deal is that I go quietly so I can get a plausible recommendation from these thugs so I can find work some other place."
ANOTHER COUNTY COMMUNIQUE begins, "A Fitch Ratings has upgraded Mendocino County’s 2002 Pension Obligation Bond series from 'BBB+' to 'A' and reports that the County’s outlook is stable..." Fitch, some of us will recall, had given bankrupt national banks and investment firms Fitch's highest ratings just before the crash of 2008. Truth is that Mendocino County's pension obligations are greater than the County's ability to pay them. And the national economy is so broke the Federal Reserve has had to create many billions of dollars out of thin air to stave off (postpone, actually) an even bigger crash than '08. But here in Mendo Lilliput, the Supervisors have done a pretty good job keeping Mendo's Ponzi limping along with a rainy day reserve of some $9 million, enough in an ever deteriorating economy to pay its bills. For now.
THE FITCH REPORT, as interpreted by the County leadership, "cites the County’s long-term (20+year) economic contraction as a limiting factor. Mendocino County’s employment and labor force levels have decreased by 6% and 4% respectively, over the past decade. At a time even our neighboring County’s (sic) have found a way to grow, Mendocino County’s economic base has contracted..." Wrong. Nobody's economy at any level anywhere in this country is growing. They're either "contracting" or, as is the case with our deeply indebted state government, treading water.
THE BOMB SCARE last Wednesday at the venerable Broiler Steak House in Redwood Valley — lots of emergency services uniforms striding around looking serious as hell for most of the day but no bomb — reminded me of an excellent Brit television series from the last 1970s called Danger UXB. England was bombed daily for a year during World War Two. (We get hit once and commence a series of wars in the Middle East that our great grandchildren will be fighting, a series of wars that creates terrorists a lot faster than we can kill them.) Anyway, during the London Blitz, lots of bombs didn't detonate. The British army designated a special squad to defuse the things as the Germans steadily made the things more fiendishly complicated to disarm. The film, based on a book by one of the memorably heroic real-life squad leaders, is very well done right down to the technical details. Fascinating stuff.
ON-LINE COMMENT: “Froot Loops, man. Froot Loops. There's your gateway drug. Think about it. Froot? Loops? They are all the same flavor! Leaves kids wanting more...MORE!!!”
BEAUTIFUL OLD AGE
It ought to be lovely to be old
to be full of the peace that comes of experience
and wrinkled ripe fulfillment.
The wrinkled smile of completeness that follows a life
lived undaunted and unsoured with accepted lies
they would ripen like apples, and be scented like pippins
in their old age.
Soothing, old people should be, like apples
when one is tired of love.
Fragrant like yellowing leaves, and dim with the soft
stillness and satisfaction of autumn.
And a girl should say:
It must be wonderful to live and grow old.
Look at my mother, how rich and still she is!
And a young man should think: By Jove
my father has faced all weathers, but it's been a life!
— D.H. Lawrence
THE MARCH-APRIL ISSUE OF MOTHER JONES features an article called, This Is Your Wilderness on Drugs, about the chemical, herbicide and insecticide contamination caused by marijuana gardens here in the Emerald Triangle. Versions of this story have appeared in local and national media now for several years as the pot industry has steadily grown. Water diversions and chemical poisoning of the land by the pot brigades still, at least in Mendocino County, doesn't approach those of industrial grape growing. Humboldt County, where grapes are not much grown, industrial love drug production is by far HumCo's primary business. But Mother Jones never has gotten out much. With The Nation doing wine tours and long gone over to Clintonism, I think The Nation and Mother Jones should merge to put out one publication a month called WUSS, A Magazine for Really, Really Nice People Who Are Very, Very Concerned.
A VENTURE CAPITALIST (aren't they all?) called Tom Perkins of San Francisco probably didn't intend to speak for his fellow moneybags when he declared recently that criticism of the super rich is like the Nazi's mass murders of the Jews. That, and subsequent provocations, have rightly brought down a deluge of criticism on the old fool's head, not that he said anything that most of them probably don't think, although they seldom publicly deploy such exciting metaphors as Perkins. Speaking to the Commonwealth Club recently he flashed his watch and said it was worth a "six-pack of Rolexes." Stand back! That guy's got a million dollar watch! He's rich! He must know what he's talking about!
CLINTON freed the venture capitalists from their few remaining shackles when he rolled back Glass-Steagall, thus creating derivatives and a host of other financial “instruments” that have permanently destabilized free enterprise. Which is fine with lots of us, but given that there are so many more of us, destabilization is going to get wild, even for people like this Perkins character with his own emergency security force of ex-commandoes with big muscles and emergency retrieval helicopters on permanent standby. And wild in the sense of endless pain and suffering for the many millions on the receiving end of the system these people have created.
CONGRESSMAN Jared Huffman was among 17 other Congressional stout hearts writing to President Obama to ask the former pot head to direct Attorney General Eric Holder to reschedule marijuana from Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act where it's rested with heroin and other hard stuff even before the days of Reefer Madness. “We were encouraged by your recent comments in your interview with David Remnick in the January 27, 2014 issue of the New Yorker, about the shifting public opinion on the legalization of marijuana,” the members wrote. Classifying marijuana as Schedule I at the federal level perpetuates an unjust and irrational system. We request that you instruct Attorney General Holder to delist or classify marijuana in a more appropriate way, at the very least eliminating it from Schedule I or II.”
THAT NEW YORKER INTERVIEW, by the way, was pathetic even by today's bended knee standards. Remnick tossed off all kinds of fanciful Obama triumphs while the President agreed and tossed off a bunch of his own.
YEP, CAL-OSHA has issued a stop-work order for the Palace Hotel, claiming the building is unsafe, although the City of Ukiah has allowed work to proceed with debris removal. The structure has been unoccupied for years and has seen a series of owners come and go, among them several straight-up crooks who looted the building of it's remaining marketable valuables. There's some question if the present owner, Ms. Eladia Laines of Marin, has the money to finance the extensive rehab work the building needs if it is to ever again be economically viable.
HEADLINES OF THE WEEK • From the Santa Rosa Press Democrat, their most exciting hed ever: “Dogs found chewing on dead man's body in Mendocino County.” Wow! But no ID yet on the carnivored cadaver.
LOTS OF AMERICAN controversies can't be talked about in realistic terms. If, for instance, you constantly describe all the people living on the streets as “homeless,” it ignores basic distinctions: Yes, there are major shortages of low-income housing. But a lot of the distressing public behavior attributed to the “homeless” doesn't have anything to do with shelter. It occurs because people are allowed to be helplessly drunk on the streets, or publicly nuts from drugs or one of the large bloc of people living outside because they're crazy with or without drugs of any kind. Old-fashioned bums of the type who wander around without bothering anyone are a tiny minority of the "homeless." All three groups of the drunk-drugged-crazed homeless need to be hospitalized, which is what we used to do with people incapable of or unwilling to care for themselves, but what we are unlikely to ever do again because the upper income people in this country don't tote their fair share of the social load.
A HOMELESS GUY explained his homelessness to me. “I get social security and some food stamps. The cheapest rental I can find in Mendocino County is about $700 a month, and that's in Willits but I'd probably get kicked out because I can be loud when I'm drunk. I can't drink and pay rent, both. And I'm not going to stop drinking. I either find a free place to stay or I live on the streets.”
ON-LINE GARDENING TIP: “You must consider that in times of drought, you cannot and should not water top down to the roots. So much water is lost in evaporation alone, esp in dry conditions. Deep water is a must. For trees, drive a porous pipe down 2.5 to 3ft and water at that level. For veges, drip line and cover the soil in straw. Use common sense and we can get through this. Stop using chemicals on the soil and rather grow what is native to the soil you have.”
“AS LONG AS WE'RE YOUNG, we manage to find excuses for the stoniest indifference, the most blatant caddishness, we put them down to emotional eccentricity or some sort of romantic inexperience. But later on, when life shows us how much cunning, cruelty, and malice are required just to keep the body at ninety-eight point six, we catch on, we know the scene, we begin to understand how much swinishness it takes to make up a past. Just take a close look at yourself and the degree of rottenness you've come to. There's no mystery about it, no more room for fairy tales; if you've lived this long, it's because you've squashed any poetry you had in you.” — Louis-Ferdinand Céline
TOM WOODHOUSE of Willits has kicked off his campaign for 3rd District supervisor. The candidate makes his way as a real estate salesman, and is one of several persons running for the seat soon to be left vacant by incumbent John Pinches, who has announced his retirement. Willits City councilman, Holly Madrigal, is the presumed frontrunner in the 3rd District race. She narrowly lost to Pinches last time around and is the only female candidate, a big gender advantage in Mendocino County among female voters.
MIKE SWEENEY is paid upwards of $100,000 a year as manager of the Mendocino Solid Waste Management Authority, meaning he's boss of the county's trash removal processes. Sweeney is also one of Mendocino County's more interesting citizens, having emerged from a youth as a member of a murderous, Stanford-based political cult led by an English professor called H. Bruce Franklin, to become a well-paid garbage bureaucrat behind the green curtain, where every day history starts all over again.
MANY OF US led sketchy lives in the frenetic 1960s as part of the general estrangement unleashed by the Vietnam War. Few of us, however, killed people or planted bombs in public places like Sweeney and his crew did.
And most of us drifted back into the system we'd spent our youths in opposition to, deluding ourselves that we were fighting it from within from internal exile.
SWEENEY, however, continued, post 60's, to be linked to violent events only tangentially tied to political protest. By 1980 he was divorced from his first wife, Cynthia Denenholz, also a former Stanford radical, and married to Judi Bari. (Denenholz, in a typical 60's person re-entry trajectory, remarried a Santa Rosa attorney named Paul Jamond and became a family court magistrate with the Sonoma County Superior Court.)
IN 1980, Bari and Sweeney were widely suspected of blowing up an airplane hangar near their West Santa Rosa neighborhood. At the time, they were leading opposition to development of the site. A young man asleep in the hangar was nearly killed when Sweeney firebombs detonated. (A more complete account of the airport episode can be found on our website in a long letter from Bob Williams, who managed the airport property.)
ESTRANGED from Bari by 1990, Sweeney magically eluded prime suspect status when Bari was blown up and nearly killed by a car bomb that same year. Weakened by her injuries, Bari died in 1997, the same year journalist Steve Talbot announced on This Week In California, a KQED television news show, that Bari had told him that Sweeney had tried to kill her.
BUT BARI, via her attorney, the late Susan B. Jordan, and soon after the 1990 bombing, had petitioned the FBI for partial immunity from prosecution, certainly an indication that she knew who was responsible for the attempt on her life, if that's what it was.
THE FOLLOWING article is from PaloAltoHistory.com. It describes Professor Franklin's revolutionary band and the psycho-social-political gestalt that formed Mendocino County's lead garbage bureaucrat:
VENCEREMOS: ARMING FOR A FIGHT
The late 1960s and early 1970s were a time of awkward cultural juxtaposition, both in the nation at large and here in Palo Alto. Today, pop culture sometimes simplifies those years as a time when the whole society turned into LSD-dropping, free-love-making hippies. But in reality, most Americans — especially outside big cities — were living a life a lot closer to the 1950s. While the counterculture certainly had a large influence on mainstream life, most Americans were still living according to the rules of the “silent majority.”
In a small university town like Palo Alto, the juxtaposition could be even stranger. While hometown locals might be marching in the May Fete Parade on Saturday morning, campus radicals would be clashing with police on Saturday night — all on the same street. It was a time when two countries existed side-by-side, sometimes engaging in a cultural civil war, sometimes pretending the
other didn’t exist.
One example of this odd Palo Alto political juxtaposition was Venceremos, the Communist radical group headquartered in and around Palo Alto in those years. Founded in 1966 by Aaron Manganiello, the originally Latino left-wing protest organization was named for Che Guevera’s battle cry, “We will prevail!” By 1970, Venceremos had evolved into a multicultural Maoist/Communist revolutionary brigade that was a mainstay at any mid-Peninsula protest in those years. Under the leadership of Stanford Professor and Melville scholar H. Bruce Franklin (fired in 1972 for leading a student takeover of the university’s computer lab), Venceremos took an active role in community issues and demonstrations.
And these guys weren’t fooling around. Venceremos believed that “an unarmed people are subject to slavery at any time” and held vast amounts of weaponry to back it up. They had secret stashes of rifles, grenades, pipe bombs, and other explosives and they urged members to stay armed at all times — advice that was apparently followed. With their rifle logo and violent rhetoric, Venceremos startled the local population and caught the eye of federal law enforcement. Many believed they were one of the largest revolutionary groups in the country and a 1972 House Internal Security Committee Report called the group “a potential threat to the United States.”
Venceremos’ ultimate stated goal was the overthrow of the government. On their way to armed insurrection, their platform called for (among many other things): “The firing of…profit-motivated murderers, like David Packard and Richard Nixon,” “an end to the Fascist court system and fascist judges,” and “an education which exposes the lies and oppression created by the corrupt court system and teaches us the true history of oppressed people.” Venceremos were also enemies of the police and were convinced that “the best pigs are always dead pigs.” Pretty radical stuff.
But Venceremos stressed actions over rhetoric. In 1970, they opened a revolutionary community college in a Redwood City storefront that lasted until it ran out of money two years later. They were actively involved in an anti-drug campaign on the streets of Palo Alto in the summer of ’71 and later with the Palo Alto Drug Collective. They often showed up at City Council and School Board meetings in Palo Alto with a verbal aggressiveness never before seen in the city’s politics. At an August 1971 meeting, for instance, Jeffrey Youdelman shouted down school board members as “racist, fascist pigs.”
They also tried to win elections. In May of ’71, Venceremos ran Jean Hobson for City Council; she only garnered 798 votes, some 7,000 short of victory. Undaunted, Youdelman ran as a candidate in 1973, but he fared no better. Venceremos member Doug Garrett also ran for Palo Alto School Board and
Joan Dolly ran in the 1972 Menlo Park City Council elections.
Venceremos was also part of the ever-present street protest scene that marked Palo Alto counterculture life in the late 1960s and early ‘70s.
Every Saturday night at 7pm, Venceremos held a rally with speakers and bands at Lytton Plaza, which was dubbed “The People’s Plaza.” This often led to clashes with police as the hour grew late and the music got louder.
The beginning of the end for Venceremos came in 1972, when a number of its members were involved in a headline-grabbing murder. The incident centered around a Venceremos recruit and prison inmate named Ronald Beaty. A habitual stick-up artist and con, Beaty was serving time for armed robbery and kidnapping at Chino Prison. He apparently had romantic ties to Jean Hobson —the former Venceremos candidate for Palo Alto City Council — that would lead to an attempt by the organization to help him escape.
On October 6, 1972, two unarmed prison guards were taking Beaty to a court appearance in San Bernardino when they were ambushed. According to police and Beaty, who would become the prosecution’s star witness, the government car was forced off a remote highway road near Chino. Four Venceremos members jumped out of two vehicles to set Beaty free. As they prepared to flee the scene, 23-year-old Venceremos member Robert Seabok shot both guards at point blank range, killing 24-year-old Jesus Sanchez and wounding his partner George Fitzgerald. Venceremos members Hobson, Seabok, Andrea Holman Burt and Benton Burt were named as the other ambushers. Both Hobson and Seabok were Palo Altans and neighbors, residing at 656 and 666 Channing Street.
Hobson and Beaty, possessing a trunkload of weapons, were arrested two months later on the Bay Bridge by San Francisco police without incident. Now wanted for murder on top of past convictions, prosecuting lawyers convinced Beaty to sing. He named the four members who helped him escape, fingered Robert Seabok as the gunman, and described how other members of Venceremos
helped hide him in a rural San Mateo County mountain cabin for close to a month. Beaty pleaded guilty for his involvement in Sanchez’ death and received a life sentence.
All four Venceremos members would eventually be found guilty in subsequent trials. Jean Hobson, 19 year-old Andrea Holman Burt and 31 year-old Douglas Burt were all found guilty of second degree murder in 1973 and 1974, while Seabok got life imprisonment and a first degree murder conviction.
Following legal difficulties related to the incident at Chino, Venceremos began to come apart at the seams. Arguments erupted between various factions in the organization and members began to pull out and join other groups. Venceremos founder Aaron Manganiello also blamed a dope addict in the group’s central committee for stealing thousands of dollars from the treasury. By September of 1973, Venceremos had officially disbanded.
Many ex-Venceremos members went on to other organizations, including the Symbionese Liberation Army group that assassinated Oakland superintendent Dr. Marcus Foster at a School Board meeting in November 1973 and then kidnapped newspaper heiress Patricia Hearst in February of 1974. While the SLA never operated in Palo Alto, law enforcement saw substantial links between the two groups.
Today Venceremos has either been forgotten by Palo Altans or is remembered as part of the city’s wacky early '70s counterculture. But at their height in 1971 and ’72, when they were leading weekly rallies, advocating violent action and shouting down School Board members, Venceremos had more than a few Palo Altans spooked.
AMAZON EMPLOYS OR SUBCONTRACTS TENS OF THOUSANDS OF WAREHOUSE WORKERS, with seasonal variation, often building its fulfillment centers in areas with high unemployment and low wages. Accounts from inside the centers described the work of picking, boxing, and shipping books and dog food and beard trimmers as a high-tech version of the dehumanized factory floor satirized in Chaplin's "Modern Times." Pickers holding computerized handsets are perpetually timed and measured as they fast walk up to eleven miles per shift around a one-million square-foot warehouse, expected to collect orders in as little as 33 seconds. After watching footage taken by an undercover BBC reporter, a stress expert said, "The evidence shows increased risk of mental illness and physical illness." The company says that its warehouse jobs are "similar to jobs in many other industries."
Last September, lawyers brought a class action lawsuit against Amazon on behalf of a warehouse worker in Pennsylvania named Neil Heimbach for unpaid wages: employees at the fulfillment center outside Allentown must wait in line to pass through metal detectors and submit their belongings to be searched when they leave for lunch and at the end of their shifts. The process takes 10-20 minutes each time. Theft is a common concern in Amazon warehouses — no doubt the knock-on effects of the absence of bonds between the company and the ever shifting roster of low-paid employees.
None of Amazon's US workers belong to unions because the customer would suffer. A company executive told the New York Times that Amazon considers unions to be obstacles that would impede its ability to improve customer service. In 2011 the Allentown Morning Call published an investigative series with accounts of multiple ambulances being parked outside a warehouse during a heat wave to ferry overcome workers to emergency rooms. Afterward, Amazon installed air-conditioners although their arrival coincided with the expansion of grocery services. In any case, Amazon's warehouse jobs are gradually being taken over by robots. Jeff Bezos recently predicted to a gobsmacked Charlie Rose that in five years packages will be delivered by small drones. Then Amazon will have eliminated the human factor from shopping and we will finally be all alone with our purchases.
— George Packer
I DON’T KNOW if the Democrats or Republicans really know how to deal with the economy at all. It's amazing that this new party, the Tea Party, believes that it does. I waited my entire life for there to be a legitimate third party. I've been totally intolerant for quite some time of both Democrats and Republicans. But now the third-party shows up and this is what I got? Be careful what you wish for! I was attracted to them at first because they're a lot like me. They're angry. If anybody knows anger it's moi. And, they are crazy. I'm crazy! And we are angry and crazy for exactly the same reasons. The Democrats make us angry, and the Republicans make us crazy. Or switch it around if you wish. Whatever makes you laugh. It's extraordinary that they have convinced a group of people to bust out of their double-wides dressed as Ben Franklin holding a kite in one hand and a key in the other screaming, “DON'T TAX THE RICH!” If our leaders can convince a group of people who barely have a pot to piss in that the rich shouldn't be taxed, THAT is leadership! — Lewis Black