- Holstine Memorial
- Edu Crooks
- Postal Delays
- Election Aftermath
- Bus People
- Catch of the Day
- Pet Pot
- Double Crown
- The Mob
- Mixed Messages
- Emerald Triangle
- Skin in the Game
- Shit Storm Warning
Teddy Holstine 62 of Philo, a Vietnam veteran, and local musician, lost his year long battle with cancer and passed away on Memorial Day. Teddy was an extremely spontaneous individual with a liveliness about him whose dancing feet never stood still. His legacy is as vast and unique as his quirky, contagious personality. He delved in many business ventures over the years. He was a cosmetologist, who owned several beauty shops, a logger and for the last 15 years worked for the California State Parks, where he was constantly submerged in the beauty of the redwoods and coastline. For the past 30 years he's resided on a ranch in Anderson Valley raising farm animals and training horses which stemmed from his rodeo background, where he placed first in Bronco riding and cattle roping. He is survived by his daughter Natalie, his son TJ and ex wife Sundy Holstine. He also has one living sister Elaine Holstine Marino. There will be a celebration of life memorial, at Navarro beach on Sunday, June 8 at 1pm (the intersection of Highway 128 and Highway 1) Please bring a memory to share. For more information please email email@example.com.
NO SURPRISE that MCOE is dominated by crumb bums. It has been a kind of sanctuary for edu-crooks for years, presided over by the usual “liberal” board of trustees who just happen to get paid to attend meetings plus free health and life insurance for them and their families. You really think any of them are going to try to crack down on people like Tichinin? We've been complaining about this nest of no-goodniks for years, specifically citing the abuses the County's grand jury now confirms. Will Warren Galletti be any kind of improvement? Will MCOE's board of trustees resign? We live in hope.
WORSER AND WORSER, A reader writes: As you pointed out about postal delays recently, Wednesday's papers not here to Glen Ellen as of Saturday, was coming on Thursdays until about six weeks ago when delivery started being from one to five days later. Tom White in Santa Rosa is having the same problem.
SO FAR, A THOUSAND fewer voters in the 3rd District bothered to cast ballots in last week's primary election, which is surprising given the intense North County interest in the Supervisor's race between the two leading candidates, Holly Madrigal and Tom Woodhouse. There are still lots of ballots to count, of course, and we, like everyone else, wonder why, what with modern technology.
IN THE JUNE 2010 3RD DISTRICT elections, 4,832 ballots were cast; June of 2014, only 3,579. In the November 2010 elections, 6369 North County votes were cast.
OUTGOING 3rd District Supervisor John Pinches hasn't endorsed either Madrigal or Woodhouse, but the old cowboy's brother and sister are behind Woodhouse, as are quite a few people who always voted for Madrigal for the Willits City Council and may, presumably, return to her if Woodhouse screws up somehow. He has no public political record as he presents himself as Mr. Good Guy School Volunteer, Glenda Anderson's PD story on the 3rd District race notwithstanding. Assuming Glenda got her quote right (always a shaky assumption), here's Mr. Good Guy: “Woodhouse said he has experience with budgets through working with school boards and has attended most Willits City Council meetings. He took a jab at Madrigal’s experience, saying voters are not ‘impressed with people who are in office who aren’t effective’.”
LOGICAL FOLLOW-UP QUESTION should have been, “Please elaborate, Mr. Woodhouse.” In fact, Madrigal has been conscientious and effective as both Willits mayor and a long-time member of the city council in a context of contentious issues, especially the Willits Bypass and in the development of additional water sources for the city in a time of drought. She has, on occasion, been outvoted, and one wonders if Woodhouse fully understands that majorities rule on elected bodies. “Positive Guy” Woodhouse went negative on Holly, and of course the PD's Anderson went with it. If the guy has specifics, he should cite them and argue with Madrigal about them.
OF COURSE in Mendocino County, adult give and take is virtually unknown; elections are invariably mired in infantile exchanges between candidates, but contrast what Woodhouse said in the Press Democrat with what he said in the hometown Willits Weekly where he was not critical of Madrigal.
I WANT TO KNOW where both candidates, especially Woodhouse, stand on these four issues: How to deal with the County's pension obligations; the proposed new County Courthouse; the proposed Fort Bragg trash transfer station; negotiations with County employees.
THE UKIAH DAILY JOURNAL endorsed Madrigal the Sunday before the election, but that endorsement didn't appear with the rest of the UDJ's endorsements in The Willits News with the rest of the endorsements.
BY NOVEMBER, we might have an adult-type debate in the 3rd District race for the Supe's seat. It will mos def be an interesting election.
FROM RANOCHAK'S press release last Wednesday: Mendocino County Assessor-County Clerk-Recorder Susan M. Ranochak announced Wednesday that as with any other election, there are ballots left to be processed as part of the official canvass. Mendocino County has 6,721 Vote By Mail ballots to process, and 201 Provisional ballots to review and process. Of the outstanding ballots left to count, the approximate race breakdowns are: Measure K - Brooktrails Township CSD (Fire Tax), 379 ballots; Measure L – Round Valley USD (Bond Issue), 256 ballots.
The Supervisorial District breakdowns are as follows:
1st Supervisorial District – 1,339 ballots;
2nd Supervisorial District – 996;
3rd Supervisorial District – 1,536 ballots;
4th Supervisorial District – 1,161 ballots
And 5th Supervisorial District – 1,689 ballots.
Per State law, we have 28 days to complete the canvass. The Statement of Vote, which breaks down results by precinct, will be available at that time. If you have any additional questions, please call our office at (707) 234-6819 or (800) 992-5441, when prompted; enter 4370. (Assessor-County Clerk-Recorder Press Release)
YOU CAN have a great time in San Francisco just riding the buses, which I do a lot, often making a big loop on Muni's 44 from 6th and Clement to Hunters Point, then north through the neo-Soviet structures of so-called South Beach, past the ballpark, dismounting at Folsom for a stroll along the water to the Ferry Building for an Acme sandwich (still a little under five bucks), then to the benches out front for a ringside seat for the Embarcadero's passing parade, always the greatest show on earth.
ANGER AT MUNI is as old as the Golden Gate Bridge, but the perpetual low moan of dissatisfaction grew shrill this week during a wildcat driver's strike. The sick-out had subsided by Thursday when public transit was back to its usual haphazard dependability. Yes, there are psycho-surly drivers, but they're a tiny minority. It's a tough, high-stress job performed by men and women who earn every bit of their $30-an-hour pay.
THE OTHER DAY I was headed downtown on the 2 Clement, ordinarily the most uneventful of Muni lines, especially at the noon hour. A sweat-drenched biker dude in full leathers and chains these guys carry as part of the uniform suddenly appeared, clambering aboard at the stop on Arguello. From his frantic run-on speech and sweatbox look Biker Dude was obviously on go-fast drugs. He looked like a melting pile of leather. He plopped himself down in the front seat opposite the driver and, leaning in, commenced rattling ominously away at the big Hispanic kid behind the wheel. Much of that speech, all of it addressed to the driver, was in-and-out menacing. “Hey, man. You older than me or just more fucked-up looking?” The driver replied with a laugh, “Probably just more fucked-up looking,” which was exactly the right thing to say to at least try to take the edge off the guy who, by the way, had not paid a fare. He'd just barged on up the stairs, sat himself down and started in with the aggressive remarks at the driver. “You war much, man?” Biker Dude asked. The driver coolly replied, “Nah, I'm a lover.” The driver was perfect. He'd done an instant read on Biker Dude and had coolly begun talking him down, not quite cooling Biker Dude all the way down but herding him in a peaceful direction.
AS ANY MUNI RIDER will tell you, volatile situations seldom lurch all the way into ultra-vi, but they often threaten to. At a minimum, they make everyone tense. I had my Kalantarian with me, a madrone walking stick handmade in Navarro with pretty good heft to it. I thought I could fungo the grease ball on his knock-out spot if I could get enough oomph behind my swing without impaling one of the many elderly Chinese women who were my fellow passengers. Fortunately, Biker Dude got off a few minutes later at Presidio where, glancing back at us, he disembarked with a merry, “And fuck all you people, too.” I had to laugh at that one, but me and the driver were the only people who seemed amused. As I got off at Union Square I just had to congratulate the driver. “You handled that guy just right,” I said. “What guy?” the driver wondered. The biker, I reminded him. “Oh, him,” the driver said, in an all-in-a-day's-work voice.
CATCH OF THE DAY, JUNE 7th
MORGAN AMMERMAN, Ukiah, under the influence of meth.
ZACHARY COLE, Fort Bragg. Resisting arrest, possession of a dirk, a Victorian term for a dagger-like weapon.
LELAND CORTEZ, JR., Cloverdale. Apparently loaded on drugs and alcohol while driving without a license. Also charged with possession of stolen property and driving a vehicle which also may have been stolen.
DANIEL FOX, Ukiah. Revocation of probation.
JOSHUA GOODNOUGH, Ukiah. Drunk in public.
EUGENE McCANN, Laytonville. Cultivation of marijuana, sales.
MICHAEL MILLER, Willits. Domestic assault.
ELIAS RUTHERFORD, Laytonville. Cornucopia of charges including: Driving on a revoked license; DUI; possession of a controlled substance; revocation of probation; possession of a switchblade.
MICHAEL VICKERS, Fort Bragg. Third arrest this week for drunk in public.
FRONTIERS OF FREE ENTERPRISE
Now your dog can get high: Companies launch medicinal marijuana for dogs as owners claim it helps pets with pain and chronic illness
by Alex Greig
Medical marijuana is becoming more and more accepted as a useful treatment for people suffering pain, nausea related to chemotherapy, epileptic convulsions and HIV/AIDS in the U.S.
Now, pet owners, vets and alternative veterinary carers are saying that that it's helping pets manage pain and chronic illnesses.
One of those is Los Angeles vet Doug Kramer, 36, known as the 'Vet Guru' who told the Associated Press that he feels obligated to speak out about the benefits of the drug.
'I grew tired of euthanizing pets when I wasn't doing everything I could to make their lives better,' he said. 'I felt like I was letting them down.'
He dosed his Siberian husky Nikita with cannabis during the final weeks of her life after she'd had surgery to remove tumors.
Not only did Nikita stop whimpering while using cannabis, but she started eating, gaining weight and meeting him at the door again, Kramer told the Associated Press.
'Nikita was wasting away, and she’d stopped eating,' he says in the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association. 'I’d exhausted every available pharmaceutical pain option, even steroids. At that point, it was a quality-of-life issue, and I felt like I’d try anything to ease her suffering.'
Kramer and Nikita had six more weeks together, during which her pain was eased and the enjoyed a measure of comfort before she was euthanized.
Kramer says he knows it wasn't a cure, but the marijuana freed his dog of pain and improved the quality of her last days.
A study by two Colorado animal hospitals noted that netween 2005 and 2010, the number of dogs treated for accidental marijuana overdoses increased as the number of marijuana licenses went up.
But advocates say a proper dose of the drug will have huge benefits for sick beloved pets.
Two Seattle companies, Canna-Pet and Canna-Companion, run by husband-and-wife veterinarians Dr Sarah Brandon and Dr Greg Copas, are selling hemp-based supplements for pets.
Brandon told NBC that the pair have been studying the benefits of medical marijuana for years but acknowledges that she has no scientific tests to prove the medicinal value of the supplements
Brandon and Copas hope that their product will encourage researchers to further explore its potential.
Dr Cynthia Graves, who practices alternative veterinary care in Philadelphia, told NBC that she reommends the supplements for dogs experiencing anxiety or pain.
'There's no question that it's a benefit to some patients,' she said.
Other experts say a lot more research needs to be done before medical marijuana is prescribed for pets.
Dr Robin Downing, a pain management expert and hospital director at the Downing Center for Animal Pain Management in Windsor, Colorado told NBC that the possibility of causing harm 'far exceeds' the possibility of helping.
'We have no efficacy data in animals. We have zero safety data in animals. We have no dosing data in animals,' she said.
Although medical marijuana is legal for people in 20 states and the District of Columbia, it’s still considered an illicit drug under federal law.
Physicians in states where medical marijuana is sanctioned can recommend the drug to patients, but veterinarians are not protected.
(Courtesy, The London Dally Mail)
HERE'S STEVE COBURN, owner of California Chrome, on his horse losing today at Belmont, thus falling one big race short of the Triple Crown: “I thought he was gaining ground, but he didn’t have it in him apparently. You know what, he’s been in three…this is his third big race, these other horses, they always set them out. They set them out to try to upset the apple cart. I’m 61 years old and I’ll never see in my lifetime, I’ll never see another Triple Crown winner because of the way they do this. It’s not fair to the horses that have been in the game since Day One.
“I look at it this way, if you can’t make enough points to get into the Kentucky Derby, you can’t race in the other two races. It’s all or nothing. Because this is not fair to these horses that have been running their guts out for these people and for the people that believe in them to have somebody to come up…this is the coward’s way out in my opinion, this is the coward’s way out. Our horse had a target on its back, and everybody else lays out one or they won’t run in the Kentucky Derby or the Preakness, they’ll wait until the Belmont. You know what, if you’ve got a horse … that earns points to run in the Kentucky Derby, those 20 horses to start the Kentucky are the only 20 available to run in all three races.”
ALWAYS THE MOB
Jesus emptied the devils of one man into forty hogs and the hogs took the edge of a high rock and dropped off and down into the sea: a mob.
The sheep on the hills of Australia, blundering fourfooted in the sunset mist to the dark, they go one way, they hunt one sleep, they find one pocket of grass for all.
Karnak? Pyramids? Sphinx paws tall as a coolie? Tombs kept for kings and sacred cows? A mob.
Young roast pigs and naked dancing girls of Belshazzar, the room where a thousand sat guzzling when a hand wrote: Mene, mene, tekel, upharsin? A mob.
The honeycomb of green that won the sun as the Hanging Gardens of Nineveh, flew to its shape at the hands of a mob that followed the fingers of Nebuchadnezzar: a mob of one hand and one plan.
Stones of a circle of hills at Athens, staircases of a mountain in Peru, scattered clans of marble dragons in China: each a mob on the rim of a sunrise: hammers and wagons have them now.
Locks and gates of Panama? The Union Pacific crossing deserts and tunneling mountains? The Woolworth on land and the Titanic at sea? Lighthouses blinking a coast line from Labrador to Key West? Pig iron bars piled on a barge whistling in a fog off Sheboygan? A mob: hammers and wagons have them to-morrow.
The mob? A typhoon tearing loose an island from thousand-year moorings and bastions, shooting a volcanic ash with a fire tongue that licks up cities and peoples. Layers of worms eating rocks and forming loam and valley floors for potatoes, wheat, watermelons.
The mob? A jag of lightning, a geyser, a gravel mass loosening…
The mob … kills or builds … the mob is Attila or Ghengis Khan, the mob is Napoleon, Lincoln.
I am born in the mob — I die in the mob — the same goes for you — I don’t care who you are.
I cross the sheets of fire in No Man’s land for you, my brother — I slip a steel tooth into your throat, you my brother — I die for you and I kill you — It is a twisted and gnarled thing, a crimson wool:
One more arch of stars,
In the night of our mist,
In the night of our tears.
— Carl Sandburg
PHOTO OF THE DAY:
HELP BHAKTA BACKTA THE GOLDEN STATE
I Need Help In Returning To California
Good morning, I need help to get an airplane, train, or Greyhound bus ticket to leave New Orleans and return to California. I need a place to go to in California. If this bothers you, I promise to NEVER again do anything that serves mankind, help in any way the planet earth, or is patriotic. On the other hand, if this does not bother you, I ask you to immediately give me cooperation to leave New Orleans and return to California, and I need a place to go to there. Thank you very much, Craig Louis Stehr P.S. I received nothing at all from anybody in the Washington D.C. area, or anywhere on the east coast, to do anything further activist-wise, following six months of networking.
Craig Louis Stehr
Telephone messages: (504) 302-9951
Snail mail: 333 Socrates Street, New Orleans, LA 70114
PPS. I have received a response from a long term Earth First!er and lawyer friend in San Francisco. He said that nobody is responsible for me, and that I have no responsibility for this world, and that I need to help myself! Frankly, I am not certain how to relate to postmodern America at the moment. I mean, if a certain other Earth First!er returned the $290 that he borrowed from me, then I could go ahead and give Bork some money to pay the bills here, and I could get myself back to California. I am feeling very weird about living in a society which gives me mixed messages continually. I mean, what more can I do to make everybody happy than to promise NEVER to do anything again which serves mankind, helps the planet earth, or is patriotic? Otherwise, I choose to leave the 100 degree heat of southern Louisiana, after six months of helping my friend Bork because she asked me to, and return to California. And if nobody gives a damn where I go, then I will camp out wherever I please. Fair enough? In other words, I'll help myself! But before I do that, I need to receive a response that is rational from you, because I cannot figure out at the moment what makes any sense here in the so-called "American experiment in freedom and democracy". I need to get some communication from you. What I am trying to get is an AMTRAK ticket from New Orleans to San Francisco, and a place to go to when I arrive. I do not know what else to do but send out this message. You tell me, is this making you happy? Can I do whatever I need to do without some crazy situation developing such as being arrested for vagrancy or illegal camping in Berkeley? I am assuming nothing at the moment, but I can definitely take care of myself...however, am I going to be on the receiving end of something crazy like getting arrested, if I just take care of myself. If you are happy with this situation, then so am I. I can easily take care of myself, but I need to know if everybody else is okay with it? Let's get real together, shall we? I want you to contact me right away. I need an answer to this. Thank you.
ANOTHER EMERALD TRIANGLE STORY FOR THOSE OF YOU WHO CAN'T GET ENOUGH
"Heart of the Emerald Triangle" by Lee Ellis
THE OUTSOURCING PROBLEM
Corporate Contractors’ Heavy Burdens on Taxpayers
by Ralph Nader
Next time you hear federal officials say that there is no money to repair or build necessary public facilities in your community, ask them why there always seems to be money to greatly overpay for government projects that are routinely outsourced to corporate contractors.
It is important to understand why incomplete projects such as the proposed campus-like Department of Homeland Security in Washington, D.C., the “cleanup” of the biggest repository of radioactive waste in the U.S. at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation in Southeastern Washington State, the ballistic missile defense program and the pie-in-the-sky fusion reactors have gone way over budget. They are either behind schedule, or without any clue for completion or cessation.
First the dismal scenes: According to the Washington Post,
“The construction of a massive new headquarters for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) … is running more than $1.5 billion over budget, is 11 years behind schedule and may never be completed, according to planning documents and federal officials… The entire complex was to be finished as early as this year, at a cost of less than $3 billion.”
Only one of the buildings for the Coast Guard has opened.
Second, at Hanford, more than $30 billion has already been spent for the “cleanup,” under a Tri-Party Agreement between the U.S. Department of Energy, the U.S. EPA and the Washington State Department of Ecology. Started in 1989, the effort had a proposed 30 year timetable. Instead, Hanford officials say they are decades and tens of billions of dollars from completion of this admittedly sprawling brew of atomic weapons waste in 177 giant underground storage tanks and nine nuclear reactors.
Third, the much ballyhooed Department of Energy’s Fusion Energy Science program has been receiving federal funding since 1951 (declassified in 1957) and has not yet had a replicable successful discovery from which to generate affordable energy. It is a boondoggle annuity for contracting university physicists and companies who once in a while issue a news release announcing a presumed partial step forward as to keep hope alive for awe-struck science writers.
As the late physicist, Norman Milleron, a critic, who worked at the Lawrence Livermore Lab, was wont to say: “why not focus on the best fusion reactor we’ll ever have – the Sun?
Fourth, for thirty-years the ballistic missile defense pork barrel has fed the likes of Raytheon and the insatiable corporate lobby that has grown up to feed off the tens of billions of dollars already spent (over $9 billion this year almost as much as the EPA’s budget). Unfortunately the test results show ballistic missile defense systems don’t work. Nor will it likely ever have substantial success. The proposed weapon is too easy to decoy and even if it did function 100%, it is easy to bypass with other more lethal weapons through our ports and other modes.
So dubious is this endless program, that years ago the American Physical Society delivered the ultimate denunciation, they declared the mission unworkable. The leading opponent, Prof. Theodore Postol of MIT continues to dissect its stumbling, deceptive history and how Congress continues its annual deceptions as it writes gigantic taxpayer checks.
The aforementioned cannot compare to the tens of billions of dollars in ‘cost-overuns’ on the F-35 and F-22 fighter planes whose Pentagon orders from Lockheed-Martin keep being reduced because of the sky-rocketing cost of each plane – (the F-35 is now at $115 million each, the F-22’s last plane in 2009 cost $137 million – which is equivalent to $151 million in 2014 dollars). The F-35 is still in early production after decades of trouble.
What gives here? How could the remarkable P-38 of World War II come in at $1.3 million a plane, inflation-adjusted, and be produced so quickly in 1944? How could Bechtel Co. sign a contract in March, 1942 with the Navy, drain a swampy area and construct major buildings before the end of the year? By October 27, 1945, with a workforce of 75,000 people at its peak, the company built 93 ships!
Well, of course, there are lots of reasons and excuses. Different urgencies. Unforeseen situations emerged. Or Congress didn’t appropriate enough money each year to keep these projects on schedule which has led to an increase in costs. Or the planning was unrealistic from the outset. Or corporations knowingly submitted unrealistic budgets (“lowballing”) to win federal contracts and funding of these projects instead of opting for adequate, more feasible and frugal alternatives.
There is self-censorship by officials and others who were skeptical of the necessity of these projects, as the deferential Government Services Administration (GSA) people were regarding the site for the DHS. And of course, the dysfunctional Congress enacted perpetuating pork barreling.
Least noticed are the detailed terms of the contracts themselves. Tighter contracts could have held the government and contractors’ feet to the fire in a variety of ways that could be culled from the history of past successful projects that came in on time and budget. Contract terms could include: putting named compliance officers on the hot seat.
Automatic disclosure to the public of the full texts of the contracts including their observance over time; more breaking points to penalize and/or jettison contractors; and better oversight of the early planning process by Congressional Committees are roads to good performances.
Referring to the DHS construction, Rep. Jeff Duncan (R-SC) said: “Sometimes you just have to drop back and punt…At what point in time does the government just cut its losses and look for a better way of doing things?” Apparently this will only happen when when there is no powerful special interest lobby pushing for sweetheart deals. That is why the only one of the above projects that is likely to be scrapped for alternatives is the DHS project. It has no constituency, according to former DHS Chief, Michael Chertoff. The other aforementioned projects will continue to waste taxpayers’ dollars. This crony capitalism is disgraceful.
Maybe in all the miasma, there is one clarifying principle, which if observed can greatly correct these chronic, vastly over-budget delays, screw-ups and incompletions. Nassim Talib elaborated on this topic in inimitable ways – historical and otherwise – within his under-appreciated recent book – Antifragile (2012) – which is actually six books in one. He writes about the importance of having “skin in the game,” noting that Roman engineers had “to spend some time under the bridge they built – something that should be required of financial engineers today.”
From all pertinent directions regarding a project, the supposedly responsible people need to have skin in the game. It does wonders for focusing attention. It starts with the people who conceive, plan and find projects. And it doesn’t leave out the lawyers who draft those porous contracts filled with escape clauses.
(Ralph Nader’s latest book is: “Unstoppable: the Emerging Left-Right Alliance to Dismantle the Corporate State.”)
BOY BOWE: WALKING OUT ON A WAR
by Clancy Sigal
So many people are piling on deserter Bowe Bergdahl that what should be a happy hour is turning into using up our energy to play defense. I’ve little to add to what we know…and what we don’t know. All I have is several years experience dealing with, and safe housing, American military deserters from Vietnam.
Afghan/Iraq is a different war. Back in the day of My Lai and Khe Sanh, despite an initial revulsion, I came to see the act of military desertion by young men (almost no women deserters then) as a rite of passage where, sometimes for the first time in their lives, they’re forced to take responsibility for their actions.
I hate using words like “existential” but for many young men the act of desertion was a response to “a sense of disorientation and confusion in the face of an apparently meaningless or absurd world” as Wikipedia puts it. Circumstances differ. You hate your sergeant. Get a Dear John letter from home. Or you’re just a plain FUFA, fed up with the fucking army. But once you step over the line into that fateful 31st day absent without leave something happens to you. Suddenly you find yourself in a moral and legal limbo. Who to trust? Why is that cop looking at me like that. And what have I done?
Bergdahl is immensely lucky to have a supportive family. I once had to go to Oklahoma to help a fleeing AWOL who had been turned in to the sheriff by his father and had to jump out of a second storey window breaking his ankle. For most families it’s a hard thing to face. So they have a crisis of their own. Are they patriots or parents?
Politicising yourself – looking for reasons – in the military is usually a slow burning process. You enlist in a burst of love of country but once in uniform you gradually discover who you are in relation to the mission and the mission’s relation to the world. That’s what happened to the football star Pat Tillman, an army Ranger who had begun reading Chomsky and antiwar literature before he was accidentally shot by his own men in Afghanistan. The Pentagon lied about the fatal “friendly fire”, just as it is now leaking mean-minded crap about Bergdahl.
From the little we know it seems Bergdahl, raised as a free spirit by his evil parents, became disillusioned with ground level reality of the Afghan war. Hey, Bowe, join the crowd.
If you want more facts on desertion look at the 4 June issue of Mother Jones by Tasneem Raja. Or sign up for Military Resistance a GI-focused radical daily newsletter at firstname.lastname@example.org. Or like me be a fan of Duffle Bag, the military version of the Onion, created by young veterans. Here’s an edited sample of its latest: the Duffle Baggers understand military protocol to its back teeth.
Meteorologists Forecast Bowe Bergdahl Shit Storm
WEATHER WARNING #06-02
REQUEST WIDEST DISSEMINATION TO ALL UNITS
SHIT STORM WARNING
HIGH SPEED SHIT STORMS ARE OCCURRING OR ARE FORECASTED TO OCCUR WITHIN 10NM OF TWITTER, FACEBOOK, AND ALL ASSOCIATED SOCIAL MEDIA. FORECASTED WINDS ARE FROM 230°V290° AT 12-18 WITH GUSTS TO 23-27KT ISOLD 30KT. THE POTENTIAL FOR VISIBILITY REDUCED TO LESS THAN 5SM BUT GREATER THAN 3SM EXISTS DURING PERIODS OF BLOWING SHIT. TAKE PRECAUTIONS THAT WILL PERMIT ESTABLISHMENT OF AN APPROPRIATE STATE OF READINESS.
A LOW PRESSURE SYSTEM OF JOURNALISTS REPORTING BOWE BERGDAHL AS AN AMERICAN HERO IS EXPECTED TO CRASH INTO A POWERFUL STORM OF SOLDIERS WHO SERVED WITH HIM AND CALL HIM A DESERTER AND TALIBAN COLLABORATOR.
FECAL MATTER IS EXPECTED TO ECLIPSE ALL OTHER NATIONAL SECURITY ISSUES, THE VETERANS ADMINISTRATION DEBACLE, THE ONGOING WAR ON TERROR, F-35 ACQUISITION, OUTED CIA CHIEFS, IRS SCANDALS, ABANDONED DIPLOMATIC MISSIONS, PENDING ECONOMIC COLLAPSE, AND ANY MENTION OF FALLEN SOLDIERS OR DEAD VETERANS.
TAKE COVER. THIS IS A WARNING. TAKE COVER NOW.
(Clancy Sigal is a screenwriter and novelist. His latest book is Hemingway Lives.)