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Mendocino County Today: Saturday, June 28, 2014

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Supervisor John McCowen, on why he would not vote for the final 2014-2015 County budget (June 17, 2014): “I did not vote for this budget when it came up two weeks ago and I am not voting for it again today because one-time revenue that has not yet been received is included. Also I did want to say that when the budget does come back I will have questions about the amount of progress or lack of progress that we been able to make in getting improvements on the tax rolls that are not currently assessed. I'm aware that at the instigation of our chair, Supervisor Pinches, a study was done of a defined area to see what were we missing in terms of properties out there that might have significant improvements that were not on the assessment rolls. We are missing a lot. I believe in the current fiscal year budget we approved a couple of additional positions for the Assessor's office. There was no commitment that we would target getting these properties onto the assessment rolls. But that should really be a priority for the county because once the improvements are included on the rolls, the County, the school districts, the special districts, will be able to receive that funding every year into the future. So we do the work one time and we receive the benefits on an ongoing basis. It could be a significant amount of money. Again, I object to the inclusion of one-time revenues that we have not yet received that we may not receive and I want to highlight our progress on getting currently unassessed improvements onto the rolls. So I will be voting No on this item.”

Supervisor John Pinches: “I have a hard time with this. First, I would like to note the Appropriations section. Actually, our 13-14 appropriations compared to this coming year 14-15 are $6.3 million less than they were last year. To say that our revenues are flat is not even really the truth anymore. They are actually on the decrease. And that creates many problems. That's pretty outstanding. The other issue is, I'm not so sure how our worker's compensation rates have increased 183%. I'm really surprised. If that's the case maybe we should look for a different workers comp carrier. I know we’re in kind of a pool situation but I don't see that as a realistic situation. So at this time I will not support this for several reasons as I stated two weeks ago.”

Meredith Ford, County Auditor-Controller: “We ask that you approve the budget as presented with the understanding that between now and final budget in September the CEO and Auditor will refine the budget to make the following changes and others as required: The $750,000 in projected revenue from the sale of the Willits Justice Center will be removed. While we were informed during budget conferences that this was revenue we could expect, there was no information provided at that time regarding the offset that may be required from the administrative office of the courts. We have since been advised of this condition by the CEO. Appropriations will be adjusted by $750,000 to reflect that reduction in revenue. The CEO’s office has already begun the process of identifying items that will achieve this reduction. The CEO, Auditor and Transportation staff have met several times in the last two weeks in an attempt to develop revised numbers to accommodate the board's direction to include $2 million in a new line item called corrective maintenance. To get this done in a way that makes sense we need to devote more time than the two weeks have allowed since the last budget was presented. Should your board direct, also the $150,000 in timber harvest revenues can be added to the general fund reserve if you make that direction. This will require another $150,000 reduction in appropriations that the CEO and Auditor will identify and bring to you at final budget. As it is presented today the budget makes no allowance for use of the Sheriff’s designated reserve. The sheriff's office has estimated that there will be $576,000 remaining in this reserve at the close of 2013-14. It is my recommendation that these funds be used to offset some of the Sheriff and Jail net county cost increases. These funds can go a long way toward recovering the expense of the 15 patrol cars that are currently in the budget. With these items taken into consideration, I respectfully request your board’s adoption of the 2014-15 CEO recommended budget as presented. … Regarding workers comp, the numbers that we currently have are that the cost will be in the $4 million range. In July and August the CSAC [California State Association of Counties] does an audit of the payroll dollars that have been expanded by the County and compares them to what was the workers comp premium budgeted and what the premium was based on. We will know the results of that audit in July or August and we will be able to get a reduction in the workers comp amount. So we are looking forward to that. In the meantime the $4 million that we currently show is based on what we know at this time, understanding that there will probably be a reduction.”

Pinches: “I'm very reluctant to support this but I want this process to keep moving forward. I guess I should take our retiring auditor’s word for it about the unanticipated revenues being reduced out of this budget. I have other line items I have problems with. But I will not prejudice myself on a vote in the future. But I will go ahead and support this at this time to keep the process moving forward. Because it doesn't actually really affect what our final budget will be.”

Supervisor Dan Gjerde: “I want to thank the CEO’s office and the Auditor’s office for working with the Department of Transportation to identify $2 million for corrective road maintenance. I believe it's essential that our budget have number. I'm glad you took the time to make that happen.”

Pinches: “That's one of my main problems with this. I'm sure that you can put $2 million in the budget for the pavement condition. That's fine. But what's the cost of the rest of the road system? That's my concern. That's why I'm reluctant to support this. I want to see what the final plan is. This budget is not just a set of numbers. This is the work plan for the county for the next year. I'm very concerned about that. I will be voting for this today to keep the process moving forward but I do have concerns about what our work plan is and I have expressed those in detail.”

McCowen: “Based on the statements by the Auditor-Controller which I think show significant progress in addressing the concerns I had, I will be voting yes also. But I'm sure the board will be scrutinizing the final budget when it comes back to us.”

The 2014-15 budget was approved unanimously.

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102 YEARS AGO June 19, 1912. From the always interesting Glance at the Past column in the Fort Bragg Advocate by Debbie Holmer:

“By the middle of next week, the city of Fort Bragg will be the proud possessor of two quick and easy routes to San Francisco, namely by water and rail. Just stop to think, we have something to be proud of. Ours is the only coast town directly connected with the metropolis by rail, not to mention our semi-weekly water service. At present, the road is practically completed and ready to use. But due to a few slight incidentals and the waiting for the arrival of the new locomotive, the running through of the first passenger train will be postponed until the middle of next week. As far as we can learn, there will be no excursion run from this end of the road, but on the 23rd of this month, the Ukiah people are planning to run an excursion line to the coast.”

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TIM LINCECUM'S magnificent no-hitter this week was demeaned by Tim getting doused with a container of Gatorade, or whatever it was, just as he was about to be interviewed, post-game. Lincecum seemed to storm off into the clubhouse, and the post-game dunk is so, so, so unamusing you'd think the jocks would have given it up by now. It's their version of pie-ing, another unamusing practice.

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RURAL LIFE AND HOMESTEADING SKILL PRESENTATIONS have been rescheduled from each Saturday to the 1st Saturday of each month at the Boonville Farmers Market. This is a great opportunity to introduce your skills, services and/or products to the community. We advertise throughout the Anderson Valley and everyone benefits while we come together at the Saturday Farmers' Market, 10-12:30 at the Boonville Hotel. Contact Valerie Adair to get more info or to schedule your Rural Life/Homesteading Skill Presentation. or 707.367.2143

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RECOMMENDED READING, SORT OF. Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty. Given the huge subject matter — who's got the money in the world — it's written in readable style by a modest man who consistently qualifies his conclusions with “I may be wrong” or “data incomplete.” The conclusion that Piketty doesn't qualify is the one most reasonable people agree on: That global wealth is concentrated in fewer and fewer hands, and that if wealth continues to accumulate in fewer hands we can kiss even the hope of democracy goodbye.

I'D SAY DEMOS took a hike during Bill Clinton's deregulating regime, and we former citizens are now mere digits in a (so far) more or less benign oligarchy. Piketty, unlike Marx who came to a lot of the same conclusions 150 years ago, doesn't see violent revolution as the option some romantics thought was looming in the later 1960s and is less likely now even though economic inequality is much greater.

PIKETTY suggests a “ten percent global tax on capital,” a proposal he characterizes as “utopian,” although given the growing chasm between the mega-rich, a ten percent tax on big money is a pittance. But given the full-on ownership of our political system by the rich, never mind Japan and the moneybags of Europe and places like Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, China and so on, even the smallest tax adjustment has all of them howling “confiscation.”

I'VE NOTICED that several reviews of Capital in the Twenty-First Century suggest that a serious tax on big capital would somehow go to the lowest income earners in one-time payouts, which is a howlingly literal way to read what Piketty is saying, but not surprising coming from the kept intellectuals who write about economics for our media.

A TEN PERCENT TAX on the very rich in this country alone would, we would assume, feed a New Deal-like program that put people to work and tuned up the country's infrastructure, which is what the New Deal did via fair taxation before the rich reversed fair taxation to no real taxation on them at all, which is what we have now. As Piketty points out much more elegantly, people don't just lie down and die in the context of ever tightening injustice, people cause Big Trouble.

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Poets, come out of your closets,

Open your windows, open your doors,

You have been holed-up too long

in your closed worlds.

Come down, come down

from your Russian Hills and Telegraph Hills,

your Beacon Hills and your Chapel Hills,

your Mount Analogues and Montparnasses,

down from your foothills and mountains,

out of your teepees and domes.

The trees are still falling

and we’ll to the woods no more.

No time now for sitting in them

As man burns down his own house

to roast his pig

No more chanting Hare Krishna

while Rome burns.

San Francisco’s burning,

Mayakovsky’s Moscow’s burning

the fossil-fuels of life.

Night & the Horse approaches

eating light, heat & power,

and the clouds have trousers.

No time now for the artist to hide

above, beyond, behind the scenes,

indifferent, paring his fingernails,

refining himself out of existence.

No time now for our little literary games,

no time now for our paranoias & hypochondrias, 

o time now for fear & loathing,

time now only for light & love.

We have seen the best minds of our generation

destroyed by boredom at poetry readings.

Poetry isn’t a secret society,

It isn’t a temple either.

Secret words & chants won’t do any longer.

The hour of oming is over,

the time of keening come,

a time for keening & rejoicing

over the coming end

of industrial civilization

which is bad for earth & Man.

Time now to face outward

in the full lotus position

with eyes wide open,

Time now to open your mouths

with a new open speech,

time now to communicate with all sentient beings,

All you ‘Poets of the Cities’

hung in museums including myself,

All you poet’s poets writing poetry

about poetry,

All you poetry workshop poets

in the boondock heart of America,

All you housebroken Ezra Pounds,

All you far-out freaked-out cut-up poets,

All you pre-stressed Concrete poets,

All you cunnilingual poets,

All you pay-toilet poets groaning with graffiti,

All you A-train swingers who never swing on birches,

All you masters of the sawmill haiku in the Siberias of America,

All you eyeless unrealists,

All you self-occulting supersurrealists,

All you bedroom visionaries and closet agitpropagators,

All you Groucho Marxist poets 
and leisure-class Comrades 
who lie around all day and talk about the workingclass proletariat,

All you Catholic anarchists of poetry,

All you Black Mountaineers of poetry,

All you Boston Brahims and Bolinas bucolics,

All you den mothers of poetry,

All you zen brothers of poetry,

All you suicide lovers of poetry,

All you hairy professors of poesie,

All you poetry reviewers

drinking the blood of the poet,

All you Poetry Police -

Where are Whitman’s wild children,

where the great voices speaking out

with a sense of sweetness and sublimity,

where the great’new vision,

the great world-view,

the high prophetic song

of the immense earth

and all that sings in it

And our relations to it -

Poets, descend

to the street of the world once more

And open your minds & eyes

with the old visual delight,

Clear your throat and speak up,

Poetry is dead, long live poetry

with terrible eyes and buffalo strength.

Don’t wait for the Revolution

or it’ll happen without you,

Stop mumbling and speak out

with a new wide-open poetry

with a new commonsensual ‘public surface’

with other subjective levels

or other subversive levels,

a tuning fork in the inner ear

to strike below the surface.

Of your own sweet Self still sing

yet utter ‘the word en-masse -

Poetry the common carrier

for the transportation of the public

to higher places
than other wheels can carry it.

Poetry still falls from the skies 
into our streets still open.

They haven’t put up the barricades, yet,

the streets still alive with faces,

lovely men & women still walking there,

still lovely creatures everywhere,

in the eyes of all the secret of all 
still buried there,

Whitman’s wild children still sleeping there,

Awake and walk in the open air.

Lawrence Ferlinghetti

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Allen, Almejo, Ammerman, Ayala, Cooper
Allen, Almejo, Ammerman, Ayala, Cooper

BRANDIE ALLEN, Ukiah. Possession of meth and paraphernalia, obstructing a police officer.

ANA ALMEJO, Laytonville. An array of pot charges that include honey oil.

MORGAN AMMERMAN, Ukiah. Tweek, resisting arrest.

BALDEMIR AYALA, Palm Desert. Tranportation, sale of marijuana.

BENNETT SWANK, Covelo. Assault with a deadly weapon.  (Photo not available.)

DEBRA COOPER, Ukiah. Drunk in public, frequent flier with no effective controls exerted by the Superior Court of Mendocino County.

Fangman, Guerrero-Rubio, Hayes, Irick, King
Fangman, Guerrero-Rubio, Hayes, Irick, King

ALLISON FANGMAN, Willits. Drunk in public, revocation of probation.

ANGEL GUERRERO-RUBIO, Ukiah, Drunk in Public.

ELWOOD HAYES, Willits. Drunk in public. Fake ID, failure to appear.

TROY IRICK, North Bend, Oregon. Drunk in public. Been hanging around Ukiah for the past year getting arrested for drunk in public.

CAROLYN KING, Ukiah. Drunk in public.

Lorenz, Matthews, Modrelle, Sandoval, West
Lorenz, Matthews, Modrelle, Sandoval, West

DOUGLAS LORENZ, Ukiah. Drunk in public.

WILLIAM MATTHEWS, Ukiah. Receipt of stolen property, possession of burglary tools, under the influence of meth.

STACEY MODDRELLE, Willits. Drunk in public, and one of the most frequent of the frequent fliers.

MICHAEL SANDOVAL, Ukiah. Drunk in public, violation of probation.

LOGAN SCHULZE, Willits. Arrested in Ukiah for domestic violence. (Photo not available.)

HARRY WEST, Ukiah. Drunk in public.

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WOMAN IN RAINBOW WIG: Caller in the 700 block of South State Street, Ukiah, reported at 1:21 p.m. Thursday that a woman wearing a rainbow wig was yelling at customers. The caller later canceled her request for help when the woman left. At 1:44 p.m., the caller reported that the woman was back. An officer responded, and the woman left upon request.

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Town Hall Meeting — Redway, California — Thursday June 26, 5pm

Mapquest’s directions – booo. The last sentence was, “Your destination is just past Forest Dr.” NOT! Arrived just after 6:00. The meeting was going strong, full-up. I had no idea the ‘transient’ problems in the Garberville/Redway area are so horrible. One speaker after the other got up - some choked-up, some in tears telling of their ordeals. One lady said that she has lived here all of her life, has three children, two in their teens, one only three years old, and that people are moving away. She was in tears talking about Humboldt and that she and her children are so threatened most of the time that she is considering leaving. She and many others described how and what they see on a daily basis – from heroin to meth to pot, most have a dog or two. She described how the transients have no respect for themselves, let alone anything else. That they offer to ‘sell’ to her children. That they throw rocks at her when she tries to talk with them. That she has taken pictures, reported to the Sheriff’s Dept., and nothing happens. That there isn’t enough $ to do anything about this, but there is always enough money to come down to SoHum and bust marijuana growers.

One lady focused on the homes that are being foreclosed on due to banking fraud, the RECORDING of false documents, and the SEC debacle. My ears perked up when I heard her ask Estelle, Downey, and his Deputy if they took an Oath to the “U.S. Constitution?” Of course they said yes – perhaps their only true statement of the four-hour meeting. Some of the people were leaving in disgust, most stayed. There was still a line of speakers when queen departed. Those who spoke were just hammering the panel of alleged officials! A sign of change that this queen was happy to witness. No, not that anything will change as far as a Deputy or two being in the area so response, if at all, comes, but i could feel the wind of change in the people.

Since I chat with Estelle every Thursday in Fortuna and Sheriff D is well aware of my plight as far as my State-stolen truck is concerned, queen had a thing or three to say also. I began with this quote; “Others wiser than I have pointed out that nature bats last. We are at the end of an era in which lies can be used to steal from the public and the commons. We are at the beginning of an era in which truth in public service can restore us all to a state of grace.” Went right into the Oath epidemic . . . “I have copies of your Oaths, yes you do Affirm to the U.S. Constitution – a Corporation. Your Oaths do Not say, the Constitution of the united States for America – the law of the land. And as far as Budget, Budget, Budget goes – Budget does not show the standing value of a Corporation (I had with me Humboldt’s Annual Financial Report). Humboldt’s net assets $504 million -- not including H.S. C.R., or any of the school districts. So, no, I do not buy your Budget story at all.” Continuing on … “Sheriff Downey, nearly a year later my truck is still in Laytonville at the tow agency, the charges were all dismissed and when I have gone to get my truck I’m met with State guns and clubs. This is a County v State situation. You are our highest elected official, I have the keys and we’re just one hour away. Will you come with me to get my truck back?” He asked (as if he doesn’t know the story), “Where is your truck?” I replied, “Laytonville.” “That’s not my jurisdiction.” I said, “You’ve told me this before. OH no the State, or it’s Mendocino not Humboldt. Sheriff Allman will not do anything about this.” Downey said, “You’ll have to take it up with Sheriff Allman.” Again –“Sheriff Allman has told me that he will not do anything about this, - he won’t! So . . .you will Not help one of the people on such a simple task as this?” “No.” “To bad, cuz you could use the points.” That brought chuckles. But, i wasn’t there for humor.

Saw Paul briefly, we exchanged nod recognition. I left shortly thereafter. Passed out some of queen’s cards with this blog site printed on and a one-pager with the above on it describing Oaths and Budget and Humboldt’s Annual Financial Reports.

Stay strong.

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For Unofficial use only

Drone deployment U.S. Military

21st Century Birdwatching

Our ancestors could spot natural predators from afar by their silhouettes. Are we equally aware of the predators in the present-day? Drones are remote-controlled planes that can be used for anything from surveillance and deadly force, to rescue operations and scientific research. Most drones are used today by military powers for remote-controlled surveillance and attack, and their numbers are growing. The Federal Aviation Administration predicted in 2012 that within 20 years there could be as many as 30.000 drones flying over U.S. soil alone. As robotic birds will become commonplace in the near future, we should be prepared to identify them. This survival guide is an attempt to familiarise ourselves and future generations, with a changing technological environment.

More than 87 nations in the world have drone technology, with over 200 types of drones. This document contains the silhouettes of the most common drone species used today and in the near future. Each indicating nationality and whether they are used for surveillance only or for deadly force. All drones are drawn in scale for size indication. From the smallest consumer drones measuring less than 1 meter, up to the Global Hawk measuring 39,9 meter in length. To keep this document widely available it can be downloaded in .pdf or .doc format. More translations are available on the website.

DISCLAIMER: This document is for information purposes only, with the intent of free distribution of publicly available information. We do not condone violent or destructive behavior against people or property in any way or form. All content may be freely shared, adapted, and translation for non-commercial purposes. Available for free on the website.

Hiding from Drones

Drones are equipped with extremely powerful cameras which can detect people and vehicles at an altitude of several kilometers. Most drones are equipped with night vision, and/or infrared vision cameras, so-called FLIR sensors. These can see human heat signatures from far away, day or night. However there are ways to hide from drones.

Day camouflage: Hide in the shadows of buildings or trees.

Use thick forests as natural camouflage or use camouflage nets.

Night camouflage: Hide inside buildings or under protection of trees or foliage. Do not use flashlights or vehicle spot lights, even at long distances. Drones can easily spot these during night missions.

Heat camouflage: Emergency blankets (so-called space blankets) made of Mylar can block infrared rays. Wearing a space blanket as a poncho at night will hide your heat signature from infrared detection. Also in summer when the temperature is between 36°C and 40°C, infrared cameras cannot distinguish between body and its surroundings.

Wait for bad weather. Drones cannot operate in high winds, smoke, rainstorms, or heavy weather conditions.

No wireless communication. Using mobile phones or GPS-based communication will compromise your location.

Spreading reflective pieces of glass or mirrored material on a car on a roof will confuse the drone’s camera.

Decoys. Use mannequins or human-sized dolls to mislead the drone’s reconnaissance.

Hacking Drones

Drones are remote controlled. The pilots operating the drone can be thousands of kilometers away at ground control stations. The control link is the satellite transmitted datalink by which the pilot controls the plane. By jamming or intercepting the datalink, one can interfere with the drones controls. The data link is sometimes encrypted but not always.

Interception. A complicated technique is to use sky grabber software with a satellite dish and a TV tuner to intercept the drone’s frequencies. Communication from and to the drone can be intercepted.

Interference. By broadcasting on different frequencies or pack of frequencies the link between the drone pilot and the drone can be disconnected.

GPS spoofing. Small, portable GPS transmitters can send fake GPS signals and disrupt the drones’ navigation systems. This can be used, for example, to steer drones into self-destruction flight paths or even hijack them and land them on a runway.


‘Health Ranger’s intelligence analysis of military drones: payloads, countermeasures and more’,, July 16, 2012. By Mike Adams

‘The Al-Qaida Papers - Drones’, This document is one of several found by The Associated Press in buildings recently occupied by al-Qaeda fighters in Timbuktu, Mali. Associated Press, Feb 2013.

‘Evading Thermal Imaging And Radar Detection’, United States Militia, Special Forces.

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by Dan Bacher,

In the latest episode in the sordid saga of the Bay Delta Conservation Plan “BDCP” to build the peripheral tunnels, two environmental groups revealed today that even an economist hired by BDCP officials won't sign off on the controversial project. Dr. David Sunding, an economist on the faculty of the University of California-Berkeley and a principal with The Brattle Group, said at the recent Continuing Legal Education Water Law Conference in San Diego that “given the financial uncertainties if he were a water agency, he would not sign off” on the BDCP, according to Restore the Delta (RTD). RTD and the Southern California Watershed Alliance responded to the Brown Administration’s latest claims of alleged benefits from the Bay Delta Conservation Plan (BDCP) and its huge water export tunnels. “The recently released statements and documents from BDCP on the costs, and who will pay, are more of the same disingenuous statements that they have been making throughout the life of the project,” said Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla, executive director of Restore the Delta (RTD). “These unsubstantiated claims show how desperate BDCP officials are to greenwash this project for the public. Documents from public record requests, and statements from their own officials and water agency officials, reveal that the project will be closer to $67 billion in today’s dollars, before cost over-runs.” Independent University of the Pacific economist Dr. Jeff Michael concludes that the average water ratepayer will end up paying between $40 and $80 per person per year. “Los Angeles will not receive an additional drop of water, as 2/3 of the water taken from the Delta goes to mega-growers in the Westlands and Kern County Water Districts,” said Barrigan-Parrilla. “Work by the Pacific Institute’s Dr. Peter Gleick shows the millions of acre feet of water can be made through conservation, recycling, and storm water capture,” said Conner Everts, executive director of the So. California Watershed Alliance. “The truth is that the Metropolitan Water District cannot make money except through reselling water, and thus is the strongest proponent of the BDCP. They will continue to find reasons why conservation measures won’t work, and to delay aggressive development of local water projects. “Dr. David Sunding of the Brattle Group said at the recent Continuing Legal Education Water Law Conference in San Diego that ‘given the financial uncertainties, if he were a water agency, he would not sign off’ on the BDCP. Neither should we,” said Everts. In other BDCP news, Jerry Cadagan, water activist, pointed out that the most recent BDCP newsletter starts off with a canard in the very first sentence ("…. improving how water moves through the” Delta). ( “Isn't one of the fundamental criticisms that BDCP precludes necessary water from moving through the Delta? According to my Funk & Wagnalls, 'through' and 'under' have distinctly different meanings,” Cadagan said.

There is no doubt that Governor Jerry Brown's Bay Delta Conservation has no basis in logic, science or fiscal realities. It is nothing other than a “legacy” project for Governor Brown to build as a giant monument to his ego.

While the BDCP won't create one single new drop of water, the tunnels will take water from Northern California farms, fish and people and give it to corporate agribusiness interests irrigating drainage-impaired land on the west side of the San Joaquin Valley, Southern California water agencies and oil companies conducting fracking and steam injection operations in Kern County. The peripheral tunnels under the Delta will hasten the extinction of Central Valley Chinook salmon and steelhead, Delta smelt, longfin smelt, green sturgeon and other fish species, as well as pose an enormous threat to salmon and steelhead populations on the Trinity and Klamath rivers.

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Ehrlichman, Haldeman and the “Jewish Plot” to Get Nixon

by Clancy Sigal

A tiny item in yesterday’s paper jogs my memory. The garage where, on this 42d anniversary, “Deep Throat” passed teasing information to WashPost reporter Bob Woodward is due to be demolished. People under a certain age probably don’t know about Watergate or have only a vague textbook idea. Or they picked it up from Pakula’s great movie “All The President’s Men” where Robt Redford plays the restrained gentile journalist Woodward and Dustin Hoffman the pushy Jewish foot-in-the-door Carl Bernstein. The film made investigative reporting not only popular but respectable…that is until our present administration began cracking down on hardnose reporters.

I am personally responsible for the break in by five CIA employees into the Democratic Natl Hq at the Watergate office complex. Let’s walk this back a bit. Among Pres Nixon’s close aides in the 1970s who went into the slammer for (among other crimes) obstruction of justice were my two UCLA drinking buddies also my political enemies, Bob Haldeman and John Ehrlichman. The “third man” at UCLA, also a drinking companion at Westwood’s Glen bar, was Alex Butterfield, another Nixon aide, who spilled the beans with his surprise disclosure that Nixon taped his criminal activities. (Later, when I spoke to Alex, who was never prosecuted, and asked if it was all a CIA plot to dethrone the president, he just smiled at me signaling well yeah maybe but you didn’t hear it from me.)

Haldeman, Ehrlichman and I were BMOC, big men on campus, sharing the same student activities building. The Wasp culture then was to wear a cheerful, slightly robotic Pepsodent smile even when stabbing another student in the back. The mantra was: “It’s not personal, Clancy.” They were ferociously anti-Red, but we didn’t let a little thing like that get in the way of fraternity-style palship. (Bob was Beta Sig, John Kapp Sig, I a “barbarian” which is what Greek Row called non-orgs.)

One day, as the campus paper’s managing editor, I walked into the Dean of Students office where Ehrlichman was the Dean’s fraternity liason and surprised him with a magnifying glass bent over photographs of student demonstrators (including me) marking in red crayon the most dangerous subversives. “Hey John, whatcha doing?” He just smiled blandly, “Oh, you caught me.” Much later he confessed that identifying fellow students to the FBI and LA police “red squad” was his “ongoing counterintelligence function” whatever that means.

I visited Haldeman in prison at Lompoc and Ehrlichman in New Mexico just before he began his sentence. They were happy to talk and talk and talk. Just like the old days at the Glen. Haldeman, the more buttoned up of the duo, was the most revealing. He said that Watergate was born in old campus struggles that centered on the UCLA Daily Bruin in the grip of “Jewish liberals” like me who had it in for him over a long-forgotten fraternity scandal involving, yes!, a dead puppy dog. (I protested to Bob that I wasn’t a liberal then but a radical but he just blinked uncomprehendingly, I was trying to fool him again, libs and rads what’s the difference?)

Follow the logic: Jews-and-liberals (same thing) control the media (campus newspaper) in their vendetta against loyal Americans. By extension, when Nixon is in the White House and brings in the three UCLA boys, ALL media is controlled by Jewish liberals who have never forgiven Haldeman for that damn puppy dog.

So all of you who have gone to college those many long years ago and think it’s all forgotten think again: old insults from a sensitive age and era have a habit of coming back to life like Dracula and sinking in their fangs, nothing personal.

(Clancy Sigal is a screenwriter and novelist. His latest book is Hemingway Lives.)

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