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Letters to the Editor 1/13/2009



After reading Lee Simon's letter in the 12/30 edition, I came across the following: written by Henri Cole in the January 14, 2010 edition of the New York Review of Books.

The poem is a nihilistic, existential description of the human condition in our times. It could only have been thought, understood, and written by a person living within an economic order that has quite thoroughly destroyed any understanding of even the possibility that “you are the other me.”

I think it also counts for Lee Simon’s insightful analysis of what has happened to and what currently explains “America.” It describes the absolute negation of any human connectedness, so nothing can be known — even at the most intimate level. The common good is not and cannot exist. Each is on his or her own. Each is alone. Each is separate from “the other.” Each is only “one animal.”

* * *

One Animal

Do not show how jealous you are. Do not

show how much you care. Do not think the bunch

of flowers in his hand connects the hand to you.

Do not close your eyes and kiss the funny

lips. Do not twist your torso, touching yourself

like a monkey. Do not put your mouth

on the filthy place that changes everything.

Do not utter the monosyllable twice that is

the signature of dogdom. Do not, afterward,

appear mangy with old breath, scrutinizing

every hole. And do not think — touching his hair,

licking, sucking and being sucked in the same

instant, no longer lonely — that you

are two animals perfect as one.

Terence Bresnahan


Dear Steve Sparks,

I read the interview you did with my uncle Dr. Peter Boudoures. He has been a true godsend to our family. He had a brother and two sisters and many nieces and nephews. Even though he has five children of his own he has never hesitated at one time or another to help us all whether it was with advice on financial matters or anything else he has always been there for us all. We truly love him and respect him. There is no better man than my uncle Pete. When we couldn't count on other people in our lives we could always count on him.


Suzanne LeCompte, his niece
Santa Rosa


Howdy Boss Hog,

The big boys who actually are running things have one basic major choice: “Peace or war.” There is no money in peace, so guess what is left?

Please donate your children and your taxes.

Sad reflections in the Bastille,

Michael Skeirik


Honorable Ukiah City Council Members ;

It has come to our attention that you are very seriously considering reducing the staff and function of Ukiah's Grace Hudson Museum. Please consider more fully what the institution has and does bring to the community and county.

It and the college are responsible in large measure for the city's cultural life. Is Ukiah's civic life to survive solely on the basis of the Court, Justice and Civil Service Institutions? What a limited model for the children.

With respect, please value what that cultural life has meant to those who treasure the staff's professionalism and breadth of endeavors as well as the education the young and the mature have received from the Museum's quality exhibits and outreach activities. On a shoestring one might add.

My wife and I have been planning to retire here in three years and have been regular visitors during the past 15 years. Ukiah would be a poorer place in our view if the Museum were to be diminished even more from what is now, still a brave struggle to enhance the lives of those who visit.

Respectfully ,

Harry & Susan Betancourt


Dear Mr. and Mrs. Betancourt,

Thanks for your letter regarding funding for the Grace Hudson Museum, one of many that I have received. I am wholly in agreement with the position that they have taken. As a history teacher for almost 40 years, I am well aware of the importance of such resources. I also know our Museum to be an outstanding, professional institution that is a significant draw to our community, and that the Sun House Guild, on which I serve, has been remarkably generous and effective in its efforts on behalf of the Museum. The question I wrestle with is, of course, what could not be funded if we support the Museum out of the general fund? There are no good answers to that. I join my fellow Council members in continuing to resolve the budget crisis with as little damage to the City as possible.

Benj Thomas, Mayor
City of Ukiah


To the Fort Bragg City Council and Concerned People:

In the interest of cost efficiency, the Summers Lane Reservoir Project has been planned as an above ground water storage facility. CGI Technical Services, the city of Fort Bragg's own engineers, stated in Geotechnical Report 45-Acre-Foot Reservoir that “Liquefaction analyses indicate that a consistent zone between depths of 10 and 20 feet have a potential to liquefy when subjected to regional earthquakes” (3.2). The report lists solutions to this problem which are:

• “Removal and recompaction of liquefiable soil;

• Vibro-replacement/vibro-compaction (stone columns)

• Deep dynamic compaction (DDC)

• Compaction grouting; and

• Geopiers” (3.2)

Most of these measures involve “repeated dropping of a dense weight” similar to pile-driving (3.2.3). One of the measures, deep dynamic compaction “imparts waves of energy into the ground, buried improvements, such as the City's pipeline that extends along the western margin of the property, would be damaged during construction. There is also the potential that the pavement on the access road leading from Summers Lane to the Humane Society might be further damaged and degraded due to ground waves propagated by DDC” (3.2.3).

How will these measures affect the safety of the surrounding area's underground improvements? How will it affect the asphalt portion of Summers Lane? What will the affect be on well casings and the pumps inside those wells? What will damages be to Celeri & Son Nursery's underground irrigation system? Will septic tanks and leach fields be affected?

Will the surrounding area's aboveground structures be able to withstand a human-made earthquake? The Human Society and Dog Pound are built with extensive use of concrete and cinderblock. How will this affect the foundations for both these facilities and the nearby homes?

Animals are very susceptible to noise and seismic activity. How are these procedures going to affect the animals? Will it become an inhumane society? During construction will it be unsuitable for animals? Are there any alternatives facilities?

It seems that building the Summers Lane Reservoir creates problems which need to be solved. Mitigating these problems seemingly creates just as many problems.

Jim Celeri and the Celeri Family
Fort Bragg


To Bruce Patterson:

I have a question for you, and hope you will be kind enough to answer:

I use the VA services in Santa Rosa. I'm a vet of four years USAF. Everyone I see at the clinic appears to be over 50 years of age. It puzzles me. With Apache gunships, depleted uranium munitions, white phosphorous and a civilian versus combatant kill ratio in Afghanistan of 70 to 1 (I can't imagine the horror of dealing with that many butchered civilians, not to mention your pals), I just know there are tens of thousands of truly fucked soldiers. Where are they? Do they not seek services until everything just caves in on them? Are there outreach programs for returning vets? What's going on?

M. Smith


Mighty Editor,

On the topic of radio punditry, I have as of late had the acutely maddening and masochistic misfortune of listening to (NPR) National Public Radio’s Talk of the Nation and idiot savant Neil Conan.

Chatter and propaganda have again reached orange status in the wake of the Christmas underwear bomber. On the topic of terror profiling one caller said he didn't see the problem because just like in nature there are certain animals known to be dangerous and you take extra precautions with those animals. And Neil Conan interrupts, “Whoa, whoa, whoa. We should, um, er, uh, not compare not, um, make the comparison between animals and people, you know, some people would take that to be, um, er, uh, you know— yeah… (muttering… trailing off…) then… “BYE”!!!

Neil Conan and NPR swiftly hung up on the guy hoping no one caught on. As they do to every caller who doesn't tow the line or stick to the script.

Is the stuttering muttering asinine apologist Neil Conan of NPR not the absolute epitome of what is really wrong with our media?!

NPR has been steadfast and lockstep in the march to War. Providing incessant propaganda and rationale for war, stirring the pot of our worst fears about those reactionary and irrational moslems. It has been a ten year march of generals, lackeys and agents through the Herbst theatre for the liberal version of high minded imperialism.

Why does this shit go over in the Bay Area so well?

So Tim Stelloh raised the point about FOX and Democracy Now, benign in my eyes in the face of the polite and oh so cultured WARMONGERS at National Public Radio.

Who is this asshole Neil Conan?

Why aren't we analyzing the fork-tongued reptilian liberals who are poised in the long run to do way more damage to any prospect for change than any of the idiots to the so-called left or right. Okay, the left may have ruined it for us already BUT the real right wing is not the circus conducted by Rupert “the Moor” Murdoch but the saavy warmongering propagandists in charge at National Public Radio.

PS. If you are a masochist like I, you may also enjoy the supreme misfortune of listening to Scott Simon’s pompous ass on weekend edition. Happy listening.

Best Regards as always,

Nate 'Redshank' Collins



This is a postcard. The poet S.A.Griffin has a practice bomb. Like the Navy has up in Nevada. This kind of bomb, empty of explosives, this kind every now and then the pilots-in-training screw up. They screw up. That's why they are in training. So now and then they bomb a trailer park. S.A. and an army of poets have this practice dummy bomb. And they are filling up the bomb with poetry. An article about S.A. and his Poetry Bomb is in the New Yorker and the L.A. Times on his doorstep today. He asked me to do the postcard which he will be giving away. I can't sue anyone for giving away art. Another Twist of the Fair Use Knife. So here I am, running around with poets. Art Attack. Thank the Good Lord for Bad Company.

Dan O’Neill
Nevada City



The person on your front page looks like a typical victim of socialized medicine, which you would know had you ever been in a Russian or British or Canadian hospital. People in Canada with serious health problems come here for treatment instead of waiting years for governmental permission to get surgery.

Bernanke was never an admirer of deregulation or Friedman. Thomas Woods, Jr's book Meltdown describes in detail how government regulation and credit expansion caused the current depression. Read Capitalism by George Reisman, Human Action by Ludwig Von Mises, Man, Economy and State by Murray Rothbard, Power and Market by Rothbard, America's Great Depression by Rothbard AND Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand, the greatest literary and philosphical achievment of all human civilization. Bruce, you are not fit to lick the sweat off of Ayn's balls.

MLK was a Communist-Socialist and good riddance to him.

Cockburn has now recycled that BORING anecdote about the 95 year old libtard THREE TIMES in his column, enough already !

Ergo for Judge Brennan. You've chewed that cabbage to death. He made the right decision. You can stop printing phony letters that you concoct.

Enough of Blankfort, I agree with him on Palestine but he's a one-barrel crackpot.

Tired of the Rossi bore too, he's always bitching about government but he advocates socialized medicine! Typical contard dumbskull.

Final point, we have two too many big, fat numbskull Bruces running so-called alturdenate papers in NoCal.

Al Blue


To the Editor:

Let’s see if I got this right. Costco wants to come to this area.

They may have an option from DDR to buy part of the Masonite site, which was zoned Industrial the last time I heard about it (Measure A was all about changing the zoning and it failed miserably). DDR, which lost that election, is hot to get some money out of the site to help its bottom line.

Now, the Planning Department says “under the current zoning for the land, Costco, as an owner, could put up a retail store with a minor use permit”. On a site zoned industrial? “The zoning allows retail,” says the CEO. (UDJ, Dec.12, 2009) Since when?

What about all the infrastructure issues? What about possible pollution of the ground?

What chance does any industry have next to a big box retailer? What about the voters saying they didn’t want retail on that site?

Where are the SOLE folks in all this? Was their issue about saving our local economy or about winning an election? Where is the outrage about a foreign developer trying to ram a retail development on an industrial site down our throats? Has anybody looked into how to get industries to that site or are we just sitting around? Let’s get proactive in this New Year. We need real jobs and we are going to have to find the employers that can provide them. We are going to have to make our place appealing to them. What are we waiting for?

Hal Voege
Redwood Valley

To the Editor

Due to the Trail Symposium in Fort Bragg, Jan.9, 2010, I had the privilege to walk part of the newly acquired property of the City of Fort Bragg-which was formerly the Georgia-Pacific Mill site. Three miles of rugged, spectacular coastline comprising 92 acres of bluff-top trail will not be open to the public for two more years. So we 60 folks felt it a real privilege to be the first to walk part of it.

The northern part was the site of a Pomo Indian Village whose inhabitants were moved to Covelo in the 1800s forced by the former Louisiana Pacific Lumber Co.

It is the most spectacular coastline of Northern California, as quoted by City Manager Linda Ruffing, who has studied other coasts south of here. There are islands and sea stacks off the rocky coast, perfect places for abalone diving when the trails are public property. There is great concern that the opening will be a green light of an abalone gold rush in spite of the limits set by the Fish and Game Dept. The Abalone Watch group of adjunct people to aid the Fish and Game Dept.will have to be expanded due to cutbacks in funding for State Parks.

Three million dollars was paid by the Mendocino Land Trust to the Georgia Pacific Lumber Corporation.

From the southern one third of the trail we could see across Soldier’s Bay, on the northern part some large buildings used to dry lumber, one of which which will be converted to an Art Center. There will be a Marine Science School set up as an extension of the Sonoma State College.

Access was allowed as part of a Trail Symposium with speakers discussing new trails in Fort Bragg, a mere ten miles from Mendocino. I was too tired after walking two hours with a photographer friend to stay for the Symposium. To avoid a wipe out of abalone as happened when a Point Arena coastline was made public I urge folks who want to preserve the abalone to sign up for the Abalone Watch, a citizen’s nonprofit association to be the eyes and ears of the State Department of Fish and Game, to please contact Rod Jones of Mendocino, for training and a Volunteer Handbook.

Agnes Woolsey



Coming Sunday, January 17th the Anderson Valley Grange Flea Market from 1-3pm in the Grange Parking Lot, inside if it is raining. Clean out your closets, garage, and old sheds; contact Captain Rainbow (895-3807) to reserve a table; and bring all those forgotten treasures down to the Grange to sell to your neighbors. If you didn't find enough stuff to sell, be sure to come on down to the Grange and look for things to fill those closets with; or check out the weekly Grange Mart for local veggies, mushrooms, crafts and other treats.

Diane Paget



Much of the ignorance that marks American knowledge of world geography foreign affairs is lost in translation. During the Vietnam war a small radical news service offered alternative reporting from South East Asia, mostly drawn from tactical battle reviews translated from Pathet Lao broadcasts by Laotian American activists, a vaguely Maoist persuasion. Regardless of the political slant, the detailed coverage of the conflict was vastly more accurate than the US network propaganda offered every night back on the home front.

Forty years later America is still short on both accurate translation and understanding of the motives and methods of our enemy: Islamic radicalism and its causes, as viewed by the adherents of Jihad. Our talking head media continues to express amazement that the best educated and most sophisticated of Islamic youth are joining the anti-American resistance overseas and launching themselves on self-sacrificing missions against our homeland.

Nobody explains the relevant history of the Middle East and the Christian crusaders, nor the parallels between the massacre and destruction of those times and our several current wars against various Arab Muslim countries.

Fortunately, there appears to be a spokesman for Jihad whose lectures and vision have propelled him to world notice, mostly because he speaks fluent American, having been raised in New Mexico and thoroughly Americanized in his education. His name is Al Awlaki, and he is currently holed up somewhere in the mountains of Yemen where he preaches to the faithful over the internet, streaming his sermons, posting on Facebook and other “social media” as well as selling DVD and CD versions in every continent, where they are played at mosques and schools as educational tools.

And they’re right! English is, by dint of centuries of imperialism, the language in which history is made these years, and being able to offer eloquent explanations for the movement of Islamic resistance to the West gives the entire conflict a new perspective.

Think back to the racist days of yore, a mere 50 years past, when the lynching of “Negroes” was still practiced and black people were separate but unequal in every phase of society. When Martin Luther King Jr. and other civil rights activists began campaigns of self defense and protest the white media ignored the content of the demonstrations and focused on the riots and violence. Editorials and radio comment all decried the actions, but few cared to publish the thoughts and writings of the movement.

Despite the accusations of direct involvement in the Xmas panty bomb attack over Detroit, there has been no evidence offered that Awlaki is either part of Al Qaeda or any other action group within the overall insurgency. Now might be the time to open a real conversation between adversaries by giving Awlaki a platform for his arguments, particularly here in the US where we never hear the other side.

Perhaps Fox News and Rupert Murdoch might live up to their motto: “Fair and Balanced” by giving the Jihadists an hour following Glen Beck every evening.

Travis T. Hip
Nevada City



These are troubled times. Few would argue with that. So the big question is, What's wrong? The answer is that we are living under the tyranny of the dollar. Power is solidly in the hands of corporations, or big money. Everywhere you look, you see the effects: money controls everything, and perverts everything. The concerns of real people are marginalized, so that big money can have its way.

So the question then becomes: How can we, the people, fix this? And the answer to that is actually quite simple: *corporations are not persons*. This goes right to the legal/political heart of the matter. We need to get the Supreme Court to acknowledge the obvious fact that corporations are not persons. Once that is established, corporate lawyers will not be able to abuse the Bill of Rights, as they do now, on their clients' behalf.

The Amendments were obviously drafted with real people in mind, but corporations have found a way to bend *our* rights to *their* favor, by making the ridiculous claim that corporations are persons. For instance, corporations are able to pump unlimited sums of money into lobbying by claiming their right to the First Amendment. It's an obvious perversion of a citizen's right to free speech, but that's how special interests justify their ability to essentially own our government. So we need to get very clear on this distinction: corporations are not people (and people are not corporations). They are two distinctly different entities, and each needs its own set of rights and regulations. We have to stop the muddling, and once we do, we'll have gone a long way toward clearing up the problem.

Fortunately, there is an excellent book on the subject: “Unequal Protection: The Rise of Corporate Dominance and the Theft of Human Rights” (2002). The author goes into good detail about how this folly of “corporate personhood” came about, how it is being abused, and — most importantly — how we can go about fixing it. I highly recommend reading this book and then acting upon the advice within.

Mike Kalantarian



Alex Cockburn has been bashing the “Truthers” for many years now. He finds it OK to attack those who seek the truth of what really happened on 9-11-01.

Now, he ridicules those who ask why the CIA “missed” the underpants bomber, even though they had plenty of warning.

“The Truthers reject the obvious answers — caution, bureaucratic inertia, buck-passing, turf fights — and say it was a plot.” Oh really Mr. Cockburn, do we?

We don't know one way or another, and you are now the spokesperson for the Truthers? What's obvious is your “strawman” attacks are very misplaced.

Like, why spend so much time attacking truth seekers? Especially when these “failures” keep benefiting certain countries and military-industrial-corporations.

“The Israeli firm, ICTS, and two of its subsidiaries are at the crux of an international investigation in recent days, as experts try to pinpoint the reasons for the security failure that enabled Umar F. Abdulmutallab to board Northwest flight 253 and attempt to set alight explosives hidden in his underwear.”

A Haaretz investigation has learned that the security officers and their supervisor should have suspected the passenger, even without having early intelligence available to them.

The failure was a twin flop: An intelligence failure, which US President Barack Obama has already stated, in the poor handling of information that arrived at the State Department and probably also the CIA from both the father of the would-be bomber and the British security service; and a failure within the security system, “including that of the Israeli firm ICTS.” Nothing to see here, move along Truther scumbags!

So, the US is relying on Israeli security, and we are to believe that everyone just messed up, again? Mr. Cockburn wants us all to fall in line with his theory, the Official US Government Incompetence Theory. OUSGIT. OUSGIT! OUSGIT!! OUSGIT!!! OUSGIT!!!!
Over and over, again and again, just plain dumb goy? For how long? How many more times to fall for lies? As many as it takes. As one commenter wrote online, “If the plane went down, maybe Israel could of fed us intelligence saying it was Iran.”

But, that'd NEVER happen, that's a CRAZY conspiracy theory, false flag operations NEVER happen. I'm sure Mr.Cockburn would be glad to agree.

Rob Mahon

P.S. I'd rather be a Truthseeker, than a Denialist.


Alexander Cockburn replies: From this it's impossible to discern what Mahon's version of events is. I'd prefer to stay within the ambit of buckpassing, bureaucratic rivalries and incompetence, starting with the fact that Umur Farouk Abdullmutallab didn't show up on the Watch List because someone had entered his name wrong. Probably tripped up on the twin double-LLs. As for denialism, Rob, go preach Warming in western Europe or Beijing, as temps plunge to new lows. The world has been cooling since 1998 and that's da cold truth. Petrolia.




MMMAB: Missing the Point.

It’s kind of funny that the “MMMAB steering committee” criticizes the AVA for publishing an anonymous letter. Who is hiding behind the “MMMAB steering committee” moniker? Pebs? And who of you wants to take credit for the anonymous hit piece email you did on Dennis Hollingsworth? What was the point of sending out verbatim a Sheriff’s Department press release slamming him and another person who is “innocent until proven guilty”? Except by the Sheriff’s Dept. and the MMMAB inner circle mafia? What was the point? That was the question that the anonymous assassins of MMMAB will not respond to.

Anyone who knows much of anything about MMMAB, and I do, knows that collectively they, or at least their leadership, are a bunch of self-righteous, mean-spirited, in-fighting, back-biting, stoned crazy dope growers who couldn’t reason their way out of a paper bag. I was an early member but I have decided to quit sending them money because I don’t like the results. And they are anything but democratic. Decisions get made in the large meetings only to get undone behind the scenes where the people who run the show and control the money make the real decisions. I saw this happen when a MMMAB general meeting at Herban Legend voted to use funds to send a MMMAB member to an out of state conference. That goes undone because the small group of people with their hands on the money did not want to let go. They also control the message. In this, they are no different form your typical gaggle of Mendo rad/lib political poseurs.

MMMAB has a large and almost impressive “Advisory Board” that never meets, is never consulted and never advises. The Board consists mostly of marijuana growers and marijuana criminal defense lawyers. The lawyers see it as free advertising and will never publicly say they disagree with MMMAB even when they do.

What we are left with is “Pebbles Trippet” who fits right into Mendo where everyone gets to reinvent themselves as many times as they like. Does anyone know her real name? Or if she ever had one? Or has she pseudonymously tripped through life from birth? And I do mean tripped. Her statements that the Peace Movement was fueled by LSD are classic self-delusion. Until I read Pebs’ letter I never knew that LSD also fueled the Czech Revolution of 1968. And I bet not many people know that the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King was high on crack when he gave his “I Have A Dream” speech.

No doubt Pebs was flying as high as a kite from the 60s to the present, but most people seriously involved in social change movements, from civil rights to the peace movement, to women’s rights and beyond are hard-working, sane and focused. Hangers on like Pebs who wish to make a spectacle of everything have held us back and dragged us down. People like her and Beth Bosk have efficiently destroyed every effort to form a credible left opposition in this county. Politically, we probably have the highest percentage of progressive voters of almost any county in the United States. But functionally there is no evidence that the local “movement” has a heartbeat. Why? Because stoned crazies like Beth Bosk insist on disrupting, dominating and destroying every attempt to launch a progressive based alternative. Witness the demise of the Green Party and the local environmental movement.

Now Beth and Pebs are training their guns on KZYX once again with the false claims that the pr0-marijuana side of the story is banned from the airwaves. No one who is not stoned, and most of us who are, must be asking, “What are they smoking?” Probably that moldy coast ditchweed that Pebs is famous for growing. Really, can anyone who listened to KZYX say the pro-marijuana point of view is excluded? It is refreshing to hear someone other than Pebbles and E.D. Lerman once in a while.

So back to the point: Pebs, what has Dennis Hollingsworth done to you to cause you to send out a Sheriff’s Department press release to the MMMAB Email and media list?” What has he done to deserve to be smeared by MMMAB? Whatever happened to innocent until proven guilty? Pebs?

Still anonymous
Fort Bragg



I screwed up on the MLPA opening with erroneous dates for Arnold. It was not April first, and 2003. Gray Davis signed the first MLPA into law in 1999; it was rejected by the public before our girly-conservative governor pushed it forward once more in 2009 with a so-called blue ribbon panel. All the rest reads true as far as I can tell. Please excuse my error, but I have recently been researching the ill effects of medical marijuana and have astutely proved my premise. I have severely disciplined my proof reader and suggest that you do also.

My confused and balding head hangs low in typo shame,

Mike Koepf

One Comment

  1. Taylor Ellis January 31, 2010

    Interesting that people are so opinionated about NPR, I have often heard the complaint that it has a liberal bias, here someone says its is conservatively biased. I think there are numerous examples both ways… they run lots of corporate-friendly stories (another iPhone story?) but also frequently discuss subjects that much of America would rather ignore (gay rights, climate change). If you think NPR is biased then you ought to hear the yelling, strongly and openly opinionated pundits on Fox News or MSNBC. And let’s keep in mind that any national program isn’t going to seem “unbiased” here in Ecotopia where its safe to say there is a strong liberal/leftist bias among the public, many of whom would just as soon secede from the Union. In the south where I am from, NPR is regarded by many as “liberal media” just for discussing modern science, as is any non-creationist friendly program. Its hard to please everyone, NPR presents a lot of views so of course most people aren’t satisfied. Fortunately most of us can think for ourselves, and there are lots of news outlets besides NPR if you look for them, especially in the age of the internet.

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