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Letters (Oct 8, 2014)

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The protests at the Gualala post office to end the endless wars needs to happen on a national scale. Unfortunately a large percentage of our government’s reason to be is based on fear and war. If ISIS were totally wiped off the face of the earth tomorrow you can bet the farm that a new enemy would magically appear on the horizon.

Here's how the rich and corporations work the scam. If you are a manufacturer you can build a refrigerator for $1000 and sell it for $2-$3000. If you spend that same $1000 building a missile that shoots off the wing of a jet you can sell it to the Air Force for $30,000. That leaves you $29,000 of pure profit which creates no jobs but is distributed to top management and stockholders, many of whom are congresspeople. A small portion is used to buy Congress persons with bribes (called free-speech campaign contributions) all with a taxpayer dollars. Cooperative Pentagon generals are paid off upon retirement in the form of consulting contracts.

In other words: thanks for your help in making us richer, here's your payoff, we will call you if we need your opinion.

The military industrial congressional* complex is not only alive and well, it's self-sustaining. Just shut up and pay your taxes. Congressional campaigns are largely funded by large donors (80%). Their first priority is to get reelected by “dancing with the ones who brung ya’." Very few represent the taxpayer. In spite of her wonderful work on women's rights, our own Senator Dianne Feinstein is one of the biggest warmongers in Congress. She's never seen a military "budget" that was too large or a war she didn't like. Congress routinely adds military hardware to the budget that the military didn't order and doesn't want. Tanks roll off the assembly line to be parked in the desert as surplus. The mandatory spare parts are piled up beside them. Police departments routinely receive brand-new surplus hardware. Meanwhile veterans can't get medical appointments. (Where's the profit in that?)

So good luck ending the endless wars for profit. Remember “the business of America is business and war is the best business.”

*Eisenhower had a good relationship with Congress so he removed the word “Congressional” from the final draft of his farewell speech. It's worth looking up.


Don Phillips


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A huge thank you to our sponsors and supporters for our special feature booth exhibit at this year's Mendocino County Fair and Apple Show. Gowan's apples, Anderson Valley Farm Supply, and Lemons’ Philo Market — you made this possible.

This year, Julie and I depicted Yorkville, the “Highroller Region.” Our incredible crew made it all come together beautifully. Trent and Denise Lopez, Rebecca Toohey, Jason Liljengren, Tina Perez, Lorie Cooper, Riley Lemons, Doyle Moore, Eileen Pronsolino, and the kimmies from the Anderson Valley Brewery. A million thanks.

The hard work and attention to detail in all the entries this year was exceptional. The competition was top-notch. Congratulations to all!

We look forward to having another bahl tidrick at the Appeelish next year!

Marilyn Pronsolino and Julie Winchester


PS. The project was dedicated to the memory of Arlene Guest, 1952-2014.

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Dear Editor:

When, why, and how do racial differences matter in significant ways? They mattered a lot when a white security guard and a white cop shot black teenagers. If the shooters had been black, or the teenagers white, it's doubtful the incidents would have sparked the major protests that dominated the national news for weeks.

More recently three high-profile cases of domestic violence by NFL players made the headlines. The content of the character of the perpetrators speaks for itself, but what, if anything, is to be made of the fact that they are all black? It would be unwise to generalize from such a small sample, but as a thought experiment for those who want to get to the promised land where one is no longer judged by the color of one's skin, it would be wise to test for the presence of their own racial prejudices by considering their reactions to the facts of the case and comparing them to what they think might be they might be if all had been white, or a mixture of the two. If one is a bit surprised because the mathematical probability is that it would have turned out to be a mixture, would one, whether white, black, brown, or yellow, have been more or less surprised if they had all turned out to be white? Another litmus test is to compare one's probable reactions depending upon whether the victims were black, white, or other. It's no secret that interracial relationships get a lot of people of all races quite upset.

These are intended only as examples of the sort of right questions to ask if we are to get the answers we need. What questions still need to be asked?


Bill Brundage

Kurtistown, Hawaii

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I no longer listen to the radio. Pacifica has been taken over by a deranged faction that has converted the network into a chain of homeshopping radio stations that specialize in bogus health products and old stale speeches of Martin Luther King. I do not revere the good “doctor”: like all reverends, he was a charlatan and a parasite. PBS has become corporate, restrictive and boring. Even talented interviewers like Terry Gross who used to do occasional investigative journalism on topics like the meat industry now fills her time interviewing the stars of HBO's latest serials. When I was young the local PBS TV station had wonderful programming. Most impressive was a program that was broadcast Thursday evenings: “The Play of the Week.” This program introduced me to serious drama with presentations of “The Iceman Cometh,” “A Hat Full of Rain,” “The Potting Shed,” “The Glass Menagerie,” “Under the Bridge,” “The Rashamon,” “Tea and Sympathy,” and many more. Starring in “The Iceman Cometh” were the great Jason Robards Jr. and a 23-year-old actor named Robert Redford. Now we have Charlie Rose, aging do-woppers, and, with very few exceptions, unwatchable garbage. In the words of Edward Albee, “It's odd, and I wonder if it's sad.”

Louis Bedrock

Roselle, New Jersey

ED REPLY: Nothing here I disagree with, and I much enjoyed the latest Harper's you sent me, enjoyed it so much I re-subscribed.

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My Favorite Four Letter Word

Okay, you Nattering Nabobs of Negativism, listen up. I know you’re tired, disgusted, and thoroughly pissed off by the Gigolos running this country. You and I know almost all politicians are for sale to the highest bidder and we know the highest bidders are getting richer every day on the backs of us wage slaves. And, it seems there’s nothing we can do about it. Or is there?

Yes, there is actually. And it doesn’t just mean lifting our sharpened pencil and voting the bums out of office. There is hope even beyond that. Sometimes a bunch of common folks get so fed up that they decide to get it together, even here in Mendoland, to put something on the ballot that will knock your socks off. Something that will benefit us, our kids, and their kids, for a long time to come.

If you do nothing else this fall, at least peruse your election ballot and go to the very end where you’ll see Measure S. Then take your pencil or pen and fill in the box that says YES. What have you done? You may prevent your tap water from catching fire. Not only is such tap water not fit to drink for you or your kids. It’s not fit to drink for your cats and dogs and it will probably kill any plants you’re trying to grow.

Measure S is a citizens initiative, like Measure H, the GMO ban was, seeking to prevent something bad from happening in our county. That ‘bad’ would be fracking. Measure S puts the people’s will before the will and greed of the corporate giants who want to make still more money, even it means contaminating your water source. Measure S, if passed, won’t let them do that.

Sure, it isn’t perfect and there will probably be a battle with the Big Boys when it is passed. However, ‘Bring them on’, I say. Let’s get this fight and the disparities between the Haves, and Have Nots out in the open. If the People have spoken, is anyone listening? You bet! There is Hope. It’s my favorite four letter word (in spite of Bill Clinton). You can have it too, It will bring a bounce to your step. Try it.

Els Cooperrider


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Dear Editor:

It has been obvious for some time that under the current conditions a two state solution to the Palestine Isreal problem is DOA. Palestine President Abbas in his very tough speech to the U.N. General Assembly made it clear negotiations were at an end. He called on the U. N Security Council to support a resolution setting a clear deadline for Israel's withdrawal from the occupied territories (a return to the 1967 borders).. He did not specify a time line. The response of the United States State Department was harsh as might expected since the U. S. is not a honest broker and Congress is a lapdog for Israel.

However, a draft of a proposed resolution said to be circulating around the arab states and some council members is said to have a two deadline (2016) to withdraw back to the 1967 borders. It takes 9 members of the 15 member Security Council to approve the resolution If it does pass then the U. S. will use its veto. That could cause Palestine to join thInternational Criminal Court (ICC). They have taken the first step by signing the Paris Accords. Given past actions of the Israeli Defense Forces and Israeli leaders the ICC could will be moved to approve criminal charges against Isreal..

In peace,

Jim Updegraff


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The prequel to the “Deer and Bobcat” story that appeared in the September 24th issue of the Advertiser is that that the deer, a fawn, was seen by Colleen Curtis struggling but alive, on the forested side of the fence on Ray’s Road, obviously before it was reported to the Advertiser that a very tenacious Bobcat was witnessed in broad daylight munching on a dead deer’s leg.

This offers readers a choice of three different scenarios.

#1. The fawn was somehow injured on the forest side of the fence.

#2. The fawn was hit by a vehicle and propelled over the fence.

#3. The fawn was hit by a vehicle and then thrown over the fence still alive. (I hope this is not the case as it calls into question the humanity of the responsible party.)

Whatever the scenario, the fact is the injured fawn was seen struggling in the brush unable to walk before Mr. Bobcat came by for dinner. Which holds with the conventional wisdom that Bobcats don’t readily eat carrion.

Seeing the fawn in that condition Colleen immediately went home and called someone to euthanize the animal. (CHP, Animal Control, or our Anderson Valley Deputy Walker will send someone out to dispatch road-crippled animals.) However, upon returning to the scene she found — guess what? A seriously possessive Bobcat crouched atop his trophy deer staring her down.

The moral of the story is there is no need to let road-injured wildlife suffer needlessly. Call for help — or do the job yourself — don¹t just throw them over the fence for the Bobcat.

Bob Jancula, Owner, Anderson Valley Inn, Philo

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To the Editor:

To All Members of the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors:

I apologize for not attending the upcoming Board of Supervisors (BOS) meeting, but I have a prior obligation which would not allow me to participate in person.

This letter is meant to not only memorialize the comments I made at the September 23, 2014 BOS meeting, but to expand Tuesday's discussion involving the interim County Counsel position. I have read Chairperson Pinches' thoughts, which were in the paper last week, and as usual, I find myself in agreement with Chairperson Pinches on several aspects of this case. I agree that when an employee is doing what is expected, the employee should be fairly compensated. While I strongly oppose Mr. Losak from participating in any legal matters involving the Sheriff's Office, I have heard that other department heads are satisfied with the service that he is providing.

While the Ukiah Daily Journal quoted Chairperson Pinches as stating “Losak's work for the county has been nothing but extraordinary,” I have not heard from any department head that this is a feeling that is shared by anyone else.

I find it interesting that a portion of the rationale for this increase is that the money was in the prepared budget and as such, he should be paid what is in the budget. The missing portion of this logic is that Mr. Losak was very involved in preparing his budget. Did he budget for his own increase? If so, what oversight was given to this obvious conflict?

Another missing equation to this logic is that all county departments have been encouraged to cut costs and return any unexpended funds to the reserve account at the end of the fiscal year. In other words, just because funds are budgeted, it does not mean that funds have to be expended. The “use it or lose it” strategy of governmental budgeting is a tactic which hopefully is part of the past. We, as government representatives, must realize that our primary function is to serve the public, not devise methods of expending money.

As I stated in Public Expression on September 23, 2014, my primary point of contention deals with the morale of the very hardworking and dedicated Deputy Sheriffs who have been working with a 10% reduction in their salary for almost three years. I respectfully request that, should you see it necessary to increase the salary of the interim County Counsel, that the Board of Supervisors, in a unanimous show of support for the Deputy Sheriffs, return the 10% to their salaries immediately.

While I have the personal opinion that Mr. Losak's criminal actions should disqualify him from his current position, I agree with Chairperson Pinches that, yes, there certainly is “rehabilitation in today's society.” With this in mind, please remember, the good, steadfast and patient employees in this county who are still receiving a 10% reduction in their salary had no need to be rehabilitated. It seems as if a mixed signal is being sent to our hardworking employees that their good behavior, and their ability to follow the law, is being ignored, while a department head's bad behavior is ignored because of the explanation of “rehabilitation in today's society.” This situation involves the same department head who is often the one who recommends discipline for employees who are accused of bad behavior.

Once again, please excuse my absence on Tuesday and I hope that your decision is one that we can all be proud of.

Tom Allman, Sheriff-Coroner

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Looking for a benefactor!

It looks like I am going to be given six years in Lake County Jail/Prison I have been in here for six months and with half time I will have to do another to 2.5 years.

I can't help but feel all of this is due to me speaking up about all of the injustice here at Hotel Hell. The District Attorney was offering less time but once I became part of a civil suit for wrongful death against the county, all offers have been withdrawn. I have never had any type of violence. I have no strikes and this is my first drug charge, yet I am being given the maximum time allowed by law.

Unfortunately, I have pissed off a few people, staff, at the jail because I don't bow down if I feel I've been wronged. I speak the truth and try to fight against injustice. The administration here would bode well to review the Constitution of the United States, specifically the 1st through the 18th Amendments to the Constitution, although it seems none of this will help me at this point.

Since I am going to be sitting here for 2.5 years I would like to spend the time wisely. I want to get a further education but I do not have the funds to pay for any courses. I am adamant about having something to show for this time. Therefore, I am looking for a benefactor. I want to take some psychology courses because a friend who is an anger management counselor told me that if I get certified he will help me get started, even give me some of his contracts.

I am so tired of the system and I want more than anything else to make my family and my wife Jeanne proud. I am so ashamed to be sitting here right now over something that wasn't even mine — it's disgusting and I wouldn't blame my wife one little bit if she left me and never looked back. But if she gives me another chance I will not disappoint her.

See, before, I fancied myself a writer. And I suppose I still do. But now I understand that I need a "normal" career to supplement my meager writer's wage — at least until my books are #1 New York Times bestsellers!

If there is someone out there who would like to help, you can even remain anonymous. The program I want to do is ten courses, two semesters, $500.,, Pass Program, PO Box 2009, San Francisco, CA 94126. Just have the course sent to meet here at the jail. This can change my life. Thank you!

William Bond #37798, Hill Road Correctional Facility, 4913 Helbush Drive, Lakeport 95453.

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