- Rainy Days
- Affinitos Sell
- Still Counting
- Harvest Time
- Tuition Hikes
- ACA Numbers
- MendoVito EIR
- Christmas Trees
- Official Inflation
- Prison Shellgame
- Pain Map
- Cute Cult
- Catch of the Day
- Another Cat
- Your Overlords
- Moral Courage
SINGING IN THE RAIN!
* * *
THE RAINY DAY
The day is cold, and dark, and dreary;
It rains, and the wind is never weary;
The vine still clings to the mouldering wall,
But at every gust the dead leaves fall,
And the day is dark and dreary.
My life is cold, and dark, and dreary;
It rains, and the wind is never weary;
My thoughts still cling to the mouldering Past,
But the hopes of youth fall thick in the blast,
And the days are dark and dreary.
Be still, sad heart! and cease repining;
Behind the clouds is the sun still shining;
Thy fate is the common fate of all,
Into each life some rain must fall,
Some days must be dark and dreary.
* * *
HAZARDOUS WEATHER OUTLOOK for Northwest California: Redwood Coast - Mendocino Coast - North Coast Interior - Upper Trinity River - Mendocino Interior
Rain and gusty south winds late this afternoon through early Saturday.
A Pacific storm system will bring widespread rain to Northwest California beginning late this afternoon and lasting into early Saturday. Periods of moderate to heavy rain are anticipated tonight with total rainfall amounts of 1 to 3 inches expected...along with locally higher amounts across the coastal mountains. South winds may gust as high as 40 mph over coastal mountains and coastal headlands...including Crescent City and Trinidad.
National Weather Service, Eureka CA
2:54 am PST, Fri, Nov 21, 2014
THE AFFINITO FAMILY has sold the Cliff House restaurant at the mouth of the Noyo River, Fort Bragg. The property was listed at $1,295,000:
“A full service restaurant opportunity in the hub of the coastal destination city of Fort Bragg. Currently operating as the Cliff House restaurant and cocktail lounge, the guest seating for dining is 160± seats. Most recent upgrades and restoration to property were in 2007. Excellent ocean views available from the terraced style seating arrangement. This offering comprises of the Real Estate, building and restaurant inventory that will be provided.”
LONG-TIME readers will recall that the original Cliff House was one of several Fort Bragg restaurants targeted during the major arson fires that hit the town in 1987.
MENDOCINO COUNTY is the very last county in the state to post final election results. Why?
WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO WITH ALL THAT WEED?
Enter Some in the Emerald Cup
by Kym Kemp
The cannabis harvest is in — tons and tons of it. Some of it is already spoke for. Dispensaries and medical patients are going to take a fraction of the pile, another larger pile is immediately being shipped via planes, trains, and automobiles to black market consumers across the United States while another pile awaits the buyers who flock here looking to fill their car trunks and duffle bags with Humboldt’s famous product.
But it will take awhile for all that pot to sell. It was a bumper harvest this year.
So growers, what are you going to do with all that weed in the meantime? (Besides figure out a totally safe, dry place to hide it.)
Well, a tiny portion could be entered in the Emerald Cup. The submitter in the flower contest has to have a physician’s recommendation and provide three ounces of outdoor grown marijuana raised with organic materials. The winner gets an all expense trip paid trip to Jamaica.
Concentrates, edibles, topicals all have their own category and prizes, too. (See here for contest rules.) Better hurry on that though. Entries are only accepted til December 1. (If you are going to enter in any category, the Outpost would like to follow you through the process. Contact us at email@example.com)
* * *
OUR SOURCES in the local dope industry say prices for this year's outdoor crop range from $1000 “for average to $1600 for pretty good but not amazing marijuana. But there definitely is a lot of weed and there could be a glut. It is too early for me to be sure. The legalization in Oregon, Washington and Colorado is bound to suck out some of our black market weed. Colorado is already a huge market for Humboldt product and I don't think it is likely to get smaller for at least a couple years while they try to figure out how to produce for their demand.”
CASH-STRAPPED PUBLIC UNIVERSITY STUDENTS in California are about to get even poorer. The University of California Board of Regents approved a plan on Thursday to increase tuition by as much as 28 percent over the next five years. Tuition currently costs $12,192 (not counting room and board and campus fees) and will rise to around $12,800 by next fall. If the maximum increase of five percent is imposed every year, tuition in 2019 will cost $15,560 — or 28 percent higher than what students pay today. Students at the UCSF Mission Bay campus and UC Berkeley campus protested the hikes, with students in Berkeley occupying Wheeler Hall.
BLOOMBERG is reporting that investigators with the House Oversight and Government Reform committee found that the federal government had 6.97 million people signed up for insurance plans under the Affordable Care Act in September — not the 7.3 million it claimed. According to the investigators, the administration added as many as 400,000 dental plans to the number, bumping it over the 7 million mark. This was a change from previous practices of counting the number of people signing up on exchanges.
CLAUDE LEWENZ WRITES
I was interviewed by Paul Lambert on KZYK this morning, and he mentioned an AVA story (notes?) saying, among other things, that someone had heard that MendoVito had done an EIR that had come back negative (not good) thus they were proceeding with this public process. Until my subscription is sorted by your webmaster, I have no ability to access what has been published in The AVA, it's hard to know what is actually being said. No one has done an EIR, that would be way too premature. When the time comes to begin the EIR process the people of the county will be invited to contribute to it. All that has happened so far is that we were invited to explore if Mendo was a feasible host for a VillageTown, we spent 8 months collecting information, and tonight will present our findings to the interested public. It will be up to the people and communities of Mendocino County to decide if they want to take more control over their future.
MendoVito is not a corporation or a business. It is a name for an idea that may become an initiative, and if the people and communities of Mendocino County take it on, it could become a VillageTown.
There is no developer, no deep pockets investor, none of the usual people in the real estate business, just four volunteers (they call us Social Entrepreneurs <https://www.ashoka.org/social_entrepreneur>) who came up here by invitation. What upsets Mendo folk about suburban sprawl, big-box chains, franchises and all those things that are stripping America of its character and wealth is what drove me to stop complaining and start looking for better answers. We explain this at mendovito.com <http://mendovito.com> and tonight, I present ideas, so that the people of this county can decide if they want to do something positive. It will be a learning process as people cast away their suspicions and doubts and consider that there is something they can do to change the world for the good.
Best regards, Claude Lewenz
PS: Would it be possible for you to cut and paste the notes and whatever relates to MendoVito and send it to me? Feel free to share this with anyone who is interested.
* * *
Dear Mr. Lewenz,
There has been no "article" in the AVA on Mendovito. There were a couple of routine notes about its existence and some ordinary observations in Mendocino County Today, including your recent letter and a water-related comment by Ms. Sheppard.
(Under separate cover we have sent you all the references to Mendovito we’ve run on our website, all in the last few days.)
Mr. Lambert, a KZYX Board member and programmer, with whom we thought we enjoyed cordial relations, seems to have developed an irrational hostility toward the AVA because of our historical criticism of KZYX’s programming and personnel. He’s never bothered to complain to us about anything, yet he feels free to make, essentially, slanderous remarks about us with no basis in fact. We have never mentioned any EIR associated with your project because – obviously – you’re quite aways from an EIR at this point and it would be stupid to mention it or its status. Mr. Lambert’s slanderous “opinion” about the AVA being “famous for unfounded rumors” is also quite false and he can not back it up. We've sent the following demand letter to KZYX/Lambert within minutes of hearing his remarks at the end of his show.
Frankly I resent even having been made to waste my time responding to this fol-de-rol by Mr. Lambert.
Sincerely, Mark Scaramella/AVA-Boonville
* * *
Attention Paul Lambert:
You said on your morning "Mendo Matters" (Thursday, Nov. 20) that you had heard that the Mendovito EIR "came back negative." When Mr. Lewenz replied that there was no EIR, you replied that it was "a rumor published in the AVA and we all know the AVA is famous for publishing unfounded rumors."
- Please cite where any such claim about a Mendovito EIR was "published" in the AVA.
- Please cite one or more "unfounded rumors" published in the AVA.
Please consider this letter a demand for
a. An on-air retraction and proof of same via a CD or digital-audio file recording.
b. An announcement to us in advance when such retraction will be broadcast.
Bruce Anderson, Editor/Publisher, the Anderson Valley Advertiser, Boonville
Last month in Off the Record you mentioned that official inflation has not risen, but that anyone buying groceries can see the prices going up, and up, and up. This reminded me of a comment a year or more ago that the government office tracking inflation had simply disconnected food and energy from the equation for setting the rate of inflation, thus eliminating the need to report rising inflation. I don’t know how to research this, but perhaps some of your audience does. Is this true?
Thanks, Rixanne Wehren, Albion
IN 2011 GOVERNOR JERRY BROWN SIGNED AB 109 into law (AKA: prison realignment or what I call the “shell game” – moving prisoners from the overcrowded state prisons to the overcrowded local County jails). He said it was a “huge success” and it was for the State. Unfortunately, it’s been a disaster for every county jail in California. The goal was to transfer the non-serious, non-sexual, non-violent (non-non-non) criminals back to the local jails where they were convicted. However, that was only their last conviction. The prisoner could have committed assault and rape previously, as long as their last conviction was non-violent.
WHERE ARE THE HARDEST PLACES TO LIVE IN THE U.S.?
JUNE 26, 2014
A composite ranking of where Americans are healthy and wealthy, or struggling. (Mendo is ranked near the middle of the over 3,000 counties ranked.)
THE TYRANNY OF TWEE
I first saw the phrase "tyranny of twee" on Brendan O'Neill's blog. There's a lot of overlap between twee and what I call the Cute Movement:
Can anyone stop the tsunami of twee? It seems not. Britain is being swallowed up by tweeness. Like a B-movie style blob, only pink and sugary rather than black and deathly, twee is spreading through the nation, colonising every corner of cultural life. On TV, in the music world, in magazines, twee is everywhere...
It isn't really a tyranny. More like a virus. The teeny, tiny door item on the SF Weekly's blog prompted this post, but I hadn't seen the current issue of the Weekly, which means I have to add these examples:
CATCH OF THE DAY, Nov 20, 2014
TIMOTHY ABSHIRE, Redwood Valley. Attempted murder, assault with firearm, armed with firearm, under influence of controlled substance.
JAVIER ALVAREZ, Hopland. Contempt of court, probation revocation.
JOHN BOLTON, Willits. Drunk in public. (Frequent flyer.)
THOMAS BRANE, Ukiah. DUI, reckless driving.
JONI DEARING, Fort Bragg. Violation of county parole.
MICHAEL DONAHE, Ukiah. Drunk in public, probation revocation. (Frequent flyer.)
GLEN GUSTAFSON, Eureka/Ukiah. Drunk in public, probation revocation.
AARON HALL, Bella Vista/Ukiah. DUI.
JENNA HATCHER, Stockton/Redwood Valley. Court order violation.
LAURA HENDERSON-GENTRY, Belmont/Fort Bragg. Possession of meth, possession of smoking/injection device.
PATRICIA HYER, Ukiah. Battery, probation revocation.
RICHARD JOHNSON, Oakland/Ukiah. Threats to commit crimes resulting in death or great bodily injury
NOLAN LAWSON JR, Ukiah. DUI, assault with firearm, battery on police officer.
MICHAEL MUNOZ, Santa Rosa/Ukiah. Community Supervision violation.
GABRIEL THAYER, Albion. Probation revocation.
AND NOW THE RICHEST .01 PERCENT
by Robert Reich
The richest Americans hold more of the nation's wealth than they have in almost a century. What do they spend it on? As you might expect, personal jets, giant yachts, works of art, and luxury penthouses.
And also on politics. In fact, their political spending has been growing faster than their spending on anything else. It's been growing even faster than their wealth.
According to new research <http://gabriel-zucman.eu/files/SaezZucman2014.pdf> by Emmanuel Saez of the University of California at Berkeley and Gabriel Zucman of the London School of Economics, the richest one-hundredth of one percent of Americans now hold over 11 percent of the nation's total wealth. That's a higher share than the top .01 percent held in 1929, before the Great Crash.
We¹re talking about 16,000 people, each worth at least $110 million.
One way to get your mind around this is to compare their wealth to that of the average family. In 1978, the typical wealth holder in the top .01 percent was 220 times richer than the average American. By 2012, he or she was 1,120 times richer.
It's hard to spend this kind of money.
The uber rich are lining up for the new Aerion AS2 private jet, priced at $100 million, that seats eleven and includes a deluxe dining room and shower facilities, and will be able to cross the Atlantic in just four hours.
And for duplexes high in the air. The one atop Manhattan's newest “needle” tower, the 90-story One57, just went for $90 million.
Why should we care?
Because this explosion of wealth at the top has been accompanied by an erosion of the wealth of the middle class and the poor. In the mid-1980s, the bottom 90 percent of Americans together held 36 percent of the nation's wealth. Now, they hold less than 23 percent.
Despite larger pensions and homes, the debts of the bottom 90 percent mortgage, consumer credit, and student loan have grown even faster.
Some might think the bottom 90 percent should pull in their belts and stop living beyond their means. After all, capitalism is a tough sport. If those at the top are winning big while the bottom 90 percent is losing, too bad. That's the way the game is played.
But the top .01 percent have also been investing their money in politics. And these investments have been changing the game.
In the 2012 election cycle (the last for which we have good data) donations from the top .01 accounted for over 40 percent of all campaign contributions, according to a study <http://voteview.com/jep_BMPR.pdf> by Professors Adam Bonica, Nolan McCarty, Keith Poole, and Howard Rosenthal.
This is a huge increase from 1980, when the top .01 accounted for ten percent of total campaign contributions.
In 2012, as you may recall, two largest donors were Sheldon and Miriam Adelson, who gave $56.8 million and $46.6 million, respectively.
But the Adelsons were only the tip of an iceberg of contributions from the uber wealthy. Of the other members of the Forbes list of 400 richest Americans, fully 388 made political contributions. They accounted for forty of the 155 contributions of $1 million or more.
Of the 4,493 board members and CEOs of Fortune 500 corporations, more than four out of five contributed (many of the non-contributors were foreign nationals who were prohibited from giving).
All this money has flowed to Democrats as well as Republicans.
In fact, Democrats have increasingly relied on it. In the 2012 election cycle, the top .01 percent's donations to Democrats were more than four times larger than all labor union donations to Democrats put together.
The richest .01 percent haven't been donating out of the goodness of their hearts. They¹ve donated out of goodness to their wallets.
Their political investments have paid off in the form of lower taxes on themselves and their businesses, subsidies for their corporations, government bailouts, federal prosecutions that end in settlements where companies don't affirm or deny the facts and where executives don't go to jail, watered-down regulations, and non-enforcement of antitrust laws.
Since the top .01 began investing big time in politics, corporate profits and the stock market have risen to record levels. That's enlarged the wealth of the richest .01 percent by an average of 7.8 percent a year since the mid-1980s.
But the bottom 90 percent don't own many shares of stock. They rely on wages, which have been trending downward. And for some reason, politicians don't seem particularly intent on reversing this trend.
If you want to know what's happened to the American economy, follow the money. That will lead you to the richest .01 percent.
And if you want to know what's happened to our democracy, follow the richest .01 percent. They'll lead you to the politicians who have been selling our democracy.
THE ANGRY SOLDIER
Tomas Young’s Last Letter to Bush, Cheney
by Ralph Nader
The courageous journey of seriously wounded Iraq War veteran, Tomas Young, ended this past Monday, nearly eleven years after he was ambushed in a wholly exposed military truck. He passed away in Seattle while being lovingly cared for by his wife Claudia.
Tomas did not go quietly, despite his being paralyzed from the chest down, excruciating pain, comas and reliance on caregivers. He became an anti-war peace activist, addressing convocations and responding to as many interview requests as his agonized condition could tolerate.
I learned about Tomas when his mother, Cathy Smith, called from Walter Reed Army Hospital in 2004, where her son was under care. She said Tomas liked to read and wanted me to visit him. I called legendary talk show host Phil Donahue and asked him to join me in bringing Tomas a box full filled with some thirty books. We learned that he enlisted in the Army two days after the 9/11 attacks because he wanted to help bring the perpetrators of those attacks to justice and also acquire some savings for a college education. Instead, he was sent to Iraq which had no connection to 9/11 or to any national security threat to the U.S. In his words, “We were used. We were betrayed. And we have been abandoned.”
Phil was so taken with his story that he stayed in close touch with Tomas and his family and helped him spread his story. With Ellen Spiro, Phil Donahue produced the gripping documentary based on Tomas’ story, Body of War, in 2007. The story was the excruciating experiences of Tomas Young, who managed to travel to some film screenings to support soldiers “speaking out against this war.”
One of the most memorable clips from Body of War showed George W. Bush joking and looking around for weapons of mass destruction (his omnicidal fabrication) at the Radio and Television Correspondents Dinner in 2004.
Another memorable scene, one that uplifted the human spirit, was the personal exchange between Senator Robert Byrd (D-WV) and Tomas while a recording of Tomas and Senator Byrd reading the list of those announced Senators who voted against the invasion of Iraq played in the background. Senator Byrd deemed these lawmakers “the immortal 23.”
After he received the call that he had been dreading for ten years, Phil told me that Tomas’ body and mind “took every hit” but he fought to live for over a decade. Phil committed himself to that heroic decade of survival, helping him along the way to get better health care and rehabilitation, encouraging him to keep going, and facilitating Tomas Young’s voice and place in recorded history. This friendship that developed from such a dire circumstance is a book in itself.
It was on the 10th anniversary of the Iraq War that, near death and in hospice, Tomas Young sent a “Last Letter” to George W. Bush and Dick Cheney. Here are some of his searing words from that letter, which, of course, neither the two war criminals nor their taxpayer-funded staff bothered to even acknowledge.
“I write this letter on behalf of husbands and wives who have lost spouses, on behalf of children who have lost a parent, on behalf of the fathers and mothers who have lost sons and daughters and on behalf of those who care for the many thousands of my fellow veterans who have brain injuries…I write this letter on behalf of the some 1 million Iraqi dead and on behalf of the countless Iraqi wounded. I write this letter on behalf of us all—the human detritus your war has left behind, those who will spend their lives in unending pain and grief.
I write this letter, my last letter, to you, Mr. Bush and Mr. Cheney. I write not because I think you grasp the terrible human and moral consequences of your lies, manipulation and thirst for wealth and power. I write this letter because…I want to make it clear that I, and hundreds of thousands of my fellow veterans, along with millions of my fellow citizens, along with hundreds of millions more in Iraq and the Middle East, know fully who you are and what you have done. You may evade justice but in our eyes you are each guilty of egregious war crimes, of plunder and, finally, of murder, including the murder of thousands of young Americans—my fellow veterans—whose future you stole.
Your positions of authority, your millions of dollars of personal wealth, your public relations consultants, your privilege and your power cannot mask the hollowness of your character. You sent us to fight and die in Iraq after you, Mr. Cheney, dodged the draft in Vietnam, and you, Mr. Bush, went AWOL from your National Guard unit. Your cowardice and selfishness were established decades ago…you sent hundreds of thousands of young men and women to be sacrificed in a senseless war with no more thought than it takes to put out the garbage.
I joined the Army two days after the 9/11 attacks… I wanted to strike back at those who had killed some 3,000 of my fellow citizens. I did not join the Army to go to Iraq, a country that had no part in the September 2001 attacks and did not pose a threat to its neighbors, much less to the United States. I did not join the Army to “liberate” Iraqis or to shut down mythical weapons-of-mass-destruction facilities or to implant what you cynically called “democracy” in Baghdad and the Middle East…I especially did not join the Army to carry out pre-emptive war. Pre-emptive war is illegal under international law. And as a soldier in Iraq I was, I now know, abetting your idiocy and your crimes. The Iraq War is the largest strategic blunder in U.S. history…I would not be writing this letter if I had been wounded fighting in Afghanistan against those forces that carried out the attacks of 9/11…We were used. We were betrayed. And we have been abandoned. You, Mr. Bush, make much pretense of being a Christian. But isn’t lying a sin? Isn’t murder a sin? Aren’t theft and selfish ambition sins?…
My day of reckoning is upon me. Yours will come. I hope you will be put on trial. But mostly I hope, for your sakes, that you find the moral courage to face what you have done to me and to many, many others who deserved to live. I hope that before your time on earth ends, as mine is now ending, you will find the strength of character to stand before the American public and the world, and in particular the Iraqi people, and beg for forgiveness.”
In the annals of military history, moral courage is much rarer than physical courage, in part because of the long-lasting sanctions against dissenters and those who speak truth to power about the faults in our own society. Tomas Young had both moral and physical courage. His example should be heeded by young soldiers in the future who are ordered by their gravely flawed politicians to make the ultimate sacrifice for their leaders’ illegal follies and ambitions.
Ralph Nader’s latest book is: Unstoppable: the Emerging Left-Right Alliance to Dismantle the Corporate State.