Mendocino County Today: Sunday, Jan 11, 2015

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THE FOLLOWING is an Instagram message sent to a Boonville high school kid from a Mendocino boy. The names of the recipient and his disturbed assailant have been removed on the dubious assumption that the assailant is getting psychiatric attention:

…buddy, you are not worth my time to create an instagram just for me to talk shit to you. we will bust in your eyes in basketball and send you back on the bus depressed because you have to go back to the terrible town we all know as av you got wrecked brother…

avtakesitdeep

you are the biggest faggot and pussy I never fucking seen i watched Mendo smash your anus and I'll watch that film many times again and watch the same thing im not on the team im not this bitch [name withheld] fag, but i watched you get hit in the game and you say that is a cheap hit? Then have fun staying in av all your life, you are going to be a dried up faggot just like i knew you would. Your boy [name withheld] has some talent bro but you're a bad player and a bad attituded faggot. I hope you die in a fucking car crash have fun being a poor loser in that shit hole of a town. Please fucking die faggot. Ps how are those cumshots feeling?

avtakesitdeep

All I know is [name withheld]'s asshole is torn up by his gay retard butt buddy [name withheld] also i heard that [name withheld] and his whole family have a fuck orgy every month just so their assholes keep that nice looseness. [name withheld] please go in to your gun collection grab your favorite gun load it put it in your mouth and pull the trigger…

AND SO ON. The author would seem to have “issues,” as they say these days in Therapy Land, and “homophobia” doesn't begin to describe the lad's fear of same-sexers. You don't have to be Freud to understand that the Mendo kid has some serious anxiety about his own sexuality.

THE PSYCHO-GRAM was prompted by episodes occurring in the November Boonville vs. Mendocino football game. Boonville's coach, Dan Kuny, doesn't allow any trash-talking, on or off the field. Mendocino has several kids who are permitted to insult opponents. Or maybe their coaches didn't hear it, but that seems unlikely. And Mendocino had plenty to be frustrated about as Boonville trounced them not once but three times in 2014.

THE PARENTS of the Boonville kid on the receiving end of the Instagram abuse went to both the cops and the school authorities where it faded into… Well, nobody knows if there was any intervention on the Mendocino end. But the police concluded that since it seems to have been a one-off tantrum without specific threats, it was not actionable in any legal sense. We'll also assume it's not representative of keen teen thought processes.

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REACH A CERTAIN AGE and you spend more and more time at funerals for people you would rather remember when they were upright, or visiting friends in nursing homes, which now seem organized around stages of decay. There are homes for the ambulatory elderly, the waiting to die elderly, the permanent parking place for the elderly without families. There are of course some specializing in post-op persons of all ages who will walk out to live another day. I've visited all of them and always come away vowing, “Not for me, ever.” But you reach a certain stage of decrepitude and you're too weak to physically resist. (Note to self: Keep gun handy.) I was in one today in Petaluma. Not a bad place up in the west hills. It was clean, the staffers pleasant and on-task, the lunch looked edible. A cluster of geezers and geezettes clustered at the front door as if considering making a break for it, a sudden pile of wheelchairs careening down hill in the wan, winter light. They looked at me expectantly, pleadingly, as if to say, “This is what it all comes to?” Yeah, if you're unlucky. But if you're lucky to have a strong family, they'll keep you at home somehow, which is much easier to do in the civilized countries than here. Here, families do the heavy lifting without help. There, Norway say, government is committed to keeping the old people in their homes, their places secure in a cosmology of family, friends, neighborhoods. But that's socialism so we can't have that, which everywhere else is recognized as simply humanity. As her lunch tray is placed before her, an old lady says to the Mexican girl, “How is one supposed to eat cornbread with no butter?” The girl, with perfect articulation, replies with a smile, “If one asks for butter one is likely to get it.”

* * *

THE UKIAH PAPER'S STORY BEGINS, "The Mendocino County Board of Education may move forward with a retroactive pay increase for former county superintendent Paul Tichinin at Monday's board meeting, now that a tentative contract agreement is in place between the bargaining unit of Mendocino County Federation of School Employees and county office personnel, according to the board's agenda…"

IN OTHER WORDS, the County School Board can safely gift the outgoing and wholly undeserving Superintendent another raise, which will sweeten his retirement that much more. If the school board had to give the Superintendent the money out of their own pockets he wouldn't be getting a dime. If County voters knew that the guy does absolutely nothing to benefit children and never has they might mass with pitchforks at the door to the agency's comfortable offices at Talmage.

Tichinin
Tichinin

BUT TICHININ'S UNTRUSTWORTHY trustees have already also given him a last couple of all-expenses-paid junkets to distant conventions (I believe District 5's trustee opposed one of the junkets) as another parting gift to a guy who heads a redundant agency that does not do one thing the individual school districts of the county could not do better and cheaper themselves. (In a nation of publicly-funded clusterfucks, the Mendocino County Office of Education is in a cluster by itself.)

TICHININ will go out with a salary upwards of $130,290 excluding benefits, meaning that the semi-literate school chief's retirement package will be pegged a couple notches higher.

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ON-LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY

Re: “public education just dumbs down people for servitude”

First, let me say that I think public education could certainly be improved.

Having said that, I think it gets a bad rap. It was initially intended to provide young people with skills that would be useful both to them and to society in their adult lives — ability to read with comprehension and to write intelligently, ability to work with numbers, a basic appreciation for their history and geography. It is important to note that most kids came from homes where the parents actually carried out the economic parts of their lives — the moms tended gardens, cooked, made clothes, prepared medicines, etc., while the fathers tended fields, raised livestock, or worked in cottage industries. Education in this context was a supplement to the life skills learned at home.

Fast-forward to the 21st century where virtually no economic activities at all are practiced in the home and it is often the case that both parents work elsewhere. Schools must now babysit kids while parents are working, and must try to teach children virtually all life skills.

In addition, the attitude of parents toward schools has changed. If I had ever disrupted a class in school, what they did to me there would have paled in comparison to what would have happened to me at home. Now, as often as not, it’s the teacher who gets called in on the carpet.

Our society has a lot of problems, and kids bring these problems to school with them. So while the schools are not necessarily blameless in all this, their problems are symptomatic of the problems of our society at large.

But the one thing that remains is that kids are given the opportunity to learn things that will be useful to them as adults in our schools. Most teachers I know bend over backwards to motivate their students and present the course material in a logical and interesting manner. If the kids choose not to learn despite all that is being offered to them, I just don’t see that the schools should take all the blame.

* * *

THIS IDIOT'S GUIDE to Charlie Hebdo, or how we got to Charlie Hebdo. Some people might say it started with the Crusades or, later, with the Grand Mufti's affiliation with Hitler. But the path to random slaughter in the name of the one true god really picked up steam with the Zionist creation of Israel at the expense of the people who lived there, the Palestinians. The persecution of the Palestinians has been a constant aggravation in the Arab world since 1948. Egypt tried to take control of itself only to be crushed by imperial interests led by the British. Then our CIA funded Osama bin Laden and friends in Afghanistan to expel the godless Russians. Osama et al soon turned our weapons against US and he announced that America would go broke as he sucked US into a global game of rope-a-dope. The Bush-Cheney regime's invasion of Iraq on the basis of transparent lies soon destabilized the entire Middle East and much of North Africa and here we are.

FrankOneNation

THE CHARLIE HEBDO cartoons seem kinda weak, the drawings crude and the shots at religion not very clever, especially compared to the great American artists, R. Crumb and R. Cobb and the late, great Frank Cieciorka whose cartoons, reprinted here, still draw gasps. These guys didn't mess around.

FrankLiberty

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CATCH OF THE DAY, January 10, 2015

Anderson, Batchelor, Clark
Anderson, Batchelor, Clark

TERRY ANDERSON, Fort Bragg. Burglary.

CODY BATCHELOR, St. Charles, MO/Ukiah. Pot sale, transport, furnish.

JOSEPH CLARK, Willits. Possession of meth for sale.

Cole, Haley, Kidd, Kostick
Cole, Haley, Kidd, Kostick

LEE ANN COLE, Fort Bragg. Probation revocation.

LEAH HALEY, Willits. Probation revocation.

JARED KIDD, Ukiah. Drunk in public, probation revocation.

JEFFREY KOSTICK, Fort Bragg. Court order violation.

Kramer, Nieto, Portlock
Kramer, Nieto, Portlock

TERRY KRAMER, Santa Rosa/Willits. DUI, driving on suspended license, ex-felon with firearm, vandalism, resisting arrest, failure to appear.

JORGE NIETO, Willits. Probation revocation.

ROGER PORTLOCK, Ukiah. Criminal threats.

Rexrode, Rogers, Slagle, Villa
Rexrode, Rogers, Slagle, Villa

MIKEL REXRODE, Fort Bragg. Theft.

TIFFANY ROGERS, Ukiah. Possession of hypodermic needle, possession of smoking-injecting device, driving on suspended license, probation revocation.

CHARLES SLAGLE, Ukiah. Domestic battery, destruction of wireless equipment to prevent call for help.

FANCISCO VILLA, Kelseyville. Pot sale, transport, furnish.

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COYOTE VALLEY POT PLANS BAFFLE MENDO

http://www.pressdemocrat.com/home/3356501-181/mendocino-county-officials-surprised-by

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FAMILY GATHERING

Phyllis wrote an account of how her family gathered the night Neil Armstrong landed on the moon, how they shuttled between the living room television and the bedroom where her father lay dying. Back and forth. Concerned with the father, not wanting to miss the moon landing. Phyllis said she was with her father when her mother called to come and see Armstrong set foot on the moon. She ran to the living room, everyone cheering and hugging till she felt this urgency, the old urgency, and ran to the bedroom to find her father dead. She didn’t scream, she didn’t cry, and her problem was how to return to the happy people in the living room to tell them Dad was gone.

She cried now, standing in front of the classroom. She could have stepped back to her seat in the front row and I hoped she would because I didn’t know what to do. I went to her. I put my left arm around her. But that wasn’t enough. I pulled her to me, embraced her with both arms, let her sob into my shoulder. Faces around the room were wet with tears till someone called, Right on, Phyllis, and one or two clapped and the whole class clapped and cheered and Phyllis turned to smile at them with her wet face and when I led her to her seat she turned and touched my cheek and I thought, This isn’t earthshaking, this touch on my cheek, but I’ll never forget it: Phyllis, her dead father, Armstrong on the moon.

— Frank McCourt

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“YOU ARE A BIG COUNTRY. You are the kindest country in the world. You are like a really nice apartment over a meth lab.

— Robin Williams (RIP) to Canadians

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MOSQUE

Let the pavilions of religion

be ground to bits,

let the bricks of temples, mosques, guruduaras, churches

be burned in blind fire, 
and upon those heaps of destruction

let lovely flower gardens grow, spreading their fragrance.

let children's schools and study halls grow.

For the welfare of humanity, now let prayer halls

be turned into hospitals, orphanages, universities,

Now let prayer halls become academies of art, fine art centers, 
scientific research institutes.

Now let prayer halls be turned to golden rice fields 
in the radiant dawn,

Open fields, rivers, restless seas.

From now on, let religion's other name be humanity.

— Taslima Nasreen

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NOVELIST ROBERT STONE, DEAD AT 77

Robert Stone, the award-winning novelist who spun out tales worldwide of seekers, frauds and other misbegotten American dreamers in such works as "A Flag for Sunrise" and "Dog Soldiers," died Saturday at age 77.

Stone died at his home in Key West, Florida, his literary agent, Neil Olson, told The Associated Press. The cause was chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

A lifelong adventurer who in his 20s befriended Ken Kesey, Neal Cassady and what he called "all those crazies" of the counterculture, Stone had a fateful affinity for outsiders, especially those who brought hard times on themselves. Starting with the 1966 novel "A Hall of Mirrors," Stone set his stories everywhere from the American South to the Far East and was a master of making art out of his character's follies, whether the adulterous teacher in "Death of the Black-Haired Girl," the fraudulent seafarer in "Outerbridge Reach," or the besieged journalist in "Dog Soldiers," winner of the National Book Award in 1975. "A Flag for Sunrise," published in 1981, was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize and PEN/Faulkner award and had the unusual honor of being nominated twice for a National Book Award, as a hardcover and paperback. In 1992, "Outerbridge Reach" was a National Book Award finalist.

RobertStoneStone's face — well-lined, framed by a sharp stare and weathered beard — was a testament to a life fully and painfully lived. He was a neglected and traumatized child who learned early not to trust reality, a lapsed Catholic consumed by questions of sin and redemption. Inspired to write novels after re-reading "The Great Gatsby" in his 20s, he identified so strongly with his characters he once broke down sobbing, at a college library, while working on "Dog Soldiers."

"Writing means you and the computer or you and the typewriter, and sometimes there's an enormous weight of emotion which you have nowhere to take," Stone told The Associated Press in 1992. "I think it's a reason writers drink; you can get so incredibly wound up you're weeping and laughing. Writing is how I justify my existence. This is a basic hunger for most people; they want their suffering to mean something. You go through all these things and the idea it's utterly of no consequence is very difficult to work with."

Stone's books also included the novel "Damascus Gate," another story of a wayward journalist, this time in the Middle East; "Children of Light," the fictional saga of a drunken screenwriter in Mexico; and a memoir about his years with Kesey and friends, "Prime Green: Remembering the Sixties."

He helped write screenplays for adaptations of "Hall of Mirrors" (retitled "WUSA" and starring Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward) and "Dog Soldiers" (released as "Who'll Stop the Rain" starring Nick Nolte and Tuesday Weld).

A native of New York City, he was abandoned at birth by his father and ended up in a Catholic orphanage after his mother, who suffered from schizophrenia, was institutionalized. He remembered himself as a loner and fantasizer, ambling through Central Park as a boy and pretending he was detective Sam Spade. Desperate to break away, he left high school and joined the Navy at 17. By his mid-20s, he was living in New Orleans, dropping acid when he should have been working on a book and selling Collier's Encyclopedias.

"I was selling them in Pearl River County, Mississippi, and other areas not far from New Orleans," he told The Associated Press in 2013. "And every time we hit a town with our encyclopedias, we always got busted by the cops, because they always thought we were in town agitating. We were locked up about seven times. We had to get the Collier's lawyers to come spring us. And sometimes we didn't know if they were going to beat us to death, or if they were going to buy us coffee."

After New Orleans, he moved to the Bay Area, met Kesey and friends and, like so many of his peers in the '60s, went out to "discover America." Stone would begin sharing what he had seen and done with "A Hall of Mirrors," a surreal tale of corruption, decadence and breakdown set in New Orleans.

"'A Hall of Mirrors' was something I shattered my youth against," he told The Paris Review in 1985. "It was written through years of dramatic change, not only for me, but for the country. It covers the sixties from the Kennedy assassination through the civil rights movement to the beginning of acid, the hippies, the war."

Stone is survived by his wife, Janice, with whom he had two children. Olson said he had been working on a novel at the time of his death, but had no immediate comment on whether the book would be published.

(Hillel Italie, Courtesy, The Associated Press)

* * *

CUBA: ISLAND OF CONTRASTS

by Ignazio Ignoffo

Santa Clara, Cuba, September 2014.

The tropical warmth enveloped us as we exited the aircraft. I resisted the temptation to emulate the papist act of kneeling down and kissing the tarmac. I had already established my eccentricity with our pleasant Costa Rican guide by asking her to translate the Spanish masthead of your beloved weekly newspaper. (It turned out to be a common slogan in the land where Che Guevara has been all but deified.) I have been an armchair supporter of the Cuban revolution since the ultraleftists of SDS went there to cut sugarcane (Venceremos Brigade, circa 1970). I declined the invitation, but sometimes wondered what I missed. The missus and I traveled to the beleaguered island on one of the special permits for educational/cultural tours which the US State Department has granted for the past few years.

After a brief wait, a friendly young customs agent asked what was the reason for my visit and what I did at home. People usually smile with mild interest when I tell them that I am a retired locomotive driver from Chicago. He was not an exception. With a grin he stamped my passport. As I left, I shared most of my Spanish with him: "La lucha continua." His smile broadened.

The terminal is a very modest structure with small restrooms that lacked both attendants and toilet paper. Welcome to the Third World. Outside a crowd of Cubans eagerly awaited their rich American relations while stray dogs lounged in the shade. A Chinese-made tour bus was parked a few hundred feet away. Our bus driver and a Cubanatour guide greeted us like old friends. After taking a seat in the front row I discovered my seatbelt to be defective, but the bus was clean and the air-conditioning worked most of the time. We were delayed while a missing suitcase was sought. It was later found in Miami and never made it to Cuba. The mistake was especially inconvenient as local stores are few and poorly stocked since Cubans have virtually no disposable income and the tourist industry is a work in progress.

As soon as the bus left the airport the poverty was obvious. Small, dusty tile-roofed homes and the occasional shabby concrete "micro-brigades" (four-story apartment blocks of Soviet design) lined the highway. A tattered Dora the Explorer blanket fluttered on a clothesline. Old American cars zipped past horse-drawn carts and makeshift wagons.

Once upon a time the Cubans were very dependent on the USSR. The Russians still maintain an imposing embassy on the western edge of Havana. It is a monolithic structure that locals liken to an angular vodka bottle.

Along the main highway are dozens of the most expensive sun shelters in the world. Some bureaucrat once imagined that overpasses would be needed for the cross traffic. In reality there is little traffic even on the main road. Very few of the bridges were ever connected to the secondary roads. They are a shaded respite for the many hitchhikers though. The shoulders of the roads are widely used to graze horses and the skinny government-owned cattle. The animals are usually tethered. The Soviets also began work on a nuclear power plant. (One of Fidel's sons studied to be a nuclear engineer.) This project also was never completed and the site has now been cannibalized for spare parts to run the diesel-powered generators that are Cuba's main power source. They are experimenting with solar, wind and ocean-wave generated power, but these options are expensive.

Our first stop was a visit to a nearby retirement home, "Abuelos de Fiesta." I should have asked for memories of pre-revolutionary days. You must be in your eighth decade to have any recollection of that totally corrupt, mafia dominated era. Instead, we learned of old fan courting dance customs and a vaguely croquet-like ball game.

We were free to mix with the locals in the bustling town square, but the only person we spoke with turned out to be a Canadian tourist. Since the demise of the Soviet Union Cuba has turned to tourism in the quest for vital foreign exchange. Many Canadians and Europeans now enjoy Cuban vacations. Our guide somewhat reluctantly admitted that with tourism came petty crime, prostitution and drugs (albeit on a very limited scale).

Another destabilizing force is the recent influx of money and consumer goods from relatives in the United States. Our flight from Miami carried many Cuban Americans loaded down with presents for family members on the island. The average Cuban subsists on the equivalent of less than $15 a month. (Doctors recently got a raise to about $90.) Those working in the tourist industry (even legally) can earn much more. The egalitarian experiment is coming under increasing pressure. Raul Castro openly embraces Chinese style "socialism" — some get rich first.

The modern apartment building across from our hotel (Habana Quinta Avenida) catered to Chinese businesspeople. On the other side was a huge Catholic cathedral from the 50s moldering in a state of disrepair.

We saw what the Cuban government wished to show us, but our Cubanatour guide did not parrot any party line. When I eventually asked if she was a party member, she vehemently denied it and added that she would never join. She did admit that it was usually necessary to be a member to have such a good job, but her case was an exception.

I also questioned her about the Cuban general (Ocha?) executed for drug smuggling upon his return from Angola 20+ years ago. She candidly told me that some feel his real crime was being a political threat to Fidel.

It is a very plausible explanation for the unfortunate epilogue to the heroic human military assistance in the fight against apartheid there.

PlayaCayo

Our first two nights were spent at an all inclusive resort (Playa Cayo Santa Maria) at the end of a 20 mile causeway from the town of Remedios. (The workers are bused back and forth each day.) As we exited the bus we filed through a gauntlet of Disney themed costumed staff greeting us with moist towels and glasses of bubbly. The nearby beach is beautifully pristine with miles of white sand. For someone who swims in Lake Michigan, the salty water was almost too warm. I suspect that the accommodations are similar to what is found in Cancun or Jamaica. One slight problem with our trip was that it was our first third-world vacation.

The people are poor by our standards. We visited a neighborhood ration book store: a tiny corner shop incredibly providing subsidized rice, beans, salt, sugar, etc. to 500 families. (Rum and tobacco are no longer included.) Nevertheless, Cuban statistics for life expectancy and infant mortality rival the United States (and education is free).

A poster at the nearby daycare center (run by the Catholic Church) cautions against the danger of alcohol and we were told that some Cubans do fall through the cracks of their meager welfare state. My wife, Janis, and several other women from our tour danced and played with the healthy, cheerful children of the preschool. We gave them several dozen boxes of crayons lugged from home. They were a suggested gift since crayons (like so many simple items) are not readily available in Cuba.

Of course, Cubans do accept dollars. We are supposed to use the special tourist currency (CUCs, pronounced "kooks") while locals use regular Cuban pesos (worth about one cent). When we visited Che Guevara's huge impressive mausoleum, I wondered if Raul's new economic program had caused the revered revolutionary to turn over in his grave. Among the many artifacts my anthrophilosophical wife noticed was a photograph of Che in a jungle camp reading Goethe! A companero of many interests.

One evening a young Cuban lawyer answered questions about life in Cuba. I pressed him on the effects of the United States embargo which I believe is illegal by our own international trade agreements. He patiently explained how the United States government sues European banks and companies that dare to trade with Cuba. Even docking a vessel in Cuba results in a six-month exclusion from US ports.

The Cubans seek the end of our vindictive policy — it will literally take an active Congress — but I wonder if the resulting deluge of goods and services won't be the death knell of Cuban socialismo. When the personable lawyer blithely dismissed the possibility of Cuban-Americans returning to reclaim their long confiscated property, I made a bit of an ass of myself by bringing up the Zionists' return to Palestine. The group was rightfully confused. All I could offer in my defense was that a bust of Yasir Arafat was prominently displayed on a nearby street corner (as well as other icons at different intersections around the city).

When we stopped at Revolutionary Plaza where Fidel once lectured the masses for hours on end every May Day, I could not resist asking our tour guide if she knew where May Day originated. She admitted that she didn't know. I pedantically provided the little-known answer: the Chicago anarchist movement of the 1880s.

I was given a very uplifting video last year: The Power of Community — How Cuba Survived Peak Oil. When the Soviet Union collapsed, it took the Cuban economy with it. Gross domestic product dropped by nearly half, electricity was available only a few hours a day, parts for Soviet built tractors and other machinery were unavailable. The average Cuban lost about 20 pounds. It is known as the Special Period. Cuba survived by making a dramatic shift to local, organic agriculture powered by animal and human labor. Urban gardens sprouted everywhere. These gardens are of course still common in the countryside and the grassy area near our Havana hotel is used to graze forces. Eventually, with the help of Venezuela, oil again became available. We toured a small — about 20 acres — organic farm "Finca Agroecologica." The proprietor admitted that of the 50 or so members of his cooperative, his was the only farm that was still organic. Everyone else has reverted to conventional, fossil fuel-based farming. Most of the urban vegetable plots lie fallow. The lure of cheap oil may be irresistible but another way is possible when push comes to shove.

Finca

We also visited Benito's small family-run tobacco farm, "Finca Paraiso." He joked about marijuana smoking in the United States as he demonstrated his cigar rolling skill. Inside his modest home we were treated to cigars and an espresso with a rum option. In the yard he proudly opened the hood of his 1956 Buick Special to reveal the Toyota motor that now powers it. It is still illegal to bring back cigars or rum from Cuba, but we later purchased several boxes of cigars and a bottle of rum. In Miami US Customs inserted an inspection slip into our luggage but the contraband was undisturbed.

Also on our itinerary was the Hemingway Museum. His home and gardens have been carefully restored. Another stop was the Christopher Columbus Cemetery, an impressive Victorian collection of monuments from the days when some Cubans were quite wealthy.

We also toured an art school, two community artists cooperatives, a print shop with functioning presses from the 20s, and a crafts market on the waterfront. Public transport was crowded and even the beds of trucks were often filled with people. The schoolchildren are dressed in simple uniforms and no one has a cellphone. Advertising (aside from political themes) is nonexistent. There are very few police to be seen.

While on an architectural tour of old Havana I noticed a small blue and white placard affixed to a balcony railing. When I questioned our guide she said it was the location of the meetings of a Civil Defense committee. She seemed slightly uncomfortable with my question. Some claim that these local groups exist to snitch on their "counterrevolutionary" neighbors. I believe that paranoia is sometimes justified. In Chicago many windows have signs stating, "We called the police."

When we toured a neighborhood policlinic we learned that Cuba has an aging and shrinking population (so does affluent Japan). Even here there are no computers available for the medical staff. A poster in the spartan clinic shows a middle-aged Fidel, AK-47 raised high, extolling the benefits of the socialist revolution.

Another poster lets the patients know the cost (in pesos) of their free healthcare (to discourage waste). We were told that Cuba "rents out doctors" to foreign countries. When I quietly suggested that property is rented, and a better term might be "subcontracts," our tour guide patiently listened and later shared the more neutral translation with the group. Her English was very good, but I couldn't help telling her that we go on wild goose "chases" not "hunts."

She cautioned us about a Cuban idiom: do not say how much you enjoy eating papaya as the listener might think that you are referring to cunnilingus.

We missed the Buena Vista Social Club outing and our farewell dinner as we both succumbed to "Montezuma's revenge." Was this my just desserts for being a naive cheerleader for a flawed social experiment? We probably should not have brushed our teeth with the tap water. Thank the Goddess for Imodium (brought from home at the suggestion of Janis's hairstylist).

Venceremos.

4 Responses to "Mendocino County Today: Sunday, Jan 11, 2015"

  1. burnunit   January 11, 2015 at 8:51 am

    I thought Carmel Angelo’s statement that, “they can do anything they want” to be most telling. Of course they being the “tribes”. Perhaps this is the highest form of retribution the “tribes” can exact on whitey for centuries of genocide.

    Reply
  2. Paul McCarthy   January 11, 2015 at 9:27 am

    WHOA there AVA: “Or maybe their (Mendo) coaches didn’t hear it, but that’s unlikely…”
    How in the wide, wide world of sports could they hear it – this kid in question admits in his rant he wasn’t even ON the team ?
    The Mendo coaches don’t monitor what every student in the school posts to Instagram – nor should they. But I know one thing for a fact, if a Mendo football team member even hits “like” on a Mendocinosportsplus photo they end up running after practice. The Mendo football coaches have “zero tolerance” for internet posts – period – and have for the past three years MSP has been posting Mendo sports.

    Reply
  3. Harvey Reading   January 11, 2015 at 11:45 am

    Best depiction I’ve ever seen of the so-called god shared by Jews, Christians, and Muslims. All of them are drenched in blood.

    Reply
  4. Jeff Costello   January 11, 2015 at 1:47 pm

    Here’s a suggestion for the dreadlock guy from Missouri: Get your weed in Colorado, then all you have to do is get it across Kansas. It’s not like the dreads would peg you for a pot head…although as backwards as Kansas is, word may have gotten there about rastfarians and their “sacrament.”
    Another thing he could do is get an old VW van with some flowers painted on it. That might help.

    Reply

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