- Rainfall Totals
- UnSaintly Nick
- Shelter Poster
- Google MLK
- Mendo Health
- Empty Buses
- Hello Beautiful
- Neuter Van
- Glenn Frey
- Political Suicide
- Yesterday's Catch
- Hillary Sliding
- Racist Mistakes
- Business Women
- Personal Peacefulness
RAINFALL TOTALS on Monday came in at less than the predicted inch and runoff was similarly reduced. Tuesday rainfall is expected to reach about another half-inch followed by a clearing period through Wednesday and into Thursday. More rain is expected to arrive late Thursday and then into Friday. The weekend will be another light rain period, then another round of wet weather for Monday and Tuesday, all combined with mild winter temps. After a brief closure Sunday night the Navarro level receded back to well below flood stage by Monday evening.
* * *
HIGH ROLLER RAIN: As Marshall Newman pointed out, the Department of Water Resources (DWR) rain gauge for Boonville (located in the hills above Stalag Calfire, south of town) recently went kaput. So as far as the DWR is concerned the Anderson Valley area has only one rain gauge left in operation, and yesterday (Sunday) that gauge, located near the Yorkville Post Office, reported 2.84 inches. It was that station’s wettest day of this rainy season, and brought the High Roller's total up to 29.88 inches.
SATURDAY (16 January, at 1:04 AM, deputies were dispatched to a home just north of the Fort Bragg city limits where, quoting the Sheriff's press release, "a reported burglary and assault" had just occurred. "A white male suspect, with long dark hair, wearing a red t-shirt, and armed with several knives, had entered a residence where he assaulted the 33 year old female resident."
DEPUTIES found the woman lying on the floor of a neighbor’s house. Lucky to be alive "from multiple puncture wounds to her upper torso," the woman said she had been asleep in the upstairs area of her house when she heard someone enter her home downstairs. The intruder walked up to the woman's bedroom "where she turned on a light and observed the suspect who was armed with a large kitchen style knife in each hand."
Although beaten and suffering from numerous knife wounds, the woman was able fight off her attacker and run to her neighbor's house as her assailant pursued her.
THERE IS NO association between the victim and her assailant. He just walked out of the night near Highway One and attacked the woman.
WHEN THE NEIGHBOR opened his door and confronted the attacker, shielding the wounded woman from further assault, the intruder fled west through the brush. Deputies and an ambulance were quickly on scene. The injured woman is now recovering at a distant hospital, if one ever fully recovers from a nightmare like this. Approximately 45 minutes later, the intruder, hiding in brush a short distance north of the home where he'd committed his mayhem, was found by deputies and arrested. Identified as Nicholas Merrell, 28, he has been booked into the Mendocino County Jail on charges of attempted murder, burglary, and for being a fugitive from justice from the state of Montana.
OF COURSE HE WINDS UP IN FORT BRAGG.
ALICE CHOUTEAU points out: "Regarding the attempted murder in Fort Bragg yesterday — if FBPD and Sherriff’s Dept routinely ran background checks on transients, they would have learned that Merrell is on the Most Wanted Escapees list in Montana."
FRANTIC to stop the outsourcing of the County's Ukiah Animal Shelter to a Sonoma County non-profit, the entrenched management at Ukiah are circulating this poster:
DON'T KNOW ABOUT YOU, but I didn't like Google's depiction of MLK this morning. This caricature makes him look like a rapper, or some other non-serious person.
COUNTY HAS MORE MENTAL HEALTH PROBLEMS THAN JUST PRIVATIZATION
Mendocino County had a host of problems delivering mental health services long before privatization. County staff turnover and the inability to recruit sufficient qualified workers were key issues then and remain key issues today.
In 2011, Mendocino County spent more on average per mental health patient than any California county except Santa Cruz County; and it was third highest in median cost per patient.
Despite this high spending, the county was not delivering the timely service this vulnerable population needed. It was also failing in its fiscal duty to recover costs from the state and federal programs which were supposed to provide 100% of the funding.
In 2012, the county did not have the wherewithal to make the technological leap required and it lacked sufficient skilled workers to fix it. Our county’s mental health staff was ravaged by recession cost cutting, compounded by learning its functions might be privatized and that there might be layoffs. It is not surprising that a significant number of talented county workers left to find other employment.
This made privatization look like an easy fix. It was presumed that any contractor would have access to a network of trained personnel and would have the organization and the technology to coordinate and provide mental health care to those dependent upon county services. It was also assumed that any contractor dependant upon payment from federal and state programs, would keep on top of payment procedures.
Clearly, in hindsight, it seems likely the county could have done a better job choosing its contractors. At least one hopes so.
Mendocino County is but one of the rural California counties lacking both the facilities and sufficient mental health professionals to treat patients. Nearly half of California counties have no adult beds for mental health patients and nearly two-thirds have no beds for children.
It is unlikely the county has the needed staff to fix the county’s mental health system by itself. What its staff can do is look critically at its own organization and failings and bring to light the systemic problems that need fixing. Too many issues have been shoved into the closet, hidden from view by rosy presentations and slideshows.
We hope the upcoming Kemper report is a no-holds-barred examination of Mendocino County’s mental health program and that the county administration embraces it — warts and all.
Too often criticism brings out the worst in our county administration and Board of Supervisors. We have become accustomed to never ending excuses and the bluster of supervisors attempting to defend the indefensible.
Unlike many of the issues faced by this board, this one really is a matter of life or death. Please defend the defenseless, do not defend the bureaucracy. Let’s find a way out of this mess that some call the greatest public safety issue in our county today.
Editor, The Willits News
(Courtesy, the Willits News)
THE MTA: WHY NOT VIRTUAL BUSES?
by Tommy Wayne Kramer
I’ve always been willing to bet that no more than a tiny fraction of county residents use the Mendocino Transit Authority. Now there’s a study that proves it. The huge buses lurch and roar around town and countryside, going from nowhere to someplace else, full of empty seats and a driver. Think I’m kidding?
The MTA’s own internal reports verify that for lengthy periods, on significant stretches, approximately no one is aboard. On some of the longer routes, the MTA told county supervisors, the buses average four passengers per hour. That’s the average. This means that sometimes, maybe a lot of times, there are less than four riders. Some buses (with capacities for 50) might carry a dozen or more, which means many more buses with capacities for 50 carry zero riders.
A couple years back the MTA quietly, craftily, purchased an entire huge new armada of buses and made sure all of them came equipped with blacked-out windows. No one is supposed to see that the buses are empty.
So here’s The Question: Why are the buses so big for a ridership so small? Why isn’t MTA toddling around in Chevy vans that seat a dozen or so? Why not scaled down vehicles suitable for our county and our population, instead of launching the Queen Mary three times an hour to loop from South Orchard to North Dora and back?
Drive out Plant Road (behind the health club at the south end of Ukiah) and gaze in wonder at the vast sea of buses the MTA has scattered around its complex, the centerpiece of which is a mansion-like “garage” with luxury offices and (get this) heated floors.
Who reviews the MTA and its procedures? What administrative body oversees and approves its massive waste and inefficiencies? Glad you asked. Here’s a partial list:
The Mendocino Transit Authority staff and administrators
The Mendocino County Council of Governments
The Mendocino County Supervisors
Public input from the Unmet Transit Needs Workshop
Countywide Public Outreach Ridership Survey
The Transit Productivity Committee
The Transportation Advisory Council
I’d bet there are more bureaucrats attending meetings and reviewing procedures for county MTA buses than for nationwide Greyhound buses.
And what these groups do is produce reports and analyze data. They consider alternatives and study options, hold meetings and appoint committees to review procedures, adopt strategies for unmet needs and propose interim solutions, provisionally implemented, based on criterion to be established via further study. Also, they network.
In its most recent presentation, the MTA confirmed new policies needed to address the bus service’s transportation needs.
Briefly, the findings were as follows:
Transportation to the senior center and apartments. Service to the Mendocino County Office of Education in Talmage. Service to Laytonville, Covelo, Willits and Fort Bragg. More buses in Ukiah.
None of this would have occurred to the rest of us.
It takes a transportation system that has been mired in the swamps of Mendocino County’s progressive government for more than 40 years, plus half a dozen committees with scores of members each, to realize buses should go places where people live and work.
(TWK offers special thanks to Mark Scaramella of the AVA, and to Jeff Trouette for key ingredients in this stew, which is actually written by Tom Hine. Courtesy, the Ukiah Daily Journal.)
ONE MORE EXAMPLE of mole hills to mountains in the prevalent context of sexual hysteria occurred recently at Ukiah High School where the music teacher has been fired three months after he allegedly addressed a female student "inappropriately"
FROM JUSTINE FREDERICKSON'S story in the UDJ, "According to the Ukiah Police Department, a female student in October of 2015 accused the teacher, who is not being named because criminal charges have not been filed, of making an 'inappropriate comment,' which was described further as 'a sexual innuendo’."
HOLD IT RIGHT THERE. We understand from reliable sources that the guy greeted the girl with something no more sinister than a merry, "Hello, beautiful." It's a stretch to squeeze sexual innuendo out of that unless he followed it up with an invitation for some truly inappropriate hubba-hubba. But Lt. Sean Kaeser nevertheless said the UPD’s investigation of the incident led them to determine that a charge of 'harassing and annoying a juvenile' was applicable, and submitted its report to the Mendocino County District Attorney’s Office for review.
DA EYSTER will certainly toss it, but in the mean time the music teacher's life is suddenly blitzed with perv implications on the front page of his home town newspaper. And it develops that the alleged teen victim of the innuendo is a pal of another girl who tried to get the guy fired last year because she was unhappy with the grade she got in his music class.
"THE DISPLACED teacher was hired in 2014 and quickly expanded Ukiah High’s languishing band program from 20 to 80 kids under his leadership. “He’s an expert in beginning instruments,” said a Willits music teacher, Mr. Sherrill, a friend of the ruined music teacher. "…it’s really unlikely that the county will get another teacher as great (as he is). If this complaint is determined to be false, the district should re-hire him.”
UKIAH WON'T. Count on that. Superintendent Kubin has already thrown the guy under the school bus, simply taking the kid's word for it three months after the alleged "crime" that she'd suffered cop-worthy sexual harm.
Among the many untruthful claims in the article you posted Monday about the Animal Shelter, the most destructive and annoying is this: "Thanks to outside funding from the Sonoma County non-profit hoping to take over management of the Ukiah shelter, the Care A Van spay and neuter operation was restarted this summer. It's a valuable service because, Shelter critics say, the Shelter takes forever to spay and neuter dogs and cats."
Where on earth you learned/heard this delightful tidbit sure would be interesting to discover. This is completely and utterly without validity. You should really be ashamed. This is above and beyond the AVA at it's most slimey. And again, the "one volunteer" you mention--the same one who has written her own fact-free letters and posts, has not been banned from the shelter.
It would behoove you to actually get this stuff right, instead of enabling folks in their undermining of an agency that has done lots of great things for many years.
Kathy Shearn, Ukiah
ED NOTE: Who did fund the Care A Van?
EAGLES GUITARIST GLENN FREY, 67, DIES
He died in New York City on Monday from complications arising from rheumatoid arthritis, colitis and pneumonia.
"Words can neither describe our sorrow, nor our love and respect for all that he has given to us," his family and fellow band members said.
The Eagles were one of the most successful bands of the 1970s, with multiple hit singles including Hotel California, in 1976.
Frey co-founded the Eagles in 1971 with Don Henley, Bernie Leadon and Randy Meisner.
He co-wrote Hotel California with Henley, and composed a number of the band's biggest songs on his own, including Heartache Tonight and Lyin' Eyes.
The Eagles notched up more than 150 million album sales worldwide, with Hotel California and their greatest hits among the best selling in history.
The Eagles were one of the great forces of 1970s rock. They may not have had the dynamics of Led Zeppelin or the tangled relationships of Fleetwood Mac, but they dominated the airwaves. AM radio would play the hits, filled with flawless harmonies, while FM stations would spin the longer, unedited album cuts.
Frey emerged as one of the band's chief songwriters, the Lennon to Don Henley's McCartney. He penned their breakout hit Take It Easy - a song as laid back as its title suggests - with Jackson Browne. But later singles, including Take It To The Limit and Hotel California, were group efforts, while the two frontmen would share vocal duties - Frey's supple tones a perfect counterpoint to Henley's rasp.
In the US, they scored five number one singles and four number one albums; while their greatest hits sold 30 million copies.
"It boggles the mind somewhat," Frey told Rolling Stone in 2012. "But as long as I keep taking out the garbage and cleaning up after the dogs and taking the kids to school, I'll have perspective."
Nonetheless, success took its toll on the band. Frey used to describe their break-up in two words - "Hotel California" - explaining that the pressure of following up that record tore the band apart.
In 1980, Henley famously said the Eagles would reform "when hell freezes over". Fourteen years later, that became the title of the band's comeback album, as the old friends made amends.
Upon hearing of Frey's death, Henley commented that "the bond we forged 45 years ago was never broken."
"He was like a brother to me; we were family, and like most families, there was some dysfunction," Henley said in a statement.
"But, the bond we forged 45 years ago was never broken, even during the 14 years that the Eagles were dissolved."
After the Eagles' acrimonious split in 1980, Frey enjoyed success as a solo artist, most notably with The Heat is On, recorded for the 1984 film Beverly Hills Cop.
The band reunited in 1994 and became a hugely popular touring act.
City girls just seem to find out early
How to open doors with just a smile
A rich old man
And she won't have to worry
She'll dress up all in lace and go in style
Late at night a big old house gets lonely
I guess every form of refuge has its price
And it breaks her heart to think her love is
Only given to a man with hands as cold as ice
So she tells him she must go out for the evening
To comfort an old friend who's feelin' down
But he knows where she's goin' as she's leavin'
She is headed for the cheatin' side of town
You can't hide your lyin' eyes
And your smile is a thin disguise
I thought by now you'd realize
There ain't no way to hide your lyin eyes
On the other side of town a boy is waiting
with fiery eyes and dreams no one could steal
She drives on through the night anticipating
'Cause he makes her feel the way she used to feel
She rushes to his arms,
They fall together
She whispers that it's only for awhile
She swears that soon she'll be comin' back forever
She pulls away and leaves him with a smile
You can't hide your lyin' eyes
And your smile is a thin disguise
I thought by now you'd realize
There ain't no way to hide you lyin' eyes
She gets up and pours herself a strong one
And stares out at the stars up in the sky
Another night, it's gonna be a long one
She draws the shade and hangs her head to cry
She wonders how it ever got this crazy
She thinks about a boy she knew in school
Did she get tired or did she just get lazy?
She's so far gone she feels just like a fool
My, oh my, you sure know how to arrange things
You set it up so well, so carefully
Ain't it funny how your new life didn't change things
You're still the same old girl you used to be
You can't hide your lyin eyes
And your smile is a thin disguise
I thought by now you'd realize
There ain't no way to hide your lyin' eyes
There ain't no way to hide your lyin' eyes
Honey, you can't hide your lyin' eyes
— Don Henley, Glenn Frey
HOURS BEFORE the Democratic presidential debate Sunday night, during which Bernie mopped up Hil, Sanders revealed the details of his plan for a single-payer healthcare system. According to the Vermont senator’s “Medicare for All” plan, individuals would pay a 2.2% “premium” and employers would dole out a 6.2% payroll tax to fund it. Individuals who make $250,000 to $500,000 would pay a tax rate of 37% and those making more than $10 million would pay a 52% tax rate.
WORSE THAN 1860
by James Kunstler
The lost story-line amid the food-fights and boasting contests that the “debates” have turned into is the destruction being wreaked on the two major parties themselves. I don’t see how either the Republicans or Democrats get out of this thing alive. The primary season now upon us is the event horizon that sucks these two purposeless clubs into the bottomless hole of historical bad memories. Both parties have failed so fundamentally to represent or even apprehend the interests of the nation that they are now merely obstacles to any sort of plausible future, two infernal machines blocking the road, shaking themselves to death.
The Republican Party may be closer to outright blowup since the rank and file will never accept Donald Trump as their legitimate candidate, and Trump has nothing but contempt for the rank and file. If Trump manages to win enough primaries and collect a big mass of delegate votes, the July convention in Cleveland will be the site of a mass political suicide. The party brass, including governors, congressmen, senators and their donor cronies will find some device to deprive Trump of his prize, and the Trump groundlings will revolt against that move, and the whole nomination process will be turned over to the courts, and the result will be a broken organization. The Federal Election Commission may then have to appeal to Capital Hill to postpone the general election. The obvious further result will be a constitutional crisis. Political legitimacy is shattered. Enter, some Pentagon general on a white horse.
Parallel events could rock the Democratic side. I expect Hillary to exit the race one way or another before April. She comes off the shelf like a defective product that never should have made it through quality control. Nobody really likes her. Nobody trusts her. Nobody besides Debbie Wasserman Schultz and Huma Abedin believe that it’s her turn to run the country. Factions at the FBI who have had a good look at her old State Department emails want to see her indicted for using the office to gin up global grift for the Clinton Foundation. These FBI personnel may be setting up another constitutional crisis by forcing Attorney General Loretta Lynch either to begin proceedings against Clinton or resign. Rumors about her health (complications from a concussion suffered in a fall) won’t go away. And finally, of course, Senator Bernie Sanders is embarrassing her badly at the polls.
The Democrats could feasibly end up having to nominate Bernie on a TKO, but in doing so would instantly render themselves a rump party peddling the “socialist” brand — about the worst product-placement imaginable, given our history and national mythos. In theory, the country might benefit from a partial dose of socialism such as single-payer Medicare-for-all — just to bust up the odious matrix of rackets that medicine has become — but mega-bureaucracy on the grand scale is past its sell-by date for an emergent post-centralized world that needs its regions to get more local and autonomous.
The last time the major political parties disintegrated, back in the 1850s, the nation had to go through a bloody convulsion to reconstitute itself. The festering issue of slavery so dominated politics that nothing else is remembered about the dynamics of the period. Today, the festering issue is corruption and racketeering, but none of the candidates uses those precise terms to describe what has happened to us, though Sanders inveighs against the banker class to some effect. Trump gets at it only obliquely by raging against the “incompetence” of the current leadership, but he expresses himself so poorly in half-finished sentences and quasi-thoughts that he seems to embody that same mental incapacity as the people he rails against. Corruption and racketeering go unobserved and unchallenged. Even the amazing effrontery of Ted Cruz failing to report his Goldman Sachs campaign contributions to the FEC (with his wife employed as a managing director of that company!) hardly made an impression on public opinion last week.
Political uncertainty has never been so dangerously high in this country since the election year of 1860. Even the Watergate years pale against today’s sick scene because for all of Richard Nixon’s turpitudes and evasions in the White House, the institutions of democracy elsewhere were sound and worked impressively well. The senate committee steadfastly and systematically uncovered the crimes of Nixon and his cohorts over two years of hearings, and the House judiciary committee chugged efficiently through the preparatory work of impeachment — and then, old Tricky Dick boarded his helicopter to San Clemente with a ragged smile and a wave.
Nobody knows where the shit show of 2016 is leading. The uncertainty around it is helping to sink what remains of the old economy, and one can easily discern a very dangerous set of feedbacks creeping into place.
(To support Kunstler’s writing and posts go to; https://www.patreon.com/JamesHowardKunstler?ty=h)
ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY
Bernie’s form of socialism has nothing to do with communism. I like this definition of a socialist from the Urban Dictionary – “A human being who believes that the most harmonious state of affairs would be for all to get a fair shot at financial success." This belief is not motivated by his own selfishness as a capitalist would have you think, but is in actuality an honorable difference of opinion. In the 1930’s farmers in the mid west were plowing their corn under because it was unprofitable, and at the same time millions across America were starving. Capitalists see this as logical, while socialists find it abhorrent. In short, socialism is about production for use, not profit.
Everyone calls me a socialist because I think universal health care is more important than Ross Perot having 28 cars.
CATCH OF THE DAY, January 18, 2016
RICHARD BOLTON JR., Willits. Perjury.
CHARLES HENSLEY, Ukiah. Drunk in public. (Frequent flyer.)
KEVIN LITZIN, Ukiah. Probation revocation. (Frequent flyer.)
ANDREW MAYNARD, Fort Bragg. Drunk in public, probation revocation. (Frequent flyer.)
DEBBIE MCOSKER, Ukiah. Failure to appear, probation revocation.
AGUSTIN RUIZ, Ukiah. Failure to appear.
REBECCA STILES, Laytonville. Drunk in public. (Frequent flyer.)
AARON TILLERY, Fort Bragg. Domestic assault, removal/destruction of cellphone to prevent calling for help.
KEVIN VASQUEZ, Hopland. Drunk in public, probation revocation.
HILLARY ON THE ROPES
by Ben Schreiner
Conventional political wisdom has long held Hillary Clinton to be the odds-on favorite to become the next president of the United States. But as was the case back in 2008, cracks are once again emerging in the façade of Clinton’s “inevitability.” Is history repeating?
According to a Des Moines Register/Bloomberg Politics poll released Thursday, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders has narrowed the gap with Clinton in Iowa to within 2 percentage points, well within the poll’s margin of error. Meanwhile, Sanders continues to hold a respectable lead in New Hampshire. The possibility of a Sanders sweep of Iowa and New Hampshire is thus no longer so far-fetched.
The Sanders surge and the accompanying Clinton campaign angst has generated a slew of press reports pondering the prospect of yet another doomed presidential run by the former secretary of state. As a Friday Washington Post headline read, “Clinton’s lead is evaporating, and anxious Democrats see 2008 all over again.” A Saturday New York Times report similarly stated that the Clinton camp has become “unnerved by the possibility that Mr. Sanders will foment a large wave of first-time voters and liberals that will derail her in Iowa, not unlike Barack Obama’s success in 2008, which consigned Mrs. Clinton to a third-place finish.”
With the ghosts of 2008 circling overhead, a clearly rattled Clinton team has resorted to stepped up attacks on Sanders. And in doing so, her campaign has come to expose its truly reactionary character.
Parroting a threadbare right-wing smear, the Clinton campaign honed its attack on Sanders by taking aim at — of all things — his support for a single-payer health care system. As Chelsea Clinton averred while stumping for her mother, the Medicare for all system championed by Sanders would “strip millions and millions and millions of people of their health insurance.” Such a claim is nothing but a blatant lie even Clinton apologists ought to acknowledge. But if Clinton’s backsliding in the polls continues, expect the pack of lies to stack up, no doubt to be accompanied by all measure of retrograde red-baiting attacks against the “socialist” Sanders.
The use of such desperate attacks aside, Hillary still remains the heavy favorite to capture the Democratic nomination. The beneficiary of both a national party leadership dedicated to running interference for her campaign and mounds of super donor cash, it is still hard to fathom how Clinton could fail to secure the party’s nomination. But her nomination now certainly appears more bruising than previously anticipated.
A bruising primary, though, stands as just the initial and arguably most benign threat to Hillary’s long planned coronation.
According to a January 11 Fox News report, the FBI has expanded its probe over Clinton’s use of a private email server while she served as secretary of state to include possible public corruption charges. As Catherine Herridge and Pamela Browne reported, “The FBI investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of private email as secretary of state has expanded to look at whether the possible ‘intersection’ of Clinton Foundation work and State Department business may have violated public corruption laws.”
One source consulted by Herridge and Browne added that, “The agents are investigating the possible intersection of Clinton Foundation donations, the dispensation of State Department contracts and whether regular processes were followed.”
“Inside the FBI,” the report continues, “pressure is growing to pursue the case.”
“One intelligence source told Fox News that FBI agents would be ‘screaming’ if a prosecution is not pursued because ‘many previous public corruption cases have been made and successfully prosecuted with much less evidence than what is emerging in this investigation.'”
Clinton will assuredly continue to insist that any potential charges brought against her are nothing but a Republican-led witch-hunt — a grand right-wing conspiracy. And with an utterly inept Republican Party in no way able to claim the moral high ground on any issue, Clinton’s cynical ploy may very well succeed in casting her corrupt dealings as merely the battle scars of a “pragmatic reformer.”
But even if Clinton is able to escape the embarrassment of being hauled before a court to face charges of public corruption, she will be less likely to escape the far more damaging political repercussions of an economy on the precipice of another globalized crisis. For as Bill would say: it’s the economy, stupid!
Indeed, it’s always the economy. But for those listening to President Obama’s platitude-laden State of the Union address replete with the triumphant claims of an economic recovery, the notion of the economy playing anything but a supporting role in Hillary’s push for the White House would seem absurd. After all, official unemployment stands at 5% and job growth remains fairly strong. As Clinton’s sales pitch will go, it’s in the Democrats we must trust.
But strip away the self-serving rhetoric of an economic recovery and the warning signs of an economy deeply imperiled emerge. Consider the following: global stock market volatility; retracting manufacturing output in both China and the U.S.; slowing U.S. retail sales; a global glut of oil; collapsing commodity prices; and a still low labor participation rate. As analyst Albert Edwards from the French bank Societe Generale warned in a recent investment note to clients, “The illusion of prosperity is shattered as boom now turns to bust.” Edwards continued, “I believe the events we now see unfolding will drive us back into global recession.”
Of course, if the financial house of cards constructed on the ruins of the 2007-08 financial collapse comes crashing down by the time voters go to the polls this November, Clinton will be confronted with a rather unenviable task akin to that faced previously by John McCain in 2008; namely, having to run in the shadow of a sitting president who presided over a financial collapse as popular sentiment demands political change. It’s not a winning formula.
Clinton’s only hope in such a situation, aside being gifted the opportunity to run against whichever bona fide proto-fascist the Republicans nominate, will be a cynical appeal to gender politics. For a restless electorate, Hillary will attempt to offer herself as a figure of historical change: the first Empress of Pax Americana. A superficial change, to be sure, but presidential politics are nothing if not superficial. And such a ploy is of course one in which Clinton remains well versed. Indeed, when Sanders questioned her campaign contributions from Wall Street in a December debate, Clinton defended herself by asserting how proud she was to have women supporting her candidacy. She then went on for good measure to invoke 9/11, because, well, why not?
But even Hillary’s go-to gender gambit doesn’t appear as foolproof as it once did. As the Times reported, the Clinton campaign has been caught off guard by the support for Sanders among women. As the paper noted, “they were not prepared for Mr. Sanders to become so popular with young people and independents, especially women, whom Mrs. Clinton views as a key part of her base.” It’s of course hard to imagine that, upon Clinton securing the nomination, women voters would choose to rally behind the candidacy of a Trump or Cruz. But it’s also difficult to imagine women rallying en masse with much enthusiasm behind Hillary’s solo quest to “break the last glass ceiling.” After all, it’s not identity politics, stupid!
So with Hillary’s rendezvous with history jeopardized by a possible 2008 redux, those in the Clinton campaign must assuredly be asking themselves, does history really repeat itself?
It certainly feels as if history is repeating, with the economy teetering once more on the edge and an electorate clamoring yet again for political change. But as Marx offered, history repeats first as tragedy, then as farce. Struggling to deliver a knockout blow to a charisma-challenged “socialist” opponent as the FBI breaths down her neck, the early days of 2016 must have Hillary increasingly wondering if this time around is farce.
ACCUMULATED BY ROB ANDERSON, DISTRICT 5 DIARY
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ORGANIZATION & TIME MANAGEMENT
Live the life you want in 2016!!!
Tuesday, Jan 19th, 12-1pm
Ukiah Valley Conference Center
Light snacks provided!
Bring a note pad & business cards!
What a great way to start off the year!
We also will be REVEALING the 2016 calendar of all our meetings & events for 2016 that the wonderful new Steering committee has worked on!
Come & get your copy & be the 1st to see the year!!
Also mark your calendar for Jan 30th a FREE (members benefit) head shot photo shoot for all paid members, to be used on our brand new website, coming 1st week of February 2016!! Can also be used for your FB profile photo.
Just one of the many benefits of being a part of the NEW Ukiah Women In Business Network 2016
Membership for the entire year is $75.00, drop ins are $10.
AnneMarie Clear, our February speaker, will be in Ukiah on January 19th all day after the meeting at Susan David's office to share these products that make her face looks so much better, give her more energy and have her sleeping great. Best of all, she feels more confident. She'll do live demonstrations with her FDA approved Facial Spa. You can see the results for yourself. Call Anne Marie Clear 707-367-0409 or Susan David 707-489-2737 to reserve your spot.
More information and online registration: January 2016 Networking Meeting
Ukiah Women in Business Network
PERSONAL PEACEFULNESS, PSYCHOLOGICAL PERSPECTIVES: A NEXT STEP
by Gregory K. Sims
As I write this review of Personal Peacefulness, Psychological Perspectives (Sims, G., Nelson, L. & Puopolo, M. eds. et. al. 2014, Springer Publishing) I’ve just been reminded that under the direction of Franklin Apfel, M.D. we opened the Anderson Valley Health Center down on Hwy. 128 in early January of 1976 - forty years ago and Mark Apfel M.D. became our director a short time later. I’m not absolutely certain I was there for that opening. But I do remember being part of meetings wherein we were attempting to establish appropriate clinic procedures - such as office space, finances, etc. Though I hadn’t been in The Valley very long, Franklin was very accepting, checked my resume (verbally with written materials to follow) and included me a psychologist, as part of the treatment team. Quite amazingly, I remember my first patient who was referred by our office manager, Terry Anderson. And I must admit, that little bit of information from Eugenia Herr will probably colour how I write this review. Because although there are distinct differences between the people living here, some owning homes and properties, vineyards, or others roughing it in the woods, with different personalities and people of all ages and races to name a few, there are the commonalities we share; of wanting to be here, being readily identified and known to each other throughout The Valley and supported by our valley institutions, such as the health center. All of this makes the effort I’m about to promote a little bit more reasonable.
Actually, this article isn’t so much of a review. It is more about what further writings can be spawned and what we can do in Mendoland to facilitate a state of personal peacefulness within ourselves, one that reflects outwardly in behalf of others, other life forms, the environment and too, allows us to contemplate the unknown. It took us several years to put these writings together and the book grew out of events stemming from when Janetti (then my spouse), our sons Prairie, Tenaya and I left Anderson Valley for Reno where Janetti had been accepted as a Graduate Student in Clinical Psychology at The University of Nevada, Reno. For a while, I kept my Mendocino County practice and commuted back and forth between Mendoland and Reno. Actually we lived in married student housing in an old Air Force Barracks in Stead, north of Reno. I would joke about “living in Stead instead of living”.
But then an opening came up in the Rural Clinics Program and I became the psychologist for the Fernley area, which included Nixon fifteen miles away- where the Pyramid Lake Paiute Indian (as they called themselves) Tribal Headquarters was located. And shortly after I began seeing patients; the director of Indian Health (herself a Paiute) came to ask for tribal services from the Rural Clinics. Upon administrative approval, we arranged to have me spend a portion of each week on the reservation. That was the beginning of this book on personal peacefulness. Because in the course of being with the Paiute Peoples, in the school, the elders program, seeing individuals, families, and groups of parents I saw something that seemed like peacefulness. It wasn’t happiness, or adaptiveness, self-satisfaction necessarily- rather something within these people who were losing their language and their way of life which was vastly different from the thousands of years that preceded the arrival of the European then African, Chinese and other immigrant Americans. I referenced that quality as harmonious resonance or integrative wholeness.
In the demeanor of many of these individuals receiving services and those met through administrative involvement and chance encounters, the first author felt a presence, something he came to reference as a harmonious resonance. There was a sense of fundamental peacefulness that did not make these people immune to uncertainty or even despair yet it manifested as forbearance, an unbroken strength that made life worthwhile… (p.3)
I saw that they bore their circumstances well. It wasn’t frenetic nor with resignation, rather a solidness of presence-perhaps wholeness with separateness from my interactive qualities, and I wondered why.
One wintery day with snow on the ground, I stopped the car and walked into the desert, not knowing why I was doing so. Then it came to me. “I need to organize a division of peace psychology in the American Psychological Association” of which I was not even a member. I joined APA and began my part of the effort (pg. 4).
I did this because I needed a vehicle for research and a means of establishing a discipline. So I came back to Stanford and affiliated with the Anthropology Department for three years, then Child Psychiatry at the Med. School. And finally when Clarissa and I moved to San Luis Obispo, I began working with two others who would become co-editors with all of us contributing chapters to this book and recruiting additional others to participate in what has been referenced as the first edited, scientifically oriented book on a psychology of personal peacefulness. Like many other academic texts, it is quite dry, filled with references and written so as to provide a foundation for further research.
In the book I felt we needed to cover the areas that had been studied and there was not much to draw from, but each of the authors had their own approach to personal peacefulness, and should the field develop there would be a foundation upon which to build. So this wasn’t to be a “how to become peaceful” book. The first several chapters after the introduction deal with establishing personal peacefulness as an aspect of research into personality studies. Is peacefulness a personality trait? What is the evidence? How does it manifest? What are the domains of peacefulness? Then there is a chapter on a related field, serenity- which has been previously studied. A chapter on developmental psychology and personal peacefulness comes next. Then there are chapters on conflict resolution in groups, and encounters between individuals from warring cultures, a chapter on conflict reduction in treatment and finally my chapters on a theoretical approach to personal peacefulness and one on applications theory.
So this has been a good beginning. We have been successful in finding a home in many of the major university libraries throughout the country and in other parts of the world. The obvious question looming around these paragraphs is: What can be said of the nature of personal peacefulness that can offer some means for individuals to become more peaceful and to share this growth with others in their daily lives? A related question might be: Is what I saw in the Paiutes of Northern Nevada an inherent or an acquired characteristic? An answer which is more to the point of the next writing; it is quite likely that every individual living can identify times of peacefulness. One could not survive, or remain healthy without such times. But it is uncommon for one to sustain a sense of peaceful wellbeing as their basic experience of living. Over time we experience the considerable variation of highs and lows. And there is a marked difference between individuals as to how effectively and under what conditions peaceful awareness can manifest inwardly within themselves and outwardly with others as a form of caring.
Theoretically, it is possible for one to remain consistently peaceful while still being sensitive to the agonies and difficulties arising within others and the world around us. One means through which to live in this manner is accessed through becoming experientially aware of the physiological construction of our bodies. Christians call the body the temple of the spirit. From a secular perspective metabolism, homeostasis, allostasis are all processes which serve to stabilize our organic foundation. These physical energies which blend into conscious awareness become a compass for our compassion. Psychologically, we benefit greatly through taking these processes to heart and into our conscious awareness- which is not an easy task because there is an immense contradiction, actually more than one with which we live.
The first contradiction is what has been referenced as the Cartesian notion i.e. that my psychological nature is based upon thought rather than caring. “I think therefor I am…” Another is a major distraction; the prominence of emotive experience derived from physiological and psychological processes around a plethora of emotions; particularly anger and fear. Thus as we grow into adulthood we live the composite consciousness from which we identify “I am”. But the “I am” we carry around as a reference source is guided by qualities of living which in many cases are but remnants or fragments of a broader awareness of what life is offering. Often one’s focus, which is a very narrow band of behavior and experience, is habitually derived from sensations, perceptions, thoughts, emotions, interactions, relations that tell us what and how to care about what’s happening to us and others; or tell us we don’t want to care about the world beyond where we live. Most particularly these reactions we experience are often unfavorable, but they present what seems to be a truth at the heart of our lives rather than the transient muscular contraction or other reactions initiated by irrational response fragments.
One of the sources to be included in our next book is material from a prominent group of physiologists working to develop a greater understanding of our limbic system (emotions center), particularly the amygdala. I have included but a small portion of the considerable research which is being done in this area. For the reader who is not accustomed to addressing these areas as an aspect of searching for peaceful understanding, I think understanding these processes is worth the time and effort. Rosen and Schulkin (Chapter 6 in Schulkin, J. et al) have reported numerous findings regarding the amygdala, some of which I have included in this writing.
We have previously hypothesized (Rosen and Schulkin, 1998) that hyperexcitability in the amygdala is central to turning normal, adaptive fear responses into exaggerated fear that underlies pathological anxiety. Theoretically, a process similar to sensitization called kindling, in which repeated overactivation of the amygdala lowers the threshold in the amygdala for stimulation from environmental stimuli or events, produces this hyperexcitability (Rosen and Schulkin, in Schulkin, et al 2004 p.199).[Italics added]
Schulkin, et al and in particular, Rosen and Schulkin provide a meaningful discussion of the facilitative and untoward effects of the amygdala and other related functions and dysfunctions of the limbic system. The dysfunctions occur along with the various integrative and nonintegrative functions of the frontal cortex and are quite complex. There is considerable experiential and behavioral distortion referenced as allostatic load, overload, chronic states of dysfunction and even death. These problems stem in part from the over production/presence of glucocorticoids i.e. the steroid cortisol in humans. There are of course fear responses and times of uncertainty wherein the amygdala is adaptive and provides focused attentiveness for the gathering of information when vigilance is called for. The heart of the problem is this:
The amygdala is important not only for strong states of fear, but also for states of uncertainty. Whalen (1999) has presented a model of amygdala’s primary function serving to regulate vigilance during times of ambiguity. Thus, the amygdala would be highly active not only during fear states, but also during novel experiences, changes in values of primary rewarding or punishing stimuli, and changes in predictive values of conditioned stimuli, (Baxter and Murray, 2002) (in Rosen and Schulkin in Schulkin, et al, 2004, p.174).
To some degree they seem to be describing what so many of us have lived with, are working through and yes, learning to manage. Managing ambiguity and the confusing aspects of possibility engulfs a toddler who wars against “no” and who is nevertheless required to learn to negotiate attentive mutuality with caring and loving parents under ideal circumstances. In addition, these negotiations occur on the playground, in pre-school and onward into a life filled with ambiguity, possibility, reward, disappointment and a wide range of esteem promoting or inhibiting factors. The negotiations continue to occur within each of us as well. People get stuck in reactive states, aversions, preferences and ways of living that make peacefulness an item to be shared and perhaps even experienced under highly selective circumstances. Sometimes it is not so much being stuck as it is a socio-cultural or a societal expectation that peacefulness doesn’t exist- or at least it should not be openly manifesting in the presence of others except in small protected groups. The stuckness comes when a person feels unnecessarily constrained by invisible limits which define one’s way of interacting with others, other life forms and the environment. In his introduction Jay Schulkin proposed an ideal as a goal for research:
It is hoped that this book will provoke others to consider whole-body physiological regulation and the mechanisms that govern both normal and pathological conditions.( Italics added) (p.11, Allostasis, Homeostasis, and the costs of physiological Regulation, J. Schulkin, ed., 2004, Cambridge Press)
While Schulkin is referring to the research he hopes will be forthcoming, I found the concept useful and changed it to physiologically based whole bodymindful awareness. In this person centered form our whole body becomes an instrument of peaceful awareness. This becomes a useful concept for shaping an approach to the development of an individual growth program which could help us manifest peacefulness outwardly. For example there is some research on peacefulness providing information regarding serenity, the use of conflict reduction strategies, and developmental formulations. But there is no research on how to promote the outward manifestations of these and other areas of peacefulness. A fundamental hypothesis being proposed is that there is an organic state which gives rise to peaceful awareness, behavior, experience and motivation that will quite naturally manifest outwardly and can be identified through one’s demeanor. This state is closely related to whole body awareness.
There is another way of looking at how personal peacefulness may be facilitated which involves our willingness to move past a belief system which is unfortunately but accurately rooted in despair. It does appear that we have acquired the development of personal, social and societal values which form the basis for our self-other esteem. Meeting these esteem needs can be more effectively accomplished through rooting their actualization within internal, organic resources as a foundation for personal and social identity. But how can we make whole bodied awareness an integrated bodymind foundation?
One possible way of proceeding is to identify the internal states which call out to us. Michael Domjan published a little known journal article found in the Annual Review of Psychology. Pavlovian Conditioning: A Functional Perspective, M. Domjan (2005). In order to access the harmonies found within whole bodymind awareness it makes some sense to understand the association between the given and what has been acquired. In the article Domjan addresses the issue of our responses to unconditioned stimuli subsequent to the conditioning processes.
In doing so he has provided a useful formulation and offers some evidence herein applied as support for this paradigm as to how peacefulness manifests as a given. His theoretical perspective furthers our understanding of how whole bodied awareness is and is not effectively integrated into a realization of wholeness and peaceful wellbeing. Domjan states that: ”From a functional perspective… the most important product of learning involves changes in how [an] organism responds to the US [unconditioned stimulus], not how it responds to the CS [conditioned stimulus], because the US [unconditioned stimulus-an unlearned source] is the more biologically relevant stimulus.” (p. 179). What is he saying? There are two considerations here: The unconditioned or unlearned stimulus is not more socially relevant. Rather, within the integrity of an organism- it is the more biologically relevant. Within our human societal systems, from infancy into advanced age, the acquisition of conditioned and learned adaptive behaviors and attitudes is required. But biologically; some motivational and all drive states occasion unconditioned stimuli which elicit unconditioned responses. And when an unconditioned stimulus is paired with a non conditioned stimulus over time an organism responds to the non-conditioned stimulus in the absence of the unconditioned stimulus as if it were the US. A baby being weaned receives an unconditioned stimulus of food, salivates and incorporates nourishment through the use of a spoon which becomes a conditioned resource. Subsequent presentation of the spoon by itself elicits salivation as if it were food.
Over time, the spoon becomes a spoon, knife and fork, napkins, place setting and learning continues into a whole array of societal expectations which include types of food and its preparation. Throughout the range of conditioned (acquired) responses, the degree of separation from the motivational/drive state and unconditioned stimuli may grow. We learn not to let ourselves become hungry. And when we eat, our acquired tastes dominate our attention to food ingestion. Learned (insight and conditioned) contingency associations develop and unconditioned sources of integration become less evident and lie beneath an array of acquired responses masking our more biologically relevant awareness.
It seems likely to this writer, that within a more global unconditioned, given state, there is a basic openness to living- more than a survival instinct, rather a peaceful appreciation of living that engenders one to develop potentially life affirming realizations. This state, the foundation of peaceful wellbeing, requires little more than subsistence in order to be realized. Walter Cannon, (1939) the noted physiologist of the twentieth century, who fashioned modern medicine’s understanding of the means through which the interplay of our inner organic systems function, referenced the interplay of organs as homeostasis, and as “body wisdom”. He saw this coordination as purposeful, not mechanical. Amongst the many unconditioned states and drives to which a person has access, there is hypothesized to be a satisfying, peaceful state of wellbeing. So in the process of denying inconvenient drive states we obscure the foundation for personal peacefulness. As with any of our given states and inclinations, the original stimuli or states of basic need and satisfaction (including that of personal peacefulness) can be obscured and all but lost by the conditioned stimuli that multiply and accompany one into societal acceptance.
Some interesting research into the degradation of what I’ve referenced as the given, or the unconditioned state and psycho-physical responses suggest that even such important responses as the eye blink, an unlearned resource can begin to be decreased through our preoccupation with conditioned materials. If we look at all of the different ways societal norms and standards creep into the tiny crevices of our response associations it becomes possible to see why reactiveness and unrest begin to take us away from the more harmonious elements of our physical nature. Clearly, acquired aspects of living are important. Without them this paper would not have been written nor read. What is helpful is to find means through which to sustain an awareness of our need states, particularly the given physiologically based quest for living peacefully. As much as we may approve or disapprove of events that occur in our lives, our political and social systems, the ways we care can become closely related to the ways our bodies care for life. Cannon (1939) points out that no matter how compromised one may be physically, the various systems of our bodies attempt to support and maintain living for as long as possible. Sustaining a state of peaceful wellbeing; (while maintaining a balanced perspective) as an aspect of personal, social or societal involvement, can be referenced as engaged peaceful caring.
So what is peaceful caring? Certainly anyone can come up with quite a few ways in which you care about and receive caring from others. In Chapters 8 and 9 of the book which I mentioned at the beginning of this article, I’ll go back to those chapters and offer portions of the nine syntheses of personal peacefulness as resources for caring:
First: Coming to peace with our tensions and other sensations: sensate harmony
Second: Searching for the inner goodness of our caring heart; the purposeful homeostatic actions arising within us.
Third: Finding our caring heart; the perceptual, conceptual, behavioral structures and processes of allostatic accommodations.
Fourth: Making peace with our thinking; cognitive and whole bodied caring manifesting as thoughtfulness become open within a plateau of constancy to the inner guidance of homeostatic constancy.
Fifth: A guiding light as open perspective; absence within presence which may be referenced as spirituality (secular or religious).
Sixth: Accepting wholeness; making choices for simple subsistence living while growing to physical and conceptual unity.
Seventh: Stabilizing peaceful fluency through the interweaving of structure and process; i.e. developing an integrative orientation through developing a relation between parts of the whole within integrative movement as process.
Eighth: Knowing our caring heart; Realizing the physicality of peacefulness as the foundation for Kierkegaard’s self “the self is grounded transparently in the [physical] power which established it” (p44).
Ninth: Realizing peacefulness; living peacefully and manifesting it outwardly as a state which is independent of the processes and circumstances involved in so becoming.
Perhaps I can begin to summarize by suggesting that it is possible to realize caring from within the nature of presence-finding those elements through which caring is life affirming. Then too it is helpful to realize that within our bodies we find the presence of life-affirming self-relating relations supporting whole bodymindfulness. Then thoughtfulness which is caring in combination with cognition is a means of bringing us to whole bodymindful awareness. These avenues of peaceful caring manifest through our voices, our views and our demeanor. Clearly in despair one can look at life without caring for anyone or anything. This is a state of unpeacefulness or at least nonpeacefulness. As long as one is encompassed by an unpeaceful state, the basic tabula rasa of our infancy, the blank tablet of constancy and other aspects of our given nature will be less evident.
Here is a proposal. I’ve asked for (and received) non-financial support from several of our local agencies in planning a meeting for those who are interested in having an Anderson Valley educational program for facilitating personal peacefulness and group centered caring. So far the Anderson Valley Grange #669 and the American Legion Post 385 have responded by voting to support this effort. I have asked one additional agency and am waiting to hear from them. But if other agencies wish to offer their support please respond to me at P.O. Box 1, Boonville, Ca. 95415. This planning session will be followed by a general meeting sometime after The Variety Show, sometime in March, perhaps Sunday afternoon March 13th from 3 to 5 p.m. at the Grange Hall on highway 128 between Philo and Boonville. There will be a more in-depth discussion as to how to support ourselves and each other in our peaceful growth and to manifest it outwardly. Hopefully we will form groups for our mutual support. I’m pleased that academic and professional psychology has accepted to a small degree, the existence of a discipline of peace psychology with personal peacefulness as one of its domains. And I also sense that within our community in Anderson Valley, all of Mendocino County and beyond, there is a real desire to do more than cope- rather we wish to manage the mounting conflicts peacefully and sustain that perspective.
Steven Pinker wrote of The Better Angels of our Nature. In that volume he reported that he is encouraged by the existence of a protracted time of peace (nonviolence) which currently encompasses us i.e. we have avoided massive violence since WWII. But his statistics do not account for the unpeacefulness of the vast numbers of prisoners in custody. Still, he might respond by saying that they are being cared for not slaughtered. And he is correct in pointing out that given the explosive potential which exists in the hands of many (from governments to individuals), things could be worse. Yet, I wonder; if there is but a “semi-peace” wherein people are anxious and are wishing for more of a resolution, one way or the other, violence or evident peacefulness- and if that is not forthcoming; would some amongst us want explosions to engulf us? So in sensing there may be trouble brewing, we might also realize this trouble should not be brewing. We have the means for evident peaceful growth. So, if we as individuals in this community become consciously, alertly, and identifiably at peace wherein personal peacefulness is reflecting outwardly in behalf of others, other life forms and the environment, we can add to the strength of movements already in place soas to support a more general realization that peacefulness is possible and more desirable than the explosive agonies of conflict. More later.
Domjan, M. (2005) Pavlovian Conditioning: A Functional Perspective. Annu. Rev. Psychol. 56:179-206
Cannon, W.B. (1939) The Wisdom of the Body, (2nd ed.). New York : W.W. Norton.
Pinker, S. (2011) Angels of our Better Nature; Why Violence has Declined. New York, NY. Viking
Ramsay, D., Woods, S. (2014) Clarifying the roles of homeostasis and allostasis in physiological regulation. Psychological Review vol. 121 (2) 225-247.
Schulkin, J. (Ed) (2004) Allostasis, homeostasis, and the costs of physiological adaptation. New York. Cambridge University Press.
Sims, G., Nelson, L., Puopolo, M. (Eds.) et al. (2014) Personal peacefulness, psychological perspectives, New York, Springer.
Sterling, P., & Eyer, J. (1988). Allostasis: A new paradigm to explain arousal pathology. In S. Fisher & J.T. Reason (Eds.), handbook of life, stress, cognition and health (pp.629-649), Chichester, England: Wiley.