- Regime Change
- Get Stoen
- Pot Glut
- Vaccinations Up
- MSP Plans
- March Forecast
- Human Waste
- Yesterday's Catch
- Thomas Speaks
- Rich People
- Wall Street Calling
- Spotlight Bad
- Nursery Job
- Unprotected People
- Jazz Club
- Library Events
- O'Reilly Kids
- Finance Summit
- Marmon Considerations
- Materialistic Madness
WHEN A SMALL delegation of station critics went to KZYX a few weeks ago prior to regime change, management called the cops. Post-regime change, Ms. Dechter, the new station manager, met the same critics with cake, coffee and unimpeded access to the information they sought. A major change for the better has happened here.
“MARKED FOR DEATH” is the title of Tim Stoen’s wholly unconvincing re-write of his history with Jim Jones and Jones' Peoples Temple. The cherubic Stoen — pushing 80 although he still looks like a Little Leaguer, an appearance that seems to have always won him the benefit of the doubt — portrays himself as heroically standing up to Jones, although he was only estranged from the "church" shortly before Jones murdered most of its parishioners in an extorted suicide ritual deep in the jungles of Guyana. Stoen claims, on the back cover of his book no less, that Jones "marked" him "for death" because Stoen, as always acting for Jones, had rigged a Frisco election for liberal mayor, George Mosconi. “At death, Jones exhorted his people in San Francisco to ‘get’ Stoen, resulting in Stoen being accused, falsely, of manipulating the 1975 mayoral election.”
SAY WHAT? The berserk pastor's last breath was an order to kill Stoen because of an already ancient scandal? Doubt it. Stoen hasn't attempted to refute David Talbot’s best-selling book, “Season of the Witch,” which makes clear that Stoen, from his position inside the SF DA's office, did indeed disappear the evidence related to widespread accusations of vote fraud in the 1975 San Francisco mayoral election.
BUT HOW CREDULOUS do you have to be to believe that in Jones’s last remaining moments (“at death”) in 1978 he got on the phone to his San Francisco cult-members to order the surviving nutballs, “After I die, I want you to accuse that bastard Stoen of manipulating the mayoral election of '75.” Please.
DOPE OPINION from Kym Kemp's Redheaded Blackbelt website:
The megas (mega-grows) get bigger. There will be no enforcement at this juncture and we all know that. Growing is now spread to southern Oregon and all over CA so the price is dropping and we know we all need to make as much $$$ as we can and now. There will be no enforcement from Fish and Game for a few years. Humboldt County Sheriff's Office has made it apparent they don’t care a bit. The grows are really blowing up this year. The Mattole Valley is already lit up w/ greenhouses and generators heard everywhere. Business at all the grow stores and soil businesses is booming like never before. The big get bigger and the small are just trying to expand and blow it out for a good last couple years. The Ganjier dude came here in the 90s and started huge clone business to supply the mega-scenes so we know what he’s about. The Island Mountain bust will have no files charged. Those guys went back and replanted and pulled it off in those same greenhouses… So do you think anybody gives a shit at all? It’s a monster. We now have “legalization” that opened it up for HUGE corporate production yet made it a crime for an actual medical patient to grow their own… And people worship this false legalization model. They can’t wait to suck up to it. This county used to be revolutionary free-thinkers. Now it’s a gross sold-out free-for-all of posers pretending to care… But we don’t. We want the $$$$$$. A county full of little Trumps wearing hippie garb.
THE STATE'S Public Health department reports that the number of small fry getting immunized is up 7%. New legislation requires that students be vaccinated before they enter primary school or enter school at the seventh grade level. Required vaccinations include measles, mumps, and rubella, chickenpox and polio. State statistics for the 2015-16 school year show 1,000 Mendo County kindergarteners in public and private schools were fully innoculated out of 1,134 students reported, or 89 percent. That compared to 947 students a year before. Of course, and thanks to internet misinformation and pure dumb ass hippie hysteria, a large number of Mendocino County parents refuse to vaccinate their children, thus putting everyone else's children at risk from communicable diseases like measles, only a short time ago extinguished. There are ways around the vaccination requirement, unfortunately, and the fact that there's a dispute about the absolute necessity of vaccination is simply one more sign that Western Civ is on the downward slide.
PAUL McCARTHY'S essential Mendosportplus (MSP), may be expanding. Paul writes this morning, "The difference between MSP and 'traditional' Coast media? Here's a look at MSP stats this morning — and those of the Fort Bragg Advocate. Not bad for a social media site people only know about through ‘word of mouth’… MSP's total reach this week — 58,663. Also, by way of comparison, The Mendocino Beacon has 1,514 ‘likes’ while KOZT radio has 3,362 ‘likes.’ MSP is in the early stages of formulating some interesting plans to better serve the Mendo coast as the 'Go To' News/Sports site — stay tuned." A resident of Elk, McCarthy gets thousands more people tuning in every day than check out the Fort Bragg Advocate. Here at the AVA's website we get around 2,000 ‘hits’ a day, but you gotta pay to read us. (Unless you're interested in the older posts which are open to anyone.)
PRECIPITATION & HYDROLOGY OUTLOOK
Looks like there will be periods of light rain on and off for the next couple of weeks but nothing significant.
Greetings, This decision support service email provides a precipitation outlook and the potential for main stem river and/or aerial flooding. It serves as a planning tool for emergency services agencies; Caltrans, county and city public works departments, and other agencies involved with mitigating the impacts of flooding and/or flood recovery operations. The coverage area is Del Norte, Humboldt, Mendocino and Trinity Counties. When significant rain events are expected, tailored event driven emails will be issued by the WFO Eureka operations staff.
Planning forecast: valid from Monday, February 29 through Sunday, March 13, 2016.
Extended planning forecast: valid March 12 through March 25, 2016. Planning forecast prepared: February 26, 2016
Wet Pattern to Continue
An active weather pattern is forecast for the next two weeks as the upper level flow across the Pacific Ocean becomes generally zonal. This will permit frontal systems to move across northern California. Monday the 29th will be dry but after that a series of systems will move across northern California. For the next two weeks light rain or rain showers can be expected each day.
The main stem rivers are expected to have small to moderate rises and then recede during the lulls in the rain. No flooding is expected.
The tributary creeks and small stream also expected to have moderate rises and then recede during the lull in the rain. Some may exceed their banks.
Rock and mudslides are possible along highways and county roads. Power outages and blown down tree branches are possible due to winds
Potential for hazardous driving conditions due to snow accumulation on mountain passes and higher elevation roadways. McCann Ferry. (Humboldt County operates a ferry at McCann to shuttle residents across the Eel River during flows exceeding 9,000-10,000 cfs at Scotia, which inundates the low-water concrete bridge and roadway and renders them impassible.) Eel River at Scotia currently is below 9,000 cfs. There is the potential for the flow to once again go above 9,000 cfs over the next two weeks. McCann Ferry operators should monitor forecasts from the CNRFC.
WHAT’S A PICTURE WORTH?
by John Hardin
I noticed this image most recently in the North Coast Journal, but I’ve seen it, in one variation or another, in most of our local media outlets: Pretty much anytime the cops evict people from an “illegal” encampment, the press report appears beneath, or at least includes, a picture of a trash-strewn field. We treat human beings like garbage. We force them into impossible conditions, harass them, abuse them, and then forcibly evict them. Then we show the picture of the trash-strewn field, as though the purpose of the whole cruel, violent, unconscionable operation were to clean-up litter.
That picture is enough to incapacitate most liberals, whose feeble minds freeze at the sight of it, caught in the cognitive dissonance between wanting to help the poor and wanting to protect the environment. Liberals like to think that they are smarter than gun-toting, bible-thumping, immigrant-bashing red-neck conservatives, but they’re not, not by a long shot, and liberals fall for this stupidity every time.
Liberals watch well-fed, well-equipped and well-armed police officers forcibly evict the most wretched of the wretched from the most squalid of squalid, and treat them as though their condition amounted to criminal behavior, and the cops say “See, it’s not about the violent oppression of local citizens; it’s about cleaning up the environment.”
Liberals hear that and think, “Look at all that litter. That’s a real problem. I hate litterbugs.”
Fascists 1, People 0.
In truth, it’s worse than that. It’s about economic pressures forcing all of us into impossible situations. It’s about watching our neighbors crumble under the stress and then stepping around them, and avoiding their gaze. It’s about looking around, and wondering “How did it come to this?”
We used to have a guy down here in SoHum who loved to to take pictures of garbage and human feces. He often visited the makeshift encampments in SoHum to take pictures, and he eagerly showed his photos to anyone who would look. More than once, I overheard this conversation, as he grimly showed someone a picture on his phone. “How do you know that didn’t come out of a dog?” the person looking at the picture would invariably ask.
“I know! You can tell. Look at that.” the guy would say, flipping to another picture, and then showing it to the person, adding, “Have you ever seen that much of anything come out of a dog.”
“Ewww” the person would say.
He mounted some of the pictures on poster-board and brought them to town meetings, and he regularly called our community radio station to tell us, angrily, always angrily, that those people living down on the river bar were ruining our community.
To be fair, the guy did clean up a hell of a lot of garbage, and he did pay some of the people living in these encampments to fill bags with garbage and clean up the area. I know he cleaned-up a lot of trash, because he would leave impressively large piles of it along Redwood Drive between Redway and Garberville. He used these massive pyramids of garbage as fundraising tools, to solicit donations from passing motorists. A lot of people supported this man’s efforts with cash donations, even though he offered no accounting of how much money he raised, or how he spent it.
I cheered when he moved out of the area. He rubbed me the wrong way for three reasons: 1. He was always angry. 2. He blamed poor people. 3. His wife sold real estate, and he had a contract to clean up foreclosed-on houses after the housing bubble burst. In other words, he and his wife, made money by making people homeless. Still, I felt sorry for him, in a way.
I could see that the guy was genuinely upset. He wasn’t happy. He looked like his head was about to explode. You could tell that it was more than he could take. He could not fathom the depth of the problem, and it all came out as displaced aggression. I can relate. It’s fucking brutal out there, and we’re all in over our heads. We’re all looking for someone to blame.
Democrats blame Republicans. Republicans blame immigrants, Muslims, women, liberals, the media, “welfare queens,” the poor, and anyone else they find, and all of those people blame the government. We all know it isn’t working, but we all blame different people for it. Our problems are much bigger than these petty quarrels. Much, much bigger.
For instance, when it comes to housing, we have two choices:
- Standard Housing, which costs an astronomical amount of money, requires ridiculous amounts of maintenance, and practically demands a high-consumption lifestyle.
- Homelessness, which is ridiculously cruel.
Between those two ridiculous options, we have nothing. We know from statistics that most people who live in Humboldt County cannot afford a home here. Either they spend more than they can afford on housing, skimping on necessities like food, medicine and utilities, while they work themselves to death, or they find themselves without housing and learn to survive that way.
They’re both shitty options, and I wouldn’t even call it a choice. More like, you try Option 1. You give it your best shot. If things don’t go well, you discover Option 2. Meanwhile, if you listen to the County Supes, the Eureka City Council and their special consultant on homelessness for long, you realize that government will never solve this problem. In fact, the government exists specifically to create this problem, which is why there are cops out there evicting people from their squalid makeshift camps in the first place.
It’s not working. Government doesn’t work. Democracy doesn’t work. If you think the 2016 presidential election will change anything, you’re an idiot. Were you born yesterday? Don’t you remember all of that “Hope and Change” bullshit. Democracy doesn’t work. It never has. Stop believing in it. Stop teaching it to your children. In fact, stop having children, because you have nothing to teach them, and no future to offer them.
Capitalism doesn’t work. Capitalism gave us global warming, endless war, and poverty. Civilization doesn’t work. Civilization gave us overpopulation, deforestation and the extinction crisis. Technology won’t save us either.
A hundred years ago, we built innovative new technologies that allowed us to exploit the Earth’s resources more efficiently. We built new mining equipment culminating in the giant drag-lines used in mountaintop removal coal mine operations. We developed new oil technologies, leading to innovations like the Deep Water Horizon deep sea oil drilling platform, and the latest craze sweeping the nation, “Fracking.” Inventions like the chainsaw literally changed the face of the Earth. Today, we see the disastrous consequences of the enormous success of these technologies all around us.
Right now, technology revolves around exploiting you, the user. How are they doing on that? Do you think there’s still room for improvement? Is there anything left of you? I wonder. No, technology won’t save you. There’s no “app” for that. We inhabit a culture that has run out of options. No one, sees any realistic hope that things will get better, and it only goes downhill from here. That’s the story.
When you see cops intimidating, harassing and evicting people who have nothing, and nowhere to go, you are looking at the end of civilization. You are watching the interests of capital crush your neighbor’s last refuge and pitch it into a dumpster. That picture shows the brutality of the system, and that’s the picture that tells the story.
When you see that debris-strewn field, it means they missed the story completely. It’s like they went to cover the Superbowl, but the only picture we see is the empty stadium, strewn with beer cups and fast-food wrappers. Unless they wanted to remind us that sports fans are a bunch of drunken slobs, which is true of most of us, by the way, they missed the story.
* * *
A READER COMMENTS: 1. Person arrives in Southern Humboldt with nothing. 2. Person has no resources and wasn't forced to be here. 3. With no resources, person trespasses in someone else's property to camp, by choice. 3. Person meets up with others who also arrived with nothing. 4. Person who arrived by choice with nothing and his like minded friends have nothing better to do than lay around the town doing drugs, obstructing sidewalks, shoplifting etc. 5. Person and his like-minded friends find nothing wrong with turning their illegal camps into garbage dumps. 6. A local man is alarmed at the sheer volume of garbage and feces and mounts a clean up effort. 7. People aren't fully aware of the enormity of the problem so cleanup guy starts documenting the problem. 8. Local homeless advocates find nothing wrong with trespassing and trashing and threaten to sue cleanup guy for removing trash and personal items from trespassed on properties. 9. Clean up guy gets harassed and threatened so much he gives up his efforts and moved from the town he loves. 10. Jerks like Hardin and the homeless advocates are jubilant, now the homeless that arrived here with nothing by choice can trespass and trash to their hearts content.
INSTEAD OF GETTING MARRIED AGAIN, I'm going to find a woman I don't like and give her a house.
— Lewis Grizzard
CATCH OF THE DAY, February 29, 2016
ANDREW CANN, Branscomb/Laytonville. DUI. DUI-suspended license, probation revocation.
SHARON CARRIER, Fort Bragg. Failure to appear.
VICTORIA CLARK, Fort Bragg. Domestic battery.
WESLEY DEARBORN, Covelo. Domestic battery.
JHANNA ELLISON, Willits. Failure to appear.
KIANA FLORES, Redwood Valley. Second degree burglary, firearm ID alteration, ex-felon with firearm, controlled substance, suspended license, conspiracy, probation revocation.
BENJAMIN KNIGHT, Ukiah. Second degree robbery, conspiracy.
RANDY MILLER, Willits. Drunk in public.
MONICA PEDROZA, Ukiah. Second degree robbery, conspiracy, false impersonation.
CANDICE PETERS, Ukiah. No license.
ERIC SEALE, Fort Bragg. Failure to appear, probation revocation.
CHERYL TURNER, Fort Bragg. Probation revocation.
FIRST QUESTION in ten years: The famously quiet Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas spoke up in court Monday morning and asked questions during oral arguments in a case about gun ownership. Thomas has refrained from asking questions from the bench during Supreme Court hearings for the past 10 years. According to a Bloomberg reporter, Thomas asked “If First Amendment rights could be abridged for misdemeanor rights, like Second Amendment rights,” perhaps hinting at his opposition to the question at hand: whether domestic-violence offenders can be legally banned from owning firearms.
RE LEONARD DICAPRIO'S Oscar speech, a comment: "I hate when the well-off try to lecture the rest of us about climate change. The only people who need to change their behavior are the rich people. All the needless travel, the multiple homes, new cars every six months, etc. Move into a 1200 sq.ft. home and buy a tiny car and then we can talk. The average person doesn't really even have the ability to make any such changes. Rich people don't want to face up to their own bulls#!t so they project it onto the rest of us. It's ludicrous."
ON-LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY #1
I DUNNO which "wave" of feminism insults me more. I'm a 59 year old woman staunchly supportive of Sanders. I voted Dem in every election since age 18. But now, we have the internet, and the ability to review history and evaluate the rise of HRC. She's by far a Republican war hawk, the only thing distinguishing her from a right winger is she speaks for incremental changes to benefit women's rights. She is no warrior for women, she will do nothing to stop the barrage of anti-woman legislation coming from that sector. The Republicans hate her more than they hate Obama. She's a non-starter.
OSCAR HANGOVER SPECIAL: Why ‘Spotlight’ Is A Terrible Film
by Joann Wypijewski
I don’t “believe the victims”.
I was in Boston in the Spring of 2002 reporting on the priest scandal, and because I know some of what is untrue, I don’t believe the personal injury lawyers or the Boston Globe’s “Spotlight” team or the Catholic “faithful” who became harpies outside Boston churches, carrying signs with images of Satan, hurling invective at congregants who’d just attended Mass, and at least once – this in my presence – spitting in the face of a person who dared dispute them.
I don’t believe the prosecutors who pursued tainted cases or the therapists who revived junk science or the juries that sided with them or the judges who failed to act justly or the people who made money off any of this.
And I am astonished (though I suppose I shouldn’t be) that, across the past few months, ever since Spotlight hit theaters, otherwise serious left-of-center people have peppered their party conversation with effusions that the film reflects a heroic journalism, the kind we all need more of.
I don’t believe the claims of all who say they are victims – or who prefer the more tough-minded label ‘survivor’ – because ready belief is not part of a journalist’s mental kit, but also because what happened in 2002 makes it difficult to distinguish real claims from fraudulent or opportunistic ones without independent research. What editor Marty Baron and the Globe sparked with their 600 stories and their confidential tip line for grievances was not laudatory journalism but a moral panic, and unfortunately for those who are telling the truth, truth was its casualty.
By their nature, moral panics are hysterical. They jettison reason for emotion, transform accusation into proof, spur more accusation and create a climate that demands not deliberation or evidence or resistance to prejudice but mindless faith.
They are the enemy of skepticism, which those on the left and near-left, liberals, progressives, regard as the sword and shield of journalism when it’s convenient or ideologically appealing. The Globe did not so much practice journalism as it constructed a courtroom of panic, one that reversed the presumption of innocence and spilled over into real courtrooms where real defendants didn’t stand a chance.
In 2002 I investigated only one case, but it was a doozy: that of Father Paul Shanley, who figures in Spotlight and who was declared a “depraved priest” by the Globe’s editorial page of April 9, 2002, the day after a PowerPoint show put on for the press by personal injury lawyer Eric MacLeish. Shanley is now imprisoned for crimes that are heinous in description and absolutely unsupported by evidence.
Since then I have followed the case of another priest: Father Gordon MacRae of New Hampshire, who does not figure in the film. He was accused, tried and convicted in 1994, a time when Spotlight would have you believe that every sexual accusation against a priest either fell on deaf ears or was handled in a hush-hush settlement, and every playground, church and rectory was a hunting ground for the great Whore of Babylon. MacRae remains imprisoned for crimes that are only slightly less heinous in description and absolutely unsupported by evidence.
Both men were called monsters. Both men were offered plea deals by their respective prosecutors that, had they actually committed the crimes, would be an affront to justice and proportion. Shanley was offered time served – the seven months he’d been jailed while awaiting trial – plus two and a half years’ house arrest if only he’d say he was guilty of raping a child on Sunday mornings between Masses. MacRae was offered three years in prison, later reduced to two, if only he’d say he was guilty of cruelly molesting a teenager. Both men refused and went to their fates abandoned by church hierarchy.
“Can you imagine”, Shanley said to me after his conviction in 2005, “here I am, the worst monster, a danger to children everywhere, and they offer me time served? … But for refusing to lie, I got twelve to fifteen years.”
Shanley did lie about his sexuality. As a young man he’d had sex with teenagers and grown men. He had a boyfriend. He himself was probably not the best boyfriend. He was politically radical. During the AIDS crisis, with a fellow priest he had run a motel in California for a mostly gay clientele. In the 1960s he opposed the war on Vietnam. With a nun he had started a mobile health unit to serve street people in Boston. He was on the action phone tree of Gay Community News. He spoke a lot, for mercy and love and against the church’s condemnations of homosexuality, divorce, contraception, sex. He spoke of social sin: racism, exploitation, police stings, violence. He made enemies. He made mistakes. He was a good man, a bad man, a sinner. He had a sign on his desk that read, “How Dare You Assume I’m Heterosexual” when he ran a counseling service that advertised, “Gay, Bi, Confused – Want to talk about it?” He didn’t always only talk, and some men who saw him were liberated and some were more confused, and some were not able to navigate the difference easily and later found in him a simple explanation for everything that went wrong. He was not brave enough, honest enough, in an institution that could be neither; in a straight world that required bravery to be honest. The “Spotlight” team got almost everything wrong. The movie doesn’t even try to be right.
MacRae is politically conservative. He writes blogs in prison about God’s mercy, God’s love and the meaning of Lent. He was not a critic of the church, but the church left him to his own defense anyway, meaning public defense, which in his case was enough to make a deal but not enough for trial. MacRae got sixty-seven years for refusing to lie. Let that sink in.
The multiple affronts to justice in MacRae’s case and the gross unreliability of his accuser have been amply documented by Dorothy Rabinowitz in The Wall Street Journal, by the National Center for Reason and Justice and by Ryan MacDonald, summarizing recent legal papers in the case on MacRae’s website, thesestonewalls.com. Last year a federal district court judge rejected MacRae’s appeal for habeas corpus, refusing to allow a hearing on the merits, or new witness testimony, or a statement from MacRae himself. “Rot behind bars”, the judge essentially said.
That injury – despite the priest’s position outside the direct glare of the Globe’s “Spotlight” – is the legacy of the courtroom of panic that made “the pedophile priest” a cultural bogeyman, a devil, who need not be real but only named to light the fires of wrath. This is what the scribblers and the swells in Hollywood celebrated on Oscar night.
Here is what else they celebrated: the bunk of recovered memory; the Globe reporters’ failure to challenge any charlatan who embraces it; and the lure of money.
It’s unseemly to mention money. We are asked to believe that the ATM that is the Catholic Church, password VICTIM, could not possibly be an inducement to any of the thousands of accusers who have lined up since the “Spotlight” team’s first breathy reports – as if the usual reflexes of American money-grubbing are inoperative in this one area of life, and the people who, for instance, clambered for cash to ease the pain and suffering of having seen a priest naked in the YMCA really are salt of the earth.
The church was known to have begun making settlements with accusers by the early 1990s. Some, perhaps many, were legitimate, but as a closet culture, an institution scandalized by scandal, the church is also particularly vulnerable to extortion. Spotlight does not reflect that reality, just as the Globe did not seriously explore it. Every financial settlement in the film is proof of beastliness.
(The rock certainty from which Spotlight proceeds on this point leads to its most stunning, bite-the-hand-that-feeds misrepresentation: in which Eric MacLeish, played by Billy Crudup, is a smooth hack whom the noble actor-reporters disdain for getting rich from settlements rather than trust as a source, which MacLeish was to them in real life, a vital link between the press, private interests and state prosecutors. More on that later.)
The church settled four claims against Shanley that emerged in the early 1990s but concerned events said to have occurred twenty years earlier. Spotlight and “Spotlight” and millions of repetitive words spilled on the subject claim Shanley’s diocesan file is stuffed with allegations of sexual abuse from the 1960s and 70s which the church ignored. That is false. There was one hearsay allegation from 1967, which Shanley vehemently denied and church superiors did not pursue further. Of those claims settled in the 1990s one was brought by relatives of a dead man; another by a blackmailer who was making harassing phone calls to church workers. Once the settlement business got rolling in the 90s, and galloped at full speed post-2002, accusations and payouts multiplied. How many are valid? Having read a number of post-2002 affidavits, some of which are incredible, some of which describe willing sexual behavior, some of which seem to follow a script, I won’t hazard a guess. The point is they were not sitting in Shanley’s file for thirty years ignored.
It was in the early 1990s also that a drug addict and criminal named Thomas Grover said he had been molested as a 15-year-old by MacRae. The first assault, he said, occurred during a counseling session in the early 1980s. He returned for counseling three more times because, he said, after each bout with the priest he suffered total amnesia, his memory erased until one day years later he remembered all. Grover eventually collected $200,000 from the church.
Under pressure from the Globe, MacLeish and others, the church paid Shanley’s accuser, a military malcontent named Paul Busa, $500,000; it defrocked Shanley, presumed guilty on every front, and it did all of this before the trial had even begun. Let that sink in, too.
Busa claimed he was raped every Sunday or every other Sunday after being plucked from catechism classes. He said this began when he was 6, and each time he too suffered total amnesia, thus going like a lamb to the slaughter, unknowing, again and again for three years, on the busiest day, in a busy church, where children were in the care of several adults, none of whom could corroborate anything.
Busa made up his memories – literally, he started sketching them out in journal entries dated before his claimed epiphany of remembering – and those newly minted memories degenerated before and during the trial. Thus the jury heard of only a few instances of molestation, thin on detail, vague as to time and less baroque than initially stated. On the witness stand Busa substituted tears and shouting for recall. Some jurors later said they considered tears and shouting evidence. Although he had sworn in depositions that the priest had forced him to perform fellatio, on the witness stand Busa couldn’t recall. The judge just dropped that count from the charges, and the prosecutor argued that the accuser’s shifting stories, which in another context might be called perjury or at least backpedalling, evasion, unreliability, actually proved his veracity. If Busa had wanted to lie, she said, “it could have been a better lie”.
Claims of sexual abuse based on recovered memory – or repressed memory of trauma, dissociative amnesia, the names are many – were not uncommon in 1994, when MacRae faced trial, but they had been virtually eliminated in courts by 2005, when Shanley was at the bar. Research psychologists had produced a formidable and damning body of literature on the subject. Therapists who once rode high on the spurious diagnosis had been disgraced, stripped of their licenses and revealed as dangerous frauds in successful malpractice suits. And scientific-legal teams had established precedent that this was “junk science”, hence inadmissible in prosecutions. (Anyone interested in the record of reason can start with the work of Harrison G. Pope, Jr. et al., Richard McNally et al., and with the court rulings in State of Rhode Island v. Quattrocchi  and Barrett v. Hyldburg .)
These legal challenges were complicated and expensive, beyond the capacity of MacRae’s public defender. Shanley’s defense should have been better equipped, but it was not. More important here, neither was the Globe’s “Spotlight” team. Its reporters treated Busa’s ravings with utmost respect, as it had the ravings of Busa’s friend Gregory Ford, who provided the template for Busa and two other men, who also claimed serial rape on Sundays in the same church followed by total amnesia.
Gregory Ford had been Boston’s favorite victim, the ultimate proof of Shanley’s monstrosity, from the time MacLeish introduced him to the world during that PowerPoint presentation in April of 2002. I won’t relate the young man’s sad and tortured tale here except to say that his claim of recovered memory (which Busa copied in all important respects) did not ring alarm bells with those noble reporters or their editors. When it was pointed out that Ford’s own mother was the catechism teacher at the time he claimed his agony of weekly rape began, the family, the lawyers, the press, the prosecution, simply amended the start date. When the prosecution dropped Ford from its child rape case against Shanley because at various times Ford had also said he was raped by his father, a neighbor, a relative, our noble reporters did not review their past unskeptical reports and say, “Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa.” Likewise when the two other men were dropped from the case, and Busa was left standing alone, the press, like the prosecution, pretended it didn’t matter. Against the advice of its legal counsel, the church had settled the civil suit MacLeish had brought on behalf of all four men. Ford faded away, with a check for more than $1.4 million. At the time of Shanley’s trial, broadcast live on TV and covered by media across the country, it was as if Ford had never existed, but he and the others are counted among Shanley’s victims.
The prosecution’s expert witness in the trial, Dr. James Chu, came from the freak fringe of clinical psychology that treats stories of recovered memory as sacred text. The Globe, whose Pulitzer for public interest reporting was by then catching dust, apparently did not think that here was an occasion for public vigilance, since in the not so distant past plain people, not priests, not those pre-emptively branded ‘sicko’ or ‘depraved’ or ‘scum’ but parents, teachers, had been threatened with the loss of everything by someone, anyone, who claimed they suddenly remembered something horrible.
The paper’s reporters did not inform readers that there is no scientific evidence to support the type of “massive amnesia” that Busa and the prosecution were claiming. They did not point out that the notion defies fifty years of research on memory and trauma, involving 120 studies and more than 14,000 persons with documented experiences of rape, sexual abuse, torture, death camps, war or other horrors. They didn’t even offer the colorful aside that Chu’s mentor had promoted belief in Satanic ritual abuse, as well as in a cult involving the KKK, the US military, the Mafia and FTD Florists, until his career ended in a lawsuit brought by a patient who had come to believe under his ministrations that she was a Satanic priestess. The closest the corporate press came was to say that this thoroughly discredited nonsense was controversial. Years later the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts heard a compelling appeal from Shanley on the junk science at the heart of his prosecution, but the justices ruled that the weight of research and law wasn’t compelling enough in his case. “We’re not willing to be the ones to let the pervert go”, they essentially said.
“But wait!” it will be argued. “None of that is in Spotlight! It’s just a good old movie about the press versus the big bad power structure.”
This is exactly the film’s toxicity, and the Globe’s: what they obscure.
I have focused here on Shanley because I researched his history, read his files, spoke to some of his accusers, interviewed his friends, family and detractors, followed his trial. The numerous and unattended complexities of his case, as well as those of some other priests’ accusers whom I interviewed at length, make me doubt the neat story line that “Spotlight” and Spotlight present for every other case. I speak of MacRae because, apart from the injustice against him, it should be understood that the concept Accusation = Guilt has a long and persistent reach. Although it became the “Spotlight” team’s hallmark, even if the word ‘alleged’ provided occasional perfunctory cover, it predated the Globe’s work, provided a spectacular theorem to which its reporters conformed, and has been hardened by their courtroom of panic – influencing appeals prospects, influencing culture, shaping “the story we all know” whether in fact we know anything at all.
The film’s advertisement for SNAP, the Survivors Network for those Abused by Priests, faithfully represents the Globe’s affiliation. It elides SNAP’s belief that wrongful prosecutions are a minor price to pay in pursuit of its larger mission, something the newspaper didn’t much concern itself with either as it collected its Pulitzer for service in the public interest; something even the Center for Constitutional Rights disregarded in 2011 when it joined with SNAP to file a grotesque brief to the International Criminal Court demanding “investigation and prosecution” of the Vatican for crimes against humanity.
Liberals who cheer this sort of thing ought to ponder whether they have any principles at all, or whether those are contingent, jelly-like and poisoned by prejudice. The CCR brief failed, but its unchallenged acceptance of accusations, anonymous complaints, prosecution arguments, grand jury reports, commission findings with no benefit of cross examination and no recognized rights of the accused is breathtaking, especially when one considers that CCR was simultaneously and courageously arguing on behalf of Guantanamo detainees whose designation as ‘terrorists’ was made in a similar amoeba-like medium of hysteria and accusation. To CCR’s shame, Father MacRae is specifically mentioned in that brief, with respect to allegations of videotape (that is, child porn), which prosecutors threw in at sentencing but for which there is no evidence, according to the lead detective in the case cited by Rabinowitz.
Besides normalizing the presumption of guilt, the Globe’s courtroom of panic made a high and punishing principle out of cheap popular opinion: Well, maybe he didn’t do this, but he had to have done something! Where there’s smoke, there’s fire! Where the victim has to be believed, it doesn’t much matter if one person is telling the truth and one person is a money-grubber (or, to put the kindest interpretation on it, just looking for a simple explanation for all the troubles of his or her life). It doesn’t much matter who is in the dock or behind bars for what because, after all, statutes of limitations are limiting, and the notion that guilt might go unpunished is intolerable. Someone must pay. The church must pay. Priests must pay, because even if they didn’t do something, they said something; or they said nothing but they should have spoken; they knew nothing but they should have known; they should have acted. We “thought they were God”, and we must have our pound of flesh.
In the film an actor-victim says something to the effect of “I thought he was God” regarding a priest. It is a phrase I heard many times in 2002, a phrase quoted at the time in the Globe, in Vanity Fair and elsewhere. I was struck that the reporters never paused to consider this, but simply reported it as if it were a reasonable conclusion for a Catholic child, as if its alarming deference to authority were not a fundamental problem, with or without sexual abuse. It occurred to me hearing it again, unexamined, in Spotlight that this probably was not an oversight, not a problem the reporters couldn’t plumb because they were on deadline or had space constraints or didn’t know quite how to approach it. It occurred to me that their aim, conscious or not, was not to strengthen children or to encourage independence or self-possession, but simply to replace one deference for another, one authority for another. The Globe became authority, and so too all its imitators, all its accuser-sources and their attorneys, SNAP and state prosecutors and all those people outside churches spewing venom and chanting, “Believe the Victims” – unanswerable, undoubted and now joined by Hollywood.
Here, finally, we come to why Spotlight is so unfair to Eric MacLeish. I am no fan of MacLeish. I interviewed him back in 2002, and it did not go well. I began by trying to be cool, a mere sponge to take in his views. He, I quickly realized, was being who he was, the authoritative source who shaped the way reporters saw the Shanley case, or at least how they reported it down to minor detail. There was an 800-page personnel file; I had read every page. MacLeish was citing discrete passages as evidence of the priest’s depravity. They were the same passages I had already seen quoted in the Globe and The New York Times and any other paper whose reporters had spoken to the lawyer, each one identical, with the same interpretation, MacLeish’s interpretation. He said something to the effect that no decent person could think that this man Shanley was anything but a monster. I objected, he objected, I strenuously objected, and soon the interview was over: “Of course now I’m not going to let you speak to my client”, he said in parting; that was Gregory Ford, with whose family I’d had an appointment scheduled for the next day.
To suggest, as the movie does, that MacLeish was not passionate about his clients is outrageous. To suggest, ditto, that Mitchell Garabedian, another prominent personal injury lawyer, played by Stanley Tucci in the film, was a selfless worker among the downtrodden, wanting nothing beyond justice and the thin gruel of his lonely lunch, is more outrageous. Both men thundered about morality, both got richer in the process, and the only journalist I’m aware of to have investigated the lucrative legal business of the church scandal was Daniel Lyons, whose revealing articles appeared in Forbes in 2003.
But there is something more, because MacLeish was particularly interested in prosecutions. As a condition of his settlements, at least by 2002, he made his clients vow that they would cooperate in any state criminal action that might arise as a result of his civil actions. This made MacLeish not just an authority but a conduit for state authority, and his active relationship with the press meant that he was organizing it, too, into an arm of the prosecution, an arm of the state.
By the time jury selection occurred in the child rape case against Shanley, every prospective juror said he or she knew something about the defendant; most commonly, what they knew was that he had been involved with the North American Man-Boy Love Association, or NAMBLA. This was not true, as I had learned from individuals who were present at the founding meeting that Shanley supposedly attended. But MacLeish had made the insinuation at the aforementioned PowerPoint presentation based upon a selective passage from a newspaper article in Shanley’s file, whereupon reporters, willingly led, printed the priest’s membership as fact, which was then repeated endlessly.
I had not been in Boston for that presentation, but the CD of the files I received from MacLeish’s office thoughtfully included the extracts he had highlighted for a hungry press. Every gross misrepresentation of Shanley’s personnel file I read from then on – and there are many – issued from those extracts. As a propagandist for his cause, MacLeish was masterful. The PowerPoint show was the highlight of a press conference called to release 800 pages of documents. It occurred in the afternoon, ran two and a half hours long, featured the emotional declamations of accusers, and ended just in time for reporters to hurry back to their desks to file before the afternoon deadline. Their stories would be used as source material by fact checkers and other writers, bloggers, soapbox orators, everyday people, and would fold into the common trade of fable. If any of the scribes who took up the anti-Shanley cudgel actually read the whole file after writing their stories, they left no trace.
Robin Washington, who was with the Boston Herald at the time, told me later that during the press conference some of the assembled reporters wept. Their tears, too, no doubt helped lubricate the wheels of prosecution. After Shanley was found guilty, Washington wrote in the Duluth News Tribune that Shanley’s real trial had been MacLeish’s press conference, the “lawyer playing judge, jury and executioner”, presenting the priest as “the devil incarnate”.
The reporters, though, were MacLeish’s agents, and not just his, and not just with respect to Shanley. What Spotlight, for all its tedium, captures so precisely is the free-floating suspicion, the eerie sense of collective menace and the urge to punish that the Globe and its “Spotlight” team fanned in their certainty as public servants, under running heads in every day’s paper, right next to reports from the war on terror. That’s a hell of a thing to celebrate.
(JoAnn Wypijewski is co-editor of Killing Trayvons: an Anthology of American Violence. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Courtesy, CounterPunch.org)
Now Hiring Nursery Assistant(s) at Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens
Nursery on the Plaza at Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens is seeking applicants for one or two seasonal part-time positions. We are looking for team players who are able to work with many different types of people, including Gardens staff, visitors, and volunteers. Primary duties include, but are not limited to, customer service (helping customers with their plant needs and questions in a friendly and informative manner via phone, email, and in person); creating attractive displays; maintenance of all plants (including watering, spraying, fertilizing, weeding, transplanting, and propagation); utilizing RetailPro point of sale computer system to place and receive orders and create labels for plants; unloading plants in receiving area; bringing stock forward; and more. The following is a general listing of work responsibilities. Please visit our website for more details and information on how to apply:
Application Deadline is March 7, 2016.
Nursery on the Plaza is open daily from 9:00am to 5:00pm in the summer (March through October), and 9:00am to 4:00pm in the winter (November through February).
Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens
18220 N Highway 1
Fort Bragg, CA 95437
ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY #2
If you haven’t yet, read this Peggy Noonan article about WHY Trump and Sanders are gaining. Her terms: the Protected (Hillary) versus the Unprotected (the rabble, basically us.)
Excerpts: “Because they are protected they feel they can do pretty much anything, impose any reality. They’re insulated from many of the effects of their own decisions.”
“It was good for the protected. But the unprotected watched and saw. They realized the protected were not looking out for them, and they inferred that they were not looking out for the country, either.
The unprotected came to think they owed the establishment — another word for the protected — nothing, no particular loyalty, no old allegiance.”
“This is a terrible feature of our age — that we are governed by protected people who don’t seem to care that much about their unprotected fellow citizens.”
That might actually get the Media back to their old job: comfort the afflicted, afflict the comfortable. We can hope.
PAUL MCCANDLESS/CHRISTIAN FOLEY-BEINING COLLABORATION
The Jazz Club at Cloverdale Arts Alliance
Thursday, March 3
204 N. Cloverdale Blvd., Cloverdale, CA
Doors open at 7:00 PM, music from 7:30-9:30 PM.
UKIAH LIBRARY'S UPCOMING EVENTS:
- Board Game & Chess Club Night - every Thursday 5:30-7:30pm
- Virtual Author Talk w/Marissa Meyer - Tuesday, Mar. 1st
- PBS/POV documentary 'Chisholm 72' - Wednesday, Mar. 2nd
- First Friday Art Walk & Book Sale- Friday, Mar. 4th
- Teen Tech Week - Mar. 8th-12th
- High Tea Party & Movie - Saturday, March 26th
LEMME OUTTA HERE. Fox News host Bill O'Reilly lost custody of his 13 and 17-year-old children in a recent New York court ruling. According to the court documents unearthed by Gawker, O'Reilly's two children will now live full-time with Maureen McPhilmy, their mother and O'Reilly's ex-wife. The justices ruled unanimously in favor of McPhilmy and cited that the decision was based on the "clearly stated preferences of the children."
FINANCE MINISTERS AND CENTRAL BANKERS from the world’s biggest economies met in Shanghai, China over the weekend to discuss many of the problems for which they alone are responsible.
SOME ON-LINE COMMENTS FROM CHEWSOME to chew over:
Right now, the Kemper study for County of Mendocino Board of Supervisors, mental health contracts and implementation oversight, are hot button issues to the tune of $20 million.
In the matter to overturn re-issuance of the judicial restraining order, in the case filed by Mendocino Acting County Counsel, Bruce McEwen, an Anderson Valley Advertiser writer, in online AVA comment on February 29, 2016, may be right so to speak, that the deck is stacked against James Marmon’s First Amendment right to the Freedom of Speech clause, because of previous County employment.
However McEwen’s opinion could have been made in context, to use idioms of, ’tilting at windmills’ and ‘can’t fight City Hall.’
So I am almost sure that my comments here would be riddled with holes by the presiding arm chair pundit or County Counsel. But the lesson as always, is to try to provide suggestions to learn and grow from, along with any spoonful of criticism. That said, here I go.
I believe it is absurd that all comments about Mendocino County (which casts a wide net on all topics) in a County initiated restraining go only to a County Counsel, if the information relayed is not privileged protected otherwise.
Also if sending email to BoS@… goes to all Supervisors and Carmel Angelo, then each Supervisor could be emailed at their individual public County email address. If that isn’t enough though, at least some of the Supervisors can be emailed at private email addresses used for their election campaign.
I would disagree with Acting County Counsel that Marmon continues to be focused on the events that occurred in 2011. I believe disingenuous for Acting County Counsel to suggest otherwise, but that’s what certain lawyers do.
In fact, James Marmon appears to be most positively focused on the sham contract implementation of mental health services with Ortner Management Group apparently ill administered by the County, now becoming widely debated on Board of Supervisors Agenda, last meeting and next on March 01, 2016.
And the Acting County Counsel referenced December 24, 2015 online comment made by Marmon at the AVA website, about the “restraining order is going to be a big thing before it is over,” actually rings true and has come to fruition, for agitating since the referenced May 2015 ongoing string of opinions posted by him, for members of the public to look closer at County services that he focuses on.
One of the ‘three named protected individuals’ in the restraining order, is terminating employment on April 01, 2016, and assumed partially, is for alleged improper mental health contractual preparation and oversight, but perhaps simply had too many tasks and responsibilities.
Sitting members of the Board of Supervisors are now poised to be viewed improperly as fools for approving a $20 million mental health private agency contract, agreeing to passage with lip service hollow promise, that contractual language that does not even meet minimum accountability standards common in government contracts, would be updated after approval.
Supervisors at this time may continue with update of contractual performance language, for convenience in an attempt to protect their own re-election future public image appearance sake, or for convenience, if for no other reason, but of course details are more complicated than this erroneous summary.
This letter is speaking to the Kemper Report mental health contract and is actually on topic continuing on Agenda.
And for James Marmon as alleged in Acting County Counsel documents, to AVA post on January 2, 2016, ‘i(s) Ms. Angelo just another CIA operative?’, well, that appears to be a satirical query, asking to gain perspective from the public.
Even though she is one of the ‘three named protected persons’, County CEO Carmel Angelo, is the former head of the umbrella agency, now subject to the mental health oversight with reasonably intimate knowledge of agency working details, at which the previously referenced one of ‘three named protected persons’ is now resigning from.
There is no prior restraint clause in the restraining order, or perhaps there is as an unconstitutional over-reach which would not be held up on appeal with qualified counsel in civil/criminal prosecution, that James Marmon cannot ask a question on a website of a newspaper of general circulation, which probably has even been taken further out of context by Acting Counsel.
To be restrained to have no written comment to anyone anywhere about anything about Mendocino County except to County Counsel office, which on its face, would not be limited to the non-profit government that has ‘Mendocino County’ in it’s name, or even if it was limited to so called Mendocino County government agencies, would be absurd.
A proper procedural Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Request might be for Mr. Marmon or members of the public or Board of Supervisors, to file with Acting County Counsel.
The inquiry could be as to what constructive written comments of James Marmon on specifically the Kemper Report and associated affiliated matters before the Board of Supervisors or its various departments and related agencies or contractors and volunteers, has the County Counsel office gathered.
Second request would be what has been released and forwarded for consideration in the operation of government, to selected staff, contractors, and elected official(s).
Is the above referenced ‘CIA operative’ a threat? What intelligence? Is it institutional reliance on prescription pharmaceutical medications which most actually may permanently alter brain function for the worse, administered by trained professionals.
Or is the real untreated germane cause may be lack of positive human contact or methamphetamine toxicity and nutrient mineral deficiency or imbalance?
CEO Carmel Angelo has been employed in an embattled but cozy world, with some members of the Board of Supervisors being re-elected without even token opposition.
Here we have Supervisors trying to do their jobs, gain public input. But-
1.) There has been no movement to re-establish weekly meeting of the Board.
2.) No effort has been made, despite extensive remodeling of adjacent executive offices, to install the framed out second natural skylight area of the public meeting are Board Chambers.
This would benefit the mental health decision making and reading comprehension in public seating area, occasioned by staff and interested members of the public. Previous permanent Board Chambers at the Courthouse, had west facing window, to brighten up firm resolution decision making as the day drew long.
3.) No will has been sustained to replace ‘action minutes’ of the Board, in favor of previous policy of many decades of the Supervisors, to have more comprehensive meeting minutes as a draft issued within a few days.
There is over reliance on experienced staff and retaining experienced elected officials for institutional memory, which sometimes results in very high salaries to retain overall perspective, which is vulnerable to falling through the cracks, when retirement or better opportunities elsewhere surface.
There needs to be at least a brief description in meeting minutes of the discussion and each speaker’s position from a concise perspective, without having to view hours and hours of videos to gain an convenient overview, on vast array of County issues, including what each member of the Board of Supervisors is reporting to each other, on paper for easy timeline reference.
The chickens have come home to roost. The Supervisors are learning in terms of mental health contractual and other looming ominous issues now before the Board, but perhaps lessons will not be learned.
The Board of Supervisors can’t do it all, even with well paid or poorly paid staff, that some things are too overwhelming to streamline into hands of few supporters. Government is suppose to be a public business for the citizens, and should treat it as such, economic budget, logistics, regulatory demands, environmental issues, sustainable growth, and public interest allowing.
I continue my Kemper Report oversight comments below intermixed, and I have other related comments part and parcel to move forward with the encompassing related matters, beyond the orderly procedural policy of government.
Specifically I would focus in terms of benefit to, county retirees and mental health implementation mitigation preventative dentistry contractual design, practices, and implementation beyond the gap in private interest American Dental Association current general commercial practice and recommendations for care.
But I see now the public discourse with the example of James Marmon actually for public benefit in County raising issues. No doubt he is also trying to repair his professional interest in social services including the mental health matters rising in the Kemper Report.
This is despite his own career seemingly being destroyed with a Mendocino County free speech ban order in effect.
County of Mendocino could do the right thing and reconsider him, beyond being intimated by his physical size, and getting over a County case jurisdiction non violent confrontation that got out of hand, perhaps with no fault of his own.
Mr. Marmon has made a case where he could in the courts and with the public online, and if allowed could make a re-appearance to benefit Mendocino County or to clear the cloud on his record, to re-establish employment in some County, as he has worked in many with his field of expertise.
It may take further over turn of staff who benefits from the restraining order before James Marmon is recognized for what he has positively contributed.
This staff allegedly was involved in a possible cover up though opinions may differ, that may have placed Mr. Marmon in an untenable position to protect his state social worker certificate (I believe) level 5 (highest).
Mr. Marmon claims to not agree to a cover-up where he would have been legally at risk and it was possibly other staff who perhaps should have received a reprimand, instead of him, as he alleges, but did he did walk away with $50,000.
And on other past employees, I personally I had multi decade understanding with someone who worked for the County Social Services Department for that amount of time, and was faced with a repetitive motion injury on job.
Social Services was told by the employee how the work could be continued at same pace, with making a simple adjustment of equipment and procedures.
But the suggestion for humane workplace environment was denied, and after years more, employee went out on paid leave, Work Comp, for surgery and rehabilitation, then returned after a long while for more years of work.
Again occurred was similar repetitive motions with no work place consideration for health of employee, then the injured finally leaving out of state with full retirement pay, and continuing severe arm shoulder chronic pain.
Perhaps the interior of the mostly windowless monolith Social Services building has a few skylights, thus lack of balanced daylight supplementation. I am not sure. It is not necessary to downsize government into private sector a la Kemper Report, because of entrenched oversight administrators who are aging.
I made this above comment as something is very wrong at Social Services where James Marmon worked, but the Kemper Report, which continues as an Agenda Item, stems from the County of Mendocino Board of Supervisors Chambers and its elected officials, and how contractual and personnel matters are handled by department heads and litigated through the courts.
Only hope I see is for the Board of Supervisors, in its wisdom with supportive staff and contractors, rise above the fray and not make decisions necessarily on short sighted political expediency.
I ask the Board to look forward to continuance of the County as an organization that finally finds fiscally prudent solutions that implement the Precautionary Principle.
The County of Mendocino is sworn to uphold this principle as part of its rules or regulations, short of directly investing in ownership of some of the most productive agricultural land in the County, unless perhaps there is a net County benefit, that cannot be sustained by private interests.
This is an era of extreme climate disruption, and whether there is some value as such with a questionable Public Bank in a proposed Charter County, that considers return to a County Administrative Office form of government, in place of County Executive Office at the County of Mendocino Board of Supervisors, remains to be contemplated in the near future.
VISHNU WITH CRAIG
Spiritual Direct Action in Washington D.C.
This being my last night in San Francisco, before flying to Washington D.C. tomorrow morning, I am sitting at a guest computer at the Green Tortoise travel hostel. What is immediately crucial, is for those of us who are capable, to bring out the spiritual mojo and derail the idiotic political primaries. Following a morning enjoying the final series lecture on the mahavakyas at the Vedanta Society, I've been chanting the mahamantram today, (invoking Vishnu and Lakshmi), knowing that this energy is capable of destroying the materialistic madness. And let's face it y'all, materialistic madness is the problem. You can call it "capitalism", or you can call it "consumerism", or you can call it "postmodernism", or you can call it anything which you like. But what shows, is "materialistic madness". The answer to the riddle of this global adharmic situation, is to bring in the spiritual mojo and apply it effectively. I am actively seeking others to do more than traditional leftist protesting, because we're done with that. 40 years on, conventional dissent isn't getting any significant results. You know it, and I know it. You know that the global ecology is not improving, in spite of decades of Earth First! uncompromising direct actions. We are living in an increasingly crazy globalized culture, on an ecologically fouled planet, in a financially bankrupted world, in the center of a socially neurotic twilight zone! I will be in Washington D.C. tomorrow 'round midnight. If co-creating spiritually based effective rituals, enacting large scale theater at the bogus conventions in Clevo and Philly, and ultimately realizing a paradigm shift is where you are at, feel free to contact me, because waiting, accepting the situation, and being cool, is no longer appropriate. It's stupid!
Thank you very much,
Craig Louis Stehr