- V Endorsement
- Soto Honored
- Coast Fishing
- Navarro Concerts
- Transgender Lunch
- Avila on V
- Pill Counters
- Revenue Enhancement
- Yesterday's Catch
- Scout Fundraising
- Poetry Celebration
- Indebted Americans
- FCC Limp
- Hillary 5%
- Boundary Problems
- Oipoid Addiction
- Bathroom Confusion
- Human Struggle
- GOP Divorce
- Thistle Wednesday
- Library Events
- Homeless Journalism
WHO COULD HAVE POSSIBLY THOUGHT....
Louisiana-Pacific General Manager Endorses Measure V
Mendocino, California, May 16, 2016 - Measure V has received an endorsement from the former General Manager of Louisiana-Pacific. “This endorsement adds backing from a timber industry insider,” said Ted Williams, a Measure V proponent and Chief of Albion Little River Fire Protection District. “The practice of intentionally killed and left standing trees is universally recognized as an unnecessary hazard.”
Bob Simpson wrote:
Ted, as former General Manager of Louisiana-Pacific’s Western Division, I endorse Measure V.
As GM, I opposed the shortsighted practice of Hack & Squirt. When I first inspected the impacts of herbicide treatments near the Navarro Store, I knew it was wrong. In fact, I predicted there would be a major fire if the practice continued. I halted the practice in 1993. Unfortunately, Mendocino Redwood Company restarted the practice.
When the 2008 lightning strikes lit up MRC lands, the dead Tanoak trees fueled the spread of the fire. I examined MRC’s GIS maps of fire damage and found a strong correlation with the hack and squirt maps. The smoke was devastating to the grape industry and tourism along the coast.
Tanoak should not be killed or treated as a waste product. In fact, Tanoaks are the most valuable tree in the coastal Redwood forest. I believe the Fishers are being misguided by Sandy Dean, the Fishers’ long time friend and the Chairman of MRC & HRC. The use of hack & squirt as a "forestry prescription" to eradicate Tanoak is about as thoughtless as a neighbor who installs a leach field 20 feet from a neighboring drinking well. The best prescription to reduce the overstock of Tanoak is to commercialize the wood. Hack and squirt is detrimental to forest health, creates a significant fire hazard, negatively impacting the residents and businesses of Mendocino County.
I encourage voters to vote YES on Measure V.
[Ed. note: MR. SIMPSON is presently the owner of a tan oak flooring company.]
From: Bob Simpson <email@example.com>
Date: May 23, 2016 at 7:09:25 AM PDT
To: "firstname.lastname@example.org" <email@example.com>
Good Morning Bruce: I am contacting you this morning to correct information inserted at the bottom of my original email and recant.
1. I am not a Mendocino County registered voter
2. My primary residence is in Granite Bay, CA
3. I own property in Mendocino County (Potter Valley)
4. I own property in Humboldt County (Samoa)
5. My startup company is Simpson Tanoak Products. The company will be located in Samoa, CA. The company is not expected to be in production until October 2016.
CESAR SOTO, the terrific all-round Anderson Valley athlete has been named to the All Empire team for 2015-16, and a more deserving guy can't be found north of San Francisco. Soto was among 150 high school athletes honored last week at the Friedman Event Center in Santa Rosa. He plans to attend San Jose State University to study business administration. (Personal observation from watching Cesar play football, basketball and baseball: The kid's a perpetual motion machine who plays football with the kind of ferocious abandon of someone twice his size, basketball as a full-court whirling dervish, baseball like a miniature Pete Rose. Soto makes everyone around him better.)
EASY, ELS, easy old girl. Els Cooperrider posted this on the MCN chat line: "Mendocino Redwood Company declined (again) to participate. Therefore, according to station policy, the show would not be BALANCED and FAIR reporting!!! All efforts were made to have the opposition to Measure V participate, all in vain. KZYX is making sure that WE THE PEOPLE won't be heard either! As a 25+ year KZYX member I'm blown away by this."
BUT A CALL to KZYX's Raoul Van Haul elicited a prompt denial. "As I told Els, if we can't find someone to present the other point of view we would just give MRC an hour some other time." The show will go on. Van Haul said that here has been a perception of one-way discussions on KZYX. (I'll say. A quarter century of them.) Van Haul pointed out that MRC was invited by their hosts, which probably made them think they'd be ganged up on. Which they wouldn't be because none of the people they'd be talking with are the kind of people likely to be rude or unreasonable. MRC oughta show up. I was much encouraged by Van Haul's comment to me that KZYX was intent on bringing true debate to the local airways, which would certainly be a first for Free Speech Radio, Mendocino County.
I CALLED ELS. We, or at least I, enjoyed a discussion of the issues involved with Measure V, only disagreeing on the "teeth" in the initiative. I see a faint outline of ancient molars that have no bite. Els sees teeth. She said that if Measure V passes, MRC could lose its 'green' certification, which could cost them plenty. The teeth, if I understood her correctly, are implicit in the measure.
TRUE CONFESSION, truer contrition. I have regretted for many long years not supporting Mrs. Cooperrider for supervisor over David Colfax. Big mistake. And, as I told her, I regret the barbs I've directed her way over the years. So I'm here to say I'm sorry. "Els! Listen to me! I take it all back. You were right, I was wrong. Forgive me my child, and from this date forward let us together walk the paths of righteousness!"
SIDE NOTE re KZYX: I think the new management ought to be given a chance to take hold before all the nutballs, er station critics, start piling on. Those circus-like board meetings don't do much to shake the ancient public perception that the whole show is wall-to-wall crazy people. Ms. Dechter is smart, capable, reasonable, as is the rest of her team. They will have a very difficult time dragging the station out of the deep fiscal hole dug by previous management, not to mention overcoming that previous management's grotesque hostility for almost everyone except the station's inner circles, which are also an ongoing prob because they are arrogant and relentlessly rude.
HERE IT IS almost 5:30 in the afternoon on Monday, and I'm enjoying my first tall can of Bud when my in basket lights up with a lot of free speech indignation from people about as committed to free speech as Goebbels. What exactly is wrong with giving MRC an alternate hour to sing for their suppers? Why not invite Gentleman George Hollister or Laytonville's Jim Little on to talk about MRC's policies from a sympathetic perspective. Hell, The Major, who remains perfectly sober, says he'll come on to defend MRC just for the hell of it. (So would I but, ahem, I've been banned from the local airwaves for thirty years, and all that time I can't remember any of these great free speechers ever defending my right to get a word in now and then.) But all this bashing of station manager Lorraine is unfair and misdirected. Christ almighty, give the woman a break.
HOW TO FISH THE MENDO COAST
(by “Joshua” writing on MCN Listserve)
I have fished along the Albion through Westport coastline since 1975. I am an angler and choose spots near the water on rugged rocky areas below the headlands and above the low tide line. A good place to practice is on the Noyo Harbor Jetty. I use 40 to 60 lb. test line on a level-wind bait casting reel and a 5' to 6.5' heavy duty fiberglass pole. The best baits are muscles which can be found at low tide along many of the rocks at water's edge and abalone guts when available from divers. Guts and muscles can be frozen. Remove the shell from muscles and if the water is very rough, wrap it onto the hook with cotton thread. Put an 8 oz. weight* on the end of your line and a #6 barbed hook on a 14" leader about 2' above the weight so the bait washes around near the bottom in the sea-wash. The fish don't mind rough water or stormy days and the best time for bites is from 1 hour before through 1 hour after the turning of the tides, high and low. Expect to catch Greenling (sometime called Sea Trout locally), Ling Cod, Cabazon, sometimes Sea Perch near the surface and perhaps a Red Snapper or other rock fish. The heavy test line is to allow you to pull your gear through seaweed and over submerged rocks. You want to try to find an underwater channel by paying attention to how much line pays out after the weight has hit the water. No need to cast far from shore unless you are set on catching Ling Cod or Snapper.
Never turn your back to the sea and always have an escape route preplanned in case of rouge waves, especially when the tide is coming in.
The environmentally best weight is a small (Bull Durham style) cloth bag with a draw-string (sold at most area tackle shops) filled with gravel.
Good Luck & enjoy the view.
HAS HE GOTTA SHOW FOR YOU! He, of course, is Dave Evans of the Navarro Store, Mendocino County's premier live music venue and impresario, all in one improbable place. Among other big-time acts appearing under the redwoods this summer, Dave is bringing us the Subdudes; Joe Louis Walker and the Boss Talkers; Robben Ford, the justly renowned guitar player, raised in Ukiah and now a fixture on the world music scene; the Jimmy Hendrix Revolution Tour, fully endorsed by the Hendrix family (ask Dave to tell you his Jimmy Hendrix story); and the LA Bonfire with their AC-DC tribute. (Dave's website is at NavarroGeneralStore.com)
ALL OF THE ABOVE and Guy Kephart already at the grill, where Dave appeared last weekend and will appear throughout the year Fridays through Mondays, 11-4:30.
CALLED the County Office of Education on Monday to see if our hard-hitting lead educators had adopted a transgender bathroom policy, surely an issue likely to spawn many hundreds of leisurely donut hours as the issue is defined, re-defined, refined, in-serviced, round-tabled, paradigmed, consulted, curriculum-developed, excellenced, dedicated until someone says… "Hey, how many of these watchmacallits are there in the County, anyhow?" I see great fun ahead, and called the MCOE compound to kick off my amusement. But I called at three minutes after the noon hour and the brain trust was out to lunch (sic). Lunch is very important to these people. In fact, lunch just might be the purpose of the organization, the evident absence of any other tangible duties being as it is. Back in the day, the MCOE gang enjoyed a quite lavish spread prepared by their own on-grounds cooks, one of many perks enjoyed by the Talmage apparatus which, like Topsy, just keeps on growing, although it does not do a single thing that couldn't be done cheaper and better by the individual school districts of Mendocino County. A little known fact: The Terminator, when he served as Governor, tried to terminate the many county offices of education, recognizing that their full effect was to make education impossible. The edu-blob was too large and absolutely ferocious in its own defense, and Schwarzenegger was unable to off them, one of several right-on reforms he tried but failed to accomplish. Nobody called back from MCOE. They probably did a hurry-up, all hands in-service to conclude I was pranking them.
ANDERSON VALLEY CHIEF ANDRES AVILA on Measure V. First, Chief Avila told us that he thinks the fire hazard issue still needs more study. He points out that although there may be an additional hazard and that the tree-killing chemicals used can be a problem, but "these kinds of fires are not entered, they're surrounded, fire lines set." Ordinarily, firefighters are not directly exposed to the smoke. Accordingly, Avila doesn’t like that some advocates use the "safety of firefighters” in their arguments for the measure when not all firefighters are of a like mind about it. In fact, many are opposed for one reason or another. Avila agrees that the Albion situation is perilous, and a wider perimeter should be established between the dead trees and residential areas at Albion and any other area where there’s a residential neighborhood close to treated trees. Avila also agrees that MRC killed too many trees on too many acres too fast — especially if their main argument is that hack-n-squirt is good in the long-term.
SO… WHY NOT A $2 BOX OF RUBBER GLOVES?
Board of Supervisors Agenda Item 4(o):
Approval of Purchase of Kirby Lester KL1 Medication Tablet Counting Machines [sic/plural: three machines] in the Amount of $14,985 and Add Item [sic/singular] to the Fixed Asset List
Ssummary of Request: In the course of duties involved in a Coroner’s case, Deputies must hand count medications. This work task creates a substantial risk to the health of the deputies who must handle medications, some are unknown substances. The KL1 medication tablet counting machine allows for the medications to be counted and bottled again without Deputies having to physically touch the tablets thereby reducing their risk greatly. The machine will be paid for through the County’s Excess Insurance Authority (CSAC-EIA) that works with local county risk departments to limit risks to employees. Funding: CSAC- Loss Prevention Subsidy: $14,985.
PETER LIT REMEMBERS…
The paragraphs in Off the Record about fines stirred up a memory of when I was on the Juvenile Justice and Deliquency Prevention Commission. Then-Sheriff Tuso has proposed a "Teen Party Ordinance" which basically said that if the sheriffs were called to a residence because of complaints and an unsupervised juvenile party was in progress and the juvenile who lived there was told to “cease and desist the disturbance” and, that, if the police left and were recalled, the parent or parents, ostensibly in control, could be charged the costs of enforcement. He wanted the Commission's blessing to take this to the Board of Supervisors. I opposed this since any, usually single, parent who had a child, apparently at least somewhat out of control, that was left alone while they were working would in no way benefit when their parent was "fined" for their actions. Quite the contrary in terms of delinquency prevention. Since most of the other commissioners were glad to go along with whatever the Sheriff asked, in part since they often worked for programs that had a relationship with law enforcement, I brought up, having consulted an attorney, the fact that there were, as I recall, 17 laws/regulations on the books that allowed law enforcement to break up the party. Sheriff Tuso responded, completely openly: This is not an enforcement issue; it is a revenue enhancement measure. The JJ&DPC voted overwhelmingly (as I recall, I was a minority of one) to support the Sheriff's efforts. This was only one of the Commission's actions that resulted in my resignation some time later.
CATCH OF THE DAY, May 16, 2016
JOHNNY AZBILL, Ukiah. Ex-felon with firearm, ammo possession by prohibited person, smoking-injecting device, county parole violation.
PUEO CLEARWATER, Comptche. DUI, child endangerment.
ANTONIO COLLINS, Fort Bragg. Drunk in public, probation revocation. (Frequent flyer.)
WESLEY DICKSON, Redwood Valley. Controlled substance, probation revocation.
JAMIE KAPITAN, Fort Bragg. Domestic battery.
JOSE MADRIGAL, Cloverdale/Ukiah. DUI.
RICARDO MEDINA-GRANADOS, Ukiah. Domestic battery.
ZAHIR PECHCERON*, Fort Bragg. Probation revocation.
LOREN POWERS JR., Ukiah. DUI.
CRUZ REA, Bakersfield/Ukiah. Drunk in public.
DANIEL TAYLOR, Covelo. Dirk-dagger, probation revocation.
TASHINA TILLMAN, Ukiah. Failure to appear, probation revocation.
GIRL SCOUT SERVICE UNIT 112:
GOODWILL DONATION COLLECTION on June 4th
This fundraiser will help to fund lifetime memberships to the graduating Girl Scouts of Service Unit 112, so they can continue as part of the organization for life and give back to future Girl Scouts for years to come.
Spring cleaning, don't have time for a yard sale, want to support your local Girl Scouts? Then bring all household items, clothing, and furniture that can be resold to the Goodwill Donation Collection Site at the Pear Tree Shopping Center on June 4th from 9am-2pm. This site will also be an EWaste collection site, so all working and non-working EWaste will be accepted. Tell everyone you know that the Girl Scouts could use your help. They are earning funds to support the girls of Ukiah and the surrounding areas in their Scouting fun and future.
— Katrina Cavender, Ukiah
MENDOCINO SPRING POETRY
Sunday, May 22, 2016 * 41st Anniversary
Mendocino Spring Poetry Celebration
at the Hill House in Mendocino town on the coast.
This event draws some 40 poets from northern California
and beyond. Two open readings: afternoon and evening.
Noon: sign-up and mixer; afternoon reading at 1:00.
Break: enjoy the town, the sea and the headlands.
5:00 PM: sign-up and mixer; evening reading at 6:00.
Celebrate the word! This will be the 11th Annual revival of Spring readings held 41 years ago on the Mendocino coast.
Choice comestibles. Open book displays. Contribution requested.
All poems considered for broadcast by Dan Roberts on KZYX&Z.
Info: Gordon Black, (707) 937-4107, firstname.lastname@example.org
— Bill Bradd & Judy Sperling
INDEBTED AMERICANS owe a staggering $131,000 per household and spent more than $6,000 a year on interest, study shows.
Debt has grown as wage rises have failed to keep pace with price increases. Study shows Americans owe a total of $12 trillion, or $37,000 per citizen. Average household with debt owes $131,000, with $15,000 on credit cards
by Chris Pleasance
The average indebted American household is shouldering a staggering burden of almost $131,000 and paying more than $6,000 in interest repayments per year, a study shows.
Those with credit card debts owe a daunting average of almost $16,000 each and are wasting almost 3% of their household income per year on repayments.
In total, US consumers have now amassed more than $12 trillion in debt — the equivalent of $37,000 for every American citizen — with more than $700 billion owed on credit cards.
The soaring cost of living coupled with periods of stagnant or declining wage growth since 2003 has driven many household budgets into the red, according to research by NerdWallet.
In the last 12 years the only areas in which wage growth has outpaced price increases is in clothing, recreation and transport — with the former two making up only a small part of average household spending.
Meanwhile essential expenses such as medicine, food and housing costs have far outstripped American purchasing power.
Medical bills have increased at almost double the rate of wages over that period, while food bills have grown by 39%, more than 10 percentage points ahead of wage growth.
In total, since 2003, wages have grown by 26% while living costs have increased by 29%, forcing people to either restrict their spending or borrow more to make up the shortfall.
By far the largest share of US debt goes toward mortgages, with a total of $8.25 trillon currently borrowed against property sales.
While the number is astonishing, Time Magazine reports that since property values typically increase, and interest rates on mortgage debt is relatively low, it is likely not a problem for most Americans — and may even be a good thing if people invest wisely.
While credit card debt is a comparatively small $733 billion, it represents a far larger problem because it is unsecured to any asset and typically carries some of the highest interest rates.
Matthew Frankel writes: “Credit-card debt is excessively expensive. The interest you’ll pay on a credit card generally outweighs any benefits — credit score or otherwise — of carrying the debt.”
(Courtesy, the Daily Mail On-Line)
COPP’S PLEA FOR YOU & ME
by Ralph Nader
The plain-spoken, public-spirited former Federal Communications Commissioner, Michael Copps, is indignant — and for good reason: The FCC is not enforcing the law requiring the “dark money” super PACs and other campaign cash conduits to reveal, on-the-air, the names of the real donors behind all political advertisements, which are now flooding the profitable radio and television airwaves.
It is bad enough that political ads far overwhelm political news stories. One study of the 2014 election campaign found Philadelphia stations gave 45 times more air time to political ads than they devoted to their news stories which were designed to inform viewers about the candidates. Political ads have become a huge cash cow for the television and radio stations that use OUR public airwaves free of charge. We citizens, who are the owners of the public airwaves, receive no rent payment from these tenants. (Thanks to a corrupted Congress!)
As Mr. Copps has written: Viewers watching these ads are provided a nice-sounding name, such as “Paid for by Citizens for Amber Waves of Grain,” and “nothing else, no hint of who put up the money; no clue as to the real agenda behind the message.” They could be chemical companies polluting our water, big arms manufacturers wanting more over-priced government contracts, or banks who are opposed to proper regulation of their consumer-gouging tactics and their risky speculation.
Years ago the FCC declared that the Audiences “are entitled to know by whom they are being persuaded.” So why isn’t the FCC enforcing the clear-cut, unambiguous section 317 of the 1934 Communications Act? After all the mass media is regularly writing about dark money, secret money, bought-and paid-for politicians without being able to supply the names of the donors. The FCC could be the agency that gives the voters their right to know.
Earlier this year, the FCC voted to require that cable and radio stations maintain a public file on political advertising. In 2012 the agency required such a public file for broadcast television stations to maintain a database. But still, there are no requirements for disclosing the “true identity” of people, corporations or other entities paying for the ads.
This is what 170 house Democrats demanded that the FCC do in a letter released on January 20, 2016.
Such a demand, and even the knowledge that voters would overwhelmingly approve such openness, are not enough for the cautious FCC chairman, Tom Wheeler. His agency has been sitting on petitions to require disclosure under section 317 for years. In December 2015, the Sunlight Foundation, Common Cause and the Campaign Legal Center filed formal complaints against 18 television stations in four states, asking the Federal Communications Commission to order the stations to comply with this law. Former Commissioner Copps wonders what else the FCC needs before it enforces the law that its five Commissioners have sworn to uphold. Billions of dollars of dark money in this campaign year need to be brought into the sunlight.
Well, as Michael Copps writes, “Broadcasting and cable companies fear that honest ads might lead to fewer ads and less money in their coffers. Corporate and dark money interests hide in the shadows of anonymous attacks. Even our major newspapers shy away from covering this issue, perhaps looking more toward their bottom-line interests than the public interest. Some of them own other media properties…”
Apart from recent exertions on net neutrality, the FCC has been subservient to big media companies and their docile Congressional allies who don’t want to properly enforce the 1934 Communications Act, which stipulates that radio and television broadcasting companies adhere to the legal standard of the “public interest, convenience and necessity” in presenting programming. That standard implies a fair balance between serious content and entertainment/advertisements. The FCC, mercilessly harassed into slumber by members of Congress, has been AWOL from its legal duties.
On the bigger picture Copps writes, “Big money is corrupting our electoral process, strangling our civic dialogue, and endangering American self-government. The agency, the FCC, should respond to the petitions and complaints that have been filed and indicate if it is going to live up to its obligations.” Law and Order anyone?
Interested citizens may weigh in with their views by contacting FCC Chairman, Tom Wheeler (as many did effectively on net neutrality) by emailing him at Tom.Wheeler@fcc.gov.
The overall subject of media responsibility will be the subject of Day Two (May 24, 2016) of the Super Bowl for Civic Action at Constitution Hall in Washington, D.C.: Breaking Through Power.
Visit BreakingThroughPower.org for more information.
Ralph Nader is a consumer advocate, lawyer and author of Only the Super-Rich Can Save Us!
HILLARY is a privileged, upper class white woman who is a member of the ruling class with a registered net worth of over $28 million. And, as we’ve recently learned, most of her wealth is held in accounts in Delaware where she doesn’t have to claim or pay taxes on it. Her interests serve the interests of other ruling class and upper class women and perhaps half of the 10% of the whole of the upper middle class. Realistically, in practice she knows or cares little for at least 85% of women in the middle and lower classes.
— Barbara Maclean
by James Kunstler
If the Obama Justice Department was really honest about its “guidance” on transgender bathrooms, it would have stated clearly a requirement to provide a new, separate, third category of bathroom or changing room for people identifying themselves as transgender. This would have given such persons a safe, private place to perform their necessary bio-functions without making the other two categories of people, male and female, uncomfortable.
Actually, such a third option already exists in many public places: the handicapped bathroom. These could easily be relabeled “Handicapped and Transgender” — the main feature of them being that they allow for one-person-at-a-time occupancy, obviating any effect on others. And it wouldn’t require expensive renovation of public buildings.
But no, Mr. Obama’s DOJ decided to antagonize large numbers of males and females by coercing them to consort with transgender people, threatening to take away federal school funding if they didn’t allow persons of ambiguous sexuality to use whichever bathroom they felt like.
This reveals the fantastic smug certainty of the political Left in assuming that such matters as the nature of transgender behavior are adequately understood and settled — for instance, that transgender is actually a real sexual category rather than a psychological disturbance, a developmental problem, an extreme fashion statement, or a fantasy. I’m not at all persuaded that this is settled, despite the pervasive wishful thinking of the social justice corps that it were so.
It should be clear after some years of social justice hysteria in this country that coercion is now the method of choice on the Left side of the culture war battlefield: you must believe what we believe, or face punishment. As a Vietnam-era registered Democrat I hugely resent this oppressive political approach. I resent even more the supposed public intellectuals and thought leaders in government, academia, and the media who go along with this despotic conduct — which includes ruining the livelihoods and careers of respectable colleagues among them.
Though I am not generally sympathetic to the extreme political Right, especially its evangelical arm which adopted coercive and punitive tactics well before the Left did, I think the governors of North Carolina and Texas have a case in this new transgender bathroom dispute, though I hope their lawyers argue it on some basis besides scripture and sheer boobish obstinacy.
You may have noticed that more and more we live in a society where anything goes and nothing matters. We got there through the incremental eradication of boundaries, especially in social categories and behaviors. Some people find this exhilarating and others find this disturbing. I happen to believe that the elimination of boundaries is not altogether a good thing. We would probably benefit, I think, from more and firmer boundaries than squishier and fewer of them.
Despite the fact that a lot of people I associate with are arty types of what used to be called liberal inclination, I was not in favor of gay marriage, and said so — and was scalded with censorious opprobrium for it. Considering what I know, for instance, about the unintended consequences and diminishing returns of technology, I did not consider it a small thing to meddle with social institutions that are truly older than history. We don’t know what the eventual effects of gay marriage on the social order will be anymore than we knew that the consequences of “Atoms for Peace” would be Chernobyl and Fukushima. Things happen in history because they seem like a good idea at the time. Then time passes and we find out differently.
I was in favor of civil unions for gay couples, since the disposition of chattels and property is not a small matter in a broken partnership, as are medical issues and the care of children entailed in these partnerships, and some method of adjudication was obviously needed. But it was not necessary to call it marriage. Why make the distinction? For the basic reason that not all things and conditions of things are exactly the same. That is exactly the problem with the sort of extreme relativism that reigns on the Left these days. Anything goes.
In fact, I suspected then and still do that the crusade for gay marriage was more a seeking of official state approbation for homosexual behavior as much as a legal issue. In other words, it was about feelings — which has become the basis of argument for practically everything in our politics these days. Anyone disagreeing with those feelings was labeled a “homophobe,” and their ideas on the matter could be simply dismissed as a phobia, a terrible fear, a bad feeling rather than a reasoned position about the workings of society. I was not phobic or fearful about people who identified as gay. But I didn’t then and still don’t believe that we completely understand that behavior, and that it is a settled matter — contrary to the shibboleths of the moment.
The case is similar with transgender. We only pretend to know what it’s about because doing so affords comfortable feelings of superiority — that we are better people for going along with it because the transit of human progress is ever upward, and we are on the cutting edge of that journey to utopia. I don’t happen to buy that story, anymore than I believe that an “installation” of plastic vomit on the floor of the Whitney Museum is as much a work of art as Edouard Manet’s Luncheon on the Grass.
America has a boundary problem and boundary problems are disturbing both to individuals and societies. A common feature of societies in decline is a preoccupation with sexual freakishness, which is on display incessantly in this Republic of Twerking and in the much-valorized “sexual subversion” celebrated in the arts. The Obama government does a huge disservice to this dangerously declining nation by provoking even more dissolution of social boundaries at a time when we have so many other converging problems of polity to contend with.
This is the great contradiction, by the way, of Donald Trump. He has captured the attention of so many voters by invoking the case of our “broken border” with Mexico — a political boundary that is simple enough for most citizens to understand. But Trump himself actually operates by smashing the boundaries erected by his own party for acceptable political conduct. Thus, Trump perfectly personifies the nation’s essential predicament: America has a borderline personality. It is a danger to itself and others.
(Support Kunstler’s writing at: https://www.patreon.com/JamesHowardKunstler?ty=h)
CATASTROPHY UNMASKED: PRESCRIPTION FOR ADDICTION
The “Opium Wars” were fought by the British Government to legalize their control of the opium trade to China in the mid 17th Century. Reports estimated that 25% of the Chinese people were addicted to opium by 1905. That same year in the US, heroin addiction had risen to alarming rates, and the US Congress passed a ban on opium. Another American heroin epidemic began again in 1967 in Chicago and New York and then spread widely through the early 1980s. The son of the US Attorney General Robert Kennedy died of a heroin overdose in New York City April 24, 1984. Physicians were taught that opioids were dangerously addicting substances that should be used only for short-term severe pain and terminal cancer. Despite this teaching and the raging Heroin epidemic in America, a letter was published in the New England Journal of Medicine in 1980
The author reported that of the patients in their hospital who were treated with narcotics, less than 1% became addicted.
In 1986 the Journal Pain
reported on a study of only 38 patients who were treated with narcotics for several years. The authors concluded that there was little risk of addiction. There were no other significant addiction studies reported. Shortly after the study in Pain, one of the co-authors went on to head the American Pain Society. This organization was one of several similar nonprofit groups funded by the Pharmaceutical Industry like Purdue Pharma the producers of the narcotic Oxycontin. These opioid producers also funded medical education programs and advocacy groups.
Within a short time the pharmaceutical companies began an aggressive nationwide campaign to market opioids for long term non-cancer pains such as back and neck pain. During the 1990s the incidence of opioid misuse rose markedly, fueled by the number of opioid prescriptions written by many physicians and nurses.
Where were the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the American Medical Association (AMA) when they were presented with blatant disregard for the truth about opioid addiction? Did they demand scientific evidence before they abandoned 150 years of knowledge about the dangers of opioids? Where were the evidence based studies needed to refute what was known around the world about the risks of oipoids?
As of 2/2009, Dr. Zee, writing in the Journal of Public Health revealed that “we lack any large…rigorous prospective study addressing the issue of … addiction, during long-term opioid use for chronic non cancer pain.”
The medical schools and physician training programs did not publicly denounce this unscientific pharmaceutical propaganda. Why? The FDA, the organization responsible for ensuring that prescription drug promotion is truthful, continued to authorize more and more forms of opioids over the years. Why? To this day the FDA and the AMA have refused to demand mandatory education for opioid prescribers. Why? Furthermore, The Federation of State Medical Boards accepted money from pharmaceutical firms to produce prescribing guidelines (http://www.medpagetoday.com/Neurology/PainManagement/31256).
Why did physicians not sound the alarm to expose the fact that the pharmaceutical industry was establishing treatment guidelines for the medical profession?
Dr. David A Kessler, the passed commissioner of the FDA, from 1990-1997, the very years the epidemic was accelerating, stated in an article in the New York Times on May 7, 2016: “It has proved to be one of the biggest mistakes in modern medicine.”
Doctors, regulators and drug makers “missed one fundamental: The more opioids prescribed, the more opioid abuse there will be.”
We beg to differ. This was no mistake. The reality is that physicians in the leadership of the FDA, the AMA and The Federation of State Medical Boards willfully abandoned their scientific integrity and over 150 years of wisdom regarding the dangers of opioids.
This was simply a catastrophic violation of their duty to “do no harm.” In their complicity with the Pharmaceutical Companies, many physicians and nurses abandoned their responsibility to their patients by writing prescriptions for addiction. The consequences are now staring us in the face. Well over a hundred thousand people have overdosed and died, and there are now three million addicts as the epidemic continues to devastate families across the nation.
Let’s set the record straight.
Dr. Nayvin Gordon, Board Certified for over 30 years in Family Medicine, has written many articles on health related issues over the years. He lives in California. email@example.com
ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY
My concern about this transgender issue is that it allows *any* male free access into a woman’s bathroom or locker room, beyond just the very, very small transgender group (1 in 300?).
This is basically a free pass for the sexual predators in our society to stalk and attack women and little girls. By saying he “feels” like a women today, he can go into a girl’s bathroom and prey. This is the central issue. And just the large numbers of sexual predators makes it a very scary issue. If caught being a “voyeur” (or much worse), he has an immediate “Get Out of Jail” free card: I “felt” like a woman today. This is a literal definition of a culture gone insane.
You’re telling me that all the Harvard trained, highly paid lawyers in the DOJ couldn’t follow this very simple train of logic? Of course they could, but they are beholden to top management for their cushy, easy jobs; they have just a few more years until retirement and don’t want to rock the boat; or they are like so many other DC “workers” who surf porn all day and don’t see what the big deal is.
This seriously shows a nation in deep decline. With all the other disasters occurring, we get distracted by nonsense any rational human knows is nonsense and insanity. The first little girl who gets raped because of this will spark an explosion.
DENIS ROUSE WRITES from Bieber: “Religion in politics — Forget religion, the key to the human struggle is elsewhere. See "The Consolation of Philosophy" by Boethius (480-524).”
Jay Duret is a San Francisco based writer and illustrator.
More of his work can be seen here: https://jayduret.com/illustrations/imagined-conversations-our-politics/
Navarro Point stewarding this Wednesday 10am-noon in Albion
Hello. You are invited to join us to remove thistles at Navarro Point this coming Wednesday, May 18th, from 10am until noon. The weather is expected to be sunny and this coastal headland is a stunningly beautiful place to be outside. You can find us in the parking lot on the west side of Highway 1 south of Navarro Ridge Road. No tools or previous experience are necessary. We hope to see you there this Wednesday at 10am. Contact me if you have questions.
Tom, 937-1113, firstname.lastname@example.org
UPCOMING UKIAH LIBRARY EVENTS
A PLAN TO FLOOD SAN FRANCISCO WITH NEWS ON HOMELESSNESS