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Mendocino County Today: Monday, July 25, 2016

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September 22, 1936 - July 21, 2016

John Hulbert, 79, passed away peacefully with his wife Linda and step-daughter Melanie at his side on July 21, 2016, at their home in Philo, California.

John was born in his grandmother Annie deRosier’s home at the south end of Boonville on September 22, 1936. His parents were Perry Hulbert and Dorothy “Dot” deRosier Hulbert. He graduated from Anderson Valley High School with the class of 1955, and went to work for Pacific Bell before he was 20 years old. John married Pat Wilson, and they had 3 children, Terri Lynn, Steven John, and Michael Dean. Later he married Norma Jean Jones, who had two daughters, Diana and Marta, who then became his daughters. John and Norma lived in their home next to the Redwood Drive in for two decades. Norma passed away in 1992, and John married Linda Crispin in 1993 and moved to the Crispin place on Ruddock Road in Philo. Linda has two daughters, Jeanette (Jenny) and Melanie. By this time there were several grandchildren and great-grandchildren. John is survived by his wife, Linda Crispin Hulbert; sisters Judy (Walt) Smith and Donnal Nichols; his three children, three step-children, and lots of grandchildren, great-grandchildren and nieces and nephews.

John was very active in valley activities. He served as Director of Mendocino County Fair Board for over 14 years and as chief fundraiser for the parade for, without which a former manager states, “there would be no parade!” As “fair ambassador” he would always schedule vacation in order to serve as the “go-to” person during the Apple Fair.

John Hulbert (R) with one of his many donations to the local fire department
John Hulbert (R) with one of his many donations to the local fire department

Among his many accomplishments, John spent many evening and weekend hours to raise $15,000 from the community to purchase the jaws-of-life held by the AV Fire Department. He also purchased a television and video player for the local firefighter’s training and entertainment. Additionally, he served on the volunteer ambulance crew for five years as far back as when the ambulance was a station wagon, as a driver and EMT. He coordinated fund raising toward the purchase of the heart monitor for the AV emergency services. John was also a long-time member of the AV Lion’s Club and served on the local Chamber of Commerce for six years.

For 40 years John worked for Pacific Bell, installing phones and lines and doing repairs for all of us. He was known as “Mr. Telephone.” As far as dealing with the phone company for our family, friends and neighbors, John Hulbert was Pacific Bell (quote from June 24, 1985 Pacific Bell Paper). There’s an old letter of commendation from then fair manager Bill Clow which quotes John as being the “best goodwill ambassador Pacific Bell and Mendocino County Fair could hope to have . . . ” In 1990, he won Pac Bell’s “Telesis Award” for Employee Community Service. In 1992, the Anderson Valley Community Services District awarded him for his life-time of active support in this community.

The piles of Commendations, Certificates of Appreciation, awards, and letters from phone company customers his mother had very carefully kept in a box are too numerous to mention. All who knew John are aware of his desire to drop everything to be there for us valley folks. John's sister, Donnal, remembers John as a talented cartoonist who would quietly draw caricatures of the people around him. He will be missed by all who knew him for his loving and caring nature, his sense of duty, and his entertaining sense of humor.

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by Justine Frederiksen

(This is the first installment of a series exploring the need for a secure psychiatric facility in Mendocino County. This story focuses on the Ukiah Police Department, with future stories focusing on the hospital and the jail.)

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It’s Friday morning and Ukiah Police Officer Jason Chapman is watching the few people scattered around the Alex R. Thomas Jr. plaza.

One person is buying a hot dog for an early lunch, but the rest are lying in the grass, having found a shady spot to nap in.

Everything looks calm for the moment, but Chapman or another officer will likely be called back later for a disturbance.

“Usually, it’s someone yelling,” Chapman said. “Yelling at random people walking by, or just yelling at themselves.”

When he responds to a call like that, Chapman said, if people are under the influence or otherwise breaking the law, he will arrest them. But more often than not, a person is doing nothing more than behaving oddly and making people uncomfortable.

Sometimes they’re drunk. Sometimes they’re on drugs. Sometimes they’re having a mental breakdown. Sometimes, it’s all three.

“I try and calm them down, tell them to just go sit on a bench and decompress, to try and get a handle on themselves and their day,” said Chapman.

If that doesn’t work, a couple of hours later he might be talking to them again. And by then, their behavior may have escalated to the point where they are deemed a danger to themselves or others, and Chapman may detain them for a mental health evaluation, known as a 5150 hold.

A 5150 hold allows a person to be kept, often against his or her will, for 72 hours of treatment and observation.

But with no psychiatric facility to take people to in Mendocino County, such a hold means patients will usually end up at Ukiah Valley Medical Center, where they will often be secured to a bed in the emergency room while they wait for a social worker to respond.

“But that can take two days,” said UPD Capt. Justin Wyatt, explaining that if a patient is particularly combative, such as one woman who is known to bite and otherwise assault nurses, an officer will often need to stay there, “babysitting a patient because there is nowhere else for them to go.”

For the UPD, this means one less officer to respond to the dozens of other calls for service racking up. For UVMC, this means much of its medical staff is focused on one volatile patient, and that there will be one less bed for the victims of car accidents, falls or heart attacks who keep arriving.

And for the person having a mental health crisis, it means, “being chained to a hospital bed in front of 20 other people with no privacy,” Ukiah Police Chief Chris Dewey said, adding that even if you are not restrained, it is still incredibly frustrating and dehumanizing to have to wait for days that way, especially if it’s something the patient may have gone through multiple times already.

So frustrating, in fact, that one man a few years ago stormed out of the hospital, threw off his gown, ripped the IV tubes out of his arms and ended up “stark naked in the middle of the road with blood spurting out of his arms.”

The officer who responded to the call, Dewey said, could not physically restrain the man because he was bleeding, so he used his Taser to subdue him.

None of that had to happen, said Dewey, explaining that there used to be a place in Ukiah where officers could take patients suffering a mental health crisis that wasn’t the hospital and wasn’t the jail. It was called the Psychiatric Health Facility, or PHF.

The PHF, nicknamed the “Puff,” had rooms where patients could be locked up, but Dewey said only about 10% of the people he dealt with while he was a beat cop needed to be restrained. The vast majority just needed a place to go where they could talk to someone who understood them and could help them calm down.

“And that was the Puff,” Dewey said, explaining that the facility, which was part of the Mendocino County Administration Center on Low Gap Road, had an outdoor courtyard, a coffee maker running 24/7 and a couple of “tough-as-nails” women watching over the patients.

“They knew all the people by name,” Dewey said, explaining that within 15 minutes, an officer could deliver someone in crisis to a safe environment and move on to the next call.

“I had people I’d take there once a month,” he recalled. “I’d ask, ‘you want to go to Puff?’ And they’d nod,” because there they could sit down, drink a cup of coffee, smoke a cigarette and talk to someone who knew their name and knew their issues.

“Most of the time, that’s all they needed,” he said. “It was a wonderful thing to have, for everyone, not just for us officers. It was a fantastic thing for the community.”

The PHF closed in 1999, and Chapman describes what mental health patients have available to them now in Mendocino County as a “revolving door” of inadequate services that too often does little more than spit them back onto the street. And each time they go through that door, he said, they’re a little more frustrated, a little more angry and have a lot less hope.

“We need more avenues,” said UPD Lt. Dave McQueary, explaining that having only two overcrowded options, the jail and the hospital, is not sustainable for either the patients or the first responders.

What is needed, UPD officers said, is what Mendocino County Sheriff Tom Allman is proposing with the Mental Health Facility Development Ordinance of 2016.

The sales-tax initiative, which qualified for the November ballot, calls for the development of a Psychiatric Health Facility offering 24-hour acute inpatient psychiatric care with 16 beds; crisis residential services for psychiatric episodes with 12 beds, and another 12 beds for alcohol and other drug abuse services, including detoxification.

[Ed note: Sheriff Allman’s proposal has no specific numbers of beds or what they’d be for. These numbers are based on Mendocino County Administration’s own inflated estimate of what would be housed there.]

Treating both mental health and substance abuse problems is key, Chapman said, because most of the chronically homeless he interacts with are suffering from a combination of the two.

“Sometimes they’re using drugs and alcohol instead of the medication they’re supposed to be taking,” Chapman said, explaining that alcohol in particular is much cheaper and easier to get than prescription drugs, or often people just don’t like their medication.

No matter the underlying problems, which Chapman said are hard to unravel, he and his fellow law enforcement officers said the people they are arresting again and again cannot be helped without sustained treatment.

“And treatment cannot begin until the safety and security of the patient, and others, is addressed,” Wyatt said.

“This facility would be a long-term solution, which is what we all need,” Chapman said. “In the revolving door, there is no hope. They have no hope that the system is going to help them, and they have no hope that anything is going to change.

“This (facility) would give them the resources that they need, which we all want them to have,” he said. “And it would give them hope.”

(First in a series; Courtesy, the Ukiah Daily Journal)

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To the Editor:

As I read the recent article about the upcoming ballot measure regarding mental health services, I find myself both excited and worried.

It is absolutely time for Mendocino County to once again have an in-patient psychiatric unit. But it would be an absolute mistake for the County to operate it. One of the reasons the former PHF was closed was the extreme difficulty the County had in removing a specific staff member. Their attitude was so toxic it was impossible to find anyone who was willing to work with them. Because of their job status they couldn’t be moved to another position and because of seniority they couldn’t be fired. They were one of the reasons the PHF had to close.

When I look at today’s plan I do have a few questions. I wonder why there needs to be a “training facility”? It would be far cheaper to send officers to short-term training programs in the Bay Area. I also wonder why there needs to be a drug/alcohol facility attached. Ford Street Project already operates a treatment program. Why does the County need to double up on services?

It greatly bothers me that mental health and drug/alcohol services are becoming so intertwined in Mendocino County. They are not mutually inclusive. There are significant reasons to keep them separate — a subject for another letter.

The biggest question I have: Where is Adventist Health in all of this? They operate highly successful psychiatric health facilities all over the United States, both in-patient and out-patient. They also have access to a network of well-trained psychiatrists and nurses. Why is Adventist not stepping up and building a facility in Ukiah? With them, there is no need to start from scratch and the facility would not be stuck with civil servants that can’t be fired.

Adventist has access to funding. And this ballot measure — if passed — could be used to supplement that funding.

Adventist has the room in Ukiah to build a modern facility. The current plans for the UVMC expansion can always be modified. With the new ER and helipad being built, quite a bit of property is going to be available. And the facility absolutely needs to be in Ukiah, where the majority of people with severe mental health issues live. To have it in Willits would be a major mistake. It would be too far away from the majority of people’s homes and service programs. It absolutely should be part of UVMC. One thing I’ve learned over the years is that having a psychiatric unit at a hospital is vital since many people with psychiatric issues also have medical issues that need to be addressed at the same time.

One great thing about Adventist running psychiatric services is that the County won’t be involved. I can easily see Adventist running the entire operation, from crisis services to the adult in-patient unit. I can even see Adventist adding an adolescent in-patient unit, which the ballot measure sadly leaves out and Mendocino County sorely needs.

Over the years I have been shocked and ashamed by the things I have read when it comes to how mental health services have been offered in Mendocino County since the mid 2000s. While I think this ballot measure is a good sign, I know it is highly misguided.

It’s time for Adventist to finally step up, get the funding and build a comprehensive psychiatric health facility in Ukiah. An Adventist operated facility can serve more than one county and become an additional source of revenue for UVMC.

William French, Ukiah

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In the spirit of supporting live music on the coast, I went to the Hill House last night (the music was good), and questioned the bar tender about why the owners want to eliminate this essential and important part of local culture. He believes that the ownership (a distant corporation) is not into the restaurant-bar aspect of the business as much as the hotel. In other words, they don't care how well the bar does, it's not how they make their money. Yet, live music pulls significant business into the bar (they don't pay the musicians, they get the door). Long story short, I asked him what concerned people could do to sway the owners not to eliminate music, and he said suggested that I write to them. The name of the corporation is Kamla, don't know what it stands for but apparently is their website. I encourage everybody who loves to dance and listen to live, local music to try to preserve this singular cultural resource. And thanks, Pattie Dematteo for all these years of great music.

PETER LIT WRITES: Having some experience with the economics of dance music, I do not believe the Hill House enjoys an economic benefit from dance music. Often the noise drives away hotel business, both during and after the shows. One or two lost room rentals are not balanced by the income from the music. The more rocking and longer the music, the more negative to the business. If the HH wants to be a dining establishment, an early music start disturbs the diners; a later start, the hotel guests. When David Jones had the Seagull, he supported local everything, but eventually the complaints, as the town filled with B&Bs, became too much and he presented "acoustic" music only. This might work for the HH since they, unlike David, do virtually nothing to support the music. Unless the venue is geared for dance music, there is little chance of a commercial success. Local bands used to rent the local halls, provide their own publicity, sound, personnel etc. That's a hard road and usually not monetarily rewarding. Another issue has to do with alcohol and other drugs; when the police, in Ft Bragg for example, target alcohol establishments forgetting they are there to "protect and serve," one questions the wisdom of going out to dance and having a "couple of drinks." If the establishment cannot sell its customers a couple of drinks, there is little reason, outside of community service, to have dance music.

(For many years, Mr. Lit operated the highly popular live music venue at the Caspar Inn. He makes his usual good sense here.)

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"James Decker, the angry anarchist, begins his public comment with “FUCK THE POLICE!” Check out his Twitter handle “radmul” for the real James Decker. Regardless of our political leanings, we should be able to have a civil discourse without yelling and cursing. It’s people like Mr. Decker who keep the average citizen away from public meetings. While yes, you have a constitutional right to free speech; no, we don’t have to put up with your abusive speech. I’d recommend the Mayor shut off the mic if Mr. Decker wants to go off on a profane laced public outburst. Submit a profane tirade to theTimes-Standard and see if your “free speech” gets printed. Oh yeah, he also closed his public comment with another “FUCK THE POLICE!” Such a nice man."

HERE IN MENDOCINO COUNTY, we used to have a couple of lunatics who would show up to berate the Supervisors, but they were so obviously unhinged they almost always got cut off in mid-harangue. And I don't recall them launching f-bombs like the so-called anarchist described above. I do recall the late Supervisor, John Cimolino's (Fort Bragg) famous rhetorical question, "Do we really have to listen to these nuts?" Yes, so long as they remain relatively civil, but why the Eureka City Council endures this guy is beyond me.

THE ANARCHISTS of the 19th and early 20th century were serious radicals and, in their private lives, conventional to the point of suits and ties for Sunday picnics and formal photographs. How all-out war on capitalism conducted by honest working people devolved into suburban vandals breaking windows in Oakland is, I suppose, just one more chapter in the general devolution.

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DAVID GURNEY REMINDS US: The City of Fort Bragg is once again promoting plans to build a strip mall with cheesy outlet stores at the city's southern gateway, just west of the Highway 1 & 20 intersection. The next step in the process for this unpopular project will be the seeking of approval for an international corporation, Michael Baker Int. & DC Capitol Partners, to complete the Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for the project. Discussion of this issue will take place at Fort Bragg's Town Hall on Monday, July 25th at 6:00 PM, at the regular meeting of the City Council. The item is third on the agenda, after "Directions to Staff Regarding Cannabis Manufacturing Ordinance," so probably won't be heard till sometime after 7:00 PM. Be there if you care.

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SUPPORTERS of the LGBTQ community gathered on the corner of Scott and State Streets for the 3rd Annual Ukiah Pride March. At 11am the group marched south on State Street towards the Alex Thomas Plaza where they gathered for an afternoon filled with food, music, and community activities.


(Photo: Courtesy, Chris Pugh, Ukiah Daily Journal.)

SERIOUSLY, I'm starting to get lost in what seems like a deluge of subsets. Lesbian. (check) Gay (check, although redundant) Bisexual (check, although when the bars close who goes home with who puts you in one box or the other) Transgender (check, but spare us the surgical details — my scrotum tightens at the mere mention). Q. (Queer? All of the above?)

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RUMOR out of Fort Bragg says City Councilmen Deitz and Hammerstrom, who have announced they won't run for re-election, have instead decided to run again. Dependable Yes votes for a city management that has seriously estranged a solid half of the FB population, that city management knows the opposition to it is planning a vigorous campaign to re-capture the City Council and install a less arbitrary, less expensive, less, well, less Hospitality House-dependent management.

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MOST OF US of a certain age can remember when police hiring was merely the selection of the biggest, meanest, more or less sanest men available for the job. The assumption was that when push came to shove the cop could push and shove harder. When I was a kid — Wait! Don't run! I promise to be brief! … One day when I was a kid of 11 or 12, I was walking down the street with my jaunty childhood chum, Al Boland. A cop car containing a very large policeman named Sylvester Nolan, a former boxer who was so fierce and, truth to tell, volatile, that all he had to do to end a bar fight was walk through the door. So my friend Al flips him off. Nolan's patrol car stops in the middle of the street, he climbs out and walks over to us, me paralyzed with fear, Boland smiling. Without a word, Nolan open hand slaps Boland — then me. "But Mr. Nolan, I didn't do anything," I whinnied. "You're with him," Nolan explained as he got back into his car and drove off. When I complained to my parents, my father said, "Tough," and my mother said, "Nolan is right. I told you to stay away from the Boland boy."

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I wasn’t terribly surprised to learn that Sonoma County District Attorney Jill Ravitch has initiated a tough restrictive order on attorneys seeking law enforcement body cam evidence. The stricture requires that attorneys sign a non-disclosure agreement banning the uploading of footage onto the internet and return videos within 90 days of the resolution of a case.

But I was positively stunned to read her Close to Home defense of the order, in which she insists that “calls for transparency and review of law enforcement procedures are appropriate … and hopefully builds better trust between public safety agencies and the public” (“Why some body-cam video should not be made public,” Sunday). She further stated that “the policy does not prevent defendants from seeking copies directly from police agencies,” adding “we’re not trying to hide anything.”

What Ravitch fails to mention is that defendants cannot request relevant footage until 90 days after the case has closed, and that such footage may never be used in civil cases.

I’m very sorry to say that the only transparency evident here is the disingenuousness of the district attorney’s earnest-sounding words.

Kathleen Finigan

Santa Rosa

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CATCH OF THE DAY, July 24, 2016

Ayon, Bivin, Bland
Ayon, Bivin, Bland

RAUL AYON, Stockton/Ukiah. Under influence, parole violation.

CHARLES BIVIN, Ukiah. Criminal threats, failure to appear.

STERLING BLAND, Oakland. Failure to appear.

Bradshaw, Brown, Crosby
Bradshaw, Brown, Crosby

RYAN BRADSHAW, Willits. Dirk-dagger, probation revocation.

CLAYTON BROWN, Ukiah. DUI-drugs.


Fackrell, Favela, Gunby
Fackrell, Favela, Gunby

ROBERT FACKRELL II, Ukiah. Domestic assault.

CHRISTOPHER FAVELA, West Hills/Laytonville. Misdemeanor hit&run, under influence, smuggling drugs/alcohol into jail.

JAMES GUNBY, Fort Bragg. Probation violation.

Jurrens, Knight, Matthias
Jurrens, Knight, Matthias

NICOLE JURRENS, Ukiah. Petty theft.

THOMAS KNIGHT, Middletown/Ukiah. Domestic battery.

WANA MATTHIAS, Ukiah. Petty theft. (Frequent flyer.)

Rodgers, Schmidt, Singleton
Rodgers, Schmidt, Singleton

JESSE RODGERS, Ukiah. Parole violation, resisting.

JD SCHMIDT, Laytonville. Convicted felon with loaded firearm.

SHANE SINGLETON, Willits. Theft from vehicle, firearm alternation to remove manufacture’s serial number, possession of stolen loaded weapon, vehicle driver with concealed weapon, receiving stolen property, resisting.

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The primary issue is overpopulation and the resultant damage to the environment in all its various forms. Even though I’m an optimist, it gets harder and harder for me to deal with people’s refusal to see things the way they really are.

Racial issues are bread and circuses, Kabuki theatre and sleight-of-hand. So is politics. How is it important which one of two sociopaths becomes president? Arguing back and forth, violently, about minor differences in human populations. Really?

What about freshwater reservoirs and other natural resources being drawn down, climate change, ocean dead zones, loss of topsoil, and other vital issues too numerous to mention? What about preparing for how we’re going to react to severe population loss, which is probably inevitable?

I don’t give a shit which liar becomes president. The end result will be the same, albeit the paths taken would vary a little.

If we spent our energy focusing on real issues instead of concentrating on how to kill each other, maybe we’d come out ok.

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by Jeffrey St. Clair

Nothing seems to rattle Hillary Clinton quite so much as pointed questions about her personal finances. How much she’s made. How she made it. Where it all came from. From her miraculous adventures in the cattle futures market to the Whitewater real estate scam, many of the most venal Clinton scandals down the decades have involved Hillary’s financial entanglements and the serpentine measures she has taken to conceal them from public scrutiny.

Hillary is both driven to acquire money and emits a faint whiff of guilt about having hoarded so much of it. One might be tempted to ascribe her squeamishness about wealth to her rigid Methodism, but her friends say that Hillary’s covetousness derives from a deep obsession with feeling secure, which makes a kind of sense given Bill’s free-wheeling proclivities. She’s not, after all, a child of the Depression, but a baby boomer. Hillary was raised in comfortable circumstances in the Chicago suburbs and, unlike her husband, has never in her life felt the sting of want.

Mrs. Clinton’s stubborn refusal to disclose the text of her three speeches to Goldman Sachs executives in the fall of 2013 fits this self-destructive pattern of greed and guilt. She was fortunate that Bernie Sanders proved too feeble a candidate to seize the advantage. Each time Sanders was asked to show a nexus between the $675,000 she was paid and any political favors to the financial vultures at Goldman, the senator froze, proving strangely incapable of driving a stake into the heart of her campaign.

A less paranoid politician would have simply released the tedious transcripts of the speeches on a Friday evening to bore insomniac readers to sleep. The real question, of course, was never about the content of the speeches, but about why Goldman was paying her $225,000 an hour to give them. Goldman executives weren’t huddling around Mrs. Clinton to listen to her recite the obscurantist mish-mash ghost-dictated by her top economic advisor Alan Blinder. Blinder, a well-known Wall Street commodity himself, is a former vice-chair of the Federal Reserve and co-founder of Promontory Interfinancial Network, a regulatory arbitrage outfit whose top executives pocket $30 million a year. Blinder has publicly assured his Wall Street pals that Clinton will not under any circumstances break up the big banks and neither will she seek to reanimate Glass-Steagall, the Depression-era regulatory measure whose exsanguination by her husband enabled the financial looting by firms like Goldman and Lehman Brothers that spurred the global economic collapse of 2008.

The lavish fee from Goldman for Hillary’s speeches was both a gratuity for past loyalty and a down payment on future services. Goldman’s ties to the Clintons date back at least to 1985, when Goldman executives began pumping money into the newly formed Democratic Leadership Council, a kind of proto-SuperPac for the advancement of neoliberalism. Behind its “third-way” politics smokescreen, the DLC was shaking down corporations and Wall Street financiers to fund the campaigns of business-friendly “New” Democrats such as Al Gore and Bill Clinton.

The DLC served as the political launching pad for the Clintons, boosting them out of the obscurity of the Arkansas dog-patch into the rarified orbit of the Georgetown cocktail circuit and the Wall Street money movers. By the time Bill rambled through his interminable keynote speech at the 1988 Democratic Convention in Atlanta, the Clintons’ Faustian pact with Goldman had already been inked, their political souls cleansed of any vestiges of the primitive southern populism Clinton had exploited so effortlessly during his first term as governor.

In 1991, the Clintons traveled to Manhattan, where they tested the waters for Bill’s then rather improbable presidential bid. At a dinner meeting with Goldman’s co-chair Robert Rubin, Clinton made his case as a more pliant political vessel than George H.W. Bush, who many of the younger Wall Street raiders had soured on. Rubin emerged from the dinner so impressed that he agreed to serve as one of the campaign’s top economic advisors. More crucially, Rubin soon began orchestrating a riptide of Wall Street money into Clinton’s campaign war chest, not only from Goldman but also from other banking and investment titans, such as Lehman Brothers and Citibank, who were eager to see the loosening of federal financial regulations. With Rubin priming the pump, Clinton’s campaign coffers soon dwarfed his rivals and enabled him to survive the sex scandals that detonated on the eve of the New Hampshire primary.

After his election, Clinton swiftly returned the favor checking off one item after another on Rubin’s wish list, often at the expense of the few morsels he’d tossed to the progressive base of the party. In a rare fit of pique, Clinton erupted during one meeting of his National Economic Council, which Rubin chaired, in the first fraught year of his presidency by yelling: “You mean my entire agenda has been turned over to the fucking bond market?” Surely, Bill meant this as a rhetorical question.

When the time came to do the serious business of deregulating the financial sector, Rubin migrated from the shadows of the NEC to become Treasury Secretary, where he oversaw the implementation of NAFTA, the immiseration of the Mexican economy, imposed shock therapy on the struggling Russian economy, blocked the regulation of credit derivatives and gutted Glass-Steagall. When Rubin left the Treasury to cash in on his work at Citigroup, Clinton called him “the greatest secretary of the Treasury since Alexander Hamilton.” Nine years later, following the greatest upward transfer of wealth in history, the global economy was in ruins, with Clinton, Rubin and Goldman Sachs’ fingerprints all over the carnage.

In mid-May, Hillary announced her intention to make Bill the “economic czar” for her administration. This served to quell any anxiety that she might have been infected during the primary campaign by the Sanders virus. For Wall Street, the Clintons are still as good as Goldman. Quid pro quo.

(Jeffrey St. Clair is editor of CounterPunch. His new book is Killing Trayvons: an Anthology of American Violence (with JoAnn Wypijewski and Kevin Alexander Gray). He can be reached at: Courtesy,

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Sanders backers hit the hot streets of Philadelphia

Thousands of demonstrators took to Philadelphia’s sweltering streets Sunday, cheering, chanting and beating drums in the first major protests ahead of the Democratic National Convention, as the city wilts during a heat wave.

Throngs of Bernie Sanders supporters marched down a main thoroughfare to show their support of him and disdain for Hillary Clinton ahead of the convention.

Chanting “Hell No, DNC, we won’t vote for Hillary,” the marchers headed from City Hall down Broad Street, the artery that leads from the city center to the convention site about 4 miles away.

Police officers rode bicycles along each side of the march and the thousands of protesters cooled off in city fire hydrants that were opened along the road.

The heat wave that descended on the city was showing no mercy, with temperatures reaching the high 90s and the city under an “excessive heat” warning by the National Weather Service. It’s expected to peak Monday, the convention’s first day, with temperatures possibly hitting 100 degrees.

Earlier Sunday, thousands of clean-energy activists jammed a downtown street in their mile-long march from City Hall to Independence Mall, near the Liberty Bell. They protested fracking and oil pipelines.

Chants of “Bernie! Bernie!” were met by counter echoes of “Hillary! Hillary!”

Crowds braving the weather could take advantage of “misting tents” and free water, compliments of the city. Mayor Jim Kenney warned people to limit time outdoors and said demonstrations would be put on hold in the event of thunderstorms.

In Cleveland last week, most protests during the Republican National Convention were concentrated in a tight, 1.7-square mile zone downtown. A heavy police presence and fewer than expected protesters helped keep the calm. There were only about two dozen arrests and no significant injuries.

More than 5,000 delegates are among the 50,000 people set to attend the gathering at the Wells Fargo Center in South Philadelphia, which is expected to culminate with Clinton being named the party’s official nominee for president.

(Courtesy, the Associated Press)

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by Manuel Vicent (translated by Louis S. Bedrock)

Some believe that reaching a dream means satisfying an impossible desire or achieving a goal that always appears to be moving away. To achieve their proposal, the most daring are willing to resort to any heroic act or to any villainy.

On the other hand, there are those who believe that reaching one's dream simply means to fall sleep. The simplest ones limit themselves to counting sheep with the lights out.

Sleeping appears to be a very low risk enterprise; however, it is possible that the insomniac with his eyes wide open in the darkness also feels obliged to achieve great imaginary feats that are not unworthy of real ones actually performed by heroes or villains to reach their ideal.

With his head on the pillow, every insomniac employs a different strategy to confront the difficult voyage across the night. Some become nostalgic and travel up the river of memory to their childhood where they feel impregnable recreating the odor of the attic, the taste of grandmother's marmalade, the games of summer afternoons, or the pleasure of those first caresses on the beach.

The forgotten name of that girl is an impediment to falling asleep and one tosses and turns in the bed trying to see her face on the other side of the darkness. Retrieving her name is a veritable exploit.

Other insomniacs become metaphysical and entertain themselves weaving and taking apart the multiple threads of destiny that have formed their life. They wonder what would have happened if they had been somewhere else on that particular day and they reinvent their life according to their desires.

Some become warriors and transform their insomnia into a stronghold from which they attack their enemies; they evolve into galactic heroes, avengers of injustice; or into famous artists, into creators.

Others invent a great love story and at the moment the beloved is about to surrender herself, they finally fall asleep.

These are exploits that always occur in bed.

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  1. Lazarus July 25, 2016

    Mr. AVA,
    Is this the guy who killed Mark Snyder of Willits?
    As always’

    • Bruce Anderson July 25, 2016


      • Lazarus July 25, 2016

        That’s what I figured, thank you.
        As always,

  2. BB Grace July 25, 2016

    I’m stumped by President Obama’s statement:

    “Mr. Trump and others, is ultimately helping do ISIL’s work for us.”

  3. John Fremont July 25, 2016

    Probably meant to say, “for them,” then felt an inclusive tingle and changed it to “for us.”

    • BB Grace July 25, 2016

      Mr. Fremont I appreciate for confirming it’s a confusing statement Thank you Mr. Fremont.

  4. Marco McClean July 29, 2016

    Re: Suzie de Castro, The Impossible Dream

    Every once in awhile I discover that a couple of popular songs interlock. The first such pair that I remember finding was I Got You, Babe, by Sonny and Cher, and To Dream the Impossible Dream.

    Here, try it yourself:

    I got flowers (bup bup bup bum) in the spring (bup bup bup bum)
    I got you (bup bup bup bum) to wear my ring (duh duh duh dum)
    This is my quest (blat blat blat blat) to follow that star (buh-duh dat dat dat dat)
    No matter how hopeless (duh-duh dump dump dump) no matter how faah-ah-ah-ahr…

    –and so on. This is not the same as songs that are really the same song, like Hernando’s Hideaway, Last Night I Had The Strangest Dream, and House of the Rising Sun, though you can force the same trick there.

    Marco McClean

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