- Goodbye Rodger
- 128 Flooding
- KZYX GM
- Keegan Years
- Costco Ukiah
- Mendo Homicide
- Shelter Thoughts
- Bypass Effect
- Little Dog
- Election Shock
- Harry Merlo
- Yesterday's Catch
- My Best
- Green Success
- Boss Donald
- Pot Tourism
- Benefit Concert
- Trump Transition
- Marco Radio
- Blaming Everybody
AN OVERFLOW CROWD said goodbye to Anderson Valley's Rodger Tolman Saturday morning at the Eversole Mortuary, Ukiah. Mourners included a virtual Who's Who of the Northcoast timber industry in which Rodger was still at work when he died suddenly last week of a heart attack. Services were ably conducted by Eric Peterman of Philo and supplemented by anecdotes from several persons who'd known the popular trucker at various times in their lives. A fellow driver said he knew he was finally recognized as a peer in the business when Rodger acknowledged him with a familiar wave. "Rodger Tolman," the trucker remembered. "I knew at last I was in when Rodger did that." Others recalled kindnesses Rodger had done them or members of their families. Attorney Geraldine Rose recalled the legal work she'd done for Rodger and joked about how they'd exchanged identical bottles of wine at Christmas. Pastor Peterman noted the high level success of the Tolman children and grandchildren, three of whom competed at the college level in basketball and football. In a kindness of his own, Sheriff Allman arranged for traffic signals to be put on hold along a stretch of North State Street as an honor guard of truckers led the crowd to the Testa Winery in Redwood Valley for a post-service gathering.
UPWARDS OF HALF AN INCH OF RAIN fell on Mendo Friday night/Saturday morning. A little more rain is expected Tuesday night and into Wednesday. Nighttime temps will be winterish.
200-FEET OF HIGHWAY UNDER NAVARRO FLOODWATERS
CHP Predicts Sandbar Breach After 7pm Saturday.
The CHP Traffic “incident” page reported (1:39 pm Saturday) there was now 200-feet or roadway under water at the junction of Highways 1 & 128.
At 2:09 pm, the CHP optimistically said, “The mouth of the river may open up in approximately five hours and then the water will be gone.”
The USGS Navarro River gauge show that it is approaching four feet — the “flood stage” is 23-feet. Once again, like last December, the roadway is flooded from the ocean swells “slopping over” and rainfall being held up by the height of the Navarro River sandbar.
SUPERMOON to rise Monday night.
Monday night’s supermoon will be the largest and brightest view of the moon since 1948 because it’s the closest full moon to Earth for more than sixty years. We won’t see another supermoon like this until 2034.
TERRY GREEN has been hired as KZYX’s new General Manager. Mr. Green was General Manager of Santa Cruz’s public radio station KUSP until the Fall of 2015 when, according to the Santa Cruz Sentinel, “The general manager of struggling KUSP 88.9 FM was laid off at the end of the day Wednesday. For 12 years, Terry Green ran the public station that is now on the brink of bankruptcy. The station shoulders $280,000 in loan debt and $435,000 of unpaid bills to National Public Radio. With an annual budget of about $1 million, it operates at an annual loss of $150,000 to $200,000.”
(Apparently there were the equivalent of ten full time staffers at KUSP at the time.)
After Mr. Green was “laid off,” the station dumped its costly NRP-heavy programming, laid off most of its employees, and went to a young-adult music format hoping to cut costs and attract new members/listeners. They also asked the Santa Cruz area — known for its high percentage of wealthy liberal residents/donors — for an emergency donation of $300k so they could survive for another six months. But they got less than $100k in response and, a few months later, filed for bankruptcy. Now, KUSP is no more and has been sold.
According to Tyler Falk of current.org which follows “news for people in public media,” writing on October 28, 2016:
KUSP License, Assets, Wine Sold Off To Religious Broadcaster — A religious broadcaster emerged as the top bidder Tuesday in an auction for the broadcast license and other assets of bankrupt KUSP in Santa Cruz, Calif.
Educational Media Foundation won with a $605,000 offer, outbidding two competing parties: a local organization with ties to KUSP, and public radio station KCRW in Santa Monica, Calif. The religious broadcaster reached an initial agreement to sell at $400,000, before continued bidding drove up the price.
KCRW ended up as a backup bidder, putting it in line to buy the assets at $600,000 if EMF can’t complete the sale.
Community nonprofit Media Watch/Central Coast Community Radio raised nearly $95,000 on youcaring.com and failed in its bid. “Now the group is hoping to obtain a different radio frequency that would serve Santa Cruz, Watsonville, parts of Monterey and Pacific Grove, and possibly the Big Sur coast,” according to a press release.
KUSP filed for bankruptcy in August under nearly $850,000 in debt.
According to court documents, KUSP’s assets included broadcasting equipment, furniture, a music collection and ‘1 Lot Misc. Wine’.”
In other words, it sounds like Mr. Green will perfect for KZYX.
DA EYSTER, PLEASE EXPLAIN
Ukiah’s unsolved homicide, and justice for Susan Keegan, are in the hands of Mendocino County District Attorney David Eyster. And have been for six years. Every year or two, DA Eyster does something dramatic to remind us that the investigation is still open – or perhaps, just to stall bereaved family and friends and stave off more criticism. Today is the sixth anniversary of Susan’s death.
Here is how events have unfolded since her murder on November 11, 2010:
The first warrant to search the Keegan home is executed in June 2011.
Two years later, in August 2012, authorities change Susan’s death certificate, declaring the cause “homicide” and telling the press “there is a person of interest” in the case.
A second search warrant is executed at the Keegan home in January 2013.
Mysterious silence follows. Years tick by, with little legal movement. The justice4susan.com website continues its determined vigil, aided by the loyal Anderson Valley Advertiser and countless Ukiah residents who keep calling for action. Official words are few.
In February 2016, a search warrant is finally executed at the office of Norm Rosen, the divorce mediator where the sole suspect in the homicide “went ballistic.”
In between those developments, there are whispered hints to family and the media that really, truly, the case will move forward. “2016 is the year,” declares DA Eyster behind the scenes. More time passes. Family births, marriages, and deaths occur, but justice does not.
And our questions go unanswered, year after year after year. Can anyone in the District Attorney’s office reach out to us and explain why? Our questions are respectful, if pointed:
DA Eyster, you are an elected representative of the people: Why won’t you tell your community what is going on?
DA Eyster, you are an officer of the court, sworn to uphold the law: How can you allow a homicide to go unpunished?
DA Eyster, you are a strategic thinker, duty-bound to seek the truth: Have the signals sent from your office about a prosecution been honorable?
DA Eyster, you are a public servant who understands the damage done to civic life when justice is unaccountably delayed: What are you waiting for?
CITY OF UKIAH TAKING FIRST STEPS IN RESTART OF COSTCO PROJECT
by Justine Frederiksen
The Ukiah City Council Wednesday will take the first step of many more needed to get the long-delayed building of a proposed Costco warehouse in Ukiah underway again.
According to the staff report for the Nov. 16 meeting, the Ukiah City Council will be asked to set aside the previously approved Environmental Impact Report for the Costco Wholesale Warehouse Project (certified nearly three years ago in early 2014) and the site development permit granted for the project.
This is required because of a semi-successful lawsuit filed by Davis-based attorney William Kopper on behalf of a group known as “Ukiah Citizens for Safety First,” which used to contain four employees of competing grocery stores FoodMaxx and Lucky. All four have since exited from the lawsuit, and Kopper refuses to name any remaining members of the group.
Although the lawsuit was at first rejected by a Mendocino County Superior Court judge, Kopper appealed that decision and won a partial victory when the First District Court of Appeal reversed that decision and determined the EIR should not have been certified.
City Attorney David Rapport said while the court dismissed nearly all of Kopper’s claims and found most areas of the EIR adequate, it did find that the analysis of the energy use of the proposed store was not handled correctly.
Rapport said that after the EIR was certified and the appeal filed, a change was made to the California Environmental Quality Act that requires “a separate discussion of energy use in an EIR.”
Since the Ukiah Costco EIR was certified prior to this change in the law, Rapport said it addressed energy use, but did not have it in a separate section as is now required.
The city attempted to rectify the situation by adding “an addendum to address this new requirement, but the appeals court said the energy use section had to be included in the EIR before it was certified “and could not be adopted afterward.”
Rapport said the court’s ruling did not reflect on the adequacy of the energy use analysis, only that the process of including it in the EIR was incorrect.
If the City Council approves the setting aside of the previous EIR and project approval, the agenda report states, staff will then work with Dudek and Associates to “review and revise the EIR Energy Use Analysis, then add it as a separate element in the EIR.”
Once the EIR Energy Use Analysis is ready, it will be circulated for the required 45 days of public comment. Public hearings will then be conducted by the Planning Commission and City Council, during which comments will be collected in relation to the energy use portion of the EIR only.
The meeting begins at 6 p.m. Wednesday in the City Council chambers at 300 Seminary Ave.
(Courtesy, the Ukiah Daily Journal)
WOMAN & CHILD SOUGHT IN CONNECTION WITH MENDOCINO HOMICIDE REPORTED TO BE IN BAY AREA
NEW REGIME AT ANIMAL SHELTER
I am looking forward to the new shelter manager as well. Hoping that he will provide clear and concise leadership, paired with compassion for the animals, and improve shelter services in general for the homeless pets, staff, volunteers and the public. There is much room for improvement. You might find it acceptable that animals are killed to make room or to reduce their numbers, I do not find that at all acceptable. As I have pointed out more than once, the shelter needs to have a marketing plan, develop solid relationships with the public, conduct animal rescues and recruit qualified foster homes and nurture its volunteers, who give of their time, money and resources, not as you insinuate to cause trouble, but are motivated by the belief that all sentient beings are to be treated with respect. I just have come upon my one year anniversary as a shelter volunteer and I will continue to speak up for the animals as long as I feel it is necessary. The county hierarchy is often opaque at best, I am not sure you are correct in your assumption that Sage Mountainfire is going to be the new manager's supervisor.
ED NOTE: Ms. Fuchs is correct. Molinari is the new boss, Ms. Mountainfire a subordinate.
* * *
AN ANIMAL SHELTER VETERAN WRITES: “When shelter dogs were euthanized in the past, I (and other volunteers at the time) did not make an ordeal out of it because I did not want to add to the already heartwrenching decisions that staff had to make. I witnessed first hand several euthanasias and wow, not an easy experience. But everyone involved was extremely respectful to the animals. There were several favorite dogs of mine who were sick and old and in pain, and the decision was made to PTS. I was allowed to participate, give the dogs a last walk and some steak, then hold the dog during the procedure. Maybe it sounds corny, but it felt good to be able to give them some love before they left. There were also a few decisions for euthanasia that I did not agree with. But instead of running to the supervisors or facebook to complain and blame, I would express my feelings — respectfully — and then get back to the work at hand. There is NEVER a dearth of dogs or cats needing attention and interaction. No one volunteer has a corner on the market on compassion, caring, devotion, or energy. I meet so many people who have had good experiences at the shelter and adopted animals they love. That's the energy I've run on for the past 10-1/2 years. That, plus the realization that nothing is ever perfect.”
AFTER THE BYPASS
As a proud Willitian of the past 17 years, I welcome to some degree the opening of the by-pass. I for one truly enjoy the immediate impact of less traffic and noise through our friendly little town. We have the most proficient variety of stores and services, and hopefully they will continue to thrive, while for now with the by-pass open, more than ever, I enjoy getting about town without having to endure the crush of Highway 101 traffic trying to inch its way through little Willits. Much less now are the rumbling big rigs, the tourist truck-and-trailers, the long-haul cannabis transports setting out for fortunes in Missouri, the many Brooktrails residents having to slog all the way through town from the south end to the north end, when instead, they can now swing around and scramble in from the north. Bottom line, a more pleasant energy and peacefulness now lies palpable between the curbs and way.
Therefore, I would part briefly with Will Parrish and his lament over the by-pass in your November 9 issue. I certainly respect Will's resistance to the project, including his brave willingness to risk freedom and limb to oppose the considerable work and its impact on the local environment. I have welcomed his many articles on the effects of the by-pass construction on the wetlands and sacred Native American sites. I feel strongly that if a less impactful, alternative route along the old railroad right of way could have been used, we would all have benefitted.
However, now that the by-pass is our reality, I can only suggest to Will that his lament is less a eulogy over what could have been, without the bypass, and more an elegy to what we can hopefully expect will be a renewed future for Willits. Frankly, more at issue at the moment, for the sanctity and well-being of all Willitians, is how well the City Council will ever sort out what to do about the coming cannibas industry rush, now that bud for fun will be legal.
Hence, other issues impose on our energies and attention. Let the wetlands and the frogs and snakes find their way, let the Indian spirits settle from yet one more degradation in a litany and legacy of abuses. Let me get out from the Post Office parking lot into the southbound lane of Main Street without ever having to risk life and fender again. Welcome then, a more quiet and serene Willits. May we all prosper.
Steve Hellman, Willits
LITTLE DOG SAYS, "You know, I really try to be nice to Dalmo. But look at him. He thinks he's so cool with all his spots, he won't even talk to me."
“TODAY SATURDAY 1pm. Mendo village meet at Post Office & walk through town bring signs, drums. The shock of the election is passing. It’s time to mobilize peacefully but with purpose. We must speak up and stay human to protect ALL our neighbors from racist attacks, protect basic rights for women, environmental sanity, and common decency! All ages, peaceful, kind... Let's stay kind, stay human and respect our community. Please Share!” (— MCN Chat Line)
RACIST ATTACKS are highly unlikely in Mendocino County, and even more unlikely in the purple pastels village of Mendocino. The election may have shocked the easily shocked, but it's past time to take the thumbs out of our mouths and get a grip. (Or, for the shocked to keep one thumb in your mouth while getting a grip with your other hand, a compromise.)
TRUMP has a long way to go before he catches up with Hillary's kill count and Obama's rate of deportations, which were twice Bush's. And basic respect for women is made impossible by contemporary show biz, not to mention the prevalence of pornography. It's past time to mobilize your brains, Mendo, not your drums.
Timber Baron Merlo Changed Housing Construction With Plywood Substitute. Louisiana-Pacific boss tried to make John McEnroe behave on tennis court
by James Hagerty
* * *
Harry Merlo worked his way out of poverty, boxed for the Marines, married a beauty queen, founded a winery and tried to teach manners to the tennis star John McEnroe.
He was equally bold in business. As chief executive of timber company Louisiana-Pacific Corp., he invested heavily in what was then a little-known product, oriented strand board, a cheaper substitute for plywood. That mottled board now serves as wall, floor and roof panels for most new US homes. The company’s directors pushed him out in 1995 when defects in a related siding product led to a barrage of lawsuits.
“Yes, I have also suffered a few setbacks,” he wrote in a memoir, “but I regard these as part of a full life.”
Mr. Merlo died Oct. 24 at home in Portland, Ore. He was 91 and had been suffering from leukemia.
Harry Angelo Merlo was born into a family of Italian immigrants on March 5, 1925. He grew up on the verges of a lumber mill where his father worked in Stirling City, Calif. His mother ran a boarding house and restaurant. He admired her hard work, frugality and optimism. “Mama would have made a great CEO,” he wrote in his 2008 memoir, “Vintage Merlo.” His father showed affection “rarely, if ever.”
Young Harry worked at a grocery store and a lumber mill as a teenager before volunteering for the Marine Corps, which sent him to officer-training school. He fought as a light heavyweight in Marine boxing tournaments. A leg injury kept him from being sent overseas.
With a fellow Marine, he started a company making wallets in 1946. After that business flopped, he earned a business degree at the University of California, Berkeley.
In Cloverdale, Calif., he went to work for a wood-processing and distribution company, where he became a star salesman. As an incentive, he bundled a case of Italian wine into every large lumber shipment.
When he met Sheila Murphy, a model who had been crowned Miss Wisconsin, “we fell hard for each other,” he wrote. Their marriage foundered, partly because of career conflicts.
Georgia-Pacific Corp., impressed by Mr. Merlo’s talents, bought the company where he worked and in 1967 put him in charge of a California timber operation. Under pressure from antitrust regulators, Georgia-Pacific spun off part of its business as Louisiana-Pacific, or LP, in 1973. Mr. Merlo soon became CEO of the new company, based in Portland. His office décor included a bronze statuette of his mother. He liked to repeat one of her maxims: “If you don’t work, you don’t eat.”
Mr. Merlo spent much of his time jetting around the country to visit LP’s plants. In 1983, when he announced plans to reduce starting wages, workers went on strike at some plants. But the strikes eventually crumbled, and workers voted to decertify their union.
Mr. Merlo befriended the television fitness guru Jack LaLanne and recruited the test pilot Chuck Yeager, known as the first man to fly faster than the speed of sound, for LP’s board. An LP jet fetched the opera singer Luciano Pavarotti for performances in Portland.
In the mid-1980s, LP sponsored the US tennis team at Davis Cup tournaments. The temper tantrums of some players outraged Mr. Merlo, who said Mr. McEnroe “generally acted like an ill-behaved three-year-old.”
Mr. Merlo proposed a code of conduct for the US team, an idea summarily rejected by Mr. McEnroe. LP moved on to sponsorship of soccer.
In the late 1970s, Mr. Merlo became an early champion of oriented strand board, or OSB, made from chips of wood pressed together with resin, allowing use of scraps that otherwise would be wasted. Reducing the need to cut down giant trees, OSB helped the company cope with logging restrictions. Builders and other timber companies initially were skeptical, but OSB now accounts for nearly 80% of the structural panels in new homes, according to APA, a trade group for engineered wood.
In the mid-1990s, LP was hit by lawsuits alleging that its OSB siding was defective. About the same time, Colorado regulators accused LP of violating environmental regulations. Corporate governance practices were changing. LP’s outside directors, long deferential to Mr. Merlo, turned against him as the regulatory issues mounted. He resigned in July 1995. LP eventually paid about $525 million to resolve the siding lawsuits.
In later years, he worked with his son Harry Jr., who runs the family’s Lago di Merlo winery and vineyards in Sonoma County, Calif. He fished and hunted elk on his ranch in Oregon. He supported educational and athletic programs. After dinner with friends, he liked to play his harmonica by the fire.
Mr. Merlo is survived by his third wife, Flo, along with his son, two grandchildren, two stepchildren and two brothers. He was a vanishing type: the imperial CEO who followed his own code. As the Oregonian newspaper once put it, he was the “red carnation in the gray flannel lapel of Portland business.”
CATCH OF THE DAY, November 12, 2016
CYNTHIA CABE, Ukiah. DUI.
CIRRUS CLOUDEN [sic], Rodeo/Ukiah. Drunk in public.
NICHOLAS COMMANDER, Ukiah. Failure to appear, probation revocation.
JACOB GARCIA, Ukiah. Domestic battery.
MIGUEL HERNANDEZ-SUTHERLAND, Ukiah. Vehicle theft, vandalism, probation revocation.
BLUE HOAGLIN, Covelo. Controlled substance, trespassing, probation revocation.
DAVID KROLL, Ukiah. Domestic battery.
DONALD MACK, Fort Bragg. Probation revocation.
SYLVESTER MAREK, Ukiah. Probation revocation.
DANNY MOORE, Ukiah. Domestic battery, probation revocation.
RICHARD NELSON JR., Ukiah. Meth possession for sale.
TYRONE OGDEN, Ukiah. Domestic assault, first degree robbery, resisting, community supervision violation.
WILLIAM OWENS, Ukiah. Drunk in public.
CHARLES SCHLAPKOHL, Ukiah. Probation revocation.
TREVOR SHUSS, Ukiah. DUI.
PAUL SPITZER, Willits. Petty theft, resisting.
"I haven't seen white people this furious since OJ" –Dave Chappelle
BERNIE SANDERS yesterday in the Situation Room with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer: “I don’t think it makes a whole lot of sense to do Monday morning quarterbacking right now. The election is over. Donald Trump won. Between you and me, Wolf, I would have loved to have had the opportunity to run against him, but that did not end up being the case.”
UH, BERNIE, you had the opportunity. You could have run against Trump. And Hillary. You could have done what any honest socialist would have done, especially an elderly socialist like you, you could have taken them on. But you turned around and embraced everything you said you opposed.
HAD HE NOT GONE QUIETLY, BERNIE would have been commie-bashed over what he claims his principles are, thus forcing a re-learning experience on the millions of Americans who once knew the difference between communists and socialists.
AMERICANS, until about 1960, knew the diff, but then....
WHICH REMINDS me of something funny I saw the other night while I watched a cable series called American Crime which, incidentally, I thought was pretty strong, and refreshing in its honest presentation of race, gender, drug, and lbgtqrstuvwxyz issues. (The young woman who plays the drug addict, Caitlin Gerard, is absolutely harrowing as a junkie. Best acting job I've seen this year.) Anyway, in Episode One, two Mexican-American guys are talking. One guy says, "Of course you'd say that because you're a communist," only to be promptly corrected by the other guy, "Socialist. I'm a socialist."
TWICE, right in Boonville, I've met older MMA's who easily made that distinction, probably because Mexico has a multi-party political system where socialists and communists are two distinct philosophical systems, often at odds, as they were all the way back to bolsheviks (Marxists-Leninists) and mensheviks (libs and Bernies).
AS A PATHETIC political lib lab myself, and more pathetic by the day, I've always been partial to the menshevik perspective given the choice between the two because, as we saw in the Soviet Union, we had the Leninists basically saying to Russians, "You people are too goddam dumb and irresponsible to run this thing, so me and my friends will run it for you. Of course we'll require long black limos and dachas on the Black Sea much like the Czar's apparatus, but we're on your side. Trust us."
THE MENSHEVIKS were softer, and not nearly as ruthless as they needed to be to head off the Bolsheviks. They were the usual array of libs and socialists who thought societies could be improved by cracking down hard on the rich via taxation and reform rather than expropriation and execution, tempting as the latter option always is.
BERNIE'S presentations appealed to millions of Americans who didn't care what he called himself, but his statements of The Problem and his solutions resonated because they were correct, and they were correct because they resonated with so many people in the economic squeeze they find themselves in because of years of bi-partisan errand-running by both parties, the Clintons most notably.
A LOT OF BERNERS wound up voting for Trump because they thought they heard the same thing Bernie was saying from Trump. The last time we had a Bernie-like regime was Franklin Roosevelt's, and something like 75% of Americans approved. If there's any salvaging of the great beast of American plutocracy it will look like FDR, not Trump. Trump's government will be a Reagan re-run economically — reduced taxes on the wealthy, who knows what monstrousness socially. Beyond the boorishness and the bluster, Trump's just another Republican.
THE NEW YORKER'S SCARED, TOO
As well-groomed America reels in shock, the editor of the New Yorker has penned a dark and gloomy editorial that's already carving the tombstone of Western Civ, bemoaning the loss of all that is Decent And Good with the world, particularly the Democratic candidate who was so obviously going to win, at least on NPR. I did not vote for the man, but I am hardly stunned by Mr. Trump's electoral victory. Nor do I share Mr. Remnick's dismal and predictable assessment of our doom. I doubt he sees that T-Rump's victory is in fact a direct repudiation to all the reasonable, well thought out, morally decent and otherwise beautifully groomed sentiments that he and our leaders, particularly our Democratic Party leaders, have so eloquently espoused for the cameras…with the results being…er, shall we say disappointing at their very best? I think now of a Nobel Peace Prize followed by Endless War (added bonus: remote-controlled Mass Slaughter by drone!). Or the gutting of the national treasury by Wall Street followed by the immediate robbery of all taxpayers to make good the theft (added bonus: the foxes promoted to official henhouse minders!).
I could go on, but I think what really cost the Dems was the blowback from their wholesale abandonment of millions of unionized ("deplorable"?) working class people when their jobs were summarily moved to Asia, just to suit the Owners. The only thing the Owners could ever agree on is how much they despise unions, so regardless of party affiliation it was all a matter of happy consensus for them. The (Clinton-invented) neoliberal Democratic Leadership Council made it all possible with their emphasis on fast-track "Free Trade" and their quiet dismantling of the safeguards installed after the last stock market collapse. The Owners liked this very much, but it left behind a lot of deep simmering resentment amongst the Non-Owners who rightly felt betrayed and abandoned.
And staunch neoliberal Mr. Obama, for all his apparent intelligence, gentle manner, grace and charm, has done mighty little to give working class people some kind of economic future other than waiting tables or making beds at some Trump hotel. To those Regular Joes who can think — the ones who don't automatically fear and loathe Mr. Obama because he's dark-skinned (or Hillary because she has no penis) — the President, for all that talk of Hope and Change, has turned out to be just another one of the soft-spoken elite, and one who has actually forced them to buy health insurance, the lunatic neoliberal "solution" to our lunatic health care system.
Then along came ol' Bernie Sanders, a fairly bland "FDR Democrat" offering some hope for the future. With utter shamelessness he was dismissed and dismantled by his own party, now apparently fully morphed into Stealth Republicans. This cost the Dems a big segment of the educated under-30s, their own freaking demographic! This party has developed a veritable talent for self-alienation.
Mr. Trump's genius — and I do use the word loosely — was basically not to win the election so much as to simply to make sure his opponent lost. This turned out to be, ahem, not especially difficult to do thanks to many factors, such as the credulous dimness, native racism, and simmering inarticulate rage of the sold-out and indebted American mittel-electorate, compounded by the distastefully fragrant past that the ambitious Mrs. Clinton has left behind her. She may indeed be "intelligent, resilient and competent," as Mr. Remnick points out, but she is also a total Washington insider. One of Them. It's easy to run "against Washington," and Mr. Trump exploited this, mercilessly. Later on when his regime goes down in flames, it will be the same old story as with Nixon: his supporters will insist that they never voted "for him," they just voted "against her."
The incredible thing to me is that all the "lock her up lock her up" gabble they seized upon is either trivial piffle or totally absurd nonsense. The real crime, that of the Dems happily abandoning their party's own core, was never touched upon. It will be amusing to see Mr. Trump's fanbase reaction when he not only doesn't lock her up, he hardly bothers trying. He may eventually deny ever wanting to do it in the first place.
I almost have to admire Mr. Deplorable Comb-over for being true to his original revolting "Me First And Me Only" ideals and running his entire campaign as a sort of lowbrow Brand Promotion. No real preparedness, no education or boning-up, no baby-kissing, ward-heeling, nor much concession to traditional political grooming at all, other than putting on a red ball cap now & then. Since politics is the only profession that has no actual qualifications, he could blow the entire campaign straight out of his well tailored ass. Say anything! Just get 'em stoked. That's all that's really needed — no brains, no intelligence, no reasoning, no in-depth analysis, just feelings. You can contradict yourself, make promises so absurd they're almost comical, you can lie, lie about lying, lie about lying about the lies if need be, but always give 'em what they want — threaten, sneer, bluster, accuse, hyperventilate, seethe… just keep that ol' RAGE thing going. And, wow, that's all it took for the candidate from The National Enquirer! Even against Mrs. Clinton's thoroughly focus-group driven plausibility, he carried the day. The booboisie have indeed spoken.
But, a total catastrophe for the world? Hell, we already hit bottom with Ronald Reagan, the incredible President With No Brain — and also the man half this country now almost literally worships as The Greatest President We've Ever Had. Who expects voters out there to make any sense? This was why the casino profiteer leased the "Make America Great Again" phrase as his campaign slogan — because it had worked so well for Saint Ronzo. Like it worked for Richard Nixon, too, back in 1968, and for Teddy Roosevelt in 1900, etc…
Sure, Trump — if that is his real name — is an unpredictable loose cannon, but a small part of me is wondering now if "unpredictable" might also include things like "boring" and "amazingly ineffectual." He is a dreadful businessman, at least outside of his own head, so he'll likely be a useless flop as chief exec.
I mean, look at Arnold Schwarzenegger, another incredibly wealthy rowdy rude-boy and blustering fraud who stormed into office with a fierce agenda, and who turned out to be a useless lumpen of a governor, sunk without a trace by a single sex scandal. The same might well happen to The Donald, especially given his propensity for pussy-grabbing. It almost cost Bill Clinton his head, too, remember? I suppose this means we ought to look more closely at the Indiana cave man, Mike Pence…
Nobody, and this surely includes Mr. T himself, really knows what the blazes he'll actually do, if anything, though it's pretty certain that he'll find running government is not like running for office, nor even like running a business on reality-TV. The Republicans may "control" the Senate and the Congress, but they sure don't control Mr. Trump — most of them probably despise the man as much as Hillary! — nor he, they. And naturally, it will be a four year field day for political cartoonists. Stephen Colbert may be an independent candidate by 2019.
Damage? A great deal of the world already despises us, and for perfectly good reasons. I'm not sure exactly how he could make things so much worse — just more overtly boorish. (And to think I've barely recovered from eight years of cringing over Dubya.) Dismantling NAFTA and similar deals will do a lot more good than harm, if he ever does dismantle them. He's already backing off dismantling Obamacare.
I applaud Mr. Remnick's stated goal to "struggle honorably and fiercely in the name of American ideals," but I would suggest he start his struggle with fixing the dang Democratic Party.
ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY
I Braved Strong Winds To Cast My Ballot
With step firm and resolute,
I walked to submit my ballot.
It’s only one vote,
but it felt like a mallet.
I strutted in like the Duke of Earl,
delivering my vote like a precious pearl.
I dropped in the ballot and was duly promoted,
they gave me a medal that stated “I voted.”
I gave it my best, gave it my all,
and proudly walked home to see who would fall.
GREENS NEED A PLAN B
Going Local? Becoming more ecumenical?
by Steve Early
As Kermit the Frog, America’s most famous Muppet, says: “it’s not easy being green.”
Preliminary results of the Green Party’s latest national campaign confirm the reality of his observation. The Party’s much-touted goal was getting 5% of the vote on Nov. 8, so it could qualify for $10 million in federal funds for 2020 campaigning and maintain broad nationwide ballot access.
Despite fielding Jill Stein, a presidential candidate who was substantive, social media savvy, a good fund-raiser, and experienced at running for office, the Greens received about 1% of the popular vote, based on tallying so far. That’s several million less than in 2000, when Ralph Nader was their candidate, although twice as many as Stein got during her first presidential run four years ago.
While conducting a spirited, if much ignored, campaign this time around, Stein had to endure the slings, arrows, or lamentations of leftists justifiably worried about Trump winning. Writing for In These Times, Kate Aronoff chided Stein and her party for “putting too much emphasis on the presidency and the electoral process itself, while declining to undertake the kind of deep organizing necessary to alter the state of play in these arenas.” In The Nation, Joshua Holland dismissed the Greens as “perpetually dysfunctional and often self-marginalizing.”
Why So Marginal?
In an interview with Truthout, even a long-time advocate for independent political action like Noam Chomsky expressed disappointment with the GP’s lack of a down-ballot focus — “one reason they remain so marginal,” he observed. Glen Perusek, a former headquarters staffer for the AFL-CIO now based in Ohio, similarly bemoaned local Greens’ lack of “organizational chops.” In his view, this reflected an almost “studied unwillingness (incapacity?) to build solid grassroots organization.”
Political Science Professor Anthony DiMaggio, a self-confessed Green voter “for much of my adult life,” warned CounterPunch readers last month that “the party is no danger of building a progressive alternative to the Democratic Party in the near future,” in part because so many of its electoral efforts “are essentially run ineffectively.”
A leading labor leftist, writing anonymously for New Politics, agreed with that assessment, placing Stein’s 2016 showing in the long tradition of “protest votes by the left that have not built a movement, nor pulled the debate to the left.” In contrast, progressive “activists running local candidates, who actually have a chance to win, play a different role and can indeed help build movements,” this longtime socialist argued.
A few of Stein’s own fundraising appeals did mention that 279 other Greens were running for local office. Prior to this election cycle, the party had about 140 public office holders in 16 states. Since 1987, more than 1,000 Greens have won elections, mainly at the municipal level and 57 have served as mayor. But, as Aronoff observed in her searing critique of the Greens today, only “meager resources” are invested in local politics and “that’s not where the party’s heart is.”
Trying A New Model?
After Tuesday’s national results, the Greens might want to re-think where their heart is or should be. One model for becoming more effective, at the municipal level, can be found in the biggest city ever to elect one of those 57 Green mayors. As I describe in Refinery Town: Big Oil, Big Money, and the Remaking of an American City (forthcoming from Beacon Press in January), a Richmond, CA. group founded by Greens has fielded 16 candidates in local “non-partisan” races since 2004. Candidates for mayor or city council backed by the Richmond Progressive Alliance (RPA) have won ten of those contests, a success rate far better than the Green Party’s local-election track record during the same period.
On Tuesday, this year’s RPA standard-bearers — Melvin Willis and Ben Choi — placed first and second in a field of nine running for Richmond council seats. In January, the 7-member council will have an unprecedented progressive “super-majority” of five. In addition, the RPA’s coordinated “Team Richmond 2016” campaign helped pass rent control by a strong margin. Rent regulation has been a longtime goal of Richmond housing activists; in several other Bay Area communities where the same issue was on the Nov. 8 ballot, the combined spending of the landlord lobby and real estate industry defeated this reform.
Progressives have succeeded, as an electoral force in Richmond, because they built a political organization which functions year round, not just at election time. The RPA has a dues-paying membership, a multi-issue organizing program, and elected leadership that includes both individual activists and representatives of allied labor and community organizations. Instead of branding itself, narrowly, as a Green Party branch, the Richmond Progressive Alliance (RPA) welcomed progressive independents, left-leaning Democrats, and socialists, along with voters registered as Greens or members of the California Peace and Freedom Party, a relic of Sixties’ radicalism in the state.
Like Greens elsewhere, founders of the RPA backed Ralph Nader’s presidential run in 2000. Post-election, they went local, creating a group initially called the Richmond Alliance for Green Public Power and Environmental Justice. They launched a series of single-issue campaigns with broad appeal in a largely non-white city of 110,000. They challenged Richmond police misconduct and harassment of Latino immigrants in traffic stops and day laborer crackdowns. They helped block a new fossil-fueled municipal power plant that would have added to neighborhood pollution and pushed for alternative energy solutions instead. They won passage of a stronger industrial safety ordinance to reduce the risk of refinery fires, explosions and chemical spills at Chevron, the city’s largest employer.
When Alliance leaders like Gayle McLaughlin shifted to electoral politics 12 years ago, they distinguished themselves by refusing to accept business donations, while welcoming the support of progressive unions. The RPA steadily expanded its grassroots base through volunteer recruitment, door-to-door canvassing, and well-targeted voter turn out efforts. The group developed campaign management expertise and a reliable network of small donors who have helped its candidates qualify for public matching funds since Richmond adopted that key campaign finance reform.
During her two terms as mayor (from 2006 to 2014), McLaughlin promoted continuous synergy between her activist city hall leadership and on-going grassroots organizing in Richmond. When she was up for re-election six years ago, Richmond still had less than 500 registered Green voters; nearly 70 percent of the city’s voters were Democrats. Nevertheless, McLaughlin was able to defeat two business-backed Democrats, who ran with heavy funding from the local building trades council, police and firefighter unions, Chevron, and other business interests.
Attracting Labor Support
To counter the political weight of organized labor’s conservative wing, it helps to have other unions on your side. That’s been a challenge that few Green candidates, at any level, have met. In 2000, Ralph Nader’s presidential campaign won the backing of just two small left-led unions, the California Nurses Association and the United Electrical Workers; this year, even they ignored Stein. In Richmond, however, the more ecumenical approach of Greens, like McLaughlin, has led to strong RPA ties with the CNA, Local 1021 of the Service Employees International Union (which represents Richmond city employees), the National Union of Healthcare Workers, and locals of the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees and Amalgamated Transit Union, both of which have members living or working in Richmond.
In 2014, Chevron pulled out all the stops to defeat the RPA with $3.1 million worth of “independent expenditures” against McLaughlin and her city council running mates. She invited Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, then weighing a presidential run, to come to Richmond and help counter this post-Citizens United spending blitz. Sanders raised money for the RPA and its candidates, speaking at a pre-election Richmond rally, which pre-figured West Coast events held on his own behalf less than a year later (with crowds 40-times larger).
While Greens elsewhere — and anti-Sanders socialists allied with them — objected to Bernie running as a Democratic candidate, RPA activists jumped into his California primary campaign. Breaking with Green orthodoxy, McLaughlin voted for Sanders in June and urged her Richmond supporters to do so as well. This fall, the Sanders connection paid off again. Bernie’s post-campaign organization, Our Revolution, endorsed Willis and Choi (along with 100 other candidates around the country), raising $5,000 for each with a single email blast to past Sanders’ donors.
In an interview with Against The Current earlier this Fall, Jill Stein reported that the Greens are finally “exploring the idea of being a membership party where members are expected to support the party with dues” so its candidates can be more competitive in local races and “participate in social movements with real organizational and financial resources.”
That sounds like the right kind of Stein campaign follow-up. But if Greens really want to go beyond “protest vote” campaigns and actually win more elections to help build progressive movements locally and nationally, they should consider the path taken by their Richmond counter-parts more than a decade ago.
(Steve Early is a member of the Richmond Progressive Alliance who was active in Labor for Bernie. He has voted for Jill Stein five times — twice for president in the safe state of California, twice for governor of Massachusetts, and once for secretary of state there. He is the author, most recently, of Refinery Town: Big Oil, Big Money, and the Remaking of an American City, available in January from Beacon Press in Boston. He can be reached at Lsupport@aol.com. He is a resident of the San Francisco Bay Area currently working on a book about progressive municipal policy making there and elsewhere. He is the author, most recently, of Save Our Unions (Monthly Review Press, 2013). He can be reached at Lsupport@aol.com. Courtesy, CounterPunch.org.)
by Eric Bergeson
Alternative scenario: Hillary Clinton wins. The Democrats hold the Senate. The House stays in GOP hands (there never was a realistic chance it would flip, given the number of uncompetitive individual races).
What would we have? Angry demonstrations by the Trumpites. Endless investigations of Clinton by grandstanding Trey Gowdys.
Clouding the national psychology would be the increased anger of the Trumpites, led by Hannity and Limbaugh, who would be revived and still able to push their agenda of white male impotence in order to sell Viagra.
At the top, we would have the Clintons, with their unique ability to infuriate. They would stonewall, kneecap, not give an inch. Part of me wanted that to happen. But in the end, the right would retain its strength — which is rage and resentment.
The evangelicals would be in the familiar and comfortable position of having an incarnated Satan to battle. Oh, how they would have played up their victimhood. The Rapture would seem ever closer. They would fly into all manner of radical crazy.
But now, magically, the talk radio right has been robbed of its most potent weapons. They are in charge. They are responsible. By they, I don’t mean Republicans. I mean talk radio, the root source of all this evil in the first place. They have their man at the top!
If the Republicans were united on issues, it would be scarier. But when the specifics of trade, immigration, etc., are flushed out in the open, they will start to fight. It will only take a dozen defections from the party line in the House and two in the Senate to throw a monkey wrench in the whole proceedings.
When Trump is obstructed, who will be to blame? The Republicans and the Republicans only. Their civil war is in a ceasefire right now, but come January 20, Katie bar the door.
For me, this is a great relief. The fury I have felt for 8 years over the unhinged demonization of Obama has left me exhausted. Although I supported Hillary, she simply isn’t as compelling a figure as Obama. Defending her, even internally, would be even more exhausting, and watching her get flayed — as we watched with the impeachment proceedings against Bill — would leave me wishing we had somebody without the baggage. I once thought she could out-bully the right, but not the Trumpites. At this stage in our national tragedy (one wishes it was a comedy), the most elegant solution is to elect the class bully as class president. Give him the gavel. Sit back, arms folded, and wait for the shit to hit the fan.
As the bull rushes the cape, and he always will, stick in a sword. But don’t go for the kill until the bull has exhausted his energy and is staggering and dizzy. That may happen more quickly than we think. And of course, we can only hope that we aren’t in three new foreign wars by that time.
So, loudmouth asshole at the end of the bar, you are in charge! I hope you succeed! I wish you the best!
(Dog catches car, says “Oh shit!”)
This is not an optimistic scenario, just less pessimistic. But I think we have been in very deep trouble for a long time and we haven’t realized the depths to which we would inevitably sink. When you have a significant portion of the electorate unhinged from reality and consumed by hatred, there will be a reckoning. Perhaps it will be best for that reckoning to come sooner rather than later.
I felt the hate on the campaign trail in 2014. Registered Democrats with Fox News on in the background told me at the end of a civil conversation, “we’ve just got to get rid of that n**** in the White House.” From others, glares. Rage. Suspicion. I wondered if it was just me, if I was overreacting, if my perceptions were tainted by the stress of campaigning. Now I know my gut feeling that something deeply evil was afoot was not off base. It is the resentment of the less educated against the elite, and that is a potent force rooted deep in the human psyche. (Think the Cultural Revolution, think the Khmer Rouge killing people with glasses). And oh, has Trump tapped into it. All other issues fell to the wayside.
Democratic officials and functionaries have not taken the hate seriously. They refused to fight it directly. (I am thinking the St. Paul DFLers here.) They naively assumed that the usual rhythms (Dems benefit from turnout, presidential years benefit Dems) would repeat and rationality would prevail. Voters would return to economic self-interest. But we had already lost our usual base to talk radio hate and resentment. The 2014 election was more a harbinger than an anomaly. I am not claiming to have recognized this at the time, but I sure felt it.
Let us hope that responsibility, now elegantly focused on an unhinged, completely divided, totally delusional — not to mention incompetent — party, will provide the needed disinfectant.
The haters are over-playing their hands right now. That will only continue. In particular, the evangelicals are out on a limb. Trump as an instrument of God? Let’s see how that plays out! The racist idiots are committing indefensible acts. This may get worse. But who is responsible to combat it? Those in charge. Watch them fumble that. Watch them start hating each other. In the meantime, of course, let us work to protect those affected!
We have most of the kids. And when the deportation police start pulling people from their homes, if it gets to that, there will be resistance. If there is a draft, if it gets to that, there will be mass resistance.
But for now, my attitude is “you break it, you own it.”
POT, GEOGRAPHY & TOURISM
With recreational marijuana legal in California, my observations in Colorado tell me that the biggest factor will be the corporate/big business entry into the game. It happened here pretty fast. Pictures in the Sunday paper of cowboy/redneck/republican grandmas and grandpas sitting around the kitchen table, trimming. No transients looking for this work around here. The hippie/old time north coast grower may be screwed unless he's got a loyal clientele. But it's like Lay's potato chips — you can't find other brands in a lot of stores. The big boys will dominate the market with the general public, and tax money as usual will find its way into the pockets of helpful politicians.
The streets here are so bad, I wrote a letter to the Denver Post suggesting that marijuana tax money might be used to fix up the roads. They treated it as a joke and responded with a bad pun about pot for potholes. Everybody knows, apparently, where the money goes, and it's not for infrastructure.
One thing that California, Oregon and Washington might be spared is an insane influx of out-of-state traffic coming to score weed, since neighboring states including Nevada are also legalized. Only Arizona remains for California and Idaho for Washington. Colorado is surrounded by extreme right wing Christian/Mormon states except for New Mexico and the potheads and high-priced secondary middlemen will keep coming here to buy.
Pot is finally getting legalized now that the powers that be, 50-some years after the fact, have realized that contrary to the misguided fantasies of the 60s, marijuana will not cause peace, enlightenment — or increased intelligence in humans. Quite the opposite on that count.
Denver now has pot buses. Tourists can buy a ticket and ride around the city smoking weed to their heart's content. Which reminds me of tourist couples in Honolulu walking around in matching aloha outfits so brightly colored as to be obnoxious — locals would be embarrassed if they weren't used to it. I'm also reminded of Joni Mitchell talking to the badly-behaved crowd at the Isle of Wight festival, saying they were "acting like tourists." The worst insult she could muster at the time.
So now we have them riding around in tour buses, smoking pot and thinking they're cool.
BENEFIT CONCERT WITH LAURIE LEWIS AND TOM ROZUM IN MENDOCINO
In the spirit of bluegrass and old-time music, Grammy-award winner Laurie Lewis and Tom Rozum will perform their versatile and engaging repertoire of love songs, laments, social commentary and free-wheelin' fun at the Community Center of Mendocino on Saturday, Dec 17, at 7:30 PM. The concert is a benefit for the Community Center of Mendocino.
Fiddler and guitarist Laurie Lewis and mandolin player Tom Rozum are widely regarded as being among the most preeminent bluegrass and Americana artists of our time, and are well-known for their perfectly balanced harmonies. They formed a musical partnership in 1986, when Tom joined Laurie’s acclaimed band "Grant Street." Between them, they have recorded over twenty albums, as a duo and with their many talented musical friends, including their own 1995 Grammy-nominated album “The Oak and the Laurel.” Lewis earned a Grammy for “True Life Blues: The Songs of Bill Monroe.” Their latest album pays tribute to Hazel Dickens and Alice Gerrard, two trailblazing women of bluegrass.
"It's possible to be a strong female presence in the Bluegrass music world, but you have to be really strong. Laurie is one of the greatest Bluegrass artists, woman or man, because of her consistency over decades, the depth and width of her subject matter, her commitment to the Bluegrass form, and her technical command. Oh yes, and her strength. Laurie's strength manifests in many ways: her commanding presence on stage combined with an emotional vulnerability, the truths in her lyrics, her physical voice which transcends gender, her strong commitment to causes and issues in which she deeply believes, which all resonate with a respect for the land, the natural world, and human mercy and justice.” –– Darol Anger (founding member of the David Grisman Quintet)
“A quintessential stylist who creates mandolin breaks with the same passion and precision Monet put into his brush strokes, Tom Rozum ought to be recognized as a mandolinist of the first order.” –– Mandolin Magazine
Tickets are $20 in advance and $25 at the door. They are available at Out of This World in Mendocino and Harvest Market in Fort Bragg, or at www.brownpapertickets.com. Doors open at 7:00 PM. Refreshments, beer and wine will be available for purchase throughout the evening. For more information call 937-5575 or go to www.ccmendo.org.
TRUMP APPOINTS FISH-DESTROYING ANTI-ENVIRONMENTAL EXTREMISTS TO TRANSITION TEAM
by Dan Bacher
If anybody had the tiniest illusion that incoming President Donald Trump would appoint somebody who cares about the Delta, Klamath River, fish and wildlife and the environment to his transition team, it was quickly dispelled with the appointment of two anti-environmental extremists to his team after he was elected.
On Friday, Representative Devin Nunes (CA-22), one of the most aggressive Congressional proponents of increasing Delta water exports to agribusiness and opponents of fish and wildlife restoration in California and the West, joined the 16-member executive committee of Donald Trump’s transition team.
“Today I was honored to have been named to the executive committee of President-elect Donald Trump's transition team,” said Nunes in a statement. “In this role, I will advise President-elect Trump on the appointments of his Cabinet members and on appointments to other top positions in the new administration. I look forward to helping to assemble an energetic and forward-looking team that will capably lead our country toward more economic growth, greater opportunity, and a safer homeland for all Americans.”
Nunes chairs the House Intelligence Committee and disagrees with Trump on issues including so-called “free trade" deals. Nunes is a backer of the controversial Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal that Trump claims he will stop.
However, Nunes told McClatchy News this week that he believes Trump supports corporate agribusiness interests on the west side of the San Joaquin Valley in their push to export more Delta water. Nunes has been one of the greatest advocates for the weakening of the Endangered Species Act, Clean Water Act and other landmark environmental laws.
“The good thing is, he is more up to speed on water infrastructure than any other president we’ve had,” Nunes said. “Out here, everything is water, water, water.” (www.sacbee.com/...)
It gets worse. Politico reported Wednesday that David Bernhardt, a lawyer who co-chaired the natural resources department at the firm Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck and served as a George W. Bush Interior Department official, is leading the transition's Interior Department team.
According to Congressional disclosures, his current lobbying clients include the Westlands Water District, considered the Darth Vader of California politics by Tribes, fishermen and environmentalists, and one of the biggest proponents of exporting more Delta water. Bernhart represented the Westlands Water District on litigation involving the Delta and the Endangered Species Act. (www.politico.com/…
Other members of Trump’s transition team include Silicon Valley billionaire Peter Thiel, the co-founder of PayPal and a board member of Facebook; Trump's sons and daughter Ivanka; and Trump campaign CEO Steve Bannon, the former executive chairman of Breitbart News LLC, who has worked as an investment banker with Goldman-Sachs, filmmaker and political consultant.
Trump's “rumored cabinet wishlist” includes Sarah "Drill, baby, Drill" Palin as Secretary of the Interior; anti-EPA Texas Ag Commissioner Sid Miller as Secretary of Agriculture; and fracking billionaire Harold Hamm as Energy Secretary, according to Michael Brune, Executive Director of the Sierra Club.
Trump hasn't taken a specific position on the Governor Jerry Brown's "legacy" project, the Delta Tunnels, but his comments to date on California water have shown a strong embrace of the campaign by corporate agribusiness interests to pump more water from the Delta at the expense of Delta smelt and salmon populations.
At a rally at the Selland Arena in Fresno, on May 27, 2016, Trump appeared to agree with the claims of some growers that there is no drought in California.
“When I just left, 50 or 60 farmers in the back and they can’t get water. And I say, ‘How tough is it; how bad is the drought?’ 'There is no drought, they turn the water out into the ocean.’ And I said I’ve been hearing it and I spent a half an hour with them it’s hard to believe.” (www.slate.com/...)
He also claimed that the subsidized water that growers should have received was washed out to sea in an effort to protect “a certain kind of 3-inch fish," referring to the Delta smelt, an endangered indicator species that demonstrates the health of the San Francisco Bay-Delta Estuary.
“Believe me, we’re going to start opening up the water so that you can have your farmers survive,” said Trump.
Alex Breitler, Stockton Record reporter, pointed out, “’Opening up the water’ implies increasing the volume of water exported south from the Delta, exports that are blamed in part for the long-term decline of the fragile river estuary west of Stockton. The Delta ecosystem suffers from a kind of perpetual drought because more than half of its fresh water historically has been diverted for human use.” (www.recordnet.com/...)
Many of those opposed to the construction of the Delta Tunnels fear that Governor Brown may try to make a deal with the Trump administration to back the construction of the California Water Fix, his "legacy project. On Thursday, Brown issued a statement saying his administration would do its part “to find common ground whenever possible” while “protecting the precious rights of our people” and confronting “devastating climate change.
Brown stated, “Today we saw the beginning of the transfer of power to the President-elect.
While the prerogatives of victory are clear, so also are the responsibilities to ensure a strong and unified America. As President Lincoln said, ‘A house divided against itself cannot stand.’ With the deep divisions in our country, it is incumbent on all of us – especially the new leadership in Washington – to take steps that heal those divisions, not deepen them. In California, we will do our part to find common ground whenever possible.
But as Californians, we will also stay true to our basic principles. We will protect the precious rights of our people and continue to confront the existential threat of our time – devastating climate change.
E PLURIBUS UNUM.”
While I strongly support the Governor's call to protect people’s rights and to confront climate change, I fear that the “common ground” that the Brown administration will find with the Trump administration will be on tunnels, new dams and fracking. We must stop Brown from working with Trump to weaken landmark laws like the Endangered Species Act and Clean Water Act in order to fast-track the completion of the California Water Fix before he leaves office.
The two 35-mile long tunnels under the Delta would make the Delta, San Francisco Bay and our ocean waters into a giant aquatic graveyard. We must drive a stake into the heart of this project and stop it from pushing Delta and longfin smelt, Central Valley steelhead, Sacramento River winter-run Chinook salmon, green sturgeon and other fish and wildlife species into extinction — and prevent Brown and his administration from making any deals with the Trump that will push forward the tunnels, as well as new dams and fracking.
Caleen Sisk, chief and spiritual leader of the Winnemem Wintu Tribe, affirmed the Tribe’s plan to resist any plans by the Trump or Brown administrations to sacrifice salmon, the environment and human rights at the altar of corporate greed.
“Now we share the definition of ‘Endangered’ with all the other species,” said Chief Sisk after the election. “The Winnemem Wintu have been there since California Statehood....surviving is a challenge when you are losing your waters and food supply. You must never quit the fight to survive with the salmon!”
While Brown poses as a “climate leader” and “environmentalist” at climate conferences, he is heavily backed by agribusiness billionaires and the oil companies — the same corporate interests that have funded Brown’s reelection and proposition campaigns, including Proposition 1 in 2014. These are the same corporate interests that Trump and his transition team represent.
Trump's transition team just released their “energy” plan. Their statement is absolutely chilling for anybody who cares about fish and wildlife, people, water, the environment and the public trust:
‘Rather than continuing the current path to undermine and block America's fossil fuel producers, the Trump Administration will encourage the production of these resources by opening onshore and offshore leasing on federal lands and waters. We will streamline the permitting process for all energy projects, including the billions of dollars in projects held up by President Obama, and rescind the job-destroying executive actions under his Administration. We will end the war on coal, and rescind the coal mining lease moratorium, the excessive Interior Department stream rule, and conduct a top-down review of all anti-coal regulations issued by the Obama Administration. We will eliminate the highly invasive "Waters of the US" rule, and scrap the $5 trillion dollar Obama-Clinton Climate Action Plan and the Clean Power Plan and prevent these unilateral plans from increasing monthly electric bills by double-digits without any measurable effect on Earth's climate.’
ARMISTICE DAY (OR) THE SUPREMACY OF URUGUAY.
"This was the thought that was in his head: If it unhinged me to hear such a soft crooning sound slightly amplified, what might it not do to me to hear a far greater sound greatlier amplified?"
The recording of last night's (2016-11-11) KNYO (and, three hours in, also KMEC) Memo of the Air: Good Night Radio show ready to download and enjoy, via
Or get it this other way, which has the advantage of an instant-gratification play button:
Also at http://MemoOfTheAir.wordpress.com you'll find literally countless links to not-necessarily-radio-useful but nonetheless esthetically filling educational marvels that I happened upon while putting this and other shows together, such as:
Phenomena over and under the earth.
How to land a space shuttle from space.
And Phantom Ride.
by Jason Hirthler
It’s hard to empathize with the corporate liberals who streamed from the Javits Center in tears Tuesday night. Their corrupt Democratic Party had a good if not great candidate in Bernie Sanders and their DNC deliberately fought to keep him from winning the primaries. In every poll taken during his campaign, Sanders beat Donald Trump in a hypothetical general election.
Oh, they’ll start pouring out their bile now, blaming everyone but themselves and their candidate. It was the media’s fault for popularizing Trump (a Clinton strategy). It was the FBI’s fault for re-opening the email case (thanks to Huma Abedin’s ex). It was stupid Middle America’s fault for being racist and sexist (was that why they voted for Trump?). It was third-party supporters who screwed us in Florida again (Paul Krugman and Rachel Maddow are furious that leftists didn’t vote for their heroine). It was Russia’s fault for hacking the DNC (no evidence) and plotting to invade Europe (no evidence).
Hillary and the Great Divide
In Hillary’s farewell speech, she kept to form and quoted scripture–the very last guide she has used to shape her political life. In other words, she remained a hypocrite. She talked to little girls who think she is a great flagbearer for womankind, even though she precipitated the brutal destruction of infrastructure, the breakdown of law and order, and the eventual collapse of the Libyan state, throwing thousands of brown women, boys and girls into extreme danger and exile. She exported the same plan to Syria. And she supported a coup d’état in Honduras that has now led to predictably vicious repression and regular homicide.
The truth is, Hillary was a terrible candidate. Like Al Gore. She was charmless and toneless. In an election atmosphere typified by personality politics, Hillary lacked one. She had a rich track record of foreign policy meltdowns at the State Department and a feckless tenure in the Senate. She alienated Congress in 1993 when she failed to get health care reform passed. And she evidently used high office to peddle access and influence to Clinton Foundation donors. Her positions had changed repeatedly, suggesting she couldn’t be trusted. This, compounded by the scandal surrounding her lazy use of email in the trafficking of confidential information, and ham-fisted attempts to cover it up, cast her in the dimmest of lights with many Americans. An albatross husband still despised by conservatives and who loomed hungrily behind the floodlights of her campaign–didn’t help either.
One good point made by political pundit Alex Castellanos was that Trump’s campaign pivoted on a single theme: Make America Great Again. What was Clinton’s theme? Hillary for America? That lack of focus perhaps belied an unwillingness to trumpet her own track record and rather cast herself as a blank slate in a gender-friendly outfit, upon which voters could inscribe all manner of multicultural hopes, much in the way that Barack Obama did in 2008. But Obama played to change. Clinton was far too establishment to try that.
Despite the transparent defects of the Clinton campaign, her bi-coastal minions were astonished at the results. As with Brexit, the media couldn’t understand the populist rage boiling beneath their lofty studio sets. Particularly the partisan mainstream media (MSM) that threw its full weight behind Clinton from the outset of the general campaign. Their strategy was typical of the liberal mindset, which principally cares about identity politics. The media aimed to destroy Trump by exposing his sexism and racism and sense of elite entitlement. The relentless smearing of Trump, the unearthed audio tapes, the timely advent of a phalanx of sexual accusers, and the haunting image of a Great Wall on the Mexican border–all of this “horrified” Starbucks America, the coastal enclaves of educated, profitably employed, and multi-cultural voters. They couldn’t understand how anyone could vote for Trump because they were only focused on multi-culturalism, which is the only message the Democratic Party has left. The top 10 to 20 percent of society, coasting along on the information economy, think it’s all about sexual politics and an outdated bible-based worldview. There’s plenty to that, but there’s a lot more to the authentic rage people feel about having their livelihoods ruined by an oligarchic state that sees them as riff raff–a reserve pool of cheap labor to be patronized every four years and otherwise ignored.
(By the way, “horrifying” and “terrifying” and the most overused clichés of the election season. Have you ever seen such righteous posturing and mawkish contortions among the MSM priesthood?)
The voters in Walmart America, the sneered upon “flyover states,” saw job loss and DC corruption. They are truly the “forgotten people” Trump referenced. How many college-educated white-collar workers understand what it feels like to have their job taken by an illegal immigrant who will work longer hours for less money and fewer benefits? Nobody at The New York Times, anyway. Walmart America was sick and tired of being screwed over by a political class that paid lip service to the plight of labor and then looked the other way. A Democratic Party that wouldn’t even mention poverty and only talked about the Middle Class. As if those tens of millions who couldn’t scrape together $400 in a pinch didn’t exist. Or the 1 in 3 Americans that have zero retirement savings. Or the millions of displaced factory workers. Mortality rates and drug use are on the rise among the middle-age white working class for a reason.
Decades of all-out corporate war against unions, all-out offshoring by disinterested multinationals, debt fearmongering and austerity as a matter of course, and bank-breaking imperial wars that drain away what taxes the working class had left to give. That’s a recipe for a populist uprising. That’s a recipe for a Donald Trump.
A decade of Barack Obama telling us that the economy was growing, manufacturing jobs were back, and inflation was beaten, was comprehensively revealed to be a giant lie by this election. If all that were true, there’d have been no Trump, no inflammatory rhetoric about immigrants being the source of everything wrong with America, and no repudiation of a sitting president’s anointed successor. Immigrants become a scapegoat when illegals compete with citizens for scarce jobs. Obama certainly deported plenty of people, some two million, a presidential record. But he didn’t produce the kinds of full-time, long-term, benefits-included, living-wage jobs people used to have. The kinds of jobs progressives of yore gained by their blood. Instead, Obama effectively watched the economy produce a drizzle of openings for bartenders and waitresses and hospital orderlies–jobs that couldn’t be offshored–and did nothing about it. Obama should have known that not counting discouraged job seekers as unemployed, and tweaking the commodities basket to understate inflation, was no way to fix the economy.
Actually, he did know this. So did the Clintons, who introduced these measures. The problem is that for decades now the corporate Democrats have only cared about appearances. Reality can be prettified with a few glossy BLS reports and a small-time jobs program with a big-time press conference. Social spending programs can be bled dry by talking tough about deficits. But that only works for so long. Eventually the lower classes feel the pain and rebel.
All Trump really had to do was address them personally. He had to acknowledge their reality. Millions of jobs gone. Check. Taxes spent on needless wars and provocations. Check. So-called free trade agreements stealing our sovereignty. Check. Illegals taking Americanjobs. Check. Monopolies cutting jobs and raising prices. Check.
That’s what mattered to Middle America. Not the p-word and the taco bowl and scattered violence at rallies. That’s what mattered to the coastal class of corporate liberals. But not to anyone else.
It would be a great thing if Democrats learned a lesson from this unqualified rebuke. That they should rediscover the working class. That they should reclaim the progressive mantle of FDR and LBJ. Don’t kid yourself. They are wholly owned subsidiaries of the one percent now. They’ll just regroup and try again. After all, Hillary won the popularvote and 228 electoral votes. She got close.
A Trump presidency that ditches the Cold War rhetoric, quits using NATO as a battering ram, and cuts deals with Russia instead of leveling false accusations against it, would be a welcome sight to many. But there’s no doubt that much on Trump’s agenda will be “deplorable,” including the typical two-party attacks on taxes, regulation, education, and piddling reforms that fall woefully short on climate change, healthcare, and immigration. God only knows what he’ll try.
He could go to Russia and China and say, America wants to be part of the New Silk Road project. We want to run it across the Bering Strait and across the United States. From New York to Lisbon, east to west and back. But he won’t. He’ll most likely cave to strong-armed threats from the Department of Defense and the Pentagon, and will keep most of our discretionary monies ploughed into war. They are anxious to maintain our posture of hostility and menace toward any government that even hints at economic independence. The military-industrial complex (MIC) and international finance capital (IFC) won’t go gently into that good night. They aren’t going anywhere. The MIC-IFC is too big a complex of vested interests for one man to defeat. Challenging them, though, could be the ‘match that sparks a prairie fire,’ to use an old Communist trope. But don’t expect this from The Donald. Vanity suggests he’ll do whatever is necessary to produce a cosmetically attractive presidency, just like Obama did, and just like Hillary would have done. One that looks good on paper and bad in the streets. Another principled Jill Stein campaign crossed the finish line at one percent, four percent shy of qualifying for federal matching funds. But she nearly tripled her totals from 2012. As Obama would say, incremental gains.
(Jason Hirthler is a veteran of the communications industry and author of The Sins of Empire: Unmasking American Imperialism. He lives in New York City and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.)