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Mendocino County Today: Monday, Nov. 28, 2016

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Fred George Medinas, born February 12, 1922, in Oakley California, and resident of Anderson Valley for 60 years passed away peacefully at home on Tuesday, November 1, 2016, at the age of 94.

fredmedinaswebFred married his wife, Lois Kathryn Stayton in 1941. They had two children and were married for nearly 67 years. In 1943, they purchased their first house in Mendocino, CA for $450 which is now designated as a Historical Building dated 1882! Later in life, Fred enjoyed taking his grandchildren, great-grandchildren and others to share his memories of places and events during the years he lived in Mendocino. Fred joined the Navy in 1944, as an electrician’s mate 3rd class and was discharged in 1946, (WWII). His talent as an electrician and Navy training led him to PG&E in 1947 where he worked for 35 years before retiring in 1982. During his tenure as a service agent in Boonville (1956-1982), Fred became known as “Mr. PG&E” and was loved and respected by the community.

Fred was active in the community volunteering at the Mendocino County fairgrounds for many years. In recognition of his contributions, he was awarded the Blue Ribbon Award and was selected as Grand Marshal (along with his dog and best buddy, Pepper) in 2002. He also was an avid supporter, active volunteer, and served on the Board of Directors for Anderson Valley TV.

Not a traveler for much of his early adult life, Fred later made many trips back east to visit grandchildren. A highlight of his later in life travel was in 2003 when two of his grandchildren arranged to take Fred and Lois to the Azores to visit the islands of Flores and Terceira the birthplace of Fred’s parents.

Fred enjoyed driving his tractor to mow his two-acre parcel as well as any neighbor or friend’s property that needed mowing. He tended to his garden which included growing the best tomatoes around according to many recipients. Fred could be seen walking most days to the Boonville Post Office where he often chatted with old-time friends.

Fred's sense of hope and optimism was contagious. He loved to tell stories from his life and recalled them with precision and detail. At 94, he was a man with a huge smile and a sparkle in his eye. The same sparkle was evident in all the photos of him as a boy. He was an example of generosity, compassion, patience, hard work, reasonableness, respect and tolerance to his family and community.

Fred is survived by his daughter, Dale Reynolds; son in law, Robert; daughter in law, Shirley Medinas and sister, Virginia (95 years young). Fred was very proud of his grandchildren and his great grandchildren, as anyone who knew him can attest. He is survived by his four grandchildren and their spouses: William Medinas (Eve); Robert Reynolds (John), Tamara Reynolds (Brad), and Michael Medinas (Shona). His great-grandchildren include William, Jr., (Mia); Katy, Mikey, Emma, Nicky, Alexis, Michael, Aaron, Anthony, Samantha, Danielle, Ayla and Ander. Fred was predeceased by his wife Lois (2008) and son Merrill "Bill” (2015).

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Saturday Dec 3, The Swingin' Boonville Big Band is playing at Lauren's in Boonville. This makes 17 years since the band's first public performance — also at Lauren's. Dinner is served from 5-9 PM; the band plays from 9 – 11 PM. Tickets $5, all proceeds benefit the A.V. Adult Education Department. Ticket price negotiable after the first set. Beer\wine bar open late. While it is long drive from the coast to Boonville, the continuing reduction in large venues affects the Big Band more than it affects the common small ensemble.

The Hill House is gone
The Caspar Inn is gone
Cotton Auditorium has priced themselves off the market
and so forth.
So think about it. We're worth carpooling for.

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A good thing has happened and we finally got rid of that filthy snake that was wrapped around our necks. We are going to get rid of a lot of filth and corruption. I personally cannot wait until the sanctuary cities are defunded, the wall goes up, the economy gets better, ISIS gets crushed, and most of all political correctness goes away. Then the teachers union is going to be overhauled and we can get rid of these rotten, left wing anti-American teachers who are teaching our kids from the age of five through college anti-Americanism. They don't even say the Pledge of Allegiance anymore. They have no respect for the American flag. There are a lot of things that are going to change. The left wing, liberal, anti-Americans better start running because the worm is going to turn. As I have said before, God bless Donald Trump.

Jerry Philbrick, Comptche

PS. One more thing. Before I die, I hope I can find my buddy and best friend of 65 years. I will always remember him, Rodger Tolman. He was a good friend and I was very upset when he died. It took me two days to recover. The memorial we did for him over in Ukiah on Saturday with all the trucks was worth the effort. It was absolutely great. I appreciate Sheriff Tom Allman for all the effort he put in to make it possible to memorialize Rodger Tolman. He was a good man.

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By calling a meeting of leaders of the media and calling them all liars, Donald Trump is laying the groundwork for total control of the media. This is another step toward fascism and there will be many more. I hope that the democratic influence in this country is strong enough and smart enough to contain the spreading control and hatefulness that is taking place. The media must remain independent and fearless in the face of encroaching fascism.

Robert Leihy

Santa Rosa

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Dear Editor,

About three weeks ago Zack Anderson wrote a beautiful article, “Rodger & Me,” for the AVA. It was written just after my friend of 60 years, Rodger Tolman, had passed. Zack told of Rodger Tolman, Zack’s first mentor and basketball coach when he was a boy and life was simpler and pure and adult life was in the far distance. He told of the long trips to foggy Point Arena, Covelo and Cloverdale and other places and described a bond that developed with his wonderful coach and his teammates. It was an ode to Rodger and boyhood and that bond develops and stays with small town boys. This article about Rodger was written by a very talented writer.

Ken Hurst


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MISSING MUSHROOM PICKER Wanders Into Rescue Camp After Three Chilling Nights, Burnt Shoes to Stay Warm

by John Ross Ferrara

mary-dowMary Dow, the mushroom picker who went missing on Wednesday evening after separating from her nephew in the thick timber off of Branscomb Road, has been found alive.

Lt. Shannon Barney of the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office told the Outpost in a phone interview this morning, that Dow wandered into the rescue camp yesterday afternoon, almost too cold to speak.

“She was so hypothermic we couldn’t interview her,” Barney said. “She came wandering in to the command post, I don’t know if she heard the noise of our vehicles or what. She was originally thought to be 50 yards from there, but I think she went much further than that and came back.”

Despite suffering from a serious case of hypothermia, Barney said the 58-year-old was able to explain that she fell into a nearby river.

“She fell into a river and said she burnt her shoes one night to say warm,” Barney said. “She had a few bumps and bruises, but she was doing pretty good considering the circumstances.”

Dow is recovering at a local hospital after spending three nights, including Thanksgiving, braving the wilderness.

“She was in bad shape cold-wise,” Barney said. “After we got her into camp, it started hailing, so she lucked out.”

(Courtesy, the

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CATCH OF THE DAY, November 27, 2016

(Still unavailable due to server error at Sheriff’s Booking Log website.)

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by Jeff Costello

"Everybody knows the war is over, everybody knows the good guys lost." — Leonard Cohen

"Our lifelong cynicism about the American character has been vindicated. I Told You So has never felt worse. On the bright side, heads will get busted, streets will be full of youthfully optimistic protesters and the Dems won't have four years to co-opt progressives. And in the wings, Mike Pence, the Manchurian candidate. Keep your powder dry." — Michael Townsend

Well, my old friend Townsend knows I appreciate metaphors and don't keep guns, but I remember that in the movie, the Manchurian candidate was shot by one of his brainwashed subjects. You never know. I'm glad to see he's not buying into the facebook mania about "evil" billionaire George Soros funding the nationwide protests over Trump's election. The logistics are unrealistic for a start.

Also noteworthy is the distinction between Dems and "progressives." HRC called herself a progressive and I wanted to vomit. Language has become badly perverted in the social media age. I've started to think that mainstream liberals in the disappearing middle class may be thinking, "I followed all the rules, so why aren't I happy and satisfied?"

Since what's wrong with Trump apparently isn't obvious to everyone, maybe as a country we deserve what we get. Does that include militarized, sadistic police and the goings-on at Standing Rock, hyper-conservatives and nazi salutes? "Divisive" isn't a strong enough term for this. Seems to me humans have seriously divided already, over the past 50 years or so, evolved in the 60s into some longhairs driving VWs with peace signs, and angry, crew-cutted pro-war types cursing them as "peace creeps." I always wondered, who are really the creeps? What makes these people love war if they're not invested in the big weapons industries? Does it make them happy and satisfied? Do they buy into the brave war hero fighting for our freedom myth? MSNBC rails against fake news on what, CNN? Facebook? Wonderful bit of irony there.

Is all this about money, or ego? Does Trump's outrageous self-aggrandizement appeal to his fans? Do they wish they had the guts to be like him? Does it rub off?

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There are two kinds of suffering: the patient wrestling with more than he or she can endure. And the family watching, unable to help and also at the mercy of the medical staff.

by Pete Dexter & Jeff Nale

Not long ago, an old friend died, and last week I was back in the same church again, another funeral. And as it happened, I ran into the wife of the friend who’d died, and it is fair to say that the setting and the circumstances had brought her own troubles back, fresh as new.

Here is the story she told me, and it is at the same time awful and not surprising at all, as I have spent my share of time in hospitals, and then some, and have seen this sort of behavior for myself more times than I’d like to. Names here are changed for legal reasons.

My friend Manny went to a hospital to have blood clots removed from his bladder. His wife is Lucy, his adult daughter is Priscilla, and they were left in a waiting room downstairs, where the surgeon said they’d be called as soon as there was news. It is part of the story here that Manny was not in great shape — he had heart trouble and lung trouble and kidney problems and prostate cancer — all those things that nibble at you around the edges before, inevitably, something comes along and takes the whole bite. On the other hand, even knowing he was headed the same place the rest of us are headed, more than the rest of us, you knew that Manny would dance right up to the finish, until there was no more dancing to do.

Manny was big — not his physical person, but one of those guys who knows something about everything, and it was all stuffed in there together, a million moving parts. He was also smart, and if he’d had more pure bad luck than most of us could handle, he never let go of the idea that play came into it too, that whatever cards you got, it was up to you to enjoy the game.

But back to the hospital. Manny’s Lucy and Priscilla are waiting in the waiting room. There is no place harder to wait than a waiting room. An hour passed, an hour and a half. Nobody had said anything about an hour and a half. Because of his heart and lung problems the house anesthesiologist decided to use a narcotic instead of a general anesthetic. If the anesthesiologist had asked, the family could have told her that Manny had recently undergone an operation with general anesthesia.

She also decided to use only about 30 percent of the amount that could be safely administered. Why? The anesthesiologist says Manny was apparently in more pain than she’d noticed.

Hearing nothing from anybody, Lucy and Priscilla decided to go back to his room and sit it out there. Meanwhile the surgeon, who had another patient waiting at another hospital, had left Manny in the recovery room, and left the hospital, without speaking to the family. The surgeon didn’t talk to them, none of the nurses talked to them. The “hospitalist” — a term for the doctor who is supposed to follow a patient’s case from the time he comes in door until he leaves — was nowhere around.

So here is how Manny’s wife and daughter were first apprised that something had gone wrong: they stepped off the elevator and heard him screaming. They ran the length of the corridor and found him all but unrecognizable, still on the cart they’d used to move him from the recovery room, lunging, biting at nurses, unrecognizable, wild with pain.

He told his wife they’d tried to kill him in the operating room.

By now, Manny’s stomach had begun to swell. During the procedure to remove blood clots his bladder had been perforated and air was escaping into his diaphragm. The surgeon was half way to another hospital when someone reached him, and for the hour or so that took for him to return to the hospital, Manny was in a kind of situation that if you are lucky you will never know anything about. Lucid, but crazy with pain.

As the doctor returned, one of the nurses in Manny’s room called a Code Gray — and in a minute, two large security guards appeared in the door. What they intended to do, nobody will say. Maybe nobody knows. There were by now four or five hospital employees in the room, and what followed was a standoff — the hospital security cops against my friend’s daughter. Priscilla would not let them touch him. In the end, after she’d threatened to call 911, they left.

The surgeon, meanwhile, was in the hallway with Lucy, telling her they had to go back in and repair the perforation. The “hospitalist” — who by the way could have ordered morphine during the hour of the worst pain but didn’t — also showed up in the hallway, wanting to talk about just letting him go. Both conversations, the surgeon and the hospitalist, were held here in public, with strangers walking past. Manny’s wife asked to go somewhere private to talk it over, but neither the surgeon nor the hospitalist understood or cared that Lucy was asking for privacy. And it was in the corridor then that the surgeon finally mentioned the other thing. From Lucy’s notes: “He said, ‘Oh, things got kind of crazy in the O.R., and (Manny) had to be restrained.’”

Restrained means physically tied down. Here is something else you should hope never to find out about: Come back with me 30 years to Philadelphia where a surgeon drilled five screws into a patient’s femur while he lay on an operating table, fully awake, feeling everything and unable to move even a finger until finally somebody in the operating room noticed his heart beat had doubled or so.

The next day the surgeon said it must have been a dream. “People,” he said, “imagine all kinds of things under anesthesia.”

In this case, the hospital said Manny was out of his head with the narcotics. I don’t know how much difference there is between being tied down physically and chemically, but being completely helpless and at the same time in overwhelming pain scars you, which is to say becomes part of who you are. Pain is not always a transitory thing. In certain circumstances, in certain amounts, it — or its effects — never goes away. Sometimes things cannot be put back the way they were. You only wish that the nurses and doctors who are so blasé about pain, so blasé about the lives that are falling apart in front of them, could spend an hour or two in the patient’s shoes, or the family’s shoes, and then discuss pain as a hallucination, or how they are too busy to keep the family informed.

According to the hospital’s records, subsequent to the operating room, Manny was tied down again in the recovery room. Who ordered this is not clear. Keep in mind, though, that this was going on at a time that Manny was in new territory, pain beyond his own understanding. The surgeon was halfway across town, and the doctor in charge at the hospital — the hospitalist again — did not for some reason administer morphine.

We are talking now about two kinds of suffering. One is physical suffering — patients too weak or too old to fight back, reduced to begging for pain killers. But there is also the other thing, the family’s suffering. Imagine going through of the worst time of your life and not being able to find out what’s being done to the person you love, or why. Obviously, there are gentle doctors and good nurses, etc., but if you in any way think that they are the norm, you’re either brand new at this or have been very lucky.

There is nothing good about what happened to my friend Manny except he didn’t die in the hospital. Knowing his choices — his kidneys were shot, his bladder was shot, his heart was bad, his lungs barely kept him in oxygen — knowing the consequences, he disconnected all the tubes running in and out of his nose and mouth and arms. His exact words: “No more.” And he went home with enough morphine to get him through, and died.

In the last day and a half Manny was at the hospital, seven different doctors came into his room — Lucy there, at his bedside — looked him over, and only one of them was kind enough — human enough — to introduce himself and explain what he was doing. The others just looked and left.

And those little pieces of unnecessary torture may not sound so consequential to you — he was going to die pretty soon anyway, right? — but when you have been there yourself, they are criminal.

(Courtesy, The Daily Beast)

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(The column/exchange that got Kaepernick loudly boo’ed at Sunday’s game against the Miami Dolphins.)

Unrepentant hypocrite Colin Kaepernick defends Fidel Castro

by Armando Salguero, The Miami Herald

(Miami Herald Editor’s Note: This column was published on Friday, Nov. 25, 2016, several hours before news spread of the death of Fidel Castro.)


The August evening the nation first noticed Colin Kaepernick taking a knee during the playing of the national anthem at an NFL game, the San Francisco 49ers quarterback held a postgame news conference, as is typical league policy. At that news conference Kaepernick wore a T-shirt emblazoned with photos from a 1960 meeting between Malcolm X and Fidel Castro.


So after his first notable protest against what last week he called the “systematic oppression” of minorities in the United States, and saying he wants “freedom for all people,” Colin Kaepernick put on a T-shirt that featured a supportive image of one of the 20th century’s most enduring oppressors.

This absurd contradiction between what Kaepernick said and does was only a distant annoyance to me because, although I was born into Cuba’s imprisonment, I don’t often write about Kaepernick or his team. This wasn’t my fight.

But this week Colin Kaepernick is on a teleconference call with me and other South Florida reporters who cover the Miami Dolphins. The Dolphins are playing Kaepernick’s team Sunday. And Kaepernick is saying if anyone is “OK with people being treated unfairly, being harassed, being terrorized, then the problem is more what they’re doing in their lives …”

And because Kaepernick apparently doesn’t understand his words apply to him before he can apply them to others, I ask the man who protests oppression why he wore the Castro shirt when the tyrant is demonstrably a star on the world’s All Oppressor team?

Some facts:

Cuba for more than five decades under the Castros has stifled practically any and all dissent. According to Human Rights Watch, “Cuban citizens have been systematically deprived of their fundamental rights to free expression, privacy, association, assembly, movement, and due process of law. Tactics for enforcing political conformity have included police warnings, surveillance, short-term detentions, house arrests, travel restrictions, criminal prosecutions, and politically motivated dismissals from employment.”

Now go to Google images of the Ladies In White protesting on Cuba’s streets. Kaepernick, the poster child for protest among NFL players, should do this. He would see images of women — white, black, mothers, daughters, sisters — systematically violated in one form or another by Castro’s thugs.

They are harassed, spat upon, pushed and even bloodied simply because they are fighting to do in Cuba what Kaepernick does on an NFL sideline without fear or physical repercussion — just before he wears that Castro shirt to his postgame presser.

So I ask Kaepernick how he can protest oppression then ignorantly don a T-shirt featuring an oppressor?

And Kaepernick immediately said:

“I wore a Malcolm X shirt,” he said.

Now, Kaepernick is bright even though he seems to be playing dumb. He carried a 4.0 grade point average at John H. Pitman High School in Turlock, California, around the same time my aunt, lacking medicine and care in Cuba, was dying — the last of my family members the Castros refused to allow to escape to freedom in the United States.

So I remind Kaepernick that Castro was indeed on his shirt.

“I am a believer in Malcolm X and his ideology and what he talked about and what he believed in as far as fighting oppression,” Kaepernick said.

That, by the way, does not answer the question. Kaepernick is evading as if my question is an NFL linebacker on a blitz. So I interrupt. ...

Are you a believer in Fidel Castro, who is also on that shirt?

“If you let me finish, please,” Kaepernick requested. “The fact he [Malcolm X] met with Fidel to me speaks to his open mind to be willing to hear different aspects of people’s views and ultimately being able to create his own views as far as the best way to approach different situations, different cultures.”

So it’s good to have an open mind about Fidel Castro and his oppression, I ask?

“I’m not talking about Fidel Castro and his oppression,” Kaepernick said. “I’m talking about Malcolm X and what he’s done for people.”

At this point I hope Kaepernick is starting to realize how untenable his position is relative to the Castros. Even Malcolm X, who met with Castro in New York, for years afterward declined invitations to visit him in Cuba. I’m hoping Kaepernick understands one should not make broad statements about standing up for people’s rights, then slip into a Fidel Castro shirt, suggesting approval for a man who has spent his days on the planet stifling people’s rights.

And that’s exactly the moment Kaepernick shows how lost he truly is. Because in the next breath, Kaepernick, born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, explains to me, the guy born in Havana, how great Castro really is.

“One thing Fidel Castro did do is they have the highest literacy rate because they invest more in their education system than they do in their prison system, which we do not do here even though we’re fully capable of doing that,” Kaepernick said.

Is this real life?

First, Cuba does not have the highest literacy rate. Second, don’t be surprised if the same people who report Cuba’s admittedly high literacy rate are related to those who report its election results — the ones in which the Castros get 100 percent of the votes.

Third, could it be Cuba doesn’t have to invest a lot in its prison system because, you know, dungeons and firing squads (ElParedon) are not too expensive to maintain?

Finally, it’s bizarre that Kaepernick is extolling the education system of a country where people believe launching out into shark-infested seas to flee is a better idea than staying there.

So I make the point to Kaepernick that aside from that awesome school system the Castro devils established, there was also that communist revolution we should consider, and the lack of free elections and justice. And after teaching folks the alphabet, to Kaepernick’s apparent delight, the Castros break up families, including mine, because some folks get out and others cannot.

A true story: My parents decided when I was born that living in chains could not be my fate. And because there wasn’t going to be a successful Salguero family counter-revolution, my folks did what they could to get me out. And all three of us — papi, mami and me — got visas to leave. It took five years to get those visas and my folks were immediately fired from their jobs when they applied.

On that July 1967 day when we were scheduled to go, the three of us made it to the boarding ladder of the Eastern Airlines Freedom Flight bound for America. But a Castro soldier stopped us before we boarded and demanded to see the family’s papers. I remember this as if it was yesterday. That bearded guerrilla in green and carrying a rifle confirmed all three of us were cleared to leave Cuba.

But, he added, that only two of us could leave because that’s what he personally was deciding. He then told my father to pick who goes and who stays. What ensued next is hazy to me. I know there were tears. I know there was drama. But suffice to say only my mother and I got on that plane.

My dad stayed behind, and for three years he was unable to reunite with us. Other family members never were able to reunite with us.

That life experience in my head, I tell Kaepernick that the United States may not invest as much as he wants on education (actually, the investment is staggering) but we also don’t break up families here.

“We do break up families here,” Kaepernick responded. “That’s what mass incarceration is. That was the foundation of slavery. So our country has been based on that as well as the genocide of native Americans.”

Based on that?

I ask Kaepernick if he’s equating the breaking up of Cuban exile families by a dictator with people being sentenced to prison in the United States.

“I’m equating the breaking up of families with the breaking up of families,” Kaepernick responded.

Look, I understand Kaepernick’s complaint that some people are falsely imprisoned and others go away for long stretches for committing multiple minor crimes. But what is it about nuance he doesn’t get? There’s no way the blanket statement he just made is correct.

My family breaking up because my parents wanted me to be free is not the same as, for example, a father of two in the United States committing a crime and being away from his kids because he was convicted and is serving time.

So breaking up families cannot always be equated with breaking up families. To believe so is not thinking the issue through. And not thinking issues through is a bad look for so-called protest leaders such as Kaepernick.

My exchange with Kaepernick ended there, after about three minutes, because I was stunned how someone so outspoken about his beliefs could be so ignorant to facts not up for debate. I suppose he thinks he made salient points in our back and forth.

All he did was expose himself as a fraud.

So wear your Malcolm X shirt that features Fidel Castro, Colin Kaepernick. Wear it around a town where hundreds of thousands of Cuban exiles live with memories similar to mine. Wear it on the field Sunday during pregame if you’re so proud of it.

Show everyone what an unrepentant hypocrite you are.

(The Miami Herald)

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Quarterback coincidentally defends wearing Castro t-shirt hours before Cuban dictator's death is announced — and Twitter is quick to bask in his ill-timed comments

Controversial San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick unwittingly found himself at the center of another storm on Friday as his praise for Fidel Castro was spread hours before the Cuban dictator's death was announced.

On Friday afternoon, Kaepernick's praise for the communist leader's education system sparked divide among fans.

He was explaining why he wore a t-shirt bearing the politician's image in August when he credited Castro for “investing” more in schools than in prisons.

Hours later, Castro's death was announced by his brother Raul on state television.

Twitter users were quick to pick up on Kaepernick's ill-timed comments.

“I doubt Colin Kaepernick could have had worse timing in praising Fidel Castro,” said one.

"Looks like Colin Kaepernick's support literally sent Fidel Castro over the edge."

“Can't make this up. After Kaepernick advocates for the communism leader, Fidel Castro has died,” others mused.

Castro's death was announced in the early hours of Saturday morning by his brother Raul.

On Wednesday, Kaepernick, who told The Palm Beach Post that his choice of a t-shirt bearing Castro's image back in August did not mean he sided with his oppressive regime.

The quarterback first pointed out that Malcolm X was also pictured on his t-shirt, saying he was a believer in Malcolm X's ideology and fighting oppression.

The fact that Malcolm X met Castro in 1960 at Harlem's Hotel Theresa, Kaepernick said, shows that he was open-minded and “willing to hear different aspects of people's views.”

When the reporter pressed Kaepernick specifically on Castro's history of oppression, he replied: “One thing that Fidel Castro did do is they have the highest literacy rate because they invest more in their education system than they do in their prison system, which we do not do here, even though we're fully capable of doing that.”

The reporter replied: “He also did something that we do not do here: he broke up families, he took over a country without any justice and without any election.”

Kaepernick fought back: “We do break up families here. That's what mass incarceration is. That was the foundation of slavery so our country has been based on that as well as the genocide of Native Americans.”

When the reporter asked whether Kaepernick was equating the breaking up of Cuban families with people going to jail in the United States, Kaepernick said: “I'm equating the breaking up of families with the breaking up of families.”

After a brief silence, the reporter replied: “Wow. That's amazing.”

Kaepernick, who wore a hat with an “X” on it along with the T-shirt, initially insisted he had worn the T-shirt specifically as a tribute to Malcolm X.

The T-shirt features several photos of Malcolm X and Castro talking, with the caption: “Like minds think alike.”

“I'm not talking about Fidel Castro and his oppression. I'm talking about Malcolm X and what he's done for people,” he told the reporter.

The 29-year-old sparked controversy earlier this year when he took a knee during the national anthem at the side of the football field. He later explained the gesture was a protest against how black people are oppressed in the US.

Kaepernick initially earned some criticism for wearing a T-shirt featuring the Cuban leader. Some thought it contradicted Kaepernick's stance against oppression in the United States.

The quarterback, who has repeatedly knelt instead of standing during the national anthem, hit out at reports that suggested his protests were to blame for the NFL's decreasing viewership.

“I would say they probably need to look in the mirror at what they value,” Kaepernick said.

'You know, if they're OK with people being treated unfairly, being abused, being harassed, being terrorized, then the problem is more with what they're doing in their lives than it is about watching football games.”

Fidel Castro and Malcolm X met up in September 1960 at Hotel Theresa, located on Adam Clayton Powell Jr Boulevard, between 124th and 125th Streets.

Castro had taken power in Cuba the previous year, leading the United states to enact a trade embargo in 1960.

The Cuban leader found himself in New York for the 15th General Assembly of the United Nations — and was asked to remain strictly within the boundaries of Manhattan.

A manager at Midtown's Shelburne Hotel asked Castro and his delegation for a $20,000 security deposit in cash. The group looked for another hotel and ended up at Hotel Theresa.

Malcolm X suggested the location, according to a member of the diplomatic corps named Raul Roa Kouri. Castro saw the chance to make the argument that African-Americans should support his nation, having promised that Afro-Cubans would no longer be oppressed.

Adam Clayton Powell Jr was less than thrilled by the idea, telling the New York Times that African-Americans had “enough problems of our own without the additional burden of Dr. Castro's confusion.

Most people in Harlem, however, were appreciative of Castro's stay. Malcolm X in his autobiography called it “a psychological coup over the US State Department.”

Malcolm X and Castro met on September 19 at midnight. They spoke for about 15 minutes with the help of an interpreter.

The brief encounter, according to reporter Jimmy Booker, who sat on the meeting, “was an exchange of pleasantries — a greeting in terms of the struggle, briefly expressing what it meant to each one of them.”

Reporter Ralph Matthews, who was also there during the meeting, recounted their conversation as:

Malcolm X: “Downtown for you, it was ice, uptown it is warm.'

Castro: “Aahh yes, we feel very warm here.”

Malcolm X: “I think you will find the people in Harlem are not so addicted to the propaganda they put out downtown."

Castro: “I admire this. I have seen how it is possible for propaganda to make changes in people. Your people live here and are faced with this propaganda all the time and yet, they understand. This is very interesting."

Malcolm X: “There are 20 million of us and we always understand.”

(Daily Mail On-Line)

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Wandering in the dark…

Spent Friday night going from Vesuvio's (after two beers and a shot o' Powers Irish Whiskey), wandering around the Mission District in the dark. Popped into Benders located at 19th Street and South Van Ness. Hockey was on the sports screen, so I occupied a bar stool and enjoyed two pints of Pliny the Elder and a dark rum drink, which washed down the killer sandwich and grilled brussel sprouts. Wandered off into the night, finally ending up at Ghirardelli Chocolate on Market Street, and gorged down a huge ice cream sundae. Purchased a bag of peppermint squares, which I gave to the front desk at Green Tortoise travel hostel upon my return. On Saturday, I attended Mass at old St. Patrick's Cathedral on Mission Street. Afterwards had a chat with the priest, who will pray for my getting a permanent place to live. Am presently requesting assistance from the Catholic housing network. Whereas I did perform 23 years of unpaid service work with Catholic Worker to benefit the poorest of the poor, the priest agrees that it would be appropriate for me to have housing for myself in a Catholic environment. Am right this moment on a public computer at the Mechanics Institute Library, enjoying my renewed membership. Holding fast to the Constant, ready for more inspiration to creatively write, accepting all insightful responses. What would you do in this world if you knew that you could not fail?

Craig Louis Stehr


* * *


With all due respect I’d be cautious about drawing parallels with fascism. For one thing, I know people that had direct experience with fascism (these people are old but their memories of that brutal time sound like they’re etched pretty deep) and they disagree with the comparison.

Like you I’ve done some reading on that subject but I come to a different conclusion. I see Trump as an ego maniac whose self-aggrandizing behavior is acutely sick. Having said that, it got him the presidency.

Trump understands what gets attention. His blaring declarations early in the primary campaign about Mexican rapists caused a massive shit-storm. Yeah, it was unworthy but it was impossible to NOT look and THAT got him a leg up. Otherwise he’d have been sidelined and his run would have been seen as a rich-man’s frivolity.

IMO neither the Republicans nor the Democrats had anything for the Heartland except decline and destitution. Trump arrived full of bullshit and bluster looking like he was making it up on-the-fly. On-the-fly or not, what he said sure hit the bulls-eye. That Trump beat BOTH parties should be a testament to their senility. Seeing as we’re giving credit where it’s due, let’s give some more to Trump, he saw it more clearly than anyone.

* * *


Dear Friends,

It is with great sadness that I am sharing the news of Stuart Allen’s passing after an extended illness in the evening on November 22, 2016.

Here’s how I met Stuart Allen:

New evidence in an audio recording from Kent State emerged in 2010 when journalist John Mangels of the Cleveland Plain Dealer commissioned Stuart Allen & Tom Owen, forensic evidence experts, to digitally analyze the Kent State Tape for the very first time.

In the coming days, I will be publishing his obituary and writing at my blog.

Laurel Krause, Fort Bragg
Kent State Truth Tribunal

* * *

SURVIVING POLITICAL PTSD: Give Thanks For The Golden State

by Steve Heilig

'The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice.' — Martin Luther King, Jr.

Trump's victory seems to me a repudiation of American progress, even the fabled "American Dream,” and certainly against Reverend King's famous dream as well. The civil rights, women's, environmental, anti-war and other movements of the 1960s and onward have, for all their failures, been huge positive forces in modern history. This election was a backlash and last gasp of an outdated view of American life — one that actually only ever existed for a few. Whatever Making America Great Again might turn out to really mean, few will partake of that in any positive way due to Trump. It's certainly a big con on many if not most who voted for him, as he's not likely to help anybody other than his fellow wealthy people. It looks like the Bush Jr. scam again — a front guy for the same old power elite, cloaked in fake populism — and we know how that worked out. It's a very old trick, by a very practiced liar. His own "swamp" of cronies already looks to be at least as stinky and corrupt as any in our history, with predictable backpedaling on the catchy promises he made while campaigning. He's just "settled" a fraud lawsuit against him, paying $25 million to avoid more exposure of his shady practices; quite a record before even taking office. I'd wager good money that there has been much chuckling in private about how they suckered millions of rubes with talk of walls, evil immigrants, bringing back jobs, and so on, all with central real goal of cutting taxes and regulations on those who least need or deserve that.

For a relatively recent example of the scenario, consider the murderous kleptocrat billionaire Philippines dictator Ferdinand Marcos, who first came to power in the 1960s with the slogan "This nation can be great again!" Sound familiar?

And then there's all the bigotry and misogyny unleashed, which has been covered widely and which any objective observer should have recognized even before the newly-married 59-year-old was endorsed so enthusiastically by the KKK and taped spewing his pathetic "locker room" boasts. I know his type; in fact I grew up with some of them, a species of privileged permanent frat boys who epitomize those who were "born on third base and thought they hit a triple." But his supporters just didn't seem to care, even if this was the sort of person they would likely avoid in person. And when it was pointed out that many Americans felt threatened in some ways by his hate-mongering, too often they mocked those fears. But it's the ugly angry underbelly of America that has itself been given a "safe space" — witness the resurgence of hateful actions, words — and even a white supremacist rally where Trump was hailed with Nazi salutes. Did I believe or even hope President Hillary Clinton was going to usher in some sort of utopian era of progressive green equality and joy? Of course not. I'm long past expecting much from politicians. But she was undeniably slandered, first for decades by the venal Right and then by the gullible Left. Bernie Sanders, who seemed a great guy overall and did good work injecting his views into the campaign indeed, was never going to win any big chunk of mainstream America. Those who faulted Clinton for being too cozy with "the establishment" flunked American History 1A, for that's the way it always is. "The perfect is the enemy of the good," and each time she was investigated for so-called "scandals," there was little there other than the Clinton arrogance, missed attention to pesky details, and lavish perks that comes with such lofty circles as she has long inhabited. Her faults were nothing compared to Trump's, and as for her qualifications and experience, compared to him she's Abraham Lincoln. But yes, she did blow the campaign.

As for progressives, too many "Berners" were as obnoxious in their True Believer fanaticism as the yahoos at a Trump rally. Some of them still think they know better than Bernie himself, but they don't. And those who just said it didn't matter who won are hugely ignorant of how governmental policies and funding can impact, say, healthcare and the environment for starters. Those of us who have worked on those frontlines or who have themselves suffered know better. And the one time I heard Hillary Clinton in person, she pledged to overturn Citizens United, support rational gun control, keep us on track confronting climate change and other environmental imperatives, preserve reproductive rights, and more, concluding — I wrote this down: "I don't want to see anybody turn back the clock, and that's exactly what's happening... There is so much nonsense and distraction out there and we just have to ignore it, even though it's hard to take all the incoming stuff that is so far removed from facts and reality. But we must stay focused on people and their rights and needs. A unifying, open, tolerant, inclusive vision must win." It didn't — this time. She ignored a bit too much. It's already clear that an "education gap" contributed to her defeat, with less-educated voters going for Trump overall. Science and other crucial topics have long been neglected in our schools, and we are seeing one result in political discourse. It was so dismaying to see real experts, in science, economics, foreign affairs, and so on, who overwhelmingly disdained Trump, ignored. Even smart conservatives, who opposed Trump in droves, had little impact. That's not only distrust of "elites," but mass ignorance. The results of a generation of profiteering propaganda by what even the Wall Street Journal has called the "gutter voices" of American culture — Limbaugh, Breitbart, Coulter, Hannity, and their ilk — has come home to roost with the ultimate angry, know-nothing President-elect. I've watched and listened to these folks. How otherwise intelligent and decent people come to accept their level of discourse as worth anything is baffling and dismaying — it's like a slow poisoning, or being stuck in a bar with an angry ignorant drunk you'd never choose to hang out with, let alone expose your kids to. Now he'll be your leader. We'll all pay for this. Ignorance takes others down with it. Remember the Tea Party of a few years back, and "Keep government out of my Medicare"? Wait until the new regime starts dismantling the ACA, which now serves 20 million Americans with high approval ratings, and gutting Medicare to please Paul Ryan. Angry cuts both ways, but many of the victims will have brought it upon themselves out of ignorance. And their children and grandchildren will suffer even more. As pioneering Stanford environmental scientists Paul and Anne Ehrlich just lamented, "It is quite possible to graduate from Stanford — arguably one of the best universities in the world — without knowing anything of significance about the impacts of population growth, the second law of thermodynamics, ecosystem services, total fertility rates, how the climate works, externalities, exponential growth, the food system, the biology of race, nuclear winter, the limits to growth, Federalism, the history of fascism, or many other topics of critical importance to modern citizens. The lack of understanding of basic science is appalling in many so-called "educated" people and is often dramatically displayed in the mainstream media." True, but that lack is even more marked in the right-wing universe, just as corporate interests desire and design it to be.

Finally, equally disturbing were the self-proclaimed "Christians" who somehow became convinced to support a man who openly violates every ethical precept, Commandments or Deadly Sins or just plain decency, of that faith. I've been dismayed and disappointed to see friends who call themselves Christians swear at Obama over nothing while excusing a man who boasts of grabbing pussies and worse. It seems I give more to charity than Trump and I'm no billionaire. He used $20,000 from his 'charity" to get a painting of.... himself. For those of an apocalyptic bent, Trump might appear a better candidate for the Antichrist than anyone in memory. Toss in the undeniable racist backlash against a black president led by Trump, his own Birther nonsense, and Trump's insults against almost every demographic other than white males, and here we are, looking at some very tough years for those not so privileged as the Man With The Gold Toilet. What Jesus might think about Trump seems to be a question that answers itself.


So, enough complaining; what to do now? How to survive political PTSD (Pre-Trump Stress Disorder)? It seems to me the first concrete and attainable goal might be to regain the Senate in two years, for damage control at a minimum. It's likely that by then some of the implications and deceptions of Trump's many lies and Ill-informed policies will become manifest, and a big angry backlash among even the conned will be underway. People of education and good faith will stand united against this counterproductive, bigoted backlash, and this too shall pass — and it might turn out to be a good bet that Trump soon becomes so mired in scandal and ineptitude that his term, as long as he lasts it out, becomes known as one of the very worst in our history. Just the deficit and rising inequality and regressive impacts of his proposals, and potential conflicts overseas make this a very real probability.

But while he's there, he can't be allowed to become "normalized," as his swamp of bigotry and lies is just not normal or, in fact, American. He will most likely deservedly be looked back upon as we now see Joe McCarthy, or worse. Real American values will survive him. As ex-congressman Barney Frank just observed to The New Yorker, "This was not a wipeout. People will tend to overinterpret it. Remember, we got more votes than they did. And there is one silver living for us. They have succeeded in blaming us for everything that goes wrong in the world. From now on, anything bad that happens is on them. They control the whole government — White House, Senate, House, Supreme Court. Some people think that maybe Trump can somehow evade that responsibility, but I think it will be hard to blame it on some Mexicans when something goes wrong.”

But again, there is much cause for concern in the interim. "I put lipstick on a pig,” Tony Schwartz, who actually ghost-authored the Trump book "The Art of the Deal" told The New Yorker. " I feel a deep sense of remorse that I contributed to presenting Trump in a way that brought him wider attention and made him more appealing than he is. I genuinely believe that if Trump wins and gets the nuclear codes there is an excellent possibility it will lead to the end of civilization.”

Hopefully that fear is overstated, even from someone who actually knows Trump (but recall that Trump's staff had to take his Twitter account away from him, as one might with a impulse-impaired child; but he's already back to ranting and last week even inadvertently started questioning the legitimacy of the election he supposedly won). But some folks have said they want to flee the USA, not that they ever seem to follow through — and not that there would be any real escape from a nuclear mishap. And in any event that urge is irrational — especially in California. In the "fight or flight" urge, we should choose fight. California political leaders both statewide and in our biggest cities have already made statements vowing not to go along with some of Trump's more threatening and pointless campaign promises; other cities like New York are doing likewise. That's a good start.

On a personal level, for now, I keep reminding myself that in my primary field of public health we had the best election in history here: Landmark victories on tobacco and soda taxes, funding health care for the poor, legalized pot to keep kids and nonwhite people out of the money-grubbing "correction" industry, small advances on gun control, a ban on plastic bags, and more. Huge industries threw massive amounts of money and deception to defeat these proposals, but California's voters saw through all that. The net effect will be huge reductions in suffering and premature death — which is what it's all about in our profession. And many good things that start in our state spread elsewhere, even nationwide.

Yes, there's no denying I'm reaching for silver linings here — but I'll take the positive where I can find it, recall that Clinton won the real vote by millions in a repudiation of the sordid Trumpian ethos, and be as grateful as ever to be a lifelong Californian (regarding recounts and evidence of Russian meddling, which even the federal Department of Homeland Security now says are real, we shall see...). In any event, once I come out of this deep dark funk, I guess I'll just keep working for whatever goals where I might have some, big or small, resisting this backlash and in favor of "the moral universe" — however long its arc may turn out to be. For all its faults and failures, America is greater than this. Or damn well better be. But for anybody who still really believes a Trump regime will be good for our nation, or even just for those who voted for him who are not among the fabled "1%" - I have a big beautiful orange bridge for sale, cheap.



  1. Lazarus November 28, 2016

    Colin Kaepernick is a punk, there I said it. This guy is and was a “One trick pony”. He was coddled to near perfection by Jim Harbaugh, but when he left the team confidence issues, and reported injuries led him to this grand standing political crap. That stuff makes a lame attempt to mask the real issue, the league caught up the him, the defenses can predict his game. In the NFL he is done.
    As long as this guy is with the team they will lose, 10 straight and counting… Unfortunately the 49ers ownership is so far in, to this guy, they have little to no choice to use him or pay him off…
    I’m glad I got out when I did, season ticket holder for 25 years…I haven’t watch a complete 49er game this season…Go Raiders…!

    • Bruce Anderson November 28, 2016

      I go back to Kezar and Frankie Albert. He’s as exciting as the best I’ve seen. He had a great game yesterday, a great game. He’s young. Like a lot of young people, especially jocks, he’s had a belated political awakening. A lot of stuff he says is naive, uninformed, hence the irritation, especially among Trumpets and white boys generally, he inspires. I’m glad the Niners didn’t dump him. He can play!

      • Jeff Costello November 28, 2016

        Joe Montana.

        • Jeff Costello November 28, 2016

          Montana turned up on TV selling suits for some SF store. Did he need the money, or should these guys disappear when they’re done?

      • Lazarus November 28, 2016

        He can play…? he’s yet to win this year. I saw the “Catch”, Montana, Young, Garcia, my kid knew him…yuk.
        Smith got screwed all around, Kaps an idiot. We obviously disagree.

      • George Hollister November 28, 2016

        Kaepernick did have a good game. I was surprised. He has been an inconsistent passer throughout his career. Too often he gets the deer in the headlights look, and then screws up. But being a naive, uninformed, inspiration says a lot for our tendency to be inspired by fantasies, and not realities.

        The real inspirations are seen locally, sometimes involving people in school athletics, who have real jobs, and overcome real world hardships. These are the real heros, and they are often reported very well right here in this paper.

        • Lazarus November 28, 2016

          Kaps a fascist, one of his heroes was Castro, he got the T-shirt and everything…
          As always,

          • Peter Warner December 14, 2016

            Well, congratulations, Lazarus (and to the AVA for printing the misinformed elitist tripe originally published in the truly fascist, corporate-owned Miami Herald), on joining the legions of ignorant U. S. nationalists who continue to impugn Castro’s integrity and leadership — let alone calling out an independent thinker who dares to question governmental authoritarianism – we’ll let the widespread support for Kaepernick’s demonstrative support for justice speak to that.

            Castro’s essential crime was resisting U. S. imperialism while ridding his nation of the same class of overprivileged elites that is currently driving the U. S. to the bottom of the world’s capitalistic cesspool. Perhaps the most successful resister of U. S. imperialism since the Monroe Doctrine de facto colonized Latin America, Castro provided inspiration and compassion to his nation for almost 60 years of U. S. subterfuge and propaganda, embargoes and ongoing economic sanctions, and attempted coups, in the process surviving hundreds of CIA/NSA/NED attempts on his life. This all became possible and supremely important to U. S. neocolonialists and racists because Castro chose to lead a revolution that based on justice and respect for life and the earth’s environment. Castro and Cuba have amply demonstrated the sickening truth that capitalism is a crime of greed, negligence, and violence against humanity and the earth. We need more Castros and Kaepernicks and a lot less greed, misinformation, and ignorance.

  2. Bruce McEwen November 28, 2016

    I Called my deplorable cousins in Wyoming and Montana on Sunday to see how their Thanksgiving went — at each house, the news was the same, they said, “We’re all sick with the flu.”

    No surprise there, they come down with the “flu” every year just after Thanksgiving. They all congregate at Uncle Sam and Aunt Ella’s house in Hardin, Montana, the weekend after Turkey Day, and bring various TupperWear bowls from their family dinners, to contribute to a traditional dish, at this longstanding reunion which is held usually on Friday, called “Sam & Ella’s Leftover Turkey Surprise.”

    This year they did it up especially nice, considering how the election turned out, everybody in a jovial, if not downright jingoistic humor, and well…

    It takes 24 to 32 hours for the salmonella virus to incubate, so I can usually start calling early on Sunday morning (in California) and catch them between trips to the toilet, groaning in misery, retching and running off in mid-sentence.

    They were waiting with baited breath and lots of snide jokes to rub it in, about their Youuuge Win! when I called this year (they’ve always chuckled dismissively at me for my liberal views and I expect they wanted to throw a little salt in what they perceive as my political wounds). But the nausea and diarrhea carried the day to my advantage, and I got in some sly digs and verbal gouges that won’t register until after New Year’s Day.

    Good Old Sam & Ella and their leftover turkey surprise! Ya gotta love it!

  3. Randy Burke November 28, 2016

    Where oh where is Odd Bodkins?
    O where oh where can he be?
    With his straight mustache,
    and bespectacled look
    It’s Bodkins I wish to see.

    • Mark Scaramella November 28, 2016

      Last we heard, Mr. O’Neil”s eyesight was failing him. No particulars though. We recently noticed that some of his work has been collected in books available via Amazon, et al.

  4. chuck dunbar November 28, 2016

    Thanks, AVA, for posting Steve Heilig’s, “Surviving Political PTSD.” It’s an intelligent and even mildly hopeful post-election analysis, one of the most incisive I’ve read.

  5. Harvey Reading November 28, 2016


    I hope so too, but cannot agree with the suggestion that the media for the most part are independent. The media that most turn to are owned, and directed, by a few large corporations, not for the public interest and certainly not for the public good.

    I have learned over the years that when someone tells me that what I’m seeing around me is NOT fascism, and then goes on at great length to make the case in support of that assertion, then it’s a damn sure bet that I’m talking to a fascist …

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