- Mayberry WSJ
- Merrell Sentenced
- County Sued
- Inauguration Plans
- Rip-van-Winkle Desk
- The Magic Donald
- Little Dog
- Mr Dog
- CEO Report
- Yesterday's Catch
- Bernie Sandernistas
- Cry Hack
- Outlaw Culture
- Piano Concerts
- Americana Night
SIZABLE FRONT PAGER in today's (Monday’s) Wall St Journal ("The Hidden Hurt of Life on the Beat") spotlights PTSD etc on cops caught up in hellish situations and having to cope with the aftermath. A big portion and the largest photo (inside) is on Fort Bragg’s ex-chief, Scott Mayberry following the killing of Ricky Del Forentino by a rampaging Oregon tweaker.
FORT BRAGG WON'T FORGET THIS GUY FOR A WHILE
Defendant Nicholas Adam Merrell, age 29, a fugitive from Montana, was sentenced last week in the Ten Mile courtroom of the Mendocino County Superior Court to 14 years, 4 months in state prison. The defendant stands convicted of attempted murder with the infliction of great bodily injury by means of a knife. He also stands convicted of residential burglary (entering a residence to commit felony within).
This is the matter in which the defendant attempted to kill a complete stranger in her coast home. Though he had never been to the victim's home and had never met the victim, the defendant nevertheless entered her home late at night, armed himself with two knives, and then started to climb the stairs to the sleeping loft when the victim became aware of a stranger in her home. The victim fought off Merrell and was able to escape to a neighbor’s house with Merrell in pursuit. The neighbor confronted Merrell and shielded the woman from further attack. A 911 call was made for help, with the Sheriff's Office responding. Medical assistance arrived after law enforcement as the woman had suffered multiple stab wounds to her upper torso. Merrell was later located by law enforcement hiding in nearby bushes.
Merrell previously served five years in a Montana prison for criminal mischief and was conditionally released in 2014. At the time of his arrest in Mendocino County last January, Merrell was a fugitive on Montana’s most wanted list. When Merrell completes his California prison sentence, it is expected that he will have additional time to serve in Montana.
The law enforcement agency which investigated the case was the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office. The prosecutors who handled the court proceedings in this matter were Deputy District Attorney Tim Stoen and Kevin Davenport.
JOAN TURNER IS SUING MENDOCINO COUNTY and Interim County Counsel Doug Losak in federal court alleging numerous violations of her constitutional rights. The Supervisors went into closed session at today's meeting (Monday, December 19th) to mull over the case. Ms. Turner was an attorney in the County Counsel's office assigned to child welfare cases. When Doug "Midnight Rambler" Losak was appointed acting County Counsel he became Joan Turner's supervisor. They had a mutual dislike for each other, based at least in part on the Rambler's late night escapades that resulted in his arrest for speeding down the highway with a bag of dope and an unregistered concealed weapon stuffed under the front seat of his car. (If that's the worst thing lawyers did after dark Losak would be up for a gold star for deportment.) Losak was aware that Ms. Turner did not approve of his extracurricular activities, and while she was out on leave for one or more medical conditions (hypo alert!) Losak, she alleges, singled her out for retaliation and discrimination based on age, gender and medical condition. Or maybe because she was an unreasonably prudish pain in the ass, a condition not in the law books. Losak's conduct is alleged to have been so blatantly retaliatory against Ms. Turner that he is being sued as an individual in addition to his official capacity as Mendocino County's attorney. These kinds of cases typically grind on endlessly until the deep pockets County agrees to settle for a hunk of taxpayer cash.
SPEAKING of the inauguration, it’s shaping up as a real riot, and I don’t mean laff riot. Whole lotta kamikazi-style libs are planning on being there to disrupt it, with probably an equivalent number of deplorables planning to make sure the libs don’t.
FROM THE RIP VAN WINKLE DESK at the Press Democrat. Sunday’s editorial: ”War on Drugs has failed; time to rethink strategy.”
Next Sunday: “Vietnam Efforts Failed, Time to Re-Examine U.S. Foreign Policy.” And just in from the PD’s breaking news desk: “Napoleon Suffers Big Defeat At Waterloo.”
AND get yourself a copy of Terry Southern’s wonderful comic novel, The Magic Christian, if you’re puzzled by the Trump phenomena.
A RANDOM COMMENT floated in out of cyber-space about the rise of anti-Semitism with Trump’s election. I thought anti-Semitism was pretty much dead, thanks to the public schools. I mean you need to be able to read well enough to understand the seminal crank lit, but after recent encounters with young locals flying the confederate flag, and quizzing them on where they’re getting their information, I know now that they’re on the ‘net more or less absorbing all kinds of dangerous misinformation. But all the goblins seem to be up and running since the election, including anti-Semitism.
AS A LITTLE KID on the school playground one day, another kid called a pal of mine "a fuckin' yid," mystifying both of us. I trotted on home to ask my mother what a yid was, of course leaving out the fuckin' preface. In those days the f-bomb really was a bomb, or at least the verbal equivalent. If your parents even heard a rumor that you'd deployed it you were in big trouble, very big trouble. Mom said, "Don't ever say that word. For Jews, it's like calling a colored person a nigger." My follow-up question asked her to define what a Jew was, which is where Mum's explanation broke down because I have only a vague memory of her rattling off several names, all of them of people who were "nicer" than most of the other adults children encountered in those helmet-free, unsupervised times, when kids could run loose. Most adults, in my memory were, "Get outtahere, you little bastard. Next time your goddam ball comes over here I'm keepin' it." But in the early 1950s, racial epithets, at least among the aspiring middle class, even among the aspiring middle class that secretly shared the motivating sentiments, the vulgar ethnic terms were considered bad form, class indicators that meant you and your family still weren't even within hailing distance of respectability, let alone gentility. Years later, as a militant lib, I thought back to my deformative years and that episode, which I still remember 70 years later, concluding, perhaps incorrectly, that yid was then routine among Catholics, of which there were many in my elementary school, so many about half my class disappeared after lunch every Friday for catechism lessons at the big church down the street, and inedible fish was served in the school cafeteria. 1950 Catholic kids, I'll bet, were still being taught that Jews killed Christ.
A FRIEND COMMENTS: I grew up in an apartment building owned by my grandfather, all Jewish occupants. The rest of the neighborhood was mostly Irish Catholic, and most of the kids went to St. Nicholas of Tolentine's school. And I would be routinely ridiculed as I walked home.
“HAPPY CHA-NU-KAH, Jew!” That was belched forth in my face as I meekly walked down the LONG street to my house. And the Catholic kids were big on yelling that I killed Christ. I had zero understanding of what they were saying as nothing religious was spoken in my home. I was awed and frightened of a little larger than life size crucifixion scene outside the church I mentioned. We drove by it once in a while. Ditto the Christ head in a bed of thorny straw that hung above the bed of my friend Bernadette. I had not a clue, but both sculptures scared me, but I could not look away. My little grade school brain knew something was very odd. I didn’t get it, really, because my parents never said a negative word about other people — black white grey catholic jewish protestant. It was never brought up to me, except to not stare at people who were different. Since my father was a pragmatic atheist, we had no religious education or ceremony in my home. The best thing to come from being Jewish was getting two four day weekends in the early autumn because of Jewish holy days.
LITTLE DOG SAYS, “I see the boss is talking kid's books. Nobody asked me, but if a better book than 'Lassie' was ever wrote, I don't know about it.”
MR DOG'S CHRISTMAS…
Try “Mr. Dog’s Christmas at the Hollow Tree Inn,” originally published as “Christmas at the Hollow Tree Inn” in “The Hollow Tree and Deep Woods Book” by Albert Bigelow Paine in 1898. It was republished in 2014 by That’s So Enterprises, my daughter Betsy’s company, with new illustrations by Adam McCauley and is available at the Mendocino Book Co. in Ukiah.
OH, THOSE WERE THE DAYS
CATCH OF THE DAY, December 18, 2016
CRAIG BARNETT, Fort Bragg, Community Supervision violation.
JOHN BOLTON IV, Ukiah. Willits. Drunk in public, probation revocation. (Frequent Flyer)
AARYAN FISCHER, Ukiah. ID theft.
MICHAEL FREEMAN, Covelo. Failure to appear, probation revocation.
MITCHELL GRIM, Willits. Failure to appear.
KEATON IRBY, Potter Valley. Drunk in public.
RHANDA JACK, Ukiah. Domestic battery, child endangerment.
KEITH KERL, Willits. Controlled substance, paraphernalia, resisting, probation revocation.
AARON MCIVOR, Willits. Domestic assault, criminal threats, probation revocation.
JESUS MENDOZA, Ukiah. Controlled substance, paraphernalia, no license, false ID.
PATRICIA MOORE, Ukiah. Probation revocation.
KENNETH PARTRIDGE, Fort Bragg. Burglary, controlled substance, paraphernalia, probation revocation.
KEVIN QUIJADA, Ukiah. Petty theft, resisting, probation revocation.
KATELYN WALKER, Ukiah. Mail theft, receiving stolen property, conspiracy.
ZACHARIAH YABES-MAYORGA, Rio Linda/Ukiah. Suspended license.
THAT MAGIC FEELING: The Strange Mystique of Bernie Sanders
by Jeffrey St. Clair
Out of college, money spent
See no future, pay no rent
All the money’s gone, nowhere to go
Any jobber got the sack
Monday morning, turning back
Yellow lorry slow, nowhere to go
But oh, that magic feeling…
—Lennon and McCartney, “You Never Give Me Your Money.”
* * *
Bernie Sanders had come home. Home to New York. Home to the city that fit his accent. Home to the borough that suited his cranky demeanor, his Jewish heritage, his gritty politics. Bernie Sanders wasn’t Clean Gene McCarthy. Sanders could be petulant, moody, even vindictive. A little bit of Brooklyn was still hardwired into his character. Frankly, Sanders always seemed like an interloper in Vermont. Too prickly, urban and disputatious for that verdant and mountainous sliver of WASPish New England. If more of the Brooklyn Bernie had leaked out during the campaign, things might have ended differently.
On a cool night in early April, Bernie stood on the stage in Prospect Park, facing more than 28,000 adoring fans, the largest gathering of the campaign. As he worked his way through his speech, Sanders hit all of the familiar notes—on the minimum wage, single payer health care, free college tuition, the corrosiveness of Super PACS–but he stood a little taller, his voice sounded a little friskier, he seemed fueled by the sense that he just might win the New York primary.
Could New York really be in play? Could Sanders upend the once invulnerable Hillary Clinton in her own adopted state, sending shockwaves through the System? What once seemed impossible now seemed to many Sandernistas tantalizingly within grasp.
This was, of course, the season of the improbable, the rare warping of political time when the odds were being defied week after startling week. This was a primary season in which aliens and the alienated finally featured in guest-starring roles. The mood of the country, sour and aggravated, seemed primed to embrace, for the first time in decades, a real outsider candidate, not so much because they found either of the two self-identified outsiders especially alluring, but because the electorate saw themselves as outsiders, exiles from a political system run by and for a remote and untouchable cabal of corporations, militarists and financial elites.
Nearly all agreed the system was rigged, programmed like some political malware to replicate the same results over and over again, generating torrents of booty into fewer and fewer hands, while leaving the rest of the Republic mired in debt and endless war.
Indeed, war has become the nation’s permanent condition. There seems to be a new one every few months. Few can keep up. And who goes off to fight them? Not many of us, or even people that we know. A new warrior class seemed to have taken root. We noticed them mainly from the decals on their trucks or from their wheelchairs and prosthetic limbs, rarely encountered in the check out line at Safeway.
More and more, machines were doing the war’s wetwork, killing nameless people in nameless regions on the far side of the world, hundreds of miles from any known base of operations. War has become background noise, the ambient soundtrack of our time.
It is one of the great failures of the Sanders campaign that he didn’t try to puncture some of the comforting illusions about American foreign policy. As cruelly as we treat our own citizens, Americans like to believe, in fact must believe, that our country remains a force of light and goodness in the most troubled precincts of the world. We are reluctant warriors, heroes for humanity. Sanders had a rare chance to expose America’s savage imprint on the world to his followers. With more than 800 military bases sprawling across the globe, the American military machine keeps the unruly living under a constant state of nuclear terror, each transgression against the imperial order disciplined and punished by SEAL team assassins, cruise missiles and drone strikes out of the clear blue skies.
The financial condition of the country also seems mired in a mysterious contradiction. The number of billionaires doubles every year, while everyone else is working harder yet falling behind month by month. In fact, the economy, chronically ailing for so long, finally seems to have turned malignant. Everybody knows this. Even the looters. Especially them. And the government is useless. Worse than useless. It exists not to contain the spread of economic disease or to alleviate the suffering, but to repress any minor revolt of the afflicted cells of the Republic. The evidence is all around. In homeless shelters, tent cities, food banks, and unemployment offices. Or under lock and key. One in 31 adults in America is rotting in prison or jail, or living circumscribed lives on probation or parole. Twenty-five years ago, this rate was only 1 in 77. Police are killing a citizen somewhere on the streets of America every 12 hours or so, and every 18 hours that citizen is a black male. In fact, in the first six months of 2016, police had killed 585 people, up from the previous year’s total of 491 killed through June of 2015.
The country is out of joint. It had been for a long time. Was it really possible that the sleepers had awakened? That Tea Partiers and Occupiers, Steelworkers and Black Lives Matter activists, had experienced a simultaneous epiphany? That some kind of convulsive change in the old corrupt orthodoxy was just around the corner? Well, so it seemed to some of us, suckers for almost any wish-fulfillment fantasy, in the crazy winter of discontent in America, circa 2016.
Until that rare flash in New York, Bernie Sanders had largely refused to engage Clinton directly. But in the first real skirmish of the campaign, Sanders indelicately declared that Clinton was disqualified from holding the presidency for taking money from Wall Street and for voting to give George W. Bush the authority to go to war in Iraq. Sanders had finally landed a blow that seemed to stagger Clinton. But it was a parry-and-thrust that Bernie retreated from almost immediately after being hit with a cluster bombing of attacks by Hillary’s praetorian guard of liberal pundits and DNC hacks.
But if Bernie’s blitz through New York was a time of swelling optimism for his campaign, it was also a moment of peak delusion. Bernie had lost the nomination well before he ended up losing New York, in something of a Clinton rout. In fact, the campaign had been over since Super Tuesday, when HRC marched almost unopposed across the South, racking up an insurmountable delegate lead. But the Revolution was defunct the moment Sanders elected to run as a Democrat, a decision he doubled down on months later when he rebuffed Jill Stein’s offer to the head the Green Party ticket and chose to endorse Hillary Clinton without equivocation on Prime Time TV at the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia.
That fateful decision left a pall of evil hanging over the elections. A palpable evil. An evil you could smell. Even many of Hillary’s backers knew she was a force of evil. It’s why they talked so openly and frantically about the logic of lesser evil voting.
They knew she couldn’t be trusted. That whatever Faustian deal she struck with Sanders would not be honored. They knew that Clinton lies smoothly, effortlessly, and icily. That she lies about big and small matters, from her Goldman speeches to TPP, from her personal finances to Libya, from her e-mails to the DNC’s plot to get Bernie. Yes, even Democratic Party loyalists acknowledged her evil ways. But could they really be sure, deep down, that she was truly the lesser evil? What kind of complex calculus yielded the proof?
For the Democrats, the greater evil was Donald Trump, who seemed to rise like some monstrous dirigible on the same political air currents that had sent Sanders aloft. The two outsiders were in a sense alter egos, Sanders’s Dr. Jekyll to Trump’s Mr. Hyde. They spoke about many of the same issues, the same frustrations with the economic and political condition of the country, to strikingly different audiences and in different tones. Trump prevailed because he was willing, indeed eager to burn down the Republican Party house with him. Sanders failed, in large part, because he wasn’t, even when the Democratic Party house, run with the ruthless calculation of any casino, conspired against him.
Trump burst on the scene like a character out of a Burroughs novel, a narcissistic junkie, desperate for his next fix of publicity—jittery, unpredictable, obscene, petulant and brutal. And impossible not to watch. There was a dark and dangerous erotic charge to Trump that was lacking in his rivals, especially from Sanders and Clinton, both of whom projected antiseptic and asexual personas. Trump, on the other hand, emitted the powerful pheromones of doom. At times it was hard to tell whether Trump was running a political campaign or directing a political snuff film.
At Sanders events all the erotic charge surged not from the candidate himself, but the from the energized crowds. His rallies were intense experiences that often felt like political raves. They vibrated, the crowds grooving to that magic feeling.
Hillary, naturally, projected the severe aridity of a tax auditor. Clinton’s foot soldiers looked like an army of grim conscripts going off to wage battle against their own villages. HRC would prevail, but even her most devoted followers knew there would be no fun in the triumph. It seemed unlikely that she could chop down Trump—and for months polls showed Sanders as the better bigot-slayer—Hillary knew all along what she really had to do was wait, wait for Trump to self-destruct. Only Sanders could trip her up and she and the DNC had that unlikely prospect pretty much fixed from the start. She didn’t need to be appealing. Clinton’s calling card was her inevitability.
Trump has been called the new Goldwater. But Goldwater had a theory of the case, an ideology that was austere, formulaic and unyielding. Trump feeds off of rage. From his gold-plated aerie in Trump Tower, the Donald saw the circuits of the old white America shorting out, spraying sparks of anxiety and dread, fear and suspicion. These were the people who believed to their core that they had built America and that the country should put their economic security first. And now they found themselves just scraping by at the end of most months on pay day loans and pawn shops. They were pissed off and they were looking for someone to blame. And Trump fed off their rage like a super villain prowling the streets of Gotham City. His ideology is a pastiche of raging factions: on trade, on immigration, on race, on sexual insecurity, on their incandescent fury at the elites. Not surprisingly, Trump rallies often erupted into spasms of virulent, profane shouting.
Sanders was probing other emotional states. He seemed to play the role of analyst or counselor, an antidote to the despair, alienation and the hopelessness of America’s abandoned children. Sanders rallies – much larger and younger than Trump’s crowd – often left in tears, ecstatic tears, as if the crowds had gone through a kind of collective psychodrama and emerged purged, emotionally spent. It was as if the Sandernistas had finally found someone who “got them,” who heard and felt their laments and gave voice to their longing for connection.
One can see what the Sandernistas were getting out of being part of Bernie’s movement: the thrill of collective action, the buzz of being in the midst of a tumultuous, even slightly dangerous political force. But what about Sanders himself? What compelled Bernie Sanders, at his age, to keep up the grueling grind of the campaign, especially when he knew (and he had to know, didn’t he?) how it was all going to end? Validation for decades of work? Ego gratification? Did he labor under any guilt for leading his bright young legions of believers right into the dark vaults of the neoliberal machine they’d been warring against? Or in Bernie’s mind was that, to use James Baldwin’s phrase, just the price of the ticket for the wild trip he’d taken them on? Hard to say. At a personal level, Sanders remains opaque, inscrutable. Politically, he sticks rigidly to his old script, even long after the point when his performances have entered into reruns.
Where Trump breathes fire, Sanders often exhales a kind of sourness, emblematic, perhaps, of the unpalatable nature of the political machine he found himself locked inside of. Sanders ended up a prisoner of his politics, of his fatal decision to run inside the Democratic Party instead of against it. Sanders offered revolution, but the targets of the revolution could never be precisely stated. The beast could not be named, because it had been inculcated, reared and unleashed on the nation by his very own party. So it often seemed as if Sanders was speaking in a kind of code. Indeed as the campaign went on, one began to hope that he was speaking in code, that there was a subliminal dimension to his rhetoric that was being picked up and deciphered by an underground movement ready to rise up against the unnamed enemy—neoliberalism—and its chief practitioners: Obama and the Clintons. But, alas, it was not to be.
Sanders’s losing campaign, a campaign fated to lose, was not a campaign that attracted losers, not even beautiful losers. By and large, the Sandernistas were not social outcasts, not the homeless, the marginalized and the downtrodden. They weren’t black or Chicano. No. The Sandernistas were not scruffy street urchins and Bernie Sanders was not our political Dickens. They were raised in the suburbs of Madison and Denver on the white bread virtues of the old American Dream, a promise that had evaporated before their very eyes. They were educated and vested in the System, with enough social and economic status to have a credit score and acquire a mound of debt. The challenge for the Sandernistas will be to get beyond their sense of personal and political betrayal and to finally connect their movement for revolutionary change with the long-standing grievances of the American underclass.
In the end, Trump proved to be something of a superficial storm, a dusty twister, ripping across the surface of the country, leaving only minor structural damage in its wake. Sanders, though, seemed to be tapping into some deeper strata, down into the psychic fault lines of the nation, probing hidden fractures that might shift and quake at any moment. Yet the senator seemed insensate to the exact nature of the political and emotional schisms his campaign had helped expose. As the weeks went on, the fervency of his crowds swelled, yet Sanders seemed not to notice the expectant mood, the palpable yearning of his adherents. He kept giving the same stump speech at event after event, numb to the hunger of the beast he had awakened. In a weird way, Sanders and Trump ended up sharing one more attribute as outsider politicians. Ultimately, their campaigns proved to be more about the candidates themselves than any great political principle or ideological crusade.
Where Trump blustered about “making America great again,” Sanders actually presented himself, symbolically at least, as being from a time when America thought of itself not only as great but also as good. Sanders stood behind his podium like a kind of Old Testament embodiment of the rapidly eroding Codes of the New Deal and the Great Society. In an age of accelerating national anxiety, the metaphysical promise of Bernie Sanders seemed to be that perhaps America could at least be humane.
But as the election proved, it’s a thin line between hope and hate. If Trump acted like an existential pest, a confidence man manipulating the basic impulses of a Hobbesian mob, Sanders offered, in his opaque manner, the soothing notion that the rusty gears of a long-neglected government machine could still be retooled to comfort and uplift. In this way, he revealed that he really was an antiquated Democrat, preaching socialism for a collapsing middle class.
Here then was the key to unlock the appeal of Bernie Sanders and his ultimate failure. At one of those rare, epochal moments, when the nation, preoccupied by the nature of its identity and obsessed with its engagement with the world, seemed to be searching desperately for a new logic to its existence, Sanders was punching a collective ticket back to a past that never existed.
This article is excerpted from Bernie and the Sandernistas: Field Notes From a Failed Revolution.
What I’m listening to this week.
Corey Henry: Lapeitah
Marcus Strickland’s Twi-Life: Nihil Novi
Brandee Younger: Wax & Wane
Donald Harrison & Dr. John: Indian Blues
Yussef Kamaal: Black Focus
What I’m reading this week.
Sue Carpenter: 40 Watts From Nowhere: a Journey Into Pirate Radio
Hideo Oguma: Long, Long Autumn Nights: Selected Poems
The Worst Betrayal
Simone Weil: “Whether the mask is labeled fascism, democracy, or dictatorship of the proletariat, our great adversary remains the apparatus—the bureaucracy, the police, the military. Not the one facing us across the frontier of the battle lines, which is not so much our enemy as our brothers’ enemy, but the one that calls itself our protector and makes us its slaves. No matter what the circumstances, the worst betrayal will always be to subordinate ourselves to this apparatus and to trample underfoot, in its service, all human values in ourselves and in others.”
(Jeffrey St. Clair is editor of CounterPunch. His new book is Killing Trayvons: an Anthology of American Violence (with JoAnn Wypijewski and Kevin Alexander Gray). He can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org. Courtesy, CounterPunch.org.)
THE DEEP STATE BLUES
by James Kunstler
Lest you wonder, not only did I not vote for Mr. Trump (or Hillary), but I relished heaping opprobrium on him during the election campaign. Just so you know, I’m not advocating for him, but I’m alarmed that the Deep State (the White House + the Intel Agency gang) now appears to be trying to hack the electoral college vote against him.
The headline deployed everywhere last week, “Russia Hacks Election,” was designed by the Deep State players to deviously lead the broadly dim public to think that Russia somehow interfered with the balloting process, which was not possible since voting machines are not hooked up to the internet. And then it was repeated endlessly by the cable news networks and the newspapers, under the number one rule of propaganda: that if you repeat something often enough, the public will swallow it.
This dishonest meme was also designed to distract the public from the substance of the emails disclosed by WikiLeaks — namely, the scamming and trickery of the Democratic National Committee (DNC), and the influence-peddling of Hillary Clinton and the Clinton Foundation, which had her flirting with indictment last summer, and only reinforced her already-established public image as an unscrupulous person.
The New York Times especially worked the “Russia Hacks Election” story to a fare-the-well, saying in its Sunday edition:
The Central Intelligence Agency has concluded that Moscow put its thumb on the scale for Mr. Trump through the release of hacked Democratic emails, which provided fodder for many of the most pernicious false attacks on Mrs. Clinton on social media.
False attacks? What, that Hillary’s cronies put the DNC’s “thumb on the scale” against Bernie Sanders? That Donna Brazille gave Hillary debate questions beforehand? That as Secretary of State Hillary gave more face-time to foreign supplicants based on their contributions to the Clinton Foundation, and expedited arms deals for especially big givers? That she collected millions in speaking fees for sucking up to Too-Big-To-Fail bankers? That The Times and The WashPo and CNN reporters were taking direction from Hillary’s PR operatives?
Consider, too, how the Deep State “Russia Hacks Election” meme was ramped up to top volume coincidentally the week before the electoral college vote, as a last-ditch effort was launched by the old-line media, the diehard Hillary partisans, and a bunch of Hollywood celebrities, to persuade electoral college delegates to switch their votes to deprive Trump of his election victory.
President Obama did his bit to amplify the message by coloring Russian President Vladimir Putin as being behind the so-called hacking because “not much happens in Russia without, you know, Vladimir Putin,” just like not much happened in old Puritan New England without the involvement of Old Scratch. So now we have an up-to-date Devil figure to stir the paranoid imaginations of an already divided and perturbed public.
Hillary and her supporters have vehemently asserted that “seventeen intelligence agencies” agree with the assessment that Russia hacked the election. It might be greater news to the American people to hear that there actually are seventeen such agencies out there. Perhaps Mrs. Clinton or Mr. Obama might explain exactly what they are beyond the CIA, the FBI, the DIA, the NSA, and DHS. Personally, I feel less secure knowing that there are so many additional surveillance services sifting through everybody’s digital debris trail.
There’s been some chagrin among more prudent observers that neither the various Intel gang chiefs, including James Clapper, overall Director of National Intelligence, nor the White House have provided a shred of evidence that WikiLeaks got the Hillary emails from the Russians. One might even suppose that we discovered the hack by hacking the Russians, perhaps even Mr. Putin’s personal iPhone — but, wait a minute… we don’t intrude on other nations’ business. We don’t use the internet to spy (!) on anybody.
It will be interesting to see how Mr. Trump gets along with the Intel gang when (and if) he actually makes it into the oval office. It’s nice to think that he will fire a bunch of them, and then fire a bunch more, and maybe take a good hard look at these seventeen security and surveillance agencies and maybe shut a few of them down. In the meantime, their activity begins to look like the attempted coup d’état I warned about a few months ago.
Forgive me for changing the subject so briskly, but there was another front page piece in The New York Times on Sunday that kind of said it all about where that Old Gray Lady’s collective head is at these days. Behold this quote from the story What Women Really Think of Men:
As the country prepares to revert to white male rule, our common condition for all but eight of the last 240 years, we should think harder about why we assume so little of men, including ones we may be married to. Too many men don’t prove those expectations wrong, and are rewarded anyway with prizes like the presidency.
(Support Kunstler’s writing by visiting his Patreon Page: https://www.patreon.com/JamesHowardKunstler?ty=h)
ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY #1
Isn't it ironic that all this environmental travesty related to illegal grows snowballed from the back to the land'ers/hippies disregard for the law. They're the ones who initially supplied the market by selling their extra to make a few bucks. Demand then steadily increased year after year with greedy hippies then growing more to meet the demand and make more under the table cash. Unintended consequences. It's never a good thing when people simply do what they want instead of working to change the law if they disagree with it through our lawful and democratic processes that are in place. It's ironic that the so called environmentalist hippies created an environmental crisis of their own. Now all the cannabis smpathizers can respond as usual: "It's greedy people from out of the area. The damage compared to the loggers is tiny..."
* * *
ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY #2
A lot of non locals but a lot of it is the local hippie kids. They grew up in an outlaw culture. No respect for authority or the law. Now we're third and fourth generation grower. Seems like each generation is even more fucked up than the last. The degree of not giving a shit about anything but themselves gets worse and worse.
25TH ANNUAL PROFESSIONAL PIANIST CONCERT JANUARY 6-8
The weekend of January 6 - 8, 2017 marks the 25th Anniversary of The Professional Pianist Concert. In celebration of this momentous occasion, there will be three concerts featuring 12 different pianists. Featured performers this year are Spencer Brewer, William Beatty, Elena Casanova, Wendy deWitt, John Gilmore, Frankie J, Tom Ganoung, Chris James, Elizabeth MacDougall, Ed Reinhart, Paula Samonte, Charlie Seltzer and John Simon. The music will range from classical to jazz, boogie-woogie to Cuban, Broadway to ragtime.....each performance will be different! A special treat this year will be vocalist Paula Samonte joining different performers each evening.
The series features seven pianists on stage each evening in a living room environment throughout the event trading stories and songs with two pianos on stage to accommodate impromptu collaborations. This popular event is an annual sellout because of the diversity, quality of a multitude of styles of music and humor that takes place throughout the evening. There will also be a special 25 year retrospective video presentation.
Friday, January 6 will feature Spencer Brewer, William Beatty, Elena Casanova, John Gilmore, Elizabeth MacDougall, Ed Reinhart and Charlie Seltzer. Saturday, January 7th’s performance will feature Spencer Brewer Elena Casanova, Wendy deWitt, Tom Ganoung, Chris James, Elizabeth MacDougall and John Simon. Sunday afternoon’s performance will feature Spencer Brewer, Elena Casanova, Tom Ganoung, Frankie J, Chris James, Elizabeth MacDougall and Ed Reinhart. No two concerts will be the same, so if you love piano and piano music, enjoy more than one performance, as they all will be different!
Tickets are on sale at Mendocino Book Co. and dig Music! in Ukiah, Mazahar in Willits and Watershed Books in Lakeport. Tickets are $15 general admission and $25 "I ‘Wanna’ See the Hands" limited seating. For more information call (707) 707-391-8374.
The Ukiah concert benefits the Mendocino College Foundation and the Allegro Scholarship Program. Sponsors are Sparetime Supply, Ken Fowler Auto, Savings Bank of Mendocino, Mendocino College Foundation, Ukiah Civic Light Opera, Willits Furniture Center, Waterman Plants, K-WINE/MAX, KOZT-The Coast and KZYX/Z. There will be autographed CD's by the artists for sale in lobby. Refreshments will be provided by Ukiah Civic Light Opera.
AMERICANA NIGHT EVENT DATE: JANUARY 19, 2017
Americana Night Launches New Year with Feel Good Fun from The Bootleg Honeys Cloverdale Arts Alliance continues to offer original Americana acts on third Thursdays! Cloverdale, December 19, 2016 -- On Thursday, January 19, Americana Night will kick it up with Bay Area songbirds, The Bootleg Honeys. Since the summer of 2012, The Bootleg Honeys have quickly become one of the Bay Area's favorite live Americana acts. December 2015 brought the release of "Paint it Red," their debut full length album featuring 11 original songs. The album receives regular air play on Sonoma County radio, and beyond, and has been enthusiastically embraced by local fans. In 2016, founding members Katie Phillips and Alison Harris welcomed singer songwriter Karen Joy Brown and drummer Mark Tarlton into the Bootleg family. With an undeniable chemistry, and appreciation for authentic songwriting and music making, The Bootleg Honeys are bound to make you smile, stomp your feet and leave you wanting more! Americana Night, a production of the Cloverdale Arts Alliance, is located at 204 N. Cloverdale Blvd. Tickets are $15 for Cloverdale Arts Alliance members and $20 for non-members. Doors open at 7:00pm; music from 7:30 - 9:30pm. Americana Night takes place the third Thursday of each month from October through May. The wine sponsor for Americana Night is Rodney Strong Vineyards. To receive reserved seating privileges purchase advance tickets online at www.cloverdaleartsalliance or at the Cloverdale Arts Alliance during normal business hours. Tickets are available at the door. Americana Night is a program of the Cloverdale Arts Alliance, a non-profit arts organization bringing cultural arts to northern Sonoma County. Other CAA programs include Friday Night Live at the Plaza, Art Gallery, THE Jazz Club, Sculpture Trail, Music Workshops, Discovering Art Series, Art Classes, The Blues Session, and Special Events.