- NY Taxi Party
- Little Dog
- Inmate Jobs
- Public Education
- Ukiah Lawsuit
- Phone Scam
- Suicide Net
- Scorcese Movie
- FB Camping
- Unity Club
- Yesterday's Catch
- Canada Immigration
- Orange Menace
- Crab Disaster
- Solar Story
- Trump's Wall
- Who Cares
- Private Property
- Single Payer
- Survey Says
- Caring Mutuality
- Library Events
JFK AIRPORT ROILED BY PROTESTS AGAINST TRUMP’S IMMIGRATION BAN.
Taxis, trains & Uber all affected as crowds descend on airport
by Andrew J. Hawkins
The New York Taxi Workers Alliance called for a temporary ban on pick-ups at John F. Kennedy Airport as a protest against President Trump’s ban on refugees from seven Muslim-dominated countries. The alliance, which represents a wide swath of yellow taxi drivers in New York City, called for a temporary stoppage of pick-ups and drop-offs at JFK between 6-7 PM on Saturday.
“Drivers stand in solidarity with thousands protesting inhumane & unconstitutional,” the alliance tweeted. The group also posted a photo of a desolate-looking Terminal 4 at the airport to illustrate its boycott.
Trump’s executive order, which bans visa holders from the seven countries from entering the country for 90 days, bans refugees from entering the US for 120 days and also establishes an indefinite ban on Syrian refugees, has sparked protests and chaos at JFK airport. More protests are planned in the coming days. Hundreds of activists gathered to call for the release of a handful of refugees and immigrants who are being detained at the airport, as customs officials seek more clarification from the White House as to the extent of the ban.
The Verge has reached out to the alliance for more information and will update this story when we hear back.
It’s unclear whether Uber stands to benefit at all from the brief yellow cab strike at one of the nation’s busiest airports. Previously, Uber CEO Travis Kalanick wrote on Facebook that the ride-hailing giant was working to identify drivers who might be stuck overseas in order to compensate them while they wait for the restrictions to be lifted.
Uber’s compensation plan was notable for how quickly it was announced following Trump’s immigration ban. Kalanick, among other tech CEOs, is a member of a policy group established to advise Trump on economic and policy issues. A spokesperson said the company did not have advance notice of Trump’s Muslim ban, noting that the compensation plan was conceived today and was still being worked out.
Asked if Kalanick was reconsidering his participation in Trump’s advisory group, the spokesperson said it was not, adding that Kalanick was going “to raise this issue at the first meeting on Friday in DC.”
Update, January 28th, 7:34PM ET:
The mass protest at JFK airport against Trump’s Muslim ban has apparently led police to restrict access to the AirTrain. The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which operates the AirTrain, tweeted that it “respects the right to protest,” but is controlling access due to overcrowding conditions.
Meanwhile, Uber just tweeted that it has deactivated surge pricing at JFK airport during the duration of the protests. Uber did not register a huge spike of demand during the temporary work stoppage for yellow taxis. Nonetheless, the ride-hailing company determined it was best to turn off its price multiplier for rides to and from the airport so as not to look like it was profiting during the unrest.
Update January 28th, 8:13PM ET:
The AirTrain shutdown at JFK has apparently been reversed by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, according to the governor’s director of communication director. And in a statement, Cuomo says he directed the MTA and the New York State Police “to assist with transportation and security needs to ensure the safety of all those participating.”
That may help alleviate some of the tension at JFK right now, but given the size of the crowds and the uncertainty surrounding those who have been detained by customs officials, it will take something much bigger than a working AirTrain to bring calm to the scene.
Cuomo has also ordered the New York State Department of State and his counsel’s office to assist those who have been detained at JFK. “This is not who we are, and not who we should be,” the governor said.
LITTLE DOG SAYS, “My cousin from Dogistan was held up at the airport today, but the ACLU got him past customs.”
BRING BACK THE INMATE CREW
To the Editor:
In the January 4 AVA there was a short letter published commenting on the sorry condition and kill policy of the Ukiah Animal Shelter. Following the letter was an Ed Note asking, "What ever happened to the inmate crews who used to help out?"
As an inmate worker at Mendocino County's most popular bed and breakfast, I'm happy to shed some light on what occurred.
I need to let you know that I'm in the men's jail and the shelter crew was staffed by the women's jail, so this story is second-hand. But it is true to the best of my knowledge.
Apparently, the ambitions of one of the inmates combined with a lack of oversight by the shelter's management led to a situation where said inmate’s boyfriend was traveling to the shelter for conjugal visits. When these animal lover transgressions were exposed, the entire program was shut down.
I've made numerous inquiries to the jail staff and inmate services resulting in absolutely no indication that the program will be reinstated. I also have not received replies to the letters I have written to Sheriff Tom Allman and the shelter management. (I wonder if anyone but the AVA even opens mail from random inmates?) I think it sucks that such a needed and mutually beneficial program should remain spoiled because of one bad apple.
I can't speak for the women's jail, but on the men's side there are less than 25 total positions available on the various work crews for the 48 inmates eligible to fill them. We currently have at least two inmates with shelter experience and several others who have expressed an interest in learning. The shelter needs the help and we need the jobs.
I understand that the shelter has recently hired head honcho Richard Molinari who boasts an impressive 20+ years of law enforcement experience. There's no doubt that he should be better equipped than his predecessor to responsibly utilize the inmate workforce.
Hopefully there are some readers out there in the free world who are willing to contact the powers that be in an effort to bring the inmate work crews back to the Ukiah Animal Shelter.
Shannon Barden A# 23422
951 Low Gap Road, Ukiah, CA 95482
A RECENT STORY in the Ukiah Daily Journal described "A group of 16 Ukiah High School teachers gathered to show their support for public education, along with their concern over the nomination of Betsy DeVos as Education Secretary, by wearing red to school on Wednesday."
TRUMP is rolling grenades into lots of protected apparatuses, and no apparat is more deserving of a major takedown than the public ed apparatus which, because of its own impervious sloth and lack of intelligent pedagogic leadership has managed to estrange millions of parents.
"KARINA EDWARDS," the article continues, "Ukiah High School English teacher.” “The main thing that we are very concerned about is the future of education, given the fact that we have Betsy DeVos as our potential…Secretary of Education. She has no experience, and mainly, she doesn’t believe in the philosophy of public education – the idea that education should be free for all students and that all students get an equal start. She promotes charter schools. She [has a] highly religious background. It’s a positive message, but we also are very concerned about the possibility of her next week getting confirmed by the Senate.”
MS. EDWARDS' statement, and not to pick on her, throws an ungrammatical bone to religion's "positive message," a debatable statement and one of those critical thinking exercises right there the school people are always telling us is one of their goals. But she more clearly makes the point that public ed was supposed to give everyone enough of the fundamentals to have a fair shot at success, which still seems to mean rewarding work fairly compensated. The old idea was to assimilate immigrant children into their new country and to teach them to read well enough to decode the fine print and make reasonable political choices. If that ever happened on a mass scale it certainly doesn't happen anymore.
ABOUT THE TIME schools went to metal detectors at learning's gate, and policemen in the halls, it was already past time to re-think public ed. But the teacher's unions are an important auto-vote for career officeholders of the Democratic sub-species who get auto-re-elected by promising more money to public schools, while the public schools say give us more and we'll do better.
FACT IS, the well-to-do abandoned the public schools years ago. Look around San Francisco about 8am and you'll see white and Asian children getting on buses for private schools. Ditto for a tiny minority of the sons and daughters of professional black and Hispanic parents. And put a glass of wine into all those parents and they'll say, "We're not racists but we can't send our kids to unsafe, over-crowded schools presided over by people who don't know or care about what they're doing."
ENTER this Trumpian nut, Betsy DeVos, fronting for educational entrepreneurs like John Hall of Blackbird Farms, Philo. Hall's a multi-millionaire via publicly-funded charter schools. Under Trump, he, or someone like him, could wind up raking off a large number of Mendocino County's students, a number of whom are already in charter schools in Ukiah and Willits because their parents are unhappy with the public schools whose resistance to substantive change may be about to get them killed.
I THINK it's clear that American elementary schools do a good job of teaching the little savages to read and do basic math. But when those savages grow larger, and their hormones begin to moan, and our savage culture captures them, well, try your hand at a classroom of thirty to forty 12-to-14 year olds.
REPEATING an old story of mine that convinced me the entire educational system should be blown up and re-assembled occurred at a high school basketball game a dozen or so years ago. The Boonville hoopsters fire out of their locker room and onto the gym floor to full-blast lyrics celebrating the more demented joys of criminality. So I asked the principal if he thought it was appropriate. "Hey," he replied, "the kids like it."
UKIAH has already spent four mil defending itself against, basically, itself. Or what should be merely another branch of itself. Ukiah is in an apparently endless suit with the Ukiah Valley Sanitation District, and why a city sewer system should exist apart from the city it serves is yet another Only In Mendo ironies.
AND NOW UKIAH finds itself as defendant against a state group that brought us the disaster of Prop 13 called the Howard Jarvis Taxpayer Association. The Jarvis Gang says Ukiah's recent tax increase to repair its failing streets is illegal. Technically, it probably is, and the Jarvis Gang is so well-funded it can keep Ukiah in court for eternity if Ukiah resists the Gang's suit.
THE REAL PROB with Ukiah is an overpaid and overlarge administrative apparatus coupled to a city council that is, ah, well, to put it bluntly… a city council not equipped to make responsible decisions and, as is often the case in Mendocino County, a city council wholly supine before its own administrators.
* * *
CITY OF UKIAH SERVED WITH A LAWSUIT CHALLENGING VALIDITY OF VOTER-APPROVED MEASURE Y
UKIAH 1/23/2017 – The Howard Jarvis Taxpayer Association (HJTA) has filed a lawsuit against the City of Ukiah, seeking to invalidate Measure Y, the recently passed general sales tax measure that will provide funding for essential services including much-needed street repairs through a half-percent sales tax increase.
HJTA, based in Sacramento and Los Angeles, claims that the advisory Measure Z on the same ballot, which asked the voters whether the revenue from Measure Y should be used to repair and maintain City streets, converted the measure from a general to a special tax. Under Proposition 218, a general tax can pass by a simple majority vote. A special tax imposed for a specific purpose requires 2/3 or more voters in the election to vote in favor. Measure Y passed by a majority vote.
According to Ukiah City Attorney David Rapport, HJTA lost this argument when it challenged a county tax in 1998, relying on Proposition 62 and Article XIII in the State Constitution, which, like Proposition 218, requires a majority vote for a general tax and a 2/3 vote for a special tax. In that case, the court ruled that advisory measures, as the name suggests, are advisory, not binding on the county in that case. Because Measure Z was advisory only, Rapport says that the Ukiah City Council’s intent to use the revenues from Measure Y to repair City streets does not convert it from a general tax to a special tax.
Ukiah City Manager Sage Sangiacomo stated, “It’s unfortunate to be hit with ambush litigation that will cost local taxpayers and deter resources from City services. The City Council conducted a number of open and public workshops and meetings starting at the beginning of 2016 regarding the need for a locally controlled funding source that could be used for street repair and maintenance. During the formation and consideration of the ballots measures, none of the plaintiffs brought forward any concerns now expressed in the lawsuit.”
The complaint was recently served on the City. It will take months before the court will have to decide this case.
Sage Sangiacomo, Ukiah City Manager
THE LATEST PHONE-SCAM
A READER WRITES: I got one of these calls a couple of days ago. I may have said "yes" just before realizing it was a robot call. Very convincing, the female voice came on, sounded like she was having trouble w/her phone, then said, "Oh, sorry, my headset fell off -- can you hear me?" Do NOT say "yes" in response. I recognized that it was a bogus call from conversations with co-workers, so am pretty sure I went straight to "you're not even a human, are you?" followed by a few profanities, lol. Here's the bottom line: even if the 'person' identifies themself by first name, wait ten seconds before saying anything -- or say something random, but NOT 'Yes'...
Read this, it will take two minutes:
THE SUICIDE NET for the Golden Gate Bridge is four years from completion but, the Bridge Authority says, work on the $200 million project will soon commence. It will consist of a steel net placed 20 feet below the bridge and 20 feet out from it. It was originally projected to cost $76 million, but when the bids started coming in, projected costs more than doubled, with the diff now funded with new money from the Metropolitan Transportation Commission, Caltrans and the bridge district itself.
THE NUMBER of annual jumpers is kept secret, but the people taking that last leap is considerable given that the Bridge District, just this year, has added five people to its intervention team, bringing the total number to 22 persons whose job it is to talk the despairing out of jumping. The Bridge says 138 persons were persuaded from the edge in 2016.
SILENCE. Not you, dear reader, the movie, Scorcese's latest. It's beyond bad, makes a Boonville rube wonder how it got made. But it did get made and I paid $7.50 long enough to experience some severe penitence myself. Excuse me while I veer off into some free association. About ten years ago, I attended a traditional Catholic funeral for a relative at the big Catholic church in Santa Rosa. I was early, in plenty of time to look at the church itself, modern architecture of the non-inspirational type which could easily be converted to a House of Pancakes or a drive-up bank. But there was one thing about it I'll always remember. A truly reverent man was absolutely prostrate before the altar. Or maybe he was nuts, not that he looked nuts and not that I wasn't moved by his faith. I was the only other person in the room, so he wasn't faking it for any possible audience. Whoever he was, that guy would enjoy Silence, the movie, two hours of badly acted 17th century torment as allegedly experienced by missionary Jesuits in Japan.
CITY OF FORT BRAGG’S CAMPING ORDINANCE
The City of Fort Bragg has adopted a City Ordinance to address a number of public health, safety, welfare and quality of life issues. Illegal camping often results in creating a public nuisance. The unsanitary conditions from human waste and trash create an unhealthy environment and safety issues for both the campers and the public. At times, persons who camp illegally on public and private property interfere with the use of such property, and may even hinder or obstruct free passage on public property.
9.66.020 Unlawful Camping
It is unlawful and a public nuisance for any person to camp, establish, maintain, operate or occupy camp facilities, or use camp paraphernalia in the following areas:
- Any public property; or
- Any private property, provided, however, that this prohibition does not apply to:
- Overnight camping on private residential property by friends or family of the property owner or person in lawful possession of the property, as long as the owner or lawful occupant consents, and the camping does not create a public or private nuisance;
- Camping in Mobil Home Parks and Special Occupancy Parks; and
- Camping on Public or Private Property in connection with a special event, when authorized pursuant to Section 9.66.030.
9.66.030 Special Event Permit
The Community Development Director or his or her designee may issue a Limited Term Permit pursuant to Section 17.71.030 of the Coastal Land Use and Development Code or Section 18.71.030 of the Land Use and Development Code for camping during special events. Special event as used herein, means, “an event sponsored by the City or a non-profit or community-based organization of not more than 72 hours duration, which is conducted for the purpose of promoting sports, education, or other charitable activities.
9.66.040 Storage of Camp Paraphernalia
It is unlawful and a public nuisance for any person to store camp paraphernalia in the following areas:
- Any public property: or
- Outside a structure on any property without the prior written consent of the owner.
9.66.050 Penalty for Violation Any violation of this Chapter shall be deemed an infraction and upon conviction thereof shall be punishable as provided in Chapter 1.12 (fine and/or jail).
10.20.261 Regulating Vehicle Habitation on Public Streets and Other Public Property
- Except in a verifiable emergency, no person shall use any vehicle parked or standing upon any public street, alley, right-of-way, public park or other public property as a temporary or permanent substitute for a residence or dwelling unit.
- For the purposes of this section, evidence that a vehicle is being used as a temporary or permanent substitute for a residence or dwelling unit shall include, but not be limited to, use of the vehicle for living, sleeping, cooking and/or bathing purposes.
UNITY CLUB NEWS
Welcome all; you are invited to a public meeting with Anne Molgaard of the Mendocino Health and Human Services Agency. Come to the Fairgrounds Dining room at 1:30, this Thursday, February 2nd, for cookies and coffee (or tea), and an enjoyable presentation.
Unity Club members, please remember that our Guest Luncheon will begin at 12:30. It will be delicious for sure. Our hostess crew will be lead by Val Hanelt, with Nancy Wood and Miriam Martinez. Rain will probably join us, but nothing like two weeks ago. My driveway was flooded out three times. It's a good thing I had a stockpile of books to read.
Next month we will meet at the regular time, 1:30. Our program will be the Mendocino Community Foundation, presented by Maureen Bowman. The meeting will be on March 2nd.
Preparations are ongoing for the Annual Wildflower Show on April 22nd and 23rd from 10 to 4; admission is FREE! We will be pairing up with Goatfest 2017 again this year.
The Community Library will be closed on some Saturdays in February when the Fairgrounds are being used for special events. Check "Library Lines" for those dates, because I failed to write them in my notebook. I wrote everything on my British to American word list; sorry.
Happy Chinese New Year! Do I have to make more resolutions? If so, I'll add "lift carefully" to "don't fall down." Put those no slip strips down on the ramp and stairs.
I hope to see you on Groundhog Day, February 2nd; 12:30 for the Luncheon or 1:30 for the presentation.
CATCH OF THE DAY, January 28, 2017
ABEL AGUADO, UKIAH. Ccntrolled substance, probation revocation.
PATRICK CALESTINI, Redwood Valley. DUI.
OSCAR DIAZ-RAYA, Ukiah. Metal knuckles, probation revocation.
EMERY ELLINGWOOD, Kelseyville/Ukiah. Drunk in public, probation revocation. (Frequent flyer.)
PAUL FLYNN, Hopland. Loaded firearm in public.
SCOTT FRANKS, Ukiah. Loitering, convicted felon with firearm, conspiracy, probation revocation.
AMEEN GAZALI, San Francisco/Ukiah. Probation revocation.
MACHAELANGELO HERNANDEZ, Newport Beach/Ukiah. Honey oil production, pot sales, possession of more than an ounce of pot.
DEANNA MADRID, Calpella. Domestic assault, battery on peace officer, resisting.
RAFAEL MATA JR., Ukiah. Under influence, paraphernalia, probation revocation.
SALVADOR PEDROZA, Willits. Loaded firearm in public, under influence in possession of weapon, paraphernalia.
CHRISTOPHER ROSEN, Santa Rosa/Ukiah. DUI-drugs.
JORGE SANCHEZ, Fort Bragg. Under influence, county parole violation.
CANADA’S IMMIGRATION PATH
An interesting article in the New York Times - 'Offering a Path to Citizenship, Canada Beckons Foreign Students'.
Canada has a thinly spread, aging population and declining birthrate. International students is part of the strategy to change the demographics with well-educated skilled workers through the university system. To fill the needs of the future their immigration-selection system, Express Entry, will make it easier for international students to become citizens. Before I discuss the number of international students in Canada it needs to be remembered Canada's population of 36.5 million is only 11% of the population of the United States at 325.5 million. In Canada in the 2015-16 year international students numbered over 350,000 or 1% of the population, In the US only one-third of 1% of the population are international students. Canada expects to have 500,000 international students in 10 years and according to a survey more than half the students plan to stay and become citizens. International citizens pay more tuition than Canadian citizens and going to Universities in all parts of Canada. The come from numerous countries with a large contingent from China. The article indicates in general Canadians approve of the program although there is resentment on the part of less educated mostly white work force. About half comes from China and the government wants even more and is taking steps to increase the number of visa application centers. The census bureau estimates by 2030 the number of "visible minorities" will be about 30% of the population. This demographic is part of the plans of Canada to be a multiculture country.
Needless to say the Canadian approach to immigration does not resemble our approach. We are in large part a racist, xenophobic, and religiously biased country. As you can surmise listening to the supporters of President Trump a multiculture society.
In peace and love
ORANGE BEAST SLOUCHING TOWARDS BETHESDA
Oh, it's just campaign rhetoric: what Melania Trump would call “Boy talk - he doesn't really mean most of it.” But after a week or two in office, he is still threatening an absurd $12 billion dollar wall on our southern border, a ban on visas for Moslem refugees, the export of illegal immigrants once offered the possibility of citizenship by Obama, the gutting of ObamaCare with no alternative even in the planning stage, reinstitution of torture and black sites abroad, the virtual silencing of the EPA, another increase in warrantless spying on US citizens by the FBI, expansion of the Guantanamo Prison, and a buildup of naval power near China. Yes Melania, he is just a Boy - and he is really beginning to frighten me.
He has made a major Corporatist (Tillotson) long in charge of the coverup of global warming as our Secretary of State, and Rich Perry – a good ole boy to Texas Oil – as Secretary of Energy. This is indeed the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party, and to confirm it, he appointed Mad Dog General Mattis our new Secretary of Defense!
He promises an expansion of military power as well as repair of our badly crumbling roads and bridges. Our national debt has now topped Twenty Trillion $Dollars even before these wondrous programs get off the ground. Not to worry, he has placed a Goldman Sachs protege appropriately named Mnuchin as the Wizard of Oz at The Treasury.
CRAB DISASTER DECLARED
by Daniel Mintz
A long-awaited declaration by U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker defines the 2015 to 2016 California Dungeness crab season as a fishery failure.
A Jan. 18 press release from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) states that under fishery management laws, the secretary of commerce can make the declaration “due to a fishery resource disaster.”
That opens the door for – but does not guarantee – congressional approval of disaster relief funding.
“If Congress appropriates funds to address these fishery failures, NOAA will work closely with members of Congress … to develop a spending plan to support activities that would restore the fishery, prevent a similar failure, and assist affected communities,” the release states.
Last year’s season was delayed by several months due to the presence of domoic acid, a naturally-produced toxin related to algae blooms.
The Dungeness season’s off-the-boat crab landings revenue amounted to $37.6 million, far less than the $60 million or so that each season has yielded in recent years. If the revenue loss had equated to 80 percent of an average season’s total, a disaster declaration would have been automatic.
Some fishermen were able to do relatively well overall after the season began in the spring of 2016. But many fishermen, particularly those with smaller boats, weren’t able to recover from the loss of the winter months, when the fresh crab market peaks.
In a statement, Congressman Jared Huffman highlighted the impacts.
"Last year's closure of the California Dungeness and rock crab fisheries caused incredible hardship to fishermen, business owners, and coastal communities already reeling from years of drought and fisheries declines," he said. “"West Coast fishermen know how disastrous the crab closure was to their families and their bottom line, and I applaud Secretary Pritzker's announcement recognizing that fact.”
The declaration has been awaited for months and is considered overdue. Now that it’s been made, Huffman will push for the relief funding.
“This is a step forward on the long road to providing disaster relief to California's fishermen and business owners through what has proven to be a tedious and broken process,” he said. “I urge my colleagues in Congress join me in funding this much-needed disaster relief."
The last Chinook salmon season was also disappointing, particularly for the Yurok tribe. The tribe’s 2016 Klamath River salmon fishery has also been declared a failure by the department of commerce.
MORE PROOF: SOLAR ENERGY MAKES PEOPLE HAPPY
Dear Friends & Neighbors,
As more and more people are discovering every day, today's solar energy systems are more affordable to install, produce energy more efficiently with less roofspace, and are more effective in meeting home and business energy needs than ever before. Owners of solar energy systems do indeed have alot to be happy about.
For our January 2017 Issue of E-News From the Solar System we enthusiastically welcome Mendocino Solar Service customer, and long time solar aficionado, Ken Wallich as a guest writer to share with us his experience of how solar energy has evolved over the years.
This issue was inspired by a post that Ken made to our Facebook page sharing with us how well his solar energy system carried his household through the recent power outages from winter storms.
Thanks for sharing your story, Ken & Sydnee.
Bruce Erickson & Maggie Watson, Co-Owners, Mendocino Solar Service
ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY
In an NPR report in Nogales, México, Mexican ranchers said building a wall is not possible due to rough terrain. Drug dealers of the Sinaloa cartel laughed at the idea of a wall saying there is always a way over or around a wall and they are not worried. They don’t think it will be built anyway and don’t feel their business is threatened. Trump is an international laughingstock for his dumb wall idea.
In any event, the reality is that Trump is going to punt on the wall, giving Congress the responsibility to build the wall. He has promised to make Mexico pay for it, but it is unclear how he will do so. Nothing that Trump has said about the wall has been true so far. Congress is dysfunctional and won’t do anything. There will be no secure border. Without a secure border there will be no mass deportation (those deported would just come back across). Trump’s whole immigration manipulation was a ruse that people fell for… red meat for the rubes.
YOU ARE HORRIFIED at our intending to do away with private property. But in your existing society private property is already done away with for nine-tenths of the population; its existence for the few is solely due to its non-existence in the hands of those nine-tenths. You reproach us, therefore, with intending to do away with a form of property, the necessary condition for whose existence is the non-existence of any property for the immense majority of society.
Karl Marx, Communist Manifesto, 1848
SINGLE PAYER ENGINEER RIPS DUPLICITOUS DEMOCRATS
Bob Marston is a retired electrical engineer who favors single payer national health insurance.
Aren’t electrical engineers pretty conservative?
“Actually they are not conservative per se,” Marston says. “They are apolitical. The conservative thing typically comes later when they get into their careers. Most wind up in the war industry and from there it grows on them.”
Marston grew up on Long Island but as a young man moved to California.
“The Vietnam war had a profound effect on me,” Marston says. “I was very young. But if you remember it was the first television war. The power structure did not know how to deal with it. I remember LBJ’s Daisy Commercial and then seeing the horrors in Vietnam. I thought to myself these guys — the Democrats — are a bunch of duplicitous bastards trying to portray themselves as promoters of peace.”
“When I was in New York, I loved listening to shortwave radio. It revealed to me how much information the US government was keeping from its people. Not lying, but actually withholding.”
“When I moved to Los Angeles, I got involved in the formation of the Green Party. One thing lead to another and I ran for Congress in 1994. If you remember that was the big year in healthcare. That was when Hillary Clinton’s managed competition plan was making the rounds.
“In California in 1994, a group of doctors — Physicians for a National Health Program — made a push to get a single payer initiative on the ballot.”
“I was really impressed with their efforts. Many of the doctors took out second mortgages on their homes to raise the money to put Prop 186 on the ballot” (It lost three to one).
“Prop 186 scared the ever loving crap out of the Democrats,” Marston says. “They decided never to let that happen again. They had to get out in front of the issue. So they initiated legislation to control the process.”
Marston says that the California Democrats would pass single payer legislation knowing that then Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger would veto it. But when Governor Jerry Brown took office, they refused to pass it.
“The Democrats were playing footsie with Schwarzenegger,” Marston says. “They knew he would veto the bill so they kept submitting it just to throw mud in his face. When one of their own got in they found all sorts of creative ways to bottle up the legislation in order to keep it off Brown’s desk.”
He’s also critical of the single payer Democrats in the Congress who refused to push for single payer when the cameras were rolling during the push for Obamacare.
“If you recall the 2009 health care debate, Congressman John Conyers, the author of HR-676, never took to the floor. He could have advanced HR 676 at that time when there was a big spotlight. Does that sound like the actions of someone who wants to pass that legislation?
“I watched the entire House proceedings – all eight hours. Conyers ran and hid.”
What to do now?
“In high school, we were taught that work equals force multiplied by distance,” Marston says. “I think that formula applies equally in activism.”
“If you push with all your might, grunt and groan and work up a sweat but the block doesn’t move you haven’t done any work,” he says. “This movement has been pushing really hard over the last twenty years but the block isn’t going anywhere. When you get into that situation you have to pause for a moment to figure out what you are doing wrong.”
“There was word behind the scenes that by the mid 2000s the healthcare system as a whole in this country was heading for the rocks. I’m talking about a full blown collapse. For those that studied the problem it is believed that when the number of uninsured people hits forty percent in any region, then the healthcare system falls apart. That is the number at which hospitals pile up unimaginable amounts of debt from uncompensated services. We were at that point in 2007 in many regions of the country. That forced the Democrats’ hand. Obama, lacking the guts, decided to expand the current system using the coercive power of the tax system and some government subsidies to pump up the system sort of like a blood transfusion. And to that extent his Obamacare system worked. But it did absolutely nothing to address the underlying problem!”
“What Trump does should be interesting to watch. If he guts Obamacare like he promises, we could wind up back in the same situation we were facing in 2007 in short order. I would say something like 2019 to 2020.”
“Based on that analysis, the single payer healthcare movement should propose a three year plan that would set itself up for action when the collapse comes.”
“I think it should increase the percentage of effort it devotes to public outreach and education. It should continue its work at lobbying Congress in the immediate future mindful of the fact that an all out victory is highly unlikely. I am not saying the movement should not be vigilant of opportunity when it presents itself. But with the movement in the state that it is in, it should be realistic about the prospects of enforcing its wishes. We need to grow much, much bigger in order to do that.”
“It may very well take a collapse of the healthcare system to bring the broader public to a place where they are even conscious about the situation. But in the meantime we can chip away at the problem.”
“And another thing — we are going to have to keep the Democrat party minders on the sideline.”
“There will be some very substantial developments over the next few months that will likely make some very big changes in the landscape.”
ALAN HAACK WROTE on the MCNlistserve: “Recently graduated doctors do not think vaccines are as effective as older doctors do. I wonder why that would be?”
MARCO McCLEAN replied:
It's not an argument against vaccines; it's a tribute to how very effective vaccines are and have been. If moon units persuade enough people not to vaccinate that the not-quite-but-impressively-close-to eradicated diseases come roaring back, young doctors will learn what the old doctors know.
The survey you cite isn't a statement of new data, it's a survey of belief.
Another thing, Alan: it's interesting how you pick and choose what to mistakenly crow about. If something agrees with your obsession you call it good science and wave it around. When someone points out the vast body of science that refutes your precious beliefs, you cry corruption and throw a snit fit. And you're not the only one. It's a pattern.
From your quote: "3.7% of recent graduates believed that immunizations do more harm than good."
Okay, if the recent graduates are even 10% of the (551) doctors who responded (let's see: .0037 x 551 = 2), then 549 of 551 doctors surveyed are on board with vaccination.
Look around; you're not going to find confidence numbers that solid in any other area of experience. I'll bet you could even find a few freshly graduated aeronautical engineers who don't believe in Bernoulli's principle, but airplanes are the safest mode of travel ever. This is like that.
Descartes. Some people who have carefully examined the particular phrase for which he is commonly remembered “I think therefore I am”, believe we have or are coming to the end of the Cartesian Era. Perhaps that would be true if we ignore what Ernst Cassirer (one of Kurt Lewin’s formative teachers) has identified as a basis of symbolic awareness, meaning.
Cassirer saw Helen Keller’s marvelous transformation as prima facie evidence - evident truth; that it was meaning found through her discovery through relating the flow of water in one hand to what Anne Sullivan was spelling into the other. In his view her transformation from a wild child to a valued world renowned source of good will for the remainder of her life began when the water flowing into one hand was symbolically received by Anne spelling w-a-t-e-r into the other. The fact that this event occasioned a pervasive and lifelong transformation is beyond question. But ascribing “meaning” as the primary causative variable responsible for this transformation is not the entire story. Just as Descartes presumption that “cogito” (thinking) is the foundation of being, neither is Cassirer’s presumption that “meaning” is the fundamental nature of Helen’s (and other’s) transformation through language and thought.
From her writings in Midstream, My Later Life (1923) I believe that Helen identified caring as a fundamental basis for this expanded awareness. She identified her fundamental capacity to care as the truth of her reality. But people without language and self-aware thought also care deeply, yet are less involved in the mutuality and symbolic self-awareness of prevailing social involvement.
Now there appears to be a drift away from a common mutuality of thinking through issues, finding meaningful solutions to problems and in particular, an appreciation of our unusual capacity for cognitive based understanding and caring Like Helen Keller, this capacity only became part of my life after years of being regarded as “low functioning”. What I did care for in those days was, and still is: life. And somehow, the discoveries of Claude Steiner (upon whose writings Waldorf education is based) that written language acquisition best occurs on a firm foundation of sensate, aesthetic awareness - is what happened to me. So when Arden Bovey, a classmate in Mr. Limb’s class said to me: “Gregory, what happened to you, you used to be such a dumb shit?” I became aware that what was happening within me was manifesting outwardly.
So much of the above writing has been occasioned by Friday’s meeting with Congressman Jared Huffman and Assemblyman Jim Wood where 250 people on a late Friday afternoon packed Ukiah’s convention center. I came away from the meeting believing that all of us would benefit from this realization. If we are to continue to channel our lives through the use of language and thought, we would benefit greatly from the use of a slight modification of Descartes’s observation; “I think therefore I am” and move to: “through caring mutuality my thoughts become thoughtfulness”. Making this transformation will not be easy - personally and as a people. But not making the move toward caring mutuality will prove to be even more difficult.
Gregory K. Sims
“Where Words & Music Meet”
a World-Class Chamber Jazz Duo & Poetry Performance
Saturday, February 4th 3 pm
Colleen O'Brien - voice / cello
Chris Lee - vibes / percussion
PoetryMusic is a world-class chamber jazz duo dedicated to performing poetry that has been set to music and the poetry is sung.
This multi-media performance includes an accompanying slide presentation with each poem projected on the screen along with photographic images so that the audience can follow the written word with the poem being sung. Following the program, we open the floor up to questions, comments and discussion.
A sample performance may include -
- Several original compositions set to Japanese and Chinese poems by Li Po, Toshiyuki and others. Four short poems of Emily Dickinson and Rumi's 'Where Everything's Music'
- Two wonderful settings of Shakespeare's Sonnet 130 (My Mistress' Eyes) and Sonnet 60 (Like As The Waves) by Mark Miller and Sonnet 43 (When Most My Eyes Do Wink ) by Rufus Wainright.
- American poet Robert Creeley has had many of his poems set to music by jazz bassist Steve Swallow. We perform two of these: Echo and She was Young.
- The amazing young English composer/arranger Jacob Collier's setting of "The Road Not Taken" by Robert Frost.
- Zen/ Beat poet Gary Snyder provides the inspiration for a voice and percussion improvisation on his poem Wave. Also a beautiful paean to America from Jack Kerouac's last paragraph of On The Road set to music by composer Peter Sommer.
- Composer/ Pianist Fred Hersch's beautiful setting from Walt Whitman's Leaves of Grass - 'The Sleepers'.
Other poets include e.e. cummings, Archibald Macleish, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Pablo Neruda, Rainer Maria Rilke, Robert Bly and Paula Sergi.
Light refreshments will be served. For more information – please contact Melissa at the Ukiah Library: 467-6434 or firstname.lastname@example.org
* * *
A SPECIAL CALIFORNIA POET LAUREATE POETRY READING
featuring Dana Gioia, Poet Laureate of California;
Ukiah Poets Laureate Emeriti:
Armand Brint, Linda Noel, & Theresa Whitehill;
& the Mendocino County Poetry Out Loud Champion!
Saturday, February 18th 5 pm
Join California Poet Laureate Dana Gioia at the Ukiah Library on Saturday, Feb. 18th at 5 pm for a special poetry event. This free event will feature poetry readings from Dana Gioia, Theresa Whitehill, Linda Noel, Armand Brint, and the winner of the Mendocino County Poetry Out Loud championship. This is Dana Gioia's first appearance in Mendocino County as part of his ambitious 58-County California Poet Laureate tour.
Dana Gioia is Poet Laureate of California. Appointed by Governor Jerry Brown in December, 2015, Gioia serves as the state advocate for poetry and literature in libraries, classrooms and boardrooms across California.. An internationally recognized poet and critic, he is the author of five collections of poetry, including Interrogations at Noon (2001), which won the American Book Award, and 99 Poems: New & Selected (2016). His critical collections include Can Poetry Matter? (1992), which was a finalist for the National Book Critics Award. He has written three opera libretti and edited twenty literary anthologies. He served as Chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts from 2003 to 2009. He has been awarded 11 honorary doctorates. He is the Judge Widney Professor of Poetry and Public Culture at the University of Southern California where he teaches each fall semester. He divides his time between Los Angeles and Sonoma County, California. For more information visit www.capoetlaureate.net.
Presented in partnership with the California Arts Council, the California Center for the Book, and the California State Library. Hosted by the Ukiah branch of Mendocino County Library.
Armand Brint has lived in Ukiah for almost 30 years. He was appointed as the City of Ukiah’s first Poet laureate from 2001 to 2003. Armand is the author of three volumes of poetry, Schools of Light, Linwood Publishers, 1995; The League of Slow Cities, Tenacity Press, 2001; and In the Name of Wonder, Haley’s Press, 2014. Armand has recently completed a new collection of poems, The Book of Second Chances and a book on writing poetry, titled, Bringing Poems to Life: Sixteen Keys to Make Your Poems Sing. Armand is the recipient of the 2013 Jane Reichhold International Prize for Haiku. Armand teaches poetry workshops through the Emandal Farm’s residential ArtStay Program.
Linda Noel is of Koyoonk’auwi (Concow) descent and grew up in Mendocino County. She is Poet Laureate Emeritus of Ukiah, Ca. Her work has been included in many anthologies and she has a chapbook titled Where You First Saw the Eyes of Coyote. She resides in Mendocino County.
A California poet, graphic designer, and letterpress printer, Theresa Whitehill served as Poet Laureate for the city of Ukiah from 2009 through 2011 and has been involved her entire career in production of poetry readings and events. Whitehill’s two collections of poetry, A Grammar of Longing (2009) and A Natural History of Mill Towns (1993), were both published by Pygmy Forest Press.
Light refreshments will be served. For more information – please contact Melissa at the Ukiah Library: 467-6434 or email@example.com