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Mendocino County Today: Saturday, March 25, 2017

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Another Baffling Case From The Cold Case Files

The cold case double murder of Charles “Buzzy” Mitchell and his son, Nolan Mitchell, on Halloween night, October 31, 2004, at their home on Orr Springs Road, ranks right up there in the list of Mendocino County’s great unsolved murders.

Charles “Buzzy” Mitchell, then 66, died outside his house of blunt force trauma to his head and body, according to the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office.

Nolan Mitchell, then 34, was shot to death while he slept inside the home. Nolan had been shot more than once in his upper torso.

Both men were members of the Coyote Valley Band of Pomo Indians. Charles was running for tribal office, and had been politically active up to the time of his death — particularly about controversial tribal land development issues.

The double murder followed a raid by federal agents in May, 2004. Scores of law enforcement agents descended on the Coyote Valley Band of Pomo Indians reservation and casino, seizing computers and documents in search of evidence of embezzlement and other tribal corruption.

Ultimately, eight leaders of the Coyote Valley Pomo tribe, including former Chairwoman Priscilla Hunter, pleaded guilty to one misdemeanor count of willful failure to file tax returns.

Federal prosecutors originally had filed more than two dozen criminal counts against Hunter. They included multiple counts of conspiracy to steal and misapply tribal and casino funds; willful misappropriation of casino funds; obstruction of justice; tax evasion; and failure to file tax returns.

The original charges against Hunter carried a sentence of up to 225 years in prison and more than $28 million in fines.

Tribal members, including Buzzy and Nolan Mitchell, contended that Hunter and other council members took more than $1 million from the tribe. Federal authorities did not release a figure.

Federal prosecutors also alleged the former tribal leaders illegally charged at least $40,000 to tribal credit cards and illegally donated more than $35,000 to politicians and political committees.

They were alleged to have spent more than $6,000 on personal items and bought $45,000 worth of first-class airline tickets, in violation of tribal rules.

— John Sakowicz

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There seem to be too many criminal cases unsolved, or still under investigation in this county. I wonder why the Turner family, obviously victims in their case, would stay mum on that incident at their camp—bad for tourism? Or something more embarrassing.? Obviously, the case involves the issue of public safety out in the woods. Their silence seems irresponsible.

Then there is the mysterious death of Ann Shapiro, early last year, Little River resident, whose lifeless body was found near the beach in the north end of town [Fort Bragg]. Ruled a ‘suspicious death’, not suicide. She had checked herself into an Ortner facility in Willits, due to extreme depression, but left the next morning at 5am. Without a car, she ended up dead in Fort Bragg early that afternoon. I don’t have time to check on the dates, but about a week later, that nightmarish home invasion/knife attack, by a Montana maniac, shook us all to the core. He was on the Most Wanted list in that state btw…was Shapiro an earlier target?

— Alice Chouteau

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Don’t forget the MRC forester, a man named Grant, who disappeared without a trace a couple of years ago while apparently eating his lunch on the North Navarro Headlands.

— George Hollister

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AND THE YOUNG AUSTRALIAN GIRL who walked out of the little restaurant north of Point Arena never to be seen again. Too many bad things happen in our rural paradise, but so long as you stick to surface appearances Mendocino County seems almost normal.

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The Historic Albion Schoolhouse in Mendocino Just Listed at $1.4M

As of 3/22, the schoolhouse already has a pending offer. That was fast.

As kids, most of us couldn’t wait for school to be over for the day. But, when it comes to the Albion Schoolhouse in Mendocino, there’s probably plenty of people who would love to not only go back to school, but live in it too.

I wanted to take an excursion a bit out of Sonoma County for this one, because the Albion Schoolhouse has a lot of history behind it, and just as many great stories. Albion was a small logging community in the 1920’s, and the school house was built in 1924. It remained a school until 1967. Between the years of 1967 to 1995 it served as a community center; a grocery store; a pot dispensary; a women’s cooperate; and an annex for The College of The Redwoods.

[And many full moon boogies with big naked piles at midnight when the Albion Nation was in its infancy, circa 1970.]

In 1995 the record producer William Bottrell purchased, and restored, the schoolhouse running his recording studio on site. music artists as Seal, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Shelby Lynne, and Sheryl Crow recorded or performed there.

In 2014 San Francisco Rabbi Sydney Mintz and Documentary Filmmaker Justine Shapiro purchased the schoolhouse and began using it as a rental property. Now in 2017, it’s on the market as a wonderfully restored, greatly storied building that can be yours for $1.4M. Take a gander:

3930 Albion Little River Rd, Albion -$1,495,000

3 beds, 4 baths, 4,563 square feet. Year built: 1924.

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THE ON AGAIN, off again casino and hotel project long planned for the tiny rez north of Ukiah less than two miles from the existing casino just up 101 at the hostile rez, is apparently on again, and if you know exactly how many casinos there are in Mendocino County, existing or planned, you count better than we do. Let's see, we've got one at Hopland; got one in Ukiah and one planned for Ukiah; got one in Willits; got one in Laytonville; got one in Point Arena; got one planned for Elk, with former Supervisor Norm de Vall's house across the street being gussied up as an accompanying b&b; and we even have one in Covelo for the ten old ladies over there who feed the slots every day with their social security checks.

MEANWHILE, not even an hour south of Hopland, whose casino is already hurting from the competition from the casino in Geyserville, we have the mammoth, Vegas-like, casino-hotel at Graton, which has halved the previous casino business at Geyserville.

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HEALDSBURG'S scrappy second sacker, state senator, Mike 'Mikey' McGuire got off a presser the other day that says his proposed $3 billion housing bond has been approved by his pals in his committee.

“We have an affordable and workforce housing crisis in California, and the state needs to step up and provide the resources and long-term investments needed to get this housing built in communities big and small. This bond will help secure homeownership for thousands of California families and finance tens of thousands of units up and down the Golden State.”

McGuire represents all of the North Coast counties, including Mendocino, Humboldt, Lake and Sonoma, and reports that he wanted to ensure rural counties and small cities would benefit from these funds.

IF, BY SOME FLUKE, it ever happens, here's where the money will go:

  • $300 million (10 percent) to CalHome. This program provides grants to local public agencies and nonprofit developers to assist individual households through deferred-payment loans. This program tends to be a favorite in more rural communities because it can be used for both programs and projects for a variety of homeownership activities – new construction, acquisition/rehab, self-help such as Habitat for Humanity, rehabilitation, mobile home park improvements, etc.
  • $300 million (10 percent) Farmworker Housing Program. This program finances the new construction, rehabilitation and acquisition of owner-occupied and rental units for agricultural workers, with a priority for lower income households.
  • $1.5 billion (50 percent) Multifamily Housing Program. The Multifamily Housing Program assists the new construction, rehabilitation and preservation of permanent and transitional rental housing for lower-income households through loans to local governments and non- and for-profit developers. Under MHP regulations, 20 percent must go to rural areas.
  • $300 million (10 percent) Local Housing Trust Fund Matching Grant Program. This provides matching grants to local governments and non-profits that raise money for affordable housing.

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COMMENTS from Kym Kemp's essential daily read, Redheaded Blackbelt (, also apply not quite as severely to Mendocino County:

Last night I slept with my bedroom window open and listened to the little green tree frogs singing to their mates. I woke up to a hawk screeching his hawk song. The swallows are back. On my way to work I watched a tower of buzzards circling on the slope of Benbow Hill. I was reminded of the old Louie Armstrong tune “What A Wonderful world”…. Then somebody craps in the middle of everything.

Where did we go so wrong that the north coast has turned into what it has.

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Forty years ago, we moved here from the madhouse of the city. One of my cousins, who had a delivery route that ran from San Francisco to Eureka, told me how envious he was that we were moving into “God’s country”. We spent many hours hiking in the parks and just enjoying the peace. We raised our daughter here and she isn’t too willing to move back to the SF area.

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Like many rural towns across the country, the loss of industry in a community turns into more and more drug usage, especially meth.

Like our area, smaller companies were overtaken by multi-national corporations. In places like Iowa it was big ag companies putting small farmers out of business and then paying them extremely low wages, if at all.

In Washington it was the steel industry, which like pacific lumber, were taken over by MAXXAM and the resources that should have been providing jobs for generations to come were used up within a year. The company then closed or sold most of the small companies they had taken over. Its like a board game to them.

The same can be said for our fishing/crab industry, as we saw earlier this year. Having the entire west coast stand with our local guys until a price was agreed upon sent a much needed strong message that workers will stand with one another.

Check out this book…..

Plus, crappy stuff happens often to remind us to better appreciate the non crappy moments. Its also about how much focus gets put on the crappy stuff; the more its talked/thought about, the more energy it gains. As its been said, we are addicted to talking about our problems in this society.

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Well, we can”t just keep sweeping the dirt under the carpet, Wake up, we need to find ways to combat meth…

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Weed ruined the paradise. Weed and lots cash money is the catalyst for the demise you witnessed over past 45 or so years in SoHum…lot of folks in full time denial too

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I suppose it has resulted in more valuable items being spread over a wider area that is harder to patrol. Meth is everywhere. Some proof that there is direct causation would be nice otherwise it sounds like the real reason is that there is just more to steal. Plus the decline of what used to be good paying blue collar work has left many without special skills wanting for work that pays the bills.

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Weed is a lot of it. And those huge Baller Bucks that made people go crazy- land fever, mansion fever, gotta feed the joneses and keep blowing it up fever….But we also saw logging and fishing industries collapse so we have reasons beyond weed. People, too many, imposing city values (conspicuous consumption and bling) on a rural setting. I’ve only been here 40 years. I grew some weed along with cutting firewood, working at the Branscomb Mill, did auto mechanics, etc. whatever I could to stay here in paradise and live not high-end. I got busted once and did a year in Low Gap ( Mendo County jail). I grew again- more, enough to buy my own land and build a small house. I’m not saying it’s all growers or people who run just outside of the law – some of them are decent folk, I tried to be. But we got overwhelmed, many of them green to country values, many just here for the bucks and bling and we let them run us all over. Heck- we even invited and encouraged them. That’s my take….NOW- the cannabis economy is coming undone. We need to face that and do something because we are about to see a major increase in meth and heroin use. As an industry crumbles people turn to alcohol and drugs to ease the stress. It’s coming and we should prepare. What are we going to do? The greedrushers will leave back to wherever… but those of us who are here for the long haul need to step up.

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SHORT SHOTS: The daily deluge of sales pitches and scam attempts often contain some laughs. A young man called the other day whose opening gambit was, "Negative reviews can affect your business…" Kid, I sez, bring 'em on. "Have a nice day, sir. Thank you for your time."

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A BEAUTIFUL SPRING has commenced in the Anderson Valley, with that special bed of wild yellow iris beginning to bloom at the Scharffenberger Winery, Philo, and a spectacular bed of tulips at the Boonville Brewery welcoming us to America's best quality beers.

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THE MORE MORBID sectors of the Anderson Valley community, me often in the lead, always hustle down to Starr Automotive to have a look at the vehicles involved in the most recent vehicular mayhem on Highway 128. CalTrans has gradually improved the road over the years with many more paved turnouts and widenings, but it can be treacherous at any speed, as us locals know. And it's truly amazing that Jan The Mail Lady has driven it six days a week for more than a quarter century without a single accident.

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GOT A HOLLOW LAUGH out of a recent story in the Chron about a "drug round-up" at the Civic Center Bart Station. I walked the length of Market Street a couple of days after the alleged drug bust, and from Van Ness to around Third and Market it's the usual open-air felony show. Factor in the free range mental cases, drop-fall drunks, the miscellaneous incompetents, and circus-quality freaks, and I'm tellin' ya this country's slo-mo collapse is all right there in about five blocks. Odd, though, it never seems menacing. I'm not saying my stately bulk deters physical assault, but I know lots of people, women included, who say the same thing usually, though, with this kind of caveat: "After dark that whole stretch of the City That Knows How, is a definite no-go zone." Conservatives claim the cops are intimidated by a lot of bad "excessive force" publicity from the libs, but that stretch of Market has been drug city for years now. I think lower Market and the Tenderloin (now being kinda up-marketed as the trendo-groove-o's move in), are the way they are because the cops are in triage mode. It's not like they ignore open air drug dealing and the rest of the arrest-quality aberrant behavior on full display, it's because there's no place to put them all. Frisco has been in Catch and Release mode for years now. And the low-level mopes know it. (Ditto for Mendo, actually. Ditto for everywhere, double actually.)

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Tanoak Cluster

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HEY! I know I'm old and cranky, but what's the deal with modern movie kisses? Even in the more quality productions young couples run at each with their jaws seemingly dropped to their waists and, open-mouthed as if for root canal, commence grinding mutual molars. Compare today's filmic cannibal gnashings to, I dunno, Clark Gable and Vivian Leigh in Gone With The Wind… And, natch, we always get the obligatory nude rasslin' in contemporary movies to make sure we understand the couple has gone from dental combat to sexual intercourse. Jeez! We get it, ok?

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LITTLE DOG SAYS, The boss says he's doing container gardening this year "because the watering is easier. And look how nice the old Mexican lady's garden at the Boonville apartments, is," he says. I tell him old Mexican ladies know what they're doing and you don't, but I'll wait and see what this place looks like in July.

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The April 6th Planning Commission agenda has been posted to the department website at the below link:

Please contact staff if you have any questions.

Victoria Davis, Commission Services Supervisor, 707-234-6664

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To the Editor:

I am a pro-choice female that has no voice. My rights have been stripped from me. Will anybody stand up and speak on my behalf, in my defense? Why am I being unjustly ignored and my freedom taken away. I am pro-choice, and I choose to live. You just can’t hear me because I am in your womb. Who will speak on behalf of those whose voices are crying out in the womb and who will speak on behalf of God and say how He feels about abortion?

Since 1973 over 53 million abortions have occurred in just the U.S. alone. If those numbers of aborted children were alive today in the U.S. I wonder what our nation would look like today. That many more people contributing to society: starting businesses, paying taxes, technological advances, etc.

How have we come to this place where we are more emotionally moved at the euthanizing of dogs and cats than we are of our own unborn children?

Why am I emotionally moved to the verge of tears when I see a dog die in a movie than when I see people getting killed and blown away. (Dang Old Yeller & Marley and Me)

Our tenderness and support of life needs to be restored and reprogrammed in our hearts.

I wonder how much we have been brain washed, lullabied, and desensitized to death.

Could we be having the wool pulled over our eyes like the Nazis had done to a vast majority of the German people during the holocaust that was happening right in their own backyards.

Planned Parenthood is now right here in our backyards in Lake and Mendocino counties. In their advertising and promotion, they heavily communicate all of their services that they provide but do not or very discreetly advertise their abortion services. All their other services are that of a smoke screen by way of financial gains. This “non-profit” organization receives one-third in government funding-your tax dollars, in 2015 they received $553.7 million dollars in taxpayer funding. That’s $1.5 million a day!

We already have some wonderful woman’s health care services here in both Mendocino and Lake Counties that are free and or low cost, I would support these before supporting P.P.

So how does God feel about abortion? God, the creator of all life, sees His own children that are distinct from all the rest of His creation as human beings which are the only ones made in the image of God.

How does He feel about his own children (that did not create themselves or “will” themselves into existence), thinking that they have the right over their creator to decide whether who lives and who dies and to invade the mother’s womb -which is the most safest place on the planet for a baby.

God hates abortion, He calls it murder which is the 6th commandment: Thou shalt not commit murder. Exodus 20:13

To participate in anyway with abortion is to sin against God. Sin means to disobey or rebel against what God has told you not to do. To commit the crime of breaking the law.

If you have ever had an abortion or gave your approval for someone to have an abortion, the guilt and shame and coming judgement of God are true realities that you are currently in and will be in the future.

But, there is hope for you. Hope that is found only in the forgiveness of sins which was purchased for you through the death penalty.

The Bible tells us that our sins are so serious and offensive to God that He cannot overlook them but rather He must and has to punish all sin-your sin and my sin.

But what’s amazing is that instead of giving mankind the punishment for our sins that we deserve. He made a way where our death penalty can be pardoned.

Jesus Christ came to earth to take your death penalty on your behalf. He gave His own life to die in your place.

He didn’t just take on the physical tormenting pain of crucifixion but also the wrath of God the Father for all sin. Jesus Christ’s love for His Father and for you is what drove Him to bear such a massive burden and to take the punishment for you and me upon Himself. God offers forgiveness of all your sins to anyone who will come to Christ and believe and trust in what Christ has done in your place. He is the giver of life and the taker of it. He alone is to decide when a life is to be born or when a life is to die. I wrote this letter out of a love for God, a love for children and a love for you. Hopefully this is an encouragement and challenge for you to stop and think about what things are going on around you and to maybe revisit in your own mind what you believe and why you believe it.

I would like to end by encouraging you or I could say, lovingly challenging you to go online and check out these links:

Debunking Planned Parenthood’s 3 percent Abortion Myth https://youtube/qtgqxvaV-8U -

Facts about Abortion: -

Gianna Jessen-Abortion Survivor: -

180 The Movie:

Dave Dick, Potter Valley

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CATCH OF THE DAY, March 24, 2017

Bailey, Barnett, Eaton, O'Bryan

SKYLER BAILEY, Willits. Dirk-dagger.

CRAIG BARNETT, Fort Bragg. Controlled substance, paraphernalia, county parole violation.

BILLY EATON, Willits. Bicycle riding under the influence.

WANDA O’BRYAN, Upper Lake/Ukiah. Failure to appear.

Patty, Rathbun, Specieday, Yanis

FRANKLIN PATTY, Willits. Community supervision violation.

HAYAH RATHBUN, Fort Bragg. Disturbing the peace.

CHEYENNE SPECIEDAY, Fort Bragg. Paraphernalia.

OSAMA YANIS, Columbia, Missouri/Ukiah. DUI, concealed weapon.

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I know in the scheme of things that the situation involving Colin Kaepernick isn't that important. But it's still bugging me that no team has signed him. And my gut tells me that much of it has to do with him taking a knee during the National Anthem.

I have always been a Kaepernick fan. I admit he got a little too caught up in his celebrity for a while. But I still liked him. And honestly now I like him even more because he wasn't afraid to take a stand. And by doing that he got a lot of people talking about race and the police. And I think that's a good thing.

But now he can't seem to get a job in the NFL. Even though it's hard for me to believe that there are 96 other quarterbacks out there who are better than him. (Three on each of the 32 teams)

My guess is that no team wants to touch him right now because they think he's too "toxic" and they're worried that their fan base might get angry. They will never say that though. They will say he's washed up instead.

I'll be the first to admit that he's not the same quarterback he once was. But he also played for a horrible team.

I guess it all really boils down to this. Take away what he did during the National Anthem and ask yourself one question: Do you think Colin Kaepernick can still play in the NFL? My answer is "yes."

I hope that an NFL team signs him. Either way I will always be a Colin Kaepernick fan.

I admire people who aren't afraid to stand up for what they believe in. I also think that real patriotism is understanding that the beauty of our country is that Americans died defending the flag so that people like Colin Kaepernick could take a knee during the National Anthem.

That is what real freedom is all about. (At least to me).

Frank Somerville (KTVU anchor. Courtesy San Francisco Chronicle)

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by Dave Zirin

Donald Trump wants to end Meals on Wheels and has an alleged Nazi on his staff. Colin Kaepernick just gave $50,000 to Meals on Wheels and has consistently stood against racism. Donald Trump has an approval rating that dipped as low as 37 percent last week. Colin Kaepernick at one point last year had the best-selling jersey in the NFL. Donald Trump has inspired followers to vandalize churches. Colin Kaepernick has inspired young people to think and act politically for the first time in their lives. Donald Trump was part of a chorus of people threatening Colin Kaepernick during the 2016 season. Colin Kaepernick responded with his best statistical season since 2012.

And now Donald Trump is bragging about his ability to keep Colin Kaepernick unemployed, saying at a recent rally that “NFL owners don’t wanna pick him up because they don’t wanna get a nasty tweet from Donald Trump. Can you believe that? The people of Kentucky…like when people actually stand for the American flag.”

But Trump isn’t hurting Kaepernick. As David Roth put it at Vice Sports, “If Kaepernick is unemployable in the NFL, it’s because he represents the broader contemporary social movement for social justice, not because he is an unreliable pocket passer or whatever. It’s because people like the ones Trump is pandering to above understand him as a symbol of things they hate.”

If anything, Trump may have done Kaepernick one hell of a favor. By boasting about his ability to strike fear into the hearts of NFL owners—many of whom gave small fortunes to his campaign—he may have revealed evidence of “collusion” or what is known as “tortious interference,” or “the intentional interference with contractual relations.” Trump could have inadvertently handed Colin Kaepernick a lawsuit on a silver platter—or put a tremendous pressure on the NFL to find one owner willing to bring Kaepernick into training camp.

I contacted Georgetown University Law Center professor David Goodfriend, an attorney and chairman of the Sports Fans Coalition, about the legal implications of what Trump so proudly proclaimed. He said, “Presidential privilege can protect President Trump only so far. Was he acting in his personal capacity to undermine an ongoing contractual negotiation or an existing contract involving a professional athlete? Was he acting in coordination with an NFL team owner? If so, I can think of several attorneys who would be happy to represent Mr. Kaepernick as a plaintiff.”

That part about “coordination with a team owner” sounds particularly dicey when we consider Trump’s close friendship with New England Patriots owner Bob Kraft, who was a guest on Air Force One the day before Trump’s speech. Then there is Trump mega-donor and Jets owner Woody Johnson, who is being named ambassador to the United Kingdom. The list of NFL-owner entanglements with this president goes on. Trump—who is engaged in his own war against “leakers”—may have “leaked” evidence of collusion.

This unforced error also fits a pattern of a White House team so incompetent, so eager to score points on cable news, and so absent of impulse control, that they can’t help but get in their own way. Their incompetence has been the saving grace of this administration so far. It also might be the saving grace of Colin Kaepernick’s career as an NFL quarterback.

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by Jeffrey St. Clair

Nothing was delivered
And I tell this truth to you
Not out of spite or anger
But simply because it’s true
Now, I hope you won’t object to this
Giving back all of what you owe
The fewer words you have to waste on this
The sooner you can go

— Bob Dylan, “Nothing Was Delivered

The congressional inquisition has become a ritual of American politics, a ritual whose rites of interrogation and humiliation were largely scripted by Donald Trump’s life coach Roy Cohn. In the 1950s, Cohn acted as Joseph McCarthy’s hatchet man during the congressional hearings into the “Red Peril” of the 1950s. Cohn (a closeted gay at the time) even went so far as to claim that Soviet spies were blackmailing American homosexuals to act as a Communist agents. This witch hunt became known, rather quaintly, as the Lavender Scare. Hypocrisy has always closely stalked the politics of persecution.

From Watergate to Iran/Contra, every decade or so the country seems eager for a national bloodletting of its politicians, as if a public lancing of a few black pustules might heal the body politic. If this is the case, then why has the strange investigation into Russia’s alleged hacking of the 2016 elections fallen so flat?

There’s no better example than the over-hyped hearing last Monday held by the House Permanent Committee on Intelligence featuring FBI director James Comey and Admiral Mike Rogers, director of the National Security Agency. The proceedings went on for an almost unbearable five hours, enlivened only by some real time Tweeting from the POTUS account. Otherwise, the big day was a dull affair that delivered almost nothing new, featuring monotonous speeches from barely literate members of congress stumbling their way through prepared scripts and opaque non-answers from the two witnesses. As a rule, the Republicans tried to put the press on trial and the Democrats tried to smear as a traitor anyone who had any dealings with Russians of any kind–excepting, naturally, all of the Democratic lobbyists and politicians (notably Chuck Schumer and Bill Clinton) who have enriched themselves at Russia’s expense.

The Democrats’ desperate gambit to delegitimize Trump for his camp’s dealings with Russia still hasn’t grabbed the attention of the American public at large, despite the non-stop promotion on CNN and MS-DNC. And it won’t after this desolate hearing either. Why? Because most Americans have other things on their minds: their work, their health, their debt, and whether the water pouring out of their tap is so toxic that it might burn through the lining of their kid’s throat. Moreover, the old fear of Russia, long considered a more blood-curdling bogeyman than ISIS, has lost much of its potency. People are sick of 16 years of constant war. They don’t see why it is wrong to want improved relations with Russia. And they aren’t all that sad that Hillary lost the election. Her poll numbers are now more deflated than Trump’s.

People need a storyline and there still isn’t a coherent one for Russiagate. In the absence of a gripping narrative, there have to be some compelling characters to latch on to and mostly what we’ve been presented with are bland bit players no one has heard of, like JD Gordon and Carter Page, or unappetizing self-promoters like Roger Stone, who on his most nefarious day was only a third-rate Gordon Liddy. The most intriguing figure in the whole affair is probably Sergey Kislyak and few Americans can pronounce the name of the Russian ambassador and alleged spymaster, never mind spell it. Even Spell-Check freezes trying to auto-correct “Kislyak.”

There was some hope that the hearings might take a more salacious turn when Rep. Adam Schiff began to read from the so-called Dirty Dossier compiled by former MI6 intelligence officer Christopher Steele. This fanciful assemblage of rumors, innuendo and make-believe about the shady adventures of Trump and his possé at least races along like a mediocre Frederic Forsyth novel. Alas, Schiff stopped his recitation before he got to the really dirty parts.

The incompetence of the Republicans on the committee, led by Devin Nunes and the odious Trey Gowdy, had the deleterious effect of inflating the performance of Schiff, whose Russophobia is equalled only by John McCain and the Walter Winchell of MS-DNC Rachel Maddow. The Republicans’ obsession with leaks made them look like a gang of unlicensed plumbers searching for a Deep Throat to plug.

Nunes is one of the more pathetic figures on the Hill. The rather dull-witted son of a California land baron in the Central Valley, he is clearly far out of his depth running the Intelligence Committee, even if his sole mission is to blunt the investigation from the inside. There are many ways to abort an investigation without drawing attention to yourself. Nunes knows none of them. As the former head of the National Security task force for Trump’s transition team, Nunes was compromised from the very start of the investigation. But instead of at least pretending to be an honest broker, Nunes has acted like Trump’s Labradoodle, running back and forth to the White House for treats and pats on the head. Witness his theatrical performance on Wednesday, when Nunes, who is allegedly very concerned about leaks, viewed leaked documents relating to ongoing counter-intelligence investigations, then rushed to the White House to leak the content of those documents to Trump, who may be the target of the investigation, and then described them to the press. (Unless the whole psycho-drama was a charade.) I’m tempted to nominate him for this year’s Daniel Ellsberg award.

As bad as Nunes is, Trey Gowdy is even worse. Gowdy is a failed prosecutor who slithered into Congress from some patch of kudzu in South Carolina. He is verbose, vain and vicious. Gowdy is the kind of lawyer Charles Dickens loved to satirize, a self-righteous prig whose warped physiognomy expresses his vile moral character. Gowdy, who endlessly extols himself as a “constitutionalist,” spent much of his time advocating the arrest, prosecution and jailing of journalists. If we are going to go this route, I suggest we start by opening the cell doors for Judith Miller, Jeffrey Goldberg and the other hack journalists who used fake intelligence leaked from Cheney and Co. to start a war that left 657,000 dead.

I still believe that most of the contacts between the Russians and the Trump circle had less to do with getting Trump elected than making a financial killing. Even the Russians seemed to seem to have given up on the idea of flipping the election to Trump by the end of September and began preparing themselves for dealing with the woman who seemed quite prepared to nuke Moscow. Of course, whether having Trump at the helm makes nuclear war more or less likely is still an open question.

That a sleazy political fixer like Paul Manafort made tens of millions of dollars from a Russian oligarch close to Putin shouldn’t come as any surprise. Hundreds of other American political and business figures have sold their services to Russian tycoons and companies, including John Podesta’s own lobbying outfit and the Clinton Foundation. In fact, Russia was pried open for business by Jeffrey Sachs and his economic wrecking crew from Harvard. Their brutal shock therapy regime imposed a rapid privatization scheme on Russia that paralyzed the economy and led to the creation of a new billionaire class looking to hire people like Manafort to clean them up for western consumption.

So what did we learn? Not much. We heard some new euphemisms. Out with that old word “collusion” and in with “coordination,” which is how the FBI is now describing the possible liaisons between the Trump team and figures in the Russian government. More interestingly, we now know, on the unimpeachable authority of James Comey, that the Russians didn’t provide the Podesta emails directly to Wikileaks, assuming they had access to them at all. We also know that Comey, who requested a break after only a couple of hours of questioning, has a weaker bladder than his counterpart Adm. Rogers. Might want to have that prostate examined, Jim. On the limited evidence offered in this pathetic excuse for an inquiry, the Republicans acted as if Trump is guilty (most of them want him gone anyway) and the Democrats behaved like they have nothing but this entangled conspiracy theory to offer their voters–what voters they have left.

As for Trump himself, he could have avoided this recent spectacle if only he hadn’t succumbed to his early morning impulse to Tweet smack at Obama about wiretapping his phones in Trump Tower. I can understand his angst. If Trump’s wires weren’t being tapped, he would be one of the few Americans not to have the records of his phone calls end up in some NSA data vault. Like most professional con men, Trump is paranoid that someone is watching him from behind, looking to spot the secret tricks of his grifters game. Trump probably learned to be wary of federal wiretaps early in his business career from his buddies in the Genovese crime syndicate.

Trump is a reckless and self-immolating personality. In the end, the most formidable resistance to Trump will likely prove to be Trump himself. The man takes to Twitter as if he were strapping on a suicide vest. One day he’s going to blow himself up. The question is how many others will he take out with him?

On another positive note, the most uplifting thing about this whole tendentious affair is that public confidence in the FBI is at an all-time low and not even the return of Efrem Zimbalist, Jr. seems likely to resurrect it.


Roaming Charges

+ The FBI is now investigating Breitbart and Info Wars for their possible connection to Russiagate, whatever Russiagate is. Whatever you think of either of these two sites, this is how the Constitution gets trampled in pursuit of a phantom conspiracy. Increasingly, the Russia probe begins to resemble an inquisition in search of a justification. This is not a fishing expedition, but a factory trawler sweeping across the country.

+ Someone told me this week that Trump was lucky that he hadn’t had to confront a “national tragedy” yet. I said, “What if Trump is the national tragedy that Trump has to confront every morning?”

+ Steve Curtis, the former head of the Colorado Republican Party, has railed against voter fraud for much of his career, claiming that illegal voters only benefited Democrats. This week Curtis was arrested on charges of … voter fraud. Once upon a time you couldn’t make up this kind of hypocrisy, now it’s a daily headline in your newsfeed.

+ Trump’s pick as Labor Secretary, Alexander Acosta, helped his good buddy, the pathological billionaire Jeffrey Epstein, escape prosecution on charges of having sex with underage girls. Now Epstein is free to fly the skies in Air Lolita once again…

+ Donald Trump’s most recent public laceration of Colin Kaepernick is vindication of the heroic stand (or squat, I guess) taken by the former San Francisco 49ers QB. Now, if he could only get a job…

+ In Russia, they call them “oligarchs,” with a pejorative sting to the word. Here we call them “philanthropists,” with the distant hope we’ll somehow be mentioned in the will. I’m talking about David Rockefeller, who died this week at the age of 102. Rockefeller was a Malthusian Monster, who spent much of his life (and hundreds of millions in grants) obsessing over cruel ways to limit the birthrates of the under-classes.

+ So Ivanka is getting both an office in the West Wing and security clearance. Increasingly Trump administration beginning to resemble either the Romanovs or the Gambino family–assuming there’s much of a difference.

+ Harry Shearer on Paul Ryan: “Have we been misspelling ‘policy wank’ all these years?”

+ Not only is Radiohead playing Tel Aviv, defying the international cultural boycott of Israel, they’re doubling-down by taking an Israeli band with them on their tour of the USA. I stopped listening to them after guitarist Johnny Greenwood’s inchoate soundtrack for Inherent Vice, now you should follow suit for a more profound reason.

+ Credit where credit is due: It looks like Trump was right about those bomb threats to Jewish centers being kind of “an inside job.”

+ Trump: “We will kill their families, too.” Promise made, Promise kept.

+ Hillary’s KXL Pipeline, already 2/3s completed, moves one step closer to the big hook up. I wonder if she sent Rexxon a thank you note?

+ Fracking the Bakken Formation in North Dakota began under George W. Bush and soared under Obama. The result: 6,648 major oil spills from just six states who rode the Fracking boom. That works out to something like 55 spills per 1000 fracking sites per year. No way you’d get insurance if you wrecked your car 55 times for each 1000 trips. But we’re talking oil, so…

Frack me baby one more time
Don’t you worry about the sheets
Honey the maids won’t mind

+ The rampant police atrocities, such as the murder of Eric Garner, don’t just “happen”. They’re standard practice. Want proof? Check out the bloody service record of the cop who killed Garner.

+ The GOP says “austerity,” the Democrats say “neoliberalism.” Same grim results. Same high-paid architects.

+ Only a kind of political Stockholm Syndrome keeps 80% of the members of the Democratic Party in the Democratic Party.

+ In Kentucky this week, Trump repeated the canard that he forced the owners of the Dakota Access and Keystone XL pipelines to use US-made steel (they weren’t and won’t)….By the way, we need to compile a yuuge new list of synonyms for “lying” in order to survive the next four years, journalistically speaking.

+ Much of the burden from Trump’s budget cuts will fall on the very rural voters in the West and Midwest who helped to election him. No sweat off his brow, though. Trump knows they’ll vote for him anyway because he’s the man that put that wonderful pipeline through their cornfield, which they couldn’t harvest anyway because he’d locked up all their fieldworkers…

+ This week the Trump administration began shaming cities by posting a list of police departments that have refused to cooperate with ICE raids on undocumented immigrants. I thought Trump had unwavering support for the cops? I guess that’s only when they shoot someone in the back.

+ Trump is that irritating guy at the end of the bar who knows almost nothing yet insists he’s right about everything.

+ Trump sat down with a couple of reporters from TIME magazine this week to discuss his awesome achievements, the press and his fanciful Tweets. Before talking about his favorite topic, himself, Trump took a barbed shot at TIME:

And then TIME magazine, which treats me horribly, but obviously I sell, I assume this is going to be a cover too, have I set the record? I guess, right? Covers, nobody’s had more covers.

Trump has been on the cover of TIME 12 times. His idol Nixon holds the record. His horrid visage haunted 55 covers of TIME. But who’s counting? The anthology of Trump’s tweets are the best collection of fabulist short stories since Donald Barthelme’s Come Back, Dr. Caligari….

+ The Iraq war began (GWB edition) 14 years ago this week. Before Bush fell in love with Michelle Obama, there was that very unseemly public affair with Tony Blair, which resulted in 657,000-plus deaths. It’s the tragedy of their marriage that Blair never looked at Cheri with the excited gaze he saved for Bush…

+ Lockheed’s CEO admits that Trump’s push to jack-up defense spending for NATO is all about increasing contracts with … Lockheed and the other pigs at the trough in the weapons industry. To the tune of $100 billion ….

+ When Norman Mailer & Jimmy Breslin ran for mayor of NYC in 1969 they ran on a secessionist platform that would have turned the five boroughs of New York City into the 51st State, giving local neighborhood control over police, housing and education. Rent control would have been instituted across the city. Another key plank to their platform was the banning of all private cars from the island of Manhattan and shutting down all mechanized traffic one Sunday a month, which they called Sweet Sundays.

The campaign had three slogans: “Power to the Neighborhood,” “The Other Guys are the Joke,” and “I’d Sleep Better with Mailer as Mayor” (certainly written by Norman himself.)

I like Breslin’s book on Watergate, How the Good Guys Finally Won,more than the self-glorifying All the President’s Men. It’s available for $2 on Kindle, worth reading to learn how a cynical journalist who’d seen it all covered a real political scandal.

What journalist other than Breslin could land a cereal commercial?

Here’s Breslin on Trump:

“Trump’s instincts appear to tell him that people crumble quickly at the first show of bravado, particularly members of the media, which is the plural of mediocre…As far as getting publicity whenever he wants it, Trump is the white Al Sharpton.”

+ Ignoring the experience of Canada, the UK, France and nearly every other industrialized nation on Earth, OMB director Mitch Mulvaneyannounced that the “only way to get to truly universal health care is to throw people in jail.” You have to give them credit. Not only do they think this repulsive shit, they actually speak their minds.

+ A woman in Texas named Rose Maria Ortega was sentenced to eight years in prison for illegally voting (for Republicans, by the way). Ortega holds a green card, but she is not a US citizen. My grandmother came to the US from Sheffield in 1918 at the age of 12, proudly voted in every election for 45 years before she finally got her US citizenship and she didn’t destroy the Republic–well, not single-handedly. I hold firmly to the idea that everyone who lives under the shadow of the US imperium deserves to vote in US elections.

+ Bernie goes all-in on Russiagate. Sanders: “How does it happen that we have a president who has nothing but nice things to say about Mr. Putin? What do the Russians have on Mr. Trump?”

+ Will MS-DNC interrupt their wall-to-wall Russia Bombed Our Elections coverage to spend a few days–even hours–on a white nationalist from Baltimore who came to New York to kill black peoplewith his sword? Nah…

+ In Florida, prison guards boiled a mentally ill black inmate to death. Of course, they won’t be charged.

+ Go back to Mexico (even though you’re from Indianapolis) kids and take your joyful faces, scientific minds and engineering genius with you!

+ Unbelievably, W’s new career as one of the worst painters since Thomas Kincaide has succeeded in redeeming him with the liberal NPR/NEA crowd for his unrivaled record of constitutional crimes.

+ Why making the future of the Supreme Court the last excuse for voting for a “lesser evil” candidate NEVER works: only 43 percent of Americans can name even one Supreme Court justice.

+ Can you really refer to yourself as the leader of the “Free World” (whatever that means) when you supervise the largest prison population on the planet?

+ The best way to make kids curious about evolutionary biology is to force Creationism down their throats in middle school.

+ When Dr. Strangelove doesn’t get you off any more and you’re in desperate need of some late-night nuclear porn, check out this video archive of all 210 open-air atomic blasts conducted by your friendly government…

+ The jazz trumpeter Lee Morgan is the subject of a new documentary titled “I Called Him Morgan” directed by Kasper Colin. Morgan was a genius, the missing link between post-bop jazz and funk. When people ask me who killed jazz, I often respond Lee Morgan’s wife, Helen, who shot Morgan in a Manhattan nightclub in front of his band. Morgan’s music is complex and infectious. Unlike much of the jazz of the mid- and late 60s you can’t not dance to it. Just put on “The Sidewinder” and try not to move…

+ Elvis may have been a King in the white precincts of rock, but Chuck Berry was THE KING and his Kingdom was the whole damn Universe.

+ The best news of the week: Thelonious Monk’s long-lost soundtrack to Roger Vadim’s 1960 film Les Liaisons Dangereuses is finally being released. The film stars the incomparable Jeanne Moreau, a huge jazz fan who probably knew more about bebop than Nat Hentoff.

+ Apparently this is “World Poetry Week.” I don’t care too much for “poetry” but I do love poems, like this one from Langston Hughes, which seems to anticipate every great lunch poem Frank O’Hara wrote. It’s called…

Madam and the Phone Bill

You say I O.K.ed
O.K.ed it when?
My goodness, Central
That was then!

I’m mad and disgusted
With that Negro now.
I don’t pay no REVERSED
CHARGES nohow.

You say, I will pay it—
Else you’ll take out my phone?
You better let
My phone alone.

I didn’t ask him
To telephone me.
Roscoe knows darn well
Ain’t free.

Booked Up

What I’m reading this week…

Lenin on the Train by Catherine Merridale
The Gulf: Making of an American Sea by Jack E. Davis
Dirty Snow by George Simenon

Sound Grammar

What I’m listening to this week…

St. Louis to Liverpool by Chuck Berry
One Dozen Berrys by Chuck Berry
Memories are Now by Jesca Hoop
Graveyard Whistling by Old 97s
Elwan by Tinawiren

Last of the Barbarians

James Crumley: “Americans are the best and the last of the barbarians, the conquerors, the long knives, the jolly green giants of history who move at first across the land with fire and sword, then with transistor radios and toothpaste, seeking not even greener grass, nor even movement itself, but merely senseless turds in the large bowel of history.”

(Jeffrey St. Clair is editor of CounterPunch. His new book is Bernie and the Sandernistas: Field Notes From a Failed Revolution. He can be reached at: or on Twitter @JSCCounterPunch. Courtesy,

* * *

* * *


by Ralph Nader

It is not just Donald Trump whose rhetoric is chronically bereft of reality. Politicians, reporters, commentators and academics are often similarly untethered to hard facts, albeit not for narcissistic enjoyment. There are many patterns of fact, relevant to a subject being discussed, that are off the table—either consciously or because they are deemed inconvenient. Rarely are there omissions due to the facts being hard to get or inaccessible.

That in mind, here are a few examples that warrant our scrutiny:

Consider the immense public attention to health insurance and health care and the recent struggles over Obamacare and now Ryancare. Conspicuously absent from the dialogues that pundits, politicians and reporters carry on is that the third leading cause of death in the U.S. is “medical error.” According to a Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine report last May, over 250,000 people lose their lives yearly in U.S. hospitals from “diagnostic errors, medical mistakes and the absence of safety nets” to stop hospital-induced infections, incompetent personnel, dangerous mixes of prescribed drugs and more. Yet in the debate surrounding the health care industry, this huge annual human casualty toll is unmentioned and, for many, intentionally “off the table.”

From a financial perspective, all the coverage of the costs of health insurance and health care excludes at least an estimated $340 billion (according to, among other sources, the leading expert, Professor Malcolm Sparrow of Harvard University) lost annually as a result of computerized billing fraud and abuses—expenses for which taxpayers and consumers must eventually pay. All of this is “off the table.”

Despite all the attention currently being paid to Trump’s proposed $54 billion increase to the military budget, media coverage nonetheless neglects to mention the immense waste, fraud and redundancies already embedded in the roughly $600 billion that account for the Pentagon’s direct annual budget.

A mass of Government Accountability Office (GAO) reports for the Congress, Pentagon audits, and reports by reliable citizen groups regularly document this immense waste. Specifically, the annual cost of the anti-ballistic missile defense program in the Pentagon is over $9 billion—about the same as the budget of the lifesaving Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that Trump wants to cut by almost a third.

The anti-missile defense technology taxpayers are paying Raytheon and other defense contractors to work on is unworkable. Who says anti-missile defense programs are ineffective? The American Physical Society—more than a few of whom consult with the Department of Defense—as well as the very knowledgeable MIT professor Theodore A. Postol in his Congressional testimony, and the Union of Concerned Scientists.

Along with numerous other infirmities of this boondoggle, it is too easy to decoy the ballistic missiles, not to mention alternative ways for adversaries to endanger our country without signaling a return address as ballistic missiles would. Yet year after year, starting with Ronald Reagan, the money is automatically doled out uncritically by the Congress, backed by its generous contractors’ lobby, deeply entrenched in a system of unaccountable corporate welfare. For the gigantic Pentagon budget is unauditable, according to the GAO.

The Israeli/Palestinian struggle, when hostilities burst forth, is reported routinely as being one started by Palestinian “terrorists” versus Israeli defenders and retaliators. Little emphasized is the reality that the Israeli government is the illegal occupier, colonizer, invader and resource exploiter of the remaining Palestinian lands. Almost never mentioned is that, since 2000, the overwhelming majority of fatalities and injuries in the conflict have been innocent Palestinian civilians, including many children, at the hands of the powerful Israeli military.

Of course, readers can come up with their own examples arising out of local, state, national and international issues. When constantly subjected to a media and political system driven by distraction, one can’t help but ask the question, “Why are they focusing on this instead of that?” One reliable answer is that the powers-that-be work overtime to exclude such embarrassing realities, to assure that, as with corporate crime waves, they’re often not even counted or measured.

If you want a continuing frenzy of reality-exclusion, look no further than the Republicans and their forked tongues. They’re always complaining about deficits, while cutting taxes for corporations and the wealthy, overlooking real problems they pay lip service to such as “government waste.”

But here is what takes the cake. For six years the Republican House of Representatives has been slicing off more and more of the Internal Revenue Service’s slim budget. With Republicans now controlling both houses of Congress, they want to drive it below $10 billion for next year. Apart from resulting in your waiting forever to get someone from the IRS on the phone to answer your questions, there is the modest result of over $400 billion in yearly uncollected taxes.

When you ration tax collectors, how can you fairly enforce the law, reduce the deficit or, heaven forbid, repair America’s streets, bridges, drinking water systems, public transit and schools?

John Adams said that, “Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passions, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence.” The verity of our second president’s words should serve as a call to action against the “alternative facts,” lies and myths, which have already come to define the current Trump administration and pose so grave a threat to our weakened democratic society and its level of freedom and justice.

(Ralph Nader is a consumer advocate, lawyer and author of Only the Super-Rich Can Save Us!)

* * *


Let’s summarize. We are currently in the visible “meltdown phase” of governance. Meaning that governance has been progressively dissolving for years, but now it’s becoming obvious to even the dimmest of the dim. “Let all of the poisons that lurk in the mud, hatch out.” Well, now they are hatching out. Those that have been paying attention are not surprised.

* * *


by Juan José Millás

Translated by Louis S. Bedrock

A brothel has just opened in Barcelona in which the prostitutes have been replaced by dolls whose bodies mimic the texture of human skin and its forms. This represents a qualitative leap in the process of the replacement of the original by a copy.

If the copy had become widespread in the realm of clothing and clothing accessories, in addition to pirated movies, CDs, and books, it was merely a question of time until the issue affected people.

We do not know if the prostitutes of flesh and blood have condemned these dolls for unfair competition because everything is confused and unsettled. A cab driver was telling me yesterday that his profession is threatened by the fake taxi drivers of Uber. That’s what he called them— “fake taxi drivers” while admitting to me that they were competing with better cars and lower taxes.

The problem arises when the copy is better than the original. Uber has given rise to a new expression, uberization, which means something to the effect that the user of certain services can find what is needed through new applications of the internet. Uberization functions along the line that separates what is legal from what is not.

There are court battles all over the world to fight uberization, but its promotors dispose of influence and unlimited financial resources. For the moment, they are winning the battle in the same way that lower salaries are winning the battle that is leading toward total uberization.

We ask ourselves, naturally, if the imitation brothel in Barcelona is also a result of economic uberization but, above all, we wonder whether those who visit it are not human beings but faux human beings instead. Are copies of us wandering around without us being aware of it?

I’ve seen things that you’d never believe.

* * *



This perky salutation has been in vogue for decades, especially among emailing hipsters, but lately seems to be cropping up everywhere. Amusing the first few times, now it's just hackneyed. Particularly conspicuous when used after a hot rant, such as " stick that where the sun don't shine, you filthy scumbag! Cheers, Rocco"

* * *


July 15, 2017: Goldeneye Winemaker Dinner, at Goldeneye Winery in Philo.

August 26, 2017: Pure Mendocino at Dark Horse Vineyards, Ukiah.

October 21, 2017: Big River Walk and Paddle, Big River, Mendocino.

To reserve your space at the Goldeneye Dinner or Pure Mendocino (which often sells out) please go to our website,, or phone 937-3833.

We look forward to seeing you.

* * *


Subject: Mendocino Access TV

Hi Folks,

Wondering if you would do me a favor and send out this message to your lists? I don't often send out a request however I feel that this is an issue that concerns us all. In this time of Donald Trump and his intention to defund Public and Community Radio our county doesn't have to do the same for Public Access TV.

The Mendocino County Board of Supervisors led by John McCowen are planning to defund Mendocino Access TV and redirect the PEG funding.

PEG is the acronym for Public Access, Educational and Governmental Channels which in Ukiah area are channels 3,64 and 65.

The plan is to use the funding which in years past has been allocated to MATV and use it to fund a governmental channel administered by the county that would not include either public access or an educational channel.

A similar thing was done to the Fort Bragg PEG Channels and "Governmental" does not include all governmental or quasi governmental agencies. As an example neither the Hospital District nor the Parks and Rec District have their meetings broadcast.

Things to Know:

1) Comcast is required to provide access to these channels for use by the public as part of the Franchise Agreement between it and the county and also by State Law.

The County paid for a legal opinion which they say allows the county to not provide the public access or educational channels.

2) The monies allocated as funding comes from the fees that cable subscribers pay Comcast which then passes on a percentage of those revenues to the County and our larger cities.

3) The City of Ukiah as a legal entity in the County with cable subscribers in their area receives money which it then passes along to the County. The City is not in agreement with the county and feels that the county is obligated to provide both access and educational programming.

4) MATV is a membership organization. For $40.00 a year a member, her family or organization can use MATV's video equipment to produce content. MATV will then Broadcast it on Cable channels 3, 64 or 65. The same content can be used on You Tube or any other internet site you have access to.

5) While MATV Broadcast all of last year the County did not allocate funding nor choose to enter into meaningful discussions. Instead after not providing funding they hired away MATV's leading Technician.

6) County Counsel has started legal proceedings against MATV to take away the equipment which was paid for by a fee charged to rate payers at its inception.

He who controls the Channels, the equipment and the funding can choose who to exclude. As in the case of the county by not offering the option of having Public Access or Educational programming.

Like with Trump and Obamacare the BOS has no alternative nor a desire to provide Public Access TV in Ukiah despite the fact that MATV has provided thousands of hours of local programming. We should be doing everything to maintain and provide infrastructure not dismantle it.

Unlike MATV which will put your programming on the air because they believe in free speech, community access and democratic empowerment.

I don't want to inundate you with more details. However if you want more you can call me at 707 463-5940.

Please call or email your Supervisor especially Dan Hamburg and Carrie Brown.

Thank you.

Ed Nieves

Dan Hamburg
Main Office: (707) 463-7231
Main Fax: (707) 463-7237
Cell Number: (707) 391-3576
Email: or

Carrie Brown
Main Office: (707) 463-4221
Main Fax: (707) 463-7237
Email: or

John McCowen
Main Office: (707) 463-4221
Main Fax: (707) 463-7237
Email: or

Dan Gjerde
Main Office: (707) 463-4221
Main Fax: (707) 463-7237
Email: or

* * *



There are at least six reasons why the Orange Man and his cohorts have captured the White House and both houses of Congress, and why they will continue to rain terror on the populace. Here they are:

  1. The print and tv media are now irrelevant when it comes to capturing the emotions of the people. Social media rules, and Trump is in charge of it.
  2. The political right have many more think tanks than does the left and they influence Congress a lot.
  3. The Right is much more well funded than the left, by millions.
  4. The Right is much better organized, not so much politically, but socially, and most people are not political, they are social.
  5. The Right has provided a group to hate-Muslims-and the hate makes the followers easy to manipulate.
  6. Many people on the Right do not want to think; they want to be told what to think and what to do.

All six of the above are on the conscious level. On the subconscious level there are two big factors:

  1. We are out of touch with reality, not only from the alternative reality Trump promulgates, but also from the constant barrage of spectacles via the media.
  2. The normal political spectrum, left to right, with certain ideas being acceptable or radical or unthinkable, with those three on each side of the middle. That array has been shattered, as Trump and Bannon have made the unthinkable become normative.

It is advisable to have as much cash and liquid assets as you can; you never know. Do not let this thought enter your mind: "Oh, they wouldn't do that." They will if they can, if we don't resist enough.

Lee Simon

Round Hill Farm, Virginia

* * *


Point Arena City Council

Mayor Scott Ignacio ~ Vice Mayor Barbara Burkey

Richey Wasserman ~ Anna Dobbins ~ Jonathan Torrez

Agenda - March 28, 2017

City Hall -- 451 School St.


  2. READING – Vice Mayor Burkey


  3. City-Related Travel Reports
  4. Council Committee & Commission Reports
  5. Treasurer’s Report – January & February 2017

Recommendation: Receive and Accept Treasurer’s Report


Notice to the Public: This is the time for members of the public who wish to be heard on matters that do not appear on the Agenda. City Council policy is to limit each speaker to three (3) minutes. Such time allotment or portion thereof shall not be transferred to other speakers. The public will be allowed to speak concurrently with the calling of an agenda item following the staff presentation of that item. Pursuant to the Brown Act Section 54954.3, the City Council may not take action on an item that does not appear on the Agenda.


Notice to the Public: All matters listed under this category are considered to be routine by the City Council and will be enacted by one motion. If a member of the public would like an item on the Consent Calendar pulled and discussed separately, the request shall be made to a Councilmember prior to the meeting. Unless a specific request is made by a Councilmember, the Consent Calendar will not be read. There will be no separate discussion of these items

Approval of Minutes

Regular Council Meeting of January 14, 2017

Special Council Meeting of February 21, 2017

Regular Council Meeting of February 28, 2017

VIII. PRESENTATIONS & ACTION ITEMS – All Items in this Section May Be Action Items

Determine Submittal Requirements for Minor Subdivision Application in a Planned Residential Development Overlay

Recommendation: See Staff Report

Presentation by Sonoma Clean Power – Introduction of Rollout of Point Arena Choice Aggregation

Recommendation: Receive Report

Bluff Top Road Maintenance Agreement

Recommendation: Discuss & Approve, Bluff Top Road Maintenance Agreement

Approval of Point Arena’s 2017 Wastewater Treatment Plant Sewer System Management Plan

Recommendation: Approve Plan

Letter opposing SB 649


  1. Discuss the issue
  2. Approve the letter of opposition
  3. Direct staff on distribution

Letter Opposing the State Department of Fish & Wildlife Implementing a 25 cent per Pound Fee for Ocean Fish Landings.


  1. Discuss the issue
  2. Approve staff writing the letter of opposition
  3. Direct staff on distribution
  4. ORDINANCES & RESOLUTIONS - All Items in this Section May Be Action Items
  5. Ordinance No. 230 - An Ordinance Approving and Implementing Administrative Citations and Penalties – Introduction & First Reading


1) Introduce Ordinance 230 by title only

2) Approve Ordinance 230

3) Schedule the second reading and final adoption for April 24, 2017

  1. Resolution 2017-04, Affirming the City of Point Arena’s Commitment to Non-Discrimination and Support for Immigrants in Our Community

Recommendation: Approve Resolution 2017-04

  1. Resolution 2017-05, Establishing the Appropriations Limit for Fiscal Year 2016-17Recommendation: Approve Resolution 2017-5
  3. FUTURE AGENDA ITEMS (next 45 days)

City Fee Schedule

Pier Fee Schedule & Credit Policies

Ordinance 230 adoption

2015-2016 financial audit presentations


  1. A) City Attorney Performance Evaluation- Performance evaluation pursuant to GC §54957, as cited in the Brown Act.




  1. LouisBedrock March 25, 2017

    Mr. Dave Dick:

    Next time you talk to God, ask HIm why, if he and his bastard son love children so much, he created birth defects; or allowed so many of them to be butchered by (Christian) Conquistadores—read Bartolomé de las Casas; or permitted so many to be born into slavery; or allowed them to be conceived in the wombs of incompetent mothers like Kalisha Alvarez.

    Will you and all the other Dicks in your family ask Jesus why he seems so concerned about abortion but is unconcerned about the children growing up in favelas or sold to sex slavers? Or the children who have grown up to be fourteen or fifteen year old girls and have gotten pregnant without wanting to? (One of my former students got pregnant when she was twelve.)

    Does your god care more about fetuses which are nothing more than potential humans than human women–full grown human beings, who are pregnant but do not want to be mothers? Or the children that grew up to be doctors who perform abortions and are murdered by Christians of your ilk?

    Your gods are nothing but ugly myths that brutal people use as excuses to commit the most barbarous acts.

    So, my good brother Dick, let us join hands and sing praises to your three headed god with our brothers and sisters of Monty Python:

    All things dull and ugly,
    All creatures short and squat,
    All things rude and nasty,
    The Lord God made the lot.
    Each little snake that poisons,
    Each little wasp that stings,
    He made their brutish venom.
    He made their horrid wings.

    All things sick and cancerous,
    All evil great and small,
    All things foul and dangerous,
    The Lord God made them all.

    Each nasty little hornet,
    Each beastly little squid–
    Who made the spikey urchin?
    Who made the sharks? He did!

    All things scabbed and ulcerous,
    All pox both great and small,
    Putrid, foul and gangrenous,
    The Lord God made them all.

    • LouisBedrock March 25, 2017

      And one more thing, you bloody ignorant fundamentalist cretin, a fetus is not a baby.

      • Bill Pilgrim March 25, 2017

        Before you’re born we love you.
        After you’re born we hate you,
        unless you’re born again.

        • sohumlily March 25, 2017

          We only love you if you make us money.

    • Harvey Reading March 25, 2017

      The Christists feel empowered. Fortunately, they’ve learned not to knock on my door.

    • Zeke Krahlin March 25, 2017

      Bravo, Mr. Bedrock, Bravo. While I believe in a creator, I certainly do not align myself with Judeo/Muslim/Christian dogma. I’m more like a Buddhist/shaman romantic intellectual who respects all beliefs (and non-beliefs such as atheism) so long as they do not espouse hatred, violence or ignorance. Here is a cartoon parody I cobbled together back in 2014, in mockery of these hypocritical anti-abortionists, who want to turn every woman’s life into one of fear and misery:

      • LouisBedrock March 25, 2017

        And bravo to you, Zeke.
        These cartoons are wonderful.

        Harvey is right.
        The people who brought us the dark ages have crawled out of their caves and are raising havoc again.

        Spanish dictator Francisco Franco once stated that he would not be happy until he had ripped out every page of the encyclopedia. The new wave of Christo-fascists want the same thing. They’re not aiming at The New Deal: these Philistines want to undo the Enlightenment.

  2. Bill Pilgrim March 25, 2017

    RE: “Cheers.”
    Unless it gains frequent use in ‘gangsta-rap’, I shall not consider it cliche. When used sincerely it conveys a gentle civility and class. It can spare one from having to mentally rummage through sometimes mediocre alternatives that range from the hurried and confusing, as in: “Best…,” to the rather dated and questionable, as in: “Sincerely,” to the downright dry and formal: “Regards.”
    Herb Caen, a kind and classy guy despite his fame, always signed-off his personal notes with “Cheers.”
    Good enough for me.

  3. sohumlily March 25, 2017

    Brainpickings is an interesting site, thanks for the reminder. The link doesn’t seem to work for me; tried typing in the address in my browser and nada. Anyone else?

  4. Eric Sunswheat March 25, 2017

    Yep, just ain’t that many casino hotel projects out there with abundant water supply connection, and generous Will Serve Ukiah Valley sewer connection promissory letter (unless expired), as accorded to the Pinoleville Pomo Nation. Next thing, with recent scientific discovery of Vitamin C injection, as a dramatic cure for septic infection in the human body, perhaps the Nation will do more than sell Indian tacos, and white man convenience store trash. As Vitamin C is perhaps best thing instead of iron lung Polio, the Pomo-ians could open a home grown non GMO Vitamin C bioflavonoids supplementation and injection center, to ward off viruses, avoid vaccination with attendant side effects risk, and thus perhaps put local hospital staff on half time pay status due to lack of business. Yay Indians! Trumpcare could pull that rabbit out of the hole! Reduced insurance costs for all! Better health care! Go Donald. Trump Big Pharma suckering nitwits.

  5. Debra Keipp March 25, 2017

    Yah, as long as you’re pointing out suspicious cases, do you really really really believe, Bruce and Mark, that former D.A. Norm Vroman really died at his steering wheel of natch causes? Whatever happened to his VAST gun collection? It just seemed very strange, and kind of hushed, the circumstances of his death.

    • Bruce Anderson March 25, 2017

      Yes, poor old Norm died of a heart attack. His widow got his arsenal, at least that’s what I’ve always understood.

    • Harvey Reading March 25, 2017

      Whatever the reason he was dropped, it was past time to drop him. The guy had become totally loony. As far as I know, Information Clearing House, which was always fairly libertarian, still publishes him.

      • BB Grace March 25, 2017

        PCRs is more popular than ever Mr. Reading and why I checked to see if he was still on CP, wondering if the Communists were keeping themselves informed. Apparently not. PCRs continues to be brilliant and telling the truth. It’s a good break for him from CP where insults = nothing more than implosion pains.

        • Harvey Reading March 25, 2017

          Somehow the nooze of the popularity among the misinformed of that former trickle-down “economist” does not surprise me at all. Brilliant is not a word I would use to describe his lunatic current rantings. A rest home is the best place for him these days, in my opinion.

          • BB Grace March 25, 2017

            “How can the left-wing be lost in Identity Politics while the life of the planet is being put at extreme risk?

            Why did CounterPunch recently and suddenly abandon the working class and peace and take up the cause of the victim groups of Identity Politics—women, blacks, homosexuals, lesbians, transgendered, and Muslim refugees (see Eric Draitser CP, Vol. 24, No. 1), the cause of the EU and globalism which benefits only the One Percent, and the demonization of Trump and Putin? Perhaps it is only a coincidence, but CounterPunch’s collapse coincides with CP being put on and removed from the PropOrNot list of Russian agents/dupes. My columns, for years a welcome feature on CounterPunch, suddenly ceased to appear. We have had no explanation from CounterPunch why the site suddenly gave up on peace and bread.

            One might think that the audacity of the lies from the FBI, CIA, NSA and their media whores would provoke a powerful response from the liberal/progressive/left and from European populations, but it hasn’t.”


            • LouisBedrock March 26, 2017

              Quote and article are excellent.
              Thank you.

            • sohumlily March 26, 2017

              CounterPunch seems to me to be pretty much the same eclectic mix as it ever was; I think you and PCR are dreamin’.

              Last week’s interview/podcast was with Chris Hedges.

              You should check it out.

  6. LouisBedrock March 25, 2017

    I must confess that I’m disappointed that there hasn’t been one comment about Juan José Millás’s little piece, “Replicants”. It’s not just that I translated it, but I appreciate what it says about Uber, an organization I hate with a passion—My father was a cab-driver.

    I had never heard the word “uberization” before

    The article is depressing, but also very funny. I wonder whether there really is a whorehouse in Barcelona with robot prostitutes.

    And I love his last line.

    • Bill Pilgrim March 25, 2017

      An excellent piece of translation, Louis. Don’t despair. There are so many mortar shells now falling upon us it’s difficult to separate the exceptional from the mediocre. When most of us are hunkering down for our lives, in a thick fog of confusion, great art fades into a soup of mundane emergencies.

    • Harvey Reading March 25, 2017

      Inappropriate, I know, but your next-to-last line in your comment above reminded me of that now-“classic” film, Cherry 2000, which had as its only saving “grace” the presence of Ben Johnson in a few scenes.

      I apologize for having missed “Replicants” but in my rush to get past ol’ Ralphie, I did so. The sad thing for me is that what is described in “Replicants” is so unsurprising to me; not shocking at all. Its last line is something I of the present could easily say to my self of the early 70s … something currently not possible. Or is it?

    • LouisBedrock March 26, 2017


      Recently I told a friend that I often wonder whether I will die of cancer—I’m a five year survivor, a bicycle accident—there have been many close calls, in a nuclear holocaust, from radiation that envelops the area when the Indian Point nuclear reactor has a meltdown, or from the shortages and chaos of a breakdown caused by some “natural disaster” like a flood or a devastating storm.

      His response was that he often thinks about the same things.

      We’re both 72.

      A lot of mortar shells indeed.


      The phenomenon of replacing workers with androids is not a surprise to me. In a way, it’s happened in my profession where trained teachers have been replaced by replicants from Teach for America. What is new to me was the word Millás uses to describe it—“uberization”. Perfect.

      There’s a Spanish movie made by a directer named Jose Luis Berlanga called TAMAÑO NATURAL. It’s about man who orders a life sized female doll through a mail order company and then lives with it. It was remade as an American film the title of which I don’t remember. Faux women is not a new idea. I guess you’re right—it’s all deja-vu all over again.

      Probably you, Bill, and I can also say, “I’ve seen things that you’d never believe.”

  7. Betsy Cawn March 26, 2017

    Louis, I feel certain that you can tell me (and other readers will allow the tediousness of this question) what is the “part of speech” occupied by words ending in -ation, or -ization (and does that come from -ize? and what part of speech is that, pray tell?). Contemplating the contemporary utterances of affection for collective cutisms (oooooh, uber all over itself), echoes of previously bantered charms such as modernization, why, now, there’s a new word for you! Trumpification, the lingua franca of mass mental breakdown. Antidote: Anderson Valley Advertiser.

    • LouisBedrock March 26, 2017


      It is a form of nominalization, which is usually defined as changing a verb or adjective in order to make a noun. In the case of “uberization” the transformation is actually the conversion of a proper noun into a common noun; however, I imagine that this extrapolation of “nominalization”is permissible.

      I hope my friend, the esteemed scholar Bruce McEwen, will read this exchange and add his opinion.

      • LouisBedrock March 26, 2017

        “Ize” does the opposite: it converts nouns and adjectives into verbs.

        MIRRIAM-WEBSTER offers this:

        “The suffix -ize has been productive in English since the time of Thomas Nashe (1567–1601), who claimed credit for introducing it into English to remedy the surplus of monosyllabic words. Almost any noun or adjective can be made into a verb by adding -ize (hospitalize) (familiarize); many technical terms are coined this way (oxidize) as well as verbs of ethnic derivation (Americanize) and verbs derived from proper names (bowdlerize) (mesmerize). Nashe noted in 1591 that his -ize coinages were being criticized, and to this day new words ending in -ize (finalize) (prioritize) are sure to draw critical fire.”

        I hope this answerizes your questions.

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