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Mendocino County Today: Thursday, May 25, 2017

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THIS JUST IN from the Sheriff’s Office:

On Wednesday, May 24, 2017 around 5:15 PM the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office was contacted by the San Joaquin County Sheriff's Office and was advised that suspect Kelley Coan was in custody in that county.

MS. COAN is suspected of murdering Jamie Shipman, 57 of Mendocino last Tuesday. The victim and her husband had lived on the property for several years as did Ms. Coan, 39 years, and her son, age 20. The investigation revealed the Coan was upset with the victim and her husband about a dispute related to the property they all lived on. The victim's vehicle was missing from the scene. Evidence at the scene led detectives to believe Coan was responsible for the homicide and a warrant was issued for her arrest on a charge of murder.

Apparently the suspect arranged her surrender in San Joaquin county, after contacting a private attorney. The suspect had been in possession of the victim's vehicle which was also recovered in San Joaquin County. Mendocino County Sheriff's Detectives are currently enroute to San Joaquin County to conduct an interview of the suspect and to make arrangements to tow the victim's vehicle back to Mendocino County to be processed for evidence. The suspect has been booked into the San Joaquin County Jail on one count of homicide and is being held on a no bail status.

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Incident Number: 2017-14289

Crime/Incident: 187 PC [Murder}

Location: 42900 Block of Caspar Little Lake Road (AKA County Rd 409), Mendocino CA.

Date of Incident: 05/23/2017

Time: Approximately 8:36 AM

Victim(s): Jamie Dawn Shipman, 57 years of age, Mendocino CA

Suspect(s): Kelley Ann Coan, 39 years of age, Mendocino CA

Written By: Lieutenant Shannon Barney

Synopsis: On 5/23/2017 around 8:36 AM the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office received a call from a resident living in 42900 block of Caspar Little Lake Road in Mendocino who reported shots being fired west of his location. A deputy was dispatched to the location, searched the area west of the reporting person's location, as well as the main road, but did not locate anything suspicious nor did he hear shots being fired. This area is densely forested with pygmy forest with residences scattered on large parcels throughout the area.

Around 11:12 AM a medical aid call was received from a resident, who lives south of the original caller, requesting and ambulance for a female who was down and injured. Medical units and Sheriff's Deputies responded where they located victim Jamie Shipman, 57 years of age, deceased. The evidence located at the scene indicated Shipman was the victim of a homicide. Sheriff's Detectives, assisted by investigators of the Mendocino County District Attorney's Office, responded and assumed the investigation.

Detectives learned the victim and her husband have lived on the property for several years as did the suspect, Kelley Coan, 39 years of age, and her son, 20 years of age. The investigation revealed the Coan was upset with the victim and her husband about a dispute related to the property they all lived on. The victim's vehicle was missing from the scene. Evidence at the scene led detectives to believe Coan was responsible for the homicide and a warrant is being sought at this time for her arrest on a charge of murder.

The victim's vehicle is still outstanding and is described as a 2009 Chevrolet HHR, California license plate #6JWT270. A photograph of the vehicle is attached below.

Kelley Coan, shown in the attached photograph from 2007, is also outstanding. She is described as a white female adult, 5'06" tall, weighing approximately 140 pounds, with brown hair and hazel eyes.

The Sheriff's Office is requesting anyone with information related to the whereabouts of the suspect, the victim's vehicle, or pertinent information about this case to contact the Sheriff's Dispatch Center at (707)463-4086 or the Sheriff's Tip Line at (707)234-2100.

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(courtesy of mendocinosportsplus)

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BLOOD IN THE WATER. The second hurry-up meeting of the Anderson Valley School Board in as many days, trustee Dick Browning presiding, convened promptly at 5pm Wednesday afternoon to discuss a volatile two-item agenda. (Browning is just back from a vacation in Italy.)

AGAIN, some twenty persons, mostly elementary school staff, supplemented by a few parents, crowded into the superintendent's office for three minutes of "open session," during which Browning, reluctantly responding to a question from your reporter about item two on the agenda, said it concerned the elementary school principal, Dr. Katherine Reddick.

THAT ITEM read, "Discipline/dismissal/release," and apparently stems from an unhappy encounter between Dr. Reddick and superintendent Hutchins. Although her fate was being discussed, Dr. Reddick was not present.

THE SMALL CROWD, as they had Tuesday night, filed out of the office as the school board, minus trustee Arbanovella, began what promised to be, by school board standards, an exceedingly tense discussion.

SUPERINTENDENT HUTCHINS, also under fire from what seems to be much of district's staff, was present with the trustees for her evaluation and, presumably, also sat in on the discussion of the "discipline/dismissal/release" of Dr. Reddick.

TRUSTEE ARBANOVELLA, by our clock, hurried into the closed session exactly 11 minutes and thirty-five seconds after it had begun. If our timing of his arrival is inaccurate, we are confident the exacting Arbanovella will correct us. We also hope he will explain to us the difference between a "dismissal" and a "release."

THE TRUMP ADMINISTRATION leaks like the proverbial sieve. The seething Anderson Valley School District is water-tight. We were mostly caught unawares of the turmoil at the administrative top of the district, and just as unaware that a large number of teachers, aides and classified staff are also unhappy with the leadership. We'd been told, in frightened whispers, that "something is about to blow." It has.

WE CAN'T ASSUME that the school board will report out from their lengthy closed session tonight, but we will report what we learn of it tomorrow, perhaps before Facebook beats us to it.

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LITTLE DOG SAYS, “These people are always telling me to mind my own business. But hey! I live here, too, so when I merely comment that a bunch of geraniums and dying roses does not a garden make, I'm told to either plant my own garden or shut all the way up. These are liberals?”

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Public Expression

Sheriff Allman: I would like to welcome the newest supervisor [Speaking to newly seated Third District Supervisor Georgeanne Croskey]. Thank you for your public service. And for coming to work for the county at a salary that is not something that people would be busting down the door to get. But it's appreciated that you are ready to give energy to the citizens, and intelligence to the citizens, be fair with the citizens, and make sure the citizens understand your answers whether they agree with it or not. Just tell them the answer. That's what taxpayers want. And that's what I hope we will continue to see from your peers which they are very good at doing.

I had to make an out-of-town trip this afternoon regarding item 5.b. So I would like to merely make a comment. With marijuana the Sheriff's office is the number one complaint driven agency whether it’s agriculture doing the permit process, it's our dispatchers, our deputy sheriffs, or it's me who receive the comments from the citizens. As you are talking about zoning and as you are talking about how marijuana and cannabis impact our community, I would like to remind you that backyard grows create crime. Backyard grows create vulnerable situations for innocent people. I can certainly go down the list of innocent people who have not had marijuana on their property but the bad guys have mistakenly believed they did and it has stricken our county. Instead of allowing emotions of potential growers to drive the conversation, I would like to remind you that the vast majority of Mendocino County citizens support clear zoning laws, clear and decisive and clear to understand ordinances that the Sheriff's office can interpret because while we are the ones who receive the complaints, we are also the ones who give advice on how not to create a nuisance in the community, whether it's a town meeting and so forth. I'll be out of town, I wish I was here for the day, but please keep in mind the Sheriff's office perspective on this. No ambiguity in marijuana. That's where we lead down a path of confusion, anger and distrust of government.

NOTE TO SHERIFF: Supervisor pay and emoluments is more than twice that of the average Mendo employee.

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Supervisor Croskey’s first statement as a supervisor was a question addressed to the Health & Human Services bosses who were talking about their recent employee survey which showed that the County’s helpers are relatively inexperienced and that there is high turnover and that they don’t seem to stay long in county employment.

Croskey seemed more or less on task asking, “Are you doing or planning to do surveys for the people who have decided not to come to the county to work or the people who are leaving the job as far as the reason why they are? I didn't see anything in there as to why people are leaving the jobs.”

HHSA Director Tammy Moss Chandler and Assistant Director Anne Molgaard said they were doing exit interview reviews now but, Chandler said, “We have had a harder time trying to figure out why people didn't accept a job. We’ve heard anecdotally that some people have said that the process takes too long and they've taken another job in the meantime. But that is just anecdotal. We have been doing exit interviews as to why people are leaving. But we don't have a consolidated report yet summarizing all the reasons why. But I believe they are similar to some of the reasons you're seeing in the survey.”

Molgaard added, “There are two reasons, salary and stress. And then there are 50 other reasons that are individual to that employee — life changes and other things. The exit interviews are voluntary. They don't have to tell us. So far it's been stress and salary and a bunch of other things.”

Supervisor Croskey asked a few minor questions about the draft of the pot business license program regs which were discussed at boring length with the three or four staffers developing the regs. No decisions were made, staff was supposed to somehow boil the muddled discussion down to a few minor tweaks to the draft and come back again at an upcoming meeting.

Typical of the pot business license discussion was the head of a pin discussion of whether extracting concentrate pot from pot plants with alcohol instead of butane was considered "volatile." No one seemed to know.

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With temperatures returning to far more civilized levels, you are no doubt ready to escape from your air-conditioned mansions and head into downtown Boonville for tomorrow evening's General Knowledge and Trivia Quiz. Good decision!... Yes, folks, it's the fourth Thursday of the month (May 25th) and that means the Quiz will resume at Lauren's Restaurant with the first question tossed out at 7pm prompt... Hope to see you there... Steve / The Quiz Master

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We already have beau coup books telling us about the history of Mendocino County. I would rather that Ms. Tahja do a book on Mendocino anecdotes. It will be easier, faster and likely to sell better. (Have McEwen think up a cute title.) Only a tiny fraction of county residents buy or read books. They don't even buy newspapers (except on Monday if the football team wins).

How many copies of Mendocino Noir did you sell, Mr. Scaramella? Huh? How many? [1] Mulligan Books had a copy but every few days Dave Jones [2] had do wipe the dust off it.

There are hundreds of interesting anecdotes. The road from Ukiah to Willits was narrow, curvy and steep with no places to pass. By the time vehicles reached Ridgewood Summit their radiators were boiling over. Fortunately there was a large tank of water there. Rena [3] became interested in local history, particularly Indians. She also had plenty of chutzpah. When Rena heard about old people living in the northeast part of the county she would try to catch them before they died. She marched up to their house uninvited, knocked on the door and demanded an interview. Each year at Fourth of July the Willits News would print a special section containing 10 or 12 pages of Rena’s interviews of the past year.

In the 20s and 30s there were at least 25 places on or near Highway 101 where a chicken dinner could be bought. Jack and Charmian London rode their horses from Lakeport through the county.

As an example of the lack of political leadership, for over 50 years a high priority in Willits and vicinity was an alternate north-south street to remove some of the congestion on Main Street. After one phony excuse after another it turns out that a couple of Main Street business owners who didn't want to see any reduction of traffic on Main Street used their influence to keep the alternate street killed. Now the Main Street business owners want free money to compensate for loss of money due to the bypass. A lack of leadership is evident when it was learned that the bypass was to be built without an exit to central Willits or Highway 20. That was the place to fight. But Republican Supervisor Pinches and the Republicans on the City Council would have had would have had to go hat in hand to state and federal officials (Democrats) for help [4]. The best Pinches, who should've taken the lead, could it do was to issue a plaintive statement "that's not the way I would have done it." [4]

A wire across country from the Eel River power dam station to Willits was inspected each month by a young man named Shirley Tharp who walked the line from Potter Valley to Willits. You can still find the glass resistors on the ground today.

Both the North and South bound trains arrived in Willits in the early evening and laid over until the following morning. Some ladies from a Ukiah adult entertainment business came up on the evening train, stood in the shadows along the route from the railroad tracks to the Willits Hotel and a generation of Willits high school boys lost their virginity.

Every Fourth of July morning a tub of ice cream was put on the northbound train and delivered to Nash Mead (north of Dos Rios). The entire population came down to the railroad tracks with their spoons and ate ice cream as fast as they could before it melted.

In September 1929 a group of men including Winston Churchill were motoring from Vancouver to San Francisco. They arrived in Willits and stayed overnight at the Van hotel. The room clerk thought that Winnie, covered in dust, was their driver and assigned him a room in the basement.

In the early 30s a few people began to get radios and it was not uncommon to invite neighbors over on Sunday evenings to listen to a couple of popular programs. In the mid-30s every radio in the county was tuned into the Joe Louis heavyweight fights.

Looking at election results, Redwood Valley and the Willits area are the most conservative parts of the county and the Willits School District, with the exception of Covelo and sometimes Manchester and Geyserville, has the poorest performing schools in Mendocino County and Sonoma County. Ralph Nader received a high or higher percentage of votes of any county in the United States right here. Likewise Dennis Kucinich in the Democratic primary. I don't know if Bernie set any records here but he beat Clinton 2-1, Ross Perot got more votes than Bush. I have visited every used bookstore in Las Vegas, population 1.5 million, and the largest and best is smaller than the "Book Juggler" in Willits and with a poorer selection.

Dos Rios is the most interesting town in the county where the bridge is bigger than the town. Willits is famous for the fall and spring Friends of the Willits Library (FOWL) book sales (approximately 5000 books). Ukiah has several attractions: a 24-hour classical music station also heard in Willits with no advertising. The lowest grocery prices between Eureka and Rohnert Park (Wal-Mart), three places where the Times is sold. Maybe one of the best retail stores in the state (Friedman’s). A publication that has many practical uses after being read (Ukiah Dreary Journal).

Now we turn our attention to anecdotes that have not occurred yet:

The PD replaces the three newspapers with a weekly daily news magazine.

Supervisor George Washington Croskey travels to DC and convinces the croaker/sawbones to allocate $41 million in Mendocino County to be used to subsidize low-cost housing.

In an historic agreement Supervisors agree to suspend all taxes to an investor group from New York for 25 years for developing the vast wasteland east of the Willits Bypass. Included are a private jet landing facility, a group of high-end fashion shops and a mall to be called "Vanity Fair West." This fashion outlet will include many items which are not available except on Fifth Avenue, Palm Beach and Beverly Hills. In the future you may see advertising "Mode du femme-Paris, Zurich, Abu Dhabi, Willits."

A luxury hotel and spa named "The Pence-Ryan Insurance Suites.”

A Sotheby's Auction House that only the stinking rich can afford to patronize.

Three restaurants not less than three stars. (Also discreet adult entertainment). Dormitories will be erected for carefully screened guestworkers.

A minor dustup/scandal occurrs when most of the county homosexual community decide to start in attending Mormon church services. Just a popular new fad. The folks at KZYX were quite amused.

Noo York has a public advocate. The towns in his county want one too, god dammit. If you want to be the public advocate for a term of two years notify the newspapers, radio stations, etc. in Ukiah for instance. Pick up a numbered ballot at "it takes a village" bookshop and drop it off at Carl's Jr. or at Jack in the Box with your choice. It is not a public office. Unincorporated areas could have a public advocate if they wanted as well.

Ralph Bostrom


Mark Scaramella notes: 1. We have sold over three hundred copies of Mendocino Noir, and about that same number of the other two books in the series: Mendocino Papers and Behind the Green Curtain. Mendocino Books said it was their best-selling local book — not that the numbers were particularly high compared to nationally distributed books. (2) The owner of Mulligan books was Dave Smith (not Dave Jones), who has done his own collection of local interviews for us over the last few years. (3) “Rena” is the late Willits News reporter Rena Lynn, widely admired for her local interviews and profiles. (4) We are not aware of any Official Willits complaints, Republican or Democrat, about the last minute removal of the central interchange to Willits/Highway 20 from the byass because Caltrans said it cost too much and would have put the project over budget.

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TIM BLAKE came to public attention several years ago when he organized the first Emerald Cup at the dusty foot of Spy Rock Road north of Laytonville known as Area 101. Blake has since gone on to become Mr. Emerald Triangle, a ubiquitous (and wealthy) pot festival organizer whose cannabis contests soon outgrew the grungy premises of Area 101 for the Sonoma County Fairgrounds. Blake will convene yet another stoner festival in July at Wavy Gravy's Black Oak Ranch. Gravy, a varsity hippie who parlayed a revoltingly smarmy flower child act into a kind of national fame, is also a ground-floor Mendo pot guy who recycled his drug fortune into a sixty acre "collective" near Laytonville, now the site of music festivals and Blake's latest production


"The focus of the three-day festival and cannabis market is to create ‘a unified community of organic cannabis farmers and wellness enthusiasts, combining industry education with a variety of experiences for the “cannabis tribe’, according to organizers, which will include Emerald Cup founder Tim Blake, with the help of high-powered music management and event production company, Red Light Management…"

O HELL YEAH. It's all about community and wellness, two words that translate as Money. Gotta hand it to Blake, though, instead of moving dope he's made a much safer fortune just talking about it.

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CATCH OF THE DAY, May 24, 2017

Brown, Burke, Dominguez, Hawkins

JAMES BROWN SR., Redwood Valley. Under influence.

NEV BURKE, Redwood Valley. Drunk in public.

ELIGIO DOMINGUEZ JR., San Jose/Ukiah. Suspended license.

CANDICE HAWKINS, Covelo. Petty theft, controlled substance, paraphernalia.

Jimenez-Jimenez, Lingoes, Lockett

UBALDO JIMENEZ-JIMENEZ, Clearlake/Ukiah. Drunk in public.

ANTHONY LINGOES, Leggett. Controlled substance, smoking-injecting device, fugitive from justice.

MICHAEL LOCKETT SR., Laytonville. Controlled substance, protective order violation, failure to appear.

Olvera-Campos, Reynoso, Siddons

MICHAEL OLVERA-CAMPOS, Ukiah. Battery, resisting, probation revocation.

NOE REYNOSO, Ukiah. Probation revocation.

MARIYA SIDDONS, Willits. Drunk in public.

Simpson, Valador, Vassar

STEVEN SIMPSON, Ukiah. Community supervision violation.

MONIQUE VALADOR, Fort Bragg. Attempted grand theft, failure to appear, probation revocation.

RUSTI VASSAR, Ukiah. Probation revocation.

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The Mendocino Unified School District is looking for students to attend the beautiful TK-3 elementary school in Albion this fall. This school has served students for 18 years. Please contact Jason Morse at 937-5868 or email if you plan to enroll your child at the Albion School or if you have any questions. The school is located on the forested Albion Ridge Road 3 miles east of Highway 1. The school is one of the few "one room school houses" left in California. The solar design feature with its solar heated floors and plenty of natural lighting has been appreciated by many and believed to be very conducive to learning. The size of the school is approximately 5,000 square feet and is located on an 8-acre property that is surrounded by trees.

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MORE HELPING PROS FOR FRISCO (as the homeless tide continues to rise)

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AFTER ALL, THE SUCCESS of the Trump movement depends upon a nervous coalition of aging religious conservatives and young, race-baiting, Internet-addicted morons – the people GOP consultant Rick Wilson once called"childless single men who masturbate to anime."

The link between these two groups has always been tenuous at best. Really, it's an absurd semantic misunderstanding, a classic Americanism, confusing the words "liberty" and "libertine."

There's a big difference between believing in limited government, and completely rejecting all behavioral and sexual morality. But people like Yiannopoulos and Trump have been successful at blurring these lines, because we're not a very bright people. Also, we're inexperienced when it comes to this kind of high-level political con artistry.

A dynamic that all good swindlers understand is that once you've gotten a person to make one embarrassing decision, it's easier to get him to make the next one. A person who loses 10 grand trying to buy the Brooklyn Bridge is a good bet to spend 20 more chasing the loss. Con artists call this "reloading."

The Trump phenomenon has been like this. Megachurch moms and dads across the country grit their teeth when the "grab them by the pussy" tape came out, quietly convincing themselves that "locker-room talk" was less horrifying than a Hillary Clinton presidency.

(— Matt Taibbi)

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Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed.

This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children. The cost of one modern heavy bomber is this: a modern brick school in more than 30 cities. It is two electric power plants, each serving a town of 60,000 population. It is two fine, fully equipped hospitals. It is some fifty miles of concrete pavement. We pay for a single fighter with a half-million bushels of wheat. We pay for a single destroyer with new homes that could have housed more than 8,000 people… This is not a way of life at all, in any true sense. Under the cloud of threatening war, it is humanity hanging from a cross of iron.

—Dwight D. Eisenhower

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Anderson Valley Health Center (AVHC) is one of four recipients of the 2017 statewide Mother-Baby Friendly Workplace Award.

Sponsored by the California Breastfeeding Coalition and Senator Pan’s office, the Mother-Baby Friendly Workplace Award recognizes employers that implement breastfeeding friendly policies to support working mothers.

Anderson Valley Health Center received the award on Tuesday May 23rd at the State Capitol. Stephanie Long, RN manager for AVHC, who nominated AVHC for the award, Fabiola Cornejo, Chief Operations Officer and Chloё Guazzone-Rugebregt, Executive Director were present with their babies to receive the award. The ED stated that “collectively 50% of AVHC employees are mothers and have breastfed 18 children over 22 years”.

From left to right: Chloё Guazzone-Rugebregt, ED; Fabiola Cornejo, COO; Stephanie Long, RN manager; and Amalia, Xavi & Nico

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RE-INTRODUCTION OF THE CASA PROGRAM to the residents of Mendocino and Lake Counties

Date: May 23, 2017

CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) is a national organization with representation in nearly every county in the United States. CASA volunteers serve the Juvenile Courts and are the “eyes and ears” of the Juvenile Judge.

Established in Mendocino County in 1994 and in Lake County in 2010, the CASA program is funded by federal, state and county general funds with the balance raised in the community through fund raisers, donations, and grant writing.

At any given time, up to 500 children in the two counties are termed “dependents of the Court” for either safety, social or miscreant reasons. A small number of these are assigned to CASA volunteers, who with training, assist in supporting each child’s emotional, educational, medical, and placement needs while informing the Court in writing of these needs.

The CASA organization works closely with all other youth organizations and particularly those responsible for foster care or group home placement.

CASA staff also participates actively in many community councils that includes: Policy Council on Children and Youth (PCCY) in Mendocino County; Children’s Council in Lake County; Children’s Action Committee/Trauma Action Team in Mendocino County and finally, the County Child Death Review team in Mendocino County which monitors each loss of a child to better understand how to provide better care and protection.

CASA of Mendocino and Lake Counties is always in need of more volunteer advocates and funding opportunities. We’re now reaching out to media program directors and editors for interviews to better inform the public of the many challenges youth face in Mendocino and Lake Counties.

The increase in recreational use and production of marijuana and a decrease in educational attainment combined with higher living costs and a high unemployment rate contribute to twice the State’s average of abused and neglected children being watched over by the Courts.

Please contact Sheryn Hildebrand, Executive Director, at 489.5346 for media broadcasts and interviews.

More information may be found at our website:

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by Paul Street

Last year, Daniel Denvir insightfully described Hilary Clinton’s political strategy as “peak neoliberalism, where a distorted version of identity politics is used to defend an oligarchy and a national security state, celebrating diversity in the management of exploitation and warfare” (emphasis added).

This “peak” neoliberal identity politics (NIP) is a great weapon on the hands of the privileged capitalist Few and their mass-murderous global empire. It was central to the Barack Obama phenomenon and presidency. And it is very much alive and kicking atop the corporate Democratic Party and its various media allies more than half a year after Mrs. Clinton’s humiliating defeat.

It works like this. You couldn’t stand and vote even just “lesser evil”-style for the lying neoliberal warmonger (LNW) Hillary Clinton, the vicious tool and ally of the nation’s unelected and interrelated dictatorships of money, empire, and white supremacy?

Well, NIP says, that just proves that you are a sexist. You’ve got a gender problem. You just can’t deal with women in positions of authority.

Same to you if you dared to note the grotesque imperialism of Hillary’s good and fellow Russia-hating friend Madeline Albright, Bill Clinton’s former Secretary of State. Albright is the revolting imperial operative who told CBS that the murder of half a million Iraqi children (girls included) by U.S.-imposed economic sanctions was “a price worth paying” for the advance of U.S. foreign policy objectives. (Albright also said that there’s “a special place in Hell” for young women who didn’t vote for the LNW last year).

Same if you don’t do cartwheels over the participation of female U.S. pilots in the bombing of Afghan villagers.

Never mind all the women and girls included among the countless U.S. and world citizens harmed and menaced by neoliberal and imperial agenda that Mrs. Clinton has advanced no less fervently and viciously than her epic woman-abusing husband.

Never mind that fact that many feminist and progressive women could not stomach the corporatism and militarism of Hillary Clinton and backed Bernie Sanders (along with men who were absurdly shamed as “Berniebros” by the Hillary campaign) in the Democratic presidential primaries? Or that you voted for a woman (Jill Stein) for president.

No, NIP says. you hated on Hillary because you don’t believe in women’s rights.

You criticized the first Black U.S. president’s captivity and service to the aforementioned unelected dictatorships and you refused to jump on board his fake-progressive hopey-changey train? You denounced Obama’s relentless and dedicated service to the rich and powerful? You, didn’t support Obama’s drone-bombing of Muslim women and children with a not-so targeted assassination program Noam Chomsky rightly called “the most extreme terrorist campaign of modern times”?

Well, NIP huffs, that just shows what a racist you are. You must have a problem with Black people in positions of authority.

Never mind the many millions, nay billions of people of color who were harmed and menaced by the neoliberal and imperial agenda that Obama advanced no less fervently and viciously than the Clintons. Never mind your warnings and observations on the many-sided disaster that the Obama phenomenon and presidency was (and still is) for the cause of Black equality. Or the fact that many Black Americans dissented from the sickening notion that putting a technically Black face in the nation’s top symbolic high place was a solution to racism’s persistent presence at the heart of American life.

Concerned about the downward pressure that African and Mexican immigrants can have on wages and union bargaining power in your local labor market?

Well, NIP sneers, that just shows what a nativist, white-nationalist FOX News-watching racist you are.

Never mind local employers’ gleeful exploitation of immigrant labor as a low-wage and working class-dividing windfall – or your own efforts to fight for immigrant rights and the inclusion of immigrants in struggles for improved working and living conditions.

Worried about how the influx of rich students from China is helping inflate college and university tuition costs, helping price working-class U.S. kids out of higher education in the U.S.? Find the conspicuous consumption and single-minded business orientation of many of these Chinese students distasteful?

NIP thinks that just shows that you are a racist nativist who secretly wants to bring back the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882.

Never mind how much you have written, said, and/or done about and against the ruthless, neo-Dickensian exploitation of the Chinese proletariat – the source of the wealth that makes it possible for upper-echelon Chinese families to send their only children to U.S. universities.

Dare to note that the massive influx of women into the U.S. job market during and since the 1970s has helped the employer class suppress hourly wages and contributed to a crisis in working class family life?

NIP says that shows what a male chauvinist you are. You obviously believe that “a woman’s place is in the home.” You must be a sexist who wants to roll back the clock on women’s rights.

Never mind your own longstanding support of gender equality within and beyond the workplace.

Worried about recent data showing that white U.S. working class males are undergoing an historic decline in their life expectancy thanks to the collapse of the job market for working class men in the neoliberal era?

That shows NIP that you are a white sexist who only cares about white men.

Never mind your long opposition to sexism, racism, nativism, and other evils.

Find it less than surprising that many working class and rural whites react poorly to the phrase “Black Lives Matter” given the fact that they have been told that their lives don’t matter by neoliberal capitalism over the last four-plus decades?

That just shows that you are a racist who doesn’t understand the special oppression experienced by people of color.

Never mind your long record of denouncing and opposing racism and your defense of the phrase “Black lives matter.”

You don’t support the dangerous U.S.-imperial project of humiliating Russia?

That just shows that you adore great white nationalist strongmen like Vladimir Putin. You secretly want to go back to the good old days of unchallenged white male supremacy.

Never mind your consistent and steadfast criticism of Putin’s neoliberal oligarchy along with his racism and his sexism.

Can’t stand history or sociology (or other humanities or “social science”) professors who focus on race and/or ethnicity and/or gender and/or sexual orientation and/or religion and/or nationality and/or age and/or ecology to the absurd exclusion of class in the making of history and current events?

That just shows that you are a racist and/or nativist and/or homophobe and/or religious bigot and/or ageist and/or eco-cidalist.

Never mind the centrality of class inequality and power to the development of race/racism, ethnicity/ethnic oppression, gender/sexism, homophobia, age-ism.

Never mind that the environmental crisis is rooted above all in the exterminist madness of capitalist class rule.

There’s a name for all this identity-politicized madness in which so many fake-progressive bourgeois liberals are invested: ruling class divide-and-rule.

I am not one of those social democratic and conomistic, class-reductionist sorts who says that any and all identity politics must be forsaken. No Left worthy of the label should deny or ignore the specific experience and oppression of females, Blacks, Native Americans, Latinos, gays. transgendered people, Muslims, Arabs. Africans, and so on. Discounting the particularities of peoples’ lives and subjugation as they relate to racial, gender, sexual, ethnic, and national identity leads nowhere morally or politically.

What needs to be rejected is the paralyzing and reactionary kind of bourgeois identitarianism to which the dismal, dollar-drenched neoliberal Democratic Party is so deeply attached. As Conor Lynch noted on Salon last fall, “The Clinton campaign tried to make [the 2016] election all about Trump’s hatefulness (‘Love Trumps Hate’) and his ‘basket of deplorables,’ while offering no real vision of progressive and populist change…when those on the left raised legitimate concerns about Clinton’s uninspiring message or her political baggage during and after the primaries, they were ridiculously labeled sexist or racist ‘bros’ by establishment figures (even though some of Clinton’s harshest progressive critics were in fact women and people of color ).”

The left at its best has understood identity in ways opposed to both ruling class divide-and-conquer and class reductionism. As Louis Proyect reflected last December on Counterpunch:

“While the idea of uniting workers on the basis of their class interests and transcending ethnic, gender and other differences has enormous appeal at first blush, there are no easy ways to implement such an approach given the capitalist system’s innate tendency to create divisions in the working class in order to maintain its grip over the class as a whole… Back to the 1960s…Trotskyist …leaders conceived of the coming American revolution as a kind of united front of different struggles that would come together on a basis of shared class interests. If that is a concession to ‘identity politics,’ I plead guilty. A socialist movement that disavows particular Black demands and those of other sectors of the population acting on their own interests on the basis of gender, sexual preference, etc. will inevitably lack the universality it needs to triumph over a unified capitalist class. To state it in dialectical terms, denying the existence of contradictions and refusing to resolve them will only lead to deeper contradictions.”

That’s exactly right. It approaches identity in a way meant to build working class solidarity in opposition to capital whereas NIP is all about dividing the working class in service to capital. Imagine.

(Paul Street’s latest book is They Rule: The 1% v. Democracy (Paradigm, 2014) Courtesy,

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STEM FOR KIDS: WORM FARMS Friday, May 26th 3-4:30 pm

This is the second in our series of three kid-friendly workshops exploring the muddy, wiggly, and beautiful nature of science, technology, engineering and math. Participants will make a mini, portable, delicious habitat for worms using a variety of ingredients which they will get to take home. This family-friendly event is suitable for kids ages 7-11, free to the public and sponsored by the Friends of the Library, Ukiah Valley

FREE TECH HELP! Every Saturday 1-3 pm Having difficulties with your new laptop or personal device? Come to the Ukiah Library & get help mastering your new tech. Librarians will be available every Saturday afternoon from 1-3 pm to assist patrons with their electronic devices, e-readers, laptops, tablets and phones. Stop by the Ukiah Library on Saturdays from 1-3 pm and we’ll help you troubleshoot your tech issues. Bring in your e-readers, phones, tablets, iPads or basic computer questions and we will help you understand how to work your device.



  1. james marmon May 25, 2017

    RE: CASA

    “The increase in recreational use and production of marijuana and a decrease in educational attainment combined with higher living costs and a high unemployment rate contribute to twice the State’s average of abused and neglected children being watched over by the Courts.”

    All my life I’ve maintained keeping my thoughts to myself but this deserves comment.


  2. Harvey Reading May 25, 2017

    Re: “beaucoup”

    Been a long time since I read or heard that one. Takes me back to the Vietnam invasion years, when its use was common … and cars were uuuuugly.

  3. Jim Updegraff May 25, 2017

    Rather than discuss the recent stupid things that El Trumpo the village idiot has said and done I will stick to the Giants and A’s.
    Giants: Cubs 5 Giants 4. A lack luster day by Moore who now is 2-5. Giants came back to score 2 runs in the 9th but couldn’t get the tieing run in.
    A’s: A’s 4 Miami 1. Gray went 7 innings and gave 1 ER. Khris Davis hit his 14th HR (one on) for the A’s. Sacramento Bee “Zen-like Gray is master of the mound”.
    The A’s have an area in the clubhouse called the Chi room with bamboo poles, greenery, a rock and meditative candles. About 2 1/2 hours before game time, the lights are turned down and new age relaxation music is turned on. Gray goes into the Chi room and works his sudoku puzzle. Gray says it gives him a Zen like feeling on the mound.
    Maybe the Giants should have their chi room along with a couple of Buddhist monks prayer wheels.

    • LouisBedrock May 25, 2017

      Rather than discuss the recent stupid things that the
      Village idiot hath said and done,
      I will stick to the Giants and A’s:
      I will stick to Lenape pictographs;
      I will not mention Hegel or Spinoza.
      Deidre lingers still in the pantry.
      Visions of the first explosion and a deafening silence.

      John Ashbery

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