- Hurry-up Harvest
- Porker's Last Stand
- Hurricane Irma
- Baseball 2017
- Elder Burn
- Little Dog
- Clueless Clinton
- Next Republican
- Film Club
- Forty North
- Yesterday's Catch
- Parkinson Conference
- Novato Narrows
- Donald Swine
- Stoned Vets
- Season Finale
- Cannabis Farming
- Pledging Allegiance
- Big Oil
THE LIGHT RAIN that fell on Mendo Thursday was enough to prompt a hurry-up harvest of the wine grapes still on the vine, and the bud still on the leaf.
SO MUCH RUSH, in fact, that one Philo vineyard called in this mega-grape harvester, seen here in Boonville on its way back to Sonoma County.
MR. PIG'S LAST STAND
by Mark Scaramella
Anderson Valley Fire Chief Andres Avila was resting on his back porch at his home southeast of Yorkville last Sunday evening a little after 8pm. He'd had a long weekend of record-high temperatures, equipment breakdowns, a fire strike team up north on the Helena Fire in Trinity County, depleting his local fire fighting force. All of a sudden from out on Highway 128 — BOOM! A vehicle collision?
Avila jumped up and moved to the front of his house to get a better look as a chorus of squealing tires screeched to a stop. The Chief saw a car moving slowly down the road, finally stopping at the top of a slight grade. A few seconds later — BOOM! Another hit! There was a another car, obviously damaged, wobbling down the road then rolling up the same grade to a halt. Avila grabbed a flashlight and started down his driveway to check out what had happened and see if anyone was injured when BOOM! Another one!
Clearly something was in the road that vehicles were running into. Avila shouted to his wife to drive the Chief's fire truck out to the road where he turned on his headlights and overhead flashers and started directing traffic around whatever the line of southbound vehicles was hitting.
There it was. A "monster boar" dead in the busy weekend roadway of Highway 128. Three cars in a row had it, and three cars were now disabled.
Avila used his flashlight to guide passing traffic around the king pig in lying as a royal obstruction in the roadbed.
The first vehicle to hit the doomed porker was driven by a still shocked woman. It had a smashed up front end and an exploded tire. Avila called retired Chief Colin Wilson who was soon on-scene to help the traveler with her downed vehicle while Avila grabbed the pig carcass by its rear legs and pulled it over to the side of the road. The carcass was so broken up into still hazardous road obstacles that it took Avila some time to shovel the remains over the side. "It was still hot," said Avila. "My wife was downwind a bit and she could smell the thing starting to rot."
Avila then noticed that the driver of the third damaged vehicle, a minivan, was accompanied by a caravan of nine or ten more cars. The Chief had the impression that a large family had been escaping the heat out on the coast and were now returning south from their weekend escape.
"As we began we had a pig and about 12 cars blocking about 300 yards of the right side of the road as they headed southeast," said Avila. "There's not much shoulder there either so the vehicles couldn't pull completely off the road."
Three vehicles had hit the pig. If Avila and Wilson had not so promptly appeared to remove its hazardous remains the hot night would have seen a lot more mini-disasters with perhaps a major one mixed in.
It was a straight stretch of road but visibility was poor. "The road was black, the pig was black — drivers had trouble seeing the large animal in the road."
Avila ordered a tow truck for the minivan. Meanwhile, Wilson had helped the first vehicle to get running and that driver was able to slowly crawl to Cloverdale for repairs.
Wilson shouted through a bullhorn to the people from the nine or ten trailing cars to get farther off the road, but they got out of their vehicles and started walking toward the downed minivan and their fellow travelers, leaving their vehicles exposed on the roadside.
Finally, by getting two of the three vehicles running and a third one towed, the road was cleared sometime after 10pm. At this point, Avila realized that the pig's last resting place was upwind of his house; the prevailing breeze would carry the stench directly to his house. The Chief tied a rope to what was left of the battered animal and dragged it a couple hundred yards out of smell range.
But the next afternoon, Monday, Labor Day, Caltrans had come along and pulled the carcass back within stench range of his house, thoughtfully placing two warning cones at the dead beast. The next day, Caltrans re-appeared with a loader and dump truck to haul the remains to wherever CalTrans hauls remains to.
Later as Avila assessed the scene he concluded that the pig had probably been grazing in Colin Wilson's apple trees when, noting the Avila's lush vegetable garden on the other side of the road, where either he or a relative had been rooting around lately, he'd made a fatal decision to finish his meal of apples with a few zukes. Wham! And Mr. Pig was carried off on the tourist tide.
Avila, frustrated at the damage pigs had done to his place, had been thinking about he and his son sleeping outside to catch the nocturnal marauders in the act of their late-night rototilling. "We got to him too late," said Avila. "It ruined my attempt to get some weekend rest, wiped out three vehicles and made a mess. But nobody was hurt and we won't have to worry about that animal any more."
ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY, UNO
Interesting to see hurricane Irma described as being unprecedented. It appears to one who is a novice to the effects of hurricanes, that it could be a result of the effects of global warming. Far be it from me to project future weather on the say-so of 97% of the climatoligists, as opposed to the 3% who say it is nonsense. All I can say is that the one thing about science is that it doesn’t care about what you believe, it’s gonna happen anyway. The only analogy that I can think of is when you step into the boxing ring thinking that you are the best fighter, only to realize that by round three, you were wrong. At that point you have some serious thinking to do. ie: how can I save my ass? Somewhere you have to accept that you were wrong and then deal with the reality that follows. Not being a weather expert, I will have to depend on what I am told by the majority of climate experts. It certainly seems that people should at least pay attention to what the majority of scientists say. Me: I tend towards pessimisim, and prepare myself accordingly. The rest of you are on your own. Go ahead and build your houses on flood plains, but try not to bitch when the elements rip you to shreds. To me, the people of Houston don’t deserve that much sympathy. Anybody who looks ahead should have seen the reality of another hurricane. If you didn’t consider that fact, my heart goes out to you, but you only have yourself to blame. You should have known better. One hint I will offer you: don’t rebuild on a known flood plain. If you do, that’s your problem. God does not suffer fools gladly.
by Jonah Raskin
It’s that time of year again: time for me to write about the baseball season now exiled to distant outfields as political and meteorological storms grab the headlines. Last July, a bit earlier in the game, I predicted that the Chicago Cubs would beat the Texas Rangers. I was right about the Cubs, wrong about the Rangers. The Cubs beat the Cleveland Indians four games to three and won their first championship since 1908. They also overcame a 3-1 deficit.
It’s unlikely that this year’s series will be as nail-biting as last year's, though there are some exciting teams who look like their could go all the way, including Cleveland who won 14 straight games at the end of August and the beginning of September, and Arizona who won 13 straight games in the same time period. As of September 7, 2017, they were the hottest teams in baseball, though they’re not leading their leagues.
The Dodgers were in first place in the west in the National League the last time I looked, but they lost nine of ten games at the end of August and the beginning of September. I predict that Cleveland will beat Arizona in five games. The Indians are highly motivated and they have superlative hitters in Ramirez and Encarnacion, excellent pitching in Kluber and Allen and a great manager in Terry Francona.
The Dodgers are on the path to self-destruction once again, despite the fact that they have talented players. The Yankees won’t catch the Red Sox, and the Nationals will fizzle, though they are 18 games ahead of the Marlins in their league, and though I love their manager, Dusty Baker, one of the best around. I haven’t watched baseball on TV or listened to it on the radio all season long, mostly because the Giants and the A’s are so awful. I read about games online. I’ll watch occasionally when the playoffs begin, and for the World Series I’ll view all the games, though there are sure to be more political and meteorological storms on the horizon. Hey, it’s the All-American game.
ED NOTE: And Pablo has set a National League record for hitless at bats.
THE OLDEST GUY AT BURNING MAN 2017
by Katy Tahja
Mobility Camp at Burning Man exists to get folks out on the Black Rock playa to see art and bright sparkly things when they can’t walk or bicycle long distances in extreme heat. We also get asked lots of questions…which is how we met the oldest guy at Burning Man.
There are about 70,000 people at the week long gathering and most Burners are young. I, and everyone over 60 years of age, constitute about 5% of the population of Black Rock City and folks over 70 are 1% of the crowd. How do we know? A census of the city is taken every year. Really.
So mid-week an old guy and a friend stop by asking about a night–time tour of the playa and the old guy says it’s his first time at the Burn and he’s 94 and having the time of his life. After signing him up for the tour we sent him to Playa Info to report himself as the oldest dude at Burning Man. Info then sent him to the Census Bureau to state his claim and sure enough, everyone agreed to the best of their knowledge he was the oldest person at Burning Man. He was so proud.
The week’s weather stayed hot but it didn’t hamper the silliness and creativity. The What-Where-When guide was invaluable just getting you to free food any hour of the day or night. I could have scored pancakes, nachos, fresh baked bread, cotton candy, grilled cheese sandwiches, pineapple upside down cake, a pig roast, funnel cakes, coconut milk ice cream and s’mores if I was in the right place. Every kind of liquid intoxicant was being shared someplace…”Would you like a guava mimosa?”
At Burning Man, if you choose not to be drugged, intoxicated, dazed or confused, there are educational lectures and events all day long. I could have listened to “Creation & Ecology of the Black Rock Desert” or observed “Making Ice Cream with Liquid Nitrogen” and eaten the resulting treat. AA and NA meet on the playa if you need help staying on the straight & narrow path or you could go listen to crystal singing bowl sound healing.
While events happened around sexual and downright quirky topics I couldn’t place into print I was amused by the workshop teaching how to make your own “Crotch Muppet” by creating a loin cloth and decorating it with felt and googly eyes. There was a cat video cinema if you wanted to sit in the shade and unwind. The Playa Introvert Quiet Reading Hour was held, but I’m not sure if that happened near the Lesbian Lending Library or one of the many BookCrossing Zones that shared free books.
Want to learn cartooning, or stilt walking, or heckling, or yo-yo technique…someone was sharing their skills. Go to “Pet a Bearded Weirdo” tent and you could pet long luxurious beards on men. Want to make “Erotic Fruit & Vegetable Sculptures” or participate in the “Best Butt Olympiad” go right ahead. Oh, and don’t miss making “X-Rated Balloon Animals.”
The fence around Black Rock City is over nine miles long and crazy folks run an ultra marathon around it at 5 a.m. The inaugural naked mile run went right by Mobility Camp with men and women with bouncing and flopping body parts scampering by to the cheers of bystanders sensibly sitting in the shade with a cold drink in their hands. Every sport, every form of dance, and any conceivable form of music was happening someplace.
In my little corner of Black Rock City Mobility Camp was making things accessible to mobility-impaired people. No one plans to trip over that tent peg in the dark and so badly twist their ankle they can’t step on it. After your camp mates got you to the Ramparts Hospital tent (set up to handle medical services for 70,000 with a medi-vac helicopter available) and an x-ray showed it wasn’t broken someone brings you to Mobility Camp where we give away crutches and check out wheelchairs and see what we can do to help.
The art of Burning Man never ceases to amaze me, from marionettes over 20’ tall walking across the playa, to a tree with 15,000 LED lights forming the leaves, to a mama bear and cubs statue covered in pennies. But it’s the friendships in my Burner family that bring me back again and again. For one week it’s escape from politics and weather catastrophes and work. I like it when I can nap in the shade at 2 p.m. and not feel guilty that I should be doing something. You’ll find this elder on the playa again next year.
LITTLE DOG SAYS, “I caught this thing creeping towards the office with malicious intent. Skrag didn’t care. But I did. Did anybody thank me for intercepting the evil little creature? Noooooooooo.”
CLUELESSNESS, THY NAME IS HILLARY CLINTON
by Maureen Callahan
She still doesn’t get it.
In her forthcoming memoir “What Happened” (out Tuesday), Hillary Clinton takes perfunctory responsibility for losing the election before spending nearly 500 pages blaming: Bernie Sanders, Joe Biden, “rash FBI director” James Comey, Barack Obama, the Russians, sexism and, finally, the American people for not liking her enough.
Sanders, she writes, had the gall to run against her even though he’s not a Democrat.
“That’s not a smear, that’s what he says,” she writes. “He didn’t get into the race to make sure a Democrat won the White House, he got in to disrupt the Democratic Party.”
Clinton bemoans the sexism among “Bernie bros” and claims a causal link between Sanders’ campaign and Trump’s win. “Some of his supporters … took to harassing my supporters online,” she writes. “It got ugly and more than a little sexist.” Such attacks, she claims, “caused lasting damage, making it harder to unify progressives in the general election and paving the way for Trump’s ‘Crooked Hillary’ campaign.”
Obama, she says, was no help, telling her “to grit my teeth and lay off Bernie as much as I could. I felt like I was in a straitjacket.”
Sanders, like so many leading Dems, has no sympathy.
“My response is that right now it’s appropriate to look forward and not backward,” he told The Hill. Left unmentioned was collusion between Clinton’s team and the DNC to oust Sanders from the primary and depict his campaign as “a mess” to reporters. These revelations, contained in a 2016 WikiLeaks dump, led to the immediate resignation of DNC chair and Clinton supporter Debbie Wasserman Schulz.
Yet to read leaked excerpts from Clinton’s book, you’d never know her campaign was secretly manipulating party apparatus, or that she had a $150 million war chest (twice Trump’s), or that she had the backing of mega-stars from Bruce Springsteen to Beyoncé to Oprah, or that the media largely depicted her rival as a complete buffoon with zero chance of winning, or that the Justice Department laid off even though her husband privately met with then-US Attorney General Loretta Lynch in the midst of the FBI email investigation.
No, Hillary Clinton had no such advantages. The subtext here — and the reason she was such an especially bad two-time candidate — is that we should feel sorry for her, not the other way around. It’s the problem with her campaign writ large: At a time when millions of Americans were economically hurting and afraid of being left behind, she thought “I’m With Her” was a galvanizing slogan. If anything, it should have been “She’s With Us.”
But such is her narcissism, blinding Clinton to what most Americans saw: not a campaign but the would-be coronation of someone thoroughly convinced it was her turn.
The Democratic Party has made it clear they want Hillary to stop whining and go away. “When you lose to somebody who has 40% popularity, you don’t blame other things,” Chuck Schumer told the Washington Post in July. “What did we do wrong? People didn’t know what we stood for, just that we were against Trump.” Elizabeth Warren told USA Today that Clinton lost because “our side hadn’t closed the deal” when it came to reaching struggling Americans. Joe Biden, at a SALT conference in Vegas last May: “I never thought she was a great candidate.”
As is her way, Hillary will not brook criticism or search within to course-correct. Long a multimillionaire, Clinton — who writes that it was “bad optics” to accept huge speaking fees from Wall Street — is charging $3,000 for a “platinum VIP ticket” on her book tour.
As for other blunders: She says she couldn’t confront Trump as he lurked behind her at a debate because she’d look weak, not because when most people think “Hillary Clinton” and “sexual predator,” Bill comes to mind. Nor is she as stiff and fake as people think, even though she writes that she took a nap on Election Night as the electoral map and her place in world history cratered around her. Even the famously cool Obama would never make such a claim.
Toward the end of her memoir, Hillary concludes that the problem is ultimately not her but us. Mull that as you shell out $30 for a book and $89 — minimum — for a tour ticket.
“What makes me such a lightning rod for fury?” she writes. “I’m really asking. I’m at a loss.”
As are the Dems and an exhausted electorate — yet here, too, Hillary won’t listen, writing that she’ll stay in public life and refusing to rule out a 2020 run.
“There were plenty of people hoping that I, too, would just disappear,” she writes. “But here I am.”
(The New York Post)
Photo by J. Philbrick
ANDERSON VALLEY FILM CLUB will host Jesse Wakeman for the screening of his latest film, “Donald Cried,” 7:30 PM, Friday, September 22, at the Anderson Valley Grange in Philo. Wakeman has a lead acting role in the film and, along with Kyle Espeleta, was part of the creative team that made the film. Both men grew up in Anderson Valley. “Donald Cried” was selected as a “Critic¹s Pick” by the New York Times and Washington Post. Admission is free. There will be an opportunity to meet Wakeman and ask questions. The film is a dark comedy rated for mature audiences.
WITH CLIMATE CHANGE UPON US, WHERE’S THE SAFEST PLACE IN CALIFORNIA TO LIVE?
by Shawn Hubler
Last week, as Los Angeles burned, San Francisco baked, Houston reeled amid biblical flooding and the Florida Keys braced for Hurricane Irma, David W. Titley picked up his phone on the other side of the country and cut to the chase.
“Forty north,” the Penn State University meteorology professor of practice told me, almost before I’d asked the question. “I’d basically look at being north of that.”
My query was one many of us are wondering about in this age of mounting natural disasters: If climate change is a given, what’s the best place to live? Or, maybe, the least-worst?
It’s not an easy question. Just asking it feels somehow simultaneously obvious and alarmist.
There’s no place to hide from global warming, by definition. And until recently climate change wasn’t supposed to be a given.
If you were on the right, it wasn’t supposed to exist. If you were on the left, it was supposed to be something humanity could put the brakes on. If you were in the middle, it was one of those things to worry about later, like your 401(k) or North Korea.
Alas, later has arrived. Houston may be naturally moist, but not to the tune of trillions of gallons of freak rainfall. San Francisco may occasionally get hot, but the mercury there hasn’t topped 106 degrees since Ulysses S. Grant was in the White House.
And California may have always had wildfires, but 15 major infernos over Labor Day weekend? Last Friday night, the flames in the Verdugo Mountains overlooking Burbank airport were so orange and ferocious that passengers stepping off a Southwest Airlines flight just stood on the tarmac in the crazy heat, gawking. When we flew back to Sacramento two days later, Los Angeles smelled like smoke and the air was white.
So where to outrun the coming catastrophe? And is it possible for a Californian to outrun it and still be in California? Titley, who has lived in Monterey and San Diego, but now lives in climate resilient Pennsylvania, was one of several climate scientists who generously shared their perspectives with me.
He started with temperature. Because climate change amplifies existing patterns, it is making hot places hotter. That means the subtropics will dry out over time and the so-called “horse latitudes” – currently between 30 and 38 degrees north and south of the equator – will expand, widening that belt of the planet where the trade winds fail and the rain doesn’t fall. (Think Sahara Desert).
But north of 40 degrees north latitude, he said, modeling shows the climate will become wetter rather than dryer: “North of 40 for at least the next century will have about the same amount of water. It’s just that more of it will fall as rain, rather than snow.”
So count Los Angeles (34.05 degrees north) and Sacramento (38.58 north) out as sweet spots. Even Mendocino (39.31 north) isn’t quite far enough above the cutoff.
And rain has its own issues. More rain means more foliage, which fuels more intense wildfires. And more rain means more flooding: “If you own a house,” Titley said, “there’s now about an 8-in-10 chance that what used to be a 100-year flood will happen to you in the course of your 30-year mortgage.”
So, north of Mendocino, away from the woods, with flood insurance.
But wait – other climate scientists say some more southerly parts of California might still be OK. The Pacific Ocean, for instance, will keep California’s coast from heating up as acutely as inland California, said Solomon Hsiang, chancellor’s associate professor of public policy at UC Berkeley, and a lead author of a recent major study on global warming’s economic impact.
So San Francisco might not get so unbearably hot, though maps show sea level rise could inundate its airport, wastewater treatment plants and other low-lying infrastructure. Speaking of which, Hsiang says, shoring up that retaining wall might be a wise investment.
“People don’t think about it this way,” he said, “but how quickly a mountain erodes is directly related to the amount of water falling on it.” Landslides could worsen, threatening hillside homes and closing roads not just on the coast, but in mountain communities with limited access.
So, north and away from wildfires, or on the coast but not at sea level, and nowhere without good roads and alternate escape routes. And not without more human engineering than we have now.
The good news is, California knows how to do this, Frances C. Moore, an assistant professor of environmental economics at UC Davis told me. The whole state is already engineered, and rich enough to double down, if needed.
“As relatively wealthy places, the United States and California are in a better position to manage the adverse consequences of climate change,” Moore reminded. California’s grid is set up to supply air conditioning to hot places. Infrastructure is a core competency in this state. And, most crucially, policymakers get its importance.
“We know we have a problem, and we know that we can reduce greenhouse gases that are a primary driver,” Moore said. “California has shown a lot of ambition and policy to back it up, and seems likely to keep that up to show the world it can be done in a way that improves communities and economic prosperity and opportunity.”
That can-do spirit, of course, carries with it its own difficult questions. How much more will we be willing to spend, for instance, to maintain agriculture if the Central Valley becomes a pre-heated oven? Will hundreds of miles of greenhouses flank the I-5 of the future?
How much more will we pay to move water when we can no longer rely on frozen reservoirs of Sierra snowpack? What about the redwood-lined switchbacks that pass for roads along much of the north coast?
It’s enough to make you yearn for the good old days, when Californians just worried about earthquakes. Still, I’m developing a whole new interest in Humboldt County.
Good weed, fresh salmon, colorful Arcata, historic Eureka – and all about the same latitude as New York City, Pittsburgh and Boulder? I’ll cut to the chase: A California climate refugee could do worse.
CATCH OF THE DAY, September 7, 2017
BRUCE DANKMEYER, Covelo. Controlled substance, paraphernalia, felon-addict in possession of firearm, ammo possession by prohibited person.
MARCOS HERNANDEZ, Ukiah. DUI, no license.
CHRISTOPHER INMAN, Ukiah. DUI.
EDWARD MONTIGNY, Willits. DUI.
JORGE OLEA, Potter Valley. Probation revocation.
DAMON REICHARDT, Ukiah. Shoplifting.
PARKINSON ASSOCIATION OF NORTHERN CALIFORNIA’S ANNUAL EDUCATION AND INFORMATION CONFERENCE
The Parkinson Association of Northern California (PANC) is holding its Annual Education and Information Conference at the Sacramento Convention Center on Saturday, October 21st from 9:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.
The event will provide information, education, and inspiration to people living with Parkinson’s disease (PD) along with their carepartners and family members and interested members of the community. Featuring regionally recognized expert clinicians and therapists in the field of movement disorders, the conference will highlight the future of the disease along with inspiration and tools to help attain the highest possible quality of life for people living with Parkinson’s disease.
Additional Information about the event and registration options can be found by visiting the PANC website at www.panctoday.org. The cost to attend the event which includes a full-day of presentations, exhibit fair, and lunch is $25 per registrant.
“Our annual conference is an upbeat event of community, learning and connection. We educate attendees about the latest in Parkinson’s disease research and therapies and connect individuals who share challenges and successes with PD. We’re excited to host this event for our Northern California constituents and look forward to an uplifting day,” says PANC president, Nancy Kretz.
Parkinson’s disease is diagnosed in more than 50,000 Americans each year. We are asking for the assistance of the media to help make this event a successful one and provide this information and event coverage to your audiences who may have PD, know someone with PD, or possibly be diagnosed in the future.
The Parkinson Association of Northern California has been dedicated to enhancing the quality of life for people living with Parkinson’s, their families, and carepartners since 1996. We facilitate over 30 regional Support Groups, host the Annual Conference, publish a quarterly newsletter (Parkinson Path), offer financial support for caregiver respite, support medical community collaboration across healthcare providers, and more. We live our motto, ”Until there is a cure…hope and healing every day.”
COMMENT BY RONRICO PADRONI to a story in the Marin Independent JournaL (Novato Narrows widening planning put on fast track):
Those huge road cuts that you saw going on along the narrows project for the last 3 or 4 years, the majority of that work was installing an enlarged water pipeline in Sonoma County that ends in Novato.
This pipeline project was also funded in part by CalTrans, and also the NMWD and they even took some of our ratepayers money in the MMWD to help pay for it.
I remember driving that stretch of 101 and seeing all the work going on and the huge stacks of blue water pipe being put into place. I knew it was a waterline, but most people thought it was for drainage of the 101 project. The media and public officials kept that project a secret until after it was completed. They had to, otherwise the commuters would have been in an uproar. Especially since the enlargement of the pipeline was taking more SCWA water and feeding it to Novato to foster the continuation of the big population expansion that Novato has been doing since around 2000 (it started with Hamilton).
I find it disgusting that so much money that was earmarked for 101 and other improvement projects has been diverted away from the actual scope of work and going secretly to other projects and non-profit corporations and their lawyers.
In the meantime, the commuters are being strung along and kept in the dark (in traffic) as to why their commute situation is not improving at all but getting worse.
Officials don't seem to be accountable with our tax dollars. They keep saying that they need more money to finish the Narrows project, but when they get more money, they instead spend it on SMART, new pipelines for Novato, a bike lane on the Richmond bridge and a host of other useless projects that are not going to benefit the North Bay commuters at all.
Heck, the Narrows project may never be completed in our lifetimes at this rate.
WILLIE BROWN in last Sunday’s Chronicle
Sen. Dianne Feinstein has become the latest victim in our new world of politics — one where instant emotional gratification and ideological reinforcement crowd out intelligent discourse. Feinstein jammed a stick into a snake pit when she said in a Commonwealth Club appearance that there was little chance of President Trump being impeached, and that she hoped “he has the ability to learn and to change, and if he does he can be a good president.”
Everyone understands that a Republican congress won't impeach Trump — at least not yet based on what we know now. But it's just stupid to hope that Trump will ever become anything but the contemptible human being he has always been. That Feinstein even voiced that hope shows that at 84 she's well past her sell-by date and should retire.
More from Brown:
Look, folks. There’s no reason to root against Trump learning and changing and being a “good president.” That would mean he wouldn’t blunder us into a nuclear war with North Korea, and would get religion on immigration, and wouldn’t let corporations do whatever they want to the environment. If he became a good president, that would mean he wasn’t using the office to enrich himself and his family and that he was respecting the rule of law… That is the way it is in today’s politics, where the key to success is to pander to people’s emotions rather than getting them to think or face reality.
If pigs had wings, they might fly. Donald Trump is — and always has been — a swine. Brown matches Feinstein's stupidity with some of his own.
(Rob Anderson, District5Diary)
by Thomas James Brennan
The explosion that wounded me during a Taliban ambush in Afghanistan in 2010 left me with a traumatic brain injury and post-traumatic stress. In 2012 I was medically retired from the Marine Corps because of debilitating migraines, vertigo and crippling depression. After a nine-year career, I sought care from the Department of Veterans Affairs.
At first, I didn’t object to the pills that arrived by mail: antidepressants, sedatives, amphetamines and mood stabilizers. Stuff to wake me up. Stuff to put me down. Stuff to keep me calm. Stuff to rile me up. Stuff to numb me from the effects of my wars as an infantryman in Iraq and Afghanistan. Stuff to numb me from the world all around.
The T.B.I. brings on almost daily migraines, and when they come, it’s as if the blast wave from the explosion in Afghanistan is still reverberating through my brain, shooting fresh bolts of pain through my skull, once again leaving me incapacitated. Initially the prescriptions helped — as they do for many veterans.
But when I continued to feel bad, the answers from my doctors were always the same: more pills. And higher dosages. And more pills to counteract the side effects of those higher dosages. Yet none of them quite worked.
One thing did. In 2013, a friend rolled a joint and handed it to me, urging me to smoke it later. It will relieve your symptoms, he promised. That night I anxiously paced around my empty house. I hesitated to light it up because I’d always bought into the theory of weed as a “gateway drug.”
But after a few tokes, I stretched out and fell asleep. I slept 10 hours instead of my usual five or six. I woke up feeling energized and well rested. I didn’t have nightmares or remember tossing or turning throughout the night, as I usually did. I was, as the comedian Katt Williams puts it, “hungry, happy, sleepy.”
With the help of my civilian psychiatrist, I began trading my pill bottles for pipes and papers. I also began to feel less numb. I started to smile more often. I thought I had found a miracle drug. There was just one problem: That drug was illegal.
In 21 states, including North Carolina, where I live, any use of marijuana is forbidden under state law. The current punishments for those who possess or cultivate cannabis — even for medical purposes — may include a felony conviction and imprisonment, loss of child custody and permanent damage to their livelihood.
The V.A. encourages veterans to discuss their cannabis use with their doctors, but because cannabis is also prohibited under federal law, the V.A. cannot prescribe it in any form — thereby denying countless veterans relief to many mental health symptoms and other service-connected disabilities...
ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY DOS
The state's goal is to move all the cannabis farms outta the hills and away from salmon streams and onto agriculture zones. They don’t want anymore cannabis in Nor Cal, they want to centralize production in the San Juaquin and Sacramento Valleys and let big ag and big wineries in AG Zoning take over… that is why “no cannabis on rangeland, timber production zones, rural residential etc…." they are only allowing survivable size gardens on large parcels which cost lots of money. They have the plan and through use of zoning ordinances they plan to lower the price so much that if u don’t have at least an acre of cannabis, and lots of startup money for ag land purchase, permits, taxes, etc., you will not survive. The price will hit an all time low of 3-500 this year and it will be the end if off grid cannabis farms in the hills as we know it, already parcels in rangeland and tpz are being sold for half as much as 2 years ago, they have devalued the land values of all the houses in the hills, only ag land is valuable right now as the other parcels will not be permitted and are therefore less valuable. Don’t forget who runs California, it is big ag companies and their lands are now more valuable than ever.
GOES TO SHOW
I attended a Union County Freeholders’ Meeting last week. They opened the meeting with The Pledge Allegiance. Everyone stood and recited the Pledge except me. I sat and listened and watched.
The other people at the meeting, including the Freeloaders or Freeholders or whatever they call themselves—a bunch of overweight fools in $1,000 suits, stood proudly staring at the red, white, and blue rag that represents something sacred, I guess, as they droned the pledge, “…one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”
As I watched and listened, I recalled a poem by Robert Creeley:
“What should the young
man say, because he is buying
Modess? Should he
blush or not. Or turn
coyly, his head, to
one side, as if in
the exactitude of his emotion he
were not offended? Were
proud? Of what? To buy
a thing like that.”
I recalled Saturday Night Live’s Roseanne Roseannadanna who used to say, “Well, Jane, it just goes to show you, it's always something — if it ain't one thing, it's another.” If it ain’t saluting the flag and feeling proud, it’s buying Modess.
Louis S. Bedrock
Roselle, New Jersey
BIG OIL DEFEATS CALIFORNIA BILL TO BAN NEW OFFSHORE OIL DRILLING
by Dan Bacher
Showing the enormous power of the oil industry in California despite the state’s “green” image, every bill except one opposed by the powerful oil industry has failed to make it out of the state legislature this year and during the 2015-2016 session.
The latest victim of intense lobbying by Big Oil is Senate Bill 188, a bill authored by Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson (D-Santa Barbara) to prohibit new pipelines or other infrastructure needed to support new federal oil and gas development.
Senator Jackson introduced SB 188 in response to President Donald Trump’s recent executive order opening the door to expanded offshore oil and gas drilling in federal waters off the California coast.
“The oil industry killed that bill,” Senator Jackson told the Sacramento Bee on September 1. “They are far too powerful.”
The defeat of the bill is a big victory for the oil industry and the Trump administration. The Western States Petroleum Association (WSPA), the California Independent Petroleum Association, the California Chamber of Commerce and California Manufacturers & Technology Association spent big money lobbying to defeat the legislation.
A long list of environmental, consumer, fishing and indigenous groups supported the legislation, including the California Coastkeeper Alliance, Environmental Defense Center, Defenders of Wildlife, Food and Water Watch, Friends of the Earth, Seventh Generation Advisors, Sierra Club Califronia, Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen’s Associations and Wishtoyo Chumash Foundation.
The Committee on Appropriations, chaired by Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher, D-San Diego, held the bill in suspension during their hearing on Friday, September 1. Gonzalez Fletcher’s Office declined to comment on the bill in response to a phone call and email.
Before the bill died in Appropriations, the bill passed through the Assembly Natural Resources Committee by a vote of 7 to 3 on July 10.
Senate Bill 188, jointly authored by Senate Leader Kevin de León (D-Los Angeles) and Senator Ricardo Lara (D-Bell Gardens), would protect the California coast by “prohibiting the State Lands Commission from approving any new leases for pipelines, piers, wharves, or other infrastructure needed to support new federal oil and gas development in the three mile area off the coast that is controlled by the state.”
Jackson said it would also prohibit any lease renewal, extension or modification that would support the production, transportation or processing of new oil and gas.
“California cannot control what happens in federal waters,” Jackson explained in July after the bill passed through through the Resources Committee. “But three miles from shore, where our power and jurisdiction lie, we can and will take strong and unequivocal action. SB 188 will prevent us from taking a step backward into the outdated, dirty and destructive energy policies of the past, and protect our coast from potential oil spills which could devastate our multi-trillion dollar coastal economy, our coastal waters and our marine life.”
“SB 188 will ensure that California – not the federal government – has the final say in preventing oil and gas production from further disrupting our state’s marine environment, and putting our residents’ health at risk,” said de León.
Jackson said she intends to revive the bill next year, in spite of it being put in the suspense file this year.
California’s vibrant coastal economy produces approximately $44.5 billion in GDP each year and employs nearly 500,000 people in the state, according to Jackson. The coastal economy employs people in the sportfishing, commercial fishing, recreational, boating, hotel, tourism and other industries.
Big Oil is the most powerful lobby in Sacramento and the Western States Petroleum Association is the most powerful lobbying organization. Big Oil spent over $10.8 million in lobbying in the second quarter of 2017 to pass Jerry Brown’s environmentally unjust cap-and-trade bill, AB 398, through the legislature, as well as to lobby against SB 188.
The San Ramon-based Chevron and subsidiaries topped all other lobbyists in the state with $6,153,952 spent, followed by the Sacramento-based WSPA with $2,528,751 and the San Antonio-based Tesoro Refining and Marketing Co. LLC with $2,193.489.
In their articles about the defeat of SB 188, both the Sacramento Bee and Los Angeles Times failed to mention that the same Big Oil lobbyist that led the campaign to defeat SB 188 and pass AB 398 also chaired a powerful marine protection panel in Southern California in a classic example of the “fox guarding the hen house.”
That’s right — Catherine Reheis-Boyd, President of the Western States Petroleum Association (WSPA), chaired the Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA) Initiative Blue Ribbon Task Force to create alleged “marine protected areas” in Southern California from 2009 to 2012. She also served on the task forces to create so-called “marine protected areas on the Central Coast, North Central Coast and North Coast from 2004 to 2012. (www.dfg.ca.gov/...)
These faux “marine protected areas” created under her watch fail to protect the ocean from offshore oil drilling, fracking, oil spills, pollution, military testing and all human impacts other than sustainable fishing and gathering.
Fishing organizations, Tribal leaders, and grassroots environmentalists strongly opposed Reheis-Boyd's leadership role in the privately funded process, while state officials and corporate “environmental” NGO representatives claimed that the process she oversaw was “open, transparent and inclusive,” even though it was anything but.
Background: Big Oil spent $36.1 million lobbying in 2015-16 session
The California Oil Lobby was the biggest spender in the 2015-16 legislative session, spending an amazing $36.1 million on lobbying over the two-year period. Based on the oil industry lobbying over the past two quarters, it looks like the industry may set a new spending record this session.
Big Oil spending last session amounted to $1.5 million per month — nearly $50,000 per day. The $36.1 million surpassed the $34 million spent in the prior session, according to an American Lung Association report. To read the complete report, go to: www.lung.org/…
WSPA was the top overall oil industry spender during the 2015-16 session, spending $18.7 million. As is normally the case, WSPA ranked #1 among all lobbying spenders last session. In the seventh quarter alone, WSPA dumped $2.6 million into lobbying legislators and state officials.
Chevron, the second overall oil industry spender, spent $7 million in the 2015-16 session. It spent $3 million in 2016 alone, sixth among all lobbyists in the session.
The only bill opposed by the oil industry that made it out of the legislature to be signed by Governor Jerry Brown was Senate Bill 32, legislation that reduces greenhouse gas level to 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030. The reason for the bill’s passage was because billionaire Tom Steyer’s Next Generation Climate Action spent $7.3 million lobbying for the bill in the seventh quarter of the session.
Since the 2007-08 Session, the oil industry has spent over $146 million in lobbying in California when you include the figures for the first two quarters of 2017.
WSPA and Big Oil use their money and power in 5 ways: through (1) lobbying; (2) campaign spending; (3) creating Astroturf groups: 4) working in collaboration with media; and (5) getting appointed to positions on and influencing regulatory panels.
For more information, go to www.dailykos.com/…