- Gabe Madrigal
- Courtney Report
- Vegas Shooting
- Missing Man
- Sewer Session
- Chief's Report
- Fire Hazard
- Graceful Farewell
- AVA Succession
- Cliche Bouncing
- Export Routes
- Peterson Sanctuary
- Little Dog
- Rental Distinctions
- Disregard Complete
- Piano Concert
- Bueno Yabbelow
- Silencing Critics
- Yesterday's Catch
- Jerry Maddened
- Citizens Disunited
- Past Wages
- October Traumas
- Krassner III
- MPA Meetings
- Lion Sightings
- Pumpkin Night
- Citizen Trump
SAD NEWS from Willits: The man who died in the fatal motorcycle accident on Highway 20 on Sunday was Gabe Madrigal, husband of the well-known Holly Madrigal, candidate for Supervisor, long-time member of the Willits City Council.
ANON passes along the latest on the Courtney family who were on the Caribbean island of Dominica when the latest hurricane struck: "Word from Dr. Courtney that he and his family are safe and sound. They have food, water and power. There was not enough phone time to get a lot of information, but he did say his house survived relatively undamaged. Amazing. They don't have internet or decent phone service yet, but they have people working on the problems. I will post another email as soon as I get more information. Thank you all so very much for your good thoughts and prayers."
THE AWFUL NEWS from Las Vegas early Monday morning immediately ignited the usual deluge of WHYS as the pro forma national handwringing commenced. Why? Pick a reason. The country is crazier by the day, and coming apart every which way. The Vegas lone nut was apparently better organized, and much older, than the massacre maestros we’ve seen recently, but early indications are he’d suffered serious gambling reverses, his Filipina girlfriend was out of the country, perhaps because she realized lover boy was about to go off, he’d been alone for some time in his stark desert gated community, muttering to himself and getting ready to commit major evil in revenge for whatever injustice he believed he’d suffered. His pops was a famous bank robber, so a psycho gene may also have been loosened in him. Lone nuts in Mendo? Not counting the tinfoil hat types? Armed lone nuts? Lots of both, but ‘lone’ is the key descriptive. The more alone a person is, the more likely crazy becomes, and millions of people in this country are physically and psychically adrift.
* * *
LAS VEGAS SHOOTER'S FATHER, 'Bingo Bruce,' lived colorful life of crime and deception
The family of a missing person from Alabama is attempting to find their loved one they believe may be headed to Northern California to commit suicide.
51-year-old Bill Williams of Cullman County, Alabama was last seen yesterday in Oklahoma after telling his family he was heading to California to “get to the redwoods before he dies.” He is described as follows:
Hair: Short, black with a white patch in front
Driving: 2008 navy blue Ford Fusion, Alabama license plate 1CS6214
Wearing: Jeans, orange button-up shirt with short sleeves
Anyone with information is encouraged to call 205-527-6982.
A PUBLIC SCOPING SESSION on the planning and engineering for a downtown Boonville sewer system will be conducted next Thursday, October 12 at 7pm in the Dining Hall at the County Fairgrounds. The engineers from the Sonoma County outfit preparing the Draft Environmental Impact Report will present preliminary plans and alternative designs and take input from the public on ways to deal with environmental impacts of the possible project should it be approved by property owners in the Boonville “service area,” basically from the Highway 128/253 junction to the Airport. For more information contact Anderson Valley CSD General Manager Joy Andrews at: 895-2075 or email: email@example.com.
FIRE CHIEF ANDRES AVILA tells us that there was a “small vegetation fire behind the railcars in Boonville Saturday evening between 7-8pm. It was kept to less than a quarter acre with no property loss or damage. The juveniles who started it have been contacted and referred to the appropriate authorities. At about the same time there was a medical aid on Ornbaun Lane with a chopper that landed at the Airport for transport. Later that evening an SUV caught fire on Whipple Ridge, which extended to about half an acre nearby. But the weather was cool and wind was light so it was kept small.”
SPEAKING of fire hazards, it’s absolutely mystifying why the estate of the late Mike Shapiro will not permit the family of Shorty Adams to clear up the brush behind Shorty’s place. That vegetation build-up, which spills over Shorty’s back fence, presents a clear and present fire hazard. If juvenile fire bugs set it on fire when the winds are up in the afternoon, it could wipe out not only Shorty’s house but the entire east side of Boonville, from the junction of 128 and Mountain View all the way to Pic ’N Pay. The Adams’ will clear it out for free, and do a thoroughly neat job into the bargain. A petition to our local fire department and CalFire is circulating to get ‘er done with or without the permission of the property owner.
END OF LIFE PLANNING: On Sunday, October 8 at 4pm, the AV Village group has invited Maggie Watson, author of “A Graceful Farewell: Putting Your Affairs in Order,” to discuss positive ways to prepare for the end of your life, regarding finances, health, and after death in a mini-workshop format. The presentation will be held at the AV Senior Center, 14470 Highway 128, Boonville. Ms. Watson is a private fiduciary. “Using her book, Ms. Watson will touch on the reasons why one’s life that should be organized and information that should be made locatable to support and assist loved ones and caregivers. The promise of this book is that it will give you peace of mind.” The book will be for sale, but the workshop is free and everyone is welcome.
BOONVILLE’S BELOVED WEEKLY is the work product of two persons of advanced age, one of them, The Editor, older than the other. We’ve discussed death and succession, as in final rites and who will carry on our noble task. The Editor says he wants his remains hoisted into a tree “out back” and simply left there for a bird banquet, the way some Indian tribes disposed of departed persons. His colleague, The Major, seems more inclined to the contemporary comforts of an air conditioned casket, ball games on an eternal loop, the Eversole boys unctuous over his grave site. Succession is trickier. I’d prefer someone other than an NPR-brained zomboid, but beyond that modest desire I’m only now beginning to give it some serious thought. I look around at this county’s young “journalists” and despair, and would much prefer a non-trained young person, a young person who still reads books, is intellectually interested, can write a little, comes with old school discipline — meaning the job gets done even if you’re badly hung over or half-dead.
CONGRESSMAN HUFFMAN was at Pennyroyal Farms, Boonville, Sunday, to bounce cliches off an echo chamber of active Mendo Democrats. What did he say? Who could possibly care other than Rachel Binah and Val Muchowski? The mere mention of his name carries me instantly off into a deep, coma-like slumber. Dr. Apfel says I've got a rare form of political apnea that was first noted in persons who mysteriously nodded off whenever Chuck Schumer, Nancy Pelosi, the Clintons, and the national Democratic Party were mentioned. Dr. Apfel said so far as he knew I was the first local person to seize-up at Huffman, but he thought increased doses B-12 might help.
THE ANNUAL FACT of the Highway 101 marijuana “interdictions” got me thinking about how I’d transport if I were in the business, and transport is the only way mom and pop growers have to make real money anymore. They’ve got to get their pot to the dope-starved masses in places like Chicago and New York. There are growers here in Boonville who can’t get rid of last year’s pot at $500 a pound. The more ambitious exporter might be wiser to haul it east through Covelo, and over the Mayacamas via 162 to the less interdicted and much busier I-5 than run dope down 101. (Just tryin’ to help out here.)
REGARDING SCOTT PETERSON, gadfly, occasional contributor to the ava’s muy cool website edition, virtually a daily newspaper by itself, he’s good on some things, not so good on others, in the opinion of this editor. Someone called from Project Sanctuary on Monday asking if we paid Scott. None of their business of course, but I’d read a long piece Scott wrote on Project Sanctuary and hadn’t found it plausible. The gist was Scott didn’t like them. I do like them. It is not exaggerating to say that in two cases I have personal knowledge of how they saved one battered woman’s life and were crucial in their support for another. You won’t hear a negative word about Project Sanctuary in this here newspaper.
LITTLE DOG SAYS, “So I spot this multi-colored brownish thing out in the driveway. Looks kinda like a cat, one of Skrag's pals probably. ‘Friend of yours?’ I ask him. ‘Yeah,’ he says. ‘Leave him alone or suffer the consequences’.”
We respectfully request that the Supervisors make a legal distinction between property owners who take an entire house off the rental market so that they can use it for "vacation rentals," and property owners who rent out a small cabin on the property they live on, or a room in the house in which they are living, to tourists. There is a huge difference — the first takes away a home someone could live in full time, the second gives a little extra income to help out in these tough financial times.
There is a serious lack of rental houses around here, as well as many other places in California. Much of it is due to "Vacation Rental" conversions. I have heard that St. Helena has 50% of their houses "vacant," so they can be rented out to tourists. I agree that this is wrong. In Vancouver they have a "vacant home tax" of 1% — this is levied once or twice a year on houses that are not rented out to full time residents or that property owners do not live in for a certain percentage of the year if they are not the property owners' primary residence. Perhaps this would be a good idea for our area.
We think it is arbitrarily punitive to 1: put a moratorium on ALL vacation rentals; and 2: to charge any kind of additional fee for owners who do not live on a county maintained road and want to rent out a tiny cabin or room in their primary residence.
I work in hospitality, at one of the older wine tasting rooms. Every week, at least through the non-rainy months, I have people tell me they wanted to stay in Anderson Valley, but all the lodging, including the campgrounds, was full so they had no choice but to stay in a soulless place all the way over in Ukiah, 30 or 40 minutes away from where they wanted to be for a wedding, or a family gathering, hiking or whatever. The air-BnB folks who are renting out rooms or cabins too small for full time living, are actually doing a service for the valley.
If the Supervisors are thinking about moratoriums, how about one on tasting rooms in the Valley? That's been needed for years. All the newer tasting rooms certainly take a cut on the flow of tourists spending money at the older ones!
Nancy MacLeod, William Allen
PETER LIT NOTES:
Read an article about Uber vs. Austin, Texas. Austin pulled Uber's operating permit for Austin because of lack of insurance, no background checks on drivers, assaults on customers, mistreatment of customers, etc. Shades of Mendocino County and the spraying of phenoxy herbicides. Uber went to the state legislature and, lo and behold, Austin's law was thrown out. And, since I am ranting, Caltrans is actively destroying small towns by raising the speed limits. They manifest the same disregard for the local reality when they, for example, build the Willits bypass without a dedicated Highway 20 exit, insuring that those cars drive through town. Of course, our elected officials are so stoked to be playing with the big boys that they say, "Thank you."
Enjoy the fall.
A SOLO PIANO CONCERT of classical music, classical-crossover music and original compositions by Gabriela Lena Frank at the AV Grange in Philo. Sat. Oct. 7, 2017 at 7:30 pm. Grammy-winning composer/pianist Gabriela Lena Frank's music explores her multicultural heritage most ardently through her compositions. Inspired by the works of Bela Bartók and Alberto Ginastera, Frank is something of a musical anthropologist. She has traveled extensively throughout South America and her pieces reflect and refract her studies of Latin American folklore, incorporating poetry, mythology, and native musical styles into a western classical framework that is uniquely her own. Ms. Frank and her husband, Jeremy, have relocated to Boonville where she has created the Gabriela Lena Frank Creative Academy of Music which grooms young emerging composers from around the world for professional music careers. Tickets for this concert can be purchased at the door. $15 General Admission and FREE to young musicians. All proceeds for this concert will support the AV Solar Grange and the AV Theater Guild. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 707-895-3883.
STILL PINCHING MYSELF IN PHILO
by Greg Krouse
Gabriela Lena Frank’s Bueno Yabbelow at the Grange (Sept 19th) was pretty impressive. Joshua Roman, Cellist and Johnny Gandelsman, Violinist, are world class performers. Gabriela named her series carefully including our mixed culture with the notion of a conversation. Yabellow (boontling) means ‘active excited chatter’ with bueno good active chatter. Gabriela Frank’s Creative Academy of Music has with many objectives: to find seed ideas, realize these with evolving skills of notation, develop community within musicians, and exchange with musicians. This Bueno Yabbelow introduces the fruit of a year’s pieces. Unlike a traditional recital, where most music is solely interpreted by listeners, we were provided a kernel of the seed thoughts from the composers. The first piece was composed by Gabriela. A provocative piece, with lots of breath and sweeping sounds from both instruments.
Roger Zare, a new professor of music at the University of Northern Iowa. Zare based his pieces on the distorted world of artist Escher triptych. Imagine interpreting Escher musically? The image-A bicycle wheel penetrates a quiet pond surrounded by ruts & debris. The instruments managed untraditional sounds to depict the tire with tranquil trills of birds I assume. It had lots of contrast. The second piece had lots of staccato (bursts) and syncopation. The final Escher’s drawings were images moving into one another. The music felt like opposites, and yet the instruments would bend and churn together. It was an interesting start to the concert.
Next, Violinist Johnny Gandelsman soloed, playing Edward Supena’s, Peruvian dance based on Bach dances as a tribute to his friend, Gabriela. It was complex, syncopated with lots of internal Latino rhythm. Gandelsman’s bow flew over the four strings with plucking punctuations. His foot taps were audible as we all swayed a bit. It was contagious, a show stopper. I pinched myself. Ow, not a dream!
Akashaya Tucker introduced Breathing Sunlight from a Gaelic word about the color of sunrise. The sense of light presented itself, passed from violin to cello and then grew to a huge crescendo and dissipated. It was very sweet, yet powerful.
Christine Hedden, another Irish lass composition was an Irish piece that passed back in forth between the two instruments with the cello plucking and bowing. It was very moving and grew to a strong complex crescendo.
Joshua Roman played a striking solo of a Bach’s Prelude for Cello and I pinched myself again. Philo? Hey that hurts. Awake!
Michael Thomas-Founa, a Hawaiian Music professor wrote a composition called Stellar Cartography evolved from star maps, an evolution of the universe. He described stars exploding, occurring almost immediately as Gandelsman violin exploded with sound. We were off on a journey that only a star could make, seemingly directed and yet at times like an ADD star, bumbling in some detail, then exploding again. A sense of inner spacial-ness was created with the passages appearing to echo. I enjoyed the journey.
Finally, Noah Luna, stepped forward mentioning that he started into music as a band member and well for him the social and joint creation was core. Noah’s piece was Porchlight Sessions based on memories of adolescent guitar playoffs in his home. It was there, a classical standoff, with these two Virtuosos battling. Then Johnny strummed his instrument as if a guitar and well.., it got interesting. It was a fun piece.
The Q&A of all performers and composers: Composers start from all sorts of angles; a kernel of sound, a passage of music from a previous composer, and visual ideas. Gabriela said that often the musical conservatories miss the importance of inspiration and exchange between composers and musicians. Also that notation is limited, identifying notes and meter. But as violinist Johnny noted, Zare’s piece had a section where the two instruments playing out of synch. A simple edge of score note was crucial, one of Gabriela’s institute teaching points. We learned about the instruments, how musicians practice new music and where their drive came from. Bueno!
What is Bueno Yabbelow? One, discovering how these pieces manifest in the composer. Two, who is behind the music, composer and artist. 3) Classical music on the Grange stage. The last the author’s slow dream that materialized last year at the Variety show, with Gabriela, a smidge of a gal with a huge heart, monstrous talent, and equally large vision. Using top performers and a small audience, she sees these performances as a means to engage her students in community, try these brand spanking new pieces on an audience and create a dialogue. The dream manifested grandly and Bueno Yabbelow will return again and again.
A subset is the Piano series, Dancing on Ivories, which returns this Saturday Oct. 7th at 7:30 with none other than Gabriela Lena Frank. A grammy winning musician, performing magic on the grange grand piano with a mix of classic past and her own composition and some Bueno Yabbelow of her own,! Ouch! It’s not a dream!
PS More info on Gabriela Lena Franks Institute on line at www.glfcam.com.
ON LINE COMMENT OF THE WEEK
Not able to figure out PayPal to comment on MCT where apparently the new Fort Bragg City Council “Code of Conduct” for public participation is being discussed now. Last night on KZYX Community News there was a segment about the supposed disruptive behavior of certain members of the public, particularly Rex Gressett and his “conspiracy theories” who attend Fort Bragg City Council meetings. Under the guise promoting norms of civility, however, what was being put forward was an attempt to censor the content of speech by members of the public and to silence critics of local government officials. But unlike KZYX, the Fort Bragg City Council is a government body whose rules must pass constitutional muster. Even if Rex’s views or the ways he expresses them are over the top outrageous, which they’re not (not a statement of agreement with them, however), to seek to prevent him from expressing them at successive town meetings is a blatant violation of the First Amendment rights of him to express them and of the public to hear them. Look, every community has its gadflies and even cranks who show up repeatedly to talk about God knows what and people put up with that as a cost of maintaining democracy. So it’s a sad state commentary on the state of “political correctness” and the gentrified Nanny State mentality of Fort Bragg’s official when local officials are so thin skinned that they seek to silence a local working class critic like Gressett since anything less than a genteel Judy Woodruff like “conversation” will unduly disrupt discourse. But the law is clear, any attempt by government officials to restrict free expression by prior restraint or otherwise is prohibited except under the most extreme circumstances. (See MN v. Olsen, Brandenburg v. OH). But for some, this code-apparently designed for the public, not the elected officials it seeks to shield, does not go far enough. For them criticism of officials, the repetition as in MN v. Olsen, of allegations of misconduct by them, constitutes harassment. What if Trump said that? Think about it.
In that regard, it was particularly scurrilous when the KZYX commentator dismissed First Amendment concerns as simply a cover for alt-right types and the neo-Nazi thugs at Charlottesville, suggesting that Gressett and the AVA represent that. But leaving aside this smear, at Charlottesville, it was not the government, but Antifa activists and others in the street that confronted those creeps. Also troubling is the way this is personally directed at Gressett who they single out for retribution. But this is also unconstitutional, being in essence a bill of attainder that is sought against him, the term used when private citizens are deprived of their rights by a legislative body. I don’t have a dog in this fight in terms of the underlying issues, but on a more human level, it’s downright pathetic, a “CoastLib” caricature of itself that Bruce Anderson didn’t need to invent. I mean, Gressett was one of only two speakers among over twenty who opposed Linda Ruffing, yet his continued presence at public town meetings is intolerable to the council. Yet in spite of all those testimonials, the council voted unanimously to demand her resignation, so he must have been onto to something. But she remains in office until January as a lame duck where she and her supporters are apparently seeking retaliation against their real and perceived critics.
CATCH OF THE DAY, October 2, 2017
JUSTIN ASHFORD, Ukiah. Domestic abuse.
CHERIE BERGQUIST, Willits. Failure to appear, probation revocation.
THOMAS HANOVER, Covelo. Concealed dirk-dagger, probation revocation.
JESSE HENDERSON, Ukiah. DUI with priors, suspended license.
DAVID JARVIS, Clearlake/Ukiah. Concealed dirk-dagger.
GEORGE LAFORCE, Ukiah. Paraphernalia, probation revocation.
DANIEL NELSON, Clearlake/Ukiah. Grand theft, petty theft.
ELIJAH O’MALLEY, Willits. Domestic abuse, false imprisonment.
SEQUOYAH PICKNER, Ukiah. Assault with deadly weapon with great bodily injury, assault with deadly weapon not a gun, vandalism.
RICKY SEAMAN, Hopland. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.
SHANNON TOBIN, Manhattan Beach/Willits. Battery on peace officer, against peace officer engaged in performance of duty.
MICHAEL WERNER, Santa Rosa/Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol, fugitive from justice, failure to appear.
TAKE A KNEE, JER
Mr. Governor Brown is at it again trying to make this into a sanctuary state. Which means that every community, every town can have criminals in it and we can’t do nuthin’ about it. So that’s a pretty nice thing to look forward to. It takes someone like Jerry Brown to think of something like that.
As far as the 49ers and the rest of the NFL pieces of crap that wouldn’t stand up for the national anthem, maybe they should take a knee for the whole game! It would certainly improve their play! These people are sick.
ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY
Worrying about corporate control of elections amounts to rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic at this point on our collapse curve. To a people concerned with democracy the Citizens United decision would be a big deal. That it is not shows we are a society which is not interested in democracy. I bet only a minority of citizens can explain the decision or know anything about it at all. Most I bet are brain-dead ignorant and worse even than that, would see nothing wrong with corporate control of elections. Many Americans lack the sophistication to appreciate that democracy, as inefficient as it is, remains the best check on despotism, be it the tyranny of an individual, a cabal, or the creed of a cult. The corporation is itself both a cult and a cabal, and powerful individuals hold sway in them. Citizens United destroys democracy. Not that anybody gives a rip.
AN INTERESTING real life story from reader Harvey Reading, and please note how much more interesting and instructive it is than, say, endless rants about how bad Trump is:
In 1975, fresh out of college (1974), I took a “lumper” job at the Safeway warehouse, in Richmond, California. Lumpers were fill-in warehousemen, hired on a daily basis to make up for permanent employees unable to be at work on a given day (sick, vacation, etc.).
Getting work required me to drive from Sonoma to Richmond to be at the Teamsters Union Hall in Richmond by around six in the morning, in order to be present before Safeway announced how many employees they would need for the day.
The rule was that to get work one had to be present at the union hall. At the end of the day, if Safeway had no “openings” for the next day, one would, the next day, again go to the union hall and repeat the process. Generally, if there was no call by around 0900, there would be none after, and one would go home. However, if there was an “opening” for the next day, Safeway could tell the lumper simply to come back the next day, without the need of going through the hall process. If that happened 30 times in a row, one became a permanent employee and a union member, with union benefits and union dues.
After about a week, Safeway began calling me back, and I never went to the hall again. This continued until I was nearly at the 30-day limit. I had been making the same money, $7.5295 per hour (yes, that many figures after the decimal point! Also, the equivalent of about $45/hour today) as the permanent warehousemen.
Then, Fish and Game gave me a call. They wanted me to come back as a Seasonal Aid, at $3.15 per hour. I didn’t hesitate a bit, and said I would. My dream was to work for them on a permanent basis, doing “god’s” work and saving the world, as so many of us with degrees in the life sciences dreamed of doing in those years before Working Class hope utterly disappeared in the “land o’ democracy and opportunity.”
It took me another five years, including a couple of years as a temp, “fighting” Dutch Elm Disease (along with many other degree holders) with Food and Ag, two years as a State Park Ranger (badge, revolver, handcuffs, Mace, baton, etc.); not to mention my fall-back, being a service station mechanic, with Class A (if I recall, maybe Class 3, who knows? whatever was the “highest” level license at the time) motor vehicle smog equipment inspector and installer license), that began in 1969, while attending classes at Berkeley, before my dream came true.
My entry, admittedly, was through the back door, an interagency transfer from Parks to Fish and Game during Jerry Brown’s hiring freeze of the late 70s-early 80s. And, naturally, like most dreams, it turned out differently than I had expected. All-in-all, though, I would still make the same choices.
The point is this: not until I retired in 2002 had my salary been equivalent to the $7.5295 per hour that I had made as a Safeway warehouseman, about the same as a GM assembly line worker at the time (2002). In the meantime, wages for warehousemen and others had declined in real value over that same period of time.
I will grant that the poor will be with us always in a brutal Kaputalistic system. It has always been so, even in the days when Kaputalism was limited to bartering. But, things are so out-of-control now that something must give, in particular the wealthy bastards must give way, to force, if necessary. Not all homeless people are nuts or on drugs. And, I DO NOT mean to imply that you, Louis Bedrock, have suggested such a thing.
FALL OF THE GREAT PUMPKIN
by James Kunstler
Welcome to the witching month when America’s entropy-fueled death-wish expresses itself with as much Halloween jollity and merriment as the old Christmas spirit of yore. The outdoor displays alone approach a Babylonian scale, thanks to the plastics factories of China. I saw a half-life-size T-Rex skeleton for sale at a garden shop last week surrounded by an entire crew of moldering corpse Pirates of the Caribbean in full costume ho-ho-ho-ing among the jack-o-lanterns. What homeowner in this sore-beset floundering economy of three-job gig-workers can shell out four thousand bucks to decorate his lawn like the set of a zombie movie?
The overnight news sure took on that Halloween tang as the nation woke up to what is now confirmed to be a national record for a civilian mad-shooter incident. So far, fifty-eight dead and over 500 hundred injured in Las Vegas at the Route 91 Harvest Festival (Nine up in fatalities from last year’s Florida Pulse nightclub massacre, and way more injured this time).
The incident will live in infamy for maybe a day and a half in the US media. Stand by today as there will be calls far and wide, by persons masquerading as political leaders, for measures to make sure something like this never happens again. That’s rich, isn’t it?
Meanwhile, the same six a.m. headlines declared that S &P futures were up in the overnight markets. Nothing can faze this mad bull, apparently. Except maybe the $90 trillion combined derivatives books of CitiBank, JP Morgan, and Goldman Sachs, who have gone back whole hog into manufacturing the same kind of hallucinatory collateralized debt obligations (giant sacks of non-performing loans) that gave Wall Street a heart attack in the fall of 2008.
Europe’s quaint doings must seem dull compared to the suicidal potlatch of life in the USA, but, believe me, it’s a big deal when the Spanish authorities start cracking the heads of Catalonian grandmothers for nothing more than casting a ballot. The video scenes of mayhem at the Barcelona polls looked like something out of the 1968 Prague uprising. And now that the Catalonia secession referendum passed with a 90 percent “yes” vote, it’s hard to imagine that a good deal more violent mischief will not follow. So far, the European Union stands dumbly on the sidelines. (For details, read the excellent Roel Ilargi Meijer column on today’s TheAutomaticEarth.)
Next in the cavalcade of October traumas: the USA versus the nuclear weapons ambitions of North Korea. This has been ramping up all year, of course, but it looks to be headed for a climax now that the Golden Golem of Greatness is at the helm. Truly astounding, though, is America’s new method for conducting the most sensitive matters of foreign policy. The day after Secretary of State Rex Tillerson declared that his office was in contact with North Korean officials, the Secretary’s boss, You-Know-Who, tweeted out: “I told Rex Tillerson, our wonderful Secretary of State, that he is wasting his time trying to negotiate with Little Rocket Man.”
Could this possibly be a cleverly orchestrated good cop / bad cop effort to bamboozle Kim Jung-un? Or is the US government just completely dysfunctional? Or maybe something else is afoot. Under normal circumstances, Mr. Tillerson would just resign after such a gross insult, but we must suppose that a patriotic sense of duty compels him to remain in office in case the need suddenly arises in this witching month to run over Mr. Trump with the 25th amendment — the clause in the constitution that allows a consensus of a pretty small number of national political leaders to toss out a sitting president on the grounds of derangement and incompetence. Stay tuned on that one.
Finally — well, who knows what else may pop up now — there is the matter of Puerto Rico. Halloween there is not like New England, with our nippy fall mornings, steaming mugs of hot cider, and quickening fall color. It will remain 90-degrees-plus in the fetid, stinking ruins, with lots of still-standing water, broken communications, shattered supply lines, and very little electricity. FEMA and the US Military may be doing all they can now, but they must be on watch for the ominous blossoming of tropical disease epidemics. The story there is far from over. Trump travels there this week. That may be exactly the moment that the Deep State moves to take him down.
(Support Kunstler’s writing by visiting his Patreon Page: https://www.patreon.com/JamesHowardKunstler)
PAUL KRASSNER PART III: THE FINAL INTERVIEW
by Jonah Raskin
Q: Hugh Hefner lasted a long time, didn’t he? How might history remember him?
A: Fun Fact: Hef was one of the first to invest in Viagra stocks.
Q: David Brooks in The New York Times called Donald Trump “The Abbie Hoffman of the Right.” What do you think of that?
A: Brooks is a professional asshole. Abbie and Trump are opposites.
Q: How about the athletes who are going down on one knee to protest police brutality and racism? That seems like a version of symbolic speech, like giving the finger or burning the flag. What’s your take?
A: Several decades ago, the Supreme Court declared that it was not a crime to destroy the American flag for any reason. Period.
Q: I believe you created “fake news” in your day. Would you call it that?
A: Satire is a form of fake news, but I didn't label such pieces as investigative journalism or satire in order not to prevent readers from discerning for themselves what was true news or satirical extensions.
Q: Have you visited the Gaza strip? Do you have a perspective on Israeli settlements there?
A: I didn’t go there. Palestine never said, “Please take our land because America or England wouldn’t.” However, I did go to the Cannabis Cup in Amsterdam.
Q: Can you believe it? Marijuana is finally going to be legal in California. Is that a good thing or a bad thing?
A: It's a good thing, but it’s a bad thing getting busted for smoking weed. Anybody in prison for such injustice is the cornerstone of a police state.
Q: Californians seem to be obsessed about food: what they eat and where they eat it. As you have aged have your feelings about food changed?
A: I stopped eating red meat long ago and later anti-biotic chicken. My favorites: vegan sandwiches at Native Foods and teriyaki salmon at Domo, a Japanese place.
Q: You have been concerned with obscenity for much of your life. Some say that nowadays you can say anything and not get in trouble. Do you think that’s true?
A: I was concerned every time Lenny Bruce got arrested because district attorneys wanted to boost their careers. That doesn’t happen to comedians now. It doesn’t mean they’re funny, though.
Q: Gossip and rumor play an important role in society, don’t they? You hear the real story through the grapevine and not through the established channels of communication. Yes?
A: I consider the source. I consider Snopes, also known as the Urban Legends Reference Pages, as believable. My favorite lie is when Trump said that Hillary began the Obama birther propaganda and Trump ended it.
Q: Halloween is an underrated occasion in my view and ought to be as big as Easter Sunday. You can put on any costume you want and go trick or treating. Do you have any Halloween memories?
A: I’ve just been burglarized. I'm still in shock. I don’t give a shit about the candy industry Halloween.
NORTH COAST MPA COMMUNITY GATHERINGS, NOVEMBER 1-3
Local ocean community members are invited to attend upcoming community gatherings that will be held in Crescent City (November 1), Eureka (November 2), and Fort Bragg (November 3). Join us to learn about information from marine protected area (MPA) baseline monitoring conducted from 2013-2017 in the North Coast region, as well as plans for long-term monitoring. Events are hosted by California Department of Fish and Wildlife, Ocean Protection Council, and Ocean Science Trust. View the event flier and find out more on the State of the California North Coast page on OceanSpaces.org.
Woodlands Wildlife is collecting and mapping mountain lion sightings, hopefully to put it on line so we can know when each area's mountain lion is more likely to be near our homes. Send date and place to: WoodlandsWildlife@mcn.org or Ronnie@mcn.org.
FIRST ANNUAL PUMPKIN NIGHT at the Gardens, Saturday, October 28th, from 5:30PM to 7:30PM (Adults $10; children 16 and under FREE). Come dressed in your Halloween best and light up the night with some creatively carved gourds and painted pumpkins. Vote for your favorite pumpkins, enjoy spooky games, haunting music by DJ Nutrishious, and fall treats.
Pumpkin Carving Contest
To enter your carved or designed pumpkin simply complete an entry form and deliver your creation(s) to the Gardens between 12:00PM and 3:00PM on Saturday, October 28. Entry forms are available at the Gardens gift shop or on the website. Prizes will be awarded in four categories – Adult (age 18 and up), Teen (ages 13-17), Kid (ages 7-12), Kid (ages 6 and under). Prizes provided by Cafe Jaavy, Littlecup Ceramics, Los Gallitos, Pippi’s Longstockings, and Tangents! Winners of the pumpkin contest will be announced at 7:00PM (do not need to be present to win) as well as on the Gardens' website, Facebook, and Instagram page.
by Franklin Graham
As I sit here thinking and enjoying the redwoods beyond my deck (I am 76 and fighting cancer) the need to examine how I feel about the state of our nation just won’t go away. It does not matter a whit whether I am for big government or small government. It does not matter how I honor the American Flag or what political controversy of the moment captures my attention. What does matter is that we, that is All AMERICANS, have to come to grips with what is going on. Things did not begin to get messed up overnight. No, it goes way back, back as far as 4th Century B.C. Greece, what historians call the birthplace of democracy. Even then, those we call citizens, freemen, and even slaves are now, today, faced a choice. And, unless we get our act together, collectively, we are doomed to repeat history in its worst form.
For just a moment, let’s review what happened when Socrates was forced to take hemlock, rather than exile, for he knew that exile meant silencing him. Keep in mind that Socrates was not in any real sense of the term political. He was indeed a citizen of Athens and as such participated in the life of his times, even suiting up in armor and going to war in defense of his city state. What then was his crime? He asked questions. He did not espouse certainty about any political idea or ideology. He trusted that simply by asking hard questions that the populace, or a fair portion of it, would make their own minds up and, hopefully, do the right thing. In one sense, consider Socrates a town crier, what today we call a media pundit. His crime, of course, was that he agitated people to think for themselves, instead of just going along with the temper of the moment.
Fast forward to Imperial Rome. From a small cluster of villages dating back at least to 773 B.C., Rome slowly came into focus in a world which surrounded them with hostile, more advanced cultures. But, they had the lessons of a refined and tested autocracy in Greece to show them the way toward dominating the known world. After all, the successor to Socrates was Socrates’s own pupil, Plato. But, Plato, it turned out, was no democrat. To the contrary, he envisioned a world in which an elite few, the Guardians, would run everything. As for the ordinary citizen, the Helot in Grecian terms, they would be left to pursue their private wants and lusts, even enrich themselves as to material goods so long as they did not threaten the right to be ruled by the elite. Augustus, however, and all emperors for that matter, learned that having a Greco-Roman form of rule did not insure control. No, there needed to be the means to keep the population in check. So, while the elite few made all the decisions, regarding everything from war or peace, who lives and who dies at their whim, they also found the means to keep citizens in their places. They did fund elaborate and expensive water systems to deliver free water to everyone (the famous aqueducts). They used the wealth of the Empire to maintain the largest military on earth, forever at the frontiers of the Empire, and ready to invade any power that might threaten their rule. They went further: free bread doles were institutionalized to keep the idle fed. Virtually free access to the baths were made possible by elite patrons. And if that was not enough, their genius turned to blood and spectacle through the system of colosseums that any city of size contained. This system of military dominance of the known world, endless war or enforced truces with the “barbarians”, domestic pacification through the dole, and a brilliant administrative system, lasted for about 500 years. But nothing lasts, any historian will tell us. By 411 A.D., the “barbarians were at the gate, Rome, after all, had divided itself into east versus west (with the seats of governance in Ravenna and Constantinople). Add to the mix the intemperate rise of Christianity as the only form of sanctioned faith for the people, in that time a harsh view of the world. The so-called western world entered the DARK AGES, and remained there until the onset of the 14th Century.
Even so, there are those (Gibbons for one) who insist that at least it lasted 1,000 years. It is no accident that Nazi Germany insisted that its Reich (Rule) would last 1,000 years. Many historians will also argue that one key to ending the DARK AGES was the discovery of the New World, a new world to conquer dominate, and subjugate to its will.
Let’s return to the matter of Mr. Trump. He has indeed learned how to fire up, infuriate, and madden vast numbers of the populace, in the name of patriotism. If it were up to him, anyone who does not venerate his specific form of patriotism should be fired—that is have their life made difficult. The current move to reduce taxes on the rich, while actually increasing taxes on ordinary citizens with provisions such as increasing the bottom tax bracket on poor people by 2%, eliminating the home tax deduction, and other draconian provision. He is, by all accounts, Citizen Caine revisited. Like in the movie Caine, he learned that dominating the media meant dominating the political life of the country. He surrounded himself with a gilt encrusted lifestyle. Power for its own sake is this one ethos. The page has yet to be written of his downfall. But when it does come, his political obituary should end with one prophetic word, “Rosebud.”