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Mendocino County Today: Tuesday, April 24, 2018

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How To Become The Most Hated Man In Fort Bragg — Non-Latino Lawyer Wants Districts For Hispanics

If Attorney Jacob Patterson wanted to become the most hated person in Fort Bragg, he's well on his way to earning that distinction.

Patterson, a lawyer since 2007, recently returned to Fort Bragg. His current "law office" is a "post office box." He probably still has a crushing student loan debt from the pricey UCLA law school — and now, perhaps, he found a way to help pay his bills and get to move out of "mommy's" house. He might be suing the city.

He's following a path lawyers used in southern California to collect $4.5 million from cities alleging an "At-large" electoral system discriminates against the Hispanic community. Fort Bragg, of course, utilizes the "at-large" system of voting.

And if taking money out of his fellow citizens' pockets via a lawsuit is the only way to get ahead — so be it. I mean, what lawyer in the WORLD doesn't operate out of an office after they've practiced law for more than a decade?

In a letter to the City of Fort Bragg (dated April 16) Patterson purported to be "writing on behalf of the 'Coast Committee for Responsive Representation'." A Google search could find no such committee — and word has it that the committee "members" (if there are actually any) don't want their identities revealed because of possible "retaliation."

Let that last statement sink in for a moment.

By definition, a committee is "a group of people appointed for a specific function, typically consisting of members of a larger group."

How in the wild, wild world of sports can the public, or the city, know if this is a "real" committee or an "imaginary" one if they won't say who comprises the committee?

And this "secret" committee says there is "evidence of racially polarized elections" in Fort Bragg's present electoral setup and demand the city contact the "committee" within 45 days informing them if they will be voluntarily changing to a district election system — the implied "threat" being a lawsuit would be filed if they don't switch to what the "secret committee" wants.

This threat comes despite the fact the Council hired a Hispanic Police Chief and an Hispanic chairs the Fort Bragg Planning Commission — guess the secret committee "forgot" about THAT.

Since the secret committee demands Fort Bragg change it's elections, MSP demands to know:

  • When was the committee formed?
  • Who is on the committee?
  • Who is the chairman of the committee?
  • What is their purpose?

Not one of the many people MSP talked with thinks Patterson has any altruistic motives in his redistricting demand — to a person they see it as a way he can generate money for himself.

Patterson's letter (… ) to the City Clerk & Council prompted a "Closed Door" session tonight before the council meeting concerning the Patterson letter under "pending litigation."

The letter to the city also prompted an onslaught of letters protesting this "holdup attempt" to the City Council — including a petition signed by over 100 voters to keep the present election system. It should be noted the names on the petition were NOT secret — their names, signatures & addresses appear — names like "Morales" and "Gonzalez" also appear on the petition.

Comments included:

  • "It bothers me that a certain attorney is looking for a fast buck claiming that Fort Bragg needs districts because it discriminates against minorities."
  • "…I am really tired of seeing people who claim to be concerned about the Hispanic community use these people as pawns to pass their own agenda. I am wondering how many Hispanic people this guy actually hangs out with or how many Hispanic people he actually knows here? As far as I am concerned, this is just another ploy to help him along in his own agenda of suing the city or else getting people that he chooses elected into office. The whole idea is a bunch of BS!"
  • "I predict if Jacob has his way it will be the downfall of Fort Bragg."

The Courtney Connection?

Of course, this "ploy for a payday" smacks suspiciously as having its origin come from former city councilor Meg Courtney.

You remember her, right?

She's the one who got city Manager Linda Ruffing FIRED, well, retired would be what the record reads, but we know better.

When the council was in CLOSED session pondering her fate as city manager — Meg Courtney got wind of it and emailed everyone she could to show up to a council meeting to SUPPORT the troubled city manager.

There was only one problem, it backfired — NO ONE was supposed to know the city manager's job was jeopardy. The negotiations & discussion were being done behind closed doors — privately.

The sudden "support" at a city council meeting swung the vote around on Ruffing's contract and led to her leaving — an indignant councilor Will Lee called for the city attorney to investigate the behind-closed-doors "leak." We still await the results of that "investigation" — but we haven't been holding our breath.

An email from Meg Courtney to her "followers" on March 31, 2018, stated:

"We are getting down to the wire trying to find some eligible person to run for FB City Council. At first we were focussed on Latinas, then Latinos, now we are looking for any good progressive who lives in the city limits (very important!) and is a registered voter. I am willing to meet with anyone to explain what the job is about. Let me know if anyone comes to mind. We can't have Rex G. getting that empty seat!!

Thanks, Meg."

So Patterson is "in bed" with Meg Courtney so to speak? Or did he just get the idea for a potential BIG PAYDAY from this article in the LA Times (he went to UCLA after all):…/la-pol-ca-voting-rights-minorities…

New Committee To Be Formed

At any rate, MSP also plans to form a "not-so-secret committee" called "MLMFPWLP" (pronounced "MULFUP") — "Make Life Miserable For Parasitic Weasels Like Patterson." We'll be petitioning the city to forbid lawyers from practicing law from mailboxes. They must "at least" have an office — even if it's in mommy's basement — that is if city zoning allows.

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Fourteen years ago, when we first moved to what has become our farm, the land was raw, covered in weeds, dry and mostly wild. Birds, especially raptors, lived here, often only seasonally and not in great profusion. In the process of creating an organic farm by adding ponds, fruit and nut trees, rows of vegetables, chickens and chicken food, and pigs and their slops, we've provided ideal habitat for all birds and they've proliferated. We love our native birds and they've been taking advantage of our generosity in the past few years. Unless we bird net all fruit trees, berries, and starts, just about everything, we wind up with only half the crop and that usually bird bitten. We take great care to free all birds caught in the netting before the dogs find them although accidents do happen.

But we withhold our love when it comes to some of the non-native birds - and starlings, aka grackles, are the worst. They come in crowds, they take over all nesting places, they strut around as though they own the place, and they can't carry a tune...with a thick New York accent, grackle grackle grackle is the sound they make loudly and insistently. So, when they started nesting in our son's Himalayan blackberry maze a few years ago, he declared war. Last year he collected 20-30 nests, many filled with eggs (both the nest and the eggs are the only pretty things about these birds) but still lost a goodly amount of the harvest to them. This year he's serious. He and J designed and have nearly finished building a welded, chicken wire enclosure made of about twenty 10' tall x14' wide welded rebar frames wrapped in chicken wire that surrounds a blackberry maze with an approximate 60x80' footprint. All that remains is to install the roof made of 2" metal piping struts to be covered with more chicken wire. We're looking at it and saying "WOW".

Below is a picture of it.

(Click to enlarge)

THANKS to an agreement with the Boonville Hotel, we are pleased to announce that we have been permitted to manage a new farmers’ market on its grounds. This will be a certified market unaffiliated with the McFarm Association. The Hotel wants only sellers of agricultural products and food who have all necessary county permits to vend. Like last year, the market will be every Saturday from 9:30am to noon. If you have interest in vending in 2018 contact us and we will be happy to send you the requirements for vending. As in all previous markets the manager decides who vends and where he/she will set up. The Hotel has no desire to be involved with the market or to referee any problems. They have requested that their management and staff do not receive any market related comments or questions, so if you have interest, questions or comments, contact us directly. We look forward to seeing everyone at the NEW Boonville Farmer's Market and hearing from potential vendors. Steve and Nikki, Petit Teton Farm Managers, Boonville Farmers’ Market 684-4146

Nikki Auschnitt and Steve Kreig, Yorkville

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California School Boards Association says, “California’s inadequate school funding hurts our students, undermines our communities, threatens our prosperity, and dims the prospects of future generations. If we want to prepare our students for an increasingly competitive, technology-driven global economy, we must invest at a level necessary to support student success.”

WITHOUT a grasp of the political realities, not to mention the way public school funding is skewed to wealthy districts, and any number of obviously needed curriculum revamps, if school funding were suddenly quadrupled the schools would still fail to prepare tomorrow's wage workers for survival in the service economy which is their legacy. The schools have never taught basic economics which, for most students should begin with a big wall chart that says "You Are Here," with an arrow pointing to the doomed sixty-seventy percent at the very bottom of the income distribution pyramid. Pssst, kid. Learn how to do stuff that will get you by, a little carpentry, a little farming, basic healthy food prep and most importantly of all, "How to be poor but happy."

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LITTLE DOG SAYS, “No sooner had I plastered Boonville with Missing Cat posters when Skrag saunters up mid-afternoon Sunday demanding something to eat. No explanation about where he'd been, no apologies for the worry he caused us all. Skrag is the biggest ingrate of all time!”

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NORTH COAST CALTRANS SPOKESPERSON PHIL FRISBIE WRITES: “My father lived in Albion for several years in his youth during the early 1950s. I asked him a few years ago what he remembered of the current bridge, and he told me the locals referred to it as ‘the old bridge.’ I asked him what that meant, and he said the locals did not like the temporary bridge and how it was an old looking bridge, nothing like the concrete arch originally planned, but which could not be built during the war due to shortages of concrete and steel.”

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YOU HAVE UNTIL the 9th of June to get clean and sober for the second annual Clean and Sober Music Fest at the Boonville Fairgrounds. For the price of admission you get our very own Real Sarahs, among other entertainers, plus “camping, entertainment, food and good ol’ sober fun.”

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FIFTH DISTRICT Supe’s candidate, Dave Roderick’s campaign flyer tells us he wants to “Integrate advanced trade skill training in our high schools and expand Mendo College’s advanced manufacturing tech programs.” Yes! Back to the future with a reinstatement of vocational training. Our Nation’s Future is going to need real survival skills when the old economy goes poof!

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LONG-TIME AVA contributor David Yearsley has received a Guggenheim Fellowship for 2018-2019 to support work on his latest book project, Bach Laughs. Readers of America’s Last Newspaper will have encountered some of his writings on ol’ Johann over the years since 1990, when Yearsley began contributing. Excerpts from his previous monographs—Bach and the Meanings of Counterpoint; Bach’s Feet; and the forthcoming Sex, Death, and Minuets: Anna Magdalena Bach and Her Musical Notebooks—have appeared first in Boonville’s famed broadsheet. Of particular interest to Yearsley are the ways the composer’s life and works help us understand—and misunderstand—the paradoxes of the present day, concerns explored in pieces such as Bach and Taxes, Bach as Jihadi, Bach and Climate, to name but a few.

No composer’s image is more severe than Bach's, yet even in his own time he was hailed as a sublime humorist. Yearsley says he now “plans to take Bach’s comic genius seriously.” The Guggenheim Foundation makes only one award each year in the category of “Music Research,” and Yearsley said he felt “ridiculously lucky” to have been nominated. He hastened to add that "the encouragement and example of the AVA taught me how to write and to think and to resist received truths, especially in the case of outsized cultural and political figures of Bach’s stature." The fellowship will allow Yearsley to take the year off from his teaching duties at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York. You’ll find him often in Boonville in the coming months at the central offices of the AVA, "ready to talk Bach—and kindred matters of great importance."

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THE AV HIGH SCHOOL MUSIC PRODUCTION class will have its original compositions performed by the Del Sol String Quartetworld of San Francisco. The famed quartet will perform 17 student compositions on Monday, April 30 at 7pm in the AVHS Cafeteria.

DelSol Quartet

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THE 36th ANNUAL BOONTLING CLASSIC is set for Sunday, May 6 at 10am. A 5k run/walk from Anderson Valley Elementary school down AV Way and back. Plaques to the top man and woman finisher. Ribbons for the top three in each age division. Drawing for prizes. Entry fee is $10. Commemorative t-shirts also $10. More info: 621-2701 or

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SKIP TAUBE nicely summed up the Mendo pesticide situation: "Do you think enforcing Measure V could help reduce the use of poisons in the wine grape industry as well as everywhere; as the reported use of RoundUp (glyphosate) in 2015 was over 18,000# on wine grapes, 7000# of herbicides in the forest, 2000# on pears, etc etc?!!!!!!!!!" And "that works out to over 1 cup a year for decades for every man, woman & child living and eating and drinking and breathing in Mendocino County (and the animals, plants and fish get what's left after we are long gone). My cup runneth over!"

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NOT THAT I'M SURPRISED the Marbut Report on local homelessness is being resisted by the County's helping pros out of their usual self-interest, but I have yet to see a coherent, or even an incoherent, refutation of Marbut's recommendations, which, in a nutshell are: A single strategy that puts the homegrown homeless first and keeps the transient homeless moving on down the road. To accomplish this modest and commonsense goal the helping pros would coordinate their efforts for the greater good, maybe even combine their efforts into a single approach as in, for instance, Eugene, Oregon where a large facility in West Eugene houses all the houseless because no one is allowed to set up home under a city freeway or in the bushes along the mighty Willamette. The Eugene shelter is church-run, while the terminal drunks, drug heads and crazy people — the problem homeless — are housed in a jail annex. Since the Supervisors paid Marbut a handsome nickel for his analysis of the local prob — more of a local prob by the day — they should insist that the helping pros cooperate or lose their funding. Prediction: Until the homeless become so many they're camping on the lawns of Westside Ukiah they'll continue to complicate the lives of the commercial people in Ukiah's and Fort Bragg's business districts. And bum everyone else out of public spaces.

WHY ARE WE SO SURE that nothing will come of the $50k Marbut report? Because Marbut’s report points out several things that Official Mendo doesn’t want to hear:

MENDO County is “agency centric” (i.e., Mendo funds more helpers than homeless), not system centric; Mendo County makes decisions based on “myths,” not data (data which they not only don’t have but don’t want). Mendo County has no plan; they don’t understand the problem, they only deal with the symptoms, not the triggers of homelessness; they have very few substance abuse and treatment slots/beds; there’s no affordable housing (and that is getting worse); the so-called “point in time count” makes sure that money for non-helpful helpers is badly inflated (to make sure the helping agency funding continues to flow) and makes the problem seem less solvable than it is, etc.

MARBUT ALSO NOTED, “Having so many day service centers in a small area will likely produce many unintended negative affects and effects for both the individuals experiencing homelessness and for the general public within Ukiah. The negative issues will likely include: Reduction of case management accountability, Dilution of service impacts, Increased ‘service shopping,’ Expansion of the bread-crumb trail through neighborhoods.” (I.e., there’s a lot of redundancy due to the many overlapping agencies whose primary purpose is in sustaining their own funding.)

UNAWARE that he’s dealing with an incompetence so massively entrenched that the entire Marine Corps would be unable to penetrate it, Marbut’s recommendations to do the obvious will go nowhere. The guy gets his fifty grand, but like the army of consultants before him Marbut optimistically recommends a “check up plan,” saying that follow up “should not become bureaucratic and should not become a bunch of meetings, needs to be rigorous, needs to be independent, should have a regular set of check points (after 2 months, after 6 months, after a year, etc.).” Mendo, meeting capital of the world, has proven to be absolutely incapable of doing anything like this on any subject.

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RANDY JOHNSON is the just-retired, and highly criticized former Under-Sheriff, but we find him on Tuesday’s Supe’s agenda:

5a) Discussion and Possible Action Including Approval of Extra Help Appointment of Randy Johnson to Fulfill Critical Duties, Pursuant to California Government Code Section 7522.56 (Sponsor: Human Resources) Recommended Action: Approve the Extra Help Appointment of Randy Johnson to fulfill critical duties, pursuant to California Government Code Section 7522.56.

WHAT CRITICAL DUTIES? How long? Long enough to sweeten Johnson’s retirement pot?

SUPERVISOR GJERDE recently refused to vote for a request from County auditor Lloyd Weer to bring back a freshly retired employee on the irrefutable grounds that this kind of double-dipping is now against state law. Of course the four other automatons voted to bring the employee back. It will be interesting to see if Gjerde challenges the Johnson deal.

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AMEN BRO. Art Juhl writes: "…Now studying the budget I can read into it that there is a great need for accountability of all departments. The Supervisors should get each and every director to submit a report every month to see where their funds are spent, not the CEO who in my opinion is overwhelmed. If that happened we might even have a surplus to fix our roads!”

MENDOCINO COUNTY is odd in so many ways, but it’s also unique in the absence of a taxpayer’s watchdog group. No exaggeration to say that with every meeting of the Supervisors thousands of public dollars are authorized for public expenditure that shouldn’t be. With his background in forensic accounting, candidate Juhl is the first candidate in my memory to say any version of what Juhl said to the ICO recently. (Pinches challenges the budget from the perspective that certain expenditures like roads don’t seem to be expended to much in the way of visible effect and are way too low.)

SPEAKING of the fiscal black hole known as the Mental Health budget, Juhl declared: “What happened? $17 million went to consultants… They are pissing away so much money, it’s unbelievable. I want to make people aware of this. The auditor (Lloyd Weer) will not return my calls.”

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THE 2018 GRAND JURY is off to a rather weak start this year with this statement of the obvious: “Ukiah city streets are in a state of extreme disrepair.” A trite call that something be done about it follows, but there are some serious gaps in their suggestions for what to do. After a nearly unreadable recitation of transportation funding bureaucracies, jargon and acronyms, the GJ pompously proclaims: “The voters want assurance that the money collected is used for the intended purpose. The grand jury expects the city to uphold their commitment and encourages city residents to participate in budget and planning discussions.”

OH YEAH, that’ll do it. The GJ expects Ukiahans to crowd the City Council chambers during their highly orchestrated budget discussions to “demand” that their roads be fixed? Ukiah already tolerates a laughably inflated and wildly overpaid management, a growing population of the walking wounded, a dying downtown, bad streets, all of it adding up to, What government? It ought to be clear by now that Ukiahans will put up with anything.

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MIKE GENIELLA of the DA’s Office corrects our erroneous photo from the weekend: “In the Saturday AVA on-line article re Linda McNiel, the picture used is not of McNiel. Instead, see attached. And perhaps we should get a “finder’s fee,” as we’ve found her glasses — on her face!

(THE ORIGINAL ITEM): Linda McNiel, a Willits attorney who specializes in drunk driving cases, has filed a claim against the County of Mendocino for a $527 pair of glasses pair she claims she lost while undergoing the security check into the courthouse at the Perkins Street entrance last February. Ms. McNeil says, "Entering the courthouse just before 9 AM for court appearance, keys fell into the basket which was heard and retrieved. Glasses disappeared. Security looked into machines but could not locate. Positive had glasses with me." Ms. McNiel says that the employees who she alleges caused the injury or loss are “unknown security check-in at courthouse." Even if her account of the lost glasses is true, which we frankly doubt and attribute to simple forgetfulness, expecting the County of Mendocino to reimburse her for something that occurred at the courthouse entrance is odd, especially for an attorney, since she should know that the contract for courthouse security is through the county courts, not the County of Mendocino. And how do we know that her glasses really cost $527?

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CATCH OF THE DAY, April 19-21, 2018

Agapito-Obispo, Avants, Bartel, Brown

PEDRO AGAPITO-OBISPO, Hopland. Concealed weapon in vehicle, brandishing, loaded firearm in vehicle.

JAMES AVANTS, Albion. Fugitive from justice, community supervision violation.

VANESSA BARTEL, Ukiah. Failure to appear, probation revocation.

CLAYTON BROWN, Ukiah. More than an ounce of pot, failure to appear.

Chi, Chimoen, Chitwood, Cruz

WILBERT CHI, Fort Bragg. DUI with priors, suspended license.

GUILLERMO CHIMOEN, Fort Bragg. Domestic abuse.

NATHANIEL CHITWOOD, Fort Bragg. Disorderly conduct-alcohol, contempt of court.

NESTOR CRUZ, Redwood Valley. Burglary.

Espinoza, Harris, Holm

SERGIO ESPINOZA, Ceres/Ukiah. Taking vehicle without owner’s consent, probation revocation.

CHRISTOPHER HARRIS, Ukiah. Under influence.

ELIZABETH HOLM, Ukiah. Stolen vehicle, receiving stolen property, suspended license.

Jones, Martinez, Messex

KYLE JONES, Willits. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.

CHARLENE MARTINEZ, Ukiah. Failure to appear, probation revocation.

CHRISTOPHER MESSEX, Fort Bragg. DUI, suspended license.

Montalvo, Potter, Rexrode

MICHAEL MONTALVO, Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.

JILL POTTER, Willits. Under influence, false ID, disobeying a court order, resisting.

MIKEL REXRODE, Fort Bragg. Disorderly conduct-alcohol, resisting.

Sanchez, Tinajero, Vincent, Voris

DAMION SANCHEZ, Ukiah. Controlled substance, four offense in ten years, resisting.

JAIME TINAJERO, Ukiah. DUI, suspended license (for DUI).

LYLE VINCENT, Ukiah. Protective order violation.

MICHAEL VORIS, Willits. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.

Williams, Winn, Wright

CESLEY WILLIAMS, Covelo. Domestic abuse, probation revocation.

MARSHALL WINN IV, Redwood Valley. DUI.

ANDREA WRIGHT, Ukiah. Probation revocation.

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Russians are European, rather more white and blue eyed than most, but they have cultural influences that go all the way to China and have a fair bit of influence from the steppes and the people who live there.

I love Russian culture. They are very smart, their men are men yet they manage to respect and value women. They have great food, great music and dance, and value excellence. They are intuitive and highly affectionate. Emotionally quite open. They hug and kiss and get drunk together, talk philosophy and call one another by pet names. They love animals.

And they have the Byzantine form of Christianity, one which knows what it is doing in regard to ritual, the poetry of action, deliberately designing their churches and its services to give a feeling of being in heaven as written in Old Testament prophecy.

A Christianity that does not condemn nonbelievers to hell, does not teach original sin, and even entertains universal salvation. A Christianity whose crosses have a dove to signify the victorious resurrection rather than a tortured and bloody Christ.

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(Click to enlarge)

(Submitted by Harry Williamson)

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by James Kunstler

America has become Alzheimer Nation. Nothing is remembered for more than a few minutes. The news media, which used to function as a sort of collective brain, is a memory hole that events are shoved down and extinguished in. An attack in Syria, you ask? What was that about? Facebook stole your…what? Four lives snuffed out in a… a what? Something about waffles? Trump said… what? Let’s pause today and make an assessment of where things stand in this country as Winter finally coils into Spring.

As you might expect, a nation overrun with lawyers has litigated itself into a cul-de-sac of charges, arrests, suits, countersuits, and allegations that will rack up billable hours until the Rockies tumble. The best outcome may be that half the lawyers in this land will put the other half in jail, and then, finally, there will be space for the rest of us to re-connect with reality.

What does that reality consist of? Troublingly, an economy that can’t go on as we would like it to: a machine that spews out ever more stuff for ever more people. We really have reached limits for an industrial economy based on cheap, potent energy supplies. The energy, oil especially, isn’t cheap anymore. The fantasy that we can easily replace it with wind turbines, solar panels, and as-yet-unseen science projects is going to leave a lot of people not just disappointed but bereft, floundering, and probably dead, unless we make some pretty severe readjustments in daily life.

We’ve been papering this problem over by borrowing so much money from the future to cover costs today that eventually it will lose its meaning as money — that is, faith that it is worth anything. That’s what happens when money is just a representation of debt that can’t be paid back. This habit of heedless borrowing has enabled the country to pretend that it is functioning effectively. Lately, this game of pretend has sent the financial corps into a rapture of jubilation. The market speed bumps of February are behind us and the road ahead looks like the highway to Vegas at dawn on a summer’s day.

Tesla is the perfect metaphor for where the US economy is at: a company stuffed with debt plus government subsidies, unable to deliver the wished-for miracle product — affordable electric cars — whirling around the drain into bankruptcy. Tesla has been feeding one of the chief fantasies of the day: that we can banish climate problems caused by excessive CO2, while giving a new lease on life to the (actually) futureless suburban living arrangement that we foolishly invested so much of our earlier capital building. In other words, pounding sand down a rat hole.

Because none of that is going to happen. The true message of income inequality is that the nation as a whole is becoming incrementally impoverished and eventually even the massive “wealth” of the one-percenters will prove to be fictitious, as the things it is represented in — stocks, bonds, currencies, Manhattan apartments — hemorrhage their supposed value. The very wealthy will be a lot less wealthy while everybody else is in a life-and-death struggle to remain fed, housed, and warm. And, of course, that only increases the chance that some violent social revolution will take away even that remaining residue of wealth, and destroy the people who held it.

What lies ahead is contraction. Of everything. Activity, population. The industrial economy is not going to be replaced by a super high tech utopia, because that wished-for utopia needs an industrial economy underneath to support it. This is true, by the way, for all the other “advanced” nations. China has a few more years of dependable oil supply left and then they will discover that they can no longer manufacture solar panels or perhaps not even run the magnificent electronic surveillance system they are so artfully building. Their political system will prove to be at least as fragile as our own.

The time may even come when the young people, of the USA especially, have to put aside their boundary-smashing frolics of the day and adjust the pre-cooked expectations they’ve been handed to the actual contraction at hand, and what it means for making a life under severely different conditions. It means, better learn how to do something really practical and not necessarily high tech. Better figure out a part of the country that will be safe to live in. Better plan on hunkering down there when the people stuck in the less favorable places make a real mess of things.

(Support Kunstler’s writing by visiting his Patreon Page.)

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(via MendocinoSportsPlus)

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I MET A LADY who had run down and down and down, and had at last reached a point where medicines no longer had any helpful effect upon her. I said I knew I could put her upon her feet in a week. It brightened her up, filled her with hope, and she said she would do everything I told her to do. So I said she must stop swearing and drinking and smoking and eating for four days, and then she would be all right again. And it would have happened just so, I know it; but she said she could not stop swearing and smoking and drinking, because she had never done those things. So there it was. She had neglected her habits, and hadn't any. Now that they would have come good, there were none in stock. She had nothing to fall back on. She was a sinking vessel, with no freight in her to throw overboard and lighten ship withal. Why, even one or two little bad habits could have saved her, but she was just a moral pauper. When she could have acquired them she had been dissuaded by her parents, who were ignorant people though reared in the best society, and it was too late to begin now. It seemed such a pity; but there was no help for it. These things ought to be attended to while a person is young; otherwise, when age and disease come, there is nothing effectual to fight them with.

— Mark Twain, 1897; from "Following the Equator"

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(Photo by Susie de Castro)

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Planning Commission meeting Agenda for May 3, 2018, is posted on the department website at:

Please contact staff with any questions.

Victoria Davis, Commission Services Supervisor


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A man and a woman and their two daughters went on a trip over Mountain View Road or Fish Rock Road or one of those unpopulated roads. At about midnight their car broke down. They had no cell phone reception. They didn't know what to do. Nobody came by. Suddenly a car came by with four drunk guys in it. They got out and fooled around a little bit. The people in the car just sat there and locked the doors and windows. One of the guys got a rock and broke the windows. Then they got the whole family out of the car except the man. They put an arm around his neck and killed him there. Then they brutally raped the woman and girls right before his eyes. He couldn't do anything about it. He never had anything to fight with. Anybody with any sense would know that if you carry a little handgun, just the presence of that gun would have deterred the whole operation. The drunks would have run back in the car and left. All he had to do was show it to them. He did not have to fire it. 90% of the time they will leave if you just show them a firearm. So you gun-hating bastards out there who think that guns are so dangerous, think how many lives an empty gun could save from criminals and bad people. If you keep on attacking the Second Amendment, you liberals, there will be a day when many many people are going to be in that same position and can do nothing about it. Maybe you ought to think about that a little bit before you start crying about gun control. Okay? Read this and think about it.

God bless Donald Trump.

Jerry Philbrick


PS. Since 1950 all mass murders have been committed in the United States in gun-free zones. All mass murders, most of them, 90% of them, in gun-free zones. So keep it up you liberals. Keep it up.

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PIERS MORGAN: How the hell was a paranoid, delusional, police-hating, gun-crazed, White House storming, Taylor Swift obsessed whackjob able to get his hands on an AR-15 to commit mass murder in a Waffle House?

Every time I think I've seen it all when it comes to American gun violence, something happens to snap my eyelids back with stunned bemusement. In the early hours of yesterday morning, a half-naked 29-year-old man named Travis Reinking opened fire with an AR-15 semi-automatic rifle on customers in and outside Antioch Waffle House in Nashville, Tennessee. He killed four people and wounded another four, before unarmed heroic bystander James Shaw (note to the NRA: a good guy without a gun) confronted him and wrestled the gun away.

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BLUSTERY BEAUTY near Gualala, 4/20

(Click to enlarge)

(Photo by Steve Heilig)

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I Live for This Stuff...I'm at the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton University.

Design of algorithms and machines capable of “intelligent” comprehension and decision making is one of the major scientific and technological challenges of this century. It is also a challenge for mathematics because it calls for new paradigms for mathematical reasoning, such as formalizing the “meaning” or “information content” of a piece of text or an image or scientific data. It is a challenge for mathematical optimization because the algorithms involved must scale to very large input sizes. It is a challenge for theoretical computer science because the obvious ways of formalizing many computational tasks in machine learning are provably intractable in a worst-case sense, and thus calls for new modes of analysis.

This program in theoretical machine learning at the Institute for Advanced Study (IAS) seeks to address such foundational issues. Started at the School of Mathematics in September 2017 as a natural extension of existing activities in Computer Science and Discrete Mathematics (CSDM), it is led by Sanjeev Arora, who holds a joint appointment at Princeton University and a long-term Visitor Professorship at the IAS. The program also includes two postdocs and visiting faculty. It also has close links and joint seminars with research groups at Princeton University, including Theoretical Machine Learning, Theoretical Computer Science, Program in Applied and Computational Math, and Operations Research. There are also ongoing collaborations with researchers seeking to apply machine learning towards understanding large data sets in areas such as social sciences, natural language processing, and neuroscience.

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"The American Dream has never been to be a public sector employee. If they actually taught kids how to think instead of what to think they might have a legitimate gripe but the fact is our school systems are overloaded with high paid administrators and the State Govt's are pretty much bankrupt because of insane pension obligations. Perhaps they should form a working group to figure out how to get blood out of a stone.”

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The other day in the Chronicle, John Shea squandered more than a thousand words defending Brandon Belt's vanity as a hitter (Why Giants’ Brandon Belt gets bum rap on strike-zone approach):

Three weeks into the season, the Giants’ first baseman has been an easy target for frustrated fans… They’ve seen him strike out looking to end a 10-inning game and a few other times and, judging from social media rants and barstool chatter, figure all he wants to do is walk. Even if it means taking close pitches in two-strike counts… “I think I’ve shown over my career I have a pretty good strike-zone awareness,” Belt said. “I know where the strike zone is. For me to be successful, I can’t swing at balls. I’ve got to swing at strikes. That’s just the way it is. Hopefully, the umpires and I are on the same page that day. As far as me being successful at the plate and driving the ball and having the best chance to get hits, that’s me staying in the zone.”

Shea followed this with a flurry of stats on how often Belt strikes out looking as opposed to swinging compared to other players.

More from Belt:

 “You can’t sit there and say, ‘Oh, the ball’s barely at the plate, I’ve got to swing here.’ It’s a reaction. My reaction is to swing at strikes and lay off balls. That’s just all there is to it.”

No, that's not all there is to it. Shea and Belt know that all at-bats are not the same requiring the same "approach." If you end an inning in a close game by taking a third strike with runners in scoring position — particularly if it's the last out of the game — you have gravely sinned against the baseball gods. If you do it in a game in which your team is either ahead or behind by ten runs, it doesn't mean anything, except to your batting average.

Would a quarterback refuse to throw a hail-Mary pass in the last seconds of a game because it was unlikely to succeed? Would a basketball player refuse to take a last-second shot in close game because it was a bad shot?

Ending a one-run game by taking a third strike with the bat on your shoulder with runners in scoring position is indefensible. As a hitter, you have to protect the plate with two strikes by swinging at anything close. Defending that bad baseball play by invoking your keen sense of the strike zone's parameters is bullshit and prima donna vanity.

Maybe Belt had those critical "media rants and barstool chatter" in mind on Sunday, when he fouled off a record 21 pitches, many of them out of the strike zone.

(Rob Anderson, District5Diary)



  1. james marmon April 24, 2018


    The Homeless Continuum of Care “Strategic Planning Committee” actually admitted yesterday that they have never really had a strategy prior to Marbut’s report and yesterdays meeting. They spent most of the day doing an exercise which basically introduced each agency to one another and what each agency actually does. I asked my friend why that after 3 years of existence this group finally just doing the meet and greet phase of group process, he told me that “the players keep changing.” Anyway the next step is finally creating a mission statement for the group, being that they’ve never had one.

    Apparently Ann Molgaard is going to grudgingly address the BoS today in regards to what chairperson Maya Stuart expects will be the board’s acceptance of the Marbut Report and most of his recommendations. Molgaard is going to ask the BoS to step back and let the CoC have another shot at moving this rudderless fiasco forward. Should be an interesting meeting.

    James Marmon MSW
    Personal Growth Consultant

    ‘don’t just go through it, grow through it’

  2. John Sakowicz April 24, 2018

    AIOps Platforms and machine learning will save from ourselves.

    AI will save our planet from almost certain destruction from catastrophic climate change, nuclear war, global pandemic, ecological catastrophe, global system collapse, synthetic biology, future bad governance, and unknown unknowns…in other words, man-made catastrophes that stem from our ignorance and greed.

    AI is our only hope. Machines must be smarter than men and wiser than men…or we will become just another extinct species here on planet Earth. Of this, I am certain.

    Even nanotechnology is a threat.

    The concern here is that nanotech democratizes industrial production, thus giving many more actors the ability to develop highly destructive weapons.

    Dennis Pamlin of the Global Challenge Foundation and Stuart Armstrong of the Future of Humanity Institute have noted this threat.

    “Of particular relevance is whether nanotechnology allows rapid uranium extraction and isotope separation and the construction of nuclear bombs, which would increase the severity of the consequent conflicts,” Pamlin and Armstrong write.

    Traditional balance-of-power dynamics wouldn’t apply if individuals and small groups were capable of amassing large, powerful arsenals.

    There’s also a concern that self-replicating nanotech would create a “gray goo” scenario, in which it grows out of control and encroaches upon resources humans depend on, causing mass disruption and potentially civilization’s collapse.

    So add nanotechnology to the long list of more obvious global risks with a potentially great impact where, in extreme cases, all humans could die and from which AI may be able to save us.

    Why? Because AI could be programmed to be not just smarter, but also wiser.

    Take ignorance and greed out of the equation.

    Imagine a world where there are no bad actors. No AI equivalent of Donald Trump.

    No Kim Jong-un.

    No Wall Street Banksters. No Hollywood Predators. No Charlottesville Protesters. No Martin Shkreli. No Abdul Qadeer Khan.

    And for God’s sake, no Pop Culture Monster, Miley Cyrus.

    • George Hollister April 24, 2018

      I demand to be put in charge of the AI programming to save the human race, and the Planet. I am the only one qualified. My resume is in the AVA file, but that doesn’t matter, I am qualified. Can’t handle it? Don’t worry, there are many in Comptche willing to help me.

  3. Jeff Costello April 24, 2018

    The Terminator is on the way.

  4. George Hollister April 24, 2018

    Thanks for the Mark Twain quote. I remember reading it about 40 years ago, and have referred to it numerous times. But I also had forgotten the exact text, and where it could be found.

    • Bruce McEwen April 24, 2018

      Clarence Darrow used a variation on the same theme in his famous closing argument:

      “Did any of you ever have any difficulty with anybody? Can there be a man on this jury who has not had difficulty with three or four men who would be willing to speak ill of him and injure him if it came their way? If you haven’t made three or four enemies, gentlemen, you have lived a very weak and useless life. A man who can go through life as far as you twelve men have gone, and not make three or four enemies, is not worthwhile. You had better begin on me, so you will have something to your credit before you get through.”

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