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Mendocino County Today: Tuesday, Nov. 20, 2018

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by Malcolm Macdonald

This starts innocuously enough with an email from Mendocino Coast District Hospital (MCDH) on November 9th announcing the agenda for the November 13th meeting of the hospital's Planning Committee. Stick with it because there will be punch lines.

Emails for MCDH committee meetings go out to dozens of people. A year ago that number was about sixty. In the interim not only has the sender figured out how to send an email without disclosing all the other names on the list, but undoubtedly interest in MCDH politics has risen, so presumably the number of recipients has also.

MCDH committee or board meeting agendas can be lengthy documents to read through prior to the meeting. If contracts with outside companies are involved the board meeting agendas can easily exceed a hundred pages. The November Planning Committee packet ran to 32 pages. The actual agenda took up just over a single page. The minutes covering the October Planning Committee meeting took up four pages. A “Strategic Plan Update” comprised thirteen more pages. Another five and a half pages concerned a draft of bylaws for a Measure C Taxpayer Oversight Committee. Throw in a few pages to divide those topics and the page count still comes up several shy of the 32 total pages.

One has to wonder how many of the recipients of the email read past the first few pages, encompassing the November agenda and the minutes of the October meeting. Somebody did, because at a few minutes past nine a.m., the morning of the November 13th meeting, a new email arrived from the assistant to MCDH Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Bob Edwards. That email stated in bold type, “The HCAHPS Stoplight Report was inadvertently added to your Planning Packet under Tab 2. Please remove and destroy this document.”

For those who hadn't read through to page 23 of the agenda packet before, they probably did at that point. Pages 23-26 of the Planning Committee agenda packet contain an HCAHPS survey. HCAHPS is an acronym for Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems. The survey was conducted by NRC Health. That company's website states that they help “healthcare providers thrive in a consumer-driven economy by providing holistic customer intelligence essential to designing and delivering care experiences that surprise, delight, and inspire loyalty.”

In other words, MCDH has contracted with NRC Health to survey patients about their care at the hospital. You or someone you know may have received a call in recent months in this regard.

What got stuck inside the Planning Committee agenda are the results of NRC Health's survey of patients covering the first three quarters of 2018 (January-September). Who wanted the document destroyed?

The agenda for MCDH Board meetings is made up by two individuals, the CEO, Bob Edwards, and the President of the hospital's Board of Directors, Steve Lund. The agendas for committee meetings are presumably a product of the chair of the particular committee (Lund also chairs the Planning Committee) with input from administration. In the case of the MCDH Finance Committee we can guess that input comes as much from the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) as the CEO. For the Planning Committee one can only surmise that Lund's partner in agenda responsibility would be the CEO.

The HCAHPS survey allows participants to respond on a 0-10 (zero being lowest) rating as to an overall recommendation of MCDH. The survey also asks specific questions that are weighted on a scale of 0-100%. HCAHPS asks 40 different questions. Examples include: “During this hospital stay, after you pressed the call button, how often did you get help as soon as you wanted it? How often were the different doctors and nurses consistent with each other in providing you information and care? During this hospital stay, how often were you given input or say in your care? While you were in the emergency room did you get enough information about your medical condition and treatment? During this hospital stay, how often did the hospital staff include your family or someone close to you in discussions about your care? During this hospital stay, did you get information in writing about what symptoms or health problems to look out for after you left the hospital?”

The HCAHPS survey scores are shown for each of the first three quarters of the 2018 calendar year along with an overall average for the period between January and September 27, 2018. Each quarter score and the overall average is color coded on the chart: Green for a score equal to or higher than NRC's average from other hospitals; yellow for a score less than the NRC average, but may not be significantly less; red for a score significantly less than the NRC average.

In the first quarter of 2018 the HCAHPS survey gave MCDH 17 scores in the green (above average) level, 22 yellow scores (less than average), and only 1 red score (significantly below average). In the second quarter: 23 green, 13 yellow, and 4 red. In the third quarter of 2018: the green scores dropped to 11, the yellow rose to 21, and the red scores advanced to 8. The overall scores for the accumulated three quarters of this year reflected the third quarter scoring, with 11 greens, 21 yellow, and 8 red.

That fairly significant drop in approval scores/ratings in the third quarter might account for why the lead administrator and/or the President of MCDH's Board of Directors would demand that email recipients “remove and destroy this document.” However, the NRC HCAHPS survey provides an even bigger reason. At the top of the survey is an “Overall” category. Scores were derived from this query to MCDH patients: “Using any number from 0 to 10, where 0 is the worst hospital possible and 10 is the best hospital possible, what number would you use to rate this hospital during your stay?”

MCDH scored in the red (significantly below average) zone in the first and third quarters as well as in a cumulative average. The hospital's second quarter score was barely above the “Significantly below average” level.

There is nothing in the survey that violates HIPAA privacy rules. It merely contains a series of color coded averages in chart form. This leads to a couple of questions not in the NRC HCAHPS survey. Why are people in MCDH leadership intent on destroying a survey of its patients? Why are they intent on keeping this information from the public eye at an institution paid for by the public?

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LITTLE DOG SAYS, “They don’t put you on a leash because they want you to run away.”

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THE GREENWOOD ROAD HOME of Ken and Joanadell Hurst was destroyed by fire early Friday morning. The Hursts are Valley old timers. Ken Hurst is a frequent contributor and a long time friend of the ava. Neither Ken nor Joanadel were injured in the blaze, which also destroyed outbuildings. We haven’t been able to reach the Hursts, but they’ve got to know their many friends in the Anderson Valley are standing by to provide whatever help they may need.

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YOUR COMMUNITY HOLIDAY DINNER is about to be served. Call Rainbow, 895-3807 or email to volunteer and make this a smooth and pleasant community dinner. Announcing the 2018 Annual Holiday Community Potluck Dinner sponsored by the AV Grange and AV Foodshed. Sunday, December 9, 5:30pm. At the AV Grange Hall.

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BOONVILLE’S CASSIDY HOLLINGER has been very sick and needs the support of her home community.

Cassidy writes: “As many of you know - especially if you followed my social media meme journey - this past spring I entered Kings County Hospital for what I thought was a minor infection...and boy was I in for a treat. Here's the tea: we found a congenital defect in my right kidney harboring a staph infection, requiring an emergency surgery that night and a 4-day stint in the ICU (105.7 degree fever is FEELIN' HOT HOT HOT). That's when we found the good stuff: a fatal heart infection (endocarditis, just like on "House"!) requiring six weeks of daily IV treatments. I spent 44 days in that palace, and returned for a total kidney reconstruction a few days later. I have since had another surgery, and will have to continue to have follow-ups for the next year/the rest of my life. As you might imagine, this is not cheap, and IT'S TIME: the bills unfortunately are coming due. I'm raising funds to cover the medical bills and the regular bills that incurred while I was stuck in there (ain't no party like a Brooklyn-rent party cuz a Brooklyn-rent party don't stop). I know everyone says this, but every little bit helps, especially if you can share this on social media with your friends. And there will be prizes (TBA) - including but not limited to: a narrated slideshow of hospital memes, me cooking for you (I'm good!), and even stand-up performance(s)! Love to you all, and thank you in advance!

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PEOPLE COMPLAIN about the enormous sums paid professional ballplayers but, unlike our Supervisors and the other upper echelons of government at all levels, the pro athlete performs for all the world, and what he does or does not do is right there on film. He or she either does it or is jobless. Put the Supes on work-hour video and few of us would be willing to pay any of them $85 grand a year. And they're rude as hell into the bargain, as Mrs. Escobar discovered during her appearance last week to rightly complain that she and other Mendo fire victims are getting gouged by our Planning and Building Department. The Supervisors, faced with direct criticism, go full zombo — cryonic-like stare backs.

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SOMEHOW I'M ON the mailing list of a sanguinary "Christian" outfit called the Liberty Counsel. A recent blast from them reads, "Anti-Semites Elected to Congress. Democrat Rashida Tlaib wrapped herself in the Palestinian flag at a victory party. Tlaib is an anti-Semite and supports the destruction of the Jewish state of Israel and its replacement of a unitary Palestinian state. Tlaib said, ’A lot of my strength comes from being Palestinian.’ After she won her primary race in August, she published several anti-Israel tweets and re-tweeted a fan who declared that Tlaib's ‘first fight was for Palestine, always Palestine’."

CONFLATING the Israeli government's ongoing persecution of Palestinians with anti-Semitism is almost as common among "liberals" as among the crypto-fascist Israeli government, but criticism of Israeli policy is not anti-Semitism. An anti-Semite wants to see the wholesale destruction of the Jewish people as a people. Most critics of Israel simply want a decent accommodation with Palestinians, as does roughly half the Israeli population, including at least five retired heads of the Mossad. (1.6 million of the Palestinians are confined under prison-like conditions, to an area the size of the Anderson Valley.)

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DEAR PRESS DEMOCRAT: I'm not sure re-translating story heds from the Albanian is helpful to us readers. See below:

Police notified about body found in San Jose due to missing 49ers fan

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HOMELESSNESS, ANOTHER COMMENT: "Basically, we need more trailer parks. Cheapest low income housing that could ever be built IF people would get off their high horses over their real estate values and allow them. Tiny houses cost way more to build and are usually not as well designed- that I can see. The parks we have now were mostly built in the 1950’s. No new ones. In the 1930’s and 40’s trailers were advertised as, you guessed it, “Tiny Houses”!!! Big selling point back then. And trailer parks advertised as tiny house communities. There is no real difference despite the fact some have paid 90K for 350 SqFt on wheels- with no earthly place to put it. The Low Income Housing we build right now is NOT a bargain. And we do end up paying for it. Your real estate values are going to go down whether there is a park near you OR people are camping and shitting in your bushes. Or camping all over the downtown of the town you live in. We have to make a practical choice. This has nothing to do with false morality. Your real estate values are going to go down anyway with pot legalization. If you only own the house you live in it does NOT matter what your house is worth, in fact you are better off if it’s worth less- less taxes. If you sell your home to buy another home and prices are low- that home’s price will be low as well. It’s about percentages. The exception to all this are real estate investors. Investors, BTW, made up the largest percentage of foreclosed homes after 2007- NOT home owners. Do most of us care if RE investors make less money? Mom and Pops- sure, but in general- not really. We’d rather have a secure roof over our heads. And less shit in our neighborhoods and downtown.

At some point the ever rising housing costs are going to lead to a boiling point. Costs of housing have risen faster than slow boiling frogs at this point. Resentment can become dangerous. In fact I think it already is.”

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A SENSIBLE COMMENT out of Ukiah: "“As far as the homeless problem, it’s nothing we’re going to cure here. There’s been studies done, and for some reason the county and the city … will pay money for good advice, but then they won’t take it. So there has to be a situation where the city has to actually admit to themselves that there are actually people that need the help, and there are people that don’t want the help and make it a lifestyle choice to be living on the streets and urinating on our streets. Hopefully that gets addressed soon, because the last two projects (before us) we’ve heard that they’ve changed their plans to accommodate for the homeless and transient population that has now populated Ukiah. I’m concerned about how we are enabling people to do things when basically we should be deterring them, and I’m sure there are ways that can be done.”

— Ukiah Planning Commissioner Chair Mike Whetzel

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CATCH OF THE DAY, November 19, 2018

Abreu, Alvarez, Hutchison, Rowland

BLUE ABREU, Willits. Parole violation. (Frequent Flyer)

JAVIER ALVAREZ, Ukiah. Grant theft, trespassing, vandalism, conspiracy.

MARK HUTCHISON, Willits. Community supervision violation.


Sanchez-Montiel, Stone, Sutherland, Whelan

JUAN SANCHEZ-MONTIEL, Ukiah. Failure to appear, probation revocation.

ASHTON STONE, Point Arena. Probation revocation.

JENNIFER SUTHERLAND, Ukiah. Probation revocation.

JACOB WHELAN, Fort Bragg. More than one ounce of pot.

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1964 High Water on the Avenue

David Wilson

“High Water Dec 1964,” reads the sign at chest level. Arrows on the pole draw the eye to the true marker far above. Avenue of the Giants at Weott, Humboldt County, California. (click to enlarge)

In 1964 a perfect storm of snow melt and heavy rains caused a historic flood in Humboldt County and the greater Pacific Northwest. Along the Eel River watershed, the raging flood waters wiped out roads, bridges, and entire communities. Highway 101 was submerged at some points. That was before my memory, and now most of its effects have been blurred by the passage of time, but there are still some physical reminders commemorating the event visible from the road: you may have seen the High Water marker on the west side of Highway 101 a little north of the Salmon Creek exit in southern Humboldt. Another mark sits atop a pole on the Avenue of the Giants at Weott; almost out of sight at the top of the tall pole is a marker showing how deep the Avenue was beneath he surface of the flooding Eel River.

The history and mystery of this past reminder of nature’s awesome power drew my interest to the marker at Weott. I doubt that I’ve ever passed by this marker, nor the one on 101 near Salmon Creek, without at least glancing at it and marveling for a moment at the shear volume of water that the flood had sent gushing through these places continuously for days, all up and down the river, and all over the region. That is a mind-bending amount of water pouring from the skies.

If people go through phases in their art, I am definitely deep into a night phase. When I am interested in photographing something, my mind inevitably begins thinking about how it might look at night, and what might make it an interesting image under the night’s magical light. Light is unique at night, offering the potential to make striking and unusual photographs. I know that compelling photographic opportunities abound in the daytime as well, for I see and appreciate daylight images all the time. But for whatever reason, I need to go shoot at night, to play with long exposures, perhaps paint my own light into the scene or watch as the lights of passing vehicles add their own strokes of luminance. The bummer is that I seem to have a daily need for sleep that can be most inconvenient. Still, I love both taking the photographs and then working with them later, as any creative photographer might have done in the darkrooms of old, and as I once did, only now we mostly use digital tools.

Looking south past the High Water mark along the Avenue of the Giants at Weott. (click to enlarge)

Where does the light come from at night? It’s never the same. There is a little star shine at all times, which is enough to see well enough to walk around after one’s eyes have grown accustomed to it, but it is very faint and next to insignificant in my landscapes. The moon is an inconsistent light source in night photography, unlike the sun in the daytime. Because the moon’s phases change gradually each day, so does the amount and quality of its light, both on the landscape and in the lightness of the sky. Thus the night has phases of its own, following those of the moon, making each night just a little different.

Light also comes from both stationary and mobile ground sources, again unlike the daytime. The colors of the lights may vary widely. Some lights are cool, some warm, and some are extreme in intensity or color, such as the red of a car’s taillights or the brightness of its headlights. Some night light sources are points in the frame, some are streaks, and others bounce their glows upon the landscape. A passing car will add a splash of light to the photograph here or there as it travels by, while others will add different strokes, filling in new areas, perhaps in a warmer or cooler tone. Or again I may add light of my own. My enjoyment is in the process of gathering these threads of light and creating images from the scenes they illuminate.

To keep abreast of David Wilson’s most current photography or peer into its past, follow him on Instagram at @david_wilson_mfx or his website, where you can also contact him, but which Wilson says he updates less frequently.

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by James Kunstler

The defeat of Hillary, and the elevation of the vulgar Mr. Trump, loosed a fury of women against men in America that now verges on a kind of all-consuming chaos, like those western wildfires turning every product of human endeavor in the burn-path to smoke and ash. All the sorrows of our national life are assigned lately to the wicked white male patriarchy that must be defeated to usher in a satori of female sharing-and-caring.

A case in point is Sam Harris’s dialogue on his “Waking Up”(#141) podcast with Rebecca Traister of New York Magazine, author of the new book Good and Mad: The Revolutionary Power of Women’s Anger. (Click here for the Harris-Traister chat.) There is no better interlocutor of the current right-think about men and women than Ms. Traister. She puts it across as though her brain was shot out of a cannon from a graduate seminar on “Engendering the Intellectual Space” as if there are no other points at issue in our national life than the power valences between the two sexes — and, of course, even suggesting that the human mammal comprises two sexes is a punishable offense these days.

To get a sense of the true chaos behind her argument, just have a look at the cover of Good and Mad. Notice that the blood-red title stands against a gray field of the word “F*CK” (asterisk hers) repeated 120 times on a 5 X 24 grid. Deconstruct that. Is it the generative act of copulation itself that she is inveighing against? Should it be gotten rid of? Will that solve the problems of a foundering hyper-complex industrial society?

Ms. Traister might have used the word “power” five hundred times in her conversation with the excessively gallant Sam Harris. The choo-choo train of “poststructuralist” ideology that pulled into the college scene in the 1990s, when she was a student, is based on the idea that all relations between men and women — and all human endeavor, for that matter — come down to questions of who has power over whom. The result, naturally enough, has been an escalating power struggle between men and women that has the potential to tear this society apart.

It has already damaged our understanding of what men and women are supposed to be, and the outcome so far is that men are not sufficiently female and vice-versa. Thus the consecration of “transgender, intersex, non-binary, gender-nonconforming” states of being as heroic, and the demonizing cries of “toxic masculinity” ringing through the ivory towers, the halls of congress, and the corporate C-suites.

Much of this stems from the fact that only in the past half century have men and women tried to occupy the same work-spaces, especially in political bureaucracies. Until fairly recently, men and women existed in rather separate work-and-social worlds, with behaviors that seem weird and quaint today — for instance, the practice of men and women retiring to different rooms for conversation after a dinner party, based on the idea, possibly true, that they had categorically different interests (as suggested by James Damore in his notorious Google memo).

Now, to suggest that there was anything to these divisions of sexual space amounts to another punishable offense, but that is probably the least of the dreary consequences in this contest.

The worst part is that we’re burning all our political capital in this foolishly contrived war at the expense of all the other actual tasks we face. If the US Senate put one-tenth of its attention to rebuilding the passenger rail system as it put into the furor raised by Christine Blasey Ford, we might have addressed the awful problem of our soon-to-be obsolete mass-motoring matrix. But then trains are such a male concern. They have so little to do with… feelings!

Apropos of the war between men and women itself, something really bugs me: the deliberate and convenient overlooking of women’s sexual power over men. That is what has been absent in the #MeToo movement, and quite dishonestly so. It’s really something to see the various indignant women of cable news coming onto the flatscreen every night to inveigh against men while dressed, coiffed, and made up like thousand-dollar Las Vegas call girls — except for Rachel Maddow, of course, who opts to present as the nation’s guidance counselor.

In fact, women have tremendous sexual power over men, and it is exactly that which provokes so much of the idiotic behavior that has come to be categorized as “abuse” where men and women intersect and the mists of pheromones perplex the air. It is at least as potent as the power that men supposedly exert in politics and the workplace. And it incorporates a range of behaviors that are subtle and insidious. (Classic literature certainly understands this, but it’s being removed from the curriculum for doing that.) The failure to even acknowledge female sexual power or to dismiss it as inconsequential is just plain dirty fighting — though it’s proclaimed unselfconsciously on the cover of Rebecca Traister’s book: “F*CK, F*CK, F*CK, F*CK, F*CK. See for yourself.

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

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by Michael Steinberg, Black Rain Press

It was Friday, November 16, the second consecutive day San Francisco was included in the zone certified as the worst air on earth.

Common sense abandoned, I ventured out to see what the Camp Fire smoke was causing hereabouts. All the authorities were saying we should stay inside, close all doors and windows, hold out breath, and be good girls and boys until further notice.

On the sidewalks outside my home here in San Francisco it was a high-tech ghost town haunted only by a few apparitions left behind in the rush to get the hell out of this oxygen starved urban apocalypse.

A few blocks away in the Panhandle, the narrow rectangular portion of Golden Gate Park, the usual collection of bicyclists, strollers, skaters and dog walkers and hangers-on were conspicuously AWOL. Only the usual carbon monoxide emitting racers tried to assure us that Happy Hour was hovering somewhere in the haze.




From Anonymous

Another couple blocks took me into the Haight-Ashbury district where some intrepid souls wondered about during this new strange trip, as often as not masked and anonymous. In fact face maskers, until very recently outlawed as antifa provacateurs, have over the past week become reinvented as activists in particulate protection.

Couples promenaded arm in arm in matching masks, and even street people sprawled in the usual spots were making the latest nasal fashion statement. Further into the heart of the Haight musicians belted out a bleary version of "Smoke on the Water" as spare changers displayed hastily scrawled signs proclaiming "Money For Masks."

Above it all Buena Vista Park's vistas were no longer buena, and the visibility of SF's sevens mystic hills, immortalized by Jack Kerouac in On the Road, were out of sight as well.

One positive note: recent high-rise monstrosities like the Salesforce tower were similarly disappeared.

Want to escape by Alcatraz or by hopping a cable car to climb halfway through the haze? Too late, they've been smoked out too.

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by Anne Fashauer

It has been a few weeks since I had a chance to sit down and write. And there’s been quite a few things to write about! First, we went to New York for a long weekend from the 1st to the 5th. My friend Erin entered the lottery for the NYC marathon and got in so I decided to head out there to cheer her on. Van and I were joined by Peggy Ridley, who had never been to New York. It was a whirlwind of a trip!

We arrived early on the 1st after taking the red-eye from San Francisco the night previous. Our first stop, after dropping off our luggage, was to get some breakfast. We hiked over to Kossar’s for bagels; delicious! We then took the train uptown to Central Park where we rented bicycles and took a leisurely ride around the park. It was gorgeous – full fall colors abounded. We then decided to take the Staten Island Ferry so that Peggy could see the skyline of the city, as well as the Statue of Liberty, at least from a distance. We were blessed by perfect weather and enjoyed it very much. We spent the evening first having appetizers at Delmonico’s, then heading out to Momofuku’s for ramen.

Peggy searched out a great coffee spot for the following morning – Gimme! Coffee. Absolutely delicious coffee, just outside of Little Italy and Chinatown, which is where our hotel was located. We wandered around Little Italy for a bit, then met up with Erin and her husband, Anthony for Dim Sum. We then headed to the Frick Museum, one of my favorites. After a while there we headed in search of a bit to eat and a beer. We found just the place, a small storefront with beers from all over the world, including some on tap. We sat down and chatted with the owner and enjoyed a beverage. That evening we had a huge Italian dinner, including three bottles of different Italian wine.

Saturday Erin did a short run and then she and Anthony met us for coffee and a bite to eat at a French restaurant; I don’t remember the name but it was just OK. They headed back to rest before the big race the following day and we headed to see The Lion King. What a fun show! I know it’s been out forever, but none of us had seen it and we all loved it. That evening we met up at a Whiskey bar then had another ramen dinner.

Sunday was the big day. We were up early and watched some of the early pre-race stuff on TV; Erin wasn’t scheduled to start until 10:40am (the race starts with the first wave at 9am). We met up with Anthony for bagels at Kossars, then headed to Brooklyn for our first siting. It was amazing to see so many people running! Perfect, crystal clear fall weather greeted us and the runners. We then ran our own marathon – from one subway station to another, hoping for a glimpse of Erin. We missed her at one station, spotted her at the next, though she didn’t see us, then headed up to the Bronx where we got to really see her. At that point, we headed back into the city and found a bar. We couldn’t get near the finish and knew it would take a while for Erin to finish, go through the cool down and make her way to our designated meeting spot. We enjoyed a beer, then headed back into the throngs of runners and spectators. To meet Erin at the friends and family location we had to first follow a long line of walkers, then go through one security check point, then get frisked at another. And even then it was another ten or fifteen minutes before she made it to us. She finished in her best marathon time ever, 4:15. And she still had energy! We got her back to a shower, then an early sushi dinner. What a day!

Monday we met up for coffee, then headed back to Central Park. Each runner is given a medal and can get it engraved the following day. Unfortunately, the wait time was 60-90 minutes, so we had to part ways. We decided to stop at the Russian Tea Room for some refreshments; I had a pot of tea and we shared a nice bottle of Chablis. After that we had to go back and pack up and head to the airport.

Since we’ve been home, we have been busy; despite the smoke, people are still out looking at property. The smoke, as everyone knows, has been terrible. On this past Friday morning we were awakened early to learn that our neighbor’s house was on fire and that we needed to be prepared to evacuate. That was a scary morning and our nerves were on edge the rest of the day; thankfully, the local amazing fire department had the fire out quickly.

Here’s to a Happy Thanksgiving to everyone!

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A couple of months ago, someone sent you a letter asserting that humans are the first organism to destroy their habitat by polluting it and exhausting its resources — an odd idea considering the history of discussion of this issue by Malthus and others, and by the importance of wine in our community.

Every time grape juice is inoculated, the yeast population explodes, then metabolizes the sugars and produces alcohol, thereby starving and poisoning itself.

It is likely that people will at least head in the same direction as the yeasts, but our ability to understand our surroundings makes this a different problem for us.

It has become apparent from recent weather events that our environment is becoming less hospitable. We are burning and drowning at an increasing rate, and weather is less favorable for the production of food because of drought and excessive heat. Overpopulation, as with yeasts, accelerates these processes.

We need to use our heads (yeasts don’t have heads) but many people resist knowledge. Pretending problems don’t exist is a common palliative, and it can get you elected to public office.

But time is limited.

Stephen Hawkes


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(Click to enlarge)

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THE POOR ARE WEEPING while the wealthy few feast on what, in justice, belongs to all. Injustice is the perverse root of poverty. The cry of the poor daily becomes stronger but every day heard less, drowned out by the din on the rich few, who grow ever fewer and more rich.

— Pope Francis

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WHAT CAN WE EXPECT from the Democrat ‘Alternative’ Given their Record in California?

by Rick Baum

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BETTER LOCAL JOURNALISM, by local reporters, is the goal of a new database

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DON’T TALK TO ME about what America won’t do.

— Jim Jones

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TRUMP SAYS California Can Learn From Finland on Fires. Is He Right?

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Dude, if you think that women think like men, well that is sooo very male! Because we don’t. We are a different species, and we are feral, and not nice at all. And, we are crazy. Most of us. Not me. I stay away from sex to keep my sanity. But most women don’t.

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"The anti-Pelosi insurgency is not a movement. It’s a cabal, orchestrated by the appropriately hashtagged #FiveWhiteGuys, a group of self-self-interested players with big money behind them. These white males resemble nothing so much as the next-generation terminator played by Robert Patrick in “Terminator 2: Judgment Day.” They’re cunning, aggressive, shape-shifting, and so reflective that anyone who looks at them sees only a distorted image of themselves. If you’re looking to change politics, they don’t reflect you.

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[1] Let’s assume for argument’s sake that the fictional “wealth” conjured by the Fed through its counterfeiting operation is actually real, with a solid footing in the real world. Let’s then consider California, one of those blue states that really shove it in people’s faces, standing tall and smirky and superior every day and every way. Well, maybe they ought to put some of this money where their mouth is, because after all, they’ve got Silicon Valley with its uncountable trillions, they’ve got Hollywood and its bursting bags of loot, they’ve got the inordinately wealthy in mansions (some of which are burning fiercely as we speak, but no big deal, they’ll get re-built) along the Pacific. And they’ve got the Kardashians. And with all that money, they still have Blacks and Hispanics among them in a seriously degraded state, there’s homeless crapping everywhere and addicts leaving diseased syringes all over. How can it be this way in a state that tells us that they’ll have sanctuary cities for the world’s woebegone? What about all these people right there already that they aren’t helping? Where I’m going with this is that Democrats and progressives in general are all talk. They couldn’t give a shit, least of all for those already living in dire straits right underfoot. So, what comes of it? It’s like Herb Stein said, if something can’t go on it won’t. It stops. And when it stops, what comes of it are new ways of doing things. It might start with eccentric long-beards who start saying hokay, enough of this, this is hopeless, so we’re headin’ out into them thar hills. And so they pack up the hound and the missus and the ankle-biters and they make the trek out. It’s not as if it would be the first time we’ve seen this, it’s happened before in history when civilizations collapse, the folk in no longer tenable towns and cities move into the hinterlands, settling around water sources or defensible hill-tops. Can you picture it? Family-groups abandoning messed up coastal places like LA and San Fran and heading out and forming go-it-alone communities in the boonies, maybe leaving the state altogether?

[2] California is quickly approaching something like Brazil, with a few hundred thousand super rich, English speaking whites in Silicon Valley and Hollywood, living in fortified compounds ringed with high walls, razor wire, cameras and armed security, and who travel in convoys (like whites in South Africa), surrounded by 100 million envious, grasping and poverty stricken, Spanish speaking Mexicans and Central Americans, always probing for soft spots in the fortifications, trying to get in and grab a piece of the good life whitey is hogging all for himself. As for the hemmed in whites on the inside with sh-t eating smiles on their nervous faces and wondering what good their Mercedes Benzes, big bank accounts and 300 foot yachts are now, well he’s still jabbering about diversity, egalitarianism, advocating even then for open borders and the Brotherhood of Man, all men, even the Low Rider Mexicanos on the other side of the fence who would like to kill them all.

* * *


* * *

THE CRIMINAL MIND, an on-line comment: The trouble is that it a very, very rare criminal who doesn’t think only of what serves himself. It’s the nature of 99% of all criminals. His version of truth, even if he bothers to concern himself with truth, is viewed totally from his own self interest. I can’t tell you the number of times criminals I have had to deal with have said the police violated their “rights” by not follow childhood rules about “fair play”. I’ve heard endless stories about how the police had no right to pick on them even though it would be obvious to any sensible human that there are no such rules. For example one man refused to talk about the fact he burglarized a house and only would talk about the police violating his right to be on a public sidewalk even though he had left a trail of the stolen goods as he went. He still had an armful when the police stopped him. Or the hospital nurse arrested for having sex with anesthetized female patients yet all he would talk about is the violation of “patient confidentality” when he told his own doctor what he did and the doctor reported it to the police (as the doctor was required to do.)

Criminals almost always have a very distorted understanding of the law and their own behavior. So it is not unreasonable that it is hard for them to overcome that public perception. If every line a criminal handed out were to be investigated, nothing else would ever be done.

* * *

* * *



"Liberals should be hung from a lamppost in the middle of town and left there to rot."

"You liberals better watch out because we will be coming."

— Jerry Philbrick

Everybody thinks they have all the action when it comes to politics. But I submit the words of this threatening psychopath imply a mind that is clinical, even dangerous. You can feel his pain spewing out of his mouth. And not just the spittle. He has no idea his violent, wild eyed rants are naziistic to the core. If he thinks there is anything American about what he is writing is really delusional. I understand that he is a suffering human being. The Dalai Lama would remind us that as such he deserves our compassion. I admire the Dalai Lama but I had a friend once and he thought the same about a rattlesnake. Too bad there isn't any intervention by newspaper where he can get a big rhetorical hug. Oh right, there's Marilyn Davin. Hey, Hitler loved his girlfriend, his dogs, was a vegetarian, almost a regular guy among his own. Remember?

Also, I would like to disabuse Mr. Phil-the-Dick of his grotesque kill-them-all fantasies like the ones quoted above and retort that there are plenty of us “libruls” with guns and military training. I enlisted at the height of one of the country’s serial debacles and served two years overseas. I was expert with every weapon up to a 50 caliber gun. You may think we libruls are all just a bunch of us snowflakes, but we have lived in these woods a long time and have heard a loudmouth punks before. The sick, violent fantasies expressed in your letters must include vague or subconscious pictures of something comparable to shooting fish in a barrel. Don't count on it. Why don't you just shut up about all that crap?

John Arnold, Armed Liberal


PS. Mr. Kewpie-Pie Face, our fearless leader, sociopath, due to his blatant consuming narcissism, has thoughtlessly pulled aside the curtain and exposed the entire Republican Party for the sneaky, subtle authoritarian plutocrats (at best) they've always been. Citizens all, patriots, we mustn't assume this is the preliminary event, that this is a reversal. This could be it. This narcissistic maniac and the rich and powerful who have his back, this Leviathan, is Big Brother calling.

* * *

MARTIN LUTHER KING JR speaking to Harry Belafonte days before he was assassinated.

(Click to enlarge)

* * *


As we approach Thanksgiving, our hearts go out to our Northern California neighbors in Paradise who have lost homes and loved ones in the tragic Camp Fire, even as we continue to heal, right here, from the devastating Mendocino County fires that we experienced this past year.

Cancer, like fire, is an unwelcome occurrence in the lives of many. Cancer, like fire, happens regardless of our plans and dreams, in spite of holidays, travel plans, or our ability to cope financially, socially, or emotionally. Every year, the Cancer Resource Centers of Mendocino County assists over 400 people who have experienced a cancer diagnosis.

We are fortunate to have an independent, nonprofit agency in a rural county like ours to assist anyone facing a cancer diagnosis, and we must never take it for granted. The need continues to grow. Between 2013 and 2017, the Cancer Resource Centers of Mendocino County saw a 31% increase in total clients served.

In this season of Thanksgiving, please consider making a year-end gift to the Cancer Resource Centers of Mendocino County. It's easy to donate online – ,

or simply mail a check to CRC, P.O. Box 50, Mendocino, CA 95460.

Thank you for being part of the vision that no one in Mendocino County will face cancer alone.

Karen Oslund, Executive Director

Also: Talk to the Youth in Your Life About Vaping If there is a teen or pre-teen in your life, right now is the best time to discuss with them the many reasons to stay away from "e-cigs" and "vaping." Electronic nicotine delivery systems, such as the popular "Juul" brand, have caught on quickly among teen and even pre-teen youth. "Juuling" does not create the smoke cloud or leave behind the smell of traditional, combustible cigarettes, so students can discreetly puff in school hallways or classrooms. Since e-cigs are still fairly new, the research is incomplete on the health effects of vaping versus smoking cigarettes, but the highly addictive nature of nicotine is well understood. A recent story in the New York Times –

powerfully illustrates the struggle of one young man to break free of his nicotine addiction and the Juul device. Please discuss this new health threat with the young people in your life.

Thank you, Willits!

The first "Sing Out!" fundraiser held at the Willits Center for the Arts on November 10 was a great success. About 95 people turned out for an autumn evening of music and pie, and there was no shortage of either. Many thanks to musicians Don Willis, Richard Jeske and Cherie Sheraque for lending their talents in leading an old-fashioned sing-along to great '60s and '70s hits. Thanks to organizing committee Cindy Morninglight and Davina Sentak, and volunteers Carol Deuel, Jesse Holland, Patsy Broeske, Julie Harris, Virginia Jorge, Diana Bell, Gary Owen, and so many, many more. Your help was greatly appreciated. Thanks, Willits, for supporting the Cancer Resource Centers of Mendocino County!

Some Important Dates for New CalendarsSaturday, May 18, 2019 - Big River Walk and PaddleSaturday, August 24, 2019 - 15th Annual Pure MendocinoCancer Resource Centers of Mendocino CountyPO Box 50Mendocino, California 95460

* * *

“At Facebook, we believe in plausible deniability.”’

* * *

WHY HAS THE PLEASURE OF SLOWNESS DISAPPEARED? Ah, where have they gone, the amblers of yesteryear? In our world, indolence has turned into having nothing to do, which is a completely different thing: a person with nothing to do is frustrated, bored, is constantly searching for the activity he lacks.

— Milan Kundera, “Slowness”

* * *



This is Gerald Randall Simpson writing to you to tell my story of how I was violated by Judge Behnke and public defender Anthony Adams and sentenced to three years in a state mental hospital by Anthony Adams and Judge Behnke in courtroom H on November 1 in a bench trial after I was told I could have a jury trial and requested one.


I wanted evidence showing the intake room where I was charged a fourth time and found in possession of some kind of wadded up paper that had a unweighable amount of methamphetamine in it. No one else saw the sheriff officer retrieve this wadded up paper by the name Officer Dale. The other officer was a trained Willits Police officer by the name of Officer Rosenfeld and the original officer in the first search on me was officer Stockhoff who never found this wadded up paper on my person or in my left sock. I had boots on that have a zipper to take them off and to get easy access to my left inside sock and ankle. The surveillance video shows none of this type of search on me at all. Officer Dale hands the wadded up paper to officer Rosenfeld before he takes my boot off in the surveillance video. Anthony Adams and Judge Behnke sealed the preliminary court proceeding and wouldn't let me have a copy of the court reporter transcript of the July 25, 2018 court proceedings. I then asked Judge Behnke for a Marsden Motion to fire Anthony Adams and that never happened. Judge Behnke said the court proceedings were sealed. I have a paper to show this occurred on this case. That is a violation of my civil rights to present evidence on my behalf in a jury trial. By doing this to preliminary court proceedings and in court to be requested for jury trial like I wrote to District Attorney Elizabeth Norman requesting jury trial of her also. And public defender Anthony Adams was clearly told by me a lot of times on his answering machine that I wanted a jury trial to see the video surveillance films again in court and to know what evidence they have to put me in a mental hospital for three years.

The officers Stockhoff and Rosenfeld took my food I bought at Safeway and got $4000 of my casino winnings and never noted on my property when they took me in. You can ask the court reporter for a copy of her transcripts on the case. I served the time and I'm damn sure still in here on a drug charge of an unweighable amount of methamphetamine that turned purple in a meth reagent kit. I never knew methamphetamine could turn a kit purple. The officer told me it was a special kit they used to test the suspected methamphetamine. A sheriff officer handed something to a Willits police officer while on surveillance video and the judge saw this setup and District Attorney Elizabeth Norman saw the video and rushed me directly out of there with no say on closing argument to the evidence and perjury of officer Dale, a key witness.

I never got any kind of transcripts for preliminary hearings and I would like to. 1536.5. This is my case number. Please order a copy of my court transcripts from court reporter. I would like to sue for the sum of $3 million for false imprisonment and I will need a proper form filled out. Please do this. Who do I get these forms from while in jail? I need help. Please help me on this. I am not guilty of any damn thing but being an ordained reverend. Also my name is Gerald Randall Simpson and this is a true story of how I got sentenced to three years in a mental hospital for having an unweighable amount of drugs,81 hundredths of a gram when he witnessed that a usable amount is 0.08 grams of meth. It is on the court reporter court minutes down in the court on July 25, 2018 and preliminary hearing. I'd like a copy of all documents of July 25, 2018. This is evidence of my civil rights being violated by a judge Behnke on that day by putting a scaled weight on my case without seeing evidence at all even after Officer Dale Key witness was caught in a lie on the stand and I asked to have perjury charges brought up on him and you have my case closed because he lied on his first question asked of him while on the stand. The escort officers rushed me out of the preliminary hearing without closing arguments without letting me try to prove myself not guilty. I sure would like a copy of preliminary court proceedings for my case against Mendocino County Superior Court judge Behnke for false imprisonment on me and to sue him for $3 million. The video will show that I am rational and that I am myself the whole time in court. I would like to know why the public defender Anthony Adams said I was 1368 incompetent when I requested a jury trial.

The people going to court should be careful when in courtroom H with Judge Behnke not to get their civil rights violated like I did by public defender Anthony Adams and Judge Behnke. So you can please write an article on this tremendous amount of time given to me and the fact that Anthony Adams and Judge Behnke violated my civil rights and only the record will show how many others rights are violated and go unreported. This is hopefully the way you let people know this is happening in the courts by Judge Behnke and Anthony Adams.

I hope you will do an article on this about how Judge Behnke violated my civil rights by not letting me have a jury trial and not seeing officer Dale and Willits transporting officer Rosenfeld setting me up and there is a video surveillance footage of this in evidence on my behalf thank you for your time.


Gerald Simpson


PS. Check court reporter Brown on July 25, 2018. Check court reporter Shore on the rest of transcript to know I'm not lying about anything. Try to get a copy of all my court dates of when I was in court and a copy of the video surveillance cameras in court roommates to use as evidence that shows I never did anything that would lead to me being sent to a mental hospital. It is a slander toward me by Anthony Adams and Judge Behnke. Check court reporter documents and get copies for the Anderson Valley Advertiser to help people out if they get the same treatment and violated if they are not guilty and temperament like media to do a jury trial judge making and Anthony Adams the public defender and requested and three letters of District Attorney Elizabeth Norman to have me set for a jury trial when I requested to her show the evidence of the intake room of June 3. Judge Behnke made up his mind by putting a scale weight of 0.08 grams with no evidence other than the word "usable" amount but found me guilty of smuggling drugs into a place where inmates and prisoners are kept.

Note: No one else saw this officer Dale of the Sheriff's Correctional Department take the wadded up piece of paper and hand it to Willits trained police officer and charged me before I came to jail in Ukiah in Willits as did another Willits police officer Stockhoff. They did not find this wad of paper on me, if there was one. Plus I had my service boots with a side zipper on them put on by a woman correctional officer here in the sally port while in the left side passenger backseat on June 3 and she never found any wadded up piece of paper which was 5 inches long by 2 inches wide in my left sock or inter-left ankle. Why is this? It is noticeable at that size right?

I’d like to find a paid attorney on this case but I don’t have that kind of money to afford one to file an appeal of who will do a lawsuit for false imprisonment in the sum of $3 million.

PPS. I am ordained reverend with a certificate of completion to be a reverend and I don’t think I would be smuggling drugs into jail on a pickup order from Probation nor would I have a lighter on me while going to make appointment for signing up as an arson offender in Willits on a 2015 or 2016 arson.

I have tried to tell you everything about this case and how I got three years for less than a line of methamphetamine on a piece of wadded up paper passed back-and-forth between officer Rosenfeld and Officer Dale who planted it on the wall and I was in intake in Ukiah at the private jail on a pickup order from probation Mary Ann Rose of the Willits probation department. Officer Stockhoff and Rosenfeld and Dale got $4000 of mine also. It never showed up on the kiosk machine. This is the fourth time Willits police officers have got my money on me and my food. I don't feel I have to feed this officers and get ripped off by them. They get my groceries like a gallon of milk, bread, eggs, 4.2 L bottles of Pepsi soda, lunchmeat, donuts, candy bars, hershey’s ice cream, and bought a gallon box of vanilla club sandwiches that I got for my lunch for that day but got arrested while leaving and signed up for being an arsonist on the plea bargain that public defender Anthony Adams told me this was nothing to worry about when I got out of prison. I was to do four more months then I would be out. That was a lie. I got five months and four days plus I have probation post-release community supervision for three years when I got out of San Quentin. Public defender Anthony Adams is a liar and people who are appointed him should file a Marsden motion when they get him. They will be better off with someone else. I know that from experience by having him in my past.

I used to live in Boonville. Sharon Hardy, John Hardy, near the old feed store is where I was raised up as a foster kid. And the Gowan apple tree orchard is where my brother Michael Andrew Phelps is where I was raised by God rest her soul Miss Gowan. My mom and dad were homemaker and truck driver. I went home to see them and never found anyone there. They had moved to somewhere else. Now the restaurant is there in place of the feed building. I plan on going back over there when I get out of jail just to see things and remember the things I did as a kid.

I hope to get a lawyer to take this case for false imprisonment lodged against me by Judge Behnke and public defender Anthony Adams. I filed a Marsden motion in court and they still had Anthony Adams on occasion he sealed the Marsden motion proceedings right after the proceedings so I could not get a copy of the proceedings for my records for my lawsuit toward him and Behnke. The sum is for $3 million for slanderous lies toward me while in court and false documentation on mental health by Dr. Kevin Kelly. Also I would like to add on this letter that I'm sorry for it being so long but I need to tell it all. Okay thanks. I scored a 16 minimal eightfold minimal then ten minimal on psychologist Kevin Kelly's impairment score test. I can't find out if I passed. Mental-health nurse blank told me I passed.

My citizen band radio handle is teddy bear.

I would like you to investigate my case to find out why I got a mental health sentence for a scraper line of methamphetamine in my sock after Officer Johnson put my service boot on. Please find someone who will put this kind of violation and my version in the public eye. Thank you.

PPPS. Thank you again for your time and reading my letter. One more thing. I am an ordained reverend with a certificate of completion to be a reverend and I don't think I would be smuggling drugs into the jail on a pickup order from probation for when I had a lighter on me while going to make an appointment for signing off as an arson offender in Willits on a 2015-2016 prior. Which I never did. I got it bad that time, too. So please tell me and the community in your newspaper how public defender Anthony Adams won't let me have a jury trial and violates my civil rights when I was not guilty with evidence to show jurors in a jury trial that it is my right to present evidence.


  1. james marmon November 20, 2018

    While I read James Kunstler’s piece today I thought to myself, “boy! the AVA beta males aren’t going to be very happy with this”. I suspect that they will be commenting how distasteful they find his writing. I can visualize Chuck Dunbar nearly going in to shock.

    James Marmon MSW

    • Bruce McEwen November 20, 2018

      As an Omega male, it may be impertinent of me to answer an Alpha Male of your stature, James, but I think our JHK prophet imagines, like our wannabe psychologist, that this war between the sexes is something altogether new. Consider this shipboard conversation from the War of 1812, well over 200 years ago:

      “In this ark, this floating community, we are all of the same sex: what would be the effect if our numbers were exactly divided between the two, as is the case on land?” He addressed himself more particularly to Mr. Jagiello [a Lithuanian national], who blushed, and said he could not tell. “I know very little of women, sir,” he said. “You cannot make friends with them: They are the Yews of the world.”

      “Yews, Mr. Jagiello?” cried Jack. And to himself, chuckling much, he added, “It would be a damned odd thing if they proved rams, you know.”

      “Jews, I mean,” said Jagiello. “You cannot make friends with Jews. They have been beaten and spitted on so long [remember, this was in 1812] they are the enemy, like the Laconical helots; and women have been domesticated helots for oh so much longer. There is no friendship between enemies, even in a truce; they are always watching. And if you are not friends, where is the real knowledge?”

      “Some speak of love,” suggested Stephen.

      “Love?” cried the young man. “But love is a creature of time, whereas friendship is not. Your own Shakespeare says…”

      The Sailors never learnt what their own Shakespeare said because a midshipman, sent by the officer of the watch came to say that the weather, lifting to leeward, had disclosed twenty-eight sail of merchantmen, together with a frigate and a brig…

      In my small reading I’ve encountered numerous examples of the same and similar sentiments going back to Sir Thomas Malory, in the Renaissance; St. Augustine in the Dark Ages; and on back down to Plato in classical antiquity; and for aught I know, if diligent search were made, the same kind of thing could be found in pre-history among hunter-gatherers.

      • Bruce McEwen November 20, 2018

        “[Y]ou [man] are fool enough, it seems, to dare to war with [woman=] me, when for your faithful ally you might win me easily.” — Lysistrata

        • Mike November 20, 2018

          As a likely pegged by dim bulbed perceivers as a milk toast beta male, who perhaps is really an omega male (depends on definition of that), but more likely a Transcendent Addled Male, I feel re: the concrete matters of life that the woman should be the ultimate boss in any partnership.
          Anthropologists say some hunter gatherer bands were guided by female leadership.

          • Bruce McEwen November 20, 2018

            It’s spelt milquetoast, incidentally, and let us not shilly-shally with safe little qualifiers like “some” and “most” — from my experience all male/female partnerships exist only when the woman is either the boss or a beaten down captive slave; and all hunter-gatherer bands were led by women; the patriarchal ascendancy occurred with the advent of agriculture and the domestication of animals.

          • Mike November 20, 2018

            In a sense, that ascendency was enabled and solidified by the dissociative (from the concrete rythsms of hunter gatherer living) stories we imagined for the basis for the newly developing culture orders.
            Hammurabi Code.
            Divine Right of Kings.

          • Bruce McEwen November 20, 2018

            You lost me there, Mike. I don’t see the “sense” you’re referring to — perhaps you could develop some clarity without having to enlarge on your theme, by keeping the following quote in mind:

            “True ease in writing comes from art, not chance,
            As those move easiest who have learnt to dance.”
            ― Alexander Pope, An Essay on Criticism

            The Hammurabi Code, the Dead Sea Scrolls, the Bhagavad Gita and the Popol Vu present perhaps too esoteric a bibliography for readers like James Marmon and Jerry Philbrick; I fear, that kind of dialogue could blow thier minds, as happened with our beloved 5th District Supervisor, the Hon. Hamburg — by the by, has the Gov. decided on a replacement for this one, like he did in the case of our Ms. Croskey? when that other Supervisor flipped out?

          • Mike November 20, 2018

            Whoops, hit wrong reply button. Reply at top, sorry.

          • Bruce McEwen November 20, 2018

            Do you often step on your partner’s toes when you dance, Mike?

        • Mike November 20, 2018

          Ok, logistic note…hit reply higher up in thread instead of lowest post (positioned to the far right, spatially not politically)

      • james marmon November 20, 2018

        In the social hierarchy of a wolf pack in captivity, the omega ranks below the alpha and beta wolves.

      • Mike November 20, 2018

        Testing to toe stomping…last attempt in direct reply to excellent dance inquiry sent it to top and not in thread. If this goes to top, well….I aint the clumsy dancer

  2. james marmon November 20, 2018


    Don’t worry, President Trump will give her enough Republican votes to make sure she wins the speaker seat. Nancy Pelosi may be a lot but at least she’s not a socialist and will want to work with Republicans to get some things done. She will do away with the “resist” movement.

  3. Mike November 20, 2018

    Kunstler calls Harris “exceptionally gallant” in this Waking Up episode.

    This “Waking Up” is not s political thing but instead is a reference to waking up to our essential non dual nature. Something that happily happened with Sam Harris.

    Jesus described this non dual essence well in aphorism 22 of the gospel of thomas. Note the gender references:

    Nag Hammadi Coptic Text


    (22) Jesus saw some infants who were being suckled. He said to his disciples: These infants being suckled are like those who enter the kingdom. They said to him: If we then become children, shall we enter the kingdom? Jesus said to them: When you make the two one, and when you make the inside as the outside, and the outside as the inside, and the upper as the lower, and when you make the male and the female into a single one, so that the male is not male and the female not female, and when you make eyes in place of an eye, and a hand in place of a hand, and a foot in place of a foot, an image in place of an image, then shall you enter [the kingdom].

    • Mike November 20, 2018

      Correction: excessively gallant.

    • Bruce McEwen November 20, 2018

      A Gnostic Riddle:

      How many androgyenous hermaphrodites does it take to open a Nag Hammadi jar?

      • Mike November 20, 2018

        (Koans dont have answers in words.)
        Let us picture the oedipal aspect of that jar opening: son brings home docs and mom burns some, needing the fuel to cook and warm the place up.

  4. michael turner November 20, 2018

    The actual survey aside, this is what medicine has become now that non-medical business nerds are running things:

    That company’s website states that they help “healthcare providers thrive in a consumer-driven economy by providing holistic customer intelligence essential to designing and delivering care experiences that surprise, delight, and inspire loyalty.”

    It’s laughable no? What is “holistic consumer intelligence”? And who on earth wants to be surprised, much less delighted, by their doctor visit?

    • Bruce McEwen November 20, 2018

      Laughable indeed!

      Go back and look at that smile on Cassidy Hollinger’s face, consider her plight as a hostage to these “holistic customer intelligence[s]” and look up how many times in a given day people go bankrupt over their medical bills by “health care providers [doctors?],” “delivering care experiences that surprise, delight, and inspire loyalty.”

      Loyalty in the form of the infamous Stockholm syndrome.

      • Bruce McEwen November 20, 2018

        On top of all her physical and emotional distresses she has to paste on a great big beautiful smile and get out there and sell sell sell (on gofundme) in order to get these goddamned greedy doctors their filthy lucre –!

        • michael turner November 20, 2018

          Doctor’s fees make up a very small proportion of the usual outrageous hospital bill, Bruce. The typical doctor’s daily fee for managing a patient in hospital not much more than the price of an office visit.

          The gougers are the business people who have taken over health care; the outlandish sums paid by patients to our local hospitals go mostly to cover what is euphemistically called the “costs of administration”. And these “costs” are mostly the stupidly high salaries earned by multiply redundant levels of management.

          • Bruce McEwen November 20, 2018

            Thank you for the clarification and I’m most sensible to your distinctions.

            However, I can never forget the days when I worked as a house painter in places like La Jolla, Del Mar, and Ranch Santa Fe, and finding myself outdoors, scraping, sanding and priming on an open window sash, I often overheard so many rich doctors, declaiming to their friends and family how vehemently they deplored any kind of change to the highly lucrative arrangements they currently enjoyed, not to mention the way they expected from a lowly laborer like myself, a sense of obesiance, to the almost holy reverence paid them by the populace at large.

            True, the gougers, as you say, are to blame; the same B-School grubbers who first burnt down the walls between Editorial and Advertising in the newspaper business, back in my youth; and now I see they’ve infested the medical profession with the same venal ethics; and to be sure they are a wicked lot…

            But still: I can’t love a doctor.

  5. Mike November 20, 2018

    The anthropologist Harari who wrote that “short history” of Sapiens might be a good read for people.

    Some folks thought him too harsh in characterizing as a regression in quality of life this transition from hunter gatherer to the settled life of agriculture and then urban commerce.

    He says our capacity to imagine stuff not concretely evident enabled us to create stories to form cultural orders larger than bands of 100 people. This allowed ties among larger groups by people identifying with shared stories, like kings being granted their authority by the gods.

    The Hammurabi code seems like it created a basis for resource management and control by laying out 3 social classes of elite, commoners and slaves (probably not precise here) and the rules and privileges for each laid out.

  6. james marmon November 20, 2018

    “If comparing the current President to an orangutan is okay, then is there a green light to compare his predecessor to an ape? If not, why?”

    -author unknown

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