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Mendocino County Today: Thursday, Dec. 6, 2018

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Trump does not greet the Clintons and George W Bush delivers an emotional eulogy at the state funeral of 41st president

by David Smith

It was a cold day in Washington. When Donald Trump walked in, the temperature plummeted a good deal lower.

In the front pew of the National Cathedral at Wednesday’s state funeral of President George HW Bush, Bill Clinton had been chatting animatedly with Barack and Michelle Obama. Hillary Clinton had been in conversation with Jimmy Carter.

Then came the Trumps. First Lady Melania stood and cordially shook hands with the Obamas and Bill Clinton, and a little wave to Hillary, as her husband took off his coat. Trump plopped down into the end seat before shaking hands with Barack Obama, who nodded formally, and Michelle, who forced a smile and “Good morning”. He did not greet Bill Clinton or his wife, Hillary, who was Trump’s rival in the rancorous 2016 presidential campaign.

It was all in the body language. The Obamas and Clintons now sat staring ahead, visibly tense, their earlier banter quite gone. Barack Obama looked strangely self-conscious; Michelle wore a permanent grimace, Bill and Hillary had stiffened. Trump had deadened the atmosphere like a standing chill.

The contrast was brutal a few minutes later when the Obamas greeted George W Bush with warm smiles. Bush handed Michelle a piece of candy, just as he did at Senator John McCain’s funeral earlier this year. Bush would later break down in grief at the end of a eulogy that was in turns poignant and funny.

It was a rare gathering of five presidents including Trump, Bush and Clinton. It was also the first time that Trump come face to face with the Obamas and Clintons since his inauguration and dystopian first presidential speech, in January, 2017. Over the past two years their mutual antipathy has deepened. On Wednesday, Trump was the odd man out as Republicans and Democrats came together in, rare these days, bipartisan comity.

Bush, the 41st president and last president from the second world war era, died last week at home in Texas. At 94, he was the longest-lived president in US history.

Whereas McCain’s funeral had delivered blunt rebukes to the absent Trump – who was pointedly not invited – in all but name, Bush’s was a case of less is more. The homages to a complex, patrician figure who called for a “kinder, gentler” nation threw Trump, the 45th president, into sharp relief.

In an elegant eulogy, historian Jon Meacham, who wrote a definitive biography of Bush, described him as “America’s last great soldier-statesman” who “stood in the breach in Washington against unthinking partisanship.” He added: “An imperfect man, he left us a more perfect union.”

Meacham drew a comparison with Abraham Lincoln, suggesting that both presidents “called on us to choose the right over the convenient, to hope rather than to fear and to heed not our worst impulses but our best instinct”.

There was also humor. Meacham recalled that Bush, campaigning in a crowd in a department store, once shook hands with a mannequin. Instead of flushing in embarrassment, he simply quipped: “Never know. Gotta ask.”

Bush was the first president since John Adams to see his son also reach the White House, in the early 19th Century. George W Bush quipped: “The idea is to die young as late as possible.”

As Trump sat with arms folded, the 43rd president recalled: “Last Friday, when I was told he had minutes to live, I called him. The guy who answered the phone said, ‘I think he can hear you but he hasn’t said anything for most of the day’. I said, ‘Dad, I love you and you’ve been a wonderful father’. And the last words he would ever say on Earth were, ‘I love you, too’.”

George W Bush spoke fondly of his father’s bad dancing and dislike of vegetables, “especially broccoli”.

At the end, he choked up on the words, “The best father a son or daughter could have”, and lowered his head, then continued: “And in our grief, let us smile knowing that dad is hugging Robin and holding mom’s hand again,” – a reference to George HW Bush’s three-year-old daughter Robin, who died from leukemia in 1953, and his wife Barbara, who died earlier this year.

It was a revealing, very human moment from a man whose presidency brought about the Iraq war. Once widely reviled, Bush has gained public sympathy in a new role as a grieving son, though the cost of the war reverberates to this day.

The 3,000 invited guests included Prince Charles and leaders of Germany, Jordan, Australia and Poland, along with a host of former world leaders, such as former British prime minister John Major, who was in office during Bush’s single 1989-1993 term.

Bush, who had been Ronald Reagan’s vice president, steered the US through the end of the cold war. But while his foreign policy achievements were profound, he faltered domestically, notably with economy and combating Aids, and lost the 1992 election to Clinton. His remains will be returned to Houston to lie in repose before burial on his presidential library grounds at Texas A&M University in College Station.

Wednesday marked the first time since Lyndon Johnson’s death in 1973 that a sitting president was not asked to eulogize a late president.


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KATY TAJHA: The joys of living in the was out...ask hubby to go see if the line is OK to county road...he says go to the store and call in the outage...I do that...BUT AT&T's landline is our only phone...cell phones don't work here because there's not enough customers to build a cell tower...SO the computer voice at AT&T wants a second phone line to call and report on the problem...except we don't have one! Then the voice says the problem will be fixed by Dec 14th! Thanks a bunch...meanwhile hubby goes out with a chainsaw and cuts the skinny tree down that is leaning on the utility wire...Fixed? Kinda...we can get internet and call out but no one can call ring and the call ends...anyone know how to get past AT&T computer and get to talk to a real human being? Thanks...

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As a retired firefighter, I would like to extend a nod to the Moore family of Paradise for their preventive efforts in urban-interface fire preparation (“Homeowners took critical steps,” Saturday). It appears that their work was pivotal in saving their house from the disastrous Camp fire.

I will also say that last week I had occasion to drive through the Alta Vista neighborhood of Santa Rosa. This neighborhood, with a few exceptions, gets a complete F in urban-interface fire preparedness.

Yes, I single this neighborhood out, but everyone living in urban-interface areas must understand that every summer the threat of fire is at their doorstep.

I urge everyone to follow the guidance from Cal Fire or your local fire agency regarding urban-interface fire preparedness. Your life may depend on what you do before the fire.

Ron Batey


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LITTLE DOG SAYS, “There's a kitten under the office who looks like a midget Skrag. ‘Do you, Skrag, deny paternity?’  'I do,' he says, 'and for a guy who never met his own daddy you gotta lot nerve asking.'”

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A READER NOTES: "Wednesday, tomorrow, all Post Offices in the US will be closed in honor of George W.H. Bush's death, an occurrence that has not been observed for any other past presidents that I am aware of."

PAUSED at Anderson Valley Market to deliver papers, I watched as two people in as many minutes tried the locked door at the Boonville Post Office. Ditto for the Philo Post Office. I'm sure if I'd staked out one or the other all day a steady stream of citizens would be similarly frustrated.

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THE FUTURE OF DOPE, an on-line exchange

G: “I predict one in five current grow operations will still exist in 5 years?” More like one in a thousand. And many of those will be the equivalent of moonshiners, with its accompanying lawlessness and occasional violence as a chosen lifestyle.

E: You underestimate the resolve of lawless characters to continue to push into areas where product is still illegal with their toxic products produced with no standards of quality using rape and run methods and non-existent labor regulation.

I also predict that blowback against oil, vaping in general, concentrates crystalline and otherwise, and edibles, will become significant due to medical issues and psych disorders seen to be caused by these products.

Cannabis flower is here to stay, however, and we need to focus on sustainable methods, quality, processing, branding and packaging, and marketing of niche/boutique products from the region.

The cowboy and syndicate and cartel grows will have to be eradicated, one by one by law enforcement, and possibly the military, and even then, will be an environmental and social disaster, for years to come.

I predict that you and I will be gone before these products and issues are stabilized and assimilated by industry and the general population. Look at how many years have passed since Prop 19 (1972).

C: “The problem with the North Coast ‘Cannabis Industry,’ is partially the cost of transporting the local agricultural products to market.”

It is not to the moderation and justice of others we are to trust for fair and equal access to market with our products, or for our due share in the transportation of them; but to our own means of independence and the firm will to use them. Report of the Secretary of State on Trade and Tariff -December 16, 1793.

“…and that competition and taxation will level the field…”

For example – there are Carl’s Jrs. next to McDonald’s – it’s not a matter of competition, they do fine next to each other. It’s a matter of different food/product/commodity for sale. The people will determine the victors.

Neither Congress nor the alphabet soup FDA agency, have any Constitutional authority to regulate the practice of medicine in the sovereign states.

How do you distinguish theft from taxation?

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Those of you who are placing Christmas lights/decorations in your yards, can you please avoid anything that has red or blue flashing lights together? Every time I come around the corner I think it's the police and I have a panic attack. I have to brake hard, toss my vodka, fasten my seat belt, throw my phone on the floor, turn my radio down and push the gun under the seat. All the while trying to put my clothes back on. It is just too much drama, even for Christmas. Thank you for your cooperation and understanding.


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BOARD OF SUPERVISORS MEETING AGENDA for the December 11, 2018, meeting is now available on the County website:

ED NOTE: The December 11 agenda has just two items which mainly interest the pot permit people who continue to tinker with a broken system.

5a. Discussion and Possible Action Regarding Informational Update on the Implementation of the Mendocino County Cannabis Program and Cannabis Compliance Efforts

And 5b: Discussion and Possible Action Including Adoption of Resolution Approving and Adopting an Addendum to the Previously Adopted Mitigated Negative Declaration, in Compliance with California Environmental Quality Act Requirements, for Amendments to Chapter 10A.17 of the Mendocino County Code; and Introduction and Waive First Reading of an Ordinance Amending Chapter 6.36 - Cannabis Facilities Businesses and Chapter 10A.17 - Mendocino Cannabis Cultivation Ordinance

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COAST HOSPITAL Board Meeting at 6pm Thursday night

Also, an Audit/Finance Committee meeting a 2 pm on Thursday.

(Margaret Paul)

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Travis Strickland suspected of robbing Chase bank in Ukiah

by Justine Frederiksen

A Ukiah man was arrested Tuesday after allegedly robbing at least two banks in northern Sonoma County, the Cloverdale Police Department reported.

According to the CPD, a man wearing a wig and hat walked into the Exchange Bank at 116 Cloverdale Blvd. at 4:54 p.m. Dec. 4 and handed a teller a note demanding money. The suspect then left the bank and drove away in a black Mercedes.

The CPD was alerted to the robbery because a bank employee pulled a “hold-up alarm,” and officers responding to the bank spotted the suspect’s vehicle in the 200 block of Cloverdale Boulevard and successfully conducted a “high-risk stop.”

The suspect, identified as Travis R. Strickland, 37, of Ukiah, was reportedly linked to a previous bank robbery, one that occurred at the nearby Cloverdale Chase bank on Nov. 16. He was booked into Sonoma County Jail on suspicion of robbery, attempted robbery, burglary and an outstanding warrant out of Mendocino County.

CPD officers then collaborated with officers from the Ukiah, Healdsburg and Santa Rosa police departments on a joint task force that reportedly tied Strickland to three other bank robberies, for a total of five. More charges are reportedly pending.

When asked for more information regarding the UPD’s investigation, Lt. Cedric Cook could report only that “we sent two detectives to Cloverdale last night and the detective unit has been working on the case all day up here.”

Detective Sgt. Rick Pintane said that Strickland is suspected of robbing the Chase bank on South State Street in August, and that he expected charges to be filed in that case soon.

According to the UPD, officers were dispatched to the Chase Bank at 700 S. State St. around 4:20 p.m. Aug. 7 when it was reported that a man gave a teller a “threatening note” and was given an undisclosed amount of cash before he left the bank on foot.

(Courtesy, the Ukiah Daily Journal)

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TUESDAY NIGHT, the Eureka City Council unanimously voted to make the next step in returning 202 acres of Indian Island, located between the city and the Samoa peninsula, to the Wiyot people.

The Coming Home Song: Wiyot People Joyous as Eureka City Council Takes Another Step Towards Returning Indian Island

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CATCH OF THE DAY, December 5, 2018

Arnett, Dalton, French

NICHOLAS ARNETT, Arcata/Ukiah. Probation revocation.

JOHN DALTON, Potter Valley. DUI.

IAN FRENCH, Kelseyville/Ukiah. Suspended license.

Gonzalez, Guevara, Jaime-Delreal

ANTONIA GONZALEZ, Ukiah. Failure to appear, probation revocation.

JOSHUA GUEVARA, Talmage. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.

EDUARDO JAIME-DELREAL, San Jose. Failure to appear.

Johnson, Maxfield, McGough

EDWARD JOHNSON, Ukiah. Smuggling controlled substances or liquor into jail, controlled substance, probation revocation. (Frequent Flyer)

JUSTIN MAXFIELD, Willits. Probation revocation. (Frequent Flyer)

MIKE MCGOUGH, Ukiah. Saps or similar weapons, evasion.

McKay, Miller, Morehead

LEAH MCKAY, Willits. Assault with deadly weapon not a gun, domestic abuse.

SHANE MILLER JR., Ukiah. DUI, stolen vehicle, resisting, probation revocation.

TYLAR MOREHEAD, Fort Bragg. Controlled substance, failure to appear, probation revocation.

Sanchez-Montiel, Thompson, Valador

JUAN SANCHEZ-MONTIEL, Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.

CLIFTON THOMPSON, Ukiah. Controlled substance, disorderly conduct-alcohol.

MONIQUE VALADOR, Fort Bragg. Theft from dependent adult, probation revocation.

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“I OPPOSE a social order in which it is possible for one man who does absolutely nothing that is useful to amass a fortune of hundreds of millions of dollars, while millions of men and women who work all the days of their lives secure barely enough for a wretched existence.”

– Eugene Debs

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Yes, far too many Americans have sold out, following the bad examples set by our leadership. They stopped worshiping benevolent deities and have bowed down to the god of cash. They no longer collect families of children, but they collect cars, boats, jet skies, motorhomes, stuff! They collect, they hoard so much stuff that entire families must now work every possible hour they can at any wage in order to maintain their huge houses, garages and storage units with all of the stuff they hoard. I know quite a few people that actually have to bring in a 30 yard garbage container every year or two and fill it with their oldest, most unused stuff so they may make room for the purchase new stuff. And the garage sales, let us not forget to consider those stuff festivals.

In a place where those around you judge your value by how much stuff you have, what brand of luxury SUV you drive, how big a house you live in, how can any of them have any clue as to why they are given life in the first place? It is not a wonder that so many bow out at their own hand these days, it is a wonder that more are not doing it. Perhaps time will change that for once you have become aware that your main driving force in life is to collect so much useless stuff that you can no longer deal with all of the crap you have, bowing out must seem like a logical cure. It is a sad sorry shame. The only bright spot is when you are fortunate to find those who don’t fall for it, those that understand the truth.

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BABY IT'S COLD OUTSIDE. Does this song celebrate date rape? A woman writes:

"Absolutely not. It’s a song from an era when ROMANCE was what it was all about between men and women. ROMANCE first, then MAYBE sex. and when it is sung, it goes back and forth in a way that is reciprocal. This ban I heard about is ridiculous. It is NOT a date rape song. One has to take it from the context of the times. And actually, it has always been one of my favorites. Like every damn thing that goes on in this culture now. Carried to some extreme. ME TOO….Im behind women being protected from sexual harassment in the workplace, fraternities having to be more conscious at their drunken parties, a woman’s right to say no, date rape, etc. But it’s gone off the rails. I’ll send you an article I read today that applies here, if I can find it."

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by Sam Pizzagati

Do we need — does progress demand — grand private fortunes?

Cheerleaders for grand fortune regularly make this case. The prospect of becoming phenomenally wealthy, they avow, gives people of great talent a powerful incentive to do great things. The enormous wealth these talented accumulate, the argument continues, propels philanthropy forward and benefits individuals and institutions that need a helping hand.

Even the idle rich, as conservative patron saint Frederick Hayek once insisted, have a socially constructive role to play. Wealth gives them the freedom to experiment “with new styles of living,” new “fields of thought and opinion, of tastes and beliefs.” The wealthy enrich our culture.

These defenders are wrong. The awesomely affluent have no net redeeming social value.

Their presence coarsens our culture, erodes our economic future, and diminishes our democracy. Any society that winks at the monstrously large fortunes that make some people decidedly more equal than others is asking for trouble.

But the trouble the rich engender often goes obscured. Most of us will spend our entire existences without ever coming into contact with anyone of enormous means. In the daily rush of our complicated lives, we seldom stop to ponder how those lives could change without a superrich pressing down upon us. So, let’s ponder.

An obvious initial question: Why do so many of us always seem to be rushing? Why are we stretching ourselves so thin? The answer we tell ourselves: We’re doing so much, we’re working so hard, to ensure our families ever more happiness.

But all our hard work, notes Cornell University economist Robert Frank, increasingly ensures nothing of the sort. Frank asks us, as an example, to contemplate the modern wedding, life’s signature happy day. What Americans spend on average for weddings, he points out, has tripled over recent years. “Nobody believes that marrying couples are happier,” observes Frank, “because we spend so much more now.”

So why do we spend more? “Because people at the top have so much more,” he notes. They’re spending more on their own celebrations, and they set the consumption standard, unleashing what Frank has labelled “expenditure cascades.” People at every income level feel increasing pressure to reach the higher consumption bar those directly above them have set.

Sometimes we buy things because we truly need them. But grand concentrations of private wealth, even in these situations, end up undermining the quality of our everyday transactions.

Cheerleaders for grand fortune, predictably, claim the opposite. We all benefit, they argue, when the wealthy go shopping. Bold new products typically cost a pretty penny — and only wealthy consumers can afford them. By paying that high price, the wealthy give exciting new products a foothold in the marketplace. Eventually, this “product cycle” theory holds, the prices of these products will start falling, and everybody gets to enjoy them.

Economists who examine consumption patterns tell a different story.

The more that wealth concentrates, Robert Frank notes in his 1999 classic Luxury Fever, the more retailers tend to lavish their attention — and their innovating — on the luxury market. Year by year, products come to embody ever “more costly new features.”

But the superrich don’t just drive prices up. In the communities where these rich congregate, they suck the vitality out.

America’s “ultra-high net worth” individuals own on average nine homes outside the United States. Most of these homes lie empty for most of the year. Their streets go lifeless. In London and other world capitals, entire well-to-do neighborhoods have become luxury ghost towns.

In Manhattan, developers catering to the superrich have spent recent years building incredibly tall — and thin — ultra-luxury “needle” towers. The narrowest of New York’s needles, rising seventy-seven stories, rests on a base only sixty-feet wide.

Why such a slender profile? Why so many floors? Developers are simply following the “logic of luxury”: the superrich are willing to pay a premium — up to $90 million and more — for lofty condos that take up entire floors and offer spectacular views looking in any direction.

The rest of us pay a price for those views. New York’s luxury towers are blocking out the sun in Central Park, Manhattan’s historic commons. The superrich are altering our lived environment for the worse.

And not only along the canyons of New York. The lush lives these rich lead are consuming our planet’s resources at a rate that’s speeding the degradation of our natural world.

Between 1970 and 2000, the number of private jets worldwide multiplied by ten times over. These luxury planes emit six times more carbon per passenger than normal commercial jets. Private yachts that stretch the length of football fields burn more than 200 gallons of fossil fuel per hour. The top-earning 1 percent of households, one Canadian study has found, generate three times more greenhouse gas emissions than average households — and twice as much as the next 4 percent.

Those in the global 1 percent, Oxfam calculates, may well be stomping a carbon footprint 175 times deeper than the poorest 10 percent. Another analysis concludes that the richest 1 percent of Americans, Singaporeans, and Saudis on average emit over 200 tons of carbon dioxide per person per year, “2,000 times more than the poorest in Honduras, Rwanda, or Malawi.”

Our global environmental crisis would not, of course, suddenly melt away if the world’s most affluent suddenly ended their profligate consumption. But the wealthy pose our single biggest obstacle to environmental progress.

Great fortunes both rest on environmental degradation and blind the wealthy to it. The rich, observes the Global Sustainability Institute, have the resources to “insulate themselves from the impact of climate change.” Grand fortune also immunizes them from carbon and other environmental taxes that may affect people of modest means. The rich, the Institute notes, “can afford to pay to continue polluting.”

In a world of billionaires, all our problems become more difficult to address. Democratic political systems operate under the assumption that gathering together to collectively debate our common problems will eventually generate solutions. Unfortunately, in deeply unequal societies, this assumption does not hold.

The superrich inhabit their own separate universe. They have their own problems, and the rest of us have ours. The rich have the resources to make sure their problems get addressed. Ours go begging.

Take the morning commute. The Washington, D.C. area, one of America’s most deeply unequal metro centers, has some of America’s worst traffic congestion. No coincidence there.

In starkly unequal urban regions, the wealthy bid up the price of close-in, conveniently located real estate. Rising prices force middle-class families to move farther out from job centers to find affordable housing. The farther people live from their work, the more traffic. Those American counties where commuting times have increased the most just happen to be those counties with the largest increases in inequality.

How could we ease congestion? We could build new roads and bridges or, better yet, extend and improve public transportation. But both these courses of action typically involve tax dollars, and the exceedingly rich usually blanch whenever someone proposes tax-funded solutions, mainly because they figure that sooner or later people will want to tax them. So officials in Greater Washington — and other unequal metro areas — have come up with solutions to traffic congestion that avoid any need to levy big new taxes.

Enter “Lexus lanes,” segregated stretches of highway that pay for themselves by charging motorists rising tolls as traffic increases. This system works wonderfully — for motorists of means. Affluents don’t particularly care how much in tolls they have to pay. They just want to get where they’re going as quickly as possible. With Lexus lanes, they do. Everybody else sits and stews in traffic.

Meanwhile, Washington’s subway system — 117 miles of rail — has become a public embarrassment, with long delays, rising fares, and nagging safety problems. The system’s chronic underfunding reflects a national trend. US investments in infrastructure have fallen off dramatically, from 3.3 percent of GDP in 1968 to 1.3 percent in 2011, a long-term decline that began at almost exactly the same time as inequality in America started rising. The US states where the rich have gained the most at the expense of the middle class turn out to be the states that invest the least in infrastructure.

One explanation: Working- and middle-class people have a vested interest in infrastructure investment. They depend on good public roads, schools, and parks. Wealthy people don’t. If public services frazzle, they can opt out to private alternatives.

And the more wealth concentrates, the more our political leaders tilt the wealthy’s way. The wealthy do not like paying for public services they don’t use. Political leaders don’t make them. They cut taxes and deny public services the funds they need to thrive. And so, we get more Lexus lanes that give the wealthy speedy commutes — and remind the rest of us that only the rich ever really win in societies as unequal as ours.

Would the rest of us win more often in societies without a superrich? Well, defenders of the rich caution, any society that grinds down grand fortune would also be grinding down the billions that make philanthropy possible. Who would want to do that?

Philanthropy, proclaims one 2013 study from the global bank Barclays, has become “near-universal among the wealthy.” Most wealthy worldwide, pronounces Barclays, share “a desire to use” their wealth for “the good of others.” Headlines regularly trumpet this good at every opportunity. Bill Gates fighting neglected tropical diseases! Bono fighting poverty! Diane von Furstenberg pledging millions for parks!

Philanthropists’ publicists have skillfully clouded the core facts: the superrich as a class don’t actually give all that much — and they get back plenty from what they do give.

At first glance, the basic giving numbers in the United States look impressive. In 2015, gifts of $100 million or more alone totaled over $3.3 billion. But the aura of generosity fades the moment we start contemplating what the superrich could be contributing. In 2013, for instance, America’s fifty largest charitable donors gave away $7.7 billion in charitable gifts, a 4 percent increase over the year before. That same year, the wealth of the Forbes magazine billionaires list increased 17 percent.

So, the rich don’t give all that much to charity. What do they get in return for what they do give? For starters, tax breaks. Costly ones. The general rule: For every three dollars that 1 percenters in the United States contribute, the federal government loses one dollar in lost tax revenue.

America’s wealthiest also get the heartfelt thanks of institutions near and dear to their hearts.

The superrich have a sweet spot for cultural palaces. Los Angeles will soon be home to the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art, a billion-dollar edifice that will house the Hollywood memorabilia of the billionaire filmmaker behind Star Wars. Los Angeles already also hosts The Broad, a $140-million contemporary art museum funded by billionaire Eli Broad that opened in 2015, and the Marciano Art Foundation, a newly completed museum that billionaire retailers Paul and Maurice Marciano have installed in a grand old Masonic Temple.

Meanwhile, despite a state law that requires California public schools to offer music, art, theater, and dance at every grade level, arts-education programs in the budget-strapped public schools of Los Angeles remain woefully “inadequate,” the Los Angeles Times reported late in 2015, with thousands of school children “not getting any arts instruction” at all. Nationwide, budget cutbacks have left millions of children without art education, especially in communities of color. In 1992, just over half of African-American young adults studied art in school. By 2008, that share had dropped to just over a quarter.

Millions for showcasing Star Wars memorabilia, pennies to help poor kids create and enjoy art. Even some billionaires find these sorts of philanthropic contradictions difficult to swallow. As financial industry maverick Bill Gross notes: “A $30 million gift to a concert hall is not philanthropy, it is a Napoleonic coronation.”

What else do the superrich get from their philanthropy? They get control over the public policymaking process. The think tanks, institutions, and organizations the wealthy underwrite shape and distort our political discourse. They define the bounds of what gets discussed and what gets ignored.

The foundations our mega rich endow, notes policy analyst Joanne Barkan, fund researchers “likely to design studies that will support their ideas.” These foundations engage “existing nonprofits or set up new ones to implement projects they’ve designed themselves.” Projects in place, they then “devote substantial resources to advocacy selling their ideas to the media, to government at every level, and to the public,” even directly bankrolling “journalism and media programming.”

Peter Buffett understands this dynamic from the inside. He runs a foundation created by his father Warren Buffett, by some accounts America’s most publicly spirited billionaire. In elite philanthropic gatherings, notes the younger Buffett, you’ll see “heads of state meeting with investment managers and corporate leaders,” all of them “searching for answers with their right hand to problems that others in the room have created with their left.” And their answers, Buffett charges, almost always keep “the existing structure of inequality in place.”

Peter Buffett dubs this comforting charade “conscience laundering.” Philanthropy helps the wealthy feel less torn “about accumulating more than any one person could possibly need.” They “sleep better at night.”

Through all this, income and wealth distribution remain a concern that few philanthropic foundations dare to address. America’s Foundation Center recorded nearly four million foundation grants in the decade after 2004. Only 251 of these referenced “inequality.”

Some philanthropic heavies, most noticeably the Ford Foundation, have recently announced a commitment to addressing inequality. But philanthropy’s observers remain skeptical about how much difference this will make. Societies most dependent on philanthropy, notes foundation veteran Michael Edwards, remain the most unequal, and those nations — mostly in Scandinavia — that have the highest levels of equality and social well-being have the tiniest philanthropic sectors.

Generations ago, during the original Gilded Age, the millionaire soap manufacturer Joseph Fels announced to Americans of his deeply unequal time that philanthropy was only “making matters worse.” Fels urged his fellow millionaires to fight for a new America that would make the superrich “such as you and myself impossible.”

His advice remains sound. We could survive without a superrich. Indeed, we would thrive without them.

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The Grace Hudson Museum and its Gift Shop will be open on First Friday, Dec. 7, from 5 to 8 p.m., as it participates in the Caminata de Luces (Parade of Lights), a walk and bicycle event along the Rail Trail. Organized by Walk & Bike Mendocino, the family-friendly Caminata will stretch from the Art Council offices on West Perkins Street along the Rail Trail to West Gobbi Street, with the Grace Hudson Museum a convenient stop in between. Visitors can enjoy the Museum's galleries, including the current exhibition, "Artful Liaisons: Connecting Painters Grace Carpenter, Edward Espey, and Grafton Tyler Brown." In front of the Museum, delicious Ethiopian cuisine will be available from Yusuf Heyi, whose food stall has become a regular feature at Ukiah's Farmers Market on Saturdays. As with all First Fridays, admission to the Museum is free.

Praises to Tonantzin

On Sunday, Dec. 9, from 6 to 8 p.m., the Grace Hudson Museum hosts the ninth annual evening of poetry and song celebrating the feast day of the Virgin of Guadalupe and the Winter Solstice. The Virgin of Guadalupe is often known as Tonantzin, meaning the mother goddess, Mother Earth, and a form of address for the Virgin Mary. Her actual feast day is on December 12 and blends the Old and New Worlds, embodying the Catholic Church and the indigenous peoples of Mexico. Celebrants can participate as readers, as listeners, or as both, and are invited to bring offerings of poetry, stories, dreams, or music — their own or the work of others — in English and/or Spanish.

This is a free event, but feel free to also bring an offering of food to share. This event is organized by former Ukiah Poet Laureates Bill Churchill and Theresa Whitehill, with support from the Grace Hudson Museum, Writers Read, and the Poet Laureate Committee of Ukiah. For more information, contact Theresa Whitehill at Para mas informacion, comuna­quese a Jabez Churchill at

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Pictured at Monday’s swearing in ceremony with state Sen. Mike McGuire are (l-r): McGuire’s mother-in-law Carol Fremault, his wife, Erika McGuire, and mom Sherry McGuire. (photo contributed)

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THE BOONVILLE General Knowledge and Trivia Quiz shall take place at Lauren’s Restaurant for two more evenings in 2018. As always, these will be at 7pm on the 2nd and 4th Thursdays of the month – December 13th and 27th. Bring friends, family, any somewhat informed folks that you know, and enjoy delicious food, fine wine, excellent beer, and fun banter. Hope to see you soon, Steve Sparks, Quiz Master.

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Opening on First Friday (Dec. 7, 5-7 PM) of "Politic-OH! & More!" A group show featuring the works of Jaye Alison, Jaelin Mosscarille, Jaye Alison Moscariello, J Alison and J.A. Moscariello.

Showing selected works from the series' Politic-OH!, Land and Sea, The Narratives, Tutti Fruiti and Chase the Monkey.

At Corner Gallery, corner of South State St and Church St., Friday December 7, 2018, 5-7 PM

All works are available for sale, lay aways happily offered. Autographed copies of "Capture the Moon" and some limited edition prints also available.

Come one, come all! See the art, enjoy the music, and spend time with friends!

Contact: Jaye Alison Moscariello, 310-970-4517,,

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by Alexander Carpenter

Single acts of tyranny may be ascribed to the accidental opinion of a day; but a series of oppressions, begun at a distinguished period and pursued unalterably through every change of ministers, too plainly prove a deliberate, systematic plan of reducing [a people] to slavery.

—Thomas Jefferson

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To our hopelessly out-of-touch culture-war and corporate puppets pretending to be “public servants” acting for the common good:

Despite your claims to the contrary, to any objective observer your fake-legalization hyper-regulatory regime looks designed from the beginning to destroy the present Cannabis culture and local economies, and replace them with a centrally-controlled racket. This is succeeding as an “industrial action,” but only for your Masters.

In every other respect, it is a dismal failure. It is a fancy house built on moral quicksand. The less-than one-percent participation rate in your Cannabis regime has revealed your ruthless hypocrisy for all to see. You have well-deserved civil disobedience on your hands, however disorganized, atomized, and inept it may be.

Stop the distractions of squabbling with Kool-Aid-drinking activists over crumbs and conceding tiny trim-tab adjustments to your scheme, and START OVER FROM SCRATCH. This time ask the community what is workable instead of arbitrarily telling us how it’s gonna be and then pretending to listen to us three minutes at a time after the fact.

  1. Cannabis must be treated equal to all other agricultural products, and included in Right to Farm and the Annual Crop Report. Arbitrarily re-defining Cannabis as an “ag commodity” instead of an “ag product” is a blatant control-fraud sophistry, and benefits only the racketeers. Cannabis should receive the same regulatory treatment as all other crops, and be placed under the jurisdiction of the Ag Commissioner and the Farm Bureau for regulation with a Conservation Plan. Return self-determination to private property owners, end arbitrary zoning restrictions, and work with cultivators and makers.
  2. Recognize that almost all “Cannabis crime” is a direct consequence of its prohibition, and that much otherwise-unrelated violent crime would decrease (as would opioid addiction) if Cannabis were more widely used. Less than 1% of the violent crime in the county even involves Cannabis. It’s clear that prohibition of Cannabis has done far more outright harm to more people than Cannabis ever has or even could (while denying its benefits to millions more) — and now your regulatory regime is undertaking that same ambition, serving essentially the same Masters.

Similarly, recognize that almost all environmental damage from Cannabis is also a direct consequence of its prohibition and not a result of any native inclination of the community involved. So mandate bio-dynamic cultivation and have done with it.

  1. Recognize that almost all the moral and cultural “crimes” involving Cannabis are now committed by “law enforcement,” “code enforcement,” and other government “authorities” because of culture-war dissonances and general ignorance, incompetence, cupidity, conflicts-of-interest, passive-aggressive resentment and vindictiveness under color of law, and cynical political opportunism. Tell us, for instance, why only landlords of Cannabis tenants are denied a grace period to repair oversights before code-violation penalties kick in.

Never forget that victimless “crimes” are not crimes at all, but personal expression of self-responsible choice. “Civil disobedience” is a moral obligation in the face of bureau-terrorism that damages personal lives and community integrity.

  1. Stop lying about “transparency” and eliminate closed-door secret agreements between those “authorities” and the biggest industry players and hysterical neighborhood groups whining and lying to get the “nanny state” to protect them against their own made-up fears, and refusing to have any adult conversation or open debate about their ungrounded beliefs. There really are genuine threats to your way of life, folks, and Cannabis ain’t one of them.
  2. You have killed the goose that has been laying the golden egg. Stop impairing the local economy by forbidding almost all growing and damaging the livelihoods of thousands of families, and then extracting exorbitant monies from the few remaining farmers and makers. Only the very largest and subsidized entities are sufficiently cash-flow positive to be able to handle this regulatory overburden, and they will be shipping their remaining revenues off to too-big-to-jail banks in New York and their owners. Also recognize you have deceived yourself about the over-hyped “riches” and growth prospects of an essentially already-saturated Cannabis marketplace in California. The only substantial new users are conservative seniors and the compliance-bound. Everyone else already has plentiful fair access, one way or another, and has for decades.
  3. Stop hiding your culture-war hypocrisies behind the “reasonableness” of having every aspect of Cannabis-handling controlled as though it were an immoral and criminal enterprise instead of a benign health-and-sanity therapy.

Recognize that almost all of the regulatory restrictions and overkill “protections” on Cannabis are not necessary, and are based on prejudicial politicized science, Reefer Hokum “fake facts” indoctrination, ignorance- and neurosis-driven beliefs, bizarre claims, and Drug War, Big Pharma, and other conflicts of interest.

End your simple-minded failure to recognize that Cannabis is not by any sensible definition a “drug.” In the complex real world it is an integrating wellness-therapy, an inspiring psychedelic (subject to set and setting), a personal and cultural adaptogen, a sacrament (an “entheogen”), a healing medicine, and even a food.

  1. Recognize that the invasive, control-everything approach, involving every featherbedding, status-seeking, alphabet-soup agency known to man (and inventing new ones) is only going to elicit more civil disobedience and guarantee thriving grey and black markets, and the creation of a new green market outside regulatory jurisdiction.

The CDF, ADA, CEQA, EPA, FDA, DEA, CFG, EHS, PRMD, WMA, CCR, BCC, DPH, BPC, DFA, MCSB, CDFA, CDTFA, OSHA and other agencies are mostly destructive interferences with an already healthy, working, and profoundly benign “industry.”

And you are already trapped in a collapsing regulatory “death spiral:” with almost all native participants driven from the marketplace, there are few now and (as subsidized corporations drive out the rest) there will be fewer and fewer to pay the escalating “fees” and mounting civil penalties to maintain the expensive overbuilt regulatory apparatus, which will intensify its exploitation if only to justify (and barely pay for) its own existence. In the end there will only be a few giant players, arbitrary and capricious “enforcement” on people too small to fight back, and general civil disobedience and enraged radicalization.

  1. Stop placing “Cannabis revenues” into the General Fund, and dedicate them to real community services that include supporting the small and family players in the Cannabis industry. If you can’t get two-thirds of the electorate to support your tax proposals, that should tell you something. Listen.
  2. Recognize that extorting the Cannabis industry will not rescue your pensions. The unfunded-pension shortfall is a core structural challenge that will not be fixed with duct tape and chewing gum. Do you have any conflicts-of-interest around that? It’s fair that you should.
  3. Stop driving Cannabis cultivation indoors (and out of sight and smell) where the costs and environmental impacts are much greater. If you want to eliminate agricultural odors, start with the months-long manure smells and toxic spraying.

And about toxins: why does the state set far-more-stringent standards for pesticides, herbicides, and other chemicals in Cannabis than for hundreds, probably thousands, of grocery-store items consumed by millions of people every day?

  1. Stop forbidding the indigent and medically needy the unique benefits of Cannabis by outlawing collectives. Allow effective direct farm-to-patient access. And stop pretending that Prop 64 or any legislative Act will “sunset” Prop 215, which would require an explicit vote of the electorate, not sneaky fine print on page ‘lebenty-seven and dodgy self-serving “interpretations” trying to take away our established California Constitutional Right to health-supporting and curative Cannabis.
  2. Sacramento must end the unstable, unconstitutional (no “Equal Projection of the Law”), and constantly changing crazy-quilt of different county and city policies about Cannabis.
  3. Whatever you manage to come up with, Keep It Simple... The manic “death by a thousand cuts” complexity of the present regulatory regime is far beyond the competence of government to administer without rampant injustice and widespread corruption.

This Manifesto has been compiled by Alexander Carpenter and Okey Joe Munson from the real-world conversation that you never hear from within the Cannabis community that is experiencing all this and is unwilling to confront you with, for fear of further personal abuse and more vindictive suppression.

Administrators and enforcers are embarrassingly not privy to this reality, which is just a microcosm of the larger reality that fully half of the entire Cannabis conversation is rendered nonsense because its foundational assumptions, beliefs, and “facts” are simply wrong, whether they are about cultivation, therapeutic, medical, spiritual, social, metabolic, political, legal, economic, or psychological matters. Unless we challenge and correct (as best we can) these errors, the conversation's integrity and probity are damaged (along with the local economy), and their effects become increasingly harmful to the Great and the Small alike.

As Oaky Joe says, “Do Some Good...” (for a change).

Comments and anecdotes welcome: 

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RESISTANCE POTLUCK & HUDDLE at Gallery Bookshop in Mendocino, Tuesday December 11

Potluck at 5:30, Meeting 6:00 to 7:00

Our final meeting of 2018 is coming up soon. We'll meet Tuesday December 11th at Gallery Bookshop in Mendocino. Potluck at 5:30, meeting from 6:00 to 7:00.

As we did at our first meeting almost two years ago, we'll take some time to imagine a world in which we've succeeded, visualize the paths that will take us there, and choose our goals and priorities for the upcoming year.

The Huddle is a monthly political work group, affiliated with Indivisible.

We influence our public officials, work on local issues, create opportunities for fed-up citizens to connect with each other, and help elect progressives around the country. Meetings are open to anyone interested in supporting these activities.

For more information contact

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Tomorrow, Thursday, December 6, at 9 am, Pacific Time, "Heroes and Patriots" returns to KMUD Redwood Community Radio with guest, Adam Hochschild, and hosts John Sakowicz and Mary Massey. We'll talk about the origins of world war in the 20th Century.

Last month, President Trump traveled to France to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the end of fighting in World War I. Trump's trip was disastrous for U.S. diplomacy. The New York Times reported: "Trump Snubs Macron's 'Peace Forum' on Armistice weekend."

Listen to our show at 91.1 FM in northern California. We also stream live from the web at Click on the "Listen Live" button at the top right of the web page.

Please support KMUD by clicking on the "Donate Now" button. Donations are gladly accepted by mail at: KMUD, PO Box 135, Redway, CA 95560. During business hours, we're happy to welcome you into the station at 1144 Redway Drive in Redway.


Hochschild is a lecturer at the Graduate School of Journalism at The University of California at Berkeley and the author of nine books, including To End All Wars: A Story of Loyalty and Rebellion, 1914-1918, which won the Dayton Literary Peace Prize and was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. He wrote about the First World War in last week's New Yorker and the Guardian.

Hochschild was recently featured in a worldwide news release "Trump Going to France; 100 Years After World War I: Who to Celebrate?"

He said: "This war, like most, didn't have to happen. On its eve, the major countries of Europe were getting along quite peacefully. On both sides, however, leaders were full of illusions that going to war would solve problems for them, and that the battles would be over in a matter of weeks. Instead, the war created vast and unimagined suffering and lasted more than four years. These are lessons worth remembering today, as the U.S. makes threats against China and Iran and prepares to pull out of an arms control treaty with Russia.

"On this anniversary, we need to celebrate not the politicians and generals who led the world into the carnage of 1914-1918, but the brave, outspoken people of that time who had the wisdom to know that the war was a catastrophe and should be stopped. They included Americans like pioneer social worker Jane Addams and labor leader Eugene V. Debs, who was sent to prison for speaking out. They had counterparts in all the warring countries, and these are the men and women we should be honoring on this centennial."


  1. Lazarus December 6, 2018

    Re: Measure B…
    It has been over a week since the last Measure B meeting and still no video. The last time the minutes were presented was in August…Perhaps that is why they need that million dollar budget, I guess that stuff costs money.

    Then there’s this, I heard a rumor that the Howard Foundation/Marg Handley gave up a 100K to the mental health something to stay in the mix…If this is true the movements around the Old Howard Hospital should be watched very carefully.
    As always,

    • james marmon December 6, 2018

      Did you honestly believe this group would be transparent? They’re behind the closed doors, negotiating and privately making plans. You have the 3 biggest crooks in the County working on this, power gals Handley, Schraeder, and Angelo,

      Allman is concerned this thing is going to hurt him politically because he talked his flock into voting on Measure B, promising the willits project. He thinks any other facility but the old Howard Memorial Hospital is going to hurt him. Maybe the time is coming that Mendocino County gets a real lawman and not a politician to be sheriff.

      They’ve been a year into this with absolutely no movement, Allman is starting to sweat. He will take the bull by the horn, mark my word.

      “He’s a big man, with a big gun”

      -Anne Molgaard

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