Mendocino County Today: Thursday, Dec. 13, 2018

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ALVAREZ-CARRILLO: GUILTY OF MURDER

A Mendocino County Superior Court jury deliberated for approximately two hours before returning to the courtroom Wednesday afternoon to deliver its guilty verdict against an Ukiah man charged with murder.

Defendant Oscar Alvarez Carrillo, age 30, of Ukiah, was found guilty of the premeditated and deliberate murder causing the brutal death of the defendant's neighbor, Salvador Hernandez. The jury also found true the charged enhancement that the defendant personally used a knife in the commission of the murder.

Testimony of the forensic pathologist presented to the jury at trial was that the victim suffered eight stab wounds and at least 67 incised wounds during the defendant's homicidal attack in April 2016.

The defendant will next be back in court on December 20, 2018 for the setting of a future sentencing hearing. The first-degree murder conviction carries a mandatory sentence of 25 years to life. The use of the knife enhancement carries an additional one year.

The prosecutor who prepared this case for trial and presented the People's evidence to the jury was Deputy District Attorney Scott McMenomey.

The law enforcement agencies that investigated and gathered the evidence which supported today's conviction were the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office, the California Department of Justice crime laboratories in Eureka, Redding, and Sacramento, and the District Attorney's own investigators. Special thanks are also extended to Dr. Jacqueline Benjamin, the pathologist who traveled across the country to testify.

Mendocino County Superior Court Judge John Behnke presided over the eight-day trial.

(Background: theava.com/archives/91662)

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FOUND HUMAN REMAINS IDENTIFIED

On Tuesday 12/11/18 an autopsy was performed on the previously unidentified human remains located in the Eel River in Piercy CA, on 12/05/2018. The Mendocino County Coroner's Office was able to positively identify the decedent as that of Bruce Allen Thompson, 52 years of age, out of Santa Rosa CA. The decedent had last been seen by a relative in Eureka, CA on 11/13/2018 when he left, saying he was going back home in Sonoma County. The relative did not hear from the decedent by 11/15/2018 and learned that he'd missed a medical appointment. The decedent had been suffering from depression due to a serious decline in his health recently. A missing persons case was then filed with the Santa Rosa Police Department. The cause and manner of death are not available due to additional medical tests being conducted.

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Previously: On 12/5/2018 at approximately 12:39 PM the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office received a call related to found human remains in the South Fork of the Eel River, just south of the Humboldt/Mendocino County line in Piercy CA. The body was first observed by a wildlife photographer around 9:00 AM but the photographer did not recognize it as human remains at first, thinking it might have been a deceased animal. The photographer later examined the photographs and showed them to a friend where they decided to contacted a member of the Southern Humboldt Technical Rescue Team (SHTRT) about their concern. SHTRT notified the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office and then responded to the location with a swift water team to assist in confirming if there was a human body and if so, to assist in body recovery. The SHTRT entered the river with a raft and navigated to a closer vantage point where it was confirmed to be a human body entangled in branches of a downed tree laying partially in the water of the Eel River. The SHTRT was able to free the body from the tree branches and then navigate back to the shoreline. The body appeared to be that of a white male adult, over 6 feet tall, with a heavy build. The decedent appeared to have been in the water for a week or more and did not have any identification on him. On 12/6/2018 the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office was contacted by a family member of a missing adult male from Santa Rosa CA. The family member advised they heard of the story on a local news outlet. This family member indicated her brother had visited her in Eureka and was last seen leaving to go back to his home in Santa Rosa. This was in mid-November and her brother had not been seen or heard from since then. The Santa Rosa Police Department does have an active missing persons investigation on the caller's brother. The missing person matches the description of the male who was recovered. The missing persons vehicle was later located near Confusion Hill, approximately 6 miles upstream from where the body was located. The cause of death is not yet know and an autopsy is schedule for Tuesday 12/11/2018. No further information will be released about the recovered body or the missing person's identify until the remains are positively identified.

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LITTLE DOG SAYS, “OBOYO BOYA! Can’t Wait to get to Willits!”

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THE CREDO HIGH TRASHION SHOW: RECYCLING GOES TO SCHOOL

by Jonah Raskin

Yes, you read it correctly. The phrase is “Trashion Show” not fashion show. The big Trashion Show at Credo High School in Rohnert Park took place shortly before Christmas. It belongs to a larger movement in northern California and elsewhere that’s making waves and encouraging consumers to be more aware about waste and how to throw away less stuff destined for landfill. Indeed, one person’s trash is another’s person’s art or compost.

I was there at the trashion show, along with more than four hundred boisterous students. Last year, I visited the school several times and learned from sophomores, juniors and seniors about things like why and how to recycle, and ways to prevent gun violence at schools. At the trashion show there were three judges, an MC, a “runway,” bright lights and winners in several categories, including “design,” “sustainability” and “life cycle” which means the ecological concept and design.

Unlike the students, I’m not going to get inventive and make my own clothes from recycled materials, including garbage bags, bicycle parts, potato chip containers and the liners of packages that we get when we buy roasted beans or ground coffee at places like Starbucks and Peet’s. What I am going to do is reuse bottles for drinking water, and also bring my own coffee cup to coffee shops and cafes. I can minimize waste and I can recycle.

One of the judges, Mary Munat, calls herself “Green Mary.” She specializes in “zero waste events,” which she does all over California, sometimes for more than one thousand people. They’re also known as “green events.” Munat told me that in the very near future all official Sonoma County events will have to have a zero waste plan and stick to it. Her company, “Green Mary,” doesn’t buy T-shirts, for example. “We go to thrift stores, salvage stuff and repurpose it,” she said.

Leslie Lukacs, who was another judge at the trashion show, told me that there’s “going to be a major paradigm shift in Sonoma County,” and that people “will be more aware of what they throw away.” Lukacs is the Director of Zero Waste at SCS Engineers and serves on the Board of Directors of the California Resource Recovery Association, the state’s largest resource conservation organization. “The trashion show at Credo is part of something larger that’s making people aware of the single use items that we discard,” Lukacs said. “For example, we want to promote coffee companies that encourage consumers to bring in their own reusable containers when they buy coffee in bulk.” Lukacs’ son, Nathan, will be a student at Credo starting in January 2019. This winter he’ll be in China to make a presentation and spread the word about Credo’s “zero waste” program, which aims to make the slogan a reality at the school, which will mean life style changes for all the students. They’re doing their part to take responsibility for the things they consume, whether it’s food, fashion or trashion. “They’re choosing to save the planet as best they can,” one teacher said.

The students at Credo have a leg up on many of their contemporaries when it comes to recycling and repurposing. For one thing, they know they don’t have to go to the mall and buy new stuff  with names like Calvin Klein and Giorgio Armani. “We’re just dressing the way we want to,” a student said. “It’s who we are.” They’ve grown up in a world in which ecology is second nature.

Teachers often ask students to sit down and interview an older person about his or her life. It’s a useful learning assignment. It’s also a good idea if older people sit down and talk to younger people about stuff like recycling and waste. After all, recycling is a family matter. At first, it might be a challenge to bridge the gulf between generations, but it’s worth it. At the trashion show, I met one of the contestants, a young woman who told me that her name was “Athena.” “Athena?” I asked, since I don’t know anyone with that name. She replied, “Yeah, Athena, just like the goddess.” I suppose you could say that I met a goddess who wore recycled trash at the Credo High School trashion show.

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WHITE DEER SIGHTING AT RIDGEWOOD RANCH

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BY FAR, THE LUCKIEST MAN ON THE NORTHCOAST

Man Survives Rolling Sedan off Highway 96 Into Icy Klamath River by Breathing From Air Pocket for Five Hours

On December 12th, at 5:22 AM, the California Highway Patrol Yreka Communications Center (CHP Dispatch) received a 9-1-1 call regarding a vehicle upside down in the Klamath River. The red 2018 Ford Fusion was located in the Klamath River on State Route 96, west of State Route 263, on its roof, almost fully submerged, and the four-way emergency flashers were on.

Yreka California Highway Patrol Officers, the Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Office Dive and Recovery Team/ Swift Water Rescue, CAL FIRE Siskiyou Unit, Yreka City Fire Department, Caltrans District 2, Mt. Shasta Ambulance, and Bruce’s Towing, responded to the area to assist. “The Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Dive Team Commander, Sergeant Giannini, was extremely instrumental in this rescue.” said CHP Officer Shadwell, regarding this crash. When the tow truck arrived on scene, the Dive Commander went into action hooking up the vehicle to recover it from the Klamath River. When the vehicle was removed from the water, Michael Finn 28 years old from Klamath River, was located still alive in the vehicle. Cal Fire and Mt. Shasta ambulance personnel immediately began providing medical aid. Mr. Finn was transported by ambulance to Fairchild Medical Center to be treated for exposure.

Mr. Finn told officers he may have crashed into the water around 3:00 AM this morning, he was pulled from the vehicle at approximately 7:55 AM, and he endured nearly five hours breathing from a pocket of air inside his vehicle.

The Yreka CHP would like to remind everyone to slow down during hours of darkness and when roads may be icy.
Yreka CHP Office Press Release

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AMERICORPS TEAM HELPS BUILD HOMES FOR 2017 FIRE SURVIVORS IN REDWOOD VALLEY

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BOONVILLE QUIZ TONIGHT, THURSDAY: Yes, it’s the 2nd Thursday of the month and so The General Knowledge and Trivia Quiz returns for the penultimate brain-teasing of the year - 7pm, Thursday 13th, at Lauren’s Restaurant in Boonville. There will be a final Quiz of the year on Thursday, 27th December. Hope to see you at one or both,
Cheers, Steve Sparks / QuizMaster

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WATER IN ANDERSON VALLEY (AND EVERYWHERE ELSE IN CALIFORNIA)

desertsun.com/story/news/environment/2015/12/10/california-overdraft/76372340/

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ED NOTES

THE BAN on abalone fishing has been extended another two years. “There’s no positive news,” said Sonke Mastrup, environmental program manager for the Department of Fish and Wildlife and the lead expert on abalone matters. “We’re still seeing starving abalone this last season during the surveys. We’re still seeing fresh empty shells.” Even most ab divers seem to be for it, and some said they hoped it would be extended indefinitely to bring the endangered delicacy back. But a combination of poaching and overfishing has just about finished the species off on the northcoast.

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WHAT'S WRONG WITH THE DEMOCRATS: REASON 1,200,6555

Hillary Clinton took to the dance floor Monday night at the wedding of billionaire heiress Isha Ambani, the daughter of India's richest man. In video footage a beaming Mrs. Clinton was seen shaking her hips and waving her hands in time to the music alongside Bollywood king Shah Rukh Khan and John Kerry, while several of her other fellow guests cheered her on.

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FENTANYL, our local drug informants tell us, has been obtainable in Mendocino County for at least a decade. Some of us recall the fentanyl-death of a Ukiah High School student who obtained fentanyl patches from the drug addicted son of Dr. Marvin Trotter of Ukiah. Trotter was successfully sued by the dead boy's family who said Trotter had carelessly stored the drug at his home. Fentanyl has become the most common drug causing American overdoses, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Health Statistics. Their stats show the rate of drug overdoses involving fentanyl went from about 113 percent each year from 2013 through 2016. Overdose deaths in general are rising dramatically, with a jump of 54 percent each year between 2011 and 2016. In 2016, there were 63,632 drug overdose deaths with Fentanyl responsible for roughly 29 percent of all fatal overdoses in 2016.

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SEAN CONNELL of Planning and Building is the latest person to be sacrificed, er, appointed, as boss of Mendocino County’s hopelessly complex Cannabis Program.

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NOBODY LAUGHED when, at the congressional hearing earlier this week, congresswoman Zoe Lofgren asked Google's ceo, "If you Google the word 'idiot' under images, a picture of Donald Trump comes up. How would that happen? How does search work so that that would occur?" Google's chief, Sundar Pichai, said some 200 math calculations produced Trump as the winner of the idiot images, that the math was not tampered with to arrive at Orange Man. The hearing was ostensibly about privacy and data collection.

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NEEDLEPOINT

To the Editor:

I would strongly suggest that the issue of loose discarded needle reduction and opioid addiction is addressed with the  highest degree of concern by all of Ukiah, and farther. You already know this. We need to do better. Much better.

San Francisco is supposedly considered to be a role model for the reduction of transmittable diseases for places like Miami and Chicago, who have a far, far worse problem. Eight times worse. (Remind me to not visit there).

And here are the facts, and I quote:

“The status quo on our streets today is simply unacceptable, and we’re not going to stand for it,” (former Mayor of San Francisco)  Mark Farrell said the other day as he stood on Natoma Street to unveil his new needle cleanup team.

And this:

San Francisco’s streets are so filthy that at least one infectious disease expert has compared the city to some of the dirtiest slums in the world.

The NBC Bay Area Investigative Unit surveyed 153 blocks of the city in February, finding giant mounds of trash and food on the majority of streets. At least 100 discarded needles and more than 300 piles of human feces were also found in downtown San Francisco, according to the report.

And this is a model of success?

Or how about these statements!

“According to a San Diego study, one in three police officers will receive an accidental needle-stick with a potentially dirty syringe during their careers, and 28 percent will receive multiple sticks.” vs this one,…Although discarded needles pose a serious health risk to the general public, the Chronicle does note that “there are no known cases of disease from needle sticks in San Francisco.”

The first time that someone close to us, that may be well known, or a child playing in the park contracts HIV, people will start to pay more attention. It is already close to home, and may be in your back yard.

Go look at a map of places where there could be a potential “outbreak” or “epidemic. There are 2 hotspots in California, and one is Lake County.

It should not take this for changes to be made. Loose needle reduction and opioid abuse reduction is paramount!

I would invite Ukiah to look down the road. You decide what the scenery should look like…. Help to control and reduce loose discarded needles and opioid addiction however you can or you pass this problem on to your children, as long as they don’t get pricked by a bad discarded needle or OD.

Johnny Keyes

Ukiah

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COMMUNITY FORUM

Climate Change is the most critical issue of our time, and included in any climate recovery plan will be strategies for carbon storage.   It's been deemed BAD, boring as dirt, in some climate change articles but it's crucial and something each and every one of us can be a part of right here in our communities.   Mendocino County is already a leader in this area, with many organic farms, gardens, and wine growers.   League of Women Voters of Mendocino County is hoping this January 8th event will spread the knowledge further, while providing networking opportunities for community members with the experts. I've been told that Mendocino County Resource Conservation District is looking into a carbon sequestering program similar to what is in place in Marin County.

Climate Victory Gardens: Planting a garden has the power to change the world. Regenerative gardens can help reverse climate change.

Sincerely,

Cindy Plank, Co-President, LWV of Mendocino County, 707-937-4952

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CLIMATE CHANGE IS THE MOST PRESSING ISSUE OF OUR TIME

In the face of climate change, healthy soils can remove carbon from the atmosphere and store it in the soil. It can change agriculture and land management from a major cause of climate change to a solution within reach!
Whether you live in an urban or rural area, we can all participate in regenerating land by capturing carbon through plants with Soil Health, one of the most important Natural Climate Solutions!

On January 8, 2019, we will talk about how soil health for carbon drawdown and water abundance reduces the risks from climate change:

  • How does Soil Health provide climate change solutions?
  • How can Soil Health restore water cycles?
  • How can Soil Health benefit our food systems?
  • What can we do in our gardens, farms, communities and throughout our state?

From our local forestry professionals to our local farmers, wine growers and home gardeners, many in Mendocino are already leading the way. The conversations on January 8 will be useful for community members to learn & share these cool techniques, put them into practice in our own gardens, community or school gardens, and interact with those who are already practicing carbon storage and soil health strategies.   

Continuing to take climate change seriously and advocating for state, national and worldwide climate recovery is essential. There are many ways to respond to climate change and Soil Health is a specific approach that each and every one of us can do!

YOU, too, can be a part of the climate change solution!

Join us Tuesday, January 8, 2019, 6:00 pm, Caspar Community Center - Hosted by the League of Women Voters of Mendocino County.

Elizabeth Guimarin, PMP, MS Soil Science

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CATCH OF THE DAY, December 12, 2018

Armstrong, Donahe, Gourno, Hunter

SABRINA ARMSTRONG, Willits. Failure to appear, probation revocation.

MICHAEL DONAHE SR., Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol. (Frequent Flyer)

TRAVIS GOURNO, Ukiah. Probation revocation.

NICHOLAS HUNTER, Ukiah. Controlled substance, sale of controlled substance, offenses while on bail.

McCarty, Sanchez, Vigren, Wears

KENNETH MCCARTY, Covelo. Ownership of firearm while subject to restraining order, protective order violation, probation revocation.

PEDRO SANCHEZ JR., Ukiah. DUI.

PABLO VIGREN, Willits. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.

ALLEN WEARS, Covelo. Forge/alter vehicle registration.

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HARRY TRUMAN

by Thomas Meany

Like Stalin, Harry Truman was a product of the criminal underworld. The Kansas City of his youth was known for its card sharks and con-men. Jesse James was not long dead and the murder rate outstripped Chicago’s. But it was also a town preoccupied with respectability. Farm boys on the make wore suits, mob bosses dined early with their families in ersatz ch teaux and the legendary jazz scene – Truman may have heard Charlie Parker live – was a middle-class affair found in labor union halls rather than bordellos. Two Irish gangs, the Goats and the Rabbits, fought for control of the city. Tom Pendergast, the cunning, sickly boss of the Goats, ran his operations out of a two-story building on Main Street, where the thugs of his Ready-Mixed Cement Corporation were dispatched to buy votes, steal ballot boxes, kidnap candidates or gun down whomever, to keep him kingmaker. The Goats’ capture of local tax revenue partly depended on the contracts Pendergast was awarded by his handpicked county judges (elected administrative posts in Missouri) who controlled the purse strings.


By the early 1920s the goats had the rabbits on the run. Pendergast’s empire expanded to Wichita, Kansas and Omaha, Nebraska. "Big Tom" was in need of a new, pliable county judge he could trust. His nephew Jim proposed a war buddy of his: Harry Truman, 39 years old, from a farming family, now running a failing men's shop downtown. Truman accepted the offer. He used Pendergast to gain a livelihood and political foothold while Pendergast traded on Truman’s reputation in order to secure federal contracts. It was not lost on Truman that his main asset was his wholesomeness. He liked poker, bourbon and jazz, but all in seemingly moderation. When Judge Truman routed a highway through his mother's farm, destroying a few dozen acres, he refused to pay her the state compensation she was owed for fear of appearing shady. Truman also appears never to have fallen for the honey traps the rabbits set for him around Kansas City. One biography describes him arriving for a meeting at a hotel room, opening the door, seeing a woman in a negligee, and running full speed in the opposite direction.

Truman's political bearings owe something to his childhood in Missouri farm country, where the Germans got by modestly during the agricultural boom of the early 1900s. He descended from a family of Scotch Irish Baptists who understood themselves privileged -- and chosen -- to work the land, they also believed that the US federal government could on occasion align with Providence as it had in the days of Andrew Jackson, the great champion of the white settlers on the frontier. Young Harry read Mark Twain, played the piano and listened to Mozart. He disapproved of boxing, guns and while he was endowed with penchant for a charm, he was self-conscious about his “girl's mouth” and his "inordinate desire to look nice" when posing for photographs. His success as a mounted officer in the U.S. Army in France during the first world war was his only experience of the wider world and became a long-standing source of satisfaction. Truman was the only American president to have had first-hand experience using chemical weapons which may account for some of his sangfroid when presented with newfangled weapons of mass destruction. After returning home from the front, Truman worked for several years on the family farm. A poorly timed investment in an Oklahoma zinc mine appears to have stirred a sense that there was something awry in the way capital speculation operated, but he prided himself on staying the course, and was averse to connecting the large and small. He was still writing love letters to Bess, his future wife, when Stalin was writing ""Marxism and the national question."

At 50, Truman seemed destined to remain a provincial politician. He was too old to campaign. He was a poor speaker. He was vainglorious. He was content to ride the populist wave of the New Deal, but only so far. He flirted with the Ku Klux Klan, but never bid for their backing. His political support was based on his delivery of an immense amount of infrastructure to people still living in primitive, backcountry squalor, and, to all appearances, getting it done on the cheap by his patron. (In this way, Truman's trajectory foreshadowed the rise of Lyndon Johnson, the only other 20th-century president from comparably hardscrabble origins.)

Truman's time as a county judge is an example of what might be called generative corruption -- a typical engine behind the high development phases of modern states -- as opposed to the state stripping, kleptocratic variety. Truman never got rich from local politics but his political fortunes changed in 1934 when, after four of his cronies turned down Pendergast’s offer to be his Senator in Washington, Pendergast approached Truman who obliged.

When Truman arrived in Washington as a senator, newspapers jeered at him as the "senator from Pendergast." Truman tried to distance himself from the boss. He made his national reputation with a pennypinching campaign against excessive military procurement, and created his own small committee which toured American military bases and found uncontrolled purchasing everywhere. The committee was popular, and put Truman's face on the cover of Time as a paragon of rectitude. But until Pendergast went to prison for tax evasion, the Democratic Party still largely treated Truman as a bypassable mafia underling. When Roosevelt needed Midwestern votes, he called the boss Tom to check on how he was coping with syphilis. By the time Pendergast died in 1945, pundits thought that Truman -- by then vice president -- was inviting scandal when he decided to attend his old boss's funeral. He was the only public official in attendance. But voters admired Truman's chutzpah. Missouri machine politics, bourbon fueled bull sessions, bureaucratic showmanship: it was perhaps not the worst preparation for the greatest poker game of all, the Cold War. "Stalin," Truman concluded after meeting him at Potsdam, "is as near like Tom Pendergast as any man I know."

(London Review of Books)

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REDUCE CARBON EMISSIONS

Editor,

On Nov. 27, two Republican and three Democrat congressmen introduced H.R. 7173, the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act. In 12 years, it would reduce America’s emissions by at least 40 percent while sending a monthly $300 dividend to every American household.

Magic thinking? No. It’s simple market economics. Fossil fuel companies would pay an extraction fee based on climate impact. All of the fees would be rebated to Americans in per-capita monthly dividends. As polluting products get more expensive, people can use their dividend income to invest in alternatives.

Impossible in this political climate? Not if you help. The energy innovation act is the result of a bipartisan wave of citizen climate lobbying. Our representatives, Mike Thompson and Jared Huffman, need to hear from us.

Visit www.energyinnovationact.org to learn more.

Bruce Hagen

Petaluma

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Oslo Cabin (click to enlarge)

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ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY

Anyone with a lick of sense knew from Day One that Russian Collusion was the laughable pre-text to investigate and dig up something, anything, on Trump to extract him from the Oval Office.

It never mattered a whit that an election was actually conducted and the actual votes tallied. And it never mattered that the result did NOT bespeak one bought and paid for by those dastardly Russians, notwithstanding bleatings and protestations to the contrary. Just look at the numbers coughed up by the social media giants, in a multi-billion dollar election, the Russians spent what amounted to pocket change, the total of their tweetings and other modes of spreading misinformation was miniscule compared to the on-line deluge. No, the reasonable conclusion is that the Democrats and Hillary and Mook fucked it up.

It takes a strong stomach to wade through the sewers of deception and dishonesty especially given that it comes from the self-proclaimed best and brightest and most educated and most enlightened. If this is the best that the “best” can do, then what does the worst look like? This is amateur hour at its most lamentable and cringe-inducing. It’s nothing more than what it looks like, a skein of nonsense, baloney, lies, hastily slapped together by the losers of the most incompetently run presidential campaign ever, one that necessarily has to go in the record books as the loss of an unlosable election against the most unsuited Presidential aspirant ever, aside that is, from the even more wretchedly unsuitable losing contender.

They found something, as was likely inevitable, but there’s a problem, one that was brought up by Byron York. Now, I’m not the go-to guy for the intricacies of campaign finance law, but as York explains, there’s a two-word problem ticking:

John Edwards. 

Edwards couldn’t keep his weenie in his pants either and so he too got himself a woman problem, one that he managed to knock up, no less. Give Edwards credit for owning up to his innocent spawn who deserves better than the adults she got stuck with. But this is irrelevant, Edwards’ hopping-mad mistress got a payoff and, as a consequence, Edwards also got into legal hot water, having been accused of campaign finance infringements especially as he didn’t use his own money. But the prosecution nonetheless lost the case, astoundingly maybe, especially given that Edwards betrayed a mortally-ill wife. I mean, talk about bad optics, there’s none worse. In any case, the exonerated Edwards skulked off to live in infamy and disrepute. 

How does this differ from Trump? For one, Trump used his own money. You can pretty much do what you want with your own loot. So does this give Trump his get out of jail card – metaphorically speaking? If you want a legal opinion I’m not your guy so you’ll have to look elsewhere. But to a politicized judiciary, does the law even matter anymore? Can judges tilt the scales to suit their own political and ideological preferences? Is justice the dispassionate, impartial process it’s supposed to be? To ask the question I think is to answer it.

But there’s one other matter, nobody has ever explained why on earth Putin would prefer to have Trump as his counter-part. Why would the Russians interfere on Trump’s behalf? And what electoral expertise do the Russians have that Trump could use? Why would Trump need them? 

I may have the geo-political expertise of a ten year old, but it seems to me that maybe a child’s eye view is the clearest. Hillary would have made the perfect adversary for Putin, one that gives him political legitimacy at home; the meddling, imperialist American, the EXCEPTIONAL American, one that detests Russians, one that unabashedly and un-apologetically bombs anything riding a donkey. What could Putin possibly want in a foreign adversary that Hillary couldn’t give him in spades? 

But that’s no doubt too simplistic for foreign policy heavyweights that spent two generations fucking up everything they set eyes on.

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SUNRISE, SANTA MONICA PIER

(click to enlarge)

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REIGN OF IDIOTS

Half the country may live in poverty, our civil liberties may be taken from us, militarized police may murder unarmed citizens in the streets and we may run the world’s largest prison system and murderous war machine, but all these truths are studiously ignored. Trump embodies the essence of this decayed, intellectually bankrupt and immoral world. He is its natural expression. He is the king of the idiots. We are his victims.

truthdig.com/articles/reign-of-idiots/

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WATER TANK HILL -- Foreground Courtesy of a Former Town Councilman

photo by Harvey Reading (click to enlarge)

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CAN YOU PICTURE SUCH A FATE?

Let the dashing Saudi Prince
Enter his Paradise of Virgins.
Let him thrill to the trills of girlish giggles,
Let him hear the burbling chitchat of prattling,
Little tattling girls for all Eternity;
Each one pressing a suit of paternity.
Don’t wonder where Jamal Khashoggi went,
Try not to guess where he pitched his tent
(The one the Scimitars of State rent:
Everyone knew he was Hell-bent.)
Sure, by now he’s way down there in The Lion’s Den,
playing Texas Hold ’Em with Mark Twain and Uncle Clem;
Voltaire, Colette, Stendahl, Swift, Sartre and Cher.
All the most diverting company will be there!

— B.McEwen

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CLIMATE CHANGE SLIDESHOW IN ALBION THURSDAY NIGHT.

Doug Nunn’s Climate Reality Slideshow at Albion School Dec 13th @ 6:30pm

Doug Nunn will present his Climate Reality Slide Show, which graphically illustrates why and how our environment is heating up and what we can do about it, at the Albion School on Thursday, December 13th, at 6:30pm. The public is invited to this free, one-hour presentation which will be followed by questions from the audience.

The 2007 Nobel Peace Prize was awarded jointly to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and former Vice President Al Gore "for their efforts to build up and disseminate greater knowledge about man-made climate change, and to lay the foundations for the measures that are needed to counteract such change." Part of Gore’s work led him to found the Climate Reality Project, an organization which has trained more than 17,000 presenters, all with the goal of educating the public about the dangers of human caused climate change and the measures we need to take to overcome it.

In late August Albion resident Doug Nunn joined over 2200 Climate Reality trainees at the Los Angeles Convention Center where Al Gore and a group of educators, scientists, and political figures worked to pass on their scientific training, knowledge and passion. Nunn is now working to educate citizen groups on the realities of Climate Change and the work we need to do to begin the process of overcoming the damage being done. This December 13th presentation in Albion is a part of Doug’s effort to address community groups, school classrooms, and interested citizens over the next many months.

The main questions Gore posits in The Climate Reality Project slide show are “Must we change?”, “Can we change?” and “Will we change?” Initially the presentation explains how the atmosphere works, how we have polluted it since the Industrial Revolution and the resultant rapid changes in climate during the past 40 years. Evidence of increasing climactic disruptions like weather fluctuations, floods, droughts and wildfires are explored. In the “Can we change?” portion of the slide show, large increases in solar and wind power and decreases in the percentage of fossil fuels used are presented. Climate Change denial and its preponderance in the US is explored as are political solutions. We also discuss things citizens can do to influence the future of this debate.

Doug Nunn is a comic/improviser and recently retired teacher who has been an activist/environmentalist since his time at UC Berkeley in the early 1970s. Nunn has worked as a cook, truck driver, construction worker, warehouseman, actor/improviser and school teacher. He co-taught the inspiring Eco-Literacy class of Mendocino’s SONAR (School of Natural Resources) from 2008-17, as well as Drama, History, and Continuation School at Mendocino High School from 2001-17. (Nunn also coaches the Improv Club.) Doug has been doing improv theatre since 1980 and has coached improvisational theatre since the late 1980s. He has worked with actors and drama students in the western US and Europe, most extensively in Germany and Britain. Nunn has produced improv and comedy shows from Mendocino to LA to London and has worked in cartoons as an animator on the “Simpsons” film (2007) and as a scriptwriter; his cartoon “Copzilla” was an award-winner in the 1998 World Animation Festival. He has been a member of Hit and Run Theater since 1979 and worked as one half of the comedy team, Burns (Tracy) and Nunn from 1985-92. Along with Marshall Brown and Ken Krauss, Doug recently launched the podcast “SnapSessions!”, dedicated to interviews with artists as well as political and cultural commentaries. He is delighted to be involved with the Climate Reality Project. If you would like to have Doug present his Climate Reality Slide Show before your group, contact him at 937-0360.

29 Responses to "Mendocino County Today: Thursday, Dec. 13, 2018"

  1. Craig Stehr   December 13, 2018 at 12:52 am

    Long time Santa Cruz Earth First! spokesperson Dennis Davie left the earth plane on Monday December 10th, and the dedicated neo-pagan has gone to the Summerland. Please click on this news link: http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2018/12/12/18819761.php

    Reply
    • Bruce McEwen   December 13, 2018 at 7:09 pm

      I beg to differ.

      If Dennis Davie went anywhere at all it was right back into the Earth First!

      “Pick up your money, pack up your tent
      McQuinn, you ain’t a-goin’ nowhere” — Dylan

      “Sluffed off the mortal coil and found mesel’
      naked and wet in a new form, facing it all o’er…”
      — Mack Scott

      “… I hear there’s a better universe
      next door — let’s go!” –ee comings

      “No Exit” — Jean Paul Sartre

      “there’s no such a thing as ‘Summerland'”
      — Grandpa McEwen

      Reply
  2. Kathy   December 13, 2018 at 5:43 am

    In which we find that members of Congress have no conception of the functions of algorithms…. I hear don-the-Con is moving up in search rankings for the search terms ‘liar’, ‘imbecile’, ‘failure’ and ‘braggart’.

    Reply
  3. Eric Sunswheat   December 13, 2018 at 7:06 am

    Unlike most residents, Elder has worked at dozens of homeless encampments as part of a team providing “rapid response services on call 24-7,” including food, crisis management and medical assistance.

    “The rate of homelessness has dramatically increased in the last few years. And you can correlate that to the affordability crisis,” said Elder, founder and director of The East Oakland Collective nonprofit, as she visited a 65-year old woman sitting on a corner, surrounded by piles of belongings.

    It could take years to build more affordable housing, but Elder sees a faster way to relieve homelessness in the city.

    “There’s a lot of vacant properties that haven’t been used for years,” said Elder, as she pointed to a fenced, empty parcel next to the encampment she visited on a recent morning. “As a city and as a community, we need to take a look at these vacant public and private lands and see how we can use them.”

    https://www.kqed.org/news/11689739/oakland-wants-to-tax-vacant-properties-to-help-ease-homelessness

    Updated final results.

    Oakland Measure V (Cannabis tax relief)
    Yes: 79.82%*
    No: 20.18%

    Oakland Measure W (Vacant property tax)
    Yes: 70.04%*
    No: 29.96%

    Oakland Measure X (Real estate tax)
    Yes: 69.48%*
    No: 30.52%

    Oakland Measure Y (Just Cause)
    Yes: 58.36%*
    No: 41.64%

    https://www.eastbayexpress.com/oakland/final-results-for-november-2018-election/Content?oid=23230633&media=AMP+HTML

    Richmond Measure T (needed 66.67%) (Vacant property tax)
    Yes: 60.23%
    No: 39.77%*

    Reply
  4. George Hollister   December 13, 2018 at 8:52 am

    “ED NOTES

    THE BAN on abalone fishing has been extended another two years. “There’s no positive news,” said Sonke Mastrup, environmental program manager for the Department of Fish and Wildlife and the lead expert on abalone matters. “We’re still seeing starving abalone this last season during the surveys. We’re still seeing fresh empty shells.” Even most ab divers seem to be for it, and some said they hoped it would be extended indefinitely to bring the endangered delicacy back. But a combination of poaching and overfishing has just about finished the species off on the northcoast.”

    Come on guys, and gals. I know the power of human faith based political narratives, myopic as they are, but we know the collapse of abalone populations has nothing to do with poaching or overfishing. (It’s not climate change either.) There has been a disease that has killed off sea urchin eating sea stars along our Eastern Pacific shores. The result is an exploding kelp eating sea urchin population that has devastated kelp that abalones depend on for food.

    The only hope for abalone is disease resistant sea stars that can repopulate their former domains. Personally, I am betting on it. This has happened before. It is also a good idea to see how we can help. If nothing else, there will be something learned from these efforts.

    Reply
    • Harvey Reading   December 13, 2018 at 11:42 am

      Even if what you state is true, the prudent management decision is the one implemented by the management agency.

      When a population is in decline, managers must lessen whatever pressures they can on the imperiled population. In this case, human predation is the factor over which they can exert at least a degree of control.

      Reply
      • George Hollister   December 13, 2018 at 2:08 pm

        It is a good decision, and the right decision. But let’s not get confused as to the reason, and vilify those who are innocent. I know vilifying the innocent is a common occurrence in the history of humanity. We do that a lot, and it’s on full display here in Mendocino County.

        Reply
        • Harvey Reading   December 13, 2018 at 2:46 pm

          I’m not confused, George. You seem to be.

          Reply
          • Harvey Reading   December 13, 2018 at 3:04 pm

            PS, George, did you look up the definition of anarchy? You were confused about that, too.

            Reply
    • Bruce McEwen   December 13, 2018 at 3:42 pm

      It’s all part and parcel of the Sixth Extinction which has been baffling scientists worldwide for several years now. You can read the latest on Counter Punch today, and if you have any questions afterwards I might take you seriously, and indulge a discussion — for a very few minutes, at least, until you start in on the theistic evolution scripture-chase, then I’ll refer you to what H.L. Mencken said In Memoriam: William Jennings Bryan, “He was the most successful flycatcher in American history, and in many ways the most successful.”

      Then, after you’ve dredged up from the archive, the lyrics to my sing-along “Gordon Took The Honey Bees” — then sir, I might have something to say to you.

      Otherwise, I refer you to the cartoon about arguing with an idiot posted above on MCT.

      Reply
      • George Hollister   December 13, 2018 at 4:12 pm

        “Then, after you’ve dredged up from the archive, the lyrics to my sing-along “Gordon Took The Honey Bees” — then sir, I might have something to say to you.
        Otherwise, I refer you to the cartoon about arguing with an idiot posted above on MCT.”

        Should we hold you to that? If so, it might get boring around here. That would just leave Harv.

        Reply
        • Bruce McEwen   December 13, 2018 at 4:51 pm

          I have my guitar handy, George; I’ll just sing it for you here:

          C Maj. 4/4

          Come gather round children
          and listen to me… I’ll
          tell you what has hap-
          pened… to the swe-e-et,
          hon-e-e-e bee.

          There was an old bee-
          Keeper, his name Gordon
          Coe… and he too the bees
          with him when it was his
          time to go…

          (pick up the tempo, please, for the chorus)

          Oh, Gordon took the honey bee
          Oh, Gordon took the honey bee
          O Gordon took the honey bee away
          — nobody knows why he did it
          or why but Gordon took the honey bees away…

          Now, all you li’l chil’ren
          you jis a keep on a-twerkin’
          when y’all’s mommies and daddies
          are both out there a-workin’
          and eat up you biscuit with butter
          and jam…

          (slowly and gracefully in Italian)

          …But you’ll never taste honey-smoked
          Almonds or ham — cause, “Gordon took

          (Chorus)

          Now, the baby’s a-cryin’
          she just fusses and sasses,
          She don’t like maple syrup,
          much less molasses…
          We’ve offered her candy
          and gave her some money,
          but she don’t want nothin’
          that ain’t dipped in honey

          and Gordon took the Chorus away again

          Now, the sugar bowl’s full
          and so is the moon,
          but the honey’s all gone
          and I’m still lickin’
          the spoon — – cause (chorus)

          Reply
          • George Hollister   December 14, 2018 at 7:10 am

            Did you know that honey bees are an exotic species brought in by Europeans? These exotic insects have competed directly with numerous indigenous pollinators. I like honey, and I like honey bees, but if some disease carried them away we would merely be back to where we were 500 years ago. About 20 years ago we were in a period of honey bee collapse when I noticed small indigenous bees doing the work in my orchard that honey bees had traditionally been doing. Eventually the honey bees came back, and their small indigenous cousins had to take a back seat once again. I asked a large honey bee owner I have known for a long time about the indigenous bees. He had never heard of them.

            Reply
  5. james marmon   December 13, 2018 at 10:41 am

    We need to give thanks for Sheriff’s Allman’s (aka “The Father”) support of the second amendment and his Concealed Carry Weapons Permit Program (CCW).

    Man robbing Subway in Ukiah shot by customer

    According to the UPD, the incident began around 7:15 p.m. Dec. 12 when a man entered the Subway and reportedly robbed the employees at gunpoint. The only customer inside the store then “discharged his weapon repeatedly in fear for his safety and the safety of other citizens.” Wounded, the suspect ran outside of the restaurant and across the parking lot, apparently dropping the stolen cash and his firearm, which may have been fake.

    https://www.ukiahdailyjournal.com/2018/12/12/man-robbing-subway-in-ukiah-shot-by-customer/?fbclid=IwAR0U-G7TWG11lMFCyftt2lblxol9bsMYCh-u97Wc2UMjtp21NUly8Srb19Y

    Concealed weapons permit interest growing in Mendocino County

    Allman said he typically reviews CCW applications daily. He said he approves approximately 90 percent of them.

    “It’s a successful program,” Allman said. “I can’t imagine a time in Mendocino County that we wouldn’t endorse someone’s right to have a firearm.”

    https://www.ukiahdailyjournal.com/2016/07/14/concealed-weapons-permit-interest-growing-in-mendocino-county/

    James Marmon MSW

    Reply
  6. james marmon   December 13, 2018 at 11:12 am

    Great article about early Redwood Logging and Milling.

    1940’S ERA LOGGING: NO CHAINSAWS IN SIGHT!

    http://kymkemp.com/2018/12/11/1940s-era-logging-no-chainsaws-in-sight/

    The video brought to mind what my dad used to say, “a time to live and a time to die” He said most of the giants had lived their lives and were dying. To him it made no sense to cut down small trees. If you look at the middle of a lot of these giants you can see that they are dying from the inside out.

    James Marmon
    Former logger

    Reply
  7. chuck dunbar   December 13, 2018 at 12:19 pm

    Nice profile, Marilyn Davin, on Lake County’s Betsy Cawn.

    I love one of the last quotes:

    “I love these people,” she (Betsy) said. “I give as much as I can and live in a world of generosity and kindness. That’s why I’m not leaving. I’m home and I’ve never been home before.”

    What a great citizen, what a great woman! God Bless you, Betsy Cawn.

    Reply
  8. james marmon   December 13, 2018 at 1:11 pm

    RE: ABALONE BAN

    This all started with Eric Sklar who is now a successful marijuana entrepreneur and former Fish and Game Commissioner, who made it very difficult for mom and pop operations to grow pot on the north coast by pushing his strict regulations to benefit his marijuana endeavors and limit his competition.

    Fate of troubled abalone fishery in hands of California Fish and Game Commission

    “Under a plan that has framed red abalone hunting regulations since 2005, state fish and wildlife officials have urged the commission to suspend the 2018 season in hopes of preventing further depletion of the stock.

    “It’s an iconic fishery,” said Napa County vintner Eric Sklar, president of the state Fish and Game Commission. “There’s so many people who find real joy in abalone fishing, and we hate to shut it down. That’s a given.”

    https://www.pressdemocrat.com/news/7726895-181/fate-of-troubled-abalone-fishery

    Voters give thumbs up to cannabis taxes in Lake, Mendocino, Solano counties

    “According to the measure’s verbiage, the new tax applies to an array of cannabis operations, “including, but not limited to, dispensing, producing, processing, preparing, storing, providing, donating, selling or distributing medical cannabis or medical cannabis products by commercial cannabis businesses in the unincorporated area of the county.”

    Eric Sklar, a Lake County entrepreneur in the cannabis industry, supported the measure.”

    “There’s a tax that’s been in place on cultivation for a while now, but the other types of cannabis businesses weren’t being taxed, so we thought it only fair,” said Sklar, CEO of Fumé. “We think the measure was well crafted and we’re glad it passed.”

    Sklar has multiple cannabis businesses under the Fumé banner.”

    https://www.northbaybusinessjournal.com/northbay/solanocounty/8919933-181/lake-mendocino-solano-cannabis-business-taxes

    Clearlake approves first commercial cannabis business

    “The agreement, made through the company’s president Eric Sklar, proposes a business involve in three aspects: manufacturing, distribution, and delivery. There will be no walk-in store front. The agreement is for a delivery-only business, with orders online and via phone, Clearlake City Manager Greg Folsom said.”

    https://www.record-bee.com/2018/03/28/clearlake-approves-first-commercial-cannabis-business/

    Reply
  9. Harvey Reading   December 13, 2018 at 1:46 pm

    My dad had a lot of dumb notions, too. An example: from about ’65 on, he told anyone who would listen that the “good lord” had personally informed him that he would live to be 107. He died in ’72, at age 68. I learned early on not to put faith in much that he said.

    Reply
    • james marmon   December 13, 2018 at 2:09 pm

      Harvey, I saw it for myself. In 1977, Anderson Valley’s own, Danny Kuny and his dad Fritz, were our our choppers. We were logging a grove of virgins and every one of the giant’s the Kuny’s fell was rotted in the middle, made the trees really dangerous for the Kuny’s. My dad was paid by footage and the there was a lot of lost footage in those trees which hurt everyone’s payday, including the choppers.

      James Marmon
      Former Logger

      Reply
      • Harvey Reading   December 13, 2018 at 2:55 pm

        Redwoods do that. It isn’t like you saw something unusual. When they finally fall over dead, their nutrients eventually make their way back into the soil where they grew. That isn’t what happens with logging.

        As I said, my dad had a lot of dumb notions, too. I learned to think for myself rather than celebrating, or incorporating into my own adult thoughts, his ignorance, mythology, and outright falsehoods.

        Reply
        • George Hollister   December 13, 2018 at 3:43 pm

          What I learned in Forest Soils class was nutrients in a temperate conifer forest are in the needles and needle litter. I have not heard anything credible that indicates something different since. Most of old growth redwood volume is in heartwood, which is dead. Living tissue is in the sapwood. What downed dead tree wood can do is contribute to increasing moisture available to living redwood tree roots as it slowly rots.

          Reply
          • Pat Kittle   December 13, 2018 at 7:24 pm

            George,

            When “downed dead tree wood” rots it contributes more than moisture.

            It rots because trillions of organisms at the bottom of the food chain are eating it, and creatures higher up the food chain should be damn glad of that.

            Reply
            • George Hollister   December 14, 2018 at 6:57 am

              It’s a good point. But water in the redwood forest is the most precious commodity. What can readily be seen are tree roots moving in to take advantage of the moisture available in decomposing wood in the forest. As this wood decomposes, fungi doing the work are likely contributing nutrients in the process. This is something I have not read about, but it makes sense. A few years ago Save The Redwoods League was trying to figure out why old growth redwood stands were growing faster now than they had been 100 years ago. My guess is the growth increase is due to an increase in forest humus as a result of fire exclusion.

              For the last 10,000 years fire has been the big disrupter of the rotting process. Fallen trees, and everything else on the forest floor gets consumed by it. Europeans introduced earthworms that consume forest litter as well. “Night crawlers” and every other kind of large earthworm we regard as being “good” are in fact exotic and disruptive to what was here pre-Columbian.

              So imagine what was here in the redwood forest before Indians hunted and burned, and earthworms ate. In this pre-human environment mega-fauna consumed anything they could reach that was palatable. Keep in mind, there were big sloths in those days that could climb, too. This prehuman redwood forest likely had large accumulations of water holding forest humus on it’s floor inundated with redwood tree roots.

              Reply
              • Pat Kittle   December 14, 2018 at 8:48 am

                Interesting conjecture.

                When I’m in redwoods I often contemplate of “deep time.” Redwoods are good for that.

                As you know, fire is an important (even necessary) part of the deal. That’s what controlled burns are for.

                But with over-crowded humans crowding ever deeper into wild places the future looks grim. I just hope redwoods can survive what’s coming.

                Reply
                • George Hollister   December 15, 2018 at 7:10 am

                  Redwoods, while limited in their native range, are very adaptable. The history of the last 10,000 years is a demonstration of that. Redwoods also produce a high quality wood, so they are managed by humans for that production. Humans can do much better in this endeavor, and we will. So everyone from tree farmers, and loggers to home owners with redwood panelling and decking should be able to enjoy redwood trees for the foreseeable future.

                  Reply
                  • Harvey Reading   December 15, 2018 at 9:21 am

                    Clearly, George, you exist in a dream world, one populated with outright lies and wishful thinking. They won’t protect you in the end. Enjoy your fantasies while you still can.

                    Reply
  10. Pat Kittle   December 13, 2018 at 7:13 pm

    Hey, global warming “activists”…

    As I’ve explained, the unspeakable FACT is that NOTHING does more to reduce human-caused CO2 emissions than reducing the size of the human population. Over-breeding anywhere IS over-consuming! EVEN worse when the over-breeders move to a notorious CO2 emitting country.

    If global warming “activists” refuse to even pay lip service to that FACT you are hypocrites & cowards.

    Quoting from M.C. News:

    “‘My mother sacrificed everything when she migrated to the United States from Honduras,’ said Vic Barrett, 19, youth plaintiff in Juliana v. U.S. ‘I’m suing the U.S. government for delaying action on climate change because I don’t want my mother’s sacrifice to be in vain. The U.S. government is risking my future by continuing to promote fossil fuels while our climate is under threat. Young people are at the forefront of leading solutions to address the climate crises and we won’t back down. We won’t stop fighting.'”

    Hey, Vic:

    FACT:
    Your (Honduran) people are notorious over-breeders. Your Honduran government does little to reduce their irresponsible birthrates, thereby “delaying action on climate change.”

    Are you going to sue the Honduran government?

    (…crickets…)

    :-)

    Reply
    • Susie de Castro   December 14, 2018 at 12:03 am

      Mr. Little

      Breeding is a word more properly associated with creatures in the animal kingdom, such as dogs, cats, cows, goats…unless, of course you are referring to etiquette, in which case thank you for the laugh.

      Reply
      • Pat Kittle   December 14, 2018 at 6:50 am

        Susie:

        Your childish attempts at wit would embarrass you if you had the requisite intelligence.

        You parade your willful ignorance as a badge of honor. Humans are part of the animal kingdom. We breed. Some of us over-breed.

        It would be helpful for everyone if you’d encourage your amigos not to over-breed.

        Reply

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