- Dry Today
- Christmas Edition
- Holiday Shopping
- Office Closures
- Honor Thyself
- Boonville Meeting
- Hypothetically True
- Tule Elk
- Age Spot
- Holden Interview
- Butt Shot
- Cultivation Application
- Ukiah Litter
- Grant Deadline
- Yesterday's Catch
- Relaunching Bernie
- Limited Shutdown
- Another State
- Progressive Yardsticks
- Old Men
- Jesus Story
- Lux Miracle
- Musk Rage
- River Flow
- Light Festival
- Marco Radio
MOSTLY DRY CONDITIONS are expected today, with scattered showers possible over the southern interior mountains. Another cold front will sweep across the area early on Sunday bringing another round of gusty south winds to the coastal areas...along with widespread rain and high elevation mountain snow. (National Weather Service)
ATTENTION AVA CONTRIBUTORS: We need everything by Sunday before Christmas (the 23rd). The paper will be distributed on the 24th, Christmas Eve (Monday).
HOLIDAY SHOPPING IN BOONVILLE THIS SATURDAY
Tomorrow Saturday the 15th Safari is going to be at Lauren's in Boonville for a Pop Up Holiday Shopping Day. According to a coast listserve posting:
I'll be there from 11:30 - 8:30 and I am bringing a very nice selection of items from the store. Cashmere, silk, alpaca, scarves, sweaters, jackets, jewelry and some of my art. Come on over, down or by, do some shopping and have some of Lauren's delicious food. Support two local businesses and have some fun! Please share with your friends who live in Anderson Valley, Navarro and even Elk.—yarrowlist
County Offices Holiday Closure Schedule
HAMBURG HONORS HIMSELF
Proclamation Of The Mendocino County Board Of Supervisors Honoring Supervisor Dan Hamburg For His Years Of Service On The Mendocino County Board Of Supervisors And His Service To The County Of Mendocino
WHEREAS, Dan Hamburg was elected to office in 1980, and again in 2010 and 2014; devotedly representing the constituents of the 5th Supervisorial District for 12 years, and acting in the interests of all Mendocino County residents; including three terms as Chairman of the Board of Supervisors; and
WHEREAS, as an over 40 year resident of the North Coast, Dan has always been engaged in local issues including Director of Ukiah Valley Child Development Center; a member of the Mendocino County Planning Commission, and as Executive Director of Voice of the Environment; and
WHEREAS, in 1992, Dan was elected to the US House of Representatives as California’s First Congressional District Representative; and while in Congress, authorized the Headwaters Forest Act, a bill that passed the House overwhelmingly; worked for single-payer health care, cuts in military spending, equal rights for the GBLT community, rail transportation, and salmon restoration; and
WHEREAS, as an elected Supervisor, Dan has served with distinction on many board and committees including the Behavioral Health Advisory Board, First Five Mendocino, Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCO); and Sonoma Clean Power, to name a few; and
WHEREAS, his passion and concern for the environment including old-growth forest preservation has positively affected the local region through sponsorship of items on Board Agendas and his involvement in the community. The citizens of Mendocino County deeply appreciate his leadership, dedication to public service, and his passion for advocacy for sound public policy representing Mendocino County.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the Board of Supervisors of the County of Mendocino hereby honor Dan Hamburg for his many years of service and dedication to the County of Mendocino.
Dated: December 18, 2018
Dan Hamburg, Chair
LIKE A FLOWER
Endlessly opening and closing,
eternity is beginnings and endings
like a flower, not of itself, but itself.
— George Kauffman
BOONVILLE WATER-SEWER MEETING VIDEO NOW POSTED on youtube. According to the Anderson Valley Community Services District, the posting of the video “was actually quite a challenge to upload it which created the delay. It was divided into two parts":
JOE MUNSON: MY MENDOCINO LIFE IN CARS & CANNABIS (Part 1)
as told to Jonah Raskin
The other day, I was driving with the legendary, Oaky Joe Munson. We were in Santa Rosa on the way to the fair grounds. Joe was driving really slow and stopping at all the stop signs and following all the rules of the road. “So, Joe,” I said. “How about telling me a story about cars and cannabis. You must have a few up your sleeve.” What follows is the story Joe told me.
“I left the ranch where I was living, up above Lake Pillsbury. I had just finished the harvest and had forty pounds in my big old Chevy Suburban. It was all trimmed and triple wrapped in garbage bags. I passed a National Forest police officer named Ramon Pallo going the opposite direction. Ramon was slick; he’d cover a lot of territory. He was doing his fuckin' job and putting your tax dollars at work. Sometimes he’d sit in his vehicle on Elk Mountain Road where the pavement ends and where he could see in every direction.
When I saw him that day with the garbage bags in the back seat, I kept going and then stopped at the store and told them I was leaving. I always did that so they’d know if I didn’t show up for a few days to go up the mountain and look for me because just about anything could happen up in the national forest.
Then, I head to Potter Valley. I go up hill and along the ridge and look back in my rear view mirror and there’s Ramon, the cop, about one-quarter of a mile behind me and with his balls to the wall. I figured I had to punch it. I had those four ten-pound bags on the back seat. I chuck them out the window and make it to a friend’s house. There’s no dust on the road. It had just rained, so Ramon has to keep a sharp eye for me. He never got close enough to read my license plate.
I stash my car in the woods, along with my favorite yellow jacket. I go to the front door and look over my shoulder and I see Ramon drive by the house real slow. My friend asks, “What are you doing here?” I tell him, “I’m running from the cops.” He says, “That’s fucked I have a crop here.” I hadn't known that. If I had I wouldn’t have knocked on his door. My buddy says, “I have to get you out of here.” We go in his truck and he gets me to Redwood Valley and the house of another friend I’d known for twenty years. He takes me in his white Ford pickup, which I always made fun of, and he made fun of my Chevy. I ask him to take me to my weed, because I knew if I didn’t get it soon, tweakers would find it. You know, they look for soda bottles and beer cans along the side of the road and cash them in and buy speed. If they found my weed they’d have forty pounds, which in those days, back in the early 2000s, was going for $2500 a pound. We found all four bags, put them inside his camper shell and went back on the road.
That same year my friend Richard—the baddest guy in Mendocino—had plants at his mother’s place. He made millions and lived alone and quit drinking and had no expenses. Now, he’s healthy as a horse. I asked him once to give me some money and he said, “I lost it all and I can’t find it.” He’s a white guy. There were lots of white guys growing weed up there; just as many white guys as the Mexicans, though the Mexicans get most of the blame. Later that year, I sold my Chevy so Ramon wouldn’t see my vehicle ever again, and went back to growing in the same place behind a locked gate. It was up high on the mountain, 6000 feet above Lake Pillsbury. My wife and I were living in a trailer that had a generator, hot water, TV, and a outhouse that got the first sunlight of the day and that had a great view. You could see down Panther Canyon all the way to the Lake. It was beautiful.
Ramon was back on the job,but he didn’t want to take the time to go into the national forest and look formy field with about 1000 plants. Plus, I also gave away 500 plants to growers, sothat the properties around the lake would be saturated with weed. If the cops raided those gardens they wouldn’t go up the mountain and come after me.
Fast forward, three years later, East of Covelo at Black Butte Market. I’m on my dirt bike; a Honda 650 R with had an oversized gas tank to take long journeys over back roads. I’m looking at the poster board with all fishing regulations for the Eel River. I felt something behind me and I turned around and it’s Ramon again and he asks, “Can I help you?” and “What are you doing here.” I tell him, “Reading the regulations.” I go inside the market and buy a soda, roll a joint and smoke it with an old timer and we talk about Ramon who’s still outside. The older timer says, “Ramon don’t like no tomatoes.” I went back on the road. I was going to Upper Lake on Elk Mountain road. This was at night. I stopped to piss and I hear a vehicle that has no lights. It’s Ramon again. I waited until he left and then I got the fuck out of there. Later, I told my friend Jerry, a mechanic who works on the cop cars, about Ramon and his car without lights. He says, “Yeah they do that all the time.” Ramon would go in stealth mode, looking for anyone doing anything illegal. That was a good season and scary, too.
“So, Joe is this all true?” I asked.
He looks at me and says, “Yes, hypothetically.”
A READER WRITES: “A few months ago several friends told me I should have a mole on my face looked at it because they knew of cases where moles became somehow cancerous. My brother had had a few moles removed years ago because a dermatologist told him they were ‘precancerous.’ I didn't pay much attention to the friendly advice until the area around the mole seemed to itch or tingle a little, maybe. The mole itself seemed painless and benign. Then I made the mistake of going on the Internet to look up various symptoms related to moles and cancer. Malignant melanoma. Metastatic skin cancer. Brain tumors. Prognoses. Symptoms. Headaches. Dermatologists. Oncologists. Carcinoma. Biopsies. Surgery. Radiation. Chemotherapy. By the time I finished my 'research' both from conventional medical websites and chat-style forums with horrible anecdotes, I had myself convinced that something very bad was going on. So I made an appointment to see a dermatologist in Ukiah. They have a walk-in clinic for one hour one day a week which takes hours of waiting to get into. Lots of pre-visit paperwork. Many signatures on multiple forms saying I promise to pay for whatever testing and treatment is required. Page after page of checking the "no" box on lists of medical conditions which I don't seem to be experiencing. Interview with receptionist. Interview with nurse. Pulse. Temperature. Height. Weight. More waiting. Finally into the doctor's office. More waiting. Doctor enters, introduces himself. Minimal chitchat. Pulls out magnifying glass. After less than one minute of skin inspection: "You're fine. Nothing’s wrong.” It’s a “seborrheic keratosis,” aka “age spot.” Offers a piece of paper describing what I could do for cosmetic purposes, but there is no medical problem. “You can go." No biopsies. Not tests. No appointments. No big medical bills. Nothing to do now but wait until another friend points out another problem.”
J. HOLDEN IS A LOCAL POET and clinical psychologist who showed up in Mendocino County just as legal LSD and the State Hospital in Talmage were winding down. He shares his memories of how back to the landers changed the way that life and death were done -- while finding their way back to traditional practices. (Sarah Reith)
Radio interview: kzyx.org/post/episode-4-j-holden
CUSTOMER SHOOTS ROBBERY SUSPECT AT SUBWAY SANDWICH SHOP IN UKIAH
A customer at a Ukiah Subway sandwich shop shot a man fleeing the store after attempting to rob the restaurant with a realistic toy gun Wednesday evening, authorities and a Subway employee said.
Store manager Alejandro Melo said the suspect entered the store, located in the Pear Tree Center in North Ukiah, and asked to use the bathroom. When he came out, he saw Melo washing dishes and pulled what appeared to be a gun, demanding Melo come with him.
“He walked me out for like 2 meters, walking to the lobby, and that’s where he starts asking for the money,” Melo said. He demanded money from an employee standing near the cash register, but Melo told him she didn’t have the key and that he would get the money himself. Melo gave the man a bag with about $200.
“I just gave him the change bag,” he said. “I had the key for the security box, but I didn’t want to give him that one because it was farther.”
As the man fled the store, a customer drew a handgun and shot him three times from behind, striking him in the buttocks, Melo said. The man dropped the money bag and ran to a Ross store in the same shopping center and collapsed, he said.
“He lay down there and people started screaming,” he said.
Ukiah Police Lt. Cedric Crook said the unidentified man was transported to an undisclosed hospital, where he was listed in critical but stable condition on Thursday afternoon.
Crook said officers found the cash and the suspect’s weapon, which was actually a BB gun designed to look like a handgun.
The customer, who was not identified by police, had a permit to carry a concealed weapon. He was “fully cooperative” with officers and agreed to come to police headquarters to give a detailed statement, Crook said.
Anyone with information on the shooting is asked to call the Ukiah Police Department at 707-463-6262.
(Bill Swindell and Andrew Beale,Santa Rosa Press Democrat)
HEY, NO PROBLEM
Cannabis Cultivation Application Submission Through End of Year
Ukiah, CA, December 13, 2018 – Beginning Monday, December 17, 2018 all applications for cultivation will be submitted via drop box located at the Department of Agriculture. The drop box will be available until the Department of Agriculture closes to the public at 12:00 p.m. on December 31, 2018.
The Department of Agriculture cannot guarantee that a review and determination will be made before December 31, 2018. Applicants will be notified in writing no later than January 31, 2019, regarding whether their application is complete but for submission of fees and execution of any affidavit, or whether the application is incomplete and the applicant must reapply during the anticipated re-opening of Phase I in 2019.
All application submission packets must be complete, placed in an 8 ½ X 11 inch manila folder labeled with the date of submission, applicant name, phone number, mailing address and cultivation site address. Please include the following documents in this order:
a. At least two forms of Proof of Prior cultivation (photographic and additional piece) and a photograph of current cultivation activities.
b. Cultivation Permit Application.
c. Completed Cultivation and Operations Plan.
d. Remediation plan and Water Availability Analysis for relocation applications.
e. Completed property owner consent form if applicable.
f. Site plan stamped by county planner.
g. Zoning Clearance.
h. Copy of Live Scan fingerprint form.
i. Business organizational documents if applicable.
j. Timberland Permit, Proof of Mitigation or 3-acre conversion if applicable.
k. Board of Equalization Seller’s Permit.
l. Water Board permits: Notice of Applicability (Notice of Receipt may be accepted) and or water rights or Small Irrigation Use Registration (SIUR).
m. Copy of final Lake or Streambed Alteration Agreement (LSAA), waiver, letter determining LSAA is not required, EPIMS registration or any other official documentation expressing current status with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife as required.
n. Results from the Cortese list.
o. Residential Building Record if applicable, copy of well if used for irrigation and or septic permit and well completion report.
p. Copies of credentials for cultivation activities issued by the California Department of Food and Agriculture.
For moreinformation, please email email@example.com.
Electronic applications will not be accepted. Once applications are submitted envelopes cannot be removed.
UKIAH HOLIDAY CLEAN UP
It’s disheartening to see so much litter spread from the north highway ramps in Ukiah south all along Highway 101 to the south end of town. It’s ugly and presents the worst face of our town to people coming here to visit friends and family over the holidays—or just passing through. Surely we are better than this.
Can the County Corrections team do their magic and clean up the highway 101 median and shoulders? Can the rest of us make an effort to not litter and to pick up litter on our own streets and yards so that visitors come away with a positive image of Ukiah? I hope so. And kudos to Pacific Outfitters and their team that helps clean up our town.
Suzanne Pletcher, Ukiah
GRANT DEADLINE APPROACHING
Hello Grant Seekers,
Just a friendly reminder that the deadline for your Community Enrichment and Field-of-Interest grant applications is quickly approaching. All applications and supporting materials must be submitted by 5:00 PM on Thursday, December 20th. We encourage you to submit them as soon as possible to avoid any last minute technical issues. If you have any questions at all concerning your applications please contact our program office:
Michelle Rich; Director of Grants & Programs; (707) 468-9882 ext. 105; firstname.lastname@example.org
Allison Findley; Program & Communications Associate; (707) 468-9882 ext. 103; email@example.com
CATCH OF THE DAY, Dec. 14, 2018
MICHAEL BEERS, Ukiah. Vandalism, probation revocation.
JENNIFER BLACK, Ukiah. Failure to appear, probation revocation.
CHARLES MAXFIELD JR., Ukiah. Controlled substance, paraphernalia, id theft, receiving stolen property, vehicle theft, conspiracy.
ROBERT NUTT, Ukiah. Failure to appear, probation revocation.
ARLIE ORTIZ, Ukiah. Controlled substance without prescription, trespassing, failure to appear, probation revocation.
MARCIANO PICENO, Ukiah. Concealed dirk-dagger.
IAN RODGERS, Fort Bragg. Under influence.
SHARON SORIA, Fort Bragg. Controlled substance, paraphernalia, failure to appear.
KRISTOPHER SPARKMAN, Boonville. Probation revocation.
FORMER SANDERS DELEGATES VOTE OVERWHELMINGLY TO RELAUNCH BERNIE DELEGATES NETWORK FOR 2019
by Norman Solomon
Former Bernie Sanders delegates to the 2016 Democratic National Convention have voted to reconstitute the independent Bernie Delegates Network.
The vote was 408 “yes” to 23 “no” in response to this question: “Do you favor a relaunch of the independent Bernie Delegates Network in 2019?”
Organizers called the vote “a landslide” and said they will proceed with relaunching the nationwide network in early January.
The election was conducted online over a five-day period ending December 11. Former delegates were given a unique code that could only be used to vote once.
The two organizations that sponsored the Bernie Delegates Network in 2016 -- Progressive Democrats of America <https://pdamerica.org/> and RootsAction.org <https://www.rootsaction.org/> -- conducted the new survey and will sponsor the relaunched network.
Before and during the national convention in July 2016, the Bernie Delegates Network -- while maintaining independence from the Sanders campaign organization -- enabled Sanders delegates to communicate and plan with each other.
The network developed a rapid-response capacity to survey Sanders delegates about their issue priorities and tactical preferences, and then quickly share the results. For instance, going into the convention, several hundred delegates voted in Bernie Delegates Network surveys to give top priority to visibly expressing opposition to the Trans-Pacific Partnership and support for single-payer Medicare for All.
“It makes perfect sense that 2016 Bernie delegates -- who gave hundreds of hours of service in order to pursue policies like improved Medicare for All and an aggressive climate emergency mobilization -- would now be organized to help develop plans for the future and remain connected to each other across the country,” said Donna Smith, currently the chair of the National Advisory Board of Progressive Democrats of America.
Smith is a former executive director of PDA, whose members included more than 200 Sanders delegates at the national convention. She added: “I hope the 2019 Bernie Delegates Network will once again push the edges of the possible for Democrats who still believe we can reframe our message, retain our core mission in support of justice, and regain our power to lead. After all, Bernie’s 2016 Democratic presidential primary and the delegates he inspired have already helped to elect the new class of congressional leaders who are already shaking the balance of power.”
The chair of the California Democratic Party’s Progressive Caucus, Karen Bernal, said the Bernie Delegates Network can play a vital role next year regardless of whether Sanders runs for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination. Bernal was co-chair of California’s Sanders delegation to the national convention.
Bernal said: “We could not have predicted the level of overwhelming support we received for continuing the Bernie Delegates Network -- we’re thrilled! The results showed people’s appreciation for a mechanism that values *their *input and determination. As we soon go into another presidential election cycle, the observations and opinions of former delegates will no doubt be seen as a reflection of the wider views of many across the nation.”
Bernal added: “More importantly, it's my hope that the independence of the Bernie Delegates Network will assist in shaping conversations around issues important to us as we go into what will be a highly charged and partisan election season.”
Norman Solomon, who coordinated the Bernie Delegates Network in 2016, commented that the95 percent “yes” vote amounts to a mandate to revive the network: “The lopsidedvote of encouragement is very gratifying. It provides an emphatic thumbs-up forthe Bernie Delegates Network to re-emerge as soon as 2019 begins.” Solomon is thenational coordinator of RootsAction.org, an online group that currently has an emaillist of 1.25 million active supporters in the United States.
“The overwhelming vote to re-establish the Bernie Delegates Network reflects the enduringimpacts of what Bernie Sanders has inspired,” said Pia Gallegos, former chair ofthe Adelante Progressive Caucus of the Democratic Party of New Mexico. “The independenceof BDN will allow us freedom of action and freedom of speech to influence and shapethe issues during the presidential campaign."
Gallegos, Smith, Bernal, Solomon and RootsAction co-founder Jeff Cohen were co-authors of two widely discussed reports <https://democraticautopsy.org/democratic-party-in-crisis/> -- “Autopsy: The Democratic Party in Crisis” and the October 2018 follow-up, “Democratic Autopsy: One Year Later.
WHY NOT TRY ANOTHER STATE, JER?
Mr. Philbrick: You and me at 20 paces? Don't be an ass. I spoke only about defense of family, friends, our homes, our land. We're not looking to our guns like you. The future is coming our way. Your scary fantasies seem limited to macho men fighting it out. Why is that? Is there an age limit or gender exception for those you’ll be lynching from the lampposts? Women and children, our families, and yours, will certainly also die if you destroy the remarkable peace and goodwill we enjoy locally and unleash your KKK troops, or whatever, on our peaceful, mutually respectful community. Do you realize what you are saying, man? You are promoting neighbor against neighbor violence. Are you nuts?
I can imagine how sad it must be for you knowing that your day here is done and gone. If California is so repulsive to you, why don't you move to another state that’s doing better economically or is more fairly run, or perhaps with a better quality of life?
Good luck with that, and goodbye. Don't write.
John Arnoldt, Armed Liberal
WAYNESBORO, NORTH CAROLINA
ARE THE NEW CONGRESSIONAL PROGRESSIVES REAL?
Use these yardsticks to find out:
by Ralph Nader
In November, about 25 progressive Democrats were newly elected to the House of Representatives. How do the citizen groups know whether they are for real or for rhetoric? I suggest this civic yardstick to measure the determination and effectiveness of these members of the House both inside the sprawling, secretive, repressive Congress and back home in their Districts. True progressives must:
1. Vigorously confront all the devious ways that Congressional bosses have developed to obstruct the orderly, open, accessible avenues for duly elected progressive candidates to be heard and to participate in Congressional deliberations from the subcommittees to the committees to the floor of the House. Otherwise, the constricting Congressional cocoon will quickly envelop and smother their collective energies and force them to get along by going along.
2. Organize themselves into an effective Caucus (unlike the anemic Progressive Caucus). They will need to constantly be in touch with each other and work to democratize Congress and substantially increase the quality and quantity of its legislative/oversight output.
3. Connect with the national citizen organizations that have backers all around the country and knowledgeable staff who can help shape policy and mobilize citizen support. This is crucial to backstopping the major initiatives these newbies say they want to advance. Incumbent progressives operate largely on their own and too rarely sponsor civic meetings on Capitol Hill to solicit ideas from civic groups. Incumbent progressives in both the House and the Senate do not like to be pressed beyond their comfort zone to issue public statements, to introduce tough bills or new bills, or to even conduct or demand public hearings.
4. Develop an empowerment agenda that shifts power from the few to the many – from the plutocrats and corporatists to consumers, workers, patients, small taxpayers, voters, community groups, the wrongfully injured, shareholders, consumer cooperatives, and trade unions. Shift-of-power facilities and rights/remedies cost very little to enact because their implementation is in the direct hands of those empowered – to organize, to advocate, to litigate, to negotiate, and to become self-reliant for food, shelter and services (Citizen Utility Boards provide an example of what can come from empowering citizens).
5. Encourage citizens back home to have their own town meetings, some of which the new lawmakerswould attend. Imagine the benefits of using town meetings to jump-start an empowermentagenda and to promote long over-due advances such as a living wage, universal healthcare, corporate crime enforcement, accountable government writ large, renewableenergy, and real tax reform.
6. Regularly publicize the horrendously cruel and wasteful Republican votes. This seems obviousbut, amazingly, it isn’t something Democratic leaders are inclined to do. Last June,I urged senior Democrats in the House to put out and publicize a list of the mostanti-people, pro-Wall Street, and pro-war legislation that the Republicans, oftenwithout any hearings, rammed through the House. The senior Democrats never did this,even though the cruel GOP votes (against children, women, health, safety, accessto justice, etc.) would be opposed by more than 3 out of 4 voters.
7. Disclose attempts by pro-corporate, anti-democratic, or anti-human rights and other corrosivelobbies that try to use campaign money or political pressure to advance the interestsof the few to the detriment to the many. Doing this publically will deter lobbiesfrom even trying to twist their arms.
8. Refuse PAC donations and keep building a base of small donations as Bernie Sanders didin 2016. This will relieve new members of receiving undue demands for reciprocityand unseemly attendance at corrupt PAC parties in Washington, DC.
9. Seek, whenever possible, to build left/right coalitions in Congress and back home that can become politically unstoppable.
10. Demand wider access to members of Congress by the citizenry. Too few citizen leaders arebeing allowed to testify before fewer Congressional hearings. Holding hearings isa key way to inform and galvanize public opinion. Citizen group participation inhearings led to saving millions of lives and preventing countless injuries. AuthenticCongressional hearings lead to media coverage and help to mobilize the citizenry.
Adopting these suggestions will liberate new members to challenge the taboos entrenched in Congress regarding the corporate crime wave, military budgets, foreign policy, massive corporate welfare giveaways or crony capitalism.
The sovereign power of the people has been excessively delegated to 535 members of Congress. Thecitizens need to inform and mobilize themselves and hold on to the reins of suchsovereign power for a better society. Demanding that Congress uphold its constitutionalobligations and not surrender its power to the war-prone, lawless Presidency willresonate with the people.
Measuring up to this civic yardstick is important for the new members of the House of Representativesand for our democracy. See how they score in the coming months. Urge them to forwardthese markers of a democratic legislature to the rest of the members of Congress,most of whom are in a rut of comfortable incumbency.
(Ralph Naderis a consumer advocate, lawyer and author of Only the Super-Rich Can Save Us!)
TIANMEN MOUNTAIN, CHINA
by James Kunstler
Andrew Sullivan called it “the Great Awokening” in a shrewd New York Magazine column this week. He refers, off course, to earlier episodes of American religious hysteria, namely the Great Awakening of the 1730s that featured the Rev. Jonathan Edwards raining sulfur and brimstone down on guilt-wracked New Englanders, and then the Second Awakening of the the early 1800s that spun off innumerable Protestant sects, cults, and utopian experiments. I like the term “Wokesterism” because the “ism” part acknowledges that the current hysteria makes a religion out of politics.
Sullivan’s theory is that Wokesterism is an improvised replacement for sclerotic American Christianity, to fill the vacuum of entropic meaninglessness that pervades life in the republic these days. He says:
And so we’re mistaken if we believe that the collapse of Christianity in America has led to a decline in religion. It has merely led to religious impulses being expressed by political cults. Like almost all new cultish impulses, they see no boundary between politics and their religion.
Wokesterism eerily mirrors many of the harsher practices of the most severe American Protestantism. It offers its own original sin, “white privilege,” from which there is neither redemption nor hope of redemption — like the old Presbyterian hell for babies who have come into this world drenched in sin. No amount of abject apology will avail for heretics to Wokesterism. The principal aims of Wokesterism are coercion of others, persecution,and punishment of the guilty (the un-Woke). Most importantly, it requires the suspension of individual conscience in order to promote unthinking, robotic obedience and mob justice. That helps explain the disgraceful blindness of the Wokester Left, especially the educated elites who work in the news media, the computer tech sector, and other “creative class” vocations.
One thing that Sullivan leaves out is the necessity for the Devil. That role is filled by Mr. Trump. His sinister cargo of belief, countering the Wokefullness of unicorns and rainbows, is the dark theology of MAGA, and Mr. Trump’s followers are the imps, demons, incubi and succubi of deplorable fly-overland. Wokesters will spare no effort to vanquish all this wickedness, and even lying and cheating in the service of that end is considered fair play. Hence the arrant and epic dishonesty of The New York Times.
Interesting case in point: Yesterday’s developments in the General Flynn court case are not even present in this morning’s Times. I speak of the action on the bench of Federal Judge Emmet Sullivan. It’s been brought to his attention that the scurrilous entrapment of Gen. Flynn by Woke FBI managers entailed departures from normal, lawful procedure. Gen. Flynn was interrogated in January of 2017, and the FBI account of the interview was not written (supposedly) until August of that year. Reports and memoranda must be written ASAP after an interview for the obvious reason that much important fact may be forgotten or misremembered if not documented right away. There is actually reason to believe that earlier versions of the report exist (or did exist), and they were trashed or buried when the main interrogator-of-Flynn, Peter Strzok, was cashiered from Robert Mueller’s team in July 2017. Judge Sullivan has demanded that the FBI produce those earlier docs by today (Friday) at 3:00 pm. It will be interesting to see if the FBI complies… or not. There is also a fair chance that Judge Sullivan will throw out Gen. Flynn’s conviction based on prosecutorial misconduct.
In the event, we could see the awesome downfall of the Archangel Mueller, and the unravelling of Wokesterdreams of defeating the Devil via the Mueller inquisition. It will certainly bean embarrassment to the ardent Wokesters of the news media, who have shilled for this campaign for over two years. The General Flynn business is not the only thread unwinding in the giant tapestry of Wokester narrative. As in other epic persecutions, like the Jacobin Reign of Terror in 1790s France, and Mao Zedong’s Cultural Revolution of the 1960s, the tables are turning. The inquisitors, prosecutors, and executioners are going too face charges themselves, and harsh punishment is not out of the question.
The defeat of Wokesterism would be a very salutary outcome for a nation that has so badly lost its bearings to the worst of human instincts: religious persecution. It could be a fatal blow to the Democratic Party, which will have to find an alternative reason for its existence than Devil-and-Demon hunting. The Devil hunters themselves could be in the dockin 2019, answering for their actual crimes against American citizens and the public interest. Even the sainted Holy Mother of Wokesterism, the Archangel Hillary, may find herself wingless in a witness chair, answering how all that schwag from Russian banksters happened to end up in her foundation’s cookie jar.
(Support Kunstler’s writing by visiting his Patreon Page.)
ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY
Interesting thing about Christianity, but it seems to me that it had such pull among the Roman Army and the underclass of the Roman Empire because of the essentials of the story; the lowest of the low, born in an out of the way part of the Empire, the illegitimate son of a Jewish peasant girl (according to some versions of the story, fathered by a Roman soldier), speaking up about what he saw as abuses and hypocrisies of the established order in his locale.
What did it boil down to? Big G, according to thinkers of the time (and according to some Muslims nowadays), doesn’t give a shit about what you think, he just wants your obedience. So OBEY! And so the worthies would go through the motions, attending to the ritual aspects, going to the Temple to be seen to be going to the Temple.
Wasn’t enough for the young Jesus H. Performing the outward aspects was meaningless without belief. Plus, he or his followers, salted the doctrines with a few of their own, ‘redemption’ for one. Don’t bloody make excuses, don’t blame your parents, what you do is fully in your own hands. So, if you want to turn a leaf, you can, it’s in your power.
‘Forgiveness’ is another. Do you think you’re so almighty high and better than the guy that wronged you? Disabuse yourself of that notion, you’re not. Look honestly at the shit you’ve pulled. If he asks for your forgiveness, cough it up.
‘Compassion’ is another. You think you’re more worthy than the guy that’s down and out? You think he’s where he’s at because of personal weakness and moral inadequacy? You think Big G favors you? Rethink that conviction, you’re just an one accident and one sickness from calamity. You could be walking in that guy’s shoes next week.
‘Mercy’ is another. You want to wreak vengeance? Maybe put the brakes on a bit. Are you the Almighty? Who made YOU God and judge?
And then, for all his trouble, Jesus got lynched. Later Christians tried to dress it up as the sacrificial lamb atoning for the sins of mankind. But, if I was a betting man I would bet that people of the time saw it for what it was, somebody who stood nose to nose with the occupying power and its lackeys and died worse than a dog. IOW, the underclasses identified with Jesus.
And so did Roman soldiers. Romans worshiped courage, and when they heard the stories, and when they saw the bravery of early Christians who refused to recant their beliefs and died in the arenas, they thought there must be something to this.
You can speculate as to the reasons but the story of Jesus and his early followers doesn’t have a lot of traction in a lot of the west nowadays, but it sure does in impoverished parts of the world, I would think for obvious reasons. They look at Jesus and they see themselves.
So do the snowflakes have a better story than this?
"MIRACLE ON 34TH STREET" this Friday, Saturday, and Sunday
A bit of nostalgic fun for the whole family! Mendocino Theatre Company presents the Lux Radio Theater's MIRACLE ON 34TH STREET, a 1940s radio play featuring Bob Cohen as Kris Kringle, Summer Makovkin as Doris, Raven Deerwater as Fred, and Sarah Morse as Susan -- with a special appearance by the "Andrew Sisters" (MHS chamber choir members Ashley Statham, Mija Biggey, and Miciella Bishop).
For tickets and information, please go to mendocinotheatre.org or call the box office at 707-937-4477.
ELON MUSK IS A JERK
...At about 10 o’clock on Saturday evening, an angry Musk was examining one of the production line’s mechanized modules, trying to figure out what was wrong, when the young, excited engineer was brought over to assist him.
“Hey, buddy, this doesn’t work!” Musk shouted at the engineer, according to someone who heard the conversation. “Did you do this?”
The engineer was taken aback. He had never met Musk before. Musk didn’t even know the engineer’s name. The young man wasn’t certain what, exactly, Musk was asking him, or why he sounded so angry.
“You mean, program the robot?” the engineer said. “Or design that tool?”
“Did you fucking do this?” Musk asked him.
“I’m not sure what you’re referring to?” the engineer replied apologetically.
“You’re a fucking idiot!” Musk shouted back. “Get the fuck out and don’t come back!”
The young engineer climbed over a low safety barrier and walked away. He was bewildered by what had just happened. The entire conversation had lasted less than a minute.
A few moments later, his manager came over to say that he had been fired on Musk’s orders, according to two people with knowledge of the situation. The engineer was shocked. He’d been working so hard. He was set to get a review from his manager the next week, and had been hearing only positive things. Instead, two days later, he signed his separation papers.
On a Wednesday morning a few weeks later, Musk returned to the Gigafactory on his private plane. Tesla had started firing hundreds of other employees for performance reasons—more than 700 would eventually be let go...
Employees knew about such rampages. Sometimes Musk would terminate people; other times he would simply intimidate them.
One manager had a name for these outbursts—Elon’s rage firings—and had forbidden subordinates from walking too close to Musk’s desk at the Gigafactory out of concern that a chance encounter, an unexpected question answered incorrectly, might endanger a career...
STATE WATER BOARD APPROVES INCREASED FLOWS FOR THE LOWER SAN JOAQUIN RIVER
by Dan Bacher
After a marathon hearing at the Cal EPA building in Sacramento, the State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) voted 4 to 1 Wednesday to set a 40% flow standard for three tributaries that flow into the lower San Joaquin River — the Stanislaus, Tuolumne and Merced rivers - and a revision of the salinity standard for the South Delta.
The board also voted to create a space for a proposal regarding voluntary agreements outlined in the meeting by Department of Water Resources Director Karla Nemeth and Department of Fish and Wildlife Director Charlton H. Bonham.
The $1.7 billion plan, proposing $800 million from the water users and $900 million from the State, was not available to the public at the time of the meeting, but outlined in the presentation by Nemeth and Bonham.
“A vast majority of water users and government agencies are committed to voluntary agreements because they provide a quicker, more durable solution that will improve flows and restore habitat while avoiding lengthy litigation,” said Nemeth and Bonham in a joint statement. “We appreciate that the State Water Resources Control Board’s action creates space for work to continue on agreements that can deliver real benefits for the environment while protecting all beneficial uses of water.”
In spite of the opposition to the flow standard by agribusiness groups and the Department of Interior, State Water Board State Water Board Chair Felicia Marcus, said before the vote, “I think the time to act is now.”
“Californians want a healthy environment, healthy agriculture, and healthy communities, not one at the undue expense of the others,” said Marcus after the meeting. “Doing that requires that the water wars yield to collective efforts to help fish and wildlife through voluntary action, which the plan seeks to reward.”
Many environmental and fishing groups had pushed for the adoption of a 60 percent flow standard, based on the science, but nonetheless looked at the decision as a step forward after decades of water exports from the Delta and marginal flows below upstream dams. A State Water Board report published in 2010 found that restoring native salmon and steelhead would require 60 percent of the San Joaquin River’s unimpaired flow.
“It’s not everything that we wanted, but it’s positive that the board acted and drove this chapter of the process to a close,” said Chris Schutes of the California Sportfishing Protection Alliance (CSPA). “Allowing an analysis of voluntary settlements was a fig leaf by the board that may or may not lead to substantive change. It had a few good concepts but not a lot of substance.”
John McManus, President of the Golden Gate Salmon Association, described the board’s vote “as a small step in the right direction to restore salmon in the Central Valley by modestly increasing flows on the San Joaquin River.”
However, he noted that “hanging heavy” over the meeting was the “invisible hand of the Trump administration” that is working to to pump more more water from the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta to their allies on the west side of the San Joaquin Valley.
“The best outcome for salmon, that we can hope for now, is for the Brown administration to ride off into the sunset and for the Newsom administration to step up, restore our salmon runs, and let the Trump administration know that it’s required to follow California law,” emphasized McManus.
“Today the Water Board took action, after more than two decades, to call for real change to benefit fish and fisherman,” said Noah Oppenheim, Executive Director of the Pacific Coast Federation of Fisherman Association (PCFFA) . “Today’s vote represents the setting of the bar, and water users will either rise to meet it or get beaten in court. Commercial salmon fisherman have experienced decades of disastrous decline. Today’s vote could be the turning of the tide.”
Representatives of Delta and environmental groups were also pleased with the board’s action.
“We are very happy that the State Water Resources Control Board approved Phase I of the Bay-Delta Water Quality Plan update,” said Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla, executive director of Restore the Delta, “It was a big decision, 20 years in the making. We are relieved flows in the Delta will now be closer to what is required for a healthy estuary.”
Members of California Indian Tribes spoke in support of the San Joaquin water flow standard at the hearing.
“The destruction of the rivers is genocide on the fish and the genocide on fish is the genocide of the indigenous people of these rivers,” Mahlija Florendo, Yurok/Karuk/Hupa, and organizer for Save California’s Salmon, told the board before the vote. “So I am here today to tell you that these flows are critical to the land, the rivers, the fish and the people. No dams, no diversions, no pipelines!’
“Native peoples in Northern California are salmon people,” said Morning Star Gali, a member of the Pit River Tribe and tribal organizer for Save California’s salmon. “Our once-abundant salmon have been devastated by dams and diversions owned and operated by cities, states, and the federal government.”
“Salmon runs that once numbered in the millions and nourished us now return each year in the hundreds or less,” Gali stated. “Now we are on the brink of losing the fish that are central to our culture. This loss would have widespread health, economic and cultural impacts. Some of California’s native communities have a suicide rate that is 12 times the national average and diabetes and heart disease rates that are over 3 times the national average.”
“No statistics can express what losing the salmon has done to our culture and well being as communities. In fact many experts have called the sudden loss of salmon to California native communities ecocide; cultural genocide,” Gali said.
In 2017, the recreational and commercial salmon seasons on the ocean in the Klamath Management Zone, the recreational fishing season on the Klamath and Trinity rivers and the Yurok commercial fishery on the Klamath were closed, while the subsistence fishery for the Yurok and Hoopa Valley Tribes was slashed to a relative pittance, due to projected low numbers of salmon returning to the rivers.
Other tribes, including the Pit River and Winnemem Wintu Tribes, haven't seen salmon return to their ancestral rivers in many decades. “The salmon that once ran freely up the Pit River of my homeland, from the San Francisco Bay have been vanished for the past 80 years. This has resulted in tremendous environmental health effects of our rivers and who we are as Pit River people,” said Gali.
She noted that Tribes have been fighting to restore the salmon through dam removal, flow restoration, and fish passage projects, yet in many cases Governor Brown and San Francisco's anti-environmental lobbying is threatening their work.
“Water projects that politicians are currently proposing such as the Feinstein's’ WIN act renewal rider, the Shasta dam raise, and the Sites reservoir impact native peoples land and water rights and can ruin our chances to harvest salmon and restore our cultures and communities,” said Gali.
Regina Chichizola, also of Save California Salmon, said the board’s action for increased flows on the San Joaquin wouldn’t bring salmon populations in the system back to harvestable levels, but that it would help stop the fish from becoming extinct. She also said voluntary settlements “don’t mean anything without regulation.”
Barrigan-Parrilla added that Bonham and Nemeth’s last-minute proposal was based on voluntary settlement agreements (VSAs) with Central Valley water agencies; however, only agencies in the Tuolumne River basin have signed a voluntary settlement agreement.
“The proposals are preliminary and mostly theoretical at this point. Other features are recycled restoration projects from river plans and the long-defunct Bay Delta Conservation Plan. The hope is this new process would create a comprehensive plan that would end California’s water wars,” she said.
”The Grand Bargain in the works raises many questions. Grand for whom?” asked Tim Stroshane of Restore the Delta. “Who commits to what? When will the public be included? What is the reciprocity involved and who compensates who? When will the public be included? Are these negotiations taking us down the road to paying for a public trust that ever recedes? State officials as yet have no answers for these and other questions.”
The meeting took place as Governor Jerry Brown continues to promote his legacy project, the Delta Tunnels, before he leaves office in January, but it appears that the final decisions on the controversial water project will be continued over to the administration of the Governor-Elect, Gavin Newsom.
In a major setback for Delta Tunnels proponents, the California Department of Water Resources (DWR) last Friday a letter to Randy Fiorini, chair of the Delta Stewardship Council, announcing the withdrawal of the Department’s “certification of consistency” for the California WaterFix.
FESTIVAL OF LIGHTS — LAST WEEKEND!
This is the Last Weekend to see the 9th annual Festival of Lights! The event will run rain or shine. Doors open at 5:00PM and close at 7:00PM (lights out at 7:30PM). The Gardens invites you to create a holiday tradition and take a stroll along twinkling pathways lined with inventive displays. Warm up and wind down in a beautifully decorated tent complete with live music, wine, beer, and sweet treats.
Santa Claus will be at the Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens during the Festival of Lights this Saturday, December 15. Be sure to bring your holiday wish list and bring the family and snap a photo with good 'ol St. Nick!
Adult tickets are just $10 and children age 16 and under attend for free. Tickets are available at The Garden Store at Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens, Harvest Market in Fort Bragg, Out of This World in Mendocino, or at the door. Tickets for Festival of Lights can be used for any day of the event and do not sell out for any date.
Avoid the parking lot hustle and bustle... The parking shuttle will be available each night of the Festival of Lights. The shuttle will pick up from the Mendocino Community College parking lot at 1211 Del Mar Dr, Fort Bragg, CA 95437 beginning at 4:45 PM and take you directly to the Gardens' entrance. The last shuttle pick-up from the College parking lot will be at 6:45 PM.
Remaining dates, musical acts, and happenings:
Dec 14: Tony Roach (pop and jazz)
Small Hat Band (soul, southern rock, blues, and roots)
Visit with Santa Claus
Business Casual (Acapella funk, folk, pop, soul, swing, and R&B)
*Featuring Bee Hunter Wine
S'mores Sunday with extra goodies sponsored by Harvest Market!
MEMO OF THE AIR:
Good Night Radio tonight (Friday, Dec. 14) on KMEC-LP Ukiah and KNYO-LP Fort Bragg, live from 325 N.Franklin, next door to the Tip Top bar. Theheater will be on the whole time in case you want to come by and show off in comfort.
Deadline to email your writing to be read on the air tonight is a little after 6pm. If you're not done by then, send it anyway whenever it's ready and I'll read it next week.
And tell your friends about Memo of the Air: Good Night Radio: Every Friday, 9pm to 5am on 107.7fm KNYO-LP Fort Bragg, and 105.1fm KMEC-LP Ukiah. Also there and anywhere else including the ISS via http://knyo.org
Some bonus tracks, for while you wait for tonight:
Everyone's favorite pre-Solstissimas rerun: The Bloody Olive.
Some art I found that might remind you of Eduardo Smissen. Several one-to-one correspondences there.
And Andy Serkis portrays Theresa May. (This is about the ongoing Brexit mishigas.)
Marco McClean, firstname.lastname@example.org, MemoOfTheAir.wordpress.com