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Letters (Jan. 9, 2019)

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I’m one of the 60 percent who disapprove of President Donald Trump. I find his presidency abhorrent and, frankly, threatening to all the democratic and human values I hold dear. But 40 percent — his base — approve of him. To me, this is far more disturbing than Trump himself.

How did our country get to such a place? When 4 in 10 (almost half) of us fall in line for this narcissistic, divisive, lying, corrupt, racist, mean and incompetent charlatan, something has gone seriously wrong with America.

We liberals who smugly dismiss Trump’s base and their love of him are making a terribly elitist and myopic mistake.

Rather, we must understand and start addressing what is fundamentally wrong in the underbelly of our country — why so many (too many) are so hurting, so angry and resentful, who feel so left out and left behind and are so hungry for relief that a charismatic demagogue can come along and all too easily win over their minds and souls.

To me, that’s the more worrisome long-term problem.

Rick Childs


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President Donald Trump claims he has a large base that demands to see a wall built to protect the southern border. Yet his idea that U.S. citizens should finance this promised Mexico-paid-for wall appears to be stuck in Congress.

Instead, I think he should think outside the box and get “moativated.”

I propose that the U.S. government provide his base with free shovels with which to dig a moat along the border. Then fill it with water and relocate from down south a few thousand or so alligators. Finally, put up some southward-facing signs in English and Spanish with the warning: “Danger: Cross at Your Own Peril.”

This idea is really no crazier than some of the others Trump has come up with in his first two years; and who knows, it might work.

Sherman Schapiro

Blue Lake

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To the Editor:

This letter is about a problem facing veterans and their families. There is a lot of emotion behind my personal experience. But I will try to be unbiased. This is not about medical care, its about billing issues. Please note this.

A emergency situation, a intense moment in any person’s life can be challenging enough. But the way that our local hospital handles VA billing, which at the time of my experience, was not at all, is unfair and negligent in my opinion. I was told in emails in billing department, at the time, that no one was to bill VA, in the local facility.

I cannot say I was blessed, but luckily there was, other insurance payers. But, at the time of crisis, I was handed a bill while in ICU before any discharge, or even an idea of how long services would be provided or what outcome was pending. The local VA office was closed. I had no wallet for my loved one, to call a number. Subsequently, a transfer to a critical facility happened. It was all over in two days.

I was told by hospital staff, in later request, that they will not bill VA at all. Because they do not get paid.

I was told to try myself, ambulance services first, if I had any luck, I was asked, to tell the hospital staff, how I got the claim paid. After 1 1/2 years, three submissions of claims and the community coordinator, basically admitted having the wrong address on his official hand out to file claims, I have had no answers.

Then subsequent calling and finding out, even with the correct address, in San Francisco, no claims have ever been received or documented by the San Francisco facility. Even with the correct address. It makes no sense.

I realized, I may get a ‘no’ answer, to a claim for ambulance service, but at least I would like a yes or no answer. At least after three submissions and calls and meetings, that a claim was received, after all this time. But no, no claims were ever received or even returned for the services to me, or any letter returned to me, stating wrong address or a receipt of claim.

It is atrocious and egregious that this is how veteran’s families and veterans medical services are treated. It is a horrible injustice to the veteran that served. My loved one is a 20 years retired military, 3 times deployed. And this is the system and personnel that are completely inadequately informed or not interested in getting emergency veterans’ claims payed or at least processed. How can anyone allow this to continue at the status of non caring hospitals, military, currently not taking the time or effort, to help facilitate claim submission or at very least have correct information for veterans and families? And a follow up process to ensure it’s paid or denied for a reason. There is no process that can work, if claims end up nowhere, in who knows what corner, of the San Francisco facility. Like the bridge to nowhere, claims disappear completely. And these have very private and personal information.

My claim, after finding answers on internet all by myself, because my loved one was retired, probably, would be denied. But…..that took myself having to discover answers and relive a nightmare every time, to find that out, all by myself. If I had adequate information, and a claim was actually processed in first submission, I could have not had to endure the constant reminder of an awful time. So I write this letter for others. And I write to shed light on a horrific problem, in our military emergency billing and facilities not caring enough, to be proactive or tenacious. about veterans’ billing issues.

The veterans deserve much better, much better. In my opinion.

Catherine A. Lair


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The question has been posed: Do we have too many lawyers or too few? I was curious and I did some research on the web and, interesting enough, it came out that in the Bay Area alone, there are more lawyers than in the entire country of France! That should answer the question. Also of interest, I found out that in California we have about 170,000 but only about 57,000 physicians. So now I have a question: Who are we short of?

Arnoldo Dallera


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A world class wizard, Donald Sprinkling, predicted I would meet the girl of my dreams. This took place at a New Year's bash in Berkeley. She was wearing a strange costume which revealed a pinup body, a beautiful expressive face that exuded a sense of wonder. Lightning struck, bells started ringing. I got down on our knees and asked her to marry me. We were married later that summer in a blowhole on a small Hawaiian island in a Universal Church by ministers Earl Kinkston and Maxine Hong Kingston (woman warrior, Chinaman, future famous writer). We were staying with them on our "honeymoon."

Tami-Diane (TD) was all that we did dreamed of and lots more. She had a small head but a huge brain with an IQ of 138. She is a fabulous writer, a skilled teacher with a master of arts and three teaching credentials. TD was then teaching at Berkeley high school. She all also was a nutcase as revealed later. She had tried to drown herself in a drainage ditch, howled at the moon, carried at one time a pistol, smoked marijuana like a chimney, loved LSD and loved Captain Fathom. 

Life moved fast for us. We got pregnant. Got a job in the shipyards of the Bay Area. We weekended at the Illustrated Farm. My dear friend and secretary of the Berkeley branch of the IWW, Miriam Knight, had gotten together with the famous Paul Williams, the lead writer for Rolling Stone magazine and founder of "Crawdaddy," a modern music rag and author of Outlaw Blues and other popular books. They were in the process of buying a three acre piece of the Ames Lodge 3.5 miles up Little Lake Road in Mendocino. They invited us in as partners, named the settlement Callodon (home planet of Dune by Frank Herbert). 

We settled in. So Paul’s lovers and fans Lark Clark and Judy, both outstanding, also aboard came the Wizard Donald and the Berkeley rebel girl Thistle, a dear friend of TD’s and a humdinger. Thistle  and Donald had Yarrow-Albion, Tami and Alan had Raven Caspar Moon. They were little mates. We were later joined by Ron Shea and Kay Rudin. 

Got a part-time job as a gardener of the Heritage House in Little River. Fished by spear gun and scooped abs almost every day. Fell in love with all the other girls while still madly in love with Tami. My cup overflowed. This all came to an end when the deal to buy the land didn't clear escrow. 

Our time in Albion began in 1970. We bought a tiny piece of Bo’s Landing from Bo Rowes 5.9 miles up Albion Ridge. To this day TD and Fathom still reside on the property. We've had different mates, different houses and other children. We both still are Class K with code outhouses.

More to follow,

Alan ‘Captain Fathom’ Graham


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“If he thinks guns are not something that will be used in the next couple of years, he is crazy.” — Jerry Philbrick, AVA, 12/26/18

Mr. Philbrick: “The next couple of years” is in the future. We certainly don’t see any value in discussing the future with someone who is so badly misinformed about the past.

Anyway, this isn’t about some general future possibilities of violence, this is about now and one individual, you, Mr. Philbrick, a bitter, hate-filled old-man. If you look at the rest of the AVA, it’s only you, week after week, spewing such garbage. Our esteemed editor, a major curmudgeon, more power to him, writes, one could say, like he’s expecting things in the near future to be normally messed up per usual. Nor does anyone else writing in the paper seem to be expecting some KKK crazies to come swarming out of the hills of Comptche, drag us out of our beds in the night, and string us up on a lamp-post. Only you, Mr. Philbrick.

We’re all harangued every week with the same, sad litany of your life defeats. Oh, “the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,” eh, Mr. Philbrick? Kill ‘em all! eh, Mr. Philbrick? You’re like the sore loser in a board game who grabs the board and throws it on the floor. Sane people know your laundry list of disasters is fundamentally due to global warming and/or greed, not liberals. Just one, close to home example to make my point: By the time the environmetnal movement got going in the 70s, 95% of the ancient Redwood Forest was already gone. 95%! We were fighting to save the last 5%. Have you got ears to hear that, Mr. Philbrick?

Your rants sound like Big Brother’s Hate Hour in 1984; your mind controlled by Fox News, Infowars, Limberger, Coulter and the rest of that ilk on the fascist fringe. They have so disinformed your mind it has deformed your soul. You, sir, are an ugly human being to hatefully promote in an open forum that neighbor attack neighbor. What would Jesus say? My bet is that he'd say you can go straight to hell.

It occurs to us that people like you are a sinister, black-hearted obverse of the left radicals back in the magnificent 60s. It seemed to us then, too, we were the whole world when we were in reality a small fringe group. So lots of bad luck with your terror campaign. By the way, given how it went down in the 60s, it's very likely the FBI has already started a file on you. You are the leader, Mr. Philbrick. Do you have a title? We always thought Grand Dragon had a nice ring to it.

If it does come to violence between neighbors it will be because of the knaves and fools like you who admire and voted for this pathological liar, this draft dodger! whose jailbird father with his money rescued his son from military service and then his multiple business failures with over $400+ million in gifts, both of them cheating on their taxes all the way. You can look it up.

You need to get some psychiatric help before you actually get somebody hurt. Don't you have any real friends? Family? Do they find you amusing? Sad.

Jon Arnoldt, Armed Liberal

Fort Bragg

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Jerry Moonbeam Brown is guilty of murder of the police officer who was killed by the illegal alien felon. He created the sanctuary state. He allowed liberal far left enviros to run the state, which contributed to the fire hazards that helped burn up the country and killed who knows how many people and animals. Jerry Moonbeam Brown and his entire administration should be held accountable and punished. Nothing will change under the new governor, Gavin Gruesome Newsom. The last three presidents we had would not make a pimple on Donald Trump's ass. He is putting the country back in the right direction. That includes the rotten liberal left-wing policies in California. 

We need to help Sheriff Allman and law enforcement. Not one more officer killed. Civilians should help as much as they can. I have stopped several times to see if I can help an officer alone at night doing his duty. I would gladly risk my life in a serious situation. Two officers should respond to all calls nowadays. The backup officer should get out of the car and stand nearby with a submachine gun and cover the first officer. That should be the rules of engagement. There's plenty of money because these officers risk their lives and they should be protected properly. 

I applaud President Trump for shutting down the government. I hope he keeps it shut down until the Democrats do the right thing. 

The people who sit on their couches drinking beer and smoking marijuana don't care about the potholes in the road. Let it all hang out. Let someone else take care of it. 

The stupid hypocritical inbred brain-dead child molesting anti-American communists like Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi are trying to open the borders. That's what they want. Thousands of illegal felons and terrorists brought into our society. Nice going you rotten bastards. May you rot in hell. 

Mr. Know it All Arnoldt of Fort Bragg, let's see how good a shot you are because they will be camped in your backyard. You can blame the senior people at Calfire who decide how to spend the money and again Jerry Brown for all the recent fires. We should have airplanes the size of old retired B-24s and 727s big enough to affect the fire. Helicopters with buckets have very little effect. The State of California have those old retired big bombers which were phased out rigged up with massive amounts of retardant and station them strategically around the state to respond. But no, Jerry Brown didn't want to spend the money. Another catastrophe to blame Jerry Brown for which killed thousands of people and thousands of animals.

God bless Donald Trump 

Jerry Philbrick 


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