- Wettish Week
- Victims Identified
- MCDH Meeting
- Code Enforcement
- Reefer Madness
- Classic McCowen
- Dalson Sentenced
- Winter Fair
- Seeking Space
- Yesterday's Catch
- Neo Nuts
- Cold Fog
- Frisson Ensemble
- KMUD Moments
- Mofo Vapors
- Alexandria Watch
- Swamp Doings
- Empty Talk
- Radioactive Sheep
- Brexit Brink
- Art Exhibits
- Realistic Queen
- Four Years
- New Mexicans
RAIN EVERY DAY NEXT WEEK
The National Weather Service predicts periods of light rain over Mendocino County to varying degrees every day for the next week through Friday with increased chances Monday night through Thursday.
“An area of low pressure and associated cold front are approaching the area. This is bringing some breezy south to southeast winds to the area and some light to moderate rain south of Cape Mendocino. There have been a few light showers north of Cape Mendocino. Rainfall amounts are expected to be less than a tenth of an inch north of Cape Mendocino with amounts up to a half inch south of Cape Mendocino. These showers will taper off later Friday night as the system moves out of the area. Saturday there may be a few showers lingering in the morning, but any rainfall amounts should be limited to a few hundredths. Most areas will see at least a mix of sun and clouds through the day. Sunday another system moves by to the south of the area, with just some light rain in Mendocino County. There is some disagreement on exactly how far north this rain goes, but rainfall amounts will be fairly light. Temperatures will remain near to slightly above seasonal normals in most areas. Monday will continue to bring storm activity, but it is mainly expected to stay to the south of the area. These systems are both fairly warm and will keep snow levels near or above 5,000 feet. Tuesday rain is expected to be slightly more widespread. Rainfall amounts will be fairly light north of Cape Mendocino. Both models currently show a brief break in the rain Wednesday with a strong system bringing moderate rain across the area Wednesday night or Thursday, trailing off into Friday. This system also has the potential for some strong winds. Both of these systems are expected to bring fairly high snow levels."
DEATH INVESTIGATION, SUSPICIOUS CIRCUMSTANCES APPARENT DOUBLE MURDER-SUICIDE IN WILLITS
UPDATED PRESS RELEASE (01-11-2019) #2:
On January 11, 2019 Sheriff's Detectives were able to locate and notify the victim's next of kin and as a result their identities are being released to the public. The victims have been identified as being Krissy Lynn Orbon (32 year-old female from Willits, California) and Damian Michael Wilkins (8 year-old male from Willits, California). Attempts are still being made to locate and notify the next of kin of the suspect (49 year-old male) and as a result his identity is being withheld at this time.
SHERIFF: BROKEN RELATIONSHIP LED TO DOUBLE-MURDER-SUICIDE
'The romantic status between the mother and father was inconsistent and at the time of their deaths we believe they were not together,' Sheriff’s Capt. Gregory Van Patten said in an interview.
WHISPERS OF DOOM
by Rex Gresset
It was a full house at Coast Hospital last Thursday night. Every seat was taken the Redwood Room, as the Hospital executive leadership met in the first post-election meeting to seat a new board of directors and face the music. In the November election the candidates had made their passionate pledges to keep the hospital open at all costs and aggressively committed themselves to reform, and innovation.
Last June regional voters enacted a self-inflicted parcel tax to save the only hospital on the remote Mendocino coast. The community bit the bullet and put their money on the table in reluctant support for the failing institution, as hemorrhaging red ink chronic deficits, a persistent a pervasive sense of substandard care and an impending state mandate to close the hospital for failure to comply with seismic standards in 2023 pushed the parcel tax over the top with a razor-thin victory. That was the context. This was the meeting where the rubber met the road. Amy McColley , Jessica Grinberg, John Redding , and Karen Arnold took their seats and looked down the barrel.
The meeting was intense. Doubtless across the city and across the region citizens were attentive to watch the meeting at home. I sat in the last row, next to Terry Vaughn of Mendocino Television, the private enterprise station that covers the meetings for free that we all depend on to know what the administration is doing, set up his camera in the corner. I assumed the camera was working. When I got home after the meeting I was anxious to review the meeting and dig into the intricacy of detail. I was dismayed to discover that coverage was limited to a protracted shot of a fire extinguisher and a few interesting camera verite moments as people filed into the room. With his customary media professionalism, Terry's Mendocino TV posted a notice that the station was experiencing technical difficulties.
The interested viewers at home missed quite a show. The first act featured reaction to the parcel tax. Some annoyed taxpayers who live hours closer to the patently superior health care at the apparently solvent hospital in Ukiah protested their parcel taxation by submitting a petition to withdraw from the Hospital District through the County’s Local Area Formation Commission (LAFCo) accompanied by signatures and maps.
A very tedious recitation of tax law was also presented to the board by a consultant paid by the hospital proposing that all parcel tax annexation numbers be consolidated, reducing the number of taxable parcels. It would save some taxpayers money and possibly avoid litigation, but it would cost the hospital a chunk of the parcel tax windfall. The principle but by no means, the only beneficiary of consolidation would be Mendocino Redwood Company, the giant billion-dollar timberland owner and harvester who were dismayed to be facing $90k a year to support the hospital. In communications with the consultant, they had apparently indicated their displeasure. It was the suggestion of the consultant that under consolidation the cost to MRC be reduced to around $10k. The matter was deferred.
Then came the Collision. It was inevitable. It had been foretold in the election and anticipated by the executive administration. The hospital execs and a few loyal employees of the hospital staff forthrightly explained to the citizens in attendance and the new board that the hospital by-laws clearly gave the elected board of directors explicit authority over the legally subordinate hospital executive administration. But this basic concept was only in the eye of the beholder.
Hospital CEO Bob Edwards eloquently made the point that the complexity of a hospital was second only to a nuclear power plant. Very few indeed could understand it, he insisted. The long futile battle of the old board of directors to maintain and implement solid oversight of the hospital was necessarily wrong-headed, and the executives of the hospital were autonomous and independent of the board in their management of financial collapse. The room of concerned citizens did not buy it. The board didn’t. The by-laws were affirmed and Mr. Edwards subsided in red-faced resignation.
Then they dropped the bomb.
Hospital Financial Officer Mike Ellis explained that the bonds which finance the hospital had been called by CalMortgage, the State insurance agency that insures the hospital bonds. The long-feared insolvency of the hospital and its collapse into receivership had only been averted by an emergency waiver. Mr. Ellis explained that the Hospital could fall into receivership at any time subject to the discretion of CalMortgage which had, to its grave misfortune, insured the hospital bonds.
Of the $10 million of overall hospital debt, $6 million was bond financed. The debt ratio and the current ratio were both below the required minimum. Receivership had been for the moment deferred by an emergency waiver, but alas. Financial Officer Ellis was abashed to report that debt ratio stood no chance of improvement and the hospital could pass into receivership and presumably draconian curtailment of services at the whim of the bond insurers. He was, however, optimistic that waivers on the hospital bond obligation could continue indefinitely. Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus.
After these things, somewhat anticlimactically CEO Edwards amusingly recounted the struggles to maintain the failing physical structure and surprised some of the attendees by his estimate that basic repairs to keep the rain out and the doors open would require $19 million.
Oh, sure. Just ask the bond holders or parcel taxpayers for another few million.
In the last act, a citizen in attendance remarked that the summary of employee costs presented in the agenda did not discriminate between payments to the executive and payments to the staff. I suspect she said that we will find that the administration of the Hospital is top heavy with overpaid executives and dragging along underpaid staff.
CFO Ellis looked blank, and new board member John Redding, charged as of this meeting with financial responsibility, winked at her. Yes, he literally winked, and suggested that, chuckle chuckle, maybe they could talk about that later.
It was a hell of a meeting.
MARGARET PAUL NOTES:
“Charges Against Coast Hospital CEO Pile Up”
This is the title of the front page article by Malcolm MacDonald in the January 9 issue of the AVA (Anderson Valley Advertiser). Malcolm's detailed account of decisions on motions filed by the defendants and a timeline recently set up by the court provide important information about the case. Malcolm asked four questions at the open session of the Jan. 3 Board meeting: To date, what are the hospital's legal fees? What are projected legal fees for 2019? What are the projected costs for the hospital, and the taxpayers who support it, during the trial in 2020? What would be the total cost to the hospital if the Hardin case was settled now? Macdonald’s article begins with a description of the way in which Bob Edwards prevented newly elected board member, Amy McColley, from attending a May 3 closed session of the Board about the Hardin case.
Healthy Hospital Supporter
PS Can Mendocino Coast District Hospital afford to keep paying Edwards $1,000.00 a day, 365 days a year, for this continuing demonstration of arrogance, deception and exceptionally poor judgment? I think not. The solution is for the new board to spell out the CEO's job description and have real time observations of his daily activities, followed up with monthly job performance evaluations. Also, Edwards needs to come out of his impossible to find, locked, unmarked cubbyhole office and be accessible to staff.
2018 CODE ENFORCEMENT ACTIVITY SUMMARY
Year End Activity report for 2018
Post Date: 01/07/2019 4:02 PM
Code Enforcement Division
Summary of All Code Enforcement Activity for Calendar Year 2018
The Code Enforcement Division received 603 complaints for the year 2018
310 complaints were for General Code Violations not related to Cannabis:
137 general code complaints were in the coastal area (Coast area from the Sonoma County line to Usal to approximately 10 miles inland).
173 complaints were in the inland balance of the County.
293 complaints were for Cannabis related issues:
185 Cannabis Complaints were related to 147 locations not in the County Cannabis Permit Program.
108 Cannabis Complaints related to 49 locations were in the County Cannabis Permit Program (less than 5% of all Applicant sites).
32 Cannabis Complaints were referred to Law Enforcement due to alleged Criminal Activity.
15,425 Cannabis Plants in violation of the County Cannabis Cultivation Ordinance were removed by the property owner/violator after Code Enforcement Response to complaints.
The Code Enforcement Division issued 53 Administrative Citations in 2018:
25 of those citations were related to violations of the County Cannabis Cultivation Ordinance.
28 of those citations were related to General County Code Violations, such as non-permitted building and zoning violations.
$45,198 in fines have been collected on these citations and there is approximately $250,000 in outstanding fines to be collected.
2 lawsuits have been filed to obtain judgements for outstanding fines and more are being prepared now.
The Code Enforcement Division issued 150 Notices of Violation in 2018; 50 of those were related to violations associated with Cannabis Cultivation.
* * *
 Mendocino County has a small rogue group of “Anti-Pot Crusaders” with planes who are all tied to the LEAR Assett team and Black Tail Deer hunting club, they even use a phone tree to “turn in” any grows they see from the air which may or not be in the permit program. The group is hunters, rednecks, ex law men, and psychotics who routinely work together to turn in grows to the Sheriff’s Dept. If there is no response they get their buddies to call in using their “rat phone tree.” This is what happened during “Operation Full Court Press” on Island Mountain a few years back; all those grows were spotted and turned in by “citizen pilots”… There really are not that many complaining people, just the same pot hating troublemakers filled with hatred reporting again and again. Mendocino has a real uptight elderly redneck population which contrasts sharply with the cannabis farming community. These are simple people who think pot is satan in Mendo. Brainwashed Baptists, Pentecostal old school bible thumping types with low IQ’s… Now that’s some Real Mendo Culture from the fingertips of someone born and raised in the Mendo.
 I have never met anybody that hates a plant, except maybe Himalayan blackberries, poison oak (Rhus), or Star thistle. But I know plenty who despise Carbofuran, dammed springs, methed out trimmers/growers, and having their truck windows smashed out by ripoff zombie hoards. The area along all Eel watersheds is a disaster, because of greed and ignorance, as well as a general “fuck ’em, I’m gonna’ get mine” attitude. When you can’t take a walk in the woods without some douchebag either fucking with you or your property, or you don’t dare drink the poisoned creek water, we are in a very bad place, indeed.
 Why expend any more resources at all into eradication? The County should just send letters and charge a higher fee and tax for plants that are not permitted. Double the price per sq ft. This would bring a lot more money into the economy and the County Coffers. Our goal is to build back our economy and one way not to do that is waste resources on eradication. The only focus should be on grading, earth moving and clearcutting trees, both by timber companies and clearcut pot farmers. Everything not permitted should just be taxed at twice the price per square foot. This would keep our community thriving and build a huge tax base. This would also free up our deputies time to solve all the real crimes like murders, home invasions, robberies and missing persons cases and leave code enforcement more time to get more people through the permit cycle so they are legal cannabis farmers, not to mention the code enforcement could focus on vetting those permits for all the houses being rebuilt in Mendo from the fires…. Why waste any more time on cannabis eradication, it is a complete waste of resources!!! Tax them tax them tax them!!!!!!
Letter to the editor
To the Editor,
On Tuesday, January 8th, I attending the swearing in ceremony for my new 3rd District Supervisor, John Haschak, at the County seat in Ukiah. After the swearing in ceremony and a brief reception, the reconstituted Board with two new members got right down to work.
From the get-go, I could see a huge change in the way the Board is going to be doing business from now on.
The first act of freshman Supervisor Haschak was to pull out for discussion several major expenditure items well over $100,000 each that were on the “consent agenda” that is meant for items of little consequence or controversy.
At that point, 2nd District Supervisor and long time incumbent, John McCowen, chimed in to thank Haschak for doing so, saying how much past Boards had tried to be more open about County expenditures.
Give me a break McCowen; if you cared so much about open government, why have you and your manipulative CEO, Carmel Angelo, been sweeping all these big ticket items under the “consent agenda” rug for all these years? Could it be that you wanted to hide your profligate spending from the annoying public?
A little later in the proceedings, the matter of setting the Supervisor rotation for the Board Chair came up. The choice was to either keep the current rotation that is out of numerical sequence, or get the rotation back on a numerical sequence schedule (District 1,2,3,4,5). Personally, I don’t care how they do it, but I was astonished at McCowen’s remarks. He argued for getting back to a numerical sequence because he thinks that keeping track of a non-numerical sequence is too complicated for County staff.
In other words, McCowen thinks County employees are so stupid they are incapable of keeping track of a non sequential Board Chair rotation schedule. This is classic McCowen, treating everyone as if they are his intellectual inferior.
I’ve got news for you Supervisor McCowen: your days as monarch of Mendocino County are over.
ACCESSORY SENTENCED TO LOCAL PRISON
Defendant Antonia Dulce Bautista Dalson, age 21, of Covelo, made an in-custody appearance in the Mendocino County Superior Court Thursday morning to hear her sentence and short term fate.
The defendant's sentencing hearing was originally scheduled for December but she failed to appear back then as ordered. She later surrendered to tribal police days before Christmas. Following Thursday's contested sentencing hearing, Bautista Dalson was returned to the Low Gap jail to begin serving a local prison sentence.
Convicted by plea of being an accessory to felon Negie Fallis' illegal possession of firearms, Bautista Dalson's defense counsel argued that his client was accepting full responsibility for her actions and poor judgment, and was deserving of leniency due to her age, lack of criminal record, drug addiction, and desire to regain custody of her children.
District Attorney David Eyster countered that the circumstances of the defendant's crime were aggravated, pointing to recorded jail house telephone calls wherein the defendant and her felon boyfriend discussed his desire to get his hands back on the firearms she had tried to hide for him on the night of his arrest. She was aware from those calls -- but not knowing that law enforcement had already found the guns where she had stashed them -- that he wanted her to recover the hidden firearms so he could use them. If outside efforts to raise enough bail to gain his release were successful, the felon boyfriend and Bautista Dalson discussed his intent to commit harm to those she identified to him as having cooperated with law enforcement and caused his arrest.
Following the conclusion of the arguments by the prosecutor and the defense, Mendocino County Superior Court Judge Ann Moorman denied Bautista Dalson's bid for probation. Instead, the court agreed that the circumstances were aggravated and imposed a three-year local prison sentence, the maximum allowed by law.
The defendant's sentence was ordered "split," with the defendant to serve 18 months in the county jail and then another 18 months on mandatory supervision, a local form of parole. With credits awarded by law at the rate of day-for-day, the defendant will serve approximately 8 months in jail before being released to mandatory supervision.
Also known as Realignment County Prison (RCP), a local prison sentence stems from legislative changes undertaken in October 2011 to reduce state prison overcrowding. Known as Realignment, the 2011 changes in the law mandated that prison sentences flowing from convictions for one or more of over 500 specified felony crimes shall be served locally in the county jail. While helpful in reducing state prison populations, these legislative changes have generally resulted in jail overcrowding in most counties across the state.
2019 WINTER ABUNDANCE FAIR
February 9th is the date for the all-day 2019 Winter Abundance Fair at the Fairgrounds in Boonville. Featured are free workshops for beginning and advanced fruit tree grafting techniques, hands-on fruit tree grafting, and seed saving; seed, scion, and plant exchanges; rootstock and plant sales; and featured speaker Robert Kourik talking about how to create healthy soil organisms. The Fair Boosters will have an organic, local-as-possible lunch for sale. And more! The all-volunteer organizing team is from Mendocino Permaculture, AV Foodshed, UC Master Gardeners, AV Adult School, and others who would like to help. If you are willing to assist with publicity, set-up (Friday afternoon/or and Saturday morning), registration, helping with workshops, or clean up, please email Barbara at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 895-3897.
FARMING FAMILY SEEKING SPACE
Longtime organic gardening and farming family, looking for gardening and farming space. Housing on site (cabin/small house) or the ability to have a tiny home on the land or just farming land are possibilities we are considering. We have references and enjoy growing healthy food for the region and contributing to the local food supply.
Photos of gardens/references available, Dog Friendly :) (one dog)
Skills include: land crafts, farmer's market experience, farm to table cuisine and more.
Much Gratitude and Happy New Year :) email@example.com.
CATCH OF THE DAY, January 11, 2019
WAYNE CALDWELL, Willits. Driving without a license.
MICHELLE FABELA, Laytonville. Under influence, probation revocation.
JACOB JONES, Ukiah. Under influence, entry into dwelling without owner’s consent.
JODY MCCOY, Covelo. Controlled substance, unlawful display of registration, probation revocation.
MIGUEL OCHOA-VALENCIA, Covelo. DUI.
RYAN PADGET, Laytonville. Controlled substance, pollution of state waters, probation revocation. (Frequent Flyer)
JOSE RODRIGUEZ, Ukiah. Disobeying court order.
JEROME SIMPKINS, Bakersfield/Redwood Valley. DUI-drugs&alcohol, marijuana for sale, sale of marijuana.
DAVID SMITH, Ukiah. Protective order violation, probation revocation.
LORRAINE SMITH, Fort Bragg. DUI, misdemeanor hit&run, suspended license.
TASHA WHITE, Willits. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.
MARK WOLK, Ukiah. Grand theft-bicycles, probation revocation.
NEO-CONS & NEO LIBS
A friend contacted me by email asking the difference between neo-conservatism and neo-liberalism. Here's a short, somewhat academic essay I wrote in response:
The "Neo's" - Neo-conservatism and Neo-liberalism in Brief
Neo-liberalism and neo-conservatism are two distinct, but complimentary philosophies. The both reside on the conservative side of the spectrum, but are different in origins and key beliefs. Neo-conservatism, dealing with moral de-evolution and its solution, endless war, is essentially a foreign policy philosophy. Neoliberalism, dealing with the inherent conflict between individual freedom and social responsibility, is inherently domestic and economic in nature.
Neo-conservatism, arising from the political philosophy of Leo Strauss at the University of Chicago, said in essence that the moral climate of the world was deteriorating into hedonism, and the solution for moral renewal was endless war. This philosophy lit the green light for political war hawks in successive Republican administrations back to Ronald Reagan to engage in military adventures.
Neo-conservatism also emphasized national interest, giving an economic justification (oil in Iraq) for their wars.
Interestingly enough, Sayyid Qutb, an Egyptian studying in the U.S., arrived at the same conclusion as Strauss and the neo-conservatives, and went home to Egypt to join the Muslim Brotherhood, where he had a major influence on Ayman al-Zawahiri, the mentor to Osama Bin Ladin. Neo-conservatism and Islamic Jihad seem made for each other. They are both conservative, aggressive, and tend to play out, at least in the case of neo-conservatism, in foreign and international policy.
The parallelism was recognized and developed in the breakthrough BBC documentary "The Power of Nightmares" which was not available in the U.S. for many years. I downloaded it using BitTorrent from a foreign source years ago, but I think you can now get it on DVD from Amazon.
Neoliberalism, on the other hand, is essentially a domestic and economic philosophy, grounded in the writings of Friedrich Von Hayek, a strident anti-communist who decried the evils of "collectivism" and the "new despotism of bureaucracy".
Neo-liberalism was initially developed and articulated at a series of meetings called the Mont Pelerin Society, founded by Hayek in the late 1940's and early 1950's. The Mont Pelerin Society saw the rise of unions and the middle class as a threat to "freedom," which they defined in terms of private property and the competitive market.
Individualism became such a key piece of the neo-liberal doctrine that Margaret Thatcher, Prime Minister of Britain and an ardent Hayekian, famously (or infamously) declared that there was "no such thing as society, only individual men and women." A key piece of neo-liberal thought is that a person is only responsible for themselves and no-one else. This becomes the core basis, aside from the "you're not going to spend my money on those people" bleat, for conservative opposition to universal health care.
A regular attendee at the Mont Pelerin meetings was a young economist, Milton Friedman, who later, as Professor of Economics at the University of Chicago (!?!), wrote Capitalism and Freedom, arguing the neo-liberal case that privatizing services, de-regulating business and industry and destroying unions was the path to "freedom".
Friedman also argued, unfortunately successfully, that the only obligation of an investor owned corporation was to enrich investors, famously arguing that if corporate managers wanted to do good things, they could use their own money. This has become the justification for corporations violating employee and environmental safety regulations because the profits generated more than offset the costs of fines and compensation claims.
Friedman's theories became the doctrine of the Republican Party (and also establishment Democrats) and are largely responsible for the current extreme disparities in wealth in this country.
‘FOGGY AFTERNOON, AND COLD’
(Photo by Harvey Reading)
UCCA PRESENTS FRISSON ENSEMBLE: Feb. 2 in Ukiah
The thrill is here: Frisson Ensemble invigorates classical masterpieces
Ukiah, CA – Frisson Ensemble is the next generation of classical music, breathing new life into popular classical masterpieces. The ensemble of rising classical stars will be performing at Mendocino College Center Theatre on Saturday, February 2 at 7:30 p.m. The concert is part of a special West Coast tour that six members of the New York City-based nine-member group are undertaking. The concert is presented by Ukiah Community Concert Association (UCCA) as part of their 2018-19 season, in tandem with Live On Stage, Inc.
Frisson Ensemble performs music with different combinations of string and wind instruments. The word "frisson" itself derives from the French and means "a shiver or thrill"; "a sudden burst of excitement." And indeed the members of Frisson Ensemble convey this, with their bold repertoire, youthful energy, and music that segues from percussive and energetic to sweet and winsome. The group is comprised of recent graduates of top music schools including Juilliard, Curtis and Yale. Led by director and oboist Thomas Gallant, the musicians were chosen through auditions in New York City. Individually, the musicians all have storied resumes and have performed in such places as Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center. Programs include classical works by Beethoven and Mozart, a traditional Celtic music suite, and Ennio Morricone’s "Gabriel’s Oboe" from the film The Mission.
Oboist and Frisson Ensemble Director Thomas Gallant enjoys playing what some view to be the most difficult instrument in the world. Also called "the ill wind that no one blows good," the oboe is in fact an essential part of a full orchestra, in part because it possesses a timbre that enables its sound to carry clearly when played with other instruments. Despite his parents telling him to go back and get a normal instrument when he came home from band rehearsal with an oboe, Gallant persisted and is now considered one of the world's top players of this family of double-reed woodwind instruments. Described by The New Yorker magazine as “a player who unites technical mastery with intentness, charm and wit,” Gallant has toured extensively worldwide and garnered numerous awards.
Ukiah Community Concert Association has been presenting nationally acclaimed talent since 1947. This all-volunteer nonprofit’s mission is to build and maintain a permanent concert audience and cultivate an interest in fine music among the citizens of the community and surrounding area. It is also their goal to encourage music appreciation in the schools of the community.
Advance tickets are available at Mendocino Book Company in Ukiah, Mazahar in Willits, and online. Single tickets for this concert are $30 in advance and $35 at the door (adult) and $10 in advance and $15 at the door (youth under 18). Free tickets are available at the door to Mendocino College students with ID, space providing. For more information, please call 707-463-2738, or visit UCCA on Facebook and at www.ukiahconcerts.org.
UCCA thanks Schat’s Bakery, Black Oak Coffee, and Rivino Winery for donating treats to be served pre-concert and during intermission. Special thanks to the Mendocino College Foundation, the Mendocino Arts Club and Mendocino College Recording Arts & Technology as well as the Mendocino College Art Gallery for their ongoing support.
Staring out at the tiny piece of Eugene viewable from my front window, I am listening to early afternoon KMUD, Jackson Browne at the moment. KMUD does not sound at all like the rest of America, which is exactly as it should be. The Emerald Triangle is not like the rest of America, although according to the folks at Netflix it my indeed be so, at least presently.
When I did The Wild River Radio Show, I used to envision what I thought of as KMUD Moments. Picture some lawyer making his or her way up 101 to a client meeting in the morning, somewhat distracted by the expansive views. Perhaps fiddling with the boondock radio reception. Jackson Brown. Is he still alive? That's a KMUD moment.
IS ANYBODY REALLY OFFENDED BY THE F-WORD?
by Jill Richardson
I don’t think anyone in Washington is actually offended by Rep. Rashida Tlaib’s use of profanity.
If you haven’t heard, Rep. Tlaib, a freshman Democratic representative from Michigan, said of the president, “We’re going to go in there and impeach the motherf—er” to a group of progressive supporters in Detroit.
The remark could offend for two reasons: its intent or its salty language.
The first reason, the intent, is the more substantial of the two. Actually impeaching the president is more consequential for the nation than having a potty mouth. But a single member of Congress cannot impeach the president all by herself.
The leadership of the Democratic Party has always been cautious around the topic of impeaching Trump. Whether they want to or not, or think it would be justified, doesn’t matter much. Previously, they couldn’t do it. Republicans controlled the House, and Republicans would not vote to impeach.
Now that the Democrats control the House, they could impeach Trump. But since Republicans still have the Senate, the Democrats couldn’t remove Trump from office without considerable Republican support in the Senate.
(Remember, the House can impeach, but the Senate then has to convict a president for him or her to actually be removed from office. Bill Clinton was impeached but not convicted and remained president.)
In short, Trump isn’t going anywhere unless the nation becomes aware of such serious crimes that even Republicans in the Senate support his removal. For Democrats, calling for impeachment right now is mostly political, since they can’t actually do it.
Given that the comment was mostly symbolic — a signal to Tlaib’s supporters that she’s on their side and serious about opposing Trump — we can take her use of profanity in that light too. (And, as it turns out, the use of the “MF” word has a storied history in Detroit politics, so local reporters say it was fine for her audience.)
But Republicans just can’t stop being offended by it.
Here’s what I don’t believe: Republicans who continued to stand behind the president after he bragged about assaulting women, who have no problems with their colleague Rep. Duncan Hunter’s alleged stealing from his own campaign coffers for personal gain, who even supported Roy Moore after it came to light that as a grown man he romantically pursued and harassed teenage girls, really care about the use of a naughty word.
I think they’re willing to grab any reason to politically damage a Democrat and run with it.
“Scandalous” video of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez doing a goofy “Breakfast Club” dance in college? Try to use that. Rashida Tlaib uses profanity? Try to use that. Use anything that might lop off a point or two of a Democrat’s approval ratings, anything that might energize your own base.
In Washington, hypocrisy doesn’t matter, so long as it works.
Don’t fall for it. Don’t buy their fake outrage. Don’t be distracted.
There are two alternatives, neither of them good. Either they’re generating fake outrage to score cheap political points, or they’re expressing actual outrage because they care more about a single swear word than corruption, crimes, and assaults on women combined.
Whichever it is, they aren’t worth paying attention to.
We send Congress to Washington to do a job and govern our nation. It’s that job that matters, that keeps our country safe and our economy strong, and it’s foolish to be distracted from focusing on that because of a single word, appropriately used.
by James Kunstler
Chuck and Nancy coming onto the TV audience as “Mommy and Daddy” Tuesday night was a nice gag, putting the “nanny” into the Nanny State, which is getting more and more like the Tranny State — the Deep State in drag. Will the supply of “undocumented” nannies be cut off to the Creative Classniks of Brooklyn and Pacific Heights? That is the question. Not this silly-ass debate over The Wall. Who is going to watch the kids while we’re out enjoying the pickled squid tentacles at Karumazushi? How about the NSA? They’re watching everything and everyone else.
Despite the antics of all the CNN “panelists” with their hair on fire over The Wall, the public now surely gets the actual drift of the situation: The Left does not want to regulate comings-and-goings along the US-Mexico border. Not the least little bit. The reason is well-understood too: the DNC views everyone coming across as a potential constituent, as well as a household employee. The craven Republicans in congress have hardly peeped up on the subject, either, with sheep’s eyes on the Hispanic voter bloc. So, it’s up to the Ballbuster-in-Chief — a.k.a. the Golden Golem of Greatness — to draw a line in the sand of the Sonoran Desert.
“Something there is that doesn’t love a wall,” wrote America’s flinty old poet, Robert Frost, who read another poem that chilly January day so long ago at John Kennedy’s inauguration called The Gift Outright, saying, “The land was ours before we were the land’s….” Wow and whoa! If the old bird said that today, he’d get a “guidance” warning letter from the Justice Department’s Division of Civil Rights and Rachel Maddow’s lovely adam’s apple would bob out of control while she screeched “Racist! Racist!” The Nobel Laureate Bob Dylan put it nicely, too: “Things have changed…” he said.
Unstated in the barrage of talking points is this tactical consideration: Chuck and Nancy, in their calculated intransigence, are maneuvering to create an impeachable offense against Mr. Trump the moment he moves to declare an “emergency” and grabs some money from an executive agency cash-box to commence his wall-building. The matter would go directly to the federal Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals — which will rule against Mr. Trump — and we’ll be off to the impeachment races. It might be too much to assume that Mr. Trump talked to a few lawyers about this, but who knows what goes on beneath the glittering golden halo?
Backstage, the Democratic Party might be getting a little nervous about the Mueller Investigation, now that the only evidence for “collusion with Russia” points to Mrs. Clinton, the DNC, and Barack Obama — and there is lots and lots of hard evidence for that, already catalogued and filed. At some point there will be a court proceeding over these things, even if it takes place in the US Senate in an impeachment trial, and some jury is going to have to see all that evidence. So far, Mr. Mueller has managed to ignore it, but that might change when William Barr is sworn in as Attorney General in a few weeks — though Barr and Mueller are reported to be very close friends. It’s the Swamp, after all, a steaming hotbed of treachery. Anyway, there are many other federal attorneys at the DOJ who have nothing to do with, and no obligation to, Mr. Mueller, and they may have a different view of the goings-on in RussiaGate these past two years.
Personally, I think Mr. Mueller and a number of his colleagues will have to answer to grand juries themselves in the months ahead. A worm is turning deep under the Deep State. As soon as the imbecile Jerrold Nadler, Chair of the House Judiciary Committee, pounds his gavel to commence the impeachment hearings, the next move of the Ballbuster-in-Chief may be to insert an “all-is-lost” moment in the Democratic Party’s lame script. He still hasn’t declassified and released reams of currently redacted documents from the two-year orgy of seditious emails and memos in the DOJ lockbox. And with Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein departing momentarily — a negotiated withdrawal, in my opinion, with a get-out-of-jail-free card in the bargain — the path to real transparency in these opaque matters may finally be cleared. And Mr. Rosenstein may, ironically, be the only Mueller Team associate who ends up not being indicted. What a crafty rascal he must be!
Those who don’t believe in walls also apparently don’t believe in boundaries of any kind, including the line between right and wrong, legal and illegal. Without boundaries, there are no rules, especially the rule of law, in the land where, lately, anything goes and nothing matters. Clown though he be in so many ways, it ends up being Mr. Trump’s duty to assert that boundaries matter.
(Support Kunstler’s writing by visiting his Patreon Page.)
ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY
Apparently, just enforcing the immigration laws and cracking down on the businesses and wealthy people that hire illegals is just way too tough to do in this country. No, this is America and we need a big, obnoxious and expensive spectacle like a wall to get the job done. And it still likely won’t do the job. Welcome to the America of today, lots of talk and spectacle from the punditry, nothing that actually works gets accomplished. But hey, it’s good for a whole lots of words and debate to occupy the well-marbled masses.
My first job in the Civil Service was testing sheep for radioactivity following the explosion in Chernobyl, which Mike Jay writes about (LRB, 6 December 2018). Because of the patterns of rainfall and the high landscape in the Lake District, the sheep there became radioactive from eating contaminated pasture. Their heads were painted red to show they were unfit to be sold as meat and as a result their market value plummeted. Devon farmers, forever alert to a bargain, bought thousands of the sheep at a knockdown price and transported them south to the lush fields of Devon in the hope that the levels of radioactivity would decline. My job was to go out and test these sheep with a scintillometer. First you had to take a background reading by pressing the probe against your own stomach. Then you tested each sheep in turn by holding the probe against its buttocks and noting the average of three readings. If the average fell below a certain level, the sheep was fit for human consumption and could be sold at market. The heads of these sheep were painted green. This was invariably the outcome after a few weeks of munching Devon grass, and the farmers who had gambled on buying radioactive sheep made a handsome profit, sometimes treating us to a celebratory lunch in a local pub. Not everyone suffered from the disaster in Chernobyl.
Hornchurch, Greater London
WHAT EUROPEANS TALK ABOUT WHEN THEY TALK ABOUT BREXIT: FRANCE
‘The simplified portrait of the UK as an ultra-liberal, Anglosphere economy that has turned its back on freedom of movement soon gives way to a sense that Britain on the verge of Brexit is a bit of a dump, stuck with the worst of both worlds: on the one hand xenophobia, on the other extreme free-market, state-lite policies that let the weak go to the wall – or rather, straight to landfill. In a letter from London in November, Le Monde’s correspondent Philippe Bernard was dismayed to discover that refuse collectors in the UK now carry out checks on large bins meant for commercial waste and recyclables, in case they load a homeless person into the compactor. Veolia staff kept discovering people sleeping in the containers, he reported, and are now trained to look for telltale signs of occupancy – a bottle or an empty cigarette packet – by the side of the bin they’re about to clear. Bernard ends his letter with a look at the UN special rapporteur Philip Alston’s blistering report on poverty and human rights in the UK, and repeats Alston’s warning that Brexit will do nothing to remedy the plight of Britain’s poor.’
(London Review of Books Editorial)
CALIFORNIA STREET, SAN FRANCISCO, 1964
GALLERY RECEPTION & OPEN ART STUDIOS
Join us for the Second Saturday Gallery Reception & Artists In Residence Open Art Studios
Saturday, January 12, 5pm-8pm • Free admission
The Mendocino Art Center hosts a free Second Saturday Gallery Reception each month. Meet and mingle with the exhibiting artists, enjoy snacks and wine, and visit MAC's Artists in Residence as they open up their studios. Also meet new Mendocino Art Center Executive Director Roccie Hill.
On exhibit through February 3, 11am-4pm daily…
Members' Juried Exhibit
Open Themed and Ocean Themed Artwork
Every January the Members’ Juried Exhibit features the finest works created by the Mendocino Art Center’s contributing members. A highly competitive juried selection process leads to an exceptionally creative, high quality, and much anticipated gallery showing with a wide spectrum of new, all-media artwork, including paintings, ceramics, sculpture, fiber arts, jewelry, photography and more.
This year, artists were given the opportunity to create art in any theme they desired, and/or submit ocean-themed artwork, expressing their love or concern for the ocean. The ocean-themed portion of the exhibit is presented in conjunction with five other Mendocino Coast art galleries who are also currently exhibiting ocean-themed art: Artists’ Collective in Elk, Artists’ Co-op of Mendocino, Fire Glass Gallery, Northcoast Artists’ Gallery and Partners Gallery.
This year’s exhibit was juried by Mendocino Coast artists Karen Bowers and Miriam Davis.
More information at: mendocinoartcenter.org/MyLasso/MainGallery.lasso
ARTISTS! JURIED SHOW OPPORTUNITY
A three-person exhibit in March 2019 at Partners Gallery
Theme: Imaging: Responding To Our Current Cultural Climate
What images are artists making today in response to environmental concerns, the refugee crisis, politics taking a sharp turn to the right, the ongoing struggles of women and people of color for equality, and countless other issues?
Curator: Amy Berk, SF Art Institute Director of the City Studio Program, teaching at SFAI since 2006
Open to California residents over 18; Entry Fee $35
Entry Deadline Extended To Feb 10, 2019
For more details and application go to Callforentry.Org
I READ RECENTLY where weddings aren’t lasting very long on the average these days. But that’s OK. Because when I get married I can still take great hope in the knowledge that I have found the woman I am going to spend the next four years of my life with.
— David Futrelle