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Letters (Feb. 13, 2019)

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An official state letter finally found its way to me by way of the young man who bought our past October fire lot. The letter was dated back in November 2018 and addressed to our previous home/office. After the fire we filed forms to forward all of our mail to a post office box in Hopland we have used for years. Somehow this letter failed to be forwarded.

This official letter notified me that I owed $1.00 to the Department of Motor Vehicles. And as failure to pay my firm’s EPN Account has been cancelled. The account has a balance due of $1.00. I took this letter very seriously as the EPN account is necessary to operate my trucks during grape harvest. The letter went on to inform me that once an account has been closed for nonpayment, I must establish a new account using three (3) DMV forms and submit more money. 

I quickly put $1 in an envelope along with a pleading that our home and office burned down in October 2017. Please, there must be some way to file an appeal or reinstatement.

The notice had a phone number and actually a name I could call if I had any questions. Well, the very first thing the next day I was on the phone to the named Randy. He listened very attentively but he had no authority to grant reconsideration. Letters of demand had been sent several times for payment of the $1.00.

The next day I received a call back from Randy and they had received the money. He could refer my request to his supervisor and I would receive a call from her the next day. Well the next day came and went but the following day I received a call from Randy stating they would make an exception and reinstate my EPN account. However, I had to immediately submit DMV form INF4. This form had to be received by 4:30 of that day. Randy gave me the e-mail address of where the form was to be e- mailed to. 

I happened to be in the middle of my vineyard that day and not close to any computer. I then called my accountant who possibly could retrieve the form, fill it out, sign and send it in. That did not work due to the signatures not matching what DMV had on file. We then worked a plan that the form would be faxed to a location for me to sign and then fax the form back to the accountant to be e-mailed to DMV.

Just by pure luck and a lot of work we got the form to Randy in time and he was good enough to call me and tell me that my EPN account had been reinstated. 

All of this over $1.00.

Bob Dempel


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I do believe that I have found a cure for MAGAism, the religion practiced by the brain-dead disciples of Donald Trump. Its adherents include almost all republicans, and a relatively small number of Working Class deadbeats lost in the desert. They are a surly bunch, who, when in groups of three or more can be dangerous, or seemingly so.

Over the past two-plus years since Trump was elevated, I have found it increasingly hard to get a good rest at night. I often awaken during the night from dreams of a dystopian nature that are set in unfamiliar surroundings and populated with people I don’t even know. During the day, I find my mind filled with anger. I am frequently on edge, with a sense of justified foreboding. I actually fear that a group of MAGAists might break into my house and attack me (not unimaginable, especially in places like Wyoming). 

A few months back, I replaced the .357 revolver I had kept hidden in the living room with an old Ruger Standard Pistol, a .22LR semiauto. Why did I do that? Simple: I am so stressed that I fully believe it is possible that MAGAists might really break in, and I do not want blood all over my house after I deal with them. I’m a good enough shot with a handgun that I can put a .22 hollow point through a target the size of an intruder’s forehead, without aiming, from a distance of 5-15 feet. Something you might care to keep in mind, Jerry boy. The bleeding from an injury inflicted by the .22 bullet is much less than that produced by a .357 jacketed hollow point.

Now, that’s NO WAY TO LIVE. I realize that. That kind of semi-self-induced stress is bad for a person’s health. And, I believe I have found a solution. Bear with me.

I have run out of books to read and was too lazy to get more ordered before finishing the last of those I already possessed. In another week, I should again have a supply to tide me over for another few weeks, hopefully until spring, but at the moment the well is dry. Plus the weather (especially the relative humidity, which is much higher than normal) this winter is so inclement that I have no desire to leave the house, except to walk with my dog to the Post Office–about a one mile round trip–on those days when the temperature gets above 10°F (no home delivery here).

I refuse to read from my mostly inherited full set of the Harvard Classics, believing them to be selections made by wealthy people from the ruling class, because the selections would not prove “unsafe” for consumption by those of us from the lower orders of humankind. I really should pack them up and store them in the garage … It’s just that they’ve been around since long before I was born, and I expended so much time in used bookstores during the 70s and 80s tracking down missing volumes. Oh, well.

So, a few nights ago, I broke out a couple of my old mathematics books and started reading them. Part of the reason for doing so was because I had forgotten how to differentiate (a calculus term) exponential functions. I really wanted a first-year calculus book, but no longer have one. I had lent mine to my cousin-roommate back in 1970 and the deadbeat never returned it. So, I was stuck with Maxwell Rosenlicht’s Modern Mathematical Analysis and Protter and Morrey’s Introduction to Analysis (a second-year calculus book), modern at least from a 1960s-early 1970s perspective.

Talk about taking one’s mind off the problems and stress associated with MAGAism. Reading math books will take one’s mind off most anything beyond the text. Mathematicians are sooooo precise. And so boring to read. Even so, I feel much better and am sleeping well at night. I doubt that my knowledge of math has increased at all. Nevertheless I highly recommend reading math books as a means for reducing stress–unless you’re taking a class where you have to actually understand what’s in the book!

Please excuse any typos. One should NEVER edit one’s own scribbling. You always miss something.

Harvey Reading

Somewhere in Wyoming

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Bernie Sanders’ “Medicare for All” health care plan is being embraced by the Democrats on the left, including those running for president. His proposal would have no premiums or deductibles. Supposedly it would cost $33 trillion over 10 years, but there’s nothing firm about where the money would come from.

But Medicare as we know it isn’t free. First, workers and businesses pay a 1.45 percent tax on employee income, with no income cap, to the Medicare fund. When a person decides to go on Medicare, there is a basic monthly premium that usually comes from your Social Security check, or you can pay quarterly.

But there are coverage gaps on Medicare that require a person to buy a supplemental policy for medical and drug prescriptions. You get to choose from an HMO like Kaiser for both medical and prescriptions with a low monthly cost, but there are many co-pays for services and drugs. Or you choose a PPO and buy a separate medical and drug prescription policy, which vary depending on cost and need.

So why the use of the term “Medicare” by Sanders when it isn’t free?

Andrew Smith 

Santa Rosa

ED NOTE: All true, which is why single payer for all of us is the more desirable of the two because it eliminates the insurance combines and all the little add-ons that burden us old folks on medicare. Where Mr. Smith is, I believe, incorrect, is the old wheeze, "But how do we pay for it?" Indeed. How are we going to pay for all the stuff we need — single payer, mental hospitals, infrastructure upgrades, housing for people of ordinary means; environmental protections (on the off chance it isn't too late), and so on? A big tax on the big fortunes, a tax that would go unnoticed in Mendocino County other than in a radical upgrade in the social amenities noted above. Everyday Magas always make it sound like they'll be taxed right outta their Barca-Loungers while it never seems to occur to them that their meager set asides are hardly in the same league as the oligarchy.

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I'm just getting around to the Jan. 30 issue and have come across a statement in the Valley People section that has me stymied. I've drawn on all of my education, both formal and informal, as well as consulted my lifetime of personal experience, and have been unable to come up with a rational explanation for why a true atheist, or even an inauthentic or insincere one (if there are any of those out there) would be expected to be unappreciative of a beautiful sunrise. I'm a geezer, but still interested in adding to my store of knowledge and understanding. Please connect the dots for me. 

Also, let me know if you have any more Masthead/Fanning The Flames tee shirts in a Size Large laying around. If do you, I'll send you a check for one. The one I have is beginning to wear thin.  



Santa Rosa 

Ed reply: Because some phenomena are so splendid that only God, however you might think of Him or Her, could have brought it off. The jolly confidence that so many atheists have that there's no mystery, that the Whole Show is some kind of cosmic accident, has always seemed to me to represent a total lack of imagination. On a slightly more secular note, those t-shirts were a hot item and we ran out some time ago, but I'm a-gonna look around for you, dude, to see if I can find one for you.

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Hey liberals! How does it feel? I’m talking about Virginia. How do the liberals like it now that the governor and lieutenant governor and attorney general have been brought up on charges of rape and molestation and whatever? For years the liberals have complained about Republicans like Judge Kavanagh and now you are getting a dose of your own medicine! I love it! 

President Trump is all wrong about taking troops out of Syria and Afghanistan. It's the same thing that Obama did when Isis took over. We were just about to win everything and then we wasted it all. An Isis return is inevitable. It's a bad idea, but I'm sure President Trump knows what he's doing. 

Why does Caltrans have ten-foot high chain-link or corrugated fences around their compounds? Why do people have fences around their yards? Why are there gated communities? Open borders are BS. It's all Democrats. We need a solid border wall and only let immigrants in legally. I love immigrants, they are good for our country, but they need to come in legally so we can sort out the bad ones. The bad ones are pouring in like maggots. 

High praise for Sergeant Gallagher, the Navy seal who killed and tore apart a couple of Isis people over there who were cutting people's heads off. The military morons who are prosecuting him should be tried themselves. He did exactly what he should have done to those Isis bastards. 

Cop killers and perpetrators of heinous crimes do not need a trial. Just get an excavator and string them up in their hometown. Put a noose around their necks and raise the boom as high as it will go and then let them dangle there until they rot. 

I went to Eva Holcomb's funeral on Friday and there were many wonderful people there. She was a wonderful person and I will miss her. She came from the well-known Pardini family of Anderson Valley. They are great people and they had a lot to do with developing the Valley. 

God bless Donald Trump.

Jerry Philbrick


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Politically neither the Democrats nor the Republicans get it. It’s big money, cancerous growth, self-interest capitalism that stresses the Earth and stresses the psyche of humankind itself - both now close to the breaking point. Though he stands as a symbol of a national and global emergency Trump alone is not the problem - rather it is the contemporary social order of money over propriety, priority and precaution.

More and more perceptive, scholarly thinkers are coming to realize that if we are not yet past the point of no return we are very close to it and that point represents not just the flooding of coastal cities and more fires but it forbodes of a sixth extinction which could include all of humanity.

“I don’t want you to be hopeful. I want you to panic.” is a plea included in a presentation by a 16 year old Swedish girl given to world economic leaders at their recent forum in Davos that begins, “Our house is on fire. According to the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change), we are less than 12 years away from not being able to undo our mistakes. ”

If you haven’t heard this speech or read it please do so at:

It is now time to prepare to hit the streets. To prepare to vote for radicals and progressives that do get it. Wear a yellow vest, hat, arm band or bandana. Write letters and speak out. Don’t let the greed stay in control. Jump up and down for life. Dance and sing for a future and a life for our children.

  • Yellow vests from River City Garments $3.19 — a dollar more to silkscreen an anti Trump logo
  • Cotton yellow bandanas from Tansclub $8.88 a dozen
  • Cotton yellow hats 3 styles by the dozen $2 to $3 each also at Transclub.

One morning laying in bed thinking about things before rising I envisioned what at first appeared to be a boat full of happy children rollicking and having a good time. Above them hovered what at first appeared to be a cloud but then a whole row of coffin nails above that with Trump heads revealed the scene to be a coffin lid poised to close upon the coffin full of our unsuspecting and happy kids below.

So get off your butts a take a stand against the imbeciles running the show so that it will not be our progeny’s last stand.

David Severn


One Comment

  1. Peter Warner February 25, 2019

    RE: Single-payer health care and how to pay for it: Are editors and readers of this outpost of provincialism really that obtuse? This nation outspends the rest of the planet on “defense,” a worn-out and deliberately misleading term for corporate welfare and license to destroy people and any other life form standing in the way of profit, and the U. S. Congress (Democrats & Republicans, aka, corporate criminals) recently approved a massive, record-shattering “defense” budget, indeed adding on additional funding to Trump’s originally requested contract for insanity. This country could pay for the entire world’s healthcare with what the U. S. government pays corporations and the military to bludgeon and terrorize the rest of us. I’ve spent most of my life writing and speaking out against the violence and waste associated with economic injustice and environmental devastation fostered by capitalism and its thug, militarism, but I’ve had enough of attempts to be civil. Every single politician is a sadist, and deserves a personal taste of their collective obsession with weapons of destruction, terrorism, and death. Not sorry to say, those in charge need to be completely eradicated — the sooner the better.

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