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JUST IN: Bernie Sanders announced his second run for the U.S. presidency on Tuesday, after losing the Democratic nomination to Hillary Clinton in 2016. The 77-year-old senator pledged to push forward with the 'political revolution' he started last time around when he funded his entire campaign with small donations and vowed to take on big-money corporate interests. 'We are running against a president who is a pathological liar, a fraud, a racist, a sexist, a xenophobe, and someone who is undermining American democracy as he leads us in an authoritarian direction,' he said in a more than 10-minute-long launch video. Sanders called for 1 million Americans to help him turn Donald Trump into a one-term president, joining a crowded field including Tulsi Gabbard, Elizabeth Warren, Kamala Harris, Cory Booker, Amy Klobuchar and Kirsten Gillibrand.
NORTHWEST CALIFORNIA will see another mostly sunny and cool day today before a weak area of low pressure approaches from the north. This system will bring showers, especially to areas north of Mendocino county, with overall light rainfall amounts. Some modest mountain snow will impact highway passes as well. Cool and dry conditions will return for Thursday and Friday, before another round of rain showers and mountain snow arrives for the weekend. (National Weather Service)
SUPER MOON AT 6:17 PM ON FEB. 18, 2019
(Photo by Judy Valadao)
REACTING to the nearly annual state report that describes Point Arena schools as "low performing," PA school supe Warren Galletti rightly pointed out in the ICO that "We recognize there are issues, but in a small student sample, you don't want to concentrate too much on the big improvements by the numbers. Changes in one or two kids can change the whole school rating…"
TRUE, narrowly speaking. Years ago in Boonville there was a mini-scandal when low performing students at the primary school were temporarily disappeared while their classmates sat for state tests, and Boonville came out among the top scores in the county. The schools get blamed for lots of things they don't control, low test scores and the inability of many high school graduates to read to any reasonably adult standard. But academic failure is more of a social class problem than it is the failure of schools to effectively educate children from homes where overwhelmed and under-educated parents don't have the time or the energy to encourage their children to do well in school. And then there's every other edu-destructive factor at work in a decadent wider society that not only encourages stupidity but celebrates it, as do the school way too often via all kinds of idiot activities from "pep rallies" to "senior week." It's harder than ever to be a kid. All day every day the kid is bombarded by dumb.
NIGHT LIGHT OF THE NORTH COAST: FRESHWATER LAGOON
by David Wilson
Sometimes a creative urge will drive me nutty unless I can find a way to make something. I’m an artist, but I am only interested in one medium: Photography, which of course includes working with photos after taking the picture, whether with current digital tools or in the darkrooms of old as I started out. At the moment I am driven to take nighttime photos. I don’t know why. I just go with it.
But it can conflict with my highly developed inclination toward self preservation, with the result that in many places I don’t feel safe to be alone at night. There are times when I want terribly to go photograph, but can’t find anyone to accompany me. Family and friends are wonderful companions, and they have given me many of their nights to come out with me to make long exposures or paint with light in the dark of night. I am grateful for the time they’ve given me and for the times yet to come. Thank goodness for them.
My problem is that I want to go out more often than all of them combined. I don’t blame them at all: it’s dark, what are we doing going for a hike? So I run out of people. At those times I wear a groove pacing in my mind.
Sometimes my wife comes with me. It has to be an emergency, a time when there isn’t anybody else and I just have to go out or else! She’ll see I’m going to burst and takes pity, I suppose. One of those nights was September 2, 2018. I couldn’t let another night go by without making an image. It was a Sunday, and she let me drag her up to Freshwater Lagoon where I had in mind an angle for a nighttime photograph.
I didn’t find the shot I sought. It was going to have the… well, I’ll have to show you another time. Things didn’t line up how I’d thought for the image I had in mind, and we didn’t want to be out late, so instead of exploring in the dark I took a couple photos where we were and called it a night.
The best one was the one of us. We stood together amongst the reeds on our tiny part of the planet, looking out over the lagoon and into the vastness of space, past Mars and through the cosmos, and though we were very small, we had each other and we were happy.
(To keep abreast of David Wilson’s most current photography or peer into its past, follow him on Instagram at @david_wilson_mfx or his website mindscapefx.com, where you can also contact him, but which Wilson says he updates less frequently.)
A LETTER in this morning's Press Democrat begins: "I find it dispiriting that a solid Christian school, Rincon Valley Christian, is closing after 50 years of service to the Santa Rosa community. I know no one at the school but I’m not surprised. We’ve essentially disinvited God to be part of the human conversation and a moral compass in the development of young people…" I don't know whether it was disinviting God or internal bickering that sank the school, but RVC was always quite competitive in the world of small school sports, always traveling with a good number of parents and fans. The school seemed fine. It's surprising to see the Christians succumb to the lions, so to speak. They were familiar competitors to Mendocino County's outback schools, often winning area championships. We've had Christian schools come and go in Mendocino County but they always dissolved in bitter disputes among the founders. I never knew the reason for the un-Christian internal strife that blew up these schools but there was lots of it. The Christians, like the Muslims, the Jews, the Buddhists, the Hindus, always seemed like the religious equivalent of communists, perpetually engaged in doctrinal and personal disputes. As for moral compasses, it seems to me that most people, regardless of religious training, come equipped with True North.
WANT TO PROMOTE YOUR LOCAL BUSINESS and support members of the Anderson Valley Village? We are looking for a wide variety of service providers – including but not limited to: gardeners, housekeepers, handy persons, electricians, plumbers, tech support, home nursing care, etc. We will provide this list of paid service providers to our members – if you are interested in being on that list, all you have to do is fill out a one page form and mail or email it back to us.
Pick up a form at Rossi's in Boonville or to have it sent to you please contact us at: (707) 684-9829 or firstname.lastname@example.org
AV Village is a non-profit organization providing Anderson Valley Village members with the confidence and practical means to live safely and comfortably in their homes and community as they age.
LYFT? IN BOONVILLE? “Drivers Wanted. I am the valley Lyft driver and am getting swamped… during the rainy season no less. How will I get through the summer when the tourists arrive in droves? I need some friendly competition. Contact Lyft for requirements or call me at 707-272-1040 for info.” — Paul (Soderman)
THIS FACEBOOK AD has rightly stirred much anger in the Anderson Valley where rents, if you can even find a rental, are far beyond the means of working people: “2B/1B Home - Live, work and play in downtown Boonville. Recently renovated 2B/1B home with basement laundry and detached garage. Wood Stove & Wall heater. Propane cooktop and electric in wall oven. Wood and Tile Floors, new bathroom, great lighting. The 2-car garage is on a slab. The location is perfect for those that enjoy the convenience of being in town and/or are interested in working from home. NSNP.”
THE ANDERSON VALLEY GRANGE’S 28th annual Variety Show is on Friday March 8th and Saturday March 9th, and we will make room for you! That means YOU, or your funny/weird/talented friend or ANIMAL. We have had dogs, cats, horses, sheep, alpacas, cattle, iguanas, goats, pythons, doves, turtles, but never parrots, llamas, wombats…what kind of animal do YOU have, and what can it do? We want to see it!! Please contact Captain Rainbow at 895-3807, or Robyn at 272-2127 (you can text her, too) if you have a talent, skill, animal, joke, or anything else you'd like to put onstage for all of us to enjoy. We have rehearsals the weekend before the show, and we can illuminate and amplify anything. The best part is the A.V. audience, we're the most enthusiastic folk found anywhere. You won't find a better place to strut your stuff!
COMPTCHE COMMUNITY ORGANIZATION is sponsoring a Book & Bake Sale Saturday, Feb 23, 10 to 3 at the Hall a quarter mile east of the Comptche Store. Now’s the time to drive out to Comptche and score new-to-you reading materials and munchies. Bargain prices. Huge Selection. Don’t miss it. Call 937-5854 for more info.
WE JUST STUMBLED ACROSS Mendocino County’s Facebook page. In the photo section there’s a collection of unidentified County officials giving each other awards. And a few pictures from last fall of a “frightening” display of tame Halloween jokes positioned in front of the Supervisors/CEO office. But not so much as a scenic vista from anywhere in a county synonymous with natural beauty.
RECOMMENDED VIEWING: A low-key little film called Leave No Trace based, I think, on that true story out of Oregon about the guy and his daughter living hidden away in a Portland mini-forest. Second recommended viewing, the Sam Cooke documentary. If you have to ask who he was, go back to sleep. Both on Netflicks.
MAJOR AQUACULTURE PROJECT GETS SAMOA LEASE
by Daniel Mintz
Humboldt County is poised to become a hub for aquaculture, as the Harbor District has approved a lease for a Norway-based company that aims to build a fish farm on the Samoa Peninsula.
The district’s Board of Commissioners approved a 30-year lease with a subsidiary of Nordic Aquafarms on February 11, in a closed session special meeting followed by a public hearing.
The company is entering the U.S. aquaculture industry with a facility in Belfast, Maine that is in a permitting phase. In Humboldt, Nordic Aquafarms is eying the spring of 2020 for the start of permitting a facility that will have an annual fish production capacity of 33,000 tons.
Part of the district’s effort to revamp a shuttered and formerly contaminated pulp mill site into a marine-related business park, the proposed fish farm would serve a West Coast regional market and use an enclosed, terrestrial system.
The company intends to raise Pacific salmon and steelhead, although a press release states that the species produced will be “based on market considerations and further discussions with the local permitting authorities.”
The aquaculture facility’s annual rent of about $160,000 will infuse much-needed revenue into the district’s budget and additional rates will apply to the use of an outfall pipe. Nordic Aquafarms will also pay the district $500,000 for ongoing use of an electric substation.
The rent will be $20,000 per year during pre-operation, when the company is in permitting phases.
Annual rent once the company is in operation could increase by up to $17,721 per year, depending on the company’s scale of land use. The basic plan is to use 33 acres of the district’s Redwood Marine Terminal II facility.
The lease also allows access to the district’s salt water well and use of bay water.
‘Turning the corner’: In recent years, the district has risen from being a sluggish agency to one that has gained control of the pulp mill site, facilitated the removal of huge volumes of hazardous waste and transformed the property into a business park with 18 tenants.
“We were in dire straits and we’re in the process of turning the corner,” said Larry Oetker, the district’s executive director. “With this lease, the vast majority of the work we’ve been doing on the Samoa Peninsula with the old pulp mill will have been completed and then we can start shifting our energies into other port-related operations.”
He said aspects like which fish species will be raised will be under the control of the state’s Department of Fish and Wildlife. A combination of the company’s market research and the state’s regulatory requirements will ultimately determine the facility’s production, he continued.
Aquaculture has been on the district’s radar as an anchor industry. “We’ve been targeting this for years,” Oetker said, describing it – along with mariculture and commercial fishing -- as a “key economic strategy for us.”
Farmers versus fishers?: The district’s relationship with the local commercial fishing industry has been strained at times and last October, the Humboldt Fishermen’s Marketing Association filed a lawsuit against the district for failing to adequately maintain its marina and fishing-related facilities.
The emergence of a major aquaculture operation – one that would supply the West Coast region – is of concern to fishermen who are wary of fish farming’s potential to saturate the market.
Oetker said competition is a concern with any new commercial project but there is an opportunity for synergy with this one, as adding aquaculture to the area’s seafood industry will boost the scale of infrastructure.
“The number of fishermen we have right now is not large enough to support some of the larger infrastructure pieces that the industry needs,” he continued.
Oetker said Nordic Aquafarms plans to have its own ice plant and trucking capability. Sharing those with the fishing industry is “one of the things that I’m looking at,” he continued.
Public scrutiny: The district has emphasized that the lease approval represents a beginning stage and the company’s plans will be shaped by permitting and public input.
The Humboldt Baykeeper advocacy group has indicated that it will monitor the project and comment on it as it takes form. For now, the group has questioned the short timing between the lease’s approval and its prior public announcement.
Baykeeper’s staff met with Nordic Aquafarms’ representatives before the lease approval and Jen Kalt, the group’s director, said the proposal is formative.
“They’ve said that they won’t grow Atlantic salmon, they won’t grow GMO fish and they won’t use antibiotics,” she continued. “But they’re not sure what fish they’re going to raise so they can’t point to the source of the fish stock or anything like that – there’s really nothing specific, it’s vague at this point.”
Baykeeper’s focus will be on ocean discharge but “we haven’t had time to go into the details on that because this has come up so suddenly,” said Kalt.
Nordic Aquafarms will now work to gain ground on public interaction. The company’s representatives were in town for the entire week following the lease approval and Kalt said a meeting with Baykeeper and member groups of the Northcoast Environmental Center was set.
I'VE GOT IT! WE'LL DRIVE OVER TO WILLITS AND ROB THEIR RITE-AID THEN MELT INTO THE CROWD
“On Saturday, February 16, at about 4:15 pm, the Willits Police department responded to a reported robbery at the Rite Aid Pharmacy, 1730 South Main Street.
During the investigation, the WPD officers learned the suspects entered the store wearing bandanas hiding their faces and made their way to the pharmacy inside the store. The suspects jumped the counter and demanded narcotic prescription pills. The suspects took what they could before fleeing the scene in a vehicle.
The suspect vehicle was spotted near Reeves Canyon (US-101 southbound). A WPD officer and a Mendocino County Sheriff deputy attempted to stop the vehicle near West Road. The suspect vehicle accelerated to speeds over 100 mph in an attempt to evade the pursuing deputy & officer.
The pursuit continued to the area of Burke Hill where the vehicle became disabled and wrecked.
Three suspects exited the vehicle and fled on foot to the surrounding hillside. The suspects were caught after a brief foot chase. All three suspects are from the Sacramento area.
WPD officers recovered several thousand narcotic prescription pills. The estimated street value is near $50,000. It was later discovered the suspect vehicle was reported stolen out of the Sacramento area.
The suspects, Dejoa Larue, age 23, Jakell Watts, age 21 and Eural Strickland, age 18) were booked into county jail for robbery, evading police with reckless driving, violation of parole, possession of a stolen vehicle, possession of a controlled substance and resisting arrest.
Willits Police department would like to thank the MCSO and CHP for their assistance in this investigation.”
(Willits PD press release)
AN EDITOR RELAXES
KENT STATE TRUTH
Dear friends and supporters of Kent State truth,
The Kent State Truth Tribunal is focused on completing our archive (summary attached) as we ready to present our findings to the public before the 50th anniversary of the Kent State massacre, May 4, 2020.
With the Kent State Truth Tribunal archive of testimonials from participants of the 1970 Kent State massacre, we are developing a whole new way to experience history and learn truth at Kent State … from those who were there. With a tip of the hat to Howard Zinn, we are documenting the ‘People’s History of Kent State’ and we wish to make it available to the public as soon as possible.
About the People’s History of Kent State, Phase 1 … Readying our content:
Do you want to hear truth at Kent State? Sample a taste of Kent State Truth Tribunal testimonials in this 'Best of Flashpoints' KPFA recorded August 2010, starts at ~25min.
We seek your support, your solidarity and your contributions to complete this phase. If you wish to learn more about the Kent State Truth Tribunal … and want to personally support our efforts, please let us hear from you! If you know a friend that cares about protest in America and protection for protesters, please forward this email and encourage them to contact us.
Thank you for your consideration. Will you please help us get ‘er done?
Peace and healing,
"Flowers are better than bullets” ~ Allison Krause
TIME TO GET RID OF COUNTY SHERIFFS IN CALIFORNIA
The county sheriff is the problem child among California elected officials. No office is less accountable or more reliable in producing scandal.
A deer and two turkeys play in the snow at Floyds Knobs in southern Indiana.
SCHOOL BUSES are probably the most iconic symbol of American transit. Nearly everybody who grew up in the United States rode the bus as a child, even private school kids. It’s rare to take a drive without seeing one. Itinerant yellow rectangles (though I always thought of them as orange) with black trim and amber lights, school buses are essential fauna in roadway ecology. Because of their ubiquity, few motorists notice them (as opposed to, say, the Oscar Meyer Wiener Mobile); when stuck behind one, it’s all a frustrated driver can see.
Most adults remember the school bus with mixed feelings. For some, it was a place of mischief and merriment, for others a site of anxiety. But everybody shares the experience of getting carted to boxy structures with brick exteriors and drab paint where they sat in sterile cinder rooms adorned ineffectually with cheery décor and pledged allegiance to their own dispossession. The school bus is our erstwhile conveyance into good citizenship, blazing along with the promise of economic mobility.
The life of a driver, then, is surprisingly complex. The main task is simple—transport kids safely to and from school—but it involves various forms of delivery. We’re supposed to facilitate access to education without considering its function in the systems that inform our wages. The roads we traverse are monuments to automobile culture, spread across endless acreage in seemingly random but brutally deliberate patterns. This infrastructure emerged from racism, extraction, and accumulation, the bellwethers of civic pride, patterned and imprinted on enervated, overburdened land. Every weekday morning, we spark the ignition, warm the engine, and put the spirit of colonialism into overdrive.
Yet the job induces primal expressions of love. School buses supersede their physical structure; they anchor a huge apparatus designed to guard the vulnerable. The machine is outfitted with lights and blinkers calculated to announce its presence. It is excessive on purpose. Nothing is more important than its cargo. SUVs, bicycles, eighteen-wheelers, ambulances, fire trucks—all abdicate their right of way when the stop sign and crossbar swing into the roadway. The school bus is one of the few institutions in the United States that protects the powerless from the depredations of commerce.
— Steven Salaita
CATCH OF THE DAY, February 18, 2019
ALEXXANDER FOUCAULT, Ukiah. Domestic battery, willful cruelty to child with possible injury or death.
RICHARD HAMBLET, Ukiah. Under influence.
RONALD LABERDIE, Ukiah. DUI.
JUSTIN PEACOCK, Cedar Hills, Utah/Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol, paraphernalia, probation revocation.
ASHLEY SCHUCKER, Fort Bragg. Probation revocation.
JESSE VINCENT, Willits. Protective order violation, probation revocation.
ON LINE COMMENTS OF THE WEEK
 And, all the while, we have a choir of soi disant intellectuals bellowing about fascism resurging. But, lest we forget, this beastly thing had roots in the same squalor, and those tootling that particular tune are as much on the wrong song-sheet as those singing about socialism.
If what’s afoot out there in Deplorable-land is an expression of the dire necessity of re-localization, that being the re-shaping of community and economy on a more geographically constrained level, this one thing would be the opposite to what the fascists of a life-time ago were fighting for. Hitler was all about lebensraum – “empire” to you and me – and so was Mussolini and so was Hirohito.
But fascistic expansionism isn’t what we’ve got taking shape now, at least, in my humble opinion. The daily brawls in Washington are in part the reflection of a large contingent in the American polity that want to reclaim control over what happens to them, opposing the borderless world of free movement of money and people that suits the upper economic strata. But Washington is just show biz, the actors there at the beck and call of the donor class, that handful of people and businesses that coughed up a billion or so for the 2016 campaign to both Republican and Democrat. And, as sure as we sit here, the agenda of the donor class ain’t the Deplorable agenda. The reconfiguration of life will either come with the founding of political parties not in the pockets of the Davos people, or it comes outside the political and institutional apparatus of the country altogether. The former might be preferable to the latter.
 When I was a kid, two Institutions that I dreaded were the Institution of marriage and the institution of the Alabama State Fair. Like the American Institution of Marriage, the Alabama State Fair was a huge disappointment since the games of skill were always rigged. For example, the basketball toss was an illusion to create the impression that the basketball could actually go into the basket when in reality the diameter of the basket was smaller than the diameter of the basketball and at an angle so that the basketball would invariably roll out. The ball toss game was also rigged. You could knock down one or two ceramic jars, but never all 3 jars since the Carnie would lock the third jar in place with a wooden peg. So even if you knocked down two of the ceramic jars, the best that you could do for your $5 bucks was to win some cheap 5 cent pink crap toy. This is basically what the US election system is like. It’s just like the Alabama State Fair.
AMERICA has a long and successful record of using the tax code to reward desirable social actions. Congress did this for VISTA and Peace Corps volunteers in the 1960s and it does so today for active-duty military personnel.
We urge Congress to now do the same for America’s 3.7 million K-12 teachers who are instructing the country’s 56.6 million school age children. A refundable tax credit program would help school boards employ and retain teachers. In particular, it would help recruit and retain the science, technology, and math teachers who today are such a high priority.
All informed citizens want high teaching standards and accountability. But they also understand that the economic plight of our K-12 teachers is a major obstacle when it comes to engaging with and developing top talent. This obstacle is especially difficult to overcome given the strain on municipal budgets and the low priority that aging communities place on school funding…
(The Washington Monthly)
MOZART is too easy for beginners and too difficult for artists.
ELDERLY, INFIRM FUNDING UNITS
Letter to AVA readers
Attached is my personal letter documenting how the California Board of parole hearings (“BPH”), California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (“CDCR”) and the California Correctional Peace Officers Association (CCPOA) work in concert for ongoing financial gain by keeping elderly and disabled High Risk Medical (“HRM”) patients incarcerated for the longest periods of time possible in many cases until death.
Mark Sprinkle (K-24619) and Bruce Koklich (V-25135) both fact checked some of the material in my letter. Mark, age 59, and Bruce, age 59, are both classic examples of improper (and illegal) HRM elderly parole denials. Like myself, they both have no prior criminal record/history and excellent in-prison records (no dope, fighting or gang ties), both should have been granted parole but both were denied for ongoing financial gain. The pretextual reason advanced for the illegal denials at both BPH hearings was they had no remorse for the victim nor insight into their crime. This is illegal because they both advance evidence of innocence. One can't have remorse or insight if one is innocent.
Thank you for your consideration.
Harold Taylor T-22119 CIM 82, LH-168-L, P.O. Box 368, Chino, CA 91708 (previous Mendocino County resident)
Mark Sprinkle K-24619 CIM A-2 LH 186-L, P.O. Box 368 Chino, CA 91708
Subject: Perpetuating Incarceration Of The Elderly And The Disabled.
My name is Harold Taylor. I am currently incarcerated in California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation CDCR. I am a California Vietnam veteran. I served almost two years of active duty in Southeast Asia. I was decorated with the Silver Star, Purple Heart, etc. I am 70 years of age.
On December 17, 2015, I was ordered to a pre-Board of Parole Hearing consultation meeting that was conducted by Commissioner Rosalio Castro. At the conclusion of the hearing I was provided with a three page printout of what the state Board of the Parole recommends I do and what is expected of me in order to be found suitable for parole. I am providing you with the original copy given to me by Commissioner Castro. I am retaining a copy to show other elderly (65 and older) inmates.
Under the heading: Findings/recommendation, which documented/recommended both vocational training and work assignment. As a senior citizen I immediately recognized the naked truth about what was missing from the CDCR parole release guidelines. The Board of Parole lacks release suitability policies and guidelines for the elderly and the many of us who are disabled, on disability, have earned pensions, or will be receiving veterans benefits for PTSD and/or will be retired once paroled. As far as myself, I retired from the workforce at the age of 49 and had sufficient retirement income that there was no need to continue working. Social Security would augment that income when I turned 68. A Social Security benefit audit will show that I started paying taxes at age 12 and was gainfully employed for about 35 years.
The Board of Parole suitability guidelines recommend and the commissioners require that elderly senior citizens learn or pick up another vocation in order to be found suitable for parole because it will "enhance" one's ability to be employed in the community and succeed on parole.
During the Board consultation hearing I informed Commissioner Rosalio Castro of my past work record and my past vocations which kept me gainfully employed since I was 16 years old until retiring at age 49. Commissioner Castro informed me that if I did not follow the board's recommendations I would be denied parole. He said, "Look over those recommendations again; do you see any exceptions for age?"
I will be 75 years old at my initial parole hearing. You can clearly see the intent of the board, those who turn 65 years of age or others with medical conditions are reclassified as high-risk medical patient inmates. Once an inmate meets the state HRM classification guidelines their state of California taxpayer billing value used by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation nearly doubles from $73,000 annually to approximately $150,000 requiring the state to pay multiple millions of dollars more to CDCR for each elderly/disabled HRM inmate.
When a CDCR inmate becomes infirm and requires a wheelchair his value to the CDCR as a taxpayer billing vehicle rises again. When I say rises, I mean that CDCR can now bill the state taxpayers for additional funds, substantially more than the housing cost of a 20-year-old gang member, drug dealer or serial burglar.
The prison administrators at CDCR, the prison guard union, the California Correctional Peace Officers Association (CCPOA) created the high-risk medical (HRM) patient classification system as a procedural device to consistently extract more tax dollars from state taxpayers. This is because the state legislature has denied more construction funds to build more prisons. Do you understand the relevant facts here? Elderly and HRM patients are increased fee income generators for CCPOA and CDCR administrators. Non-HRM inmates do not bring in the same amount of taxpayer money as an elderly or disabled HRM patient does. Therefore, elderly and disabled citizens have become a higher valued incarceration commodity, thus CDCR and CCPOA have a substantial financial motivation to keep elderly and disabled HRM patients incarcerated for as long as possible in many cases until death. This is true even in light of the fact that elderly and disabled parolees have the lowest repeat offender percentage rate (less than half of one percent re-offend once one is over the age of 65).
Forty years ago California voters had no idea that incarceration had been transformed into an administrative cash generating machine for CDCR and CCPOA. At that time both organizations went to work expanding the prison system into an industrial taxpayer fleecing system that now stretches from near the Oregon border (Pelican Bay State Prison) to within 5 miles of the Mexican border (RJ Donovan State Prison). There are 34 adult prisons in California, not counting the privately run, out-of-state prisons which together (at one time) house 170,000+ prisoners. CCPOA loaded them up and forcefully overcrowded them, treating the disabled inmates like rats in a cage. This was done for the specific purpose of artificially inciting and promoting daily and much violence. The media message spoon fed to the voters was: look at how violent these prisons are — we need more taxpayer dollars to make the public safe.
I am currently incarcerated at the California Institution for Men ("CIM"). Recently A-yard and C-yard were classified as 50-and-older HRM yards (neither of these yards any housing unit cooling to accommodate elderly HRM patients with high blood pressure, cardiac conditions or diabetes). This deadly housing situation is criminal, but it is the hidden behind closed prison walls. Most of the vocational training classes required by the Board have been moved to D-yard. There are approximately 1100+ inmates on A-yard, most of them over 50 years of age. The younger HRM patients have classroom priority over the seniors. These elderly HRM patients and lifers cannot transfer off A-yard to fulfill the parole board recommendation (to take a vocational training class), thereby assuring a Board denial and longer terms of incarceration for the elderly life term HRM patients (CDCR's most profitable class of inmate). All 50 and older HRM yards will eventually lose most of their vocational training classes. The younger inmates are always given priority while the elderly are given walking canes, walkers and wheelchairs along with the provision of deadly living conditions and poor to nonexistent medical care.
Currently we have an 84-year-old Army veteran (John Schnabel) who has suffered from heat stroke and is living in an overcrowded dorm built for 80 people which currently houses 150+ HRM patients. This same dorm has no ambient air cooling when temperatures in Chino greatly exceed 100 degrees. If these events happened outside of a prison setting staff would be criminally prosecuted.
In addition to losing access to reasonable medical care and safe housing, elderly HRM patients are losing access to vocational training, a requirement demanded by the state parole board. The professional taxpayer fleecers at CDCR have been refining this scheme for many years and continue to be financially rewarded by denying parole to as many retired and elderly inmates as possible and refusing to bring their parole plan policies into the 21st century and thereby treating the elderly fairly. These disabled seniors represent ongoing job security and are directly responsible for increased and continuing income for the many commissioners, CCPOA staffers and CDCR administrators who all have a financial interest in ensuring that the state parole board denied parole to as many elderly inmates as possible.
Very truly yours, Harold Taylor
Disabled HRM veteran
A PENCIL DRAWING by a 16 year old Irish girl which has won a National Art Competition. Shania McDonagh is tipped as a future top artist. The man she drew is a Fisherman and Seaweed Harvester named Coleman Coyne.
ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY
The nuveau rich foreigners, like 21 Savage, just read this guy’s interview in the Times with the fawning John Caramanica. His vernacular is astonishingly moronic. “My situation is important ’cause I represent poor black Americans and I represent our immigrant Americans. You gotta think about all the millions of people that ain’t 21 Savage that’s in 21 Savage shoes.”
Here are some of his contributions to lyric poetry:
I’m playin’ with the rock like my real name is HOVA
AK-47 still strapped to my shoulder
Them niggas tote choppers like them niggas from Magnolia
I fucked a nigga’s bitch
I fucked another nigga’s bitch
When you gettin money you can fuck a nigga’s bitch
VVS diamonds I done flooded out my wrist
Unbelievable but this is lauded as quality popular music by “top critics.” Caramanica in particular. I’ve surveyed the lyrics of many of his favorite chart topping subjects. The lyrics are almost universally the same: profane, stupid, violent, sexist, etc. These songs are what high school drill teams practice to. Anyway, this guy is an illegal and he’s a millionaire. The best kept secret seems to be, to me, that many, many illegals aren’t poor. They’re rich. They are the drained brains, the petit bourgeoise, the families of criminal mafias. And this guy. Do you think Britain wants him back?
by Jessica Loudis
While negotiations over a border wall remain at an impasse in Washington, a case is unfolding in a federal district courtroom in Brooklyn that casts President Trump’s ambition in a new light. Joaquin ‘El Chapo’ Guzmán stands accused of running Mexico’s Sinaloa cartel, and trafficking billions of dollars’ worth of drugs into the United States. Having escaped from prison twice, Chapo — the nickname means “shorty” — was arrested in Sinaloa in 2016 and extradited to the United States a year later. The trial has been a masterclass in the logistics of running an illegal international organization – in addition to its operations in the Americas, Sinaloa has a presence in more than a dozen countries in Africa and throughout Europe and Asia — and has offered a detailed insight into the way the US-Mexico border has determined the structure of one of the world’s most lucrative businesses.
In the 1980s, Chapo commissioned a 60 meter underground tunnel connecting his lawyer's house in the Mexican town of Agua Prieto to a cartel warehouse in Douglas, Arizona. Three decades later, he escaped from a maximum-security prison through a tunnel that led to the shower in his cell. (According to one of his associates, the excavation was so loud that other inmates complained.)
In 2011, only a few days after a sophisticated fence was completed along part of the Mexico-Arizona border, Sinaloa operatives showed up with a catapult to lob bales of marijuana into the United States. When the US Coast Guard began seizing the go-fast boats that the cartel had been using, it shifted to tuna fishing boats which could travel further into international waters to avoid detection. After the authorities began intercepting those, Chapo invested in semi-submersibles: in early December, jurors were shown footage of the 2008 Coast Guard operation in which a Sinaloa submarine carrying 5,896 kilos of cocaine was captured off the coast of Guatemala. The cartel has also taken to the skies. In 2016, El Universal reported that the organization owned more planes than Aeromexico, the country's biggest airline.
And yet the United States government estimates that more than 80% of the drugs that cross the border do so through legal checkpoints. The cartel has smuggled cocaine in cans of pickled jalapenos, froen shark carcasses and fake bananas, and is increasingly responsible for the influx of methamphetamine into the United States. Earlier this month, Vincente Zambada, the son of Sinaloa's other top leader, Mayo Zambada, spent two days on the witness stand describing how the cartel would buy as many as 15 cars at a time and install hidden compartments in them that could hold up to 30 kilos of cocaine. (This has been a preferred tactic for traffickers for more than a century — during Prohibition, border patrol agents would rock cars back and forth to listen for sloshing liquor.) Sinaloa would hire people who lived on one side of the border but worked legally on the other, and have them use the cars to make multiple cross-border trips a day. In his 2011 book El Narco, Ian Grillo writes that the cartels would offer a flat rate of $1000 to drive a kilo of marijuana into the United States, and more for heroin, cocaine or meth. For residents in border towns, the task can be completed in three hours, and it pays the equivalent of a month’s work in a factory in Juarez.
The cars would return to Mexico packed with money, and the drug shipments would be held in safe houses in the United States until new drivers paid to collect them in trucks. (One of Sinaloa’s US couriers, an 87-year-old lily farmer arrested in 2011, is the subject of Clint Eastwood's recent movie "The Mule.") The drugs often went on to Chicago where operations were run by the Flores Brothers, Mexican-American identical twins. Their collaboration with the US government has been critical in the case against Chapo. “A kilogram of cocaine may have a wholesale value of $18,000 in Guadalajara, Mexico," Margarito Flores said in a grand jury statement, "but that same kilogram would have a wholesale market value of $30,000 in Chicago." Between 2006 and 2008, the brothers were selling roughly $60 million of cocaine every month.
Edgar Ivan Galvan, a US citizen and hapless low-level narco who also testified recently, said he met "El Jaguar," a notoriously violent hitman, in a Mexican nightclub. Jaguar convinced Galvan to act as a “testaferro,” a front man who could use his status as a US citizen to rent safehouses for the cartel in El Paso. According to Galvan, in addition to transporting drugs and eliminating enemies — Jaguar owned a soundproof, white-tiled garage with a drain in the floor — his boss also bribed Mexican customs officials so he could smuggle guns into Mexico. These weapons, purchased with Sinaloa money, were used to wage war against La Linea, a rival cartel in Ciudad Juarez.
Since the early 1990s, assault rifles and other weapons have flowed into Mexico at an alarming rate. A report last year found that 253,000 guns enter Mexico every year from the United States —- 70% of all guns in Mexico have US origins.
The jury didn't hear much about Mexico's gun problem. After a back-and-forth between the defense and prosecution, the judge ruled that descriptions of violence would be kept to a minimum and that Chapo’s lawyers would not be allowed to discuss the scandal surrounding operation Fast and Furious, a US government initiative in which officials allowed shops in Arizona to sell firearms to suspected smugglers in the hope they could follow their trail to cartel leaders. Of the more than 2,000 guns sold under that program between 2006 and 2011 fewer than half have been recovered and more than 150 deaths have been linked to Fast and Furious weapons, some involving Sinaloa members.
For Sinaloa, free movement across the border relies on a variety of factors, including widespread corruption (Zambada testified that the organization had a budget of $1 million a month to pay off police and government workers, not including bonuses and payments to high-ranking officials), and an elaborate network of contacts in the United States. Much of the system dates back to the 1980s when leaders of Tijuana's Arellano Felix cartel "created a mystique around trafficking that lured the children of Tijuana's wealthy elite into their employ as ‘narco-juniors’," as Nathan Jones writes in "Mexico's Illicit Drug Networks and the State Reaction,” 2016). "They recruited attractive, affluent youths with dual citizenship because they could cross the border with minimal inspection." Today, many narco-juniors tend to flaunt their wealth on social media with photos of pet panthers and stacks of cash.
The public image of the narco as a sexy renegade with a bottomless bank account persists, and is perpetuated by pop-culture and narcocorridos — pro-narco folksongs — that glorify their escapades. The genre dates back to the early 20th century but enjoyed a surge in popularity when Mexico's drug trade escalated in the 1990s. Popular narcocorridos themes include odes to AK-47s, conspicuous drug consumption, and the prowess of cartel leaders. Chapo’s second escape from prison was immortalized in a ballad by the Sinaloa band Colmillo Norteno: "Little Chapo ran away/nobody realized, nobody saw/The whole country is on alert/but we still have one question:/Did he disappear through a tunnel/or just walk out the door?"
Despite a crackdown on the drug trade on both sides of the border over the past decade and a half, there's little evidence that either supply or demand has been hampered. In 2012, after six years of Presidente Felipe Calderon’s all-out war on the cartels, a UN study found that the street price of a gram of cocaine in the United States was the same as it had been in 2002. Cartels continue to find avenues across the border because there is a robust American market for the drugs and money always finds a way. It's also worth bearing in mind that much of the crime that Trump blames on Latin American migrants — drug trafficking, gang violence — has its origins in the United States. The Mara Salvatrucha gang formed in Los Angeles; mass opium cultivation began in California before moving down to Mexico. As for the idea that criminals are clamoring to enter, most cartel leaders want to stay as far away from the border as possible. As Pablo Escobar once remarked, a grave in Colombia will always be preferable to a prison cell in the United States.
(Courtesy, the London Review of Books)
SCOTT PELLEY COMMITS CAREER SUICIDE
by James Kunstler
Finally, you’re left with an image of Scott Pelley sucking on his eyeglass frames as if he was trying to impersonate a character who might be called The Ole Sage TV Journalist, after neatly disgracing both himself and TV journalism in his puffy chat-up with Andrew McCabe, the ex-Deputy FBI Director who stage-managed the cover-up of the RussiaGate fiasco in both of its phases — first to interfere with the 2016 election on behalf of Hillary Clinton, and then to oust the winner of the election, Mr. Trump.
Perhaps Mr. Pelley was ruminating on all the topics he forgot to ask about, such as what Mr. McCabe meant by an “insurance policy” in his conversations with counter-intel agent Peter Stzrok and DOJ lawyer Lisa Page; or whether Mr. McCabe launched the Russia collusion investigation on the basis of the Steele dossier, which was already known at the time to be material furnished by the Hillary Clinton campaign; or whether the contents of said dossier had ever been verified via established FBI protocol (the “Woods” procedure), which they never were.
The audience was informed at the very end that Mr. McCabe’s case had been “referred” to the federal courts by the DOJ Inspector General. That was a nice way of saying that Mr. McCabe has been singing to a grand jury. If so, then he’s an early bird, because many of his feathered friends will be following him into the grand jury chamber and then we’ll have the great Battle-of-the-Alibis.
Mainly what the McCabe interview accomplished was CBS tripling-down on the empty Russia collusion “narrative” that has nourished the crusade to dump Mr. Trump by any means necessary for more than two years. Mr. McCabe describes the “chaos” in the C-suites of the FBI after the President fired Director James Comey in May 7 of 2017, “because we had lost our leader… it was an unbelievably stressful time,” he said.
Yes, I’m sure. Because so many top officers in the Bureau were desperate to cover their asses since Mrs. Clinton’s unbelievable election loss meant that all the FBI emails and official memoranda documenting their behavior either had to be shoved down the memory hole illegally or left to be discovered by Mr. Trump. Indeed, some of it was illegally destroyed, for instance the government-issued cell phones of Ms. Page and Mr. Stzrok, smashed to bits on Robert Mueller’s instructions.
Apparently, one of the main objectives in the 60-Minutes story was to paint Mr. McCabe as an heroic patriot defending America against the wicked, shape-shifting, all-powerful Russia, which had made Mr. Trump its captive. The 60-Minutes piece happens to coincide exactly with the release of Mr. McCabe’s ass-covering book: The Threat: How the FBI Protects America in the Age of Terror and Trump. (Real superheroes fight both.)
It also sets up a nice contrapuntal battle between the enigmatic Rod Rosenstein and Mr. McCabe vis-à-vis the idea of “wearing a wire” to record the President en route to running him over with the 25th Amendment. According to Mr. McCabe, there was a lot of lively discussion around this plan. Mr. Rosenstein has brushed it off as a gag. Mr. McCabe, apparently, thought it was dead serious. They never did get their stories straight. In the meantime, Mr. McCabe’s own colleagues in the FBI’s ethics office and its Inspector General charged him with lying repeatedly about his role in this matter.
You had to wonder whether the attempt by CBS-News to sell “the sterling career” story of Andrew McCabe (as Mr. Pelley put it), is really just a way for the network to cover its own ass in acting as a propaganda patsy in the long-running RussiaGate affair. The 60-Minutes segment also coincided with William Barr’s confirmation last week by the senate as the Attorney General, as well as official reports issued by both house and senate committees stating that they found no evidence for the Trump/Russia collusion story. The ground is shifting under all this seditious hugger-mugger.
Whether you are a Trump cheerleader or not (I’m not), there is a reality-based chain of events behind the FBI’s actions from early 2016 on — and the actions of other official players in government — that can only be clarified now in the courts, and chances are pretty good that they will be. It concerns me because the specter of massive institutional failure in federal law enforcement and the news media bodes very darkly for this country’s future.
(Support Kunstler’s writing by visiting his Patreon Page.)
WE ARE NOW in a non-linear situation of climactic changes and effects.
ANGELA & YAZ
"Angela Sister - You are welcome in this house!"
Angela Davis inspires me each and every day! Her pursuit of Human Rights and Justice and her Activism keep me keepin' on, despite "the difficulties of today and tomorrow." (MLK). I hope that you will listen to DEMOCRACY NOW! today, and also be inspired by Sister Angela Davis, a True American Sheroe!
I am not "gone or forgotten", although some of you may think so, except perhaps by kzyx/z, who had has BLOCKED my phone from calling the station for the 5th straight month in a row! Doesn't that bother anyone besides me? And, if not, why? And this from a so-called "Community" "Public" radio station. And a station that I helped start and bring into the world as one of the Midwives, Original Programmers, Fundraiser, and I did years of wonderful producing/programming, also played music at many Benefits, and so much more.
I wonder each and every day why The Public/The Community has not stood up for me and demanded Justice for my voice to return to OUR airwaves, on The Discussion and other call-in programs. I just don't get it. But, I am here to tell you that I did not die, I am still here, doing my Work, and not radio station can silence my voice or stop my mission of Anti Racism, Peace work, Human Rights and Justice and Voting Rights activism, and I am ALIVE AND WELL, Dear Mendocino County and beyond.
When you pledge to their Pledge Drive, please SPEAK UP FOR ME, I beg you. The reason they continue to keep my voice off of OUR AIRWAVES, is because of the lack of Community Support. How sad, and too, too bad.
Also remember, if you are poor, as I am, they do have a "Low Income Membership" for $25.00. They don't want to advertise this, but it is TRUE. by the way, I am still a Member/Supporter of OUR Radio sTation, although they feel they can keep me banned for life. This is NOT Community Radio! No way.
Want to talk about it, please phone me at 707-884-4703, let it ring 5 times.
I request that someone please call The Discussion tonight and stand up for my rights to be heard on OUR PUBLIC AIRWAVES. Ask them what my "crimes" are, why they refuse to give my anything in writing, and why they refuse to do any REDEMPTION, Mediation or Reconciliation with me, which h I have been pleading for for the past five months.
Peace, Love and JUSTICE,
DJ SISTER YASMIN
BEING THE BEST I CAN BE
Visitation from a computer geek sent from India (!) after a phone call that Amazon (!!) labeled suspicious has gotten me back to cyberspace. The digital world mostly seems magic to me, but my English degree at least provides some excuse. Some things have not changed in my short absence. Although I have yet to check in on the news, I suspect that it is even worse than it was a couple of days ago. The Orange One presumably still thinks he is in charge. And his family is, I expect, still wandering the ornate halls with him.
The rest of us have not all gone to the beach to accept drink after proffered drink from obsequious short brown people with imperfect English. And we have damned sure not stopped paying attention and planning our futures after the Orange One is hanging from his appointed lamppost. We are here. In our millions. We are anxious to have our country back. The one we grew up in. Not this mess you have made of denying our experience followed by lie after lie followed by even more lies and denials.
I have just been in the hospital. A station in my journey to death, not by hanging (I think), but from congestive heart failure, I have recently gotten home from an emergency trip to the hospital. In trying to communicate my experience, I have apparently left the impression with many that I may be gone before dinner. I hope not, but I am now taking walks, and I am roundly sorry for having left that impression. I have talked to my second ex-wife. My step-daughter. Old and dear friends. it is coming back. I am online. We are ready. The clock ticks. Boy, do I hear it. Inhale. And smile.