- Dry Ahead
- Local Housing
- Marijuana Legislation
- Ed Notes
- Yesterday's Catch
- Anderson News
- Coddling Athletes
- Succulent Smuggling
- Stolen Hour
- Black Bart
- Public Records
- Main Street
- Murdering Drugs
- Meddlesome Gmail
- Resisting Gun-Control
- Potter Valley Project
- The Complaint
- Open Borders
- Martial Law
- Cascadia's Fault
DRY WEATHER is expected today before a quick moving front brings rain and mountain snow late tonight and Tuesday. Dry weather is expected for the rest of the week and next weekend. (National Weather Service)
AN IDEA WORTH TRYING
We agree with the Ukiah Police Department’s idea to try helping new recruits get into housing in our town by offering them up to $8,000 to help with things like the daunting “first, last and deposit.” It should be no surprise that all employers, not just government, are having a hard time attracting good employees because the housing in the Ukiah Valley is limited and much too expensive for the average paycheck.
The Police Department rightly has focused recently on getting local women and men to go into policing, which is not only better for the department but allows someone who already lives here to get a good job.
And although that effort continues, it is simply a fact of life that the department must look outside the community to find new officers. Ukiah should be an attractive option for police officers looking to relocate. It’s a wonderful small town, it’s people are friendly and generous, our department is well-respected by the local residents, and it is a well-run department in which officers can feel valued.
Unfortunately, however, it is simply impossible for someone starting a new job to find and afford housing here.
That speaks to the housing crisis we know we have and which we don’t seem to be doing very much about. “Second units” on existing housing lots are great and can help with part of the need and high-end family housing will also help a certain group of house-hunters. But what we never seem to talk about are lots more rental properties for the average single person or couple. We needs lots of studio and one-bedroom apartments at reasonable rents in nice neighborhoods. Young police officers, teachers, firefighters, nurses etc, would love to have that option.
We hope that as the city looks more and more at helping defray expenses for new employees, they also do more to get creative development going in town, and build up. Other than some areas around the airport, there is no reason Ukiah can’t encourage multistory apartment housing and smaller housing. Perhaps it’s time to spend some money helping developers come up with new ideas with a proviso that they build to our needs, and keep rents at a certain level. Wouldn’t that be a good investment too?
(K.C. Meadows, Editor, the Ukiah Daily Journal. Courtesy, the Ukiah Daily Journal.)
LOTS OF STATE LEGISLATIVE ACTIVITY ON CANNABIS FRONT
by Jim Shields
While marijuana legalization in Mendocino County remains stuck on chaos and officialdom’s benign neglect shoving mom and pop growers ever so surely to extinction, there are some developments at the state that merit a quick review.
For example, the Bureau of Cannabis Control (Bureau) announced effective March 1st that it is accepting applications for grant funding authorized by The California Cannabis Equity Act of 2018 (Equity Act) established by Senate Bill 1294. The Bureau has been appropriated $10 million to award to cities and counties to assist equity applicants and licensees through equity programs that focus on inclusion and support of persons in the cannabis industry, who are linked to populations or neighborhoods that were negatively or disproportionately impacted by cannabis criminalization.
The term “equity” is politically correct jargon describing efforts to repair social harms done by the war on drugs and marijuana prohibition and also to encourage minorities and those victimized by prohibition to get a toehold in the cannabis space. To date, at least four cities in California have established social equity programs: Los Angeles, Oakland, Sacramento and San Francisco.
“The Bureau is excited to open the application process for the equity grant funding,” Bureau of Cannabis Control Chief Lori Ajax said. “This funding is a significant step in supporting equity applicants with entry into the cannabis industry, as well as to provide support to equity licensees.”
All grant funds will be distributed no later than June 30, 2019. Applicants that meet the eligibility requirements and submit timely applications will receive a minimum grant of $100,000, unless a lesser grant amount is requested. Only cities and counties are eligible for grant funds.
On the state legislative front, currently there are nearly 60 bills dealing with some aspect of cannabis that are awaiting action. Here’s a short list of the more interesting ones.
Assembly Bill 37—Help offset the federal 280E tax burden (Section 280E of the IRS code prevents marijuana businesses from taking ordinary business deductions).by creating a carve-out for business deductions in California’s personal income tax for state-licensed cannabis companies.
Assembly Bill 953—Allow marijuana companies to pay state and local taxes via a cryptocurrency method called “stablecoins.”
Assembly Bill 286—Temporarily slash the state cannabis excise tax from 15% to 11% and suspend the state MJ cultivation tax until June 2022.
Assembly Bill 1288—Require that additional MJ sales data be uploaded into California’s track-and-trace program, including the date of every sale and whether each sale was conducted at a shop or via delivery.
Assembly Bill 1420—Prohibit state regulators from raising application and licensing fees past what was already established as of January.
Assembly Bill 1525—Codify that financial institutions such as banks and credit unions that work with cannabis companies are not in violation of state law.
Assembly Bill 1530—Reverse a controversial policy adopted in 2018 by the Bureau of Cannabis Control that allows marijuana deliveries to be performed anywhere in the state regardless of city or county bans on commercial cannabis activity. Would also establish a competitive grant program through the Board of State and Community Corrections to expand enforcement efforts against unlicensed marijuana businesses and increase consumer education.
Senate Bill 34—Allow licensed cannabis companies to give away goods for free to medical patients, essentially relegalizing so-called “compassion programs” that were common for years in California’s MMJ market.
Senate Bill 51—Allow for the establishment of “cannabis limited charter banks and credit unions” to serve the marijuana industry.
Senate Bill 67—Extend the life span of temporary business licenses until the end of 2019 for companies that have already submitted annual license applications.
Senate Bill 475—Allow the sharing of free-trade samples of cannabis products between licensees.
Senate Bill 625—Legalize marijuana party buses.
According to new state Treasurer Fiona Ma she wants to offer pot businesses the same fair chance to succeed any start-up industry would receive. So she has been working with legislators to reduce “financial stressors that can inhibit the new industry’s growth.”
To reach that goal, she said it means taking action to diminish California’s illicit market, which continues to compete with the legal market.
Ma also emphasized that, “We have to find a way to shore up access to banking services.”
According to a report from the Treasurer’s Office, “Despite the legalization of recreational cannabis with passage of Proposition 64, differences in federal and state regulations have fed fears and uncertainties within the banking industry about handling cash associated with cannabis sales and cultivation. Meanwhile, the costs associated with becoming a licensed operator seem to be discouraging some cannabis enterprises from entering the regulated marketplace.
“To date, California has issued approximately 10,000 cannabis licenses throughout the state, including to growers. Of an estimated 68,150 growers, only 1 percent to 3 percent are licensed and the rest are still operating in the black market, according to the California Growers Association.
“Not surprisingly, the corresponding revenue generated by the industry also came in well below projections. Tax collections were $101 million below the June 2018 projection for 2017-2018. 2 The state collects an excise tax of 15 percent and a cultivation tax of $9.25 per ounce of cannabis flower under current regulations.”
To remedy this imbalance, Treasurer Ma has been working with Assemblymember Rob Bonta (D-Alameda) and other legislators to sponsor Assembly Bill 286. If passed, AB 286 would temporarily lower the excise tax on cannabis from 15 percent to 11 percent, and suspend the cultivation tax altogether, through 2022. This reduction is designed to make the legal market more competitive with the illicit market and give gray market operators a reason to join the legal market.
“Banking for cannabis businesses will remain a challenge so long as federal law prohibits banks from storing money collected from cannabis-related businesses,” Ma explained. “Many cannabis businesses have been forced to hold on to large sums of unbanked cash as a result. When transporting this money carriers become targets of crime, turning a ‘cash only’ cannabis business into a public safety issue. For this reason, the cannabis industry is often referred to as ‘The Wild West.’”
In January, Treasurer Ma sponsored Senate Bill 51, that proposes a limited purpose state charter bank license for privately funded banks that service licensed cannabis businesses.
Ma realizes that she is going to have to work with the Feds to get some of these proposals done. On February 13, Ma testified before the House Financial Services Committee, Subcommittee on Consumer Protection & Financial Institutions on the need to improve banking services for cannabis-related businesses.
(Jim Shields is the Mendocino County Observer’s editor and publisher, and is also the long-time district manager of the Laytonville County Water District. Listen to his radio program “This and That” every Saturday at 12 noon on KPFN 105.1 FM, also streamed live: http://www.kpfn.org)
LORI LAIWA WRITES: "I am looking for any articles or personal interviews conducted with Anderson Valley residents who mentioned the Mashumaks or Danokeya Indians of Yorkville (Late)? I am writing my dissertation on the connection between people and place through language and stories in central Pomo territory. I’ve contacted the Anderson Valley Historical Society, purchased a few publications from them and just finished reading Indian Summer. If you know of any resources or individual in the area who might be willing to speak with me I would really appreciate it. I grew up in Point Arena and am enrolled at Hopland Rancheria. My great great grandfather was born in Yorkville and I have those field notes."
Ms. Laiwa can be reached at: 1723 Elm Lane; Willits, CA 95490; (707) 272-4879
THE EARLY HISTORY of Anderson Valley's native people, like the early history of Mendocino County generally, remains opaque, to put it mildly. I suggested the Held-Poage Library in Ukiah as Ms. Laiwa's best bet for way back information. The Mendocino County Museum in her hometown of Willits is a long shot for early history but she might also profit from a visit there. I always point people to "Genocide and Vendetta" as the one and only reliable history of the first Indian-Gringo interface, and which, to save yourself the unhappy details retailed within its covers, is neatly summarized in its title. But I'm sure Ms. Laiwa has already read it. Anderson Valley's early history is surely a version of Genocide and Vendetta, although G&V's focus is more inland. In 1850, the new state of California hired a fellow named Jarboe to hunt Indians throughout the Eel River Basin, and Jarboe later became Mendocino County's first lawman operating out of Ukiah, meaning it shouldn't be too tough to figure out the fate of Anderson Valley native people.
WITH CREEPY JOE poised to enter the race for president, the mainstream media have outdone themselves with poll results claiming Biden is, narrowly, the most popular candidate among Democrats. Biden is already mondo boffo with Democrat media adjuncts like MSNBC and NPR, and he's certainly A-OK with major Democrat funders of the oligarch class. A male version of the political Hillary, and widely said to be her personality equivalent privately, Biden will present himself as the sensible alternative to the party's neo-left, the women who have inspired the first real enthusiasm the Democrats have managed since Kennedy but, of course, that left is viewed by Democrat and Republican funders alike as hostile to their interests. Which it is, hence the hysteria they inspired among lots of libs and, needless to say, the plump fascists of Fox News. We've already had long arguments about who Trump can and can't beat. I think Trump can beat Biden and all the other Demo candidates but he'd lose to Bernie who is far more politically conservative than the splendidly combative Ocasio-Cortez and representative Omar. Locally, our career officeholders — Huffman, Wood, Little Mikey, will be down for their soul bro Biden, but will of course keep a moist finger to the political winds as they frantically study up on the diff between socialism, communism and opportunism, inevitably landing four-square for opportunism. The Northcoast went big for Bernie last time around and would go even bigger for him this time, but the main stem party will do whatever they can to sab him. Again. And we'll get Biden, and Trump will beat him like a drum.
SPEAKING OF FOX NEWS, I had a dream the other night that I got close enough to Hannity to take a wild punch at him before his cadre of Nautilus Youth pummeled me into submission as I screamed, "Elder abuse! See my AARP card? Get these punks off me, Hannity, and fight fair. If I ever catch you in Boonville…, etc."
BOONVILLE: “Cruise along scenic Highway 128 to this Anderson Valley hamlet known for its Boontling-speaking residents and its tasty libations. (Drive time: 2.25 hours)” — (SF Gate’s “Our favorite must-see small towns in Northern California”)
Read more: Grab a quick taste of Anderson Valley
WE'RE NUMBER TWO! Nosed out by the "village" of Mendocino, over the years Boonville and the Anderson Valley have moved steadily upwards in the touri rankings. In fact, the story above seems to be the same story that first appeared in 1972 and has appeared three or four times annually ever since.
“MAYOR OF BOLOGNA says he's sick of tourists ordering spaghetti bolognaise in his city because the pasta dish 'doesn't actually exist'.” — Daily Mail headline
"66.1 PERCENT OF ADULTS residing in Mendocino County are overweight or obese." So? Not everybody's cut out for the Olympics. It's not like fat people are unaware of their bulk and its medical hazards, and anyway it's the natural consequence of dietary Easy Street. Constantly ragging on the Triple X's isn't likely to get them off the Cheetos and moving around more, is it?
MICHAEL COLVIG is the principal at Willits High School, one of a bunch of Colvigs clustered at the Gateway to the Redwood Empire. Michael Colvig's father sits on the Willits School Board, a school board like any other, meaning fully capable, and sometimes blithely willing, to commit their own crimes and misdemeanors. So when little Colvig, Colvig the Third we might call him, sexually assaulted a classmate at an off-campus party, the senior Colvigs, pillars of the Willits educational effort, had themselves a dilemma. Should little Colvig's crude and apparently drunken attempt on his classmate be reported to the Willits Police as the law requires? Colvig the principal decided to handle the matter in-house, his own house, not report it as he's supposed to.
AND HERE HE IS, Michael Colvig, the first school official in Mendocino County's history booked into the County Jail for failure to protect a student. Judging from his mug shot he doesn't look especially anguished, but then a lot of these school people look kinda unevolved, kinda…
DA EYSTER is also faced with something of a political hot potato. Will Colvig be prosecuted while Eyster's campaign treasurer and presumed pal, Chris Neary, who also happens to sit on the Willits School Board and just might be exerting undo influence? Doubt it. We’ve never heard of Eyster ducking the tough ones. The way we tardily got it is that it was Eyster himself who initiated a full-on investigation of the principal’s failure to do his legal duty when word reached Ukiah that Willits officialdom was sweeping it under the town’s all-embracing rug. Although I rather sympathize with the Colvigs in their desire to protect Colvig The Third, I'm pretty sure that I, back in my parental days, would have tossed my kids to the legal wolves if they'd been guilty of a crime this bad, a sexual assault. And child-abused them, too. Colvig The Third’s victim, I'm sure, has figured out that she'll get a big pay day from Willits Unified, and she should, and School Board Colvig, and Lawyer Neary and their colleagues should fire Michael Colvig from his principal's job, but they won't. The big pay day for the vic is a certainty, but all the rest except for the DA’s prosecution will, I’ll bet, just kinda go away. Why? It's Mendo, Jake.
CATCH OF THE DAY, March 10, 2019
JOSHUA COHAN, Comptche. DUI.
MERE DEMEZES, Ukiah. Domestic abuse.
ARON HERNANDEZ, Cotati/Fort Bragg. Controlled substance, paraphernalia, failure to appear.
BRANTLEY LOPEZ, Upper Lake/Ukiah. Controlled substance, disorderly conduct-alcohol.
MICHAEL MENDEZ, Ukiah. Protective order violation, probation revocation.
BRANDON NICHOLSON, Cloverdale/Ukiah. DUI.
JORGE NIETO, Willits. Suspended license, evasion.
DANIEL OTTO, San Francisco/Ukiah. DUI.
REBECCA RULKA, Clearlake. Petty theft, stolen property, paraphernalia, probation revocation.
JUAN VARGAS, Ukiah. Probation revocation.
EARLIER THIS YEAR, at the Nuyorican Poets Cafe in New York four staged readings of Ishmael Reed's play, "The haunting of Lin Manuel Miranda" sold out. The work is returning to the venue on May 23, to run for four weeks. Robert Mailer Anderson, who played historian Ron Chernow, plans to reprise his role. Reed’s play criticizes the historian, whose book was the inspiration for Miranda’s "Hamilton," for presenting Hamilton as more opposed to slavery than he really was. Since the first performances, Reed has discovered new research -- information that he says was overlooked by Miranda and Chernow -- and included those findings in revisions. (There were stories about Reed’s play in many media outlets, including the New Yorker and the New York Times. Reed says he got more response from a discussion on "The View" then from one on NPR's "Wait Wait, Don't Tell Me.") Meanwhile, "Windows on the World," a new movie co-written by Robert Mailer Anderson and Zack Anderson, directed by Michael Olmos and starring his father, Edward James Olmos, drew a standing ovation at the screening at the Sedona Film Festival. The filmmakers are looking for distribution of the movie, which will be shown, too, at festivals in Austin, Los Angeles and Boston. The movie's story is about a Mazatlan boy’s search for his father who was an undocumented worker employed by Windows on the World at the World Trade Center when it was attacked on September 11, 2001. It has many Bay Area roots, including a cameo by Jonathan Moscone, and music by members of the SF Jazz Collective.
—Leah Garchik, SF Chronicle
TOM SEAVER broke into the Mets minor league system with a 210 inning season in 1966. The following year as a Mets rookie he worked 251 masterful innings -- and he wound up averaging 265 innings over his first 13 seasons. At the age of 41, with 231 complete games in his wake, he was still pitching in the major leagues. "All this babying of pitchers -- pitch counts and innings limits -- is a bunch of nonsense," Seaver told the New York Daily News years ago. "You can't predict these things. But one way I know doesn't do anything to prevent injuries is babying these kids like they do. … What really galls me," Seaver said in interview with NorthJersey.com, "is seeing a pitcher taken out of a game he's dominating. These people today don't understand what it means to walk off the mound after holding the other team down for nine innings, the feeling of triumph for your own team and the effect it has on players in the other dugout. It's totally demoralizing, and it's an element you don't see anymore. By coddling a guy, you're teaching him to fear his innings pitched. Tell me, how does a pitcher get to the next level unless he's tested under fire? Where are you going to find the next Bob Gibson or Steve Carlton unless a young pitcher is pushed? You won't. As long as you protect a guy, he won't reach his baseball limit. And I guarantee you most of these guys would like to pitch more and realize their full potential."
— Bruce Jenkins
IN A 'GOLD RUSH-TYPE PHENOMENON', SMUGGLERS TARGET COASTAL SUCCULENTS
Hundreds of thousands of Dudleya farinosa have been stripped from the California coast and sold overseas in black market trade worth tens of millions of dollars.
MCN COMMENTER NICELY SUMS IT UP:
Daylight Spending Time — It's become a tradition, I guess, to mess with the clocks twice a year (not including battery changes, practical jokes, and alarm adjustments). So it's time, tonight, or rather "tomorrow" at 2:00 AM, to fast-forward to 3:00 AM and just burn that hour faster than Hell money at your ancestors' altar. And then awaken with a groan, watch the sun set ridiculously late, lather, rinse, repeat. Bah, it was probably a bitter hour anyway.
'SHOTGUNS AND STAGECOACHES' reveals how Black Bart conducted heists in Sonoma, Mendocino counties
POLITICIANS LIKE TO KEEP US IN THE DARK
Some California legislators are trying to undermine the Public Records Act and the hide the crimes of police.
ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY
Oh the good ole days when “a buck was still silver… coke was still cola and a joint was a bad place to be”— Merle!
Main Street USA is being replaced by coffee shops, craft breweries and second-hand stores. Everything else imaginable is available at the local strip mall, which here in Vegas, often include an Urgent Care and ER. As the Russian comic Yakov Smirnov says “What a country.” My grandfather was a pharmacist who owned a drug store, in a little Colorado mining town (not South Park) that later morphed into a world-renowned ski resort. He rarely took a day off, as is the case with most small business owners, and took only one vacation in his life, driving out to SoCal to visit a cousin. His only vice was tea due to his English roots and he was very kind. During the Great Depression of the 30’s, he carried a lot of people, who were out of work and couldn’t pay for their medicine. These people would pay him back anyway they could with either fresh eggs, side of beef, elk steaks or a sack of spuds. I don’t forsee Walgreens or Walmart being so charitable when the next big econ timebomb hits. He had early onset dementia so I only knew him as child. I wish he had been able to share his wisdom with me as an adult! End of story
The quote in the 3-6-2019 AVA by Peter Hitchens sounds like moralizing propaganda. Without bothering to even mention why all these crazed killers might be stoned on mind altering substances, he plows on into the typically American shallow view of reality which is always confusing symptoms with causes.
Does it follow that all of our glorious warriors who are out in the world killing and maiming for the war-mongers who do the work of the “free market” racketeers, are also altered on some kind of drug? Were the mass murders Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, George W Bush also on drugs, and could it matter whether they were legal or not? Maybe they were drunk on religion or state power, or US exceptionalism, or some mix of all the above. The Nazis were quite stoned recall.
Suggesting that drugs are somehow the most important common feature in mass shootings is like saying junk food is the problem. Has anyone seen the toxicology reports on these drug crazed killers? Isn’t it highly likely that these tragic events are being used to further promote lone nut scenarios while making drugs the evil motivator? A simple and false answer to a huge and deep problem the greater origins of which it would be far too disturbing to look into.
The unraveling of human society, which of course the USA is #1 in, has very little to do with things like illegal drugs or guns. Now, legal mind managing drugs and Hollywood violence peddlers, and malnutrition and intentionally failed education and economy systems, are another matter. And don’t forget the mind destroyer of old, religion.
If one had the nerve to look, it’s easy to see that the sickness in our society is a direct result of the psychotic nature of consumer capitalism and corporate controlled government and markets. And besides, what goes around comes around. The chickens are coming home to roost for 70 years of death and destruction and destabilization visited to every sorry corner of the world by our evil and belligerent militarism. Defund the Pentagon or watch it continue to ruin the earth and the earthlings like a blind drunk bully on steroids.
BRUCE McEWEN WRITES: My IT Secretary reminds me of HAL in 2001 A Space Odyssey
The thoughtful people at gmail have provided me with – without my even asking – indeed, without my permission, even – a secretarial service that includes reading my mail and providing me with a selection of responses to my correspondents. For instance, I sent a note to my colleague Marilyn Davin telling her I’d picked up some jigsaw puzzles for her and her granddaughter at the local charity shop, since she had complained earlier that, Toys R Us being closed, she no longer knew where to get puzzles. Marilyn emailed me back with a thank-you note, and the thoughtful busybodies at gmail, having already read it – for how else would they know what to suggest – provided me with three options for response: 1. “You’re welcome!” 2. “My pleasure!” 3. “You’re welcome! Enjoy!”
All I have to do is click on one of these and – done! But this convenience, I am beginning to perceive with an increasing degree of apprehension, is only an incremental step in a process that will eventually lead to my IT secretary taking the conscientious liberty of answering my mail without bothering me over the decision-making, at all. And from there – who knows? – my IT secretary may shortly show even more consideration, and go ahead and initiate and compose letters from me, on my behalf, to everyone on my mailing list.
For the past five or six years we’ve been aware that we are being surveilled in all of our online communications – thanks to Julian Assange – but the auditing and monitoring has now become meddlesome; certainly, there are those who would say pleasantly and helpfully so; these being the same people who responded to the news that they were being watched in the first place with the “what have I got to hide?” so-what attitude that was, in fact, coined by prying police-types at least as far back as the 1950s, and possibly all the way back to evildoers like Cardinal Richelieu, Cesar de Borgia, Judas Iscariot.
Now, I wonder what my IT secretary at gmail will make of this letter, when she reads it; for certainly, it stands to reason that if she is reading my in-coming mail, she must be reading the out-going as well – and what kind of response IT will compose for gmail recipients of this letter to choose from? 1. “Have you gone off your meds again? Should I alert the authorities?” 2. “Your chronic paranoia may a result of prolonged drug and alcohol abuse. Please consider seeking professional help.” “Mailer Daemon Alert!~Delivery Incomplete!”
IN RURAL AMERICA, sheriffs resist new gun-control measures, a battle seen as a conservative version of the “sanctuary” resistance to illegal-immigration crackdown
PG&E ORPHANED THE POTTER VALLEY PROJECT: WHAT’S HAPPENED & WHAT’S NEXT?
A slow moving, hard to follow, high stakes, real life drama is unfolding in Northern California, and the next installment takes place in Eureka at the Board of Supervisors Chambers when the Eel Russian River Commission, whose sole focus is PG&E’s Potter Valley Project, meets Friday, March 28th. The pre-meeting buzz at this point sees proponents of dam removal in the Eel River watershed feeling guardedly optimistic that the “inevitable outcome” for the Potter Valley Project will be removing the 130 foot tall Scott Dam.
BILOXI DAYS: THE COMPLAINT
by Mark Scaramella
The first T-28 training aircraft arrived at Keesler Air Force Base in early 1967. Colonel Slaughter and I arrived in late 1968. Prior to the arrival of the flight training squadron Keesler was primarily an electronics training base — communications, radars, etc. and had their own much larger organization on the other side of the base, far from the flight line.
Prior to the T-28s, there was only a small flight line maintenance operation supporting transient aircraft and some old C-47s and DC-3s. Most of the maintenance was done by experienced civilian mechanics who had been at Keesler for quite some time. As the number of T-28s increased in 1967, however, the additional maintenance workload was handled by mostly Air Force mechanics reassigned from other training bases. This meant that most of the shops which had previously been staffed with just a few civilian mechanics, were suddenly mostly military.
For the first year the experienced civilian shop chiefs kept their jobs as shop chiefs, but when Colonel Slaughter arrived he found it unworkable to have civilians supervising military mechanics so he assigned me the task of reorganizing field/shop maintenance with Air Force specialist sergeants as shop chiefs.
One of the civilian shops was the aircraft welding shop. After months of planning, paperwork and complaining from the civilians, the welding shop was put under military supervision via Technical Sergeant Miller, a master welder and savvy, diplomatic supervisor. When he first became shop chief the welders were civilians. An ordinary industrial welder needed special training and experience to be qualified as an aircraft welder. The only Air Force welder in the shop of six with Miller was a staff sergeant.
The former civilian welding shop chief, a certain Mr. Broussard, had lost his supervisory position — but maintained his supervisor’s pay grade as part of the deal. He still complained though; he even wrote complaints to his congressman, a second cousin. His cousin initiated more than a dozen "congressionals" after the reorganization; that is, formal demands for explanations the congressman sent to the Air Force in DC from his Southern Mississippi district demanding to know why all the civilian shop chiefs had lost their positions.
As the officer in charge of conducting the reorganization over several months, Colonel Slaughter expected me to write the responses to the congressionals. After I submitted a long and rather technical justification for the reorganization, we didn’t hear any more from the Congressman.
But Mr. Broussard saw me as a source of his demotion and carried a grudge against Sergeant Miller and me as a result.
As a skilled and enterprising welder, Sergeant Miller was making backyard barbecues out of old 55 gallon drums which he cut in half top to bottom, welded on a hinge, some handles and legs and a grate and sold them to other NCOs for $75 a pop. Sergeant Miller didn't make the barbecues on Air Force time but on weekends and evenings. And he didn't use any Air Force materials other than the shop equipment itself and some incidentals like acetylene.
By the time the reorganization was complete, Sergeant Miller was well into his off-duty barbecue manufacturing business. Colonel Slaughter had retired and Major Smith, who had been the Maintenance Control Officer, became my new boss.
Major Smith had been an enlisted man before "bootstrapping" himself through Officer Candidate School and becoming a maintenance officer. By an odd quirk of personnel, when he was an enlisted mechanic he had worked for my Field Maintenance superintendent, Chief Master Sergeant Ralph Johns. Chief Johns did not think Major Smith was a very good technician when he'd been an enlisted mechanic working for Johns and Smith knew of Johns' dislike and resented having Johns — a much more competent maintenance supervisor than himself — telling him how to run the Maintenance Control organization, much less the entire maintenance squadron.
So, as Field Maintenance Branch Chief, I was in the uncomfortable position of being the newbie middleman between these two experienced antagonists, one who I had respect for, Chief Johns, and the other, Major Smith, who I did not respect but was my boss.
The problem came to a head one day when my secretary handed me a stapled collection of papers that the disgruntled civilian, Mr. Broussard, had dropped off. Broussard had taken pictures of Sergeant Miller's off-duty project in various stages of fabrication and delivered his snitch letter to enhance his revenge campaign complaining that Sergeant Miller was illegally using government property for personal gain.
Technically speaking, Mr. Broussard was right. But nobody but Broussard seemed to be bothered by it. I knew several people in the squadron, civilians and Air Force, officers and enlisted, who had purchased Sergeant Miller's barbecues and were happy with them.
Broussard's complaint struck me as petty and wholly misguided and not worthy of a response. It was early evening by the time I got around to reviewing Broussard's complaint. Nobody else was in the office. I seethed for a few seconds before blurting out, "I'm not dealing with this!" to no one. Then I crumpled up the papers, put them in a pile on my old gray government issue metal desk, got some matches out of my drawer and set them on fire. When the black ashes cooled off, I scrunched them up and scraped them into an empty Pepsi can from out of the trash and threw the can and ashes back into the trash.
At that point, I didn't really care what the implications of my rash decision were.
A couple of weeks later Major Smith’s secretary called my secretary to say I was to report to the Chief of Maintenance office immediately.
When I got there, Broussard was sitting at the conference table in front of Major Smith’s desk. Oh-oh. I knew I had some explaining to do.
"Mr. Broussard here says he filed a complaint with you about Sergeant Miller's off-duty welding activities," said Major Smith.
"He did?", I said, acting surprised. “When was that?"
Mr. Broussard said he brought it to my office a couple of weeks earlier.
"I don't remember seeing it," I lied. “What was it about?"
"I think you know what it was about," grumbled Mr. Broussard.
"No. I didn't see it. Do you have another copy?"
I didn’t think he had any more pictures.
"No, but I could prepare another one without the pictures. Those were the only pictures I had."
"Well, what do you think of Sergeant Miller's barbecue project?" Major Smith asked.
"I don't see much of a problem with it, sir."
"You approved it?"
"I didn't say that, sir. I just said I didn't see much of a problem."
"Miller doesn't have a work order, does he?"
"I don't think you need one for off-duty hours, sir."
"Is there anything in the regs about use of the shops during off-duty hours?"
"Not that I know of, sir. I do know that the paint shop occasionally uses the drying room for special favors for senior officers over on the training side of the base. Nobody complains about that."
"Are there work orders for that?" asked Major Smith, who had been the Maintenance Control Officer before being promoted to Chief of Maintenance.
"I assume that Maintenance Control issues work orders as a favor to those officers, sir."
"Okay,” declared Major Smith, “my decision is that no work is to be done in the Field Maintenance shops without a work order from Maintenance Control."
"Fine, sir. That's what we will tell the officers from the training side who want their special plaques, paint jobs, repairs, and whatever else when they call or show up at the shops with their requests."
I thought that by invoking the other dubious special requests that I knew Major Smith knew about I might get Major Smith to change his mind. I was wrong.
"That's right, Lieutenant. Maintenance Control will handle it."
I went back to Sergeant Johns’ office and told him that Major Smith had decided that Sgt Miller’s barbecue project was over and that all future non-aircraft maintenance work needed a work order from Maintenance Control.
"Good," said Chief Johns. "I'm tired of doing favors for those asshole officers on the training side. Let Maintenance Control deal with them."
Last I heard, Sergeant Miller had obtained permission from the base motor pool to continue his barbecue project in their welding shop and nobody cared.
At the next Field Maintenance squadron party, Chief Johns set up the barbecue that he bought from Sergeant Miller who used it to cheerfully cook some very good burgers. And life went on.
OPEN BORDERS - NOTHING PROGRESSIVE ABOUT THEM
by Phil Baldwin
The liberal left in America, going back to LaFollette & his Progressive Party, had always sided with our working class, labor unions, and minorities. In the past America’s left always stood for greater wage & benefit fairness. Today many claiming progressive status unwittingly support ruling class open border efforts to prevent work place justice.
Why are so many Democrats & socialists working in support of corporate bosses on immigration and border issues? Can’t we grasp that open borders - or the status quo highly porous border - assure billionaire owners of agribusiness, construction, and hospitality industries a never ending supply of low skilled labor - an ever present army of unemployed? Yes, and obscene profits, not to mention plentiful cheap household help for the top 10%. All corporate businesses benefit because open borders provide required new consumers while maintaining stagnant wages.
Mexican immigrants already here are most negatively impacted by never ending flow of migrants into U.S. Recent immigrants know an ever growing unemployed army suppresses wages, working conditions, and labor unions. Yet nearly all Mexican-Americans will refuse to openly challenge the dominant narrative favoring open borders; might that be seen as betrayal of La Raza?
The left today is overwhelmed with empathy for migrants crossing our border. We are told of “horrific’ detentions and family separations after parents freely choose to cross with children or send their teenagers unaccompanied to do the same. The resulting - often guilt based - compassion prevents understanding the implications of open or porous borders.
Understanding shows that 90% of those crossing who claim refugee status are actually economic migrants seeking a better life. Some 65,000 last month alone crossed the southern border without a visa. None are fleeing a persecuting government. The claims that their lives are in jeopardy from violent gangs awaiting them at home cannot be verified. And yet the liberal Resistance responds there should be no detention on this side of the border. They advocate that policy for it would allow all economic migrants crossing to stay.
Understanding shows that in Mexico (population 130 million) we find a murder rate similar to Honduras. El Salvador, & Guatemala. In Mexico we encounter twenty million living the same desperate plight as thousands of Hondurans now caravanning toward San Diego & El Paso. Add another two million Central Americans plus ten million Colombians, Venezuelans, and Brazilians seeking a better life. Compassion, without understanding, says our policy must admit all 32 million.
In our ongoing search for logical consistency from the Resistance we learn our country is being attacked by Russia. But a nation to be attacked must have a border. For thirty months they’ve told us our liberal “democracy” is in jeopardy because an enemy nation seeks our overthrow. Do liberals wonder how we can be protected from an evil Russia without a defined, secure border?
Our friends on the left tell us it’s time for Medicare for All, free college, and a Green New Deal. Yet, they fail to tell us how these programs can be implemented and remain solvent with open borders yielding a never ending population increase of low skilled, under educated migrants. If, as NY and CA governments now plan, every “resident” is covered by Medicare for All, how will we pay for the constant influx of indigent patients? Are we striving to figure this out?
Strange that liberal Democrats’ and socialists’ chief ally is a global corporate elite that simultaneously supports open borders and endless war. Its racist wars separate tens of thousands of families permanently by bombing death. With open borders working class struggle for basic economic survival allows no time or energy to challenge the cruel insanity of plutocracy and its wars.
So what is a compassionate yet thoughtful answer? Here’s what we must do but won’t. Secure our border. Share resources, providing aid for massive water, sewer, and housing projects in Mexico and Central America. Create a path to citizenship for 12 - 17 million living here without legal papers for an extended period through to 2018; (voluntary beneficiaries of this huge amnesty would be disallowed additional family unification green cards). Put the burden and penalties on employers with E-Verify. Adopt a merit based Canadian style legal immigration system encouraging skilled applicants (and allowing spouse and children unification) totaling roughly a million per year.
In the meantime, we know that American infrastructure is in bad shape. They tell us it could cost trillions to fix. However, they never tell us that 70% of the new construction is not required to fix faulty existing structures, but instead to meet the need induced by new population. For fifty years now immigration and immigrant fertility have generated most U.S. population increase. Population growth demands ever more road, highway, & airport construction, wider bridges, bigger sewer and water treatment plants, housing sprawl onto farmland, schools, police.
Sustainable communities and valleys require population stabilization, a popular notion known forty years ago as Zero Population Growth. This movement recognized that clean air, natural habitat, and safe, fresh water are finite. When ZPG is achieved here and in Mexico then our borders can be abolished without inhibiting our struggle for justice.
(Phil Baldwin, taught high school history and Spanish for 35 years, served as Mayor of Ukiah and as Santa Cruz County Supervisor. He’s proud too of having chaired Kern County’s McGovern for President campaign in 1972 and having directed Potter Valley High actors in Euripides “Medea,” Aristophanes “Lysistrata,” and Maxwell Anderson’s “Bad Seed” during the 1990s.)
MARTIAL LAW NOW!
The Dems only have one thing in mind and that is to destroying President Trump. They will let the United States go completely uncared for and that means everything. The libs are so pissed off that President Trump is doing such a great job they can't stand it. That Cortez woman and those two Arab women and all those others in our Congress are a joke. Hypocrites. Stupid. Those are the idiots we are dealing with.
Dictator Gruesome Newsom is driving California over the brink. He wants us to dump our trucks if they are not at least 2010 models. Before that, we have to junk them and get rid of them. What will that do to our economy and jobs? He will put people out of business. The dictator does not care. All he cares about is getting the money because they will lose money on license fees and raise our taxes to make up for it and we are already the highest tax state. President Trump is getting pretty mad about that.
Why don't they dig some reservoirs and catch all this rainwater and use it in the drought years? Oh no, that makes too much sense. I can't wait for President Trump to declare martial law on the state of California. He should do it because our stinking state leader has declared this to be a sanctuary state. Every illegal criminal in the state is here because of Moonbeam Brown and Gruesome Newsom. If another police officer is killed by an illegal or a child raped or some other heinous crime, it will hit the fan. Because of you god-damned liberal democratic bastards, President Trump needs to use an executive order to call martial law. The National Guard will stand down and most sheriffs will stand down to let this happen because they all know that what is going on is wrong.
Some people should be drummed out of their offices and burned at the stake like those two anti-American representatives calling for socialism and killing babies. A lot of first-class newscasters are saying that we are only about two steps from civil war. The silent majority of the United States is two thirds of our population and they are starting to get pissed off at the rotten, radical, socialistic anti-Americans trying to destroy this country.
If the Army takes over under martial law directed by President Trump, we will get our state back and we can operate it like it should be, the way America should be.
Down with socialism, up with Americanism.
God bless Donald Trump.
Given the positioning of my head, aforementioned a couple weeks ago in this journal (up my ass) by a fellow American, I feel it wise to keep my tongue firmly in my cheek.
Others not so well able to see themselves and their surroundings overtly flap their tongues heedless of the bad taste through which they try to spew their rage.
With that said I will to Jere Philbrick first announce my candidacy for President of the United States of America under the campaign logo — MADA.
“What’s da MADA?” He may ask.
”A lot.” I would reply. “I want to fix it and Make America Decent At last.”
I want to stop cold forever the racism, sexism and imperialism that have been woven into the very fabric of American social and political history. I want to stop cold the denial, that our forefathers initiated inflationary, inflamatory, self-interest capitalist social order, is battering the Earth as well as the psyches of not only Americans but the global minions out of which springs more and more distrust and hate for America.
Let’s let 2020 be clear vision for us all and for our country. Especially for those yet unborns — some of whom danced so wonderfully happy on stage at the Friday night Variety Show. Let’s give them a future to keep that smile on their faces.
Daveed Jose Bin Severoni
THE GOOD NEWS
As the scum of the world runs it into the Great Spirit, into the ground, I am reading Cascadia's Fault. Sooner (maybe before letting you finish your herbal tea) or later (maybe another few generations -- until it has long since disappeared from the news) -- Cascadia's Fault will rupture. Millions on the West Coast will wish they had never moved the Oregon Coast of Northern California. Portland. Seattle. Eugene. Leggett. Had kept working at the Target in the Willow Creek Mall in the Cleveland suburbs.
Oceanographers, seismologists, the interested and trained worldwide are aghast at what is coming. One of their latest and most hearty big questions is when. Not if. Pretty much everything except a few unexpectedly spared places will be under four stories of cold seawater. The seawater will be transporting everything it has found, from dog turds to redwoods. Sheets of plywood. Your kids. Awash. All that we have made.
Reading the predictions has the same effect as watching a slasher movie. Suffering as an afternoon's entertainment. All is still. It is cloudy. Being Eugene. Shit happens. Drink the coffee. Try kissing her. Take the kids to a movie. Buy those tickets. Make the reservations. This, as they say, is the goodness. Eh? Let's go to the coast.