MCT: Thursday, April 11, 2019

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JULIAN ASSANGE has been arrested by British police today following an extradition request by the US after Ecuador dramatically withdrew his political asylum seven years after he was given refuge in the country's London embassy. The Wikileaks founder, sporting a scruffy beard and unkempt hair, was dragged out of the building head-first in handcuffs by a group of seven men as stunned supporters watched on as he screamed out 'the UK must resist'. Shortly, British authorities confirmed that the whistleblower was being held on behalf of the US authorities, as well as for breaching bail conditions following allegations of rape in Sweden. Assange, 47, has always feared extradition to the US, where his lawyers have claimed he could face the death penalty for the mass leaking of highly-classified documents through WikiLeaks. It was accidentally revealed in November that Assange had been secretly indicted by the US Justice Department, but the exact nature of the charges against the 47-year-old was not disclosed.

Assange was clutching a Gore Vidal book as he was dragged from Ecuador's embassy.

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A WEAK SYSTEM will spread light rain across the area today. Dry and pleasant conditions will return for Friday and most of Saturday, before the next chance for light rain returns Sunday. Additional chances for light rain will continue into next week. (National Weather Service)

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IN THE NARCISSIST’S WAKE

Dear Editor,

A friend alerted me to the AVA’s recent Hamburg post, which included my name. Thanks for pulling me out of winter hibernation, in between warm weather mural painting seasons. I trust you won’t mind a comment and reprint of my heartfelt letter responding to your previous mention of Dan’s marital scenario.

I always thought Dan was nuts to leave me, and events during the subsequent years sort of proved my point. In 2015, Dan’s descent was my own private nightmare, until its radius extended. I was no longer privy to inside information, but public events were bizarre enough. For example when, rather than reasonably staying away from endorsing a fellow progressive candidate in 2018 while he was the sitting supervisor, he splashily backed the only Republican in the race with full-page color ads. The secret selling of his property out from under the kids, as you mentioned, was super strange and seems perhaps to go against what I believed to be the wishes of his late wife. There is also the way that mental health professionals in his intimate circle acted in a personal capacity, no doubt at his urging, but possibly to the detriment of his professional care. His absence at months of Supervisors’ meetings naturally raised concern. The flight to Oregon seems like a last ditch effort to make life changes through a geographical move.

In my letter from 2016, which I include below, I said I intended to land on my feet. It hasn’t always been easy, but I think I have, thanks especially to two large public projects, the second — my historical narrative mural depicting our region in twenty-six scenes on the north wall of the Ukiah Valley Conference Center — headed for completion this summer. I’m fine being a recalled mayor, a divorced newlywed, an exceptionally trained artist, and author of three upcoming works: my historical novel about a real double portrait of two men, one the famous Venetian Renaissance painter Giovanni Bellini and the other his little-known lifelong assistant; a trilogy set in Paleolithic Europe, which will illuminate what people did for survival but also for fun (including demonstration sex); and the promised autobiography. Perhaps tantalizing first pages might be printed here to stimulate sales.

Before closing, I just feel the need to clarify your paper’s remark about the motivation behind my marriage to Dan. It wasn’t for the insurance! Thanks to Obamacare, it would have been cheaper to buy it.

After all is said and done, much to the disruption of both our lives at the time, and despite what came after, Dan and I did it for love.

In May 2016 you guys concluded your remarks about us with this:

“HAMBURG’S PRIVATE LIFE is nobody’s biz but his. It becomes public business when he uses public money to fix his estranged wife’s feet. On the other hand, who can begrudge the abandoned Ms. Sinnott, a nice lady fallen into narcissism's very cynosure? We hope she lands on her new feet.”

Here, again, is my response:


NARCISSISM’S VERY CYNOSURE

Editor,

Wow, I was just told of your recent pieces concerning my marriage to county supervisor Dan Hamburg! Your source must be someone very close to Dan, to judge from the detailed information provided. My husband’s response when you asked for comment was also telling. I’m no fan of euphemisms, but I might have been comforted by a generic “Please respect our privacy as my wife and I get through a difficult time, for her sake if not for mine…” Instead, he offered only a correction of his married lover’s name, thereby confirming her role in his life and displaying his solicitude for her. As for me, I have neither been spoken for nor had a voice in the matter, so why not respond to your story about my life? Regarding several of the points in your article, I would offer comments about begging, foot surgery, insurance, love and dashed hope, as well as a literary observation.

As you wrote, there was a very dark day last October, in the tenth month of our marriage, when my husband came home with his absolutely shocking announcement of divorce with no discussion, and I did beg, but not for my surgery. It was to give us not a second, third or fourth chance, but a first chance! I begged him to give me more than one single hour to talk and to work on any issue he wanted and -- especially -- to get counseling. The answer to all of it was no. I also of course begged him to tell me why, and the answer to this was “I don’t know.”

At that moment, my first surgery had already happened, and was wildly successful: I kept up with all my physical work and my foot now contains three really large titanium bolts. My cast had just come off that week and I was back on my feet (and bike.) The next surgery, on the other side, was already planned for this year. You wrote that my husband “uses public money to fix his estranged wife’s feet.” The reality is more mundane. Similar to employees across the country, the supervisors have health insurance, paid half by the employer — the county — and half by the individual for him or herself. The employee pays extra to include a spouse in the plan, as is the case for us. This was pretty wonderful for me who, as a self-employed artist, never before had access to an employee benefits package. I was also grateful that my flat feet, which had stayed strong for so long, chose this newly insured year to go south. Now I could start walking, even dancing again.

But in one day, the comfortable life I was wrapped in blew away. The months following were isolated and tearful, but also introspective and healing. I had waited a long time to remarry and took the commitment seriously, so this reversal was huge for me, yet even in the saddest times, I knew the good outweighed the bad. No one can steal history, and I will always have the experience of our many candlelight dinners, cooking together and slow dancing to our wedding play list, champagne corks popped into the oak forest, dreaming up interesting topics of conversation, lying under the starry night sky, our massive work effort together on Dan’s castle cottage, asking questions about items on his agenda (yes I do enjoy that!), picking fruit so I could make frozen smoothies for us on hot Ukiah afternoons… Etc.

All of that outweighs the harsh and fast end. Dan and I are working together through this period with love, if not courage, and no one needs to feel awkward around either of us. Plus I have the great outfit I made for our wedding, which will certainly not go to waste. Please indulge me, AVA, since you have shown prior interest in my clothes (May 7, 2014). Allow me to mention that should anyone throw a formal party, I have a French blue and gold tailcoat, sheer under-dress, black and white lace bodice, ivory mini skirt, and historic 18th-century shoes.

So yes, the experience of our love outweighs the more recent story of Dan’s descent, which — although it shredded our marriage — is not mine to tell.

Hamburg & Sinnott in better times

Finally, in your May 6 edition you say:

"On the other hand, who can begrudge the abandoned Ms. Sinnott, a nice lady fallen into narcissism's very cynosure?"

I can't let a sentence like that pass by without praise. It is not often that I am led to the dictionary, but I was, and it was worth it! A sentence both apt and brilliant, though really, narcissism’s very cynosure — the brightest star and center of attention even amongst a whole group of stars of their own shows — that might be a certain presidential candidate we see nightly on the news. I’ve been telling friends that I’m doing well. I have too much to do (books to write, pictures to paint) to mope. I think Dan was lucky to get me as a wife, and — when you think of the public crying and screaming that could occur — he was lucky to get me as an ex-wife. This chapter in life will produce reflection and personal growth, and will translate through art into beauty. Plus, with your phrase you have provided me a chapter heading.

And I certainly do intend to land on my new feet.

Lauren Sinnott

Point Arena

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Blackfeet Nation

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THANKS SUCKAS!

A PASSING REFERENCE from the Press Democrat’s abbreviated coverage of Sonoma County’s budget woes caught our eye. The Sonoma County Water Agency, which owns 80% of the water stored in Lake Mendocino and markets it to other water agencies in Sonoma County and Marin, has a huge budget surplus built up on the profits from Mendo’s water, but which is not available to help close either Mendo's or Sonoma County’s budget deficits.

“SONOMA WATER AGENCY, with a $253 million preliminary budget, has its own income stream, largely derived from the sale of Russian River water to 600,000 residents in Sonoma and Marin counties. “You have more money than God,” Supervisor Susan Gorin told water agency chief Grant Davis. ($253 million is almost as much as Mendo’s entire budget.)

OF COURSE the PD wouldn’t mention that SoCo’s water agency is selling Mendocino County water — itself drawn mostly from the Eel River via the Potter Valley diversion — setting aside the water in their own Lake Sonoma reservoir (which is largely Mendo water, too).

WHEN FORMER SUPERVISOR John Pinches suggested a few years ago that Mendo look into revising the deal with Sonoma County Water Agency based on the fact that much of the water in Lake Sonoma originates in Mendocino County and therefore Mendo should get some share of the Water Agency’s huge profits, his fellow Supes — including current Supervisors Brown, McCowen and Gjerde — scoffed and wouldn’t even second his motion just to look into it.

SO NOW, all that money made off our water just sits there in the Sonoma County Water Agency's coffers, not even available to Sonoma County itself.


Background:

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GETTING LEGAL, an on-line comment:

Where we are we are currently on historic active agriculture land (more than 100 year history) with AG zoning for decades now and when making the change from alfalfa to cannabis we had to spend endless money (over $200k so far) preparing and winding our way through the endless CEQA requirements, greenhouse gas studies, biological, cultural, … etc. We could have switched from alfalfa to any other crop or husbandry agriculture and never had to even ask permission, but no … endless money flushed down the toilet.

On land that’s tilled, mowed and baled every year, how could there be rare plants? We had to pay to have a traffic study done for our wide paved county road AND a major US highway in the middle of nowhere even with only a handful of employees (we’re only 1 mile or so off of a US highway). It matters not that by switching the area to cannabis we REDUCE damaging heavy truck traffic – still have to do the study.

Prop 64 took us out of the ministerial permitting process and dumped us into the world of CUP/SUP (conditional/special use permits). This triggers all these CEQA requirements and YES, every other industry in California that falls outside ministerial permitting has to go through the exact same process.

Is it fair? No – it’s not. It’s stupid actually that I can grow a field of tomatoes and not trigger CEQA. I can grow a field of .3% hemp (cannabis) and I’ve triggered it. 1/10th of 1% different in the plant and we get triggered. Silly.

It’s the new world however. Prop 64 demanded it so we either put our heads down and grind our way through it, go back to the pre-Prop 215 days and grow under fallen trees and watch for helicopters, or choose an entirely new way of life. Change is hard.

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BOONVILLE QUIZ TONIGHT: Stand outside in the sunshine and warm up your brain. Tonight, Thursday, April 11, is the 2nd Thursday of the month (April 11th) and time for The General Knowledge and Trivia Quiz Night at Lauren’s in Boonville. Hope to see you there. Cheers, Steve Sparks, The Quiz Master

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CORRECTION: Last Friday's exciting high speed chase over the hill from Ukiah, through Boonville and up Greenwood Road ended when the bandido, whose stolen truck had blown a tire, ran into an embankment not far from the Signal Ridge junction. Our initial report said the chase ended when the thief inexplicably pulled over and surrendered. Of course if he hadn't blown a tire and run off the road, who knows what mayhem may have ensued.

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DOWNTOWN EUREKA HOUSING PROJECT aims to house homeless, veterans, mentally ill

times-standard.com/2019/04/09/downtown-eureka-housing-project-aims-to-house-homeless-veterans-mentally-ill/

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PAUL’S HANDYMAN SERVICES (Anderson Valley)

Household repairs, window/door replacement, plumbing/electrical repairs, kitchen/bathroom improvements, closet upgrades, make/install cabinets, floor installation, deck repairs, carpentry, appliance installation & maintenance, and much more.

Paul Lasicki

paullasicki@gmail.com

h: 707/895-3294, c: 914/805-7787.

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WOULD BE NICE IF MENDOCINO COLLEGE TOOK THE HINT…

Santa Rosa JC plans on-campus student housing as soon as 2022.

pressdemocrat.com/news/9481250-181/santa-rosa-junior-college-advances

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ABRAKADEBRA BODYWORK

Boxcar Boardwalk, Boonville

Where you can find bikes, bobbles, books, brochures and bodywork!

abrakadebra.vistaprintdigital.com

707/357-3068 (Text works best!)

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CATCH OF THE DAY, April 10, 2019

Andrew, Diaz, Kester-Tyler

MICHAEL ANDREW, Hopland. Under influence.

JESSE DIAZ, Willits. Community supervision violation.

DEVIN KESTER-TYLER, Ukiah. Probation revocation.

Moody, Moore, Piver

PATRISHA MOODY, Ukiah. Controlled substance, paraphernalia, disposal of refuse in state waters, probation revocation.

JOSHUA MOORE, Searcy, Arkansas/Calpella. Community supervision violation.

MARK PIVER, Ukiah. Probation revocation.

Ratley, Smith, St.Laurent, White

MICHAEL RATLEY JR., Willits. Grand theft, vandalism, offenses while on bail.

BRANDON SMITH, Willits. Willits. Probation revocation.

LARRY ST. LAURENT, Willits. Controlled substance for sale and transportation, paraphernalia, probation revocation.

XAVIER WHITE, Ukiah. Failure to appear.

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A TRADITIONAL SPAGHETTI DINNER will be held at the Whitesboro Grange on Saturday, April 13th from 4-7 p.m. On the menu are salad, spaghetti with Bob Canclini’s famous sauce (meat or vegetarian), garlic bread, beverage and pie or cake for dessert. Adults $8, age 6-12 half price, children under 6 eat FREE. This is a fundraiser for the Fort Bragg Grange. Whitesboro Grange is located 1.5 miles east on Navarro Ridge. Watch for signs just south of the Albion Bridge.

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NO BASIS FOR…

Editor:

I am not surprised that former Nevada legislator Lucy Flores believes that Joe Biden should be disqualified as a presidential candidate. According to Flores, Biden inappropriately kissed her on the top of the head while they were campaigning together in 2014.

But I wonder if such behavior is a basis to disqualify a presidential candidate, how could anyone possibly support the reelection of Donald Trump in 2020 given his two reported affairs and associated hush money payments while married to his current wife, Melania?

Sherman Schapiro

Blue Lake

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ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY

I’m sure people would want to know if their oncologist owned a mortuary. Or if their financial advisor had $200,000 in student loan debt and was in arrears. Or if their dentist was a paranoid schizophrenic with sadistic tendencies. Or if their son’s teacher was a convicted pedarest. Or if their accountant was a tax cheat. But Trumptards would have us believe it is wrong, nay it is evil, that we should want to know if these things are true about our freakin’ president. Do you see how far out of touch they are? It’s out where the buses don’t run. It’s where the streets have no name. It’s where the rainbow ends. 1024 La La Land, Aurora Borealis, Milky Way.

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BLACKFOOT CAMP under Citadel Mountain, Montana, 1910.

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CHECKING IN on this evening's news, the charade we are compelled to accept as governance, I have this reaction:

What we need is a mob in the District of Columbia--not a "demonstration," not a "protest"--a MOB of innumerable, literally countless, unstoppable, utterly determined American citizens, too many for police and national guard, for the Secret Service and Trump's biker friends, a mob precisely as subservient to current law as is the president of these United States of America.

If you don't think that I, old and sore, won't be there with my walking sticks, just try me. I was a paratrooper. I jumped out of a bunch of perfectly good airplanes to defend my fatherland from traitors like the curs now in charge.

(Mitch Clogg)

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…NO MATTER where the stories came from they all featured a few familiar beats: A loved one seemed to have changed over time. Maybe that person was already somewhat conservative to start. Maybe they were apolitical. But at one point or another, they sat down in front of Fox News, found some kind of deep, addictive comfort in the anger and paranoia, and became a different person — someone difficult, if not impossible, to spend time with. The fallout led to failed marriages and estranged parental relationships.

For at least one person, it marks the final memory he’ll ever have of his father: “When I found my dad dead in his armchair, fucking Fox News was on the TV,” this reader told me. “It’s likely the last thing he saw. I hate what that channel and conservative talk radio did to my funny, compassionate dad. He spent the last years of his life increasingly angry, bigoted, and paranoid.”

Something about the piece struck a chord. It had gone viral, and wave after wave of frustrated and saddened Fox News orphans began to commiserate with me and with each other on Twitter and in my messages.

Others wrote of similar phenomenon in Australia with the television channel Sky or in the U.K. with the tabloid Daily Mail. I heard from more than a hundred people who felt like they could relate to what they all seemed to think of as a kind of ideological brain poisoning. They chose Fox News over their family, people told me. They chose Fox News over me.

There was the one reader who wrote of his Puerto Rican uncle becoming a Fox News junkie, and turning on his own people, as he put it, in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria. “He was literally sitting in the dark and still defending Trump,” he said, which seemed a metaphor almost too on the nose…

Young parents wrote that they don’t want to bring their children to visit aging Fox-brainers. “The worst is when my children go to spend time with their grandparents and come home with Fox News talking points coming out of their mouths,” one told me. “I have to decontaminate them every time”…

One woman told me about her mother, who has stopped talking to her since becoming convinced Democrats are murdering children. It wasn’t always this way, she explained. Her mother had been a Democrat until 2008, and then something switched.

A lot of the stories echoed that turning point. There was something about Obama that seemed to make a lot of previously apolitical or moderate family members lose their minds. Gosh — what could it have possibly been?

This is, I think, where the channel’s genius lies. Any salesperson or con artist will tell you that you can’t insert a thought in a mark’s mind out of nowhere. You have to find the hook that’s already there — fear, or desire — and exploit it.

When it comes to exacerbating and honing the anxieties of aging Americans you can’t do much better (or worse) than race and immigration…

— Luke O’Neil, O'Neil's blog: Welcome to Hell World.

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THE REAL GRIZZLY ADAMS

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JOE BIDEN IS NOT HELPING!

By joking about the allegations against him, the former vice president does injury to women, Democrats and his reputation.

rollingstone.com/politics/politics-features/joe-biden-not-helping-819460/

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MINUTES FROM THE BROADBAND ALLIANCE of Mendocino County's March Meeting

mendocinobroadband.org/wp-content/uploads/BAMC-Minutes-March-Public-Outreach-Meeting2.pdf

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MEDICARE FOR ALL

by Bernie Sanders

This is a pivotal moment in American history. Do we, as a nation, join the rest of the industrialized world and guarantee comprehensive health care to every person as a human right? Or do we maintain a system that is enormously expensive, wasteful and bureaucratic, and is designed to maximize profits for big insurance companies, the pharmaceutical industry, Wall Street and medical equipment suppliers?

We remain the only major country on earth that allows chief executives and stockholders in the health care industry to get incredibly rich, while tens of millions of people suffer because they can’t get the health care they need. This is not what the United States should be about.

All over this country, I have heard from Americans who have shared heartbreaking stories about our dysfunctional system. Doctors have told me about patients who died because they put off their medical visits until it was too late. These were people who had no insurance or could not afford out-of-pocket costs imposed by their insurance plans.

I have heard from older people who have been forced to split their pills in half because they couldn’t pay the outrageously high price of prescription drugs. Oncologists have told me about cancer patients who have been unable to acquire lifesaving treatments because they could not afford them. This should not be happening in the world’s wealthiest country.

Americans should not hesitate about going to the doctor because they do not have enough money. They should not worry that a hospital stay will bankrupt them or leave them deeply in debt. They should be able to go to the doctor they want, not just one in a particular network. They should not have to spend huge amounts of time filling out complicated forms and arguing with insurance companies as to whether or not they have the coverage they expected.

Even though 28 million Americans remain uninsured and even more are underinsured, we spend far more per capita on health care than any other industrialized nation. In 2015, the United States spent almost $10,000 per person for health care; the Canadians, Germans, French and British spent less than half of that, while guaranteeing health care to everyone. Further, these countries have higher life expectancy rates and lower infant mortality rates than we do.

The reason that our health care system is so outrageously expensive is that it is not designed to provide quality care to all in a cost-effective way, but to provide huge profits to the medical-industrial complex. Layers of bureaucracy associated with the administration of hundreds of individual and complicated insurance plans is stunningly wasteful, costing us hundreds of billions of dollars a year. As the only major country not to negotiate drug prices with the pharmaceutical industry, we spend tens of billions more than we should.

The solution to this crisis is not hard to understand. A half-century ago, the United States established Medicare. Guaranteeing comprehensive health benefits to Americans over 65 has proved to be enormously successful, cost-effective and popular. Now is the time to expand and improve Medicare to cover all Americans.

This is not a radical idea. I live 50 miles south of the Canadian border. For decades, every man, woman and child in Canada has been guaranteed health care through a single-payer, publicly funded health care program. This system has not only improved the lives of the Canadian people but has also saved families and businesses an immense amount of money.

Today, Wednesday, I will introduce the Medicare for All Act in the Senate with 15 co-sponsors and support from dozens of grass-roots organizations. Under this legislation, every family in America would receive comprehensive coverage, and middle-class families would save thousands of dollars a year by eliminating their private insurance costs as we move to a publicly funded program.

The transition to the Medicare for All program would take place over four years. In the first year, benefits to older people would be expanded to include dental care, vision coverage and hearing aids, and the eligibility age for Medicare would be lowered to 55. All children under the age of 18 would also be covered. In the second year, the eligibility age would be lowered to 45 and in the third year to 35. By the fourth year, every man, woman and child in the country would be covered by Medicare for All.

Needless to say, there will be huge opposition to this legislation from the powerful special interests that profit from the current wasteful system. The insurance companies, the drug companies and Wall Street will undoubtedly devote a lot of money to lobbying, campaign contributions and television ads to defeat this proposal. But they are on the wrong side of history.

Guaranteeing health care as a right is important to the American people not just from a moral and financial perspective; it also happens to be what the majority of the American people want. According to an April poll by The Economist/YouGov, 60 percent of the American people want to “expand Medicare to provide health insurance to every American,” including 75 percent of Democrats, 58 percent of independents and 46 percent of Republicans.

Now is the time for Congress to stand with the American people and take on the special interests that dominate health care in the United States. Now is the time to extend Medicare to everyone.

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“Every position here is ‘acting.’ As in, we’re all acting like he knows what he’s doing.”

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NANCY MCCLOUD WRITES: Please check out "Copenhill", a massive facility in Copenhagen, that converts trash to electricity, thus far providing power to 30,000 homes and heat for 60,000 homes. It is very clean burning, and captures carbon dioxide emissions in line w/ Denmark's goal to become carbon-neutral by 2050. Google it for details - CAN WE DO THIS IN OUR COUNTRY???

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OXIES II

As good as Sam Quinones’s book, Dreamland: The True Tale of America’s Opiate Epidemic, is, the world it describes is already dated. Around the time it was published in June of 2016, another chemical, fentanyl, began killing heroin users in North America. Fentanyl does not require a poppy harvest to produce and it is far more potent than heroin, which means that it can be smuggled in small quantities. It is also far more dangerous, and its appearance in the drug supply has been accompanied by a sharp uptick in the rate of overdose. Among those being killed are older African Americans, whom researchers think might represent a population of veteran heroin addicts only now affected by the change in the drug supply.

The response to all of these deaths has been slow, but there has been some progress. The US ended a ban on federal funding for needle exchanges. The US and Canada have made naloxone, which can reverse an opiate overdose in an emergency, available without a prescription. The US federal government has allotted some funds to train doctors in medication-assisted treatment options. Other countries have tried to reduce deaths by distributing clean drugs to addicts. In seven European countries, including the UK, doctors are able to prescribe medical-grade heroin to treatment-resistant patients, offering them much greater stability and safety in the maintenance of their addictions. In Canada, where tens of thousands of people have died of fentanyl-related overdoses, the government has also begun trials which treat heroin addicts with heroin. To keep its addicts from buying drugs tainted with fentanyl, the city of Vancouver has begun an experiment with street vending machines that dispense limited doses of hydromorphone to pre-approved patients.

The US is not culturally prepared for solutions of this sort. In 2015, it took Mike Pence, then the governor of Indiana, two months to authorize a needle exchange program to stop a growing HIV epidemic among intravenous drug users in his state. While more than a hundred people acquired the virus, Pence deliberated. He said he needed to ‘pray on it’. Among the general population the old biases are still intact: one study found that support for prescribing heroin to dependent users in the US was very low, although the numbers improved when the researchers called it ‘diamorphine’ instead of ‘heroin’.

Over the past several years, Purdue has become mired in lawsuits from states for its promotion of OxyContin. Some of the evidence has implicated the billionaires who own the company, the Sackler family, who have wings of museums named for them around the world. (In March, London’s National Portrait Gallery said that a planned £1 million donation from the Sackler family would not proceed; Tate, too, has said that it will no longer be accepting donations from the Sacklers.) The most prominent of these is a lawsuit filed in June 2018 by the state of Massachusetts that directly implicates eight members of the Sackler family, claiming that from 2007 to 2016 they were among those at Purdue who ‘engaged in a deadly and illegal scheme to deceive doctors and patients’, by encouraging sales reps to pitch OxyContin at higher doses even when its dangers were well known. During these years the family paid itself more than four billion dollars in profits.

The Centers for Disease Control tallied that more than 191 million opiate prescriptions were dispensed in 2017, a rate of 58.7 prescriptions for every hundred Americans (and the lowest rate in ten years). Purdue claims that only two per cent of opiate prescriptions written in the year ending in September 2018 were for OxyContin. According to a Reuters report, sales from OxyContin were $1.7 billion in 2017, down from $2.6 billion five years earlier. In mid-February, Nan Goldin led a protest at the Guggenheim in New York, showering its lobby with a deep, dense and white blizzard of fake prescriptions that quoted an email exchange between Robert Kaiko, the inventor of OxyContin, and Richard Sackler. ‘If OxyContin is uncontrolled, it is highly likely that it will eventually be abused,’ Kaiko wrote, with apparent concern. ‘How substantially would it improve our sales?’ Sackler replied. Purdue issued a statement describing the lawsuit as ‘part of a continuing effort to single out Purdue, blame it for the entire opioid crisis, and try the case in the court of public opinion rather than the justice system’. Even if the lawsuits succeed they have come too late.

In 2018, a subsidiary of Purdue filed a patent for a fast-acting version of buprenorphine, a variation on the opiate addiction treatment drug Suboxone. The FDA continues to approve new opiate painkillers. The most recent, late last year, 2018, was a drug called Dsuvia, a painkiller so potent its doses are measured in micrograms.

(Emily Witt, ‘A Blizzard of Prescriptions,’ London Review of Books)

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MARK ROTHKO ART

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IMPRESSIONS AFTER WATCHING KEN BURNS' 'NATIONAL PARKS.'

John Muir was a racist. I have been to all of the places featured in the film. Yosemite. Florida. Wisconsin. Glacier Bay. Muir Woods.

His prose is rhapsodic, but after an hour gets tiresome. Was happy that the hour-long film finally finished. Many photos of him. Photographers never mentioned, not credited. Deep and wide-ranging research. What has become of Yosemite is appalling. Hetch Hetchy, the roads. The tourists. The destruction. I just read that Ken Burns is worth about $1,500,000, or was. I was glad when it finally ended. But someday I will probably watch it again. Great stories.

Inspiring. I am about to make scrambled eggs. John Muir shared the same old geezer look which seems to have been invented in the nineteenth century. Long hair. Grey beard. Oakland at Baltimore tonight. I will probably be asleep. Watching catamounts. John Muir probably ate scrambled eggs, too. He finally made his piece with native Americans when he hired some to canoe him 800 miles to glacier bay. Wonderful turns of phrase, like Leonard Cohen. "There is a crack in everything." Or Ween. "Piss up a rope." I imagine that native Americans ate chicken eggs too.

(Bruce Brady)

4 Responses to "MCT: Thursday, April 11, 2019"

  1. Mike   April 11, 2019 at 6:58 am

    Here is a photo album on the mural. Some of the models included (a wolf, Dave Pomo, Jose Ruiz, 2 of the children) as well as helper Phil Dow:
    https://newsunwesternskies.com/church-street-mural-by-lauren-sinnott/

    Reply
  2. Harvey Reading   April 11, 2019 at 8:38 am

    U.S. and British fascism advances yet another step with the arrest of Assange by our limey servants. Enjoy it folks, and be sure to keep watching the corporate nooze and popping those antidepressants and other feel-good drugs …

    Reply
  3. james marmon   April 11, 2019 at 10:28 am

    MENTAL HEALTH CRISIS INTERVENTION ISSUES AND STUPID COPS:

    There are serious crimes being committed right in front of them, and they want to lock up the victims.

    Where’s the money Camille?

    James Marmon MSW

    Reply

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