Dave Smith

Dave Smith: The death of books has been greatly exaggerated [Updated]


From DAVE SMITH
Bookseller
Ukiah

Letter to the Editors:

The death of books and libraries has been greatly exaggerated (Tom Hine, Ukiah Daily Journal, 9/18/11 – See below), just as the death of radio was proclaimed many years ago. “Books and libraries are evolving” would be the correct assesment in my opinion.

What I’m learning from my customers is that some people, mainly younger, are indeed moving completely into personal technology for their book reading; some, mainly older, will have nothing to do with reading books on a computer screen; but most book readers still love having physical books in their hands to read, and to pass around, while they also may use technology sometimes when they travel.

I think that will be the norm for awhile yet, and then, as Peak Oil starts pushing energy prices into the stratosphere, and our energy infrastructure crumbles, as it is already beginning to do, then all bets are off. How affordable will eBooks be then, or even available? Will real books be used as barter currency? Will there be armed guards at the library and Mendocino Book Company to prevent looting? Hmmm. You may want to hang on to those books taking up space in your house for awhile yet, Tom. A local farmer may be quite willing to trade some organic potatoes and kale for your dog-eared copy of War and Peace, when times get really tough and your Kindle is gathering dust in the closet.
~

[Update] Assignment Ukiah: Rise of the Kindle, the end of books
Tom Hine

I bought two Kindles in the past month. This is bad news for everybody in the world of book publishing because if I’m starting to make the transition everybody is.

Kindles are new electronic gizmos that I won’t even try to explain, other than that just about every book in the known world is available on one, the vast majority for free. Half my family members now have Kindles and they love them. That’s more bad news for books.

If I ran Random House Publishing I’d try merging with Proctor & Gamble. If I was Ann Kilkenny at the Mendocino Book Company I’d start stocking the shelves with potato chips and 12-packs of Budweiser. If I ran the county library I’d start making calls to see if there were any openings on a road crew.

Books are in trouble. I’m the canary in the coal mine and I just fell flat on my back. My wife reads two or three books a week; she reads murder mysteries faster than the industry prints them. We have books on every horizontal surface of the house, plus boxes and boxes of books up in the rafters in the garage. We spend more on books in any given year than we do in car payments and cable TV service put together.

Oops. Did I say we “spend” more money …?

Sorry.

That should have been “spent” more money. Our book-buying days are coming to an end, you see. So are yours, but you might not know it yet.

Teri recently went to Europe for a few weeks and instead of toting along 40 used paperbacks, all she took was one thin Kindle loaded with several thousand titles. And yeah, I’ll bet she missed those old books with their familiar tactile sensations, the lovely aroma of ink and musty paper creating the evocative fragrance she’s spent a lifetime experiencing, the pages unfolding as she immersed herself in the magical realm of reading.

I’m sure she missed out on all those charming sensory delights. But I’m also sure she got over it by about page six of the first “book” she read on Kindle. She loves her new electric book replacement unit. So does my son. He’s already adapted to the new reading format and can hardly remember what it was like when he didn’t have one. Sort of the way you feel about yellow sticky notes and sushi.

The rise of Kindle and similar devices coincides with the ongoing collapse of the big box book stores. Borders Books is gone, Barnes & Noble is down with a chilled, sweaty fever. They’ll be revived and in good health around the same time drive-in movies, cassette tapes, and the local pear industry are revived.

Inevitably we come to the question of what all this means for libraries across the country and right here in Mendocino County. At the moment the usual batch of big-hearted progressives around the county want you to Vote Yes on a tax increase that will provide an eighth-cent increase to the library from now until (a) Borders Books returns or (b) forever, whichever comes first.

Why should we guarantee funding for the library from now until the end of time when none of us think the library system will endure? No one would possibly tell you the future of libraries is bright except maybe a librarian, and that’s only because her paycheck depends on it.

Do you think that libraries are going to be more like Borders Books in five years or more like Amazon Books? Well, there’s your answer. There is absolutely no reason to be writing a huge check to local libraries every year when the book publishers themselves are out of business and the only things libraries have on their shelves are potato chips and 12-packs of Budweiser.

Anyone who would be willing to bet libraries will still be up and running 10 years from now is a fool. Anyone betting that their grandchildren are going to be happy to continue to pay massive annual fees so libraries can continue to pretend to be doing something functional and necessary in 2025 shouldn’t be trusted with their grandchildren’s inheritance.

Before we all pledge an endless stream of money to this dinosaur business called The Library, we should take some minimal precautions that the business will still be around when we aren’t. And I’m pretty darn sure libraries won’t.

TWK reminds you that the same familiar mob of locals who have never met a tax increase they didn’t embrace and fall in love with are the ones pushing the new library tax. But remember: They love taxes. They name their children after their favorite taxes. Tom Hine just lives in Ukiah and doesn’t want to get involved.
~~

Our Only Hope


From DAVE SMITH
Ukiah

To the Editors:

Our only hope is long-term hope, and our only real power in dealing with peak oil, climate change, and financial chaos is locally within our communities.

Having said that, I’m a registered Independent because I cannot stand either major political party. I can’t stand the Republican Party leadership for their stupid, greedy, corrupt, libertarian selfishness who don’t give a hoot about their constituents and spend all their time and energy trying to defeat their opponents and kill democratic governance. I can’t stand many of the Democratic Party rank-and-file for their stupid, mumbling, head-shaking, back-stabbing disloyalty to the President they worked for and elected.

President Obama plays by the rules with the hand he was dealt. As one of my favorite bloggers wrote: “He’s not Moses, he’s the President. He presides. He doesn’t rule. We gave him an awful job, and he’s doing it with dignity, sobriety, intelligence, and a variety of other personal and administrative virtues that were absent or compromised in the prior two administrations… while running a country that risks devolving into misery and chaos… in a system rigged against him.”

What is wrong with you people? Obama hurt your feelings? Poor babies. If nothing else, don’t you understand what will happen if the dark side rides again and appoints a couple more corporate Supreme Court judges who, illegally and unconstitutionally, rule us as Kings? We will be a lost nation for generations to come.

Get real, Democrats! Even though he’s not the second coming of Jesus Christ, I’ll be supporting and voting for Obama in the next election, and if you sit this one out you will have betrayed us all.
~
See also So ya think Obama’s not doing his job? Think again…
~~

Up To Us


From DAVE SMITH
Ukiah

To the Editors (AVA, UDJ):

Up To Us

Floods, drought, natural fires, hurricanes, violent storms, massive species extinction, infrastructure collapse, terrorist attacks, food riots, starvation, economic disaster, peak oil, climate change, water shortages, food shortages, soil depletion, wars, rumors of wars, entitlement slashing, and political ineptitude seem now to be reaching critical mass. Will technology save us? How about ideology? Don’t want to think about it?

Here on Mendo Island, it’s much easier to just go to the beach, or drift off in a purple haze of giggly weed. Surely someone is going to figure all this out and save us. Someone? Anyone? Where are you?

Nope, up to us… up to you… and up to our local communities. We will get through this with local mutual aid or we will not get through this at all.

The world economy and corrupt politicos are bringing us down. Local economies and community-level solutions can bring us forward to a simpler, saner, sustainable living.

Here are some ideas and inspiration to google: shareable, resilience circles and transition towns.
~~

Dave Smith: Democracy still works locally


To the Editors:

Democracy still works locally. Thanks to the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors for responding to citizens by, hopefully, pounding the final nail in the Monster Mall coffin, and preserving our farm land.

Despite the silliness of some who tried to confuse the issue by misinterpreting the overwhelming vote against the mall, the faithful souls of smart growth and environmental sanity have once again prevailed. Thank you all.

Dave Smith
Ukiah
~

Breaking the Chains Campaign

Breaking the Chains Campaign is focusing consumers’ attention on how each purchasing decision can lead to a safer, greener, and more equitable society. Millions of green minded consumers around the world have broken the chains of corporate control in their own lives, by supporting organic, Fair Made, and locally produced products and businesses.

It is time for these individuals to come together as a single voice to break the influence of big chains, corporate agribusiness, and sweatshop driven economies the world over.

Peet’s at Peet’s or Peet’s at Zach’s?


OR…

From DAVE SMITH
Ukiah

To the Editors:

The Peet’s Corporation has asked the Ukiah City Council not to ban it from our downtown (See UDJ Article Below). The choice could not be clearer. We have access to Peet’s fresh-brewed coffees at Schat’s Bakery downtown, owned by Zachery Schat and his family. Now the Peet’s Corporation, traded on the NASDAQ stock exchange, wants the right to move into our downtown.

There is only one difference between the two companies:

Ukiah: Taking Control of Our Common Destiny


From DAVE SMITH
Ukiah

In this time of Peak Oil [link], Climate Change, and Disaster Capitalism, we Ukiahans will take democratic control of our own food, our money, and our energy resources, or others from elsewhere will surely succeed in taking that control away from us. Disaster Capitalism takes advantage of short-term social and financial bedlam and turns it into long-term privatizing schemes that convert our democratic control of crucial resources and services — such as schools, libraries, water and waste systems, prisons — into top-down, corporate-controlled, long-term cash cows for the very few. These schemes have utterly failed to become more efficient and save tax payers money. How could they? Profit-seeking constant-growth corporations privatize the profits and socialize the costs to our public detriment. And we citizens, instead of lower-cost, democratically-controlled resources and services, transfer our public money to the wealthy, and pay and pay and pay.

We also find ourselves continuously playing whack-a-mole… fighting off those who wish to impose their private will on our public community, leaving little time to think and act and build a positive inviting future worth fighting for.

There are several things we Ukiah citizens could be doing now instead of waiting for events that force us into decisions not in our common best interests:

1. Corporate Personhood: The state legalizes an activity – such as commercial water withdrawals, or factory farming, or big-box colonizers that take our jobs overseas – and communities are legally prohibited from saying “no” to it. Or, as may happen in our case, we reject by a huge majority vote a zoning change that protects a prime industrial parcel, and also reject by popular demand the closing of our downtown

B of A Street Protest Ukiah 4/15/11: Behind the Line


The usual suspects…
~

TED Talks: The Antidote to Apathy

Thanks to Sean Re
~~

Barry Vogel Interviews Richard Johnson — Part 4


From BARRY VOGEL
Radio Curious
Originally broadcast February 19th, 2008
Transcribed by Dave Smith
Parts 1|2|3|4
[Full Interview on MP3 available for download here]

A Revolutionary’s Memorial In His Own Words (cont.)

Barry: Tell us about your personal experience with marijuana.

Richard: Well, I stopped smoking about 3 years ago.

B: Why?

R: My lungs are shot… I have congestive heart failure… I don’t drink and I don’t smoke.

B: Do you eat marijuana?

R: Oh no.

B: Have you ever?

R: It makes me want to pass out. I remember eating a brownie at a rock concert and I was prostrate for about two and a half hours. What happens is that my blood vessels expand and my heart can’t keep up and I can’t stand up… I have to stare at the ceiling and try to breathe.

B: Well, Richard, I can’t help but asking,

Barry Vogel Interviews Richard Johnson — Part 3


From BARRY VOGEL
Radio Curious
Originally broadcast February 19th, 2008
Transcribed by Dave Smith
Parts 1|2|3|4
[Full Interview on MP3 available for download here]

A Revolutionary’s Memorial In His Own Words (cont.)

Barry: Richard, I want to stay with marijuana for a bit. Some people have said that the concept of medical marijuana is a political ruse… that many people enjoy marijuana just as many people enjoy wine… but we don’t hear of medical wine. Why do we hear of medical marijuana? Why not just allow marijuana to be?

Richard: I don’t know. I favor complete decriminalization. I believe medical marijuana was sold to the people of California in Proposition 215 as a half-way step to decriminalization in order to benefit people who are suffering, who needed medical marijuana, for example, on their way to die, or undergoing chemotherapy… and it is compassionate. So the voters of California said ok, for these suffering patients we will decriminalize marijuana, but only in this way. However, because it is only a partial decriminalization, it has created the situation that you noted before… the crime, the environmental abuse, the foreigners coming in, under the guise of medical marijuana… because partial decriminalization of a banned substance creates the anomalous situation of ample supply and high price simultaneously which contradicts a lot of economics… that’s what partial bans do. The way I state it is that medical marijuana is a government-granted franchise

Barry Vogel Interviews Richard Johnson — Part 2


From BARRY VOGEL
Radio Curious
Originally broadcast February 19th, 2008
Transcribed by Dave Smith
Parts 1|2|3|4
[Full Interview on MP3 available for download here]

A Revolutionary’s Memorial In His Own Words (cont.)

Richard: The more we environmentalists fail to hold [our local representatives] responsible for their votes, then we have failed to get electoral power. Now, as fully-realized spiritually-liberated beings, a lot of us think that going for political power is evil or selfish or bad. All we have to do is get rid of that idea and instead replace it with the idea that political power would be good if it were in our hands, and what we need to do is get some and exercise it… and what we need to do is select environmentalists. That would be a good half-way step I would like to see accomplished in my lifetime… to elect at least three, if not five, supervisors to the Board of Supervisors.

Barry: When you say “fully-realized spiritually-liberated beings” who did you have in mind?

R: (laughing) I was being facetious. Some of us think that we are fully-realized spiritually-liberated beings but we are not, as you know. I’m thinking of the left, the environmental community, the pot-smoking, back-to-the-land folks.

B: In your estimation, what percentage of the electorate does that community make up in this county?

Barry Vogel Interviews Richard Johnson — Part 1


From BARRY VOGEL
Radio Curious
Transcribed by Dave Smith
Parts 1|2|3|4
[Full Interview on MP3 available for download here]

A Revolutionary’s Memorial In His Own Words

Welcome to Radio Curious. I’m Barry Vogel.

Few people in Mendocino County who are not elected officials have created as much enmity and as many disruptive relationships as has Richard W. Johnson, Jr., who since 1984 has been the owner, editor, and publisher of four local newspapers under the banner of Mendocino Country.

Richard Johnson died March 16, 2011, at age 66.

This interview, intended as a tribute to his life, was originally broadcast February 19th, 2008, and he claims, among many other things, to be the original organizer of California’s Certified Organic Farmers; the recipient of The Walking Stick Award from the Mendocino Environmental Center in 1992 for promoting ocean sanctuary off the Mendocino Coast; and was the original proponent of Measure G on the 2000 ballot.

When I invited Richard Johnson to visit Radio Curious, he said he would like to discuss the amazing but little understood and seldom appreciated Richard Johnson… his life and times.

We touched on those and a few other topics in this conversation, recorded in the studios of Radio Curious,

Hey John Pearson: Save The Ukiah Post Office! We were here! Where the hell were you?



From DAVE SMITH
Ukiah

Letter to the Editors (AVA,UDJ)

In his Letter to the Editor (UDJ 3/1/11 – see below), John Pearson writes: “I am amazed that so many people would put so much energy into keeping an old building [Ukiah downtown Post Office] in place… Perhaps if these same people would have put these same energies to use we would still have a manufacturing base here in the valley that paid living wages instead of low paying entry wage jobs we now have… Where were they when Masonite was getting ready to close?”

Well, we were right here, John!… desperately protesting the massacre of our forests so we could save them to produce sustainable manufacturing jobs for the long term. We were here protesting the poisoning of our community by Masonite, asking them to clean up their act. Instead, corporate loggers and sawmills ignored our warnings that they were killing future jobs and ruining their welcome. We were right. The jobs are now gone because the forest was raped and ruined. Where the hell were you?

Fear or Defiance? Destroy or Build? Cower or Flower? We Have Choices. Choose!


All You Fascists Bound To Lose


~

[We Progressives have been way too shy about calling what this US uproar is really all about: Fascism. When the wealthiest corporatists have bought off and merged with government it's called Fascism. The Fascists have been showing us their real true face, and we cannot deal with them appropriately, intelligently and non- violently until we call them what they really truly are. They are not Conservatives. They are not Republicans. They are not Tea Baggers. They are democracy-hating, anti-union, nature-killing, sociopathic, money-crazed, genetically-modified, tax-dodging, war-mongering  Fascists. Damn it! Call them out for what they are! -DS]

The Doctrine of Fascism

The Fascist conception of the State is all-embracing; outside of it no human or spiritual values can exist, much less have value. Thus understood, Fascism is totalitarian, and the Fascist State—a synthesis and a unit inclusive of all values—interprets, develops, and potentiates the whole life of a people…

Fascism is therefore opposed to Socialism to which unity within the State (which amalgamates classes into a single economic and ethical reality) is unknown, and which sees in history nothing but the class struggle. Fascism is likewise opposed to trade unionism as a class weapon. But when brought within the orbit of the State, Fascism recognises the real needs which gave rise to socialism and trade-unionism, giving them due weight in the guild or corporative system in which divergent interests are coordinated and harmonised in the unity of the State.

After Socialism, Fascism attacks the whole complex of democratic ideologies and rejects them both in their theoretical premises and in their applications or practical manifestations. Fascism denies that the majority, through the mere fact of being a majority, can rule human societies; it denies that this majority can govern by means of a periodical consultation; it affirms the irremediable, fruitful and beneficent inequality of men, who cannot be levelled by such a mechanical and extrinsic fact as universal suffrage.

The Fascist State lays claim to rule in the economic field no less than in others; it makes its action felt throughout the length and breadth of the country by means of its corporate, social, and educational institutions,

Dave Smith: Finding Meaningful Work


March 2008
~~

Thanks! With a name like Smith…


From DAVE SMITH
Ukiah

C’mon now, I know many of you have googled your own name to see where you are ranked and you are nowhere to be found… and there are a lot of other people that have the same name as yours and they can be found.

If you have a very common name like Smith or Jones, it’s even worse. The likelihood of finding yourself ranked anywhere on google is practically nil. If your name is a dot com, like joeblow.com, you may be found more easily unless there are a lot of car dealers with your name.

Google Dave Smith and then click “images” and you’ll find, among others, the Dave Smith who is a caricature artist from Tampa Bay (pictured above). And if you google just the name Smith, you’ll find a thousand pictures of, who else… Anna Nicole, in various stages of undress…

Thank you Supervisor Hamburg and Sheriff Allman (Updated)


From DAVE SMITH
Ukiah

Editor, Ukiah Daily Journal:

Thank you, Dan Hamburg and Sheriff Allman, for expressing your views and defending your jobs strongly and passionately. In tough times we need more leaders who care and you are showing our community just how much you do care.

As for the Ukiah Daily Journal’s coverage calling it “yelling”, and in your one-sided editorial opinion (1/30/11) accusing Mr. Hamburg of “shouting” and “losing it”, give me a break. Now you’re sounding like right-winger David Anderson exaggerating to make a point. Checking the exchange on Ukiah Valley TV clearly shows strongly stated views, but yelling and shouting? No. Losing it? No.

Please, allow our county leaders to show both passion and compassion as we all work through these tough times, and stop “losing it” with your own coverage.

Downtown Ukiah Entering Its Death Throes


From DAVE SMITH
Ukiah

It’s just a matter of time now: Costco will move into Ukiah’s Big Box Heaven; the main Post Office will be closed and moved to the Annex off 101; the Courthouse complex will be built just far enough east toward 101 to make it more convenient to walk east rather than west, and visitors from 101 will park before they ever make it into town. Along with the killing of Economic Development funds, and the library finally jerked off life-support, that will just about do it. And maybe DDR will finally be able to buy the swing vote they need to build the Monster Mall they’ve so long coveted despite overwhelming democratic opposition. Very sad.

The only hopes for an enlivened downtown that I hear about is the Co-op expanding into downtown; the city government organizing a volunteer task force (rather than hire yet more expensive outside consultants)

The Progressive Liberal Agenda


From DAVE SMITH
Ukiah

“The Liberal Agenda” has been falsified and bastardized by the Conservative and Fundamentalist radio hosts of this country, and the Right has been hacking away at our safety nets since Reagan became President.

The Progressive Liberal agenda has always been about caring for and empowering the least among us (Matthew 25), and setting a secure floor under our citizenry. Teddy Roosevelt’s Square Deal: a living wage, a basic safety net; Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal: Social Security; Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society: the elimination of poverty and racial injustice, and Medicare/Medicaid. It’s been about building America from the ground up using government only for what is absolutely necessary and providing a basic standing point: free public education, free medical care, and care for the needy and elderly as in all other developed countries in the world. And, yes, tax the wealthy and very wealthy more than the middle class folks

Ukiah Planning Commission: Should we allow Starbucks and other chain stores and franchises downtown? Wednesday 1/12/11 – 6pm


From DAVE SMITH
Ukiah

Smart growth advocates have a chance to support their local businesses’ livelihoods and our local economy this Wednesday January 12 at 6:00 p.m. at the Ukiah Planning Commission meeting, City Council Chambers, Ukiah Civic Center, 300 Seminary Avenue. The Commission will have its last review of the the new Downtown Zoning Code, based on the community charrette workshops of a few years ago.

The Commission has voted to support independently-owned business and promote community health and safety by prohibiting new formula (chain) fast food restaurants and fast food drive-thrus in the downtown. However, the definition of formula fast food in the glossary contains exemptions for ice cream shops, coffeehouses, bakeries and hot dog stands, meaning that a new chain coffeehouse could locate downtown under the code.

If you think there should be no exemptions for chain fast food purveyors, or other chains such as Big Box stores, the Planning Commission needs to hear from you.  If you can’t make the meeting, email your comments to Senior Planner Kim Jordan for distribution, at kjordan@cityofukiah.com.

After Planning Commission review, the Code will go to the City Council, so let them know how you feel as well.

Oklahoma Buffalo Chili Recipe


From OKLAHOMA RECIPES

[In honor of Gene Logsdon's Oh What A Beautiful Morning post, here's a recipe from the Okie state. My dad grew up in Sapulpa and rode on top of freight trains with his brother to get to California. To localize, organicize, and healthilize this recipe, local buffalo meat is available at the J-Bar-S Bison Ranch just north of Ukiah and at the co-op, along with bulk organic dried beans. Fresh tomatoes are out of season, but organic canned tomatoes would be more "authentic" anyway. Oh, and please use a black iron skillet... -DS]

OKLAHOMA BUFFALO CHILI

1 lb. ground buffalo
1 medium onion, chopped
1 15 oz. can pinto beans, rinsed and drained
2 16 oz. cans peeled tomatoes
1/2 cup water
2 teaspoons chili powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped

In a non-stick skillet, saute the Ground Bison and onion until the meat is browned and the onion is tender. (Can also simmer in a pot with 1 cup water – when cooked, drain water, then proceed). Add the pinto beans, tomatoes, water and seasonings. Cover and simmer for 1 hour, adding more water if chili becomes too thick. Add chopped cilantro and simmer an additional 10 minutes. Spoon into bowls and garnish with grated cheese or diced jalapeno peppers.


…even Oklahoma is going local…

Welcome to Keep It Local OK

We’re so glad you stopped by! Keep It Local OK is dedicated to promoting the locally owned and independent businesses that make Oklahoma great.

Mendo Island Transition: A foundation is already in place


From DAVE SMITH
Ukiah

With the new year upon us, and a new Transition Group prepared to tackle truly sustainable living for the Greater Ukiah area, here are some remarkable Mendocino County projects, planned or already in place, to build upon:

Mendocino Coast Transition Group

Local Money

Mendo Time Bank

Together We Can

Mendo Gardens Project

Farmers Markets

Renaissance “Local Food” Market

Food Co-op

Community Supported Farms

Local Power Radio

Mendocino Organic Network (Renegade Local Certifiers)

Local Grain Growing and Flour Grinding

Buy Locally-Owned and Locally-Grown

Growing and Eating Local Apples (Frey Family)

Community Supported Energy (Hamburg/Laybourn)

Mendocino Environmental Center

Trail Group

Creek Group

Mendo 2 Mile Challenge

Willits Economic Localization
~
I’ve overlooked some others. What are they?
~~

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 4,549 other followers