Mendocino Noir – Crimes Large and Small


July 31, 2009 Ukiah Valley, Mendocino, North California

Bruce Anderson, Editor and Publisher of the Anderson Valley Advertiser, has just published Volume Two of the Mendocino Papers, Mendocino Noir, available now at local independent bookstores.

Included stories:

•The Fort Bragg Fires
•Vincent J. Sisco: Willy Loman as arsonist
•Who Burned Fort Bragg and Why
•Killed Without Dying
•The Victim Didn’t Smoke
•Nothing Sadder Than A Young Person Dying For No Reason
•The Biggest Little Crook In Ukiah
•The Hunter As Prey
•Tree Rustling, Fort Bragg Style
•The Great Fort Bragg Witch Hunt
•Naked Woman In The Side Pocket
•The Poison Sandwich
•Dr. Wonderlick and His Lugar
•Monica’s Walk on the Wild Side
•Deputy Gander’s Halloween Party
•No Good Deed Goes Unpunished
•Where Are They, Jimmy?
•One Murder, Four Deaths

The New Feudalism

From Thom Hartmann
Excerpts from Threshold (just published)

July 31, 2009 Ukiah Valley, Mendocino, North California

Emerson told us, in his lecture “Angloam,” that in America “the old contest of feudalism and democracy renews itself here on a new battlefield.” Perhaps seeing our day through a crack between the skeins of time and space, Emerson concluded, “It is wonderful, with how much rancor and premeditation at this moment the fight is prepared.”


Let’s be blunt. The real agenda of the new conservatives is nothing less than the destruction of democracy in the United States of America. And feudalism is one of their weapons.

Their rallying cry is that government is the enemy, and thus must be “drowned in a bathtub.” In that, they’ve mistaken our government for the former Soviet Union, or confused Ayn Rand’s fictional and disintegrating America with the real thing.

The government of the United States is us. It was designed to be a government of, by, and for We the People. It’s not an enemy to be destroyed; it’s a means by which we administer and preserve the commons that we collectively own.

Nonetheless, the new conservatives see our democratic government as the enemy. And if they plan to destroy democracy, they must have something in mind to replace it with…

What conservatives are really arguing for is a return to the three historic embodiments of tyranny

Accused of Hypocrisy – Letter to the Editors

(original letter below)

July 30, 2009 Ukiah Valley, Mendocino, North California

In a democracy, one should always appreciate opinions that engage the debate, are well articulated and offered with passion, even when in opposition to one’s own. And I do. In the July 30th issue of the UDJ, I am taken to task for being hypocritical for opposing the Masonite Monster Mall while at the same time being “in favor of the City of Ukiah spending redevelopment money to purchase the remaining acres of land out near the airport” for retail development. This, he wrote, had him “rolling on the floor in laughter.” Thereafter he went on at great length, taking up two full columns, describing my positions and how wrong all my letters to the editor are.

However, he misinterpreted a letter that simply pointed out that the argument for the Monster Mall so we could have a Costco was a false argument and took that to mean that I supported having another Big Box store. Not true. He can get up off the floor now.

He failed to include letter(s) of mine that could have saved him all that effort. For example, in response to the UDJ supporting the purchase of that land, I wrote “This seems like nothing but dumb growth based on dumb oil… which is destroying nature and community.”

The Great Game

Redwood Valley

July 30, 2009 Ukiah Valley, Mendocino, North California

The Editor of Obama-Watch.US, Jim Houle, spent three weeks in June and July traveling across Central Asia along the legendary Silk Road visiting Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan and China’s Xinjiang Province where the Uighur (wee-gur) people predominate. These Turkic-speaking people have been the “Stopper in the Bottle” between Europe, Russia, China and India for over a thousand years. The Gateway to Elsewhere, it has seldom, at least until now, been desired for its own value but was seen as a portal to the riches of India for the Russians and to the markets of Europe for the Indians and Afghanis. In the 20th century, with the discovery of oil and gas around the Caspian Sea, the collapse of the Soviet Hegemony, the withering away of British majesty, and the United States’ global domination of world energy resources, all has changed – or has it changed at all? Perhaps the “Great Game” by Peter Hopkirk, that amazing story of the 19th century battle over these remote kingdoms stumbles on, with Putin replacing the Czar and Obama taking Queen Victoria’s role.

Obama sees Central Asia as an important element in his program to expand ‘Full Spectrum Dominance’, assure the supply of oil and gas, and the continued sustenance of the Dollar as the world reserve currency. Petroleum (oil and gas) has since 1971 replaced gold as backing for the dollar and our huge military machine has taken on the role of enforcer. Should people decide to pay for their oil barrels with some other moolah, or a ‘market basket’ of currencies, the value of the dollar would drop like a stone. Our indebtedness would soon crowd us off the world stage. We could no longer print oil-soaked dollars

Reading between the lines (with video)

Mendocino County
(video at end of article)

July 30, 2009 Ukiah Valley, Mendocino, North California

My, my, so many angry and insistent letters to editors, angry and insistent blogs. I say I don’t read or listen to the commercial media stuff anymore because it is all fluff. But, sometimes I can’t seem to stop myself. We stopped for some coffee on the way to an appointment the other day and there was a New York Times, July 22, laying waiting to fill my time. I flip through it; nothing; nothing. Then, I reach the editorial, which glares at me “Climate Loopholes.” I also subscribe to email news notifications from Mother Jones. Shortly after reading the article, that magazine pointed me to Rachel Morris’s “It’s 3 a.m. Do You Know Where Your Climate Bill Is?”.

The increasingly infamous Waxman-Markey climate change bill was approved by the House and is on its way to the much tougher Senate. Half of the electricity used in this country is generated by extremely dirty coal-fired generators. Thanks to coal-state representatives, the bill imposes no standards on existing generators and, more amazingly, removes these plants from EPA Clean Air Act oversight.

A second problem with this bill involves carbon dioxide cap and trade. Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan Chase, as you may have noticed, have recently been reporting immense profits. These profits didn’t come from loans, but by selling insurance in the form of hedge funds,

365 Books Worth Reading: #1 Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals

From Sharon Astyk
Casaubon’s Book

July 30, 2009 Ukiah Valley, Mendocino, North California

I’ve got a lot of books I’d love to review at length, but somehow there’s always something more urgent to do.  So I’ve decided that I’m going to try and post regular (I doubt it will be every day…no, I’m sure it won’t be every day) short book reviews of a paragraph or so until I’ve done 365 of them.  I know it’ll probably take me a lot longer than a year, but at least it is a way to get conversations going about my favorite books without having to take a month to write about them.

I’m not promising that every single one will be on a relevant topic to the main themes of this blog – in fact, again, I promise they won’t be.  Everyone needs good escapist or imaginative literature sometimes, or simply to learn everything they can about something interesting, even if it has no direct application.  Besides, it is very rare that I find I read something truly great and never use it again – it always shows up somewhere in my thinking.

Ok, the honor of being the very first book worth reading goes to Saul Alinsky’s superb book Rules for Radicals→ – I picked it up at my school library when I was 14,

Local Currency in Lewes, England

From Transition Towns
Lewes, East Sussex, UK

July 29, 2009 Ukiah Valley, Mendocino, North California

The Lewes Pound is a creative yet practical way for local people to make money work for Lewes. The Lewes Pound is essentially a voucher or token that can be traded locally as a complementary currency and used alongside pounds Sterling.

Money spent locally circulates within, and benefits the local economy. Money spent in national chains doesn’t. The Lewes Pound encourages demand for local goods and services. In turn this builds resilience to the rising costs of energy, transport and food.

The Lewes Pounds is driven by three main considerations:

* Economic: According to the New Economics Foundation, money spent locally stays within the community and is re-used many times, multiplying wealth and building resilience in the local economy.
* Environmental: Supporting local businesses and goods reduces the need for transport and minimises our carbon footprint.
* Social: By spending money in local outlets we can strengthen the relationships between local shopkeepers and the community. It also supports people finding new ways to make a living initiatives

The Lewes Pound also benefits shoppers by creates stronger and more local shops, increasing a sense of pride in our community, decreasing CO2 emissions and increasing economic resilience.

From farms to Northern California hospitals: Healthier food for healthier patients

Chef Deane Bussiere shows off the yellow squash that he and staff are growing in the quarter acre garden at the hospital on Thursday, July 16, 2009. Dominican Hospital, in Santa Cruz, is using organic, sustainably sourced foods and has a garden where it grows organic vegetables and herbs. Chef Deane Bussiere, oversees the kitchen and garden.

From San Jose Mercury News

July 29, 2009 Ukiah Valley, Mendocino, North California

Nothing spells patient satisfaction like free-range roast chicken after triple bypass surgery.

Throw some organic potatoes mashed with hormone-free milk and locally grown arugula salad onto the tray and hospital food may soon escape the culinary sneers it usually shares with TV dinners and airline meals.

Such bedside menus may not be far off for Northern California hospitals that are harnessing their buying power to demand changes in how food is grown and distributed. They’re part of a growing alliance of doctors and food advocates who say organic, fresh food is healthier, and local, sustainable food practices reduce pollution and contamination, which will ultimately lead to fewer health problems.

“What people eat is one of the most important determinants of their health,” said Dr. Preston Maring, an obstetrician at Kaiser Permanente who started the movement to put farmers markets outside the hospitals.

Keep reading at San Jose Mercury News

A Blog is a Little First Amendment Machine

From Jay Rosen
The Huffington Post

July 28, 2009 Ukiah Valley, Mendocino, North California

When in the eighteenth century the press first appeared on the political stage the people on the other end of it were known as the public. Public opinion and the political press arose together. But in the age of the mass media the public got transformed into an audience.

This happened because the mass media were one way, one-to-many, and “read only.” When journalism emerged as a profession it reflected these properties of its underlying platform. But now we have the Web, which is two-way (rather than one) many-to-many (rather than one-to-many) and “read-write” rather than “read only.”

As it moves toward the Web, journalism will have to adjust to these conditions, but a professionalized press is having trouble with the shift because it still thinks of the people on the other end as an audience–an image very deeply ingrained in professional practice.

I’m going to tell you some stories that I think illustrate the disruptive effects that blogging has had, and the democratic potential it represents. But let me say at the outset that, though a blogger myself, I am not a triumphalist about blogging. I do not think that the age of fully democratic media is suddenly upon us because we have this new form. There is a long way to go if we are to make good on its potential.

Now to my five stories, which are I offer more as parables, even though they are, of course, true to the facts.

Keep reading