Mitchell Sprague: MCN Discussion Lists To Be Shut Down

Business Manager
Mendocino Community Network

Following my presentation to the MUSD Board on November 18th and the subsequent announcement to the lists, I received a great deal of correspondence  both privately and on the lists regarding the MCN lists. I’d like to thank everyone for writing and I tried to respond back to as many people as possible.

In my presentation, I presented some statistical evidence regarding list consolidation. But I also presented the issue of “off-list” issues which were making management of the lists increasingly difficult, and stated that these issues would need to cease if we were to continue to host any type of discussion list. It is these off-list issues that I want to focus on as they will be driving the future direction of the lists. Unfortunately, these have increased rather than decreased since the meeting.

We have consistently said that we are not interested in moderating discussion lists, adjudicating conflicts and resolving issues created by an unmoderated discussion list. It is clear now that MCN, rather than list posters themselves, is being and will continue to be held responsible by at least growing number of list members for the contents of the posts on the lists, and there is an expectation that MCN will take on the investigation and resolution of problems caused by list posts. As an entity owned by a school district,  we believe that turning a deaf ear to such complaints is not consistent with the public’s expectation of how we should operate. At the same time, the issues we are being held responsible for are complex, deeply rooted, and are wrapped up in off-list behavior that has nothing to do with us. We do not have the resources to resolve them.

Under these conditions, we can no longer take responsibility for an open, un-moderated listserv system

Listserv Trolls: Where Anonymity Breeds Contempt

From NYT
Thanks to Alan Taeger

[This timely article goes to the heart of democratic community responsibility. The recent campaign for 5th District Supervisor was shamefully marred by cowardly trolls supporting Wendy Roberts’ campaign on Mendo listservs. They were never reprimanded nor repudiated by her campaign, nor asked to cease their continuous illegitimate and nasty comments and attacks. BTW: Comments on this blog are moderated. Although attempts were made to pollute Ukiah blog with anonymous comments, by the same trolls on the listservs, they were disallowed. -DS]

There you are, peacefully reading an article or watching a video on the Internet. You finish, find it thought-provoking, and scroll down to the comments section to see what other people thought. And there, lurking among dozens of well-intentioned opinions, is a troll.

“How much longer is the media going to milk this beyond tired story?” “These guys are frauds.” “Your idiocy is disturbing.” “We’re just trying to make the world a better place one brainwashed, ignorant idiot at a time.” These are the trollish comments, all from anonymous sources, that you could have found after reading a CNN article on the rescue of the Chilean miners.

Trolling, defined as the act of posting inflammatory, derogatory or provocative messages in public forums, is a problem as old as the Internet itself, although its roots go much farther back. Even in the fourth century B.C., Plato touched upon the subject of anonymity and morality in his parable of the ring of Gyges.

Transition: Meaningful Maps


The Context

Maps are very useful with regards to a range of activities your Transition initiative might find itself involved in, such as ENERGY DESCENT ACTION PLANS (5.1), the designing of STRATEGIC LOCAL INFRASTRUCTURE (5.5), AWARENESS RAISING (2.9) and also offer very useful tools to use alongside other COMMUNITY BRAINSTORMING TOOLS (4.6).  They can help with VISIONING work, giving it a relevant and accessible context, and can help people in UNDERSTANDING SCALE (1.3).  In short, maps are a key tool for STRATEGIC THINKING (5.10).

(We are collecting and discussing these Transition ingredients on Transition Network’s website to keep all comments in one place. Please leave feedback and comments, suggestions for alternative pictures, anecdotes, stories and projects for this ingredient here).

The Challenge

The changes necessitated by Transition can be hard for people to visualise, especially in relation to their immediate surroundings.  Presenting suggestions in a way that people don’t find easy to access is, ultimately, self-defeating.

Core Text

In the Autumn of 2010, Transition Hereford created the ‘Mappa Sustainability’ (see above), modelled on the 13th century Mappa Mundi, one of the oldest remaining medieval maps, which shows Jerusalem as the centre of the Universe.  This modern version, naturally, shows Hereford in pride of place, and has been a centrepiece of many of their activities.  The idea is to create an imaginative way

Rebooting the American Dream – Chapter Three: Stop Them From Eating My Town

Article with footnotes: TruthOut

Unless you become more watchful in your states and check the spirit of monopoly and thirst for exclusive privileges you will in the end find that…the control over your dearest interests has passed into the hands of these corporations. – Andrew Jackson

There is a huge difference between a mall full of chain stores or a big-box retailer, and a downtown area full of small, locally owned businesses. The transition from the latter to the former is what’s destroying local communities on the one hand and creating mind-boggling wealth for a very few very large corporations and multimillionaire CEOs on the other. Here’s how it works.

As I noted in my book Unequal Protection, when I shop in downtown Montpelier, Vermont, and buy a pair of pants, for example, at the Stevens Clothing Store on Main Street, at the end of the day the store’s owner, Jack Callahan, takes his proceeds down to the Northfield Savings Bank and deposits them. From Stevens, I walk next door to Bear Pond Books and buy today’s newspaper, a magazine, and a copy of Thomas Paine’s Rights of Man, a book that is as fascinating today as when it was first written in 1791.

At the end of the day, Bear Pond’s manager, Linda Leehman, will take my money down to the Chittenden Bank and deposit it.

From Bear Pond I go to one of the dozen or so local restaurants and exchange some of my cash for a good meal. At day’s end that cash, too, will end up in one of Montpelier’s local banks.

The next day Montpelier’s banks are richer by my purchases, as are Stevens, Bear Pond, and the restaurant. If my daughter, a Web designer, wanted to start her own design firm

Transition: Survivable Communities and the Black Market (Updated)


[Survival in Russian villages: Is the regional illegal free market (black market), that already thrives here in the Emerald Triangle, resilient enough to convert to survival valuables, i.e. “real goods” like food, energy, alcohol, etc.? Is this not a fundamental question of transition? Talk among yourselves… -DS]

[Update: Lest I be misunderstood… Our main economy here is an underground economy. Part of transition will have to be transitioning pot growing (and wine grape growing) to food growing. -DS]

It’s been hammered into my head that the most important things are food, a roof over your head, security and mobility—the first two especially, and everything else is just there to tempt you. And it seems that the best way to procure food is not to take it away or steal it or buy it, but to grow it and to guard it, because there are always people to guard it from. That is, to be close to food. And when the local industrial agriculture kicks the bucket and the food will stop being delivered to the cities, won’t the residents of backward little villages be the winners? You can imagine gangster raids into rural places, rifling through barns and fields, and forcing people to pay a tribute, as in feudal times—but that’s only if they find enough fuel to get there and back.

I know that no matter what economic or political regime prevails, my Russian village kin will survive, provided they hold on to their land and provided climate change doesn’t kill off all the flora and fauna around them. I believe that the Russian, conditioned by centuries of serfdom, the GULAG and the entire Soviet experience, is a very hardy beast, in spite of alcoholism, drug abuse and moral decay. Also, as a child of the industrial ghetto, I entirely agree that the underclass is better-prepared. Our city is a smelly, dusty port city,

Todd Walton: Attention Deficit Nonsense


“Tell the children the truth.” Bob Marley

1957. Las Lomitas Elementary School. Menlo Park, California

“I invite those people with ants in their pants,” proclaimed Mrs. Davenport, my third grade teacher, “to run to the oak tree and back before we get to work on our projects.”

Those people always included me, so I and several of my cohorts, boys and girls, walked sedately to the classroom door from where we bolted into sunlight and fresh air to run across the playground to the gigantic oak that overshadowed the playing field. Upon our return, Mrs. Davenport would say, “Todd, Jody, Wendy, I invite you to circumnavigate the oak one more time because I can see you’ve still got a little jitterbug in you.”

Mrs. Davenport was from Oklahoma and proudly one-eighth Cherokee. She was the most beautiful woman I’d ever seen in all my eight mortal years. She was astute, funny, musical, athletic, and she enjoyed using words somewhat beyond the official Third Grade vocabulary. We loved Mrs. Davenport because she loved us and had great empathy for our collective predicament: being eight-year-olds.

In 1957, may the fates be eternally blessed, there was no such thing as Attention Deficit Disorder, nor were hideous drugs routinely and epidemically administered to children with ants in their pants. Thus I was spared the pharmaceutical suppression of my true nature, which was, as our beloved Mrs. Davenport so aptly put it, “To jitterbug.”

“There can be no keener revelation of a society’s soul than the way in which it treats its children.” Nelson Mandela

Transition: Neither apocalypse nor paradise

Transition Voice

I’m pleased that my little article on the high volume of collapse talk coming  from peak oil writers recently generated some attention. And I’m grateful that as someone so obviously committed to Transition as Dave Ewolt judged my musings worth an intelligent response. I’d like to address some of his excellent points here.

For me, there are three issues in talking about any kind of post-peak collapse: what I know, what I don’t know, and how I talk to people who don’t care. We should be careful not to confuse these issues.

What I know

I publish a magazine on the nexus of peak oil, climate change and the economy because I think that resource depletion and global warming are grave threats to human civilization.

I know that industrial economies have already overshot their supply of resources, from oil to water to fish in the seas. I also know that we’re quickly filling up all the places to put our pollution, particularly greenhouse gas emissions. And I know that the Earth cannot long sustain a population of seven billion humans and growing.

I know that our societies cannot make peak oil or climate change go away with technology. I know that clean energy won’t replace all the fossil fuels we use now. But I also know that unless we want to shiver in the dark, we’ll need some source of power.

Most of all, I know that the post-carbon future is more likely to be a better future the more people are aware and start to prepare soon. And I know that it won’t be enough for a small in-group of families and communities to be ready if their neighbors are not ready. I know that we need our states, provinces and nations to be prepared too.

Please Don’t ‘Buy Local’

(Click Here to Enlarge)



If you buy from local branches of absentee-owned Big Boxes and other chain stores or franchise businesses, you may be “buying local” but you’re lining the pockets of distant rich and super-rich investors who don’t pay their fair share of taxes; who are responsible for our boom-and-bust economy; and who most-likely never heard of Ukiah or Little River, and surely can’t spell Caspar or Boonville correctly.

Many “Buy Local First” campaigns are supported by Big Boxes, Chambers of Commerce and local newspapers who receive dues and advertising from Big Corporate Chains. Chain stores suck out our local dollars every night and send them electronically to Bentonville and points east. I’m sick and tired of hearing “but they are good corporate citizens. They give to local charities blah blah.” That’s bullshit. They only give when they can get their smily-faces with some poor kids in the local paper with an oversized check for a puny amount. That’s not “giving.” That’s advertising.

According to latest study commissioned by Michigan’s Local First, “when West Michigan consumers choose a locally-owned business over a non-local alternative, $73 of every $100 spent stays in the community. By contrast, only $43 of every $100 spent at a non-locally owned business remains in the community.”

Don’t be suckered by false propaganda that steals a good idea and turns it into just another cynical, misleading corporate advertising campaign. Buying Local means buying from LOCALLY-OWNED businesses so most of your dollars stay in our communities. Know your store owners. Buy from “Mom and Pop” and other family and single proprietor businesses. Run the chain dinosaurs out of town on their slick hineys.

10 things you can do to starve the Wall Street beast

Lake County

[I personally am doing everything I can to starve the beast, and always on the look-out for new ways.  As someone says in the below article, you can either have enormous quantities of wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, or you can have democracy, but you cannot have both.

Wall Street serves no productive purpose for the vast majority of Americans.  It does not “produce” anything real.  It does not create anything real.  It is merely a rigged system by which wealth generated by the productivity of hundreds of millions of hard-working people is funnelled into the pockets of a tiny, tiny percentage of the Super Wealthy.   We the People have been robbed (see the numbers below, comparing distribution of income in the 1980’s to today).  Can that be turned around?  Maybe.  But meanwhile, there ARE things that you and I can be doing every day to reduce the amount of blood the beast is sucking from us.

Yes, the problems going on in this nation right now are huge, and seem overwhelming.  But that does not change the fact that each and every day, you and I make choices with how we spend our money, and those choices CAN make a difference.  See how many of the 10 tips below are ones you already subscribe to, or which you can switch to.

Many of these ideas you’ve probably heard before, but #10 is new.  And thought-provoking.  Has domestic surveillance become the new cash cow for the corporatocracy?  Think about it.  As the famous line from the movie WATERGATE said, if you want to understand the why’s and wherefore’s, “follow the money.” -DB]

10 Things You Can Do to Starve the Wall St. Beast and Grab Yourself a Piece of the Pie

Barter, Gift Economy, or an Agrarian Society of Small Proprietors and Cooperatives?

The Oil Drum

[With Transition staring us in the face, we need to begin a fundamental discussion about our local economy. Where do we want to go? How do we want to do it? I favor what I’ve included in the title of this post: a decentralized agrarian society of local small farmers, small proprietors and cooperatives. Sustainable Food and Energy Security are the keys to local independence and prosperity. We have in place our Ukiah Co-op, Farmer’s Markets, CSAs, Credit Unions, and small businesses as models to build upon. -DS]

When I sat down to research this post, I thought I would write a post about barter, since it seemed like if our current financial system failed, barter would be one possible form of back-up. But when I started to research barter, the first thing I came across was this statement:

Contrary to popular conception, there is no evidence of a society or economy that relied primarily on barter. Instead, non-monetary societies operated largely along the principles of gift economics. When barter did in fact occur, it was usually between either complete strangers or would-be enemies.

So I decided to step back a bit, and look into gift economies.

It seemed to me that if our current system fails us, we should have at least some idea regarding what options might be available that could perhaps be pieced together into a new system that works. As I looked at gift economies a bit, I realized our current system has a substantial element of gift economics in it. Perhaps if our already functioning gift economy can be expanded,

Symphony of Science – ‘We Are All Connected’ (Sagan, Feynman, deGrasse, Tyson & Bill Nye)


Todd Walton: The Dreidel in Rudolph’s Manger

Under The Table

(I first published this story several years ago in the Sacramento News & Review and it eventually ran in dozens of free weeklies and even in a few daily newspapers. I present the story here for your enjoyment as we officially enter the so-called holiday season. My reading of the story, with appropriate accents, is on my story CD I Steal My Bicycle and other stories available from and downloadable from iTunes.)

Israel Jacobs, born a Jew, and Margaret O’Hara, born and baptized a Catholic, were married in the spring of 1999. And despite their mothers, they lived quite happily until their only child, Felix, turned five. Then Christmas and Hanukkah loomed simultaneously as they always do, and the whole kettle of fish, gefilte and snapper, was set to boiling once more.

Israel’s mother, Rachel, a small, fiery woman with little tolerance for what she called those “gentile pagan idiocies” insisted that Israel give his son a real Jewish Hanukkah, not some watered down compromise. Margaret’s mother, Colleen, a tall, cheerful soul, didn’t mind a menorah on the mantel so long as it was appropriately dwarfed by a well-flocked Christmas tree, candy canes, and a “high quality manger scene,” preferably on the front lawn.

But the truth was, Israel and Margaret didn’t believe in celebrating either Hanukkah or Christmas. They belonged to a group called Beyond Dysfunctional Religions, and they wanted nothing to do with the rituals of their progenitors, whom they believed to be responsible for much of the world’s woes. However, they had never actually told their mothers of their conversion to this new spiritual course, and now, in the face of their child’s coming of age, as it were, the you-know-what was about to hit the fan… Full story here

Paying an Arm and a Leg

Mother Jones

So many charts, so little blog. Which chart should I show you from yesterday’s release of the latest global comparison of healthcare prices? How about the cost of hip replacements?

The “average” number is a little hard to see, so here it is: $34,454. That’s 2x what it costs in Germany, 3x what it costs in France, and 6x what it costs in Switzerland. WTF?

This goes a long way toward explaining why hip replacements are so popular in the United States: they’re a huge profit center for doctors and hospitals. Keep this in mind the next time someone starts going on about how you never have to wait in line for a hip replacement in America. It’s not because our healthcare system is super efficient, it’s because doctors are super eager to perform them.

The full set of cost charts is here, and they’re pretty instructive. You can, if you want, try to make the case that we perform better hip replacements or do better angioplasties than other countries. But appendectomies? CT scans? Normal deliveries? As Aaron Carroll says about the astonishing numbers for routine CT scans and MRIs:

Why does it cost so much more in the US? Does the radiation work better here? Are the scanners different? If you’re wondering, the CT scanner was invented in the UK, so it’s not like there’s some reason to believe our machines are better….Let’s be clear. I have no problem with things costing more when they are demonstrably better. Or, if you’re getting more of them for your money. But a scan is a scan is a scan. There had better be a good reason for it costing more here, and I can’t think of a good one.

This is one of the reasons healthcare costs so much in America. We aren’t getting more for our money, we’re just paying a lot more for the same stuff as everyone else.

POSTSCRIPT: One caveat: the report doesn’t mention how they convert foreign prices into dollars, and it probably makes a difference whether they apply purchasing power parity adjustments. Not a huge difference, but it’s possible that different methodologies would produce modestly different results.

Last Thoughts Before the Turkey Comes Calling …a letter from Michael Moore



As I head off for Thanksgiving, I wanted to share a final thought with you about this past week’s news regarding the health care executives who sat around that table in Philadelphia four years ago and decided on a course of action to, if need be, “push Michael Moore off a cliff.”

Having spent the week reading all their secret documents (and the book “Deadly Spin”), it’s clear that there was something far more scary to these companies than me.

They were, in fact, scared of you. They were afraid YOU would end up pushing them over their own greedy cliff.

Yes, they spied on me and my family in the hopes of finding something with which to smear me and my film, “Sicko.” Finding nothing (sorry, guys, I live a pretty boring life), they then resorted to the old chestnuts that have been hurled at me by General Motors, the Bush White House, the National Rifle Association and others since my first film 20 years ago, and they essentially boil down to this:

“Don’t listen to him! He hates America! He hates our way of life! He’s not telling you the truth! He plays fast and loose with it! Patriots, don’t waste your good money to see his movie!”

And it’s that last message that’s at the epicenter of their biggest fear. Back in 2007, these health insurance companies believed that if you strolled inside a theater showing “Sicko”, their golden goose would be cooked.

They knew, according to former health care exec and whistleblower Wendell Potter, that the truth was up there on that screen — and the LAST thing they wanted was for millions of Americans to be exposed to it.

Why? Well, we need look no further than the document containing their own secret directive on how they should deal with the movie:

“[We Must] Prepare for the Worst Case…SiCKO evolves into a sustained populist movement.”

There it is. Their biggest fear. Their “worst case” scenario. That YOU, the American public, would rise up against them. I wasn’t their worst nightmare — you were. Their own research and private polling

A Practical Guide to Dealing with Shit

Author Gene Logsdon


It’s not often that a book inspires you to go out and shovel steaming piles of horse poop on a cold November afternoon. But that’s exactly what happened to me after reading Gene Logsdon’s Holy Shit, and I mean it as a resounding compliment to the author. I should note, of course, that it doesn’t take much to get me thinking, and writing, about poop, pee, compost, and all things biodegradable.

From the selective flush and letting it mellow, through musing on the benefits of (male) pee on compost, to asking whether recycling our poop is the key to sustainable farming, I am somewhat known as the toilet correspondent here at TreeHugger. But Logsdon’s obsession with all things brown and smelly puts me to shame.

Logsdon has long been known as an eminent agrarian thinker and practitioner. From being an advocate for horse-powered farming (and the resulting fertilizer), to writing (and re-releasing) a guide to small-scale grain raising for backyards, homesteads and small farms, he has always made a strong case for small-scale, low impact farming, and a strong reliance on traditional methods and knowledge.

Romanticism This is Not
But as Matt argued in his post about Logsdon’s argument for horse-powered farms, the man has enough experience and knowledge that it is hard to paint him as your typical starry-eyed nostalgic romantic. Holy Shit: Managing Manure to Save Mankind is yet further evidence that the guy knows his, errrm, stuff—and that what he has to share is important, practical and common sense knowledge that could help us navigate the looming challenges of feeding the world after peak oil, climate change, and dwindling reserves of phosphorous-based fertilizer take their toll on our oil-dependent farming systems.

The Mainstream Rethinks its Attitude to Manure
Starting with an anecdote about a mainstream mega-farmer

Ways to Deal With Your Conservative Relatives This Thanksgiving

Thanks to Gail Jonas

Maybe your brother-in-law works on Wall Street and declares he wants to see the Bush tax cuts extended indefinitely as he scoops himself a generous portion of mashed potatoes. Or perhaps your aunt mentions, while checking on the turkey, that Sarah Palin is her role model and she can’t wait to follow her Rupert Murdoch-sponsored book tour from city to city. Or maybe, over a slice of pumpkin pie and coffee, your grandfather suggests that the Tea Party’s ideas aren’t half bad, and he likes that Rand Paul fella because he’s really getting the government out of people’s Medicare

Given this month’s volatile political climate, chances are someone’s going to break the no politics/no religion rule and say something to make your blood boil as you sit around the table this Thanksgiving. When that cringe-inducing moment arrives, whether it’s over appetizers or dessert, you want to defend the honor of progressives and their ideas without coming across as snotty, snarky, or out of touch. And without letting the situation devolve into violence. (You’re a pacifist, right?)

As tempting as it will be to ask sarcastic questions about teabagging and what kind of scones are served at Tea Parties, that will only get you so far. And you don’t want to ruin your appetite. It’s Thanskgiving, after all.

So how does one deal with the conservatives at the family table while avoiding a massive food fight? Stay calm and relaxed, and follow these simple guidelines.

1. Brush up on Obama conspiracy theories. There’s a good chance you’ll need to defend the president against some of the more outrageous claims being circulated by Fox News–especially the claim that he hasn’t done anything useful for the country. Now, if your relatives are of the “Obama is a Marxist, Satanist, Islamic fundamentalist who wants to put our children in re-education camps” persuasion, you should probably just invest in a hip flask or three and plan on getting out of there ASAP. But assuming you’re dining with nominally reasonable human beings, you should brush up on what the heck Obama has done so far. Conveniently, you can gather some key facts and stats at the

U.S. Women Made Amazing Progress Over Past 50 Years


That we take the concept of full equality for women today for granted shows how far women have progressed when only 50 years ago they constituted America’s largest untapped human resource; when only 6% of all doctors, 3% of all lawyers, and fewer than 1% of all engineers were women; when no woman could compete in the Boston Marathon and when every woman needed her husband’s permission even to get a credit card. In the comparatively short span since, American women have made astonishing progress, from legal secretaries to lawyers, from nurses to doctors; from kitchen menials to astronauts, and from USO hostesses to front-line warriors. Their dramatic story is charted in the new book by New York Times columnist Gail Collins in “When Everything Changed: The Amazing Journey of American Women from 1960 to the Present(Little Brown).” Back in the Sixties, “It was legal to say that women couldn’t be in management, because it was bad for the men,” Collins tells interviewer Diane Sullivan, a professor at the Massachusetts School of Law at Andover, producers of “Educational Forum,” on Comcast SportsNet to be aired nationally at 11 A.M. Sunday(EST), November 28th.

In the Sixties, popular TV westerns such as Bonanza spread the message that “Girls stayed at home and that girls do not have adventures,” Collins recalled. There were a number of amazing women around and here and there women pioneers blazed new paths “but the idea in general was always that women were the mothers and the wives and they stayed in the house,” she said. Some women after World War Two developed the first television shows, shows that featured women in important roles, but “when television became a very big deal, (the women) all went away, and you really had no shows in which women were the main characters.” In Bonanza, for example, lead Ben Cartwright, (played by Lorne Greene), is a widower on a big ranch whose three wives all died and whose sons fell in love with girls who all died as well. “I mean, really, you walk near the Ponderosa (ranch) and you were dead. It was a toxic landmine for women,” Collins said.

By 1970, however, the Mary Tyler Moore comedy series on CBS portrayed bachelorette “Mary Richards” as a single woman in her Thirties who was never married and was not looking for a man to support her.

Bruce ‘Pat’ Patterson: Raggedy Roads, Saggy Gates

4 Mules Blog

My first job making firewood was located on a bench of land high up on the sunny side of Ward Mt. above Yorkville, California. It must have been 1975 or ’76. To get to work I turned off Hwy 128 and went through a wooden pasture gate. After driving down the riverbank, splashing across Dry Creek and then gunning up the opposite bank, I came to another gate. The ranch was running maybe a thousand head of sheep plus a fair number of cattle, my job was still over a mile above, and on my way in and out I had to open and shut at least four more pasture gates. They’d all been fashioned by the same pair of hands, too. Hands that were now, no doubt, pushing up daisies down in the cemetery in the Ornbaum Opening. Made with sawed redwood heart 1-by-6s, hanging between hand-split 8 by 8 redwood posts and sporting giant Pittsburgh steel hinges bolted through, their latches were pointed boards that slid in and out of notches carved into the latch posts.

With age, wooden gates sag, posts list and the wood squeezing the bolts holding the hinges in place rots away. So, with every one of those waterlogged gates not just resting on the dirt but resolutely attached to it, I had to manhandle them to get them out of my way. First, I’d get out my truck and face the hulk like I was getting set to curl a barbell. Then I’d grab a hold of the gate and yank it straight up, get the side of my boot wedged under it, pull the latch free with one hand and then jerk my boot free. Next, I’d give the gate a violent tug downhill to get its edge clear of the post. Then I’d step around, pin the edge to my breast bone, spread and flex my legs, grab a hold from both sides, jerk the thing up and then skitter sideways down the hill like I was some kind of two-legged beetle. After getting my truck through, I’d return and skitter the gate back up the hill, slower this time, what with me huffing, cussing and puffing. By the time I got up the hill and cranked up my hot-rod chainsaw, already I was tuckered out.

One thing that hasn’t changed much around here over the past 35 years is the number of raggedy roads and saggy gates. And that’s kind of strange considering all of the suburbanization and gentrification that has taken place. Nowadays there’s no telling how many luxurious new 3 bedroom, 4 bathroom houses with 3 car garages are hidden away at the ends of raggedy roads blocked by ancient, saggy gates. Since the main reason why folks devote so much of their lifetimes to feathering their own nests is to show off for their friends and neighbors (hermits don’t need much), you’d think they’d start

Nicholas Wilson: Pacific Ocean Animated Weather Maps

Little River

Maybe you can’t do anything about the weather, but you can be prepared for it. It’s that time of year when we wonder what storms are headed our way and when to expect them.

For folks with fast Internet connections, here is a set of long links for animated satellite weather maps relevant to the Mendocino Coast. The animation lets you see what direction clouds are moving, and how fast. With practice you can predict when nearby storms will hit your location. If you don’t have a fast connection but are patient and just want to see a static image you can scroll down below the map window and move the animation slider control to zero.

The links below start with a wide view of the Pacific Ocean from the Aleutians to Hawaii and from about 3000 miles offshore to the U.S. Pacific Coast. Each successive link goes to a progressively more localized view for the Mendocino Coast. If you scroll down below the map you can select other options, including radar, which is mainly useful only for the two closest views.

Animated satellite 3000 mi. wide view of the Pacific Ocean from the Aleutians to Hawaii and U.S. Pacific Coast

1600 mile wide animated satellite view of North Pacific ocean and US pacific coast

400 mile wide animated satellite view more localized to Mendocino Coast

200 mile wide animated satellite local Mendo coast and offshore

100 mile radar only animated view for Mendocino Coast and offshore. Doppler radar shows storm activity best. The radar site is designated Eureka and is located on a peak near Cape Mendocino.

These animated views may require that you have Java installed. If you don’t, you’ll get a message and a link to where you can download it for free.  To visit the Weather Underground home page go to

Here is a customized AccuWeather page for Little River. Note you can also select forecasts for the short term or up to 14 days. You can easily customize it for another location.

I hope you find this information useful. Enjoy the weather.

Saving Progressivism From Obama

Co-founder and co-editor of The American Prospect

What’s the worst case, and the best case, that we can imagine for the next two years? Let’s look at the economics first.

Republicans and the White House both seem determined to make the recession worse by reducing the budget deficit long before the economy is in recovery. The deficit commission’s two co-chairs have proposed that the cuts begin in October 2011, when unemployment is still expected to be at least nine percent. The economy needs a massive fiscal jolt, and instead is likely to get austerity.

Meanwhile, the Federal Reserve’s experiment with buying Treasury bonds in order to keep interest rates low is not working very well. Mainly, the policy seems to be annoying America’s allies. Cheap money by itself won’t fix the prolonged slump.

Obama’s ill-fated Asia trip was intended to bring home a foreign policy victory to divert attention from the domestic economic and political carnage. But Obama failed to get the Koreans to agree to a (badly conceived) trade deal, and failed to get the G-20 leaders to agree to new strategy to pressure nations with big export surpluses to do more of their part to help the global recovery. An economically weakened America with a politically weakened president has less weight to swing around.

So as President Obama gears up for a re-election battle in 2012, the economy is unlikely to be much different than the one that sank the Democrats in 2010. The question is whether Obama and the Democrats can change the national understanding of what caused the economic collapse and who is blocking the recovery.

In this enterprise, I don’t have high expectations for Obama. I cannot recall a president who generated so much excitement as a candidate but who turned out to be such a political dud as chief executive. Nor do his actions since the election inspire confidence that he will be reborn as a fighter.

James Houle: Obama Runs for Cover

Redwood Valley

Obama Calls for Consensus in Post-Election Concession Speech: >(Reuters 11/03/10). President Barack Obama, chastened by the loss of at least one House of Congress, gave a sadly pathetic concession speech (11/03/10). “There are going to be areas of policy where we’re going to have to do a better job,” he conceded while asking for a consensus, one that has actually been missing now for two years. “No one party will be able to dictate where we go from here,” and called for both parties to work together. “No person, no party, has a monopoly on wisdom,” he added, ignoring the fact that a perpetual Republican filibuster in the Senate and their unwillingness even to suggest areas of compromise had all but closed down progress on the administration’s programs. Obama rejected the notion that the election results are a rejection of his policies, but of their results (is there some difference here?). “Voters are not satisfied with the outcomes,” he said. People “want jobs to come back faster, they want paychecks to go further”. When asked about how the government will create jobs, with at least the GOP making it clear they would support no more stimulus spending, he said there were areas to cut but not education, research and development, and investments in infrastructure. Then like what, Mr. President? This was no repeat of the “Give-em-hell Harry” who blamed the “Do-Nothing 80th Congress” in 1948 while campaigning for a full term as President. The 80th Congress had blocked his entire program after a Republican sweep in the 1946 mid-term elections and Harry made them pay for it when he upset the odds-on winner Thomas Dewey for the White House.

Blue Dogs Lose, Tea Party Makes Gains: An interview with L’Humanitite, Prof. Stanley Aronowitz (CCNY-10/30/10) explained Obama’s loss as follows: “The public believed the Democrats and Obama were going to solve problems of unemployment and health care. Now they find unemployment increasing and no relief on health care costs or coverage for another 4 years. People traditionally turn to the opposition party when the party in power disappoints.” Although people are being dispossessed of their homes and swindled by Wall Street, “They cannot express clearly their malaise, yet they know they do not have the democratic system they need and both parties seem in on the swindle”.

The Punk Patriot Fixes The USA’s Economy

(some language NSFW)

Rebooting the American Dream – Chapter Two: Roll Back the Reagan Tax Cuts

Truthout (article with footnotes here)

[Thom Hartmann now available locally on KMEC. Hartmann offers us full sets of actual facts to refute and rebut the repugnant Republicans… -DS]

You must pay the price if you wish to secure the blessings. ~ Andrew Jackson

When I was in Denmark in 2008 doing my radio show for a week from the Danish Radio studios and interviewing many of that nation’s leading politicians, economists, energy experts, and newspaper publishers, one of my guests made a comment that dropped the scales from my eyes.

We’d been discussing taxes on the air and the fact that Denmark has an average 52 percent income-tax rate. I asked him why people didn’t revolt at such high taxes, and he smiled and pointed out to me that the average Dane is very well paid, with a minimum wage that equals roughly $18 per hour. Moreover, what Danes get for their taxes (that we don’t) is a free college education and free health care, not to mention four weeks of paid vacation each year and notoriety as the happiest nation on earth, according to a major study done by the University of Leicester in the United Kingdom.

But it was once we were off the air that he made the comment that I found so enlightening.

“You Americans are such suckers,” he said. “You think that the rules for taxes that apply to rich people also apply to working people, but they don’t. When working peoples’ taxes go up, their pay goes up. When their taxes go down, their pay goes down. It may take a year or two or three to all even out, but it always works this way—look at any country in Europe. And that rule on taxes is the opposite of how it works for rich people!”

My Danish guest was right. So before we get into the larger consequences of tax increases or tax cuts for the nation’s economic health, let’s parse this business about what tax increases or cuts mean for the rich and for the not-so-rich.

Unequal Taxation and the Conservative Spin

If a wealthy person earns so much money that he doesn’t or can’t spend it all each year, when his taxes go down his income after taxes goes up.

Millionaires to Obama: Tax us


Dozens of America’s wealthiest taxpayers — including hedge fund legend Michael Steinhardt, super trial lawyer Guy Saperstein, and Ben Cohen of Ben & Jerry’s fame — have appealed to President Obama not to renew the Bush tax cuts for anyone earning more than $1 million a year. Calling themselves “Patriotic Millionaires for Fiscal Strength,” the 40-plus signers today launched a website and a campaign that they hope will draw support from others who agree that fiscal responsibility should begin with those who can best afford it — as their letter to Obama explains:

We are writing to urge you to stand firm against those who would put politics ahead of their country.

For the fiscal health of our nation and the well-being of our fellow citizens, we ask that you allow tax cuts on incomes over $1,000,000 to expire at the end of this year as scheduled.

We make this request as loyal citizens who now or in the past earned an income of $1,000,000 per year or more.

We have done very well over the last several years. Now, during our nation’s moment of need, we are eager to do our fair share. We don’t need more tax cuts, and we understand that cutting our taxes will increase the deficit and the debt burden carried by other taxpayers. The country needs to meet its financial obligations in a just and responsible way.

Letting tax cuts for incomes over $1,000,000 expire, is an important step in that direction.

The Patriotic Millionaires campaign, pulled together quickly by the Agenda Project in New York City, just happens to appear on the same day as a new study from the Center for Responsive Politics revealing that half of the members of the House and the Senate are millionaires. That contrasts sharply with the general population, of whom fewer than 1 percent can claim millionaire status.

Not surprisingly, some of the super-rich declined to join the Patriotic Millionaires

Senator Bernie Sanders: The Billionaires’ Orgy of Greed [Updated]


[Update: Millionaires to Obama: Tax us!]


The billionaires are on the warpath. They want more, more, more.

In 2007, the top 1 percent of all income earners in the United States made 23.5 percent of all income – more than the bottom 50 percent. Not enough! The percentage of income going to the top 1 percent nearly tripled since the mid-1970s. Not enough! Eighty percent of all new income earned from 1980 to 2005 has gone to the top 1 percent. Not enough! The top 1 percent now owns more wealth than the bottom 90 percent. Not enough! The Wall Street executives with their obscene compensation packages now earn more than they did before we bailed them out. Not enough! With the middle class collapsing and the rich getting much richer, the United States now has, by far, the most unequal distribution of income and wealth of any major country on earth. Not enough!

The very rich want more, more and more and they are prepared to dismantle the existing political and social order to get it. During the last campaign, as a result of the (Republican) Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision, billionaires were able to pour hundreds of millions of dollars of secret money into the campaign – helping to elect dozens of members of Congress. Now, having made their investment, they want their congressional employees to produce. Republicans in Congress, needless to say, are all on board. The key question is whether a Democratic president and a Democratic Senate go along to get along, or whether they draw a clear line at protecting the interests of the middle class and vulnerable populations of our country while tackling our economic and budgetary problems in earnest.

In the next month, despite all their loud rhetoric about the “deficit crisis,” the Republicans want to add $700 billion to the national debt over the next 10 years by extending Bush’s tax breaks for the top 2 percent. Families who earn $1 million a year or more would receive, on average, a tax break of $100,000 a year. The Republicans also want to eliminate or significantly reduce the estate tax, which has existed since 1916. Its elimination would add, over 10 years, about $1 trillion to our national debt and all of the benefits would go to the top 0.3 percent.

Kurt Vonnegut: Get a load of this…


[Oh, how we miss this guy… -DS]

“Do unto others what you would have them do unto you.” A lot of people think Jesus said that, because it is so much the sort of thing Jesus liked to say. But it was actually said by Confucius, a Chinese philosopher, five hundred years before there was that greatest and most humane of human beings, named Jesus Christ.

The Chinese also gave us, via Marco Polo, pasta and the formula for gunpowder. The Chinese were so dumb they only used gunpowder for fireworks. And everybody was so dumb back then that nobody in either hemisphere even knew that there was another one.

We’ve sure come a long way since then. Sometimes I wish we hadn’t. I hate H-bombs and the Jerry Springer Show

But back to people like Confucius and Jesus and my son the doctor, Mark, each of whom have said in their own way how we could behave more humanely and maybe make the world a less painful place. One of my favorite humans is Eugene Debs, from Terre Haute in my native state of Indiana.

Get a load of this. Eugene Debs, who died back in 1926, when I was not yet four, ran five times as the Socialist party candidate for president, winning 900,000 votes, almost 6 percent of the popular vote, in 1912, if you can imagine such a ballot. He had this to say while campaigning:

“As long as there is a lower class, I am in it.

“As long as there is a criminal element, I am of it.

“As long as there is a soul in prison, I am not free.”

Doesn’t anything socialistic make you want to throw up? Like great public schools, or health insurance for all?

When you get out of bed each morning, with the roosters crowing, wouldn’t you like to say. “As long as there is a lower class, I am in it. As long as there is a criminal element, I am of it. As long as there is a soul in prison, I am not free.”

How about Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount, the Beatitudes?

Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the Earth.

Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.

The High Cost of Low Price

In These Times

First, it was the new $200 printer — within hours of being extracted from its bubble-wrap womb, the contraption started making an awful wheezing sound.

Then it was the $10 stopwatch we bought to time my wife’s labor contractions — the moment it was torn out of its blister package, its digital screen flamed out.

Then it was our 3-year-old $500 television — the fuzzy lines started during late-night “Seinfeld” reruns and haven’t stopped.

And finally, it was the $25 lamp for my e-book reader — the light looked so useful … until it started emitting a hideous blue tint.

Welcome to my most recent teeth-clenching weekend spent in return lines at discount electronics stores — a weekend no doubt typical in what journalist Ellen Ruppel Shell calls the current age of “Cheap.” In her new book by that name, she argues that our economy has been reorganized around goods that sacrifice craftsmanship on the altar of low price.

Weekends like mine prove her point — and they represent a relatively new economic phenomenon. Whereas Great Depression America valued well-made utilitarian products and understood the inherent danger of bargain culture, Great Recession America prioritizes discounts at the expense of everything else.

This shift from heirloom sensibilities to today’s throwaway mindset has brought us a full-fledged ethos of Cheap — one that offers both a self-reinforcing logic and an illusory promise of social status. We can see this most clearly in the ubiquitous realm of electronics.

At the level of logic — i.e., the level of Best Buy showroom decisions — Cheap seems to make financial sense. The printer may quickly die, but why worry if printer prices keep dropping? New televisions may last only half as long as they once did, but what’s the big deal if those televisions now cost a third of what they used to? And why spend more on higher-priced electronics that pledge reliability when Cheap is now so pervasive you feel like your extra cash would end up buying a brand logo rather than a genuinely better product?

Then again, many purchases aren’t made with such calculated logic. We know this because in tough times, logic would warrant a focus on low-priced necessities. Instead, The Wall Street Journal reports that Americans are now “spending more on electronics like iPads and flat-screen televisions

Money Fights Hard and Money Fights Dirty


Bill Moyers speech at Boston University on October 29, 2010, as a part of the Howard Zinn Lecture Series.

I was honored when you asked me to join in celebrating Howard Zinn’s life and legacy. I was also surprised. I am a journalist, not a historian. The difference between a journalist and an historian is that the historian knows the difference. George Bernard Shaw once complained that journalists are seemingly unable to discriminate between a bicycle accident and the collapse of civilization. In fact, some epic history can start out as a minor incident. A young man named Paris ran off with a beautiful woman who was married to someone else, and the civilization of Troy began to unwind. A middle-aged black seamstress, riding in a Montgomery bus, had tired feet, and an ugly social order began to collapse. A night guard at an office complex in Washington D.C. found masking tape on a doorjamb, and the presidency of Richard Nixon began to unwind. What journalist, writing on deadline, could have imagined the walloping kick that Rosa Park’s tired feet would give to Jim Crow? What pundit could have fantasized that a third-rate burglary on a dark night could change the course of politics? The historian’s work is to help us disentangle the wreck of the Schwinn from cataclysm. Howard famously helped us see how big change can start with small acts.

We honor his memory. We honor him, for Howard championed grassroots social change and famously chronicled its story as played out over the course of our nation’s history. More, those stirring sagas have inspired and continue to inspire countless people to go out and make a difference. The last time we met, I told him that the stories in A People’s History of the United States remind me of the fellow who turned the corner just as a big fight broke out down the block. Rushing up to an onlooker he shouted, “Is this a private fight, or can anyone get in it?” For Howard, democracy was one big public fight and everyone should plunge into it. That’s the only way, he said, for everyday folks to get justice – by fighting for it.

I have in my desk at home a copy of the commencement address Howard gave

Todd Walton: Critical Delusion

Under The Table

“The fraudulent practices that got people into homes they couldn’t afford are at the heart of our problem.” Robert Scheer

There is no doubt I am happier and more productive and healthier and much more hopeful when I lose touch with the world outside the local watershed; and I am especially happier when I don’t read articles by Robert Scheer and Chris Hedges and Jim Kunstler and other brave and intelligent left-of-the-now-non-existent-center pundits. When I do read articles by these folks, or essays by relatively moderate commentators like Paul Krugman, I feel depressed and hopeless and mentally bludgeoned because these well-meaning folks keep saying the same things over and over again, week after week, month after month.

So to climb out of my slough of despond, I abstain for days on end from news of the outside world, and the bloom returns to my cheeks, and my writing picks up steam, and new melodies present themselves, and I improve as a husband and friend and neighbor, and I start to think life is pretty okay; and then someone sends me an incisively gruesome article or someone emails me a link to a frightening treatise, and I am once more sucked into reading commentaries elucidating how and why things in the great big world are, indeed, going from bad to worse, and I feel bludgeoned again, and while I’m being bludgeoned I try to make sense of the avalanche of facts about the legions of crooks who own and run the world, though the ultimate sense to be made is the same sense I’ve been making since they ran Jimmy Carter out of office in 1980

Llangattock is Making the Transition, Why Can’t We?

The Telegraph UK
Thanks to Linda Sanders

“If you forget to put limits on people and assume that they are capable of fantastic things, then the impossible becomes possible,” said Michael Butterfield, who spearheads the Green Streets.

Llangattock is a small village scattered along a fold in the Brecon Beacon mountains – the softly wooded slopes, high hay meadows and streams making the area one of the loveliest parts of Britain.

The 1,300 inhabitants in the 420 homes have, however, more than the view to be proud of. They are on track to making Llangattock Britain’s first ”carbon-negative community” by 2015. This is no new eco town, but an established settlement alongside the River Usk with a mixture of traditional hill farms and 20th-century bungalows. Yet with energy-saving and energy-creating measures, the community has shown what can be achieved when everyone pulls together.

The woodland group manages and coppices 20 acres of mostly ash and alder for the village’s wood-burning stoves; the residential group coordinates distribution of home energy-saving devices from insulation to solar panels. In just one year, 55 homes will have solar panels installed on their roofs.

The 74-member bio-diesel group collects chip fat from restaurants and has converted more than 11,000 litres of fuel, saving 29 tons of carbon dioxide; 60 families tend a field of new allotments and have resurrected the village fête; and the hydro group is forging ahead with six small-scale hydroelectric schemes on the streams around the village.

Larger projects, such as a woodchip district heating scheme and an anaerobic digester, fed with grass and slurry waste from local farms, that will earn the village an income, are also under way.

But how has a small village with a disparate and fairly elderly population pulled off such an achievement?

Almost exactly a year ago, the village won the Welsh heat of British Gas’s Green Streets competition, run to find the ”greenest” communities in Britain. The win provided £137,400 of grants from British Gas, and other grants and earnings have made a total income for the village of £575,000.

Building Community: An Economic Approach


David Korten with David Brancaccio

David Korten: What economic transformation has to do with building stronger, happier communities.

In Fixing the Future, a one-hour PBS special airing November 18th (check local listings), David Brancaccio visits communities across America using innovative approaches to create jobs and build prosperity in our new economy.

He interviewed YES! Magazine board chair David Korten for a big picture perspective about what it will take to build an economy that works for all. Transcript below.

Watch the full episode. See more NOW on PBS.

David Brancaccio (DB): So our mission here is to fix the future; just give me a sense of how we can get started on this question.

David Korten (DK): Well you know, David, it starts with a very basic question. Do people exist to serve the economy, or should the economy exist to serve people? Now it turns out that we’ve created a whole society with culture and institutions around the idea that people exist to serve the economy. And millions of people are waking up to the reality that that’s a misplaced priority.

DB: Our knee-jerk reaction is to go down to Wall Street to ask questions about how we fix the economy. That’s the usual way of doing things. In fact I think there are entire cable TV channels devoted to asking those people what the solution is. You’re asking us to go not toward Wall Street but where? Just to Main Street, America?

DK: Wall Street is basically dedicated to eliminating jobs or outsourcing jobs in order to increase financial profits of the biggest corporations and to increase the financial assets of the world’s already richest people. Now what we need is a money system that actually is doing what you just said, is connecting real resources with real needs, creating real community wealth at the community level. But that requires a financial system that is rooted in the community and accountable to community interest and that operates by life values rather than financial values.

DB: So if you’re trying to figure out what values an economy or a financial system is displaying, you have a theory about where to look to see where the center of power of the economy is rooted.

Herb Ruhs: Beware the hospital


As a physician I can hardly avoid facing the facts about health care, but I can understand why people would want to.  I get a lot of nervous laughter from folks when I assert that health care itself has become the third leading cause of death in the US behind cancer and heart disease.  But this assertion is chillingly true ( Better I guess that people characterize me as a mere crackpot than feel the terror that is lurking behind their illusions.

People are also surprised to hear that it is the health care system itself that is causing shortened US life spans and bad infant survival rates.  In fact it is a credit to our highly effective propaganda system that so many refuse to believe that personal choices, “life style choices” as the propaganda sources like to put it, have essentially nothing to do with our nations plummeting health statistics. Few I speak to are prepared to go even further and identify the ROOT source of our discontents as our insanely increasing economic inequality, as has been shown in the recent book The Spirit Level: Why Greater Equality Makes Societies Stronger By Richard Wilkinson, Kate Pickett. What can I say? This is the desired result of our massively funded thought control system euphemistically call our mass media. Never have so many been so confused about what is going on.  We are witnessing (though by design most are unaware of it) a triumph of epic proportions in the long march of social engeering.

Consequently I was pleased to come across this report on the Medicare facet of the disaster that is American health care, “AHRQ: Rate of Adverse Events in Medicare Cases ‘Disturbing'” ( The report has details of what sorts of things actually go wrong in hospitals and why. Folks who look through this with open eyes will come to the conclusion that our hospitals have become down right dangerous places to be sick in. Open minds will realize that it is not just Medicare that is spreading death and mayhem. It is the entire system from our decrepit public health system and the corrupt Federal agencies administering it, to the doctors office down the street. It is all bad for very logical reasons that are all political in nature. We are administering ourselves to death.

Only in a nearly perfectly propagandized society could such things go on without rage in the streets.  The propagandist must be so proud of themselves.

List of Citizen Journalism Websites


Citizen journalism has been described as individuals “playing an active role in the process of collecting, reporting, analyzing and disseminating news and information.”

In their report We Media: How Audiences are Shaping the Future of News and Information, Shayne Bowman and Chris Willis write that “the intent of this participation is to provide independent, reliable, accurate, wide-ranging and relevant information that a democracy requires.”

Citizen Journalism is slowly being looked upon as a form of rightful democratic ways of giving honest news, articles, etc, directly by citizens of the world from anywhere.

Kent Bye’s “Echo Chamber Project” is attempting a new type of citizen journalism: an “open source, investigative documentary about the how the television news media became an uncritical echo chamber to the Executive Branch leading up to the war in Iraq.” By “open source,” Bye means that he is sharing both the transcripts and footage from his documentary with anyone who wants to use it or remix it with other footage as they see fit. He is also trying to “develop more sophisticated techniques for citizen journalism,” including new software tools that will enable other collaborative efforts. A preliminary video of the Echo Chamber Project is available on, a non-profit initiative that provides free storage space and bandwidth to anyone with videos, audio files, text files, or software that they’d like to share with the world.

NowPublic lets anyone publish their own work, collectively decide what appears on the homepage and upload photographs, video or sound recordings that relate to news stories. The site is just under 1 year old but with several thousand contributors is already a rival to conventional media in terms of reporting capacity.

World Wide List here

California (partial)


Ritual Humiliation Scanners


Raising taxes on the fat cats will save us. It has before.


[Sorry, Ralph, this is the only way “the Super-Rich will save us. ” -DS]

The Myth

Do tax cuts stimulate the economy?

Yes. Tax cuts allow people to keep more of their own money therefore they have more to invest and spend into the economy and more money to start business and create jobs therefore also helping to stimulate the economy.

I think when people take a look back at this moment in our economic history, they’ll recognize tax cuts work. They have made a difference. ~George W. Bush

The Realities

The brute facts are these:

Large income tax cuts are followed by a bubble and then a crash.

High income taxes correlate with economic growth.

Income tax increases are followed by economic growth.

Moderate income tax cuts are followed by a flat economy.

All this is especially true as applied to the top tax rates, the amount paid on income that exceeds the highest bracket.

The Three Great Tax Cuts: Boom, Bubble, Crash

During World War One the top marginal tax rate went up to 73%. Not the highest ever, but pretty high.

In 1922, a series of rate cuts began. Down to 56%, 46%, and finally, in 1925, it went down to 25%.

The stock market took off. There was a boom. But the boom was a bubble.

It was followed by the Great Crash of 1929.

There were bank failures and the Great Depression.

From Franklin Roosevelt’s second term all the way through to Jimmy Carter, – from 1936 until 1982 – the top rate was in the 70-92% range.

Then along came Reagan in 1981. In 1982 he cut that down to 50%.

The economy went into “the worst recession since the Great Depression.”

Lindsay Maurer: Bring Your Own Bag Raffle

President of the Ukiah High School Environmental Club

The Ukiah High School Environmental Club is rewarding YOU for using reusable bags!  Participate in the BYOBag raffle — bring your own bag when you shop downtown Ukiah, and WIN PRIZES!

From November 15th through December 10th, use your own reusable bag when you shop at the following participating businesses, and receive a raffle ticket to the BYOBag Raffle, for a chance to win beautiful prizes from local businesses. (You will also receive a raffle ticket for choosing to use no bag at all.)

Find us on Facebook-Ukiah BYOBag Raffle– and spread the word

Participating Businesses:
Cinnabar Ceramics
La Tre
Three Sisters
Boutique 120
Mendocino Bounty
Shoefly and Sox
Mendocino Barkery
Dig! Music
Village Books
It’s Time
Ruby Slippers
Renaissance Market
Grace’s On Main
Pacific Outfitters
Tierra- Art, Garden, Wine
Little Brown Bear

Win Prizes From:
Cinnabar Ceramics
Heidi’s Yarn Haven
Three Sisters
Mendocino Bounty
Boutique 120
Bikram Yoga
La Tre
Shoefly & Sox
Mulligan Books
Dig! Music
Ukiah Brewing Co. & Restaurant
Tashe A. Kurland Integrated Massage Therapy
Oco Time
Ukiah Natural Foods Co-op
Esencia Aromatherapy
The Coffee Critic
Hoyman/Browe Studio
Renaissance Market
Pacific Outfitters
Frey Vineyards
Tierra- Art, Garden, Wine
T.E. Cakes
Powerhouse Multimedia & Marketing Solutions

The BYOBag Raffle Drawing will be held at The Brewery on Tuesday, December 14th from 7:00 to 11:00 (need not be present to win).  Join us for aerial silks and other live entertainment, and beautiful prizes!