Saturday, 04 February 2023


The infrastructure to attract retired seniors to Lake County is already in place, the board of supervisors heard on Tuesday.

Would somebody please give me a map?

As a retired senior with some physical disability and a chronic illness, I'd really love to know where the facilities are.

I know there are golf courses, but I'm not interested in golf and wouldn't be able to play it anyway, for both physical and financial reasons.

I know there's a public swimming pool somewhere, but I gather it's only open in the summertime. Is there bus service that would get me there from the Northshore?

I know there are libraries and I am, thankfully, still able to drive to one. But where is the bookmobile for those who are not so fortunate?

There is a nice little art gallery in Lakeport and some pretty decent amateur theater from time to time. Are there any traveling shows or any simple entertainment in other areas, like Readers' Theater?

The city of Clearlake has a pretty snazzy community center, but I didn't notice any recreational facilities there for seniors or anyone else. The county's other senior centers don't look so snazzy. I believe the one in Clearlake Oaks is open only for lunches. I know the one in Lucerne, near me, is usually open only until mid-afternoon, and never on Sundays.

Is there any air-conditioned place in the county that's open in the very hot late summer afternoons for a cooling off respite? The city of Chicago established some of those centers after 700 people died in a heat wave a few years ago. Would it be so hard to take some preventive action here?

Am I on totally the wrong track here? Is the goal to attract only those affluent seniors who can afford air-conditioning and their own boats? Whose main interests are golf and gambling? Who will never become disabled or unable to drive?

If that's the case, just tell me and I'll go away.

Besides, why are we so anxious to attract seniors? Why aren't we focused on attracting businesses that will employ productive young people at a decent wage? Silicon Valley is the richest area in California. I bet some of those folks would love to cash out and come here, if there were jobs here.

Sophie Annan Jensen lives in Lucerne.


A chain is only as strong as its weakest link. This is a common metaphor used to describe how things can be linked together and dependent on one another in order to function properly.

Often times when I am at the scene of an accident, I use this metaphor to explain why the accident occurred. Most of the time traffic flows smoothly throughout Lake County. However, collisions do occur and when they do it can have a devastating affect on those involved.

When a driver becomes a weak link in the metaphoric chain of traffic, the chain can snap and a collision is the result. Drinking and driving causes an obvious weakening of the chain, but what other causes are there?

The speed of a vehicle can create a weak link in the chain of traffic. The difference in stopping distance for a vehicle traveling at 55 miles per hour compared to 60 miles per hour is approximately 38 feet. Following too closely has a similar affect on the chain as speeding does. It effectively reduces the three second rule, but that rule is designed to create a safety cushion under optimum driving conditions.

Straight and level roadways with a good sight distance are more the exception than the rule in our beautiful mountainous county. If you create a buffer between you and the car ahead longer than three seconds, you actually help to strengthen the chain against the weak link that may be ahead of you or behind you.

Driver complacency is a hidden cause of link weakening. When a driver has never had a collision, he or she begins to believe that they never will, and they begin to disregard the rules of the road.

Another weak link is created when a driver continues to drive while sleepy or fatigued when they should pull over and rest.

Next time you drive your car, take a few moments to critique your driving. Look around at the other vehicles on the road and see if you can tell who is the weak link on the road. If you’re the weak link in the chain, it’s time to improve your driving.

If we all try to strengthen our own individual links, it will have an overall positive effect on the traffic safety in our community.

If you have any questions about this article or ideas on future articles, contact myself or Officer Adam Garcia, Clear Lake Area CHP. Remember, buckle up and drive safe!

Officer Humble has been a California Highway Patrol Officer for 17 years, and has been assigned to the Clear Lake CHP office for the past 11 years.


Attending the oldest and largest animal rights conference in Los Angeles July 19-23 ( yielded more surprising information than I expected.

The conference also provided me the chance to meet with many grass roots animal rights

people advocating for humane treatment of animals, veganism and better animal protection legislation. These people are truly inspirational because many of them devote their lives to help non-human species who can't help themselves ... that's truly altruistic and compassionate. We really need more people like them in the world.

There were more than 100 sessions, and here are some of these altruistic speakers and their organizations' Web sites: Karen Davis, United Poultry Concerns (; Howard Lyman, Voice for Viable Future (; Anteneh Roba, Amsale Gessesse Foundation (; Marianne Thieme, Parliament member, The Netherlands (; Paul Watson, Sea Shepherd Conservation Society (; Shirley McGreal, International Primate Protection League (; Christine Morrissey, East Bay Animal Advocates (; Eliot Katz, In Defense of Animals (; Virginia Handley, California's Political Action Committee for Animals (

In addition to learning about updates to the campaigns above, the fact that Farm Animals have very few (if any) legal protections, and there is little legal precedent for current lawyers to use in prosecuting

animal abusers, some additional new surprising information was shared with all conference attendees: animal agriculture causes more greenhouse gases than transportation.

According to a new report published by the United Nations Food and Agriculture organization, the livestock sector generates more greenhouse gas emissions than transport (

In addition, Japanese scientists discovered that eating beef produces more greenhouse gases than driving. "Most of the greenhouse gas emissions are in the form of methane released from the animals'

digestive systems,” New Scientist magazine reported.

More than two thirds of the energy used goes towards producing and transporting cattle feed, said the study, which was led by Akifumi Ogino from the National Institute of Livestock and Grassland Science in Tsukuba, Japan.

Su Taylor, the press officer for the Vegetarian Society, told New Scientist: "Everybody is trying to come up with different ways to reduce carbon footprints, but one of the easiest things you can do is

to stop eating meat.”

I've personally attended several scientific conferences in the last few months, including the February AAAS conference in San Francisco, but the seriousness of animal agriculture's impact on climate change was not strongly communicated. This is why I'm writing. so I can communicate this data to you.

Many of us have thought about reducing our meat consumption for various health or animal cruelty reasons. The climate change impact is another reason.

Let's all make a difference and reduce all of our meat consumption and spread the word to your friends and neighbors to do the same. Our country and our Earth depend on it.


Mary Vincent is a senior program sanager at Sun Microsystems. She was in the US Peace Corps in Hungary. She contributes articles and commentary on animal rights issues to Lake County News.


When we are made to question our allegiance to a political party, to wonder why it seems to make little difference at times whether the House or the Senate is controlled by Democrats or Republicans, we fall back on the old illusion that our disappointment has everything to do with the personal qualities or shortcomings of individual politicians, and like fools keep hoping, at every election, that the right people will appear, to rescue this nation. It is true enough that a handful of politicians are actually sincere, and believe in and attempt to uphold the Constitution.

The truth appears to be, however, that the principal forces at play in government are not at all ideological, but a matter of class and economics. Having initially modeled this system of government on the Roman Republic, the so-called founding fathers set up two legislative bodies: the House of Representatives, which was to represent the people as did the Roman Assembly of Citizens, and the Senate, which exactly as in Rome was designed as a chamber elected by and for the elite.

The elite, of course and as in Rome, was to have the final say on matters of the state, while the will of the people was to be symbolically represented by Congress, presumably to appease the populace on matters of little importance. This is why America was called a republic, as in Rome, and not a democracy, as in Greece.

The system appeared to change in 1913, when the American people were given the right to vote for their Senators, and both the House and Senate were to represent ordinary citizens. It is also in 1913, prior to the change in the election process of the senate, that a powerful group of finance capitalists (better known as bankers), J.P. Morgan, Paul Warburg and John D. Rockefeller among others, created, without the proper Constitutional amendment and with the help of their ally the Senate, the Federal Reserve, a private monopoly that allowed them and allows their successors to control the US government.

"Give me control of a nation's money supply, and I care not who makes its laws" accurately boasted Mayer Rothschild, another finance capitalist.

After having thus taken ownership and control of the nation and no longer needing absolute power over the Senate, this small elite of bankers allowed the people to vote for their Senators, throwing them a few symbolic crumbs that were to make them believe they had acquired more representation and greater power, just as their power had been taken away by the Federal Reserve and they were too elated and distracted to see what had been done to them.

Are we, incidentally, to naively believe that some of the founding fathers did not plan this from the very beginning, having given this elite of finance capitalists total control over the Senate, until they no longer needed it because they had finally achieved their goal, which was to take control of the monetary system?

Kennedy, who unlike other Presidents refused to be a puppet in the hands of this elite, was assassinated before he got a chance to do what he wanted: to restore the gold standard for our monetary system, thus threatening the profits and control of the private bankers who own and run the Federal Reserve and the artificial creation of an actually worthless paper money, a currency that is only as good as the paper it is printed on.

Our political system, like the governments of all nations throughout history, is therefore seemingly torn between serving the elite that controls the world's wealth, and appeasing and controlling the populace that could become a threat if it was better informed. There is not much chance of this happening, as the elite needs an under class to exploit and to frighten the middle class, and a vastly ignorant and easily conditioned middle class to consume its entertainment and its junk, its bread and circus, and to unknowingly support its agenda, lead by deception and disinformation.

Bankers, or finance capitalists, are the hidden elements who control history, who finance wars and revolutions, decide who wins and who looses through the management of supplies and demands, the control of currency values, and even create or manipulate social movements and civil unrest when it is to their advantage.

They have no ideological loyalties, and neither do the key politicians they own: political ideologies are primarily meant to control the naïve and emotional populations by dividing them along mostly fictitious or irrelevant ideas, for the only practical ideas that matter to the highly pragmatic, opportunistic and level-headed elite are profit and power.

If you think this sounds like another absurd conspiracy theory, ask yourself why Hitler never attacked and invaded Switzerland, the banking center of the world and a very easy, very close and very tempting target ... was he the type to respect international treaties and national boundaries and sovereignty?

Could it be that he was financed by international banks just enough to be fooled and used by them, as the predictable psychopath he was, to redraw the map of the world and alter the power play, not to mention facilitate the brutal crushing of a rapidly burgeoning international movement of worker

solidarity, as was also achieved by the first world war? Fifty million lives was apparently an acceptable loss for an elite whose fortunes also soared beyond all expectations as a result of that war.

Our government, like all governments, is putting on a show of political theater for us, the easily fooled, easily distracted and now apparently heavily medicated populace, while the actual conflict is, once again, between public interest, the welfare of the nation and its people, and private interest, the power and extreme wealth of a very small elite.

Need I say who wins the battle every time? This will go on as long as we accept being trained to worship dominant power and to admire wealth, as our forefathers did under the monarchy, and to fear and demonize the poor and all who question might and greed. It will also go on as long as we ignore

the real dynamics of power, and believe in ideologies, in the right and left "good cop-bad cop" routine, that has been allowed to insult our intelligence far too long and is becoming insufferable to some.

Today it is often said that corporations seek to rule the world ... they have been given the same rights as a person, while being shielded from a person's responsibilities, for this very reason. But corporations, like politicians, only do the finance capitalists' bidding and are pawns in their power games. Corporations are today's "villains", decoys that are useful to implement the banking elite's agenda of the new world order, of globalization, but whose power will be taken away as soon as they have served their purpose in this agenda, and under the pretence of freeing the populace from their apparent corruption of government and abuse of such power.

Finance capitalists, who came up with the idea of a banking monopoly, of central banking, to control the state, perhaps as early as two thousand years ago or more, an idea later espoused by Marxists and Capitalists alike, ultimately do not want a free market but a highly regulated economy that could be called capitalist in the sense that it does not threaten their private capital, but prevents, to a large extent, the creation of too many new and independent (free from loans) fortunes outside of their circle of power, of a new elite that would ignore the rules of the ancestral game and would be apt to want to reform and change the world. This is why the on going globalization agenda appears to be communist to some and fascist to others, because it is neither.

These people do not want our solutions to the world's problems. They need to keep the problems in place to maintain the world's conflicts in ideological and divisive terms, and to offer, when strategically appropriate, their own solutions, that will profit them exclusively in terms of ever more profit and power. Consequently, do not expect any real and holistic solutions to global warming, to global pollution, to human suffering in the third world, or to the exhaustion of resources, to be implemented when they should, today.

If a third world war is deemed to be more profitable by this small circle of finance capitalists and apt to fulfill their long term goals, the world will be, once again, thrown into the pits of hell ... and many will be convinced to hate and fear the newly created enemy, as countless generations have done. But if, at some future date, global warming or some other issue is thought to be helpful in implementing a timely policy of new regulations, it is what will happen, seemingly for the benefit of the people of the world and of the environment.

There is no other solution to this condition of the control and enslavement of the world by a small and extremely discreet, well educated and very clever banking elite but an emergence of the truth, which can be obtained and expanded through research ... The important point is not in finding out names, but in understanding the strategy ... the names are ultimately completely irrelevant.

One only has to look at what has been done by banking monopolies to acquire control over governments and policies, and connect the historical and contemporary dots, so as to no longer fall in the trap of believing the many historical, social, ideological and cultural fairy tales that the media and the educational systems feed us, and perhaps no longer be as a pawn in this elite's games, particularly in times of war, when the consequences of being fooled are truly tragic.

Raphael Montoliu lives in Lakeport.


I am constantly reminded of the importance of reading critically and not giving too much importance to headlines. In the context of the discussion of "what we know" to be true, I offer this to support my contention that a sizable amount of the information we base our opinions and beliefs upon these days can easily be called into question.

Take, for example, the recent headline that marijuana can lead to psychosis. While I don't dispute that use of any medicine may have side effects, we should have become inured to the seemingly endless litany of the potentially harmful use of almost any drug or ingested substance. A critical reading of this article illuminates why it received headlines and who stood to profit from its "scare" value.

First, the propaganda.

"Using marijuana seems to increase the chance of becoming psychotic, researchers report in an analysis of past research that reignites the issue of whether pot is dangerous. The new review suggests that even infrequent use could raise the small but real risk of this serious mental illness by 40 percent."

Then the caveat.

The researchers said they couldn't prove that marijuana use itself increases the risk of psychosis. There could be something else about marijuana users, "like their tendency to use other drugs or certain personality traits, that could be causing the psychoses," Zammit said. The overall risk remains very low.

Then, the real truth. (The study isn't conclusive at all.)

Scientists cannot rule out that pre-existing conditions could have led to both marijuana use and later psychoses, Dr. Wilson Compton, a senior scientist at the National Institute on Drug Abuse in Washington said.

Finally, the most interesting information.

Two of the authors of the study were invited experts on the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs Cannabis Review in 2005 (and were probably compensated handsomely for their participation).

Several authors reported being paid to attend drug company-sponsored meetings related to marijuana, and one received consulting fees from companies that make antipsychotic medications … (Ahhh, pharmaceutical reps and we consider these to be unbiased scientists?)

Even the scientist who led the effort to discover the human genetic code has written extensively about the landslide of corruption in the scientific industry, paid by corporate drug pushers to influence public opinion.

I'm not sure that the interests of William Randolph Hearst are not being represented. He was the man responsible for getting marijuana declared a dangerous drug to precipitate its being made illegal to eliminate the rapidly burgeoning commercial hemp industry from effectively capsizing his timber industry profits. To wipe out the vast and cheap multitude of hemp products threatening his empire, he initiated the attack by focusing on the accepted medical use of marijuana at the time and generated the brainwashing of generations to its dangers.

Certainly the pharmaceutical companies consider medical marijuana a threat to their profits, and the misuse of science for commercial gain is increasing exponentially.

As I said at the beginning, I'm not questioning the findings so much as why the study was conducted at all. Who stood to gain financially that's always the first question to ask. Perhaps a study is in order to determine whether or not people who hate their jobs are at increased risk of psychosis, or whether people stressed by being unable to meet healthcare bills or day to day economic realities might be more apt to suffer psychosis.

I haven't seen these studies. Why not? Because it isn't really about protecting the public it's about influencing public opinion for economic gain. Read critically, the fine print often unintentionally reverses the impact of the lead line.

James BlueWolf lives in Nice.


As an unreconstructed cheesehead from Wisconsin, the Mississippi River has always been a special place to me. It's one of my personal permanent wonders of the world.

Never more so than tonight, when several thousand miles away as I was writing my daughter, who lives in St. Paul with her husband and their child, my first and only (so far) grandchild, I got one of those shocks we foolish mortals are prone to getting.

I was telling her about Jerry Day on this Sunday (Aug. 5) in San Francisco, where Melvin Seals of the Jerry Garcia Band, a wonderfully named Deadhead group called Workingman's Ed, and another – Jelly – are playing a free concert from noon to 7 p.m. (Check out for info).

And I was listening to our 21st Century Edward R. Murrow, Keith Olbermann, whose editorials spoken into the camera directly to us and the Doofus in the White House I try to seldom miss. Then, there was a bulletin about a bridge collapse over the Mississippi near the University of Minnesota.

Like anyone who was here in 1989, I thought of Loma Prieta. A friend was running that day near a creek in Pescadero. She said the creek sort of gurgled up and shook all over kingdom come. God was willin' and the creek did rise. In Sonoma, where my family lived at the time, the intersection I was driving through changed directions – sort of – as our home shook, rattled and rolled. We had a foreign student from Austria at the time and she was there alone and ran screaming out into the street. They don't have a lot of earthquakes in "Wienna." She knew about Arnold already, of course, and arrived wearing a "Free James Brown!" T-Shirt. Everyone in Austria knew about Arnold. Now, it's our turn.

But what really stopped my heart and took the breath out of me was worry about how my daughter, son-in-law, and grandson, who looks like a 6-six-month old Dr. Evil in the photo I have of him on my dresser, were. He has a finger on his mouth. Can you say: "One million dollars?"

I called right away and got my son-in-law. Everyone was OK though they had driven across the bridge in question precisely, give or take a few hours, one day earlier. I was more than relieved, but have remained a wee bit shook up ever since.

I've seen my grandson once and I want to see him again in December when he and his parents come home to my son-in-law's hometown, Palo Alto, and stay with his magnificent family. He calls home "Shallow Alto" and went to New College as did my daughter. (Yes, people meet in jazz ensembles.) And he could have gone to Stanford for free since his father is a professor of surgery there. I didn't go to the main University of Wisconsin campus because I would have had to live at home. I went to the one in Milwaukee instead, so what else is new?

What else is new it that I'm eternally grateful to whoever I should be eternally grateful to for the safety of my children and their child and about as aware as we all need to get everyday about how much the people you love mean to you.

Hug somebody if you've got someone to hug.

I'm in my retirement apartment in Belmont unable to sleep. But I'm thinking of them and I'm thinking about the Mississippi.

We had to learn to spell it in school back there. I lived near it and was on it many times. I went to many sites from Mark Twain's Life On The Mississippi – the harbor in Dubuque, Nauvoo, the Mormon settlement that is now a living history museum; the Crescent City, the place where U.S. soldiers massacred the old and young of the Sauk-Fox tribe, and so on.

I love taking Amtrak to Chicago and finally crossing the Big Muddy at last. When I moved to Alaska my then 7-year-old son and I saw lots of eagles on the river crossing from Wisconsin to Minnesota. And, in Alaska at Haines, which has the largest eagle population in the world. Or, did. Now, you see them on The Colbert Report.

And once just before crossing the river Huck and Jim haunt, on the train again, an old farmer from Iowa woke up all the residents in the Sicko car (I had fallen down the steps of Old Main at my daughter's college during student orientation when I took her to Antioch by train and plane and was on crutches). The farmer insisted everyone in that train wake up and listen to the song he wanted us all to hear. It was 5 a.m.

He played Spike Jones on the radio and that is one moment I will never forget.

My children both can sing most of the Spike Jones songbook forced on them at a young age by me as my father had forced it on me. Something for which I remain most grateful.

Thanks, Dad, for Stan Freberg, too and for my grandson – your great-grandson – Orion Sage Sibley's intense blue eyes. He just turned 1 and this Christmas he's learning "All I Want For Christmas Is My Two Front Teeth."


Gary Peterson lives in Belmont. 




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