Friday, 19 July 2024

Opinion

Occasionally, an issue comes before Congress that is so clearly aligned with American values that Members across the political spectrum come together to support a solution. Giving uninsured children access to health care is one of those issues. And the strong bipartisan House and Senate votes for the reauthorization of the State Children’s Health Insurance Program were examples of how Congress is trying to cut through politics to improve the lives of American families.


The State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP, known in California as Healthy Families) has a history steeped in bipartisanship. A Democratic president and a Republican Congress created the program, which today covers about 6.6 million American children – 800,000 of whom live in California. They are members of families that make no more than 250 percent over the poverty line – too much to participate in Medicaid and too little to afford private insurance.


This reauthorization guarantees that all of the kids currently enrolled in SCHIP will continue to receive coverage – and gives states the tools and the resources they need to find and enroll almost four million additional eligible children. California alone has identified 200,000 kids that would be immediately eligible for enrollment, if only it had the adequate resources.


This bill provides those resources. It gives states incentives for ensuring that only the neediest children are enrolled. And it is completely paid for. It has the support of 43 governors – including our own – in addition to the support of an unusual cadre of bedfellows: private insurance companies, organized labor, the pharmaceutical industry, and hundreds of leading health and children’s advocacy organizations.


Unfortunately, there is one person in Washington who can turn even this issue into a political football. This week, President Bush vetoed Congress’ reauthorization of the State Children’s Health Insurance Program. On the heels of his request for an additional $190 billion for the war in Iraq, he has told Congress to spend no more than $5 billion on children’s health care. If the president gets his way, SCHIP won’t be reauthorized – it will be downsized. This means 20 percent of the children currently enrolled – over 1.4 million kids – will be kicked out of the program.


These are real children who live in our communities. Today, in Lake County, nearly 1,700 kids are enrolled in Healthy Families. They get primary and preventive care – which means that they are less likely to end up in the emergency room. And if they do end up in the ER – they have insurance. Our parents and grandparents used to tell us to be “penny wise rather than a pound foolish.” Investing $35 billion in the SCHIP program today is an infinitely less costly proposition than providing no health care to uninsured children – because, one way or the other, as a nation, we will pay for it later.


Naysayers, with the president as their loudest voice, have concocted a variety of myths about the SCHIP reauthorization. I have long preferred facts to myths, so let me set the record straight: This bill does not increase entitlement spending, because SCHIP is not an entitlement program – it is a capped block grant. This bill doesn’t allow states to cover the children of “rich” parents, nor does it allow them to cover illegal immigrants or parents or childless adults. This bill opens the door to quality health care for 10 million of America’s children. And arguments to the contrary are dead wrong.


The president and his followers can say whatever they like about this reauthorization. But as Republican Senator Charles Grassley, a staunch supporter of this legislation, said on the Senate floor last week, “You can’t call a cow a chicken and have it be true.”


The truth is, the president’s veto of the SCHIP reauthorization is politicking of the worst kind. It directly contradicts the priorities and the will of the American people, who overwhelmingly support Congress’ efforts to extend this program. And it is a shameful move from the president of the richest country in the world – home to more than 9.4 million uninsured children.


In the near future, I will join a majority of my colleagues in casting my vote to override this veto – and we will continue doing so until we prevail. America understands, even if the president doesn’t, that reauthorizing SCHIP in order to expand health care for our children is a fight we cannot afford to lose.


Mike Thompson (D-St. Helena) represents Lake County in the US House of Representatives.


{mos_sb_discuss:4}


 

I am an elected member of the Konocti Unified School District Board of Trustees, currently serving my fourth four-year term on that board and in my 13th year of service.


I am also a 30-year Lake County resident, and 35-year Lake County property owner. I have owned and operated a business within the City of Clearlake for 19 years.


I write the below comments based in large part upon my familiarity with the area in general and the school district in particular. My comments are not the official comments of the Konocti Unified School District. The school district shall submit its own comments at a later time.


The report states that the impact to school facilities is a “less than cumulatively considerable effect.” This conclusion is false and does not reflect the reality currently existing in Konocti Unified School District. The report predicts optimistically that approximately 30 percent of the 720 proposed units of the project will be households without school age children and the remaining 70 percent will have only one school age child.


These estimates are no more than wishful thinking and offer no assurances to the school district and the community of their accuracy. It is entirely feasible that the project may generate more than twice the numbers of students projected. Even in the unlikely event that the projected numbers prove to be close to accurate, a sudden increase of more than 500 students could prove disastrous for the school district.


Even accepting the optimistic projections of the report, there will be a 54 percent increase in the population of students attending Lower Lake Elementary School. This school year (2007-08) Lower Lake Elementary School was unable to accommodate approximately 10 students who attempted to enroll there in grades K-2, and was forced to send these students to attend other schools within Konocti District.


The projected additional students who will attempt to enroll at their neighborhood school cannot be accommodated by the addition of “portable classrooms” as the report suggests. Firstly, there is not a place to put additional portable classrooms at the Lower Lake Elementary School without encroaching on the play areas and other outdoor space that is already in use. What’s more the project does not take into account the school’s common use areas such as the cafeteria, playground, library and physical education facilities.


Also not accounted for are the office facilities and services such as school nurse, pre-school and other adjunct functions. Nor is there any mention in the report of facilities for any additional teachers that will need to be hired.


Students are not evenly distributed by age group and grade level. Therefore, although some grade levels may have available space for some additional students, others are overcrowded and cannot accommodate any. The report does not consider this and treats the numbers as generic. If a large number of new students all fall within the same grade level, a change in the entire makeup of the district's boundaries and student placement will likely result, causing hardship to numerous families and to the district itself.


Two Konocti District schools are currently designated as Program Improvement schools under Federal Guidelines for No Child Left Behind. Federal law gives parents the right to place their children in non-program improvement schools and to have them transported at district expense. The report assumes that the district will have the option to place elementary school students in any of the district’s four elementary schools. However, parents may refuse to have their children placed in one of the district’s Program Improvement schools meaning that the options for shuffling students around in order to find space for new students are limited.


Transfer rights also extend to parents who wish to opt out of program improvement schools and place their children in schools in other districts. In these cases as well, the home district is responsible for transporting the students.


Students sent to other districts under these provisions of federal law will therefore also need to be transported at the district’s expense.


The report makes reference to Konocti District’s construction bond and its facilities plan. All of the money from the sale of bonds is part of a pre-established budget for construction, improvement and maintenance. All these funds have already been allocated for specific projects. These projects include the repair and upgrading of existing buildings and infrastructure as well some new facilities such as libraries and a high school gymnasium.


The listed projects are being overseen by a Bond Oversight Committee as required by law and do not include construction to accommodate the addition of new students from the Provensalia project. Nor were the voters who passed the bond measure voting to subsidize this project by paying to mitigate its impact on the school district.


It is not unlikely that a new school will have to be built as a result of the influx of students from this project. The current costs of building a school are prohibitive and the district will not be able to pass another bond with the current bond debt still outstanding. The cost of construction of a new school and the supporting infrastructure is currently estimated at $25 million, which is well beyond the district’s financial reach. Neither developer fees, average daily attendance monies, local property taxes nor other funding mechanisms will be even close to adequate for this purpose.


California law places the responsibility on school districts to educate all students living within their boundaries without exception. The overcrowding of our schools will place an unfair burden not only on the district and its staff who are already under tremendous pressure due to increased educational expectations at the state and federal levels, but also on each and every student in the district. The quality of all our students’ education will be compromised if the district is forced to spread its already overtaxed resources amongst hundreds of additional students.


Also not covered in the report is the issue of congestion and traffic safety on Lake Street as regards our schools located there. The issue of students walking to school is mentioned briefly in the report’s traffic section, however the report does not seriously address the issue of added traffic during school pick up and drop off times. There are several distinct aspects to this issue.


Although the revised project plan proposes the construction of a new route to Provensalia which bypasses Dam Road and Lake Streets, the addition of 250 students at Lower Lake Elementary School, and an additional 100 Students at Lower Lake High School (again very likely low estimates) will have a serious impact on Lake Street traffic at drop off and pick up times.


At 8 a.m. when children are dropped off for school at Lower Lake Elementary School, as well as when they are dismissed from school at 2 p.m., there is already a serious congestion issue. School buses now numbering six or more (not including additional buses to accommodate special education students) can barely fit in the small area in front of the school. Additionally, approximately 100 cars drop off students in front of the school each morning and the same number picks students up at 2 p.m. daily.


A significant number of students also walk to school along Lake Street, which has no sidewalks. The resulting traffic situation at these times is already chaotic. Cars and school buses collect on Lake Street daily. Some parent drivers pull over to the side and quickly discharge students wherever they are able to stop and students must make their way through this maze of cars, buses and other students to get to school.


The small parking lot which serves both Lower Lake Elementary School and Richard Lewis School (a small alternative program) is located across Lake Street from the school. It is already filled to capacity and beyond each day at drop off and pick up times. The overflow cars from the parking lot now park on the street in front of Lower Lake Cemetery which is just north of the school, across the street for approximately a half mile along Lake Street and illegally in the red zone along the curb that stretches from the school entrance south down to Lower Lake High School.


The California Highway Patrol has already acknowledged that this is a dangerous condition and had previously been patrolling the area and issuing tickets to cars parked in the red zone. However, they have ceased doing so after acknowledging that there is not adequate legal parking available. A 50 percent increase in traffic would likely exacerbate the situation to the point of becoming unworkable and dangerous.


Lower Lake High School, which the report estimates will receive an additional 100 students and which is located next door to Lower Lake Elementary School, will also experience similar problems on a lesser scale. The compound effect of the two schools’ traffic and congestion problems will further cause danger and hardship to both schools and their students and staff.


Similarly, Oak Hill Middle school will be subject to similar problems due to the projected increase in student population that the report predicts will result from the project.


Also, despite the construction of the new access road to the project, some of the drivers may still opt to travel along Lake Street as an alternative route during busy commute hours.


Other district schools’ traffic and parking problems may increase when these schools are forced to accept Lower Lake Elementary School’s overflow. The nature and severity of the impact on these other schools in terms of parking and traffic is difficult to predict.


In conclusion, the report’s conclusion that Provensalia will not have a significant impact upon Konocti Unified School District is seriously flawed and disregards important facts.


Herb Gura lives in Clearlake Oaks.


{mos_sb_discuss:4}

Some historians say, America began a silly search for extraterrestrials in 1959. Two rather obtuse men, Professors Morrison and Cocconi from Cornell University, carelessly assumed Earth evilution to be true. They also speculated, in a seminal letter, life must be evolving in outer space. Not the sharpest knives in the drawer, they recommended using radio telescopes to listen in on space-alien conversations. The hunt for ET was on.


Acronymed research groups multiplied. Project Sentinel inspired Project Phoenix which inspired META. SETI was organized. Famous universities joined the mother-of-all wild goose chases: Harvard, MIT, JPL and Caltech led the charge. The sky wasn’t falling it was talking, they imagined in a foggy delirium. ET wasn’t phoning home, he was phoning Earth. The US government jumped on the band wagon and provided money. Grants followed grants. NASA joined JPL and formed the NASA Ames Research Center. A 330-meter dish at Arecibo in Puerto Rico with high sensitivity and billions of frequency channels was constructed. Even Hollywood producer Stephen Spielberg donated $100,000 to buy electronic chips for META, hoping to find the real ET.


Sorry to say, foolishness is a disease not limited to North America. Like mindless lemmings, Argentina’s astronomers and engineers duplicated META’s hardware for their own southern hemisphere hunt for the same wild goose. North Americans can only listen to part of space, they said, we‘ll listen from the South. Parkes Radio Telescope in Australia joined the Argentinians. Huge radio telescopes from both hemispheres now scan the entire sky. Alas, the search for ET draws a galactic blank.


Radio telescope scientists are not necessarily foolish to look for ET. They’re foolish to assume they can use science they understand to find him. They’re foolish to assume he’s less intelligent. There’s plenty of evidence to show that ET does exist and the same evidence shows he’s far more advanced than earthlings. Why spend so much money on old radio telescope equipment? Thinking scientists know better. They understand they’ll have to make a lot more technological breakthroughs before they’ll be able to listen in on conversations from outer space. The evidence suggests space-aliens live in a higher fifth dimension and can avoid fourth-dimension human searches whenever they want. ET is laughing at all those huge radio telescopes.


Old school physicists only see and measure three spatial dimensions and one time-dimension called the fourth-dimension. They know very little about the fifth-dimension and aren’t putting much effort trying to learn. Sometimes it’s hard for fools with Ph.D.s to admit they don’t know everything. If they accept the evidence of extraterrestrials, living and communicating in a fifth-dimension, they'll have to admit someone is smarter and far more advanced than they. They’re satisfied to spend billions of dollars on radio telescopes in the fourth-dimension they understand.


Physicists have been aware of signs of the fifth-dimension for more than 40 years. Anyone can catch a glimpse of the fifth-dimension when moving while watching a hologram (holograms are three dimensional pictures placed on a two dimensional surface which gives the image a curvature when the observer moves). Mathematicians also know five-dimensional space occurs frequently in their field. They know how to project images of polytopes in fifth-dimension geometry (hexatetrons, decaterons, and triacontakaditerons). Other physicists see signs that gravity is unified with the electromagnetic force which opens avenues of research into the higher dimension.


Unfortunately, the Carl Sagan scientists largely ignore good evidence and say the fifth-dimension is “hypothetical,” or joke about music performed by the Byrds. All the while, ET lives in his more advanced world that nobody understands and no one can hear what he says.


Outside fields of holograms, mathematics and gravity, there is a profusion of evidence supporting research into the fifth-dimension and extraterrestrials. Some scientist won’t call it evidence because it’s eyewitness and personal experience. Air plane pilots (both Air Force and civilian) have made written reports about “UFOs” flying alongside. Sometimes they appear and disappear or change direction suddenly and perhaps even accelerate to the speed of light. These reports gather dust in filing cabinets because physicists can’t reconcile eyewitness evidence with test tube evidence. More and more, “UFOs” are captured on movie cameras of ordinary citizens. SETI yawns. They don’t consider this contact with ET and build bigger and better radio telescopes.


Not long ago, Hollywood made a movie, “The Exorcist,” based on a true story about a girl possessed by an evil spirit. In the story, something strong and invisible threw a Catholic priest out the window of a two-story building. The priest died and an accompanying priest wrote the report. Neither astrophysicists nor particle physicists investigated because they don't accept personal experiences or eyewitness data to be related to physics. Also, these kinds of personal experience stories upsets some people because they suggest extraterrestrials may not all be benevolent.


There are thousands of reports about people making contact with something “spiritual” using Ouija boards. Physicists say these messages are really from within the person using the board but personal testimonies by the thousands say the contacts are from without and by someone or something intelligent that sometimes causes great harm. To those who know about Ouija boards, the physicists are the ones who are unscientific.


Paranormal stories can also be scientific evidence that ET does exist. People really have seen and reported ghosts and haunted houses with corroborating witnesses. They’ve been cross-examined by skeptics and could not be shaken. Neither can scientists put these stories in test tubes so they don’t use them in their research.


Classical physicists won’t accept parallel stories about extraterrestrials told in the Bible. There are many fantastic eyewitness and personal experience chronicles about space-aliens who have not only phoned earth but visited. Their stories have been cross-examined and found to be reliable.


One ET healed the sick, and raised a man from the dead. He had a special ability to appear and disappear. More than 500 witnesses saw Him defy gravity and levitate from the ground up into the clouds.


Another man on the road to Damascus was knocked off his donkey by an ET. He only saw a bright light and heard a voice telling him what to do. Also, Jacob wrestled all night with an ET. Elijah was swept up in a whirl wind. These and many other stories tell about mankind’s close encounters of a third kind with more advanced life forms. They don’t make sense to scientists stuck in the fourth-dimension.


The search for extraterrestrials is really the search for physicists’ fifth-dimension. It’s not hypothetical and it’s not music by the Byrds. It may be the place Mister Mxyzptlk comes from. Fifth-dimension physics opens up mind-boggling possibilities that scientists may fear because something or someone is more intelligent and further advanced than they. Signs point to travel at the speed of light and the wonderful ability to appear and disappear. Laws of gravity may be suspended. Mind-blowing medical breakthroughs to heal the sick and live forever young are phenomenal possibilities.


Radio telescopes just won’t get it done. They’re a nonsensical waste of money. Researchers must share and accept each other’s evidence and not be like blindfolded men feeling an elephant. One blind man feels the trunk and says it’s a snake. Another feels a leg and thinks it’s a tree. Yet another feels a tusk and says it’s a spear. They don’t know they’ve all discovered the same elephant.


The physicist must accept the evidence of the airplane pilot who must accept the images of the amateur photographer who must accept the evidence of the exorcist who must accept the evidence of a person who was miraculously healed. Evidence can be cross-examined, of course. That which cannot be shaken must be accepted and shared if mankind is to ever escape the fourth-dimension and listen in on ET‘s conversations.


Darrell Watkins lives in Kelseyville.


{mos_sb_discuss:4}

 

It's almost that hated day when some Americans celebrate the myth of Columbus discovering an already populated continent.


In 1492, the big island of Hispaniola was one of the most densely populated areas of the known world. Unfortunately, the three million people on the island were native, non-European and pagans to boot! Within 49 years they had been reduced by their new Christian neighbors to 200. That's half of Hitler's body count. So today, we're going to recount the heroic history of Christopher Columbus and here we go!


It is 1492. The Taino Indians saved Columbus and his men from starvation and Columbus wrote in his journals, "I saw that they were very friendly to us ... They are all of a good size and stature, and handsomely formed, their eyes were large and very beautiful ... Weapons they have none, nor are acquainted with them. They are good to be Ordered about, to be made to Work, Plant, and do whatever is wanted, to build towns and be taught to go Clothed and accept our Customs. The air is as soft as April in Seville. Our Lord in his goodness guide me that I may find this gold.”


It is 1493. In January, 39 men are left behind to guard the fort at La Navidad in the "New World" while a triumphant Columbus sails back to Spain with parrots, gold, Indians. In November, Columbus returns, this time with a fleet of 17 ships and 1,500 men, as well as horses, dogs, armor and cannons. The 39 men who had been left to guard the fort are found dead ... the official Chronicler of the Indies, Gonzalo Fernandez de Oviedo, writes that the "natives could not endure the excesses, for the Spaniards took their women and used them as they wished and committed other violences and offenses ... " Sounds a bit like Andrew Kelsey, doesn't it?


The honeymoon of the "discovery" is over.


It is 1494. Columbus and company gather green wood to place under the feet of the same Tainos that saved him. The conquistadors string them up in groups of 13, representing Jesus and the 12 apostles. The burning is slow, methodical, torturous. "The weather is like April in Andalusia," Columbus notes in his journal ...


Columbus “discovers” the island now called Jamaica. Terrified Indians flee from soldiers and their crossbows. Dogs pursue the Indians. In the Old World they are trained to hunt wild game. In the "New World" they learn to savor human flesh. Columbus writes, "... So many vultures flocked there to scavenge on the bodies that they darkened the sky."


It is 1496. After only four years, half the native population of Hispaniola is dead. In 1498 Columbus wrote, "From here one might send, in the name of the Holy Trinity, as many as 4,000 slaves to be sold." The "New World," once the mother of countless peaceful and happy native peoples has been literally transformed into the Christian hell. Eleven years after Columbus pronounced the Indians as beautiful, loving, pliant and without knowledge of weapons or violence … he now described them as unfriendly, cruel, and hostile savage savages. I wonder why.


In 1542, Bartolome De Las Casas, champion of native peoples in the Americas, wrote: “The Indies were discovered in the year one thousand four hundred and ninety-two. In the following year a great many Spaniards went there with the intention of settling the land. And all the land so far discovered is a beehive of people ... there came some Spaniards who immediately behaved like ravening wild beasts that had been starved for many days. And Spaniards have behaved in no other way during the past forty years, down to the present time, for they are still acting like ravening beasts, killing, terrorizing, afflicting, torturing, and destroying the native peoples … Their reason for killing and destroying such an infinite number of souls is that the Christians have an ultimate aim, which is to acquire gold, and to swell themselves with riches in a very brief time and thus rise to a high estate disproportionate to their merits. It should be kept in mind that their insatiable greed and ambition, the greatest ever seen in the world, is the cause of their villainies."


When Taino Indians saved Christopher Columbus from certain death on Oct. 12, 1492, what occurred next was neither beautiful nor heroic. His diaries indicated he was greeted with the most generous hospitality he had ever known, yet he immediately began the encomienda system tying Indian slaves to their stolen lands, and was personally responsible for their slaughter.


Despite his murderous nature, his discovery came to symbolize certain civilized truths. Manifest Destiny justified theft. Assimilation or genocide was a reasonable choice for pagans. A successful violent campaign to destroy nations validated the superiority of European values and institutions.


You can not "discover" a hemisphere inhabited by 100 million people, yet Columbus Day, which this year falls on Oct. 8, perpetuates the myth that the "New World" was a wilderness with a few savages awaiting the blessings of civilization. Hardly mentioned is the fact that the Western Hemisphere was a virtual paradise of ecology and health, that Indians provided the model for U.S. constitutional government, that native agricultural advances currently provide 60 percent of the world's daily diet, and hundreds of medical and medicinal techniques are still used.


Today, in North and South America, Native people remain at the bottom of every socioeconomic indicator, are under continuing physical and economic attack, and are afforded the least access to political or legal redress. Despite this we refuse to ride off into a romantic sunset.


Europeans in the New World have always been afflicted with a long-term memory dysfunction. Now that we know what kind of man Columbus really was, let’s take these myths of the past and update them to reflect the truth. Rename Columbus Day to celebrate something we can all be proud of.


Officially proclaimed in 1971, this divisive holiday should be replaced by a celebration that is more reflective of the rich heritage of the Americas. How about Bartolome De Las Casas Day?


Until then, Indians of North America (including Mexica and descendant Africans), should be reminded that the wicked heart of Manifest Destiny still beats around the world. Natives still die daily at the hands of those, who in their quest for personal power and wealth, keep greed the one true lasting Institution of Progress.


Happy No-One-Discovered-Us Day!


James BlueWolf is a artist and author. He lives in Nice.


{mos_sb_discuss:4}

The proposal to change the name of the town of Kelseyville appears to arouse strong reactions on the part of local residents.


Some present themselves as American Indians, and insist that they cannot understand why the Kelseyville high school mascot name, the "Kelseyville Indians," was changed. You will notice if you read their letters that they never specify their tribal affiliations, perhaps because they do not know

them or do not care, which would explain why they took pride in a mascot representing a generic 1940s "Hollywood Indian," and felt honored by such things as the "tomahawk chop" that was done by the audience, or by such encouragements for the other team as "Kill the Indians!"


Some residents say that history cannot be rewritten, and so the past should be forgotten ... If the past is to be forgotten, why remember Kelsey at all with a town named after him? Is not the point of naming a town after an individual to honor him or her? How can a murderer, a child molester, someone who abused, starved, provoked the Pomos to the point of driving them to kill him, be so honored?


It seems these people wish to forget the part of history that makes them uncomfortable, that is to say the mistreatment of Native people by Indo-Europeans. They want to replace this true history with the kinds of fairy tales they call history, educational establishments call history, our government calls history: Columbus was a "gallant hero," this continent was mostly "empty" when "discovered," it was "settled" by courageous "pioneers" who wanted nothing more than to practice their religion freely, and the Native people just "vanished"... apparently all according to "God's plan," since it is also said, even to this day, by some prominent Americans, that "God gave us this country." The stamp of "God's approval" is always very convenient to attempt to validate or whitewash the worse possible crimes against humanity.


This resistance to the name change is wholly hypocritical and irrational, based on the desire by the most cowardly and morally bankrupt among us to keep denying and burying historical truths. I would understand a logical argument about costs, such as the cost to businesses, school, etc. ... but to say that there is an emotional "attachment" to the name of Kelseyville that cannot be overcome, particularly by a woman who left decades ago after graduating from high school to live in the Carolinas (one of the letters recently published by the main Lakeport newspaper, whose advertisers seem to pressure the editors to mostly print letters that oppose the change) is completely ludicrous.


Let me explain: Indo-Europeans came to this continent uninvited, as "conquerors," took it by brutal force or by constant deception, whichever was cheaper and more expedient, as they took other continents such as Australia. They would have taken Japan, India, China and kept Africa if these continents had not already been quite densely populated, because they appeared by their actions to be the most aggressive, arrogant, dangerous and driven people in the world, having waged devastating wars against each other for many centuries, having depleted their state coffers, and thirsting for new riches such as gold, diamonds, and land.


Because their cultures were unsustainable, based on endless growth, they grew like cancer cells and

overtook the planet. The world we know today, with for example China having forgotten its own 1,000-years-old sustainable culture and polluting its own land and water to the point of national suicide, is the outcome of this cultural disease known as western civilization, which worships "progress" at any cost, even at the cost of the eventual death of much of humanity.


Read any book on history, and you will quickly notice the difference in the way the conquests of Mexico and South America are portrayed, as opposed to the conquest of North America. Simply put, Spanish conquerors "bad," Anglo-Saxon conquerors "good." The Spanish came for land, gold and slaves, and the Anglo-Saxons came for ... let me see ... oh, yes, they received the divine call of Manifest Destiny to relieve the "savage heathens" of their lives and their property. The Anglo-Saxons were of the "superior race," destined by "God" to conquer and rule the world and establish a "superior" civilization, while the Spaniards were merely brutal and immoral adventurers. This is how history is written. No wonder there is resistance to the change of the name of the town of Kelseyville, because there is much resistance to the truth.


The point of telling the truth, however, is not to inflict guilt. The past, the present and the future are directly and tightly connected. The native people of this continent were decimated by European kingdoms and empires, and later by America itself, because our western (and now global) civilization never has enough, being as unsustainable today as it was 500 years ago. Indigenous people all over the world are still loosing their cultures, their resources, their lands to what is still called progress but is nothing more than a pathology to consume all that can be consumed to extinction, so that an egotistical civilization can become ever more inflated and arrogant, like the Roman Empire, while it is progressively choking on its own wastes and toxicity.


The past is not only a matter of history but of culture. Simply put, we, people of European decent, are here, and everywhere else that is not our original native land, because we created cultures that were not sustainable on our own continent. America kept breaking all the treaties it signed with native people, that is to say breaking the law, and expended west because it could not sustain itself in the east, and was desperate to find gold and other resources to overcome numerous economic depressions, such as the one that occurred before Custer's last stand.


When the past is forgotten, there is no direction to our current path and no visible pattern of behavior, and we come to believe that we just invented the world, and that all knowledge of history is useless. And then we cannot understand why we have problems, such as the ones that occur as a result of having waged a brutal war against nature for centuries, so that we could keep growing forever, a truly

utopian, unrealistic and absurd concept.


This western civilization committed global genocide against indigenous people all over the world because is was unnaturally hungry, and still is. We are in the Middle East because we do not have sustainable technologies and a sustainable economy. The Pomo people of this area were targeted by an

official state policy of extermination because they were living on a rich land that an unsustainable American culture sought to acquire by any means.


Kelsey acted according to the doctrine of Manifest Destiny, which conceptually and legally elevated Indo-Europeans above all other races and gave them license to commit the most abominable acts, with the blessing of land speculators, investors, bankers, politicians, other would-be settlers, slave traders or gold-seekers, and all in the federal government who wanted the so-called "Indian problem" to disappear. In the same manner, land in the Amazon basin of South America was sold, in the 1970s, to ranchers or investors as "clear" or "as is" ... "clear" meant that mercenaries, some of them Vietnam vets, had liquidated the Native Indian population, often with napalm.


An unsustainable civilization is a monster, like a cancer cell or a super virus, that destroys everything it touches. Failing to connect the dots between the past, the present and the future, there is no doubt that we will be doomed. To change the name of the town of Kelseyville might seem completely irrelevant to those who do not see a greater pattern in the crimes this civilization committed against the native people of this continent.


To change the name is, however and beside the many obvious reasons, also saying that these crimes were not unavoidable as is often postulated, that there is another way of life, of being, that we do not need to perpetuate the same patterns of conquest, of world domination, of the endless exploitation or destruction of the natural world and of those few who, not as demented as we are, continue to live traditionally in harmony with the earth.


Raphael Montoliu lives in Lakeport.


{mos_sb_discuss:4}


A good friend of mine died Friday. He was only 50 years old, in good shape from years of construction work, didn't smoke or drink much – but Joe died today of a massive heart attack and I miss him already. The world is a little bit less with the lack of Joe.


Another friend of mine tells me that, on Friday morning, Joe wasn't feeling well, so his partner (common-law wife by now) took him to the doctor. You know how men are – they never want to go to the doctor unless they feel like they're about to die because there may be needles involved – so when he got in the car with her, she knew that something was terribly wrong.


Joe is ("was" is still too hard to say) a fly in the ointment – not always the life of the party – but almost. He's the instigator, he laughs the loudest from his belly, he's the first to get on his motorcycle – without a map – and say, "Let's go!" (Until that time he jumped back on his bike that had been sitting in the desert sun of Tonopah, Nev., for a few hours wearing the tattered jeans with the hole in crotch – and not wearing even boxer shorts underneath his jeans! – and had to miss the whole rest of the trip due to burns on very sensitive areas). But he was the guy who was always the last to go to sleep on a camping trip - and cleaned up the campsite and got it ready for coffee in the morning while everyone else was already asleep and dreaming of pancakes.


After his partner brought Joe, who didn't have health insurance or the $150 the doctor required for an office visit, back home, he died from a massive heart attack several hours later.


If California already had in place SB 840, Sen. Sheila Kuehl's universal health care bill, Joe would be alive right now. It probably never occurred to him to go to the emergency room at the hospital because he had always gone to his doctor's office in the past. But he no longer had health insurance or the $150 to get checked out.


Please urge our politicians to support SB 840.


www.democracyinaction.org/dia/organizationsORG/HCA_CA/campaign.jsp?campaign_KEY=7081


E-mail Terre Logsdon at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


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