Phony Liberals and Fake Concern for the Homeless

Former California State Assemblywoman Virginia Strom-Martin (D-Napa) says she’ll run for the 2nd District State Senate seat presently occupied by that great statesman from Arcata, Wes Chesbro, disco pimp as created by Wayne Newton! Get back, here comes Wes and his girls! Swept back graying hair in an $80 snip-snip, pencil moustache, tanning salon skin tint, eyelids by lizard-in-the sun. Eyelids, on the face of a man who’d do anything and probably has. Chesbro’s term in California’s entirely useless and wholly redundant State Senate expires in 2006. He’ll of course move on to some other tax-funded sinecure or, God save us all, move on up to take Congressman Mike Thompson’s bagman chair in Congress. Newspapers like the Santa Rosa Press Democrat will say of both Strom-Martin and Chesbro, “Senator Strombro’s many years of public service will be quite helpful on California’s newly-created, bi-partisan Cash Money Laundering Oversight Committee. The position pays $140,000 and meets once a month in Palm Springs.”

Strom-Martin was appointed to the do-nothing state Unemployment Insurance Appeals Board when she was term-limited out of her Assembly seat. But Wes wasn’t ready to leave his sinecure in the State Senate and Mike Thompson couldn’t leave Congress until he made sure Northcoast wine growers got an extension for the use of methyl bromide, the quickest means known to destroy the ozone layer.

Strom-Martin was put on the shelf, so to speak, by Governor Davis as a reward for her loyalty to the destruction of America via the Democratic Party. When current assemblywoman Patti Berg finally shuffles off stage after Strom-Martin, no one except a dozen Democrats having noticed that she’d shuffled on stage, Berg will get a seat on the Unemployment Insurance Appeals Board while she waits for Strom-Martin to mop up as State Senator. Chesbro by that time will be a United States Senator, vacuity being the only standard for public office these days.

Incidentally, Strom-Martin, rakes in something like $105,000 a year for a couple of meetings a month while she waits for Chesbro to move out of his Sacramento view office so she can move in as “champion of public education,” i.e., more money for the worst K-12 system of public education in the United States, which means it’s the worst in the industrialized world. Term limits were supposed to get these people permanently off the public’s back, but the hacks and hack-ettes of the Chesbro-Mike Thompson-Strom-Martin type, non-competitive in any kind of private job market, never leave office — they simply move from one well-paid public job to another. The Republicans, including Bush Republicans, are so delighted with the Chesbro-Thompson-Strom-Martin-Berg Axis that they put zero party money behind the occasional Republican who takes the Axis on. The Democrats, of course, put in a lot of overtime sabbing Northcoast Greens, most of whom are so goddamned dumb or stoned they don’t realize half their active membership are full time Clintonoids. (The Democrat Party’s local gofers include Mendocino County supervisors David Colfax and Richard Shoemaker; SEIU Rep. Paul Andersen and his wife; former SEUI rep and current supervisor candidate Joe Louis Wildman; Demo State Enviro Chair Rachel Binah; perennial Democrat convention delegate Val Muchowski; Superior Court Judge David Nelson; public radio KZYX; and the Santa Rosa Press Democrat.)

Supervisors Colfax and Shoemaker said the other day that they were upset at what they described as local solid waste management director Paul Caylor’s “insensitivity” to the homeless. Caylor’s “insensitivity”? The County’s garbage guy told the supervisors he thought it would be a good idea to post “no camping” signs at certain points along the Russian River. Caylor also made the politically incorrect error of referring to the year-round camp sites of multiple substance abusers as “these people.”

Shoemaker and Colfax said “these people” demeaned the drug addicts, drunks and miscellaneous derelicts who shit in the river and otherwise befoul it year round. Every year, a valiant woman by the name of Rebecca Kress organizes a Russian River clean-up. Shoemaker, who has a large gang of derelicts camped near his house, and Colfax who has called the cops on similar associations of derelicts legally resident in his Upper Boonville neighborhood, are the kind of liberals who will do anything for the halt and the lame but get off their backs.

Before America lost its way, persons who were unable or unwilling to care for themselves became the responsibility of the general public. The general public placed these persons in clean, well-lighted rehabilitation centers called the State Hospital, aka The Nut House, aka The Looney Bin. Everyone in the country was on the same page. The habitually drunk, the drug addicted, the insane went to the hospital. They weren’t allowed to shit in the public’s drinking water, or to be drunk in public, or gather in gangs to shoot up drugs, or to destroy public places by acting like lunatics, frightening the children and little old ladies. Some of them got better and were able to rejoin the sanctioned lunacy known as society, some of them were locked up more or less permanently, as much for their own welfare as ours. Most of us don’t care what they’re called, and most of us pity them because they are pitiable, and most of us want to see them helped to get better. It doesn’t help *these people* — the drunks, the dopers, the bums, the nutballs — to allow them to foul public or private property, and it certainly doesn’t help clarify matters when a couple of posturers like our two alleged supervisors are more upset at descriptions of the homeless than they are at the absence of will to do something specific to get the drunks, the drug addicted, the loons some help.

When last heard from on the homeless issue, Ukiah Lib arranged for the most orderly among the drunk and the deranged to be bused to a westside church after being vetted for dope and drink at an eastside location. The homeless were then bused to a few hours shelter on the condition they got the hell out before the sight of them disturbed the neighbors.

Obviously, the homeless aren’t the only people doing their darndest to destroy the Russian River. Anyone who drives south on 101 during summer weekends can’t help but see the appalling mounds of trash strewn everywhere along the river, and strewn there presumably mostly by otherwise housed persons.

All Caylor did was propose that Mendocino County pass an ordinance giving local law enforcement the legal muscle to roust the worst of nature’s despoilers. Caylor said that although the county posts “no camping” signs, it has no ordinance with which to back them up. Last year, using anti-roadside parking laws, Caylor organized a ticket-writing campaign for cars parked along the bluffs over the Russian River south of Hopland, thus significantly reducing the most egregious slob-ism.

Which is when Shoemaker and Colfax went in Croc Tear mode. According to the Ukiah Daily Journal, Colfax demanded of Caylor, “You don’t hear hard-core home owners are responsible for the degradation of our environment.” Names, Colfax, names!

Phony Baloney Shoemaker seconded Colfax. “I would hope we’d take a somewhat more holistic approach than an ordinance…”

John McCowen, apparently restored to lucidity after several years stalking my newspaper, the Anderson Valley Advertiser, functions as a County planning commissioner. He said the proposed ordinance was a “modest proposal,” boldly adding that he could define “hard-core homeless” then proceeded to do it: “These are the folks that will not go to a shelter no matter what. Is it our responsibility to give them a place to trash indiscriminately?”

Supervisor Michael Delbar, seconded by Shoemaker, sent the ordinance back to staff to be purged of insensitive language as if the drunks and the dope heads will appreciate the upgrade. It’ll be back for the phony libs to posture over on April 6.

As is, the proposed ordinance bars camping on public property between U.S. 101 and the Russian River at Squaw Rock, on the Russian River Bridge off Talmage Road, near the Ackerman Creek Bridge on North State Street, and at the West Fork of the Russian River Bridge on Lake Mendocino Drive.

BRUCE ANDERSON is the publisher of the Anderson Valley Advertiser, America’s best newspaper.