Saturday, October 28, 2017
In the early days of the Peace Center the Girl Scouts raised the United nations flag at the McHenry Public Library. John Birchers immediately took the flag down despite the tearful young people. As no one else would fly that flag, it was flown at the original, dark, storefront Peace Center at 15th and G. It took two or three years for that furor to die down, so the flag was flown these years at the Peace Center for U.N. Day.
Before the UN flag event and before the Modesto Peace Center, officials decided the school lunch program should not be utilized. True such officials are generally well fed so the brunt was carried by those less favored. A sit-in occurred with more than a handful of arrests in Modesto.
Came a time when the local Klu Klux Klan wanted to march in Modesto. Of course the idea may have been hateful but it was their freedom of speech. The Center came down on the side of allowing the march. Jim Higgs, though working with people who would oppose the march, came down very vocally to allow the Klan to go ahead. Should there be a counter demonstration, boo, ignore? The march did go on and a blah. The Peace Center's image was not bunished for the stand.
The Peace/Life Center bought the 922 6th St. property in 1980. Several years later the Center, along with the American Friend's Service Committee S.F., Chico Peace Center and several others, were sued for one million dollars. Something of a shocker it was. Enter John Frailing for the defense. It basically was a harassing effort by the local Consumers Alert, subbing for utilities. The action withered away in light of facts. The suit was supposed to be about anti nuclear power activities at Diablo Canyon, MID, PG&E. The irony was Stanislaus Safe Energy Committee was responsible for the various anti-nuclear power pickets, leafleting, testimony in Sacramento. However, Safe Energy had no money, the Center had a building at that time.
In the days of the Contras in Nicaragua local Congressman Tony Coelho was a political power in Washington DC. It seemed he should be exercising his free speech a little more robustly in human terms. He became a focus which turned into a sit in at this office. Dennis Wilson building owner brought in the pol,ice to dislodge the sit-in. Jane Jackson, Coelho's office person got to see so many people she knew get arrested. Three mornings this went on.
Not long into a new century it is time to stand out again. The Martin Luther King Committee is not an official part of the Peace/Life Center though individuals were involved in the work. King Kennedy Center was the organizer. The Center helped financially but not with policy. For 2002 things started as usual. The proposed speaker, Danny Glover, took some strong positions not necessarily aligned with the politics of the day. When this dawned on those in public position the need to be politically correct took over. King Kennedy operates as part of the Parks Department. Parks refused to sign on the contract. Modesto Jr. College withdrew its facility. Modesto Bee backed down. One by one, the domino effect took over. Modesto Peace/Life Center which started as just one of a group of supporters now became the lead agency. Finances became a major issue necessitating a special fund appeal.
What originated as a normal speaking engagement became a free speech issue. Word got out. People from Fresno, Bay Area, San Diego phoned to get connected. An East Coast paper, the Boston Globe, phoned.
If truth and integrity were to be upheld the Modesto Peace/Life Center had to hurry up and adjust to a major problem not of their making. The Center does stand behind what it believes, the Danny Glover visit was a tremendous opportunity to speak out for civil liberties, free speech and diversity of opinion.
By Sam Tyson January 2002
Friday, May 19, 2017
To appropriately survive a police encounter it is important that you know specific rights that you have, yet more specifically, it is important to realize the consequences of exercising and not exercising each one.
1. You have the right to remain silent. USE IT!!!
This is a right that you have every single moment of the day that you were first introduced to American soil whether by birth or immigration. This is considered an inalienable right to exercise in that you may refuse to speak to law enforcement in any manner or affect. With new “hear-say” laws in effect at present, the persons you should speak to should be extremely limited.
Seldom is the time that you should be compelled to communicate in any manner, matter or way with law enforcement. Only under the direst or circumstances, such as if it were to be that yours or another’s life is in jeopardy, and even then, always remember that the very life you may think you are saving by calling 911 could be otherwise ended by the circumstances arising from that same call. Mainly via homicide committed by law enforcement themselves.
Since this right is inalienable, you do not need to vocalize your wish to enact it. Simply don’t say anything.
When invoking this right verbally, which is unnecessary, since it is an inalienable right, the chances of being directly challenged regarding your persecution are generally much more heightened as to vocalize your exercised choice of implementing this right that you have without having to say so or that you choose "not" to waive it. Also, the very act of invoking this right will generally be a factor that will lean toward your implication in crime(s), if not assumed guilt.
This may also invite police brutality and possibly as with all police encounters, you or a loved one (even including your pet no matter what size or breed) may even be shot and killed by law enforcement. They flex their power and control in this way on a very consistent basis. Much more occurs than what the local media chooses or is allowed to tell you.
You have the right to refuse to consent to a search of yourself, your children, any family member or another person that may be under your care (without proper warrants provided with your full opportunity for inspection (yeah, right), your vehicle(s) or your home(s).
DON'T RESIST OR REFUSE THEM!!!!
Let them search. You would be stupid to resist – they will affix additionally fabricated obstruction and evading charges onto you and once again, use the very act of verbally telling them that you do not consent to search you at the scene, in their presentation to the da to file charges against you and then again, later in court after the charges have been filed. They will continue to use this verbal statement as direct evidence that you are guilty of whatever charges they need to bring against someone.
If you are not under arrest, you have the right to leave. If you leave without clear instruction from law enforcement that it is safe to do so, you may be killed or taken down and beaten. In the best case scenario they may call you back over to their vicinity, but this action will also be used against you, though it too, is an inalienable right.
You may ask to leave, but do not do so unless you fully understand that you are truly free to leave, even though you have the right to leave at any time unless you are specifically told that you are under arrest. Arrest being defined simply as you are not legally permitted to leave as you have been informed of this by a law enforcement officer.
Though you are under arrest or not - local Stanislaus county law enforcement refer to any encounter that they have with a "suspect" without possessing valid probable cause as "consensual contact". If a member of law enforcement is questioning you, it would be best to assume that you are under arrest and refuse to answer any questions whatsoever.
You have the right to a lawyer if you are arrested. You have a right to a lawyer if you are not arrested. You have a right to a lawyer to be present when a member of law enforcement merely glances over at you. Once again, this is an inalienable right that you have every moment of every breath.
But unless you free yourself in some way from the resulting incarceration resulting from the arrest you will not be allowed to exercise that right for up to 72 hours or in some situations that may be fabricated by law enforcement, even longer (i.e. being held on suspicion of being a public threat or an judge’s whim or influence of law enforcement including the district attorney. In Stanislaus county, most are NOT allowed to exercise their right until their arraignment in a court of law, however unconstitutional this may be – that’s just the way it is. Work on getting yourself bailed out, your bail reduced or getting out on your own recognizance. Then work on the attorney as you prepare to go to war with your persecutors.
Regardless of your immigration or citizenship status, you have constitutional rights. Don’t expect any of these rights to be recognized in Stanislaus, Merced or San Joaquin counties. Remain silent and request to exercise your international inalienable right to contact your consulate. Speak only to them until you have been able to arrange appropriate legal counsel and any translation you may need.
Copyright 2017 Robert Stanford all rights reserved.
Tuesday, May 2, 2017
|Do nothing Modesto Gospel Mission security guard|
posturing for me after I told him I was going to
file a written complaint against him with the Mission.
Which, by the way, seems like an event that could only happen as I approach my turn to be able to request my Cup-a Joe so that I can read the morning’s obituaries summing up the useless lives of many that were in line before me that very same morning. Sounds far out, if not paradoxically impossible, but if you were there behind this unsuspecting mob, every single one of you would, quite suddenly, break that nasty habit of running every single day to catch the mailman in hopes of some sort of an AARP publication with your name on it.
Mortality becomes ominously omnipresent in your solar plexus. So much so, that life begins to lose all meaning.
But of course, these are all elderly Americans. On the other side of the counter, they don’t need to mob. It’s guerrilla warfare with lard being the ammunition of defense and protection.
Yet their clientele may already be dead by the time I do order that discreet cup of coffee, poured from an unseen pot.
And by the time they do interact with me, it is with the greatest of familiarity. As I am recognized as an envoy, if not an all-out American double agent, enjoying the warmth and security of my many safe houses as I conveniently choose to do so. This time it’s been nearly five years since I last sought refuge here.
I turn away from the counter to look out over dozens of elderly bodies strewn across the floor, slumped over tables and others merely decaying within the shelter of a dwarfed and somewhat fragile hedgerow.
And it is just over that hedgerow I look out and see what the future hold for me – One less safe house. One less refuge. The new generation will prefer this new order of a donut shop – Dunkin Donuts.
Yet how could they possibly know anything else? After all, Dunkin Donuts really is a donut shop. Not a Vietnamese refugee camp posing as one, simply to fight off the round faces with lard laden pastries.
No. No one would even know me there.
Yes. The price to pay for my elation of finally being served black coffee, was to be no more than the full realization of my normalcy bias. What’s a covert narcissistic, triple cultural spy to do?
Say, “Good-bye Saigon.”
And hello Ho Chi Minh. Where the lesson I learned in Saigon, I just might be able to turn the tide of this genocidal war, despite the lowering statistical percentages of diabetes and heart disease among the psychopathic American factions hell bent on the complete sterilization of any culture bearing roots before the May Flower crossing. We call this “assimilation”.
But Ho Chi Minh is under siege from a different kind of force. A force fueled by the inevitable apathy produced by dope and booze, forever descending like a viral plague upon the camp. Emitted by the Modesto Gospel Mission, primarily with no consideration whatsoever of the business welfare of the camp.
They converge on anyone approaching the shop, demanding money, tobacco, transportation and if the unsuspecting customer refuses, they are pelted with a barge of extremely profane insults and threats, often times including very real threats of violence.
So the would be patrons take the only alternative they have at their disposal and drive away as fast as they can. Never to return. One less happy, satisfied customer and just another nail in the coffin of a thirty year old establishment.
I’m sorry. I need my refuge. I can’t let this happen. So enter the scene – Pollo Suave.
“Hey Bro,” I announce, looking up from these scribbled bits of paper you are reading now, “If you’re not going to buy something, you need to leave.”
“I don’t need to leave”, they say, “I have every right to be here.”
And I fire back, “If you’re not going to buy something you need to leave.” At which point, I rise up, flexing my chubby forearms and I throw down my pen and heave my man-boobs outward, shouting like a NAZI pig, “HEY BRO!! I AIN’T GOING TO TELL YOU AGAIN!”
They are usually out the door just after the first step I take toward them.
It doesn’t take long for my asshole reputation to take hold and soon, with great relief, families return. Working people return and don’t suffer the harassment of junkies and derelicts threatening their safety, if not their very lives.
The Modesto Gospel Mission parades their mock security guards in a golf cart they drive around the parking lot all day. Ignoring the many junkies shooting up in the doorway where paying customers must wait for them to move or step over them. These so called “Security Guards” should give me their paychecks or at the very least, perform the job they pretend to do.
But, as is everything else with the multi-million dollar a year grossing Modesto Gospel Mission, its nothing but just another farce.
So I will take care of it. Even when I know these people are mis-catagorized as desperate homeless people. Yet there is a vast difference between desperation for drugs and/or alcohol and desperation to grasp a sustainable livelihood.
So now Ho Chi Minh may once again commence in the assisted suicide of the round-faced Americans and contribute to the economic wellbeing of the community. The latter of which no one really cares about outside the safe confines of their own refuge, namely, their pocket book.
“Hey! You not want donut?”
Copyright 2017 Robert Stanford all rights reserved.
Saturday, January 14, 2017
Words in papers, words in books
Words on TV, words for crooks
Words of comfort, words of peaceWords to make the fighting cease
Words to tell you what to doWords are working hard for you
Eat your words but don't go hungryWords have always nearly hung me
So, I just ate a candy bar on my no-carb diet. Don’t worry. I can keep a secret. I won’t tell anyone.
You know the last time I posted on this blog, I was told it was fragmented and really didn’t make any sense. That really took me aback in a sarcastic sort of way. You see, the real problem here, is that I need to make yet, yes, another transition. I must be a statesman.
Since I am running for Modesto City Council District 4, I must concentrate on the Serenity prayer and not go off on a tangent, flaring my ego like the wings of a phoenix rising from the ashes, trying to convince you1 that I have upgraded part of the slang English language and that my references of certain members of our community2 are only meant as hard degradations to these individuals personally, and that I am, by no means trying to erode any part of my voter’s sect.
I am the man for all parties3 and I mean why not. I am pro Queer, but pro Life. Pro Immigration, but Pro-Gun.
Anti-Law Enforcement? No, not at all. I back the Badge. Just not the corruption behind it.4
People want to tell me what to say and what not to. What to write, what to show, what to tell, how to live. If it does not agree with them 100 percent they become my enemies in a heart beat, leaving me going, “Wait, what? What?”5
And that reminds me of my 2007 Modesto City Council Run in which I ran at large, rather than by District. After getting a teen drinking ordinance passed in Waterford, CA, a member of the Council had heard that I had turned in my paperwork to run for the office and asked me, “So, Bob, why did you decide to turn to the dark side? – Politics!”
I took that to be more of a rhetorical question, and was later to learn, as I learned even what my aspirations really were that it truly is the dark side if the line is not carefully walked. But that makes me the perfect candidate. A politician with issues you will agree and disagree at the same time with, but the issues of the community solely. Not a developer interest in annexing and zoning purely for profit, prestige and whatever else the hell these bastards are after. Such as golf course memberships, etc.
Me? I want to openly carry a firearm. And so should you.
Neighbor’s dog barking just a bit too much for your taste in the night? Save the taxpayers some money and do what you know you must do.6
Music too loud?7
And that’s just one idea.
Watch how easy it will be for me to annex every square inch of the City of Modesto that is not incorporated.
Watch how red my fellow money leeches on the Modesto City Council will turn when I force the City of Modesto and the County of Stanislaus to turn over millions of dollars worth of misappropriated and withheld grant funds with interest.
Watch indictments fly, only to be shot down by statutes of limitations, but then the truth will be known. And not just through a self promoting blog.8 Well, that and that the head of the Civil Grand Jury (our indictment vehicle) is headed consistently by District Attorney Dave Harris.9
Guerrilla politics? No, just a simple man with a plan. A plan to liberate his fellow Stanislausian.
I don’t have to kiss baby’s and ass. All I have to do is bring my years upon years of experience to the table and show that I know what is up and that I have a plan to do it. And what better way to do it anyway, than to do it as part of my race. That way, even if I lose, my agenda is still accomplished.
Thank God for DC and the Supreme Court. Otherwise, I am sure that the existing members of the Modesto City Council would have me drawn, quartered, tarred, feathered, whipped and altogether exterminated, just exactly in the same way that the Chinese that worked the Stanford railroad in the mid to late 1800’s were slaughtered exactly where the Modesto City Council Chambers rest today.10
Later, in the next Century there was to be built two great monumental buildings that the very beginning of the glory of Modesto was borne of. That would be the Hotel Houston and the Hotel Covell respectively.11
But that is not before the true story tellers of history, would most certainly have you believe that the Chinese man (women and children too – they just forgot to mention them) was literally saved by the Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Department, formed specifically for the purpose of eliminating a group of Chinese killing vigilantes calling themselves, “The Regulators”.
Because the killings did not stop and the Sheriff Department participated as well all to appease Mr. Stanford, the Central Pacific Railroad tycoon. A man isn’t a man till he has had to make payroll. But since when would these people think of the Chinese as “men”? Certainly no sooner than the Supervisors and Council members would think of the homeless as humans.
But a blind eye is a happy eye.
And you are reading the ramblings of a man that is going to set right what was wronged so many years ago and stand up for the “Oriental” massage parlors. I will be pretending that they are all Chinese, just like I pretend they are Vietnamese at Ho Chi Minh – right smack dab in the middle of the 132 Freeway, Highway or If I had my preference in feign reference – Interstate 132.12
But I digress.
1. Yes, you. You know who you are.
2. In particular, members of the Stanislaus District Attorney’s Office
3. Dennis Banks was on the Presidential ticket by the way – Peace and Freedom Party. You might know them better as socialists.
4. The Swastika is actually a peaceful religious symbol.
5. Yes, you know who you are and so do you as well.
6. That’s right. You know what I’m talking about.
7. You get the idea. Problems solved.
8. Yes, you know who you are too. And you. And you. And you. And you. And you. And you.
9. And you thought Richard Nixon was bad.
10. They even have proudly portrayed the photos of Stanislaus County Supervisors upon the walls of the City Hall Chambers that participated in the murder of Chinese Americans where Fuzio’s is now. I wouldn’t order the Chinese food there.
11. But as though a time machine has gone rogue somewhere, nobody is going to know what I am referring to, except for that fool at the White Only Modesto Museum that is once again going to be irked that I would have the audacity to mention the genocide that took place in my name. (Not that this is the first time, mind you).
12. Sorry Nick, I just had to.
Copyright 2017 Robert Stanford all rights reserved.
Saturday, June 4, 2016
The very same, indeed, as none will admit that when George Lucas envisioned Tatooine, it was all too easy, because he had been raised there. Here, as it were, in Modesto.
Modesto. Where fair weather politicians such as Chris Murphy, feebly attempt to revive long dead corpses, such as George Lucas' interest in Modesto at all...or his father, Darth Vader. Seriously? Really? Right?
Darth Vader, AKA – George Lucas Sr. never left, nor ever cared for his son to leave either.
Luke Skywalker, AKA – George Lucas Jr. never looked back  . All was soon to seem forgiven and forgotten except for the things we just simply don't speak of in hick company. Things that make us grit out teeth and tightly rub our fingers together as though it were a tell. Hoping all the while nothing upsets the rocky road apple cart, which is the la la fantasy that every Modestan seems to be inflicted by.
Chris Murphy, AKA Princess Leha - knows that the dark side is important to me. I am the antidote to the Death Star Soma. Thirteenth at the table. The uninvited guest. Seriously? Really? Right?
I saw Star Wars on McHenry and Briggsmore in 1977. I was a fresh 12 year old out of Kindergarten. About a decade later, I was a nineteen year old nurse working at the first year of a posh nursing home by the name of English Oaks, AKA – Michael Ray's New Redbluff Convalescent Hospital.
Michael Ray, AKA the strict Dunkard Director of Nurses (D.O.N.) was more of a hero to me than George Lucas Jr. was. He ran the new facility with even more strict rigor than he did the other facility in Riverbank. Yet, George Lucas was just as much of a hero to me as any Modestan. And that is saying quite a bit since his was the only name they could remember, considering no one here knows that this is where the Olympic Medalist Mark Sptiz also grew up. Seriously? Really? Right?
Twas' one fateful night that I did find myself, literally cradling Darth Vader in my arms, in the process of changing his linens. Frightened he was. Shivering he. Never looking at nor acknowledging me at any time. Oblivious? I doubted and doubt now. What could one expect from a person, left to die in a nursing home? Seriously? Really? Right?
All of Modesto's claim to fame celebrations are absent the presence of the not so prodigal native son. If this was a perfect world, the Modesto Chamber of Commerce would have done a Ribbon Cutting for Vader and Son's Office Machines.
The Multi-Million Dollar Modesto Gospel Mission, AKA - the People's Temple is under new management now. Though most certainly a God sent blessing for a chosen few – the price is still your soul. Assistance in exchange to an inquisition type acceptance of the doctrine according to Billy Graham. Heart disease and diabetes slopped onto a prison tray, even if you bow down to the Holy Spirit of Bill Graham, they will still treat you like a derelict . Whether you truly be one or not.
Now they have their brown shirts riding around in golf carts as though the parking lot of the Mission and Ho Chi Minh were the sole property of Billy's. Everyone is a potential target. The only thing that protects me from them, is that they think I am a cop. Seriously? Really? Right?
And now we have a new mayor. Another shill, put up by the agricultural killing machine, AKA – the development industry. And a new City Council. To me, at the very least. I have not spoken to them for quite some time. I was estranged as it were. It was a few years that went by, if I can recollect correctly, but I had to approach them nevertheless.
It's all about freedom. It's all about holding the Pigs of Modesto's Great Camelot at Bay. Yeah, I know. I get frustrated too. I hate having some unshaven, toothless junky blowing their stale alcohol breath on me like a dragon of old.
“Hey. Hey. Buddy, do you got fifty cents?”
“What? You actually think I'm going to give you money? Fuck you, bitch.”
At this point there is a fork in the social and legal road that is ignored by both the media and the Chief Carrol of the Modesto Police Department, AKA lipstick on just another pig. Both from pressure from a City Council that is propped up and placed by what? By what? Developer interests. And what is it they ignore? The rights of an individual to express their need to another. Seriously? Really? Right?
And why is that so important to me? Because I know some things OK? For instance, I know that you may very well be able to wish success upon someone, even if it is someone you have never seen or even been near. Or it could, perhaps, be a large group of people that you may certainly, by all means, wish to be successful. But the success of this is not very successful. We have to deal with reality. And when we deal with reality, it is inevitable that we must talk about opportunity, if we are going to realistically talk about success. Not how much any individual deserves to not be a success.
And what that means, is that a person will inevitably increase their chances of getting their need(s) met by expressing their need to as many people as possible. I also know that there are many more than not that do not spend, nor intend to spend the money or resources they receive on drugs or alcohol. And the most compelling thing that I know is that it is their first amendment constitutional right to do so.
But there is a downside. That fork in the social and legal road that I mentioned. They do not have the right to continually harass or hound an individual that has indicated in any way that could be reasonably understood by the solicitor that they do not wish to yield. Seriously? Really? Right?
That is one of several ordinances that I am attempting to challenge, not in the court of public opinion, but by Civil Disobedient Extortion. And kindness along the way, wrapped up in a big wad of shock value.
Yeah, that's where the real juice is. Right there. At the dais I told them the truth; that I have the solution to homelessness. Love, compassion and understanding. Enough of any one of those would solve any social problem we would ever have. That's just common sense. For those with frontal lobes.
Yes, it had been some time since I had addressed the council or anyone else for that matter, and I knew it was going to have to be orchestrated, professional and as precise as a neurologist's dull scalpel. Seriously? Really? Right?
And just outside is the Modesto Gospel Mission Secret Police, salivating at the thought of intimidating me somehow or getting me to do something simple like leave the premises altogether. But the pull of the golf cart is too much for him and he cannot escape the very idea of racing through the black top of the vacant parking lot with the wind blowing through his hair and the Windsong 1977 commercial soundtrack playing for him in the back ground. What a weirdo. Seriously? Really? Right?
To enjoy the company of an elderly indigent is far more validating than compliments from fake activists or fascist local politicians mistaking me for a Caucasian. The conservation of my saliva alone, makes it all so much grander. It feels as though I should be setting miniature plastic china for an imaginary tea time. Why not? It befalls the wickedly pretentious avows of recovery. Some of which I can now say I have been told by some for four decades. By some, I mean so few, as so many missed many of my tea times. You know, due to sclerosis of the liver and other natural causes of a tragically blind suicide. Quite natural, all the same, as it always is. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Never mind. Just the mutterings of a burned out missionary in my position.
I don't smoke anymore and if even I were to, it would make no difference at five o'clock in the morning, after a hectic night of doubling down on black jacks and splitting tens, raising the ire of my Mom, Chin, AKA – Cinnamon as they call her, I am sure down at the strip club, where she has been having to perform to keep the Vietnamese Refugee Camp operating. Within another hour I would be pulling into Ho Chi Minh and if I were to be early enough, I had an actual refugee to smoke cigarettes with and discuss my many wins, losses and arguments of the previous night that I had with Chin, AKA the Vietnamese Gang Prison Killer.
Those days are a not so distant memory now, as he was shot in the head only to have his wife, also to be shot in the head, not to mention his daughter with down syndrome shot in the head too. I think she was the sole survivor for a few minutes. Just before the Modesto Police Chief, Harden used the entire affair as a photo op. He laughs at the expense of my loved ones getting shot in the head and then gets mad when I make fun of his name in a council meeting. But I'm not bitter. Seriously? Really? Right?
So I have been working on branding myself with an image that is peaceful innocent and pure. It's my new message – Love, Compassion and Understanding. Yes, I have finally succumbed to the subliminal lyrics of an Elvis Costello song. But he was right. And what's more, that sweet girl with down syndrome could tell you that. If they had not shot her in the head. Seriously? Really? Right?
Footnotes, as if you didn't know.
- What? Do I have to spell it out to you? Seriously? Really? Right?
- If you understand that sentence, than you certainly too, have been inflicted with the generalization disease of this local “community”.
- I don't care if you don't agree with me.
- You guessed it.
Copyright 2016 Robert Stanford all rights reserved.
Saturday, October 31, 2015
The remnants were available for the new effort, although it was originally limited to draft counseling. The draft work had been ongoing in an ad hoc sort of manner by individual volunteers. Vietnam took counseling from the theoretical to the hard facts of reality. Lives were very much in jeopardy.
The true organizing work of the 1970s was not by or through the Peace Center with its limited vision. Something different popped up – nuclear power. The proposal to build nuclear energy facilities west of Waterford brought opposition. At various times it became necessary to take on Pacific Gas & Electric, General Electric, Livermore, Turlock Irrigation District and Modesto Irrigation District. It was a new learning experience to perform this service under pressure. Stanislaus Safe Energy then came into existence to block, refute and deny any such facility. Of course Government bodies and the Stanislaus and San Joaquin Farm Bureau were all for it.
For once the Modesto Bee did it – a half page story with pictures of the half dozen activists standing up on the front lines for Safe Energy. Public meetings, Dr. John Gofman speaking, the pancake breakfast a three month Notice of dissenting was created and then the Harvest Supper was started as a second fund raiser. Safe Energy’s last major public event was at the 1987 Stanislaus County Fair of 1987 in the midst of the super conductor-super collider protests. The proponents of this super warfare program were the University of California, Livermore, liberal Democrats, Chambers of Commerce, as usual, the school system and of course Governmental agencies.
In between these events came the farm workers to Modesto, 8000 on foot or car to add to the 1000 or so already at Graceada. Vietnam was over so a lot of energy was now available energy to work on farm worker issues. Gallo was far and above the great villain as a large outfit not interested in being limited by the Farm Worker’s Union. What was Modest to do with such an invasion and with it, its inflammatory possibilities?
Having done crowd control by invitation several times in San Francisco’s anti-war marches, it was an interesting challenge for me. Organizer Chuck Gardenier and I agreed it would be useful to have a non-violent presence on March 1, 1975. Since there had already been joint meetings with the California Highway Patrol, Sheriff deputies of several counties and the Modesto Police Department. Chuck and I were known to them, to say the least. There had been violence during the march in Merced County recently. So in blue jeans and jacket with a red arm band, I was a presence all along the side to take (block) intersections or along the front as Modesto was cut in half from Gallo to Graceada Park. Holding half of Needham for the crowd, the traffic got real messy, but there was no violence. The Modesto Police backed off and left the crowd to discipline itself.
When the Latin Americas group decided to stage a sit in inside Tony Coehlo’s office during the Nicaraguan Contra imbroglio, I was brought in to do the non-violence organizing. Now with the people ready to sit in, it could be done all at once, a big bang, as it were. It appeared more useful to split into three groups for a larger impact. So, poor Jane Jackson, who knew many of us, had to be at her desk three days to watch people be arrested. It was not that Coehlo was a poor congressman but as one in a leadership position, more was needed and could have been done to end the conflict.
Whatever organizational skills there may be, it cannot work without other people. Foremost were Howard Washburn and Howard TenBrink who were both there from the beginning at the monthly Fellowship of Reconciliation Meetings. He was in Nevada, Self Help Housing (SHE) (Visalia), Everyman Building, Coehlo’s office and in later years collating the Stanislaus Peace/Life Connections.
Howard Washburn – Rural Life Conference (1940-1950s), first director of SHE (1960s), tax resister at Fresno, Livermore, Vandenburg, who tragically, with much of his family, was killed in an automobile accident. Jake Kirihara (Livingston) SHE board, Livermore, Coehlo’s office, United Technology Middle plant (Merced County).
Mel Harvey was of this breed in Nevada, arrested for leafleting at the IRS in Modesto (I was not ready for arrest, nor was Betty Tillotsoin or Frank Muench), Oakland Induction Center 1967. Mary Harvey upon the Everyman sentencing in 1960, went to Nevada, crossed the line and was arrested, given 30 days in jail – the only woman in the Tonpah jail (she was on the second floor). These folks were there; open and allowing themselves to be available for joint action over a period of many years.
For its time slot, Safe Energy found Dan Pollack (Ecology Action) a stalwart. Jim Higgs came along in the 1970s but did not break out until the 1980s, with more than one visit to Livermore and Santa Rita.
Involved with the United Technology venture and sit ins at Coehlo’s office – Jim Higgs was a long time Peace Center board member. He could be frustrating, certainly. But he did hang in with Peace Center activities as long as possible.
Kay Barnes, who overcame her military raising to come to look at Peace. For nearly 20 years she did the little things to keep the Center going, as a volunteer. As usual there was little thanks, if any at all.
Not doing in public does not mean the service is worth less. One does not relish the value of such help until it is gone. A venture to Livermore was not her thing. An example of her commitment: When coming out of the Stanislaus County jail for sitting in at Coehlo’s office, I was totally disoriented. It had been a hot day and the air conditioner broke down, leaving the inmates dripping and half clothed.
For once Zane Clark, or whoever was running the place, arranged for inmates to shower out of regulation. Mine was at midnight, but the cell was crowded, with most inmates on the floor.
The next morning, I was pushed out the door after minimal sleep. But there was my guardian angel, Kay, to transport my carcass to Waterford. Christmas. This was a service more than once was provided at the Choose Life Christmas-blocking at Livermore. My going number there is under 1000 as one of the lags (1960) though they can have 10,000 entices to Santa Rita in a year. No organizer can do it without help.
When one is lucky there are those who can be leaned upon for years.
Those who dare to follow conscience under fear, but refuse to allow it to dominate or paralyze action and are in this sense free.
After exposure to various situations, there is an esprit which may well appear to be arrogance.
Experience has taught certain lessons. There are probabilities of behavior and results. However, planning based on effectiveness tends to backfire as the means become distorted by the desire.
Results are long term. It is ludicrous to expect change of a useful nature in under five years. Patience is not a virtue much cultivated, because our ego demands satisfaction.
Sunday, July 20, 2014
I was a good neighbor. I was a good priest. I was ethical and never once did I wince in the face of danger, manipulation or ridicule in the public square. I gave more than I had to give of my time, money and most of all - my self. I gave everything with a pink bow, emblazoned with gold lettering that spelled out "ACTIVISM".
Activism is a catch-all drawer of a word. It means so many different things to so many different people. For me it was more than a title, it was a condemnation. At the very best, it was a label that gave a clear indication to the community that it was OK for me to be ineffectual in relieving the plight of lesser, undesirable human beings, because I was nothing but shadow to begin with.
I held on tightly to the ideal that matters of life and death were to be taken with the utmost urgency. With the utmost importance. But that particular ideal, as with so many others, had long-since slipped away from the consciousness of the community. Along with any hope of compassion, empathy or understanding. All of these priceless precious things had been exchanged for narcissism and personal "Quality of Life" goals.
I thought that I could bring these ideals back again. I thought that I could surly demonstrate by example passion and devotion to others in such close proximity that it was worthwhile to address the needs of the suffering, whoever they may be. I thought wrong. I was wrong. Its true. You cannot revive a corpse.
In the face of further ridicule, slander and even persecution by my own religion, I write the truth to you now. The truth that no body really cares about anyone else but themselves and with good reason. To care about the plight of another human being is to take that suffering upon yourself, albeit in a different form, but suffering nonetheless.
For all of my valiant and noble effort, I am left with so much reward. A reputation that precedes me everywhere I turn, wrought with falsehoods and lies. I am penniless, unemployable and forever spilled over with suspicion and looked upon as nothing more than a maniacal, bothersome, trouble making dissenter. I am now seen exactly as those I have served - an undesirable human being.
And that is just on the outside. On the inside, my memories haunt my dreams, nearly every night. Filled with horribly unspeakable evil. Gang violence, child abuse to a horrific degree and lonely deaths along the creek's banks, all of which I will never be able to prevent. Now I see their wounds, tears and death states in every moment of my life.
I am nothing but a loser, having thrown my life away because I am so insane, I actually thought that I could lead the lost to reason. I thought I could redeem them somehow. I was wrong.
Now I am nothing but a shell of a man, hoping that my fake confidence will buy me a little more patience with the few friends I even have today.
Even finding solace in the refuge of my original religion has been fraught with misunderstanding and cult-like abuse. Led by a self-proclaiming thug that touts violent tendencies as a badge of honor, he sports the colors that have married me to children's funerals for so long that I have now come to know how inescapable these tragedies are since they are taken so lightly by so many who are protected forever behind the very veil that I myself have provided - "They just don't understand".
My angst over the injustices that have caused me to see so many dead bodies is so fierce and fiery, that it has mentally incapacitated me. I am forever locked in a dungeon of despair and anguish over things I could never have prevented in the first place.
All I can tell you anymore for sure, is that you nave no idea how terrifying and horrible it is out there. All because no one really cares about matters of life and death anymore. All they care about is themselves.
Copyright 2014 Robert Stanford all rights reserved.
Thursday, April 5, 2012
Robert W. Stanford
Ezekiel 25:17, Pulp Fiction
Along my daily path, by the fork, the chickens have fortified their ranks with bunny rabbits. Now late at night, what at first appears to be leaping cats, are rabbits. At least two dozen encroaching upon the fork and the chickens that reside there. Almost as joyful as the older dogs that bark upon my approach, only to subside at the sound of my voice. “It’s me!”
Of course, it didn’t use to be that way. Literally, years ago, I would leave seething canine ferocity in my wake down every Airport District street I would walk. Not any more, just the occasional bully dogs, we all come across no matter how many of our own shoe prints are etched into the dust which shall never be covered by sidewalks. Now, I leave broken hearts and whimpering in my wake, as so many dogs want me to spend more time than a passing pet and reassurance of what magnificent animals they are. But there is always tomorrow…for me, at least.
Not so much for JD Love, who’s memorial still graffiti’s Oregon Park appropriately for the surrounding neighborhood. Walls that many of us, probably including his own mother, are not looking forward to seeing be re-painted. Despite the murderous numerical references to the CA state penal code - 187...and Norte.
Now he is forever a part of the Modesto Airport District; a part of it’s culture. That is of course, at least until Nazi Joe Muratore, the sixty-two thousand dollar thief finally gets his way and has the entire 1.2 square mile area that comprises the Modesto Airport District razed in favor of a financial shell game to be forever played with outside investors and the actual Modesto City/County airport that separates us in the Airport District from the bordering area between Ceres and Modesto, aptly named, “No Man’s Land”. Two ghettos separated by Lear Jets and caviar. All the while, useless to those that are in reality just like us, is their fork in the road.
Pollo, Polo and Looney were standing outside of the now infamous non-tobacco front shop one day.
And then, just like every other day, dark clouds appeared and commenced engulfing the atmosphere with grief. One of us was missing - Lil’ David.
“Why pollo?”, he softly asked me. “Why did the cops have to lie to her like that? They said that they would protect her. And now look at David.”
Through his tears, it was not that I had nothing to say, but at this point, it would have sounded insensitive and uncaring for the situation at hand. Not because it was a rant against local law enforcement, but rather, because it would sound more like an “I told you so!”. It just really wasn’t the time for another political lecture against the ways of the tyranny that has now befallen us.
All just another piece of scenery stripped away from me, just like animal control always picking up the wrong strays. Or my neighbors that delight in killing my dogs. Taking something away from me that makes the Modesto Airport District a beautiful place to live. Leaving a tragically ended memory in it’s place, with much pretentiousness.
I have found it to be not just the trauma of these murders that take me away to a place of intense and bitter anger, but their repetition. Is this really what I have chosen to do? Watch everyone die, while trying to show them which side of the fork to take instead?
Seems pretty noble, since there has been nothing but sacrifice of every part of my being and rewards that seem rather inedible.
Walking past the fork in the dawn of a new day is quite different than two to three o’clock in the morning. It’s like night and day. No longer are there only the stragglers and scrappers afoot. Now there are the familiar faces. Faces I have greeted more than twenty-four hundred times.
Everyone knows my name, where I am going, what I do, what I eat - everything - with affection - just like David did.
They see in me, something they can depend and rely on - hope. They see hope in me because they have watched my struggle for so many years. They can see now, that the only way I will be leaving them, will be as their own family members leave them - as a murder victim that not even the Modesto Police Department gives a second thought to.
Copyright 2012 Robert Stanford all rights reserved.
Wednesday, January 11, 2012
|Don't Forget To Pay For That Donut!|
It was like they were calling to each other, back and forth in turn. One could almost reach out and touch their grandiose plans of having the Modesto Airport District completely dominated by fowl at the crack of the true dawn. A rooster revolution of sorts. Plotted through their hidden language.
I was so impressed with them, that I have decided to forego any rants that I would care to indulge regarding the avian flu and weak county interventions for personal aviaries of fowl. I will let these brave birds have their hope. Unless the economy doesn’t turn around, at which point I may be charged with chicken rustling.
Yet in the morning, seeing lush fields of chickens starting about their foraging day is just so invigorating on my slight trek to the start of my day. Especially when they are in the street and I start chasing them to and fro across the road. One really has to be aware of traffic when…chicken spotting.
Walking through chalk lines, some real - some imagined, I would think that others like myself would care to take comfort in the luxurious safety of good scenery.
So that in the midst of a dozen, obviously robustly large roosters planning some sort of a…coo - a master plan, if you will, of domination.
Just the energy of being within that interchange, while some guy that lives in what appears to be an RV has an exploding bonfire going in a burning barrel. A different scent every night, or should I say, “every wee morning”.
On some of these wee mornings, he incinerate particles board. Bonfire fuel acquired by chopped up furniture abandoned in another lot made vacant by Strand/Depot(2) type developer arson.
The formaldehyde fills my senses like Testers model glue in a plastic bag. At any moment I begin picturing myself writhing and twirling, while lying perpendicular to and abutted to the gutter of the sidewalk surrounding the county park.
Only the menthol provides any relief. And the coffee.(3)
Coffee acquired at the Vietnamese refuge camp, we are now not suppose to talk about or advertise for. I suppose something came over the wire. Of course all of this information comes from Chin. The one that says I eat like a cat. The one with that birth mark that looks just like a tattoo one would get for killing someone in a Vietnamese prison.
The same tattoo that she didn’t want to talk about anymore(4), not more than just a few morning ago(5) she dared point to it and made some vague reference to the hard life that she endured, trapped in a Vietnamese prison. But one knows that she is safe now in the confines of a Vietnamese refugee camp disguised as the Ye Olde Donute Shoppe.
It’s not a refuge for everyone though. That was finally decided when the latrine was redone in tile and the very best in bathroom fixtures. It must be part of the Asianic cultural reaction to disrespect from a community that completely thrashed the bathroom to the point of necessitating it’s complete replacement. Everything.
“Pollo.” She whispered.(6) “I go into bathroom today and people have sex in there.”
“What? Seriously? That’s horrible. I keep telling you. Just don’t let anybody use it. They can go to Jack in the Box.”, I replied, six years ago. That was before the re-model.
And a year or so after someone committed suicide in the Jack in the Box bathroom. Now they have to “buzz” you in.
Today, on any shift, they refuse no one. Most of the time they don’t have to, since the bathroom is occupied by families shooting up heroin they acquired from just around the corner. It’s so heart warming to see a mother pushing a stroller, accompanied by her older offspring - scurrying into the Jack in the Box bathroom to inject herself with heroin and nod out in a bathroom stall for an hour or so.
“Um, can you buzz me in?”
“Sure, go right ahead.”
That was the same family that approached every single one us, one morning - pimping out her oldest child to panhandle change for his mother’s heroin fix.
“Hey can I use your bathroom? I need to change my baby.” The zombie mother asked Chin.
“You want to use the bathroom? OK. You can use the bathroom. I will go and unlock it for you and you can go use the bathroom.”, Chin chipped into the undead whore of heroin and mother of three.
“SSSS - hey!”, I side whispered to the Mother Teresa of Vietnam.
“What what what is it?”
“Don’t let them use the bathroom.” I silently said, yet ever so sternly, while vigorously shaking my head back and forth.
“Pollo! She needs to change the baby. You can’t expect her to go Jack in the Box. That too far.”
And with that, it was not long until loud knocks were to be heard.
“Hey! What you do in my bathroom?! You need get out now! Pollo. Man. You were right. Why I not listen to you.”, Chin said to me, her hair unusually ratted out as though it had been styled that way, when in reality, it was from the sheer stress of the entire family having locked themselves in the bathroom for nearly five whole minutes now.
“Just give her a few more minutes to finish shooting up and she might be easier to get out.”, I said, as though I were giving report to a general regarding enemy troop alignment.
“Shoot up?! What you mean Pollo?!”
“Nothing. Nothing. Here, I’ll take care of it.”
And with that I was once more overcome by an air of exaggerated over bearing maniacal role play as I cast the family into the cold dampness of the street.
“And stay there….bitch.”
Coming back into my Morelia(7) fold, I am able to fill in half a dozen people with the situation’s past, present and probable future in less than 30 seconds. After all, I have to get to work. I can’t just sit here all day talking about some junky mother shooting up with her kids watching locked up in a bathroom of a Vietnamese Refugee Camp overtaken by Mexicans. Even the Vietnamese refugees have to adapt.
It’s the perfect backdrop for my budding Spanish - Vietnamese refugees aggressively trying to keep dozens of Mexicans at bay with dirty Mexican words screamed with Vietnamese accents. It’s really special when Chin starts waving around her Babe Ruth slugger and threatening to kill everyone if they don’t provide her with enough session money for a Black Oak Casino(8) weekend.
1. For the lone traveler through the internet that may have no interest here….this is a private article. Be gone with you - NOW! To feather dust.
2. Two Modesto, California historical monuments that didn’t have to pass the giggle test of any landmark preservation laws, state or federal due to arson by local developers.
3. Coffee so good, it deserves to be my hook lead in. Keep reading.
4. When they, “arrested the man and the girl”.
5. Or more.
6. Like, “psssst”.
7. A group of approximately 36 rotating Mexican friends, all quickly claiming to be born within an eagles nest at the very top of the tallest mountain in Morelia, Mexico.
8. Actually, it was at Jackson Rancheria Casino that I was accused of eating like a cat. At a buffet, it was. And upon further recollection, it was actually her husband that accused me of that, after seeing my self-made sampler plate with only 3 items from the entire buffet. That’s right. He had to drive us back in my van to the David Bowie’s Low album that night.
Copyright 2012 Robert Stanford all rights reserved.
Sunday, October 30, 2011
“As it would certainly seem to seem as of late, not so many things are quite as dull as one would most likely prefer. Not here anyway.”
Robert Stanford answering any question posed.
It did not take too much education to make this entire situation subside. Especially in consideration that for the entire County of Stanislaus, the Modesto Airport District had the highest amount of animals sent to the gulags of the Stanislaus County Animal Control (We don’t call it the “humane society” anymore, of course).
And then there was that time, not so long ago, that I lost a pit bull to a kidnapping and then it was used for training a fighting dog, all for the purpose of killing my dog. I think this was some sort of a gang assault against me, but the children that witnessed it said nothing about that per say. Of course, to avoid any legal entanglements like a possible 187 charge for either one of us, I just don’t go there. In any way.
Though I do often use my snitch abilities to report illegal dog breeding and fighting, but it is just not as satisfying as a sawed off shot gun would seem to be.
And of course that’s where it starts. Local feuds and fights over dogs and dog fights. That’s just life in the Modesto Airport District. For pit-bulls and those that love them or use them.
I did not raise mine to fight. But I guess that is all over now, what with the presumptuousness of the tweaked out natives of the Modesto Airport District and their dog-fighting heritage.
Why shouldn’t they have the right to steal my dog and use it for live training bait for a gun-powder fed, hard ran dog raised for nothing more than an illegal activity so many seem to overlook as an infraction here in Stanislaus County?
I was once mauled by four pit-bulls in the street, one morning. Like a pack of demons - lovingly cuddly and soft puppies came out of the middle of nowhere and seduced me into dropping to my knees to embrace them on the side of the road, with the foreboding thought on my mind, “Oh God, now they are all going to be following me.”
And then of course, there was that time I found myself on my knees once more, gently head butting a cat on the sidewalk. I turn my head to notice an MPD officer shaking his head and grinning at me. I would have waved, but that does not go over to well in the area. The affiliation with law enforcement is frowned upon by many, mostly the white residents, such as the multi-generational corn fed speed freaks that kidnapped my dog to feed it to theirs.
But there are enough of them that I have to work with, that I try to keep any type of a law enforcement affiliation on the “down low”. Now that I work out of a bail bonds company in the Modesto Airport District, this problem is fading as well as they are better able to peg me now, as opposed to before, when they were mostly overcome with confusion when I told them that I was not a social worker, but would not describe myself any further than using the words activist, advocate, sponsor, etc.
It’s also one of the primary defense points showing it’s true colors regarding Stanislaus County Sheriff Deputy Investigator Kari Abbey’s falsely received assertions from fringe media, not even pervasive in the community, that under the color of law, she exercised unfair advantages over tenants that lived in this same area. This would be virtually impossible, and as an officer, herself, well known to her, that it would more than likely constitute recklessness to the point of suicide by gang if she was to openly flaunt to her tenants that she was affiliated with law enforcement. But like the rest of the general public, you may not have been aware of that.
I have had countless violent encounters with dogs in the Airport District, generally in the early hours of the morning. It did not take me long to learn that the trick to surviving an attack by an animal, is the ability to appear to that animal to be so menacing that they feel like they would have no chance, thereby running away from you, rather than you running away from them. That and a hot cup of coffee works pretty good too.
The Modesto Airport District as of 2004 through 2005 is mostly comprised of Mexicans now. A much healthier and positive culture than the red-necked corn fed NAZI speed freaks that previously dignified the primary demographic of the Modesto Airport District, no matter how humble their dust-bowl fashioned beginnings may seem to be by any, including myself.
But I still miss my dog.
Copyright 2011 Robert Stanford all rights reserved.