- Moose Fire
- Hendy Fire
- Downtown Ruckus
- Trustee Problem
- Westport Fundraiser
- Grove Reflection
- Ed Notes
- Yorkville Social
- PA Meeting
- Flea Market
- Cannabis Software
- Hospitality Question
- Yesterday's Catch
- Uncivil Society
- Angry Nation
- Math Teacher
- Honorable Suicide
- Cage Fight
- Epstein Debacle
- Dangerous Plan
- Green Thing
- Physical Activity
- Communication Breakdown
- Class Matters
- Found Object
“MOOSE FIRE” AT MCNAB RANCH
Update (Tuesday morning): 225 acres burned; 25% contained
The Moose Fire is currently burning south east from Moose Road in an area known as McNab Ranch, north of Hopland. The fire is burning in brush and grass oak woodland in steep terrain. Structures are threatened. There are approximately 300 firefighters at the Incident with additional personnel and equipment arriving throughout the night.
Evacuation orders: McNab Ranch Area, Valley View Road, Bus McGall Road, Moose Road.
Evacuation warning: McNab Ranch Area, North end of Feliz Creek Road, Feliz Creek Drive.
Road Closures: Bus Mcgall Road at Valley View Road
100 acres as of about 10pm. Started a little after 5pm. Moderate rate of spread.
There is a vegetation fire on Moose Road (McNab Ranch - Hopland area). At this time we need residents to avoid the Moose Road area and if you have vehicles on Moose Road, please move them to allow first responders through. We will update once more information is available. The Sheriff's Office is preparing to issue an evacuation warning to residents on Moose Road. Called in at 6:15pm, Monday.
Valley View was ALSO under EVACUATION ORDER as of about 7pm.
Upwards of 100 acres after 10pm with about 25% containment.
Fire Evacuation: Valley View Dr. Evacuation order is issued for Valley View Drive in addition to Bus McGall and Moose Road areas near Hopland. Residents are advised to evacuate the area immediately and head towards a safe location. North end of Feliz Creek is under Evacuation Warning.
MENDOCINO COUNTY FIRE PROMPTS EVACUATION ORDERS
AND a fire reported about the same time in Anderson Valley: "New Vegetation Fire near Navarro Vineyards/Hendy Woods State Park. 1/4 Acre." No update as of 10pm Monday night.
AVA COURTROOM SKETCH ARTIST Pete Castro witnessed a clash of politics in downtown Ukiah last Wednesday at lunchtime when a person known as “Mark” began shouting “Seig Heil” and throwing up Nazi salutes at the top floor of the Marks Building where attorney Al Kubanis has a Trump/Pence poster and an old Colonial flag hanging in his office window across the street from the Courthouse. The character known only as Mark was making such a ruckus that DA David Eyster and his Chief Investigator Kevin Bailey came out from their ground floor Courthouse offices to investigate, along with several bailiffs and some of the Courthouse security personnel. Chief Inspector Bailey asked our trusty courtroom artist if he knew Mark. Pete said he did, and Bailey asked Pete if he thought Mark was “a danger to himself or others?” which is the basic standard for determining whether or not to place someone under arrest. (How nuts is this guy?) Pete said, “Nah, not even, he’s just expressing his views, same as Al Kubanis is.” Pete then advised Mark to cool it, and a trip to jail for Mark was averted, but not before Kubanis appeared at his office window to flip Mark the bird.
TRUSTEE PROBLEM AT COAST HOSPITAL
Open Letter on Good Governance
There is an ethical code of conduct that hospital managers and employees are expected to follow. The medical team has one as well and the added responsibility of policing their own conduct. The Board of Directors is no different. It must meet the high standards of ethical, good governance and, furthermore, police itself. That is the purpose of this open letter. There has been a series of serious mistakes, cover-ups, and ethical lapses by the Board leadership that must be brought to light.
For the last four months Director McColley and I have attempted to have a vote on whether or not to continue with the current leadership. We have been thwarted by the refusal of the Board chair to put the matter on the agenda. The most recent request, which was made at the last Board meeting and was to result in a special Board Meeting on leadership, is in limbo and unlikely to be granted. All of this has made it impossible for the Board to engage in self-policing.
Some of my previous comments on Board behavior have been met with criticism which is not unreasonable given that I have been unable to express my concerns in the normal course of Board business. For that reason and because my concerns will not be placed on the agenda, I resort to this open letter. I admit my own failures here. I have been impatient and outwardly agitated. Because I have an Irish temperament, my body language often talks without thinking.
But my concerns are real and serious, as I will now discuss.
Incident #1. Ms. Arnold asked Mike Ellis in early Feb. to submit a proposal to become interim CEO. His proposal, which would need subsequent Board approval, included hiring a financial analyst. Soon afterward, Director Grinberg and I learned that a financial analyst had been hired without Board approval. Ms. Grinberg confronted Mr. Ellis and this began an ever downwardly spiraling relationship that often played out in public. I asked Director Arnold if she approved the hiring to which she replied, “maybe I did and maybe I didn’t, I don’t remember.” In my opinion, this was a cover-up because it is inconceivable that Mr. Ellis, only interim CEO for one week, would have done so on his own. By not owning the mistake, Ms. Arnold allowed a bad relationship to develop and to create tension on the Board.
Incident #2. In response to the deteriorating relationship with Mr. Ellis, a representative of the Board reached out to Mr. Wayne Allen to ascertain if he would be interested in the position of interim CEO. The job was not posted and no effort was made to speak with other candidates, including Ms. Nancy Schmid who had previously expressed interest in the job. At the March board meeting, when it was revealed that the Board was interested in finding a new CEO, Ms. Margaret Paul asked Ms. Arnold at 1:46:30 into the meeting if the Board had used the normal hiring process. Ms. Arnold replied, untruthfully, that this was a special situation because “we” were contacted by Mr. Allen directly, an attempt in my opinion to avoid public criticism.
Mr. Allen was eventually hired but only after myself and another Director insisted that we have an opportunity to properly interview him. It was at this juncture that Ms. Schmid informed several Board members that she was left off the slate of candidates. She was finally included but Ms. Schmid believes that she could have sued MCDH for discrimination in hiring, an opinion I share.
Incident #3. Ms. Arnold apparently gave Mr. Allen permission to issue the Request for Proposals (RFPs) for affiliation while indicating that the Board had approved its release. Mr. Allen subsequently issued the RFP and was quoted in the paper as saying the Board had met with him privately and approved it. This prompted Ken Cohen, CEO of the Association of California Health Care Districts, to write Ms. Arnold an email on April 15, 2019 that included the following statement:
“The quote, if accurate, reads as though a potential violation of the Brown Act may have occurred, which could invalidate the RFP if accurate…I’d like to think that this did not occur and am wondering if MCDH may wish to consider a response or clarification to the article.”
Two things are important here. The first is that Ms. Arnold did not share this email with other Board members and indeed I was able to read it only because it was contained in a packet of emails released to the press. Secondly, no attempt was made to publicly respond to the article, as suggested.
What happened next is that Ms. Arnold had discussions with BB&K, the Board’s legal advisors, who recommended that the RFP be recalled and the process re-started (note: I have referred to the RFP process as tainted because that was the opinion of BB&K). This was rejected for the reason given by Ms. Arnold, as I was informed later by BB&K, that there was not enough time to start the RFP process over and still meet the August deadline for submitting ballot language regarding affiliation. The second-best option recommended by BB&K was to amend the RFP in public which apparently would solve the legal problem. Ms. Arnold introduced that amendment at the April meeting without comment. Hearing none, I provided the context. The public then thought the Board members had violated the Brown Act and admonished us publicly while Ms. Arnold said nothing, content to let us take the blame for her own mistake.
Incident #4. In early February, Mr. Ellis and Ms. Schmid sought to release the Request for Qualifications (RFQs) to find an architect/engineer to perform seismic upgrades studies. Consequently, on Feb 10th they requested that issuing the RFQs be on the Board agenda for approval. Ms. Arnold denied this request saying that the Board had decided not to pursue this because the Adventists would do it for free. (There is no record of the Board voting on that.) This refusal to place the item on the agenda is documented in an email in my possession and Mr. Ellis confirmed to me that in his conversation with Ms. Arnold she said the Board had decided. (Ms. Arnold disputes this.) However, it wasn’t until Feb. 28th that Jason Wells of the Adventists first met with the Board in public and made that offer. (I was impressed so I wrote it down.) So, it was simply impossible for me and the other Board members to have known of this offer in early February, as Ms. Arnold suggested to Mr. Ellis.
After I uncovered the problem, the RFQ was eventually released after a four-month delay. However, this delay, which could have been even longer, places the hospital in grave jeopardy of not meeting the seismic upgrade requirements imposed by OSHPD. This is of particular importance in light of a possible affiliation with the Adventist whose proposal places the full burden of meeting seismic upgrades upon MCDH. Failure to meet the upgrade requirements, according to the Adventist proposal, allows them to terminate the affiliation agreement.
Incident #5. Knowing of my intent to confront these issues and ask for a fresh vote of officers, Ms. Arnold has denied requests by Director McColley and myself on three previous occasions to put the item on the agenda. Our most recent and fourth request is currently in limbo. This is a misuse of the Chair’s power to set agendas.
In conclusion, it is my opinion that Ms. Arnold’s behavior does not rise to the level of ethical standards required of a Board chair. It is the right and responsibility of Board members to self-police its own behaviors and the fact that this must be aired, uncomfortably, in public is not a reason to forgo it. I still await the opportunity to deal with this matter through normal Board business and hope the issue will soon be on our agenda.
NIGHT LIGHT OF THE NORTH COAST: Reflections at Richardson Grove
by David Wilson
As you read on your computer or mobile device, remember that you, too, can unplug, go outside not too far from where you are now and experience a night something like the one in the image below. I took a break from plugged-in things for a week and camped for part of it in Southern Humboldt’s Richardson Grove State Park with family. It’s not a wilderness area, but it is in a beautiful natural setting among hills covered in redwood and mixed forests along the South Fork Eel River.
Sitting in the shade in our camp in Oak Flat campground we counted eight different tree species and a myriad of plants and shrubs without leaving our seats. Not that we sat around all day, although while sitting and tuning in to the surroundings there was plenty going on around the campground to keep me entirely fascinated, whether it was the activities of other campers or things happening in the surrounding forest.
It has been a while since I last backpacked in the wilderness, but I used to do it a lot and I know what it is like to really get away from everything people-related. This wasn’t that. It is a campground. One hears and sees other campers. Even US 101 goes by not far away, though as a two-lane road weaving through giant redwoods. No, it isn’t the wilderness, but you are in the forest, with nature all around. Sitting in it and soaking it in absolutely recharged me. Even listening to the wind while unplugged was recharging. We humans are part of nature, not part of the Internet; the former charges us and the latter drains us.
It’s been many summers since the South Fork Eel River looked so good at this time of year, and longer since I last enjoyed a good dip in it. The Eel was clear and comfortably cool, with far more water in it than I had expected. It’s shallow near the bank where you see my brother and me standing beneath the night sky, easy to wade in. It gets gradually deeper until near the far shore my brother couldn’t reach the surface with his outstretched arm while standing on the bottom. It’s a tranquil stretch with a very slow current. It would be nice for the entire family.
Humanity disappointed me when we came upon the jarring sight of plastic trash left on the bank of the river by swimmers the previous day. I want to express how unutterably lame that is, but I find my vocabulary temporarily reduced to four-letter words. Some… let’s call them jerks, had brought their candy and plastic-wrapped crap to the riverside — and then left the trash there. I wonder what level of care they had, if any. Did they leave it for someone else to pick up? Thanks, that’s really crappy. Or did they not even care that much? Either way we were disgusted with them (“Houston, we’ve found lower life forms!”). We decided we would come back later with trash bags to clean up after them.
I hadn’t intended to write a review of the campground, just another Night Light of the North Coast story. But this is feeling a little like a review, and I loved my time there, so let me say right here that I completely recommend taking the family to Richardson Grove State Park. There is a lot more to see and do in the park than this little story covers, from trails through the groves to organized activities in the evenings.
The trash on the bank was an isolated incident, but I wanted to highlight it as a reminder to others to please pack out any trash that you pack in. It is so much nicer for everyone. The campground staff does a great job keeping the campground itself clean, checking on things regularly. There are plenty of trash bins and cans labeled for recycling, so there’s really no excuse to leave your trash around. But even when there are no trash cans, if you brought it in with you, you can certainly take it back out with you.
Simply put: if you pack it in, then pack it out. Thank you.
Watch for falling rocks and stars in the Upside-Down. (We loved the reflection).
My brother Seth and I watch the world go by one summer night on the banks of the South Fork Eel River in Richardson Grove, Humboldt County, California
(To keep abreast of David Wilson’s most current photography or peer into its past, visit or contact him at his website mindscapefx.com or follow him on Instagram at @david_wilson_mfx.)
ODD that football practice is beginning this week most places around Mendocino County but not in Boonville for the first time since Anderson Valley unified its schools to include a high school, which would have been about, I think, 1920, prior to which Anderson Valley youth aimed at higher education boarded either in Ukiah or Cloverdale for their high school years. I have a dim memory of the late Cecil Gowan saying that he attended high school in Cloverdale.
OUR REMAINING OLD TIMERS, Don Pardini and Wes Smoot come to mind, and the more numerous younger old timers who grew up here, will testify as to how rapidly and how thoroughly the Anderson Valley’s population and even its topography have been changed by the wine industry. Prior to the middle 1980s we had a community here. Now we don’t. Community has been replaced by unaffiliated affinity groups whose twain never meets.
MEET COOL NEW PEOPLE. (Hell, why not?) “Anderson Valley peeps! This is the second festival for OmRising at Camp Navarro this August 16-19th. It's really a festival about being in the redwoods, dancing, yoga-ing, listening to music and getting to know some cool friendly new people. It's all in the name of creating kindness and community in a time that really needs us to connect other than on social media. I will be teaching a workshop there as well, on developing your intuition. A skill we ALL have, yet under-utilize.”
OUR SCANNER crackled to life last Saturday morning to report “a 21-year-old male, rattlesnake bite on the hand." AV Ambulance said hey would be "transporting one patient Code 2 (no lights/siren) to UVMC." Since we haven’t heard otherwise, the snake-bit 21-year-old survived.
THE DELUGE of opinion at the announcement of the suicide death of international cho-mo, Jeffrey Epstein, ran almost unanimously to, "He was murdered," and "The Clintons got him." Epstein now moves to the very top of the Grassy Knoll Roster, which begins with the Kennedy assassination and Lee Harvey Oswald, winds on through 911 and the collapse of Building 7 before disappearing into the far reaches of mass paranoia that includes vaccination and contrails as government conspiracies, the same government that can’t protect the most high profile prisoner in the world.
WHITE NATIONALISM. I have a hard time taking it seriously, although lots of the boys and some of the girls in the back of the classroom, the remedial readers, seem to feel imperiled by darker people. And in Europe there's a strong white push-back against immigration from the Moslem countries. Governor Newsom said the other day there are more than 70 potentially lethal “hate” groups that the state and federal authorities are “monitoring.” Meanwhile, the most high profile prisoner in the world, Mr. Epstein, manages to commit suicide in federal custody, but who’s counting the contradictions?
HERE IN BOONVILLE, there are a couple of uninstructed characters who drive around with confederate flags flying, the infamous symbol for treason and slavery they seem to think represents them. Ask them about their allegiance and they sputter about "heritage" and "our way of life." Dudes! Fewer than ten percent of Southerners owned other people, and I seriously doubt your ancestors were among the planter aristocracy. But in the U.S. are we talking a real movement capable of more than an occasional mass shooting? Call me Mr. Pangloss, but unless my eyes are as treacherous as the rest of my failing body parts, there are now millions of genuinely affectionate, loyal, inter-ethnic relationships in this country where there were virtually none prior to, say, 1965. Most white Americans aren't about to sign up for "white nationalism."
ANDREW YANG, the tech entrepreneur whose platform consists primarily of a stand for universal basic income, became the ninth Democrat to qualify for the upcoming September debate in Houston, joining mega-hack Joe Biden, Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, Pete Buttigieg, Amy Klobuchar, empty suit Beto, wobbling Kamala Harris, and the glibly vague Cory Booker. They all spent this week at the Iowa State Fair pretending to like corn dogs.
YORKVILLE ICE CREAM SOCIAL COMING UP
September 2nd is the Ice Cream social in Yorkville!
All proceeds benefit the Yorkville Volunteer Fire Station.
HEADS UP, FOG EATERS
Special City Council Meeting August 13
Special Session ~ 6:00 p.m.
City Hall ~ 451 School Street
(Core agenda excerpt)
A) Draft 2019-2027 Housing Element Workshop
1) Review Draft Housing Element
2) Receive public input
3) Refer for adoption at the August 27, 2019 City Council meeting
B) Discussion of Road Improvements to Riverside Drive (Oral Report)
1) Receive report
2) Authorize City Manager to expend up to $50,000 for possible additional repairs
SUPERVISOR TED WILLIAMS WRITES: "Cara Martinson, Executive Director of California Cannabis Authority, offered a demonstration of their software platform this afternoon. Martinson agreed to take to CCA board Ted Williams’s request to support import from Metrc to gain features without adding data entry burden to struggling industry. Overall there are some cool data reporting features, but no API for the county to access raw data (only web UI). Screenshots attached (with permission). No opinion here, just fact finding…"
ED NOTE Attached are mysterious renderings of what appear to be computer screens…
WHAT'S UP, HOSPITALITY HOUSE?
Posted today by me to the Facebook page of Mendocino Coast Hospitality Center:
"I, and other community members and faith leaders, are STILL WAITING for replies to our emails to Mendocino Coast Hospitality Center asking whether your Board will allow this program to be operated. We are aware that your staff were asked to provide the county with a proposal and a budget some weeks ago. We are in contact with county supervisor and senior staff and the county is unaware of your intentions as to the EWS too.
We want to know, so that we can put together another operating structure for the EWS, if your Board continues to refuse to operate this critical program. As the weeks go by, and winter approaches, your lack of communication is inhibiting others from moving forward.
I am posting this question here on Facebook because your organization simply does not reply to emailed queries."
CATCH OF THE DAY, AUGUST 12, 2019
RICHARD GUSTIN, Penn Valley/Willits. Burglary, petty theft, DUI, suspended license/refused chem test, probation revocation.
ANTHONY BARBER, Ukiah. Under influence, controlled substance, probation revocation.
LAWRENCE BUGENIG, Ferndale/Ukiah. DUI, suspended license (for DUI).
ALYSSA CRAMER, Laytonville. Misdemeanor hit&run with property damage. False proof of insurance.
ANDREW CRAWFORD, Fort Bragg. DUI.
JOSHUA GRAVIER, Covelo. Felony hit&run resulting in death or injury,
ROBERT GULYAS, Ukiah. DUI, special allegation: over 0.15%.
MAHA IBRAHIM, Cupertino/Leggett. DUI, misdemeanor hit&run.
MARIA LOPEZ-MARTINEZ, Ukiah. Domestic battery.
KRISTIN MACLEAN, Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol, child endangerment, probation revocation.
SHAREEN MARRUFO, Covelo. Vandalism.
JAMEE OYLER, Lakeport/Calpella. Disorderly conduct-alcohol, failure to appear.
CARRIE SHATTUCK, Willits. Domestic abuse.
ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY
I’ve pretty much come to the conclusion that no matter what people may say there really has never been equal application of rules or laws in any time or place nor will there ever be it seems like. So this whole belief that somehow someway we’ll all be equal and equally accountable under the law is a little far fetched IMO. And so some people can basically freely make threats against people, dox people, destroy property, among many other things and yet absolutely nothing happens. And then on the other hand there are people being censored and removed online simply for saying things like maybe its best not to let toddlers choose their gender, or perhaps its best if we didn’t let people overstay their visas. And where to even begin with the my mass shooter isn’t as evil as your mass shooter arguments? After all that is it then all that surprising that keeping a civil society seems impossible now? I think the people who think they are so smart have made a big mistake by making it so open and clear that there isn’t any such thing, not even in feigning and pretense, as “justice for all”.
LIGHTNING OVER THE GRAND CANYON
ON LINE COMMENT OF THE WEEK
These recent mass killings are another major sign that the country is in deep deep decay on the deepest existential-cultural level.
No worries of course, I’m sure most of the media and the ‘American public’ will attribute this all to being just “some evil lunatics”, and fail to recognize the horror of the societal conditions that are incubating and hatching these lunatics.
Example: The Liberal media have already and automatically taken this and spinned it into their Biblical Good vs Evil story around gun control… A grand narrative where the professional, prosperous, technocratic elite once and for all succeed in regulating gun control with their algorithms against the heathen horde that are the ‘conservatives’! Of course, Let’s just ignore the fact the even if it’s made so that people can’t get guns anymore (practically impossible) there are other means like gasoline and semi-trucks and homemade explosives (you can actually but the chemicals and components at your local hardware store for a few hundred bucks) to do a “mass killing”.
“When inward life dries up, when feeling decreases and apathy increases, when one cannot affect or even genuinely touch another person, violence flares up as a daimonic necessity for contact, a mad drive forcing touch in the most direct way possible.” – Rollo May That description seems accurate for the majority of America. Frightening stuff, just drive around town and experience the fury people express when you take more than a second to get moving at a green light. So what are we to do when faced with the seemingly unchangeable reality of this country?
FRED GARDNER: "Did you know that Epstein, in his 20s, was hired to teach math at the classy Dalton School in Manhattan, by the principal, Donald Barr, whose son is now the AG?"
HARRY WILLIAMSON NOTES:
Recall the scene in Godfather 2 when Tom Hagen reminded Frank Pentangeles how things were done in Ancient Rome. “You bump yourself off and your family will live. Or in Casino when all the mob bosses, facing 20 years for skimming, ask ‘What do you think, Remo?’ ‘You know, why take a chance?’” Someone got The Word to Epstein that it was time to honor Omerta. When a kid, I read the Evening Star. DC being what it is, every now and then there would be a bust of a brothel. The Madam would keep all the records regarding the Johns in a “Black Book.” This book would always magically vanish, no one would say what happened. Every bust went down this way. It happened so often, in the pages of the Star, that I looked for the same story over the years and was never disappointed by finding the Names in print. Removing Epstein’s suicide watch was like the Gestapo leaving a pistol in Rommel’s car with him after he was implicated in the Valkyrie plot. He did his duty to the Deep State and is now just a happy memory to Clinton, Trump, and all the rest.
TEACH ‘EM RIGHT
Three out of five male children in the United States, when they get their Social Security card, should take a course in guns, how to handle a gun safely, how and when to shoot and then have a little refresher course every three or four years to make sure they are on the right page. If those men were armed in our society it would stop 90% of this mass killing. If there had been anybody armed in Texas or Dayton, then all those killings could have been stopped.
But oh no. The rabid, hydrophobic liberal Democrats want to take the guns away when it's not the guns, it's the people. How idiotic and stupid and low grade can people be to not understand that guns can be a deterrent to crime more than a cause of crime?
Pat Patterson and Frank Graham are stupid. We need to put them in a cage and let them fight it out to see who is the dumbest. Understand me clearly? See who’s the dumbest. And then turn them back loose in our society and let them preach some more. It's sickening to hear people spew phlegm and ugly voices in the newspaper.
You liberals? You want to start fighting? You want to start shooting? You want to start hunting conservatives? Come on! I'm a conservative. I have a lot of conservative friends who have weapons. Come on! Come hunting you sons of bitches!
God bless Donald Trump.
PS. Women are also very capable of owning a weapon and taking the courses and learning how to shoot safely and they are very good shots as my wife has proven to be. There's no reason that women can't have a nice little .38 revolver in her purse and be ready to pull it out when they need to.
PPS. On Saturday I fell off my dad-gum horse, trying to ride her bareback and dislocated my shoulder and screwed up my leg. They took me to Coast Hospital emergency in Fort Bragg. I received the best care there I have ever received in my life. Very courteous, very kind, very professional. They can take me there any time they want.
HE DID WHAT?!?
by James Kunstler
The only trouble with the conspiracy theory that hundreds of prominent and powerful people wanted Jeffrey Epstein dead is that Jeffrey Epstein might have wanted Jeffrey Epstein dead even more than they did. But that’s mere conjecture. His mind is beyond being read. Of course, the evidence of his alleged crimes didn’t die — the “meticulous” records he kept live on, along with the names of Mr. Epstein’s patrons, clients, marks, however you might classify the celebs drawn into the pulsating estrogenic bubble of his life, humming that old tune “Thank Heaven for Little Girls….”
I’m a little surprised that Attorney General William Barr didn’t have a heart attack upon learning the news. With Mr. Barr already fully engaged cleaning up the mighty mess in the Department of Justice, the FBI, and elsewhere — considerably aggravated by Robert Mueller’s bungled operations — another stink bomb leaves federal law enforcement beskunked, bothered, and bewildered. And now the FBI is being sent in to investigate? That’s rich. America’s Deep State looks like a re-make of that marvelous 2018 movie The Death of Stalin, a fabulous burlesque of people in high places acting like dishonorable idiots.
The Federal Bureau of Prisons has some ‘splainin’ to do, and they didn’t bother doing much of that on Sunday after the news came out. They failed entirely at every critical point of responsibility for keeping the DOJ’s number one criminal suspect alive: took him off suicide watch a week after he tried to off himself (if that‘s what it was); failed to keep him on observation; failed to provide a cell-mate who might have alerted the guards; and failed to deploy viable video cameras to record the doings in his cell.
That’s a pretty sensational fail. You really can’t blame the public for feeling a little paranoid about the rot at the center of government. The death of Mr. Epstein may be a turning point in the public’s willingness to swallow any more official bullshit. A great many Americans — those who don’t rely on Rachel Maddow and The New York Times to do their reality testing for them — already must be impatient with the (so far) utter lack of accountability among officials implicated in that other Keystone Kops episode, the RussiaGate fiasco.
Like the sordid case of Jeffrey Epstein, RussiaGate was an affair with the tentacles of Hillary Clinton entangled through it. It was an astounding feat of legerdemain that Mr. Mueller managed to spend two years investigating the matter, and then put out 400-plus pages of a report, without ever noticing that Mrs. Clinton’s chief campaign oppo ops contractor, Glenn Simpson, was the originator of the whole thing. It may have been a too-fine point for the moiling multitudes in Flyover-land, but surely some of the spellbound Muellerites among the coastal thinking class were taken aback when the Great Man fumbled it so abysmally in his recent performance before the House Intelligence Committee.
Jeffrey Epstein is the first character in this multi-thread melodrama to turn up dead suspiciously — if you don’t count the unresolved murder of DNC employee Seth Rich, the possible conduit of those now-legendary DNC emails to Wikileaks. Rich was found on a Washington DC sidewalk with two bullets in his back and his wallet and cell phone both still on his person at the murder scene. The allegations connecting Seth Rich to the DNC email “leak” are supposedly “debunked,” only with no evidence, really, one way or the other, just the say-so of interested parties. It is often averred that Julian Assange could answer that riddle definitively, but Mr. Assange has not played that card (and Mr. Mueller never interviewed him).
In any case, Mr. Epstein’s supposed suicide has rocked the establishment again. The shock was palpable across the news-scape on Sunday in the dearth of information the media managed to scare up in the first 24 hours about the most obvious questions. As I write, there’s still no “definitive” cause-of-death from the New York City medical examiner. What might they be looking for? Signs of a struggle, suggesting that Mr. E’s suicide was assisted, shall we say? Chemical analysis of his blood? Who knows what’s holding back the info? And even if foul play can’t be demonstrated, the fishy incident spreads ever more odium across US officialdom.
Meanwhile, any number of disgraced federal officials, whose misdeeds are richly documented in the public record, remain on the loose. Andrew McCabe, Bruce Ohr, Peter Strzok, James Comey, John Brennan, James Clapper, and many more — once the cream of the upper echelons of federal authority! The Epstein debacle puts more pressure on William Barr, John Durham, and Michael Horowitz to get on with their jobs. All these unresolved mysteries give Americans a reason to want to arm themselves against a recklessly rogue and sinister government.
(Support Kunstler’s writing by visiting his Patreon Page.)
PG&E'S DANGEROUS PLANS
The planned public safety power shutoffs that PG&E is promoting seem to me to have many dangers that aren’t being considered by the powers that be. The burden appears to be on the customers of PG&E. The full-page advertisements advise us to buy backup generators and cellphone chargers and stockpile water, among other costly measures.
Besides the obvious, which is that cutting power to people and organizations who are dependent on life-support machinery is life-threatening, what will we do if we don’t have water for over a week?
Farmers won’t be able to pump water. They have to go out and buy generators? Is PG&E going to give them away? The cash flow for most small farmers is very limited, and an extra expense like buying more equipment and fuel could send them into bankruptcy.
Can’t you just see desperate people buying generators, then filling them with diesel or gasoline during a red-flag weather event and burning down the countryside?
We need to seriously consider the unintended consequences of such a drastic measure.
Checking out at the store, the young cashier suggested to the much older lady that she should bring her own grocery bags, because plastic bags are not good for the environment.
The woman apologized to the young girl and explained, "We didn't have this 'green thing' back in my earlier days."
The young clerk responded, "That's our problem today. Your generation did not care enough to save our environment for future generations."
The older lady said that she was right our generation didn't have the "green thing" in its day. The older lady went on to explain: Back then, we returned milk bottles, soda bottles and beer bottles to the store. The store sent them back to the plant to be washed and sterilized and refilled, so it could use the same bottles over and over. So they really were recycled.
But we didn't have the "green thing" back in our day. Grocery stores bagged our groceries in brown paper bags that we reused for numerous things. Most memorable besides household garbage bags was the use of brown paper bags as book covers for our school books. This was to ensure that public property (the books provided for our use by the school) was not defaced by our scribblings. Then we were able to personalize our books on the brown paper bags.
But, too bad we didn't do the "green thing" back then. We walked up stairs because we didn't have an escalator in every store and office building. We walked to the grocery store and didn't climb into a 300-horsepower machine every time we had to go two blocks. But she was right. We didn't have the "green thing" in our day.
Back then we washed the baby's diapers because we didn't have the throw away kind. We dried clothes on a line, not in an energy-gobbling machine burning up 220 volts. Wind and solar power really did dry our clothes back in our early days.
Kids got hand-me-down clothes from their brothers or sisters, not always brand-new clothing. But that young lady is right; we didn't have the "green thing" back in our day.
Back then we had one TV, or radio, in the house -- not a TV in every room. And the TV had a small screen the size of a handkerchief (remember them?), not a screen the size of the state of Montana.
In the kitchen we blended and stirred by hand because we didn't have electric machines to do everything for us.
When we packaged a fragile item to send in the mail, we used wadded up old newspapers to cushion it, not Styrofoam or plastic bubble wrap.
Back then, we didn't fire up an engine and burn gasoline just to cut the lawn. We used a push mower that ran on human power.
We exercised by working so we didn't need to go to a health club to run on treadmills that operate on electricity. But she's right; we didn't have the "green thing" back then.
We drank from a fountain when we were thirsty instead of using a cup or a plastic bottle every time we had a drink of water. We refilled writing pens with ink instead of buying a new pen, and we replaced the razor blade in a razor instead of throwing away the whole razor just because the blade got dull. But we didn't have the "green thing" back then.
Back then, people took the streetcar or a bus and kids rode their bikes to school or walked instead of turning their moms into a 24-hour taxi service in the family's $45,000 SUV or van, which cost what a whole house did before the "green thing."
We had one electrical outlet in a room, not an entire bank of sockets to power a dozen appliances. And we didn't need a computerized gadget to receive a signal beamed from satellites 23,000 miles out in space in order to find the nearest burger joint.
But isn't it sad the current generation laments how wasteful we old folks were just because we didn't have the "green thing" back then?
Please forward this on to another selfish old person who needs a lesson in conservation from a smart ass young person. We don't like being old in the first place, so it doesn't take much to piss us off… Especially from a tattooed, multiple pierced smartass who can't make change without the cash register telling them how much.
“I WAS A REALLY FAT ADOLESCENT. I weighed well over 200 lbs. I was always depressed. I was in this ‘punk rock,’ ‘fuck the jock,’ kind of ethos. I looked down on sports culture. But we had a compulsory weight training course during my freshman year of high school. At first I hated it. Absolutely hated it. But the teacher was this terrifying, hulking man. So I followed his instructions. He gave me a sheet of exercises, and I checked off all the boxes. And afterwards I felt amazing. I don’t think PE teachers get enough credit. He changed my life. He forced me to discover the high you get from physical activity. And exercise has been my medicine ever since. Right now I’m working as a bike messenger. I ride about twenty miles a day. It’s not even financially necessary because I own my own company. But it takes the energy out of my weird thoughts. It keeps me from honing in on the negative aspects of my life. Things are good right now. I'm very lucky. And that becomes clear to me when I'm physically engaged. So I always keep moving. I'm literally cycling away from my depression, and it works."
DEPT OF STICKS AND STONES; MCN CHATLINE GETS MEAN
Re: LIBEL SUIT FILED against David Gurney
Mark Enfield firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
As Mr. Davey Guerney has WRITTEN and PUBLISHED that…
- ”I am under surveillance by the FBI and my arrest is imminent” thereby stating that I am a criminal presently indulging in some sort of criminal enterprise
- That “I'm an unstable psychopath that any day will go psycho, pick up an assault rifle and commit a mass shooting of the inhabitants of Fort Bragg”
- That “I talked with the Fort Bragg police who had a talk with him”. The police never talked to me as they had no legal or even reasonable reason to do so.
- Stalks me at places I frequent taking pictures of me “to protect his family”
- States he has “taken legal action against me” when he has no recourse for legal action against me as I have been very careful not to give him any legal reason to do so.
I have never met or talked personally to Davey Guerney in my life and my only discourse with him has been through the MCN List Serve.
Due to his ACTIONS and what he has WRITTEN and PUBLISHED I have filed a LIBEL suit against little Davey Guerney.
Davey Guerney will realize this is no longer grade school where he can pick on, slander and antagonize the tallest, smartest kid in class, then go running to the teacher if any retaliatory action is taken crying he's being bullied. I do suggest that perhaps little Davey should go crying to his attorney.
Or perhaps Davey Guerney's motivation to commit libel is some sort of fantasy to “protect” the sensitive, socially evolved PC Progressive community from a person he deems to undermine the accepted PC Party platform and will go down as a local hero for doing such.
I should have pressed a lawsuit here years ago when Beth Bosk said she was going to have her “twice your size, half your age sons knock your teeth out” as was suggested to me by members on the List Serve but foolishly decided against doing so thereby allowing the slander and threats on this board to increase.
This will be a slam dunk case as Mr. Guerney will have no LEGAL recourse as he will be unable to refute what he has WRITTEN and PUBLISHED so it will simply be a question of award and payment.
Me and someone else are filing a Federal Civil Rights and Discrimination lawsuit against the Senior Center and their Director, Jill Rexrode as they are taking and operating on Federal grants. Jill Rexrode had the police perform a citizens arrest on me (the police wouldn't as they had no LEGAL reason to do so) which the court dismissed as there was no LEGAL reason for my arrest.
I intend to make a statement that this is a country of LAW and not “how I feel”, like some sort of hormone driven woman.
From: "David Gurney" email@example.com
To "MikeSears," AKA "Felix Von Steiner," AKA "Mark Enfield" - who's real name is Michael Stanley Zuchowicz": I regret that I have been targeted by an obvious psychopath, who chooses to act out in a public forum, but you should know - at this point it would be in your own best interest to leave me alone.
DEAR PROGRESSIVES FOR WARREN: Your Class Is Showing
by Eric Draitser
Let me begin by making the apparently mandatory and sacrosanct ritual offering to the gods of progressive politics in 2019: “Sure, I like Warren. In fact, I agree with her on many issues. She’s not bad.”
There. I said it. Can we do real politics now?
We’re at that ignominious point where people from all over the left end of the political spectrum in the United States are engaged in the quadrennial kabuki festival known as a presidential campaign, positioning themselves behind whichever hollow woman or stuffed man makes the best promises without improperly picking their nose or farting into a hot mic. Oh joy, campaign season once more.
But this time it feels more urgent, as if every day brings with it another mass slaughter, another crime against humanity. In fact, every new day does bring with it another slaughter, another affront to human decency and civilized society.
The Fascist-in-Chief has activated the darkest, most reactionary, most dangerous elements of American society, bringing them out of the shadows and into the light of the mainstream. Trump is the fascist smack mainlined into the body politic; crystal meth huffed from the billowing smokestacks of coal-fired power plants and fracking methane plumes.
And Americans, especially progressives, are desperately searching for treatment.
Some look to the celebrity rehab retreats of Malibu neoliberalism, hoping that if we could just get past the withdrawals in an exquisitely furnished room with silk bedsheets and an ocean view, that somehow things will return to normal. This is the fairy tale propagated by that powerful publishing house of Harris, Biden & Buttigieg and its billionaire shareholders. But their stock price is way down. Sales are plummeting as customers are increasingly turning to smaller, more independent publishers whose content is more aligned with the national mood.
So, we look to these indie leaders for a new story, a narrative arc as inspiring as it is exciting. We want Bernie Sanders to slay the dragon and ride in on a white horse to save us. We long for Elizabeth Warren to reassure us that the story we’re living is just make-believe as she kisses our foreheads and tucks us in. We need a heroic daddy; a smart, stable mommy.
This is what it feels like being on the left in American politics today, to say nothing of us Marxists, anarchists, and other political runaways hitchhiking on the road to climate perdition. But, unfortunately, feelings aren’t going to stop fascism. Rather, we must stick to the facts. We must allow the material reality of this political moment to guide our analysis.
And it is from that perspective that we must understand that the real separation between Sanders and Warren isn’t man versus woman, heroic daddy versus nurturing mommy. It isn’t electability or likeability. No, what separates them is class: which class supports them, which class’s aspirations and needs they represent, and which candidate has a class-based movement behind them.
Class Matters, Don’t Let Liberals Tell You Otherwise
If you think you’re reading the words of some “Bernie Bro” you’re way off. I didn’t support Sanders in 2016, and in fact saw him as part of an effort to rope the left back into the Democratic Party and its neoliberal Catherine wheel. I’ve repeatedly and openly attacked Sanders for his extreme blind-spot for US imperialism which gets almost no attention in national political discussion despite the US being engaged in multiple wars and various forms of imperialist aggression all over the world. I’ve noted that Sanders is not only not a socialist, but in fact is closer to mainstream FDR-style liberalism than anything resembling socialism.
But despite all that, today in Summer 2019, there is no doubt about the class nature of Bernie’s movement. This is a working class movement, not simply a campaign, and Sanders has risen to become unquestioningly the most powerful and resounding voice of the American working class. Attend any Sanders event and you see this in action: working class immigrants, broke students and recent graduates, disabled and/or elderly pensioners, union workers, etc.
This is not simply a matter of representation. This isn’t Trump getting a few brown and black faces in front of the camera to obscure the sea of fascist neanderthals at his rallies. No, at Bernie’s events this is genuine and represents an accurate snapshot of the working class in America which is majority non-white.
Warren too has a dynamic campaign that hits all the right notes. Even her events, as any video will show, have a more diverse crowd than many other candidates from the past and today. But it isn’t working class, and it isn’t a movement. Let’s look at the numbers.
According to recent polling data from Morning Consult (one of the best, most reputable along with Pew and Quinnipiac) regarding Democratic primary voter support:
Voters earning less than $50,000 (Sanders – 22%; Warren – 12%)
Voters without college degrees (Sanders – 22%; Warren – 10%)
Voters with college degrees (Sanders – 16%; Warren – 15%)
Voters with postgraduate degrees (Sanders – 12%; Warren – 19%)
Just from these numbers one clear fact jumps out: Sanders supporters are less wealthy and less privileged on the whole. Looking specifically at income and education, two key indicators of class orientation and access to social mobility, it’s clear which candidate is supported by the poor and working class. Moreover, because access to education is directly correlated to wealth and privilege, these numbers reflect a broader political tendency among those most economically marginalized, seeing Sanders, not Warren, as the voice of the poor in America.
But you don’t actually need these numbers to reach this conclusion. Just monitor the campaign events, the venues, the attendees. While Sanders goes to Skid Row and snubs liberal kingmaker rituals like Netroots Nation, Warren passes the collection plate among the Forever Hillary liberal crowd. The faces and voices you see at Sanders events from California and Michigan, Ohio to Vermont speak volumes about the class character of the movement behind Bernie. People living paycheck to paycheck, seeing in Sanders a voice of their plight. Moreover, in Sanders they see a movement of themselves, not simply faith in a Democrat politician. Warren does not enjoy a similar movement. She is, at best, the face of a very good political campaign. But a good campaign does not a movement make.
Let’s look a little further.
The Kids Are Alright
Sanders also dominates Warren with young people, another indication of class, though perhaps less obvious than income and education. According to Morning Consult:
Support from 18-29 voters (Sanders – 33+%; Warren – 11%)
Support from 30-44 voters (Sanders – 25%; Warren – 13%)
Support from 45-54 voters (Sanders – 17%; Warren – 12%)
Support from 55-64 voters (Sanders – 12%; Warren – 13%)
Support from 65+ voters (Sanders – 8%; Warren – 13%)
The numbers paint a fairly obvious picture: Sanders has huge support among the young, those who must look forward to decades of life to be lived in this country. The older the voter gets the less they like Sanders and more they like Warren. But let’s look a little deeper at what this actually means.
Increasingly, America’s educated youth must be considered largely working class as tens of millions are already, or soon will be, saddled with so much debt that they are likely to have no wealth at all despite years of working. Sanders call to cancel all student debt, as opposed to Warren’s half-measure that would reduce debts by a maximum of $50,000, is predictably popular among these key demographics. It should be noted though that student debt is also held by many middle-aged Americans who are either still paying their loans or are paying those of their children.
Naturally, young people from underprivileged backgrounds are much more likely to have less access to education and are more likely to get caught up in the prison-industrial complex, social ills which Sanders’s free public higher education and criminal justice reform proposals speak to. Warren may “have a plan for that” but the data says that its Sanders who they’re listening to.
Perhaps we can most clearly define what we’re witnessing on the progressive end of the political spectrum as something akin to Rosa Luxemburg’s 120-year-old question: reform or revolution?
I’m the first to say that Sanders isn’t exactly my ideal communist revolutionary…hell, he’s not even really a socialist in the true sense of the word. But for this moment, after three years of Trump-addled political fog, he represents the revolutionary upsurge in American politics. Warren represents a moderate, reform-oriented tinkering with the system, Sanders is for upending it.
Warren is praised by analysts on CNN and MSNBC while Sanders is marginalized and maligned. Why?
Because while Bernie rides his white stallion to defend workers, it is Warren who is being tapped to ride in and save the ruling class from Bernie and the Sandernistas that are propelling his candidacy.
(Eric Draitser is an independent political analyst and host of CounterPunch Radio. You can find his exclusive content including articles, podcasts, audio commentaries, poetry and more at patreon.com/ericdraitser. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.)