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MCT: Saturday, January 4, 2020

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DRIER WEATHER will develop across the region today, followed by a round of light rain during Sunday. Additional rainfall will be possible Tuesday through mid week. (NWS)

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DA Press Release, Ukiah, Friday, Jan. 3. -- Second Drug Store Robber Also Avoids Prison, Gets Probation.

The second of three Sacramento area-based robbers who together stole over $30,000 in drugs during a robbery of Rite Aid in Willits -- before leading law enforcement on a chase down Highway 101 at speeds up to 120 mph -- avoided being sentenced to state prison Friday morning in the Mendocino County Superior Court.

Jakell Malik Watts, age 21, of Sacramento, was convicted by plea in May of robbery in the second degree.

It is noted that at the time of the Willits robbery, defendant Watts had already been convicted in the Sacramento County Superior Court of battering the mother of his child. The Willits crime occurred less than one year into defendant Watts' three-year grant of supervised probation in Sacramento. One term of the defendant's Sacramento probation was that he "obey all laws," a term that he violated with a violent flourish here in Mendocino County.

After the Mendocino County Adult Probation Department investigated the matter, they recommended that the defendant be sent out for a diagnostic study. In June, the Court ordered the recommended study, said study to be conducted by counselors and psychologists at the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR).

After the diagnostic study was completed, a report and recommendation was generated and sent to the local court.

CDCR concluded that defendant Watts should receive a sentence to state prison. With that recommendation in hand, the Court then referred the matter back to the Adult Probation Department for an updated local report and new sentencing recommendation.

After reviewing all available information, including the CDCR report, the Mendocino County Adult Probation Department found that defendant Watts was not a fit candidate for probation and also recommended that he be sentenced to state prison.

When that new local report was considered by the Court last week, he referred the matter back to the Probation Department (again) with instructions that the Probation Department -- despite its prison recommendation -- prepare proposed terms of probation.

Today, Asst. DA Dale Trigg argued that Watts -- the second of three robbers to be sentenced -- had actively participated in a crime of a violent nature. Because of the extreme threat of harm to the local communities caused by this robber and his cohorts, defendant Watts had earned his way to state prison, argued ADA Trigg.

ADA Trigg emphasized -- as he did in December --that the plan put in to action by this defendant and the other two out-of-the-area robbers was to hit a pharmacy in a rural area and take by force the most valuable, highly addictive opiates available in their targeted pharmacy, drugs that then could be sold in the black market on the streets of Sacramento.

At the conclusion of the arguments, Mendocino County Superior Court Judge Keith Faulder disagreed with the state prison recommendations of all involved and, instead, announced that he would be charting a different course.

Citing the defendant's age and "relative lack of a prior criminal record," Judge Faulder granted the defendant's application for probation.

In explaining himself, Judge Faulder said he was basing his decision on a belief that defendant Watts had not yet developed a commitment to a life of crime, but he would likely develop that commitment if sent to state prison.

When asked to comment, DA Eyster emphasized -- as he did in December -- that Judge Faulder's decision to grant probation to yet another pharmacy robber, one who targeted victims far from Sacramento, continues to send a completely wrong message to criminal elements locally and those looking in from other areas.

"Decisions like this send a message that crooks can commit violent crimes in Mendocino County and avoid prison. Law-abiding citizens and local law enforcement agencies all agree that this sort of thing doesn't help make Mendocino County a safer place," lamented Eyster.

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by J.W. Grimes

Oct 29, 2019 — This past Saturday power in my cottage in Marin County suddenly clicked off—-yes, there was actually a half second click—-at 8:38 PM.

Of this we were warned but had no idea when the Blackness would arrive. Now the entire county---400,000 people—is without electricity and most, including me, with no cell phone or WiFi connectivity. No flashlight or portable radio.

Now it’s Tuesday. Total Blackness 12 hours a day, three nights, headed for four. Starless nights. No sound of traffic on the street below.

Not a glimmer of light. The entire county in pre-historic Blackness, a kind of 21st Century abyss. Funny how what is unimaginable takes hold after the wonder and denial sinks in.

Monday morning I walked the mile to our small town. What I saw resembled a sci-fi movie where some unseen toxic gas had infiltrated the community. People seemingly unconscious, walking carefully one step at a time, dazed, bewildered, and grim-faced. No commercial activity. The library closed, no stores open, no gas stations operating, not a scintilla of commercial life. Just empty buildings and empty-looking citizens.

When the inevitable darkness arrives it's a strange and eerie feeling engulfed in total Blackness in a bedroom without a sound of any kind---vehicles had abandoned the nearby street.

Items in my refrig spoiled in 36 hours. Ice cubes in the freezer merged together in a futile attempt not to melt. Odd in a way since the people meandering in town were mostly in twos, threes and fours, clingy together like the ice cubes.

Confused, frightened people need each other. I was alone but that’s me these days. I’m an observer of the lives and moments of others.

Four consecutive nights sleeping in jeans and sweatshirt---temp 45 degrees---eating tuna from a can, peanuts and pretzels. This morning a bowl of Cheerios in water--not nearly as tasty as in milk. My last banana consumed yesterday.

On the second day I found the portable radio hidden in a drawer for many years. What a joy! The sound of voice Humanity. All-news Radio. “Give me twenty-four minutes and I’ll give you the world.” News from another world, and mine a Netherland, coal black. Not a shadow, the stars gone, eaten by the emerging smoke from the fires.

However there was--and still is as I face another night of Blackness--something refreshingly satisfying about it all. Should I say something human, helplessness like it used to be. I thought what it must have been like for all our homo sapiens before Fire (the villain here in California now) was discovered and could be maintained. I felt a kinship for and with fellow Man, past, present and future. A hundred thousand plus years on earth, a hard life endured with pestilence, pain and poverty. Yet our species survived.

California, the wealthiest state, burning. The state that has everything, including now too many people and too much poverty--in flames—-Six hundred and six fires ongoing as of last night our governor reported.

The prescient poet and singer, Don Henley wrote and sang in the "Hotel California" the song titled "The Last Frontier.” “Call Someplace Paradise, Kiss It Goodbye.” And that seems the state of California today, forty years after the album came out. It might be more than only California. It may be the future of life on our planet.

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RIP 2019

In remembrance of The Year 2019, the latest in a long line of crude chalk marks on the wall of humanity’s self-inflicted prison, who will be laid to rest this evening.

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MSP has an email to the Mendocino Sheriff Office requesting any information regarding a body found on the Caspar Headlands New Year’s day.

In the meantime, MSP heard from a viewer Friday morning who wrote, “I discovered the body that was found on Caspar Headlands on New Year's day. You were the only one who reported - but nothing since? Unsettling for all of us who live here. The person was well dressed, not a transient, and was in an odd location. Any updates would be appreciated. It did not appear responders were interested in anything but removing the body. It seemed ‘suspicious’ to me. Thanks for being the only one reporting! Disturbing that there was no other mention of incident.”

MSP Post On The Incident January 1st

Possible '11-44' (Deceased) At Caspar Headlands State Beach

11-44 Confirmed @ 6:07 PM

The scanner said (5:35 pm) an MCDH (Coast Hospital) ground ambulance was dispatched to Caspar Headlands State Beach for a "possible 11-44 (deceased)" reported by Mendocino State Parks. Ambulance #9141 was responding - they were asked to "stage" in the parking lot. Dispatch added, "It's at the beach."

At 6:07 pm, the ambulance informed dispatch this was a "confirmed 11-44" and asked Fort Bragg Fire Department to respond with a "stokes basket" (a stretcher or basket designed to be used where there are obstacles to movement or other hazards) as the victim was a good way out on the headlands.

Dispatch said it was about a half-mile out on a trail, so manpower, as well as a stokes basket, will be needed from Fort Bragg Fire. Responders will see a State Parks unit behind the Community Center.

A request for an ATV (all-terrain vehicle) was also made @ 8:20 pm.


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SUNSET AT NAVARRO BEACH with the Moon and a Seal (photos by Dick Whetstone, click to enlarge)

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by Katy M. Tahja

Historians undertake to date a building's construction and sometimes they turn to the common brick used in it. Believe it or not we’ve had history professors visit the county who make tracing the origin of bricks their specialty. In 1984 Professor Margaret Henry of San Francisco State had fun dating bricks discovered around the Kelley House Museum in Mendocino.

When the museum was being remodeled and rebuilt many bricks in the 1970s went back into the foundation, but some were still visible in walkways, as pads at the foot of outside steps and on the hearth of the fireplace inside the house in the dining room. But, if you’ve ever noticed, some bricks are imprinted with the name of the manufacturer. So figuring out how the bricks that built the Kelley House got to Mendocino is an adventure in itself.

One way they got here was as ballast in sailing ships and so there were bricks from Scotland and England that were unloaded from ships and used in coastal construction. Then there were the bricks that arrived from brickyards around the state and the ones locals made here.

In 1981 local Mendocino resident Barry Cusick let a researcher investigate an old brick pile on his property. There were a dozen different imprints on the bricks including ones from Stockton, Ione and Livermore. Mendocino City had brick makers, the most famous being John Staudacher. His brickyard was on Clay Hill, the area up Little Lake Road on the north side at the intersection with Clark Road. Staudacher built fireplaces with his brick, built the one million brick square chimney for the mill down on Big River and in 1905 was firing 50,000 bricks at a time in his kilns. The square chimney fell in the 1906 Earthquake and was replaced with steel but I’ll bet those million bricks were recycled into all sorts of things.

Living in Little River in the 1990’s Robert Piwarzyk documented forty imprints between the letters A to K of bricks found in Mendocino City. (Wish I knew where the L to Z list was.)

Some imprints could be traced. C.P.B. Co was Corona Pressed Brick Company in southern California, and Ione was in Amador County, but some bricks had Atlas, or Gasco, and didn’t have enough clues to identify the source.

The Mendocino Presbyterian Church has been documented with bricks originating in England, Redding, Stockton, Richmond and Carnegie (a ghost town). In brickmaking lime was mixed with clay and that had to be imported to the coast. Good bricks were molded under pressure to squeeze out water and air, then fired at high temperature and then cooked slowly in kilns. Firebrick was dense and did not absorb moisture and crumble.

There were brickyards in Boonville, Philo, Glen Blair, Navarro, Fort Bragg, Ukiah, Talmage and Potter Valley. The first documented in the county was Remstead and Brown’s, east of Ukiah, where they made more than 200,000 bricks in 1865. The Elliot kiln in 1866 offered the “finest quality” bricks for seven dollars per thousand bricks. In 1882 Betz and Snuffin had a brickyard on Oak Street near Orr Creek and had 300,000 pressed bricks. They were used to build the County Courthouse. In 1890 Bartlett brothers put up a brickyard near the proposed State Asylum Hospital in Talmadge and turned out one million of the eight million bricks needed during construction.

Industrial brick structures all up and down the coast were torn down in later years, like chimneys, steam boilers, incinerators, and dry kilns from mills in Glen Blair, Big River, Navarro and Greenwood/Elk and became walls, sidewalks, stairs, patios, fountains, well linings and fireplaces in newer structures.

The next time you are near an old brick-building look and see if there are names impressed on the brick and write them down. The next time I walk past the Palace Hotel in Ukiah I’m going to do this. With the help of the internet it may be possible to find out where that brick was made.

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BRIGITTE HELM dancing in a scene from Fritz Lang's 'Metropolis', 1927 …

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Mendocino National Forest plans to use herbicides and hand tools to remove and control invasive broom plants now sprouting in the footprint of the Ranch fire, which in 2018 scorched about 288,000 acres in the sprawling forest that spans Lake, Glenn and Colusa counties.

ON LINE COMMENT re: Herbicides on National Forest:

I manage acreage burned by the 2015 Valley fire. The broom is a huge problem. It is invasive and chokes out everything including tree seedlings. Grazers won't eradicate it. In my experience, hand removal (cutting or pulling depending on season) and judicious use of an herbicide are the cheapest, easiest ways to eradicate it. Broom is really bad news and crazy flammable -- we hoard cut broom and stuff it in burn piles to get the fire going.

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“It’s so I can remember what to write on my checks.”

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Re the recent item from Katrina Forrester:

The creation of Uber, Lyft and Deliver has enabled many unemployed people to find work and income. Of course there is "little room in their jobs for creativity, change or innovation." Is that different from working in fast foods, laying bricks, or driving a taxi? How much room for creativity is there in a VP of a bank or a director of Human resources? More but damn little.

No one is required to take these jobs and with unemployment at its lowest in five decades it seems to me that a gig in the "gig economy" is more gratifying than sitting home all day waiting for Uncle Sam's unemployment check.

And like many industires that begin with capital taking all the value, we'll see workers in these companies increasingly gain better benefits.

The fact that you ignore the benefits that millions of people worldwide are gaining from the convenience, comfort and cost of getting to and from seems to weaken your case. One-sided opinions--those purposely ignoring counter arguments--lose their weight of reason.

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A MODEL OPERATING the 'Electronic Housewife' at the Radio Show in Earl's Court, 27th August 1955:

The 'Electronic Housewife' is expected to be in every home by 1990 and will revolutionize housework.

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Community Development Block Grant – Mitigation (CDBG-MIT) Program

Overview for Mendocino County and Lake County Residents

When: January 8, 2020, 6-8pm

Where: County of Mendocino Administration Center

501 Low Gap Road, Conference Rm C

Ukiah, CA 95482

Description: The California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) is the grantee of CDBG-MIT funds allocated by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) as a result of the October and December 2017 wildfire, mudflow and debris flow disasters. HCD is working with local governments and organizations to fund high-impact programs and activities aimed at reducing future losses from natural disasters. At this meeting, HCD will discuss proposed mitigation programs, eligibility for the programs, and the timeline for funding.

Who Should Attend: Impacted households, the general public, business and nonprofit leaders.

Request translation services, special assistance, or reasonable accommodation by contacting 3 business days prior to the meeting date.

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CATCH OF THE DAY, January 3, 2020

Baker, Kappel-Mueller, LeLoup

NATALIE BAKER, Latrode/Willits. Paraphernalia, resisting.

CLAUDIA KAPPEL-MUELLER, San Francisco/Fort Bragg. Controlled substance, paraphernalia, failure to appear, probation revocation.

GINA LELOUP, Nice/Ukiah. Probation revocation.

Miller, Montieth, Munguia

SHANE MILLER JR., Ukiah. Probation revocation.

JACKIE MONTIETH, Fort Bragg. Paraphernalia, probation revocation.

UZIEL MUNGUIA, Eureka/Willits. DUI, no license, suspended license (for DUI), probation revocation.

Nelson, Pimentel, Rivas

CESILIA NELSON, Ukiah. Controlled substance, paraphernalia, ammo possession by prohibited person, probation revocation.

WILLIAM PIMENTEL, Nice/Ukiah. Probation revocation.

ARTURO RIVAS, Covelo. Controlled substance, under influence, paraphernalia, evasion.

Ruiz, Sanchez, Sanudo-Zavala

ROLANDO RUIZ, Ukiah. Controlled substance, resisting, probation revocation.

SAMUEL SANCHEZ, Ukiah. Under influence, parole violation. (Frequent flyer.)

JORGE SANUDO-ZAVALA, Ukiah. Controlled substance for sale while armed with loaded firearm, more than an ounce of pot, resisting.

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by Jonah Raskin

In The Last Black Man in San Francisco—the 2019 surreal documentary with bravado performances and indelible faces—a young white woman says something about hating the city by the Bay. One of the black characters adds that you can’t hate it without first loving it. These days, San Francisco is a city you can love and hate in about equal measures: love it for its trade union and working class history; and hate it for its contemporary collaboration with corporations and the super rich, who don’t give a rat’s ass about its heritage of resistance.

Forty years ago, if someone had made a movie with the title “The Last Black Man in San Francisco,” he or she might have been accused of wanting to rid all of the city’s 49th square miles (give or take a mile or two) of its African-American population, which kept the shipyards afloat for decades, and contributed to its rich jazz scene. Today, the idea of the “last black man in San Francisco” reflects the reality that the African-American population is shrinking fast, and that one day, not that far in the future, it might actually reach zero, or close to it.

The power of the film derives not only from its black aesthetic, but also from the sobering fact that African-Americans have been forced out of neighborhoods, like the Fillmore, they once shaped and defined. In The Last Black Man in San Francisco—which explores the themes of dispossession and repossession, flight and fight—black is beautiful, especially the black faces of the young men who fill the screen. The faces of black women and older black men, including that of veteran actor, Danny Glover, are also beautiful. The camera focuses on them lovingly, and as though mesmerized.

There’s hardly any violence or sex, and certainly none of the brutality that’s featured on the screen in the 1993 movie Menace II Society that reinforces stereotypes about young black men as killers and gangsters. If The Last Black Man in San Francisco has an antecedent it’s the 1964 film Nothing But a Man, staring Ivan Dixon and Abbey Lincoln, which tells a love story set against the background of southern racism. Still, The Last Black Man offers no romance between a man and a woman, and nothing as graphic as the blatent racism of the segregated South. If there’s love in the movie, it’s love for the city and its old Victorians, and the love among boyz n the hood.

Rarely has an American movie embodied so organically the concept of “Négritude,” as defined by Aimé Césaire, the world famous twentieth-century anti-colonialist, sometimes Communist, African poet. “Négritude,” Césaire explained, “created a revolution: in the darkness of the great silence.” It gave expression, he added, “to a voice of revolt, a voice of resentment no doubt, but also of fidelity, a voice of freedom, and first and foremost, a voice for the retrieved identity.”

Jonathan Majors and Jimmie Fails—who also created the story, along with the director Joe Talbot—play two young African American men who find their world closing-in around them. They aim to hold on to a small piece of it, and retrieve that which has been lost. In the process they make art, collide with the white powers-that-be, including a real estate agent, and rub shoulders with young African-American men who belong to the same generation and who stand on street corners and do little more than call one another “nigger.”

Director Joe Talbot is a fifth-generation San Franciscan and a white man, though he wears his whiteness lightly if at all. The white characters, including a goofy tourist guide played by punk rocker, Jello Biafra, aren’t as fully developed as the black characters. They tend to be one-dimensional, but they provide clear boundaries for Fails and his buddy, Allen, to cross or not to cross, The white characters, including a nudist who flaunts his nudity, seem to be able to do anything they want to do without hitting a wall. The black characters, especially Fails and Allen, only have as much mobility as their skateboards and their own imaginations allow them.

Those boards become symbols of both their bondage and their freedom; in one crucial scene Fails smashes his board as though breaking the chains that bind him. One character in the film invites his listeners to “break the boxes” and “see beyond the stars we are born into.”

Aimé Césaire would understand that poetic statement and applaud a film that bears watching more than once, and that reveals more sides to the characters on each viewing. The credits for the film run to several hundred people. It’s as though Joe Talbot and Jimmie Fails had to create a mini city of their own to make The Last Black Man in San Francisco and to expand the cosmos itself.

(Jonah Raskin is the author of For The Hell of It: The Life and Times of Abbie Hoffman and American Scream: Allen Ginsberg’s ‘Howl’ and the Making of the Beat Generation.)

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THE THREE WISE MEN, “The Magi,” were from western Iran (Persia). The way the story was told was that these three from “The East” brought gifts of gold and frankincense and myrrh to the Christ baby. It must have been a beautiful moment.

Here’s how the followers of the baby Jesus returned the favor, 1,953 years later. First, they staged a coup to overthrow the democratically-elected prime minister of Iran. Then they replaced him with a brutal dictator, the Shah of Iran. Eventually the people rose up and overthrew the Shah. The American believers in Christ then gave Saddam Hussein, who hated the Iranians, weapons of mass destruction (including chemical weapons) in the 1980s so Iraq could invade Iran and kill over a million Iranians. Then the American Christians decided to invade their former ally Iraq and take it over, threatening Iran once again. A few years later a new American president, backed by his Evangelical base, tore up the nuclear treaty with Iran and placed sanctions on Iran to make life miserable for its people. And when that wasn’t enough, the professed Christian in the White House ordered the assassination of one of the country’s leaders, a fighter of the evildoers who called themselves Christians. By that time, in the Year of our Lord 2020, most people had forgotten the story of the Iranian men on their camels who rode to honor the Christ who had come to earth to bring peace. The holy day marking this event of the Three Wise Men from Iran meeting the Baby Jesus is this Monday. No need to celebrate it now. In fact, it’s probably best if you see three Iranian men coming your way in the next month, it might be wise to duck. And if you’re an Iranian and you see three Christians from the USA coming down your street, you have my blessing to stop them.

And give them a copy of the full chapter from the Koran that honors and tells the story of “Mary, the Mother of Jesus,” a woman revered by all Muslims. They just can’t help themselves from liking us. Sad that we are unable to reciprocate with anything other than murder.

—Michael Moore

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Mt Hood

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by James Kunstler

In that mercifully quiet week between Christmas and New Years, I re-watched Ken Burns’ documentary of the first Civil War, in contemplation of a possible second. What an almighty bloodbath that was. Thousands butchered in minutes in one battle after another, heads and limbs flying, men turned inside-out, and horses, too. The blue and the gray were hostage to their battlefield tactics and didn’t seem to learn from the insane extravagance of souls wasted in massed assaults against massed artillery again and again and again. The population of the whole nation (Confederacy included) was 31 million in 1860 and the war killed two percent of that, almost entirely young men.

Another impression left by that documentary was the startling beauty of the countryside in that day, and of the little towns that dotted the landscape where all the carnage and horror played out. Not a strip-mall in the whole gorgeous panorama. The rolling fields neatly fenced in the stillness of a summer’s day. A peaceful tranquility we today cannot even imagine. Everything human-scaled and so many buildings graced with beauty deliberately made: pediments, steeples, cupolas, columns, and swags. Walt Disney could not have imagined a more tender and appealing place. The lyrical names of those towns are linked to rivers of blood: Shiloh, Spotsylvania, Missionary Ridge, Cold Harbor….

And the last impression accumulated over each installment was that this we did it to ourselves, and couldn’t seem to stop, just as today various parties to current events can’t seem to stop their provocations to a new episode of national domestic violence. This time it is the very government at war with itself, and so far the war is merely legalistic, the battles of lawyers — of which, one senses, we have far too many for our own good. The Department of Justice in particular is at war with itself, one faction in it refusing to cooperate with the other, hiding documents, trafficking in political muck, kluging up the works with deceptions, and still at it in the yet-unresolved case of General Flynn, which should have been thrown out of court months ago based on obvious prosecutorial malice.

Likewise, The New York Times, NBC News, and many other companies can’t seem to give up on their mendacious retailing of obvious falsehoods, in league with rogue government agencies. Their readers and followers learned nothing from the stunning failure of Robert Mueller’s long investigation to find any crimes, and most don’t even understand that the purpose of it was simply to antagonize the president while trying desperately to come up with ammunition against him for the next election — using all the resources of federal machinery. In other words, it was just a government-sponsored elaboration of the “opposition research” conjured up by Hillary Clinton’s Fusion GPS hirelings in 2016.

The bigger picture of all this chicanery is right out there to see for anyone really paying attention. Mr. Obama and Hillary hijacked the most pernicious instruments of government — the CIA and FBI — to win the election, and then to overthrow the actual winner. Slowly slowly, they were found out, despite all the smoke they were blowing and hiding in. Barr & Durham have hardly said a thing about their efforts to unwind the massive hairball of subterfuge and ass-covering that is their purview. Yet, the particulars of what went on, and who did what, are now pinned to the wall. We know exactly what Christopher Steele was and how that all worked. We know how John Brennan played it and how James Clapper and Jim Comey went along with it, and took it further and deeper, and where Rod Rosenstein and Andrew McCabe stepped in, and exactly how Mr. Mueller got roped in to front his operation — despite his mental incapacity. And we also know that Barack Obama approved of all that activity through 2016 into January 20, 2017.

When it comes into the courts some months from now, Brennan, Comey, and the rest will surely cop a plea that they were following Mr. Obama’s presidential instructions. The impeachment hysteria is an exact index of the rising fear of that coming finger-pointing. Mr. Obama has been drawn into the heart of this matter. His reputation will be destroyed — and with it, the Progressive agenda that he represented for two terms, and which still holds his party hostage as much as the battlefield tactics of 1864 held the armies of North and South hostage.

We have heard very little from Mr. Obama in recent months, and only a few squawks out of Hillary. The Lawfare shock troops are working feverishly in the background to invent new congressional chicanes to trap Mr. Trump, but their legal cleverness can’t overcome the weakness of their cause, just as the soldiering of Robert E. Lee and his generals could not overcome the tragic wrongfulness of fighting for slavery. A century and half from now, people in this land (whatever it is called by then) will say that coup against Mr. Trump was a valiant endeavor, just as people today will say that the Civil War of 1861 – 1865 was about some metaphysical truths above and beyond slavery.

Hillary is still on the loose and she still has many partisans in the ranks of government, and they are scheming desperately now to save their skins. I don’t believe that Mr. Obama actually commands any troops in this fight. He remains the mere symbol that he was from the very start, when the Democratic Party hoisted him out of obscurity as the grand prize for post-war liberalism. After the election, I think Mr. Trump was prepared to drop his wish to “lock her up.” But he has had three years to discover just how much malice was arrayed against him, and now he going to run her to ground.

(Support Kunstler’s writing by visiting his Patreon Page.)

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THE UNHERALDED STORY of San Francisco’s trailblazing “Brownie Lady” plays out across more than 20 tumultuous years of the city’s often tragic history.

Volz’s mother, Meridy, and father, Doug, may have been complicated people, attempting to build a family during chaotic times in the Bay Area, but they were especially well suited to create and dispense delicious baked goodies heavily laced with palliative marijuana. By simple virtue of her birth, the author became an “accomplice” in Sticky Fingers Brownies, the family business that at one time was cranking out more than 10,000 brownies per month. The experience of accompanying Meridy on perilous brownie runs throughout the city in the 1970s and ’80s, when growing a single marijuana plant was a felony offense in California, made Volz an eyewitness to an unprecedented revolution in American culture that continues to reverberate today. The author combines a journalist’s eye for detail with a storyteller’s sense of humanity to chronicle all the incredible highs and lows, both public and private. The dissolution of her parents’ relationship dovetails with San Francisco’s more public trauma, including the Jonestown Massacre, the assassination of Harvey Milk, and the outbreak of AIDS. “Faced with bureaucratic rigidity, people with AIDS broke the law to self-medicate with cannabis,” writes Volz. “Dealers became healers." Sticky Fingers may have started off as a goofy piece of psychedelia wrapped up in tight, little squares, but the business soon became indispensable in providing necessary relief for stricken young men who were inexplicably wasting away from a little-understood disease while still only in their 20s and 30s. The author’s firsthand depiction of AIDS and its devastating initial impact on San Francisco’s residents rings with epic tragedy. Thankfully, there are plenty of triumphs in the Sticky Fingers saga as well, and Volz herself embodies just one of them.

A sometimes-sad yet stirring love letter to San Francisco filled with profundity and pride.

(Kirkus Review)

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There are several Democratic presidential candidates who support Medicare for All who also happen to be viable general election candidates (unlike Bernie Sanders, who has no realistic chance of being elected president). If you actually want to see Medicare for All implemented, vote for Elizabeth Warren. Senator Warren can win, whereas Bernie Sanders is a sure loser.

Until these myopic, naive Bernie Bros. can provide a satisfactory explanation as to how Sanders would be able to successfully handle the following issues which would certainly be highlighted by the GOP in a general election, their irrational insistence that Democrats vote for non-Democrat Bernie Sanders should fall on deaf ears.

  1. Bernie Sanders is on the record repeatedly having unreservedly and uncritically lauded lavish public praise on a number of anti-American communist dictators, like Daniel Ortega and Fidel Castro for instance. (Have you ever watched Bernie’s infamous videotaped interviews on these subjects from August 8, 1985 and from June 13, 1988? You should.) In fact, Bernie Sanders is the only prominent American politician to express more love and respect for totalitarian communist tyrants than Donald Trump does!
  2. Then of course there was Bernie Sanders’ still inadequately explained 1988 marital honeymoon in the Soviet Union, where upon returning to Vermont the Marxist socialist Sanders predictably and pathetically voiced his unabashed praise for the Soviet system. One would think that a reasonably intelligent man who is at least nominally Jewish would know better than to openly and unapologetically congratulate an anti-Semitic totalitarian regime for making their trains run on time! But no, Bernie is not nearly as intelligent as advertised. And furthermore, could you ever possibly imagine saying to your fiancE, “We’ll be spending our honeymoon in North Korea with the Dear Leader.” I didn’t think so.
  3. Less well known is the fact that in 1963 Bernie Sanders lived and worked for several months on a Stalinist commune near Haifa in Northern Israel that explicitly saw the Soviet Union as its political role model. Sanders’ communal Israeli kibbutz actually flew the red Soviet flag over its compound, the very same red Soviet flag prominently displayed in Bernie Sanders’ office when he was mayor of Burlington, Vermont during the 1980s.
  4. And then there’s that bizarre, incredibly disturbing “rape fantasy” article that Sanders wrote which was published in 1972 when Sanders was a 30-year-old far-Left Marxist gubernatorial candidate in Vermont. Where does one even begin in attempting to explain just how awfully atrocious Bernie Sanders views were on the subject of rape? Well, how about this quote from Sanders’ asinine article: “A man goes home and masturbates his typical fantasy. A woman on her knees, a woman tied up, a woman abused. A woman enjoys intercourse with her man - as she fantasizes being raped by three men simultaneously.”

Why would you vote for someone like that to be President of the United States? We already have someone like that as President! We certainly do not need to replace one foolish, misogynistic, geriatric Russophile with another. There are more qualified, much less crazy Democratic candidates to choose from.

Get a clue, Bernie Bros. Senator Sanders is a sure loser in a general election, which is why (in addition to the 78-year-old’s recent heart attack) Bernie Sanders should drop out of the presidential race immediately.

Losing in 2020 is not an option. Democrats must nominate a candidate who can actually win.


Jake Pickering


ED REPLY: Everything you've cited here is either untrue or debatable. It's one thing to prefer Warren over Sanders, but it's another to slime Sanders with ancient allegations long since disproved or discredited. If I weren't old and tired of sorting out bullshit I'd respond at length, but fair minded people can see for themselves what you're doing here. "Marxian socialist," for instance isn't quite an oxymoron it's just moronic, as is "Stalinist commune."

I'll bet you thought Hillary was electable, right? We'll see who's electable in this one, but I'm expecting Democrat super-delegates and moneybags will shaft Liz and Bernie, giving us Hillary redux in Mayor Pete and/or the ghastly Klobuchar

* * *

* * *


"Major General Soleimani, of course, humiliated the whole of the Deep State over and over again – and could eat all of them for breakfast, lunch and dinner as a military strategist. It was Soleimani who defeated ISIS/Daesh in Iraq – not the Americans bombing Raqqa to rubble. Soleimani is a superhero of almost mythical status for legions of young Hezbollah supporters, Houthis in Yemen, all strands of resistance fighters in both Iraq and Syria, Islamic Jihad in Palestine, and all across Global South latitudes in Africa, Asia and Latin America. There’s absolutely no way the US will be able to maintain troops in Iraq, unless the nation is re-occupied en masse via a bloodbath. And forget about “security”: no imperial official or imperial military force is now safe anywhere, from the Levant to Mesopotamia and the Persian Gulf. The only redeeming quality out of this major strategic blunder cum declaration of war may be the final nail in the coffin of the Southwest Asia chapter of the US Empire of Bases."

* * *


"No Free Lunch" oil, sculpture, fabric, paper, found objects on canvas, 48" x 48" on display at Live Worms Gallery Jan 2-26, 2020

1345 Grant Ave, San Francisco, CA 94133

First Friday Opening Reception, Jan 3, 6-9. Please join us!

* * *


A group of Returned Peace Corps Volunteers are interested in organizing an informal gathering of volunteers in the Lake and Mendocino area.

If you are or know of a Returned PCV and would be interested in connecting with other volunteers in the area, please share your contact information with Mary Heare Amodio at or leave a message on her office phone — 707-263-5759.

The President of the National Peace Corp Association may be in the area in early February. Contact Ms. Amodio if you would like information about that event.

For more than five decades, Peace Corps Volunteers in 141 countries have demonstrated ingenuity, creativity, and grit to solve critical challenges alongside community leaders.

Over 230,000 volunteers have served to fulfill the Peace Corps Mission to promote world peace and friendship by fulfilling three goals:

  1. To help the people of interested countries in meeting their need for trained men and women.
  2. To help promote a better understanding of Americans on the part of the peoples served.
  3. To help promote a better understanding of other peoples on the part of Americans.


Mary Heare Amodio

PO Box 1606

Lakeport, CA 95453


* * *


And the Bay Area’s ten largest cities combined sport three empty homes for every two persons without one

* * *


(A Dec. 23 blog post written by UCLA law professor Stephen Bainbridge)

As regular readers know, I’m up for a merit raise at UCLAW this year and am now required to submit a statement of how I contribute to the University’s goals in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. I have just emailed the statement to the administration. It reads as follows:

“Although I am aware and respectful of the many dimensions within which a university properly seeks a diverse faculty and student body, I have long been particularly concerned with the lack of intellectual diversity at the law school. A survey of U.S. law professors in general found that white Democratic professors (both male and female), Jewish professors, and nonreligious professors ‘account for most (or all) of the overrepresentation among racial, gender, religious, and ideological groups in law teaching.’ The groups that ‘account for most of the underrepresentation among racial, gender, religious, and ideological groups in law teaching’ are Republicans (both male and female), Protestants, and Catholics. This disparity persists even though ‘religious and political diversity are probably more important for viewpoint diversity than gender diversity and roughly as important as racial diversity.’

“At UCLA, we know that the campus as a whole leans substantially to the left. ‘A study of various university faculties showed that at Cornell the ratio of liberal to conservative faculty members was 166 to 6, at Stanford it was 151 to 17, at UCLA it was 141 to 9, and at the University of Colorado it was 116 to 5.’ Conservative students at UCLA have been ‘harassed, stalked, and threatened.’ I recently searched the donor database for political contributions made by persons who claimed UCLA School of Law as their employer. Thirty-eight of those persons contributed solely to Democratic candidates, the Democratic Party and various affiliates, and liberal PACs. One person contributed to both Republicans and Democrats. Three persons contributed exclusively to Republican candidates, the Republican Party, and various … affiliates. Of the faculty members who contributed exclusively to Republican candidates, the most recently hired of the two was hired in 1997. As a monetary matter, 92.67% of all contributions went to Democrats and affiliated groups.

“Because conservative students and students of faith often feel alienated and estranged in an environment that is so relentlessly liberal and secular, I have made particular efforts to reach out to and support such students. I have served as a mentor for leaders of The Federalist Society and Christian Law Students Association. I have given talks to both organizations. I taught a Perspectives on Law and Lawyering seminar devoted to Catholic Social Thought and the Law, which gave students—whether Catholic or not—an opportunity to consider how their faith (or lack thereof) related to the law and an opportunity to learn about a coherent body of Christian scholarship that might inform their lives as lawyers. I have also tried to lead by example, such as by serving as a volunteer with the Good Shepherd Catholic Church’s St. Vincent de Paul chapter, which raises funds for distribution to poor persons who are in danger of losing their home due to inability to make rent or mortgage payments.”

I’ll let you know if I get the raise.

* * *



  1. George Hollister January 4, 2020

    Kunstler: “The impeachment hysteria is an exact index of the rising fear of that coming finger-pointing. Mr. Obama has been drawn into the heart of this matter. His reputation will be destroyed —”

    Obama never seemed to be engaged, rode high above what was going on, and read speeches, others wrote, from a teleprompter. He was good at delivering speeches, too. A lot better than Trump ever will be. Obama was the most narcissistic president in history, before Trump, but he thought his presence was all that was needed. Directing, or even knowing the national security apparatus was actively working to defeat Trump was outside his self defined job description. (Needless to say, Trump has a very different management style.)

    • Harvey Reading January 4, 2020

      Obama was just a logical connecting step between Pappy’s boy and Trump. Nothing more, nothing less. He was phony to the core, and a bald-faced liar, as anyone not asleep at the switch could have observed listening to his listless speech at the democrat convention in 2004.

    • Jurgen Stoll January 4, 2020

      Kunstler: “Likewise, The New York Times, NBC News, and many other companies can’t seem to give up on their mendacious retailing of obvious falsehoods, in league with rogue government agencies.” Well thank god we have you and Faux News and Hannity, Ingram and Tucker to give us the real news. Fuck you Kunstler and the hairball you rode in on!

      • James Marmon January 4, 2020

        ‘The left is the enemy of history, the enemy of facts, the enemy of the truth.’

        -Tom Fitton

        • Jurgen Stoll January 4, 2020

          How’s that Union pension and medical benefits working out for you in your golden years Marmon?

          -Jurgen Stoll

        • Harvey Reading January 4, 2020

          Spoken (or written?) like a true, lying conservative, James. Your quotes do your arguments more damage than they give them support.

  2. James Marmon January 4, 2020


    Boy! the left never quits, now they’re criticizing Bob Marbut’s “Smart Love” model as being cruel. I think it’s cruel to leave these folks on the street to die or cause public health concerns for everyone else.

    Trump’s looming cruel war on homeless people is America’s next big human-rights crisis

    “Experts say the Trump White House — working with his secretary of housing and urban development, Ben Carson — is on the brink of a new policy that may include an executive order from President Trump but is almost certain to rely on a new “tough love” approach for those on the margin’s of American society, if such as thing can be all “tough” with no “love.” The likeliest schemes could turn food from a daily necessity into a bargaining chip, to lure the unhoused away from view in city centers and into large, out-of-site warehouses.”

    James Marmon MSW

    • James Marmon January 4, 2020

      Successful and Proven Real World Solutions to Reduce Homelessness

      Mendocino County Community Forum by Dr. Robert G. Marbut Jr. Marbut Consulting
      March 15, 2018

      “Smart Love”

      #1 Goal – Help Folks Graduate from Homelessness Forever by Using “Smart Love” . . . Dignity . . . Respect, Which in Turn Decreases Homelessness.

      • Harvey Reading January 4, 2020

        Wouldn’t it be better to adopt policies at the national level that prevent homelessness from happening in the first place? Those people are not homeless by choice. They are the discards of a fascist economic system, one run by conservatives from “both” parties, for the benefit of their wealthy masters. All the cute psychobabble phrases, and “goals” and “objectives” on the planet can’t cover up that reality, Marmon.

        • James Marmon January 4, 2020

          Harv, Trump wants to get to the root causes of homelessness and believes it starts with the local communities and is not the federal government’s responsibility. Starting with the two Mendocino County cities of Ukiah and Fort Bragg, they allowed the homeless situation to occur because they go with policies and regulations that create more homelessness rather than adopting different policies and looking at “de-regulation” as a means to promote more affordable housing.

          Trump didn’t cause Mendocino’s problems, our local government did and continues to make poor decisions at every level in order to receive more federal dollars. It will never end if that is the main objective verses ending homelessness.

          James Marmon MSW

          • Harvey Reading January 4, 2020

            Peddle your bull to the suckers, James. Trump can barely wipe his own ass, let alone run a country in an intelligent manner.

          • Jurgen Stoll January 4, 2020

            I hate to quibble Harvey, but Trump has perfected wiping his ass with our Constitution, while sitting on a golden throne, which he only has to flush once. Ready the jackhammers, Mount Rushmore awaits.

          • Bruce Anderson January 4, 2020

            Our local authorities, weak as they’ve always been, were overwhelmed by demographic and economic changes they didn’t create. They simply stood aside as, for instance, the golden horde rushed in with their wineries and desperate peasant labor, providing virtually no housing for that labor, but everywhere in the country jobs were bi-partisanly shipped outta here, the money moved upwards and here we are.

      • Harvey Reading January 4, 2020

        People who hire consultants to do their thinking are utter fools.

    • James Marmon January 4, 2020


      The BoS needs to designate the Orchard Street Property to be an outdoor homeless camp. They would be right next door, within feet, to Camille’s new 2.2 million dollar office complex so services would be available. For privacy they could add chain link fence slats to the already existing chain linked fence bordering the lot. The folks who are really asking for a hand up could go to Camille’s indoor homeless shelter on South State Street.

      James Marmon MSW
      Ukiah Native

      • James Marmon January 4, 2020

        Porta Potties, Portable Showers, and food distribution could be easily supplied and managed at the outdoor camp.

        • Harvey Reading January 4, 2020

          How about some jobs, ones that pay a living wage and benefits? Or, if that’s beyond the pale, then how about kicking some of the rich fu*ks out of their mansions, built on the backs of low-paid employees, and let the homeless occupy them, with expenses paid by the former occupants? Then, maybe, you brain-dead conservatives would awaken to the REAL causes of homelessness. The wealthy rulers better wake up, and quick, because time is running out.

          • James Marmon January 4, 2020

            The enviros would have to step aside, they’re a big roadblock here in Mendo when it comes to jobs creation. Look how they go after the Harris Quarry and Mendocino Forest Products’ (MFP) pellet plant. What the enviros need to know is most of that white stuff coming out of the pellet plant is steam, not smoke. If you measure the emissions at the source you’re absolutely going to get high levels. What is being missed is how fast it dissipates and at what distances.

            James Marmon MSW
            Mendocino Native

          • James Marmon January 4, 2020

            I suppose that just because they’re making wood products out of wood that will be burned in homes all over America is the real reason they are trying to shut the pellet plant down.


          • Harvey Reading January 4, 2020

            Gimme a break, Marmon. That sort of diversionary BS sells only among conservatives.

    • Bruce McEwen January 4, 2020

      The Marbut report, in it’s erroneous assertions that the Homeless Community is an alien entity, that is, made up of transients, not locals, has been refuted so often and in so many different aspects that it is laughable; and in a spirit of sustained good humor – why waste a good joke? — let’s send it over to you, Professor Cosmos: Are all the homeless aliens?

      • James Marmon January 4, 2020

        Marbut didn’t find that Mendocino County’s homeless are all an alien entity. However, he did say that limiting that population’s (the alien entity’s), impact on our system would go a long ways in getting “our” people (actual residents) off the streets and safe. Read the damn report McEwen or shut your pie hole.

        What he did find though was this:

        “The Focus Has Been on Symptoms, Rather than on the Root Triggers of Homelessness: For the most part, many agencies and almost all the informal groups focus on the “symptoms” such as food, clothing and emergency shelter, rather than focusing on and addressing the root triggers of homelessness. The root triggers and causes of homelessness are almost all behavioral health in nature, such as addiction, post-traumatic stress disorder and domestic violence. In order to engage in meaningful recovery, the focus must be on the root triggers of homelessness, not symptoms. Community meals (both formal and informal) should be co-located and coordinated with services that address the root causes of homelessness.”

        James Marmon MSW
        Ukiah Native

      • James Marmon January 4, 2020


        Inbound vs. Homegrown Homelessness:

        “Of all the individuals surveyed that were experiencing street-level homelessness in Mendocino County, 60.5% were already living in Mendocino County when they started experiencing homelessness. This means that about 39.5% of the individuals surveyed were “inbound” and started experiencing homelessness outside of Mendocino County”

        -Marbut Report

        That near 40% “inbound” cause additional stress on County and City resources, especially law enforcemen, the jail, and mental health services.

        James Marmon MSW

      • Professor Cosmos January 4, 2020

        It is about time someone in this area bolted from the choir and confronted the BS in the Marbut findings. Glad to see that.

  3. Harvey Reading January 4, 2020


    Barack Obama Presidential Library.

    He promised us “hope and change”. He gave us “more of the same”.

  4. Lazarus January 4, 2020

    This latest Coast Hospital dilemma could, to say the least, have negative impacts on the Adventist Health takeover deal.
    It is troubling that corruption was mentioned and that the OB is to be shutdown.
    By default, “The Coast” could end up hospitaless.
    It may be time to bring in the troops, and turn it into a “Navigation Center”…
    As always,

  5. Harvey Reading January 4, 2020


    Just more conservative babble and whining. If you’re competent you should get the raise. If not, you shouldn’t get the raise. Where you fall in that regard is hard to tell from what you wrote.

  6. Lazarus January 4, 2020

    Found Object

    Wow, Working-class Joe just got endorsed…

    As always,

  7. James Marmon January 4, 2020


    Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell sharply rejected Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi’s demands regarding any impeachment trial; saying the Democratic Party’s “turn” in shaping the process “is over.”

    “Their turn is over. They’ve done enough damage. It’s the Senate’s turn now to render sober judgment,” McConnell told lawmakers Friday. “We can’t hold a trial without the articles. The Senate’s own rules don’t provide for that.”

    • Harvey Reading January 4, 2020

      LOL. The rethug strategy may backfire on them. The majority in this country might just finally wake up and take charge. The senate is incapable of “sober judgements”. The best they will do, like the good puppets they are, is follow orders from the wealthy ruling class in a manner typical of the bad medieval art that is our current “government”. I hope that both parties are out of business by this time next year. It’ll make accelerating climate change and overpopulation more bearable for me in the short time this pitiful species has left.

  8. Eric Sunswheat January 4, 2020

    San Francisco has nearly five empty homes per homeless resident…

    The ten most populous Bay Area cities listed above have a combined point-in-time homeless total of 63,527, and, margins of error notwithstanding, a census-estimated 92,800-plus homes vacant, a ratio of about three units for every two persons.

    The census’ annual American Communities Survey defines a home as vacant if there is either no occupant or a temporary occupant—temporary meaning “people who will be there for two months or less.”

  9. Malcolm Macdonald January 4, 2020

    The second paragraph of Mr. Gressett’s piece is erroneous. The Financial Improvement Plan announced by interim Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Wayne Allen, and passed out to anyone who wanted it at last Thursday’s board meeting, stated, “About 13 [not 14] Registry FTE positions and 4 exempt [not union protected] management positions will be eliminated.” Gressett fails to mention the next line from Allen’s plan, “There will be no effect on union employees.”
    Gressett’s next paragraph is one line long: “Total losses for the year are $3,237, 468.”
    Gressett fails to understand the language of CEO Allen’s plan. It states “The annualized (Loss) would be $3,237, 468.”
    A word that should have clued Gressett in to asking a pertinent question include “would.” An “annualized” loss means projecting a full year’s financials based on a few months of actual numbers. If Gressett was actually at the January 2nd board meeting he should have heard CEO Allen and interim chief financial officer (CFO) Doran Hammett state that December’s financials should be in the neighborhood of break even. At the same meeting the coast hospital received a check of $605,000 for its successes in the Partnership Health Program (PHP) and Mr. Hammett announced a Medicare reimbursement coming in the next month and a half to the tune of at least $1.5 million.
    Later in this piece Gressett asserts, “It might be that the chronically divided board of directors with Amy McColley and John Redding united in a permanent minority against the other three credentialed hospital professionals stymied a reform program.”
    This statement alone should have been red flagged by the editor of the AVA. Anyone paying attention to Fort Bragg and/or hospital politics knows that the three board of directors Gressett seems to be referencing are not all “credentialed hospital professionals.”
    Two paragraphs later Gressett doubles down on his mistake. “On the other side of the board divide, Karen Arnold and Steve Lund with their prim and polished health professional credentials…”
    Lund is a board member at the coast hospital, but his profession before retirement was in education. He was at one time, not too long ago, the superintendent of Fort Bragg’s school district.
    Apparently Gressett is so sloppily informed that he doesn’t even know the name of the fifth member of the hospital’s board of directors. That person was elected the new president of the board at the January 2nd meeting.
    To describe Rex Gressett as clueless with respect to the actual state of affairs at the coast hospital is something of an insult to the folks who made the movie CLUELESS.
    Publishing this error-riddled, to put it mildly, series of words, sentences, and paragraphs reflects poorly on the reputation of the AVA’s editor/publisher.

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