- Mild Week
- William Ornbaum
- Renter's Deposit
- Ballots Missing
- Baldwin Bench
- Cruise Virus
- Dr. K
- Willits PD
- Best BLT
- Colonel Taylor
- Sako Interview
- Pet Alex
- Hit & Runners
- Print Subscription
- LakeCo Follies
- Cow Wanda
- Homegrown Weed
- Yesterday's Catch
- Existing Laws
- Reproductive Rifles
- Cad Bloomberg
- Masked Lovers
- Congressional Pettifoggers
- Socialism Scare
- Bronze Agers
- Speaker Twoface
- Bernie #1
- Decent Guy
- Ask First
- Tat Bros
- God Rules
- Found Object
SCATTERED SHOWERS to the north of Mendocino county continue to taper off this morning. The remainder of the week looks mild with little to no rain expected...until possibly next weekend. (NWS)
WILLIAM THOMAS ORNBAUN
William Thomas Ornbaun, 89 also known as Bill or Willy passed away peacefully surrounded by his loving family, at his home in Ukiah on Friday the Seventh, of February 2020.
Bill was born and raised in Ukiah. After graduation from Ukiah High school, class of 48, Bill worked for Masonite until 1951 when he entered the Marine Corp and served for 3 years. Bill then worked for Continental Baking Company (Wonder Bread) for 30 years. The work he most loved was being a volunteer fireman for the Ukiah Fire Department, which spanned over 40 years. He started at the age of 8 ringing the bell on the fire truck with his father Percy Ornbaun. The rock house on State Street use to be Ukiah Valley Creamery which was built by Bill's Granddad Thomas. Bill and his cousin using a wagon would go to Russian River each day and pick up rocks that were used to build the creamery. Bill was a member of the Ukiah Elks Lodge and enjoyed spending time with all of his friends. He was also an avid hunter and loved being at his mountain cabin. Bill loved life to the fullest and made the most of each day. He never met a stranger and had one of the biggest hearts we've ever known. He will be truly missed by his family, extended family and friends. In lieu of a service, at a later date, there will be a Celebration of Life.
SIX FAMILIES — 25 persons — were displaced by the Lodge Fires of Thursday, December 5th. 25 Boonters out of our population of about 1,000 people is 2.5% of our population. In relative terms, if 2.5% of San Francisco's population of about 900,000 suddenly lost their homes, 22,500 people would be left homeless. The Lodge Fire was a huge loss for Boonville. And then came the Vista Ranch house fire, then the Sarah Ryan fire, and soon after that Stephanie Barton and family were burned out of their home. No indication of arson in any of these disasters, though it's enough to make a paranoid out of a local or two.
IN THE MAGNITUDE of pure loss, Sarah Ryan, of the popular Singing Sarahs, not only lost her home but her livelihood, the crucial daycare business she ran out of her home. The fire was not only a huge loss for her but a big loss to the young working parents who depended on Sarah for their daycare. Having lost literally everything, Ms. Ryan is attempting to get her $2,000 renter's deposit back from property owner, Eddie Carsey, an amount that would go a long way to helping Sarah re-establish herself in a community where shelter is much harder to find than succor, you might say. If your house and business burn up what happens to the deposit you paid to rent it? Let's hope Mr. C does right by Ms. Ryan.
There are four people in our household, all registered to vote. One's a registered Democrat (reluctant division), the other three No Party Preference (NPP). The Democrat received his sample ballot and his actual ballot early February. The three NPP voters got nothing, as of February 14. This seems very strange: same address but different results, seemingly based on party preference. (Note: the three NPP voters also went through all the rigmarole to vote in the Democratic presidential primary.)
We called the Mendocino County Registrar of Voters and were told the original mailing went out February 3. They said they would send us replacement ballots.
If you have not received your ballots by now, you should probably contact the county registrar (707-234-6819) to request replacements. After that, please relay your experience to me (email@example.com) including your party affiliation (confidentiality guaranteed). I'm curious whether these omissions targeted NPP voters in particular.
UKIAH PLANS BENCH HONORING PHIL BALDWIN in Low Gap Park.
BAD NEWS FOR JANE?
An American passenger on a cruise ship that was turned away from five countries, despite no reports of sickness on board at the time, has tested positive for coronavirus.
The 83-year-old female holidaymaker tested positive in Malaysia, the country’s health ministry confirmed. She had flown there along with 144 others from the ship on Friday from Cambodia, where the Westerdam cruise ship eventually docked. The woman’s husband tested negative for the disease, Malaysia’s health ministry added. The Westerdam, operated by US-based Holland America Line, docked in the port of Sihanoukville, Cambodia on Thursday after being turned away by several countries on fears that passengers could be carrying the virus. The vessel, carrying 1,455 passengers and 802 crew, spent two weeks at sea. Passengers were tested regularly on board and 20 were also tested once the ship docked in Cambodia. However, no one tested positive at the time.
POLICE NEWS: the Willits PD is so under-staffed that the Sheriff's Department is toting a lot of the Willits load, and it's considerable.
THE BLT at Sunny's Donuts in Ukiah is not only this county's best of breed, sandwich division, it's a gourmand's steal at $4.50
MEMO OF THE WEEKEND
February 15, 2020
Dear Ms. Durlin:
If the complete interview from February 13th with me and KZYX News Director Sarah Reith is not posted to the KZYX website by Monday's close of business, I will file a complaint with the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB).
The entire 30 minutes needs to be posted, including the last call that noted Ms. Reith's bias and hostility. I end the interview by encouraging listeners to support all local pubic and community radio.
It is simply unfair that my interview has not been posted.
The other eight candidates for the three open seats at the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors had their interviews with KZYX posted within 24-hours of the interview being recorded.
However hostile KZYX's News Director Sarah Reith's interview may have been, the interview needs to be posted, and not buried in the station's archives. My interview is not being given the same prominence as the other eight interviews.
As you are aware, the "fairness doctrine" of the United States Federal Communications Commission (FCC), introduced in 1949, was a policy that required the holders of broadcast licenses to both present controversial issues of public importance -- also candidates for public office -- in a balanced and fair way. The FCC eliminated the policy in 1987, and removed the rule that implemented the policy from the Federal Register in August 2011.
Two corollary rules of the doctrine, the "personal attack rule" and the "political editorial" rule, remained in practice until 2000.
That said, the CPB has a much higher fairness standard. Why? Because the CPB funds public media, like MCPB, with public funds.
Thank you for your immediate attention.
John Sakowicz, Candidate, Mendocino County 1st District Supervisor
UKIAH SHELTER PET OF THE WEEK
In his last home, Alex lived with lots of other dogs. In his new home, we think Alex would prefer to be the only dog, or have a very mellow canine friend. Apparently, Mr. A has always be a nervous fella, but he's also very sweet and enjoys affection from people. He enjoys riding in the car and loads up easily. He is described as a loyal dog by his past guardian. Alex needs a CAT-FREE HOME and a guardian who understands and can work with a shy but sweet dog. Alex is a 6 year old neutered male who currently weighs 46 pounds. Alex is eligible for the shelter's SENIOR DOG DISCOUNT!
The Ukiah Animal Shelter is located at 298 Plant Road in Ukiah, and adoption hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Visit our website for information about our canine and feline guests and all of our services, programs and events: mendoanimalshelter.com For more information about adoptions please call 707-467-6453.
WILLITS HIT AND RUN
On Friday, February 14, 2020, at approximately 10am, the CHP Ukiah Communication Center was notified by Willits Police Department of a possible hit-and-run traffic collision that occurred in an unincorporated neighborhood near the city of Willits. During a combined effort between the California Highway Patrol, Mendocino County Sheriffs office and the Willits Police Department, it was determined the incident occurred on Locust St. at the intersection of County Road 315.
An intense and thorough investigation was initiated and investigators learned the suspect, Janice ‘Jannie’ Longcrier, 47, of Willits was involved in an argument with a subject riding a bicycle when Longcrier intentionally ran him over with her vehicle. Longcrier’s husband, Eugene Stephens Jr., 47, of Willits, and son-in-law James Dean King, 23, of Willits, assisted Longcrier in fleeing from the scene and hiding evidence of the crime.
Longcrier, Stephens Jr. and King were arrested and booked into the Mendocino County Jail.
The 31 year old male victim riding the bicycle suffered major injuries and was airlifted to Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital. The victim’s identity is being withheld pending notifications to his family.
POSTPONING THE INEVITABLE, BUT THANK YOU, SIR
My current subscription won't expire until December of this year and I saw your notice in the Jan. 29 issue regarding the latest postal increase for your out-of-state customers. I'm sending a check out Monday to help cover during the interim, but I'm also hoping you raise the subscription price as needed before I need to renew. I'm hoping for a few more years before you're forced to drop the print format. Just not a big fan of reading anything on line.
Coal Creek Canyon, Colorado
"CRUISING" by Nancy Calef — oil, sculpture, fabric, found objects, on canvas, 40" x 30" on display at Live Worms Gallery through March 2, 2020.
MEANWHILE, IN LAKE COUNTY
Lake County Housing Element + CDD Director Gone 2/11/20
The deeply troubled history of Lake County’s Community Development Department (CDD) includes the circa 2002 firing of a highly competent director in favor of a maleable and professionally corrupt young man who, several years ago (it’s faded into my memory) was abruptly removed from his office and the county after being accused of having child pornography on his computer. (There was no arraignment, indictment, or trial — he was just whisked away and gone overnight.)
Replacing him with a very senior director from the state of Florida appeared to re-orient the department in the direction of making overdue General Plan amendments to the adopted 2008 20-year “update,” which failed then (and still fails, I believe) to comply with the federal Disaster Mitigation Act of 2000, resulting in the 2016 loss of $12.5M in general fund reserves to cover local expenses incurred during the 2015 Rocky and Valley Fires.
When the frustrated Floridian quit after a couple of years — during which time the County Board of Supervisors kerfluffled over creation of our marijuana permitting process as its top priority — he was replaced by a home-grown local director (niece of a retired county supervisor), who took on a system that was humming right along where cannabis permitting was involved (after they got the kinks out of the ordinance, thanks to effective lawsuits by outraged permittees), but painfully lacking in the capacity to support replacement of lost structures from 2015, 2016, 2017, and 2018 wildland fire disasters.
While the County’s Chief Administrative Officer served as the Valley Fire “Recovery Coordinator” in early 2016, the County CDD produced a General Plan “Housing Element” update that was rejected by the California Department of Housing & Community Development (HCD), two years past the 2014 deadline. In that same year, the County decided not to create a “Long-Term Recovery Plan” that would have garnered access to ongoing FEMA post-disaster funding for case management (complete with a fiscal analyst, desperately needed then and now).
The absence of a Long-Term Recovery Plan is still biting us in the hindquarters — lack of affordable and emergency housing plagues our disaster-injured communities, compounded by the massive number of parcels in tax default that have not been put up for auction by the County’s Tax Collector-Treasurer for many years. Access to state funding for replacement and emergency housing is further impeded by the absence of an HCD-approved General Plan Housing Element Update (now 7 years overdue).
In early 2016 a quick-and-dirty version of the then-2-years-overdue Lake County Housing Element Update was created, which completely elided the fact of lost structures and population due to the 2015 wildfires. (A corrected version was promised to be rapidly developed to correct the elision, but was never done.)
As it turns out, the state was not happy with the 2016 draft or subsequent submittals, resulting in a letter from CA HCD to the County of Lake, dated December 28, 2017, citing its problems as follows:
"On May 24, 2016, the County of Lake submitted a draft housing element to HCD for review.
“On June 22, 2016, HCD issued an 8-page findings letter to Lake County noting multiple necessary revisions to the housing element for compliance with state housing element law.
"On June 29, 2016, the County of Lake submitted an adopted housing element to HCD for review. [The draft was adopted by the Lake County Board of Supervisors on June 28, 2016.]
"On September 27, 2016, CA HCD issued findings that the adopted housing element was identical to the June 22, 2016, draft housing element. The housing element would not be found in compliance unless and until it was revised and adopted."
According to the December 28, 2018, letter, “As of the date of this correspondence, Lake County has failed to adopt a 5th cycle housing element in compliance with State Housing Element Law.”
Most peculiarly, a legal notice published in the Lake County Record-Bee with the Issue Date of January 31, 2020, “soliciting sealed proposals from a qualified consulting firm to prepare an update of the 6th Cycle (2019-2027) Housing Element. This project includes reviewing the drat Housing Element Update (2019-2027), Lake County General Plan and the State of California Housing and Community Development (HCD) letter dated January 7, 2020” — found on the HCD report of non-compliance by the County of Lake, but containing the December 28, 2018, letter quoted above — “and develop and revise the draft Housing Element to reflect current conditions, County policies, emerging issues and changes needed to meeting [sic] the housing requirements as mandated by HCD.”
There is no reference to reviewing the fifth cycle’s County-approved Housing Element update, but one assumes that the consultant’s review process would include the 8-page list of inadequacies in the HCD-rejected June 22, 2016, Housing Element update.
A call on Friday, February 14, 2020, to the HCD staff assigned by the HCD Deputy Director who signed the 2018 letter, has not yet resulted in contact with the department to obtain a complete record of correspondence (including the 8-page list of findings), but the matter will not rest until the public has sufficient information to propose corrective action to the Lake County Board of Supervisors.
Meanwhile, the Community Development Director who posted the bizarrely written legal notice has resigned after a pair of closed session hearings with the Lake County Board of Supervisors, as described in the article published by Lake County News on February 12:
With positions in the Lake County Community Development recently filled with relatively new staff (the senior planner in charge of the streamlined cannabis permitting program quit in late 2019 for a better job over in Ukiah, and the county hired a new Code Enforcement Manager and a new Fire Marshal/Building Official a few months ago), and a backlog of compliance requirements for public health and safety amendments to the County’s 2008 General Plan, including the Housing Element, there will be no answers forthcoming from that department for the foreseeable future.
As usual, Lake County is stuck in neutral by the side of the road, and our antiquainted infrastructure, medically fragile and multiply disabled populations, and economic sustainability are at risk for all of us who depend on them. Just in time to prepare for more “Public Safety Power Shutdowns” and high-anxiety wildfire season.
These subjects and many more related to the disaster preparedness, response, relief, recovery, and mitigation of locally-very-high-risk environmental conditions in Lake County — nicknamed a “fire factory” by CalFire in Sacramento — will be topics of conversation today (Sunday, Feb. 16) on KPFZ, 88.1 fm, between 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. (streaming live from www.kpfz.org).
We welcome updates from Mendocino County close observers and followers of these mutually-important government failures.
The Essential Public Information Center
Upper Lake, CA
P.S. - To see the abundant resources available from the California Department of Housing & Community Development:
A COW CALLED WANDA
by Malcolm Macdonald
Dawn belongs to the heifers. Six of them wait every morning near the bottom of the hill. In fair weather a pickup truck brings alfalfa and sometimes meadow grass. On rainy days, the man tugs a cart full of the same down to them.
They range from just under a year old to three. The three-year-old, a cow called Wanda, acts like the leader. She stands and strides and looks like a horse with horns, marked with a tiger-striped brindle coat; her mother a Jersey milker, her sire a gargantuan Black Baldy. Wanda greets the truck or cart first. She doesn't get in the way of the truck, doesn't push at the cart. She often waits where the road passes the remains of a cabin, built more than a century ago by the man's second oldest uncle, Charlie.
Names from centuries past hold a place here: the big orchard, the picnic grounds (where friends and family gathered on the Fourth of July for a hundred years), Louie's ( a spot by the stream where a family friend camped during summers more than fifty years gone by, grown over now by willow and alder).
Even in summer, fog masks the rising sun in those bottom lands, only capitulating at mid-morn in ascending smoky puffballs. The mists of winter glisten in the foreground of the headlamp the man wears when he arrives early to head start the day.
When the light shadow of a big moon keeps the heifers grazing deep into the night, they make up for it by snoozing past the break of day. It's then the man finds the bigger of a pair of Herefords snoring like a babe, her huge polled head lolling on her two front hooves. She shares the name Lillie with one of the man's grandmothers, who spent the second half of a long life answering to Bama or Bam because her son Charlie's only child couldn't pronounce Grandma.
Last summer, Lillie retreated to a grove of hefty second growth redwoods to calve by herself. Fathered by the Black Baldy, and though the black features usually dominate, the boy calf arrived with his mother's red and white colors on its face and back. He did retain an extra long and broad white coat on the underbelly.
Lillie tucked the calf under ferns and redwood duff on a steep side hill while she went off to feed herself. During the calf's second day it somehow ended upside down on the slope, apparently drowned in its own fluids. Lillie stayed with the dead baby day and night, licking it clean over and over, occasionally lowing in as soft a tone as could still be heard. Eventually, she gave in to hunger, returning to the herd to graze. For several more days, however, she traced her steps to the decaying calf to sit beside it while chewing her cud and napping.
Lillie and the other Hereford nuzzle up to the man at feeding time and sometimes just because… There are scholarly studies, now, on the socialization process of cattle. One scientist has broken down the intonations of various mooing to the degree we may see those sounds translated into human speech on our computers in the not too distant future. Examples of cross-species socialization are being documented far and wide. So a Hereford seeking a hug from its human is far from unusual or unique.
Wanda, on the other hand or horn, has tried to gore three different humans. Each instance occurred during feeding time. Jealousy appears a common thread. Her third go at it happened as the man hand fed her younger sister, Brownie. The man almost always keeps one eye on Wanda, her reputation having already been established. A second or two or three of lapsed attention gave Wanda the opportunity, a head down charge into the man's blind side. She raked her horns from belt line to arm pit, but barely broke the skin. She left him with a good bruise or two. Harsh words passed and Wanda was chased from the feeding grounds until the others had consumed every last blade of alfalfa and meadow grass.
Justice is a hard thing to mete out fairly from human to animal. Wanda gets some special dispensation. She was double orphaned within a fortnight. Her mother slipped and skidded on the slightest slope, snapping her neck only two weeks after Brownie's birth. The accident occurred at nightfall. While the rest of the herd shied away from the dead matriarch, the Hereford who has never calved lay down beside Brownie for hours in that first long night of separation.
Bovines display grief in methods unique to the individual. Wanda walks up the hill alone, now and again, to travel down a logging road, over a bank, and off into the brush to stand beside the remaining bones of her mother. Sometimes sniffing at them, other times simply gazing into the distance.
Lillie stood sentry-like in early fall over the body of an ancient Hereford, the last direct link to the herds that roamed and grazed the lower Albion in the 1800s. The elderly one had taken refuge in a burned out stump barely big enough for her to curl up inside. Though the man hand fed her bits of alfalfa and pans of water she wouldn't get up, she made no attempt to revive and stand. In turn each of the others, from six-month-old calf to Wanda, took their turn visiting, licking at her head and ears, sniffing then stepping back. When the elder finally passed late of a morning, one by one respects were offered, some touching her, others recoiling from the smell of death. Eventually, each wandered off to graze, leaving Lillie to stand vigil by the stump. Maybe it was because she had experienced the mourning process only a couple of months before with her calf. Who knows for sure… Finally, at some point in the afternoon, Lillie walked slow, yet steady, away from the stump to resume her life's chore, grazing in the grass.
DOPE, an on-line comment:
If everybody grew some Cannabis for personal use, perhaps the government would give up trying to tape-measure everyone’s garden… I don’t personally care, as I need no weed, at all…
And, attempting to regulate big, corporate grows, at this point, would be ridiculous. The Humboldt Brand has been sold, and, even the Hopland Hippies have cashed in and now Flow Cana even owns the Hippie Living Center…
Vertically integrated cannabis providers are not gonna back up for “small farmers.” But if individual end users grew their own product, the point would be moot.
Plant some public pot today! Marijuana should be free, and available everywhere, and then maybe everyone would get bored with it and move on to the next thing.
I am quite sure I could easily grow a year’s supply of flower, in a 10x10 area, and have done so in the past, prior to 2010 when I gave the shit up.
CATCH OF THE DAY, February 15, 2020
LAYNE CASSIDY, Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.
ALAN CROW, Clearlake Oaks/ukiah. Taking vehicle without owner’s consent, stolen vehicle, DUI.
ENOCH CUPPLES, Mendocino. Criminal threats, probation revocation.
MELISSA HOPLOCK, Willits. Disorderly conduct-alcohol, probation revocation.
MIYUKI KAWAMURA-AVINA, Ukiah. Domestic abuse, contempt of court.
JAMES KING, Harboring-concealing-aiding wanted felon, evidence tampering, conspiracy.
JANNIE LONGCRIER, Willits. Attempted murder, hit&run resulting in death or injury, assault with deadly weapon not a gun, evidence tampering, conspiracy.
PABLO MORA, Ukiah. Parole violation. (Frequent flyer.)
TONY PAUL, Ukiah. Battery on person, probation revocation.
BIANCA SCHOFIELD. Point Arena. Domestic battery.
EUGENE STEPHENS JR., Harboring-concealing-aiding wanted felon, evidence tampering, conspiracy.
ANDREA WRIGHT, Ukiah. Domestic battery, probation revocation.
ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY
I keep hearing about people having major problems relating to their medical care, and this is after the Obamacare “reform”.
All the Democrats who were for it have backed away from it and are now aping Bernie.
Four months waiting for approval for an MRI, for someone with cancer?
A new father cashing in an IRA and taking a penalty, because his infant had a few minor problems at birth requiring extra doctor visits?
Then there are two people I know of who had hassles getting prescriptions renewed, for medicines they always take, to the point where they went weeks without drugs they weren’t supposed to stop taking.
As far as securing the border goes, the conditions at our southern border are exactly the kind of conditions necessary for a major pandemic to occur.
Health officials have been warning us that it isn’t a question of if, but when, a repeat of something like the Spanish Influenza outbreak of 1918.
Yet when someone suggests we follow existing laws about admitting people to the country, laws which millions have already followed, you get screams from people like Nancy Pelosi, for whom that border is of utmost importance.
NEWLY UNEARTHED LAWSUITS against Democratic presidential hopeful Michael Bloomberg that have either been settled or dismissed paint a disturbing picture of misogynistic behavior. The never-before-seen legal briefs were provided to the Washington Post under the Freedom of Information Act and include complaints by a number of women that were followed up by attempts to keep them quiet. In one high-profile complaint, saleswoman Sekiko Sakai Garrison alleges that, when told of a male colleague’s impending marriage, Bloomberg suggested to female salespeople, “All of you girls line up to give him [oral sex] as a wedding present.” That suit also alleges that, on a number of occasions, Bloomberg said, “I’d f--- that in a second” when he saw certain women. The lawsuits, which were filed long before the era of #MeToo, work to undercut Bloomberg’s accusations against President Trump’s often vulgar behavior towards women. They also call into question his methods in attempting to keep the allegations quiet. A spokesman told the Post that Bloomberg would not release anyone from a confidentiality agreement, and that he did not intend to release his depositions in any of the newly revealed cases. (Daily Beast)
CYBER SPACE was humming Saturday with the news that Bloomberg is considering teaming up with Hillary as his running mate, and Hillary isn't ruling it out. A ticket made in heaven for the millions of middle-of-the-road extremists, beyond terrifyingly ghastly for the rest of us.
ALSO in today's info deluge, the news that a tape has surfaced of Bloomberg calling Taylor Swift a "whore," apple pie "shitty poor person food," and baseball "a waste of time for idiots."
WHY IS BLOOMBERG'S LONG HISTORY OF EGREGIOUS SEXISM GETTING A PASS?
The surging Democratic presidential candidate and Bloomberg LP have fielded nearly 40 sexual harassment and discrimination lawsuits over decades.
BLOOMBERG FOR YEARS HAS BATTLED WOMEN’S ALLEGATIONS OF PROFANE, SEXIST COMMENTS
As Mike Bloomberg celebrated his 48th birthday in 1990, a top aide at the company he founded presented him with a booklet of profane, sexist quotes she attributed to him.
WHATEVER HE WANTS
by Fintan O'Toole
What kind of spectacle is the impeachment trial before the Senate of Donald J. Trump? In its opening days, the audience was given two wildly different but equally bathetic prompts as to how we should see it. We were invited by two central figures to understand it, on the one hand, as a proceeding of exquisite gravity and, on the other, as a bad TV show. For its presiding officer, Chief Justice John Roberts, the trial ought to be imagined as an earnest weighing up of truth and lies by a most august assembly. Near the end of the first long day’s session, he admonished Trump’s prosecutors and defenders “to remember that they are addressing the world’s greatest deliberative body.” To give them a sense of the standards that used to apply in such proceedings, he referred to the impeachment of a judge, Charles Swayne:
In the 1905 Swayne trial, a senator objected when one of the managers used the word “pettifogging” and the presiding officer said the word ought not to have been used. I don’t think we need to aspire to that high a standard, but I do think those addressing the Senate should remember where they are.
But we do not need to go back to 1905 to be reminded where we all are now. On the morning of the second day of the trial, its central figure, Trump himself, issued a decorous tweet:
“After having been treated unbelievably unfairly in the House, and then having to endure hour after hour of lies, fraud & deception by Shifty Schiff, Cryin’ Chuck Schumer & their crew, looks like my lawyers will be forced to start on Saturday, which is called Death Valley in TV.”
The fall from a discourse in which “pettifogging” might sound like an unseemly breach of high civility is vertiginous, but this is also a shift of genres. Roberts wished to dress the senators in togas and place them in a historical drama, leaning forward with their hands on their chins, as if listening intently to Cicero or Seneca. Trump’s complaint was that his wrestling match against Shifty Schiff and Cryin’ Chuck would be shown in a crappy television time slot.
Everybody knows that Trump is much nearer the mark. For all of Roberts’s grandiosity, the idea of this Republican-controlled Senate as the world’s greatest deliberative body—ludicrous at the best of times—is being relentlessly undermined by the very proceedings he is presiding over. It has been clear even before this trial began that it is, for the majority of senators, an exercise in self-abasement by what is supposed to be a mighty force for holding the executive to account. As Mitch McConnell told Sean Hannity on Fox News in mid-December, the Republican majority has positioned itself merely as an arm of the presidency: “I’m coordinating with White House counsel. There will be no difference between the president’s position and our position as to how to handle this.”
The chief justice’s imaginary togas do not really cover the naked determination of that majority to make the Senate subservient to the president’s desires. The institution as a whole has no intention of asserting its own dignity. Rather wonderfully, the trial memorandum submitted by Trump’s lawyers, maintaining the fiction that the president’s attempted shakedown of the Ukrainian government was really a crusade against graft and impunity, states that “Ukraine cannot rid itself of corruption if its prosecutors are always stymied.” The purpose of the Senate majority in this trial is to substitute “the United States” for “Ukraine” in this sentence, and to make it clear that stymying prosecutors is no bad thing.
Thus the real genre of these proceedings is the playing out of a foregone conclusion. This is a show trial with a twist—a public ritual not of preordained condemnation but of preordained exoneration. While in his opening speech Adam Schiff, the lead manager of the prosecution for the House of Representatives, made much of appeals to the open-mindedness and fairness of the senators, this too was for show. As Schiff himself put it, the unavoidable truth is that “the president will be acquitted, not because he is innocent—he is not—but because the senators will vote by party, and he has the votes.” “Let the jury consider their verdict,” says the King in the trial scene in Alice in Wonderland. “‘No, no!’ said the Queen. ‘Sentence first—verdict afterwards.’” With Trump’s trial, there is a refinement on this order: verdict first, trial afterwards, sentence never.
(New York Review of Books)
SIGNS OF THE APOCALYPSE, literary division. A friend of conservative disposition lent me a "book" called Bronze Age Mindset by Bronze Age Pervert. Friend said it was all the rage among the bros, a subset of Americans ordinarily not associated with bibliophilia.
Anyway, this thing is a barely readable mishmash of Nietzschean, I guess, superman fantasy pegged to the assumption that males have been de-balled by modern civ. "In Stone Age man appears, very strong shoulders, with club in hand." Coupla hundred pages of this, which seems to recommend that young men inspired by the good old days of Cro Magnia return to it as best they can in the computer age. For the hat-backwards boys too dumb even for Ayn Rand, Bronze Age Mindset is just the thing.
BERNIE IS #1
Bernie is #1 with non-white voters.
Bernie is #1 with white voters.
Bernie is #1 with 18-45 year old voters.
Bernie has received more campaign contributions from active duty military service members than any other candidate.
Bernie has received more individual campaign donations (avg. $18 each) than any candidate in American history.
Bernie has more volunteers than any other campaign.
In his elections in Vermont, Bernie consistently convinces 25% of Republicans to vote for him.
For four years, Bernie has been #1 in the poll of “Most Admired Political Leaders in the United States” and is #1 and has the highest approval rating of all 100 US Senators.
And finally, in a poll of a head to head matchup against Donald Trump, Bernie beats Trump by a higher percentage margin nationwide than any other candidate!
Bernie Beats Trump. It’s our #1 job.
HERE’S WHAT I DO LIKE ABOUT BERNIE SANDERS
Sanders is motivated by an ideological vision that is fundamentally humane. For all his attacks on the “millionaires and billionaires,” the only true visceral rage he shows is at poverty in the midst of one of the world’s wealthiest societies. His anger at the inaccessibility of health care, housing, and basic needs for all Americans is the through line of his career, through all of its idiosyncratic turns.
ASK FIRST: Delta CEO Ed Bastian on Friday waded into a debate over airline etiquette that has been raging ever since a Twitter video went viral of two passengers at war over a reclining seat. In an interview on CNBC, Bastian, chief of one of the world’s largest airlines, was asked for his thoughts on the video, which showed a male airline passenger repeatedly punching the seat of the woman directly in front of him after she reclined her seat. “I think customers have the right to recline,” Bastian said, before adding: “I think the proper thing to do is if you’re going to recline into somebody that you ask if it’s okay first and then you do it.” He added, “I never recline, because I don’t think it’s something as CEO I should be doing.” Bastian’s apparent attempt to settle the issue did anything but, instead resulting in a flood of indignant tweets from travelers blasting airlines for cramming in as many passengers as possible and questioning why the seats are equipped to recline if one needs permission to do so.
BUMPS IN THE ROAD
The climate control and global warming and clean air and this or that people like Al Gore and Gavin Newsom and Jerry Brown and that crazy Cortez woman and Mary Nichols with the Air Resources Board — they claim to have a situation to stop things going on in the United States and make a better climate or global warming. They are crazy. And they are all Democrats, liberals, stupid and ignorant, every one.
What puts them above God, the creator of this earth who controls what happens to the weather or earthquakes or whatever? There is no climate control, no climate problem, no global warming, maybe a few years of warmer weather then it’ll go back. These people who squirm to the American people and get them to follow like sheep are crazy! They are not above the man upstairs and never will be. That man is related to Mother Nature, I think. I know a lot of you don't believe in God. That's your loss, not mine.
These liberal Democrats are trying to change this country over to socialism and get rid of the Constitution and everything we fought for for 200 years to be free. They want to be like Venezuela, like that Maduro guy. Do you want to end up like that? A dictatorship? That's what the liberals want. They already have Gavin Newsom who runs a dictatorship in California, the worst state in the union, run by the worst people. We don't need socialism. We don't want it.
To Mr. Rob Mahon in Covelo: Anybody like you, sir, who talks about the President of the United States is a sick old man. I feel sorry for you.
Thank you President Trump for doing such a great job. Keep going, buddy. Expose the deep state. Drain the swamp. Get rid of all the liberals out of your organization. You still got some. Get only Republicans in there. Kick some ass.
God bless Donald Trump.