- Warm Dry
- Wild Ponies
- COVID Action
- Obsessively Refreshed
- Election Notes
- Plant Parenthood
- Civilizing Savages
- Amazing Race
- Multiple Stabbing
- Longs Plaza
- Historical Review
- Baseball Fire
- Company Kitchen
- Sad People
- Bloomberg Everywhere
- Sleepy Luis
- Yesterday's Catch
- Old Joe
- You're Disqualified
- Investors Celebrate
- DJ Grammer
- Policy Twins
- Man Killer
- Sako Concession
- Candidate Comparison
- Stark Differences
- Hyrum Guilty
- Jazz Caliente
- Buttigieg Legacy
- Empire Strike
WARM AND DRY CONDITIONS will continue across inland areas today, with patchy marine clouds along the coast. Light rain is expected Friday and Saturday, with cooler temperatures over the weekend. Some light rain is possible Monday through Wednesday in Mendocino and Lake counties. A better chance of rain across the area may develop towards the end of next week. (NWS)
THE WILD PONIES of Robinson Creek have reappeared on the Ukiah end of Highway 253. The small herd roams the vastness between Boonville and Ukiah, and has for a number of years now. This recent photo was taken near the junction of Robinson Creek Road and 253.
SUPERVISOR TED WILLIAMS: Mendocino County Emergency Declaration & COVID-19
Mendocino County has declared a public health and local emergency in response to the 2019 novel coronavirus, COVID-19, through coordination between our Public Health Officer Dr. Noemi Doohan and CEO Carmel Angelo. There have been no known cases of the virus in our county, but public health has been carefully monitoring the global situation and continues to prepare. The local emergency is both a precautionary step and a tool for organizing response plans. The situation is rapidly evolving. Plans are in place designed to adapt respond based on circumstances. Public Health has been working around the clock since January to comply with Center for Disease Control (Federal) and Department of Public Health (California State) guidance to track and contain virus spread. Our Public Health staff has been coordinating with partners in Sonoma and Lake Counties, SF Bay area health officers, local Adventist Health, community clinics, State Department of Health and the CDC. Until last week, the only COVID-19 testing was performed by the CDC.
Testing had a restrictive criteria requiring recent travel to high risk areas including China, Italy, South Korea or exposure to infected individuals plus symptoms and local health officer approval. The restrictions were lowered today, allowing anyone in the general public exhibiting COVID-19 consistent symptoms to be tested. The flaws in the early CDC tests are believed to be addressed. However, the lack of test kits in our county and region have effectively left us without testing. Commercially available tests will dramatically increase the ability to screen members of the public. The timeline for commercial testing isn’t yet known.
Even without widespread testing capabilities, the County has executed steps to reduce the likelihood of spread. The CDC’s Epidemic Information Exchange has allowed public health staff to contact persons returning by air travel from high risk regions. Self quarantine with daily monitoring by public health staff for fourteen days has been underway.
Fire, law enforcement and ambulance personnel have received training in regards to response strategies. First responders will wear standard body substance isolation protective equipment, including masks, googles and gowns when responding to patients showing influenza like symptoms. N95 masks will also be applied to patients. If you call 911 for a medical aid, don’t take it personally when protocol is followed. Crews have limited ability to diagnose in the field and precautions are warranted. Personnel will make contact with medical direction in route to scene when responding to possible COVID-19 patients and transporting crews will advise receiving hospitals of patients while in route to hospital. Patient care reports will document flu like symptoms for future analysis. These protocols are subject to change. I would expect new procedures upon any diagnosed cases within the county. Coastal Valleys EMS Agency is active in ensuring first responders meet guidelines. (Any firefighter not yet trained ought to reach out to their Chief/Training Officer for direction on next steps.)
I’ve read concern about our County’s lack of action. Information has been slow and vague, but I see our County staff working hard within capabilities and in response to information trickling from the state and federal governments. Potential timelines and outcomes of the virus remain unknown. As I said before, I expect the impact to be somewhere between the Africanized bees scare and the 1918 flu. This County won’t be leading the torch to single handed eradication of COVID-19, but we do have a responsibility to take all reasonable precautionary steps. Lack of widespread testing has limited the usefulness of statistics (many persons with mild cases were not tested, increasing the weight of fatalities).
Researchers in China have identified two types of coronavirus strains, an aggressive “L— type and a much less aggressive “S— type with data pointing to a decline in the “L— type after January. The Hubei province reported 14,840 new cases Thursday, compared to 1,638 new cases the day before, but it remains to be seen how the virus will spread under US monitoring and treatment strategies. The House and Senate reached a deal on Wednesday to provide $8.3 billion in emergency aid to combat COVID-19. Our declaration of local emergency will allow access to state and federal funds when appropriate.
Let’s all stop shaking hands, step up our hand washing and do our best to limit transmission. Some infected persons might not show signs or symptoms for 14 days (24 days now being reported) while contagious. I’m hopeful that our schools will champion sick students staying home. While there has been a rush to purchase cleaning supplies, normal cleaning precautions (soap and water) are believed to be sufficient. I continue to watch the Johns Hopkins COVID-19 case visualization at: ted.net/covid-19-johns-hopkins/
MENDOCINO COUNTY MAKES EMERGENCY DECLARATION to Prepare for Future Coronavirus (COVID-19) Activity
In partnership with Mendocino County Chief Executive Officer/Office of Emergency Services Director, Carmel J. Angelo and Mendocino County Health Officer, Dr. Noemi (Mimi) Doohan, the County has declared a public health emergency in order to prepare for future Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) activity in our community.
While Mendocino County still has ZERO cases of COVID-19 and ZERO persons under investigation, this emergency declaration has been made proactively as surrounding counties do have recent COVID-19 activity.
A declaration of emergency is a legal document that opens the door to further resources and coordination between local, state and federal agencies; helps speed up emergency planning; and, assists in emergency contracts or staffing. This declaration also allows for reimbursement by state and federal governments for local government initiatives that lessen the impact of an emergency.
“The situation surrounding this novel coronavirus, known as COVID-19, continues to evolve rapidly,” said Dr. Doohan. “This declaration will allow us as a County to deploy additional state and federal resources, and I am confident that this will help us be as prepared as possible to respond to COVID-19 activity.”
Mendocino County has worked daily with local, state and national officials since early January to monitor and respond to COVID-19. Mendocino County Public Health is working in close coordination with the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) and the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as well as health care providers throughout the Mendocino County.
More information will be shared tomorrow through Mendocino County’s Press Conference on Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19). This information will be live streamed through the County’s website. Sheriff Matt Kendall and County Health Officer Noemi Doohan will be presenting, in addition to other local dignitaries.
This Press Conference forum is designed for media personnel, but the public is welcome to watch from the County’s YouTube Channel (www.youtube.com/MendocinoCountyVideo) or Facebook page (www.facebook.com/mendocinocounty/). For your benefit and the benefit of our community, we ask that you not attend work, school or community events in person if you have symptoms of influenza or other respiratory illness (i.e. cough, fever).
Please visit www.mendocinocounty.org for the latest local news on COVID-19. For general health related questions or other concerns regarding COVID-19, please call Mendocino County’s Call Center at (707) 234-6052 or email email@example.com. The call center will be open during regular business hours, Monday – Friday from 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
“THE TIME is out of joint. O cursèd spite, That ever I was born to set it right!”
AND HAMLET thought Denmark was outta hand! He shoulda seen this place, which another sage described as, “The only country in the world to move directly from barbarism to decadence with no intervening civilization.” Last night was a big one for barbarism of the middle-of-the-road extremism type, what with the “moderates” going over to doddering, confused, utterly corrupt Biden, the only Democrat with a more odious political history than Hillary. But here they come, the billionaires and super-delegates dancing down Easy Street to rally behind a candidate who promises to do nothing about anything.
WELL, HELL. This here Bernie Bro would do a header off the Golden Gate Bridge before he’d vote for Biden, and that right there is a big rub for Biden. If the many millions of young voters energized by The Bern decline to vote for Biden, and nevermind the rest of the Bernie Brigades who will of course refuse to support him, Biden will certainly lose to the Orange Monster who, in my opinion, will beat Biden anyway, beat him like a 3-year-old with a new drum set.
THE WHINING from the Prufrocks has already started. “We’ve got to get behind Biden to get rid of Trump.” Remember the 2000 election when Nader ran third party, and Gore caved in to Bush over the Florida swindle? Nader was widely accused by the corporate Democrats of costing Gore the election. The Democrats, who haven’t stood for much of anything since FDR, always say, ‘It’s our candidate or you bastards will give us Nixon, both Bushes, Trump and Trump.” We’ve heard that same argument from the Pelosi Democrats for fifty years. “The other guy is so bad we all absolutely must get behind…. Humphrey; Gore; Hillary; Biden.” Nope, either Bernie or we’re going third party, and if there’s no third party, we’ll write-in The Bern. Warren in lieu of The Bern would be ok but it looks like The Big Money is as afraid of her as they are of him.
LOCALLY, the middle-of-the-road extremists, Coast branch, as predicted, got behind Gjerde, who looks like the easy winner over challenger Lindy Peters. Mendocino County has always had this false reputation as some kind of bastion of progressive politics. It ain’t. It’s a bastion of conservative liberals who talk left vote right. Supervisor is a non-partisan job that Gjerde, as expressed by his somnolent performance over 8 years in the 4th District seat, did not deserve to hold for another 4 years. Smart guy, knows how local government works, but doesn’t work it. Worse, he’s grown petulant, irritable, insular in the cush $85 thou-a-year sinecure he’s carved out for himself, refusing to communicate with his critics, ignoring his opposition, as if he’s not responsible to represent them, too. He’ll continue as an automatic yes vote for the autocratic County CEO, Carmel Angelo. Fifth District Supervisor Williams is the only fully functioning supervisor Mendocino County has. Haschak? Slo-mo kinda guy who does the right thing occasionally if Williams makes it clear enough for him.
IN THE FIRST DISTRICT, Farm Bureau stalwart Glenn McGourty looks like he might elude a run-off against Jon Kennedy, but even in a run-off, McGourty looks like he’s going to take it. We agree with whomever it was who said, “It’s too bad Kennedy wasn’t running in the 2nd District,” meaning the 2nd’s candidates are weak, Kennedy knows his local government and is the kind of guy this board of supervisors could use. How will McGourty be as a supervisor? So long as you don’t mess with the Potter Valley Diversion and all that cheap water it provides the grape industry, he’s unlikely to be the pushover his predecessor (and Gjerde and McCowen) has been.
IN THE 2ND, Maureen “Mo” Mulheren has a comfortable lead over challengers Mari Rodin, who’s running second, and Joel Soinila, third. We thought Soinila would have run strong enough to make it into a runoff with Mulheren, who’s been running for the seat for a year now at least. The prob here is that Soinila was the only one of the three who demonstrated basic knowledge of what the job involves. The two ladies remind me of those earnest feebs back in high school who’d get up at pep rallies and say, “It’s really, really important that everybody stands up for the kick-off!” Mulheren and Rodin are both veterans of the Ukiah City Council, meaning they can’t point to anything in the way of accomplishment or progress there that might translate as step forward as a Mendo supervisor. But maybe by the November election they’ll have studied up on why they, as grown-up politicians, want the job.
SCHOOL BONDS seem to have taken something of a beating. The Mendocino schools bond passed, Ukiah looks like it’s failing. The state initiative, Prop 13, would tie the state to another $15 billion in general obligation bonds to fund school projects from local school districts through the state’s university system. It would also have allowed local school districts to issue their own bonds while simultaneously limiting the ability of local school districts to levy developer fees. From our Boonville bunker we think people generally are skeptical of the ability of school people to manage their budgets and now are understandably reluctant to vote them more money.
COAST HOSPITAL’S affiliation with the vegetarian cult operating medically as the Adventist Hospitals is running overwhelming YES.
MEASURES D & E, which would apply the 10% bed tax to private campgrounds in unincorporated parts of Mendocino County appear to have passed, although Measure D is passing with a lower majority than we expected at 55% while the accompanying “advisory” Measure E got 66%. Several fire department people we spoke to today said that vote difference probably meant that a significant number of voters opposed the tax, but if it was to pass they wanted it to go to firefighting as the advisory measure calls for. However, a couple of insiders have already started speculating that some of the money might go to the county’s new EMS IT infrastructure that’s now in the works and might over-run because the CEO and Supervisors might think that the IT infrastructure is broadly speaking “firefighting.” And at least one wag said he wouldn’t be surprised if the Board “borrowed” some of the new bed tax money if they got in a cash-crunch such as one that hit Mendo back in 2008/2009 and which could easily occur again — if not worse. After all, as candidate Kennedy pointed out in one of his few campaign statements, the original purpose of the bed tax was to cover public services that tourists require, but the wine-B&B-tourism brigades got their fingers in the pie early and fire and ambulance services never got any.
VOTERS in Sonoma and Marin counties rejected a 30-year extension of a quarter-cent sales tax for the operation of the Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit's SMART train. Measure I needed two-thirds approval, but SMART, from its inception, has been badly managed and, in our opinion, poorly planned from its beginnings. No reason that baby couldn’t have run up to Cloverdale, north of which….Well, no use complaining about a train that should have run at least as far north as Dos Rios, as it once did, and then on through the Eel River Canyon to Eureka, not that the Canyon will ever again see a railroad or even the fantasy trail the Democrats are lying about. The Democrats destroyed real rail service on the Northcoast forever in a series of highly dubious moves which have long cried out for a serious federal investigation.
I LOVED THIS from the Santa Rosa Press Democrat: “Rep. Jared Huffman, D-San Rafael, whose district covers the North Coast, said he knew Sanders had strong support in the dark blue region. ‘It looks like a two-person race now,’ Huffman said, expressing admiration for the strength of Biden’s Super Tuesday rebound.” Gee, you think Huff, a super-delegate, will go for Joe?
IN 1819 THE UNITED STATES CONGRESS PASSED the Civilization Fund Act, which encouraged “benevolent societies” in providing education for Native Americans. The Act also authorized an annuity to stimulate the “civilization process” of Native peoples. The “benevolent societies” that were encouraged to educate Native peoples were Christian missions and the federal government. Federal funds were allocated to schools designed to educate Native Americans in the ways of the white man. The goal was to "civilize" Native Americans by getting rid of their traditions and customs and teaching them reading and writing in the missionary schools. This Act was the beginning of Native boarding or residential schools, which over the next 100 years forced hundreds of thousands of Native people away from their families, land, culture, and traditions.
THE AMAZING RACE
(Saturday, February 29) In the spring of 1946 shortly after the war ended I climbed over what was left of the Warsaw ghetto but I did not find anything of interest, mostly bricks and mortar.
A note to David Severn, Philo: In November a Democratic candidate in order to win must receive a majority of Electoral College votes from two or three states that they lost in 2016 — Florida, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin, Iowa, Montana, or Arizona. Will a democratic socialist with a call for a revolution have a chance to win? Probably NOT. How about a homosexual married to another homosexual? Probably NOT. Will Joe Biden who seems to be unexciting at this point have a chance? It's possible. Will Elizabeth Warren have a chance? Possibly if she has improved since New Hampshire and does well in California. I urge you to vote for Warren on March 3.
If I were to win the president's race in 2020 the first thing I would do would be to issue an executive order in the library of congress to print to which category a book belongs on the lower right hand corner of the cover. This will make it much easier for libraries and book shops to place the books where readers can locate them. Reprints should also be included and shelves marked with the categories.
Why do books with room for margins on the outside of pages not have enough margin space on the inside pages? One has to get their nose down beneath the cleavage in order to read easily. Anyone publishing such a book will be transported. In England this means sent to prison. Here among the gringos they will be sent to Huntsville, Texas for a pre-ex (a final analysis before execution).
Now we will return to our story of the Anderson Valley Advertiser versus the grape. Miss Fashauer chose to proceed westward while the Scaramella fella headed east. In the second grade Ms. F. was asked to bring an orange to school to demonstrate that the world was round. The teacher ate the orange. Ms. F. decided that it would be foolish to climb up the steep hill going by way of Hawaii instead of taking the great circle route by way of the Aleutian Islands which was more level. And there she goes pulling her folded up bicycle strapped to a frame with two wheels and a notebook to be used to write down all the best restaurants she encountered complete with menus, wine lists and décor.
Meanwhile Mr. S. left Boonville pulling his two-wheeled frame with his bag of clubs strapped on and carrying the list of golf courses he was invited to visit. Before he reached the top of the Coast Range he had had enough of this method of travel and like Jack London and William O. Douglas who had a scholarship to Columbia Law school but no money, found an empty boxcar and jumped in. When the train reached the Chicago stockyards the railroad bulls chased him into the swine department. He ran, still pulling a bag of clubs until he reached the Upton Sinclair Memorial Library and coffee shop.
Ms. Fashauer headed toward an Alaska ferry when she ran into Rex Gressett who was to fill in for the Scaramella fella while he was gone. Gressett thought this was a chance of a lifetime but soon tired of hearing that his duties included watching for Philbrick letters, editing, and making sure they were printed in a timely manner, eliminating other letters if there wasn't enough room for both.
Ms. F. found upon arriving in Alaska that there was no transportation through the islands, just jump from fishing boat to island to fishing boat to island. Nothing to eat but fish using fish as a pillow at night. The proverbial lightbulb went off and ms. Fashauer vowed to open an outdoor fish stand next door to the Savings Bank of Mendocino County.
Readers will recall the rules -- no air travel and a checkpoint in Bali and Nantucket Island. Mr. S. thought he should skip a planned trip to the Country Music Hall of Fame ("if it ain't country, it ain't music") and Hooters on Charleston's waterfront and proceeded to Nantucket where he encountered Philbricks underfoot everywhere he went. "I led three lives," Philbricks, Nathan Philbrick, author of several books on 19th-century maritime events, whale boats, shipwrecks, explorations. Whenever S’mella entered a Starbucks on Nantucket he asked if any of the employees knew where their name originated. None did. No one in Ukiah knew either.
When Anne Fashauer reached Attu, the last island on the Aleutian chain, she received a little lagniappe. Docked at Attu’s only pier was the luxury yacht LaBumba owned by Fox News. When Ms. F told the captain she represented the Anderson Valley wine industry in a Boonville to Boonville race, he agreed to sign her on as cabin girl until they reached Japan. Everything is different in Japan. With an aging population, more adult diapers are sold than baby diapers and all shopping carts have a magnifying glass and an emergency bell attached. In Japan all west to east and north to south are down hill which enabled Ms. F. to ride her bicycle all the way south through the entire country. If a money transfer arrives from Anderson Valley Ms. F. will be able to continue her trip through the Spice Islands where she is expected to be welcomed by the Sultan. This completes the first leg of the race for both contestants.
PS. Re: the ballot measure to repeal the increase in the gasoline tax: wealthy and affluent people voted for it. Low income people voted against repeal. The Democratic establishment doesn't want Bernie Sanders to be elected because he would support the low income voters on issues like this. Every congressional district has some kind of military spending. That's why it's 100% too high.
LONGS PLAZA'S DETERIORATION
To the Editor:
What’s up with the landlords of Longs Plaza? It is really in poor shape. Graffiti in the back of the building on the sign which has been there for months. The landscaping is dead and very unattractive, buildings need paint, benches need fixing, and sidewalks need cleaning. This complex is in poor shape, what a shame, with some great stores and restaurants among it.
HISTORICAL REVIEW BOARD CONSIDERS SOLAR PANELS, SIGNS
HERE WE GO
Baseball Fire is 100 percent contained
WILLOWS, Calif., March 3, 2020 — The Baseball Fire on the Covelo Ranger District of the Mendocino National Forest is 100 percent contained at 211 acres. The fire is located about 15 miles southeast of Covelo in Mendocino and Glenn counties.
Crews will continue to mop-up and patrol the fire until the fire is considered out. The fire started on Tuesday, Feb. 25 after debris piles that were burned several weeks ago reignited on the Baseball prescribed fire project. The fire has burned at a low to moderate rate in a mosaic pattern similar to the desired effects from a prescribed fire.
Covelo District Ranger Frank Aebly says, “The Baseball Project is a multi-year effort aimed at improving wildlife habitat, decreasing stand density, reducing hazard fuels and decreasing fire intensity in the event of a future wildfire. It was the previous thinning and prescribed burning activities on this project over the years that helped prevent the fire from spreading rapidly and negatively impacting the area.”
Information is available on InciWeb at inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/6679/.
COMPANY KITCHEN OPENS IN PHILO
The Company Kitchen is open for business! Dinner tonight is from 5-8, come and get it!
Business hours are
- Tuesday 11:30-2:30 and 5-8
- Wednesday 11:30-2:30 and 5-8
- Thursday 11:30-2:30 and 5-8
- Friday 11:30-2:30 and 5-8
- Saturday 11:30-2:30 and 5-8
NO BOONVILLE QUIZ THIS WEEK. We shall return on the 2nd Thursday which will be next week on 12th March. Hope to see you there. Cheers, Steve Sparks, The Quiz Master
ARMED & ASLEEP
On Thursday, September 26, 2019 at 7:31 AM, Deputies from the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office were dispatched to assist the Round Valley Tribal Police Department in the 76000 block of Crawford Road in Covelo.
Upon arrival the Deputies learned a Tribal Police Officer was on routine patrol when they noticed the presence of a vehicle parked in the middle of Crawford Road facing the wrong direction.
The Tribal Police Officer approached the vehicle on foot and noticed the driver (sole occupant), Luis John Oliver, 33, of Covelo, was asleep.
The Tribal Police Officer saw a pistol type of firearm on the front passenger seat.
A short time later Oliver awoke and was detained by the Tribal Police Officer who subsequently contacted the Sheriff's Office.
The Deputies looked into the vehicle, Oliver had been occupying, and saw a black pistol type of firearm on the front passenger seat.
The firearm had a large capacity drum style magazine inserted into the magazine well of the firearm.
An inspection of the firearm showed it had a live 9mm cartridge in the chamber (ready to fire) and the magazine was loaded with several 9mm live cartridges (ready to fire multiple times).
A search of the vehicle was conducted and several other caliber types of live ammunition was located loose in the passenger area and also approximately .7 grams of methamphetamine.
Oliver was booked into the Mendocino County Jail on charges of Felon in Possession of Firearm, Possession of Large Capacity Magazine, Possession of Ammunition by Prohibited Person, Offense Committed While Released on Bail, Possession of Controlled Substance While Armed with Firearm, and Possession of a Controlled Substance.
Based upon the public safety concerns over the nature of Oliver's arrest, the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office worked directly with the Mendocino County District Attorney's Office to get federal assistance from the Federal Bureau of Investigations and the Office of the United States Attorney.
Based upon the collaborative efforts of these public safety agencies, Oliver was federally indicted on 02-25-2020 for charges of Felon in Possession of Ammunition and Felon in Possession of Firearm resulting in him being transferred to federal custody on Wednesday, March 4, 2020.
The Mendocino County Sheriff's Office will continue to work in collaboration with local, state and federal agencies to address crime concerns in Covelo.
CATCH OF THE DAY, March 4, 2020
MARIO ALVAREZ-VILLASANO, Los Angeles/Ukiah. DUI.
FERAS ASFOUR, Talmage. Probation revocation.
ETHAN BAUER, Clearlake/Ukiah. Burglary, felon-addict with firearm.
CHRISTOPHER BLOODWORTH II, Calpella. Driving without license.
HENRY CISNEROS, Ukiah. DUI, no license.
SANDRA CLEVINGER, Lakeport/Willits. DUI.
SEAN FLINTON, Fort Bragg. Disorderly conduct-alcohol, probation revocation. (Frequent flyer.)
CHARLES HAYES, Clearlake/Ukiah. Failure to appear.
SHANNON KIDD, Ukiah. Under influence, parole violation.
SCOTT KOPMAN, Willits. DUI, domestic abuse, probation revocation.
JOSE LORETO-QUIJAS, Ukiah. DUI, misdemeanor hit&run, more than an ounce of pot, suspended license (for DUI), probation revocation.
JAKOB MASSEY, Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol, vandalism.
VALENTIN SORIANO-HUERTA, Ukiah. DUI.
EDWARD TORRES, Ukiah. Paraphernalia, resisting.
CHANGE? HOPE? OBAMA MUST HAVE BEEN TALKING ABOUT JOE BIDEN!
by Alexander Cockburn (2008)
“Change” and “hope” are not words one associates with Senator Joe Biden, a man so ripely symbolic of everything that is unchanging and hopeless about our political system that a computer simulation of the corporate-political paradigm senator in Congress would turn out “Biden” in a nano-second.
The first duty of any senator from Delaware is to do the bidding of the banks and large corporations which use the tiny state as a drop box and legal sanctuary. Biden has never failed his masters in this primary task. Find any bill that sticks it to the ordinary folk on behalf of the Money Power and you’ll likely detect Biden’s hand at work. The bankruptcy act of 2005 was just one sample. In concert with his fellow corporate serf, Senator Tom Carper, Biden blocked all efforts to hinder bankrupt corporations from fleeing from their real locations to the legal sanctuary of Delaware. Since Obama is himself a corporate serf and from day one in the US Senate has been attentive to the same masters that employ Biden, the ticket is well balanced, the seesaw with Obama at one end and Biden at the other dead-level on the fulcrum of corporate capital.
Another shining moment in Biden’s progress in the current presidential term was his conduct in the hearings on Judge Alito’s nomination to the US Supreme Court. From the opening moments of the Judiciary Committee’s sessions in January, 2006, it became clear that Alito faced no serious opposition. On that first ludicrous morning Senator Pat Leahy sank his head into his hands, shaking it in unbelieving despair as Biden blathered out a self-serving and inane monologue lasting a full twenty minutes before he even asked Alito one question. In his allotted half hour Biden managed to pose only five questions, all of them ineptly phrased. He did pose two questions about Alito’s membership of a racist society at Princeton, but had already undercut them in his monologue by calling Alito “a man of integrity”, not once but twice, and further trivialized the interrogation by reaching under the dais to pull out a Princeton cap and put it on.
In all, Biden rambled for 4,000 words, leaving Alito time only to put together less than 1,000. A Delaware newspaper made deadly fun of him for his awful performance, eliciting the revealing confession from Biden that “I made a mistake. I should have gone straight to my question. I was trying to put him at ease.”
Biden is a notorious flapjaw. His vanity deludes him into believing that every word that drops from his mouth is minted in the golden currency of Pericles. Vanity is the most conspicuous characteristic of US Senators en bloc, nourished by deferential acolytes and often expressed in loutish sexual advances to staffers, interns and the like. On more than one occasion CounterPunch’s editors have listened to vivid accounts by the recipient of just such advances, this staffer of another senator being accosted by Biden in the well of the senate in the week immediately following his first wife’s fatal car accident.
His “experience” in foreign affairs consists in absolute fidelity to the conventions of cold war liberalism, the efficient elder brother of raffish “neo-conservatism.” Here again the ticket is well balanced, since Senator Obama has, within a very brief time-frame, exhibited great fidelity to the same creed.
Obama opposed the launching of the US attack on Iraq in 2003. He was not yet in the US Senate, but having arrived there in 2005 he has since voted unhesitatingly for all appropriations of the vast sums required for the war’s prosecution. Biden himself voted enthusiastically for the attack, declaring in the Senate debate in October, 2002, in a speech excavated and sent to us by Sam Husseini:
“I do not believe this is a rush to war. I believe it is a march to peace and security. I believe that failure to overwhelmingly support this resolution is likely to enhance the prospects that war will occur. … [Saddam Hussein] possesses chemical and biological weapons and is seeking nuclear weapons. … For four years now, he has prevented United Nations inspectors from uncovering those weapons…
“The terms of surrender dictated by the United Nations require him to declare and destroy his weapons of mass destruction programs. He has not done so. …
“Many predicted the administration would refuse to give the weapons inspectors one last chance to disarm. …
“Mr. President, President Bush did not lash out precipitously after 9/11. He did not snub the U.N. or our allies. He did not dismiss a new inspection regime. He did not ignore the Congress. At each pivotal moment, he has chosen a course of moderation and deliberation. …
“For two decades, Saddam Hussein has relentlessly pursued weapons of mass destruction. There is a broad agreement that he retains chemical and biological weapons, the means to manufacture those weapons and modified Scud missiles, and that he is actively seeking a nuclear capability. …
“We must be clear with the American people that we are committing to Iraq for the long haul; not just the day after, but the decade after…. [Biden confided to his colleagues that this would be a long fight, but was still for it.] I am absolutely confident the President will not take us to war alone. I am absolutely confident we will enhance his ability to get the world to be with us by us voting for this resolution.”
In step with his futile bid for the Democratic nomination, Biden changed his mind on the war, and part of his mandate will be to shore up the credentials of the Democratic ticket as being composed of “responsible” helmsmen of Empire, stressing that any diminution of the US presence in Iraq will be measured and thus extremely slow, balanced by all the usual imperial ventures elsewhere around the globe.
Why did Obama choose Biden? One important constituency pressing for Biden was no doubt the Israel lobby inside the Democratic Party. Obama, no matter how fervent his proclamations of support for Israel, has always been viewed with some suspicion by the lobby. For half the lifespan of the state of Israel, Biden has proved himself its unswerving acolyte in the senate.
And Obama picked Biden for the same reason Michael Dukakis chose Senator Lloyd Bentsen in 1988: the marriage of youth and experience, so reassuring to uncertain voters but most of all to the elites, that nothing dangerous or unusual will discommode business as usual. Another parallel would be Kennedy’s pick of Lyndon Johnson in 1960, LBJ being a political rival and a seasoned senator. Kennedy and Johnson didn’t like each other, and surely after Biden’s racist remarks about “clean” blacks, Obama cannot greatly care for Biden. It seems he would have preferred Chris Dodd but the latter was disqualified because of his VIP loans from Countrywide.
DOW CLOSES NEARLY 1,200 POINTS HIGHER AS BIDEN SUPER TUESDAY VICTORIES BOOST HEALTH CARE STOCKS
Stocks surged on Wednesday as major victories from former Vice President Joe Biden during Super Tuesday sparked a massive rally within the health-care sector.
THE CORONAVIRUS EXPOSES WHY THE TOKYO 2020 OLYMPICS SHOULD BE CANCELED
by Dave Zirin & Jules Boykoff
Can anime become prophecy? The 1988 Japanese anime classic Akira predicted that Tokyo would host the 2020 Olympics. One scene featured a billboard reading “147 Days Until the Games”—directly beneath it someone scrawled in graffiti, “Just cancel it!” Here we are roughly 140 days ahead of the Tokyo Summer Olympics, and the cancellation—or postponement—of the Games is a real possibility, because of the emergence of COVID-19, or the novel coronavirus.
As Stanford University professor Yvonne Maldonado put it, with the Olympics, “You bring a lot of people together, and then you ship them back all over the world: That’s the perfect way to transmit.” The infectious disease specialist added, “If you really want to disseminate a disease, that would be the way to do it.”
At least one member of the International Olympic Committee, Dick Pound of Canada, seems to agree. In an interview with the Associated Press, he set off alarm bells, stating that the International Olympic Committee (IOC) probably needs to decide whether to press ahead with the Tokyo Games by the end of May. “In and around that time, I’d say folks are going to have to ask: ‘Is this under sufficient control that we can be confident about going to Tokyo or not?’” Postponing the Games—an idea posed by Seiko Hashimoto, Japan’s Olympic minister this week—is now an open possibility, but also unrealistic, as doing so would interfere with the US college and NFL fall football schedule. Given the billions that NBC has plunged into the Olympics—the network forked over $4.4 billion in 2011 for broadcasting rights through 2020 and then a whopping $7.7 billion for the Games running through 2032—its insistence would almost certainly be that the Games must go on, short of a global pandemic.
In truth, though, the Games should have been canceled well ahead of the coronavirus outbreak, especially if Olympic organizers and their allies in Japan’s government cared about public health. Tokyo organizers have branded the Olympics the “Recovery Games,” replete with “recovery monuments” to honor the triple-whammy earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear meltdown at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in 2011. They even created a bizarre graphic (pictured below) that depicts a circle of appreciation, with “the disaster-affected areas” offering support for the Olympic athletes, which will “cheer up” the world. “The world,” in turn, will express gratitude, which will “cheer up” the disaster-affected areas. (The graphic was available on this website until today.)
This, of course, is pure-grade PR gibberish. We visited Fukushima in July 2019 and spoke with locals who were livid that Fukushima was being used as an Olympic prop. We saw “black pyramids” comprised of large plastic bags of radiation-drenched soil. We saw abandoned homes and businesses that surely could have used the billions that are being funneled into the Games—some $26 billion, according to a government audit, despite the fact that the original price tag for the Tokyo Olympics was $7.3 billion.
Instead of material support, Olympic honchos have offered Fukushima residents mere symbolism: The Olympic torch relay will kick off in Fukushima next month, despite the fact that Greenpeace recently uncovered radiation hot spots along the torch relay route. Olympic bigwigs have also scheduled baseball and softball games in Fukushima Prefecture. In short, the “Recovery Games” moniker amounts to a cruel joke. As Satoko Itani, a professor of sport, gender, and sexuality studies at Kansai University, told us, “This Olympics is literally taking the money, workers, and cranes away from the areas where they are needed most.”
The coronavirus may well benefit elected officials with an authoritarian streak, as public health crises can be a recipe for free-range autocracy. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has long demonstrated a “disturbing authoritarian pattern,” as Bloomberg News referred to it. And he has also shown an alarming capacity to lie to get what he wants. Shinzo Abe has been adamant that there is no need to postpone the Tokyo Games, but there’s a “prime minister who cried wolf” dynamic at play here. After all, back in 2013 when Tokyo was bidding on the Olympics, he told voting members of the IOC who were jittery about Fukushima that the situation was “under control” even though it clearly wasn’t. For many, when they hear Abe and other officials saying that the coronavirus will not affect the Olympics, they hear the resounding echo of previous empty promises.
It must be noted that even if they cancel the Tokyo Games, the damage has already been done. Everyday people have been displaced for Olympic facilities and that cannot be rolled back. Workers have set up infrastructure in Fukushima and their exposure to radiation has already taken place.
What about relocating the Games to a previous host? Shaun Bailey, a candidate running for mayor of London, suggested transferring the Olympics there, but many of the 2012 venues are gone and residents are now living in the apartments that previously made up the Olympic Village. Rio, host of the 2016 Olympics is an obvious no-go, with venues in various states of dilapidation and the country mired in a right-wing hatescape that does not even vaguely chime with the lofty principles enshrined in the Olympic Charter. And cariocas—Rio’s residents—have little interest in the Olympics’ returning to town. The IOC left a bitter taste in Rio, when it said it was unwilling to help them pay off a few bills left in the Games’ wake.
As for the economic damage that canceling the Olympics could do to Japan, one could argue that the harm has been done. In addition to the displacements, the Olympics have already granted huge giveaways of land to the developers who are building the Athletes Village and that will not change because of a virus—or even a cancellation. The writing is on the wall: There is ample reason to cancel these Olympics for the good of Japan. The coronavirus only lays those reasons bare.
DENYING MEN CANCER SCREENING - THE FACTS IN BLACK AND WHITE
Black men in the US have the highest rate of prostate cancer in the world, twice the rate of White men. It is a leading cause of death for all men and Black men die from this cancer at over twice the rate of White men. The cancer in Blacks often spreads more quickly if not aggressively treated. Over the last thirty years, at least 30,000 Black men have died yearly from prostate cancer. Screening with the Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) blood test can find this cancer early. This massive decline in deaths was due to the use of the blood test PSA, to screen and detect prostate cancer early. The PSA test saved thousands of Black and White men from the painful death of prostate cancer.
The 2018 US Preventative Services Task Force (USPSTF) report stated: “Screening offers a small potential benefit of reducing the chance of death from prostate cancer in some men.” “More aggressive screening strategies particularly those that use a lower PSA threshold …., provide the greatest potential reduction in death from prostate cancer.” While acknowledging that PSA screening saves lives the USPSTF does NOT call for universal screening of Black men for prostate cancer.
The USPSTF want patients to consider the balance of benefits and harms when thinking about having a PSA blood test. What are the benefits? Early detection and treatment of prostate cancer is the benefit, living, not dying from cancer. What are the harms? The USPSTF lists over diagnosis and over treatment as harms. This reveals inadequacies and failures of the US Health Care System being used as an excuse to deny cancer screening. Harms also listed are anxiety, possible incontinence and erectile dysfunction. So what is the balance? Do the “harms” outweigh the “benefits”???
It appears that the USPSTF is encouraging men NOT to have a PSA test and allowing men to have the “absurd benefit” of living in blissful ignorance until dying a painful death from prostate cancer.
The National Cancer Institute, 4/10/19, The American Cancer Society 3/11/16, and the American College of Physicians, 4/9/13, none of these organizations call for universal prostate cancer screening for Black men.
Women are screened for breast cancer, why not men for prostate cancer? Screening mammography for breast cancer has been universal for decades despite knowing that the test misses many cancers. More than 40,000 women still die yearly from breast cancer. Even though the USPSTF considers Black men at high risk, they do NOT get universal prostate screening because of priorities and money.
Below are examples from medical articles:
The PSA test is “a hugely expensive public health disaster”. “As Congress searches for ways to cut costs in our health care system, a significant savings could come from changing the way the antigen is used to screen for prostate cancer.”
“…universal counseling which may impose significant opportunity costs by diverting time from higher priority preventative services.”
“Controlling health care costs is the only way to ensure appropriate investment in other areas…”
Black men are NOT a priority. The political priorities are obvious-Trillions of dollars in tax cuts for corporations and the rich, and trillions in dollars to the military –war machine.
Clearly Black lives don’t matter, but it seems that White lives don’t matter much either.
Dr. Nayvin Gordon
Dr. Gordon is a California physician who has written many articles on health and politics. He may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Dear Candidates James Green, Jon Kennedy, and Glenn McGourty:
Thank you gentlemen for running clean and honest campaigns. Never did any of us sink to the level of personal attacks. Never did I feel you were opponents. You felt more like friends with whom I shared a mutual love for Mendocino County -- the place and its people.
Among the four of us, there are no unqualified candidates. Each of us is qualified in distinct areas, bringing our unique skills and experiences. Together, we have raised the level of public discourse. This is rare. Indeed, I wish this were the case in national politics.
I look forward to knowing each of you better in the future.
Finally, as you may know, one of the consequences of serious surgical errors I suffered during a surgical procedure on November 20 was that I withdrew from active campaigning. No door-to-door. No canvassing. No grassroots fundraising. No town halls. No mailers. No ads. No political house parties. No phone banks. No lawn signs except on my own front lawn. I did not seek endorsements. Except for one gift from a high school friend that I did not solicit, no fundraising.
I'm sorry. You deserved better. You, and the voters, deserved an active campaign from me.
I want to thank each of you for your kind wishes and prayers since November 20.
With admiration and respect,
John Sakowicz, Candidate, 1st District Supervisor
ORGANIZED MONEY VS. ORGANIZED PEOPLE: New Sanders Memo Details “The choice in the Democratic primary is now crystal clear: voters face a decision between Bernie's working-class movement and his message of change, and Biden's effort to — in his own words — make sure that ‘nothing will fundamentally change’ for the billionaire class that buys elections.”
BACK TO BOISE, BILL
UKIAH, Tues., March 3. -- It took a Mendocino County Superior Court jury only twenty minutes Tuesday to decide the issues at hand and to return to the courtroom to announce it had found the trial defendant guilty as charged.
Defendant Hyrum William Anderson, age 36, of Boise, Idaho, was found guilty of resisting and delaying a peace officer, a misdemeanor, and refusing to provide identification upon lawful demand of a peace officer, also a misdemeanor.
After the jury was excused, the defendant was ordered to return to court on March 26th at 9 o'clock in the morning (Department B in the Ukiah courthouse) for the Court to hear arguments from the attorneys on an appropriate sentence to be imposed.
The investigating law enforcement agencies in this matter were the California Department of Fish and Wildlife and the California Highway Patrol.
The prosecutor who presented the People's evidence to the jury was Deputy District Attorney Carlos Duarte.
Mendocino County Superior Court Judge Victoria Shanahan presided over the two-day trial and will be the sentencing judge on March 26th.
Finally, it shall not go unnoted that Deputy DA Duarte is a relatively new Mendocino County prosecutor and this was his first ever jury trial. Congratulations, Carlos!
JAZZ CALIENTE TO PLAY IN CLOVERDALE, APRIL 2
Cloverdale Arts Alliance presents THE Jazz Club first Thursdays, October to May
Cloverdale, CA, March 4, 2020 — On Thursday, April 2, the Cloverdale Arts Alliance will continue THE Jazz Club season with Jazz Caliente, an all-star ensemble whose members have appeared with a who's who of musical luminaries, including Dizzy Gillespie, Freddie Hubbard, Linda Ronstadt, Zakir Hussain, Michael Bolton, Jon Faddis, Tom Scott, Pete Escovedo and the Temptations.
Guitarist and composer Lee Waterman's Latin jazz ensemble percolates with infectious Afro-Cuban and Brazilian rhythms. Waterman founded the band in 1989 as a vehicle for his original compositions and his unique arrangements of songs by the great Jazz and Latin masters, including Miles Davis, Duke Ellington, Tito Puente and Sergio Mendes.
Other band members include Alex Murzyn (sax and flute), Michaelle Goerlitz (percussion), Tommy Kesecker (vibraphone), Bill Lanphier (bass), and Bill Belasco (drums). All the band members are terrific ensemble players and exciting soloists.
This performance will be at the Cloverdale Arts Alliance Gallery, located at 204 N. Cloverdale Blvd. Tickets are $15 for Cloverdale Arts Alliance members and $20 for non-members. Doors open at 7:00 pm; music begins at 7:30 pm. THE Jazz Club takes place the first Thursday of each month from October through May. The wine sponsor for THE Jazz Club is Rodney Strong Vineyards.
To receive reserved seating privileges, purchase advance tickets online at www.cloverdaleartsalliance.org or at the Cloverdale Arts Alliance during normal business hours. Tickets are available at the door.
The Jazz Club is a program of the Cloverdale Arts Alliance, a non-profit arts organization bringing cultural arts to northern Sonoma County. Other CAA programs include Friday Night Live at the Plaza, Art Gallery, Americana Night, Music Workshops, Discovering Art Series, The Blues Night, Art Classes, Wine Appreciation Workshops, and Special Events.
PETE BUTTIGIEG JUST DEALT A BLOW TO HIS FATHER’S LEGACY
What happened to Pete?
A longtime and widely respected professor of literature, Joseph Buttigieg devoted his remarkable academic career to translating the writing of the Italian revolutionary Antonio Gramsci into English.
In his long tenure at Notre Dame, the professor founded the International Gramsci Society and came to be recognized internationally, including by the Italian government, as a leading expert on the theorist’s writing. Buttigieg’s signature contribution, however, was his authoritative translation of Gramsci’s Prison Notebooks — a collection of thirty-three notebooks that Gramsci had filled with original reflections and theories from the prison cell where he eventually died as a captive of Mussolini’s fascist regime.
EMPIRE STRUCK BACK