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MCT: Tuesday, April 14, 2020

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DRY AND WARMER WEATHER is expected to prevail through mid week. An upper trough may generate isolated showers over the mountains toward the end of the week. (NWS)

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(photo by Susie de Castro)

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Despite issuing an order for no one to engage in "non-essential travel," Mendocino's "interim" Public Health Officer (Noemi C. Doohan MD) drove to San Diego to be with her husband a couple weeks ago. She was supposed to return Sunday to Mendocino County. Looks like she has to stay on vacation. An extension to her contract (to December) is on the agenda of the Mendocino Supervisors Tuesday morning. (MSP)

Due to unforeseen circumstances, Public Health Officer Dr. Noemi Doohan continues to shelter in place at her home in San Diego. While her return to Mendocino County has been delayed, we anticipate her return soon. We will share additional information as we receive it. Thank you.

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Dear Mendocino County Board of Supervisors,

It is unfathomable that our Public Health Officer, Dr. Doohan, would travel to San Diego for a two week “working” vacation to visit family during the worst pandemic in over a century, in direct violation of her own SIP order! San Diego now has over 1700 cases of COVID-19. Did Dr. Doohan grocery shop or engage in other public activities while in San Diego?

Dr. Doohan has not been present in Mendocino County during this pandemic crisis when the Public Health Officer, of all people, should be fully present and providing guidance and leadership.

Instead she has been a veritable ghost, only appearing for a brief once a week remote podcast. It is my understanding that she has already run through the amount budgeted for her salary by booking lots of overtime! What, exactly, has she been doing, in San Diego, with all of that overtime that benefits the citizens of Mendocino County? Or is she engaged in activities for her own personal benefit, racking up overtime, while the taxpayers foot the bill?

Most adults already are spending plenty of time keeping themselves apprised of the pandemic situation. We do not need to pay someone $200,000+ a year of taxpayer money just to surf the net and issue dictates from afar to which she herself does not even adhere. We need a Public Health Officer who is actually here engaged in positive action. Doing more testing, seeing to the distribution of free cloth face masks, and more communication with and guidance to the public on best practices for staying healthy are just a few examples.

Also, didn’t Dr. Doohan previously inform the county that she had accepted another position in San Diego? So it is curious then that she has been in San Diego for two weeks during this critical time instead of here in Mendocino County doing the job for which she is being paid.

I wonder if there is any other Public Health Officer in the entire country who has engaged in such egregiously irresponsible behavior? I believe this ill-timed trip to San Diego shows extremely poor judgement, lack of concern for the responsibilities of her position and for the safety of the citizens of Mendocino County, and is a dereliction of duty. Please consider finding a new Public Health Officer who takes the job more seriously.

Kristine Helsing

Little River

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Dr. Doohan’s Curious Absence—

I fully support extending Dr Doohan’s contract and I see no reason whatsoever why she can’t work remotely, (as have the County Supervisors and other key county personnel since the pandemic response began here locally). I expect Dr. Doohan's contract to be extended by a unanimous vote.

I have listened to every BOS meeting (for years) and each of Dr. Doohan's interviews and reports. I find Dr. Doohan to be highly competent and forthcoming with knowledgeable information in her work to protect the health of this county's residents. While it is no secret that Dr. Doohan has already accepted a job in San Diego, she has also agreed not only to keep doing this essential Public Health officer's work for our county until there is some closure to the C19 outbreak, but also to help the county to find her replacement.

It is interesting that many of the armchair 'supervisors' who are woefully uninformed on this topic are so quick to cast judgement. Rather than criticize Dr. Doohan, many of the critics might instead consider what types of county services they will be able to live without, given the steep decline in county revenue, and the looming county budget discussions with their resulting county service cuts.

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Ideas for local economic recovery? Shopping local is more important now than ever. What can we do to support local businesses in a period the IMF head foresees as the worst global economic downturn since Great Depression? No matter one's perspective on the health emergency response, the economic impact is very real. The County will see substantial losses in sales tax, transient occupancy (bed) tax and potentially property tax, so unless state or federal programs backfill lost revenue, county services will be negatively impacted. (I highlight this to temper suggestions of local tax cuts in a time we might be forced to substantially reduce services just to balance the budget.) The county is contracting with West Business Development Center to assist with small business loans (debt isn't a solution, but might buy time). Ensuring those eligible for unemployment are assisted where necessary is crucial. Helping businesses with online commerce and curb-side for non-essentials when orders allow? What else can we do to help, both local government and as community?


James Roberts of Philo: I hope our county leaders will be able to have an open dialog with the many businesses that rely on tourism as we create a bridge through the transition from the current shelter in place. We would like to have a seat at the table so we can plan accordingly. The economic impact not only effects our own small businesses, but the financial outlook of the community as a whole.

Williams: I’d like for the business community to be part of the collaboration. Do you see any merit in a video conference to begin brainstorming before the (hopefully) relaxed orders are released in May?

Roberts: that would be super helpful. We just want to have fact driven roadmap that will keep everyone safe, yet move forward in a way that can kickstart our economy again.

First District Supervisor Candidate Jon Kennedy on budgeting under reduced revenues: Somewhat similar to what we had to do in Plumas County in 2011. It's a lot of work. It forces you to seriously consider priorities because cuts have to be made in order to balance the budget, using minimal fund balance, if any at all. This requires, literally line by line contemplation in each department.

Chris Calder: As many forms of outdoor work as possible opened up again. I've heard (from an employee) that the logging companies have stopped work. Landscapers. Tree services. Well diggers. Ditch diggers. I noticed the out of state tree crews kept working. Good time for brush clearing. Seems like many kinds of work outside the tourist economy should be able to get going again very soon with some common sense. … A guy who works for them told me a few days ago Anderson Logging is shut down. Maybe not true anymore. I like the 'purely cosmetic' distinction re: landscaping. Surely in the eye of the beholder.

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JUST IN! The Fort Bragg City Council has announced it will re-open the Haul Road Coastal Trail, but to locals only. How this odd stipulation will be enforced will be interesting to watch. The Haul Road, it can't be said often enough, is ten miles of more or less intact pavement running along the Pacific from Fort Bragg to Ten Mile River. The road was built by the old Union Lumber Company as a straight shot to its Fort Bragg Mill, thus avoiding the public's winding and slow Highway One.

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That is my grandfather, Reese Lane Calder, on the back of that mule, that he rode to school from his house at the Drum Power Station way up in the mountains above Auburn, back in the day. He was the genuine article, and doesn't look too happy about having to ride in back. My dad found this px. during a Lockdown rummaging session in which he also found the leather-crafting kit somebody gave him for Christmas 40 years ago. Actually he didn't find that. He said my mom just threw it down on the table in front of him.

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Don't let them grind you down!

In light of the media driven coronavirus scare I would like to try to give a little prison wisdom to AVA readers. First of all I would like to say that I do not believe all the scare tactics the mainstream media is inflicting on the poor gullible public. But I am also not an idiot, contrary to popular opinion, so I'm being safe but sane.

Hopefully people are being smart enough to find the right balance of caution and not sacrificing their mental health by beleiving the MSM’s irresponsible fear mongering.

"Social distancing" and "sheltering in place" is something long-term prisoners are experienced at, obviously not voluntarily, but those of us who manage to survive it have learned to not only make the best of it but to actually benefit from it.

Suffering is an essential part of life and without it we don't benefit from its lessons. Isolating yourself to dodge the coronavirus may seem like suffering to some I'm sure, but don't let it drive you crazy. Even if you are alone (no cellie) you cannot surrender to the loneliness and isolation. Now is the time to make this time work for you. As foreign as it may be for some people, this is the time to strengthen your mind, discipline your body and be grateful you still have your health. This last thing is by far the most important. Being grateful and thankful is a wonderful medicine for the soul. It is the exact opposite of being selfish and bitter. Since you have to go through this segregation, why not get as much out of this time as possible?

"Don't be so hung up on where you'd rather be that you fail to make the best of where you are."

Think of this time as "survival training" and it may be. To start, be aware of your thoughts. No negative or hateful thoughts about others or yourself. Some people are more susceptible than others to depression and this is a dangerous state of mind to be conquered as soon as possible. I know, easier said than done. But start with monitoring your thoughts. It's hard to have negative feelings when you are having positive thoughts and vice versa.

This is not the time or place to get into this subject and I'm not qualified to even think in public, let alone to help someone else get their head together. That is beyond me. (Hopefully reader you are not suffering with depression.)

Next, keep busy. Don't just sit on your ass picking your nose. Find ways to flex your head and your muscles. Keep your brain working. As square as it sounds, do crosswords, Sudoku, read, whatever. Just don't let your mind dwell on negative crap. Do not watch the news! And a little extra exercise is 100% better than none at all. You would be surprised how quickly your muscles will atrophy when you are stuck on the couch doing nothing but watching TV. Whatever you do — move something.

The Department of Corrections is on statewide lockdown. I'm stuck in a 6’ x 12' cell with another person. If we can figure out how to stay active, you have no excuse. An excellent but light full-bodied exercise is the "Sun Salutation." (Look it up on the Internet.)

Take this time to help yourself. Ignore the media's attempt to scare you into submission. Instead, ask yourself why they are doing what they are doing?

Have you noticed the ridiculous things they expect you to believe? Facemasks are not as good as a bandanna blocking the virus? Really? The real issue is the average person who is social distancing should not use a valuable asset such as an N-95 mask, but instead use bandannas, scarves etc. But the MSM thinks the American public is too stupid to understand this. In some cases they may be right, but damn! Give us the benefit of the doubt.

And telling us that we need to keep buying liquor to help certain businesses stay afloat? They really just think the public with all this extra time on their hands should be intoxicated instead of clearheaded so they don't see through their weak deceptions?

Again, why is the MSM pushing all this fear at the public? I'm not going to pretend to know. But there is some reason and I'm sure it's not in our best interests.

Look at this time you've been given as a gift, not a punishment, not a do or die situation. The odds of the average healthy person dying from this virus are so low that it's almost a slight possibility. No more. More people die from hit and run accidents in Los Angeles than from this crap. So instead of huddling in fear, enjoy your vacation, get a little exercise, teach your cat to fetch and smile! You're only as happy as you let yourself be.

Remember, thoughts are things, so have positive thoughts and you will have positive feelings. Let the media clowns wallow in their own negativity. The AVA is the only news you need for now. When there's good knows you will hear about it. Meanwhile, don't let them grind you down!

Scott Pinkerton J-87837

CSP/LAC — C4/218

P.O. Box 4610

Lancaster, CA 93539

PS. Check out my blog at:

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THE OTHER DAY, we asked County Auditor Lloyd Weer:

“If the schools are closed and reduced under a limited 'distance learning' approach with a significantly reduced ADA, do they still need their full property tax allocation? Wouldn’t their budgets be reduced in accordance with the three months (approx) closure? Can’t the county juggle these allocations under the circumstances considering that other revenues are probably going to be substantially reduced?”

Mr. Weer replied, “Yes, interesting times for sure. Currently, under the Teeter Plan method of Property Tax Apportionment, the Counties must distribute to all agencies (County, Schools, and Special Districts) 100% of the secured property taxes billed. No apparent wiggle room here. I believe relief from this requirement would have to come from the state legislature or the Governor himself. More to come on that soon I hope.”

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FROM THE UKIAH PD: "On Friday, April 10th, at approximately 11:48 am, a Ukiah police officer was travelling northbound in the 600 block of South State Street when he observed two vehicles travelling southbound side-by-side at an extremely high rate of speed. As the vehicles approached the Officer, their speed was estimated to be approximately 90 mph as they approached the intersection of South State Street and Gobbi Street.

The UPD officer immediately activated his overhead lights and siren to initiate a traffic stop on the two vehicles. The officer was able to make a traffic stop on one of the vehicles in the 800 block of South State Street.

The vehicle was a white 2009 Subaru Impreza and the driver of the vehicle, 27 year old Keoni Andrade of Ukiah, was taken into custody for Illegal street racing. Andrade admitted to the officer that he was in fact racing the other vehicle and that he was unsure of his speed but knew it to be in excess of 80 mph.

The second vehicle, a 2014 Ford Focus hatchback, briefly stopped for the UPD Officer in the 700 block of South State Street prior to the officer making contact with Andrade and his vehicle. As the officer was directing other UPD units to where the Ford Focus had pulled over, the Ford Focus pulled around the corner and into a nearby parking lot while the officer attempted to contact Andrade.

Additional UPD Officers arrived on scene and were directed to where the second vehicle was last seen. UPD officers located the vehicle in an alleyway in the 700 block of South State Street unoccupied. UPD officers searched the area for the driver of the vehicle unsuccessfully.

Approximately 45 minutes after the original violation, Ukiah CHP contacted the UPD and advised that the registered owner of the second vehicle had contacted them and was en route to their office to report his vehicle stolen.

UPD Officers made contact with the registered owner at the Ukiah CHP Office and identified him as 30-year-old Robert Mounts of Redwood Valley. Mounts was questioned and ultimately admitted to being the driver of the vehicle at the time of the incident. Mounts admitted to racing the other vehicle in excess of 80 mph.

Mounts was subsequently arrested for Illegal street racing and Resisting or delaying a Peace Officer. UPD is currently reviewing possible additional charges of violating the current order of Shelter in Place by the Mendocino County Health Officer.

Both Mounts and Andrade were transported to the Ukiah Police Department where they were booked and released for their respective charges.

The Ukiah Police Department would like to remind the great citizens of Ukiah that during the current COVID-19 pandemic we are still out in the city enforcing the law and keeping the public safe. We continue to ask residents to adhere to the current order from the county Health Officer regarding sheltering in place and ensuring any activities are of the essential nature."

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BERNIE GOES FROM VIABLE TO PATHETIC: "Today I am asking all Americans, I'm asking every Democrat, I'm asking every independent, I'm asking a lot of Republicans, to come together in this campaign to support your candidacy, which I endorse to make certain that we defeat somebody who I believe, and I'm speaking just for myself now, is the most dangerous president in the modern history of this country. I will do all that I can to see that that happens Joe [Biden] And I know that there is an enormous responsibility on your shoulders right now, and it's imperative that all of us work together to do what has to be done. Not only in this moment, but beyond this moment, in the future of this country."

SPEAKING for myself, Biden, given his horrific record, and his obvious senility, is insupportable. It's not enough to vote for Biden simply because he isn't Trump. The Democrats do this every election cycle. You have to vote for our candidate because he isn't the other guy. Trump is undoing himself, but I don't find him any more repellant than Biden or any other big shot Democrat you might name. I kinda liked Warren, actually, and might even vote for Biden if she were the vp pick. But she won't be because she's "too far to the left" for the Democratic shot callers who, basically, are the same billionaires pretty much who also support Trump except for the usual depraved show biz "liberals." Anyway, things are moving fast in the direction of serious chaos. The Joint Chiefs might be running the show by November. PS. It's the system. Jeez, I thought everyone knew at least that much. Trump-Biden are its natural consequences because the system doesn't produce plausible leaders anymore, it's that corrupt.

MONDAY'S NEWS CYCLE began with Trump re-tweeting a recommendation that he fire Fauci, which even Trump seemed to understand would be a big mistake given the doctor's popularity. By noon, Trump had said he had no intention of dumping Fauci. Seems that Trump would like to but when he floated the idea the answer came back a resounding No.

HAVING been through a medical exam where a doctor tested my remaining cognitive abilities, the medical man said, "You passed." Hoping the pathos wasn't audible, I asked, "With flying colors?" He paused, "You did fine." I really wanted flying colors, and not those faded, hanky-looking Tibetan peace flags you see around hippie enclaves. I wanted high praise that I was fully capable of my duties at Boonville's beloved weekly! The senility exam was pretty basic — count backwards from twenty, mom's maiden name, fill in the hours on a blank clock, ass from elbow. But watching Trump's press conferences I wondered if he (or Biden) could manage a passing grade?

AMONG the ever-growing casualties of the end of the world, or whatever it is we've got going, count the likely disappearances of Macy's, the GAP (same people who own the Mendocino Redwood Company) and Kohl's. They've closed half their stores and those remaining are quivering.

ON FACE THE NATION Sunday, Neel Kashkari said projections for a quick economic turnaround were overly optimistic unless a vaccine for COVID-19 became available in the next few months. “It would be wonderful if some new therapy were developed in the next couple months,” Kashkari said. “Then potentially we would have a V-shaped recovery” — a term which describes a steep market decline followed by a quick resurgence. But Kashkari, who oversaw the Troubled Asset Relief Program that the US implemented in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis, added: “Barring some health-care miracle, it seems we're going to have various phases of rolling flare ups.”

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When we last encountered our westbound contestant La Gringa Grandota (aka Anne Fashauer) she was on her bicycle coasting south through the Japanese islands. Everything southbound in Japan is downhill. Whenever she stopped at a small village people gathered around her. They wanted to know everything about the Donarold, sometimes confusing him with mak-koo Donarolds.

The eastbound contestant, the Scarmellah Fellah was trying to figure out how to get away from Nantucket. He knew that Paul Thoreau had written in his book "Fresh Air Fiend” about paddling his kayak between Nantucket and Cape Cod, not that the Marquis S. was afraid to try it, but his bag of clubs wouldn't fit in a kayak.

Anchored a few yards from the dock in Nantucket was a big yacht belonging to the Robert Mercer family which was about to leave for Bermuda. A crew member told the S’mellah Fellah that they needed a galley man to peel the potatoes, wash the pots and pans, mop the deck. Marquis S. thought he could handle that and was excited about Bermuda, home to many golf courses. Guests on the yacht included Marie Le Pen, Steve Bannon, Newt Gingrich, Arriana Huffington and Al Sharpton.

Arriving in Bermuda our eastbound contestant found that all golf courses in Bermuda had signs: "members only." After hauling his bag of clubs from Boonville to Bermuda the Marquis decided to give up golf, perhaps singing would be a better hobby.

After the Robert Mercer party headed back to Long Island, the Mellah Fella was stranded in Bermuda.

In 1607 the Spanish galleon “Nuestra Barca Ultimo Feo y Sin Verguenza” loaded with silver bars ran aground in the Bahama passage and sank. Recently divers located the ship which seemed to be in good condition. A Dutch seagoing tugboat from Rotterdam got a line on her and proceeded to tow her to Cadiz. While stopping in Bermuda for supplies our hero told the tug’s crew that he was forbidden to travel by air and requested a ride. "Nothing doing," said the Dutchman, “but you can ride on the hulk we are towing but keep your hands off the plata.” Marquis S. secured some beans and rice, some reading material (James Boswell's Life of Johnson) and jumped aboard.

In Japan the Gringo Grandota continued coasting — looking for a three-star restaurant. In the provincial city of Yokobama the Gringa was offered a one hour TV show "Rachel Maddow at Pearl Harbor" in which she bobs and weaves, flails her arms and hands about and comments on controversial subject matter in Japan before.

A pause in the Boonville to Boonville race is expected as our contestants will probably not leave Spain and Japan for some time.

Ralph Bostrom


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by James Kunstler

The ruins of Mary McClellan Hospital stand on a hill overlooking the village of Cambridge, New York, in what was a “flyover” corner of the country until the planes stopped flying. The hospital cornerstone was laid July 4 1917. The USA had entered the war against Germany a few months earlier. The “Spanish” flu pandemic kicked off in January, 1918. The hospital opened in January 1919. The flu burned out a year later. The hospital shut down for good in 2003.

I’ve lived around here for decades and never actually got a look at the place until I went up there on a blustery spring Saturday before Easter to look around. I like to read landscapes and the human imprint upon them. This one is a ghost story, not just of the bygone souls who came and went here, but of an entire society, the nation that we used to be and stopped being not so long ago.

This is the old main building today. It’s astounding how quickly buildings begin to rot when the human life within them is gone. The style was Beaux Arts Institutional, seen everywhere across America in that period in schools, libraries, museums, and hospitals, an austere neoclassicism that radiated decorum in a confident and well-run society – because that is what we were then. Note especially, the entrance and the beautiful bronze marquee above it. The message is this: You enter through a portal of beauty to a place of hope and trust.

This is Mary McClellan Hospital not long after it opened. The site itself, on its hill, with views east across the state line to the Green Mountains, speaks of authority and command. The America of 1919 was a deeply hierarchical society. Today we regard hierarchy as a bane and a curse. The truth is, it is absolutely required if you expect to live in a well-run society, and proof of that is the disordered mess of bureaucratic irresponsibility we live in today, with virtually every institution failing – well before the Covid-19 virus arrived on the scene — and nobody called to account for anything anymore. Hierarchy must be fit to scale to function successfully. In small institutions like this, everybody knows who is responsible for what. That’s what makes authority credible.

These are the ruins of the nursing school associated with the hospital (and also associated with Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, 25 miles west). The nurses lived here, in Florence Nightingale Hall. In the early 20th century, the profession favored young, unmarried women whose allegiance and attention to the patients would not be distracted by the needs of a family. Was that exploitation? Or was it simply an intelligent way to organize a hospital subculture? The nurses lived here very comfortably. The institution cared for them, literally.

There’s no record available of what exactly these buildings were for. The one in the foreground has a cut stone sign that says “The Junior” on it. I infer that this may have been where a couple of young, staff, resident physicians lived, young men probably, just out of their internships, close at hand and on-call for emergencies. The building in the background is a rather grand country cottage, possibly the residence of the chief surgeon or the hospital director. The hospital was, after all, a community unto itself, and it was important that authority have a visible presence there all the time. Both buildings display architectural grace-notes that humanized and dignify that resident authority. We no longer believe in grace-notes for the things we build, so is it surprising that we live in a graceless society?

This is the power plant for the whole operation, on the premises, ensuring that the electricity would stay on at all times. In the early 20th century, electric power was the new sine qua non of advanced civilization. America’s rural electrification program really didn’t get underway until the 1930s, so it’s likely that many of the farms outside the village were not hooked up to a grid. The hospital generators must have been driven by coal, or perhaps oil. Somebody had to attend to all that machinery. The laundry – hospitals produce a lot of that – was also on-premises, as was all the meal preparation. The hospital maintained a large garden to furnish some of the food. All these tasks required crews of people working purposefully and getting paid. The hospital was a complex organism, a world within a nation within a world.

Things rise and self-organize beautifully into fully-formed systems and after while they run down, even while they over-grow; authority starts working more and more for its own sake and its own benefit; hierarchy breaks down into disrespect, lack of trust, fear; and then society loses its vital institutions, which is exactly what happened at Mary McClellan Hospital in little Cambridge, New York. It dwindled and then quickly collapsed. The town lost a part of itself, the part that welcomed people in a particular kind of trouble and cared for them, as it cared for those who did the caring. By the way, in 1919, a private room was $7-a-day (a bed on a ward was $3). Imagine that! The town also lost a vital component of its economy. And that was all of-a-piece with its decline into the flyover place it became in our time.

American health care, as we call it today, and for all its high-tech miracles, has evolved into one of the most atrocious rackets the world has ever seen. By racket, I mean an enterprise organized explicitly to make money dishonestly. This is what we’ve become, and the fact that we seem to be okay with that tells you more about what we have become. The advent of Covid-19, along with the extreme economic disorders it has triggered, will probably be the beginning of the end of that racket. We have no idea how medicine will re-organize itself, but I’d guess that it will happen at a much more primitive scale – because that’s usually what happens when human societies overshoot badly. Alas, history is not exactly symmetrical.

But read these photos and meditate on what we were once capable of putting together in this land, and maybe you will find some clues about what was truly admirable about the American condition before we stopped caring.

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

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Much too late to complain about corporate bailouts now after the horse has long since left the barn. No doubt we’ll like the coming “belt-tightening” even less. Get ready for it. This was nothing less than a declaration of full scale war on any nascent socialist tendencies in the US. All the good little capitalists should just love what’s coming next.

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TOP OF THE MARK, San Francisco

(photo by Larry Wagner)

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[1] Yesterday I learned that Linn County, among the 99 counties in Iowa, has the most Covid 19 cases with 184 patients testing positive for the virus that causes the disease. Of those 184, there are 77 in a single long-term care facility, that is, a nursing home. This confirms what I have known since my 10 days in a nursing home following my heart surgery in November 2018. We should all do everything we can to go directly from our own home to the funeral home. Avoid going to a nursing home unless you want to be given “care” by incompetent staff who hate their work. Avoid going to a nursing home unless you enjoy losing your dignity. Avoid going to a nursing home if you want to keep any of your money. After 10 days as an inmate in a long-term care (nursing) facility, I had to be readmitted to the hospital that did my surgery for another week, to get 14 lbs. of fluid removed from my tissues. The weight gain resulted from the nursing home botching my medication. There’s a lot more to tell, none of it good. Stay away from nursing homes, everyone.

[2] A Banquet of Consequences— I was visiting with my sister’s in-laws when at the conclusion of a fine dinner I picked up a crust of bread or some such and began to eat it. Her mother-in-law, who happened to be Russian, became agitated and exclaimed, in Russian, “A hungry man is a dangerous thing!” We had to calm her down and assure her that I had indeed had my fill and my interest in the morsel was of no consequence. Obviously, the memory of the Nazi invasion of Russia was still clear in her mind, as was that of her husband who, upon our meeting, made a point of showing me the scars from a dive bomber attack.

There’s a saying that might be attributable to a Russian. The revolution is only nine meals away. There’s another attributed to Lenin that goes something like, ‘decades of history can happen in a few weeks.’ We’re not out of the woods on this coronavirus thing. The so-called leadership has dropped the ball. Upon hearing of it and it’s character they should have pounced with everything at their disposal to contain it. Things that spread exponentially have a way of getting out of hand very quickly. However, they chose to err on the side of indolence. Churchill said the Americans will do the right thing after they’ve tried everything else. This current crisis is not the sort where delays play out well. It should be obvious they’re not in control. They had the chance and they lost it in bureaucratic inertia and inane bravado.

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Today from somewhere in the Mojave 
my wife sent me a photo:

a cactus flower

in a bed of needles --

a metaphor for love, I suppose.

Not a metaphor for what is, 
but for what is not --

for love endures what is not;
love endures the desert.

Like the cactus flower

in the sandy-rocky nothingness,

in the burning-disappearing air,

love endures a necessary death
every time it flowers,

exhausted by hunger and thirst
but irradicable by its presence.

— John Sakowicz

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Just in case no one else has written about this, we all need to remember that car batteries can run down over prolonged periods of nondriving, as may well be the case for many of us during our sheltering at home. Every 10 days or so, taking your vehicle out for a spin of 5 miles or more to do a little sightseeing, even if you don’t get out for any reason, should keep things in good working order for a time when you may have an urgent need to drive somewhere.

Jim Lobdell

Santa Rosa

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Not exactly:

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Workers digging graves for unclaimed bodies on Hart Island, New York


  1. Eric Sunswheat April 14, 2020

    RE: I have listened to every BOS meeting (for years) and each of Dr. Doohan’s interviews and reports. I find Dr. Doohan to be highly competent and forthcoming with knowledgeable information in her work to protect the health of this county’s residents. While it is no secret that Dr. Doohan has already accepted a job in San Diego, she has also agreed not only to keep doing this essential Public Health officer’s work for our county until there is some closure to the C19 outbreak, but also to help the county to find her replacement.

    RE: This International Fact-Checking Network is a project of the Poynter Institute. It’s launch was funded by a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, an organization dedicated to the goal of increasing vaccination coverage globally.

    ————> This article was originally published at on June 17, 2019. appended, July 1, 2019
    We are supposed to believe that “anti-vaccine” activists are spreading misinformation about vaccines around the internet, including via social media platforms like Facebook, and that we can rely upon the CDC for reliable and accurate information.

    The truth is that it is the government itself that is the greatest purveyor of misinformation about vaccines, and efforts presently underway to either prevent people from seeing certain information or to prejudice their view of it have nothing to do with ensuring that people are getting the information they need to be able to make an informed choice about whether to vaccinate.

    Instead, the government issues vaccine propaganda intended to deceive people into complying with public vaccine policy.

    The corporate mainstream media, for their part, are engaged in public policy advocacy rather than doing any kind of real journalism. And now Facebook, too, rather than serving its users and the interests of public health, is acting in service to the state by actively misinforming people about what science tells us about vaccine safety.

    This includes propagating the falsehood that mercury and aluminum from vaccines are non-toxic and do not accumulate in bodily tissues or organs like the brain, as well as the falsehood that there is no scientific evidence that vaccines can cause brain damage.

    As a consequence of the incessant pro-vaccine propaganda the public is bombarded with by the government and major media, informed consent is simply not happening—except among those parents who are doing their own research and drawing their own conclusions about whether to vaccinate their children rather than blindly following the CDC’s schedule.

    It is preventing parents from considering certain factual information that is available on the internet—including at the government’s database of the published medical literature—that the government, the corporate news media, and now companies like Facebook, Google, Amazon, and MailChimp, are primarily concerning themselves with.

    That Facebook and its “Fact-Checker”­ partner have no problem with misinformation being spread so long as it favors public policy is evident in the fact that they are themselves guilty of propagating falsehoods about vaccines…

    Facebook’s “Fact-Checker” feature is purportedly intended to address the problem of “false news”. To this end, Facebook works “with third-party fact-checkers who are certified through the non-partisan International Fact-Checking Network to help identify and review false news.”

    Facebook asserts that “Third-party fact-checkers investigate stories in a journalistic process meant to result in establishing the truth or falsity of the story.”…

    This International Fact-Checking Network is a project of the Poynter Institute. It’s launch was funded by a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, an organization dedicated to the goal of increasing vaccination coverage globally.

    In his 2011 annual letter, Bill Gates wrote, “In the same way that during my Microsoft career I talked about the magic of software, I now spend my time talking about the magic of vaccines.”

    One goal of the Gates Foundation is to accelerate “the development and commercialization of novel vaccines and the sustainable manufacture of existing vaccines”. To that end, the organization invests “in expertise and platform technologies that help us make vaccines faster, better, and cheaper.”

    Note that the adjective “safer” isn’t included there. It is also obvious that the distribution of any factual information that might lead people to the conclusion that the risks of vaccination outweigh the potential benefits would pose an obstacle standing in the way of the Gates Foundation achieving its goal of higher vaccination rates.

    In addition to partnering with a “fact-checking” organization funded by the Gates Foundation, Facebook has faced governmental pressure to engage in outright censorship of any information contrary to that propagated by the CDC.

    In February 2019, Congressman Adam B. Schiff sent Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg a letter essentially calling on the company to help the government censor any information about vaccines that might lead parents to conclude that strictly complying with the CDC’s schedule would not be in their child’s best interests. (Schiff sent similar letters to the CEOs of Google and Amazon.)

    Ostensibly, Schiff’s purpose was to combat “misinformation” about vaccines, but his criteria only applied to what he termed “anti-vaccine” information and were inclusive of any information, however factual, that might lead parents to what Schiff personally believes is a wrong conclusion.

    As Schiff explained, “if a concerned parent consistently sees information in their Newsfeed that casts doubt on the safety or efficacy of vaccines, it could cause them to disregard the advice of their children’s physicians and public health experts and decline to follow recommended vaccination schedule.”…

    Facebook’s “Fact-Checker” …links to an article on the website of the organization Health Feedback titled “Contrary to popular video claim, vaccine ingredients are safe, not linked to encephalopathy”.

    The Health Feedback article presents a fabricated quote, attributing to Bigtree the words “Toxic vaccine ingredients in the MMR vaccine cause encephalopathy”. While Bigtree does suggest this, those words do not appear in the video and so should be presented as a paraphrase, not as a direct quote.

    The whole context of Bigtree’s video is omitted, which is that it was a response to a video by Bill Nye (“The Science Guy”) in which Nye misleadingly implies that the viral or bacterial antigens are the only components of vaccines.

    Bigtree was educating his viewers that, to the contrary, vaccines also contain numerous other ingredients, including, depending on the vaccine, known neurotoxins aluminum and mercury.

    Neither Facebook nor Health Feedback express any objection to Bill Nye misleading his viewers into the false belief that vaccines contain a viral or bacterial antigen component and nothing else.

    Continuing in his video, Bigtree asks what happens if you inject aluminum into a baby. “Has there ever been a safety test on it?” he rhetorically inquires, then answers the question: “Never.”…

    Had Facebook’s “Fact-Checker” taken an objective approach, they would have pointed out that Bigtree was right to criticize Nye for misleading his viewers, but wrong to suggest that either of these ingredients are in the MMR vaccine and wrong to say that anti-freeze is an ingredient in vaccines. Instead, they hypocritically singled out Bigtree for criticism…

    Furthermore, Health Feedback itself hypocritically misinforms its readers, stating falsely that “No scientific evidence supports a causal association between vaccines or its ingredients (thimerosal, aluminum adjuvants, propylene glycol) and encephalopathy.”

    “The claim that the MMR vaccine causes encephalopathy”, the Health Feedback article continues, “is based on a misinterpretation of the vaccine package insert information.”

    The article acknowledges that multi-dose vials of the flu shot do contain thimerosal, which is about half ethylmercury by weight. But it claims that ethylmercury is “eliminated by the body quickly, unlike methylmercury, meaning that it does not accumulate in the body.”

    Likewise, the article acknowledges that vaccines can contain aluminum salts, which are used as an adjuvant, meaning a substance included in a vaccine to elicit a stronger immune response. But, the article adds, “the levels in vaccines are low and safe”.

    Also acknowledged is the fact that encephalopathy appears on the MMR package insert under the heading “Adverse Reactions”. The article argues, however, that the insert explicitly lists these “without regard to causality”, and that it is “therefore erroneous to assert a causal relationship between vaccines and encephalopathy on the basis of the package insert information.”

    Health Feedback further argues: “The claim that vaccine safety is completely unknown is false. The Institute of Medicine—part of the National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine—reviewed childhood immunization schedules and found them to be safe.”

    The truth is, however, that on every single one of these points, it is Facebook and its “Fact-Checker” partner who are misinforming the public.

    Aluminum Is Neurotoxic and Does Accumulate in the Brain

    Just as Del Bigtree stated, there has never been a study of the effects of injecting aluminum into human babies. The counterclaim that this has been studied is a flat-out lie.

    The study that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the CDC chiefly rely on to support their claim that the aluminum in vaccines is safe, by Robert Mitkus et al., relied on a “minimal risk level” for humans based on a single study in rodents.

    While the government claims that this study shows that it’s safe to inject aluminum into infants in the doses contained in vaccines, it actually doesn’t. For one, a study in rodents can’t logically be used to make conclusive judgments about the safety of this practice in humans.

    Moreover, the study relied on a “minimal risk level” that other rodent studies had shown to be more than seven times higher than quantities of aluminum that had been observed to cause adverse effects.

    Furthermore, the aluminum was administered to the rodents in the Mitkus et al. study by ingestion, not injection, and the FDA knows perfectly well that this is scientifically invalid because, whereas no more than about 1 percent of ingested aluminum is absorbed into the body, injecting it bypasses the body’s innate immune system—of which the protective gut lining is a part—and deposits the aluminum directly into the tissue.

    Mitkus, et al, also only considered the amount of aluminum that wound up in the blood, totally ignoring the amount of aluminum remaining elsewhere in the body.

    They did so even while acknowledging that aluminum particles from vaccinations are taken up by immune cells known as macrophages, which can transport the aluminum elsewhere; that “aluminum accumulates in the brain”; and that “only a fraction” of aluminum injected into the body from vaccines is absorbed into the blood within 28 days of vaccination.

    So the truth is just as Del Bigtree stated: we really have no idea what the effects are of injecting aluminum into human babies and what the long-term adverse consequences of this practice might be because there’s never been a study properly designed to answer that question.

    The FDA allows vaccine manufacturers to include aluminum in vaccines even though there has never been a randomized, placebo-controlled study in humans to determine the safety of injecting aluminum adjuvants into infants.

    Ethylmercury, Too, Is Neurotoxic and Accumulates in the Brain.

    Similarly, the claim propagated by Facebook and Health Feedback that ethylmercury, unlike methylmercury, doesn’t accumulate in the body is false.

    It is true that the CDC itself makes that claim on its website in similar wording as the Health Feedback article. However, to support this claim, the CDC cites a 2004 report by the Institute of Medicine that actually acknowledged the fact that no randomized placebo-controlled trials had ever been done to determine the safety of injecting ethylmercury into infants (or pregnant women); all the studies the CDC was relying upon to support its claim that this practice was safe were retrospective observational studies suffering from methodological limitations that prevented scientists from being able to draw conclusive judgments.

    Furthermore, the IOM report explicitly acknowledged that thimerosal is a “known neurotoxin”; that some of the mercury from thimerosal exposure “accumulates in the brain”; and that “heavy metals, including thimerosal, can injure the nervous system.”

    The FDA’s own scientists have also acknowledged in the peer-reviewed medical literature that “similar toxicological profiles between ethylmercury and methylmercury suggest that neurotoxicity may also occur at low doses of thimerosal”. Furthermore, “no controlled studies have been conducted to examine low-dose thimerosal toxicity in humans”.

    Another study the CDC relies upon to support its claim about ethylmercury’s safety has been described by FDA researchers as “the most relevant study on which to base a comparative assessment of infant mercury exposure or risk from thimerosal [ethylmercury] relative to MeHg [methylmercury].”

    But this study, too, does not actually support the CDC’s claim. The study, by Thomas M. Burbacher et al. and published in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives in 2005, in fact contradicts the CDC’s claim, having shown that, while more readily eliminated from the blood than methylmercury, ethylmercury is more persistent in the brain, where it accumulates.

    The study observed that once in the brain, ethylmercury breaks down into inorganic mercury (meaning that the mercury molecules are no longer attached to carbon molecules), that inorganic mercury in the brain has been associated with brain inflammation, and that brain inflammation has been demonstrated in the brains of autistic patients.

    Far from concluding that it is safe to inject ethylmercury into infants and pregnant women, the study actually expressed concern that scientists have “limited knowledge of the toxicokinetics and developmental neurotoxicity of thimerosal” and emphasized that studies to determine this were “urgently needed” to be able to draw any meaningful conclusions about “the potential developmental effects of immunization with thimerosal-containing vaccines in newborns and infants.”

    In other words, the CDC’s own source contradicts the CDC’s claim and supports what Del Bigtree says in his video, which is that there has never been a safety study designed to determine the effects of injecting this substance into human babies.

    In sum, the assertion propagated by Facebook and Health Feedback that aluminum and mercury in vaccines are “safe” substances that are readily eliminated from and don’t accumulate in the body is false.

    On the contrary, it is completely uncontroversial in the scientific literature that both of these substances are neurotoxic, pass through the placental and blood-brain barriers, and accumulate in the brain and other organs.

    And it is true that there has never been a safety study to determine the risks of injecting these substances into human subjects at the levels children are exposed to by the CDC’s schedule.

  2. Lee Edmundson April 14, 2020

    RE: COVID-19 pandemic, I’ll be brief.
    Roadmap consists of 5 “T”s: Temperature, Testing, Tracking, Tracing and Treatment.

    That simple.

    Having an elevated temperature is a most common symptom of the possibility of COVIN-919 infection. Are we performing temperature testing for first line providers? Employees of essential businesses? Do we have the necessary equipment to do so? If we do, why has it not been employed (no pun intended)? If we do not, why not? And, then, shouldn’t we be obtaining it? Taking temperatures: First Step.

    Second Step: You have a temperature? You get a test. Immediately. Results are sent to County Health Office and posted on County website.

    Then come the Tracking and Tracing (on the one hand) and Treatment, on the other.

    Without the Testing availability, all the other Steps become moot.

    We are a county of 86 thousand plus souls. According to the most recently published county records, fewer than 400 COVID-19 tests have been applied.

    What gives here? What is going on? What, or Who, is preventing the testing from happening?

    A wise one once said, ” If you cannot measure, you cannot manage”.

    Without the testing, and realistic testing priorities, we’re all just flying blind.

  3. Lindy Peters April 14, 2020

    By the way, last night the City Council decided to open the COASTAL TRAIL, not the Haul Rd. as indicated here in Mendocino County Today. Big difference. The City has no jurisdiction over the old Haul Road. That is within the parameters of State Parks, and they have not opened it up to the public. The Coastal Trail is open on a 3-2 vote with Norvell and I dissenting. The County order states that to get essential exercise you must walk from your home. Only when it is not safe to walk near your home (where that might be in Mendo County is anybody’s guess) are you actually allowed to drive to the nearest safe place to walk/jog/bike ride. So by the County order, to walk on the now open Coastal Trail, you must be able to get there by foot or bicycle and the trail parking lots remain closed.

    • Bruce Anderson April 14, 2020

      Good catch, Lindy. Howsomever, I consider them one walk as the trail segues into the Haul and, as an honorary citizen of my favorite town in all the wide world, I look forward to my next trek along the CoastTrailHaul.

  4. George Hollister April 14, 2020

    Kunstler: “By racket, I mean an enterprise organized explicitly to make money dishonestly. This is what we’ve become,”

    The unintended consequence of well intended policies that started with FDR.

    • Harvey Reading April 14, 2020

      LOL, George. Conservative (fascist), kaputalist policies began long before FDR was born. He tried to alleviate that situation to prevent a revolution while saving his beloved kaputalism, but did too little, too late. We’ve regressed back to the days before FDR was king, thanks to conservatism, starting with passage of Taft-Harley over Truman’s veto. Now we have what boils down to one fascist party that goes by two names…one of which gives us trash, like Obama and Clinton and Biden as “choices”, the other gives us trash like Trump.

      By the way, aint you the guy who was bellowing about what a great wage $13 per hour (just under $2/hour in 1970–not enough to live on then) was a few months back?

  5. Aaron Sawyer April 14, 2020

    Loggers can still work. Forestry falls under Ag which is an essential industry according the local Shelter in Place orders and the Dept. of Homeland Security’s Critical Infrastructure Sector list.

    That’s said, if an employee becomes sick with Covid-19 at work that would be a Worker’s Comp issue.

  6. Lazarus April 14, 2020

    Found Object

    sixes and sevens and nines…

    As always,

  7. Susie de Castro April 14, 2020


    Highly recommended…

    Carolinerhea4real, on Instagram…

    Caroline’s Standup Birthday Bash — which happened last nite. She invited a number of comedians to the bash.
    Press on her Profile picture top left, and it should go on, Live).

  8. Jeff Fox April 14, 2020

    RE: Kathy Wylie’s comment on Dr. Doohan, I wouldn’t assign any particular virtuousness to her choosing to stay on the job until the pandemic is past (which by the way she gets to define).

    If she changed jobs during the pandemic, that wouldn’t look too good on her résumé, and a good résumé is frequently the top priority of people “building” their careers. For job-hopping contract workers, the job itself always takes a back seat to how desirable you want to make yourself to a potential future employer.

    • Stephen Rosenthal April 14, 2020

      Kathy Wylie’s comments typically lack any credibility. Best run to the toilet and flush any time she posts anything.

    • Kathy April 14, 2020

      Jeff – Dr. Doohan has already been hired for her next job in San Diego. And Stephen, the Board of Supervisors today extended her contract by unanimous consent. Watch the BOS meeting.

      • Lazarus April 14, 2020

        The BoS meeting was like the Coast Hospital Adventist Health deal.

        Either you want a hospital… or you don’t.

        Either you want a Health Director…or you don’t.

        Both are really simple when you get past the bullshit.

        As always,

      • Stephen Rosenthal April 14, 2020

        “the Board of Supervisors today extended her contract by unanimous consent.”

        I wasn’t expecting anything else from the rubber stampers. And that doesn’t make it right.

  9. Joe April 14, 2020


    MONDAY’S NEWS CYCLE began with Trump re-tweeting a recommendation that he fire Fauci, which even Trump seemed to understand would be a big mistake given the doctor’s popularity. By noon, Trump had said he had no intention of dumping Fauci. Seems that Trump would like to but when he floated the idea the answer came back a resounding No.

    Please quote the tweet unless it came from the MSM echo chamber;

    California’s Democrat Governor Praises @realDonaldTrump
    ‘s Response To Coronavirus On Cruise Ship: ‘Every Single Thing He Said They Followed Through On’

  10. Harvey Reading April 14, 2020


    Pore old phony was pathetic from the word go.

  11. John Sakowicz April 14, 2020


    Today from somewhere in the Mojave
    my wife sent me a photo:

    a cactus flower

    in a bed of needles —

    a metaphor for love, I suppose.

    Not a metaphor for what is,
    but for what is not —

    for love endures what is not;
    love endures the desert.

    Like the cactus flower

    in the sandy-rocky nothingness,

    in the burning-disappearing air,

    love endures a necessary death
    every time it flowers,

    exhausted by hunger and thirst
    but irradicable by its presence.

    John Sakowicz

    ““Somewhere in the California Desert, under a molten sun and in a country where the very earth feels like fire, American armored vehicles are training….It is this force that will someday leave death in its wake in the sandy places of Libya, or wherever it may be sent.” …General George S. Patton

    Thirty miles east of Indio, California in a largely uninhabited desert landscape, sits the largest military training ground in United States history, though you might not have heard of it. During its two years of operation over a million troops trained in its desert heat, in an area roughly 18,000 square miles, a district larger than the states of Maryland and Delaware combined. Created in the spring of 1942, the Desert Training Center stood in for foreign landscapes that American troops would soon face, particularly those in North Africa.

    My wife is in the area now, caring for her 93-year old mother.

    • AVA News Service Post author | April 14, 2020

      Thanks, John

  12. James Marmon April 14, 2020

    Lake County Public Health officer renews call to wear masks; Sonoma County requires masks in new health order

    “LAKE COUNTY, Calif. – Lake County’s Public Health officer is once again urging community members to wear masks in public to curb the spread of COVID-19, at the same time as other health leaders around the region are making mask-wearing in public mandatory.

    On Monday, Dr. Gary Pace strongly encouraged all Lake County residents to wear masks when in public.

    It was the same day he reported the county’s fifth confirmed case of COVID-19.

    “The predicted rise of cases and severe illness in our area has not materialized due to the significant effort that the community has made to ‘shelter in place,’” said Pace, who issued a countywide shelter in place order on March 19 that has been extended to May 3.

    “Cases that have popped up do not appear to have spread within the county, thanks to people’s decreased mobility, use of masks and care with handwashing. Limiting out-of-county travel has also slowed entry of the virus into our area,” Pace said in his Monday statement.”

    James Marmon
    Mask Maker

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