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Off the Record (June 3, 2020)

JIM WAGONER will be a familiar name to Coast radio listeners. He writes: "I'm an old radio news guy who lived in Fort Bragg in the 1980s and 1990s and worked at all the stations there, including KDAC, KMFB & KOZT before the evil ones took it over. I was an eyewitness to the Fort Bragg fires. (Your paper's coverage of that was Pulitzer-worthy. Truly excellent.) I've interviewed Judy Bari, Susan Massini, Jerry Mello, etc, etc. I did the talk show on KDAC after Charlie Stone got busted for taxes and left town and I flipped the format. 

Anyway, I was visiting Fort Bragg last February, around the 24th or so, and I had a horrible experience with a Mendocino Sheriff's deputy who I assume is the same one who overdosed on narcotics two weeks later in early March. 

I decided to camp one night in my minivan north of town near 10 mile river & the sand dunes with a nice view of the ocean and the sound of the tide. I was just drifting off when the deputy rolled up and aimed his spotlight at my face. It was not illegal to camp there and there were no signs prohibiting it. I told him I had attended church that morning with a friend in Fort Bragg and he literally rolled his eyes. I then in a very friendly polite way told him that we, my two small pooches and myself, decided to camp instead of getting a room because of the bad experiences I had with extremely drunk and loud people in the middle of the night when staying at the Motel 6 in town that allows small dogs. He was just plain nasty in response and repeatedly to told me to show him my hands as he took my license and I guess ran a warrant check on me. Now keep in mind I had just gone shopping and had taken a friend out to eat in Fort Bragg and spent approximately $100 in town before going to camp out in the minivan well off the highway in a very non-intrusive spot for just a few hours. 

After running my driver's license and determining I had no criminal record or warrants he handed it back to me and pointedly asked me when I was leaving town, like I was some scumbag criminal. This, after I had just spent a Benjamin in the city limits! His whole demeanor was unnecessarily nasty from the get go, in spite of my extreme courtesy, and then he acts like he wants to run me out of town for literally no reason? He was so jumpy that the situation could have turned very ugly and dangerous for me quickly had I not been so cautious. He drove away and then returned again at 4:30 that morning to purposely wake me up. I believe this deputy's arrests during the months leading up to his narcotics overdose should really be scrutinized by the Sheriff's Department, the DA, and public defense's office. 

I have a long history on the coast and I am not anti-law enforcement. This deputy struck me as abusive and dangerous, and a ticking-time bomb. I even thought the night this occurred that he acted like he was on methamphetamine.” 

LOVE IS BLIND the eternal "they" claim, and another old saw says Cupid's arrows seldom strike a smart woman with a stupid man, but they regularly find smart men with stupid women, especially young, stupid women. So what's the deal with the Slovenian siren? Seems pretty smart from here, from what we know of her, not that we know much. Melania looked angry at yesterday's Memorial Day ceremony, stranded beside the great white whale. She strikes me as a person under marital arrest. I remember a story that said she burst into tears the night it became clear that the stable genius had won the election. She knew, I bet, that hubby was totally unfit and her long nightmare had begun again, this time on a global scale

MUY MACHO TALK like the following reflects the "thinking" of millions. The question may become, Are there enough of them, and are they organized well enough to keep Trumpism alive?: "Ex-marine Mr. Smith said in the Facebook live video posted Friday: 'Are we willing to kill people? Are we willing to lay our lives down? We have to say yes.' He added: 'If you bring force, we're gonna bring force. If you bring guns, we're gonna bring guns. If you're armed with this, we're gonna be armed with this.' On the group's Facebook page they claim: ‘This grassroots movement has grown to 68,000 North Carolina Patriots’."

THE INTERNET was sold as a breakthrough technology that would "bring us all together.” The family of man united at last! But it hasn't quite worked out that way, and has now taken an ominous turn in its techno-ability to not only stir up the fascist-minded but organize them into more or less coherent groups. Q-Anon, for instance, a cornucopia of evil-minded rumor  and misinformation — Hillary operating a pedophile operation in the basement of a pizza parlor — to a constant drumbeat of some kind of rightwing uprising on behalf of Orange Man who, predictably, is seen as the great wall between these whacked out "patriots" and liberal-minded pervs. A normal person with ordinary powers of discernment reads this stuff with head-slapping disbelief. These fools believe this vile nonsense? Yes, millions are tuning in, sending money, organizing into groups, many of them armed.

CONSPIRATORIAL THINKING has always appealed to the simple-minded, especially its vicious sectors. We saw it right here in Mendocino County in the early 1980s with the preposterous satanist molesto hysteria. Fort Bragg turned out to be particularly vulnerable to that one, and soon there was prevalent talk about a Georgia-Pacific helicopter ferrying pre-schoolers, in broad daylight, up the coast for meetings with Beelzebub-inspired chomos. Things got so nasty that a pair of perfectly innocent sisters, the Orrs, daycare proprietors, not only regularly had their lives threatened, they lost their property and one sister even lost custody of her daughter! All on the basis of preposterous rumor by people whose own sexual obsessions were certainly suspect. 

NO SOONER had I mentioned the literal witch hunt that kicked off in Fort Bragg in the early 1980s. Fort Bragg was Mendo headquarters for the evil hysteria that swept the country, beginning with the vilification of the McMartin family of LA who ran a daycare center and alleged hub of Satan's pedo workshop. I was surprised to find several reactions to my recollection, but not all that surprised that the hysteria lives on. The follow two are typical:

‘J’: I used to live in Fort Bragg too and there is a satanic cult still there, they have been trying to kill me for YEARS now, even tho I have been gone now for several years, I can still feel they spells they put on me. The last time I lived there they almost succeeded in killing me but I am not going to tell you how on this sight, email me and I will tell you what happened but not to a newspaper, only to Kelly Orr and I want to remain anonymous, you understand, right?

‘REAL WITNESS’: This article is straight crap!!!! The Orr’s are lying through they’re devilish teeth. And the dip shit that wrote this crap only got the side of 2 fat women that love the hurt children. It had nothing to do with the daughter.

NOT THAT THESE CREEPS are interested in facts, but there was never, ever a single piece of evidence found anywhere in the country of a Satanist daycare center, or Satanist-inspired chomos, not even in Fort Bragg with its minority population of the droolingly credulous. Tony Craver was Sheriff at the time. I remember him telling me that it was “all a lot of bullshit” that occupied too much time of too many deputies. But it did real damage to the women accused.

YOU'VE GOT TO WONDER about people who seem to get huge kicks from retailing vicious rumors about other people. Now, though, the same mentalities have gotten behind Trump, their noble standard bearer, and they have Q-Anon and many other nutball websites suggesting that a showdown with global cabals operated by George Soros and Obama is coming right up.

SPEAKING OF SCREWBALLS, try Cowboys for Trump whose leader, Couy Griffin, has led pro-Trump horse rides through Washington, D.C., and even got himself a one-on-one with Big Mac himself. “I’ve come to a place where I’ve come to a conclusion where the only good Democrat is a dead Democrat,” the cowpoke said to cheers at a rally at a New Mexico church where he was courageously defying a public coronavirus safety order. Griffen later amended his threat, saying he only meant killing Democrats in the political sense, not that the people listening to him are able to make the distinction.

NPR'S account of last week’s civil insurrection in Minneapolis concluded with, "Protesters there are seeking justice…" The rest of the story failed to mention that the family of George Floyd, the murdered man, specifically called for people not to dishonor his memory by looting and burning. Lots of people were peacefully protesting Floyd's death, lots of other people saw it as an opportunity to grab free stuff, an old story, as is the fact that millions of people are left out of the dream and totally estranged from what's left of the social order in whose basement they dwell forgotten. Until they burn down the town.

COLIN KAEPERNICK, the San Francisco 49ers quarterback-turned-civil rights spokesman, and the victim of an ongoing NFL conspiracy to deny him a job, said this morning that the Minneapolis turmoil (since become national) is "the only logical reaction" to Floyd's death. "When civility leads to death, revolting is the only logical reaction. The cries for peace will rain down, and when they do, they will land on deaf ears, because your violence has brought this resistance. We have the right to fight back! Rest in Power George Floyd." 

MORE than 40 million new claims for unemployment benefits have been filed in the past two months. Meanwhile, President Twitter whines about how unfair electronic media are to him and his fellow "conservatives." He's talking about banning Twitter, Facebook and other platforms whose young watchdogs are paid small fortunes to weed out "inappropriate" communications which, to the tepidly liberal watchdogs who carry out the censoring, often seems to be anything that offends them. Trump gets trumped a lot, hence his pique. Speaking as a gaffer, and  confident I speak for much of the Gaffer Community, if social media disappeared tomorrow our unhinged population might be that much saner, much calmer, much happier.

I WAS STRUCK by this history paragraph relayed to us last night by Katy Tahja:

“A tribe of filthy gypsies which have been infesting the neighborhood were ordered to move on by the sheriff and they left northward. Property owners along the way should check their chicken roosts for missing stock" the Beacon reported in December 1896…

IN ANOTHER LIFE, I lived in a Chinatown tenement whose premises I "managed" in exchange for free rent. One of the tenants was a jolly family of gypsies whose unit was filled with obviously pilfered stuff, random collections of the darndest goods. There seemed to be three families stuffed in the place. The women sold corsages in North Beach and Fisherman's Wharf. They called me "Boss" and never failed to try to sell me something. "Hey, boss, you need a transmission?" A transmission would be leaning up against the livingroom wall. "Your beautiful little wife like a good deal on some jewelry?" A collection of gaudy broaches would be spread out on an unlaundered sheet. "Boss, I got a good deal for you on stereos." And there would be three or four battered stereos, their wires dangling where they'd been ripped out of their fixtures in a big hurry. Always enjoyed my interfaces with the gypsies, as happy a den of thieves as any in the two buildings I oversaw, both addresses in the 900 block of Sacramento Street teeming with crooks and pioneer '68 junkies.

THE MCN chatline seemed even more overrun by vile back and forth comments from the idle insane last week, so I asked a Coast friend why MCN doesn't crackdown. His reply, "State of MCN comments is pure laziness (or busy-ness depending on point of view). They basically have the Facebook attitude: 'That's content. We're techies. Not our problem.' Except they preside over a cesspool now, that's adding to the general freakout."

AS AMERICA CRUMBLES we get this message from the president: "These thugs are dishonoring the memory of George Floyd, and I won't let that happen.... Any difficulty and we will assume control but, when the looting starts, the shooting starts."

TRUMP'S a lot cannier than us lib-labs give him credit for being as he again demonstrates in this fuel-on-the-flames tweet to his rabid millions, many of them just itching to start shooting. But Trump first pretends the insurrection dishonors the memory of George Floyd, the fake concern masking the real signal to the fascisti they've got a green light from him to....

LOOKS LIKE MENDO HEALTH OFFICER Dr. Noemi Doohan will be staying on for a while. At their Friday press event, CEO Carmel Angelo and Dr. Doohan confirmed that she was still the health officer, but no firm departure date was mentioned, only that Dr. Doohan would transition to a consultant role “later this year.” Doohan said that the ”goal” was to have a new health officer by June 4, coyly avoiding any specific dates. But now that the Board declined to hire Dr. Iser, “as soon as we have a new health officer, that [her final day as health officer] will happen, but I’m still remaining as your health officer.” 

CEO ANGELO said that the County had received expressions of “interest” from two unnamed medicos, but they have not submitted applications and no interviews have been conducted yet. So the tea leaves seem to indicate that a new health officer is still weeks off while Dr. Doohan continues in her role as long-distance health officer via San Diego for the nonce.

DR. DOOHAN made one odd  remark in explaining why she didn’t want to say where in the “north county” someone recently tested positive “because of the stigma,” and that the town where the ‘positive’ lived might suffer. Funny, because nobody hesitated to say that the out-of-county field hand who tested positive in Anderson Valley recently was in Anderson Valley and so far we don’t detect any stigma.  (Mark Scaramella)

THE BRITS are paying 80% of the salaries of the 8.5 mil workers who stay on the job through August and 70 percent through October. The self-employed are getting 70 percent of their income. Here? No long-term plans other than for those who qualify for unemployment at six hundred a week, more than many of them make at their full-time jobs. Millions of the suddenly jobless are getting nothing but long waits in food lines.

THE 3RD DEGREE murder charge against Officer Chauvin for killing the non-resisting George Floyd means the Minneapolis DA rightly thinks that the officer demonstrated "depraved indifference to human life.” But Chauvin's knee on Floyd's neck became first degree murder when Floyd's body went limp, and it was limp after minute four, and from there it was obvious the man was dying, but Chauvin never let up, and George Floyd was gone.

NOT RECOMMENDED VIEWING: "Jeffrey Epstein: Filthy Rich," the Netflix documentary featuring that infamous chomo as he's aided and abetted by an array of world class pervs, including Bill Clinton, Woody Allen. Trump (natch), Allan Dershowitz, and so on, all names synonymous with the decadence characteristic of late capitalism. Epstein seduces underclass teenagers via an array of female pimps, one of them his high flying Brit girlfriend, daughter of a Murdochian-evil media magnate named Maxwell who some mysterious benefactor murdered in the middle of the night by shoving him overboard. Epstein's predations were well documented by the small but dogged Palm Beach Police Department whose findings were simply tossed by utterly corrupt attorneys at the state and federal levels. The Florida AG was of course hired by Trump before Epstein-related scumbaggery became a big daily story so Trump had to fire him to avoid being constantly asked about his relationship with Epstein. The prob with the film, in my view, is that it's too long and too repetitious, with one victim after another telling basically the same story — they were young, poor, vulnerable. 

AN OPINION you're unlikely to hear anywhere but here, speaking as a veteran of many mob actions in my turbulent youth, I can say that riots are exciting and generally fun except, of course, at least in those days, if you got caught and got the crappola beat outta you. The diff between now and the sixties is vandalism. There wasn't much then. It was mostly a few cops chasing a thousand of us up and down the street.,

A LARGE, hand-painted sign off 101 at Petaluma reads, ALL IS WELL. I'm sure it's meant to be reassuring, but all isn't well and we're not all in it together. The best analogy I've heard lately compared our present state to a crime scene freshly sprayed with luminol, the revelatory blood splatter chemical. From a distance everything looks more or less intact, but the luminol reveals the bloody social class reality. Ordinarily ignored until the damned burn a few buildings down; this time around the insurrection is occurring on top of a killer virus and an imploding economy.

LAST NIGHT, INSURRECTIONISTS smashed up the front of CNN's Atlanta headquarters, as I silently vowed, "If they lay so much as a violent hand on my Wolfie…" But this morning, Wolf Blitzer was safe in the Situation Room, expressing his concern that “the rioters aren't socially distancing." That's my guy. Always on point.

GARY DURHEIM, long time subscriber from Seaside, Oregon, wrote recently: “You ran a filler quote recently that said, ‘Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall! — Confucius.’ And the corollary, which I learned as a brush ape setting chokers for Crown Zellerbach Corp in 1965 is, ‘Always fall towards your work.’ I have been practicing that maxim my whole life. Be well!”

SUNDAY MORNING into the early afternoon, a rally in support of George Floyd and against police brutality and our injustice system, was held in front of the courthouse in Ukiah, pop. under 17,000, which was organized by a young woman from the Coyote Valley Tribe of the Pomo Nation who I knew when she was a student at our local high school, together with Black Lives Matter. Close to 300 mostly young people, with their imaginative homemade signs took part and with an extraordinary support from cars driving down Ukiah's main street, honking loudly in support, they made if far and away the most impressive rally I have seen in the 20 years I have lived near here and the first in which youth far outnumbered the geezers and those on their way to geezerhood. It was an event to remember. Some were kneeling in honor of George Floyd. They even had begun with a nine minute kneel, the time that it took the Minneapolis cops to murder Floyd. (Jeff Blankfort)

NO SIGNS of civil disorder in San Anselmo this morning (Sunday) except in the mini-mart at the service station in the Red Hill Shopping Center, 10:15am. As I fueled up I could hear top decibel obscenities from somewhere beyond the pumps, and here comes a cleancut young white man, reddish-blonde hair, maybe six feet, fit-looking, spotless white t-shirt, pressed khaki trousers, back pack. Glaring at me as I walked into the mini-mart to buy my weekly losing mega-mil ticket, Mr. Psychorama followed me into the store as I think to myself, "Really? Even in America's most placid suburb?" Instantly, the young Hispanic guy behind the counter pointed at the sign on the door — No Mask No Entry — and told the guy he couldn't come in without a mask. Mr. P explodes in "bleeping spic bleep you bleepity bleep bleep" and, sweeping a rack of candy bars onto the floor, Mr. P exits, stomping off still shouting obscenities. "If that bleep comes back, shoot him," I suggest. The clerk shrugs and says, "It happens."

WHEN I SAW the notice about the George Floyd rally today (Sunday) in Willits, I thought of my old friend Stan Mack who used to do a great comic strip called Real Life Funnies, a few panels of which for the Village Voice featured several Boonville episodes, including late night head-butting contests and Deputy Squires mediating a dispute in the Boonville Hotel between Hotel staffers and a deadbeat who refused to pay for her meal because she said her steak wasn't big enough for what she paid. I'm not saying that the Willits demo will necessarily be a comic event, but...

IT'S UNLIKELY that anybody will write an Ethics Guide to Civil Insurrection since there are already hundreds of How-To guides on non-violent protest and resistance. But as civil insurrection becomes commonplace, as it will as this society continues to implode, I don't think it's fair or politically wise to physically attack the police who, compared to the psycho-heavy urban police forces of the sixties, are better trained, much more restrained and working in an impossible social context. And most people like the individual police people they come into contact with. The political problem is not a police problem. It's a social-economic problem. I couldn't do police work because I'd either be tempted to shoot, or would shoot, some highly annoying someone every night. 

HAD to google the year that the great American writer, James Baldwin, was in San Francisco, a time when writers still had enormous influence with the young, and I was young in '63 when I went to see him at the Masonic Auditorium on Nob Hill. Baldwin was mesmerizing on the theme of The Fire Next Time, his prescient essay on the black uprisings that came later in the decade. The audience was mostly white and, among the young people probably like me, a half-assed liberal who went around saying, "Golly, I wish people were nicer…” Well, I wasn't quite that far out of it, but my first demos were about integration not the overthrow of capitalism — reform demos, not yet class warfare. Baldwin said he thought there would be a black president someday "but not in a country like this one is now." (Probably not an exact quote but that's what he said.) We've managed a black president but millions of black people are still left out. The fire this time is much more multi-racial than the uprisings of the sixties, and the social context even more dire, and beyond imagining of even the best writers of times past.

SANTA ROSA? Area police issued this statement Saturday afternoon: "The majority of the crowds have dispersed at this time, however, some continue to move around the downtown area whose motives are unclear. In order to ensure the safety of our community, we advise those in the downtown area to take the following precautions: Businesses should now close for the evening and send working employees home. Residents should avoid the downtown area for the remainder of the night. Those who live in the downtown area should remain indoors for the remainder of the night. SRPD and other local law enforcement agencies are actively responding to criminal activity including assault and vandalism. We absolutely support people’s rights to free speech, however, we will not tolerate violence and destruction in our community."

INSTANT NOSTALGIA. When the governor of Minnesota blamed "outside agitators" for the violence in Minneapolis, I hadn't heard that one for years. The guv backed off it a few hours later, but the paranoid types are claiming everyone from neo-Nazis to Antifa are responsible for the arson fires and destruction. I'm sure there are people whose motives are less than pure involved, but in any mob action there are provocateurs. And it's definitely true in Oakland that a lot of the serious damage is the work of young white thrill seekers whose homes are in the serene-ist 'burbs of the Bay Area, a fact confirmed by their home addresses from demos in years past.

IF YOU'LL take my hand and again walk with me backwards through the mists of time, I was exercising my 1st Amendment rights one night across the street from the Fairmont Hotel where Field Marshal Ky or whatever the South Vietnamese fascist called himself, was staying. "Chicks," as women were known in "the movement" at the time, the only movement in world history to move steadily in reverse for the next fifty years, were "up front," sitting in a couple of peaceful curbside ranks across the street from the SF Police Department's Tac Squad arrayed in front of the hotel. The Tac boys were all big, fit dudes who enjoyed beating the crappola out of commie-hippie scumbags, my friends and comrades. I knew it was only a matter of time before the Tac Squad charged across the street to kick off the night's mayhem so I stayed to the rear so I could jump the wall of the Pacific Union Club to avoid getting clubbed by the fungo bat nightsticks the Tac Squad carried. Sure enough, a provocateur threw a couple bags of red paint up against the wall of the old hotel, and here they came, trampling the "chicks up front" and teeing off on chicks and hippie scumbags alike. The rest of the night was the usual running of the bulls up and down California and all the side streets. I don't remember how many injuries and arrests there were, but lots of people got hurt, none of them cops.

LEGALIZED MARIJUANA, an on-line comment

Most of the “large, irresponsible grows” here in Humboldt have permits or are in the permit process. In one neighborhood in Honeydew, the square footage of permitted greenhouses is at least 10 times the square footage of pre-legalization mom & pop greenhouses and outdoor grows. Pre-legalization, one could hear the birds and the river in that neighborhood – now, the only audible sounds are generators and massive industrial fans. Pre-legalization, the road saw maybe half a dozen personal vehicles on it per day – now, there are dozens of cars, trucks, tractors, side-by-sides and commercial vehicles every hour. There is no way that anyone will ever convince me that permitted growers are better or more responsible than the mom & pops who built this County and are now being destroyed.

CHRIS SMITH, the Press Democrat columnist, wrote an affecting piece last week describing the closures of several Sonoma County weekly paper-papers. Some of them are going on-line, some of them are just going to dead newspaper heaven. Smith quotes a young woman as saying she much prefers getting her information electronically, that paper-papers get her hands dirty from the ink. She also didn't like the feel of newsprint, that "cheap paper."

I DON'T KNOW anyone under the age of sixty who reads a paper-paper. More years than I can count I read three newspapers a day — the Press Democrat where, for a spell, I was often vilified, a form of free advertising I could not otherwise have afforded; the Ukiah Daily Journal whose then-editor, Randy Foster, flipped out at the mere mention of Boonville's beloved weekly, and more free advertising in that paper; and the SF Chron where, over the years, I've been accorded the respect that may or may not be my due. These papers are all struggling but, and this is merely an intriguing rumor, the Ukiah paper is said to have a prospective buyer lined up, which I find hard to believe but there it is. The PD and the Chron are doomed. As are all paper-papers.

TECHNOLOGY has overtaken and defeated paper-papers. The gizmo generations get everything they need from their telephones, which are manufactured by semi-slave labor, made from rare, finite materials, are un-recyclable, mind-scrambling, attention deficit-inducing, and anti-social. Of course if minute-to-minute updates on the cretinous activities of the Kardashian girls are more important to you than the grand old institution of American newspapers, walk on with your heads packed with straw.

THE ONLY PAPER-PAPER I read is my own, plus the ICO outta Gualala, and Jim Shields' Mendocino County Observer. (Shields, based in Laytonville, is truly excellent on local stuff.) I read a couple of highbrow mags this lowbrow has read for years, both of which come in tabloid form, dirty ink and cheap paper. On the occasions I see it, I like the Willits Weekly whose Mike Adair and Jennifer Poole are fine reporters who weekly bless the small town they cover. On-line, I read the absolutely crucial MendocinoSportsPlus; Kym Kemp's equivalently crucial Redheaded Blackbelt; and Hank Sims’ Lost Coast Outpost. I read the Sunday Ukiah Daily Journal for Tommy Wayne Kramer, the Northcoast's liveliest writer going away. The Journal's KC Meadows is also a local must read but seldom bothers anymore. For a small population, Mendo, teeming with ingrates as it is, is fortunate in having a functioning media, but it's clear that a majority of people get all their information from each other on Facebook, an electronic, round-the-clock feeb-a-thon.

WHEN I TOOK over the ava in January of '84, most of the advertisers fled, one guy in Ukiah even sending me an old fashioned telegram that said only, "Out Now." I'd anticipated a certain amount of push-back, ha-ha, and knew my survival would depend on making the paper good enough, interesting enough to survive on subs and stand sales — plus legal ads. Legal adjudication, as it's turned out, is the sole remaining value inherent in community-based newspapers. Once some crafty newsman persuades a local court to recognize on-line newspapers as the media of record for a specific area, paper-papers will have no value. (Any attorneys out there who will rep us, let's go.)

EARLY IN THAT JANUARY of '84, as Mendo recoiled in shock and horror at the sudden transformation of the Anderson Valley weekly to… Well golly, blatant blatency, a chamber of commerce delegation came to visit consisting of the late Jerry Bowers, Ken Allen of what would become the famous Boonville Brewery, and Sean Donovan, later the mercenary founder of KZYX who retroactively billed the station $28k for his work "on behalf of the community." All three of these characters were Limbaugh Republicans. The late Bowers, as I recall, said something like, "We're hoping you'll use the paper for the betterment of the Anderson Valley," meaning them and their friends. "Boys," I assured them, "I'll do my darndest."

I DIDN'T KNOW BOWERS, and Ken Allen and I had what you might call a rocky relationship. I was selling my paper in the gift shop at the brewery, but every other week it seemed, he'd kick me outta there, until he also kicked me clear out, the gift shop and the bar and restaurant.

DONOVAN was like a giant mosquito. Wherever I saw him, and he seemed to be everywhere, he'd get right in my face with a big smile on his face, his wall eye going one way, his other eye roaming hither and thither, and there he'd be a twitching, coke-bottled mass of passive aggression. When he hustled the libs for thirty grand of scarce membership money for founding KZYX, hand-picking the chronophages still droning on on the station thirty years later, I wasn't surprised that Donovan had set things up so there would be no community control of the operation. Sure enough. He went on to some public station in Alaska where he was almost immediately fired, but around here, at least in the dimmer precincts, Donovan is still revered, and occasionally we'll hear at fundraising time a slobbery, mawk-drenched tribute to the founding father.


[1] November could go either way. It’s going to be chaotic, though. Seriously, Biden is more than “gaffe prone” as the NYT and others describe him. He is in serious mental decline. There will not be any way to hide this by October or November. He will be a disaster in the debates and all Trump will have to do is smirk and point his hand at Biden and look at the audience and say “Well, there you go, folks”. It will be pathetic and cruel, but that’s all Trump will have to do.

[2] While I find the murder, and that’s what it was, of George Floyd to be reprehensible, and sure hope to see the police officers involved charged with the crime, I find the knee-jerk response of outrage in the black community to be puzzling. Why do they only get upset if a cop or non-black person kills a black person but they don’t seem too bothered by the zillions of blacks killed daily at the hands of other blacks? Nearly all blacks murdered are killed by fellow blacks, not whites, Asians, cops etc. So why only the outrage for what are essentially outlier killings? And why does the NYT and its ilk not point this out? And why the tacit approval of the violent protests as you note? For that matter, why don’t liberal or MSM refrain from using the “Karen meme” to denote white women? Why is this ok? Would it be ok to use “Latoya” or “LaWanda” or “Latisha” etc as shorthand for black women acting a certain way? I think not. Why is it only ok if it’s applied to white women? And why do liberal publications not see the damage that will occur by their fanning of the flames?

[3]  “Why do they only get upset if a cop or non-black person kills a black person but they don’t seem too bothered by the zillions of blacks killed daily at the hands of other blacks? Nearly all blacks murdered are killed by fellow blacks, not whites, Asians, cops etc. So why only the outrage for what are essentially outlier killings?” I would suggest that people take someone being killed by a police officer rather differently than they do a killing by another citizen, whatever that citizen’s race. With great power comes great responsibility, as they say, and police are entrusted with the power to take life *as part of their job*. The issue is that many, many people perceive the police to be misusing that power, and that the misuse is targeted by race. That’s why comparing it against ‘black-on-black crime’ feels like a false dichotomy.

[4] As a baby boomer, I can’t remember a worse time; a comic-tragic wheels-coming-off-the-economy farce unfolding more and more each day. Any faith/ trust I had in institutions, religion, government has been wiped out in the last few years, everything seems like a power abusing scam…In the coming elections, (if there is an election) I am at a loss on who to vote for — an orange faced, divisive, self-centered, lying oompa loompa, or a lying, plagiarizing, grifter who has no legitimacy as a candidate. Do I “waste” my vote on a third party candidate that seems decent, or pick the lesser of two evils? (at this point I can’t discern which one it is) But in consolation, at least now we have a Space Force to save the day 

[5] I have a new theory to explain the curious behavior of officer Derek Chauvin. But before I get to it I have an observation to ask about. In all the video of the event I have viewed, George Floyd is either standing up, or face down on the ground; where is the video of him being taken down to the ground, because I have not seen it? Does it exist? Was it cut from the original video in order to give the appearance he did not resist arrest?

Did he resist arrest? Or did he collapse/fall to the ground?

Anyway my theory on Chauvin’s behavior is, he got caught up in a grudge match of sorts with the “civilians” witnessing the arrest, and the more they asked Chauvin to ease up on Floyd, the more Chauvin resisted doing so; to the extent that Floyd became a type of prop of sorts in a grudge match between two groups of people, the arresting officers VS the witnessing civilians.

The more the civilians ask/told Chauvin to get off him, the more entrenched Chauvin became in his “you don’t tell me how to do my fucking job, I’ll show you…!”

Chauvin got so caught up in this grudge match that he killed a man without really intending to?

His intent was to demonstrate his power and authority, not to Floyd, but to the black people watching the arrest, as a warning to them: “see, look what our blue gang can do. We run these streets and don’t you fucking forget it… (cough, niggers)”

Unfortunately, in the process, he forgot that the man he pinned to the ground with a knee on his neck, who was formerly gasping for air and crying out for his mama, had gone strangely silent and limp.

So, according to my theory, if this arrest had taken place away from witnesses, George Floyd might be alive today? Because the death of George Floyd may have had nothing to do with George Floyd, and EVERYTHING to do with “sending messages” to the people witnessing it?

Finally, regarding the charge of attempting to use a counterfeit $20 bill?

Well, unless it was really obvious, it’s not really a crime to be in possession of a counterfeit $20 bill. I don’t study every federal reserve note I get, and even if I did, I’m not sure I could tell the difference visually, since they make changes all the time?

Especially with the $100 dollar bills. I would probably be tipped off more by feel than by sight?

Regardless, I get all my currency from some other person/machine; just like everyone else; so the fact George Floyd may have been in possession of a fake $20 bill is no PROOF he was engaged in criminal activity; but that he may have been punked by the person who passed it to him?

Either he produced it, or he was PAID with it by someone else?

I tend towards the latter; if it’s true at all that he tried to pass a fake $20?

I will end with this question: If you found yourself alone, in an elevator with officer Derek Chauvin, and you could only ask him one question; what one question would you ask him?

Ed note: Answers included, "Got any naked pictures of your [beauty queen] wife?" to "How do you pronounce your name?"

[6] If there was ever a time for Garrison Keillor to come out of his #MeToo cancelled purgatory and speak to the rioters of Minneapolis it is now! A story of a warm rhubarb pie cooling on a windowsill would be just the thing to speak to black America and get them deeply introspectively looking at each other and saying “This isn’t right, I’m not mad at this AutoZone” whilst dropping the bricks.

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