- Cool Windy
- Pet Sister
- Bloyd Tales
- Red-Shouldered Hawk
- TWK Defenders
- City Lights
- Mask Fine
- Calpella 1910
- PA Testing
- Ukiah 1933
- Lackey Story
- Ed Notes
- Community Policing
- Coyote Valley
- Marijuana Grows
- Art Shelf
- Critical Supe
- Ukiah 1885
- School Scenarios
- Yesterday's Catch
- Records Hall
- Selfless RCS
- Ukiah Baseball
- Feudalism Returns
- Circular Reasoning
- Fox Style
- Peaceful Officers
- Rock Climbing
- Found Object
A COOLING TREND will continue today across the interior, accompanied by gusty northerly winds in the afternoon and evening. Marine stratus will give way to a cool and windy day along the coast. Inland temperatures will warm heading through the upcoming week, with areas of morning low clouds followed by some sunshine and breezy afternoons at the coast. (NWS)
UKIAH SHELTER PET OF THE WEEK
If a happy-go-lucky and social dog is what you're looking for—Sister is your girl! Sister loves her stuffy toys and carries them around with her, content in the knowledge she is keeping them safe. Although she came in with an unknown history, we can see that Sister has had some training. This adorable sweetie knows sit, down and shake. Sister does a bit of jumping up, so some fine tuning/training would be good. Sister is an active dog, and an active family would be a perfect fit for her. Sister is 2 years old and weighs a delightful 49 pounds.
To see our canine and feline guests, and for information about our services, programs, events, and updates about the county covid-19 closure and the shelter, visit: mendoanimalshelter.com. We're on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/mendoanimalshelter/ For information about adoptions please call 707-467-6453.
THE DEATH OF MICKEY
by Bill Kimberlin
Many years ago this summer, I was standing in the Shield's Cemetery at the graveside services for Mickey Bloyd. It wasn't necessary for me to think back to my high school years in Boonville -- they were all around me.
Mickey was the youngest and largest of the Bloyd brothers. Mickey had died of natural causes in San Quentin. He had been on death row for a domestic murder and happened to be in the first group of prisoners to transfer off the row when the Supreme Court ruled against the death penalty in the 1970s.
The Bloyds were known as fighters. Some local wag once said that since there was so little to do in Navarro, where they lived, the Bloyds would just go out into a field and fight. You didn't want to fight with Mickey. His older brother Skippy was notorious for cleaning out a barroom full of loggers up at Happy Camp one time, and Skippy was just a shrimp compared to Mickey.
While all the guys used the high school barbells, our teacher and coach, Dan Gaffney, had to build a special set for Mickey. The regular ones just weren't big enough. Taking two huge buckets and filling them with cement, Mr. Gaffney created a home-made barbell that was Mickey-size. It may still be out behind the high school gym somewhere. There's probably nobody around anymore that can lift it.
Mickey and all the Bloyds were pretty much Deependers. They came to Boonville to go to school, frequent the Midway Cafe and that was about it. The Valley was very isolating for a teenager without a car then, as it is today I suppose. He was also a year or two younger than I was and that made a big difference in who you hung out with.
I had visited the Bloyd ranch quite often as a sort of unwelcome guest of my cousin who was a family friend to Mickey's next oldest brother, David, who everyone called Deede. The Bloyds were an old Valley family like the Rawles, but without the money. They were working class, but respectable because they owned land. Unlike the Rawles, the Bloyds had exploits. This was still a time when Valley mischief was seen as more colorful than criminal.
There were only two places in the Valley where we could buy beer: The Oaks in Yorkville and a tavern in Comptche. Neither of these places were able to tell if the tallest of us was of age or not and they both had long ago decided to err on the side of the sale.
Mickey, on the other hand, was adept at liberating cases of beer from the then Floodgate Store and no doubt other establishments in or near Navarro with less than adequate security systems. Those of us with hot-rod cars welcomed the opening of this additional supply line. We certainly weren't about to question its heritage, since it would have been hypocritical to decline stolen beer when its intended purpose was to fuel our drunken drag races up and down the Valley.
Like all Valley delinquents, we looked up to the myths of the delinquents who had come before us. We were still marveling at the legend of a young man by the name of Kenny McKinney who held the nighttime record from Boonville to Cloverdale on the wrong side of the road with his lights off. He had made it in 28 minutes in something called "The Blue Goose". Now that was something to look up to.
The best we had ever been able to accomplish was for David Bloyd, myself and my cousin Mike, to turn Gary Robertson's '55 Chevy completely upside down in the middle of Highway 128, right at Farrers' turn. All the beer we had stored on the floorboards came crashing down on us as the car rolled over.
Trapped in an upside-down car on a blind turn where logging trucks were known to barrel along, we somehow managed to extricate ourselves from the car and immediately began to ditch the remaining contraband beer. Fortunately, we didn't have to worry about the empties, as we had spent the evening tossing them out the windows as we sped up and down the Valley in our usual search for amusement.
Carefully, but regretfully, we tossed the remaining unopened cans as far as we could into the dark. Unfortunately, we were throwing in the wrong direction and the cans were only traveling about three feet in the air before hitting the bank-side of the road, and immediately and incriminating falling to our feet. Once we had successfully corrected our launch coordinates, and ditched the beer, our worst fears were realized with the arrival of the Valley's only professional law enforcement officer, Russel Troxler, CHP. The Valley Sheriff, Carl Passmore, we knew to be safely home in bed... or so we imagined.
Officer Troxler actually had our undying respect, based on the fact that his Highway Patrol car could actually lay rubber (squeal tires) when it shifted from second to third gear with...get this, a slush box (automatic transmission). It was a continuous wonder to us that this was even possible. However, we had witnessed this phenomena several times as he would apparently receive a radio call and blast out of downtown Boonville leaving verifiable screech marks on the pavement.
But this night, as luck would have it, Officer Troxler was on an emergency call now, something about, "Hell's Angels in Cloverdale", he shouted as he merely tossed us flares and roared off. Truly, fortune shined on us. It was not yet midnight and no one was dead or even arrested. Gary was terribly worried though. "My father's gonna kill me", he kept saying. This issue was of considerable concern to us all because parents, unlike police, still held some small vestiges of authority over us.
Years later I always remembered Gary's father with the nickname, "Fuckin Ukiah". This was because of the fact that he couldn't use a sentence in the English language without saying "fuckin". This made for some rather amusing sentence construction, when nearly every noun was proceeded by the word "fuckin". And it wasn't Ukiah, he said, but "YOU-ki-ah". "Fuckin YOU-ki-ah".
Now this is not to criticize. Gary's father was from Arkansas, like just about half of the working families in the Valley in those days. Their use of language fascinated me, and years later I came to miss their mangled syntax with all of its colorful, "I ain't got no ..." and "Where's he at?" double negative speak. It's almost as interesting as Ebonics and both have the same Southern regional characteristics. After all, its what adds character and keeps our language fresh, even if part of me also reacts with the fingernails on the blackboard response, when I hear it.
As for the profanity, my aunt always used to say that my Uncle Avon, whose every other word was the somewhat more acceptable, "Goddamn", wasn't really aware of what his language meant to others. It was as natural to him as his bib overalls, which I never saw him out of except when he went to San Francisco to buy a new car -- Buicks and Oldsmobiles for him and Pink Lincolns for my aunt. Or when they went to Europe and he scratched his name on the wall of the Roman Coliseum with his car keys, "Avon Ray, Philo."
No, I can't fault any of them. In fact, I still hear one old timer at the drive-in whose use of "goddamn" rivals my uncle's. Except he uses a lot more emphasis. As in, "I closed the GODDAMN gate and walked up to the GODDAMN house" etc. He's a master, just as natural as breathing to him. (Hell, Mark Twain had a swearing room built into his Tiffany decorated mansion in Hartford, Connecticut. I'm not about to argue with the guy who wrote "Huck Finn").
Anyway, Gary was worried, so we somehow managed to roll the car over and get in. To our surprise it started right up and everything seemed pretty normal except for our having to sit all scrunched down in the seats, due to the fact that the top was crushed down to about where our shoulders would normally be. About this time, someone had the idea to use our feet to try and push the top back up. This actually seemed to work wonderfully, except for the fact that the next morning we could see the real result, which was a crushed roof with a bunch of lumps in it where we had pushed up our feet.
I can't remember what happened to that car, although I know Gary's father didn't kill him. And my Aunt said what she always said, which was, "If I ever catch the guy who's selling you kids that beer I'm gonna kill him."
Well, she never did find out and the fact is we pretty much got it ourselves, with a little help from Mickey.
FAIR PLAY FOR TOMMY
Letter to the Editor
I can’t believe the letters to the Ukiah Daily Journal editor squawking to stop Tom Hine from writing his column in the Journal. Personally, of all of the local writers of columns, the only two I ever read are Tom Hine and Jim Shields who both only appear in the Sunday Journal. The rest of them, I can’t even force myself to get past the first paragraph.
I think most of these oafs complaining about TWK are upset because Tom Hine pokes fun at them and their far left beliefs, and, with their way overinflated egos, just can’t stand being made fun of.
In my opinion, I believe that most of the reasons that they give to get rid of TWK are, to use a very, very overused word, racist.
FAIR PLAY FOR TOMMY (2)
Freedom of Expression in Perilous Times:
I find disturbing the attempts to kick Tommy Wayne Kramer (nee Tom Hine) out of publishing his column in the Ukiah Daily Journal. Some of my liberal friends seem to feel that his screeds are inappropriate and disturbing. I certainly don't agree with most of what he writes but it's a refreshing addition to an otherwise monochromatic opinion arena.
I used to view TWK as satire because it didn't fit the Tom I have known very slightly but over several years. I will never forget the day that our mutual friend and mentor, Buddy Eller, died in a tragic car crash. Tom was obviously as crushed as I was by the loss of a man with whom he apparently had substantial political disagreements but still enjoyed a strong bond and friendship. Somehow I feel that if my liberal friends had sat down with Tom and discussed their concerns… Oh, there you go again, Kathy, singing Kumbaya and whining "Can't we all just get along?!"
But the fact remains that banning a person from expressing right wing political ideas would be a blemish on our liberal community. It's important to hear the other side and Tommy certainly pushes the envelope like no other local writer I know. Thankfully, editor KC Meadows "gets" that freedom of expression thing and TWK will continue at the Journal. And I hope that his critics continue to express their views and challenge his. Just no more attempts to silence him, please. That's not who we are.
PAUL ANDERSON WRITES: There’s a $1000 fine for littering on Highway 1. Why not a $1000 fine for people refusing to wear masks? It’s absolutely the right thing to do and could be very lucrative for the County this summer with so many out-of-towners flouting the rules. Is there a member of the Board of Supervisors who has the stones to propose that? How to enforce? Take some money out of your pathetic cannabis program and devote it to hiring more code enforcement officers for this specific purpose.
COVID-19 TESTING IN POINT ARENA
Monday June 29
Redwood Coast Medical Services, Mendocino County Public Health and the City of Point Arena have collaborated to provide free surveillance testing for COVID-19 to residents of Point Arena and the South Coast. The drive-thru testing will be conducted on a first come-first serve basis on Monday June 29 starting at 9:30am and is free-of-charge.
Testing will be limited to residents of Mendocino and Sonoma Counties. There will be approximately 100 tests available.
COVID-19 Surveillance Testing
Monday June 29, 9:30am
WHERE: Point Arena City Hall/Veteran's Building
451 School Street (MAP
For general information about the testing, please contact Point Arena City Hall at 882-2122. Please note that no reservations for testing will be accepted.
NOTE: Public agency, lodging, restaurant, grocery store and other employees with heavy public contact will be able to receive guaranteed testing between 9am and 9:30am. Please contact Point Arena City Hall at 882-2122 by 5pm Friday for more information or email firstname.lastname@example.org by 5pm Sunday, June 28.
WHAT TO EXPECT: The specimen collection (nose swabs) will be performed by RCMS staff and volunteers; specimen testing will be managed by the local Health Department. This screening is a first come/first served screening of persons without COVID19 symptoms. The purpose of the screening is to collect a random sample of persons in the community around Point Arena to determine the presence of asymptomatic COVID19 in the area. It provides important data regarding the presence of the virus in our community.
This will be a drive through test; you will remain in your vehicle and be directed to a testing site by volunteers. (If there is more than one person in your vehicle, we will ask each person being tested to briefly step out of the vehicle.). Expect there may be a line of cars, but this line generally moves swiftly. You will be asked personal information by vetted RCMS volunteers, who are collecting data required for testing by the Health Department; you will have a nasopharyngeal (nose) swab performed by an RCMS nurse/provider; test kits will subsequently be transported to the UCSF laboratory for testing.
Because this is an outdoor and public event, we will do our best to respect your privacy — but true privacy cannot be guaranteed. The Health Department states that persons testing POSITIVE for COVID19 will receive a call from the Health Department by July 7th. Persons testing NEGATIVE will NOT receive a phone call. Per the Health Department,persons NOT receiving a phone call by July 7th will be considered “Presumptively Negative.” Any person testing positive will be guided by the Health Department on their next steps, including isolation/quarantine and accessing medical care.
We look forward to helping provide this vital public health service for residents of Point Arena and the South Coast.
MSP FRIEND BOB SHANNON SHARED A 'COAST STORY'
MSP saw this posted by former Mendocino County resident Bob Shannon Friday:
"I was a key player in the story below....but Nick and ? I decided not to take up a movie offer.
Home Burns but Holiday Is Merry for One Family
FORT BRAGG, Calif., Dec. 25, 1977 (AP)—Their home had burned and their fishing boat had sunk, but it was a joyous Christmas for the Nick Lackey family after two close brushes with death.
Last Wednesday the Coast Guard called Carol Lackey to tell her that her husband's boat had been wrecked and he was missing. The late‐night phone call woke her up in time to detect a fire in the house and rescue her two children, Crystal, 3 years old, and Jade, 2.
When the Coast Guard called again Christmas Eve, it was to tell Mrs. Lackey that her husband had been rescued by a passing freighter off Coos Bay, Ore., after four days without food and water on a life raft in the stormy Pacific Ocean.
The Coast Guard said the search continued today for Mr. Lackey's crewman, Ernie Lopez, who was missing at sea in the wreck of the 38‐foot Blessed Redeemer.
While waiting for word about Mr. Lackey, his family was buoyed by the tiny coastal community 150 miles north of San Francisco. They were given a mobile home on the site of their burned‐out house by Georgia‐Pacific, a logging company. Other people chipped in food, clothing and household goods.
Below is Nick as seen today..."
THE MILK MONITORS are getting outta hand. This very morning I'm deep in the golden hills above Fairfax, trucking right along, a song in my heart, thinking good thoughts, when I suddenly hear a screeched, "Mask!" And here comes a lycra-babe, a woman of fifty or so. I never got within 25 yards of this person, but jolted out of my purplish reveries all I could come up with in the way of a response was the first line of that Lawrence poem, "I wish I knew a woman…" Then it occurred to me that given the communication's dysfunction plaguing the land that even a lame attempt at irony might be construed as… "Yes, officer. I was on my morning walk when I noticed an unmasked older man with this weird, uh, erotic-like smile on his face, and when I told him to put his mask on he just kind of leered at me and said he wanted to get to know me. There I was, alone in the hills with this pervert! I know men, officer, believe me, and I certainly know carnality when I see it!"
YES, it's objectively crazy to mask up when you're out for a walk at the crack of dawn in a human-free place, but in every public venue where there are others the mask ought to be mandatory. I agree with Paul Andersen's suggestion to supervisors Williams and Silent Dan Gjerde that the unmasked, wherever distancing is impossible, be fined. A thousand bucks, as Andersen suggests, is unreasonable, but fifty isn't. This plague thing is no joke. No man is an island etc.
TALK about hyper-inflated reputations, the description of John Bolton as "brilliant, courageous, a great statesman" and so on is not only slam-dunk untrue, it's disgusting. But there it is in lock-step, from Wolf Blitzer to the rest of the neon-toothed punditocracy. A draft dodger himself, Bolton has held out for more war as the solution for every foreign policy dilemma. What a nest of snakes there is at the leadership level of this doomed country, and tenth-rate snakes too.
HOW COME one of these tech geniuses we're always hearing about can't come up with a non-lethal means of subduing the berserkers? The cops have tried bean bags, nets, rubber bullets (crazy dangerous and seemingly ineffective as crowd control), various kinds of disabling gases, and who knows what all? There's gotta be a better way, right Elon?
UNLESS my ancient ears deceive me, is there only one song anymore? "Baby, baby, baby, uh baby, oh baby...." Where have all the great lyricists gone?
THE GREAT IRONY of the BLM uprising is that race relations are better than they've ever been, that there are now literal millions of loyal inter-ethnic relationships where, 60 years ago there were few-to-none. The multi-racial demonstrations are living proof that we've come a very long way in a very short time in the race department. Apply the noble principles of democratic socialism to our Hobbsian economy, and a lot of the remaining tensions would be outta here. Won't happen. The Great Slide is too far slid, and a Biden administration won't do anything to arrest it. Trump has only made the obvious, obvious.
THE CONTESTED Lincoln statue, for a certainty, would have been opposed by Honest Abe himself, a modest fellow who would cringe at his latter-day canonization. A genius writer, does anybody think the author of the Gettysburg Address would want to see himself depicted as a God-like figure posed above a grateful freed slave at his feet? This sculpture manages to insult both parties.
WE'RE NUMBER ONE! The US recorded 45,242 new cases of COVID-19 on Friday, the largest single-day increase of the pandemic so far, with five states, including Florida, Georgia, Utah, Tennessee and Idaho, racking up ominous spikes in reported cases. Florida, just this morning, reported 9,585 new infections in the last 24 hours and 24 additional deaths. The US death toll has surpassed 125,000, the highest in the world, with a total of 2.48 million confirmed cases.
COMMUNITY POLICING, AN EXCHANGE
 If there were no cops, who would she call? Who would help her? Answer: her community patrol. Since there would be no cops, no arrest, no district attorney, no one to help the victim or the perpetrator, the community patrol, local neighbors helping each other. If we all had our own patrol, we could start to take out the meth freaks, distributors, and the cooks. No cops to protect us, no cops to protect the criminals. We win, there are many more of us, regular good people with more guns and ammo than any police station. In this new day of no cops, those two guys who helped this woman are heroes.
The real win would be if the wussie were forced right out of the valley. Since we all pay property taxes, and some of the money goes to law enforcement, we deduct the percentage of our taxes that go to law enforcement, and use the money for our own private law enforcement. Private law enforcers do not have to answer to dist attorneys, or governors, they answer directly to us. I would bet that in 6 mos, most criminal elements would be driven out of here. The patrol could get a D4 or D5, and methodically destroy all the illegal unpermitted hoops. Who could stop them? Who would the illegals call? No one, there are no cops.
 Somalia does it that way. We’ve already got the Toyotas. We just need the machine guns to mount in back.
COYOTE VALLEY, NOW LAKE MENDOCINO
(1) MARIJUANA GROWS: Why is this a waste of resources? These grows are terrible for our community and even for the cause of all things marijuana (which I don’t really care about, but I think you do). I’m an old school outlaw but as I settle down and want to have a normal life here, I have begun to appreciate law enforcement getting the scummy growers out of here. They don’t help anyone but their bosses, and the money doesn’t circulate in the community. Have you noticed the degrading of our towns? If we could all look back 20 years, what has the marijuana industry done but brought money to a few, while the downtowns are filled with empty stores and homeless zombies. Sorry for the rant.
(2) MARIJUANA GROWS: I don’t agree with you that marijuana growing is bad. I have seen it done well by actual caring and humble people who used the profit to build and maintain simple and loving homes. However I do agree with your “The marijuana industry has brought legions of these very types into our communities. And it’s not getting any better despite govt. efforts to legitimize…” I have seen the “legalization” reverse the goodness by rewarding baller mega-growers, government parasites and corporate investors while hurting the same people I referred to in my opening statements… The money and the sensationalism of weed growing pulled many bad people into this area. We became a magnet for sociopaths and greedy posers - many who now have permits and hype their dubious credentials!
The gorgeous glowing bowl is by the late and very talented Lisa Lebow. The "Moon Maiden" was a delightful birthday surprise from Sue Sellars and Janet Seaforth. — Jan Wax
SUPERVISOR TED WILLIAMS on KZYX with Karen Ottoboni last Wednesday morning was asked about the budget process this year:
Ottoboni: Did you feel the process was good? You got enough information that you were able to do it, or did you really have to dig?
Williams: No. I don’t think it’s a good process. I hate to be that guy. It’s like we elected the Anderson Valley Advertiser for the Fifth District. But I am critical of the process. I don’t think it’s very good. It’s not a reflection on staff. I think we hire some excellent people who are incredibly hard working. They are talking to me late at night on the weekend. About budgeting. And not as just a one-off but regularly. The employees in this County are highly dedicated.
SCHOOL STREET, UKIAH, 1885
DOES THIS SOUND REMOTELY WORKABLE?
According to a recent press release, Ukiah Unified is looking at three different scenarios for fall reopening:
Scenario A: Return to school five days a week with safety measures to provide for as much social distancing as practicable and remote learning for parents who do not feel comfortable sending students to school five days each week. This five-day-a-week model may look different than what our community is used to.
Scenario B: This is a hybrid model where students would be split into two groups, with 50 percent of them in each group. One group would be referred to as A and the other as B. In this model, a student would attend school in person two days a week and be on remote learning three days a week. This hybrid model could work in a variety of ways. One possible example would be the A group attends school in person on Monday and Tuesday, and the B group attends school in person on Thursday and Friday with additional classroom sanitation on Wednesday. Parents who do not want this option could choose remote learning.
Scenario C: Remote learning similar to the 2019-20 school year if the health conditions in our community necessitate it.
CATCH OF THE DAY, June 27, 2020
BENJAMIN BROWN, Ukiah. DUI-drugs&alcohol.
FRANCISCO CABADA-BELTRAN, Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-loitering on private property.
BRANDON FREITAS, Fort Bragg. Assault with deadly weapon not a gun, controlled substance.
JUSTIN HIETALA, Ukiah. Concealed dirk-dagger, probation revocation.
ROBERT NORTON, Ukiah. DUI.
SAMANTHA NOYO, Willits. Controlled substance for sale, stolen property.
AMBER PEARCE, Point Arena. Domestic abuse.
TANYA PENNY, Sausalito/Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.
SEBASTIAN RABANO, Ukiah. Domestic battery, probation revocation.
HAROLD WHITE, Fort Bragg. Fugitive from justice, false personation of another, failure to register as sex offender with priors.
TERRANCE YOUNG, Ukiah. Domestic battery, suspended license, probation revocation.
HALL OF RECORDS, UKIAH
WE LOVE OURSELVES
To the Editor:
During the shelter in place mandate, our residential care homes, behavioral health services, crisis and homeless programs have all remained open to continue to serve our children, youth, families, and adults with essential healing care. The selfless services and supports RCS employees provide daily is life-changing and value-adding. Further, our organization is made possible by our steadfast administrative teams who provide the backbone for the services RCS is able to make available to the community. Without the brilliance of our administrative employees, we would not have been able to respond to this new environment seamlessly.
RCS is proud to stand in company of such amazing, brilliant, and inspiring change-makers who work tirelessly to create a more loving, just, and healing world. Our employees stepped up and continue to amaze us during these critical times, often working overtime, taking shifts in programs and counties they do not usually work in, spending countless hours ensuring clients’ needs are met – all while being away from their families - and for this and all the other countless ways you contribute, we salute you!
For more information about the services RCS provides – from foster care to our 24-hour youth and adult homes; our 24-hour crisis services, behavioral health services, day resource and night shelter services, and substance use disorder treatment services, please visit our website at www.redwoodcommunityservices.org.
— Victoria Kelly, CEO, Tawny Bailey, COO, Carmen Harris, CPO, Angie Bakker, Marketing & Communications
ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY
Despite the dogmatic devotion to democracy that we’ve all been browbeaten with since Kindergarten, the sad fact is that democracy allocates the 50% of people with an IQ below average the same voting power as the 50 per cent who have greater than average intelligence.
I’ve been amused for years about how the only thing Republicans and Democrats agree upon is how stupid the voters are, depending on the outcome of the last election. People only truly believe in democracy when the votes are going their way. This is most easily observed now by watching the panties-in-a-wad snowflakes spouting off about “burning the system down if we don’t get what we want. Waah.”
Whenever I hear a politician or a pundit preface a statement with, “I think the American People are smart enough to realize that…,” I immediately tune out. They are of course lying, because no politician has the slightest respect for the voters or their putative intelligence. The preface would more accurately be replaced with, “Maybe enough of the American People are stupid enough to believe what I am about to say….”
Democracy guarantees that stupidity reigns most frequently. A Dictatorship or Monarchy may have some good moments, but ultimately evil will reign. They are both lousy systems, mainly because a sizeable chunk of people are just plain baseline stupid, and all people have the capacity for evil.
The demise of civilizations was baked into the cake when it began. The momentary illusion that we somehow had things figured out was fueled, literally, by the discovery of petroleum that transiently has allowed a lot more people to eat and successfully breed. As it winds down, things will return to economies based upon conquest and enslavement of both animals and people. Any World Made by Hand is going to have to contend with the people over the hill that want your village’s potato crop, shovels, horses, oxen, and females. To protect all that the village is going to have to cough up taxes for the local warlord’s protection. Feudalism was the dominant pre-industrial system, and will be the predominant post-industrial system.
Along the way, watch for much wailing and gnashing of teeth. Mark your calendars, it began in earnest in 2020. Or 1973. Or 2008. Or argue about some other date, it doesn’t really matter, does it?
TRUMP IS NOT just the perfect media product, he’s a brilliant propaganda mechanism. Though most of our problems are systemic, most of our public debates are referendums on personality. Not many people can be neutral on the subject of Trump, so we wave him at you all day long.
Meanwhile, a vast universe of systemic issues is ignored. We’ve been steadily narrowing that field of view for decades, particularly in investigative reporting.
In the years after Manufacturing Consent came out, big corporate conglomerates bought up most major media outlets. The biggest outlets learned there’s no percentage in doing big exposés against large, litigious companies. Not only will they sue, they’re also certain to pull ads as punishment. Why make trouble?
Also, news audiences had by then been trained not to value this kind of work the way they once had. It was easy enough to sell something else instead—better weather graphics, celebrity news, faster delivery, etc. Papers and stations that had their own correspondents abroad or in Washington increasingly shuttered those offices and relied on the wires. Nobody much cared.
The message to reporters working in big corporate news organizations was that long-form investigative reports targeting big commercial interests weren’t forbidden exactly, just not something your boss was likely to gush over.
When media companies aren’t doing the right stories, they start self-sorting for the wrong ones. You could call this the Worthy and Unworthy Targets principle.
Worthy targets are small-time crooks, restaurant owners with rats, actors, athletes, reality stars, and other minor miscreants. In the Nineties, to this list of worthy subjects, we added two more: Either of the two approved political parties.
Fox struck gold with the Lewinsky story and the Clinton impeachment. Roger Ailes, the new CEO, was learning to cash in by terrifying elderly audiences with images of evil hippie power couple Bill and Hillary Clinton.
Hillary denigrated baking cookies while letting her husband run around with his pants around his ankles. Thanks in large part to Lewinsky and the Starr probe—stories that Fox rode to riches as white hat/black hat soap dramas—the network went from launch to top of the cable market in less than six years.
Fox nailed the formula of the modern news story. Forget just doing a cable variety show with conservatives and liberals engaged in ritualized fighting. Why not make the whole news landscape a rooting section?
It would be a while before other networks embraced Fox-style open political slant (and when they did, they did it in a different way). But Ailes quickly had a lot of imitators when it came to the blame game.
RETHINKING THE POLICE
I’ve been seeing a lot of talk about defunding the police. I think we need to do the opposite. I think we need to greatly increase salaries for police but also make it mandatory that any applicant have a degree in philosophy, public health or psychology and a minor in police science.
For those already on the job, have a time range for them to get enrolled in these programs or be phased out.
The FBI and some state police departments have these requirements, and their workers aren’t so apt to be racist and commit acts of evil.
You ask, are there great police officers in our midst? Almost everyone says they know great people who are police officers. I do myself. However, all of these great officers need to stand up for the soul of their profession and forcefully oppose the criminal elements in their midst.
Being silent in the face of this persistent racism isn’t great policing but condoning the continuation of the problem. Every right-thinking officer needs to stand up for all the good they do and get rid of the dinosaurs who ooze hatred and prejudice. Then the people and the police can sing the same tune of peace and harmony.
Please stand up.
KNOTS, JUST KNOTS
by Denis Rouse
The phone rings. Rarely a good thing. It’s Zuckerman calling, the wannabe auteur of Monte Nido. He has a notion he wants to take a rock climbing lesson and he wants Weinstein to partner up with him.
“C’mon, don’t be chicken shit”, he says, “The first lesson is knots, just knots, no climbing”.
Weinstein, not yet fully aware that whatever Zuckerman says is pure Hollywood vacuity, agrees to go. It’s a monstrous decision because Weinstein’s fear of heights is redline and he is putting his trust in Zuckerman’s assurance. Just knots, no climbing.
They drive together to the base of a soaring cliff face in the San Gabriel Mountains where they meet up with a group of climbing students, including three attractive girls, and two instructors from the climbing school, a couple of wiry young men whose body fat appears to be about zero.
A half hour is spent upon knots. While Weinstein works assiduously on a half hitch it does not escape his attention that the three girls are more than attractive; they are hot, they are in fact lithe sun-bronzed muscle toned beauties, members of a then burgeoning breed of proto females who frankly intimidate Weinstein down to his socks. It is also becoming clear to Weinstein that Zuckerman’s words were pure crap. A long nylon line is being prepared, a belaying line, and the taut male instructors are issuing instructions that are clear and unambiguous. Use your feet, test your footholds, don’t rely on arm strength. Your feet are the key. We’re only going up a hundred feet or so but remember that a ten foot fall can be just as fatal.
Oh sweet Jesus, Weinstein, can you run and hide? No, you can’t run and hide. The proto femmes aren’t scared. Look at their expressions. The bitches look like they’re going fucking shopping. They’re happy, elevated, energized and you are a quaking two hundred pound piece of shit.
“Zuckerman, you asshole, get me out of this”.
“C’mon Weinstein. It’s nothing. Look at the size of my ass. You’re in much better shape than I am”.
Fear has a color. Fear is purple. Weinstein’s face is magenta but there’s no escape within the bounds of any human dignity here. The line is cinched to Weinstein’s waist and three lead climbers including big ass Zuckerman and two of the khaki clad uber femmes have already begun to make their way up the cliff face. Weinstein is climber four. The line is tugging. Get up there Weinstein. Test your footholds and for God sakes don’t look down. This is no time for an anxiety attack. Remember, the purple is only a message. Think, you schmuck, your father once told you fear can be either your foe or your friend. Make her your friend.
Weinstein is thinking way beyond, “What the fuck am I doing here?” Weinstein is thinking “I can’t believe I’m doing this”. But Weinstein is busy. He’s busy testing footholds and despite the instructors’ admonition he’s also relying on arm strength to keep ascending the cliff face and get this goddamn lesson over with as quickly as possible. Fear has a smell too. Fear smells like wet rock. Think of fear as having a bell curve. Weinstein’s fear hits the top of the bell curve when he reaches a narrow ledge in the cliff that is the terminus of the climb, nothing more than a niche in the cliff, a niche that is ten stories high, a niche that has barely enough room for the climbers to gather together and chat. Everyone chats. Zuckerman chats. The uber chicks chat. Weinstein can’t chat because he can barely breathe; he is in the midst of a deeply personal private crisis, a struggle to control panic that is quickly going from magenta to black. If fear also has a taste Weinstein can’t taste it because his mouth is as dry and desiccated as the Atacama Desert. His foci problem is that he and his fellow climbers have been temporarily disconnected from the security of the belaying line so it can be reconfigured into a rappelling line for the trip back down. Allow panic to overbear you now Weinstein and the coroner will be called to pick you up with a spoon. The instructor is giving a talk about rappelling. Weinstein hears not a word he is saying. He just wants to get buckled again to the security of any fucking line in the house and get back to Mother Earth who he now knows he dearly loves. After interminable minutes, minutes that seem like millennia, Weinstein is rappelling downward, not well, awkwardly, but downward at last, and when his size twelves finally clomp down on terra firma, his body, his mind, his spirit is at once suffused with a kind of relief he has heretofore never known. He believes he has met his worst enemy, he who lives within his own self, and survived to tell the tale.
“Weinstein”, Zuckerman says when the group gathers at the base of the cliff to chat some more, “Let’s sign up for another lesson, a more advanced climb, what do you say?”
“Zuckerman, you know your pal Paparian, your Armenian buddy who carries a loaded Uzi in the trunk of his car in case the Turks show up again, he who drinks Jack Daniels right out of the bottle, he who does pull ups from your ceiling beams? Let’s give him a buzz when we get home, I need a quiet evening”.