- Find Gittings
- Plausible Rumors
- California Closures
- School Street
- Quake Odds
- Ukiah Stage
- Help Fuente
- Watercolor Artist
- San Juan
- Ed Notes
- Redwood Journal
- Gray Art
- Tour de Salo
- Ukiah Chamber
- Nomination Period
- Hortense Lives
- Anniversary Ride
- Ukiah Home
- Dark Skies
- Yesterday's Catch
- White Album
- Virus Winning
- Foster's Variety
- Shared Sad
- Fortify Yourself
- Got Pot?
- More Bensky
- Trans Lifestyle
- Downtown Ukiah
- Position Statement
- Gold Miners
- Enduring Case
- Swimming Caps
- Found Object
HOT AND DRY weather conditions will persist over the interior through the week. In addition, a thermal trough will build across the coast today through Wednesday, resulting in warmer temperatures for coastal Del Norte and Humboldt counties. (NWS)
ARE TAXES STILL DUE JULY 15? YES.
As if there wasn't already enough going on in 2020, it's tax time again. In an effort to provide relief to Americans grappling with the COVID-19 pandemic and its resulting economic fallout, in March the IRS extended the traditional April 15 tax deadline to July 15 -- and folks, that's this Wednesday.
ROBERT GITTINGS, 29, of Fort Bragg, has been reported missing by his family since June 27. He has brown hair, is 5'11" and sometimes wears glasses. His dark gray Scion sedan has CA license 5XMS399. Anyone with information about Robert Gittings, please call his family at 707-964-1678 or 707-357-1475.
TODAY'S (MONDAY) MOST PLAUSIBLE RUMORS: (1) There are going to be more Covid positive cases coming out of Sherwood Oaks care facility in Fort Bragg, with some other tests still pending. (2) Tammy Moss Chandler, head of Mendo's Health and Human Services Agency, will retire in September and (3) CEO Angelo won't seek a replacement for Moss-Chandler and may try to restructure the agency along the lines of other counties.
GOVERNOR NEWSOM ANNOUNCES NEW RESTRICTIONS ON BUSINESSES
Health Officer Issues Revised Health Order to Align with State Restrictions
Post Date: 07/13/2020 7:01 PM
Today, July 13, 2020, Governor Gavin Newsom and the California Department of Public Health announced a new State Order with restrictions that apply to ALL 58 counties for bars, restaurants and other indoor business operations as part of statewide actions to slow the spread of COVID-19. The State Order is in response to a continued rise in hospitalizations and ICU utilization throughout the State and an increase in the rate of positivity. Based on the trend line, data and science the State is enacting these additional restrictions.
Effective, today, July 13, 2020, ALL counties, including Mendocino County, must close all operations (both indoor and outdoor) of bars, brewpubs, and pubs statewide. Additionally, all counties must close indoor operations in the following sectors:
- Wineries/tasting rooms
- Movie Theaters
- Family Entertainment Centers (e.g., miniature golf, batting cages and arcades)
- Zoo and Museums
The State Order permits affected businesses, to offer limited outside services:
Outdoor dining, delivery, take-out and drive-through service.
Wineries and tasting rooms may operate outdoors without being required to serve food.
Mendocino County Health Officer Dr. Noemi Doohan issued a revised Shelter-In-Place Order reflecting these changes.The revised Order with new restrictions will take effect tonight, July 13 at 11:59 p.m. and will be in place unit 12:00 p.m. on August 3, 2020. A new order will be released upon the expiration of this order.
The Health Order is posted online at mendocinocounty.org/community/novel-coronavirus/health-order.
The order is enforceable by imprisonment and/or fine thus we urge all residents and businesses to closely read the order and follow it.
The Governor also directed counties that have remained on the County Monitoring List for 3 consecutive days (30 counties) will be required to close indoor operations for more sectors due to risk of spread. Mendocino County in NOT on the County Monitoring List yet, but current conditions in Mendocino County suggest that placement on the State Monitoring List may occur within the next week leading to further State required closures. Counties currently on the Monitoring List will be required to shut down the following industries unless they can be modified to operate outside or by pick-up:
- Fitness centers
- Worship services
- Offices for non-essential sectors
- Personal care services, like nail salons, body waxing and tattoo parlors
- Hair salons and barbershops
Mendocino County will notify the public should the County’s status change and if additional restrictions and closures are required.
For more information regarding the Governor’s announcement visit: https://covid19.ca.gov/.
For more on COVID-19: www.mendocinocounty.org
Call Center: (707) 234-6052 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
The call center is open Monday-Friday from 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
SCHOOL STREET, UKIAH
CHANCE OF BIG SAN ANDREAS QUAKE HAS TRIPLED DUE TO SERIES OF SOCAL SHAKERS, STUDY SUGGESTS
The study is the latest suggestion of a plausible scenario in which last summer’s earthquakes in a remote part of California might have started a chain of events that could result in a devastating earthquake on the San Andreas fault that has not been seen in Southern California in 163 years.
BLUE LAKE TO UKIAH STAGE
HELP FUENTE RECOVER
Fundraiser for Mendocino Icon Larry Fuente Home/Art Studio Fire Fund
Iconic Mendocino artist Larry Fuente’s home and art studio were tragically destroyed in a fire on Friday, July 3. Nationally known for his elaborately adorned assemblage sculptures, Larry lost much of his life’s work in the devastating fire.
We send our condolences to Larry as we reflect on the magnitude of this loss within our local and national art community. Please join the Mendocino Art Center’s board, staff, artists and volunteers in support of Larry – donations at any level are greatly appreciated!
Help us reach our $10,000 goal!
Fundraiser through GoFundMe: https://gf.me/u/ygcaxh
The Mendocino Art Center hosted Larry’s exhibition, “New World Hoarder,” August/September 2019.
Mendocino Art Center
DICK'S PLACE WATERCOLOR ARTIST: Cleo Vilett
Thanks to Kathy Wylie for identifying Cleo Vilett as the artist who has memorably rendered Dick's Place. From what we can gather, Ms. Vilett is not a Mendo resident and works with the Oakland Museum.
WOULD YOU LIKE TO SHARE A STORY ABOUT THE 'SAN JUAN'?
Roots of Motive Power is proud to announce the completion of another restoration project. The static display of the Washington Estep Engine that came out of the F/V San Juan [formerly the water-based home of Rex Gressett] was placed in the engine house yesterday. We still do need to do the storyboards for the display. We plan on two boards, one for the Engine itself and one for the Story of the San Juan. If any of our fans out there have stories about the Fishing Vessel San Juan we would love to hear about them. Feel free to message us here or email us at email@example.com with any leads you might have and we will glady chase them down.
Roots of Motive Power
ACCORDING to Rudy Giuliani, “Black Lives Matter is an organization run by three Marxists and financed by a convicted terrorist – who I happened to have convicted, who got 58 years in jail and got a corrupt pardon from Bill Clinton. This is not a benign organization. I can’t say yet that we can prove it’s a terrorist organization. It's certainly a violent organization and I believe in the course of time it will be shown to be a terrorist organization.”
COMMUNISTS! Back for another turn as catch-all boogeyman. I'm sure all my fellow nostalgics will remember when the commies — about 20,000 of them max, and half of them FBI agents — got blamed for everything from flouride in drinking water to subversive literature. In action, communists were liberals, not revolutionaries, and early on had made the huge tactical error of acting as a Russian surrogate.
IN FACT, Black Lives Matter is a more or less organized movement that advocates for non-violent civil disobedience to protest police brutality against African-Americans. It resonates with black people because police forces, historically, have mistreated black people every which way, and are now reaping what they've long sown.
ALICIA GARZA, Patrisse Cullors and Opal Tometi have expanded the project into a national network of over 30 local chapters established between 2014 and 2016. BLM is a network run by an umbrella organization called Thousand Currents. Susan Rosenberg serves as Vice Chair of the Board of Directors. She is the person Guliani prosecuted.
HAD TO LAUGH at the long list of Cancel Culture signers, among them a bunch of NPR staffers who hid their names, and not surprised that NPR and the rest of that roster don't seem to realize that by withholding names out of fear of retaliation proves the Harper's Letter's point. Locally, of course, Mendo has its own Cancel Culture as we've seen recently in the effort by a Ukiah mob to cancel Tommy Wayne Kramer's column in the Ukiah Daily Journal.
A HEDGE FUND called Alden Global Capital owns three newspapers in Mendocino County and several others on the Northcoast. Alden's local victims include The Ukiah Daily Journal; The Willits News; and the combined Fort Bragg Advocate-Beacon.
ALDEN long ago sold the real estate housing these papers, and ever since has whittled away at the employees by not replacing them when they leave or retire. All three of the Mendo papers are bare-bones operations.
THE HEDGE FUND'S bullet-headed owners — Mitt Romney is the archetype — are Randall D. Smith and Heath Freeman, your basic vulture capitalists who've made many millions by buying and stripping failing businesses of whatever they have of value, then killing them.
THE MENDO PAPERS still generate enough in ad revenues for MNG (MediaNews Group), Alden's sub-company, to keep them on life-support. The instant they generate no profit, Alden will pull the plug. How close the venerable publications are to death is hard to tell. Finances are proprietary information, you see.
THESE SWINE — MediaNews Group — control some 200 publications, including big ones like The Denver Postand The Boston Herald. As a newspaper dinosaur myself here at Boonville's beloved weekly we're so poor even the vultures fly on by — no meat on them bones — but Alden is typical of late capitalism. These people create nothing, destroy everything they touch.
THE GOOD NEWS! The Navarro Store is firing up its justly famous and annually highly anticipated barbecue this very week, 9am to 5:30pm all weekend from Friday through Sunday. Dine comfortably socially distanced outside beneath the redwoods, or grab and go.
JAN WAX WRITES: I have some artists' work on the walls and Paula Gray has been a favorite artist for a long time. She's explored many subjects, artistically, and is best known for her animals.
This one, from the negative hand series, is titled I.C.U. and has intrigued me from the first time I saw it. I.C.U. can be a play on I See You. I love the blue, blue-green and cranberry colors on the wonderful map/house/hat, the night sky, and the lips on the central figure. The hand.
BIKE VIOLATIONS LEAD TO METH BUST
On Sunday, July 12, 2020 at approximately 8:36 P.M., at approximately 8:36 P.M., Officers of the Fort Bragg Police Department conducted an enforcement stop on a bicyclist in the 400 block of E. Redwood Avenue after observing multiple vehicle code violations.
During the stop the rider of the bicycle dropped his bicycle and attempted to flee on foot ignoring the Officer’s commands to stop. The rider was caught a short distance later and identified as Ernest Salo, 34, of Fort Bragg.
Salo was detained for resisting, delay, or obstructing officers. During a subsequent investigation officers discovered Salo was in possession of 22.8 grams of suspected methamphetamine and large amount of currency. Both the methamphetamine and currency were seized as evidence.
Salo was arrested and charged with possession for sale of Methamphetamine and resisting, delaying, or obstructing an officer. Salo was processed at the Fort Bragg Police Department and then transported to the Mendocino County Jail.
If you have information related to this investigation please contact Sergeant Rafanan at (707) 961-2800 ext. 140 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
(Fort Bragg Police Presser)
CHAMBER OF COMMERCE, UKIAH
STEP ON UP
City Council General Election Filing Period Opens
Nomination Period for City Council opens July 13.
Nomination Period Opens for 2020 General Municipal Election
On Tuesday, November 3, 2020, a general municipal election will be held inthe City of Point Arena for three Council Member seats.
Official nomination papers for eligible candidates desiring to file for the above office(s) may be obtained from the Office of the City Clerk, 451 School Street in Point Arena beginning July 13, 2020, through August 7, 2020, during regular business hours as posted.
If nomination papers for an incumbent Council Member are not filed by close of business on August 7, 2020, the voters shall have until the close of business on August 12, 2020, to nominate candidates other than the incumbent.
In order to be eligible to hold office as a member of the Council, a person must be a U.S. citizen, 18 years of age on or before Election Day and a registered voter of the City of Point Arena at the time nomination papers are issued for his or her candidacy and shall continue to reside in the City of Point Arena during the term of office.
For more information and to make an appointment to pick up papers, please contact Point Arena City Hall at 882-2122 or email email@example.com.
Point Arena City Hall is open from 9am to 4pm Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays and from 9am to Noon on Fridays. City Hall is closed Wednesdays.
The poem ‘Hortense B. Hordingall’ which made its debut in the AVA a couple years ago, is now online as part of the entire book it appears in, which we are releasing b/c Covid and why not. (Also, the other chapters feature invented language, and hearing it being read helps some people tune into it.)
OUR ANNIVERSARY RIDE
by Anne Fashauer
This past Sunday was our 6th anniversary. Our usual means of celebrating - a nice room on the coast, plus dinner - weren’t anything we wanted to avail ourselves of given the current circumstances. We thought and thought and just hadn’t come up with anything when a friend mentioned the rail bikes on the Skunk Train tracks. This sounded perfect to us both.
We booked the ride, which is a bit spendy ($250/couple) right then. Our friend thought the ride included lunch, but it does not. We had three choices - a very early morning ride, a mid-day ride and an afternoon ride. We chose the afternoon.
We arrived just in time to watch one of the Skunk trains pull in to the depot, then we were gathered to be given instruction on how to handle the rail bikes. The bikes are two-seaters that you pedal recumbently. The seats are comfy and there’s a small basket at the front to put some snacks or a purse or some such in. The right side is the “driver’s” side - it’s where the battery for the pedal-assist resides and where the throttle is located, as well as the brake. There’s no steering, however. You just start up using the throttle, then, once moving, peddle to keep moving or brake to slow or stop. The wheels are designed to ride the tracks and the tracks take you where you are going.
We started off well enough. We had to get through a few street crossings and then we rode along Pudding Creek; very pretty and nice and cool. We had brought along a bottle of bubbly and two plastic flutes to enjoy along the way. Since we didn’t have to steer, this was easy enough. However, just a little way in, my husband started looking at the wheels and questioning their staying on the track. I said, no, they are designed to stay on - if the bike gets too far to one side, the other side will catch. Not a minute later we derailed. I was covered in bubbles, I lost my glass, everything in our basket went flying and we got really shaken up. We were unhurt, coming to a stop fairly quickly. We held up the whole group as we gathered everything that had gone flying and the guides put our bike back on the rails. We continued on down the tracks, slowing at every orange flag (the guides said that we should do that - after we derailed), though we quickly realized there were orange flags everywhere. In a short time we were at the end of the tracks, where a lovely picnic area has been set up and some nice trails meander up and around.
We took the hike, which was lovely and well built. We got back in about enough time to get back on the bikes to head back. All seemed well enough, but about midway we derailed again. This time was less dramatic - we felt it coming and stopped pretty quickly. The man behind us was flabbergasted - he had seen the whole thing and knew we hadn’t done anything to cause it. We got back on the tracks with his help - the guides in front didn’t know anything had occurred. The rest of the ride was uneventful, thank goodness.
I told the guides they should flag our bike - no one else had a problem, so we think it may have had something to do with that particular bike. On the one hand, we were a little rattled, but unhurt and on the other, we at least walked away with a good story to tell! I would recommend this to anyone considering it - it was fun. But it will be better when the tunnel is repaired and the ride can be a little longer. Hopefully they can figure out a way to keep the bikes on the rails better too. But it was a nice way to celebrate and do something together.
SPRING @ STANLEY, UKIAH
NIGHT LIGHT OF THE NORTH COAST: Dark Skies of the North Coast
by David Wilson
This time of year, on a clear night, it’s not uncommon for people to drive a few minutes out of town to enjoy our dark skies. Night is no reason to stay in, for how else would one see the stars? It is said, and I’ve experienced it, that spending time in the forests is rejuvenating; time spent beneath the stars is similarly rewarding. To go out at night and look deep into the cosmos is to find your place in the universe. How many poems, songs, works of art and prayers has the night sky inspired?
Rural California’s north coast region is blessed with an abundance of dark skies, as the relentless growth of the country’s population centers hasn’t yet impacted much our darkened surroundings with their formidable glows. Yet even in the hills, one may see in many of our vistas flares of light dotting the landscape from distant towns, or remote industries. Is encroachment of light on the sky, and the destruction of our view of the stars inevitable?
No. It’s not inevitable. There are many ways for individuals, communities, and agencies to minimize the amount of light that is spilled out into the surroundings, onto our neighbors, and into the sky from cities, businesses, and homes.
Some communities have taken it upon themselves to preserve the night sky. In Arizona, Flagstaff boasts of becoming the world’s first “International Dark-Sky City” in 2001, as recognized by the International Dark-Sky Association (https://www.darksky.org). Using light fixtures that prevent the spill of light into the sky or onto one’s neighbors’ properties, and using warmer color temperature lighting, are among the simplest of techniques used to greatly reduce city glow into the sky. Even people who never look at the sky can be happier without unnecessary glare intruding on their bedrooms from their neighbors’ unshielded lighting. Visit Flagstaff’s Dark Sky page for lots of information on how they did it, and why: http://www.flagstaffdarkskies.org .
While California’s north coast doesn’t contain any locations officially designated as Dark Sky sites by the International Dark-Sky Association, our remote location nevertheless provides many areas with richly star-studded dark skies. Let us hope that as we grow and develop the north coast, we can do so in a way that preserves the beauty of, and our connection to, the night sky.
Comet “Neowise” (Comet C/2020 F3)
If you’re lucky, you’ve been seeing photos of the comet “Neowise,” which lately has been gracing our pre-dawn skies – or better yet, you’ve been out watching it yourself. That’s a little early for me, but I’d do it — except that by mid-week we should start seeing it low in the northwest after sunset as the skies approach total darkness, which is much more my speed. My bioclock seems to have gotten skewed toward later night from all these nighttime photos… or maybe that’s the reason for all the photos. If Neowise hasn’t faded out by then, I hope to bring you a photograph with the comet in the composition in the coming “Night Light of the North Coast” stories.
An evening on the hillside beneath the beautiful night sky. Driving to this spot, I passed three separate cars parked along the road with people enjoying the night stargazing or photographing. Humboldt County, California. July, 2020.
A sky full of wonders.
(To keep abreast of David Wilson’s most current photography or purchase a print, visit or contact him at his website mindscapefx.com or follow him on Instagram at @david_wilson_mfx , or follow me on Instagram at @david_wilson_mfx and on Twitter @davidwilson_mfx.)
CATCH OF THE DAY, July 13, 2020
ANTONIO BECERRA JR., Ukiah. Domestic abuse, assault with deadly weapon not a gun, sexual penetration by force or fear, child abandonment/neglect, probation revocation.
ETHAN BECKER, Laytonville. Protective order violation.
RICHARD GUSTIN, Willits. Suspended license (for DUI), probation revocation.
JACQUELLINE LINDELL, Ukiah. DUI, suspended license.
CHRISTOPHER LINTON, Ukiah. Domestic abuse, criminal threats.
IVORY PINOLA, Redwood Valley. Grand theft, suspended license (for DUI), probation revocation.
ELIZAR VILLALPANDO, Redwood Valley. Domestic abuse.
MARK WOLK, Ukiah. Probation revocation.
A READER WRITES: We have had all the warnings a group of marsupials could have found necessary. Remember the Beatles White album back in 1968/69? It takes a listen to realize that "Blackbird singing in the dead of night" and "why don't we do it in the road" (a tune written due to roadblocks in UK, god they are a bit more tenuous than those here as they put up a road cone and "driver beware.") I know, cuz I have been there many times). We SEEM to be an entitled bunch of retrogrades who anticipate by the turn of a switch, and a command, we get what we want (and necessarily do not need). Kunstler is right on in several areas of "world made by hand", but I find his political romp is a bit nuts. Listen to the White Album by the Beatles and find that we had the warning in the music, and relax because the intonations of the instruments say it all. And do not forget the track about "revolution," a classic that I find hard to listen to but all of its discordant chords tells us exactly where we find ourselves today. Gawd, we are screwed.
ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY
The whole Covid thing seems to have two camps. One says the thing is a bust and that fewer are dying though the dying might not think fewer is good news. Also the ones who did survive only to sustain permanent damage to their organs are not cheering the good news that fewer are dying. The other camp says the virus is destined to crush the planet economically, socially and politically. Well, it has done so in the “greatest nation on earth”. Why anyone is counting on a return to yesteryear and Saturday morning cartoons puzzles me. We are in very deep doo doo and there is no rescue coming. No vaccine for a mutating virus. No herd immunity. The virus is winning on all fronts.
FOSTERS, UKIAH, 1920s
WHAT DOES IT TAKE?
COVID-19 masking is for protection of others as well as self-protection. Rejecting masking as an insult to our personal freedom misses the point that an asymptomatic person can spread the coronavirus to people who are older, immune-suppressed from cancer therapy, or have other serious medical conditions.
What does it take for a person to drop the objection to masking and help these vulnerable people avoid the disease? Do we have a word for it in our individualistic society? Empathy and compassion don’t quite fit. Civic-minded and charitable are too broad. What’s the word for adjusting our behaviors to reduce the risks that we pose to others?
Any society with a healthy balance between freedom and responsibility would have a word for this, a word that would be equally applicable to pandemics, racial and social injustice, climate change and so many other crises that demand a bit of self-sacrifice to achieve a broader good.
ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY #2
And let’s remember a peak is exactly that; case load grows and grows until we have the day of highest number of infections. Right now nationwide we are at about 60,000 plus per day. Ok, if this is hypothetically the peak the first day AFTER that peak there’s still going to be another 59,000 right? … And so forth. We have to ride it out.
Fortify yourself. Try not to be diabetic, obese or stuck in a nursing home.
Covid 19 is not an automatic death sentence and if you remove the deaths of those over 90 or with preexisting diabetes etc the death rate in the general population is extremely low as to be inconsequential.
There are far more deaths due to coronary artery disease — 650,000 annually in USA — with many more disabled, than the corona will ever produce. Granted, it’s not overtly infectious but our universal shared SAD and the acceptance of super sized humans, and widespread alcohol and tobacco abuse puts everyone at risk.
A SANTA ROSA READER WRITES:
Riding my bike at dawn, I came upon a bedraggled transient woman near the road, walking. On my return later, I saw her again. I stopped at a distance, and called to her, “You look hungry. I have a couple granola bars in my bike bag I'd be glad to give you— come over here.” She walked over, took the bars, and without a word of thanks, looks me in the eyes and asks loud and clear, “GOT ANY POT?”
KEEP BENSKY COMING
Thanks very much for publishing Larry Bensky whom I have enjoyed from about the time he became KPFA GM in the mid-1970s and KFCF in Fresno went on air carrying KPFA most of the time. In my opinion he could have been making a six figure salary in network radio/TV if he had chosen to do so. By luck, I was able to hear nearly all his coverage of the Iran-Contra hearings for which he was given a well-deserved Peabody. In retirement he had returned to KPFA to moderate his own one hour show a few years ago. All at once he disappeared after saying he would be off for minor surgery. I thought maybe the show had been cancelled, but the GM said he was welcome to return. If there was any announcement of his accident, I missed it. So I was pleasantly surprised to see him in your paper verifying he is still alive and kicking even if it is more a shuffle right now. I am five years younger at 78, but can only walk with two canes myself now. Old age is an often painful world unto itself it seems almost no matter what one has done to be healthy. Good genes, luck and money seem to mean more. Larry’s column has covered the hard problems of old age in cringe worthy detail. I hope his column continues and that he is able to recover enough from his accident to walk unassisted again.
BETSY CAWN ON TRANSWOMEN: The discussion about “transwomen” and whether anyone can “disagree” with their being called “women” is just another extension of the whole concept of “lifestyle.” As a teenager in the late 1950s, I just barely escaped the mandatory requirement for females to adorn themselves in a multitude of ways (extremely simplified in those days — the big deal, as I recall, was mascara and “eye-liner”), which became a multi-billion dollar business by the time I was advised, by our corporate “Human Resources” director, to “dress for success” if I really wanted to “get ahead.”
Fortunately, I had by that time allied myself with high performers in scientific industries, who really couldn’t care less about function-less activities attendant to “beautification” — leave that to the marketing men and pitch bitches. I still marvel at the fact that powerful people (mostly, yes, male) do almost nothing to their physiognomies — compulsory characteristics (shave or no shave) but low maintenance and minimal costs. Angela Merkel is my style hero these days.
But the idea that a person has nothing better to do than flatter themselves with wardrobes, makeup, and even surgical procedures is the height of wastefulness in my professional world. Let the ninnies have (and pay for) their own bathrooms; or just use “omni-sexual” facilities with respect like everyone else. But please don’t claim to be “women.” If you want to tart yourself up and put your wares on display, please don’t claim to be surprised when you are attacked by mentally deranged “men” — who also seem to have nothing better to do than wander around looking for some sort of aberrated misogynistic self-justification of their questionable masculinity. GET A LIFE.
SOUTH FROM COURTHOUSE, UKIAH
by James Kunstler
Nothing moves and nothing wants to move, or even think about moving, under the punishing heat-dome. For the moment, the sore beset nation stews in a dreadful stillness. The mysterious consensus of the BLM mob has hit the “pause” button on street tantrums, though plenty of damage has been done to businesses, personal lives, undefended monuments, and the public interest. Each day is another frightful step in the creep toward mass default as rents, mortgages, car loans, insurance premiums, electric bills, business debts, and other common obligations go unpaid. It’s like one of those eerie interludes on a battlefield when forces stop to gather their wounded and reassess their positions.
Perhaps you, like me, are skeptical of the news reports about the surge in Covid-19 cases — or, more to the point, what it actually means. Cases may be surging, but deaths are way down. Media megaphones such as CNN and The New York Times eagerly retail maximum hysteria to provoke renewed business lock-downs, ensuring further destruction to the old service economy and, more importantly, to disparage Mr. Trump. I wonder if the virus is, in fact, close to burning itself out and the surge in cases signifies that it will soon run out of new victims. How many asymptomatic carriers are out there? We just don’t know, but by August we’ll have an idea.
It’s certainly in the interest of the Woke Resistance and its inquisitors in the Woke media to keep the volume up on Covid-19 hysteria. It’s crucial to their strategy of forcing a vote-by-mail system that would easily invite voter fraud. It also provides a cover for keeping their mummified lead candidate, Joe Biden, moldering silently in his basement like the ghost of Hubert Humphrey, as well as an excuse to avoid a real convention in Milwaukee, which would force Mr. Biden to step up and speak before a huge, live audience. Imagine the mortification.
Just as I’m unconvinced about the meaning of the Covid-19 surge, I don’t buy the polls that show Mr. Biden ten points up on Mr. Trump. I suspect many actual voters were not pleased by the June reign of terror unleashed by Democratic mayors and governors, and did not fail to notice exactly how all that went down. And it is well-known now, four years after the last election and its janky polling, that many voters won’t reveal their true intentions to pollsters — fearing the vilification they’d invite.
I’ve gotten a lot of letters and comments lately condemning my failure to go all-out against Mr. Trump. So, I’ll state my current position plainly: I didn’t vote for him last time, but I would vote for him this time to keep the Democratic Party out of power. There’s a lot to not love about Mr. Trump in his persona and manner. There’s a great deal more to fear about the prospect of Democratic Party control of government. Their enmity to free speech cannot be doubted after a decade of promoting cancel culture. Their appetite for coercion is at odds with the Bill of Rights. Their bad faith and dishonesty have been on display through all the concocted melodramas of RussiaGate and its offshoots. Their economic program is a mashup of all the failed central planning regimes from the bygone 20th century and is wholly inconsistent with the new imperatives to downscale and re-localize the real productive activities of daily life in this country.
Beyond Mr. Trump’s deformities of personal presentation, I am more in favor with the blunt outlines of his policies. I’m for strict control of the nations borders and frankly for reduced immigration. Globalism is clearly winding down and Mr. Trump’s drive to produce more of what we need here in America is in step with that reality. Mr. Trump has been careful to avoid new foreign misadventures — though the military establishment and their pals in the war industries have obstructed the president’s will to quit the old adventures still being prosecuted in places across the Middle East and West Asia. I suspect Mr. Trump might have accomplished more in the nation’s interest if he hadn’t been hounded, harried, and sabotaged by the ceaseless bad faith hostilities of his opponents since Nov 3, 2016.
I’m not confident about Mr. Trump’s management of the nation’s financial quandaries, and especially the racking-up of epic new debt, but there’s plenty of evidence that the Democratic Party would do a lot worse in terms of spending money that doesn’t exist and destroying what’s left of the country’s productive capacity, along with what remains of the middle class. I believe anybody who has managed to stay sane through the travails of the past four years cannot fail to see that the clinically incompetent Joe Biden is an obvious stalking horse for something more sinister. I think we will learn what that is before much longer.
(Support Kunstler’s writing by visiting his Patreon Page.)
GOLD RUSH DAGUERROTYPES:
THE ENDURING CASE FOR DEMANDING TRUMP’S RESIGNATION
by Ralph Nader
Today’s New York Times headline boldly exclaimed, “PRESIDENT IS ‘NOT ABOVE THE LAW,’ JUSTICES DECIDE.” But then the Supreme Court majority found a way not to apply the law to Trump’s defiance of Congress.
Didn’t this question get decided in 1776 and more formally in 1787 by our Founders?
In obtaining information for overseeing the Executive Branch, the plenary power of Congress neither needs affirmation by the courts nor can tolerate years of judicial delays. It is time for the illogical Justices, who find few limits to vast Presidential powers either domestically or in pursuit of undeclared wars of Empire, to stop shredding Congress’s constitutional authority.
The very conservative Justice Clarence Thomas, in his dissent, addressed the futility of Congress employing the courts to obtain information by subpoena for legislation, for example, strengthening the President’s financial disclosure obligations. The maximum congressional strategy for securing presidential documents is through the use of its impeachment authority, he wrote.
An article of impeachment was voted against President Nixon in 1974 for defying a congressional subpoena that was not validated by a court. Trump has defied scores of subpoenas, dozens of formal Congressional demands for information and testimony by Executive Branch officials. Yet, apart from the Ukraine impeachment in December 2019 by the Democratic House, Speaker Nancy Pelosi has kept eleven other serious ongoing impeachable offenses by Trump and his lawless regime on the shelf. You can read these impeachable offenses compiled by constitutional law experts, Bruce Fein, Louis Fisher, and me, and presented by Congressman John Larson (D-CT) in the December 18, 2019, Congressional Record H-12197.
Absent a robust defense of our democracy by the Supreme Court or Congress, the citizenry must mobilize a mass demand for Trump’s resignation – for all of America’s sake. Whether the case is made for the rule of law or against disastrous, dangerous, and delusionary policies from Trump’s Wall Street over Main Street White House, the support should be treated as non-partisan and as the essence of patriotism.
On June 5, 2020, the Portland (Maine) Press Herald called for Trump to resign, urging Trump to ask himself – “Can the country take five more months like the last five?” The editorial asserted that “your shortcomings are unleashing historic levels of suffering on the American people.”
When this staid newspaper took this position, it did not evaluate the prospect of success. That is not its responsibility. Nor should any such prejudgment of Trump’s rejection of resignation inhibit hundreds of Congressional lawmakers, civic group leaders, columnists, and editorial writers, who have made the overwhelming case against corrupt Donald Trump in great documented detail. But, unfortunately, most of these people have failed to reach the obvious conclusion from their convictions.
The case for Trump’s resignation should never be withheld by weighing the odds of that happening. The demand itself is the necessity of our times. Here are some reasons:
1. Trump’s ignorance and ego-driven bungling and obstructions of professional scientific management of the Covid-19 pandemic occur daily and often in open sight. After weeks of delay fatal to tens of thousands of Americans, his continuing abandonment of presidential leadership in assuring supplies, facilities and critical coordination for the states warrant removal of this flailing, failing, careening so-called chief executive. America cannot wait to stop the irreparable destruction that will occur from now until January 20, 2021.
2. The mass resignation demand highlights in an organized way the case for Trump’s removal (supported by 60% of women in a November 26, 2019, CNN poll) that Congress possesses and has failed to pursue in both the House and Senate.
No one so guilty of violating the basic laws of our land, so corruptly selling our government to giant corporations while asking CEOs for campaign contributions should disgrace our White House any longer. Trump’s increasingly shrill bigotry, pressing for selective voter intimidation and suppression, and incitements to violence illustrates what Alexander Hamilton meant by citing the “abuse of the public trust” as an impeachable offense.
3. The widespread discourse and debate pursuant to a mass resignation demand will highlight the specifics of Trump’s damage to our country. He arbitrarily declares another “economic emergency” so as to make corporate crimes worse by literally stopping enforcement of consumer, worker, environmental and economic protections. Big corporations over people again.
The resignation demand highlights his abuses against women over the years, his regime’s leaving young people defenseless against rapacious commercial universities and student loan exploiters, his support for freezing a $7.25 per hour federal minimum wage and other anti-worker slams that are all under-reported.
4. Because Trump doubles down on his many outrageous refusals to “faithfully execute the laws,” spending monies not appropriated by Congress, pursuing nine wars undeclared by Congress, giving his cronies lucrative government contracts, all the while daily distracting with his new-cycle-dominating foul-mouth tweets and personal attacks, the media has become jaded to the larger questions of why this madman is still in the Oval Office.
The reliance on the election in November afflicts many civic groups from pressing for Trump’s eviction now. “Me Too” activists still go after powerful misogynists but have given up on the 800-pound elephant in the room – Trump. Other citizen advocacy organizations cite their condemnatory reports, their press releases, and their lawsuits against Trump. The failed gambling czar laughs at all this, even when the media reports on these meritorious efforts.
Trump will get away with everything until January 20, 2021, unless he is removed from office, whether by impeachment and conviction, or a massive public resignation demand that sinks his poll numbers, leading him to quit because he can’t stand losing the election.
5. Trump himself will nourish community-level resignation demands by his increasing interference with the rights of voters, leading the GOP to daily clashes with election officials, civil rights groups, and the people’s notions of fair play.
Already underway in GOP controlled states are pernicious efforts to obstruct voter registration such as the closing of precincts in minority areas, purging of certain voters, and crazed harassment of low-income voters, such as requiring notarized mail-in votes or launching inappropriate challenges of signatures. There are neither prosecutors nor judges who can stop these and other dictatorial ravages in time for November 3, 2020.
With Trump still in office, prepare for an embroiling election crisis, as he unleashes street violence and harassing lawsuits before favorable judges citing the results as “rigged,” a “hoax,” and “stolen,” no matter his margin of defeat. With the pandemic of Covid-19 still taking casualties, why not try to get him out of the office and in the process inform and arouse the public? Genuine conservatives and current and retired military people are seething against Trump acting in their name and taking them for granted. They are ready to join the effort to protect our democracy and the rule of law.
The history of the Democratic Party, losing repeatedly to the worst Republican Party ever at the national and state levels, is not propitious for the coming months. Are Democratic operatives up to either a pre- or post-election day Trump and his unscrupulous GOP fanatics? The stakes are too high to rely on the Democrats.
It is our obligation as citizens to organize and demand Trump’s resignation and focus millions of voters on turning out the Trumpsters and their four-year Dark Age that is wrecking America.
(Ralph Nader is a consumer advocate, lawyer and author of Only the Super-Rich Can Save Us! www.nader.org)
ON LINE COMMENTS OF THE WEEK
 With the economy collapsed, the stock market reaching record highs, the young people out partying on the beach and pulling down statues, and a psychopath with dementia waiting to take the reins of power, I’ve got the terrible, foreboding feeling that there is some kind of ignorant, flippant, obtuse evil spirit leading us into the dark deep abyss? It’s a kind of dark mass psychosis…. It’s like the face of one of those ancient Hindu gods on one of those Angkor Wat temples in the jungle in Cambodia….
 When Solzhenitsyn came to the U.S., he was shocked at the level of respect, even admiration and emulation, that criminals were held in. Movies, popular books, the casual attitude they had of criminals being justified because they were ‘sticking it to the Man.’
He’d detailed that in his last Gulag Archipelago opus, going over the psychology of jailers and other bureaucratic thugs, but was equally outraged by the so-called petty criminals of those who got sent to the camps for their crimes. Of course, Solzhenitsyn was a political prisoner, and they were treated far worse than the criminals by the psychotic guards. But Solzhenitsyn also had to watch his back when criminals and other informers were around.
There hasn’t been enough push-back on the entire psychological profile and lifestyle of criminals in the West. If we’re not praising them for bold and ‘justified’ revenge on an oppressive system, we’re downplaying it as class ‘correction’ and the passing, mild, eternally existing problems of ‘bored youths acting out’.
It’s all bullshit. Go through the crime novels starting in the early 60s (precursor to the ‘free everything and everybody’ movements). Donald E. Westlake (also, pen name Richard Stark) wrote countless novels centered on the protagonist as total shithead who successfully robbed banks, rare emeralds, loaded safes, killing, along with his team, any good guys who got in his way. Occasionally, the bad guys were worse than the protagonist, as if the author were throwing the occasional sop at moral concern.
We’ve been trained to glorify violence and criminality since the 60s. It’s cool, and it’s even righteous, doncha know! (I’ll leave out Black hip hop, which, of course is even more apropos to the current linkages.)
There was a video a week or two ago showing a ‘Yout’ screaming at his wide screen TV, “I need the money” during the end of a basketball game in which his wager was going belly up. He threw heavy shit through the screen, smashed another TV, swore up a blue streak, then started fighting with his bros. My first thought: why wouldn’t he smash everything to shit? All he has to do is head downtown during the next riot (sooner than later) and shop for a better model at the smashed up retailer. Looting pays. Just make sure your mask doesn’t slip during Covid lockdown, and you’re good to go!
 The appalling things about all of these BLM “protests” is how they are largely populated by nihilistic college educated white millennials, and how they are aided and abetted by liberal politicians. The elephants in the room are the police unions. Lots of people talk about “bad apples” but they likely don’t appear that way until they’ve been on the force a few years. By that time it’s too late to get rid of them because their union will back them to the hilt. Pols of both parties know this of course, but they’re not about to rein in those who back them politically and financially. As soon as they did that they’d be at risk of losing to the opposing party. These ongoing protests are really a giant game of chicken and a larger version of the dramas that ended in the deaths of unarmed black men. Almost all of them follow the same script of petty crime, resisting arrest, and escalation of conflict resulting in death. The protests are similar. What starts as a peaceful demonstrations turns into destruction of property, looting, arson, assault, and sometimes murder. There hasn’t been much serious pushback yet, but it’s not out of the question that eventually the cops, National Guard, or simply someone defending themselves or their property over-react and protestors end up dead. If that happens you might have a bunch of white millennial “martyrs”. Where that leads is anyone’s guess, but none of it will be good.
 E. M. Forster, the author of A Passage to India, A Room With A View, etc is quoted as once asking “How can I know what I think till I see what I say?”
This is an important observation to make because it points to the role of writing as being a kind of thinking machine. We scribble down some thoughts, some facts, some opinions, and then in attempting to organize them according to well-known and time-honored patterns, we are able to lay out various ways in which these ideas are possibly related.
When one is unable to lay these ideas out using these time honored linguistic (writing) patterns, one may be confronted with the fact that possibly one is not making sense. So then one rewrites and rewrites until what one is saying does make proper use of these traditional semantic, cognitive and discursive patterns.
This is why we are asked to write paragraphs and essays in school. Our writing proves and improves the ordering of our minds.
Readers look for these patterns in whatever they read. If they are not present, or not sufficiently well-signposted, or are out of place, then readers become confused. They do not understand what point we are trying to make.
What are these traditional patterns? Well, there are lots – we can’t cover them all here – and to name them would require that we look at a piece of discourse at longer and shorter stretches. So for example we could have the patternings of a book, a chapter, a page…and, knowing the genre of a book, or a short story, the reader will read with certain expectations and understandings of the genre – and the writer may play with them and cross-refer them but ultimately must conform to them. Otherwise, there will be only a kind of confused communication.
On the comment page of a blog, many people will paragraph. There are a few ways to paragraph – mainly the choice is whether to organize the paragraph “Claim/Assertion + Support/Evidence” or the reverse. In either case, coherence requires that there be a sufficiently tight relationship between the opening of the paragraph and what follows. Otherwise one is perceived to be waffling. This relationship is most obviously maintained by vocabulary control. In such a case, we find that the words that one finds at the beginning of the paragraph, or similar or related words reappear throughout the paragraph (repetition, synonymy, paraphrase). That is how we know we are keeping to the same topic. And as they say (the fascists!), one topic, one paragraph. That is a pretty good rule of thumb.
Now, maintenance of coherence through vocabulary is of course just one feature of paragraph control. For example, the logic of sentence-relations can be demonstrated by what is known as the “Give-New” Contract” or as the basic principles of “Sentence Information Order”. This is extremely important. The basic principles are that units or blocks of information in a sentence should be ordered as follows:
1. Old before new
2. Short before long
3. Background before detail
4. Less important before more important
Note that when we say short before long, etc, this refers to what precedes or follows the verb, (of the main clause) which is the engine or perhaps the fulcrum of the English sentence. And also note that these are principles, not rules. Manipulation of these principles for effect are an intrinsic part of good writing and one must play them off against each other .
This idea of information order relates strongly to vocabulary choices as the re-use of certain words or their repetition through synonym or paraphrase is not only a strong creator of coherence but is also a strong marker of information as old or new, background, detail in the discourse. Among other things, it alerts us to the progress of the discussion as the scanning eye observes that with changes in vocabulary there may have been a change of topic or the introduction of new information. So one slows to read more closely. Vocabulary control is thus very important. Despite what our English teacher may have said, “elegant variation” is not our friend. Consistency is.
Further support to clarity comes from the use of explicit markers of semantic relations, words and phrases like but, so, in contrast, however, for example, in this way, in other words, and so on. Of course, the use of semantic (logical) markers can be overdone. Many semantic relations need not be marked. They are understood. For example, how does this sound?: “It was the best of times. It was also, as it happens, the worst of times”. It lacks the punch of the original, don’t you think?
Still, if we are making arguments, especially if we are making arguments to a hostile audience, it behooves us to make clear the logic of our arguments. I am not saying that we should apply semantic markers to our texts like salt from a shaker, but – contrariwise – if we do not use them at all, it becomes the case that not only will our readers not understand our argument, or see its many fine points, we may not be able to understand and critique our own ideas. And along that path lies not just madness, but perhaps worse, stupidity.
Of course, I could extend this little essay. I haven’t discussed basic issues such as the norms of comparison, chronological organization, description, and so on, but I feel I have written enough on this to make my point. And I do not want to waste too many of this blog’s pixels. So I will leave it here.
 To be sure, the insanity raging in America of our days has a complex diagnosis. Yes, the Dems’ surrender to street mobs (even if Nancy & Chuck are kidding themselves that they’re riding the tiger) seems the more obvious symptom, but beyond that, there is the craziness of everyone else, just as sinister. There is the unreal, ubuesque presidency of Trump who has no way of addressing voters with IQ over 80 (though many of the smarter ones still prefer a grifter as the moral justification for their own money swindles). And then you have the Right political insanity of trying to preserve a Republic where some citizens work full time and cannot afford a room with a private entrance to live while other citizens are allowed to make extra untaxed billions out of the global pandemic. It’s the kind formal equality to which Anatole France quipped that it gives the rich and poor equal right to sleep under the bridges. All that is supposed to become invisible by right-wing bafflegab of patriotism, anti-unionism, hatred of socialized medicine (which Bismarck gave the Germans in 1880’s), right to own battlefield automatic weapons, and wringing of hands over the horrors of abortion (not just the late ones), anti-tax hysteria, in short, the elements of what C.Wright Mills sixty years ago described as “the successful dodge by America, of many of the civilizing aspects of European 19.century”. It’s a bleak picture with nothing close to rational, common-sense political solutions anywhere in sight.
 Vast seas of ignorance resulting from preoccupation with hedonism as far as the eye can see. The only way to deal with it on a social level is abysmally deep denial and distraction.
America is a nation of consumers in search of experience and sad to say, that is all Americans are now. You are what you buy and that is all you are. Americans are addicted to a simulacrum of real life. Identity established through external symbols is a bland existence, if it deserves even to be called existence at all but that is all that is left to do.
Where can you discuss? Where in this society can you find people to discuss with that won’t make any conversation all about them? Where can you find people who even read beyond a bare minimum of functional literacy?
Americans embrace isolation and individualism. Hence America will be a blip in history. Fire and brimstone if only in a metaphorical sense is America’s future. Tyranny of the banal is almost complete in America now. Everybody who comes here knows this. And that fact is important to all of us for different reasons.