- Inland Heat
- Fourth Death
- Crisis Van
- Ukiah Fairgrounds
- Book Event
- DUIs Down
- FB Agenda
- Maxwell Joke
- Sans Attitude
- Ed Notes
- Yesterday's Catch
- Deja Vu
- Nature's Pissed
- Bank Shots
- Game On
- Lower Bar
- Ay Carajo
- On Ice
- Empire Unglued
- Social Hierarchies
- Silent Roar
- Yoho Spanked
- Happy Endings
- Cognitive Test
- Real Bullets
- Found Object
INLAND TEMPERATURES WILL HEAT UP for this weekend as an upper level ridge builds over the West Coast. Coastal areas will remain seasonably cool, with clouds giving way to occasional afternoon sunshine. Persistent dry weather may give way to isolated thunderstorms for some of the interior mountains on Monday. (NWS)
MENDO COVID, JULY 23
FROM MSP: "7 additional cases of COVID-19 have been identified in Mendocino County, bringing the total to 234. 1 additional death of a hospitalized individual. The County was notified of the death by Adventist – Howard Hospital."
MEASURE B COMMITTEE FINALLY STUMBLES ON TO A GOOD IDEA
by Mark Scaramella
The Measure B Oversight Committee met for a mind-numblingly long four hours on Wednesday, yet they somehow managed — albeit only three years late — to unanimously recommend that the Supervisors allocate $340k for a pilot crisis/mobile van program. (Of course, from here it’s more like at least 15 years late — they could have easily financed and implemented a crisis van back in 2005 when Prop 63 passed, but….) The proposal appears to have been initiated by Sheriff Matt Kendall who marshaled an impressive array of statistics from Butte County showing, among many benefits, how, with only one unit operating on only one 40 hour shift a week, 5150 (danger to self or others) calls were down by about 40%. The Butte County data indirectly also shows how lame Mendo’s mental health data collection and reporting is because there is no comparable reporting in Mendo on which to measure the effectiveness of the crisis van program — if they ever get one going.
Mendo’s Mental Health Director Dr. Jenine Miller summarized the rather obvious benefits of the program citing her own experience with similar programs in the Bay Area. But with such great benefits and such unanimity of support, it begs the question we have been asking for years: Why so damn late?
Fortunately, the program will be run out of the Sheriff’s office, not Health and Human Services, so there is at least some chance that the “pilot program” will actually get rolling. But there are still a number of unanswered practical questions to be addressed such as who will draft the protocols? Which vehicle will be used out of which department? Who will staff it? Where will it be based? Can it be set up like an ambulance, as it should be, so it can cover more than just 9-5 weekdays? (The idea is supposed to be one law enforcement person and one mental health person responding to crisis calls together, and doing client outreach and support during their non-call times.) So there are still plenty of opportunities for the program to stall or get off track. As usual no dates were mentioned other than the Measure B committee saying they’d like to take another look at the progream in six months. Despite the fact that two years ago these same Measure B stumblers and bumblers voted to spend over $500k to supplement the pre-cursor Mobile Outreach program which was then quickly disbanded then never followed up on, we remain cautiously optimistic.
The committee spent an hour or so on a presentation from Sacto-based architects Nacht & Lewis, complete with a detailed — and ornately wasteful — 3-D simulation of their design of a Crisis Stabilization Unit next door to Camille Schraeder’s Orchard Avenue offices in Ukiah.
The committee members — whom on-again/off-again Chair Donna Moschetti repeatedly and grandly called “commissioners” — um’d and uh’d along at great length wondering what procedures should be used, how it would be staffed, making incoherent semi-motions that weren’t seconded, speculating on costs and funding sources, backtracking, dropping on-line hook-ups, interrupting each other, switching committee chairs, complaining about how long the meeting was but repeating the same points over and over again… a typical Mendo meeting. Former Committee Chair Dr. Ace Barash of Willits summarized any normal person’s reaction to the blitheringly incompetent disarray toward the end of the meeting.
As the meeting ever-so slowly wound down, Chair Donna Moschetti returned to the virtual grouping on her cell phone to announce that, well, golly, it seems like the Nacht & Lewis presentation was sorta just informational and they really didn’t need to vote on anything, just informally gloss over the pro-forma pre-destined recommendation to contract for yet another layer of outside contstruction management because — to use CEO Carmel Angelo’s latest favorite phrase, “we don't have the bandwith to staff it,” that’s just the way Mendo does things. And why should they vote? The facility is going to be handed over to Schraeder Inc. when it’s built — target date October of 2021 — anyway, no matter what the Measure B committee or the Supervisors or anyone else says or does.
WINDOWS ON THE WORLD: THE GRAPHIC NOVEL
THIS COMING TUESDAY, July 28, 6pm PST/9pm EST join Robert Mailer Anderson and friends...
This is the rescheduled event from last month. I have updated the links and hope that you will join Robert and friends virtually this coming Tuesday. PLEASE do register on Eventbrite, it’s free, they just need to know how many people to expect.
Robert Mailer Anderson will be joined by Jacqueline Obradors, Jon Sack, with musical accompaniment by Jay Walsh (of Douglas Fir) celebrating the new graphic novel Windows on the World, co-authored with Zack Anderson, Illustrations by Jon Sack, published by Fantagraphics Books
Set in a New York City in mourning, this poignant graphic novel explores the push-and-pull between love and obligation.
On the morning of September 11, 2001, an undocumented worker named Balthazar busses tables at New York City's famous Windows on the World restaurant. Back in Mexico, his family watches their TV screen in horror as the Twin Towers collapse. Refusing to give up hope that Balthazar is alive, his son Fernando embarks on a treacherous journey across the border to New York to find him. Along the way, Fernando learns what it means to be undocumented in America — encountering at turns an indifferent bureaucracy and a supportive group of fellow immigrants who help guide him through his quixotic mission to bring his family back together.
“This heart-wrenching 9/11 drama draws back the curtains on American myths, revealing a global and complicated world” —Publisher’s Weekly
STATE STREET, UKIAH
UKIAH - The only good news to be drawn from the 5-year DUI statistics on the bar graph is information not shown.
That missing information is that the 2020 high blood alcohol DUI arrest numbers (January 1, 2020 through July 23, 2020) are significantly down ... only 118 such arrests to date.
The number of impaired drivers with an aggravated blood alcohol arrested in 2019 came out to be almost one such law enforcement arrest for each day of the 2019 calendar year (28.3/month).
Now that we are already in the second half of the 2020 calendar year, the statistics to date for 2020 show such arrests have dropped to 16.8/month, a decrease of 41 percent.
Is this decrease attributable at least in part to the pandemic? Can't say for sure but we're willing to venture a guess and say "probably."
No matter what the cause, the decrease in the arrests of high blood alcohol DUI motorists traveling on the roads of Mendocino County is good news for public safety and a downward trend that we all need to salute and continue to encourage.
(Mendo DA Presser)
FORT BRAGG CITY COUNCIL TO DISCUSS PENALTIES FOR FACIAL COVERING VIOLATIONS ON 7/27/2020
The Fort Bragg City Council will receive a report and provide direction to staff on possible adoption of an Urgency Ordinance amending the established administrative penalties for violations of the Mendocino County facial coverings Health Order at its meeting of Monday, July 27, 2020 at 6:00 PM via video conference. To read the staff report and attachments, click this link for the agenda packet:
The report begins on Page 41.
The Fort Bragg City Council will also consider extending the temporary moratorium on evictions due to COVID-19 at its meeting of Monday, July 27, 2020 at 6:00 PM via video conference. To read the staff report and attachments, click this link for the agenda packet:
The report begins on Page 90.
A READER WRITES: I first ran across your newspaper in the 80s in San Anselmo where I was a letter carrier. I transferred to Sonoma in the late 80s. I had a friend in the mid-80s who was a grower in the Navarro. A signature gatherer for the Peace and Freedom party recently gave me a few back issues of the AVA which has been a trip through the lock down. One of the reasons I'm subscribing again is your item about the Maxwells. I remember a joke about the elder Maxwell. What were his last words as he was pushed or fell off the boat? "Rosenblub." You may have heard it before or I remembered from your paper. I enjoy your paper and I am looking forward to receiving my weekly dose of vitriol.
MIND YER MANNERS AT THE COMPTCHE STORE
ACCORDING to the usual depressing study apparently aimed at depressing us further, the US is one of the worst countries in the world to raise a family, with England running a close second. America was ranked 34 out of 35 in a comparison of the world's biggest economies, scoring three 'F' grades for safety, cost of living and work-life balance, a 'D minus' for health, and a 'C+' for happiness and education. Overall, it was given an 'F' grade for raising a family, with only Mexico coming out worse.
RAISING our nation's future to grow up more or less sane and capable isn't easy these days, but when has it been? The happiness indicators for a reasonably content life in the insane psycho-social context we have going are all in the negative. The only thing a kid can hope for is sane parents, and the odds are at least one of them will be crazy.
You walk into the room with your pencil in your hand
You see somebody naked and you say, "Who is that man?"
You try so hard but you don't understand
Just what you will say when you get home
Because something is happening here but you don't know what it is
Do you, Mr. Jones?Bob Dylan
NOT SURE, MR. DYLAN. You've got an ongoing demonstration in Portland that seems kinda unfocused, but thanks to the federal intervention more and more focused on fighting the feds rather than mourning the shocking murder of George Floyd. Whatever the beefs, firing any kind of projectile head high at demonstrators should be a crime, as should heaving bricks at cops. Meanwhile, in Boonville, as the dog days of summer commence, lots of businesses are closed, those that remain open are just getting by. With livable-wage unemployment benefits over as of Friday, and Congress already at an impasse at how much money to distribute to keep the capitalist beast fed, the uprising is unlikely to be confined to Portland.
PLAGUE STATS. The United States is on track to record 1 MILLION new coronavirus cases in just two weeks as the daily death toll rises to its highest since May — while Texas sets single-day high for fatalities and California sees record 12,000 infections in 24 hours. The number of infections across the country was over a staggering four million cases on Thursday and more than 143,000 Americans have now died from COVID-19.
SUPERVISOR WILLIAMS ASKS: "Measure B Mental Health Treatment Act is approaching a three year anniversary of passage. Would it pass today?"
No, absolutely not. Then-Sheriff Allman parlayed his enormous popularity to get 'er done but… But B's advisory committee, a collection of bores and chronophages with maybe two exceptions, have fuddled it, probably beyond retrieval. The only way to get anything done any more anywhere is project czars with total authority to do what needs to be done. Even Mendocino County, with the highest per capita number of experts of any population in the world, can't puzzle out facilities and services for the walking wounded.
CATCH OF THE DAY, July 23, 2020
GEORGE BRITTON-HOAGLIN, Ukiah. Probation revocation.
RICHARD CAUCKWELL, Ukiah. County parole violation, probation revocation. (Frequent flyer.)
TAMMY GILCHRIST, Willits. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.
ROBERT JAMES JR., Ukiah. Controlled substance, felon-addict with firearm, short-barreled shotgun/gun/rifle-handgun and firearms, county parole violation.
ALDEN LARVIE, Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol, failure to appear, probation revocation.
CALVIN MAGPIE JR., Sacramento/Calpella. Reckless evasion.
ANDREW MAYNARD, Fort Bragg. Disorderly conduct-alcohol, probation revocation. (Frequent flyer.)
TONY PAUL, Ukiah. Domestic battery, probation revocation.
ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY
This is starting to feel like deja vu all over again. Clinton hands Pigmy Bush a fantastic economy, and what does Bush do? One disaster after another. 9/11. Iraq War. Hurricane Katrina. Finally the Great Financial Crisis where we’re losing a million jobs a month, unemployment at over 10% and people losing their homes in record numbers. Stock market in the toilet. Enter Barack Obama, and like some magic shaman or voodoo doctor, he brings the economy back from the dead. Stock market at all time highs. Unemployment below 5%, health care for all Americans. And this with oil at over $100 barrel most of his term. Still had growth between 2 & 3 %. He hands this dream economy to Trump, who proceeds to do what he does best. He runs it into the ground. Now unemployment back over 10%. Biggest deficits in history BY FAR. Race riots in the street. Biggest public health crisis in American history with 140,000 dead and counting. This ain’t 1918 folks. You think America would wake up to the fact that conservative Republicans don’t know what they’re doing and run em out of Dodge? Biden gets the same crapper economy that his boss got. Deja vu all over again.
NOW NATURE IS REALLY PISSED
by Kay Sather
What if Covid-19 were to die out, just to be closely followed by another globally contagious virus—or resistant bacterial infection—and then another, and another, until social distancing and lockdowns became the new normal for our species? Could this happen? Is there a way to insure it doesn’t?
About twenty years ago at an anarchist book fair I bought a bumper sticker that read, “Nature is Pissed.” I actually had a use for bumper stickers back then, when I still had a car, and I thought it was funny, besides being true—though we hadn’t seen anywhere near as many clear examples of Nature’s anger as we have since. I remember watching a PBS documentary about what could happen if New Orleans got hit by a category five hurricane. A whole U.S. city under water! Now, that would be an end-of-the-world sort of event, I thought. People would have to pay attention. Change some habits. Notice the frightening breakdown of the natural world.
Turns out if the disaster is local, and you don’t happen to live there, It’s no big deal.
Our Covid virus crisis, however, is global. People around the world have been touched by it in personal ways, if not painfully or fatally, at least in the sense that their lives have changed. Have been forced to change. This lethal virus has our attention. And if we are paying attention, we’re feeling the big ship of humanity take a sharp turn. We can dream of going back to “normal.” But our next normal will be a new one, and we don’t know yet what it will look like.
Today it still looks like it will be something very different from honoring Nature. It seems climate change has been almost forgotten. What we’re focused on now is our screens and the faces they bear, the beloved faces we can’t see in person. Or our cars, the safe bubbles that take us away from the cabin fever. Or the streamed distractions—movies, music, podcasts—we can tune into like we used to, in the old normal. I’m grateful for these things, too. And that we still have electricity, water on tap, and a relatively safe context (at least where I live) for walking and biking through the neighborhood. Also that my garden is producing and I know what’s edible in the landscape.
I’ve heard that people with yards, or who live near parks or wild (wild-ish) places are getting into Nature now, more than they used to. Here, we’ve had some mourning doves who built a nest insanely close to our front door and barely six feet off the ground. The nest was a surprisingly small, haphazardly built little thing—you could see through it like lace. We couldn’t help but observe the quiet process that unfolded there. One of the birds was always sitting on the nest. Supposedly the male and female birds switch off sitting on the eggs, but we never saw the changing of the guard, and couldn’t tell the parents apart. One or the other was always there, sitting in perfect silence for what seemed a very boring eternity. According to someone’s backyard video, we wouldn’t hear the young when they hatched; these dove babies don’t open their mouths and peep for food like most birds. Instead, their parents keep half-digested seeds in their mouths and the little ones pound their beaks into the parental throat, almost violently, to tap into their “baby food.” So we didn’t know the eggs had hatched until we saw the two fluffball heads, on very wobbly necks, emerge above the nest. For the next week they grew (like a virus!) exponentially. After just a handful of days I started to mistake them for their full-grown parents. Only their short baby tails gave them away. They began to explore the nest-branch by foot, then flap their dinosaur wing feathers, and finally take to the air for the smallest of trips, not more than a few feet. Oh, I thought, they’ve fledged!—believing that when you left the nest you said goodbye to it forever. But no. The two siblings continued to meet back at the nest daily, to hang out together, even—we witnessed this—to meet their mom (or dad?) there at home and snuggle with her, both babies leaning into her, like kids listening to a bedtime story.
Nature scrambles my assumptions regularly.
Is this the kind of natural-world encounter that some quarantined humans are said to be experiencing more often these days, as they spend more time at home, outside? I hope so. It’s a life-and-death matter.
Of course, birdwatching and other interactions aren’t enough. The intimate experience has to lead to a shift, a new awareness of the nest’s planetary context. Because humans—as animals—share that context. We build human nests with walls that make us feel separate from what we call “the environment,” but this is a delusion.
By now most people understand the principle behind social distancing: Viruses can’t jump the physical gap between the infected and potential victims. But at the other end of this principle is the opposite situation--cramming, crowding, and concentrating. Infectious diseases love a dense, cheek-by-jowl crowd, whether of humans, wild animals, or domesticated stock. They adore feedlots where cattle are forced to live on top of each other, making a big stink and producing unmanageable volumes of shit rife with E. coli. (Unmanageable meaning the piles of extra feces get dumped “wherever,” and often leak.) Bird flu, of course, loves the cramped industrial aggregations of chickens where it can hop from one bird to another, easy. And when pigs dosed with antibiotics are penned up, pork shoulder-to-pork shoulder, resistant strains of bacteria can emerge and spread.
These diseases also love it when natural habitat is destroyed, forcing the former inhabitants to concentrate in new places, often where humans are established. Have refugee bats recently invaded your orchard, licking and drooling on the fruit? If you then eat one of those fruits, and become ground zero in an epidemic, it’s not the fault of the displaced bats. Habitat loss forces people and wild species—perhaps including an animal with a virus ready to jump ship and turn virulent—to become freshly intimate. And when various species of live “meat” from diverse environments are caught, caged, and concentrated in a marketplace, they’re brought into contact with other wild species and with humans. When viruses land in these situations, where they can easily mutate and cross over to us, they just can’t believe their luck.
Some people believe the Covid-19 virus was manmade. By this they mean it was created in a lab and intentionally released.
I also believe it was manmade, but not in a lab. It arose from these human-caused conditions—the industrial practices and environment takeovers that cause displacement and the hyper-concentration of life. Nature is pissed, all right. But we could see the Covid virus as a warning. For sure it has brought pain, fatalities, and economic carnage, yet it could be worse. We at least have weapons: social distancing, antibodies, medical care, probable vaccines, and ultimately, herd immunity. Most of our modern world is still intact. Our utility grids still function—water, electricity, garbage pickup, Internet.
And it’s actually not a new message. We already get it that mining, polluting, deforestation, agribusiness, fossil fuel burning, factory farming, hazardous waste, and the thinning of biodiversity all have natural consequences for people.
But this time Nature’s communiqué is going out to all seven-plus billion of us on the planet, and it’s personal. Covid-19’s power to kill has changed some lives forever. Collapsing jobs leave breadwinners in a profound state of uncertainty and panic. Social distancing nibbles at the heart of what it means to be human. Our social urges are so strong that some people have to deny the virus’s existence, or contagiousness, by countering it with close-quartered celebrations and protests—desperate rallies challenging death, it seems to me.
But remarkably, this more aggressive and universal version of Nature’s message is having some real, positive effects. Most importantly, consumer spending is down. This is great news, because every dollar spent on stuff (unless it’s second-hand) takes a bite out of the natural world—and bites us back, of course. I understand the shopping drop, as my own closet suddenly seems packed with clothes I’ll never wear, and also, well into the lockdown I became aware that I hadn’t worn earrings in weeks. Outside, I notice more people walking and biking; supposedly, air quality has improved. And everyone’s seen pictures of the crystal-clear canals in Venice. China has banned the eating of wildlife having ecological and social value. Our carbon-intensive travel has been clipped—a real blow to many people, but not me: Three years ago, on a weekend trip with a ten-hour airport wait both coming and going, I declared air travel not viable, and haven’t set foot on a plane since. Some of us are getting more of our social needs met by neighbors—famously singing, playing live music, and distantly dancing with them, instead of driving places. More people are reading, especially the classics (easy to borrow or find on your own bookshelf, without shopping) instead of choosing high-energy entertainment. And yes, many of us are spending more time observing the nature we have access to, on balconies, in back yards, in open parks, and on hiking trails. It’s difficult, I think, to appreciate nearby nature without learning to advocate for the environment worldwide.
In general, the frantic running-around that’s usually associated with civilization has slowed down, and we’ve been discovering the benefits of the new pace of life.
The question being asked is, will these trends become permanent, once the virus is defeated?
We don’t know the answer yet. Probably some will and some won’t. I’m writing this to cast my vote for a yes. I’m hoping most people would prefer to do what it takes to keep another virus, or resistant bacterial disease, as far in the future as possible.
UKIAH BANK SHOTS
I walked into a bar in Austin,Texas, pointed up at one of the turned-off TV's, and said, “Game!” Soon the Warriors were running back and forth and I was reasonably content, slowly sucking down a beer.
A guy two seats down from me started watching the game with a lot of interest also. He had wanted to watch it before I had arrived but he said that in Austin it wasn't cool to ask to put the TV on.
I found that silly and funny.
Political correctness run amok indeed.
— Paul Modic
DUMBING IT DOWN
The California Supreme Court decided to lower the standard for passing the bar exam so more attorneys will be able to pass it, using the COVID pandemic as an excuse for doing so. Just what California needs — more attorneys, and let’s include more attorneys who are incompetent, as well.
by Louis Bedrock
Went to Quest Lab for blood tests this morning at 8:30.
I had forgotten my reading glasses (was wearing my contacts) and was having trouble entering the code number for my appointment to register. I muttered "¡Carajo!" but it must have come out louder than I intended. A very pretty Spanish attendant came over and asked if I needed help.
—Yes. I'm wearing contacts and left my reading glasses at home. I'm having trouble reading the code.
(Taking the piece of paper with the code from my hand gently)
—Here, I'll do it for you. (Enters the code.)
—You didn't hear me curse. did you?
—I know some other good palabrotas. Want to hear them too?
Later, I visited the ophthalmologist’s office for the second part of my annual eye examination. At the door to the office, another young, attractive woman took my temperature and asked if I was feeling okay.
—Well I was throwing up all night, have been coughing up blood most of the morning, and have been having hallucinations.
—Okay Mr. Bedrock. As long as there's nothing serious.
Later, Dr. Lowe examined me for eye pressure and visual acuity.
We talked about science. I told her that science was the most powerful tool man has developed for accumulating knowledge but that corporations were corrupting it.
She too smiled, told me my eyes were fine, and she would see me in 6 months.
I've become the old man next door that everyone has learned to humor.
LETTER FROM AMERICA: AN EMPIRE UNGLUED
by Lawrence Reichard
It is an odd thing to live in the United States right now. The greatest empire in the history of the world has devolved into a twisted, macabre, grotesque caricature of itself, and the world looks on in astonishment and horror. My good, dear friend Heidi texts from Cologne, Germany about unidentified government agents snatching Black Lives Matter protesters off the streets of Portland, Oregon and forcing them, with heavy weaponry, into unmarked vans. “This is fascism, no?” she writes. I reply. “Well, yes, it is.”
On night 52 of the Portland protests, a Wall of Moms shows up, to protect the protesters. Mothers in bicycle helmets facing off against government agents equipped for war. The agents wear camouflage, in a city, at night. The point isn't to blend in – it's to intimidate and frighten. And federal agents that normally guard the border tear gas the mothers. Mothers. That's what we've come to as a country.
But it doesn't work. Instead of scaring off protesters, protester ranks swell, as columnists around the country warn of creeping fascism.
It gets worse.
In the midst of a global pandemic, President Trump pulls out of the World Health Organization and threatens to cut funding to the CDC, something he already did well before the pandemic struck – despite clear warnings from the outgoing Obama administration that a pandemic would almost certainly strike at some point.
In October 2019, prestigious Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore ranked the US first among 195 countries in pandemic readiness, and number one in all six categories surveyed. Eight months later the US is number one in COVID-19 infections. Number one in deaths. And Trump, in astonishing tone-deafness, brags about the Hopkins study. With a population of 331 million, the US has 142,000 deaths. With a population of 95 million and four percent of US per capita GDP, Vietnam has zero deaths.
My good friend Peter Millard is an MD and epidemiologist. I tell him Trump could scarcely kill more people with COVID-19 if he tried. Peter agrees.
As COVID-19 tears through the South and Southwest, cities in Georgia try to mandate face masks in public, but Georgia Governor Brian Kemp blocks the move. Atlanta, the biggest city in Georgia, mandates masks anyway, and Kemp sues the city. In an extraordinary move, Kemp personally sues Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, who is isolating at home with COVID-19. In our greatest crisis since World War II, we're at war with ourselves. We're eating our own.
Kemp shouldn't even be governor. In 2018, he stole the election against the dynamic, charismatic African American Stacey Abrams, former minority leader of the Georgia House of Representatives. Kemp was Georgia secretary of state from 2010 to 2018 and he oversaw the closing of 1,688 polling places and the purging of 340,000 voters. Kemp “won” the election by 54,763 votes.
A secretary of state overseeing an election in which he himself was a candidate. We have become a banana republic.
On June 23, 2020, Kentucky held a primary election in which more than 95% of the state's polling places were closed. Louisville, with a population of 600,000, had one polling place. The media barely noticed.
In a July 19 on-camera interview with Chris Wallace of Fox News, Trump refused to commit to respecting the outcome of his upcoming November 3 re-election bid.
And none of this is imagined, invented or exaggerated. I couldn't possibly make this up.
But there are signs of hope. The Portland protests show no signs of ending. Or even slowing down. In the 58 days since the police murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Floyd's name has become known the world over and has ignited a global fight for racial justice and equality such as the world had never seen before.
Even corporate America is behind it. Even golf, game of the rich and the corporate. Golf tournaments on TV are now regularly interrupted by 30-second heartfelt racial justice messages delivered by black sports icons. As the messages say, there's no turning back. Though events are still playing out, history has spoken. And Trump is lining up solidly on the wrong side of this history.
As stated in a New York Times opinion piece, Trump knows only one song. It's a song of anger, resentment, bitterness, hate and division. But it's not playing. Trump's numbers are in veritable free fall and he may take Republican control of the senate with him, reducing Senate Majority leader, kingmaker, and Trump enabler Mitch McConnell to a backbench status little above that of the teenage senate pages that scurry around the chamber floor delivering messages here and there.
History suggests Trump may be heading for the biggest defeat in 231 years of US presidential elections, perhaps eclipsing incumbent Richard Nixon's 60.7% to 37.5% thrashing of George McGovern in 1972.
The strain is showing. Trump has for decades craved public praise and adulation, and now he faces the biggest test of public approval of his life. Will he respect the November results? He is already laying the groundwork for not accepting them. He has already said the election will be fraudulent, because of mail-in ballots, something the US has used for more than 150 years, and which Trump himself uses.
But Trump may have made a key mistake. On June 1 Trump used tear gas to clear a path through a peaceful protest for the sake of an election-style photo op, holding up a bible – upside down - in front of a Washington church. This from a man who rarely goes to church. General Mark Milley, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Secretary of Defense Mark Esper went with him. Both men later said they didn't know where they were going or for what purpose. It's hard to say what's more shocking: that they – the country's highest military figures - didn't know where they were going, or that they publicly admitted they didn't know.
But the damage was done. Trump had humiliated these career military officers before the world.
In another extraordinary move, both men later expressed regret, for being duped and for allowing themselves to be used as campaign props. And in a point missed by American media, Black Lives Matter likely played a role in those remarkable mea culpas, as BLM has unleashed a global tsunami of reckoning.
Those public expressions of regret must have been deeply humiliating to Trump, but the man who has tweeted 200 times in one day, was silent on this abject rebuke of his rule. The rebuke was reminiscent of congressional testimony earlier in the Trump era in which a high-ranking Pentagon official assured a congressional committee the military would not let Trump get the country into an ill-advised war. It is a measure of surreal nature of these times that such unprecedented testimony barely raised an eyebrow in the US media.
Given all this, it's hard to imagine the military would allow Trump to not abide by November's verdict. But all indications are that Trump doesn't have the requisite fortitude anyway. Trump has threatened military action against Iran, Venezuela and North Korea, but aside from the seemingly endless US presence in Iraq and Afghanistan – which he inherited - all Trump has done in three and a half years is bomb a far corner of a Syrian air force base where there were, perhaps by design, no Syrian forces. And when peaceful Black Lives Matter protesters gathered outside the White House, Trump hid in a White House basement bunker intended for use in nuclear war. Trump later claimed he was inspecting the bunker, a claim widely ridiculed in the media.
No, Donald Trump won't refuse to leave if he loses. He doesn't have the guts.
THE KEY TO A WORLD OF EQUALS IS IN OUR BRAINS
“This general characteristic of the world…has never yet been contradicted in any observation or experiment, scientific or otherwise; namely, everything comes from other things…” (Causality and Chance in Modern Physics, David Bohm, 1957) Humans come from other things--the apes, their brains and behavior.
Thousands of years of observation have demonstrated that the spectrum of human behavior has always included the ape like tendencies of the 1% who seek to dominate their fellow human beings. The despotic tendencies of our ape like ancestors. Those who lack empathy will bully and manipulate others by any means necessary to obtain domination, status and power.
99% have always resisted oppression, in their desire for freedom and equality.
Hunter-gatherer societies have resisted despotic behavior and remained egalitarian by utilizing reverse hierarchy-a militant egalitarianism where despotic types who seek to dominate are punished, expelled or killed. Leaders have no privileges; they are only first among equals.
Societies that failed to control dominators became chiefdoms, kingdoms and states, unequal status hierarchies structured according to rank or social classes. “The resulting positions of leadership open the door for a plethora of injustices and cruelties that come with warfare, slavery, and other types of exploitation by unchecked power wielders.” (The Human Potential for Peace, Douglas P. Fry, 2006) This adaption of human nature to different social conditions is a combination of our biology/brain function and historical cultural evolution.
Today we live in a dominance hierarchy of corporate capitalism built on exploitation, power and wealth which reinforces itself by selecting successful sociopaths to rise to position of power. History reveals that hierarchical societies maintain social control by reinforcing the fundamental cultural acceptance of social hierarchy in its multiplicity of forms: rich/poor, employer/employee, captain/crew, governor/governed, supervisor/worker, leader/follower… The 1% creates an endless ladder of social status: those more worthy and the less worthy, the more equal and the less equal. An ancient strategy of divide and rule: class, sex, “race”, nation, color, religion, ethnicity, immigrant, and more. This ladder of social status becomes important to the human brain. Multiple forms of hierarchy become tenaciously imbedded in the population’s culture.
Threat of losing status creates strong emotions of fear, anger, anxiety and alienation.
The Declaration of Independence states, “All men are created equal…” but do they live and die as equals? Social Dominance Hierarchy is fundamentally incompatible with equality. We live in an economy of corporate capitalism, where the 1% has wealth, status and power. The foundation of the economy is private ownership of industrial production with oppression and exploitation of workers for profit. Working people, the 99%, have little to no power.
Abolishing all forms of social status hierarchy is the key to achieving a society of equals living in solidarity, free from fear. Equality and freedom from domination and exploitation, requires that we forcefully discourage, limit, restrain, and punish sociopathic tendencies that give rise to tyrants and authoritarians.
Our times urgently demand an end to the barbarism of status hierarchies. Eternal vigilance of the rank and file, the 99%, is required to enforce equality and prevent the resurgence of our ape like tendencies.
This can be achieved by building a movement for a militant classless egalitarian society built on a foundation of economic, social and political equality.
— Dr. Nayvin Gordon, Oakland
Dr. Gordon writes on health and politics and may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Good luck to you about your lost hearing aids. I'm on the edge of actually buying something to be able to hear better; I'm finally going to get the earglasses. I had read about them. Kay came to the radio station wearing just one once and I tried it and was impressed. They work, they're extremely cool-looking, they never need batteries, they last forever, they're harder to lose than your regular glasses, unless you've lost all your regular glasses first, and they're only ten dollars for a pair.
Look them up: earglasses.
I made a hearing device for my mother's friend once, out of the headphone amplifier chip that I used to use for everything -- mic preamplifiers, line drivers, etc. It's the LM386. If you forget and leave the battery connected and on it still lasts a month or two. It used a light headphone set with a microphone that stuck straight up from the top. She didn't like it because she'd rather not be able to hear anything than have people think she was hard of hearing. She was really good at playing Scrabble. And she's dead now, so you see what can happen? They made an LM387 chip that was just two LM386s in the same chip, for stereo. Maybe she might have liked it better if I'd used that, and two mics on stalks, like Moon Girl.
But, earglasses. The thing I like most about them is, they're naturally focused on who's talking to you. They turn with your head.
We don’t live in the best of all possible worlds. This is a Kafkaesque time. The television sparkles with images of despicable political louts and sexual harassment reports. We cannot look away from the pictures of furious elements, hurricanes and fires, from the repetitive crowd murders by gunmen burning with rage. We are made more anxious by flickering threats of nuclear war. We observe social media’s manipulation of a credulous population, a population divided into bitter tribal cultures. We are living through a massive shift from representative democracy to something called viral direct democracy, now cascading over us in a garbage laden tsunami of raw data. Yet somehow the old discredited values and longings persist. We still have tender feelings for such outmoded notions as truth, respect for others, personal honor, justice, equitable sharing. We keep on trying because there’s nothing else to do. The happy ending still beckons and it is in hope of grasping it that we go on. The poet Wislawa Szymborska caught the writer’s dilemma of choosing between hard realities and the longing for the happy ending. She called it “Consolation.” Hence the indispensable silver lining, the lovers re-united, the families reconciled, the doubts dispelled, fidelity rewarded, fortunes regained, treasures uncovered, stiff-necked neighbors mending their ways, good names restored, greed daunted, old maids married off to worthy persons, troublemakers banished to other hemispheres, forgers of documents tossed down the stairs, seducers scurrying to the altar, orphans sheltered, widows comforted, pride humbled, wounds healed, prodigal sons summoned home, cups of sorrow tossed into the ocean, hankies drenched with tears of reconciliation, general merriment and celebration, and the dog Fido, gone astray in the first chapter, turns up barking gladly in the last.
— Annie Proulx
WITH A CLIP & TWO LOOSE ROUNDS....
It is evident to some that our city mayors and governors don't have the balls (excuse me ladies) required to use present law enforcement now available. They should invoke aggressive law with real bullets, no rubber bullets, no beanbags, law and order should be restored one-way or another. They will not continue to mask over the burning and looting of these BS peaceful protests.
It could be said that you must break a few eggs when making an omelette. I cannot buy into "a few." Keep your nose clean and there is a good chance it won't get it bloodied, most of the time. How about martial law with dogs and real bullets? Got your attention? Good. Bring it. And wear your Kevlar vest.
Somehow, someway we could put all those hordes of flaming lefties and the gaggle of those rainbow beauties on a special island far far away. With a little fixing up I think Devil's Island would do. The growing unrest cannot be put to bed with statements like we will do this or we will do that. Talking is futile. It ain't working. No more pepper spray, smoke bombs, rubber bullets. Obey the laws or be arrested or be shot. Your choice.
You don't like meaningful law enforcement?
God bless America, the Donald, Jerry Philbrick
Very old and Very angry