MCT: Sunday, July 26, 2020

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HOT INLAND TEMPERATURES will continue through Tuesday. Coastal areas will remain relatively cool with more stubborn marine layer clouds giving way to afternoon sunshine in some areas. Isolated thunderstorms are possible across portions of the interior mountains late in the day today, and again on Monday afternoon. (NWS)

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MENDO COVID, JULY 25

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MENDOCINO COUNTY OFFICIALLY PLACED ON STATE COVID-19 WATCH LIST

Ukiah, California: July 25, 2020 — Today, the California Department of Public Health notified Health Officer Dr. Noemi Doohan that our county has been placed on the state watch list. When placed on the state watch list, a county is subject to the restrictions the state has established in order to slow the spread of COVID-19. This new watch list status will be reflected on the state COVID-19 website on July 28, 2020, at this link: https://www.cdph.ca.gov/Programs/CID/DCDC/Pages/COVID- 19/CountyMonitoringDataStep2.aspx

As of July 24, 2020, Dr. Doohan has already implemented these additional restrictions in our county proactively, in order to prepare for this placement on the state watch list. 

Criteria for state watch list placement includes having at least 100 new infections of COVID-19 per 100,000 over a time period of 14 days. For Mendocino County and its population of 90,000 people, the trigger placing us on this watch list is 90 new cases in 14 days. At the time of this Press Release, our county has seen over 120 new cases of COVID-19 within the last 14 days. The state has informed Mendocino County that our county level data shows a doubling time of 15 days. This would mean that without increasing mitigation measures, by mid-August we could see approximately 240 new cases, and by early September, approximately 480 new cases. The updated county Shelter in Place Health Order, issued on July 24, 2020, mirrors state direction given to counties who have surpassed the three consecutive days on the state watch list without COVID-19 data improvement. 

Revised Health Order, issued on July 24, 2020: https://www.mendocinocounty.org/Home/Components/News/News/5181/3242

The County notified residents of this updated Health Order a week in advance of its implementation, in order to allow businesses more time to prepare for the mandatory closures of indoor operations in these additional sectors. “Mendocino County has been preparing for this moment for over 6 months,” says Dr. Doohan.

“The COVID-19 surge has arrived here now, and for this reason, we have been placed on the state watch list. I have been closely monitoring our County data and started to see all of the signs that the surge was arriving over a week ago. For this reason, we have been able to prepare and operationalize additional mitigation measures in the last week, including enhanced enforcement, expanded communications, and preparation of new orders to support improved county-level COVID-19 data sharing and improved response to workplace outbreaks. We have also been able to help prepare our schools and higher-risk businesses for the restrictions mandated by the state for these sectors in watch list counties.” 

The new state watch list restrictions, included in the July 24, 2020 Health Order, mandate closing the following indoor operations (outdoor operations with restrictions allowed):

  •  Gyms and fitness centers
  •  Places of Worship and cultural ceremonies, like weddings and funerals
  •  Offices for non-essential sectors
  •  Personal care services, like nail salons, body waxing and tattoo parlors
  •  Hair salons and barbershops
  •  Indoor shopping malls

These industries must shut down unless they can be modified to operate outside (under a canopy or other sun shelter for sufficient air movement) or by pick-up. Mendocino County has prepared well in advance for placement on the state watch list, and continues to work closely with state and local authorities to monitor COVID-19 in our county.

The COVID-19 surge has arrived in our region, and individual responsibility is key to slowing the spread. Remember:

  •  Avoid all gatherings
  •  Wear a facial covering at all times when in public
  •  Practice social distancing
  •  Stay home when you feel sick

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IMPORTANT COVID-19 UPDATE REGARDING THE MENDOCINO MOBILE CARE-A-VAN

Since the county re-opening in June, the mobile CARE-A-VAN has been conducting spay & neuter surgery events in the outlying areas of Mendocino County. Due to the recent surge in Covid-19 cases within Mendocino County, Animal Care Services has reassessed the CARE-A-VAN Spay & Neuter program and decided that, in the interest and safety of our employees and members of our community, future CARE-A-VAN events will be held in the clinic at the Ukiah Animal Shelter, located at 298 Plant Road. Future surgery dates to be held at the clinic will be posted on the CARE-A-VAN social media webpages.

The scheduled CARE-A-VAN surgery for August 7 in Boonville has been relocated to the clinic at the Ukiah Animal Shelter, located at 298 Plant Road. The public is requested to show up between 8 and 9 a.m. that morning and go the west side of the building’s "Clinic Entrance,” where staff will assist you. Please adhere to the social distancing instructions on the stanchion posted outside the clinic entrance. 

The scheduled CARE-A-VAN surgery dates for August 12 at the Redwood Valley Grange and August 19 at JD Redhouse in Willits are still set to take place on these dates & locations. Pet owners are requested to show up between 8 and 9 a.m. on these mornings and adhere to social distancing practices. As the covid 19 situation improves, Animal Care Services will look to incorporate spay & neuter surgery events back out in the outlying areas. Check our website for updates, to see our dog and cat guests, and information about our programs, services and events: mendoanimalshelter.com Thank you, and stay safe! 

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BEN STRICKLAND

Benjamin (Ben) B. Strickland joined his loving bride in Heaven on 20 June 2020.

Ben was born to Charley Strickland and Willie Mae Pickett on 17 May 1935 in Okemah, Oklahoma, where his parents worked on a ranch with their extended families. The historic Dust Bowl forced them all West to California where some made homes in Bakersfield. After a short stint in California, Charley moved his family to Arizona to work at Luke Air Force Base (Arizona) during WWII. Ben had two brothers, Morgan and Chuck, and a sister Jody. As with many families of the day, his parents divorced and remarried. Ben gained a step brother Don and a sister Marlene, when his father Charley married Margaret Smith Deatsch. After the war the family moved to Iowa and attempted farming. The family spent five years in Iowa, a brief year in Oklahoma, then returned to Martinez, California. 

Ben had been shot in the lower leg during a hunting accident while living in Iowa. He spent nearly a year in a full leg cast. His injury was significant but fortunately his doctor was a WWII surgeon who had a lot of experience with gunshot wounds. His step mother (Margaret) was his surgical nurse and bravely assisted the doctor in helping Ben mend. Ben loved baseball and while we do not know if playing ball was his childhood dream before surgery, we know that becoming a pitcher was definitely his dream afterward. To that end, he nailed a five-gallon bucket to the door of his barn as the strike zone and began throwing - throwing repeatedly and throwing fast. He and his step brother Don became a pitching and catching team. Don and Ben were only six weeks apart in age. When the family moved to California the boys were teenagers and attended Alhambra High School in Martinez. Ben was a pitching ace, throwing several no hitters during his school career. After high school, Ben was recruited to join a farm team for a professional baseball club. Unfortunately, he injured his throwing arm, likely needing Tommy John surgery before it was available, ending his pitching career. 

Ben came to Comptche from Martinez, California. His father owned property in Comptche and Ben loved the area. In the early 1970's Ben purchased some property in Comptche and converted an old barn into a small house. He used this as his home base while attempting to get a foothold on floor covering in Fort Bragg. He would drive up from the Bay Area on the weekends and install carpet and linoleum floors and fix up his barn. He eventually opened Fort Bragg Floors with his brother Don, after proving that the market could sustain another flooring store in Fort Bragg. He later partnered with George Grover to open Strickland and Grover Floor Covering. Ben was a floor covering machine. He could accurately measure a floor in his head. It was always fun to drive around the county and have him tell us "I laid carpet here and there" - seemingly everywhere. This was a constant ringing in our ears since he put down a lot of flooring in this area over the years. 

Ben Strickland met the love of his life Doris in 1977 and they married three years later, settling down in Comptche where she easily wove into the fabric of the local community. Doris became very popular because of the years she worked at the Redwood Health Club and created walking groups in Fort Bragg and Comptche.

In 1978, just before their marriage, Ben drove Doris from Fort Bragg to Fort Gordon, Georgia to meet his son Kurtis. Being the joker he was, he asked the Commander to summon Kurtis to the Battalion Headquarters at a full double-time run. He laughed for years and years about making his son jump through that hoop. 

Ben will be remembered by some of the local ladies because he used to hand them candy and whisper jokingly, "Don't tell my wife." To them he was the "candy man." Ben could tell great stories and perform as a driving tour guide to friends and family who were first time visitors to the area. Both he and Doris would host great parties in Comptche over the years. One of his most unique talents was his ability to dowse water. Over the years he helped several hundreds of families find water. He was a member of several dowsing societies.

Granddaughter's perspective: Grandpa Ben was everything a young girl could ask for in a grandfather. He literally fit the bill of a sweet, loving and kind grandpa. As I look back on our times together, I recall our exciting trips to Mendocino and Glass Beach, my fascination as I watched him dowse for water, and the endless wealth of knowledge he had to share. Some of my fondest memories of him include driving around in his pickup, singing along to the radio, and eating candy we had just purchased from the Comptche store. Grandpa's pockets were always full of candy. He could always be seen passing out sweets to the women we ran into, but he doted on none of them like he did his girls. Grandma Doris of course being his main squeeze. While Grandpa was calm and reserved, Grandma was a feisty spitfire and always the life of the party. She never failed to make people smile and always knew just how to get them to laugh. I remember her dressing me up in costumes and wigs and parading me around the house in our very own fashion show. I recall dancing together in the kitchen as we cooked and cleaned dishes. One of my favorite nightly routines though, was our post-dinner walks around Comptche, when we would often sing as loudly as we could to the neighbor's dogs. These are just a few of the moments with my grandparents that I will never forget, and some of the memories I will forever cherish. 

Grandsons Perspectives: Some of our earliest memories of Grandpa are the times he showed my brother and me how to locate water at his property in Comptche and at our place in Oregon. We would find a Y-shaped stick and walk with the pointed end straight ahead like a compass, and watch as it would pull and dive towards the ground to indicate a location. The weight of the pull was like a fish on a hook taking out line, a sudden wild heaviness to us, but Grandpa handled it with an easy natural stride. He developed custom dowsing instruments, metal rods that he shaped himself and used to hone his craft. There was a nonchalant confidence he had in his ability to find water for the people who hired him. "I don't get paid to miss," Grandpa said.

He played professional baseball, and we were awestruck by his stories. For two kids growing up as baseball fans in the 1980's, he was a living legend. We kept a magnet of his baseball card on our refrigerator. He taught me how to throw a pitch that he called the slip curve, which had a late breaking motion and came from an arm angle almost identical to a fastball, making it difficult for hitters to recognize, and caused none of the strain associated with other types of curveballs. It was the most effective off-speed pitch I ever threw. We talked baseball strategy and how to approach hitters, mixing location and velocity. Grandpa also told us about ways of intimidating the opposition, like how he would be getting loose on the mound before a game and intentionally throw his last warm-up pitch harder than all the rest right where the leadoff hitter's head was about to be, and have the catcher growl to the batter stepping up to the plate, "He's wild as hell today!"

He would call us Tiger or Outlaw, tell us jokes and one-liners that had us in stitches, and as kids just made us feel like one of the guys. He was an exceptional grandfather, gentleman, and comedian; a true one-of-a-kind. He was sharp-witted and knew all about local and world history, sports, and nature; he was even-keeled and focused, full of charisma and able to have a conversation with anyone. On car rides along the coast and winding through redwood forests, he told us about places he had seen, properties where he had worked, notable people that made an appearance along the way, and all the roads and where they led. "Full speed ahead, Tulsa straight ahead," he would say. 

Ben was renowned as a BBQ master, outspoken about his allegiance to Weber grills and the inferiority of all other brands. As dedicated as Ben was to his work on the Weber, his calling card was his famous chili, carefully guarding the secret recipe in his heart. Ben's chili was a multi-day labor of love, and attention to detail was second to none. Beans were individually sorted and inspected for quality before given the honor of their presence in the pot, and soaked overnight for proper preparation. Whether hosting friends or family at home, or on a road trip with the chili pot riding securely with the lid held in place with sturdy bands, Ben's chili was his signature for any social occasion. 

Ben's sense of humor was an inseparable part of his personality and one of his most defining characteristics. Ben could break any ice, warm any crowd, or lighten any mood with his smile and a quick joke. The king of the one-liners, Ben would deliver his words with an unbreakable straight face. His only tell was a certain glimmer in his eye that only those in the audience that knew him well could discern, accompanied by an almost imperceptible smirk. 

Ben was a true character in every way, which is one of the many reasons that he and Doris were quite literally the perfect match for one another. Both had the type of captivating personalities that usually are encountered only once in a lifetime. Taken together, they were the ultimate team, each playing their role perfectly as an inseparable and dynamic duo, always the life of any party. 

He was our Grandpa, our coach, and our friend, and we love him and miss him. 

Ben and Doris were inseparable. They were a power couple before the term was popular. This past December they celebrated their 39th wedding anniversary. Sadly Ben lost his dear Doris on 30 April 2020. Ben has four sons, Keith, Kurtis, Kraig, and Kent and four step children, William, Rebecca, Timothy, and Angelique, Ben shares with Doris nine grandchildren: Steven (Tina), Jeffrey (Michelle), Travis (Elise), Jacob, Richard, Ashley (Kevin), Dominic, Zachary and Valeria. We will all continue to love and miss the power couple of Ben and Doris Strickland.

A Celebration of Life memorial will be held for Ben and Doris in Comptche at a later date. Date and time will be published in the paper separately. Please visit and sign the guest book for Ben and Doris at Legacy.com, thank you.

Donations in memory of Ben and Doris can be made to the Alzheimer's Association at alz.org

To Plant Memorial Trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.

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COMPTCHE POST OFFICE

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UKIAH COOP NEWS

It's been a very busy few days at the Co-op and we are very happy to be getting back to normal in these very unusual times. This weekend, please stay home and prepare food to nourish your body and soul. We are open regular hours, 8am - 7pm. Espresso/Juice Bar hours are 8am - 5pm.

We are limiting the number of shoppers inside the store, so please bring a hat or umbrella if you are shopping in the late afternoon.

We are so appreciative of the patience and support from our community!

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I CROSS THE STREET downtown in Boonville 10-15 times a day, and seems traffic is going faster and faster. a few minutes ago a woman in a new Mazda 3 (rental?) w/Florida plates was coming thru headed west at 50-60 at least. I stopped mid-street, motioned her to slow down and she slowed just enough to miss me, then when I barely cleared the lane she stomped on it and raced off...absolutely NO interest in heeding any limits on her race to the coast. luckily I'm not armed.....but maybe next time carry some rotten veggies with me. anyone with any ideas how we might slow traffic, bring em' on!

Johnny Schmitt

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DEFENDANT ENTERS GUILTY PLEA TO THE ATTEMPTED MURDER OF HER FORMER DOMESTIC PARTNER.

Ukiah — As was widely reported in the regional media earlier this year, a woman was arrested by Mendocino County Sheriff's deputies in February for breaking into her ex-girlfriend’s Ukiah area home during the early morning hours to attempt to kill the ex-girlfriend with a knife.

Another woman who was sleeping with the victim at the time of the surprise attack sought help by calling 9-1-1 while the knife attack and the life-and-death struggle were underway in the victim's bedroom.

The victim was being "protected" by an active restraining order that had been personally served on the defendant prior in time to the murder attempt.

Defendant Nichole Christianne Birdsall, age 48, of Ukiah, waived her right to a preliminary hearing Friday afternoon and, instead, entered a guilty plea to attempted murder. The defendant also admitted as true a sentencing enhancement alleging that she had personally inflicted great bodily injury on the victim during the course of the murder attempt.

As required by the disposition of the case drafted by the prosecutor, the defendant was expected to -- and did -- enter into a stipulation that the sentence she shall receive when formal sentencing takes place is a state prison commitment of 120 months - no more and no less.

Because she now stands convicted of a crime characterized as “violent” in the Penal Code, any credits defendant Birdsall may attempt to earn in prison towards early release shall be limited to no more than 15 percent of her overall sentence, meaning she must be incarcerated for 102 months before being eligible for release on parole supervision.

The defendant's attempted murder conviction is a Strike offense for future use, within the meaning of the voter-modified Three Strikes law.

Additional charges pending against the defendant in a separate misdemeanor case were dismissed on motion of the prosecutor to clear the decks for the defendant's imminent departure for the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation's women's reception center.

The defendant was ordered to return to court on September 11th at 9 o'clock in the morning for formal pronouncement of judgment and sentencing. Any person interested in this case or this defendant is welcome to attend that sentencing hearing.

Please note that facial coverings and social distancing are required for all people attending court proceedings and sitting in the courtroom gallery.

Pending sentencing, the defendant remains housed in the Low Gap jail facility. Her bail remains set at $1 million.

The prosecutor who has been and will continue to handle this case through sentencing is Assistant DA Dale P. Trigg.

The law enforcement agencies that gathered the necessary evidence underlying today's conviction and interacted with the victim and other witnesses are the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office and the District Attorney's own Bureau of Investigations.

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CLEONE 1905

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ED NOTES

HADN'T occurred to me that commercial fishing could be like a treasure hunt with every lift of the net perhaps containing some unexpected treasure, aquatic or manmade, until I read the wonderful novel Shipping News by Annie Proulx.

THE LATE HOURS of Portland's ongoing demonstrations now include leaf blowers to blow back tear gas at the forces of law and order who fired it. Prediction: Many more Portlands soon to come, but Trump's embrace of them too late and them not scary enough to scare enough maga-symps into voting for him again. The Orange Monster seems to have slain itself, but if anybody can raise himself from the dead, it's Trump.

REALITY having long ago outstripped satire, but try satirizing Saturday's events in Louisville where two groups of human explosives faced off, the armed black "Not Fucking Around Coalition" and the "Three Percenters," an armed white posse who claim to disdain both racism and the Klan. Shooting will commence any time now. (The Three Percenters say they are in the tradition of the American Revolutionary Army, further claiming that only three percent of Americans actually fought the British. These three percenters imply that only a gallant few like them have the cojones to stand up against the vague contemporary tyranny visible only to them. If my history recollections are accurate, there was a lot more resistance to King George than three percent.)

ON THE SUBJECT of yesterday, elsewhere in tonight's post we have Oliver Stone on the Kennedy Assassination. I'm always reluctant to re-visit the Grassy Knoll, and I bring it up because I hope some gun person out there will weigh in on the much maligned Italian carbine that Oswald shot Kennedy with. I've read that Kennedy was not only an easy target from Oswald's perch — about 150 feet — the rifle was equipped with a scope, and was perfectly capable of doing what Oswald did. The controversy arises when Stone says his expert marksmen couldn't duplicate the three consecutive shots fired at and into Kennedy in the allotted time. I've always thought Oswald was a totally implausible guy, especially given his times. To get from the 1957-58 Marine Corps to Russia and back.... well, Leon had to have had associations unavailable to your run of the mill lone nut.

WHILE McDonald's and Chipotle nobly stand for medical science and require mandatory masking, Walmart, Walgreens, CVS, and Home Depot, despite announcing face masks were mandatory, in practice do not require them.

THE ANTI-VAXXERS have a lot to answer for although they won't have to in a time where responsibility and accountability are not the values they once were, but they've done much to undermine faith in medical science to the point where Dr. Fauci and his family are suffering such a volume of plausible death threats, Fauci has had to hire professional security. Mendo, needless to say, is a hotbed of unfounded anti-vaxx opinion preached by incoherent people who can read but not quite well enough to quite understand the lessons.

BOONVILLE offers its own example of architectural devolution in this photo of its old fairgrounds compared to the new, the old having a kind of ramshackle grandeur, and built by people with a strong and correct idea that what public buildings looked like was important to public morale. The old Anderson Valley school complex was similarly rural-grand. Their replacements are pure gradgrindian and soul-less. 

FROM BILL KIMBERLIN: "This is gone now but it used to be on a back street in downtown Boonville. I used to call it ,"Four Door Fence" when I showed it, but now that I look at it more closely, I see it is actually a gate.

NOT SINCE "appropriate" has Mendo Feebdom been as conceptually excited as they are with "positivity," the latest arrow in their tiny quiver of prose oppression.

MENDO'S big investment in marijuana regulation has, in its unintended way, brought the local industry back to life. Thanks to Supervisor McCowen and his colleagues, Williams excepted, people who had dropped out of the backyard pot business because of McCowen's farcical legalization process, are all in this season as prices are again approaching two thousand a pound. Outlaw grows everywhere. Mendo rushed into a staff complete with brand new vehicles to rake in the millions anticipated by licensing the love drug. But most people who wanted to go legal soon realized it was impossible, although some big boy deep pockets were able to successfully get themselves cop-proofed. But for most, the process was impossible, almost as if its architect, Droning John, had designed it that way. Remember when former supervisor Pinches said he could draw up a workable pot licensing plan on a cocktail napkin? He was right.

POSITIVITY on 101 near Petaluma where a billboard reads, "When the times are tough remember so are you." Unfortunately for US, we're about to be put to the test.

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NAVARRO RIDGE HOTEL, 1899

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YOUR GRASS IS GAS

Editor,

The absolutely real faux fake news—

The People's Republic of Berserkley has surpassed its politically correct self by passing an ordinance to ban natural gas from its city-state. This has alarmed the area known as "Gourmet Gulch" and Queen Alice Walker, as it is near impossible to produce a decent white sauce or bechamel for that matter on the electric stove. Unlike the digital media of the computer world of on and off switches to the trillionth power, gas is analog and wave in nature. You cannot surf a decent sauce to velvet viscosity on electrical low, medium and high heat.

I fear that under the auspices of ecological purity the City Council has walked up to the very edge of reason, built their own gangplank and jumped off into the already shambled gastronomic abyss. 

I beseech the public to consider what happened last year when our favorite public felon, PG&E, shut off the power for seven days causing a run on electrical generators, propane, charcoal, candles, books, canned goods and warm beer. Basic living without electrons was impossible. Why they choose air pollution standards over dying from malnutrition and disease, I have not a clue. Perhaps they figured that suffering will purify ecological sinners who are without investment funds and hold their butts to the environmental flames tended by the eco-warriors of our time.

But has anyone considered the human contribution to "natural gas"? Is farting to be banned in Berserkley? O sure, blame the dinosaurs for decaying into methane! Blame the cows for excessive flatulence and the heinous violation of our of air pollution standards! But has no environmental scientist considered the human contribution to the greenhouse effect? 

Any commuter who has suffered through a BART ride on a rush hour car can testify as to the leakages of human methane. This criminal violation of evolution and health laws remains untouched by the Berkeley City Council. They take on stoves and barbecues while a major source of contamination remains untouched without a decent ordinance of condemnation to soothe the ideological purity of those in governance.

Ask any gastroenterologist. No gas stove ever smelled that bad. Think of it! Yet another crisis crying out for political profundity. Another world crisis as we are hurtling, propelled by media, towards the end of history and the world as we know it. As if the pandemic is not enough! Another reason to wear the mask. Yes, virus or no, we are farting our way to oblivion. Where is Elon Musk when we need him? I hear he is busy boring holes underneath boring cities and farting rockets to outer space. We need him to concentrate and out-Edison Edison and devise the first human muffler.

A lot of people think that the refusal to address this is part of another deep state conspiracy and they are preventing this from coming out — in a manner of speaking. Ultimately, we need to get to the bottom of this first by investigating the investigators who have assaulted our civil liberties. So this would be a very good thing to do. Form a support group. Claim First Amendment rights. Lawyer up. Ammo up. Keep digging up forensic problems. Look for geniuses to solve them. There is a lot more to this story. So many unanswered questions. If you can't pass the salt, don't pass the gas. Berserkley as a flatulence free zone! Outlaw vegetarianism! It is common knowledge they cannot digest grasses without producing massive gases.

Comments about political gasbags are prohibited in the name of public decency and the de-escalation of hatred in the media. But the President of the United States should place his head between his thighs, tuck his chin under and face his situation.

Dave McCain

San Francisco

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CATCH OF THE DAY, July 25, 2020

Arnold, Davis, Diaz

DESTINY ARNOLD, Ukiah. Domestic battery, probation revocation.

CHARLES DAVIS JR., Ukiah. Domestic battery, burglary.

EDGAR DIAZ-NAVAS, Fort Bragg DUI.

Garger, Harrison, Nunez, Sellmer

DWIGHT GARGER JR., Grossly negligent discharge of firearm, concealed firearm in vehicle with prior, under influence in possession of weapon, paraphernalia.

NOAH HARRISON, Ukiah. Probation revocation.

RICARDO NUNEZ, Ukiah. Domestic abuse.

JACOB SELLMER, Ukiah. Fighting/challenging in public. 

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ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY

Calling the protesters “antifa” may sound good but you miss the mark. You’ve got a mixture of old and young, different races and religions, but mostly a big number of pissed off people who are pissed off about a bunch of different problems.

Unemployment is probably 25-30% (the government statistics are rigged); we’ve got 30 million unemployed and the government doesn’t even count the 100 million who stopped looking. 50% of the population owns almost zero of the country’s wealth; 40% of Americans can’t come up with $400 for an emergency; 25-50% of small businesses will not survive the virus shutdown. One-third of renters and homeowners can’t pay their rent or mortgage. And before the pandemic, something like five million car loans were in arrears, so the evicted won’t even have cars to live in. And tens of millions have no health insurance–or crappy health insurance–during a damn pandemic. Hell, I’d be in the streets too.

We are in a depression and Congress has bailed out all the people who don’t need the money. And then you wonder why people are losing it?

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SPECIFICS, PLEASE

Editor: 

The daily information we get about the coronavirus pandemic is a bare bones look at the big picture: the latest number of positive results, percentage of positives in relation to number of people tested and number of hospitalizations.

I have questions. In order to truly evaluate the reach of the contagion, it would be helpful to know who is getting tested, and for what reason.

Is it mostly random, concerned people choosing to find out their current status? How many of the people who are tested have cold or flu symptoms, and how many are asymptomatic? How many are being required or requested by contact tracing?

The nearest I can glean from news articles is that agricultural workers, health care workers — especially care facility staff — and youth attending parties at homes are driving the positive results. Is that all?

Despite HIPPA regulations, there must be a secure way to give us more data. Articles that include the human side of the effect of the pandemic will be more interesting to read than a numbers report and help guide readers on how to stay safe.

Patrecia Graham

Petaluma

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GREAT AMERICAN OUTDOORS ACT

We Don’t Need No Stinkin’ Oil Money to Fund Public Lands

by Christopher Ketcham & Jimmy Tobias

July 24, 2020

What does it take to get the Sierra Club, the Wilderness Society, the Natural Resources Defense Council, and the League of Conservation Voters in bed with anti-conservation Republicans like Cory Gardner of Colorado, the fossil fuel lobby group Western Energy Alliance, and President Trump, whose tenure has brought a wrecking ball to environmental law?

Behold the Great American Outdoors Act. The legislation passed the Senate in June and the House this week with ringing bipartisan support. Ballyhooed as providing many hundreds of millions of dollars for public land maintenance and acquisition, it has been lavished with adoring praise from enviro groups and progressive media. Mother Jones declared it “a resounding victory,” Outside magazine said it was a “remarkable breakthrough,” and Sierra magazine called it “good news for all Americans.”

Gardner, otherwise known for his execrable environmental record, championed the bill in the Senate, and Trump, as the legislation made its way to passage, repeatedly tweeted that the moment it hit his desk he would sign it. “We MUST protect our National Parks for our children and grandchildren,” said the great hater of public lands.

So what’s going on here?

The Great American Outdoors Act is a devil’s bargain, a sad oil-soaked compromise with politicians like Trump and Gardner who feed at the tit of fossil fuel interests. Mainstream greens, for the most part, went along because they are politically weak, lacking in bold visions, and so beaten down after years of taking losses that they assented to this obviously bad deal, a deal that will further entrench the fossil fuel industry and promote the interests of corporate recreation concerns both of which are helping ruin the “great American outdoors.”

Read the bill closely and you’ll comprehend what’s at stake: it establishes a new pot of cash, the National Parks and Public Land Legacy Restoration Fund, that directly ties rehabilitation of our dilapidated national parks and other federal parcels to industrial energy development. The new fund garnishes 50 percent of “revenues due and payable to the United States from oil, gas, coal, or alternative or renewable energy development on Federal land and water,” and uses that money specifically for public lands maintenance. In other words, maintenance funding for the Park Service, the Forest Service and other federal land management agencies will be increasingly dependent on drilling for oil and gas and mining of coal, the primary extractive activities on the public domain today and in the immediate future.

This explains the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s fulsome support for the legislation. The chamber tied its support to the continuation of fossil fuel exploitation at current levels, opposing “any efforts to establish moratoria on energy production” and averring that legislative amendments that would curb drilling and mining would be viewed as a “poison pill.”

full article: counterpunch.org/2020/07/24/we-dont-need-no-stinkin-oil-money-to-fund-public-lands/

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WOODWARDS MARKET, LITTLE RIVER

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IF I WAS DEAD, I wouldn't know I was dead. That's the only thing I have against death. I want to enjoy my death.

— Samuel Beckett

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PORGY & BESS IN THE TIME OF BLM

by David Yearsley

Last Friday night while protesters were being shoved into unmarked vans in Portland by federal paramilitaries, PBS broadcast George Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess in its Great Performances series. The opera was a strange choice for these times. The live recording had been made on February 1, a little over a month before the Covid crisis darkened American theaters.

I didn’t watch the PBS broadcast, but instead took in the opera a few days later thanks to Met: Live in HD streaming available through the university where I work.

Though Porgy and Bess has long been criticized for its treatment of race, the Met Live performance was introduced without any acknowledgement of that history. The host was Audra MacDonald, a black actor and singer with six Tony Awards to her name (is it also fair to note that among her many recordings are The Wonder of Christmas with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square?). MacDonald’s script praised the work as “one of the greatest of American operas” and “the moving story of the citizens of Catfish Row.” MacDonald did at least say that this “close-knit community” was oppressed. Though the on-stage cast was black (except for the non-singing cops), the conductor (David Robertson) was white like his baton. The stage director (James Robinson) was also white, and, however vibrant, his production was unquestioning—stubbornly disengaged from the world that has overtaken this kind of entertainment since February.

I’d last seen a live performance of Porgy and Bess in 2008 in Berlin presented by the touring company Cape Town Opera. That production, so much sparer than the opulent Met presentation, was set not in a singing and dancing waterfront slum in Jim Crow Dixie, but in a South African township: that historical dissonance—and congruence—didn’t blunt the cultural appropriation and violence of the work, but instead brought them into sharp relief.

Having recently watched Hamilton on my living room screen, I couldn’t help but imagine what would happen if Porgy and Bess were given the reverse treatment: if the Founding Fathers can be black, what about an all-white cast for Porgy and Bess? Yes, the opera is a product of its time. Yes, some leading black figures, such as Langston Hughes, praised the work even in the 1930s. But whiteface Porgy would, I couldn’t help but feel, shine a brutally alienating spotlight on the fantasy.

I saw Porgy and Bess for the first on June 9, 1995 in Los Angeles, three years after the riots after the exoneration of the policemen who brutally beat Rodney King. The O. J. Simpson trial was a few days from getting underway at the courthouse a brick’s throw from L.A. Opera’s home at Dorothy Chandler Pavilion. Earlier that spring, the provocative American theater director Peter Sellars had brought to the same stage Debussy’s Pélleas et Mélisande with the jealous, homicidal king Golaud sung by the great Willard White, a black man. Leaving no room for ambiguity, Sellars parked a white Bronco at the lip of the stage. No one thought that was product placement for the local Ford dealerships. Club-wielding, gun-brandishing LAPD cops periodically stampeded across the stage.

By contrast, the L.A.’s Porgy and Bess was lively (and long: performed without cuts), but Hope Clark, the first African-American ever to direct the show at a major venue, danced around the question of race and its portrayal by the work’s creators. When I attended that performance in 1995, I had been the music critic for America’s last real country newspaper, the Anderson Valley Advertiser for a few years, and filed a piece from L.A. on the production. Here, with all its faults, is that 25-year-old review. Not much has changed.


Now Da’s Opry, Boss

Anderson Valley Advertiser, June 14th, 1995

I discovered George Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess, or at least a dozen of its most famous songs, through Miles Davis’ 1958 recording. With the nonchalant intensity some call “cool,” Miles shaped the melodies into their ideal forms, his improvisations provided the definitive commentary. Crucial to the recording’s perfection was Gil Evans, who led the big band and whose arrangements were equal to Miles’ genius. The Davis/Evans recording was Gershwin’s opera for me. As a result I heard Porgy and Bess as a sort of absolute music almost completely divorced from the song lyrics; I knew the words of the first two lines of “Summertime,” but I had no idea of the work’s plot. Until a few years ago I thought Porgy and Bess was a Broadway musical.

We arrived at Friday’s performance of Porgy and Bess at the Los Angeles Music Center an hour early to buy the cheap rush tickets, then sat out in the plaza and ate our picnic dinner surrounded by the spectacle of opera- and theater-goers arriving. In the center of the plaza is a fountain made up of more than a hundred inch thick geysers shooting up from ground level. The spouts are divided into four matrices about twenty-five feet square arranged in cruciform around a large statue. Each matrix sprays up for ten or twenty seconds then falters and goes dormant for an indeterminate length of time, never more than five seconds. After studying the rhythms of the geysers over the course of our dinner, I pleaded with Annette to let me try to dash across the fountain during an inactive phase: “Can you imagine the thrill of making it across without getting wet, and in front of all these people?” Temperamentally opposed to this kind of pre-teen grandstanding, neither was she eager to spend three hours of opera sitting next to a soaked someone should things go wrong.

The L.A. performance of Porgy and Bess—the production itself is in large part that of the Houston Grand Opera—comes at the end of a typical season of works by European masters. Gershwin’s opera offers audiences a distinctly American music drama that depicts Southern black life and features an all-black cast. General directors of opera companies can count on Gershwin’s “folk opera” to provide some cultural diversity to this most rarefied of musical mediums. And although still a small minority of the audience, there were far more black people at the L.A. Porgy and Bess than is usual at performances of operas from the European canon.

Taking my seat inside the Music Center I flipped through the program in search of the expected essay on the opera. After fighting through the pages of benefactor lists and advertisements for cars and luxury homes I realized that, unlike the other operas in this year’s series, Porgy and Bess had not even rated an essay. In its place were obnoxious articles on “California Cuisine” and the “Summer Bonanza: a look at what’s Hot and New in the Southern California Housing market.” There was no information in the program on the genesis of the opera, and nothing about the librettists (Heyward and Dorothy DuBose, Ira Gershwin) or the composer—not even their dates.

The imperatives of corporate advertising aside, I can understand why no essay was included. Any honest writer would have undoubtedly followed the injunction of Duke Ellington, who, on seeing the first production of the opera in 1935, wrote that “The times are here to debunk Gershwin’s lampblack Negroisms.” It goes without saying that debunking is not one of this opera producers’ favorite pastimes, especially when it concerns an American classic that draws full houses. Rather than confront the problems posed by Porgy and Bess, the L.A. production chose simply to ignore them.

Porgy and Bess is based on Heyward Dubose’s novel (and the play that followed on which the author’s wife, Dorothy collaborated) about the poor black residents of “Catfish Row,” a fictional section of Charleston. Dubose converted the book into a play which enjoyed tremendous success on Broadway, and in 1930 attracted the attention of Gershwin, who easily convinced Dubose to collaborate on an opera. Gershwin, who once described opera as nothing more than “singing in costume,” cast himself in the role of musical visionary; just before Porgy and Bess opened in New York he claimed that it was “the greatest music composed in America,” and that it had “the drama and romance of Carmen and the beauty of Meistersinger.” But unlike these works, his opera would appeal “to the many rather than to the cultured few.” The opera’s critics, however, found the contradictory impulses of musical pretension and mass appeal aesthetically distasteful; Ellington complained that Gershwin had “borrowed from everyone from Liszt to Dickie Wells’ kazoo.”

Both Dubose and Gershwin were, by varying degrees, removed from black life, although this should not necessarily have disqualified them from the subject. Dubose was descended from South Carolinian patricians and Gershwin was a New Yorker, the son of Russian Jews. Although both men were enthusiastic observers of black culture in Charleston, South Carolina—Gershwin made several trips to the city while preparing the score—the characters of the opera reflect the cultural prejudices of their creators. As the black composer Hall Johnson wrote in 1935, Porgy and Bess is “an opera about Negroes rather than a Negro opera.”

Dubose’s inhabitants of Catfish Row are superstitious and gullible, often unable to control their animal urges. They are utterly servile to the police and are easily tricked and brow-beaten by them; a predatory black lawyer easily dupes the hapless cripple, Porgy. Crown, Porgy’s competition for Bess’s affections, is a hulking beast who, in a fit of cocaine rage, kills an innocent man. Still, when Crown surprises Bess, momentarily left alone after a picnic on Kittiwah island, she cannot resist his “hot hands” and, although she loathes him, she yields willingly. The Catfish Row pusher, Sportin’ Life, finds a captive market for his cocaine and at the end of the opera uses the “happy dust” to lure Bess off to New York, leaving behind her adopted baby and Porgy, himself more of a sap than a tragic hero. Heyward wrote the libretto (Gershwin’s brother Ira contributed some of the song lyrics) in pidgin, and in contrast to Mark Twain’s brilliant use of dialect, the language of Porgy and Bess sounds crude and inauthentic. In the L.A. production the lyrics were projected above the stage, forcing the audience—it is virtually impossible to ignore supertitles—to read phrases like “I ain’t care who you takes up with while I’s away.” One cannot help but sense Heyward looking down with amusement at the quaint foolishness of his characters.

Gershwin’s music suffers from similar delusions of omnipotence, an overweening confidence that in Porgy and Bess he had expressed “the humor, superstition, religious fervor, the dancing, and the irrepressible high spirits of the race … qualities that are inherent in the Negroes, as a race.” Gershwin’s orchestration, in particular, constantly undermines the humanity of his characters, as a stale catalog of flute glissandos, percussion effects (marimba, xylophone, clavés, and snare drum), and string tremolos provides condescendingly ironic comment on the misbegotten actions of the simple folks on stage. Gil Evans—it is perhaps necessary to say that he was white—redeemed those songs he arranged for the Miles’ recording by integrating the soloist and orchestra in a way Gershwin could not.

But Gershwin had a truly great gift for melody and his songs were brought to life by a wonderful L.A. cast. The chorus—Gershwin insisted that the cast be black—was particularly convincing, bringing an ecstatic quality to the spirituals, such as “Leavin’ for the Promised Land,” and swing to the fishermen’s song “It Takes a Long Pull to Get There.” Terry Cook sang the lead, and with his rich bass voice gave Porgy a depth not to be found in Heyward’s shallow patter. Luvenia Gardner sang the role of Serena, the widow of the man murdered by Crown, and her performance of “My Man’s Gone Now” was the highpoint of the evening. She used the melody as a point of departure, elaborating Gershwin’s fabricated spiritual with some real church singing. Gerswhin’s ingenious contrapuntal ensemble writing also inspired the finely-wrought rapture of Cook and Roberta Laws (Bess) closing duet of the first act duet “Bess, You is My Woman.”

The degrading pidgin kept rearing its ugly head as when some cast members delivered their text with excellent diction, singing “morning,” for example, when the supertitle read “mornin.” This is not necessarily meant as a criticism of the singers, who should probably be thanked for ignoring the clumsiness of the text. But their poised elegance simply made the supertitles all the more obnoxious. (In the original New York production Heyward and the brothers Gershwin instructed the predominantly black cast in the “authentic” pronunciation.) For the pidgin to work it has to be overdone, although the risk of caricature is high. Terry Cook was the only singer who succeeded in making Heyward’s silly linguistic conceits at all believable.

In the end, the singers gave the opera all of the plausibility it could hope to claim. They almost overcame the opera’s dramatic shortcomings with their music, claiming Gershwin’s melodies as their own. With the beauty of their voices, the finest of Friday’s performers reinforced what Miles proved in 1958: that in the ideal world, music is more powerful than words.

(David Yearsley is a long-time contributor to CounterPunch and the Anderson Valley Advertiser. His latest book is Sex, Death, and Minuets: Anna Magdalena Bach and Her Musical Notebooks. He can be reached at dgyearsley@gmail.com.)

* * *

IS TED OUT?

Editor,

Hello AVA,

Reading of Ted Kaczynski in Wikipedia: "The real revolutionaries should separate themselves from the reformers."

Given the events in Portland, I wonder if Ted got it backwards? (Has Ted been paroled and now is writing as the online commentor of the weak (sic)? Now living in Phil Wasson’s woodshed? Rest in peace, Phil.) Is he well? Has he been reformed/rehabilitated? Seems as if…

Gary Durheim

Seaside, Oregon

PS. Where's Bruce McEwen? Miss him.

* * *

THE BLIND PIG, CASPAR

* * *

BITING IN SELF DEFENSE?

To whom it Might Concern:

I have been asked if I would be willing to form a letter concerning some pretty weird and unbelievable stuff that happened the other day.

After listening closely to the events and, this whole lurid situation I agreed to write this letter about all of the underhanded, hateful ways that are used and have been used in the name of justice!

On July 9, 2020 at midnight a vehicle parked at the end of Leonard Williams’s dirt driveway. Between the darkness and the distance the vehicle was unrecognizable. Soon two figures exited the vehicle. (Later it proved to be two vehicles.) Without so much as any effort in identifying who they were they proceeded down the drive.

It happened to be Cole Robano and Coleman Britton. Both are tribal cops. They said they were there because they receive calls about it being too loud over there.

When I heard about this I thought that's kind of strange! Leonard's closest neighbor is a distance down the way unless he had a bullhorn!

I found it kind of strange because both Robano and Britton were in their street clothes and not their uniforms? According to some notes I gathered for this letter it said that one of the two smelled like booze.

They said what they had come to say but they also told Leonard and his friend they needed to leave the property! What the heck? How could they even do that? I don't get this?

While the two were walking down the road, I’m told, both tribal vehicles followed them like 100 yards behind continuing to harass Williams. Soon they stopped. Leonard sat down around this time Officer Cole Robano decided to leave the scene. Officer Britton chose to stay behind. I guess he had other things on his mind. Also Britton assumed Leonard was trying to get into his cousin’s face and — get this crazy stuff -- his cousin he is talking about is the same friend Williams was walking down the road with after being run off the property! 

(I'm not making any sense with this.)

According to the story: Coleman came up behind Leonard and suddenly punched him in the face. I guess he continued his violent assault on Leonard for some unknown reason it seems.

According to my notes Coleman then quickly put both his arms around Leonard's face with such pressure to where this man couldn't even get his own breath! Unable to do anything else to defend himself Williams opted to bite down on the arm that had been cutting off his airflow. The arm belonged to Officer Britton. Of course at this point he released his grip from Leonard's face. Realizing things will only get worse, Williams and his friend took off running in the opposite direction. Britton then ran towards his patrol car and quickly got in and sped off in hot pursuit.

They continued to run. Coleman switched on his top lights. Assuming things were okay, Williams let his presence be known. In that instant Officer Coleman reached for his taser and ordered Williams to "get the fuck over here!" All the while his taser was trained on Williams and his friend.

Williams was then ordered to put his hands behind his back which he did. While being put in the back seat of the patrol car he was continuously threatened with a severe prison term stemming from the mark left on Officer Coleman's arm, assaulting a police officer. I am sure they will find numerous other petty charges to tack on.

In my honest opinion if anyone had been put through the exact same kind of hurt, the exact same kind of hate and the exact same kind of bias that Leonard Williams was put through on that day, who would not make the same choice Leonard made under those hazardous circumstances?

So be it,

Eric Lincoln

Covelo

* * *

JUGHANDLE TRESTLE

* * *

SING ALONG WITH MITCH

What if this pandemic is just starting, if the various methods in all the dissimilar places in the world turn out to be useful as failures, as learning aids, rather than successes? What if the strategies, the openings and closings, reopenings and reclosings, turn out to be mostly false starts? What if the vaccines under accelerated development are less effective than hoped, if they take longer, if they are partially successful but don’t work for a lot of people for a lot of reasons, so it’s back to the labs? What if we’re doing widespread denial, thinking that the psychic power of billions of people wanting this plague to go away will make that happen? What if our calculations are basically spurious because they are more based on wishful thinking than rock-hard data? What, God forbid, if covid, while we struggle to control it, mutates again and then again, escaping human control rather than yielding to it? (Mutation, after all, is what gave it to us, what changed it from being a bat sickness to a humankind disease. Mutation is what viruses do; it’s what they’re good at.)

We’re in a fairly warm phase, right now. Whee, it’s terrible, but it’s also weirdly exciting! Whee, we’re all in this together! We haven’t seen unity among ordinary folks—regardless of what their foolish government politicians do and say—we haven’t seen this kind of togetherness among the people of the world in a long time. We’ll suffer, die, struggle, survive and finally win together!

Or, we won’t.

What if this tiny creature cares not a whit for these what-ifs and busily goes on about its business, if schools reopen and reclose, the kids are home, dad’s home, mom’s home, face masks are getting gray and soiled, the depressing daily diet of covid news yields to “escape” pastimes: old movies on TV, a modest return of drive-in movies (drive-in this, drive-in that), hysterical, to-hell-with-it events, like this year’s spring breaks, like the religious-event crowds that gather in tight, loving congregations, confident that God will bless rather than afflict these devoted souls, or like, say, Burning Man, which is a repudiation of normal behavior in the name of fun and a kind of hip defiance? What if public funds run out for unemployment, for “stimulus” checks, for disaster aid? What if our diminished resources are over-taxed by a more violent than usual storm season, followed by an unprecedented wildfire season, followed by rains, floods and snow?

Have I floated any possibilities that are too far out to be considered?

Nope. Uh-uh.

Come January 20, what will old Joe Biden step into? Will there be a stage crew, waiting to light the lights and strike up the band, or will it be more like something that sticks to the shoe? What if, by January 20th, we’re exhausted, scared to death of plain hopelessness, of mass depression, of disease, of all four Horsemen of the Apocalypse at full gallop, of homelessness and foodlessness, if the hands that propel our modest dinners from dirt and seed to table, become fewer, weaker and daily more prone to spreading the plague? If, in other words, if the food chain stops working smoothly (as it already is)?

I’m posing these questions because I feel that I and lots of other people better had. When I hear prime-time news people pressing their guests for dates-certain when we can expect vaccines, and watch the guests squirming in discomfort because they have to say something, and nothing they can say is good science as much as it is an attempt to put Truth in dependent clauses, bookended by murmurings of cheer and optimism, in an effort to keep the public from panicking, from knowing the godawful, grim truth of the situation. I pose these questions because it’s not merely a matter of masks and meds and hiding under beds. We need to be mentally and emotionally prepared for the scourging the species homo sapiens has begun to take. Our mental health and reasoning faculties must be tended to in advance of the full brunt of this, the social, economic, political and psychological testing we’re still putting off!

It has to be cool, deliberate and methodical. Our psychological community, as usual, is bringing up the rear, analyzing what has already happened instead of leading.

Pass it on: It’s going to be a hard, hard winter after a hard, hard summer and fall, and 2021, even though trumpless, will be worse than 2020.

Brace yourselves. Brace your families and neighbors. In its present manifestation, the novel coronavirus 19 is not deadly enough to adjust the planet’s overpopulation, but it’s damn sure disruptive enough to—I beg your pardon, but this has to sink in—to fuck up everything!

Mitch Clogg

* * *

THIS JUST POSTED by Helen McCloskey, a statement by her husband, former congressman, Pete McCloskey now 92, who stood up against the Vietnam War, for the Palestinians and who, I'm proud to say, was the lawyer for me and two colleagues in our successful suit against the ADL for its illegal spying:

"It’s all coming together - You’ve got the virus, novel and strange in the many ways it inflicts itself on some, and about which plenty still needs to be learned; you’ve got millions of people who through no fault of character have lost their jobs and will possibly be facing financial ruin because of policies related to the pandemic; you’ve got the cascading effects like eviction and the specter of much greater waves of homelessness, and the problems of underserved children not being educated... or even properly fed- You’ve got the patchwork of significant economic disparities in school districts making re-opening impossible or unsafe in many places....

You’ve got the Republican Governors of Florida, Georgia and Iowa who have forbidden the use of absentee ballots after big voter interest in their States, along with many Republican efforts to suppress voters being able to vote in November. You’ve got massive military, space and nuclear weapons budgets devouring the nation’s wealth, along with absurd tax cuts for the rich and the corporate worlds, further restricting much-needed revenues. You’ve got agencies like Homeland Security that have huge arsenals of employees, already desensitized through implementing the revolting border policies of normalizing unspeakable behaviors like separating babies, toddlers and children from their mothers..... These men now being turned loose on protesters while Trump fans irrational fears of “criminals rioting”... ( bullshit). Through fear and hatred, outright lies and exaggerations, this Administration is undermining the Constitution and Bill of Rights. Now is the time to be counted."

Jeff Blankfort

* * *

ANCHOR BAY

STORE

* * *

OLIVER STONE ON THE ASSASSINATION OF JFK

Joe Rogan implies that he's an expert on the JFK assassination, though he doesn't seem to know that, among other reasons, Oswald couldn't have made all the shots with that gun in the time alleged, since it's known that the bolt-action rifle took 2.3 seconds to operate between shots.

The interview with Oliver Stone last week in the NY Times Magazine is a good example of why the mainstream media annoys many people on important issues. 

Even though he's a major American movie director, the Times finds it necessary to footnote his remarks and in effect fact-check him on the assassination.

Stone: “I’m still keeping my hand in with documentaries. I am working on two right now. One is on J.F.K. Since the film came out in 1991, there’s been quite a bit of new material revealed that people have basically ignored. It’s a hell of a story.”

Stone is asked this by the witless interviewer: "Tell me more about your JFK documentary. Is there a big revelation in it that you can share?… Does it turn out that the bullet went back and to the right?"

Interviewer David Marchese is on record as believing that Oswald alone killed Kennedy. The "question" above is his cutesy preemptive strike on Stone's credibility.

The Times footnote after Stone's response: “This is a reference to the finding that a single bullet fired by Lee Harvey Oswald caused multiple wounds to the president as well as to Gov. John Connally of Texas, who was riding in the same car as Kennedy.”

And who made the implausible "finding" about the path of the bullet that's illustrated below? The Warren Commission:

The assassination of JFK: Case Not Closed

The same month President Kennedy is assassinated, President Johnson appointed the Warren Commission---all Republicans and Southern Democrats. No potentially skeptical liberals are included. 

But the commission did include Allen Dulles, who was fired by JFK as CIA director in 1961 after the Bay of Pigs fiasco!

After a cursory, pro-forma investigation, the commission presented its bogus findings in less than a year, in September, 1964, because President Johnson wanted to have the whitewash done before the 1964 election.

Stone on what's in his new documentary:

“We can make fun, but let me give you some quick points about what is in the documentary: There’s no chain of custody on the magic bullet. There’s also no chain of custody on this damn rifle, the Mannlicher-Carcano, which Lee Harvey Oswald was accused of shooting. I don’t want to go into the details, but we can’t account for who was in possession of the bullets and the rifle at various times. It’s a mess. 

“Then we got more detail than ever showing that there was a huge back-of-the-head wound in Kennedy, which clearly indicates a shot from the front. It's also clear that the autopsy from Bethesda, Md., was completely fraudulent. 

“And there’s Vietnam. No historian can now honestly say that the Vietnam War was Kennedy’s. That’s crucial. The last thing is the C.I.A. connection to Oswald. We have a stronger case, not only for post-Russia but also for pre-Russia. In other words, he was working with the C.I.A. before he went and when he came back. Those are the main points. I don’t want to criticize your paper, but if it was honest, it would be doing this work instead of just saying, ‘It’s all settled’.”

One last stupid question from Marchese:

"But on some level you must know that we’ll never be able to tie up all the loose ends of the Kennedy assassination. So what do you want people to take away from your new work on this?"

Stone: “Those who are interested will find it’s pretty clear that J.F.K. was murdered by forces that were powerful in our government. We point the finger at a couple of individuals. But I don’t want to get into that here. Now, why do I have to do this? I’m doing the documentary for the record so that you can see for yourself what the evidence is. That’s all.”

Marchese isn't really interested. He's already made up his mind. He was just hoping for a clickable response from Stone.

(via District5Diary)

* * *

PORTLAND

* * *

THE ITSY SHVITZY SPIDER.

The recording of last night's (2020-07-24) Memo of the Air: Good Night Radio show on KNYO-LP Fort Bragg and KMEC-LP Ukiah* is right here: https://tinyurl.com/KNYO-MOTA-0394

Among the regular and irregular features, this show has, half an hour in, the second in the San Francisco Mime Troupe's summer radio drama series Tales of the Resistance. This week's installment of Jay Frankston's serialized book El Sereno begins about two hours and ten minutes in, rather than later when you're used to it being. And the show ends not with the Fulity Closet podcast but with a half-hour recorded reading of Jonathan Nolan's haunting short story Memento Mori.

Furthermore, at https://MemoOfTheAir.wordpress.com you'll find a fresh batch of dozens of links to not necessarily radio-useful but nonetheless worthwhile educational items I set aside for you while gathering the show together. Such as:

She’s so happy. This is so great. https://geekologie.com/2020/07/tracking-month-by-month-electric-guitar.php

Or these kids. It’s too bad the trumpet and the sax are so far down in the mix. This is 2011; they ought to be kings of the world by now. It’s a little rough in the middle part, they get a bit lost, but that just makes you smile harder. I have this because Juanita misheard something I said from the other room as “Frankenstein with a horn section,” and she found like a dozen of them and sent links to me for review. There actually are plenty of versions of this song done by really fine bands with a horn section, a couple of them are even all-horn bands, but they’re precise, lifeless as a player piano, no wildness, nothing to stir the blood, they’re just playing the notes, where these kids are not just playing nor just performing but being music. This is a shining moment. They help play each other’s instrument to keep the sound going when they switch instruments. Note the transfixed groupie girls on the left, seen only from the back — there’s a story there. The honking shitty-sound-system feedback (remedied finally by the bass player reaching over and shutting off the guitarist’s guitar). You can easily imagine future alien archeologists machine-scanning through billions and billions of videos made by the sadly vanished Earth people and stopping on this one. Oh. The one who caught it, the one at that machine, calls its fellow researchers to come see. They float around the monitor with their great big eyes and flexible ear holes flapped wide open. They watch it over and over and over. They determine to find some cells somewhere and recreate this lost ancient race and their fascinating world. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8FHiceYcQVQ

And some moons. Here’s something interesting: the escape velocity of Mars’ smaller moon, Deimos, is thirteen miles-per-hour. The whole band in the previous item and the happy guitar girl could theoretically run and jump off Deimos, carrying their instruments, and never be drawn back. https://theawesomer.com/moon-size-comparison/581718/

-- Marco McClean, memo@mcn.org, https://MemoOfTheAir.wordpress.com

* * *

FOUND OBJECT

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