MCT: Tuesday, August 11, 2020

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INTERIOR TEMPERATURES will trend closer to seasonal normals through mid week, with milder and cloudier conditions near the coast. Heat builds back in through the weekend. (NWS)

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22 MORE COVID CASES ON MONDAY

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JOHN WILD (1928-2020)

John Wild passed away in January 29 in the Bay Area. John was born in San Angelo, Texas in 1928. John and his wife Mimi first came to the Nash Ranch in 1977 and bought property on Nash Mill Road. At the beginning they stayed in a trailer on the property, and later built their cabin. Although John was a lawyer by trade, he was an electrical engineer at heart. He spent much of his time at the cabin creating his elaborate electrical system. He also enjoyed relaxing on the back porch with a glass of wine and his favorite dog Sydney. If you were lucky enough to join him on the deck, you would have been treated to cheap wine and easy laughs. 

John received a law degree from the University of Texas in 1955, which served him well when he spearheaded the formation of the Nash Ranch Road Association and wrote the by-laws in the late 1990s. He served as chair of the Road Association for many years. Initially, there was opposition to the Road Association, but something had to be done to maintain the roads after Wilbur Nash announced that he would no longer maintain them. Although John didn't make a lot of friends in that role (actually he did, but that was the joke), he was fair and dogged in his determination to make sure the roads were maintained. This position also provided many stories for him to tell his friends and family, who sometimes worried for his safety!

John had a deep interest in maps and property ownership, and he would frequently go to Ukiah to research those topics in the County Records. Over the years John and Mimi have had many friends on the Ranch and John is sorely missed. His widow, Mimi, his son and daughter, Scott and Paige, and their grandchildren continue coming up and spending time on the ranch. His son Scott is also an electrical engineer at heart (and by trade), so is now teaching Mimi and Paige how to make sense of the electrical intricacies within the walls and stretching to the solar panels on the property. His family misses him deeply, and going to the cabin is like going to visit John. His laughter is still reverberating on that back porch.

(Francois Christien, Philo)

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MENDOCINO COUNTY JAIL'S FIRST COVID-19 CASE

On 8/10/20, the Mendocino County Jail was advised that an inmate had tested positive for COVID-19. The 42-year-old male had been extradited from out of state on a Mendocino County warrant.

Since the individual was being brought into custody from out of state, jail procedures direct that they are quarantined for 14 days. A COVID-19 test was also administered at intake. 

Because of the procedures the jail has in place, the individual was immediately isolated and was not in contact with any other inmate in the facility.

Naphcare, the jail’s medical provider, has contacted Mendocino County Public Health. Jail medical staff will continue to monitor the individual’s progress.

This is the jail’s first case of COVID-19.

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THINGS ON THE GROUND

(photos by Dick Whetstone)

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EXTENDED CANDIDATE FILING PERIOD

Mendocino County has quite a few Special Districts and School Districts that have extended filing periods, according to Assessor-County Clerk Recorder Katrina Bartolomie. In those races where an incumbent failed to file their declaration of candidacy paperwork, the filing period is extended for non-incumbent candidates to file through Wednesday, August 12, 2020. 

Please check our website for the entire candidate list. On the candidate list, each race is marked: To Election; To Be Appointed; or Extended. On those marked Extended, the candidate filing period goes through Wednesday, August 12, 2020 Please go to our website at: https://www.mendocinocounty.org/government/assessorcounty- clerk-recorder-elections/elections/election-candidate-information 

The Elections office is open to assist candidates in filing the candidate forms. Please call or email our office for additional information at 707 234-6819 or mcvotes@mendocinocounty.org 

We continue to follow all Public Health Orders, including social distancing and wearing facial coverings. 

Katrina Bartolomie

Assessor, County Clerk-Recorder

Registrar Of Voters

Skylar Gravatt

Assistant Registrar Of Voters

Assistant Clerk Recorder

(707) 234-6819

County Clerk: (707) 234-6822

Recorder: (707) 234-6823

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BRANSCOMB STORE, 1979

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KID FOOD BOX Program at Food Bank will Continue into the Foreseeable Future

This free program is available to all Fort Bragg and Mendocino children and includes breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks. No applications are necessary and boxes can be picked up curbside from noon to 3pm on Wednesdays at the Fort Bragg Food Bank (that said, for the next two weeks boxes will be given out on Tuesday). Special thanks to the Mendocino Coast Children’s Fund and the James G. Cummings Foundation for making this happen. As a reminder, the Food Bank provides our community critical services and needs our support more than ever. Please call Lisi, at 964-9404 to ask how you can help or to inquire about volunteer opportunities .

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FINKBINE-GUILD LUMBER CO., ROCKPORT

ROCKPORT MILL & RAILROAD

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A LITTLE MORE INFO ON THE 'CLEONE INCIDENT'

MSP sent an email to the Mendocino County Sheriff Office last week regarding a few incidents. Two were answered in press releases we have already posted - and the third was answered Monday morning regarding the "Cleone Incident" on Little Valley Road.

Mendocino County Sheriff Captain informed MSP Monday @ 9:06 am: "That situation was a United States Department of Homeland Security search warrant regarding an illegal weapons investigation. 

The Sheriff's Office was only present (observers) because the location was in the county limits and thus within the Sheriff's Office jurisdiction."

WHAT MSP POSTED EARLIER ON THE INCIDENT

On Thursday, August 6th:

S.W.A.T. CALLED OUT AGAIN ON THE COAST ?

MSP didn't hear any scanner traffic this morning (started listening @ 6:12 am) - but an MSP viewer messaged us: "Do you know what happened at 6:00 am this morning with about 15 FBI agents and SWAT vehicles on Little Valley Road? (Cleone)"

If we had to guess, we'd say they were serving a warrant - we'll see if we can get more info.

ADDITIONAL INFO

MSP heard from someone in the area who related, "They warned neighbors to stay inside. Loudspeakers all over. They told a woman living in one of the houses to come out with her hands up. They searched the whole house looking for explosives and high-powered guns. In the attic and underneath. They found nothing."

MSP appreciates the update.

FRIDAY MSP UPDATE

"This appeared Friday morning in the 'Mendocino County Today' section of the Anderson Valley Advertiser ($25 for an online subscription - recommended):

"Dear Editor,

T'was 6:00 am August 6th out here on sleepy Little Valley Road just north of Cleone when my faithful and ever vigilant doggies alerted me to a supreme disturbance in the neighborhood. Stumbling outside I could hear a massively amplified message being broadcast throughout the land — 'Come out with your hands in the air we have the house surrounded!'

My guess is you could have heard this in town 5 miles away. So needless to say my heart was pumping big time. Upon further inspection, as I walked down the lane in the direction of the cacophony I could see many police vehicles (Perhaps 15) including a huge military surplus tactical vehicle. This was a very large operation which came with a very large price tag all based on a rumor apparently of a dangerous cache of weapons, FBI search warrant etc.

The residence of interest is a rental occupied by a neighbor who is possibly in law enforcement themselves so why the fuss? By 8:00 am it was all over and a sense of calm had returned to the neighborhood. Will there be a press release forthcoming to explain these events? I wonder!

Tim McClure

Little Valley Road, Cleone"

(via MendocinoSportsPlus)

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MEMO OF THE WEEK: Willits On The Brink

Dear Fellow Willits Citizens:

(Thursday, August 6, 2020)

As mayor of Willits, I want to communicate with you about a major fiscal challenge we currently face. I have learned that being honest and forthright about our city finances is the most important thing I can do.

For the last few years we have been cutting and cutting our budget, but cannot continue to cut without dramatically affecting services. To put things very clearly, despite our best efforts, our city does not have enough revenue to continue to provide police protection and other vital city services your local government provides including park maintenance, local street repair, local pool and community center, planning and more.

You hear a lot in the news about small businesses needing to close given the struggling economy and health crisis. Like these small businesses, our small city is struggling too.

The reality is, without additional revenue our city is on the verge of closure. We have cut all we can and based on current projections our operating revenue will be depleted soon.

What does this mean?

Unless we secure emergency revenue our city would close. This would mean:

We won't have our own police department. Police services will be provided by an already stretched County Sheriff's out of Ukiah.

All neighborhood road and street repair including the maintenance of Main Street will stop and will be left to the County.

Community facilities will be closed including the Willits City pool and Willits Community Center, parks and playfields will not be maintained.

Local government services such as building inspections and permits, Planning Department applications, will be handled through the county offices in Ukiah over 23 miles away.

To prevent this from happening, our city council is proposing a temporary emergency sales tax to provide funding for these essential services until our local economy recovers.

I just wanted to let you know that our City Council and City Manager are working hard to address this issue.

Sincerely,

Gerardo Gonzalez, Mayor

Willits

* * *

ODE TO A PINK LADY

Amaryllis Belladonna

Late summer pink-fleshed

naked ladies flaunt tall

leafless bodies above 

poisonous bulbs

in southern exposure

hardy and long-lived

through mild winters

Bare blossoms

rivet the atttention

of alert passersby

more surely than

any bathing beauty

Lush clusters trumpet 

from weedy roadsides

proclaiming pink

the color to celebrate

through Indian summer

the seaon of sheer joy

All praise to the nude 

unexpected gift 

from bare earth

— Ida VSW Red, 2015

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* * *

ED NOTES

TRUMP was escorted from his press conference on Monday less than five minutes after it began after law enforcement shot a man who was shooting at the White House. "There was a shooting outside of the White House and it seems to be very well under control," Trump said after he returned to the room. "I'd like to thank the Secret Service for doing their always quick and very effective work. There was an actual shooting and somebody has been taken to the hospital. I don't know the condition of the person. Seems that the person was shot by the Secret Service, so we will see what happens," he said.

FORT BRAGG PEOPLE SEEKING HELP with their rent stood in a line in front of City Hall that went down the street and around the corner of Laurel, a local sign of the times.

POWER was out from Yorkville to areas of Philo on Monday afternoon from, by our clock, 2:08pm until 4:08pm, exactly two hours. As we went to press, no word on why.

ASHLEY JONES popped in last week. Now a resident of Alameda where he presciently bought a house in the late 1950s when houses were still buyable, Ashley was also a long-time member of the Anderson Valley community when it was still a community. Among his many distinctions, Ashley was a ground floor Navy Seal and, true to that lineage, as he departed Ashley said he was on his way for a dip in the Navarro which, for his sake, we hope is still dipable. 

DRIVE-IN MOVIES AT THE AV GRANGE. As one of the only ways we can kinda congregate locally, the AV Grange is planning to show a drive-in movie every 2 weekends starting August 15th. The first offering on Sat. the 15th will be ‘Ghostbusters,’ a family friendly crowd pleaser, starting at dark, 8-8:30. The parking lot will open at 7 or thereabouts and depending on the Covid regulations the attendance will probably be limited to 50. We will be following all protocols so be sure to bring a mask. There will be concessions available. A donation is requested. We welcome suggestions of movies for the future. 

CORRECTION: In last Wednesday’s Valley People collection we inadvertently attributed a comment about the Anderson Valley Community Services District to Val Muchowski that was written by Joan Burroughs. Our apologies to both. 

GEOGRAPHY, an on-line comment from Mendo Mama: "Another one of them young tragic Pine Mountain Boys. If you look through a lot of crime articles there's been Grandpa killings, rapes, murderers and rip offs, beatings and domestic violence going on up on Ridgewood for a long time. A lot of the boys are on meth pills, coke. Chong on joints or vape pens all day and drink a lot. Then an attitude of I'm better than anybody else and it's a perfect storm."

JUST IN: Cutler "Carlo" Crowell turned in his nomination papers for a seat on the Mendo Coast Rec and Parks District board this morning at the County Clerk's Office. After the unfortunate pool experience suffered in November 2018, it seems that Mr. Cutler felt that the Board needs someone who understands the Brown Act. Malcolm Macdonald's article on Huff's Conflicted Reversal made it clear that the District could use some help following some basic conflict of interest laws, in addition to the Brown Act failures Cutler was victimized by.

WROTE to Supervisor Williams to ask if he was the unnamed Albion firefighter who turned the hose on the suicidal man that occupied so much police time Saturday. The Supervisor, usually quick on the e-mail draw, didn't reply, soooooooo I'm gonna take that as a Yes until I hear otherwise. (Nope, wasn’t our intrepid solon.)

A READER ASKS, “What is Bushanksy-ism? You put that over the guy's resignation letter from Coast Park and Rec.” Uh, well, it's more of a kind of malaise than it is a coherent theory like, say, Marxism, but Bushansky-ism is ava code for the oppressive, hope-extinguishing corporate Democratic domination of political life on the Northcoast from Marin north to Crescent City while describing its Republican-lite views as “progressive.” The man himself hosts a radio show on local semi-public radio called, “Politics, A Love Story.” Case rested.

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CALIFORNIA WESTERN ENGINES, FORT BRAGG

CALIFORNIA WESTERN RAILROAD TRAINWRECK ANNOUNCEMENT, 1970

DERAILMENT

DERAILMENT

DERAILMENT CREW

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AV VILLAGE BOOK CONVERSATION: "ELDERHOOD"

Topic: AV Village Book Conversation: "Elderhood - Redefining Aging, Transforming Medicine, Reimagining Life" by Louise Aronson

Our next AV Village Book Conversation will be this Wednesday August 12th @ 1:30 pm. The Book will be "Elderhood - Redefining Aging, Transforming Medicine, Reimagining" Life by Louise Aronson - we are only focusing on the first 5 chapters. If you are interested please contact Lauren for more details

laurenk@pacific.net (mailto:laurenk@pacific.net)

Time: Aug 12, 2020 01:30 PM Pacific Time (US and Canada)

Join Zoom Meeting

https://gmail.us3.list-manage.com/track/click?u=cea1e601922fa82e47579cc80&id=133c19fe33&e=358077c1c9

Meeting ID: 434 337 6734

One tap mobile

+16699009128,,4343376734# US (San Jose)

+12532158782,,4343376734# US (Tacoma)

Dial by your location

+1 669 900 9128 US (San Jose)

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Meeting ID: 434 337 6734

Anica Williams

Anderson Valley Village Coordinator

Cell: 707-684-9829

Email: andersonvalleyvillage@gmail.com

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Where do you see yourself after the 4th grade?

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SURPRISE!

Editor:

Supervisor Carre Brown Endorses Glenn McGourty

Bringing water into the spotlight, 1ST District Supervisor Carre Brown Endorses Glenn McGourty

In a statement released August 11th, 1ST District Supervisor Carre Brown announced her support for candidate Glenn McGourty. 

“I have known and admired Glenn for more than 3 decades. He is a proven problem-solver with a real commitment to the 1st District and Mendocino County. As a farmer, Glenn is connected to land and tradition, and his 32 years as a working scientist uniquely qualify him to lead the county on complicated 21st century issues. 

When it comes to our economy, housing, and environment, nothing is more important to the 1st District than water. Glenn’s understanding of our water supply is exceptional, and with the future of The Potter Valley Project at stake, Glenn is the candidate I trust to secure our water supply for the next generation. For these reasons and more, I’m proud to support Glenn McGourty for 1st District Supervisor” 

Via: Glenn McGourty: 707.468.8632 GlennMcGourty@gmail.com

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CATCH OF THE DAY, August 10, 2020

Fillmore, Galindo, Lugo

TIMOTHY FILLMORE, Ukiah. Controlled substance for sale.

THOMAS GALINDO JR., Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol, probation revocation. (Frequent flyer.)

JORGE LUGO, Ukiah. Failure to appear.

Roman, Rutherford, Thomas

THOMAS ROMAN, Ukiah. DUI.

LEON RUTHERFORD, Lakeport/Ukiah. Parole violation.

KIMBERLEE THOMPSON, Gualala. DUI, evasion, resisting, offenses while on bail.

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IN TWO DAYS....

Last Fully Intact Ice Shelf in the Canadian Arctic Has Collapsed

The last fully intact ice shelf in the Canadian Arctic has collapsed, losing more than 40 percent of its area in just two days at the end of July, researchers said on Thursday. The Milne Ice Shelf is at the fringe of Ellesmere Island, in Nunavut. “Above normal air temperatures, offshore winds and open water in front of the ice shelf are all part of the recipe for ice shelf break up,” the Canadian Ice Service said on Twitter when it announced the loss on Sunday. “Entire cities are that size. These are big pieces of ice,” said Luke Copland, a glaciologist at the University of Ottawa who was part of the research team studying the Milne Ice Shelf. The shelf’s area shrank by about 80 square kilometers. By comparison, the island of Manhattan in New York covers roughly 60 square kilometers. “This was the largest remaining intact ice shelf, and it’s disintegrated, basically,” Copland said. The Arctic has been warming at twice the global rate for the last 30 years, due to a process known as Arctic amplification. But this year, temperatures in the polar region have been intense. The polar sea ice hit its lowest extent for July in 40 years. Record heat and wildfires have scorched Siberia. 

Full article: arctictoday.com/canadas-last-fully-intact-arctic-ice-shelf-collapses/

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LET THE DOGS OUT

by James Kunstler

If he actually makes it through the Democratic “mostly-virtual” Convention to be held (sort of) in Milwaukee next week (but really on the Internet), Joe Biden’s acceptance speech will not be a live event. Instead, Mr. Biden’s head will be clamped in place, as in a Civil War era photograph, so that the audience won’t see his earpiece while an aide feeds him his lines — they wouldn’t dare rely on the candidate reading off a teleprompter. And you know what? It still won’t work. They’ll have to cut-and-paste the video so drastically it will look like an early edit of Ed Wood’s fifties’ classic Plan Nine from Outer Space.

One has a sense that a whole lot of scrambling is going on behind the scenes in DNC-ville this week leading up to the party’s dreaded coronation — and in other places, too, such as Bedminster, New Jersey… the fabled seventh floor of the FBI headquarters… across Pennsylvania Avenue at William Barr’s Department of Justice… and three blocks east in the hallowed chambers of the DC Circuit Court of Appeals.

Mr. Biden’s ominous stalling on his veep pick sends the signal to casual observers that this whole nomination pudding remains badly un-baked. Surely a few not-insane party higher-ups must know that Uncle Joe is not up to actually hitting the campaign trail. They don’t dare imagine what will happen as he is wheeled out to face those sparse crowds of “dog-faced pony soldiers” assembled in middle-school cafeterias across the land. Some kind of rolling debacle, fer sure: shouting matches, push-up contests, and moments of humiliating aphasic blankness. Is it back to basement, then? I guess so — but what about those debates Mr. Biden signed on for?

They’d never permit him to show up live. Instead, citing possible Covid-19 exposure, they’ll proffer a “virtual” Zoom hook-up, and once again Mr. Biden will be rigged with the trusty earpiece to be fed his lines. Or they’ll cook up some other excuse and just pull him out altogether. The foregoing assumes that Mr. Biden remains the Democratic Party’s candidate for president, which is assuming a lot. Meanwhile, I’d like to see some aerial drone footage of the parking circle at Hillary Clinton’s Chappaqua, New York, hideaway this week… the limos coming and going, the CNN mobile video vans parked on the grass with a tangle of cables running up to the house… the coup to end all coups….

And what of the mysterious action in Bedminster, New Jersey, Mr. Trump’s hideaway? He made the enigmatic remark last week at a campaign stop in Ohio: “I have a lot of rich enemies. You won’t see me for a while.” Rumors abound in the non-seditionist news media that something ugly is about to drop. Something, perhaps, that might bust open a suppurating fistula of Deep State corruption of which RussiaGate was one mere subsidiary side-pool of sepsis. Something that perhaps involves the evidence-trail of money-laundering that emanated out of Ukraine during Barack Obama’s second term — a whole fetid, reeking dumpster-load of evidence stealthily gathered under-the-radar by Rudy Giuliani lo these many months — of which the roles of Joe and Hunter Biden are already richly documented, but which may involve many other government poohbahs of both parties. And I say evidence because, as a skilled former federal prosecutor, Mr. Giuliani knows the difference between aspersions and proof. Was Mr. Trump intimating back in Ohio that it’s duck-and-cover time?

Attorney General Barr sat through a leisurely chat with Mark Levin on TV last night, a curious hour of understatement and elision, especially concerning the momentous matter of US Attorney John Durham’s way-overdue actions in the Russia Collusion hoax. Mr. Levin dropped the ball so many times in his questioning that it seemed deliberate — for instance failing to ask whether Mr. Barr had detected any prosecutorial misconduct in the pursuit of General Michael Flynn. There’s plenty of reason to suppose that Robert Mueller’s lawyers royally misbehaved in that case, colluding with FBI director Christopher Wray to withhold a ton of exculpatory evidence even to this day. There are plenty more reasons to suppose that the entire Mueller investigation was a knowing, seditious sham, and that several of his “team” members — e.g. Andrew Weissmann, Jeannie Rhee, Brandon Van Grack, Zainab Ahmad, Aaron Zebley, plus US Attorney Tanisha Guahar, and possibly Mr. Mueller himself — deserve to be indicted for their efforts to overthrow a president. (And, of course, there’s a long list of other now well-known characters in the DOJ, FBI, CIA, and other festering places who played roles in Coup-O-Rama).

Speaking of General Flynn, his mandamus petition comes before an en banc session of the DC Court of Appeals on Tuesday. It’s hard to see how they can get around their earlier three-judge panel’s order under a mandamus petition for DC District Judge Emmet Sullivan to vacate the case, as now demanded by the federal prosecutors who brought it in the first place. We won’t rehearse the tedious legal arguments, except to say that where there is no prosecution, there is no case, and Judge Sullivan has no standing to act as prosecutor himself under the separation of powers in the constitution. But in these dark days of a weaponized judiciary, with its Lawfare henchmen grubbing away in the shadows, there’s no telling what bad faith gears may be turning in that mill.

So, buckle up for what, all of a sudden, looks like an action-packed week. Lay in some tonic water and gin for both Covid-19 relief and some self-prescribed anesthesia as America unleashes its dogs of war upon itself.

(Support Kunstler’s writing by visiting his Patreon Page.)

* * *

THE UNRAVELING OF AMERICA

by Wade Davis 

COVID-19 signals the end of the American era. The COVID crisis has reduced to tatters the idea of American exceptionalism.

Never in our lives have we experienced such a global phenomenon. For the first time in the history of the world, all of humanity, informed by the unprecedented reach of digital technology, has come together, focused on the same existential threat, consumed by the same fears and uncertainties, eagerly anticipating the same, as yet unrealized, promises of medical science.

In a single season, civilization has been brought low by a microscopic parasite 10,000 times smaller than a grain of salt. COVID-19 attacks our physical bodies, but also the cultural foundations of our lives, the toolbox of community and connectivity that is for the human what claws and teeth represent to the tiger.

Our interventions to date have largely focused on mitigating the rate of spread, flattening the curve of morbidity. There is no treatment at hand, and no certainty of a vaccine on the near horizon. The fastest vaccine ever developed was for mumps. It took four years. COVID-19 killed 100,000 Americans in four months. There is some evidence that natural infection may not imply immunity, leaving some to question how effective a vaccine will be, even assuming one can be found. And it must be safe. If the global population is to be immunized, lethal complications in just one person in a thousand would imply the death of millions.

Pandemics and plagues have a way of shifting the course of history, and not always in a manner immediately evident to the survivors. In the 14th Century, the Black Death killed close to half of Europe’s population. A scarcity of labor led to increased wages. Rising expectations culminated in the Peasants Revolt of 1381, an inflection point that marked the beginning of the end of the feudal order that had dominated medieval Europe for a thousand years.

The COVID pandemic will be remembered as such a moment in history, a seminal event whose significance will unfold only in the wake of the crisis. It will mark this era much as the 1914 assassination of Archduke Ferdinand, the stock market crash of 1929, and the 1933 ascent of Adolf Hitler became fundamental benchmarks of the last century, all harbingers of greater and more consequential outcomes.

COVID’s historic significance lies not in what it implies for our daily lives. Change, after all, is the one constant when it comes to culture. All peoples in all places at all times are always dancing with new possibilities for life. As companies eliminate or downsize central offices, employees work from home, restaurants close, shopping malls shutter, streaming brings entertainment and sporting events into the home, and airline travel becomes ever more problematic and miserable, people will adapt, as we’ve always done. Fluidity of memory and a capacity to forget is perhaps the most haunting trait of our species. As history confirms, it allows us to come to terms with any degree of social, moral, or environmental degradation.

To be sure, financial uncertainty will cast a long shadow. Hovering over the global economy for some time will be the sober realization that all the money in the hands of all the nations on Earth will never be enough to offset the losses sustained when an entire world ceases to function, with workers and businesses everywhere facing a choice between economic and biological survival.

Unsettling as these transitions and circumstances will be, short of a complete economic collapse, none stands out as a turning point in history. But what surely does is the absolutely devastating impact that the pandemic has had on the reputation and international standing of the United States of America.

In a dark season of pestilence, COVID has reduced to tatters the illusion of American exceptionalism. At the height of the crisis, with more than 2,000 dying each day, Americans found themselves members of a failed state, ruled by a dysfunctional and incompetent government largely responsible for death rates that added a tragic coda to America’s claim to supremacy in the world.

For the first time, the international community felt compelled to send disaster relief to Washington. For more than two centuries, reported the Irish Times, “the United States has stirred a very wide range of feelings in the rest of the world: love and hatred, fear and hope, envy and contempt, awe and anger. But there is one emotion that has never been directed towards the U.S. until now: pity.” As American doctors and nurses eagerly awaited emergency airlifts of basic supplies from China, the hinge of history opened to the Asian century.

No empire long endures, even if few anticipate their demise. Every kingdom is born to die. The 15th century belonged to the Portuguese, the 16th to Spain, 17th to the Dutch. France dominated the 18th and Britain the 19th. Bled white and left bankrupt by the Great War, the British maintained a pretense of domination as late as 1935, when the empire reached its greatest geographical extent. By then, of course, the torch had long passed into the hands of America.

In 1940, with Europe already ablaze, the United States had a smaller army than either Portugal or Bulgaria. Within four years, 18 million men and women would serve in uniform, with millions more working double shifts in mines and factories that made America, as President Roosevelt promised, the arsenal of democracy.

When the Japanese within six weeks of Pearl Harbor took control of 90 percent of the world’s rubber supply, the U.S. dropped the speed limit to 35 mph to protect tires, and then, in three years, invented from scratch a synthetic-rubber industry that allowed Allied armies to roll over the Nazis. At its peak, Henry Ford’s Willow Run Plant produced a B-24 Liberator every two hours, around the clock. Shipyards in Long Beach and Sausalito spat out Liberty ships at a rate of two a day for four years; the record was a ship built in four days, 15 hours and 29 minutes. A single American factory, Chrysler’s Detroit Arsenal, built more tanks than the whole of the Third Reich.

In the wake of the war, with Europe and Japan in ashes, the United States with but 6 percent of the world’s population accounted for half of the global economy, including the production of 93 percent of all automobiles. Such economic dominance birthed a vibrant middle class, a trade union movement that allowed a single breadwinner with limited education to own a home and a car, support a family, and send his kids to good schools. It was not by any means a perfect world but affluence allowed for a truce between capital and labor, a reciprocity of opportunity in a time of rapid growth and declining income inequality, marked by high tax rates for the wealthy, who were by no means the only beneficiaries of a golden age of American capitalism.

But freedom and affluence came with a price. The United States, virtually a demilitarized nation on the eve of the Second World War, never stood down in the wake of victory. To this day, American troops are deployed in 150 countries. Since the 1970s, China has not once gone to war; the U.S. has not spent a day at peace. President Jimmy Carter recently noted that in its 242-year history, America has enjoyed only 16 years of peace, making it, as he wrote, “the most warlike nation in the history of the world.” Since 2001, the U.S. has spent over $6 trillion on military operations and war, money that might have been invested in the infrastructure of home. China, meanwhile, built its nation, pouring more cement every three years than America did in the entire 20th century.

As America policed the world, the violence came home. On D-Day, June 6th, 1944, the Allied death toll was 4,414; in 2019, domestic gun violence had killed that many American men and women by the end of April. By June of that year, guns in the hands of ordinary Americans had caused more casualties than the Allies suffered in Normandy in the first month of a campaign that consumed the military strength of five nations.

More than any other country, the United States in the post-war era lionized the individual at the expense of community and family. It was the sociological equivalent of splitting the atom. What was gained in terms of mobility and personal freedom came at the expense of common purpose. In wide swaths of America, the family as an institution lost its grounding. By the 1960s, 40 percent of marriages were ending in divorce. Only six percent of American homes had grandparents living beneath the same roof as grandchildren; elders were abandoned to retirement homes.

With slogans like “24/7” celebrating complete dedication to the workplace, men and women exhausted themselves in jobs that only reinforced their isolation from their families. The average American father spends less than 20 minutes a day in direct communication with his child. By the time a youth reaches 18, he or she will have spent fully two years watching television or staring at a laptop screen, contributing to an obesity epidemic that the Joint Chiefs have called a national security crisis.

Only half of Americans report having meaningful, face-to-face social interactions on a daily basis. The nation consumes two-thirds of the world’s production of antidepressant drugs. The collapse of the working-class family has been responsible in part for an opioid crisis that has displaced car accidents as the leading cause of death for Americans under 50.

At the root of this transformation and decline lies an ever-widening chasm between Americans who have and those who have little or nothing. Economic disparities exist in all nations, creating a tension that can be as disruptive as the inequities are unjust. In any number of settings, however, the negative forces tearing apart a society are mitigated or even muted if there are other elements that reinforce social solidarity — religious faith, the strength and comfort of family, the pride of tradition, fidelity to the land, a spirit of place.

But when all the old certainties are shown to be lies, when the promise of a good life for a working family is shattered as factories close and corporate leaders, growing wealthier by the day, ship jobs abroad, the social contract is irrevocably broken. For two generations, America has celebrated globalization with iconic intensity, when, as any working man or woman can see, it’s nothing more than capital on the prowl in search of ever cheaper sources of labor.

For many years, those on the conservative right in the United States have invoked a nostalgia for the 1950s, and an America that never was, but has to be presumed to have existed to rationalize their sense of loss and abandonment, their fear of change, their bitter resentments and lingering contempt for the social movements of the 1960s, a time of new aspirations for women, gays, and people of color. In truth, at least in economic terms, the country of the 1950s resembled Denmark as much as the America of today. Marginal tax rates for the wealthy were 90 percent. The salaries of CEOs were, on average, just 20 times that of their mid-management employees.

Today, the base pay of those at the top is commonly 400 times that of their salaried staff, with many earning orders of magnitude more in stock options and perks. The elite one percent of Americans control $30 trillion of assets, while the bottom half have more debt than assets. The three richest Americans have more money than the poorest 160 million of their countrymen. Fully a fifth of American households have zero or negative net worth, a figure that rises to 37 percent for black families. The median wealth of black households is a tenth that of whites. The vast majority of Americans — white, black, and brown — are two paychecks removed from bankruptcy. Though living in a nation that celebrates itself as the wealthiest in history, most Americans live on a high wire, with no safety net to brace a fall.

With the COVID crisis, 40 million Americans lost their jobs, and 3.3 million businesses shut down, including 41 percent of all black-owned enterprises. Black Americans, who significantly outnumber whites in federal prisons despite being but 13 percent of the population, are suffering shockingly high rates of morbidity and mortality, dying at nearly three times the rate of white Americans. The cardinal rule of American social policy — don’t let any ethnic group get below the blacks, or allow anyone to suffer more indignities — rang true even in a pandemic, as if the virus was taking its cues from American history.

COVID-19 didn’t lay America low; it simply revealed what had long been forsaken. As the crisis unfolded, with another American dying every minute of every day, a country that once turned out fighter planes by the hour could not manage to produce the paper masks or cotton swabs essential for tracking the disease. The nation that defeated smallpox and polio, and led the world for generations in medical innovation and discovery, was reduced to a laughing stock as a buffoon of a president advocated the use of household disinfectants as a treatment for a disease that intellectually he could not begin to understand.

As a number of countries moved expeditiously to contain the virus, the United States stumbled along in denial, as if willfully blind. With less than four percent of the global population, the U.S. soon accounted for more than a fifth of COVID deaths. The percentage of American victims of the disease who died was six times the global average. Achieving the world’s highest rate of morbidity and mortality provoked not shame, but only further lies, scapegoating, and boasts of miracle cures as dubious as the claims of a carnival barker, a grifter on the make.

As the United States responded to the crisis like a corrupt tin pot dictatorship, the actual tin pot dictators of the world took the opportunity to seize the high ground, relishing a rare sense of moral superiority, especially in the wake of the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis. The autocratic leader of Chechnya, Ramzan Kadyrov, chastised America for “maliciously violating ordinary citizens’ rights.” North Korean newspapers objected to “police brutality” in America. Quoted in the Iranian press, Ayatollah Khamenei gloated, “America has begun the process of its own destruction.”

Trump’s performance and America’s crisis deflected attention from China’s own mishandling of the initial outbreak in Wuhan, not to mention its move to crush democracy in Hong Kong. When an American official raised the issue of human rights on Twitter, China’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson, invoking the killing of George Floyd, responded with one short phrase, “I can’t breathe.”

These politically motivated remarks may be easy to dismiss. But Americans have not done themselves any favors. Their political process made possible the ascendancy to the highest office in the land a national disgrace, a demagogue as morally and ethically compromised as a person can be. As a British writer quipped, “there have always been stupid people in the world, and plenty of nasty people too. But rarely has stupidity been so nasty, or nastiness so stupid”.

The American president lives to cultivate resentments, demonize his opponents, validate hatred. His main tool of governance is the lie; as of July 9th, 2020, the documented tally of his distortions and false statements numbered 20,055. If America’s first president, George Washington, famously could not tell a lie, the current one can’t recognize the truth. Inverting the words and sentiments of Abraham Lincoln, this dark troll of a man celebrates malice for all, and charity for none.

Odious as he may be, Trump is less the cause of America’s decline than a product of its descent. As they stare into the mirror and perceive only the myth of their exceptionalism, Americans remain almost bizarrely incapable of seeing what has actually become of their country. The republic that defined the free flow of information as the life blood of democracy, today ranks 45th among nations when it comes to press freedom. In a land that once welcomed the huddled masses of the world, more people today favor building a wall along the southern border than supporting health care and protection for the undocumented mothers and children arriving in desperation at its doors. In a complete abandonment of the collective good, U.S. laws define freedom as an individual’s inalienable right to own a personal arsenal of weaponry, a natural entitlement that trumps even the safety of children; in the past decade alone 346 American students and teachers have been shot on school grounds.

The American cult of the individual denies not just community but the very idea of society. No one owes anything to anyone. All must be prepared to fight for everything: education, shelter, food, medical care. What every prosperous and successful democracy deems to be fundamental rights — universal health care, equal access to quality public education, a social safety net for the weak, elderly, and infirmed — America dismisses as socialist indulgences, as if so many signs of weakness.

How can the rest of the world expect America to lead on global threats — climate change, the extinction crisis, pandemics — when the country no longer has a sense of benign purpose, or collective well-being, even within its own national community? Flag-wrapped patriotism is no substitute for compassion; anger and hostility no match for love. Those who flock to beaches, bars, and political rallies, putting their fellow citizens at risk, are not exercising freedom; they are displaying, as one commentator has noted, the weakness of a people who lack both the stoicism to endure the pandemic and the fortitude to defeat it. Leading their charge is Donald Trump, a bone spur warrior, a liar and a fraud, a grotesque caricature of a strong man, with the backbone of a bully.

Over the last months, a quip has circulated on the internet suggesting that to live in Canada today is like owning an apartment above a meth lab. Canada is no perfect place, but it has handled the COVID crisis well, notably in British Columbia, where I live. Vancouver is just three hours by road north of Seattle, where the U.S. outbreak began. Half of Vancouver’s population is Asian, and typically dozens of flights arrive each day from China and East Asia. Logically, it should have been hit very hard, but the health care system performed exceedingly well. Throughout the crisis, testing rates across Canada have been consistently five times that of the U.S. On a per capita basis, Canada has suffered half the morbidity and mortality. For every person who has died in British Columbia, 44 have perished in Massachusetts, a state with a comparable population that has reported more COVID cases than all of Canada. As of July 30th, even as rates of COVID infection and death soared across much of the United States, with 59,629 new cases reported on that day alone, hospitals in British Columbia registered a total of just five COVID patients.

When American friends ask for an explanation, I encourage them to reflect on the last time they bought groceries at their neighborhood Safeway. In the U.S. there is almost always a racial, economic, cultural, and educational chasm between the consumer and the check-out staff that is difficult if not impossible to bridge. In Canada, the experience is quite different. One interacts if not as peers, certainly as members of a wider community. The reason for this is very simple. The checkout person may not share your level of affluence, but they know that you know that they are getting a living wage because of the unions. And they know that you know that their kids and yours most probably go to the same neighborhood public school. Third, and most essential, they know that you know that if their children get sick, they will get exactly the same level of medical care not only of your children but of those of the prime minister. These three strands woven together become the fabric of Canadian social democracy.

Asked what he thought of Western civilization, Mahatma Gandhi famously replied, “I think that would be a good idea.” Such a remark may seem cruel, but it accurately reflects the view of America today as seen from the perspective of any modern social democracy. Canada performed well during the COVID crisis because of our social contract, the bonds of community, the trust for each other and our institutions, our health care system in particular, with hospitals that cater to the medical needs of the collective, not the individual, and certainly not the private investor who views every hospital bed as if a rental property. The measure of wealth in a civilized nation is not the currency accumulated by the lucky few, but rather the strength and resonance of social relations and the bonds of reciprocity that connect all people in common purpose.

This has nothing to do with political ideology, and everything to do with the quality of life. Finns live longer and are less likely to die in childhood or in giving birth than Americans. Danes earn roughly the same after-tax income as Americans, while working 20 percent less. They pay in taxes an extra 19 cents for every dollar earned. But in return they get free health care, free education from pre-school through university, and the opportunity to prosper in a thriving free-market economy with dramatically lower levels of poverty, homelessness, crime, and inequality. The average worker is paid better, treated more respectfully, and rewarded with life insurance, pension plans, maternity leave, and six weeks of paid vacation a year. All of these benefits only inspire Danes to work harder, with fully 80 percent of men and women aged 16 to 64 engaged in the labor force, a figure far higher than that of the United States.

American politicians dismiss the Scandinavian model as creeping socialism, communism lite, something that would never work in the United States. In truth, social democracies are successful precisely because they foment dynamic capitalist economies that just happen to benefit every tier of society. That social democracy will never take hold in the United States may well be true, but, if so, it is a stunning indictment, and just what Oscar Wilde had in mind when he quipped that the United States was the only country to go from barbarism to decadence without passing through civilization.

Evidence of such terminal decadence is the choice that so many Americans made in 2016 to prioritize their personal indignations, placing their own resentments above any concerns for the fate of the country and the world, as they rushed to elect a man whose only credential for the job was his willingness to give voice to their hatreds, validate their anger, and target their enemies, real or imagined. One shudders to think of what it will mean to the world if Americans in November, knowing all that they do, elect to keep such a man in political power. But even should Trump be resoundingly defeated, it’s not at all clear that such a profoundly polarized nation will be able to find a way forward. For better or for worse, America has had its time.

The end of the American era and the passing of the torch to Asia is no occasion for celebration, no time to gloat. In a moment of international peril, when humanity might well have entered a dark age beyond all conceivable horrors, the industrial might of the United States, together with the blood of ordinary Russian soldiers, literally saved the world. American ideals, as celebrated by Madison and Monroe, Lincoln, Roosevelt, and Kennedy, at one time inspired and gave hope to millions.

If and when the Chinese are ascendant, with their concentration camps for the Uighurs, the ruthless reach of their military, their 200 million surveillance cameras watching every move and gesture of their people, we will surely long for the best years of the American century. For the moment, we have only the kleptocracy of Donald Trump. Between praising the Chinese for their treatment of the Uighurs, describing their internment and torture as “exactly the right thing to do,” and his dispensing of medical advice concerning the therapeutic use of chemical disinfectants, Trump blithely remarked, “One day, it’s like a miracle, it will disappear.” He had in mind, of course, the coronavirus, but, as others have said, he might just as well have been referring to the American dream.

Wade Davis holds the Leadership Chair in Cultures and Ecosystems at Risk at the University of British Columbia. His award-winning books include “Into the Silence” and “The Wayfinders.” His new book, “Magdalena: River of Dreams,” is published by Knopf.

(Courtesy, Rollingstone.com)

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FOG EATER'S ALERT

Filing Extension To August 12

Two incumbents did not file for re-election.

State law allows an additional 5 days for candidates to file.

Election nomination packets are available at City Hall, 451 School Street

A General Municipal Election will be held in the City of Point Arena on Tuesday, November 3, 2020, for the following Officers: Three (3) Members of the Point Arena City Council for the full term of four years.

The nomination period for these offices now closes on August 12, 2020, at 5pm.

Nomination information can be obtained in the Office of the City Clerk, 451 School Street; Point Arena, CA; between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 4 p.m.; Monday through Thursday and 9am to noon on Friday. For more information, contact City Hall at 882-2122 or the website at: pointarena.ca.gov. If no one or only one person is nominated for an elective office, appointment to the elective office may be made as prescribed by §10229, Elections Code of the State of California. The polls will be open between the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. on Election Day. 

Paul Andersen

Deputy City Clerk, Point Arena

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ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY

The importance, or lack thereof, of good leadership is becoming painfully apparent in the current presidential race in the USA. The inability of the Democrats to find a credible candidate to oppose Pres. Trump exposes a deep lack of leadership ability within the Democratic Party. 

It should have been easy. Leaving aside his many personal flaws, simply running against Mr. Trump’s record would be a winning strategy for the Dems, if only they had good leadership within their party. 

Perhaps this is Mrs. Clinton’s final legacy/revenge. Having failed to get her elected to the position that she felt entitled to, Mrs. Clinton left behind a party bereft of any effective party leadership.

Overall, the failure of the political elites in the USA to put forward credible candidates is a tragedy of historic significance. It will all end in tears.

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IT’S BEEN TEN YEARS since a VA doctor told me, “You can consider yourself cancer free.” I didn’t catch her celebratory tone; I didn’t get it that this was a milestone moment. I forgot that five years out is the conventional marker that cancer is gone. I was already convinced that the beating they gave me in 2005 had exorcised the daemon. (I just like that “a” in there. More demonic.)

Here’s how she knew—one of the ways: Cancer is always hungry. Its cells grow out of control, and they’re greedy. They like sugar, for the energy it gives them to grow and kill their host. So here’s what the fiendish doctors do:

They shoot you up with a sugar solution. The sugar solution has been irradiated to show up brightly on an X-ray. They wait a certain little while for the atomic sugar solution to metabolize, and then they X-ray you. If you have cancer, the places where cancer cells are active show up on the X-ray because they have copped the sugar in your system to feed their appetite. They have concentrated the irradiated sugar so that it shows, plainly, on the film.

Is that cool? Medicine is a hit-or-miss art, but that particular form of diagnosis is pretty surefire. It almost seems unfair to trick the little buggers that way. Almost.

But Oh, God, the radiation! When you’re getting full-scale cancer treatment, they’re zapping you with some kind of rays every five minutes. Zapping you with hot atoms and shooting you up with stuff so poisonous it comes in heavy metallic bags with caution signs all over them. The people in the infusion room wear protective equipment. I heard a more-senior lady murmur to a younger one, “Don’t get any of that on you.” ON you?! At that instant, one of those shiny bags was suspended over my head while its contents were dribbling into my veins. The oncologists worried about getting it on their SKIN!

Since some cancers take thirty years to finish incubating and bust out, that five-year mark may not be final, seems to me. I still have another fifteen years to wait. So much of what they do to kill cancer also causes it. An oncologist admitted to me that the game is to bring the patient to a condition of toxicity that is too much for the cancer to survive and hope that the patient is strong enough to live through it. They screen you beforehand. If you’re too feeble, they just prescribe stuff to ease your symptoms and make you happy. Sorry. Fortunately, I wasn’t yet feeble.

I don’t take waking up for granite.

(Mitch Clogg)

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HELP MOTHER EARTH

Editor:

I think that we can all agree that a world population increasing at the rate of 226,000 people a day is unsustainable. Every minute of every day 150 extra babies are born in addition to the ones who replace someone who died.

So what can we do? First of all support organizations that provide for women's health, especially internationally. Many women and men do not know about contraception. In Niger (Africa) the average family has seven kids. That means half the families have more than that. I remember an ad on television for a group feeding starving children and a woman holding a starving child was pregnant. Starvation is nature's form of population control. The woman needs help.

The other thing we can do is not vote Republican. Since the 1970s every time the Republicans get into office the abortion rate and the number of unwanted pregnancies goes up. Why? Because the Republican Party needs to buy votes from the single issue pro-life voters. They claim to be anti-abortion by cutting United States aid to any woman's health clinic that mentions this choice and the organizations that sponsor it. United States law already prohibits the use of United States tax dollars to pay for abortions in foreign countries. Cutting off United States aid prevents access to contraception resulting in more unintended and unwanted pregnancies and more abortions often of the back-alley type. So if you are anti-abortion you should also be anti-Republican. It seems odd to me that Trump, who seems to hate black and brown people from "shit hole" countries would do everything he can to prevent breeding more of them.

But don't worry, we will build a wall to keep them out of our country.

Don Phillips

Manchester

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ON LINE COMMENTS OF THE WEEK

[1] It is beyond obvious that we are now witnessing the historical dissolution of the United States of America.

Our parents’ and grandparents’ generations experienced the rigors of two world wars and the Great Depression, the crucibles which tested and honed the American Spirit which reached its apotheosis at the end of World War II.

Those of us of the Boomer persuasion have experienced the peak of the American experience — from 1946 to 1971 (when Nixon dropped the gold standard and sullied the Presidential office) — the Pax Americana if you will. 

And now we are sliding down the backward slope of the peak, and it seems to be accelerating by the day. In 20 years, you will not recognize the USA from what is was. It seems that the breakup of the nation into disparate regional countries is inevitable. 

The only question is, will the resultant society look more like The World Made By Hand or The Hunger Games?

[2] Yet there are soft hints sprinkled throughout one’s coming of age.

Did your mother often sigh, exasperated after the latest unimpressive report card, “there’s always the civil-service”?

Recommended for shop, technical, home-ec, vocational school?

I have a feeling they may no longer exist.

When the military recruiters came trolling for low-hanging fruit at your high school did the counselor cough-up your name?

This does not preclude one from having a successful future, or a rewarding future. It merely suggests your capabilities may lie somewhere other than the formal erudition of higher education. Regrettably, learning tradecraft, a process of tacit knowledge transference, bears the stigma of stupidity. Yet how many people of trade be it a medical doctor to an electrician to an architect to a machinist to a lawyer are geniuses at their craft but, peculiarly, seriously deficient in common sense or general knowledge? 

But colleges became a right, then a land grant, then a big business. Many of the aforementioned outgrew their immaturity, became better traditional students, and proved many wrong. More did not. They became ambulance chasers, insurance agents, salesmen, a corner cubicle manager in an office park.

They made it, somehow. So of course they’re smart: see the sheepskin above the Dell? A generation of Dunning-Krugers, with the financial debt and the raised seal certificate to prove it.

Well, that’s what society asks for, and well, that’s what society gets. Empty goalposts and dim lodestars.

[3] And seeing Biden’s handlers cut him off in mid-sentence because he is going too far-afield in his answers as he says, “Wait! I have more to say!” 

I have actually seen one of his handlers grab his hand and lead him off stage like a lost child.

This charade cannot last much longer. Something so blatantly off the wall will be said by Biden that even Rachel Maddow will have to say something.

Most recently he said, “While I was at Walter Reed a nurse leaned over and breathed into my nostrils and she brought me pillows from her home.”

Imagine three two hour debates between Biden and Trump with no ear pieces for Joe, no TelePrompTer for Joe and no handlers there to drag him out of the room.

There is NO WAY they will let Biden openly debate Trump even with Zoom or FaceTime or whatever.

Biden’s team is whistling past the graveyard. Only a matter of time before they get spooked.

[4] Ever seen the equipment vaults and rows up on rows of humming servers, switches, routers and infrastructure it takes to run even a small sized business much less something like internet?

I assure you it's all very delicate and sensitive to power fluctuations, heat and moisture.

One of my servers has gone through four hard drives in less than three months I am constantly reaching out to Dell for replacements and that is just one of my servers I have fifteen more buzzing away all across Southern California.

One of my sites in El Centro has had the fiber run into the building severed at least five times in the last decade! It takes AT&T for ever to make those repairs and why? Because the fiber run is as big around as your thigh and it is composed of thousands of strands little larger than a human hair. Having had to make fiber connectors I can’t even imagine what it took to effect that repair. Back in the day making one connector took hours of polishing and getting it just right.

[5] Pardon me for smiling regarding the economic hit on professional sports. These modern contracts are obscene and so if they disappear then Xmas has come early. Also obscene is the money that so called celebrities are paid, and I include Ms. Oprah into that mix. If Americans are forced to stand down from supporting these people, then Covid is worth it. No, no socialist here, but I do enjoy the celebrity suffering. But more enjoyable is the media’s job losses which are growing. Hooray I say. I wish I could comment on social media but I’m not part of any of that. I read about Facebook and its tyranny but friends who use it seem to have no interest in quitting it. Same with Twitter and Instagram. I frankly don’t know what those really are except that we have a president who communicates via Twitter while using the toilet. Fitting.

The current days are far more dangerous than any other part of our history. The ship is sinking. The government is installing screen doors and windows. NYC and Chicago and Seattle and others are already under water. The ship cannot sail on.

[6] I'd like to point out a few items of note to those who think the only reason our country is suffering from the pandemic is Trump's policies (or lack thereof). And just to clarify, I wear a mask every time I leave the house, avoid social gatherings, and have voluntarily worked from home since March. I'm proud to do my small part to help fight the pandemic. I also didn't vote for Trump in 2016 and won't do so in 2020. I also won't be voting for Biden.

California has the highest number of cases and the highest number of deaths in the US. Governor Newsom was one of the first to institute a government mandated stay at home order. Many mayor's and BOS's throughout our state have implemented even stricter stay at home orders. California has instituted additional policies to provide unemployment, medical, and food assistance to those "non-essential" workers who have been hit the hardest. We do this so they can continue to stay home and do their part to help fight the pandemic. California has done an amazing job of creating new temporary hospitals to handle any surge in cases. California has also done an amazing job of creating new or temporary housing for those who would opt to leave the streets (yes, opt, we can't force them) and thereby slow the spread of the virus. Newsom, who's updates I regularly watch, has continually mentioned he bases these policies on the data and the science. I believe he does.

Yet, despite the above, California has the highest number of cases and the highest number of deaths. If you take a look, you'll see that Texas, Florida, and NY aren't far behind. So, two states with conservative leadership and two states with liberal leadership have similar numbers. What gives? Is it possible there are other reasons, outside of who are president is or what party he belongs to, that may be responsible for the number of cases and deaths in the US? That's not a rhetorical question. It's a real question. I doubt I'll receive any non-partisan responses to this question. I do believe the answer is extremely complex and likely lies in the openness of our society (travel for biz and tourism, immigration) and the freedoms that many in our country hold above all else (that's not a criticism). It's possible a society based loosely on principles of limiting government power would struggle more to contain a pandemic than other societies more comfortable or supportive of government authority. The point, there is far more to this analysis than politics.

[7] They promised that small cannabis farmers and mom and pop growers would be able to get permitted before big business came in, but instead they are priced out of the game with ridiculous permitting fees. $65,000 to get a legal permit regardless of whether or not you’re selling it? And then forced to sell only to white market companies like Flow Kana who have tens of thousands of barrels of (perishable) weed sitting in warehouses while the farmers aren’t paid for 6-8 months…

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