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MCT: Tuesday, October 20, 2020

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WARM AND DRY CONDITIONS accompanied by periods of breezy north-northeast winds are expected across interior portions of Northwest California through late this week. Meanwhile along the coast, marine stratus will yield locally cloudy and foggy conditions during the morning hours, which will be followed by clearing afternoon skies and mild temperatures.

FIRE WEATHER WATCH: Gusty north to northeast winds are forecast to develop over southeastern Lake County early Tuesday morning. Poor humidity recoveries combined with the gusty winds will support a critical fire weather threat. Winds are forecast to weaken somewhat during Tuesday afternoon, but warm temperatures, low humidity values, and dry vegetation will continue to yield a critical fire weather threat. Additional critical fire weather conditions will be possible Wednesday night through Friday morning across a larger portion of interior northwest California.

(National Weather Service)

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ONLY ONE MORE COVID CASE reported in Mendocino County on Monday, bringing the total to 1104.

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TRACKING EACH STATE'S PROGRESS AGAINST COVID-19

https://www.covidexitstrategy.org

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FATAL ROLLOVER OFF CLIFF ON HIGHWAY 1 ON SATURDAY. On October 17, 2020 at about 1:15pm, Ukah CHP responded to a solo vehicle over a cliff on Highway 1 north of milemarker 32.65 Elk/Manchester. During the initial investigation it was determined that a 2013 Chevrolet Silverado driven by an as yet unidentified 49 year old female from Modesto drove off a cliff while transitioning from park to drive while initially parked on the southbound shoulder (bluffside) of Highway 1. The Silverado rolled down a steep cliff before coming to rest on a remote beach below. The driver died as a result of injuries sustained during the accident. The identity of the driver will be released after notification of next of kin. The cause of the accident is under investigation. It is unknown whether alcohol or drugs were a contributing factor. 

(CHP Presser)

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Sawyer working the August Complex fire

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VICKI LEE HOPPER 

Vicki Lee Hopper passed away on October 2, 2020 in Springdale, Arkansas. Born in Fort Bragg on July 2, 1938 and raised in Ukiah, she attended Ukiah schools and graduated from Santa Rosa J.C. Employed as a psychiatric technician at Mendocino and Napa State Hospitals, she retired in 1988. Vicki relocated to Arkansas in 2006, where she enjoyed gardening and her home. In 2014, she moved to a retirement facility where she made many friends. She was preceded in death by her mother, Betty Hopper, and by her father, Harry Hopper. At her request, no services were held. Donations may be made to the Cancer Society or to Hospice Circle of Life, Springdale, AR. 

Online condolences www.WestfieldChapel.com

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Fire At Mendo High (?)

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MARSHALL NEWMAN WRITES:

When we Newmans arrived in Anderson Valley in the late 1950s, the land on the south side of Indian Creek adjacent to Highway 128 was owned by the state, and was called Indian Creek State Reserve. In the late 1950s and early 1960s (and probably longer), a cabin there was home to the Anderson Valley Library, which was run by the Anderson Valley Unity Club. In 1973, Mendocino County traded land at Westport Union Landing to the State of California and received the Indian Creek State Reserve in return. It then became Indian Creek County Park. The park is slightly more than 15 acres in size.

I looked for earlier history online, but thus far I only found mention of the land as state property (possibly already designated as a "State Reserve") in the 1952 Conservation Yearbook and another mention in a State Park Commission Report circa 1948. 

In the meantime, how about an old photograph of the New Boonville Hotel?

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AV VILLAGE GENERAL TRIVIA ZOOM LINK

Hope you can make our Zoom Trivia with yours truly!

AV Village General Trivia with the Coordinator

Tuesday October 27th, 4:30 to 5:30 PM

Join us for General Trivia with the AV Village Coordinator and have a little fun and learn some new useful facts?!

Please RSVP with the coordinator so we can get an idea of attendance, thank you.

Anderson Valley is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Topic: General Trivia with the AV Village Coordinator

Time: Oct 27, 2020 04:30 PM Pacific Time (US and Canada)

Join Zoom Meeting

https://gmail.us3.list-manage.com/track/click?u=cea1e601922fa82e47579cc80&id=df7403640b&e=358077c1c9

Meeting ID: 434 337 6734

Passcode: avv

One tap mobile

+16699009128,,4343376734#,,,,,,0#,,490940# US (San Jose)

+12532158782,,4343376734#,,,,,,0#,,490940# US (Tacoma)

Dial by your location

+1 669 900 9128 US (San Jose)

+1 253 215 8782 US (Tacoma)

Anica Williams

Anderson Valley Village Coordinator

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Dick’s Place, Mendocino

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ED NOTES

JONAH RASKIN has published the third book of his murder mystery trilogy centered on Tioga Vignetta, private eye. In this one, Dark Past, Dark Future, Ms. V is sitting on a pile of dough her ex managed to accumulate in murky dealings down on the border with Mexico. Maybe he died in a car crash following a shootout with the cops, maybe he's still alive. But for a fact, someone is stalking Tioga. The action in this one is fast and of special interest to us Northcoasters because we recognize both the physical sites of the novel's events and the personality types involved in these events. Tioga uncovers a pornography ring, meets some wine bigwigs and even gets involved with the literary legend of Jack London. Lots of good stuff in this one. Dark Past, Dark Future is available from Amazon and McCaa Books along with its two predecessors, Dark Land, Dark Mirror and Dark Day, Dark Night.

I'M HOPING for a proper obit for Sue Miller, long-time resident of the Caspar-Mendo area who passed away recently. She was very smart, and always on task with the political issues she was involved in and, unlike a number of the media-oriented local “activists” of the 80s and 90s, Sue simply went about the job and left the glamor to the people who seemed always to need attention more than they needed an oil-free ocean or a redwood forest. Whenever I had a question about this or that issue I went straight to Sue. I'm sorry to see her go.

AND BILL DUNHAM has gone to his reward which, assuming he makes it out of purgatory, the poor guy will be eternally grilled about his frantic years as one of the key guys in the Fort Bragg Fires of '87 who, we discovered, was in thrall to the architects of its various schemes and sub-schemes. The bad guys had compromising stuff on Dunham, meaning he did as they told him to do. As manager of the Fort Bragg branch of the Savings Bank of Mendocino, Dunham, to put it gently, made a series of highly questionable loans to highly questionable people who just kept burning their properties down while they just kept on getting new mortgage money from ol' Bill down at the Savings Bank. At the time, the Mendocino Coast was like an open air crime lab, the combination of ocean air and white powders seeming to provide the energy for an array of white collar criminals, the whole mob of them secure in the knowledge that they had nothing to fear from possible prosecution from the 9-5 lawyers over the hill in Ukiah. One of the many ironies of that particular local crime wave was that the tiny Fort Bragg Police Department, under Chief Mayberry (the senior Mayberry), pretty much knew who had done what within a week of the Fires while the ATF and FBI bumbled around Fort Bragg for a month without finding out anything new. (The FBI hired the girlfriend of one of the major crooks to act as stenographer as they questioned locals; of course girlfriend ran straight to the perp with who was saying what to the feds at the end of her every work day.) This event still puts the fear into people more than three decades later, even people who were only peripherally involved. Dunham, incidentally, was finally fired by the Bank of Mendo when its execs in Ukiah belatedly figured out what was going on. BTW, and as I never tire of pointing out, the twenty-some boxes of evidence accumulated by all the police authorities, local, state and federal, have disappeared, last seen in the DA's office when Susan Massini was boss. Only in Mendo.

THE NEW YORKER has suspended writer and CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin for exposing himself during a work Zoom call. As an admirer of Toobin's work, I find it hard to believe this was anything but inadvertent, an accident. A person of his standing is hardly likely to engage in this kind of low rent pervery. But a lot of the Gotcha reporting on the episode is positively jubilant, compelling Toobin to apologize in a statement to Vice News, explaining that he thought he had turned his Zoom camera off. Not surprised that the chickenbleep New Yorker has suspended him.

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Logs In Coast River

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ARMED & DANGEROUS — CAPTURED

Original Post

Sheriff's Deputies responded to a violent assault in 19000 block of Babcock Lane in Fort Bragg.

A Reverse 911 has been broadcasted notifying residents to shelter in place.

Sheriff's Deputies and the Mendocino County Multi-Agency SWAT Team is in the area conducting an active search for Robert Brockway, who fled the scene on foot.

Robert Brockway

Brockway is a white male adult, standing 6 feet 1 inches tall, weighing 170 pounds, having brown eyes and brown hair. 

He was last seen wearing a blue tank top shirt and blue jeans.

Brockway is reportedly in possession of numerous knives and should be considered ARMED AND DANGEROUS.

If you know the potential whereabouts or current whereabouts of Robert Brockway then please call 911 to report that information.

Update

911 Dispatcher received call today (10-19-20) @ 1:30 PM and first Sheriff's Deputy arrived approximately 9 minutes after 911 call was received.

Update #2

Sheriff’s deputies have located Robert Brockway in the Fort Bragg area. He will be transported to the County Jail to be booked on murder charges. A formal press release with details of the incident will be released on Tuesday, Oct. 20, 2020, the delay due to other ongoing investigations. The Sheriff’s Office thanks the community for their support and cooperation during this public safety search. 

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NOYO HARBOR

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NOTES FROM POINT ARENA

by Debra Keipp

Last week, I listened with interest to Holly Madrigal’s KZYX interview with unopposed Point Arena City Council Candidate, Olivia Ford. One of the young candidate’s concerns was, “A major corporation is buying up Point Arena real estate.” Although Madrigal made no inquiry as to what corporation might be buying up Point Arena, are you aware of which corporation that might be, and why a corporation buying up Point Arena would be an issue? With 14 empty store fronts on Main Street, Point Arena looks awfully dismal these days. 

After I, for one, sat on the Point Arena City Council and voted on April 24, 2000, in favor (4 to 1) of a resolution to end Corporate Personhood in Point Arena, asking locals to NOT sell out to corporations; the first to sell out to a mega-cooperation in Point Arena, was the local pot dispensary, sold to international cannibus corporation, Flow Kana, which/who... 

(It is confusing, because ...is a corporation a “which” or a “who” when selecting restrictive qualifiers?) Oh, yes, ...the only difference being that humans eventually die for good… corporations, on the other hand, don’t have to eventually die, as dying is not good for business. Here’s a good website describing Corporate Personhood in Mendocino and America today: http://www.nancho.net/corperson/cparena.html

However, the other corporation which appears to be buying up great gobs of Point Arena is The Mormon Church of the Latter Day Saints, under the pseudonym, “610 Properties, LCC, (a self-described “real estate investment trust business” also listed as SixTen LCC). Representative of this corporation in Point Arena is Jeff Hansen.

https://kutv.com/news/local/mormonleaks-says-new-documents-link-lds-church-to-companies-worth-over-32-billion

Searches related to 610 Properties, llc holding company for the Mormon Church of Latter Day Saints reveal an estimated 32 billion dollars in LDS holdings across the U.S. 

Candidate Ford better do her homework, because when she’s voted in, unopposed, onto Council, (don’t vote for write-in candidate and Brown Act violator/conspirator, Eric Dahlhoff, who, in last week’s AVA, gave specific directions for voters on how to complete the ballot to write in his name. For some reason, he added in the letter to the AVA editor column that he promises to “be nice” while seated on Council, but like Trump, I wouldn’t trust Eric Dahlhoff any further than I could throw him. I’ve watched him “work it” up close and personal. Being nice is not in Dahlhoff’s nature, but violating Brown Act, always his first impulse.) … Ford will be sitting with Richie Wasserman, whom, even though he let his contractor’s license lapse years ago, woodworks as contractor for the Mormons at the Wildflower Boutique Motel, serving as planning intermediary to Richard Shoemaker, City Manager. Another conflict of interest, Richie works as City Councilman and Planner for the City of Point Arena (and as paid LAFCO rep for the City’s County seat on that board), as well as the Mormon Church. Formerly the Sea Shell Inn Motel, the Wildflower Boutique Motel finally opened for business after a renovation of several years. I wonder if Richie has recused himself on all City Council votes related to the old Sea Shell Inn.

Before an un-named source realized who she was dealing with, she was initially friendly with Richard Wasserman, and says she was in the presence of LAFCO rep, Wasserman, one day when Richie informed Jeff Hansen, of 610 Properties, LCC, that Richard Shoemaker, City Manager, sent word through Richie that it wasn’t the time presently for Mormon representative, Jeff Hansen to run for political office in Point Arena. Perhaps later… Richie Wasserman knows you have to get on City Council to reap the benefits of Brown Act Violations when conspiring to get building projects approved within the City of Point Arena. Wasserman’s been operating like that for years, having been Mayor several times, each time voted in by the old white powder population in Point Arena. It only takes less than 80 votes to win in the City of Point Arena! In fact, Richie Wasserman sat on Pt. Arena City Council with me in 2000 and also voted for the Corporate Personhood resolution, but backslides now ...for money.

Names of just a few of Point Arena’s homes and businesses purchased so far by the Mormon’s 610 Properties Corporation: Point Arena General Store; Shannon Hughs’ old Pangaea Restaurant next door to post office; a home and an empty corner lot on Scotts place; the low income multi-unit apartment housing off Port Road adjacent to the City Park; The old Sea Shell Inn Motel, which finally opened just recently after years of renovation to include the Easter Ridge Realty building next door; and Richie Wasserman sold them his four-plex apartments on Mill Street. In addition, Richie’s friend, Peter Reimuller, also sold his Abalone Arms Apartments to this Mormon corporation. These two predatory white men used to be self-proclaimed hippies, or so they say. So why sell out to a corporation so far to the right in their old age? Not an ethical backbone between them, maybe they want a ticket on that stairway to heaven, compliments of the Mormon church. 

Local renters whose rentals were purchased by SixTen corporation, have had to move because their paid rental rates were then increased incrementally, until they could no longer afford to live in their long-time homes. The Mormons then moved in their own renters, friends from their “corporation”. 

Point Arena has it’s own sewer plant installed circa 1984-85, and Bill Hay’s mother owned the water works before him. Having established sewer and water makes Point Arena a real “city”. However, Boonville hasn’t fared so well under thoughtless County supervision of Anderson Valley. There is no infrastructure in Anderson Valley and the sewer has infiltrated the subterranean ground water. Even the Boonville Hotel, touted, the “best water in Boonville” tested positive for coliform bacteria a few years ago. 

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DA DAVID EYSTER WRITES: 

Have others been noticing that the acorns started dropping earlier than normal this year and in greater numbers than the last few years? 

The acorns falling from the neighboring Valley oak are also larger than what I have seen in the last 10 years. 

Add to these observations that the squirrels are all over the place gathering up these monster acorns. I've been having to chase some of the more industrious furry intruders away from burying some of their booty in my front lawn.

That said, I believe a year with high yield or a bumper crop of acorns is botanically referred to as a "mast" year. 

And let's not overlook folklore, especially #15 and #19, on the Farmers' Almanac list of possible indicators of hard winter weather to come:

1. Thicker-Than-Normal Onions or Corn Husks.

2. Woodpeckers Sharing a Tree.

3. The Early Arrival of the Snowy Owl.

4. The Early Departure of Geese and Ducks.

5. The Early Migration of the Monarch Butterfly.

6. Thick Hair on the Nape of a Cow’s Neck.

7. Heavy and Numerous Fogs During August.

8. Raccoons With Thick Tails and Bright Bands.

9. Mice Chewing Furiously To Get Into Your Home.

10. The Early Arrival of Crickets on the Hearth.

11. Spiders Spinning Larger-Than-Usual Webs and Entering the House in Great Numbers.

12. Pigs Gathering Sticks.

13. Ants Marching in a Line Rather Than Meandering.

14. Early Seclusion of Bees Within the Hive.

15. Unusual Abundance of Acorns.

16. Muskrats Burrowing Holes High on the River Bank.

17. “See how high the hornet’s nest, ‘twill tell how high the snow will rest.”

18. The Size of the Orange Band on the Woolly Bear (or Woolly Worm) Caterpillar.

19. Squirrels Gathering Nuts Early to Fortify Against a Hard Winter.

20. Frequent Halos or Rings Around the Sun or Moon Forecasts Numerous Snowfalls. 

Before we complete our winter weather predictions, we probably will need some additional input from those who grow corn and/or onions, raise cows and/or pigs, have bee hives, keep track of neighborhood raccoons, and/or keep an close eye on crickets, hornets, ants, spiders, caterpillars and/or butterflies.

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CATCH OF THE DAY, October 19, 2020

Aguilar, Bodwin, Byrne

ANTHONY AGUILAR JR., Ukiah. Suspended license for reckless driving, paraphernalia, probation violation.

IVY BODWIN, Willits. Disorderly conduct-alcohol, paraphernalia, resisting. (Frequent flyer.)

KYLE BYRNE, Ukiah. DUI, suspended license, no license, probation revocation.

Gonzalez, Jones, Martinez, Padilla

LUIZ GONZALEZ JR., Ukiah. Stolen vehicle, controlled substance.

RYAN JONES, Ukiah. DUI.

BARTOLO MARTINEZ-CRUZ, Redwood Valley. DUI, no license.

ANTHONY PADILLA, Clearlake/Ukiah. Controlled substance/narcotic sale-transportation, paraphernalia, suspended license, false personation of another.

Semas, Skinner, Whetstone, Williams

BRANDON SEMAS, Eureka/Ukiah. DUI-alcohol&drugs, controlled substance without prescription.

JEREMY SKINNER, Ukiah. Trespassing, contempted of court, probation revocation.

MICHAEL WHETSTONE, Hopland. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.

INDUGO WILLIAMS, Ukiah. Parole violation.

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FOUR DAYS AGO, the New York Post published a bombshell report raising serious new questions about presidential candidate Joe Biden and his son Hunter's relationship with Ukranian energy company Burisma. The story, which made startling and apparently damning reading was based on a cache of emails and photos allegedly retrieved from Hunter Biden's laptop that he had left at a Delaware computer store. I have no idea if the report is entirely true, partly true, or completely untrue. But with my old newspaper editor hat on, I do know that the response from Joe Biden so far has done nothing to make me think it's false. Joe Biden wants to be President of the United States and the polls suggest he is now in a very commanding position to achieve that ambition. He has positioned himself as the good-guy candidate to repair America from the Trump presidency, a man who will restore trust, truth and transparency to the White House. But his behavior over this Burisma business continues to be anything but transparent. There has been no denial that the emails are genuine, and they raise legitimate questions of probity and honesty that anyone who wants to be President should answer. The longer Biden doesn't answer them properly, the more people will think there may be a fire raging beneath all the smoke. The Republicans will use it as a stick to constantly beat him with just as they used Whitewater against the Clintons, and just as the Democrats themselves used alleged Russian collusion against Trump. Sooner or later, the truth will out. 

— Piers Morgan

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Joss House Mendocino

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CHEVRON’S FIXER IN WORLD’S LARGEST OIL-RELATED ENVIRONMENTAL DISASTER Announces Presence In Local California Race

by Eva Chrysanthe Lagios

Alex Sharenko, who is challenging incumbent Cheryl Davila for the District 2 seat on Berkeley, California’s City Council, has announced on his campaign website an endorsement from Eric Mason, founder of the Mason Investigative Group (MIG), and resident of District 2.

Given the alarming accusations made by the Ecuadorian government against serial polluter Chevron and specifically its “investigative” contractor, Eric Mason, this seemed a curious endorsement for a self-proclaimed environmentalist candidate such as Sharenko to have accepted and publicized. 

And this unusual endorsement comes at a time when Chevron’s extreme harassment of environmental attorney Steven Donziger (harassment allegedly conducted via a quartet of investigative groups, including Eric Mason’s MIG) is garnering increasing protest and media attention.

Steven Donziger is the attorney who successfully sued Chevron on behalf of 30,000 Ecuadorians whose land had been poisoned by the oil giant, in what was considered the worst oil-related environmental disaster in history, often referred to as the “Amazon Chernobyl.” 

Although Chevron has admitted that it was dumped billions of gallons of toxic waste onto ancestral, indigenous lands, which resulted in mass deaths and cancers among Ecuadorian farmers and indigenous peoples, it has spent literally billions of dollars in legal fees to evade the judgment. It has good reason to try - Donziger’s historic, decades-long legal battle set a precedent for other indigenous groups to sue multinational corporations that poison their land and water.

But Chevron didn’t stop there. Chevron’s lawyers began a bizarre harassment of Donziger and, under the highly suspicious oversight of Clinton-appointed Judge Lewis A. Kaplan, Mr. Donziger has been placed under house arrest, an unprecedented step against an environmental attorney. In April, twenty-nine Nobel laureates signed a letter condemning what they described as “judicial harassment” of Donziger, but Kaplan has refused to release Donziger from house arrest. 

Beyond Chevron’s armies of lawyers, the energy behemoth commenced a series of dirty tricks worthy of the blundering right-wing hucksters at Project Veritas. And that appears to be where Mason Investigative Group entered the scene.

In 2009, Ecuador’s government accused Eric Mason’s MIG of assisting “American businessman” Wayne Hansen to escape prosecution by Ecuador. Contrary to Chevron’s assertion of stolid business credentials, Hansen was in reality a convicted felon hired by Chevron to manufacture evidence that the judge involved in the case was corrupt. (How Chevron came to employ Mr. Hansen is a question Eric Mason might answer, as the available email correspondence from Mr. Hansen to Eric implies a cozy familiarity.) 

Helping a client’s ex-con employee flee the country isn’t your usual “investigative” service. When Eric Mason advertised MIG’s “discreet services”, what he might have meant is “occasionally illegal services for the right price.”

Despite the ensuing court battle between Chevron and the Ecuadorian government over Eric Mason’s emails and other communications, Chevron allegedly continued to pay “investigators”, including Eric Mason’s group, to harass Steven Donziger and other legal counsel for the Ecuadorian victims of Chevron’s record-shattering environmental disaster. 

If that is true, what specific role did Eric Mason play in the targeted harassment of Steven Donziger? Is Eric Mason’s MIG still under contract with Chevron? 

Eric Mason wasn’t always accused of such unusual activities. He got his first big break as an investigator in the early 1990’s, doing more standard fare: digging up compromising information about the families of Michael Jackson’s sexual abuse victims. This “dirty work” won Eric valuable mentions in the Los Angeles Times and helped him build his own business.

The investigative work of discrediting the victims of rape and sexual abuse is entirely legal, and highly profitable. But when the cash and power differential is so vast between the defense team, which can hire costly investigators like Eric Mason, and the accuser, who often has no resources, it is clearly unethical. This reality is all the more clear in the wake of the recent documentaries about the Michael Jackson abuse victims.

Much of the secretive activity of Eric’s “investigative” group has been fiercely protected by powerful law firms which contract him, and by Chevron, the multi-billion dollar corporation which hired MIG to “investigate” and allegedly to act as a fixer. It would be grossly unfair to Eric Mason to assume that anyone would behave more ethically when one’s communications have the “protection” of a corporation like Chevron, which has paid Mason’s and Hansen’s legal fees. On September 25, 2012, the Amazon Defense Coalition reported on Chevron’s protection of MIG’s correspondence: 

“A US federal judge in San Francisco is inexplicably delaying the release of documents that would shed light on Chevron’s extensive misconduct in judicial proceedings in Ecuador where it recently was hit with a $19 billion judgment for dumping toxic waste into the Amazon rainforest. More than a year has passed since Federal Magistrate Judge Nathanael Cousins was asked by rainforest villagers in Ecuador’s rainforest to force Chevron and the Mason Investigative Group to releases hundreds of pages of material related to a scheme to bribe an Ecuadorian judge and undermine the court process there, said Karen Hinton, the US spokesperson for the Ecuadorians.”

Prior to writing this, I reached out to Eric Mason, with whom I had a long if not particularly close friendship, but have not heard back. I am aware that Eric is likely bound by an NDA with Chevron and other parties, so I have tried to be as generous as possible - both to Eric Mason and to the seriousness of the accusations and the damage to innocent Ecuadorian farmers and indigenous groups - in what I relate.

But the available record about Chevron and MIG should raise questions about Sharenko’s willingness to accept an endorsement from Eric Mason. 

Why does Sharenko covet the endorsement of an investigator with a history as Chevron’s fixer in the landmark Ecuadorian suit? What might that signal about Sharenko’s actual backers? 

And what does Eric Mason, an individual who doesn’t shirk at “dirty deeds” for powerful people and even more powerful corporations, hope to gain from his endorsement of Sharenko? How would Eric Mason’s interests, and the interests of the corporations that pay him, be served should Sharenko win?

An April 2019 bid by MIG to the Oakland Police Commission for investigative work suggests Eric may be hoping to be rewarded with something as simple as a future contract with a similar agency within the City of Berkeley. (Unsurprisingly, in the Oakland bid, he does not list Chevron or Michael Jackson among his past clients.) Toward that end, he might be offering Sharenko pro bono investigative services during the campaign. 

Beyond that, we need to examine the nature of “investigative” groups such as MIG, and why they are permitted to function as apparatchiks for behemoth corporations at the expense of innocent people. What role have “investigative groups” played in thwarting justice - whether environmental justice (as in MIG’s work for Chevron) or justice for the victims of sexual abuse (e.g., MIG’s work for Michael Jackson)? 

But until then, if you have a controversial past as a rape “investigator” for celebrity legal defense teams, and as alleged fixer on Chevron’s infamous Ecuadorian defense, and as alleged harasser of the Ecuadorian victims’ attorney, as Eric Mason does, your endorsement of a candidate in a local council race should alarm voters because it signals that hardball intimidation and harassment are viewed as acceptable by that candidate. 

If Sharenko had not been so brazen as to announce gun-for-hire Eric Mason’s endorsement, we wouldn’t have known to ask: What moneyed interests are currently paying Mason to insert himself into local politics, and what do they hope to gain if Sharenko wins?

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ON LINE COMMENTS OF THE WEEK

 [1] INTERDICTION RESUMING? Watch out everybody they’re really poking around a lot. Saw three other people pulled over today in the 101 Willits corridor. By Fish and Game at one of 'em. Vehicles open, contents shifted about, folks out of the car. 2 trucks. 1 car. Anybody waiting on a call, a visitor or box that's overdue. Heads up. (A second comment: Ah Laytonville through Ukiah, the good ol' gauntlet, drug profiling at its best.

[2] RE SATURDAY'S WOMEN'S MARCH IN GARBERVILLE: Garberville is no place to demonstrate that you want abortion legal, and, your local Healthcare organization, Southern Humboldt Community Hospital District, is strictly opposed to allowing or providing reproductive freedom, women’s health, or (don’t say the word) abortion.

SHCHD hates women, oddly, because SHCHD preferentially hires women, since women accept more abuse and will work for less money. SHCHD lacks diversity in hiring, discriminates against men, elders, persons of color, and persons with experience.

SHCHD in particular, and Garberville in general, regards women as a cheap labor source, a captive audience of patients, and, second class citizens.

Joe Biden and Donald Trump both feel that women are a convenience, that women’s bodies are for the pleasure of men, and that women are breeding animals, with few rights.

Both candidates would be happy to take away women’s right to vote, women’s right to reproductive freedom and reproductive health, and, in Garberville, men would prefer you barefoot and pregnant, bound and gagged.

Nice effort, by local women. I wonder if they fully understand the environment they are protesting, the situation that Humboldt County women exist within. I would have expected massive protest against Amy Barrett’s ascension to the Supreme Court, which I regard as a huge deception, and a definite step towards taking away women’s rights.

Women are witnessing the repeal of Feminism, the withdrawal of women’s rights and reproductive freedom, by a very screwed up President! Don’t start thinking that Biden is any better, since he is also a proven abuser of women…

[3] Women adopting double barreled married names is an affliction, a standard feature of feminist dumbness and inconvenience.

What happens in the next generations when smith-jones marries campbell-graham?

And in the next generation after that a four barreled name marries another four barreled name?

Stupid. And worsened by the trend of giving children as first names what were formerly – except among wasps announcing their pedigrees – surnames. So now it is boys called MacArthur and girls called Madison. Why the fuck?

And let’s compound that absurdity with people demanding bespoke pronunciations for otherwise perfectly standard names:

My brother taking me aside, “It is spelled Anna but she pronounces it Arna.”

Well, she may but I won’t. For me from now on she can be “Hey, you!”

These tidal waves of madness are apparently made up of millions of drops of idiocy.

[4] Thank God the election is in three weeks. Nobody knows what will happen after that. Here are some possibilities:

1. The Dems win the White House and the Senate, thus controlling everything. Look for a lot of crazy Dem political shenanigans. The Supreme Court gets packed with Dem lawyers. The Barr-Durham (B-D) Investigations get shut down.

2. The Dems win either the White House or Congress, but not both. Bi-partisan fighting insures nothing gets done.

3. Trump wins and Republicans re-capture the House and keep the Senate. Finally, we’ll see the real Trump. The Supreme Court remains conservative. B-D investigations continue and the seditionists get what’s coming to them.

4. The Republicans win the presidency or Congress, but not both. The same results as #2.

5. A Black Swan event or events occur. Many possibilities. Use your imagination.

[5] All people of good conscience must reject the currently promoted racist dogma of white shame, blame, guilt, and punishment (via reparations). This violates the American and Enlightenment principle that all people are individuals who bear responsibility for their own actions, not those of their ancestors or relatives. There are places on earth where tribal collective guilt and vengeance is practiced. The results are not good. Rwanda and Yugoslavia come to mind. One sees a common thread in the rhetoric of demagogues like Milosovic or Hitler. Tell your people they are victims, they’ve been cruelly and unjustly treated by those people over there – those others. Oh, but now it’s our turn to get even, to do to them what they did to us. So what if 200 years have passed; feel the pain like it happened today. It’s a small step from anti-white racism to singling out Jews as the focus of the problem. Many in the black community already preach and believe that Jews were the financiers of slavery, the ship captains, the plantation owners. The extent of those “facts” are disputed. But facts matter less and less in our info age. People believe what satisfies them, what feeds their hate. In short, I’m saying we must stop the insanity of tribalizing American society. Treat people as individuals. Wasn’t that the original goal of the civil rights movement, which has now evolved into a bizarre agenda of grabbing freebies and cultivating righteous hatred.. 

[6] What was Crazy Joe and his boy up to in those foreign climes? What normally attracts the attention of normally attentive people is the exchange of a lot of money with an unreasonable justification behind it. If you say that someone spent hundreds of thousands for a piece of construction equipment, and the buyer is a construction company operator, then such a transaction makes sense on the face of it. But when money exchanges hands, when a LOT of money exchanges hands, with flimsy-looking pretexts, then it’s natural to wonder wtf is going on, especially when the payor is domiciled in a notoriously corrupt regime and when the payee was a drug-taking, booze swilling ne-er-do-well, whose Daddy happens to have been Veep of the US of A. Is there a national interest in knowing all about this? Of course there is. What was the quid pro quo? What was Joe expected to do in return for this apparent largesse? 

[7] Regarding co-morbidities and COVID:

Everyone has some body part that doesn’t work perfectly or has some functional weakness. That’s why we don’t live forever. Many of these imperfections are at a very subclinical level, so a person can live a full lifespan without any symptoms. But eventually that imperfection gets you.

COVID-19 is very good at attacking weaknesses and exacerbating them. In effect, everyone has co-morbidities. The average person has a healthy enough immune system such that the virus doesn’t get enough of a foothold to affect the inherent weakness. That’s why many victims only just don’t feel well as their symptom, or are asymptomatic.

Others, however, have obvious malfunctions. These people are the ones who get permanent organ damage or die. They suffer from diabetes or asthma or some such. Old persons especially have more malfunctions and/or obvious co-morbidities, so they die at a higher rate than apparently more healthy, younger people.

Just because you aren’t sickly or old, you still have major susceptibility to the virus. All the figures aren’t in yet because this disease has only affected humans for a year or so. People now 21 or 22, like college students may be asymptomatic or only get the sniffles, but remember, symptoms aren’t the disease itself. The virus may do a lot of subclinical damage to vital functions that aren’t yet detectable. Years later, a 55 year old man dies of kidney disease, never realizing his kidneys sustained subclinical damage 30 years earlier.

My point is that it is unwise, even foolhardy to minimize concern over catching Covid. As a matter of fact, other illnesses and infections may also affect the human body subclinically and cause an earlier death later in life; thus it is important to try to avoid close contact with sick people as much as possible.

[8] One of the biggest factors other than very old age is obesity. People who are obese tend to get much sicker at any age than others unless you have kidney disease or heart disease. I am 71 and have 25% lung capacity and asthma. The first time I got it was in February and didn’t realize it was covid until about a week later when the pandemic response team was in front of my building. I had all the symptoms but I was barely sick. I had very mild symptoms. I am just getting over it for the second time because I have so much trouble wearing a mask that I keep having to pull it off. The second time I got it was milder than the first time. My doctor has had me on Vitamin D and aspirin for a few years but both doctors stressed both Vitamin D and especially aspirin for Covid because this is not a lung disease it is a vascular disease. We don’t know whether this has long term effects. Herpes and Aids stay in your body. Everyone should be taking vitamin D and aspirin. People who are obese should be very careful about wearing masks and social distancing. Look what happened in the rose garden. Lots of people tested positive but the only two that had to go to the hospital were Trump and Cristy. both obese. And because of who they are they got the best medical care available.

ON LINE QUESTION of the week: "Out of all the crackheads in the world that Burisma could have hired for $186,000 per month, why did the most corrupt corporation in the Ukraine choose the vice president's son?"

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* * *

AMERICAN GOTHIC HORROR

by James Kunstler

That something wicked we spoke of coming our way…? Well, it came. Now we know why Nancy Pelosi has been running around in a fright mask with her hair on fire, and it’s not just a ghoulish anticipation of Halloween. Her Democratic Party is in extremis. It is shot through with the cancer of falsehood and the wormholes of crime, acquired through decades of playing fast and loose with the machinery of government. Nancy has been informed and she remains stuck in the rage stage of the grief cycle. Somebody sent her a copy of that hard-drive. The thing she feared would not end well is actually turning out worse than she thought.

I have a theory about Joe Biden: He didn’t want to run for president. Not one eensy-weensy bit. He wanted a nice, quiet retirement with his fat government pension plus sundry millions that had somehow found its way into his bank account over the years. He had a fabulous $16-million gentleman’s estate to gambol upon with his beloved grandchildren. The developing brain-fog was actually a comfort, allowing him to forget the rigors of public service and all the tedious gathering of… honoraria, shall we say. But then they came for him…!

The Party called. Rather specifically, his old Kemosabe, Barack Obama, called him in for that ominous sit-down and gave him the bad news: Joe, you’ve gotta run. Bernie, Liz, and the rest of those bozos, they won’t keep a lid on it. You’re in this thing as deep as we are and it’s getting a little hairy. You’ve got to do it for the sake of the party, and all our… friends….

And so, Joe Biden was shanghaied into running for president. He was given a bodyguard of news media, including those crucial new additions, the social media, Twitter and Facebook, where, increasingly, information was hubbed for transmission among the voters. They would protect him infallibly from any damaging narratives. In fact, they would generate powerful counter-narratives to keep their adversaries off-balance. If Joe could just roll with it until November 3rd, they could lay all their… problems… to rest, bury all that annoying insinuendo about the hobgoblin Deep State (ha!), and finally breathe easy.

And so, trailing rather pathetically in the primary elections after being dubbed an old racist by his opponents, and drubbed in Iowa and New Hampshire, Joe somehow managed to sweep the table on Super Tuesday — apparently due to the single, magical endorsement of one congressman James Clyburn (SC, 6th District), a narrative that was swallowed like a May River oyster by the credulous all over the land. And thus anointed, Joe retreated to his fabled basement for the whole election season, venturing intermittently into empty parking lots and airplane hangars to offer proof-of-life while a polling disinfo campaign by his media bodyguard vouchsafed his inevitable victory. Looked like a sure thing in September… pack up all my cares and woe… and so forth….

And then, something broke. Well, some news, actually, a wonder considering the Democratic tank that The New York Times, The WashPo, CNN, MSNBC, and all the rest had jumped in. Long about mid 2019, some jamoke in the jamoke state of Delaware got possession of some laptop computers brought in for servicing on account of water damage — like, what??? They fell into a hot tub??? Anyway, the customer, one R. Hunter Biden, never retrieved (or paid for) the computers which, under Delaware law and the service agreement of the computer repair shop, became the property of said repair shop and its jamoke proprietor, one John Paul Mac Issac. Mr. Mac Issac had a peek inside one of them that still worked — now legally his property — and, lo and behold, he noticed some familiar names among the emails along with an impressive video of the laptop’s owner using drugs while cavorting with a naked woman.

Mr. Mac Issac contacted the FBI. At first, they brushed him off, but then, weeks later, showed up with a subpoena for the computer and seized it. Impeachment season was upon us! CIA agent Eric Ciaramella, advised by fellow NSC member Col. Alexander Vindman, had cooked up a “whistleblower” complaint for crusading congressman and RussiaGate impresario Adam Schiff (D-CA), and the game was on! Mr. Mac Issac apparently followed the impeachment soap opera on the airwaves. The proceedings included no mention of the laptop and the information, or, shall we say, the evidence, it contained. He began to grok the significance of the material dumped in his lap by this wayward customer, R. Hunter Biden, and began to wonder how come the FBI was just sitting on all that. You’d think the FBI would have turned it over to the president’s lawyers since it amounted to what might be construed as exculpatory evidence of a high order. Or that FBI Director Christopher Wray might have apprised Attorney General William Barr of the laptop’s existence. In any event, the President’s lawyers made their case against impeachment without it. Weird, a little bit.

So, more time went by and Mr. Mac Issac grew a little suspicious, a little impatient. The FBI would not deign to return his phone calls. A fastidious fellow, he had made a copy of the laptop’s hard-drive. So, he up and handed another copy over to Rudy Giuliani, a former federal prosecutor of some renown, and one of President Donald Trump’s lawyers. Mr. Giuliani easily recognized what was in there: a detailed map of the Biden family’s world-wide grifting operations, plus graphic evidence of R. Hunter Biden’s moral depravity. Which brings us up to date… almost.

The bodyguard of news media protection was breaking under the weight of all that bad faith, perfidy, hypocrisy, lying, money-grubbing, and depravity. The story of the Biden family’s gothic doings was loose in the land despite every strenuous effort to suppress it, and now the suppressors were starting to look really bad… so bad that Twitter founder Jack Dorsey was about to be hauled into the Senate Judiciary Committee for some ‘splainin’ — that is, a gentle reminder that he is not the Master of the Universe he bethinks himself to be, but rather a member of a society based on rules, traditions, and a consensual understanding of decent behavior.

That’s only the beginning of where all this goes. Other leaks are springing in the great Democratic dike, and they are short of Little Dutch boy volunteers who can plug the holes holding back a cold sea of infamy. There is, for instance, the fabled Anthony Weiner laptop, yes, the one that was seized in 2016 as part of the Hillary Clinton email probe. It somehow ended up in the possession of the New York City Police Department. Turns out it contains 340,000 emails between Hillary and her top aide of twenty years, Huma Abedin, wife of disgraced congressman Anthony Weiner. Trouble is, Mr. Weiner had no security clearance and it was, after all, his laptop. Rumor is that Ms. Abedin is now talking to prosecutors. Will that be consequential?

Also turns out one Bevan Cooney, a former business associate of R. Hunter Biden, who is cooling his heels in a federal slammer for a securities fraud conspiracy, was pissed-off enough at being left holding the bag that he gave his email account and password to investigative reporter Peter Schweizer, author of Clinton Cash and Profiles in Corruption, who is now poring over the 26,000 emails exchanged between the various business partners. Wait for it….

Also turns out that Devon Archer, another R. Hunter Biden partner, and fellow Burisma Board member, just had his conviction re-instated in the same securities fraud case that Mr. Cooney was convicted in, and Mr. Archer faces up to ten years’ time on his charges — an incentive, perhaps, to make a deal for information about his storied career with R. Hunter Biden in exchange for a reduced sentence.

The Biden campaign announced on Sunday that it was “putting a lid” on the candidate’s activities for the week so that he can study up for the final “debate” with President Trump. I suspect there’s a whole lot more than that going on in the basement, namely, discussions of how Mr. Biden might still gracefully withdraw from the race. Let’s face it, he’s barely been going through the motions for the past three months. Joe Biden is a dead man walking. If he stays in, the Democratic party is finished. Nancy Pelosi can stop worrying about getting her hair done. It will be burnt off entirely.

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

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* * *

ABBIE HOFFMAN: THE MAN AT THE GATE

by Lawrence Reichard

Netflix has a new film out entitled “The Trial of The Chicago 7.” It’s quite good, and it reminded me of one of my childhood heroes, Abbie Hoffman, and an odd little encounter I had at Logan airport in Boston in the early seventies.

Abbie Hoffman was a co-founder of the Youth International Party – or Yippies – whose semi-serious political antics dotted the political landscape of the sixties.

And Hoffman was a co-defendant in the Chicago 7 trial, one of the most important political trials of the sixties. Originally there were eight defendants, but Black Panther Bobby Seale’s trial was severed after Seale repeatedly disrupted proceedings when he wasn’t allowed to choose his own lawyer, and after he was bound to a chair and gagged in the courtroom.

The defendants all faced serious charges, but that didn’t stop Hoffman. Early in the trial, when Judge Julius Hoffman said of Abbie Hoffman, “He is not my son,” Abbie Hoffman immediately called out, “Dad, Dad, have you forsaken me?”

Chicago Mayor Richard Daly and his police had instigated a blood-soaked police riot outside the 1968 Democratic Party convention. On foot and on horse, Daly’s cops waded through throngs of youth with billy clubs flailing away, smashing heads – a real police riot. And these weren’t just any youth. They were children of the middle class, and they were there not just to protest the Vietnam War, but to stop it dead in its tracks, to shut it down.

America was at war with itself. Five months earlier, the anti-war movement had essentially ousted President Johnson from the White House. This was serious, play-for-keeps politics. This was serious business. The Chicago 7 were charged with inciting and conspiracy to riot – for a riot of the cops’ making. Hoffman and four others were convicted and sentenced to five years and $5,000 fines, but their convictions were overturned on appeal.

But Abbie Hoffman wasn’t just an activist. He was a political prankster and a showman, and he was one of my childhood heroes. Hoffman took his politics seriously, but he also believed in having fun, and I liked that combination.

In 1974 Hoffman went underground to avoid facing charges for intent to sell and distribute cocaine, a charge Hoffman said was fabricated. Later on, NBA Hall of Famer Bill Walton said of Hoffman, “Abbie was not a fugitive from justice. Justice was a fugitive from him.”

Hoffman remained underground until 1980, and it was during this time that I had an odd little encounter at Logan Airport in Boston.

I was 15 at the time, and I was traveling home to Charlotte, North Carolina after a visit with my mother in Maine. I had long hair, and my hair was as unkempt as my clothes. I was waiting for my connecting flight when I fell into conversation with a man in a waiting area. He was an ordinary-looking man, nothing unusual, and we somehow discovered we had kindred politics.

“You ever heard of Abbie Hoffman?” the man asked me.

“Yeah, sure, I’ve heard of him. I love Abbie Hoffman. I’ve got his book ‘Steal This Book.'” That book was like a bible for me. It told how to live on next to nothing so one could dedicate all of one’s energy to revolution. I liked that.

“Cool,” the man said. “Well, I’ve got an idea. Let’s page Abbie Hoffman to come to Gate 5, right over there. Then we’ll go over there, hang out around the corner and see whether the cops show up.”

So we did. And no cops showed up, which was pretty amusing considering Hoffman was on the FBI’s most wanted list at the time.

Eventually the man and I parted company, he to his flight and me to mine, and it never occurred to me until years later that that might have been Abbie Hoffman who suggested that merry little prank to that 15-year-old hippy kid. To do that would have completely fit with Hoffman’s personality and style.

In fact, Hoffman’s entire six years underground were like one long game of calling the cops to Gate 5, and not once in all those years did the cops ever show up. Hoffman got plastic surgery, but other than that he hid right out in the open. He adopted the tongue-in-cheek name of Barry Freed and moved to New York’s Thousand Islands, in the St. Lawrence Seaway. There he fought a successful years-long battle against a plan to expand the shipping infrastructure of the St. Lawrence Seaway, a major economic artery for the entire midwest. The expansion project threatened the low-lying Thousand Islands that had become Hoffman’s home.

Hoffman came out of hiding and surrendered in 1980, and it was a spectacular embarrassment for the chronically inept FBI when it came out that through much of his years underground Hoffman had been a prominent activist and spokesperson for the Thousand Islands fight. He had traveled about and spoken publicly, and had even testified before Congress about the proposed St. Lawrence Seaway expansion and the damage it would wreak.

The FBI has always been much better at political spite than fighting actual crime, and it’s hard to imagine the Bureau wasn’t quite keen to have the book thrown at this commie bastard that had embarrassed The Bureau. The FBI file on Hoffman, who was never accused of laying a finger on anyone, ran to 13,262 pages – which says a lot more about the FBI than Hoffman.

Hoffman pled guilty to the cocaine charges, apologized to the court for his errant ways and threw himself at the mercy of the court. He was sentenced to a relatively lenient one year, and Hoffman, in true form, immediately held an impromptu press conference on the courthouse steps and told the world he apologized for nothing and had basically just conned and suckered the court. I was in love all over again. That was a man after my heart.

But life was not all fun and games for Hoffman. He was bipolar, and if the band Steppenwolf was born to be wild, Abbie Hoffman was born to be young. He didn’t take well to middle age. Though a prankster at heart, he was also a revolutionary. He believed in revolution and he believed revolution was happening right then, in real time. He grew despondent over young people losing interest in revolution after the Vietnam War and Richard Nixon’s reign ended. Though there continued to be important and dynamic leftist and radical political movements, those movements never had the possibility of societal transformation that the movement against the war in Southeast Asia had. That can be a rough landing.

And so he sank down, as the bipolar sometimes do. And in 1989, Hoffman took an estimated 150 phenobarbital and ended his life at the age of 52. Or allegedly did. Some dispute the official account and say Hoffman would never have taken his own life. Interestingly, in his latter days Hoffman toured about and lectured, often on CIA wrongdoings, and particularly on alleged CIA assassinations disguised as suicides.

Fellow Chicago 7 co-defendant and famed long-time radical activist Dave Dellinger said he was in fairly frequent contact with Hoffman and that Hoffman had told him he had numerous plans for the future. Well, maybe there was foul play, but sometimes the bipolar have no shortage of future plans.

RIP, Abbie. I miss you. But I’ll see you in heaven. At Gate 5.

(Lawrence Reichard lives in Belfast, Maine, and can be reached at thedeftpen@gmail.com. Courtesy, CounterPunch.org.)

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Demolished housing, Wallsend, 1977

From ‘The Last Ships’ a photo collection by the recently deceased British photograph Chris Killip featuring over 30 black and white images documenting the rise and fall of the shipbuilding trade in the North East of England in the 1970s. 

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WHY A FORMER GREEN PARTY CANDIDATE IS ON A VERY LONG FAST — Urging Progressives to Vote for Biden to Defeat Trump

by Norman Solomon

In ordinary times, Ted Glick would hardly be someone you’d expect to hear urging fellow progressives to vote for the Democratic Party’s presidential nominee.

During the first 18 years of this century, Glick was an active member of the Green Party. He ran for the U.S. Senate as the Green Party’s nominee in New Jersey and put in a long stint co-chairing a local branch of the party. In fact, he recalls, “I have been a member of organizations working to build a political alternative to the Democrats and Republicans since 1975.”

Now, Glick is more than two weeks into a water-and-vitamins-only fast that he plans to continue until voting ends on November 3. As a headline says over his daily postings, it’s all about “Fasting to Defeat Trump.”

Glick told me that he thinks “a very large number of people on the left who supported Bernie Sanders or Elizabeth Warren have come around to an understanding that Trump and his accomplices are such a dire threat to any hope of forward progress in this country” -- understanding that leads to voting for Biden. In the process, progressives “could play a decisive role where the vote is very close” in swing states.

Why the 30-day fast? The purpose, Glick says, is “to encourage Americans who are still unsure about the importance of voting, or unsure about the importance of voting to remove Trump from office, to consider seriously how critical it is for the world that Trump be defeated.”

Going into his fast, Glick wrote: “I’m doing this because I think that Trump’s re-election represents a huge threat to the world’s already-disrupted ecosystems, people of color and low-income people, our struggling democracy and just about everything else that is important to decent people. I feel the need to do all I can to help generate the massive voter turnout essential to ensure that he and many of his Republican accomplices are defeated. Our situation is urgent, and I feel the need to respond accordingly.”

I asked Glick about the role of today’s Green Party, which is actively seeking votes for its presidential candidate Howie Hawkins -- even in some of the most tightly contested battleground states, where a small number of votes could make the difference between whether Trump wins or loses. “I appreciate why people join it and work for an alternative to the two corporate-dominated parties,” Glick replied. “But their electoral strategy of always running someone for president has alienated large numbers of people who agree with their principles and program.”

After devoting nearly two decades of his activist life to the Green Party, Glick was cogent and clear: “They have shrunk significantly over the last 15 years as far as the number of Green Party members elected to local office. On its own terms, this always-run-for-president strategy is a big loser. And this year it’s particularly problematic because of the necessity of removing Trump. I urge Green Party members in battleground states to do the right thing and vote not for Hawkins but for Biden.”

(Norman Solomon is the national director of RootsAction.org and the author of many books including “War Made Easy: How Presidents and Pundits Keep Spinning Us to Death.” He was a Bernie Sanders delegate from California for the 2020 Democratic National Convention.)

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GRAB ‘N’ GO – USE ONLINE RESOURCES, THEN DITCH THE SCREEN

Mendocino County Office of Education: A Perspective on Education

by Michelle Hutchins, County Superintendent of Schools

A year ago, none of us could have imagined that so much of our education system, let alone our economy, would depend on video conferencing, but here we are. Whether it’s Zoom or Google Meet, many of us are glued to a screen much of the day. 

As challenging as meetings can be, I believe no one has a bigger challenge than teachers who are tasked with trying to keep the attention of dozens of students who, with brains still under development, have a limited ability to concentrate for extended periods under the best of circumstances—and clearly, these are not the best of circumstances. With distractions that include everything from family members walking into the room to cell phones notifying students of their friends’ latest posts, it’s no wonder they struggle to stay focused. 

Not only are teachers competing with all sorts of distractions, they also have to develop new ways to teach. This is where many teachers shine. As often happens in a crisis, people find creative solutions to problems. Just check out Mr. Melville’s Monitor Mirror video (youtube.com/watch?v=MY5p0GqH_qA) on YouTube.

Online Resources

At the Mendocino County Office of Education, we’ve provided teachers and other educators with online resources and best practices. Since we aren’t the only ones in need of this information, allow me to share some resources with all of you. 

For Distance Learning resources in English, visit www.mcoe.us/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/Distance-Learning-Resource-MCOE.pdf. 

For Distance Learning resources in Spanish, visit www.mcoe.us/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/Distance-Learning-Resource-MCOE-Spanish-FINAL-1.pdf 

In addition, here are some read-aloud video resources. 

  • StorylineOnline - Streamed videos featuring celebrated actors reading children’s books. Each title includes lessons resources.
  • Common Sense Media - 25 podcasts for kids are available.
  • Kid Lit TV - Read alouds for kids.
  • Puffin Books - a wide range of videos and some read by authors or celebrities.
  • Story Time for Children - Wide range of stories developed by Toddler Fun and Ladybird Books for children of all ages.
  • Kid Time Story Time - Read alouds with puppets focused on mindfulness and social emotional awareness.
  • Teaching Books - An engaging collection of resources that brings books to life.
  • The Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrator's (SCBWI) Digital remote learning resources.

Zoom Fatigue

Although there are wonderful resources online, it is important to get away from the screen when you can, especially video chats. According to University of Kansas professor Jeffrey Hall, the author of Relating Through Technology, Zoom fatigue is real. 

“Zoom is exhausting and lonely because you have to be so much more attentive and so much more aware of what’s going on than you do on phone calls,” he says. Not only are you paying attention to other meeting participants, but when your own camera is turned on, you are also watching yourself speak, which can be unsettling. He says older technology such as phone calls are less demanding. “You can be in your own space. You can take a walk, make dinner.” 

Online Mental Health Resources For Families

If you’re concerned about your child’s or student’s mental health, check out the Child Mind Institute (childmind.org). It includes resources addressing children’s mental health and learning challenges with the goal of empowering parents and teachers to make data-based decisions. 

If you’re looking for fun activities for kids, here are some ideas:

  • Take a hike.
  • Make a big pot of chili or bake a cake.
  • Carve pumpkins.
  • Write and share gratitude lists.
  • Do a scavenger hunt.
  • Picnic at the ocean.
  • Decorate your house for Halloween.

Helping kids focus on the positive things in their lives can alleviate some of the tough parts of living through a pandemic. 

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FOUND OBJECT

19 Comments

  1. Douglas Coulter October 20, 2020

    The Russians are coming?
    Imagine a different history!
    Russia the king of world fir trade discovered the sea otter in Alaska and down to Ft Ross. In China a Russian sailor got 1 years wages for a single otter skin.
    Now imagine, an exploring Russian heads into Yuba River area and discovers gold laying everywhere, say 1789 or even earlier. Massive Russian expeditions to fund and control this discovery. A trans Siberia Railroad by 1830? Major ports on Russia’s Pacific coast. Some great statesmen meet with America’s plains Indians and offer them quality weapons to keep America East of Mississippi River? Some leader who can convince Souix and Crow and Commanche all the way down to Navajo and Apache that America was intent on killing them all.
    Someone who strikes a deal with John Colter to contract firs in Rocky Mt in exchange for maps of Louisana Purchase. Plains Indians get all lands West of Rocky Mt in exchange for cannons and all the weapons they want. America, bogged down in Civil War without the wealth of California Gold?
    A Russia with wealth to push Europe back a few paces?
    America made it a hanging offence to give weapons to natives
    America killed the buffalo primarily to starve the plains Indian
    America committed the most careful genocide in world history
    One nation under god?
    Russia gave up California a few years before gold was discovered.

    • Harvey Reading October 21, 2020

      Was that before or after fur trees were discovered?

      • Douglas Coulter October 21, 2020

        Douglas Fir is on my face but I can’t find a market for it

        • Harvey Reading October 21, 2020

          Not surprising.

    • Bruce McEwen October 21, 2020

      “I have been called a pioneer, much to my disgust. To me a pioneer is someone kills off all the local inhabitants and game, cuts down all the trees, and strings ten million miles of barbwire. I wish this place [Montana] was still like it was when I first saw it and all you ‘pioneeers’ were in the sea and drowned.”

      — Charles M. Russell

  2. George Hollister October 20, 2020

    The fire at Mendo High was the burning of the old gym building.

  3. Kirk Vodopals October 20, 2020

    RE: winter… saw two vivacious woodpeckers yesterday, not on the same tree. drove home at night and saw three young racoons in the same tree. corn harvest was bad, but neighbors looked good. onions seemed “normal”. been seeing lots of butterflies. my honey bees seem to be sitting tight and well stocked with honey. haven’t seen many caterpillars lately. acorns don’t seem very abundant around the trees, but my kids constantly bring them into the house. mice haven’t been invading yet. sum it all up… crapshoot. we just need some ever-loving rain… lots of it fast, please. btw, today is my birthday. tomorrow is my wife’s.

    • Bruce Anderson October 20, 2020

      Happy birthday to the botha yez

  4. Bruce McEwen October 20, 2020

    FOUND OBJECT:

    “They Feed, They Lion”

    Poem by Philip Levine

    • Bruce McEwen October 20, 2020

      *I posted this for that old seadog and poet, Mr. Coulter — I’m too ignorant of computer maneuvers to provide the link, but any fool can goggle it and read the poem.

      • Douglas Coulter October 20, 2020

        Looks like a peaceful place, Beirut perhaps?
        October 23 is close when 241 Americans died peacefully at the hands of Ronald Reagan and General Kelly 1983.
        435 murdered 82-84 as Ronny tried to manufacture a war
        VA calls Beirut peace time duty
        I will float my Beirut banner this week in Ukiah

  5. Lazarus October 20, 2020

    Found Object

    NEVER FORGET…

    Be Safe,
    Laz

  6. chuck dunbar October 20, 2020

    NICE TO KNOW

    “BRASILIA, Brazil — Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro endorsed his U.S. counterpart Donald Trump on Tuesday, adding his name to a list of foreign leaders who have given their support to Trump’s reelection campaign.” (From Politico)

  7. Harvey Reading October 20, 2020

    TRACKING EACH STATE’S PROGRESS AGAINST COVID-19

    Aint we a brilliant bunch? More like 330 million of the dumbest monkeys on the planet! Exceptional–to the core.

  8. George Hollister October 20, 2020

    Where’s Hunter Biden on the e-mails? All he has to come out and say is, “That was not my laptop. Those were not my e-mails. I have never been in that place, and I don’t that guy.” Pretty simple. End of story.

    • Joe October 20, 2020

      No they are not denying that is his laptop but being all narcissistic sociopaths they are wondering -“what’s all the hubbub?”

    • George Hollister October 20, 2020

      Oh yea then, “The meeting never happened.”

      • Harvey Reading October 20, 2020

        You two make a perfect pair.

    • Marmon October 20, 2020

      “What difference does it make”?

      -Bruce Anderson

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