- Fire Weather
- Possible Outages
- 1127 Cases
- Pet Scooby
- Holy Kissing
- Book Sale
- Stump Based
- Welcome Hybrids
- Photo Tour
- Mendez Sighted
- Garcia Whacked
- Yesterday's Catch
- Fox Heroes
- Cosmic Justice
- Lighthouse Sketch
- News Squelching
- I'm Home
- Musket Amy
- Mouse Club
- Crime Spree
- Early Voting
- Revivalist Reaction
- 2020 Hindsight
- Functionally Bankrupt
- Bread & Roses
- SF 1952
- Fret Not
- Sue Repub
- Ripley Ridge
- Found Object
A VERY DRY AIR MASS and strong northeast winds over the ridges will spread over the area this afternoon and evening. Extremely dry conditions and robust offshore winds are expected to persist for Monday and Tuesday. Widespread frost and freezing temperatures will be possible in the valleys and in coastal areas early Monday morning. (NWS)
LIGHTS OUT — FOR PUBLIC SAFETY
PG&E Public Safety Power Shutoff - Potential Event
Potential: 10-25-20 (Sunday) to 10-27-20 (Tuesday)
Potential Shutoff Timing:
Phase #1 (10-25-20 from 12:00 PM to 4:00 PM)
Phase #2 (10-25-20 from 4:00 PM to 8:00 PM)
10-27-20 from 8:00 PM to 12:00 AM
Message From Mendocino County Sheriff's Office & Mendocino County Office Of Emergency Services
The Mendocino County Sheriff's Office and the Mendocino County Office of Emergency Services coordinated with local PG&E representatives early Saturday morning (10-24-20) and participated in a statewide coordination call at 9:00 AM in reference to the POTENTIAL PSPS event planned for 10-25-2020 as early as 12:00 PM in Mendocino County.
Currently, PG&E projects 8,681 Mendocino customers will be impacted and that restoration will take place on 10-27-2020. PG&E is working diligently to minimize the number of customers impacted while still providing safety.
The Mendocino County Sheriff's Office and the Mendocino County Office of Emergency Services will continue to monitor the situation closely and provide verified/accurate information to the public as it becomes available in a timely manner.
Please follow the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Nixle, Press Release Subscription) to get the most accurate and timely updated information throughout today (October 24th).
We ask the community to rely on these informational platforms at this time as opposed to calling our Public Safety Dispatch Center, which will distract dispatchers from primary dispatching duties. This request is being made with public safety and officer safety in mind.
We encourage PG&E customers to continue monitoring https://pgealerts.alerts.pge.com/outages/map/ in order to determine what impacts the PSPS might have on their homes or businesses.
We encourage those serviced by the City of Ukiah to visit https://www.cityofukiah.com/psps/
Additional preparedness info can be found at https://www.pge.com/en_US/residential/outages/public-safety-power-shuttoff/prepare/prepare-for-psps.page
THREE MORE COVID CASES in Mendocino County on Saturday, bringing total to 1127.
UKIAH SHELTER PET OF THE WEEK
OH SCOOBS! You are adorable, and we really enjoyed spending time with you during your evaluation. Scooby is quite a character, with the cutest, funniest facial expressions. Scooby is friendly with people and more interested in playing with them than toys. He understands sit, and he does, but only when he wants! Scooby was a little too interested in the cats at the shelter, so a home with no cats will be important. We think Scooby will be happiest in a home where he is the only dog. If there are other dogs in your home, Scooby will need to meet them at the shelter. Scooby is a Heinz 57, 4 years old and 68 adorable pounds.
You can find more about Scooby on the shelter wepage at mendoanimalshelter.com While you’re there, you can read about our services, programs, events, and updates regarding covid-19 and the shelters in Ukiah and Ft. Bragg. Visit us on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/mendoanimalshelter/ For information about adoptions please call 707-467-6453.
BOOK SALE, A VERY BIG BOOK SALE
Sunday November 8 between 10 a.,m. and 3 p.m. Jug Handle Creek Farm and Nature Center is having a surplus book sale in the new Bunkhouse Building next to Highway One in Caspar. Remodeling the library in the farm house the collection is being reduced to fit new shelving. Discover science, nature, ecology, travel, textbooks, titles old and new and surprises for adults and children. Volunteer librarian and local historian Katy Tahja will also have books she’s written for sale to benefit Jug Handle Farm. Prices are dirt cheap for old stuff. Masks, social distancing and cash required. Call 937-5854 for more info.
WELCOME BACK, HYBRID STUDENTS (If your parents can figure out these cocmamamie instructions)
Orientation October 27th-30th
Dear Brookside Families,
We are looking forward to all our hybrid students returning to campus for orientation the week of October 26th. During this orientation, teachers will be reviewing:
Arrival and dismissal procedures (Please discuss with your child in advance which entrance/exit they will be using each day they are on campus. Younger grade teachers will communicate with you how they will gather this information for arrival and dismissal planning.)
Safe transitions outside classrooms maintaining social distancing
Use of bike racks and waiting areas to maintain social distancing
Showing students isolation room and explaining procedures in age appropriate ways that emphasize the importance of precautions for everyone’s safety
Reviewing hand washing routines
Showing students outside work areas and marked seats
Reviewing snack/mask procedures (Please provide your child with a plastic bag that seals marked clearly with his/her name for mask storage during snack time.)
Showing students recess areas and explaining schedule for weekly rotation through areas
As communicated in our RVSD Student & Family Handbook For COVID-19 Health & Safety, all parents/guardians must examine students prior to attendance and no student with any COVID-19 symptoms may attend. See handbook for a most recent list of symptoms. Students who develop symptoms during attendance, will be examined and parent/guardian will be contacted to pick up the student. If you did not provide additional emergency contacts with phone numbers on School Mint, please do this prior to attendance at orientation.
Only students are allowed on campus and there will be staff members at entrances to assist students with arrival and dismissal.
All students and family members must wear masks.
Teachers will provide asynchronous learning to students who are not in attendance during orientation time and communicate about changes in schedules based on their cohort’s in person attendance.
If you have any questions, please contact your teacher or our substitute AA, Beth Defrance at 415-453-2948 or email@example.com.
MENDEZ ON ICE
On Thursday, October 22, 2020 at 7:20 P.M. Deputies were dispatched to a sighting of Javier Mendez (who had an active felony arrest warrant) in the 7700 block of Redwood Valley.
Deputies responded to the area, locating Javier Mendez, 40, of Ukiah, confirming the arrest warrant with Sheriff's Office Dispatch.
Mendez was subsequently booked into the Mendocino County Jail where he was to be held in lieu of $30,000 bail.
HIT HIM HARDER NEXT TIME
On Friday, October 23, 2020 at 2:10 A.M. Mendocino County Sheriff's Deputies were dispatched to an in progress domestic incident in the 100 block of Laws Avenue in Ukiah.
Deputies arrived and contacted Robert Garcia, 32, of Ukiah, who appeared extremely intoxicated and was bleeding from a large contusion on his forehead. Medical personnel were requested and arrived a short time later.
The Deputies continued their investigation and contacted a 36 year-old female at the same location and they observed the female appeared very upset.
The Deputies interviewed multiple individuals who had reportedly witnessed the incident.
The Deputies learned Garcia consumed alcohol to the point he became intoxicated. Garcia began arguing with the 36 year-old female, who was holding a child at the time.
Garcia physically assaulted the 36 year-old female, hitting her in the stomach and head. In self defense, the 36 year-old female picked up an object and struck Garcia with it, causing the injury to his forehead.
The 36 year-old female then hid from Garcia until the Deputies arrived.
The Deputies requested a wants and warrants check on both parties and learned Garcia was on active felony probation out of Mendocino County for domestic violence.
The Deputies concluded their interviews, collected the available evidence and developed probable cause to believe Garcia committed the crimes of Domestic Violence Battery and Felony Violation of Probation.
Garcia was transported to a hospital where he was medically cleared for incarceration.
Garcia was then transported to the Mendocino County Jail where he was booked and to be held in lieu of $25,000 bail.
CATCH OF THE DAY, October 24, 2020
RILEY ANDERSON, Ukiah. Failure to appear.
ROBERT GARCIA, Ukiah. Domestic battery, probation revocation.
VINCENT HERNANDEZ, Ukiah. Probation violation.
SHAWN JOHNSON, Ukiah. Domestic abuse, domestic battery with serious injury.
JADEN LUNDY, Fort Bragg. Burglary, conspiracy, probation revocation.
JAVIER MENDEZ, Ukiah. Assault with deadly weapon not a gun, protective order violation, probation revocation.
ISIDRIO MURO, Covelo. DUI-alcohol&drugs, controlled substance, under influence, paraphernalia, suspended license.
SAMANTHA NOVO, Willits. Controlled substance for sale.
PATRICK O’ROURKE, Willits. Domestic battery.
THOMAS PACE III, Redwood Valley. DUI, suspended license for DUI, probation revocation.
BYRON PETERS, Covelo. DUI, probation revocation.
JASON RAY, Fort Bragg. Controlled substance, probation revocation.
ANGELA RIVERA, Ukiah. DUI-alcohol&drugs, under influence, paraphernalia, suspended license for DUI, county parole violation, probation violation.
MICHAEL ROBILLARD, Sacramento/Ukiah. Driving under influence of drug with priors, controlled substance, parole violation.
BRANDON STONE, Fort Bragg. Probation revocation.
MOTECUHZOMA VAUGHN, Ukiah. DUI-alcohol&drugs, suspended license for DUI, under influence, paraphernalia, alteration/destruction of motor number, forgery of vehicle ID.
JOEL WEAVER, Fontana/Laytonville. Switchblad, controlled substance, under influence, more than an ounce of pot.
DON WILTSE, Laytonville. Parole violation.
ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY
I remember posting here in 2016 that Hillary was going to win (I wasn’t happy about that), so my track record in elections isn’t good. All I know is that no matter who wins, we will not be happy with the near- and intermediate-term results.
Justice is just a human construct. The universe doesn’t care about justice, IMO. Stars explode and annihilate entire species without warning; space rocks slam into the Earth and dinosaurs die; dark energy pervades the universe such that it eventually suffers a heat death. That’s not justice.
So whatever happens in and after the election happens. Apparently there’s no logic nor fairness to it. Let’s discuss it after November 3rd.
In the meantime, buy food and other necessities and hope for the best.
WITH THE HUNTER BIDEN EXPOSE, SUPPRESSION IS A BIGGER SCANDAL THAN THE ACTUAL STORY
by Matt Taibbi
The incredible decision by Twitter and Facebook to block access to a New York Post article about a cache of emails reportedly belonging to Democratic nominee Joe Biden’s son Hunter, with Twitter going so far as to lock the 200 year-old newspaper out of its own account for over a week, continues to be a major underreported scandal. The hypocrisy is mind-boggling. Imagine the reaction if that same set of facts involved the New York Times and any of its multitudinous unverifiable “exposes” from the last half-decade: from the similarly-leaked “black ledger” story implicating Paul Manafort, to its later-debunked “repeated contacts with Russian intelligence” story, to its mountain of articles about the far more dubious Steele dossier. Internet platforms for years have balked at intervening at many other sensational “unverified” stories, including ones called into question in very short order.
The flow of information in the United States has become so politicized — bottlenecked by an increasingly brazen union of corporate press and tech platforms — that it’s become impossible for American audiences to see news about certain topics absent thickets of propagandistic contextualizing. Try to look up anything about Burisma, Joe Biden, or Hunter Biden in English, however, and you’re likely to be shown a pile of “fact-checks” and explainers ahead of the raw information. Other true information has been scrubbed or de-ranked, either by platforms or by a confederation of press outlets whose loyalty to the Democratic Party far now overshadows its obligations to inform.
Obviously, Fox is not much better, in terms of its willingness to report negative information about Trump and Republicans, but Fox doesn’t have the reach that this emerging partnership between mass media, law enforcement, and tech platforms does. That group’s reaction to the New York Post story is formalizing a decision to abandon the media’s old true/untrue standard for a different test that involves other, more politicized questions, like provenance and editorial intent.
Take the example of the taped conversations between Joe Biden and former Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, which Ukrainian parliamentarian Andrei Derkach has been rolling out in press conferences for some time now. Derkach is a highly suspicious character to say the least, a man even Rudy Giuliani assessed as having a “50/50” chance of being a Russian agent. He has for some time now been disseminating information that is clearly beneficial to Russian interests. Nonetheless, the Biden/Poroshenko recordings he’s released appear to be real. Still, Atlantic columnist Edward-Isaac Dovere this summer bragged about how media members learned their lesson after the experience of 2016, when (real) emails from the DNC suspected of being hacked by Russians were released by Wikileaks. The correct path instead is for a priesthood of “mainstream” outlets to assess whether or not the material has enough news value to publish.
It’s hard not to feel some deja vu here. In 2016, Russian intelligence agents hacked the emails of Democratic National Committee staffers and Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman, John Podesta, and delivered them to WikiLeaks, as a way to get them into the American media. Some outlets learned a lesson from that episode, and have treated new Biden recordings out of Ukraine with care.
Most mainstream-media outlets have decided that the recordings that have emerged so far offer “little new insight into Biden’s actions in Ukraine,” as The Washington Post’s Carol Morello wrote after the recordings were first released.
However they came to reach the public, the Biden-Poroshenko tapes are a newsworthy window into how America leverages its power to impact the lives of every single person in countries like Ukraine. One amazing exchange came on May 16, 2016, when Poroshenko pleaded with Biden to approve an aid package: Poroshenko: I think that within the last three weeks, we demonstrate real great progress in the sphere of reforms. We voted in the parliament for 100% tariffs despite the fact that the IMF expected only 75%. We are launching reform for the prices for medicine, removing all the obstacles.
Biden: I agree.
Poroshenko was telling Joe Biden that in order to get an American aid package, he’d gone beyond even what the I.M.F. asked for and raised energy prices for ordinary Ukrainians not by 75%, but by 100%, as well as taking steps to curtail subsidized medicine prices.
This is clearly newsworthy, but the few outlets like the Washington Post that even bothered to report on these tapes only did so to convey their distaste for the source, and to relay news that the Biden camp believed it all to be “a continuation of a long-standing Russian effort to hurt the former vice president.” Press outlets began some time ago to describe such material as “misinformation” or “disinformation,” even though items like the Derkach tapes (or the leaked calls between State Department officials Victoria Nuland and Geoffrey Pyatt discussing who should be Ukraine’s interim leader after the Euromaidan revolution) are neither.
By definition, both terms normally require an element of “false information.” In one recent AP story, reporters spent more time asking Twitter and Facebook why they’d allowed material from the Derkach tapes to be spread than they did weighing the truth of the information in the tapes. Their conclusion was a warning from “disinformation fellow” Nina Jankowicz from the “non-partisan Wilson Center,” about Twitter and Facebook rules that allowed some of this information through.
That’s a loophole foreign and domestic troublemakers are inclined to continue exploiting before Election Day, Jankowicz said. “If you get a piece of information in the hands of the right American, it can absolutely spin out of control and make the national news in a couple of days,” she said.
Connecticut Senator Chris Murphy, racing past Adam Schiff in his candidacy to become this era’s more odorless and colorless version of McCarthy, went even further this week, telling CNN that Russian disinformation efforts are “more problematic” than in 2016. He said this was because “this time around, the Russians have decided to cultivate U.S. citizens as assets. They are attempting to try to spread their propaganda in the mainstream media.”
Note that unlike the Derkach tapes, where the foreign interference issue is obvious, the New York Post material hasn’t been conclusively tied to Russia (it has also been denied by the Director of National Intelligence, not that blue-state audiences care). Nonetheless, politicians and pundits alike freely make such accusations. In an interview with Yahoo!’s “On the Move” program, anchor Adam Shapiro became one of the only members of the press — think of how shameful that is — to ask a prominent Democrat to make a statement about the veracity of the New York Post story.
Shapiro asked Murphy: “Even if it’s an outright lie, or Russian… some kind of interference… We haven’t heard the Bidens say it’s absolutely not true. We haven’t heard Hunter Biden say that or the Senator say that. Do they need to say that?”
To which Murphy replied, “I mean, what a victory for Russian propaganda, that we’re talking about this right now.” He went on to non-answer the question, which has essentially been declared illegitimate, by the press first of all. The least curious people in the country right now appear to be the credentialed news media, a situation normally unique to tinpot authoritarian societies.
If the problem is “American citizens” being cultivated as “assets” trying to put “interference” in the mainstream media, the logical next step is to start asking Internet platforms to shut down accounts belonging to any American journalist with the temerity to report material leaked by foreigners (the wrong foreigners, of course — it will continue to be okay to report things like the “black ledger”).
From Fox or the Daily Caller on the right, to left-leaning outlets like Consortium or the World Socialist Web Site, to writers like me even — we’re all now clearly in range of new speech restrictions, even if we stick to long-ago-established factual standards.
As has been hinted at by several prominent journalists, controversies erupted within newsrooms across New York and Washington in the last week. Editors have been telling charges that any effort to determine whether or not the Biden laptop material is true, or to ask the Biden campaign to confirm or deny the story, will either not be allowed or put through heightened fact-checking procedures.
On the other hand, if you want to assert without any evidence at all that the New York Post story is Russian interference, you can essentially go straight into print.
Many people on the liberal side of the political aisle don’t have a problem with this, focused as they are on the upcoming Trump-Biden election. But this same press corps might be weeks away from assuming responsibility for challenging a Biden administration. If they’ve already calculated once that a true story may be buried for political reasons because the other “side” is worse, they will surely make that same calculation again.
What happens a month from now when an ambitious Republican like Tom Cotton leaks a document damaging to a President-Elect Biden? Or two years from now, if in the weeks before midterm elections, we get bad economic news, or a Biden/Harris administration foreign policy initiative takes a turn for the worse? Are we sure those stories will be run?
The Republican version of the Burisma story — essentially, that former General Prosecutor Viktor Shokin was Elliott Ness, and Joe Biden intervened to fire him specifically to aid his son’s company — is also not supported by evidence. What Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani and his cohorts have done to date is take a few unreported or under-reported facts and leap straight to a maximalist interpretation of corruption on Joe Biden’s part.
This isn’t right, but the room to make that argument has been created by the ongoing squelching of information coming from Ukraine. The suppression story is almost certainly a bigger scandal than the Hunter Biden affair itself, but it’s all become part of the same picture.
As I learned from sources in Ukraine this week, the biggest misconception has to do with the question of whether or not investigations of Burisma were ongoing at the time of Joe Biden’s intervention in 2015.
18TH CENTURY AMY
Judge Amy Coney Barrett calls herself a “textualist.” I understand that to mean that provisions in the Constitution are to be read as people commonly understood their meaning in their day. With that definition, I cannot see any reasonable way of dealing with the Second Amendment except superseding it with a new one. Both the culture and technology of our day have made it entirely irrelevant.
When Barrett was asked about the gun amendment, she responded that she owned a gun. It’s my guess it wasn’t a musket. Modern weaponry and muskets are related in that they both can kill. In no other way can the Second Amendment be used as a standard justifying the huge array of combat weapons available at gun stores today.
And there is no discernible connection between a citizens militia in 1791 and the unrestricted freedom to own guns today. In simple objectivity and direct inference our founders granted citizens the right to own arms but as members of organized militias when prevailing powers threatened their rights.
The Supreme Court decision on this amendment, District of Columbia v. Heller in 2008, in my opinion, departed from the Constitution in a conclusion that makes no practical sense or logic. It certainly didn’t comply with Barrett’s “textualist” approach.
TRUMP’S CRIME SPREE
U.S. Court Of Appeals ruled that Trump’s use of emergency powers to divert $3.6 billion in military construction funds for the border wall is unlawful. The court of appeals order requires that construction cease immediately.
The district court last year and the Court of Appeals earlier this year ruled that Trump’s attempt to circumvent Congress and transfer $2.5 billion in military pay and pension funds for border wall construction is also unlawful. Construction of the border wall has desecrated tribal lands, leveled wildlife preservations, and destroyed border communities.
Please go online and see the COMPLETE DESTRUCTION of the ancient cactus and former wildlife lands that were hurriedly bulldozed by Trump’s ILLEGAL & UNLAWFUL actions, and answer the question, who pays for this? Who’ll take responsibility now? Idiot Trumpers?
In the debate, Trump LIED about the official number of immigrants, who show up for their court dates. It’s about 75%, who DO show up. It’s over 500 immigrant children, that Trump's family separation police now can't find the parents to, and he used the lie in the debate as an excuse for this evil to continue. Steve Bannon who's Trump main advisor to this whole mess, was himself arrested for FRAUD for his We Build The Wall SCAM. B.T.W.
Mexico’s not paying for the wall, that was just another LIE for the Idiot Trumpets. FOOLS! I notice that the editor of this paper thinks it’s more relevant to bitch about the B.S. Hunter Biden scoop, and very bad Dems, while completely ignoring the ongoing TRUMP CRIME SPREE! Not an exaggeration.
Most Trump supporters are Inbred-Mongoloid Fox-Tard Cowards, who don't understand the U.S. Constitution LIMITS the power of their Idiot Trump to destroy Families, Nature & Rule of Law.
You Trumpets are Wicked-Evil Pawns & Fools who all have to be held accountable for these misdeeds, not by me, but GOD! I personally raise my middle finger to you all. F.U.
To all the other good & smart AVA folks:
HOW DID WE GET HERE?
by Vivian Gornick
The morning after Donald Trump’s election, everyone who had not voted for him probably woke up thinking, “How did we get here?” Nearly four years later, even when we ask it rhetorically, we are still marveling over the question, for which no satisfying answer has ever been found. How indeed did we get here? Everyone—economists, sociologists, political scientists—has a theory: Vietnam, rapacious capitalism, the digital revolution. And while I am usually the last person in the room to resort to theory, I nonetheless have one, too, which I’ll now throw in the ring.
For me, it all begins with the liberationist movements of the 1970s and 1980s; that is, the surprise uprising of blacks, women, and gays in a country that was still failing to deliver the political and social equality that had long been promised and long been denied. Convinced that the United States was a mature democracy, we feminists in particular were certain that the gross subordination under which American women lived, now articulated by hundreds of us, would tomorrow be acknowledged by thousands, and the day after that by millions. How could it be otherwise? Only people of serious ill will or intellectual deficiency or downright political greed would oppose the obvious. And after all, how many of them could there be?
We soon had our answer in the form of the formidable Phyllis Schlafly, the rock-ribbed Republican whose violent denunciations of the feminist movement we found both frightening and incomprehensible. For Schlafly, feminism was the Antichrist, and she would rather see America come apart at the seams than submit to our godless demands. She wanted America to remain—as God would have wanted it to remain—safe for Mom and apple pie. She wanted the protective laws that ensured inequality for women—state laws that limited the number of hours a woman could work in a week, for example—to stay in place. She wanted Roe v. Wade overturned. She said there was no such thing as rape in marriage and that labor-saving devices such as indoor clothes dryers had provided all the improvement in life that a woman needed.
What was sobering—and what sent us reeling—was the incredible response she received from a few million women, ordinarily apolitical, who now seemed to be living in active terror of social change, the idea of women living independent of marriage and motherhood having sent them over the edge. What very few on my side of the divide really understood was how primitive these issues actually were, and how far-reaching were both the fear and, yes, the despair they induced. Pretty soon many of us began to realize that the gulf between the women’s movement and Schlafly’s followers not only wasn’t going to narrow, it was going to grow steadily wider; and under its dividing influence American society (as all of us had ever known it) might begin seriously to come apart.
At this point an old-time revivalist movement began to sweep through the land, the kind that arises when a society is forced, like an individual, to face its own deepest conflicts retreats into the mindlessness of unreason. Within two decades there were evangelicals everywhere, prayer breakfasts in the White House, and Americans in unheard-of numbers announcing their belief in angels.
(New York Review of Books)
BEYOND CYNICISM: AMERICA FUMBLES TOWARDS KAFKA’S CASTLE
by James Kunstler
Nobody knows, from sea to shining sea, why we are having all this trouble with our republic. — Tom McGuane
Can a people recover from an excursion into unreality? The USA’s sojourn into an alternative universe of the mind accelerated sharply after Wall Street nearly detonated the global financial system in 2008. That debacle was only one manifestation of an array of accumulating threats to the postmodern order, which include the burdens of empire, onerous debt, population overshoot, fracturing globalism, worries about energy, disruptive technologies, ecological havoc, and the specter of climate change.
A sense of gathering crisis, which I call the long emergency, persists. It is systemic and existential. It calls into question our ability to carry on “normal” life much farther into this century, and all the anxiety that attends it is hard for the public to process. It manifested itself first in finance because that was the most abstract and fragile of all the major activities we depend on for daily life, and therefore the one most easily tampered with and shoved into criticality by a cadre of irresponsible opportunists on Wall Street. Indeed, a lot of households were permanently wrecked after the so-called Great Financial Crisis of 2008, despite official trumpet blasts heralding “recovery” and the dishonestly engineered pump-up of capital markets since then.
With the election of 2016, symptoms of the long emergency seeped into the political system. Disinformation rules. There is no coherent consensus about what is happening and no coherent proposals to do anything about it. The two parties are mired in paralysis and dysfunction and the public’s trust in them is at epic lows. Donald Trump is viewed as a sort of pirate president, a freebooting freak elected by accident, “a disrupter” of the status quo at best and at worst a dangerous incompetent playing with nuclear fire. A state of war exists between the White House, the permanent D.C. bureaucracy, and the traditional news media. Authentic leadership is otherwise AWOL. Institutions falter. The FBI and the CIA behave like enemies of the people.
Bad ideas flourish in this nutrient medium of unresolved crisis. Lately, they actually dominate the scene on every side. A species of wishful thinking that resembles a primitive cargo cult grips the technocratic class, awaiting magical rescue remedies that promise to extend the regime of Happy Motoring, consumerism, and suburbia that makes up the armature of “normal” life in the USA. They chatter about electric driverless car fleets, home delivery drone services, and as-yet-undeveloped modes of energy production to replace problematic fossil fuels, while ignoring the self-evident resource and capital constraints now upon us and even the laws of physics—especially entropy, the second law of thermodynamics. Their main mental block is their belief in infinite industrial growth on a finite planet, an idea so powerfully foolish that it obviates their standing as technocrats.
The non-technocratic cohort of the thinking class squanders its waking hours on a quixotic campaign to destroy the remnant of an American common culture and, by extension, a reviled Western civilization they blame for the failure in our time to establish a utopia on earth. By the logic of the day, “inclusion” and “diversity” are achieved by forbidding the transmission of ideas, shutting down debate, and creating new racially segregated college dorms. Sexuality is declared to not be biologically determined, yet so-called cis-gendered persons (whose gender identity corresponds with their sex as detected at birth) are vilified by dint of not being “other-gendered”—thereby thwarting the pursuit of happiness of persons self-identified as other-gendered. Casuistry anyone?
The universities beget a class of what Nassim Taleb prankishly called “intellectuals-yet-idiots,” hierophants trafficking in fads and falsehoods, conveyed in esoteric jargon larded with psychobabble in support of a therapeutic crypto-gnostic crusade bent on transforming human nature to fit the wished-for utopian template of a world where anything goes. In fact, they have only produced a new intellectual despotism worthy of Stalin, Mao Zedong, and Pol Pot.
In case you haven’t been paying attention to the hijinks on campus—the attacks on reason, fairness, and common decency, the kangaroo courts, diversity tribunals, assaults on public speech and speakers themselves—here is the key take-away: it’s not about ideas or ideologies anymore; it’s purely about the pleasures of coercion, of pushing other people around. Coercion is fun and exciting! In fact, it’s intoxicating, and rewarded with brownie points and career advancement. It’s rather perverse that this passion for tyranny is suddenly so popular on the liberal left.
Until fairly recently, the Democratic Party did not roll that way. It was right-wing Republicans who tried to ban books, censor pop music, and stifle free expression. If anything, Democrats strenuously defended the First Amendment, including the principle that unpopular and discomforting ideas had to be tolerated in order to protect all speech. Back in in 1977 the ACLU defended the right of neo-Nazis to march for their cause (National Socialist Party of America v. Village of Skokie, 432 U.S. 43).
The new and false idea that something labeled “hate speech”—labeled by whom?—is equivalent to violence floated out of the graduate schools on a toxic cloud of intellectual hysteria concocted in the laboratory of so-called “post-structuralist” philosophy, where sundry body parts of Michel Foucault, Jacques Derrida, Judith Butler, and Gilles Deleuze were sewn onto a brain comprised of one-third each Thomas Hobbes, Saul Alinsky, and Tupac Shakur to create a perfect Frankenstein monster of thought. It all boiled down to the proposition that the will to power negated all other human drives and values, in particular the search for truth. Under this scheme, all human relations were reduced to a dramatis personae of the oppressed and their oppressors, the former generally “people of color” and women, all subjugated by whites, mostly males. Tactical moves in politics among these self-described “oppressed” and “marginalized” are based on the credo that the ends justify the means (the Alinsky model).
This is the recipe for what we call identity politics, the main thrust of which these days, the quest for “social justice,” is to present a suit against white male privilege and, shall we say, the horse it rode in on: western civ. A peculiar feature of the social justice agenda is the wish to erect strict boundaries around racial identities while erasing behavioral boundaries, sexual boundaries, and ethical boundaries. Since so much of this thought-monster is actually promulgated by white college professors and administrators, and white political activists, against people like themselves, the motives in this concerted campaign might appear puzzling to the casual observer.
I would account for it as the psychological displacement among this political cohort of their shame, disappointment, and despair over the outcome of the civil rights campaign that started in the 1960s and formed the core of progressive ideology. It did not bring about the hoped-for utopia. The racial divide in America is starker now than ever, even after two terms of a black president. Today, there is more grievance and resentment, and less hope for a better future, than when Martin Luther King made the case for progress on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in 1963. The recent flash points of racial conflict—Ferguson, the Dallas police ambush, the Charleston church massacre, et cetera—don’t have to be rehearsed in detail here to make the point that there is a great deal of ill feeling throughout the land, and quite a bit of acting out on both sides.
The black underclass is larger, more dysfunctional, and more alienated than it was in the 1960s. My theory, for what it’s worth, is that the civil rights legislation of 1964 and ’65, which removed legal barriers to full participation in national life, induced considerable anxiety among black citizens over the new disposition of things, for one reason or another. And that is exactly why a black separatism movement arose as an alternative at the time, led initially by such charismatic figures as Malcolm X and Stokely Carmichael. Some of that was arguably a product of the same youthful energy that drove the rest of the Sixties counterculture: adolescent rebellion. But the residue of the “Black Power” movement is still present in the widespread ambivalence about making covenant with a common culture, and it has only been exacerbated by a now long-running “multiculturalism and diversity” crusade that effectively nullifies the concept of a national common culture.
What follows from these dynamics is the deflection of all ideas that don’t feed a narrative of power relations between oppressors and victims, with the self-identified victims ever more eager to exercise their power to coerce, punish, and humiliate their self-identified oppressors, the “privileged,” who condescend to be abused to a shockingly masochistic degree. Nobody stands up to this organized ceremonial nonsense. The punishments are too severe, including the loss of livelihood, status, and reputation, especially in the university. Once branded a “racist,” you’re done. And venturing to join the oft-called-for “honest conversation about race” is certain to invite that fate.
Globalization has acted, meanwhile, as a great leveler. It destroyed what was left of the working class—the lower-middle class—which included a great many white Americans who used to be able to support a family with simple labor. Hung out to dry economically, this class of whites fell into many of the same behaviors as the poor blacks before them: absent fathers, out-of-wedlock births, drug abuse. Then the Great Financial Crisis of 2008 wiped up the floor with the middle-middle class above them, foreclosing on their homes and futures, and in their desperation many of these people became Trump voters—though I doubt that Trump himself truly understood how this all worked exactly. However, he did see that the white middle class had come to identify as yet another victim group, allowing him to pose as their champion.
The evolving matrix of rackets that prompted the 2008 debacle has only grown more elaborate and craven as the old economy of stuff dies and is replaced by a financialized economy of swindles and frauds. Almost nothing in America’s financial life is on the level anymore, from the mendacious “guidance” statements of the Federal Reserve, to the official economic statistics of the federal agencies, to the manipulation of all markets, to the shenanigans on the fiscal side, to the pervasive accounting fraud that underlies it all. Ironically, the systematic chiseling of the foundering middle class is most visible in the rackets that medicine and education have become—two activities that were formerly dedicated to doing no harm and seeking the truth!
Life in this milieu of immersive dishonesty drives citizens beyond cynicism to an even more desperate state of mind. The suffering public ends up having no idea what is really going on, what is actually happening. The toolkit of the Enlightenment—reason, empiricism—doesn’t work very well in this socioeconomic hall of mirrors, so all that baggage is discarded for the idea that reality is just a social construct, just whatever story you feel like telling about it. On the right, Karl Rove expressed this point of view some years ago when he bragged, of the Bush II White House, that “we make our own reality.” The left says nearly the same thing in the post-structuralist malarkey of academia: “you make your own reality.” In the end, both sides are left with a lot of bad feelings and the belief that only raw power has meaning.
Erasing psychological boundaries is a dangerous thing. When the rackets finally come to grief—as they must because their operations don’t add up—and the reckoning with true price discovery commences at the macro scale, the American people will find themselves in even more distress than they’ve endured so far. This will be the moment when either nobody has any money, or there is plenty of worthless money for everyone. Either way, the functional bankruptcy of the nation will be complete, and nothing will work anymore, including getting enough to eat. That is exactly the moment when Americans on all sides will beg someone to step up and push them around to get their world working again. And even that may not avail.
(James Howard Kunstler’s many books include The Geography of Nowhere, The Long Emergency, Too Much Magic: Wishful Thinking, Technology, and the Fate of the Nation, and the World Made by Hand novel series. He blogs on Mondays and Fridays at Kunstler.com.)
BREAD & ROSES
Faces of the 1912 Bread & Roses Strike. Vida Scudder (1861 – 1954), in first graduating class at Girls’ Latin in Boston (1880) Smith College grad (1884) and Wellesley College English prof. In 1903 Scudder helped organize the Women's Trade Union League.
She gave a powerful speech in Lawrence in support of the 1912 strike. “I would rather never again wear a thread of woolen than know my garments had been woven at the cost of such misery as I have seen and known past a shadow of a doubt to have existed in this town… If the wages are of necessity below the standard to maintain man and woman in decency and in health, then the woolen industry has not a present right to exist in Massachusetts.” While Harvard University students were encouraged by their president to go to Lawrence as part of the state militia called to suppress the strike, some trustees and alums at Wellesley wanted Scudder fired. Her students defended her — she kept her job!
RADICALS OF THE BEST SORT: Considered "docile and subservient" by mill owners, the 'Bread and Roses' women of the 1912 Lawrence strike quickly gained the notorious title among mill owners of radicals of the worst sort, the title of Ardis Cameron's terrific book on the strike. “One policeman can handle 10 men,” Lawrence's district attorney lamented, “while it takes 10 policemen to handle one woman.” In the words of one horrified boss, the women activists were full of “lots of cunning and also lots of bad temper. They’re everywhere, and it’s getting worse all the time.”
MOTHER AND CHILD SAN FRANCISCO, 1952
I SUDDENLY REALIZED that all things just come and go including any feeling of sadness; that too will go: sad today glad tomorrow: somber today drunk tomorrow: why fret so much? Everybody in the world has flaws just like me.
― Jack Kerouac, Scattered Poems
A DAY IN THE LIFE OF SUE REPUBLICAN
Sue gets up at 6 a.m. and fills her coffeepot with water to prepare her morning coffee. The water is clean and good because some tree-hugging liberal fought for minimum water-quality standards.
With her first swallow of coffee, she takes her daily medication. Her medications are safe to take because some stupid commie liberal fought to insure their safety and that they work as advertised.
All but $10 of her medications are paid for by her employer's medical plan because some liberal union workers fought their employers for paid medical insurance - now Sue gets it too.
She prepares her morning breakfast, bacon and eggs. Sue's bacon is safe to eat because some girly-man liberal fought for laws to regulate the meat packing industry.
In the shower, Sue reaches for her shampoo. Her bottle is properly labeled with each ingredient and its amount in the total contents because some crybaby liberal fought for her right to know what she was putting on her body and how much it contained.
Sue dresses, walks outside and takes a deep breath. The air she breathes is clean because some environmentalist wacko liberal fought for laws to stop industries from polluting our air.
She walks to the subway station for her government-subsidized ride to work. It saves her considerable money in parking and transportation fees because some fancy-pants liberal fought for affordable public transportation, which gives everyone the opportunity to be a contributor.
Sue begins her work day. She has a good job with excellent pay, medical benefits, retirement, paid holidays and vacation because some lazy liberal union members fought and died for these working standards. Sue's employer pays these standards because Sue's employer doesn't want his employees to call the union.
If Sue is hurt on the job or becomes unemployed, she'll get a worker compensation or unemployment check because some stupid liberal didn't think she should lose her home because of her temporary misfortune.
Its noon and Sue needs to make a bank deposit so she can pay some bills. Sue's deposit is federally insured by the FSLIC because some godless liberal wanted to protect Sue's money from unscrupulous bankers who ruined the banking system before the Great Depression.
Sue has to pay her Fannie Mae-underwritten mortgage and her below-market federal student loan because some elitist liberal decided that Sue and the government would be better off if she was educated and earned more money over her lifetime.
Sue is home from work. She plans to visit her father this evening at his farm home in the country. She gets in her car for the drive. Her car is among the safest in the world because some America-hating liberal fought for car safety standards.
She arrives at her childhood home. Her generation was the third to live in the house financed by Farmers' Home Administration because bankers didn't want to make rural loans. The house didn't have electricity until some big-government liberal stuck his nose where it didn't belong and demanded rural electrification.
She is happy to see her father, who is now retired. Her father lives on Social Security and a union pension because some wine-drinking, cheese-eating liberal made sure he could take care of himself so Sue wouldn't have to.
Sue gets back in her car for the ride home, and turns on a radio talk show. The radio host keeps saying that liberals are bad and conservatives are good. He doesn't mention that Republicans have fought against every protection and benefit Sue enjoys throughout her day. Sue agrees: "We don't need those big-government liberals ruining our lives! After all, I'm self-made and believe everyone should take care of themselves, just like I have."
DECONSTRUCTING THE LOCAL ANTI-VAXX NUTS, AN EXCHANGE
[MCN-Announce] Considering a flu shot?
From: Garth Hagerman
It's time to play the exciting game "Count the Red Flags"!
How many of the classic red flags of pseudoscience can you spot in Beverly Smith's post?
- Suppressed by Authorities. check
- Ideological Support. in spades
- Appeal to Authority. up the gazoo
- Verbosity. and how
- Confirmation bias. this one goes up to eleven
One problem with debating baseless propositions such as anti-vaxx twaddle is that it's hard to do so honestly; one must rely on endless recitations of PRATTs, appeals to phony authorities, obfuscation, and plain ol' lies.
Beverly Smith wrote:
Most Americans are not yet aware of the extreme censorship of any published material that is contrary, even if science-based and true, to the singular narrative by the Government/Pharma regarding vaccines and Covid-19 protocol. The debate has been silenced and democracy suppressed. If you are considering the flu shot, this post gives opportunity to weigh the science regarding the flu vaccine juxtaposed with pharma-infused media propaganda. Then decide for yourself. That is your right. Don't miss the 60 minute Mike Wallace enlightening interviews (scroll to end) regarding the swine flu vaccination program 30 years ago.
May 09, 2020 [originally published April 16, 2020]
Flu Misinformation and Coronavirus Fears: My Letter to Dr. Sanjay Gupta By Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., Chairman, Children's Health Defense
[Excerpt: Introduction to a science-based letter written by Robert F. Kennedy to Sanjay at CNN regarding the flu shots]
Last week, your CNN producer, Matthew Reynard, notified me that CNN is featuring me in a documentary about "vaccine misinformation". As usual, Mr. Reynard did not point out a single factual assertion by me that was incorrect (I carefully source all of my statements about vaccines to government databases or peer-reviewed publications). CNN uses the term "vaccine misinformation" as a euphemism for any statement that departs from the Government / Pharma orthodoxy that all vaccines are safe, necessary, and effective for all people.
"I RESPECTFULLY POINT OUT THAT CNN AND PARTICULARLY YOU, SANJAY, ARE TODAY AMONG THE MOST PROLIFIC BROADCASTERS OF 'VACCINE MISINFORMATION'."
I have always admired you, Sanjay. Your obvious talents aside, you seem to be genuinely compassionate and to value integrity. Earlier in your career, you showed a courageous willingness to challenge Big Pharma's vaccine orthodoxies. However, I respectfully point out that CNN and particularly you, Sanjay, are today among the most prolific broadcasters of "vaccine misinformation". Over the last several years, I cannot recall seeing a single substantial CNN segment on vaccines that did not include easily verified factual misstatements. CNN's recent special, "Pandemic", was a showcase of erroneous assertions about the flu vaccine. Since I don't like to think that you deliberately mislead the public – particularly about critical public health choices – I have taken the time to point out some of your most frequent errors.
I hope you will take time to read this. This critique has special relevance during the current coronavirus crisis, not to mention its important implications for the roles of government and press in a democracy. CNN and other media outlets treat CDC, NIH, and WHO pronouncements as infallible truths. In fact, regulatory capture has made these agencies subsidiaries of Big Pharma, and the lies that CDC has been telling us about flu are now muddying the debate over coronavirus."
Continue reading for scientific facts: childrenshealthdefense.org/news/flu-misinformation-and-coronavirus-fears-my-letter-to-dr-sanjay-gupta/