- Fronts Approaching
- AV Testing
- 3 New Cases
- Starr Decision
- Beetlejuice Drive-in
- Ship Aground
- Autumn Apples
- Tragic Situation
- Vintage Logger
- Poll Patrol
- Election Watch
- Deputy Berman
- Agenda Process
- Ed Notes
- Found Object
- KYBU Awarded
- Logging Days
- Westlaw Access
- FB UFO
- AV Village
- Huang Held
- Perv Bros
- Yesterday's Catch
- Tawdry Season
- Noyo Harbor
- Worst Choice
- Coast Palms
- Ominous Election
- Joss House
- Yorkville Tower
- Mendocino Grid
- Vintage Navarro
- Robert Fisk
- Slavery College
- Awful Reckoning
A WEAK FRONT will bring a shot of light rain and drizzle to Del Norte and northern Humboldt counties later today. A stronger front is expected to bring significant cooling and some rain starting late Thursday afternoon through Friday. A cold air mass will settle over the region this weekend and bring a threat for widespread frost and freezing temperatures to interior valleys. (NWS)
Ed note: Not a drop for Mendo
GET TESTED! We want to let our community [Anderson Valley] know we will be able to provide COVID testing for two more Thursday mornings. We will have 50 tests this week and 50 next week. Same drill. 9am, AVHS parking lot. Thanks for your patience and understanding. See you Thursday.
THREE NEW COVID CASES reported in Mendocino County on Monday, bringing total to 1179. (However, 5 more people entered isolation…)
STATUS OF C.V. STARR COMMUNITY CENTER
This week, officials from the Mendocino Coast Recreation and Parks District (MCRPD) and the City of Fort Bragg (City) met with C.V. Starr Community Center staff to discuss plans for how and when to safely reopen the C.V. Starr facility. The facility, closed since March 17, 2020, has been winterized to save money and to save the wear and tear of operating pumps, heaters and other equipment.
In May 2020, after laying off all but essential staff, the City and MCRPD projected that the facility would not reopen before January 2021. The reasoning behind the delay in reopening was the uncertainly surrounding what would be allowed to open under the Shelter-in-Place Orders and the projected drop in the City of Fort Bragg’s 1⁄2 cent sales tax revenue, which accounts for approximately 50% of the Center’s operating revenue. The 1⁄2 cent sales tax has fared better than projected and as a result has restored operating and capital reserves for the facility. Unfortunately, the Shelter-in-Place orders have and continue to limit the Center’s ability to open. State and County health orders have required that indoor pools and indoor fitness facilities remain closed.
Under California’s current Blueprint for a Safer Economy, indoor pools and fitness facilities are not allowed to open while a county is in the purple tier (also referred to as tier 1), which is where Mendocino County was until October 27, 2020, when the County moved to the red tier or tier 2. Even in the red tier, indoor pools are not allowed to open and indoor fitness facilities’ capacity is limited to 10% of normal. When Mendocino County moves to the next orange tier, indoor pools can open but only so long as physical distancing for non-household groups can be maintained and fitness facilities’ capacity is limited to 25%. In tier 4, the yellow tier, indoor pools must still maintain physical distancing for non-household groups, but the fitness facility capacity is increased to 50% of normal.
In addition to complying with the limits on capacity, the C.V. Starr Center must follow the 16-page industry guidance for fitness facilities, including increased sanitation and safety precautions that will require additional staffing and expense. Rehiring and training staff to open the facility and recertifying lifeguards will likely take four weeks. After much consideration, the MCRPD and City officials determined that the investment to reopen the facility safely only makes financial and operating sense, when Mendocino County is in tier 4, the yellow tier, and the facility can operate at 50% of normal capacity. As Vice Mayor Norvell explained, “It is only fair to the community and the C.V. Starr staff that we are relatively assured that once the Center opens, it will remain open and will accommodate the needs of the community, and rehired staff will have a certain level of job security.”
Questions regarding this information should be directed to Tabatha Miller, City Manager, firstname.lastname@example.org at (707) 961-2829.
GRANGE DRIVE-IN NOVEMBER 7
Hi folks, we are at it again. The Grange has decided to continue showing movies generally every other Sat. as long as the weather holds. We WISH it would rain but if it doesn't you can count on a movie at the Grange Drive-In! We follow approved Covid protocol and want you too as well. Hey, there's a snack cart with drive-in staples whoopee! (Captain Rainbow)
COMING THIS SAT NOV 7 at the AV GRANGE
For those who didn't get their Halloween fix. The wonderfully whacked out BEETLEJUICE.
There may be a bit of rain the day before but it's looking clear and pretty cold on Sat. eve. With the time change the movie will start at dark which will be somewhere around 6pm. In the future, if a movie gets cancelled we'll try for the next weekend
A RITE OF AUTUMN
by Marshall Newman
Rural living has a rhythm. There are rites and rituals to be followed: some dictated by the season, others dictated by the place. With time and distance, the rites and rituals of my growing-up years in Anderson Valley have fallen away, but one came back last week, sparked by a large bag of somewhat “worse for wear” apples.
The apples were a gift from my neighbors, who grew them in their back yard. Just as in the Anderson Valley of my childhood, they soon became homemade apple sauce. Yes, they also could have become apple pie or apple cake, but both would be a stretch for my cooking talents!
When we lived year-round in Anderson Valley during the late 1950s and early 1960s, we had several autumn rites and rituals. Sweeping off cabin roofs were a precaution for the heavy rain soon to come. Filling our propane tanks, underground gas tank and hay loft were necessities, since our property – across the Navarro River from the rest of the world - was inaccessible by car from November to May. Picking our ancient prune orchard and hauling the crop to the drier was always on the list. Topping off the firewood pile also was on the list, but not a true necessity; after our first year with a wood heater, we were so zealous cutting and splitting wood, we had a stockpile of approximately 30 cords – enough for several winters.
For eating out of hand, we bought apples from several local sources: Gowan’s Oak Tree, Art’s Apples, Johnny Peterson and Archie Schoenahl. But for apple sauce and apple pies, we had a special source: Highland Ranch.
Highland Ranch was our uphill neighbor and the owners – Guy Lawlor and Bill Worth – invited us each year to harvest their orchard. The orchard was an old one, probably planted by previous owners Frank and Goldie Ward around 1915. We were told the apples were the King variety, likely short for King of Tompkins County. We would drive up the hill in our pickup each autumn and come home with several big boxes of apples.
The first year or two, we Newman kids – all four of us - peeled and cored the apples by hand, sitting around the dining room table competing to see who could make the longest apple peel. We eventually got an apple peeler; not one of those big, multi-geared commercial ones used by local apple driers early in the 20th century, but a little tabletop model with a screw crank that drove the apple through a coring hook and a spring-mounted peeling blade.
Then my mother took over. A big pot cooked the apples down to apple sauce. A smaller pot filled with hot water vacuum sealed the Ball jars after they were filled and the lids applied. A typical year produced 30 to 60 quarts of apple sauce to be stored and enjoyed the rest of the year, plus perhaps 10 or 15 apple pies to be savored through autumn.
Unlike the Highland Ranch apples, my neighbors’ apples were truly anonymous. They looked somewhat like Gravensteins, but were not as tart and ripened later. They also were smaller, which made peeling them by hand more difficult. They were well abused, and I had to cut away lots of split and bruised portions. They produced approximately three quarts of sauce. Rather than canning this meager yield, I stored it in the refrigerator. Sadly, my supply is almost gone.
Plenty has changed in Anderson Valley in the past 60 or so years. Only Gowan’s Oak Tree remains among the apple sources of my youth and many of the commercial orchards have been supplanted by grapes. A subsequent owner of Highland Ranch removed the old orchard and replaced it with a pond. Where we used to live has all-year access now. However, while Anderson Valley’s seasonal rites and rituals may have changed, Anderson Valley will always have some of these annual customs. It is that kind of place.
GEORGE HOLLISTER WRITES:
Tragic: Marilyn Davin’s well written tragic story about her son reminded me of one of my son’s college friends. In the case of my son’s friend, I was left shaking my head when my son described the situation, a situation that was present when this young man was in college. So the friend never finished school, still lives at home, stays in his room, watches Netflix, sees therapists, can’t hold a job, etc. Sad for everyone. There is something missing.
BEHAVE YOURSELF, MENDO
The Mendocino County Sheriff's Office recognizes this year's United States Presidential election to be one of the most emotionally charged elections in the history of the United States of America.
The voting process is one of the fundamental elements of America's democracy.
The Sheriff's Office is encouraging individuals to express their right of choice/expression through their vote and to not engage in any non-peaceful behavior that could lead to acts of violence or civil disorder in our communities.
The Sheriff's Office will continue to respect everyone's First Amendment Right as outlined by the United States Constitution but make this recommendation with the health and safety of everyone in mind.
Sheriff's Deputies will be providing extra patrol activities in the polling locations open throughout Mendocino County during the November 3rd election day.
It is the hope that these extra patrols will dissuade any acts of intimidation or violence in connection with voting activities.
ELECTION DAY HANDICAPPING from The New York Times
The earliest meaningful results. They will arrive shortly after 7 p.m., after polls close in much of Florida and Georgia. Thirty minutes later, North Carolina’s polls also close.
Those three states are worth watching for two reasons: First, if Joe Biden wins any of the three, he becomes an overwhelming favorite to win the presidency. Second, the three seem likely to count votes in a more easily decipherable way than almost any other state.
They will announce not only where ballots were coming from but also how those ballots were cast. That distinction is crucial, because the mail-in vote will lean Democratic in most states while the in-person vote will lean Republican. But nobody knows exactly how big the skew will be — so reported vote counts that don’t distinguish between in-person and mail-in ballots will be extremely difficult to analyze....
The bottom line: If Biden seems on track to lose Florida, Georgia and North Carolina, he is no longer a big favorite to win. That would suggest the polls had underestimated Trump’s support. In FiveThirtyEight’s simulations, Biden has about a 50 percent chance of victory if he loses all three Southeastern swing states. He would then probably need to win at least Pennsylvania or Arizona.
THE STRANGE, SAD case of Deputy Erik Berman, brought low by the drugs he was sworn to keep out of the Mendocino Coast, took a minor twist this morning when two callers noted that Berman's booking photo for a recent arrest had appeared, then disappeared. The callers suggested that the young deputy was being protected from further embarrassment by the Sheriff's Department, although Berman was fired by Sheriff Kendall back in March when Berman had to be resuscitated by Coast medics when his girl friend discovered him unconscious from a heroin overdose on the the bathroom floor of the couple's Fort Bragg home.
Reached at his office this morning, Sheriff Kendall said that he was unaware of the now-you-see-it, now-you-don't booking photo, but soon called back to say the young man responsible for the photos thought that the photos were confined to the people who were staying awhile, not the cites-and-releases. Former deputy Berman's photo has been restored to the booking photo log.
FULL SEARCH WARRANT & AFFIDAVIT AT: theava.com/archives/139354
YOU KNOW THE SUPES AGENDA PROCESS is bad when you look back fondly to the days when Mendo’s legendary Chief Planner Ray Hall took care of the planning agenda items. Say what you will about Mr. Hall and the ever-growing pile of paper in his inbox that his own Chief Assistant said was never attended to, but at least Hall gave the Board real options when he put planning items on the agenda. These days the agenda is a pile of pre-packaged take it or leave it items that CEO Angelo presents to the Supervisors with no options, no alternatives — just an up or down vote. And there’s usually a tight deadline leaving the Supes nearly completely out of the loop. Take the Best Western Motel idea, for a prime example. State Senator Mike McGuire and CEO Angelo had that wasteful deal all tied up in a nice bow with an $11 million price tag and the Board had no choice but to accept it nearly sight-unseen with vague promises glued on after the fact that it will be managed properly and public input will be “considered.” Or take Supervisor Williams’s request a few months ago to be given contractor options or at least a breakdown of the Mental Health Services contract into separate biddable parts. Everyone agreed to do that, and then literally nothing happened since. Our $84k plus perks Supervisors have been reduced to robotic rubberstamps for whatever fait accompli items the CEO dishes up. (—ms)
MEME OF THE DAY: “Sure, I spent 50 years of my life studying viruses just so I could trick rednecks into wearing paper masks. That was my career goal.” — Dr. Anthony Fauci
THE ONLY LOCAL measure of true import on the Mendo ballot is the Willits sales tax. If it doesn't pass there will be major and dire negatives for the Gateway to the Redwood Empire, among them a radical downsize for city government, maybe even the heave-ho for the Willits Police Department, the city’s largest budget item of all.
SUPERVISOR ELECTION in the 1st and 2nd districts? We expect Ms. Mulheren and Glenn McGourty to step aboard the sinking ship SS Mendo, and we see them as pretty much a lateral move from McCowen and Carre Brown. Jon Kennedy, McGourty's only opposition in the 1st District race, might have joined Williams as an independent vote, independent of Ma Angelo who runs the whole show, but Kennedy was up against both the Mendo Water Mafia and inland “progressives,” who also endorsed McGourty. Gotta hand it to McGourty, he got the gamut behind him.
NO MORE PERFECT EXAMPLE of lib-think, Mendo division, was Ellen Drell's statement that “they” liked McGourty's answers to “their” questions (Drell and her husband, David are the they who liked) better than, presumably, they liked Kennedy's answers. Kennedy, natch, was libeled as a “rightwinger” by inland libs and environmentalists, translating as they think present water policies are environmentally just swell for what's left of the Russian River's natural environment. The supervisor position is supposed to be non-partisan, but hey, he's not one of us.
THE RIGHTWING is pumped up beyond all reason, which it doesn't have an abundance of in the first place. A Maga commented somewhere on-line today, “We're all rooftop Koreans now,” the ref being to the armed Koreans defending their businesses during the Rodney King riots in LA.
AND FROM THE LEFT, this comment: “A civil war where one side is primarily elderly, obese and delusional. Should be over quick.”
BIDEN is fading fast, and how cynical is the DNC to keep shoving him out there as if he's up to it? Biden missed his cue to appear on stage at a rally alongside Barack Obama on Saturday, compelling Obama to call out his name three times before Biden eventually jogged over from a nearby building. At the end of the rally, the candidate had to be reminded to put on his face mask, which sent him back to the podium to look for it, finally re-discovering his mask in his pocket. Then in another bizarre moment, he picked up the microphone as if he were about to speak again before putting it down and leaving the stage. During the rally itself he slurred his words, telling attendees that it's their right to have “'badakathcare,” apparently a reference to health care.
COVELO COMMUNITY RADIO RECEIVES AWARDS FOR BROADCASTING EXCELLENCE
As the August Complex fire neared 100% containment at the end of October, KYBU: Round Valley Community Radio in Covelo, CA was presented with two awards for excellence in broadcasting from the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE) and the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office. CAL FIRE officially recognized the station with an award for exceptional dedication to providing “factual and timely fire information to the community” and recognised that “this effort helped to save lives.”
Mendocino County Sheriff Matt Kendall presented a Sheriff's Service Award, stating “Due to the devastating and unprecedented wildfires which occurred in the 2020 August Complex, our communities were again put to the test. KYBU Radio assisted the community throughout this difficult time by providing fire updates to all of our residents as well as people outside of the Round Valley Area who were concerned about their loved ones and personal property. The assistance provided to the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office as well as CAL FIRE has been truly amazing and we are grateful. The work of KYBU is a true testimonial to the tenacity of our small communities within Mendocino County.”
During the seven weeks in which the August Complex threatened the Round Valley Area KYBU broadcast over sixty on-air interviews with the Sheriff and CAL FIRE, often twice a day, and posted hourly fire updates on the broadcast schedule. The fire interviews and updates were also posted on the KYBU website and accessible to those outside of the local broadcast area. The fire interviews and fire information links on the website were also available in Spanish. KYBU Round Valley Community Radio is an all volunteer, member supported community radio station that began broadcasting to Covelo/Round Valley listeners at 96.9 FM in 2011. KYBU broadcasts a mix of music, talk and public affairs programming. Everyone is invited to join! KYBU is a project of the 501(c)3 nonprofit, Friends of the Round Valley Public Library.
For more information, visit’s KYBU website at www.kyburadio.org
COMPLIMENTARY ACCESS TO WESTLAW FOR LAW LIBRARY PATRONS!
from Daniel J. Helsel, Director, Mendocino County Law Library
Courthouse, Room 307; Ukiah, Ca. 95482; 707-463-4201
In the uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic, Thomson Reuters is here to continue to support you and your patrons. Your library has been selected to be part of a pilot to simplify the process of how your patrons receive complimentary remote access to Westlaw. The goal is to provide on-demand access to your patrons and reduce the library staff involvement with the registration process.
Starting today, your patrons can call 1-800-328-4880, enter extension 855597 and a Customer Service agent will create a user name and password that will provide 20 hours of access to Westlaw and Practical Law over 14 days. This line is open from 7am-7pm CT to reflect the available times most libraries are open to patrons. Please share this new service with your patrons and we look forward to your feedback.
Thomson Reuters, legal.thomsonreuters.com
Contact: Thomson Reuters Online Marketing, 610 Opperman Drive, Eagan, MN 55123-1396
ANDERSON VALLEY VILLAGE, NOVEMBER 2020
Welcome to Anderson Valley Village. We are a locally inspired and managed non-profit organization. Our mission is to help older adults remain active, connected, and independent in the place they call home while enhancing the quality of life in our community. See what's new in the valley.
AV Village Update
We currently have 59 members and 55 trained volunteers ready to lend a hand or an ear! We would also like to welcome two new board members Elizabeth Wyant and Mary Anne Payne — we are certain they will make a wonderful addition to our board!
On a monthly basis about 7 AV Village volunteers have been baking goodies for the returning teachers and support staff at the AV High School/ Jr High and the Elementary School. Needless to say, it is much appreciated with this stressful school year! Thank you all! Photo and beautiful layout by Elizabeth Wyant
Upcoming AV Village Events & Beyond
See these events listed on the Events Calendar on our website: https://andersonvalley.helpfulvillage.com/events
And do let us know of fun virtual events or activities that you would like us to include on our calendar!
Note: Zoom links for the AV Village Events are now listed under each event on our calendar and will still be emailed to our mailing list at least the week before.
HUANG HIM HIGH
On Friday, October 30, 2020 at 3:28 A.M., Mendocino County Sheriff's Deputies were dispatched to a domestic disturbance in the 1300 block of North State Street in Ukiah.
While responding to the location, the male half of the incident fled in a vehicle to an unknown location. On arrival, the Deputies located an adult female.
Deputies observed visible injuries to her head and arms. Deputies discovered signs of a physical altercation in the residence where the reported incident occurred.
The Deputies learned the adult female had been physically assaulted by Robert Huang, 38, of Ukiah.
Huang allegedly pushed the adult female to the ground, causing her to cut her arm on broken glass; which was covering the floor. Once she was on the ground, Huang banged her head against the ground, causing injury to her head. Huang then choked the adult female until she lost consciousness.
Huang took the adult female's purse from her hand and fled the area, taking the purse and its contents with him.
The Deputies conducted interviews and collected evidence. The Deputies developed probable cause to believe Huang committed the crimes of Domestic Violence Battery, Battery With Serious Injury, Robbery, Criminal Threats, Violation of Domestic Violence Restraining Order.
The Deputies searched the surrounding area for Huang. They located a vehicle Huang had been driving and discovered it was stolen.
California Highway Patrol Officers responded to the area and recovered the vehicle.
Deputies were unsuccessful in attempts to locate Huang until Sunday, November 1, 2020 at approximately 10:37 AM when he was located/arrested pursuant to the incident.
Huang was booked into the Mendocino County Jail on the listed charges and was to be held in lieu of $75,000 bail.
SEX OFFENSE FELONY WARRANT, SEX OFFENDER VIOLATION
On October 30, 2020, the Fort Bragg Police Department received information that Jeffery Wiggins, 54, held a felony nation-wide extraditable warrant out of Colorado for various sex crimes related to children. Wiggins was reported to be in the Fort Bragg area with his brother, Steven Wiggins. Officers were able to locate Jeffery Wiggins and take him into custody without incident.
While completing the arrest of Jeffery Wiggins, Officers contacted his brother, Steven Wiggins, and identified him as being a sex offender registrant out of Colorado. Officers were able to confirm that Steven Wiggins was out of compliance with California sex offender registration requirements and he was placed under arrest as well.
Both suspects were transported to County Jail where Jeffery Wiggins awaits extradition to Colorado.
(Fort Bragg Police Presser)
CATCH OF THE DAY, November 2, 2020
ZACHARY BURGER, Ukiah. Use of tear gas for other than self-defense, criminal threats.
BRIAN CLEVELAND, Santa Rosa/Ukiah. DUI, misdemeanor hit&run.
ROBERT HUANG, Ukiah. Battery with serious injury, domestic battery, robbery, criminal threats, failure to appear.
ROBERT MCKEE, Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol, failure to appear.
by Christian Lorentzen
This autumn was always going to be a tawdry season in America. The past couple of weeks have been a jubilee of below-the-belt viral content: a photograph of the former vice-president’s son leaning down apparently to snort powder off a woman’s bare buttock; a still from the new Borat movie of the former New York mayor in a hotel room with a young woman, leaning back on the bed with his hands in his pants; a story of a journalist pleasuring himself during a Zoom conference in the sight of his colleagues (he said he thought he’d turned the camera off). Sleaze and perversion are now the permanent backdrop of US politics. The world turns its eyes away from a hegemon whose henchmen can’t stop pulling their dicks out.
By contrast, the final debate between Trump and Biden was almost decorous. With mute controls on the candidates’ microphones, there was none of the rudeness, interrupting, bullying, and name calling of their last encounter, when unknown to all the president was in the early stages of a Covid-19 infection. In boxing terms, it’s hard not to say the match was a draw. No longer unhinged, Trump seemed, it pains me to say, more competent than usual, though as crude as ever. On the environment: “China – look how filthy it is!” On Obama’s immigration policies: “Catch and release is a disaster. A murderer would come in, a rapist would come in, a very bad person would come in – we would take their name, we have to release them into our country.” On his own policies of deportation and turning away asylum seekers: “Less than one per cent of the people come back ... Those with the lowest IQ, they might come back.”
Such is the president’s vision of the world, and it’s nothing new. After three and a half years on the job, though, he can now thread his vulgarities through an almost nuanced discussion of policy. Late in the debate he spelled out what must have been his intended campaign strategy before the pandemic killed more than 200,000 people and flushed the economy down the drain:
“I will tell you, go back before the plague came in, just before, I was getting calls from people that were not normally people that would call me. They wanted to get together. We had the best Black unemployment numbers in the history of our country, Hispanic, women, Asian, people with diplomas, with no diplomas, MIT graduates, number one in the class – everybody had the best numbers. And you know what? The other side wanted to get together. They wanted to unify. Success is going to bring us together. We are on the road to success.”
A soaring economy and a tight labor market have never really figured in the arguments made by Trump’s opponents. If they did, they were leftovers from Obama, and indeed Obama took credit for them at a drive-in rally in Philadelphia last week. On stage on Thursday night, Biden repeated Obama’s signature rhetorical flourish: not red states and blue states but the United States. There was nothing of the senile to Biden’s performance, but beyond ameliorative policy prescriptions he has little to offer except a sentimental liberalism: “What is on the ballot here is the character of this country. Decency. Honor. Respect. Treating people with dignity.”
Wave away the platitudes, though, and what’s on the ballot is a choice between Trump’s adversarial nationalism or the restoration of a pursuit of globalization with America as the dominant partner. That’s why, when Trump talks about China or North Korea, he makes a certain sense: he’s trying to beat them and get what he wants and he’s doing it for you. The system Biden has come to restore is beyond his powers of description. If Biden could really explain it to them, most voters probably wouldn’t like it. Instead here’s some decency, respect, and dignity to tide you over as the economy advances into realms of abstraction you’ll never understand. Trump offers more straightforward transactions, to do with money, which is why Ice Cube announced last week that he was sitting down with the Republicans to discuss his Contract for Black America.
Since Trump’s “unity through success” message is another casualty of Covid-19, he’s reverted to his primary political tactic: delegitimization. Obama was a foreigner, Clinton a criminal, and now Biden is the head of a crime family. (Whether that makes him a suitable puppet for the radical left, Trump’s other line of attack, is an open question.) Nearly half an hour of every Trump rally is now devoted to Hunter Biden and “the laptop from hell,” almost as much time as Trump spends retelling the story of his 2016 victory and asserting that the polls are wrong again. There are several reasons to believe the strategy won’t work this time, not least that Biden doesn’t have a pre-existing reputation for corruption. There’s also the unseemliness of scapegoating his dewy-eyed drug addict son.
Hunter Biden’s business career, such as it is, is another matter. Whether or not there has been a quid pro quo – in Ukraine, China, Russia or anywhere else – there is the appearance of conflict of interest. Hardly any aspect of Hunter Biden’s career has been without it, from his job with a bank headquartered in the state his father represented in the Senate, to his appointment by George W. Bush to the board of AmTrak, to his globetrotting enterprises as an alleged peddler of multimillion dollar “introductions.” The business partner who advised him not to sit on the board of the Ukrainian gas company Burisma was Chris Heinz, the ketchup heir and John Kerry’s stepson. Are these scions doing anything beyond trading on their family names? Perhaps, but they are certainly doing a bit of that too. If Hunter Biden, as the alleged emails indicate, kicks half his money “to Pop,” he’s just being a loyal son. When Hunter’s older brother, Beau, was stricken with cancer and resigned as Delaware attorney general, Joe Biden was reduced to borrowing from his boss. Obama had the money because his political career had brought him millions in book royalties. After his presidency he and his wife have struck book deals with Random House and production deals with Netflix. This, too, is a form of trading off your name. And as for the sons of George H.W. Bush…
It’s what Trump calls ‘the Swamp’, and whether or not it’s legal, it has become the norm. Trump, a famous violator of norms and veteran brand entrepreneur, offers in its place blatant grift: booking foreign dignitaries in his hotels and renting their governments office space they never bother occupying. He is not a politician, he asserts, and doesn’t even draw a salary as president. The politicians of the establishment, Democrat and Republican, are hypocrites. He is shameless. Dignity has never been associated with his name.
(London Review of Books)
THE WORST CHOICE EVER
by Matt Taibbi
My colleagues at Rolling Stone recently endorsed Joe Biden for president: ”Biden’s lived experience and expansive empathy make him not just a good, but an outstanding candidate … This is a fight between light and darkness…”
Joe Biden is a corpse with hair plugs whose idea of “empathy” is to jam fingers in the sternums of people who ask the wrong questions, or call them “fat” or “full of shit,” or dare them to “try me” — and that’s if he remembers what state he’s in. Is he a better human than Donald Trump? Probably, but his mental decline has hit Lloyd Bridges-in-Hot-Shots! levels and he shares troubling characteristics with the president, beginning with a pathological struggle with truth.
Biden spent much of 2020 lying about everything from his Iraq War vote to his educational history to a fantasy about being arrested in South Africa with Nelson Mandela. The same press that killed him for this behavior in the past let it all slide this time. Same with the growing ledger of handsy-uncle incidents that had adolescent girls and campaigning politicians alike wondering why a Vice President needs to smell their hair or plant lingering kisses on their heads while cameras flash.
Biden’s entire argument for the presidency, and it’s a powerful one, is his opponent. This week’s election is not a choice between “light or darkness,” but “pretty much anything or Donald Trump,” and only in that context is this disintegrating, bilious iteration of Scranton Joe even distantly credible as a choice for the world’s most powerful office.
ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY
Just got back from my final “laying in supplies” run to the store before the election. Will be voting in person first thing in the morning. Car is gassed up for rural flight if things go downhill tomorrow night. Family Protection is organized (well enough I guess, I’m no soldier) in the event the nihilistic, childish mob decides to roll their way out to the burbs for some fun.
Sure hope the power grid stays intact. That’s my only major fear here, is that some connected idiots would actually pull that card and play it. The feeling in the air is not pleasant. First election I ever have experienced that truly felt ominous.
Used to be your guy lost and you’d say, “Ah, shit.” And then move on. Doesn’t seem so likely that will happen this time around. But I sure hope some level of common sense prevails. It just might?
YORKVILLE CELL TOWER
Subject: please place info for the new AT&T Yorkville tower also in your online section.
See info for Planning Commission's Nov. 19 meeting.
They sent you info to place in the newspaper.
Thanks, Anne Marie Weibel
THE CURRENT ITERATION of The Intercept is completely unrecognizable when compared to that original vision. Rather than offering a venue for airing dissent, marginalized voices and unheard perspectives, it is rapidly becoming just another media outlet with mandated ideological and partisan loyalties, a rigid and narrow range of permitted viewpoints (ranging from establishment liberalism to soft leftism, but always anchored in ultimate support for the Democratic Party), a deep fear of offending hegemonic cultural liberalism and center-left Twitter luminaries, and an overarching need to secure the approval and admiration of the very mainstream media outlets we created The Intercept to oppose, critique and subvert. — Glenn Greewald
JEFF BLANKFORT on the passing of Robert Fisk: I am shocked by this news! Robert Fisk was a friend for many years and not only a principled journalist which he remained (while many on the left faulted him for not being an advocate). His reporting of the brutal details of Israel's invasion of Lebanon where I first encountered his writings, and his coverage of Israel's suppression of the Palestinians were without parallels among mainstream media journalists.
In the case of Syria, his honest on the scene reporting of what he saw there ran counter to the position of the US media and led to his no longer being asked to share his opinions on Democracy Now! which had embraced the Obama administration's anti-government stance.
I first met Fisk in 2001 when I recorded him speaking before the Armenian National Council on the Armenian genocide on San Francisco's Treasure Island and we became instant friends so when he would come to Berkeley to speak before the Middle East Children's Alliance, I would take care of his logistics.
In addition to his columns in The Independent he found time to produce two prodigious historical works: "The Great War for Civilization: The Conquest of the Middle East," "Pity the Nation: The Abduction of Lebanon," and a number of collections of his columns, including "Robert Fisk on Israel: The Obama Years."
He was also one of the funniest people I have ever met, doing comic routines of political figures while we were driving to speaking engagements on his visits to Berkeley or elsewhere in the SF Bay Area or sitting at a cafe which, unfortunately, he wouldn't allow me to tape.
* * *
(From the Guardian)
Robert Fisk, veteran British foreign correspondent, dies aged 74
Journalist was reportedly admitted to hospital after suffering a suspected stroke
by Clea Skopeliti
The veteran British foreign correspondent Robert Fisk has died at the age of 74.
The journalist and author was reportedly admitted to St Vincent’s hospital in Dublin after becoming unwell on Friday. A source at the Independent, where Fisk was Middle East correspondent, confirmed the news of his death.
Fisk was admitted to hospital after suffering a suspected stroke, according to a report in the Irish Times.
Described by the New York Times in 2005 as “probably the most famous foreign correspondent in Britain”, Fisk won many prestigious awards over the span of his career for his coverage of the Middle East.
These included the Orwell prize for journalism and multiple wins at the British Press Awards in the categories of international reporter of the year and foreign reporter of the year.
After beginning his career at the Sunday Express, Fisk moved to the Times, where from 1972 to 1975 he was the paper’s Belfast correspondent at the height of the Northern Ireland Troubles.
In 1976 he moved to Beirut where he began his career as a Middle East correspondent, covering the Lebanese civil war, the Iranian revolution, the Iran-Iraq war and the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan.
Fisk was celebrated in the UK for his coverage of Lebanon and his influential and best-selling account of the conflict, Pity the Nation.
He joined the Independent in 1989, and remained their correspondent in the region until his death, covering events such as Saddam Hussein’s invasion of Kuwait and the recent wars in Syria. He also reported on the Bosnian and Kosovo wars in the former Yugoslavia.
In the last years of his career he attracted criticism for his coverage of Syria’s ongoing civil war, with detractors - including some former admirers – accusing him of being insufficiently critical of his sources, especially those in the Syrian regime and army. He was unswayed by the controversy and maintained that he was writing only what he saw and heard.
As his stature grew both in the west and in the regions he covered, his journalistic methods started drawing closer scrutiny leading to questions over the credibility of some of his work, though he remained influential and widely read.
He was among the few Western journalists to interview the al-Qaida leader, Osama bin Laden, which he did three times during the 1990s.
He was a controversial figure, known for his criticism of the US. Following the 11 September 2001 attacks, he faced a backlash after asking what had motivated those who were responsible for the attacks.
Fisk also wrote books on Northern Ireland and the Middle East, including Pity the Nation: Lebanon at War and The Great War for Civilisation, in which he chronicled “the betrayals and treachery and deceit of Middle East history”.
Fisk had ties to Ireland dating back to his reporting during the Troubles, after which he completed a PhD at Trinity College. Among other honorary degrees and awards, he went on to receive Trinity College Dublin’s Historical Society’s gold medal in 2009.
Responding to the news of his death, Micheál Martin, the Irish taoiseach, tweeted: “Saddened tonight to hear of the death of journalist Robert Fisk. He was fearless & independent in his reporting, with a deeply researched understanding of the complexities of Middle Eastern history and politics. He helped many people understand those complexities better. RIP.”
THE AWFUL RECKONING
by James Kunstler
Historians of the future, pan-frying sowbugs over their campfires, will recollect in wonder and nausea the election of 2020 and the attempted controlled demolition of the USA by the Woke Rebellion and its incongruous avatar, Joe Biden, the Holy Ghost of Grift and Gaslight. All the forces of empire were arrayed in his support, as behind some sacred effigy of an obscure saint in a church processional, and yet all the voting public saw was a pitiful figure ranting at an audience of cars, an old dog barking pointlessly in a parking lot in the gathering darkness.
And then there was Trump… one word, Trump… no honorifics, as the Woke Legions spoke of the hated POTUS… Trump, who violated all their norms, threatened their perqs, and disputed their laughable identitarian shibboleths of racism, sexism, misogyny, homophobia, Islamophobia… the Golden Golem of Greatness summoning the deplorably un-Woke in their ghastly red hats from the hills and hollows by the thousands to hear him speak of “rounding the corner” and watch him do that charming dance thing to the disco tunes of his boomer youth, and the sheer high spirits of it all worked to dispel the Woke curse cast upon him by the legions of angry suburban wiccans, till we arrived at the electoral reckoning of November 3 — and then the real contest began.
Now what…? everybody is asking him, her, and theyself. Why should anyone believe the polls, given the craven corruption of all other news media branches — and polling is one of them, of course. The Biden family’s overseas “business” capers still smolder in the background, though, like a root fire in the piney woods, waiting to burst back into flame. Turns out the Chinese company the Bidens were courting as “partners” (CEFC China Energy) could not have been more obviously agents of the Chinese Communist Party’s intel apparatus. Even Hunter knew that — as his deal to build a natgas terminal in Louisiana with CEFC unraveled late in 2017. An audio recording found on Hunter’s fabled laptop has him speaking of CEFC exec Ho Chiping (a.k.a. Patrick Ho) thusly:
I have another New York Times reporter calling about my representation of Patrick Ho – the fucking spy chief of China who started the company that my partner, who is worth $323 billion, founded and is now missing. The richest man in the world is missing who was my partner. He was missing since I last saw him in his $58 million apartment inside a $4 billion deal to build the fucking largest fucking LNG port in the world. And I am receiving calls from the Southern District of New York from the U.S. Attorney himself.”
Mr. Ho ended up under indictment by the DOJ’s Southern District of New York for bribery and money-laundering. Hunter had volunteered to serve as one of Mr. Ho’s lawyers. Turned out the Biden family’s influence didn’t help much. Mr. Ho was convicted, served time in the same federal lockup in Manhattan where Jeffrey Epstein turned up dead, and was deported to Hong Kong in 2019. CEFC was soon put out of business by its sponsor, the CCP. But for all those sordid complications, the Biden family walked away with at least $4.8 million, funneled through a CCP shadow Company called Hudson West III to Hunter’s Owasco law firm bank account.
Oh, here’s a strange Swamp sidelight to all this: CEFC’s main exploit during the Biden hook-up years was the purchase of a 14 percent stake in Russia’s oil-and-gas giant, Rosneft, to help China circumvent US sanctions on Russia’s oil sales. Guess who was one of the lawyers working for Rosneft: Christopher Wray, just before he became FBI director. And guess who has been sitting on Hunter Biden’s laptop since at least December of 2019. Oh, the FBI. And guess what else: the Rosneft files have since been deleted by Mr. Wray’s old law firm, King and Spalding.
Now, the question is, will this hairball of grift explode into official proceedings following the election? We’re informed that the DOJ opened a money laundering investigation on Hunter Biden a year ago when allegations arose over his $85,000-a-month “job” on the board of directors of Ukraine’s Burisma natgas company, which plum, no-show gig ran from 2014 to 2019, netting Hunter millions. Is the DOJ also looking into the CEFC shenanigans? The DOJ had FISA warrants on the outfit through the Patrick Ho affair, however FISA predicates and evidence enjoy special legal status and can remain hidden indefinitely.
And, if by some mysterious act of God (or write-in ballot fraud) Joe Biden manages to get elected POTUS, how can he possibly be inaugurated with himself and his family tangled up in a grift case that involves the Chinese Communist Party’s intel service? It flat-out ain’t gonna happen. Mr. Biden will be forced to disqualify himself. Does Kamala Harris then become Acting-POTUS? There’s no precedent for a president-elect resigning before he is sworn into office. No doubt there will be lawsuits over this and they will lead post-haste to Supreme Court adjudication.
At the same time, also look for an all-out Lawfare assault on individual state voting outcomes and the translation of dubiously harvested votes into electoral college alt-delegations. Lawfare will bring to bear every legerdemain in the trick-bag of legal necromancy to work this scam in the Democratic Party’s favor. But they will not go unopposed by Mr. Trump’s lawyers. And what will it avail the Lawfare campaign, anyway, as Mr. Biden gets buried in allegations of criminal misconduct? And — not to lard the lily, as they say — what happens if, post-election and before January 20, Messrs Barr and Durham just happen to finally deliver indictments against the perps of RussiaGate? Oh, won’t this be a world-beating political mess of all messes ever? Think the stock and bond markets will love it?
Meanwhile, will we be treated to the extravaganza of Antifa and BLM burning and looting in the cities from sea to shining sea? I would ask: How might that not happen? They’ve been rehearsing for the Big Show all year. With new Covid lockdowns, the insectile armies of black-clad street-fighters will be anxious to reactivate the social space that Antifa and BLM so nicely afford. Riots are fun! Especially when the police are not allowed to effectively intervene to stop them. Smashing stuff, burning, and looting are fun — like Halloween and Christmas put together!
I’ll be voting for Mr. Trump tomorrow in my little bid to prevent the Democratic Party from getting its depraved mitts on the levers of government. I’ll chime in with a post-election-day update, right here on Wednesday, though perhaps not at the crack of dawn.
(Support Kunstler’s writing by visiting his Patreon Page.)
CHRIS HEDGES INTERVIEWS MATT TAIBBI
Chris Hedges talks to Matt Taibbi journalist and author, about the rapidly disintegrating media landscape and its consequences.