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 girlfriend 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.
TRUMP: “Joe Biden called me George yesterday. Couldn’t remember my name. Got some help from the anchor to get him through the interview. The Fake News Cartel is working overtime to cover it up!” Biden was addressing a virtual audience Sunday night when he said: “Four more years of George, er, George, er, he — we’re going to find ourselves in a position where, if Trump gets elected, we’re going to be in a different world.”
WE’RE ALREADY in a different world of rolling unaddressed catastrophes, and the Democrats are the largest cargo cult ever in believing that Biden is the man to right the good ship America. Something has finally snapped. Trump has accelerated the ongoing bipartisan disaster, and he just may have tipped it over the edge into full-on chaos commencing November 4th, especially if he magically manages to beat Biden.
MARIJUANA, an on-line comment: “Another pathetic romanticized account of the marijuana industry!! For shits sake folks, wake the f*#@k up. These grows are absolutely and without question ruining our community. The illegals are destroying our environment and community without any regard to others. The legal grows are not much better, putting greenhouses on our local ridges with grow lights 24/7, generators running all hours, traffic from employees on roads not intended to be used all year long. The most hilarious one is the trucking of huge amounts of “soil” into our remote areas to grow an agricultural crop! Now that is ridiculous, how can the Board of Supervisors and Planning Department approve of and permit a grow to be agricultural when you have to import the soil to raise the crop? What a bunch of loons, to think this is sustainable and that it is a good thing for our County and community.”
MENDOCINO COUNTY, where the excitement never ends. The presser begins, “The County of Mendocino is excited to announce that part one of the Small Business Recovery Grant Program funding will soon be available to eligible for-profit micro-businesses in Mendocino County. The grants will be administered through West Business Development Center…”
$500,000 won’t go far even if the geniuses of free enterprise at West Business Development Center didn’t take a big whack. Two on-line comments neatly sum up the excitement:
• First, Mendocino County kills all of our small businesses, then Mendocino County offers businesses pennies to try to save them? Screw the Board of Supervisors, Screw the County Health Officials. Your reaction to the pandemic did way more harm than any perceived threat of the bs lab made virus. You can go eat your masks, lametards.
• Mendocino not making what they think they should. How do we fix that? More loans! Invite small businesses to register so we can track and tax you! Average income in Mendocino under 30gs. Elite few make tons preying on the less financially solvent folks.
• Want a better community… training, job shadowing. Not grants and loans that get quickly spent and or misappropriated.
• Get some affordable housing for people.
• $20 an hour you do not meet the 3x the rent standard all realtors adhere to around here.
• It’s way more broken in Mendo than what this little bandaid can fix. It sadly exsanguinated long ago.”
ACCORDING to a fresh British study, the proportion of England’s population with the antibodies that form an immune defense is falling, and falling sharply, not rising, and leaving more people open to a second infection by the highly contagious virus.
HERD IMMUNITY? Graham Cooke, co-author of the report, said: “As a whole, these data suggest the possibility that decreasing population immunity will lead to an increased risk of reinfection as detectable antibodies decline in the population.”
KEITH RANIERE, the NXIVM cult guy infamous for branding — yes, branding them like cows — his dingbat followers, among them actors and millionaires, was sentenced to 120 years on Tuesday for sex-trafficking. Raniere, inevitably described as “brilliant” and a “genius,” although try as I might as I watched the over-long documentary film on him called “The Vow” on HBO, all I saw was a short fat guy spouting fortune cookie platitudes to audiences of rapt feebs. There’s an unintentionally hilarious scene where Raniere, shaking in his Birks, meets the Dalai Lama, who instantly spots Raniere as the phony hustler he is. The documentary is way too long and way too focused on the post-cult neurotic dupes seduced by Raniere; their dupe-dom is hard to sympathize with because this guy is so transparently fraudulent you come away wondering whatever happened to basic survival skills. Raniere charged these pathetic sheep thousands of dollars for invitation-only self-improvement courses, meaning only people with thousands of dollars to spend on the scam could afford it, and who knew there were so many airheads around who could?
MENDOCINO COUNTY has its own sordid cult history, most of it back in the late sixties-early seventies, and an occasional pseudo-mystic hustler wanders through with a smooth enough patter to fleece the untethered. Most of these would-be gurus manage to skirt overt criminality, but we had some doozies back in the day. Why even I, savvy dude that I am, circa ‘72, bought a dozen laying hens from the Unification Church, then operating a brainwash center in the hills east of Boonville not far from the junction of 128 and 253 or, among old timers, the Ukiah Road and the Cloverdale Road. The Moonies had erected a beautifully carved sign at the driveway now leading to Sheep Dung Estates that read “New Ideal City.” A major prob with this city was its lack of infrastructure, having been a sheep ranch. Little water, no septic system, a thousand or so zomboid recruits perched on 600 bare acres. We wondered at the logistics, since the only structures were sheep shacks. The Moonie who sold me a dozen chickens assured me the hens were all young. “You’ll get fresh eggs for years,” he said. Being fresh outta the city I knew as much about poultry as I knew about spring boxes, discovering one morning that no water was flowing from the tap, and to restore the flow meant walking the line back into the hills to find the prob. The guaranteed laying hens never produced a single egg, and when a critter got ‘em all one night it seemed a cosmic squaring of accounts. On clear, still nights, you could hear the Moonies chanting for miles around. The Mendo authorities finally shut the place down after about a year for the obvious reason it presented a health hazard to them and us. But the Moonies didn’t abandon the property, oh no, they moved some refrigerated trailers up the hill and set up shop as, of all things, a chinchilla farm staffed by a German national married to an Italian national in one of the Rev’s mass weddings. But next thing we knew, the Moonies had bought a major Washington DC newspaper and, showering our reps with millions of dollars, no one dared called them Moonies any more.
A READER WRITES: You’ve written something a couple of months ago about Supervisor John McCowen being banned from talking to staff. You said you asked the CEO about it and got no response. Have you heard anything more? Did you ever ask McCowen? You’re always taking shots at him, but he says what he thinks. He and Ted Williams are the only ones to do.
And they are the only ones willing to take Angelo on. Ted does it matter of factly in a way that doesn’t ruffle feathers but watching the meetings you can see Angelo gets triggered when McCowen speaks out. And you can see Haschak is Angelo’s lapdog always trying to shut McCowen up. Did you watch the covid update from the last meeting? It’s a good example. McCowen keeps asking questions and Haschak keeps trying to cut him off. I’ll take a dollar for every time Haschak said “Is that it?,” or “We have to wrap this up,” or similar.
I’m retired now but still hear from friends and nothing has changed since Angelo first took over at HHSA. There used to be an independent clerk of the board with a staff that worked directly for the supervisors. Now Angelo is the clerk of the board which means she controls the agenda and flow of information. It’s the classic GIGO as Ted Williams would know from programming — “garbage in, garbage out” — control the information and you control the outcome.
The best example of that was a couple of meetings ago, I think the first one in October. There were a bunch of sets of minutes on the agenda. There is an interesting memo from McCowen that proves the control of info comment. The last time staff recorded a directive from the board was in March! I could recap that memo for you but you might want to print it as a Memo of the Week. You can see it online for the October 6 agenda item 4b.
ED NOTE: Supporting documents were attached to this reader’s note including the McCowen memo in question. We’ve pointed out several times that CEO Angelo’s take-over of the Clerk of the Board’s function back in 2009/2010 — for alleged cost savings/consolidation reasons (no money was saved, of course, essentially the same staffing is in place minus Board Clerk Christy Furman). Not only does the CEO fail to properly record Board directives, but the ones they do list are poorly worded and don’t have deadlines nor clear responsibilities. And nobody ever follows up on them anyway, accepting the generic “in process” status for months or more.
THIS QUOTE begs a basic question: “I am thankful, and cautiously optimistic that the state is allowing us to re-open further,” says County Health Officer Dr. Andy Coren. “While this is good news, we cannot allow this to make us believe we are in the clear. Many regions in the country have been experiencing recent spikes in COVID-19, so we all must individually maintain protective measures against this virus.”
THE QUESTION is what’s the point of a highly paid Mendo health officer if the state calls the tune, and calls it without regard to local circumstances? Health Officer in this county has traditionally been a do-nothing sinecure occupied by under-employed medicos. Coren succeeds Noemi Doohan, and both are in the grand tradition. A lot of Mendo people have been unnecessarily thrown out of work by these broad brush state edicts, while our so-called Health Officer merely signs off on what some anonymous drone, sitting in a Sacramento office, deduces from Mendo’s suspect stats. For instance, a lot of our cases have been vineyard workers bussed in from I-5 towns due to Mendo’s in-county labor shortage.
CAN’T SAY I miss the ava comment line, presently out of service while our server allegedly serves up a Russian-proof website. Or something like that to save us from hackers. About one in three comments is interesting and-or pertinent. The rest are either ax grinders peddling cut and paste insanity from dubious websites or straight-up loons. Anyway, the tech titans are now in full control of our cyber-lives and, as they’ve done to us this week, suddenly descend with no warning to hack us themselves with the latest wrinkles in alleged security.
WINE BOTTLES as weapons, an on-line comment: “Has anybody noticed that cheap red blends sometimes come in heavy-ass bottles. I guess the idea is that it is supposed to create a better impression, but when I pick up one of these from the shelf I put it right back b/c they spent their money on stupid bottles not the contents. Anyway, poor dude who got hit with one… I hope his brother switches to something classier but still value-oriented. I find a lot of good Bordeaux and Rhone blends in the $10 range that come in shitty thin bottles. At least that way if things go sideways nobody gets hurt.”
SENSIBLE OBSERVATION re the county’s pot program by Jon Kennedy, candidate for 1st District supervisor: “We have turned this into its own revenue-enhancing program for this budget, and I can prove it. That’s not what government is supposed to be. The government is supposed to take care of public safety, the environment, and the health of the community; that’s our job. It isn’t to create its own industry on the back of another industry.”
INTERESTING interview with AOC in the current Vanity Fair. She says she isn’t surprised that her name is never far from President Donald Trump’s loose lips. She says the torrents of abuse she gets almost caused her to pack it in. “It’s not an accident that, every cycle, the boogeyman of the Democrats is a woman,” she said. “A couple of cycles ago, it was Pelosi. Then it was Hillary, and now it’s me.”
I TRULY don’t get the hostility for AOC other than a lot of oinkers can’t handle smart women, especially smart women at the power levers. Her ideas are well within the old Rooseveltian, social democratic tradition as are Bernie’s. Neither one of them is a “socialist” in any traditional sense of the term. A true socialist would agitate for public ownership of all the major instruments of production and services that Americans depend on for their lives. Locally, that would mean a public takeover of, say, our privately held forests, which could and should be managed in the public interest by the people who work in the woods and the mills. Or used to prior to the woods and the mills being looted by distant greedheads. And instead of for-profit hospitals like Mendo’s, now in the monopoly hands of a vegetarian Christian off-shoot, all the hospitals would be owned by the communities they serve. Anyhoo, I understand the hostility for Pelosi and Hillary; you don’t have to be a sexist to be highly annoyed by them, but I’m a big fan of AOC’s.
ON THE SUBJECT of female officeholders, Mo Mulheren, poised to become the new supervisor for District Two, assessed the women who have previously functioned as Mendo County Supervisor — Liz Henry; Marilyn Butcher; Patti Campbell; Carre Brown; and Kendall Smith. Mo’s assessments require rose-colored glasses to come to the conclusions Mo came to. Of the five, considered for ability and principle, Liz Henry was, by far, the pick of the litter. Butcher and Campbell were unerring votes for bad policy; Carre Brown is….well, so long as you don’t bring up water and Potter Valley in the same sentence, she’s pleasant enough; and Kendall Smith, who was obviously 5150 but mondo-boffo with Coast Lib, had to be threatened with prosecution by DA Eyster when she refused to return the money she’d stolen from the taxpayers via her travel and conference budget. Smith finally coughed up. Liz Henry stood up to constant attacks from “liberals” and the backwards people alike during the Redwood Summer period especially.
STARTLINGLY OPTIMISTIC ANALYSIS wafted into my in box this morning: “If Democrats win the White House and lock both chambers of Congress, those who backed Biden’s bid with an asterisk are preparing to push him with speed and purpose on a number of important issues [to the left], leaving little room for the pleasantries of party unity that prevailed throughout the general election. ‘The word on the street is it’s definitely going to start immediately,’ a former senior adviser to Bernie Sanders said in an interview on Tuesday. ‘Most people are putting on the good face to vote Trump out. But make no mistake, the current power structure on the Democratic side should take no comfort that the main reason why Biden may be elected president of the United States of America is mostly anti-Trump’.”
AND OF ALL PEOPLE, here comes Jared Huffman, improbably described as a male version of AOC: “Democrats will breathe a sigh of relief that we saved the democratic republic” if Biden defeats Trump. “But that’s the floor. Not the ceiling,” the progressive lawmaker [Huffman] said. “So, we’re gonna keep pushing, and I think we’re going to do it constructively. But we’ve gotta do a lot better than, ‘stitch the Affordable Care Act back together’.”
I’LL SAY, JARED, so, like, tell us about the rest of your “progressive” agenda. No sign of it on the Northcoast you allegedly represent. Prediction: Biden will beat the orange monster so badly the O.M. won’t be able to plausibly claim the election was stolen, but millions of Democrats voted against Trump not out of any enthusiasm for Republican Lite, Biden. Prediction dos: Kamala will be president by mid-summer of 2021 as Biden becomes so extremely ga-ga even the DNC can’t pretend he’s competent. Prediction tres: Widespread civil unrest as the Democrats, what with their first allegiances being to Goldman Sachs, the insurance combines, major corporations, and their wealthy padrones, won’t be capable of the massive social programs necessary to prevent this sucker from going all the way under.
ABSOLVED. Go in peace, my son: Eddie Alvarez is a candidate for the Santa Rosa City Council. His opponents, feigning shock and sputtering inappropriates, went to the Press Democrat with comments Alvarez had made the mistake of posting, apparently unaware that cyber-comment, like God, is eternal.
THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY, guardian of all matters good and true, had endorsed Alvarez, and was now being asked to un-endorse him for, among other sins, “transphobia,” and for denouncing the party itself when Alvarez was so unhappy with Hillary's candidacy that he went on Facebook with an image of a middle finger featuring, in block letters: “This lifelong Democrat says bye bye Democratic Party,” adding, “Fuck-Democrats and the horse they rode in on.”
A SECOND ALVAREZ POST from February 2018 criticized the MeToo movement. “I'm calling bullshit because you’re walking the same path as every other disenfranchised group,” claiming that the Me Too activists were “falling for the tired trick of getting you to invest your energy in protests” instead of more effective strategies.
THE BRIEF federal government shutdown of January 2018 inspired Alvarez to compare support for Trump like “buying a hooker that’s walking around with his thing hanging out ... yes, somebody is gonna get screwed, but you might be surprised on whose (sic) doing the screwing, and most importantly who is getting screwed.”
DOUBLE, TRIPLE HARRUMPH. But SoCo's eternally flexible Democrats have both absolved their incorrect candidate and persuaded him to apologize, which he has: “It was pretty much the frustration of being ignored,” Alvarez said of his post from four years ago, calling it “a poor choice of words. Thankfully, we moved beyond them.”
A NOT PARTICULARLY strict deconstruction of Alvarez-think reveals a man of limited imagination except for his unconsciously revelatory sexual imagery.
THE TERM “entitled” is most often applied to the haughty privileged, but in this place, Mendocino County, it applies perfectly to the wine industry. And there I was arguing the other day with some visitors who objected to my “totally unreasonable hostility for the wine industry.” I said Socrates himself could not find fault with my reasoning, but contented myself with a single defense: “The bastards killed all the frogs!” The couple looked askance. I'm sure they were thinking, “Jeez, maybe this guy's nuts.” I'd just met them, although they were way back subscribers. “We read every word.” (Uh oh.) But the only words they complained about were those thousands related to the in-county booze biz. “But,” I said, going for conciliation, “if the frog killers grew potatoes and produced vodka who could possibly complain? The potato, unlike the grape, is so infinitely elastic you can live on it and get loaded on it, too! Wine grapes? Please.” I wouldn't say they beat a hasty retreat, but they certainly didn't linger. I jotted down the couple's names to see if they renew their sub.
YOU KNOW the end is near when lawyers are advertising their dubious services on television. “We have legal professionals standing by!” proclaim a couple togged out in power suits against a backdrop of a dozen actors pretending to answer all the incoming business. My fave, and undoubtedly the fave of most male viewers, is the voluptuous attorney, Ms. Phoong, who promises “to answer all your questions” and can be reached at 916 GOT PAIN
WILL THE RUSSKIES again try to re-elect their boy, Trump? Probably. They did last time even as Trump correctly denounced the “deep state” for trying to deny him the White House and then, when he took the White House, worked overtime to oust him. The Russians’ dirty tricks would have been mooted if the Democrats had managed to run an electable person, but it seems clear now that Russians swung the election to Trump via the last minute dump of Hillary's private e-mails, which they released through Assange's Wikileaks. That email dump revealed how the DNC shafted the tame socialist, Bernie, not that it surprised anyone that the DNC and its primary funders would oppose even the mild reforms Bernie is for. The irony, among many ironies in all the skullduggery and Trump's constant denunciations of the deep state, that it was the deep state's FBI chief, James Comey, who announced a week before the 2016 election that the FBI was investigating ol' Hill and her e-mails. From all accounts Comey's announcement had a large last minute impact on voter opinion against Hill and for Trump, meaning it was the deep state that got him elected.
GLENN GREENWALD has been shoved out of Intercept, which he co-founded. Shoved out by whom? The middle-of-the-road extremists who run it now who refused to publish Greenwald's calm analysis about how the mainstream media, and much of the so-called left media, have refused to cover the revelations that Biden and his son have apparently monetized Joe's power-fame into big bucks from China and the Ukraine. Greenwald tried to point out how media bias in favor of Biden's election has caused big media to ignore the story for fear that the orange monster will be re-elected. Matt Taibbi covers the entire Greenwald story elsewhere, but it all translates to me at Boonville's beloved weekly that if freedom of speech and opinion depends on the libs, it's likely over.
RAGING BULL: Trump railed about his Trump-dominated Supreme Court Thursday after it ruled that Pennsylvania and North Carolina could count mail-in ballots after election day, claiming it could mean a “ridiculous” victory to Joe Biden. El Presidente said Biden would pack the Supreme Court with more liberal justices and “If Sleepy Joe Biden is actually elected President, the 4 Justices (plus1) that helped make such a ridiculous win possible would be relegated to sitting on not only a heavily PACKED COURT, but probably a REVOLVING COURT as well. At least the many new Justices will be Radical Left!.”
RADICAL LEFT? There isn't even a left, let alone a radical left. But Trump and Trumpers imagine that the millions of soft, corporate libs they otherwise characterize as latte-drinking wimpsucks, are also fearsome radicals because, I guess, they've never met a radical or have the foggiest notion of what they're talking about when they mindlessly repeat the idiocy about the “Marxist” menace they hear on Fox or read on some crackpot cyber-site.
AS THE SAGE of Boonville often points out, people generally believe what they need to believe, seldom revising their opinions even in the face of the facts. But on the off chance that the Trumpers reading this are interested there's a feature story in the current New Yorker magazine on Antifa. The writer interviews a few of their leading lights and a couple of Proud Boys as they clash in Portland. The Antifas… well, intellectually, they're unimpressive, to put it gently. No sign of a neo-Lenin. No sign that any of them are capable of anything more than sloganeering and ineffectively fighting your local police department. The Proud Boy types are much more inclined to ultra-vi but they, too, lack leadership of Hitler-Mussolini capacity, but I daresay their crude messaging appeals to more people, at this time, than Antifa's does, mostly because the Proud Boys present more acceptably than Antifa's ragged shock troops; media, as media have done since the 1960's, portrays anybody to the left of Biden and the NPR demographic as lunatics, and they always manage to find the craziest-looking demonstrator to feature on the evening news.
TENSIONS are rising, for a fact, with both Trumpers and the lib media not exactly predicting but regularly implying widespread violence in the wake of the election no matter who wins. For instance, Walmart says it has removed guns and ammo from displays at its stores, citing “civil unrest” across America as the reason, and the election hasn't even happened yet. “We have seen some isolated civil unrest and as we have done on several occasions over the last few years, we have moved our firearms and ammunition off the sales floor as a precaution for the safety of our associates and customers,” Walmart said in a statement emailed to The Associated Press on Thursday.
BELATED BERNIE woke up last week to say the Democrats couldn't continue to represent only the coastal elites they've been representing for fifty years now. He said he wants to revive the weekly $600 payment that supplemented state unemployment benefits and wants to get that additional $1,200 out to individuals and families. And health care for anyone who has lost it along with their jobs, and money to cities so they won't have to lay off personnel.
BERN wants to raise the minimum wage to at least $15 and make it easier for workers to join unions. Oh yeah, and equal pay for women, none of which is likely under Biden and unthinkable under Orange Man. The toothless tiger of the tame left roared, “If the Democratic Party does not stand firmly for working families and have the courage to take on the drug companies and the insurance companies and the big money interests, shame on them,” Sanders said.
THE DEMOCRATS haven't represented working families since Roosevelt (LBJ kinda did until Vietnam got him). Expecting Biden to represent working people is not reality based.
WALMART has reversed itself on guns and ammo displays. As apprehension grows that serious civil disorder commences this week, Walmart had said they would play down armed struggle by removing its hardware displays of guns and ammo, but has now concluded it's business as usual.
GOVERNOR NEWSOM contributed to the growing national hysteria with this statement Friday: “As it relates to making sure people are safe, making sure not only the process of voting is a safe and healthy one, but keeping people safe after the election for whatever may occur, the answer is yes, we are always gaming out different scenarios and making sure that we are prepared.”
THE ALAMEDA COUNTY Sheriff’s Office spokesman was even scarier, telling the Merc News, “The ultimate thing we’re scared of is you would have multiple violent protests in every city throughout the Bay Area … And that each county would be overwhelmed, and therefore there wouldn’t be enough officers to respond.”
TENSIONS RISING, at least they are on CNN where Wolf Blitzer is pinballing around the Situation Room from electoral maps to stills of obese Trumpers howling for their literal great white hope. Most Biden voters aren't voting for him so much as they're voting against Trump, expressing the cargo cult faith that Biden can make everything well again than then there is any real enthusiasm for the man and his fluid “program.”
I'M READING the Everyman collection of George Orwell's essays. Any kid planning to go to college to study liberal arts could get him or herself a better grounding in the humanities by investing a mere thirty bucks in this one book rather than a quarter mil sitting around bored in a classroom for four years only to emerge with a worthless diploma and a huge pile of debt.
AMONG the other things I didn't know in the universe of things I don't know is that Orwell considered some of Jack London's short stories among “the best short stories the English-speaking peoples have had.” As an added interesting bit of information Orwell tells us that London's story “Love of Life” was the last story read to Lenin when he was dying. Orwell goes on to lament that one collection of London's stories, “When God Laughs” has “simply ceased to exist.”
ALSO FROM ORWELL: “Here is a little problem sometimes used as an intelligence test: A man walked four miles due south from his house and shot a bear. He then walked two miles due west, then walked another four miles due north and was back at his home again. What was the color of the bear?” The interesting point to Orwell is that “so far as my own observations go, men usually see the answer to this problem and women do not.”
ACCORDING TO state stats, as of Friday, 52% of Mendo ballots have been received by the County Clerk. We're on course to the highest election turnout in Mendo history. Say what you will about Trump, he's done great things for the vote.
HMMM. I can't help but notice that lots of my granddaughter's friends are named “Madison.” Jayne Thomas explains: “The reason so many American girls are named ‘Madison’ is because of the 1984 film, ‘Splash,’—an actually enjoyable fable. She’s a mermaid who assumes human form and walking down the NYC street with Tom Hanks’ character, they try to choose a name for her and she settles on ‘Madison’ as he reads the street sign. And that started the dumb craze!”
DOOFUS GANG HANGS THE JURY
A Mendocino County Superior Court jury returned from its deliberations on Monday morning, October 26th, to announce it was hopelessly deadlocked and would not be able to reach unanimous verdicts.
After consulting with the prosecutor and the three defense attorneys, Presiding Judge Ann Moorman declared a mistrial.
After the members of the jury were thanked and excused, the parties were ordered to return to court on November 13, 2020 to receive notice of whether or not the District Attorney has elected to pursue a second retrial in front of a new and different jury.
Per protocol, the District Attorney, the trial prosecutor, and senior office prosecutors will meet and discuss the procedural and factual history of the case, the conflicting juror splits from both the first trial and the retrial, all available evidence, additional investigation, if any, and other pertinent information. District Attorney Eyster will be the final arbiter of whether or not to seek a second retrial.
Defendants Nathan Dominic Kurtz, age 26, of Petaluma; Azuriah Paul, age 26, of Forestville; and Shane Christian Waier, age 26, of Capitola, remain charged with first degree robbery in concert with two or more others, along with certain special allegations relating to firearms.
The law enforcement agencies that were involved in the investigation of this July 2019 case continue to be the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office, the Mendocino Major Crimes Task Force, and the District Attorney’s Bureau of Investigations.
The attorney prosecuting the three defendants is Assistant
Mendocino County Superior Court Judge Keith Faulder presided over the five-day trial.
ON LINE COMMENTS OF THE WEEK
 I had to explain to my youngest daughter (B.S. from Georgetown, M.A. from Cambridge) the difference between primary sexual characteristics (penis or vagina) and secondary sexual characteristics (breasts for women, beard for men) and how people confuse the two. If a man who claims he’s really a woman, has breast augmentation & hormone therapy but doesn’t have his penis and testicles removed–he’s still a man b/c his primary sexual characteristic has not been changed. And doctors “assigning” gender at birth is complete nonsense. Doctors document the baby’s sex based on — you guessed it! — primary sexual characteristic. The medical field has been shamefully silent by allowing this idiocy to perpetuate. Once again, the power of woksterism picking and choosing “facts” that suit their purpose and screaming insults at anyone who challenges them.
 Trump has turned the entire Republican party into a joke. There’s a local Republican group in my sister’s town known as the “Trump Train” and they spend their time going into local businesses and harassing employees and customers who are visible minorities, and taking BLM flags and running them over with their trucks and setting them on fire. Some people need a real hobby. Not to mention the Republican party rolling back over 80 significant environmental regulations, or not having a plan to transition away from oil. Not to mention the hypocrisy of the SCOTUS nomination. She might be a fine person (or not), but so was Obama’s appointee 8 months before the end of his term. I hate both parties as much as the next person, and have always voted third-party (except for Obama’s second term, I did vote for him). The toxic culture of Trump groupies makes me want to vomit, and is probably going to make me vote for Biden over my usual third party pick. To assume Trump and his Republican cronies are somehow less corrupt than Democrats is laughable indeed. They’re all DC swamp creatures on both sides of the aisle. My priority is for us to at least have someone in office who has a plan to keep our heads above water, because God knows Trump has no plan.
 I’m not a fan of binary thinking, e.g. ‘Trump is evil’ or ‘Biden is a communist’…
The trouble with Biden is that he is exactly what the US doesn’t need at the moment: a staid, incompetent, wholly underwhelming, lifelong politician who certainly will not be able to effectively manage entropic decline that the nation will continue to experience and only accelerate as streams of energy production become a bigger concern.
The Left wants to shut down fossil fuel production. This isn’t going to happen. In an odd way, the corrupt democrat party will continue to support Big Oil, if simply out of practical necessity. There just is no other real methods to fuel Disneyworld, Walmart & the movement of peoples across the US.
So, Biden will not turn the US communist, or anything like that. The democrats are fascists. They will do the bidding of multi-national corporations.
There will be some economic recovery under the first part of a Biden Presidency. I think the US will be waging at least one or more wars in the next 2 years with a Biden President. War can have the ability to give the US economy a little boost, especially to the democrat west coast, where a lot of US bomb makers live and work. Weapons manufacturing is one of the last industries in the US.
..however, entropic decline & the management of that decline, will prove too much particularly for Biden (or really anybody for that matter).
Another part of an economic upturn will be government largesse & payoffs to racial & classes that supported Biden. More welfare/social service programs. Government contracts to particular unions, etc.
That’s how the sausage is made in the US!
 What is this wokester stuff but psychological and behavioral rigidity? Like an intellectual parkinsonism maybe. Or maybe more like the kind of thing that good wokesters piss on regularly, you know, religious belief, a set of assertions taken on trust or faith, unverifiable and unfalsifiable, things you take as true simply because authority sez they’re true. And thou shalt not diverge, thou shalt adhere to orthodoxy on pain of expulsion or ostracism or worse.
And where have we seen this before? In civilizations in decline, like the Islamic world when the Enlightenment era took root. Said they at the time, we don’t want none of this enlightenment crap, nope, we don’t need none, we’ll just keep doin’ what we’ve been doin’. Yup, why do we need infidels tellin’ us what’s what?
Until that time it was a toss up as to what way would predominate, with the West on its way up, rediscovering antiquity, learning new ways of thinking, learning science and history and mathematics from the Hindu and Muslim world, shaking off Christian religious dogma and looking at the world as it is, not as the holy men and their books said it is, with the great Muslim cities still fat and rich from trade with the east and endowed with centuries of scholarship.
But the times they were a-changin’ and the glittering societies of the Middle East and elsewhere failed to take note. Same with China, slumbering in its self-satisfied conviction of its own superiority, barbarism beyond its borders, end of story. It failed to notice that up north, not that far north, there was a narrow body of water with tips of land practically touching, an entire continent a stone’s throw away, and below that continent yet another. Nope, no exploration for us thanks very much, nothing out there worth knowing about. And so the Chinese and Muslims bitch and moan about Western dominance.
It looks to me like the US falling into that same kind of cultural declinism, with freedom to think and speak and act severely curtailed, a sitting duck for tougher and more aggressive people. History may not repeat but it sure does rhyme.
 We really do live in two complete separate worlds now. ya know, people contemporary to the Civil War wrote about similar circumstances where two sets of people were living in two realities and the impossibility of one side communicating with the other.
My Democratic friends and associates live in a reality where Trump has turned loose his army of white nationalists to burn down and loot cities. They tell me that Trump is a Russian puppet that is making billions off of his presidency while locking children in cages here at home. They tell me that his wife hates him and he had a body double of her made so that he could be seen in public with her. These are college educated NPR-listening “enlightened liberals”.
On the other side we have a Biden “crime family” that is controlled by China. We have Qanon where the elites do terrible things to children. We have a Deep State that wishes to sell us all out to a cabal of globalists that wish to lower our standard of living to that of Nigeria. They see the Democrats as Branch Covidians that purposely shut down the economy in order to hurt Trump and independent small businesses.
How can these two sides come together as Americans? Someone please tell me.
 Extending Medicare to all Americans and not just allowing those 62 and up to enjoy the benefits we all paid into, and having the Social Security program that has literally saved American seniors from extreme poverty (another program seniors paid into all of our working lives) I would term as “socialist lite” since the recipients contributed to both programs with deductions from our paychecks.
Trump would be a true national hero if he asked Congress to allow all Americans under 62 to have Medicare with a work contribution and our taxes making a contribution as well. Medicare could then negotiate very low drug prices, everyone could change jobs and move from state to state without worrying about being “covered” (portability) and never have to worry about losing their homes due to unexpected illnesses.
I am a Registered Nurse (retired) and have championed Medicare for All for decades and it is a fact that the vast majority of polling shows the American people supporting such a health program which would save billions by eliminating the unnecessary insurance corporations from their gouging and controlling middle man positions. When Medicare is explained, as above, well over 50% polled support it.
Which is why the corporate whore Joe Biden announced that if Congress passed Medicare for All he would veto it.
Obama was even worse. He lied about supporting Medicare for All then once he was elected he signed on to Romneycare and he even personally killed The Public Option.
Trump could do a listening tour on healthcare and get an earful. The American people are tired of being dicked around by private insurance and their games and gouging. People need health “security” since most Americans are one heart attack away from having medical bills causing them to lose their homes!
If Trump wants a great legacy, securing Social Security and simply extending Medicare to all who want it would do the trick.
If supporting the above makes me a socialist then so be it.
 A very simple thing it is being judged by the company you keep, by who you do business with, by who you accept money from. Why would Crazy Joe and Boy Biden expect to be judged by any other standard than what ordinary people live by? Why would the mainstream press judge them by any other standard? Oh, stupid me, it’s because the Bidens are too big for that. And it’s because corporate interests own this same press and it’s because corporate interests are deep inside Chinese pockets. And it’s because to the Clintons, to the Bidens, to the clique of billionaires that call the shots, the only thing that matters is their money, their fortune, and they’re not too fussy about small things like how they come about it. And heaven forfend that anyone have interests of their own like not living one paycheck from destitution. That after all is the natural lot of Deplorables and native Indians and Latinos and Blacks.