Light Rain | 17 Cases | Miller Report | Franklin Street | Covelo Abductions | Redwood Bus | Arctic Refuge | Spending Life | Cats Heisted | Coast Homes | Ed Notes | Yesterday's Catch | Sacrifice Comfort | Military Madness | Cabrillo Lighthouse | Cabinet Nominees | Downtown Elk | Happy Tofurky | Log Pond | IOC Tokyo | Leggett Veneer | Restaurant Support | Illegal Supper | Gobble Talk | Virtual TG | Poor Leadership | Execution 1902 | Planning Agenda | MAGA Pinup
A WEAK FRONT will bring another batch of light rain to the area late today and tonight through Wednesday. Otherwise, seasonably cool temperatures are expected this week, with valley fog and frost during the morning hours followed by dry afternoon conditions. (NWS)
17 NEW COVID CASES reported in Mendocino County on Sunday bringing the total to 1441.
COVID CASES ON THE RISE ON THE COAST
by William Miller, MD – Chief of Staff at Adventist Health – Mendocino Coast Hospital
As we start into the holiday season, we all need to be mindful that this pandemic is spread when we let down our guard and take off our masks. This is the reason that family get togethers should be avoided this Thanksgiving and Christmas. Similarly, we should not define our social bubble to include our co-workers at work. I have seen several examples of where co-workers in a local business have their masks off when together and only put them on when a customer walks up. This is not safe behavior. No one is immune and this includes staff of hospitals.
We have seen multiple out breaks amongst health care workers throughout California and it is usually not from getting it from patients, but from other healthcare workers when we go into a break room to relax and enjoy that cup of coffee or our lunch. We take off our mask and socialize with co-workers. This week we experienced this very same kind of outbreak here at our hospital. Four of our staff became sick over the weekend from the same department and three tested positive. All of the rest of the staff in the department are now being tested and we have done a thorough cleaning of the area. Fortunately, the department is a support one and does not provide direct patient care. We are using this as an opportunity to remind ourselves that we all need to wear our masks, including when we are with our co-workers.
I also wish to assure the community that we are being vigilant about this pandemic and continue to take the necessary steps to ensure that the care you receive at our hospital is a safe one.
Lastly, I again urge all of us to have our holiday celebrations this year be virtual ones and not in person.
Local Community Screening. I got an update from Dr. Coran, our Mendocino County Health Officer, on the status of community surveillance testing, which has been renamed community screening. As reported previously, UCSF abruptly canceled its free testing program to our county. As a result, the County is working with the State to expand the OptumServ program. Testing is now being offered seven days a week at the Fairgrounds in Ukiah. Testing will soon be expanded to the Coast and other outlying communities using traveling teams administering the OptumServ test. We expect to have testing available in these areas once a week. At this time there is no start date set for this, but the hope is that it may be as soon as the first week in December.
Correction. Last week, I reported incorrectly that the FDA had approved the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines. What happened was that the two pharmaceutical companies had completed their Phase 3 Trials and applied for emergency approval. The FDA is expected to likely grant this approval soon, however, has not done so at this time. Possibly, it will be by mid-December. There is a balance between wanting to get such a vaccine out as soon as possible with also wanting to make sure it is both safe and effective. Pfizer has stated that they expect to be able to deliver up to 50 million doses of the vaccine by then end of 2020 once they receive the go ahead from the FDA.
On Thursday, November 19, 2020 around 12:46 pm the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office received a 911 call from the 24400 Block of Oak Lane related to a reported assault and possible kidnapping of missing persons Kyle McCartney, 34 years of age, and Traci Bland, 48 years of age, both residents of the Covelo area.
The reporting party was initially uncooperative but eventually related earlier that day he was taken to an address on Oak Lane by the two missing persons. When they arrived four unknown Hispanic or Native American suspects attacked and assaulted Kyle and Traci. The reporting party indicated he fled and the missing persons were possibly kidnapped and have not been seen since Thursday November 19th, after 12:45 PM. The reporting party thought they were taken from their property in their own vehicle. This vehicle, a 2007 Chevrolet Tahoe (Gold colored) California License #7TZZ158, was later located, abandoned, near another address on Oak Lane.
The vehicle had not been there when the Sheriff's Office responded to that location after receiving the 911 call.
At this time the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office is investigating this missing persons incident as a possible kidnapping and assault as neither missing person has been seen since the November 19th incident. Anyone with information about this incident, the whereabouts of the two missing persons, or the specific movement of the the vehicle shown in the attached photograph to please contact the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office. The Sheriff's Office Investigations Unit is interested in the specific time frame of the vehicle movement between 12:45 PM and 3:00 PM on Thursday the 19th. The vehicle may have frequented the Mendocino Pass Road area as well as other areas in an around the Round Valley area. The Sheriff's Office is looking to hear from anyone with specific information related to this case. If you have any information related to this case please call the Sheriff's Office Communications line at 707-463-4086 or the Tip line at 707-234-2100.
UPDATE: Two bodies believed to be the missing couple, Traci Bland and Kyle McCartney, were found dumped on Hulls Valley Road north of Covelo late Monday afternoon, according to Mendocino County Sheriff Office’s Public Information Officer Captain Greg Van Patten. Bland and McCartney have been missing since November 19th when they were apparently abducted by several men from a home in Covelo.
SAVE THE ARCTIC
To: Environmental Defense Fund, Natural Resources Defense Council, Nature Conservancy, Mercy for Animals, American Bird Conservancy, National Audubon Society, World Wildlife Fund.
Re: Oil and gas leases in the Arctic National Wildlife Preserve
Greetings to you all:
I'm sure you know about President Tweet’s plan to open up the Arctic National Wildlife Reserve and sell leases for energy development. When I read this, my stomach dropped to the floor. We cannot let this happen. The Arctic National Wildlife Preserve is sacrosanct and it should stay that way forever.
I read that Mr. Bezos give several of you a sizable donation. I hope you'll use some of that to defend the Arctic and all the lives that depend on that, so far, pristine ecosystem. Fight this in the courts, stall, stall, until Mr. Biden takes office and negates this environmental disaster. And quite frankly, the blatant murder of millions of species. For that is what will happen if the refuge is trashed. And it would open up the “development” of all the other refuges in this country.
Please make this a priority. For those of you reading this in your local newspaper, please contact your representatives and beg them to get on board about this most crucial issue.
FORT BRAGG POLICE NOTICE: Catalytic converters being stolen.
This is a public service announcement regarding a pattern of activity recognized by the Fort Bragg Police Department. Between the dates of November 17, 2020 and November 23, 2020, the Department has taken and currently investigating three incidents involving theft of catalytic converters within the city limits. In each of the thefts, the vehicle targeted was a Toyota Prius and believed to have occurred sometime during the evening hours.
The Fort Bragg Police Department would like the public’s assistance in deterring this type of criminal activity. We ask that if you notice any suspicious activity or persons around or under a vehicle you contact our dispatch at (707) 964-0200 and report the incident.
If you have information related to this investigation please contact the Fort Bragg Police Department at (707) 961-2800 or our dispatch at (707)964-0200.
MENDOCINO'S MacCallum House bills itself as “cannabis friendly,” and its proprietor, Noah Sheppard is both. But the popular and long-time Mendo hotelier apparently wasn't able to charm Fish and Wildlife out of busting him for 300 pounds of the love drug at an Albion gro site. But given that Mendo's licensing program is complicated beyond all reason, and with applicants also suffering inspections from difficult-to-impossible state agencies, Sheppard, not in any way an outlaw, has a ready made defense. Given that covid has just about wrecked the County's inn and hotel businesses, and given that 300 pounds at, say, $800 a pound…
TODAY'S winter-crisp day conjures a childhood memory of my mother and a couple of her friends hanging out laundry on the neighborhood's hillside, their 1948 house dresses whipped tight by the wind around their red-chafed legs. Laundry was churned in the old wringer wash machines, irresistable to kids who would wind up with their forearms in casts when they didn't withdraw their hands fast enough helping Mom. And the iceman humped in big blocks of ice for the old Kelvinator, and the milkman left bottles of milk at the front door every morning and we'd yell, “Dibs on the cream.”
OL' HOPE AND CHANGE is off to his predicted start. Biden's first appointments to his national security team include former secretary of state John Kerry as climate czar and Alejandro Mayorkas as Homeland Security chief. The former secretary of state and former presidential nominee helped negotiate the Iran nuclear deal and Paris climate pact, and served with Biden in the Senate. Alejandro Mayorkas will take over an agency reeling after child separation scandals at the border. Biden will nominate Linda Thomas-Greenfield to be ambassador to the United Nations.
TOO CRAZY even for these people? Rudy Giuliani announced Sunday that Sidney Powell “is practicing law on her own. She is not a member of the Trump Legal Team. She is also not a lawyer for the President in his personal capacity.” Ms. Powell had recently appeared with Giuliani for a bizarre press conference at the Republican National Committee headquarters in Washington, during which she said the Chinese and other communists had funded Biden's rigging of the election. She also said Hugo Chavez, widely presumed dead for nearly a decade, was in on the commie election fix.
COLONEL VON UMLAUT, an Elk writer of unreadable books, once wrote a ham-handed satire called “Crazies Dress Normal” for Beth Bosk's New Settler Interview. The stories didn't live up to their promising title, but I was reminded of the title when I saw the photo of Ms. Powell, a crazy dressing normally. She looks like an old fashioned librarian, not the clinical quality Q-anon
CATCH OF THE DAY, November 23, 2020
JODINE BURKHART, Redwood Valley. Domestic battery.
DREW ERSLAND, Ukiah. Controlled substance, paraphernalia, county parole violation.
JEREMIAH HEILIG, Willits. Interfering with business, probation revocation. (Frequent flyer.)
JESUS HERRERA, Willits. Resisting, probation revocation.
JOSE LOPEZ-GALVEZ, Talmage. Failure to appear.
JOSE OBANDO, Gualala. DUI.
JASON RAY, Fort Bragg. Controlled substance, false ID, probation revocation.
SHAUN WAY, Ukiah. Organic drug furnish/sale, possess-purchase narcotic, controlled substance for sale and transport, paraphernalia, contempt of court.
JESUS ZAMBRANO-CEJA, Ukiah. DUI.
HEY JOE, WHERE YOU GOING WITH THAT PENTAGON IN YOUR HANDS?
by Norman Solomon
By all accounts, the frontrunner to be Joe Biden’s pick for Secretary of Defense is Michele Flournoy. It’s a prospect that should do more than set off alarm bells -- it should be understood as a scenario for the president-elect to stick his middle fingers in the eyes of Americans who are fed up with endless war and ongoing militarism.
Warning and petitioning Biden to dissuade him from a Flournoy nomination probably have scant chances of success. But if Biden puts her name forward, activists should quickly launch an all-out effort to block Senate confirmation.
As the Biden administration takes office, progressives have an opportunity to affirm and amplify the position that Martin Luther King Jr. boldly articulated when he insisted that “I never intend to adjust myself to the madness of militarism.” In the present day, the pernicious and lucrative aspects of that madness are personified in the favorite to be Biden’s Defense Secretary.
Days ago, the Project On Government Oversight (POGO) published a detained analysis under the headline “Should Michele Flournoy Be Secretary of Defense? The well-documented answer: No.
Citing “extensive defense industry ties,” POGO provided an overview of Flournoy’s revolving-door career. When she wasn’t oiling the war machine in the Clinton and Obama administrations, Flournoy was profiteering from servicing that machine:
“In 2002 she went from positions in the Pentagon and the National Defense University to the mainstream but hawkish Center for Strategic and International Studies, which is largely funded by industry and Pentagon contributions.”
“Five years later, she co-founded the second-most heavily contractor-funded think tank in Washington, the highly influential Center for a New American Security. That became a stepping stone to her role as under secretary of defense for policy in the Obama administration.”
“From there she rotated to the Boston Consulting Group, after which the firm’s military contracts expanded from $1.6 million to $32 million in three years.
She also joined the board of Booz Allen Hamilton, a consulting firm laden with defense contracts. In 2017 she co-founded WestExec Advisors, helping defense corporations market their products to the Pentagon and other agencies.”
Running parallel to Flournoy’s financial conflicts of interest was her long record of advocacy for military conflicts.
“Flournoy was widely considered to have been one of Obama’s more hawkish advisers and helped mastermind the escalation of the disastrous war in Afghanistan,” Arwa Mahdawi pointed out in a Nov. 21 Guardian piece. “She has called for increased defense spending, arguing in a 2017 Washington Post op-ed that Trump was ‘right to raise the need for more defense dollars.’ She has complained that Obama didn’t use military force enough, particularly in Syria. She supported the wars in Iraq and Libya…”
The president-elect is hardly in a position to hold such a record against prospective appointees. He has never fully acknowledged, much less renounced, his own roles in advocating for disastrous U.S. wars -- most notably and tragically, the war in Iraq.
Biden hasn’t gotten his story straight or come clean about supporting the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in 2003. His specious claims that he didn’t really support the invasion have been gross misrepresentations of the historical record. Actually, Biden was the Democrat in the Senate who exerted the most leverage in support of the Iraq invasion, and he did so with public enthusiasm.
The foreseeable dangers of picking Flournoy to run the Pentagon are compounded by Biden’s selection of Antony Blinken to be Secretary of State. It was Blinken who, 18 years ago, served as staff director for the Senate Foreign Relations Committee while its chairman, Joe Biden, oversaw the pivotal and badly skewed two-day hearing in summer 2002 that greased the congressional skids for approving an invasion of Iraq.
Blinken, along with Flournoy, co-founded WestExec Advisors, which the Washington Post’s breaking-news coverage of the Blinken nomination gingerly described as “a political strategy firm.” It was a nice euphemism, in contrast to how POGO describes the WestExec Advisors mission -- “helping defense corporations market their products to the Pentagon and other agencies.” The term “war profiteering” would be even more apt.
If past behavior is the best predictor of future behavior, there are ample reasons for apprehension about the top of the military and foreign-policy team that Biden has begun to install for his presidency. But realism should not lead to fatalism or passivity.
Extricating the United States from the grip of the military-industrial complex will require massive and sustained organizing. With that goal in mind, a grassroots campaign to prevent Michele Flournoy from becoming Secretary of Defense would be wise.
(Norman Solomon is the national director of RootsAction.org and the author of many books including War Made Easy: How Presidents and Pundits Keep Spinning Us to Death. He was a Bernie Sanders delegate from California to the 2016 and 2020 Democratic National Conventions. Solomon is the founder and executive director of the Institute for Public Accuracy.)
MEMO OF THE WEEK
Biden’s Transition Team
It’s been a couple of weeks since I last reached out. In the time since, we have been hard at work, building a government that reflects the values we campaigned on: healing our nation’s great divides at home and restoring our leadership role abroad. You were an integral part of our team, so I wanted to share some exciting news: I’ve selected my first Cabinet nominees.
The men and women I am announcing today will be core members of my national security, foreign policy, and law enforcement team. They are experienced and crisis-tested. They will keep us safe and secure. And, they are leaders who look like America and reflect my core belief that America is back and that we lead not just by the example of our power, but by the power of our example.
I’m honored to introduce these six extraordinary individuals:
Tony Blinken as Secretary of State
Tony is one of my most trusted advisors, and no one is better prepared for the job. He served as my staff director on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee when I was a Senator. He went on to serve as my National Security Advisor when I was Vice President and as Deputy Secretary of State under President Obama, continuing a life-long dedication to public service. Tony is universally respected by those who know him, and with good reason. He’s a principled, compassionate leader, and as America’s top diplomat, he’ll help strengthen our State Department and represent how America is strongest when we lead with our values.
Alejandro Mayorkas as Secretary of Homeland Security
The son of refugees, Ali will be the first Latino and immigrant to lead the Department of Homeland Security. As Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security under President Obama, he led the implementation of DACA, enhanced our cybersecurity, and responded to natural disasters and public health threats like Ebola and Zika. He will play a critical role in fixing our broken immigration system and understands that living up to our values and protecting our nation’s security aren’t mutually exclusive—and under his leadership, they’ll go hand-in-hand.
Avril Haines as Director of National Intelligence
A consummate national security professional, Avril was the first female Deputy Director of the CIA, and now, she will be the first woman to hold the office of Director of National Intelligence. I’ve worked with her for over a decade. She’s brilliant and humble and will always tell it straight while engaging in this work in a way that reflects our shared values. Under her leadership, our intelligence community will be supported, trusted, and empowered to protect our national security, without being undermined or politicized. We will be safer because of her.
Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield as U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations
As a 35-year veteran of the U.S. Foreign Service, Ambassador Thomas-Greenfield is a distinguished, respected diplomat who has served on four continents. Raised in segregated Louisiana, she follows in a tradition of barrier-breaking African-American diplomats who have dedicated their lives to public service, and brings critical perspective to a role that is more important—and more necessary—than ever before. As UN Ambassador, Linda will renew our relationships with our friends and allies, help revitalize our diplomatic corps and restore America’s reputation on the world stage.
Jake Sullivan as National Security Advisor
Jake was my National Security Advisor during my Vice Presidency, and a top advisor on domestic and foreign policy throughout my campaign, including on our strategy for controlling the pandemic. No one has a deeper understanding of the overlapping challenges we face, and how to protect our national security and advance a foreign policy that delivers for the middle class. He will be one of the youngest National Security Advisors in history, and his once-in-a-generation intellect and poise under pressure makes him the ideal choice for one of the toughest jobs in the world.
Secretary John Kerry as Special Presidential Envoy for Climate
Secretary Kerry needs no introduction. From signing the Paris Agreement on behalf of the United States as Secretary of State, to forming a bipartisan climate action coalition alongside the next generation of climate activists, his efforts to rally the world to combat climate change have been expansive and relentless. Now, I’ve asked him to return to government to get America back on track to address one of the most urgent national security threats we face—the climate crisis. This role is the first of its kind: the first cabinet-level climate position, and the first time climate change has had a seat at the table on the National Security Council. There could be no one better suited to meet this moment.
This team will be ready to take on our nation’s greatest challenges on day one, which is important because there is no time to waste when it comes to our national security. In adding these great Americans to my team, I hope my message is loud and clear: America is back. And America is ready to lead.
Thanks for all you do,
A better roast for Thanksgiving dinner.
The 222 million turkeys killed in the U.S. this year are raised in crowded sheds filled with toxic fumes. Their beaks and toes are clipped to prevent stress-induced aggression. At the tender age of 16 weeks, workers cut their throats and dump them into boiling water to remove their feathers.
Consumers pay a heavy price too. Turkey flesh is laced with cholesterol and saturated fats that elevate risk of chronic killer diseases. Prolonged cooking is required to destroy deadly pathogens lurking inside.
Now, for the good news. With growing popularity of Tofurky and other plant-based holiday roasts, U.S. turkey production has dropped a whopping 25% from its 1995 high of 293 million.
This Thanksgiving, let’s give thanks for our good fortune, health and happiness with a cruelty-free plant-based holiday roast available in convenient sizes. An internet search on “vegetarian Thanksgiving” offers more options and recipes than we could possibly use.
THE OLYMPIC MACHINE MEETS WITH PROTEST IN TOKYO
by Dave Zirin
It was a bizarre attempt at normality in highly abnormal times. Thomas Bach, the president of the International Olympic Committee, visited Tokyo last week for the first time since the coronavirus pandemic throttled Japan. In a highly scripted set of photo-ops throughout Tokyo, Bach projected a brand of buoyant optimism untroubled by the precariousness of our collective historical moment.
Bach vowed that the Tokyo Olympics in the shadow of the coronavirus would “be a light at the end of the dark tunnel.” But anti-Olympics activists in Japan’s capital were not buying Bach’s sophistry. For them, the “light at the end of the dark tunnel” is a gold-plated freight train careening toward their city. Protesters followed Bach around town, highlighting the absurdity of staging a wholly optional sports spectacle in the midst of a savage pandemic.
Back in March, in response to the initial explosion of Covid-19, the IOC and local Olympic organizers in Tokyo postponed the 2020 Summer Games. While other sports leagues slammed on the brakes, the IOC dragged its feet, with its president justifying the slow-motion response by admitting that he was relying on Donald Trump’s baseless public assurances that the pandemic would blow over by mid-April. Were it not for an upsurge of athletes and sports federations expressing concern and threatening to boycott, the IOC may well have plowed forward, public health be damned.
Protests were organized by the Tokyo-based activist umbrella group called Okotowari (loosely translated as “No thank you, Olympics”) and the grassroots collective Hangorin No Kai (“the Anti-Olympic Group”). Simultaneous satellite demonstrations took place in Kyoto as well as Okinawa, Sapporo, and Fukushima. To mark Bach’s arrival in Tokyo, anti-Olympics activists took to the streets with signs reading “Cancellation! Abolition!,” “Go to Hell!,” and “Protect your life from the Olympics!”
Activists questioned using trailer-loads of public money to keep the Olympics on life support while actual humans might require such measures. One clarion call from the streets of Tokyo was “Save lives, not the Olympics!” Originally slated to cost $7.3 billion, the Tokyo Games’ price tag has spiraled to nearly four times that, according to an audit by the Japanese government, with all but around $5 billion coming from public coffers. With postponement, the five-ring bill continues to mount.
Activists dogged Bach as he made his way around Tokyo. They appeared outside the Tokyo Metropolitan Government headquarters in Shinjuku, chanting, “Abolish IOC!” and “No Olympics anywhere!” Protesters also flew banners at the new National Stadium that was built for the Olympics. The stadium displaced residents from the Kasumigaoka apartment complex, fracturing the working-class community in the shadow of the stadium. Amazingly, some people who were displaced by the Olympic juggernaut in 2020 also lost their homes because of the 1964 Tokyo Games.
At the Tokyo Metropolitan Government headquarters, the IOC president broke from his security phalanx to confront the protesters, asking them, “Do you want to speak or just shout at me?” Bach was quickly whisked away and no discussion transpired. At a press conference afterward, journalist Kosuke Inagaki of Asahi Shimbun asked Bach about the skirmish. Bach responded, smirking all the while, by inaccurately minimizing the number of activists—“It was three people in front of the hall with a great megaphone”—and claiming that “I wanted to listen” but “they were shouting at me.” Referring to one protester with a megaphone, he stated, “Obviously she did not want to have a dialogue, so she could not explain to me what she really wanted. She just kept shouting at me.” He concluded by asking, “How can you talk to people who just keep shouting through a megaphone at you?”
Bach was referring to Misako Ichimura, a longtime anti-Olympics activist with Hangorin No Kai. She told The Nation, “First of all, I wasn’t shouting. When Bach approached me, I was about to turn toward him, but I was surrounded and held by police officers.” Ichimura said that from her vantage, “Bach’s impatience was clearly evident.” She added, “To say I didn’t choose dialogue is not entirely fair. This is exactly what the Olympics does—it uses ‘fair play’ to hide privilege and power.” She’s right. Bach’s impromptu plea for “dialogue” deliberately obscures power relations. After all, activists in Tokyo have never been given the opportunity to sit down with Olympic grandees to “have a dialogue.” For five-ring power brokers, boxing out critical voices has almost become an Olympic sport.
Most people in Japan have moved toward the position of anti-Olympics activists. Hiroki Ogasawara, a professor of sociology and cultural studies at Kobe University in Japan, told us, “People here are already disillusioned, not only by the long-promoted promise and prospect of Olympics but also by confusing words and comments by officials, including Bach himself.”
This month, a poll by TV Asahi found that almost 60 percent wanted the Tokyo Olympics to be either postponed or canceled. Last summer, a Kyodo News poll found that only 24 percent of respondents were keen to hold the Tokyo Games as rescheduled for July 2021. Around 36 percent thought the Games should be further postponed and 34 percent preferred outright cancellation. A survey of almost 13,000 Japanese companies had similar results, with 26 percent favoring postponement and 28 percent preferring cancellation—staggering numbers given that the Olympics are a profit magnet for many businesses.
Meanwhile, Olympic power brokers ram ahead like somnambulistic zealots under the spell of dollars and yen. For them, the front-of-the-mind concern is always the Olympic machine and its component parts, not the host city. The IOC president stated the quiet part out loud when he asserted that the “top priority” for the Tokyo Olympics continues to be the health and safety of Olympic athletes as well as ticket holders. Not mentioned? The everyday people in Tokyo whose health could be jeopardized by Olympics-going tourists from coronavirus-soaked countries like the United States. IOC honcho John Coates, the Australian who chairs the IOC Coordination Commission for the Tokyo Games, followed Bach’s lead, stating, “We have to make sure the Village is the safest place in Tokyo.” The IOC’s priorities are clear.
In the kind of remark that gives epidemiologists nightmares, Bach insisted that the Games could still happen with stadiums full of spectators. The Japan Times reported, “Organizers are moving forward in lockstep with plans to host the postponed Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games next summer with spectators.” For Olympic organizers, the only question that remains is how many fans.
Olympic exceptionalism is a hell of a drug. But it can’t compete with the coronavirus. On the day Bach left town, Tokyo saw a surge in infections, with nearly 500 new cases reported in the city and around 2,000 across Japan. Both were single-day records. “The situation in Tokyo is serious,” Satoko Itani, a professor of sports, gender, and sexuality studies at Kansai University in Japan, told us. “Bringing tens of thousands of people to Japan for the Olympics will risk not only further spreading the virus but also stressing the medical workers who have been asked to volunteer for Tokyo 2020 because the Olympics are scheduled for the hottest part of summer.” Beneath all the Olympic bombast spouted by Back, Tokyo faces a very simple question: people or profits. It’s in the best interests of the people to postpone the Olympics until a vaccine has made its way through the population. It’s in the best interests of the Olympic profit machine to push ahead with the Games, people be damned.
TAKE OUT, HELP OUT
We’re facing challenging times for restaurants with both weather and an increase in COVID-19 infections.
One of the reasons I love this community is our ability to step up and face challenges, whether they be fires, floods or community issues.
Right now, I want to suggest that everyone support restaurants through regular takeout. Leave a hefty tip, and buy alcohol if you can afford it.
The time is now, through winter and the holidays. Together we can make it through winter if we imagine owning a small business or restaurant and picture how you would wish the community would respond.
by James Kunstler
Only a few years ago, the nation seemed sturdy enough that its very existence would not be called to question. Now, not so much. In 2016, the elite, blue, coastal oligarchy was too smugly self-satisfied with its correctness-in-all-things — especially its right to power — to bother rigging the election beyond the usual urban ward-level hijinks in the usual places. But then, Hillary lost to Mr. Trump via the inside straight of his bagging the swing states electoral votes without winning the national popular vote.
They sure weren’t going to let that happen again, and thus the weird spectacle this time of wee hour vote-tallying suspensions followed by improbable ballot pump-and-dumps in favor of Ol’ White Joe Biden, the most inert, empty, uncharismatic presidential candidate ever conjured by any conclave of scheming cabalists in US history. (Next to Joe Biden, Warren G. Harding was an American Augustus.) And so, the 2020 vote was rigged to the rafters, just to make sure that the outcome this time would bend towards the Democrats’ beloved arc of justice.
The legal battle over that brazen theft has incited some exciting fightin’ phrases, mostly coming from freelance attorney Sidney Powell, an informal adjunct to the president’s official lawyers, Jenna Ellis and Rudy Giuliani. Miz Powell has promised to “release the kraken” and “blow up Georgia” in a “Biblical” firestorm of fatal writs, “fixing to overturn the results of this election” — leaving us early this week in the spooky eye of post-election sturm-and-drang, with the real action yet to come.
The president and the RNC lost a bunch of state court cases the past week and, naturally, that discouraged the pro-Trump troops across “red” America — which is mostly everything between Hackensack and Fresno. But these weak pleadings might have been designed to simply speed the process through the states so as to get the main arguments before the US Supreme Court, namely, that the foreign-owned Dominion vote tabulation company was pre-programmed to overcome any Trump lead; that the Dominion software was originally created to queer elections and indeed used many times to do just that in foreign lands; and that US election officials with their poll-worker grunts in select states connived to cover the fraud with as many unverifiable write-in votes as the job required. And then, evidence-as-proof!
If the SCOTUS agrees to hear the case — a big “if” — they may be extremely reluctant to rule affirmatively because 1) they’ll be venturing into a poorly-mapped constitutional frontier, and 2) the recent confirmation of Justice Amy Coney Barrett, installing a conservative super-majority on the court, will look as much like a setup to the blue staters as the Dominion vote fraud looks like a setup to the reds. But then, if the case is strong enough, SCOTUS does have the legal prerogative to de-certify state elections, sinking both candidates below the 270 electoral vote mark and rolling the giant, reeking hairball into the House of Representatives where Mr. Trump would enjoy a distinct advantage. Cue Antifa and BLM….
It’s not known exactly what further evidence Miz Powell and the president’s lawyers will bring to the SCOTUS — beyond what has already surfaced on the Internet, which is pretty eyebrow-raising. The news media has made a big show of calling for it, and caviling loudly when the lawyers say they’re holding back until the court is ready to entertain the case. It’s hard to imagine that Miz Powell and Mr. Giuliani would sacrifice their reputations on some kind of bluff. Anyway, what’s to bluff in this game? I don’t believe this trio would bring a wiffle bat to a gunfight.
One result of these final innings in the contest will be the delegitimizing of Ol’ White Joe Biden as president, should his forces finally prevail. Half of America will not only refuse to buy it, but it will incite a counter-resistance on the right as determined as Hillary’s pussyhat brigades and bureaucrat activists of the post-2016 era, and possibly more bloodthirsty, especially if the left makes a move to confiscate guns. The prospect of Joe Biden functioning as president is a joke, anyway. Have you forgotten his non-campaign campaign? The empty parking lots with the white circles? The pitiful gaffes? And lurking in this fog of war is all that odious monkey business selling influence abroad involving crack-head son Hunter and the rest of the Biden family. Think that’s going away?
What you’d actually get with a Biden “victory” is a Deep State junta of malicious, coercive, and vengeance-crazed characters such as John Brennan, Andrew Weissmann, Nancy Pelosi, Susan Rice, and Adam Schiff, with Barack Obama hovering somewhere backstage, commanding this-and-that — even if President Ol’ White Joe is shoved aside on account of mental incompetence, leaving Kamala Harris in the Oval Office to giggle through the next four years while she orchestrates junior-high-school style mean girl campaigns against the enemies of Wokesterism. The DC “blob” has demonstrated that it doesn’t need no steenkin’ president to work its wicked will.
Meanwhile, have a lovely Home Alone Thanksgiving, if you are dutifully following the orders of Governors Cuomo, Pritzker, Whitmer, Murphy, and Newsom. We’ll dare to have seven at the table here, and therefore not have to eat some reincarnation of turkey for three weeks afterward. As a holiday bonus, I leave you with a little burlesque submitted by a reader wishing to remain anonymous for your amusement, as follows…
(Support Kunstler’s writing by visiting his Patreon Page.)
BETSY CAWN WRITES:
County elected officials and the impacts of their actions (or inaction, in the case of a few, like Mendocino’s Dan Gjerde) reflect life-long ambitions and collaborations that the mostly oblivious or at least inattentive “public” are unaware of but certainly pay for, one way or another. The differences between our two counties’ are minor but significant. In both, the “leaders” shape the contour and features of the system that benefits some and neglects others. In both counties, the “Latino” populations suffer more from the latest health threat of communicable disease, but the conditions in which their vulnerability is increased are the results of class/wealth based choices. Grape growers and winemakers enjoy the privileges of exalted industrial magnates, while pot growers and distributors are treated as the underclass (but still mostly independent of the moguls). Meanwhile the expendable classes — old, poor, sick, unemployable — remain the victims of unchecked immiseration.
To put my comments in today’s edition in context, they were prompted by the republication of a beautifully caustic essay by Phil Murphy [“Dear Luisa” (March 20, 2002)]. On this side of the Cow, Mr. Murphy lost his local radio program due to the objections of a former good friend/neighbor’s complaints to the KPFZ programming committee — for alleged “racism” voiced in his comments on how poorly our county treated the woebegone youth of various demographic sectors he accurately portrayed as underserved by the vaunted authorities, and minority groups still practicing fratrilineal insistence on “family values” over modern means of protection from “unwanted” pregnancy (resulting in underage parents, “welfare moms,” and their unruly spawn).*
In the year Y2K, our soon to be retired District 5 Supervisor, Rob Brown, attested to his opposition to restoring “family planning services” in Lake County after a Board of Supervisors’ ordered hiatus in 1985, during which time the level of socio-economic ills such as fetal alcohol (or drug) syndrome, sexually transmitted diseases, developmental disabilities, and struggling or insouciant dependent mothers. He argued against the restoration of family planning services (Planned Parenthood had offered to restore them with their non-profit model of reproductive health care options — the least of which is abortion), on December 19, 2000, because the instruction of pre-pubescent youngsters and teens in schools conflicted with his religious beliefs. Fortunately, the BoS did not accede to his preference, but the communities with “severely economically disadvantaged” populations (mostly Clearlake and Lucerne/Nice, followed by Upper Lake and Clearlake Oaks) — also home to many older adults with limited means — are homes to many of the “families” created during that 15-year suspension of basic public health care, whose progeny are now among the “second generation” of unproductive (and sometimes destructive) young child-bearing victims of minimized support systems, which the local schools are tasked with “educating.”
All the “key performance indicators” of unhealthy populations, rehashed annually in the Robert Wood Johnson county “health assessment” profiles, place Lake County perpetually in the lowest 5% of all California counties. And those reports publish only the data results of those programs that report their “units of service,” which are always received by the Board of Supervisors as ill-chosen focal points of our whole county’s otherwise fine, “upward bound” students and socially cohesive circles of traditional achievers. Efforts to address the extreme costs of “super utilizers” of emergency services, funded by Adventist Health Corporation in five cities across the nation — one of which is Clearlake — deploy social workers into the “field” (i.e., homeless encampments) and multi-agency annual surveys of our homeless populations (the “Point in Time” counts required by the US Housing & Community Development agency) reveal hundreds of more or less helpless citizens for whom “housing first” has become the local “answer.”
Our two counties’ Mental Health Departments desire to provide ameliorative solutions to help, but — as we can see from Mr. Scaramella’s reports (for example, in describing the wholly inept “Measure B” committee), the priorities of our boards of supervisors reflect the continuing notion that attracting “tourists” and investing in promotion of over-simplified “easy living” opportunities. If anything has become unavoidably clear here in the past five years, it is that for roughly half the residents daily life is anything but easy, and as always the top decision-makers pass the buck to home-spun community organizations mostly sustained by volunteers.
The organizational model for addressing “natural hazards” and “disaster preparedness” — for those able bodied of sound mind (and preferably sound income sources) — is still reliant on the obvious “social distancing” of the authorities from the people by means of delegating their responsibilities to “boards, committees, and commissions” who are comprised of either sycophants and advantage-seekers with the unseen collusion of powerful land and business owners, or the earnest but politically innocent community volunteers bearing the brunt of hoary policies and undivulged practices conducted in the inner sancta of government “administration.” Such is the fate of the Lake County Mental Health Advisory Board, a premium example of official neglect and misdirection by our elected chieftains.
After long “dark ages” of exclusionary wheeling and dealing by the responsible parties and their public servants (not our public service providers, of course), the advent of “social media” and more widely spread information technology is beginning to expand citizen-based understanding of systems we fund but receive the short end of the stick from. Small communities striving to overcome the handicaps of all sorts of socio-economic impairments have new tools for generating civic collaboration, and Anderson Valley is among the many in Mendocino who have succeeded — in no small part because of the AVA — in creating resources for all local inhabitants.
What’s up with the City of Ukiah? How do city and county elected officials manage to create intractable messes like the highest rates of COVID infection and mentally-disturbed abandoned souls — for whom the enormous employment base of “helping professionals” provide perceptibly ineffective, short-term cycles of “assistance” that continue to attract the burdensome but nonetheless human street dwellers — or, as in Lake County, unmanageable levels of “petty” crime that plague our poorest neighborhoods committed by socially undesirable drug addicts and thugs (many of whom are not the impoverished “homeless,” but residents in “substandard” structures).
Sheriff’s departments in both counties, given the responsibility for isolating mentally incompetent or chemically dependent misfits from the good germans, as the groundskeepers of civic institutions and janitorial class of “correctional” systems, continuously report the capture and incarceration of “petty” criminals (the “Catch of the Day” on any given day exemplifies the emphasis on small-time crookery), but the creators of malfeasance and abuse of authority favoring misbegotten schemes that we all pay for, collectively, blithely enjoy their “special immunities” and relatively comfortable paychecks.
The past forty years of such adventitiousness, practiced by wholly unaccountable elected officials at all levels of governance, have ushered in this new era of intellectual depravity — from which the original “back to the landers” sought isolation and “self-determination” in wilder Northern Coastal counties in the 1970s (with some exceptions like your John Pinches and Ted Williams) — and we are left with the weakest civic system imaginable. Will the center hold? Will the asshole in charge leave the People’s House without coercion? Will the scandals of this century leave anything behind but bitter cynicism, hostile taxpayers, and congenitally amoral “leaders”? I’ll take my answers off the air, but once again laud all of you for “fanning the flames of dissent.”
*Outspoken critics of “civil servants” are always skating on the proverbial thin ice, and our dicey relationship with local ownership of broadcast media — back to Mr. Robey as the mastermind of our PEG channel’s choke-hold on the only other outlet of “alternative” news and information — includes remaining in the good graces of public officials in order to remain on the FCC-regulated public airwaves. How the beloved Editoria of the AVA handle the sensitive issue of selecting public comments or keeping this feature from being overrun by bickering and back-biting repetitiveness is no different. Why they choose to print my musings and soliloquies is a mystery to me, but to the best of my knowledge the AVA is the only fora for this kind of very local discourse — use it with care, if you value your First Amendment rights, my fellow Americans.
AGENDA AND CASE INFORMATION Posted for 12-3-20 Planning Commission Meeting
Planning Commission agenda for December 3, 2020, is posted on the department website at: mendocinocounty.org/government/planning-building-services/meeting-agendas/planning-commission
Please contact staff with any questions.
Commission Services Supervisor
Mendocino County Planning & Building Services
860 North Bush Street, Ukiah CA 95482
My Direct Line: (707) 234-6664
Main Line: (707) 234-6650