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DRY CONDITIONS AND COLD OVERNIGHT LOWS are expected for the next several days. A weak front may bring some light rain north of Cape Mendocino on Monday. (NWS)
Covelo resident Joseph Hoaglen is facing criminal charges, including kidnapping and assault with a deadly weapon other than a firearm in connection to the disappearance of Traci Bland and Kyle McCartney, says Mendocino County Sheriff Office’s Public Information Officer Captain Greg Van Patten.
Covelo man, Samson Musselini Joaquin, was booked into the Mendocino County Jail on November 20, the day after Round Valley residents Traci Bland and Kevin McCarthy disappeared, and now faces charges of kidnapping and assault with a deadly weapon other than a firearm in connection with the couple’s disappearance.
17 NEW COVID CASES reported in Mendocino County on Wednesday bringing the total to 1485.
FORT BRAGG CITY COUNCILMAN BERNIE NORVELL WRITES:
I wanted to pass on the information I received from the City Manager today on current active COVID cases in the County.
Last week, there were only 7 active cases in the 95437 zip code and 92 Countywide. As of today, we have 17 in the 95437 zip code and 169 active cases in the County. In addition to the active cases, there are 299 people in quarantine because of close contact with someone with the virus or with symptoms. 30 of those are in the 95437 zip code.
ADRIAN ROBERT BARTLEY WALLACE
Adrian Robert Bartley Wallace was born December 14, 1944 in Norfolk, England. He died on November 12, 2020, in Ukiah, as a result of a series of strokes.
He was currently residing at the "Redwood Cove Care Home". Adrian had a happy childhood growing up in Humboldt Co. in the small town of Redway. He attended South Fork High School in Miranda which was the same school his Father and Uncles attended as well as his siblings and later his nephews. He had a passion for the ocean all his life. He spent many happy hours fishing and camping at Shelter Cove and in the Fort Bragg area, with his family and friends. Adrian loved the outdoors and relished the time he spent there. His hobbies included hunting and fishing. In later years Adrian became an avid gardener and kept his family well supplied with his home grown produce. He was also a great cook and enjoyed replicating his Mother's "famous" potato salad.
Adrian and Pat lived in Boonville for a few years before moving to Ukiah. Adrian was a hard working family man.
He started "World Carpet Cleaning" now "World Services, Inc." He became a general contractor who was proficient at floor installation and cleaning up water and smoke damage.
In February 1968, Adrian married his dearly loved wife Patricia Dawn Moore. They had 2 beautiful daughters Tena Wallace and her children John Doering and Amanda Stewart (husband Kevin} Adrian's great- grandchildren Emilee, Clayton, Alaina and Natalie. Daughter Cherise Wallace Stewart (husband Adam). He is also survived by his sister Laraine Kendall and her daughter, Adrian's niece Stephanie Kendall Crane (husband Kevin). His brother Tom Wallace (wife Wendie) and his sons, Adrian's nephews Brent Wallace (fiancé Kaelyn), Brandon Wallace (wife Maria) and great nephew Grant Wallace. He was preceded in death by his dear parents William Bartley and Ena Joyce Wallace as well as by his brother-in-law Leroy Kendall. Adrian also leaves behind many friends who loved him deeply.
A memorial service will be held on December 19, 2020 at 2pm. It will be virtual if you care to attend please send your email to email@example.com and a code will be given you.
THANKSGIVING MEALS in Fort Bragg
The Fort Bragg Police Department would like to wish everyone a safe and happy Thanksgiving Holiday weekend.
Members from the Community Thanksgiving Meal Distribution, taking place tomorrow at the Presbyterian Church, have informed us they will be distributing meals at several remote locations for our transient-homeless persons living in the area. Below are the following times and locations. They will be on-site at the below locations for approximately 15 minutes.
Please assist the Police Department with getting the word out of the generosity of the Community Thanksgiving Meal member’s efforts to ensure everyone has a warm hot meal on Thanksgiving Day.
- 11:00 am Pudding Creek Trestle Parking Lot
- 11:30 am Fort Bragg City Hall Parking Lot
- 12:00 pm Safeway Corner Franklin at Walnut
- 12:30 pm Boatyard Petersons Parking Lot (McDonald’s by A Frame Field)
FYI we also plan to be in Mendocino at 1:30pm for about 15-20 minutes.
Fort Bragg Police Chief John Naulty
SHERIFF KENDALL’S HOLIDAY MESSAGE
As we enter into the holiday season I hope all of us in Mendocino County can take the time and think about the numerous reasons we have to be grateful.
I know for many it will be family and friends, while others it will be for their faith and community connections as well as safety in our homes which many people simply don’t get to experience.
The closeness and commitments to our neighbors throughout the county has always been one of our strongest assets. This bond we share is one of the reasons I have chosen to live my life here in Mendocino County and to raise my family here.
As I think of the upcoming holiday season, I would like to thank everyone who continues to support their community and their neighbors.
I would also like to give a huge thank you to all who support public safety. We are truly blessed to have the support of all our communities.
I would ask we all continue to do our part to keep each other safe during the holiday season.
During the COVID pandemic please be sure to mask up and follow the orders of our health officer.
I believe the pandemic is similar to climbing a huge mountain we have never seen before. Luckily, we have the assistance of a guide, this guide is our health officer.
If we all continue to follow the guidance we are given, we will make it to our destination. We have made many sacrifices throughout the year, from masking to evacuations due to wildfire.
Let’s remember these sacrifices will someday be remembered as simply doing the right thing.
I am asking all residents to remember the unwritten rules we follow as human beings. These unwritten rules guide us in caring for our families, neighbors and fellow human beings.
Good conscience in our daily lives will continue to serve us. I have seen in several areas of our nation where people have forgotten their responsibility to their fellow person. I am happy that is a rare event here in Mendocino County.
Please remember we have several first responders who are continuing to serve us through the holiday season.
When we see a nurse, Doctor, EMT, fireman or peace officer, let’s remember to thank them for their service. These folks will be working the holidays.
Remember your loved ones and call them if you can. Currently we have several people who are beginning to experience loneliness. Now is the perfect time to reconnect with friends and relatives in a safe manner.
Many times a call from an old friend can brighten someone’s day in a way we simply don’t anticipate. I understand most of us will be celebrating the holidays in manners different than we are accustomed to. So let’s work together to keep each other safe while doing so.
For persons traveling, please remember the weather is unpredictable, so drive safely. If you need to travel away from home please let the Sheriff’s Office, or any jurisdiction you reside in know you will be away.
Deputies often complete extra patrols of neighborhoods and residences. If possible reach out to the Sheriff’s area commander so we can keep an eye on your place while you are away.
Due to the increases in theft from mail boxes and thefts of packages we will again be conducting surveillance campaigns to curb these thefts.
We have been very successful in this endeavor in previous years. This is also due to the partnership we have with our residents. We will continue to work together on this.
In closing we know that we have had a long year of emergencies within our county. However we are continuing to stand strong.
This is due to the spirit and resilience of our communities, I am often reminded character is the virtue learned during hard times.
I would like to thank all of our communities and public safety partners who have worked with us to continue serving Mendocino County with such character.
Let’s all have a happy and safe holiday season in Mendocino County.
Sheriff Matt Kendall
FROM SUPERVISOR WILLIAMS:
PG&E is preparing to use a helicopter supported vertical saw to side prune tree limbs on the Fort Bragg-Elk, Elk-Gualala, Garcia Tap and Fort Ross-Gualala 60 kV Electric Transmission lines, in November and December of 2020. The work will occur along roughly 46 miles of power line corridor / Right Of Way. The project area will traverse private and public lands from Fort Bragg to Fort Ross.
Background- Trees growing along the edges of transmission corridors tend to develop greater limb growth within the corridors, where there is less competition for light. Severe storms combined with saturated soils, high wind events and low-elevation heavy snows in the forest tend to load up limbs on the line-side of the corridor trees and cause trees to lean or fall into the lines, resulting in outages that could impact thousands of people.
To reduce this risk PG&E will prune limbs on the line-side of corridor trees. Due to the remoteness of a large portion of the lines and access issues, a helicopter saw is the quickest and most efficient way to conduct the pruning.
Method- A small helicopter (4-passenger A Star) will conduct an initial fly-over of the transmission line to review terrain, pruning areas, roads, creek, and other general avoidance areas. It is a low elevation, slow flight which includes aerial surveys for potential conflict areas to be avoided during pruning operations, such as roads, residences, creeks.
Helicopter pruning is done with a 100-foot pole supporting a vertical bank of 8 circular saws below the helicopter. The helicopter slowly flies along the edge of the corridor at 50-100 feet above the tree tops with the saws pruning limbs up to 5 inches diameter from the sides of the trees. No trees are felled during the process. Pruned limbs fall to the ground and a ground crew with chain saws follows behind lopping down concentrations of limbs to an average depth of less than 18” where needed. Along roads, driveway, pastures, and vehicle accessible areas a chipper machine is used to grind up the limbs and blow the chips back onto the site. To prevent limbs from falling into streams and roads, pruning will be avoided above these locations. A ground spotter, who has radio communications with the pilot, accompanies the operation as it moves along.
Service landings will be used for saw and helicopter maintenance and refueling activities. The helicopter generally flies for two hours, and then returns to the service landing for refueling and maintenance checks. Landings will be at existing landings or staging locations, so no grading or ground disturbing work is needed. All servicing and refueling operations will have adequate spill and containment materials onsite. The landing locations will be determined by the helicopter contractor, who will obtain approvals from landowners before use.
Communication with Customers- A letter was mailed in early November to all property owners whose parcels intersect with the project. This letter included a project description, as well as the name and contact information for the project manager whom customers could contact if they had any questions about the project.
Timing- Heli-saw pruning is expected to start on November 30, 2020 and be completed by December 15, 2020. Flying is weather dependent, so dates may vary slightly, and total pruning time, with allowance for weather interruptions, is approximately 1 week for 10-15 miles of line. Up to two or three miles of corridor can be pruned per day.
A UKIAH VOTER NOTES:
Me thinks a lot of people were happy Ms. Duenas shoved out Mr. Scalamini. I get that, but privately I think it says a lot that the Trumpian candidate who wanted to 'light up' protesters was right up in the vote count.
SUPERVISOR JOHN McCOWEN “appeared” Wednesday morning on KZYX’s “TKO” KZYX talk show hosted by Karen “KO” Ottoboni, a windmill puncher who often as not knocks herself out. The lightweight audio bout didn’t offer much that AVA readers don’t already know.
McCOWEN talked about the problems with the pot permit program — many of which he created — the public input limitations during covid, the possible uses of the $22.6 million PG&E settlement money, and whatever other issues popped into the hostess's tumultuous head.
OF NOTE was McCowen’s complaint that Board Chair/Supervisor John Haschak had “assumed authority he does not have” to delay the development of a pot use permit, or “discretionary” pot permit program. Haschak, of course, is convinced that he and Supervisor Ted Williams can somehow convince the state that whatever Mendo is now doing to process the current 1100-plus applications will satisfy state Environmental Review requirements, and therefore, according to Haschak, there’s no need to rush into development of a new system to replace the failed, unworkable system that McCowen himself devised long before Haschak came onto the Board.
McCOWEN also pointed out an additional complication that in some significant number of cases the current applicants — if they are still growing marijuana — have changed their operations since their applications were submitted up to three years ago which implies more review and more processing if those applications are still active.
IF HASCHAK IS WRONG, as he likely is — the state’s probably not going to carve out a special exception to accommodate Mendo’s uniquely complicated process — not only would the current applicants have to essentially start over with a use permit system (using a bits and pieces from the old process), but the time it takes to put the new process in place and get an applicant through it will jeopardize existing applicants’ ability to meet state deadlines and their own cultivation schedules.
OR, OF COURSE, they can do what most growers are doing now: ignore the County altogether and continue in the unregulated, unbureaucratic and more lucrative black market.
BUT McCOWEN'S the only Supervisor who is willing to push the point that Haschak is obstructing the use-permit program development (which has its own problems, not least of which are substantial and additional permit fees and preparation costs). Also McCowen will be gone in January when two new Supervisors — neither of whom have experience with the pot permit program — will join Haschak, Williams and ‘Silent Dan’ Gjerde in the pot permit swamp, none of whom (Williams excepted) are likely to push the point.
CORRECTION: A reader tells us that Supervisor-Elect Glenn McGourty lives on Old River Road between Ukiah and Hopland, and not in Potter Valley as we casually said in yesterday’s final election notes. But of course spiritually and politically Glenn McGourty’s heart is in Potter Valley whose voters expect their new Supervisor to keep their cheap Eel River water flowing.
A TOUCH of panic buying? At Ukiah CostCo today a sign said the mammoth wholesaler was out of pinto beans and paper towels. TP shelves were full. At Safeway, paper products generally seemed to be depleted, and pinto beans in small quantities, plentiful.
DRINKSGIVING? A talking tv head said he hoped frustrated Thanksgiving diners didn't dive into the bottle as a substitute for this year's canceled festivities.
THE UNDOING. (Netflix) A friend said, “Everyone's watching it. You'll really like it, Bruce.” In the time of the plague, most of us are logging an awful lot of screen time. At my house, the trick is to find something the little woman will also enjoy because I'm pretty much a documentary guy, and the only documentary style show that holds her interest is, of all things, Forensic Files and Joe Kenda, Homicide Detective. So, along with the rapt millions, we're watching ‘The Undoing,’ the diff being I dislike the characters so much — all of them — that I don't care who did it. And the script is off, with too many f-bombs that don't fit their contexts. Not to sound too much like the wheeze I am, and I know we're all so cool that we can curse in any old context but the writer of this thing, or the committee of writers who wrote it, has a tin ear.
ANYWAY, two improbably handsome people — she's a therapist we see at work with a pair of gay marrieds and an oft-married, single whiner, and her hubby is a pediatric cancer doctor. Her patients are supposed to be both funny and a signal that the therapist is one savvy babe who sees her patients as they are. Doctor Cancer is depicted as a really, really, really great guy, and of course they have a mop-topped kid who's wise beyond his years and they all live in a rich neighborhood in New York in an apartment bigger than most houses. And they have a maid who, so far in this repellent human milieu, is kept fuzzy so her ethnicity is vague, but she's not a tall beautiful blonde like all the women these people associate with. I'm waiting for the maid to barrel on screen any time now, probably lobbing f-bombs. Donald Sutherland is pretty good as the therapist's father, but lives in such opulent circumstances I kept thinking of him in that Getty film where he played the first Getty.
THE NEW YORKER magazine, natch, loves The Undoing, describing the therapist as having “the kind of life most New Yorkers only dream about.” (Uh, we'll need a show of hands on that one.) “A successful therapist, she lives on Manhattan’s Upper East Side with her husband Jonathan (Hugh Grant), who’s a beloved pediatric oncologist, and enjoys all the privileges and glamour of society life. But when Jonathan is shockingly accused of adultery and murder, Grace is forced to interrogate the good life she’s taken for granted, and examine the painful secrets lying just under the surface. What follows is a powerful journey as she seeks to uncover not just the truth about her husband, but herself.”
THE UNDOING is pretty dreadful, but a timely antidote is a Masterpiece Theatre four-parter starring the great Hugh Laurie called Roadkill. Terrific acting, great writing — the full dramatic monte with not a false note in four hours. The BBC denies it's based on the laughing hyena, the present prime minister Boris Johnson, but the political cynicism depicted sure as hell fits him and his Tory party. Question: Why are the Brits, and even the Germans, so much better at show biz than we are?
THERE'S SCRUPULOUSNESS, AND THEN THERE'S SKYLAR & KATRINA
We had one signature cure right after sending this email, at the deadline, so we had to update the report to reflect one additional ballot being cast. Sorry for the inconvenience. The link hasn't changed, but you'll notice the report date reflects 11/25/2020.
Assistant Registrar of Voters
FRENCH LAUNDRY FLAP SPOTLIGHTS CAPITOL INSIDERS
by Dan Walters
Twenty-two years ago, on the day after Gray Davis was elected governor of California, I hopped aboard a Southwest Airlines plane bound for Los Angeles.
I was heading south for Davis’ morning-after press conference and I was not alone. Several journalists and other Capitol figures were on the plane, including the man sitting across the aisle, a lobbyist for public employee unions.
The lobbyist was in an ebullient mood as we chatted. His union clients had helped Davis weather a very rough patch in his 1998 campaign for governor, when he faced two multi-millionaire rivals in the Democratic primary and needed all the money he could get.
The lobbyist was literally rubbing his hands gleefully, expecting that his tight relationship with Davis would automatically bring him a cornucopia of new clients and their fees. And he was not wrong about that, as later became evident.
I cite this instance because of the flap over Gov. Gavin Newsom’s attendance at a birthday party this month for lobbyist Jason Kinney, a veteran political consultant and a long-time Newsom friend who founded a lobbying firm, Axiom Advisors, shortly after Newsom was elected in 2018.
Kinney’s 50th birthday was celebrated with a lavish dinner party at French Laundry, a very expensive Napa restaurant, and Newsom and his wife, Jennifer, attended even though it was the sort of gathering that Newsom had often discouraged to battle the COVID-19 pandemic.
When the San Francisco Chronicle reported on the Newsoms’ attendance, its bad political optics forced the governor to apologize profusely, saying on Monday, “I shouldn’t have been there, I should have turned back around. And so when that happens, you gotta pay the price, but you also gotta own the mistake and you don’t ever make it again.”
The French Laundry incident, which reverberated loudly on social media as an example of political hypocrisy, also put the spotlight on Kinney — a former speech writer for Gray Davis, incidentally — and his instantaneously lucrative lobbying practice.
As Politico pointed out in a quickly reported and written article, “Axiom reaped $10.9 million worth of lobbying work in 2019-20, the first legislative session during which Newsom was governor.”
The firm has nine lobbyists and more than 80 clients, most of whom are corporate entities or coalitions who in Capitol politics would be jousting with interests, such as unions and environmental groups, associated with Newsom’s Democratic Party.
“Some of Axiom’s clients highlight Kinney’s overlapping roles. Kidney dialysis firms DaVita and Fresenius paid Axiom $475,000 this session,” Politico reported.
“During the same period, Kinney earned $90,000 from the California Democratic Party, which spent money to pass a labor-backed initiative regulating kidney dialysis. DaVita and Fresenius were the measure’s principal opponents.
“The single most remunerative client for Axiom in the last two years has been Marathon Petroleum, giving Kinney’s firm $525,000 worth of business. Marathon is a member of a powerful oil industry organization that battled proposals to ban hydraulic fracturing; Newsom called on the Legislature earlier this year to send him a fracking ban.”
Political decisions can have immense financial consequences and when conflicts arise, it’s prudent to have someone on retainer with a seat at the table in the back room where those decisions are made.
The lobbyist with whom I chatted 22 years ago still has a lobbying firm and dozens of clients who pay him more than $4 million a year. In real world politics, one must pay to play with lobbying fees and campaign contributions. Rightly or wrongly, it is what it is.
(Dan Walters has been a journalist for nearly 60 years, spending all but a few of those years working for California newspapers. Courtesy, CalMatters.org.)
UKIAH STREETSCAPE PROJECT UPDATE
This is just a quick update, for the short week. No construction will occur on Thanksgiving or the following Friday.
On the south end, new water infrastructure continues to move forward on the south end. Additionally, preparations are underway to underground the electric utility between Seminary and Mill.
South Side: Church to Mill Street
Wahlund Construction continues the installation of the water infrastructure between Mill and Seminary.
Monday: Paving will occur on the west side from Church to Clay on State Street. No closures are anticipated.
Tuesday-Friday: State Street will have intermittent closures between Clay and Seminary and then from Seminary to Mill, but not at the same time. East/West traffic on Clay and Mill will remain open.
Construction work will begin at 6am this week, and no night work is planned. No work will occur on Thursday or Friday for the Thanksgiving holiday.
Big news: We’re temporarily dedicating a handful of parking spaces to curbside service and take-out. These 10-minute-only spaces will be scattered around, primarily near restaurants, in order to facilitate quick pick-ups. (See picture below.)
Businesses—please remind your employees to reserve the parking in the downtown core for your customers. It is imperative that we make it as easy and convenient as possible for people to support our small businesses. One employee, parked for a shift in front of your business, means several customers aren’t able to.
Need ideas about where you can park for extended periods of time? Call or email Traci or Shannon; contact info below.
Please feel free to contact me directly if you have any questions or concerns. Happy Thanksgiving!
Shannon Riley, Deputy City Manager
City of Ukiah
300 Seminary Avenue
Ukiah, California 95482
w: (707) 467-5793
CATCH OF THE DAY, November 25, 2020
DUSTIN BLAKESLEY, Ukiah. Harboring wanted felon, failure to appear.
SCOTT CHAPMAN, Fort Bragg. Disorderly conduct-alcohol, probation revocation.
EDUARDO CONTRERAS-NUNEZ, Ukiah. Probation revocation.
LAMONT DEAN, Santa Rosa/Ukiah. Rape-victim prevented from resisting by intoxicating or anesthetic substance, prior felony enhancement.
DANIEL FOX, Ukiah. Disobeying court order, probation revocation.
MARIBEL GUTIERREZ-ZUNIGA, Sacramento/Ukiah. DUI, no license, suspended license (for DUI), probation revocation.
JESUS HERNANDEZ-LUPERCIO, Upper Lake/Ukiah. Stolen property.
ISRAEL HERRERA, Loleta/Ukiah. DUI, suspended license (for DUI).
DAVID JOAQUIN JR., Covelo. Under influence, paraphernalia, parole violation.
PETER KIPKE, Ukiah. Domestic battery, false imprisonment, contempt of court.
REBECCA RODRIGUEZ, Covelo. Paraphernalia, failure to appear.
GEORGINA YATES, Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.
FOUR BIG MEN
My guess is that the Washington Democrats are going to piss the next two years away by fighting battles that they cannot win. My suggestion is to send a note to the one person who holds all of the power — "Dear Mitch, you are aware that 72 million people voted for Trump and their main concerns consist of climate change and infrastructure. This is to inform you that Democrats will cooperate fully with Republicans to address these two issues."
Meanwhile Democrats will spend the next two years finding a candidate under 50 who the people will like to vote for in each of the House and Senate seats up for election in 2022. The Young Democrats Clubs will not be organized enough to be of much assistance yet. But they will push for my solution to all census and election problems by mandating that all adults must register to vote and return the ballots that have been sent. I don't give a damn whether they vote or not. Alexander Hamilton will like the fact that all elections will be nationalized. So look for three bumps from his grave. To end the circus in Washington we need four men, each taking an arm and a leg, and carrying the president off to the funny farm.
Trumpism? What is it good for? More than nothing.
It's important that Trump came and made his impact and it's important that he's gone due to our collective impact.
We are better off for the experience which accelerated our collective savvy by decades--stripping off layers of illusions about values we share and about the powers-that-be, exposing the inauthentic relationship with a government we tolerate but don't believe in.
Winner take all is not fair from the gitgo. The US is backward compared to Europe with its progressive proportional representation--a % of the vote can give minorities like vegetarians representation if they get a certain % of the popular vote. Shakes things up, voice to the voiceless, win-win.
We're not even close to jazzy ideas like proportional representation, due to burdens like the Electoral College vise strangling our process and progress. We need to end it to restore the ebb and flow of the marketplace of political ideas without the corrupting restrictions of the college.
We need the advantage of criticism and self criticism to advance the knowledge base and enhance those around us (tho they may disagree they're being enhanced). The Trumpian value is to suppress freedom of speech unless he agrees, so the alternative is to open the flood gates for the common good, now that our minds are open like parachutes.
BONFIRE OF HIS VANITY
by John Arteaga
Well, what an exciting presidential election season we are having! From the whipsaw action of the polls, confidently predicting (albeit by a small margin) Biden’s triumph, just as similar polls had predicted Hillary's, to the nauseating specter of another four years of the malignancy that occupies the White House, which suddenly seemed like a possibility the day after election day, then finally the ecstatic relief of Joe and Kamala's decisive victory. Oh happy day!
Being a fairly keen observer of the challenges that our supposed democracy faces in translating the public vote into political reality, it has long been a readily observable fact that unless the Democrats win any vote in a national election by a substantial margin, the Republican's cynical and anti-democratic infrastructure of subversion would snatch victory from the jaws of defeat.
How? The mechanisms are too numerous to exhaust in this short column, but just to name a few; for years the excellent investigative reporter Greg Palast has been unearthing outrageous violations of voting rights; Republican states have engineered voter roll purges, which, unsurprisingly, always seem to remove more Democrats than Republicans. Like removing you if you have not voted in the last couple of elections, or if your name is similar to an ex-felon in another state. How about these insane voter ID laws? I find it infuriating that people buy the stupid logic that, "well, if you have to show an ID to get on an airplane, why shouldn't you have to to vote?" For the simple reason that many people, especially those who live in urban areas, who don't have a lot of money, and coincidentally may be inclined to vote for a Democrat, often don't have driver's licenses! This should not preclude them from voting!
One of the most outrageous middle finger that the Republican dominated Supreme Court has given to democracy is the lunatic overturning of the Voting Rights Act, which for decades had prevented historically racist states from enacting voting rules designed to prevent black, brown, and other suspected Democrats from voting by requiring them to get preclearance from national civil rights observers before making any changes to their voting rules. Predictably enough, within days of this unhinged Supreme Court decision, the usual suspects of racist cracker states were submitting plans to eliminate early voting (in order to herd the undesirable voters into eight hour long lines if they wish to persist in voting) and numerous other hurdles to the franchise.
Another outrage to democracy, upheld by the Republican state courts, was an huge reduction in the number of polling places or places to drop off one's ballot. One voting district in some Texas city reduced to a single site for an enormous County with millions of citizens. What good is the right to vote if one has to stand in outdoor heat or cold for hours and hours to exercise one's franchise?!
On top of all these intentional barriers to what is supposed to be a universal right, the Republican Party, which nowadays must be thought of as the party of Trump, intentionally threw a spanner into the works of the US Postal Service. This guy Dejoy, a multimillionaire from an industry directly competing with the USPS, was put in charge of the post office and wasted no time trying to scuttle it; removing mail sorting machines, which of course requires more hours of work, while eliminating overtime. He also instituted insane rules such as one that requires trucks to drive away at a certain time even if they are not through sorting the mail to load into them! They're not allowed to wait even a few minutes to finish sorting the mail! This guy should be the subject of a grand jury.
I must say, I’m getting a lot of entertainment value out of the Orange Man’s pathetic whining about his delusional claim to have actually won the election, only to have been cheated out of his victory by massive voter fraud (even though he cannot point to any significant instance of such). Psychologically incapable of accepting that he is in fact, a LOSER, his worst epithet for everyone from contractors he has cheated out of their pay to unknown soldiers who were so dumb as to fight for their country and get themselves killed, I’m sure that the man who has a lock on the title of the country’s worst president ever is going to supply us with lots of entertaining hysteria during the couple of months more that we are required to let him degrade the Oval Office with his presence.
But having finally rid ourselves of Trump, we as a society and as individuals must look into our hearts and start the difficult work of rooting out Trumpism; an unfortunate tendency in individuals and society to look for scapegoats to punish for our problems. The toleration, even the joy, in seeing babies ripped from their mother’s arms and lost forever from them through incompetence and vicious lack of empathy. The cognitive dissonance of the quasi-religious devotion to one’s right to own whatever tools of mass murder one cares to, while denying to women simple agency over their own bodies. The inexplicable siren song that has led so many millions to vote against their own interests to get rid of the healthcare that so many have only recently been able to get, even though it may literally be a matter of life and death for themselves.
Time to admit it; they’ve been marks for the greatest con man in history; the most incompetent businessman ever, who makes himself out to be a business genius. The lucky recipient of enormous wealth who has torched it all in a bonfire to his vanity, yet makes himself out to be a billionaire, even though once he is no longer president, he will owe something like $1 billion which he doesn’t have. If the creditors are Russian oligarchs, he may very well be better off in an orange jumpsuit stateside, once the Manhattan DA and New York State Atty. Gen. are through with him. I can’t wait to see it.
FOR WHAT ARE AMERICA'S WEALTHY THANKFUL? A WORSENING CULTURE WAR
by Matt Taibbi
Self-described “elected DNC member” and Washington Monthly contributor David Atkins tweeted this last week, garnering a huge response: You have to read the full thread to grasp the argument, a greatest hits collection of DNC talking points. Conservatives, Atkins writes, have no beliefs, being a “belligerent death cult against reality and basic decency.” There’s no reason to listen to them, since the “only actual policy debates” are “happening within the dem coalition between left and center-left.” He had over 61,000 likes last I checked.
Meanwhile, as Donald Trump kept describing the election as a “hoax,” newly re-upped South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham tweeted this, perhaps offering a preview into Republican messaging in the post-Trump era: From the “vast right-wing conspiracy” through the “basket of deplorables” to now, the Democratic message increasingly focuses on the illegitimacy of the ordinary conservative voter’s opinion: ignorant, conspiratorial, and racist, so terrible that the only hope is mass-reprogramming by educated betters.
On the other hand, Republicans from Goldwater to Trump have warned that coalitions of “marauders from the inner cities and “bad hombres” from across the border are plotting to use socialist politics to seize the hard-earned treasure of the small-town voter, with the aid of elitist traitors in the Democratic Party.
Spool these ideas endlessly and you get culture war. Any thought that it might abate once Trump left the scene looks naive now. The pre-election warnings from the right about roving bands of Pelosi-coddled Antifa troops looking to “attack your homes” haven’t subsided, while the line that Trump voters are not a political group but a stupidity death-cult is no longer hot take, but a mandatory element of mainstream press analyses.
This language has been picking up for years, from Vanity Fair’s “Cult of Trump” to endless Washington Post and New York Times ruminations on the theme, all wondering how humans supporting Trump could also hold down jobs or take out the trash by themselves.
Every tale about science-denying Trumpists gone off the deep end in the manner of religious loons is boosted. When an E.R. nurse went on CNN to tell tales of Biden-haters going to their Covid-choked deaths gasping, “It isn’t real!”, her story was circulated everywhere, retweeted by multiple Senators and a Pulitzer winner.
A rare follow-up by these and other similar tales were apocryphal, which ought to have been a relief. However, just as news that Robert Mueller might not discover the president to be a secret agent was deemed a “disappointment,” press and politicians alike seem reluctant to let go of legends of Middle America as one great sea of mass insanity. In the same way, some in the GOP can’t let go of the dream of an election stolen in the dark night of our Venezuela-style city governments.
As a result, we’ve seen story after story of late about skyrocketing gun sales, with frequent reminders that it’s not just frustrated white dudes tooling up now. Even “women, minorities, and politically liberal buyers” are being forced to “contemplate something outside their universe,” is how one gun dealer recently put it to NBC.
Though the oft-predicted breakout of Yugoslavia-style sectarian violence hasn’t happened yet, it’s not for want of trying on the part of both politicians and the bigger media organizations, which couldn’t get enough of the stories of “on edge” and “nervous” citizens boarding up storefronts on Election Night. They keep playing up these tensions as click-generating theater, not caring about the consequences of wishing actual sectarian battle into existence.
This is what happens when the very wealthy stop having a stake in the outcome of a country’s future. Having long ago stopped investing in ameliorative programs to keep cities and small towns alive, they stop bothering with unifying national legends, too, letting long-simmering divisions rise.
Eight years ago, at the height of anger toward Wall Street, the American Conservative wrote about the “revolt of the rich,” saying, “Our plutocracy now lives like the British in colonial India: in the place and ruling it, but not of it.” They pointed out that in both world wars, the Harvard man and the New York socialite alike “knew the weight of an army pack.” By the 21st century, war became a job for lower-class suckers, with soldiers being one of many groups targeted by predatory lending in the crash era. Conflicts in places like Afghanistan drag on forever because the children of Important People mostly don’t serve. We have very wealthy people, but walled off in an archipelago of tax and criminal justice loopholes that give them more common statehood with other plutocrats in Europe and Asia than with other Americans.
Right around the same time that article was being published, political movements on both the left and the right were beginning to wake up to the idea that they’d been focusing their anger in the wrong places. Each articulated a theory of political abandonment. The Occupy movement described their battle as being between the 99% and the 1%, while the Tea Partiers, for all their eccentricities — I was pretty harsh about them once upon a time — were at least coming to the realization that the Republican Party leaders had long been lying to them about things like spending. These movements respectively set the stage for Bernie Sanders and Trump, who both described politics as a fight between a broad mean of betrayed constituents and that archipelago of rich villains.
Those movements failed, for different reasons, and we’re now back to corporate-sponsored tales of half against half. What’s always forgotten is who’s paying for these messages. We have two donor-fattened parties that across decades of incompetence have each run out of convincing pitches for how to improve the lives of ordinary people. So they’ve settled into a new propaganda line that blames voters for their problems, with each party directing its base to demonize the other’s followers.
Essentially, in the wake of Trump, the political class is accepting the inevitability of culture war, and urging it on, as something preferable to populist revolt.
ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY
We’re getting a better look at Biden now that he’s out of the basement and President Elect, and his hair implants, facelifts, skinjobs, botox treatments and capped teeth are more than obvious, and frankly, a little frightening. What a team of makeup artists he must travel with, equal to an aging Hollywood starlet! This gentleman seems like he should have been a candidate for Keeper of the Crypt, not President of the US! Watching video of Biden today, he seems like a man out of his time, a ghost from the 1970s, from the Days of Watergate and the fall of Saigon. Its incongruous, as if a Civil War era pol had become President in 1920, or Teddy Roosevelt got elected in 1940 to lead the US in WW2. Already, publications like Atlantic and USA Today are covering for him, his gaffs, malapropisms and nonsensical ramblings. When his face melts off on a hot summer day during some national crisis, how will they cover that up?
TOP ELEVEN CRIMINALS OF 2020
by Jonah Raskin
Compiled by Jonah Raskin. On KSAN, “Scoop” Nisker used to say, “If you don't like the news, go out and make some of your own.” I say, “If you don’t like my list, make up one of your own. There are plenty of criminals in high office and at the head of corporations.
Jair Bolsonaro, homophobic Brazilian mother fucker, guilty of nepotism, led assault on the Amazon rain forest, broke down separation of church and state.
Roy Cohn died in ’86 but his spirit has been alive and well in the Trump administration, gave Jews and homosexuals a bad name, eternally damned for helping send Rosenbergs to the electric chair.
Rudy Giuliani, slimeball, opportunist extraordinaire, hired gun for Trump, went everywhere his master told him to go, brought shame down on himself and U.S.A., from Ukraine to Pennsylvania.
Alexander Lukashenko, old line Communist, ruled like a Stalinist nightmare, and earned the wrath of Belarusians. Known as Europe’s “Last Dictator,” though that seems unlikely.
Mitch McConnell, the senior Senator from Kentucky, used his power to block the Dems and their legislation, packed the Supreme Court and bolstered Trump down to the bitter-end.
Kayleigh McEnany, White House press secretary, Trump mouthpiece, refused to wear a mask, tested positive for COVID-19, living proof that you don’t have to be a male to fudge facts.
Rupert Murdoch, arch media mogul, pandered to the right, fed racism and sexism, perverted the First Amendment, enthroned lying and lies, polluted channels of communication.
Mike Pence, VP, aided and abetted Trump crimes and criminality, a nasty foe of LGBT rights, enemy of women’s right to choose and self-proclaimed Christian who gave Christianity a bad name.
Roger Stone, longtime bagman for Republicans with a record of witness tampering, lying to investigators and kissing the asses of his superiors.
Donald Trump, the worst ever president of the U.S., befouled the White House, tampered with the Constitution and aimed to end democracy. Will occupy the innermost circle of hell.
Melania Trump, First Lady, president’s whore, foul mouthed neo-fascist fashionista. Welcome to America, Mrs. Trump.
DIEGO MARADONA: COMRADE OF THE GLOBAL SOUTH
by Dave Zirin
The world mourns today following the passing of Diego Maradona, the soccer God and revolutionary from Argentina whose play inspired all manner of poetry and prose. The best description of Maradona’s abilities came from the late Eduardo Galeano who wrote of Maradona in his book Soccer in Sun and Shadow,
No one can predict the devilish tricks this inventor of surprises will dream up for the simple joy of throwing the computers off track, tricks he never repeats. He’s not quick, more like a short-legged bull, but he carries the ball sewn to his foot and he’s got eyes all over his body. His acrobatics light up the field….In the frigid soccer of the end of the century, which detests defeat and forbids all fun, that man was one of the few who proved that fantasy can be efficient.
That Maradona died of a heart attack at the too young age of 60 seems preordained for multiple reasons. He lived a life of excess and addiction; of cocaine and massive weight fluctuations that undoubtedly placed a mammoth stress on his heart. He also lived a life of passionate, rebel intensity, always standing against imperialism; always standing for self-determination for Latin America and the Global South, always speaking for the children growing up in similar conditions to the abject poverty of his own upbringing in the Villa Fiorito barrio of Buenos Aires. He was the fifth of eight children, living without running water or electricity and never forgot it for a moment. His heart may have simply been too big for his chest. Diego Maradona took political stances throughout his life that were never easy. A Catholic, he met with Pope John Paul II and told the press afterwards, “I was in the Vatican and I saw all these golden ceilings and afterwards I heard the Pope say the Church was worried about the welfare of poor kids. Sell your ceiling then, amigo, do something!”He tried to form a union of professional soccer players for years, saying in 1995, “The idea of the association came to me as a way of showing my solidarity with the many players who need the help of those who are more famous… We don’t intend to fight anyone unless they want a fight.”Maradona always stood with the oppressed, particularly with the people of Palestine. He made sure they were not forgotten, saying in 2018, “In my heart, I’m Palestinian.” He was a critic of Israeli violence against Gaza and it was even rumored that he would coach the Palestinian national team during the 2015 AFC Asian Cup.
Maradona had tattoos of Fidel Castro and Che Guevara, likening himself to Guevara, calling him his hero. Maradona credited the Cuban medical system with saving his life, when he arrived there, addicted and dangerously overweight, only to emerge looking like he could still take on the next generation of competition. He supported Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez, at a time when Chavez was undertaking radical plans to redistribute income and education to the country’s poor. He was a steadfast opponent of the Bush regime and the Iraq war and sported t-shirts proclaiming Bush as a war criminal. He once said, “I hate everything that comes from the United States. I hate it with all my strength.” That sentiment made him a hero to the billions who live under this country’s boot.
Many will surely write about Maradona’s prowess on the pitch; his legendary World Cup runs, his “hand of God” goal against England, his ability to go the length of the field with the ball “sewn to his foot.” Others will dwell over his torments, his pain, and his demons. But let’s take a moment and raise a glass to Diego Maradona, comrade, friend, and fierce advocate for all trying to eke out survival in a world defined by savage inequalities. Many are writing today that Diego Maradona is now resting in the “hand of God.” I prefer to believe that he is hard at work organizing the angels. Diego Maradona: PRESENTE!
THE POLITICAL CLIMATE is coming to resemble – to this oldie – the polarisation of the 1930s... with extremes at both ends frightening the moderates, who get shot at by both sides, compounded by the rising tide of Covid, which is unsettling civic order, and by the effects of climate change, ditto. Fertile grounds for dictators. Be prepared.
— Margaret Atwood
THE HOLOCAUST is today often discussed in isolation. In one sense, this is logical, because the Jews were singled out for genocide. But the records of Auschwitz-Birkenau, the most notorious of the death camp complexes, emphasize the numbers from other racial groups who shared the fate of Jewish deportees. The best available statistics show that a total of 1.1 million Jews arrived at the camp, of whom 100,000 survived; among 140,000 non-Jewish Poles, half survived; of 23,000 Gypsies, all but 2,000 perished; all of the 15,000 Soviet POWs died: about half of 25,000 others -- mostly political prisoners -- were killed. In addition to almost six million Jews murdered by the Nazis, over three million Russians died in German captivity while huge numbers of non-Jewish civilians were massacred in Russia, Poland, Yugoslavia, Greece and other occupied countries.
It thus seems important to assess the Holocaust against the background of Hitler's governance of his empire. One of the most moving and enlightened advocates of persuing such context was Ruth Maier. As a 22-year-old refugee in Oslo, barely a month before her own deportation and murder in Auschwitz, she wrote in her diary: "If you shut yourself away and look at this persecution and torture of Jews only from the viewpoint of a Jew, then you'll develop some sort of complex which is bound to lead to a slow but certain psychological collapse. The only solution is to see the Jewish question from a broader perspective -- within the framework of the oppressed Czechs and Norwegians, the oppressed workers… We’ll only be rich when we understand that it's not just we who are a race of martyrs. That beside us there are countless others suffering, who will suffer like us until the end of time if we don't… If we don't fight for a better…" She broke off to express exasperation about the persistence of her own instinct to see the Jewish tragedy as unique, but her mental confusion does not diminish the nobility and unselfishness of this very young woman's words from the threshold of the grave.
— Max Hastings, ‘Inferno: The World At War, 1939-1945’
From: Craig Stehr <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Fwd: ***Holiday Polka Music***
Don`t Worry...Be Happy"
~Satya Sai Baba
I WISH I KNEW A WOMAN, by DH Lawrence
I wish I knew a woman
who was like a red fire on the hearth
glowing after the day's restless draughts.
So that one could draw near her
in the red stillness of the dusk
and really take delight in her
without having to make the polite effort of loving her
or the mental effort of making her acquaintance.
Without having to take a chill, talking to her.
* * *
1. This poem is sexist.
2. This poem is an argument for prostitution.
3. The author is unhappy with his wife.
4. Can the poem be revised so a woke person can appreciate it?
5. Does the woman have to be fireproof?
6. Should this man's poetry be banned?
7. “I wish I knew a man…” Ladies are invited to complete…
8. As a poem, does it work?
RE your squib on Dan Crenshaw and "gender-benders"…
Some years ago I heard a radio show that was astounding! Interviews with two separate doctors (there may have been more, I can’t remember) who each said that a number of babies they had delivered were born hermaphrodites, and that without telling, let alone consulting the parents, they just decided which sex the baby would be, and immediately performed the necessary operations to make it so! They believed they were doing the right thing to save the parents anguish; it was not hard to do, as many babies are taken from the mother at birth and returned at a later time whenever the “danger” had passed…
In the same show, there were interviews w/ parents of children, and said children, who said something to the effect of: as soon as our kid could talk he/she was saying he/she was NOT the sex his/her genitals showed, and they were very upset about it. This adamant refusal to accept their gender by proof of their genitals did not go away as they got older, and eventually they either had a sex change operation or dressed and acted like they did.
I thought this was astonishing, but they all seemed quite credible. Recently I tried to google something about this, but did’t find anything. (but then a few years ago you could google on YouTube “Nancy’s Cat,” and I would come up with my miraculous cat! I tried that again recently, and never found me. Too much other stuff w/ same title now.)
Nancy McLeod, Philo
NUMBERS OF FALL CHINOOKS RETURNING to Central Valley rivers are down from last year
by Dan Bacher
OROVILLE — Preliminary numbers of fall-run Chinook salmon reported on the Feather, Sacramento, American and Mokelumne rivers are down considerably from last year, although the complete numbers won’t be available from the Department of Fish and Wildlife until next year.
The state’s Feather River Fish Hatchery reported a total of 16,572 fall run adults and 1,490 jacks (two-year-olds) this fall. That’s less than the approximately 25,000 fish the hatchery saw last year, but the hatchery is still expected to meet its production goal of 6,000,000 smolts (juvenile fish).
“We have taken 15,000,000 green eggs so far, but we do have some problems with fertility,” said Anna Kastner, hatchery manager. “Normally we have a 20 percent loss of eggs; this year it was 35 to 45 percent. The jack numbers are also really low.”
Ron Stone, supervisory biologist at the Coleman National Fish Hatchery, said the facility on Battle Creek has taken 4083 females for spawning and 20,415,000 green eggs.
“We will be definitely be able to meet the production goal of 12,000,000 smolts, based on the green eggs that we have taken so for,” said Stone.
Their preliminary estimate of the number of the fall salmon that returned to Battle Creek was around 30,000. “It’s definitely more than anybody here anticipated,” he said.
Nimbus Fish Hatchery on the American is still spawning salmon at this time and normally spawns steelhead into December. The staff has spawned a total of 1636 fish and has taken a total of 747,000 eggs as of November 16.
The Mokelumne River Fish Hatchery also continues to spawn salmon and is seeing much lower numbers of fish than last season. Only 2,270 salmon to date have gone over the Woodbridge Diversion Dam according to Bill Smith, hatchery manager.
While the numbers are down substantially from last year, Smith noted that the three-year-old kings were the largest they’ve seen in over a decade. “We’ve seen several over 30 pounds and a lot over 20 pounds,” said Smith.
The hatchery has taken over 2,000,000 eggs — they need a total of 7 million eggs. “We’re working on it,” said Smith. “We are doing everything we can to meet our production goal.”
“We are concerned and a little mystified by what appears to be low returns to the Central Valley,” said John McManus, President of the Golden State Salmon Association (GSSA), “especially after we saw some fairly decent fishing in the ocean this past season.”
McManus is glad that the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) has made the decision to move some salmon eggs from the Feather to the Mokelumne to keep the salmon enhancement program going next year.
This should help provide juvenile salmon to the Coastside Fishing Club net pens in Half Moon Bay, the Fort Baker high survival release site and the Monterey Bay Salmon and Trout Project release sites in Santa Cruz and Monterey, McManus said.
“International human rights lawyer Christopher Black dismissively describes the Biden team as ‘cruise missile liberals.’ Meaning they are adept at using righteous rhetoric to justify war. A Biden administration will bring ‘competence’ back to US imperialism with the deployment of professional warmongers. Absurdly, the brainwashing of US and European media present this dreadful prospect as something to be welcomed.”
SAKO SENDS ALONG…"Minnesota Thanksgiving" by John Berryman
For that free Grace bringing us past great risks
& thro’ great griefs surviving to this feast
sober & still, with the children unborn and born,
among brave friends, Lord, we stand again in debt
and find ourselves in the glad position: Gratitude.
We praise our ancestors who delivered us here
within warm walls all safe, aware of music,
likely toward ample & attractive meat
with whatever accompaniment
Kate in her kind ingenuity has seen fit to devise,
and we hope—across the most strange year to come—
continually to do them and You not sufficient honor
but such as we become able to devise
out of decent or joyful conscience & thanksgiving.
Bless then, as Thou wilt, this wilderness board.