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AREAS OF MORNING FOG and low clouds will give way to sunshine today across northwest California. Persistent high pressure will result in a rain-free period lasting through the end of the week and possibly this weekend. Clouds will expand up the coast on Wednesday into Thursday, otherwise expect a fair amount of sunshine and mild temperatures. (NWS)
FOURTEEN NEW COVID CASES reported in Mendocino County on Sunday, bringing the total to 1594.
COVELO'S DOUBLE HOMICIDE, an update
Original Press Release:
On Thursday, November 19, 2020 around 12:46 hours 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 where 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.
Updated Press Release 11-30-2020:
On Monday, November 23, 2020 at approximately 3:30 PM a bystander located the bodies of two deceased persons along Hulls Valley Road in a remote area Northeast of Covelo's valley floor.
Sheriff's Detectives responded to the location and confirmed the existence of the two deceased bodies.
Due to pending darkness, the Sheriff's Detectives processed the scene the following day with the assistance of the California Department of Justice Eureka crime lab and investigators with the Mendocino County District Attorney's Office.
On Friday, Novembr 27, 2020 a forensic autopsy was performed on the bodies at which time they were identified as being Kyle James McCartney and Traci Lynn Bland.
An official cause of death for both individuals is pending at this time but Sheriff's Detectives are investigating their deaths as being homicide related.
Sheriff's Detectives are continuing investigations at this time and are working closely with the Mendocino County District Attorney's Office in identifying suspect(s) and potential charging/prosecution related to McCartney and Bland's deaths.
No additional information is available for release at this time due to the Sheriff's Detectives ongoing investigations.
Once additional information becomes available, it will be disseminated via Mendocino County Sheriff's Office press release.
The Sheriff's Office would like to thank the following public safety agencies for their assistance in this ongoing investigation:
Mendocino County District Attorney's Office, Round Valley Tribal Police Department, California Department of Justice Eureka crime lab and the California Department of Justice Santa Rosa crime lab.
CAPTAIN FLETCHER'S INN NEEDS YOUR HELP
Long a fixture on the north coast, Captain Fletcher’s Inn at the mouth of the Navarro has a rich and varied history. Originally a mill town stage stop and boarding house, it then became a vacation resort, summer retreat, and roadhouse diner.
For the past 20 years, many volunteers have worked to save the Inn as a visitor center museum. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2009, the Inn also received the Governor’s award for Historic Preservation in 2014. The work continues now with critical renovations and new interpretive displays.
Like so many other organizations affected by the pandemic, Navarro-by-the-Sea Center was unable to gather for our annual June fundraising event. When reviewing your end of year giving, we hope you will consider helping us today to reach our goal - opening the museum on a regular basis in the spring once the pandemic has passed.
You can view the extensive work our organization has completed and learn how you can help here: navarro-by-the-sea-center.org/pdf-files/history-efforts-save-inn2.pdf
Donations can be sent to:
Navarro by the Sea Center
P.O. Box 1710
Mendocino, CA 95460
Navarro-by-the-Sea-Center.org is a 501c3 non-profit organization and partners with California State Parks and MendoParks. All donations are tax-deductible as allowed by law.
And thank you for considering a donation to help us reach our goal.
Wendy Meyer <firstname.lastname@example.org>
MENDO BUYS AMERICAN? No. Huge amounts of PPE gear from China, piled up in the County Courthouse Monday, blocking fire extinguishers and generally presenting a safety hazard.
PS. We found these Shenzhen DJM brand Chinese-made face shields on-line for $69.00 for a pack of ten on Amazon, or almost $7.00 per shield. We found similar face shields for sale on line from Fisher Scientific for about $900 for 200 shields, about $4.50 per shield.
NIGHT LIGHT OF THE NORTH COAST: OVER THE RAINBOW — A NORTH COAST FANTASY
by David Wilson
From Needle Rock to Trinidad, scenes of the Night Light of the North Coast.
First: this is the 100th “Night Light of the North Coast” photo story that I’ve written for Redheaded Blackbelt. Wow. That is really pleasing. It’s been great contributing here. I know it’s been sparse of late, but I’ve been busy with my class and life and all. But I am continuing. To the story:
I’ve been tripping around in the night light of California’s far north coast for some time now. A lot of nighttime visions have piled up from many late outings, cold nights, and wee early mornings. Yet for all of that, this week I had nothing brand new. So the other night I found myself shuffling through the pile on the computer, sorting them, sticking both hands in and pushing them around like a pile of playing cards, trying to find something. I stacked them up, switched them around, built figurative little houses and structures of cards… Nothing, no visions formed. I went to bed.
That night as I slept, I heard the soft slip-slap as my little village of card houses collapsed. No matter, nothing had come of it, and I slept on. But visions of the cards persisted, swirling in my head as I dreamed.
In the morning they were all in a heap, figuratively. But as I looked at them in the light of a new day, I saw that a group of them lay together, fitting together just so, and they gave me an idea. Part of it I’d had a couple years ago, and some of it was new. I began to play around, moving images here and there, scaling something just so, painting shadows and highlights, fussing with the skyline and moon glow.
Eventually, the image you see here took shape as the many bits and pieces came together from such far-flung places as Needle Rock on Mendocino County’s north coast to Trinidad in northern Humboldt County. In between, you’ll recognize the South Fork Eel River as it glides through the redwoods, harvest time in the hills (look for it), Bear River Ridge Road with model Morrigan Crowl, a starry snowscape in Kneeland, and Eureka’s Carson Mansion.
Spoiler alert: The image is meant to inspire your imagination. If you’d rather the magic weren’t broken, please avoid the following details. The curious may read on. I am certain we all realize this is a composite image, or at least the locals among us will who know the Carson Mansion is not on a hill. Photographers and digital artists will know that it’s put together, too. It is a collage of many scenes under the Night Light of the North Coast. But it does have a streak of realism that can confuse, and it’s not meant to confuse.
The parts of the image, left to right:
The redwoods of Women’s Federation Grove with South Fork Eel River; Snow Moon of February 2020; Humboldt harvest skyline from an undisclosed location (might have to look closely for this); the old, dead eucalyptus tree from Needle Rock in northern Mendocino before it fell down decades ago; a snowy panorama near Kneeland with the stars and the Milky Way arcing across the sky; the Carson Mansion of Eureka; the lights of Trinidad in the distance; and Morrigan Crowl standing somewhere up Bear River Ridge Road.
(To keep abreast of my most current photography or purchase a print, visit and contact me at my website mindscapefx.com or follow me on Instagram at @david_wilson_mfx.)
FORMER PD HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS REPORTER HERB DOWER DIES AT 88
Herb Dower, a former Press Democrat reporter who for three decades brought great care, precision and thoroughness to covering high school sports throughout the region, has died.
15-YEAR-OLD RUNAWAY GOES MISSING FROM HOPLAND Five Days Ago; Family Seeks Community’s Help
15-year-old Redwood Valley resident Laticia Elliott was “laughing and smiling” when she went to bed at her dad’s house in Hopland on November 25, 2020. The next morning, Elliott was gone. Five days later, after putting up dozens of missing person flyers between Ukiah and Hopland, Elliott’s aunt Shareen Rosales told us her family is desperate for the community’s help in finding their beloved daughter and niece.
FIVE OR SIX YEARS AGO Dan Kuny, then logging in the Sierra foothills, told us, “There’s so many dead trees up here that if a fire ever gets going it’ll burn all the way to Reno.” He was correct; here we are with miles of burned over forest land and still no plans to manage it sensibly.
LOGGER DAN worked the big fires this year out of Covelo, got his damaged ankle repaired from his nearly fatal logging accident in May of 2016 and is back at work logging a private tract in Amador County.
SHOP LOCAL. With so many small businesses struggling, buying local has never been so crucial to helping your friends and neighbors stay open and solvent than it is this holiday season. If you can’t find a reasonably priced gift in the Anderson Valley you’re not looking hard enough.
WE ASKED Silent Dan Gjerde, Fort Bragg’s mute supervisor, and FB’s man in Ukiah, if he might deign to weigh in on the ongoing problem with Hospitality House, but true to form, No Reply. Given that almost all HH’s funding is routed through the supervisors, Gjerde might exert some authority with HH’s board of directors, the usual Mendolib collection of wealthy do gooders, most of whom do not live in Fort Bragg and, therefore, do not live with the consequences of a large population of troubled people, most with drug and alcohol dependencies, plunked down in the middle of their town.
EVEN IF TRUMP gets his unfounded vote fraud case before the Trump-majority Supreme Court, you don't suppose they're fanatical enough to dare reverse the election results, do you? If they dared, the country would instantly veer into total chaos, and it's close now, with millions out of work, millions “food insecure,” covid killing a citizen a minute, millions more existing in a state of high anxiety.
INTERESTING DEVELOPMENTS on the South Coast via the Independent Coast Observer, include a surprisingly candid story by Susan Wolbarst in which Point Arena school administrators forthrightly admit that distance learning is not working well for their students. Superintendent Warren Galletti responded to the report with a windy blast concluding, “We will do anything and everything we possibly can to get all students on track for graduation and success with their future.” Futures, that is, but if concern about their futures were sincere the edu-bloc would be daily impressing on their captive funding units that their world is not going to be the easy, plump ride their elders have had.
ON PAGE 3 of the Gualala-based weekly we find, “PA city council appoints new city manager.” Mendocino County's most heavily governed town — a five-person city council and a city manager and an assistant city manager managing and assistant-managing a population of fewer than 500 people. A retired Ukiah pol, Richard Shoemaker, got himself installed as part-time city manager at fifty (count 'em) thousand dollars a year. Then Shoemaker got his Ukiah pal, Paul Andersen, appointed “administrative assistant” at around forty grand, this typical Mendolib hustling no problemo ratified by PA's oversight trustees, no questions asked. And now Andersen is manager all by himself until he gets himself an assistant, someone to say, “That's right, boss,” and “Coffee, boss?”
FINALLY, on page 7, a whining letter-to-the-editor from Point Arena City Councilman Richey Wasserman. It's titled, “Meanness, vitriol,” in which Wasserman says “the toxicity of Trump” has even infected, gasp! Point Arena! … “In our small bubble such vitriol has the potential to fracture community.” Community as defined, presumably, by the high minded city councilman, you can bet, community consisting of him and his friends. Unfortunately, Wasserman's letter doesn't live up to the promise of its title. The self-embattled Wasserman doesn't name the villains bedeviling him, or tell us what the “baseless accusations” are.
CATCH OF THE DAY, November 30, 2020
EDUARDO ALVAREZ, Ukiah. Parole violation.
MARCELINO ANGUIANO, Ukiah. Reckless evasion in opposition to traffic.
AIDEN FUNK, Fort Bragg. Arson of inhabited structure.
CORNELIO GUZMAN, Santa Rosa/Ukiah. Controlled substance for sale.
SPENCER HERMAN, Hopland. DUI, probation revocation.
BRADLEY MAXFIELD, Willits. Paraphernalia, probation revocation.
ANGEL MILLER, Ukiah. Kidnapping, false imprisonment, parole violation.
SUNEE MITCHELL, Talmage. DUI, reckless evasion in opposite direction of traffic.
RIGO PEREZ, Ukiah. DUI, suspended license.
ERICK WRIGHT, Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-under influence.
ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY
Is the CIA an enemy of the people? Of course it is, and has been since the 50’s and 60’s. All but the most brainwashed (or stupid) know this at some level. JFK all but said so, and we see how he was treated/disposed of. Also enemies of the people are all of those who cry ‘conspiracy theory’ at the mention, or discovery, of any untoward, unlikely, ‘can’t happen here,’ or obviously nefarious government behavior. Same process occurred in the USSR, where the KGB diagnosed mental illness (and put into ‘mental hospitals’) any who mentioned/discovered nefarious government behavior. JFK knew this long ago. The idea that modern prog wokesters are pro-CIA is one of the most unintentionally funny events of the past four years — and that is saying a lot. History rhymes.
THE NUMBER OF AMERICANS cashing out the stock they hold in their retirement accounts is rising as the income support for average Americans provided through the CARES Act expires. Through May, for instance, fewer than 2 percent of Vanguard 401(k) holders were withdrawing funds. By the end of the summer, that rate had more than doubled.
By the end of the year, the Employee Benefit Research Institute’s Lori Lucas estimates, 10 percent of Americans with 401(k)s could be raiding their retirement futures.
And those who need Covid economic relief the most — gig and other low-income workers who’ve lost jobs or hours to the pandemic — don’t have retirement accounts to withdraw from. Overall, the Economic Policy Institute reported last year, “nearly half of working-age families have nothing saved in retirement accounts.”
On Wall Street, that reality still doesn’t particularly matter. Let the good times keep rolling.
— Sam Pizzigati
NO AMERICAN PRESIDENT has so flagrantly pandered to white grievance as Donald Trump, even as he has praised himself for doing more for Black Americans than anyone ‘except maybe Abraham Lincoln’. The significance of this ugly achievement should not be underestimated. Trump understood that euphemisms are no longer necessary when it comes to attacking and humiliating people of colour – or making common cause with white nationalists, whose company would have scandalised earlier Republican leaders, whatever their convergences of views. In the last four years, Trump has fed his supporters a steady diet of racism and aggression. A small selection from this extensive menu would include his Birtherist questioning of Obama’s citizenship; his attack on the family of a Muslim-American soldier killed in action; his praise of those ‘very fine people’ among the Neo-Nazis who marched in Charlottesville; the Muslim travel ban; the fulminations against ‘shit-hole countries’; the gulag archipelago that his adviser Stephen Miller created for undocumented immigrants, in which children were separated from their parents and some women forced to undergo invasive vaginal examinations that reportedly resulted in sterilisation; and, not least, the violent dispersal of a Black Lives Matter protest outside the White House.
Not all of Trump’s supporters have enjoyed this theatre of cruelty. But most were indifferent, and saw no reason not to support him a second time. (An estimated 93 per cent of Republicans voted for him.) They were not dissuaded by his brazen misogyny, his envious embrace of foreign strongmen, his corruption and double-dealing or his continual lies. Even when those lies became literally lethal, Trump’s followers were not dissuaded by his conspiratorial claims that Covid-19 was a hoax contrived by Democrats, scientists or doctors to shut down his wonderful economy and deprive him of victory at the polls (or ‘Poles’, as he tweeted on election night). They were not dissuaded by the revelation, in Bob Woodward’s Rage, published in September, that Trump had recognised the airborne lethality of Covid-19 as early as 7 February. They were not dissuaded when he became infected with the virus and briefly acknowledged its gravity. On the contrary, they continued to go to his rallies, where not wearing a mask was a badge of pride. Epidemiologists have estimated that these gatherings caused 30,000 infections and 700 deaths. If this were the Middle East, the behaviour of Trump’s most ardent supporters might have been described by the mainstream media as an expression of fatalism, fundamentalism or a desire for martyrdom. But they believed that the closure of the economy posed a greater threat to them than Covid-19 – even when it began to ravage red states, whose residents, taking their cue from the president, either denied its reality or took comfort in the fact that it had so far mainly killed people in the infernal blue states of New York and California. They did not protest when Trump openly spoke of refusing to accept the election results, or assailed the postal service, or accused the Biden campaign of cheating. There was no possibility that ‘their’ America – and they left little doubt whose America it was – could vote against Trump; any victory for Biden could only be an illegitimate takeover, a triumph for ‘socialism’, for Black Lives Matter and antifa rioters, foetus killers and other enemies of the nuclear family. Trump, as one of his evangelical supporters told the New York Times, is ‘our bodyguard’.
— Adam Shatz, London Review of Books
COVID INFECTIONS HIT RECORD HIGH IN CALIFORNIA PRISONS
Inside California’s prisons, coronavirus cases have exploded, reaching 3,861 active cases last week — the highest so far. Yet the state has slowed its early releases of inmates, raising questions about overcrowding as the infections spread through the prisons.
BEHIND THE SCENES IN SWAMPTOPIA
by James Kunstler
Apart from the soporific side-effects of eating all that leftover turkey for three more days after Thursday’s celebration of gluttony, this holiday weekend was, news-wise, as still as the mummy’s tomb, or, rather, Joe Biden’s basement. Yet these post-election days are gravid with portent. The major newspapers and cable news platforms report nothing beyond their heartwarming narrative of Biden risin’ with Woke times a’comin’— but the casual observer senses powerful intrigues swirling backstage in Swamptopia. Something tells me the scene is about to liven up this week, even explode.
There is the matter of the Kraken. Perhaps Sidney Powell was not speaking just figuratively about the lurking monster of the deep. The Kraken, apparently, is an actual computer system developed by the Department of Defense (DOD) to ferret out malevolent computer programs as might be deployed in cyber-warfare… or janky elections. Miz Powell has had legal consort all year with General Mike Flynn, the former chief of the Defense Intelligence Agency railroaded on a fake charge by the FBI, now pardoned, free to speak and act. Do you suppose that Gen. Flynn does not know about the agency’s cyber-warfare capabilities? Or that he does not know skilled military technicians who can spell out, say, in a court of law, exactly how the Kraken might be put to use? Or how the Kraken intersects with the two CIA proprietary election hacking programs, Hammer and Scorecard?
Next, there is the matter of where these agencies stand with each other these days. It was not for nothing that the president sacked cheeky Sec’y of Defense Mark Esper and replaced him with Christopher Miller, a Special Forces warrior, lately, as Deputy Assistant Sec-Def, in charge of counterterrorism, Military Information Support Operations (MISO), Information Operations, unconventional warfare, irregular warfare, direct action, special reconnaissance, foreign internal defense, counter proliferation, sensitive special operations.
Kind of sounds a little bit like exactly the skill-set you’d need to battle the rogue “resistance” operations across several US government agencies in their four-year quest to overthrow the chief executive climaxing in this election caper — for one example, the CIA. Somehow, when I think of the CIA, I think of the sinister John Brennan, architect of RussiaGate and probably also somehow behind the activation of his protégé, “whistleblower” (and CIA agent) Eric Ciaramella, the impeachment mole who was allowed to retreat back into the CIA fortress with no consequences after his seditious deed was done. Notice, Mr. Brennan has been tweeting like mad in recent days denouncing election skeptics. Is he worried about something? All of which raises the questions: what role did the agency play in the election, with its mystifying vote-tallying irregularities? Does Mr. Brennan still wield influence in the CIA? And is the agency an enemy of the people?
Then, what do you suppose really went down at the computer server farm in Frankfurt, Germany, after the election. Chatter on the web has it that the Frankfurt asset was a CIA installation, and that some kind of Army Special Forces unit bum-rushed the joint after November 3, and took possession of computer servers that were used to receive vote tabulations from Dominion machines back in the USA. There’s even rumor of some people getting hurt in the operation (unconfirmed). Do those servers hold actual evidence of vote-tampering? That would be my guess. Perhaps we’ll find out this week.
And if it were the case that the CIA and other actors — perhaps even in foreign countries — worked to rig the election to make absolutely sure that Mr. Trump was finally expelled from office, would this not amount to something like treason? Is the US government at war with itself? If so, does the president not have a duty to do something about it? Is he in the process of doing something… that the public is not yet aware of through and beyond the holiday week? Did Mr. Biden or Kamala Harris know about any of this? Allegations (with actual evidence) emerged in October that Mr. Biden and his family received large sums of money for services rendered from several countries considered not friendly to the USA. Maybe that’s just a sidebar to the election op, but it sure doesn’t look good, considering. A reasonable authority might designate Joe Biden a national security risk. Such a person would not be permitted to take an oath for the highest office in the land.
So, with Thanksgiving behind us, and Christmas a month away (and a very fraught Covid Christmas, at that), and the deadline for the states’ electoral vote certifications and the actual meeting of the electoral collegians looming in between now and then, we might gird our loins for some very weird doings out of Washington, DC. Unless it’s all just a bad dream… a conspiracy theory… a blather of peevish, deplorable nutters who just refuse to bend over and take it good and hard from their betters, as they deserve to. Standing by… just as you are… on developments.
(Support Kunstler’s writing by visiting his Patreon Page.)
SOME LIBERALS AND ARMS-CONTROL EXPERTS ARE CHEERING FOR WAR PROFITEERS TO BE IN BIDEN’S CABINET
What does all this praising and access-drooling amount to?
by Norman Solomon
No matter who ends up winning Senate confirmation for top positions on President Biden's "national security" team, an ominous dynamic is already underway. Some foreign-policy specialists with progressive reputations are voicing support and evasive praise for prospective Cabinet members—as though spinning through revolving doors to broker lucrative Pentagon contracts is not a conflict of interest, and as though advocating for an aggressive U.S. military posture is fine.
Rationalizations are plentiful, but the results are dangerous. It's an insidious process—helping to set low standards for the incoming administration. Enablers now extol potential Cabinet picks who've combined pushing for continuous war and hugely expensive new weapons systems with getting rich as dealmakers for the military-industrial complex.
As journalists have brought to light, Antony Blinken and Michèle Flournoy shamelessly teamed up to cash in while rotating through high positions at the State Department and Pentagon. At the same time, Blinken (the Biden nominee to be Secretary of State) and Flournoy (in the running for Secretary of Defense) have backed nonstop U.S. warfare.
Meanwhile, Flournoy is grimly notable for urging potentially catastrophic military brinkmanship with China. Like her unabashed pursuit of wealth from the weapons industry, her dangerously aggressive approach toward China is anything but a secret. Yet, in her current quest to run the Pentagon, she has received unequivocal support from numerous individuals who are respected in progressive circles, including those with avowed dedication to beating swords into plowshares.
From the top of the influential and well-heeled Ploughshares Fund, Joe Cirincione and Tom Collina have jumped onto the Flournoy bandwagon. Days ago, Cirincione proudly tweeted news coverage of the "Open Letter on Our Support for Michèle Flournoy to Be the Next Secretary of Defense," which he had signed along with Collina and 27 other "nuclear experts."
Other signatories of the open letter included Rachel Bronson, the president and CEO of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, as well as the Arms Control Association's board chair Tom Countryman and executive director Daryl Kimball. Former Defense Secretary William Perry also signed.
Cirincione's tweet, touting the pro-Flournoy open letter, ran into pushback from longtime peace activist Marcy Winograd, who tweeted back: "Joe, pls read her essay, 'How to Prevent a War in Asia,' which should be retitled 'How to Start a War in Asia.' Did you know she wants to continue to send 'defensive' weapons to Saudi Arabia while we 'pivot' to SCS [South China Sea] & more war games next to 2 nuclear powers?"
The reply from Cirincione offered little more than wishful thinking about Flournoy. "I disagree with many of the positions she has taken in the past," he wrote. "She is, however, the best qualified candidate for the position; the one most likely to implement serious changes should President Biden order them. Dems have also moved away from the Clinton policies she favored."
While Flournoy has awaited word on whether she'll get the nod from Biden for the Pentagon job, Tony Blinken—the man with whom she co-founded the influence-peddling outfit WestExec Advisors—is already the nominee for Secretary of State. Oddly, two of Blinken's most high-profile progressive boosters for the job have worked in key roles for Bernie Sanders, a leader second to none in challenging corporate greed.
Faiz Shakir, the campaign manager for Sanders' latest presidential campaign, tweeted that the selection of Blinken was a "solid choice." And the top Sanders foreign-policy adviser in the Senate, Matt Duss, declared: "This is a good choice. Tony has the strong confidence of the president-elect and the knowledge and experience for the important work of rebuilding U.S. diplomacy. It will also be a new and great thing to have a top diplomat who has regularly engaged with progressive grassroots."
That's a common rationale for supporting potential Cabinet members, despite the fact that their records and policy prescriptions are contrary to progressive principles. In effect, we're supposed to be grateful—and mollified—that at least they talk with us.
At the Council for a Livable World—which says that it "promotes policies to reduce and eventually eliminate nuclear weapons and to minimize the risk of war"—the executive director, former Congressman John Tierney, told the group's members that Blinken is a real good guy: "I, and our organization, have worked with him over the years, and I trust that he can restore and rebuild a State Department badly damaged by the Trump administration."
What does all this praising and access-drooling amount to?
Here's a cogent assessment from Winograd, a tireless antiwar activist: "Progressives may be tempted to trade truth for access to the powerful and privileged, thinking they can influence the course of events if they bite their tongue when Flournoy talks of fighting and prevailing in a war with China. But this sort of thinking is misguided. The power progressives hold must be wielded now before it's too late, before Flournoy is crowned and the U.S. slips further into decline, mired in a high-stakes high-tech arms race—or worse, another endless war, this one with a nuclear-armed nation of over 1.3 billion people."
Disturbing information about Flournoy and Blinken has long been available. And just this weekend, the New York Times published a devastating in-depth news article that shed more light on their direct financial involvements that amount to classic conflicts of interest.
Many progressive activists and organizations have mobilized since the election to offer well-documented opposition to highly dubious potential members of the Biden Cabinet, and that includes contenders for "national security" posts. Outside the Beltway bubble, grassroots groups are organizing to put up a fight against nominees who have repeatedly pledged and shown their allegiance to the warfare state.
Joe Biden's historic value was to defeat Donald Trump, and progressives played a vital role in that defeat—while often being candid about the many awful parts of the Biden record. Now, progressives should emphatically challenge every odious aspect of the Biden administration, every step of the way.
Norman Solomon is co-founder and national coordinator of RootsAction.org. His books include "War Made Easy: How Presidents and Pundits Keep Spinning Us to Death" (2006) and "Made Love, Got War: Close Encounters with America's Warfare State" (2007).
ON LINE COMMENTS OF THE WEEK
 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. It’s 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?
 From what I heard (cannot remember the source) the vast majority of deaths were people over 60 (>90%), majority were over 80 (80%).
What does this mean? Oldsters stay home, isolated, and everyone else gets on with it.
Are masks just blind virtue signaling? Partly that, but a lot of people, maybe most, think they cut down on spray when people talk and therefore cut down on transmission.
Studies get contradicted. In my estimation this type of thing takes time, for the longest time the experts said masks don’t do any good. I heard it said that you may as well try to stop mosquitoes with chain link fences.
Still, err on the side of caution and wear a mask. But I wonder whether the harm done by all these shut-downs is for any worthwhile result.
 Biden’s signature speech, the infamous “Corn Pop” Lifeguard Reminiscences, isn’t quite the same caliber as the Gettysburg Address, but it does have a certain je ne sais quoi. And I quote, “By the way…I got hairy legs that turn blonde in the sun. And the kids used to come up to me, and rub my legs down, and watch the hairs come back up again, like roaches. So I learned about roaches. And I learned about kids jumping on my lap. And I loved kids jumping on my lap.” That’s right up there with Ferdinand I of Austria, who was so inbred that he would literally do things like shout, “I want noodles!” when questions regarding the kingdom were posed to him, and who masturbated in front of his subjects in court (he’d fit right in with Jeffrey Toobin or Harvey, or Louis, or Les Moonves, or Charlie Rose, or, you get the idea).
 This has truly grown tiresome. It makes me think of what it must have been like in the days when people were trying to explain the geocentric theory of the universe. An ever more cumbersome and convoluted system of epicycles, celestial spheres and ether were required to keep the theory afloat until it was finally replaced by a much more reasonable theory that explained astronomical observations and required only a few basic assumptions. And so goes the great election fraud theory. There is an ever expanding group of people who must be “in on it”, not a single one of which has broken ranks or had a slip of the tongue, more convoluted reasons why there is a massive amount of evidence that no one has actually seen or revealed either in court or in public, and twisted logic of why a “dream team” of lawyers (minus the ones who dropped out for some reason) has failed to get past first base in upwards of 30 different lawsuits in 30 different courts with 30 different judges. A much more reasonable theory would be that the one and only goal Trump has before it’s time to leave is to sow doubt among his supporters and anyone else who will listen, as to the validity of the election and therefore the legitimacy of a Biden presidency. In this theory, rather than failing, he has been wildly successful. For this theory, all that is required is for Trump to want to do this (check), maybe for revenge against the impeachment and Russia investigation, and a very small handful of loyalists and cowering sycophants who are willing to do his bidding (check). The rest of us then fall into one of three categories. The first is people who are willing to believe whatever Trump says and are being played for fools. The second is people who do not believe this nonsense and would rather believe their own senses and what they can actually observe. And the third category is opportunists who, regardless of what they believe, realize they can make money or politically gain by catering to a very large audience of people who are desperately looking for any reason to continue to believe in Trump. This last category includes various senators and representatives, “news” networks such as OANN and Newsmax, which have outfoxed Fox and are surely raking in increased advertising dollars due to dramatically increased viewership, as well as retailers selling Trump and election fraud merchandise, and blogs that are seeing increased traffic and therefore making more money. Really, the only question left to ask yourself is, which category do you fall into?
 I honestly cannot wait for January 20, 2021. At 12:00 Noon Chief Justice Roberts will give the Oath of Office to Chauncey Gardner…..oh…..I meant Joe Biden. Oh well, no harm done. No real difference. Both are essentially potted plants. Then, at 12:01 PM former President Trump will go FULL GROVER CLEVELAND and announce that he is a candidate for POTUS in 2024.
Heads will explode up and down the entire lengths of the East and West coasts.
Contrary to popular belief, Trump is going nowhere. Trump rallies will continue. A Trump News Network will be launched on cable or via live-streaming internet. Trump will continue to be the kingmaker within the GOP. Trump supporters will continue to fly Trump flags from cars, boats, planes, flying saucers, you name it.
The 24-hour news cycle will continue to revolve around Donald Trump 24/7/365, much to the consternation of millions of pink haired, transgendered, intersectional, Neptunian unicorns of color who populate the modern Democrat Party. TDS will continue as the nation’s leading mental disorder.
I’m gonna fill-up my survival bunker with crates of microwave popcorn. The next four years are going to be a HOOT!
 It does not require huge numbers of only Democrats in certain states to have somehow falsified hundreds of thousands of votes.
It does not require mysterious operatives at the Dominion voting machine company, cabals of “Deep State” personnel, Communist plots from Cuba, Venezuela and China, Hugo Chavez, or midnight raids of Spanish firms that had the “real” results showing Trump’s landslide victory.
It does not require anything to be secret and tens or hundreds of thousands of people to be in on that secret.
Instead, here are some facts that are not in dispute.
Trump claimed even before the election that the only way he could lose is by massive fraud. Now, via circular reasoning, he claims massive fraud because he lost. This, in and of itself, should be a big clue to you that the massive voter fraud theory is simply a classic conspiracy theory. Nevertheless, over 50% of Republicans believe the election was stolen, so, if Trump’s goal is to simply cast doubt on the election rather than actually overturn it, he has succeeded by any reasonable measure.
There have so far been no successful lawsuits that have proven voter fraud at the level required to overturn the election.
There have so far been no audits or recounts that have shown significant voter fraud at the level required to overturn the election. This includes Georgia, which uses Dominion voting machines and, as of this morning, Milwaukee WI, where Biden gained a handful of votes in the recount.
As for Sidney Powell’s lawsuit, we shall see. Trump won all 50 states? If you really believe that, I’ve got a bridge in Brooklyn to sell you.