Wet Weekend? | 57 Cases | Shelter Outbreak | Record Highs | Greenwood Creek | Feeding Students | Boonville Water Project | Missouri Hotel | Holiday Boost | Masonite Plant | Wine Rack | Big Logs | Narcan Saves | Revolution View | Interesting Tattoo | Verbal Only | Wiard Driving | Famous Oscar | Suspicious Tools | Rich Richer | Caltrans Wins | International Bridge | Ed Notes | Yesterday's Catch | Stop Polluting | Corpus Earthling | Comforting Lies | Hypocrite Lennon | American Politics | Coming Tsunami | Loser Dems | Found Object
A ROUND OF LIGHT RAIN is expected Thursday afternoon and evening over portions of Humboldt and Del Norte Counties. Thereafter, a greater threat for widespread moderate rainfall is likely Friday through Sunday. Another round of wetting rainfall will be possible during the middle of next week. (NWS)
A WORRISOMELY HIGH 57 NEW COVID CASES reported in Mendocino County on Tuesday, bringing the total to 1873. About 73% are in the Ukiah area and about 58% are coded as Hispanic. But only 6 of the 282 active cases are in hospital. The ratio of infection for Ukiah area residents has now dropped to 1 in 28.
UKIAH HOMELESS SHELTER RESIDENTS QUARANTINE AFTER COVID-19 OUTBREAK
One of Mendocino County’s few homeless shelters is under quarantine while health officials monitor a COVID-19 outbreak that has so far infected eight residents.
COOLER TEMPERATURES AHEAD IN NORTH BAY
by Nashelly Chavez
Cooler weather is coming to Sonoma County for the remainder of the week, though the chance of rain clouds over the North Bay remains unlikely, weather officials said.
Temperatures in Santa Rosa climbed to 71 degrees on Tuesday, just short of the record high for the day of 75 degrees set in 1943, National Weather Service meteorologist Brayden Murdock said.
One day earlier, temperatures hit 75 degrees at the Sonoma County airport on Monday, shattering a previous record for the day of 72 degrees set in 1917, the weather service said.
Most of Sonoma County is expected to dip into the 60s on Wednesday, Murdock said. By Friday, temperatures in Santa Rosa may climb to a high of 61 degrees before sinking to 38 degrees at night. It could be the coldest day of the week countywide, Murdock said.
The chances of rainfall in the North Bay this week remained unlikely, he added.
“It’s still not looking like anything worth betting on,” he said.
Since Oct. 1, the Santa Rosa airport has received 1.44 inches of rain, far less than the roughly 8 inches typically recorded at the location this far into the year, Murdock said.
A high surf warning along most parts of the coast from Sonoma County to Monterey County was extended until 3 p.m. Wednesday. The warning could be prolonged further if towering waves and strong currents continue, National Weather Service meteorologist Brian Garcia said.
(Courtesy, The Santa Rosa Press Democrat)
SIGNS OF THE TIMES
UUSD Food Distribution - Wednesday, December 9, 2020
Food will be provided for UUSD students and any children 18 years or younger every Wednesday at Ukiah High School, from 6:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Food distribution will happen regardless of the weather. The menu items will vary from week to week.
We are excited to offer FREE food to every Ukiah Unified Student and any child 18 years or younger, thanks to a California program. We hope you take advantage of this program so that every student can access healthy, nutritious meals.
Remember to wear a mask and practice physical distancing when receiving food. Please reach out to your school for support or call 707.472.5003. And don’t forget to read with your kids!
TRANSCRIPTION OF THE 12/3/20 ZOOM PANEL FOR THE BOONVILLE CLEAN WATER PROJECT
- Francine Fua, Division of Financial Assistance, State Water Resources Control Board. Boonville Clean Water Project Manager
- Dave Coleman, Senior Engineer Brelje and Race
- Jesse Davis, Planner, Mendocino County
- Roy O’Connell, North Coast Region (Dist 1) Water Quality Control Board (Groundwater Permitting)
- Charles Reed, North Coast Region (Dist 1) Water Quality Control Board (Groundwater Permitting)
- Valerie Hanelt, Chair Anderson Valley Community Services Director (moderator)
WHEN WE REMODELED THE MISSOURI HOUSE back in the 1990's we discovered a couple of old business cards stuck between boards under the stairs that read, "T.J. Vestal and Son Livery Stable Boonville California."
This livery stable would have been where the Boonville Post Office stands today. Jeff Vestal died in 1929.
THE BOONVILLE HOTEL HOLIDAY BOOST
15% will be added to any gift certificate purchased before the end of the year. They can be ordered at www.boonvillehotel.com and used for hotel, restaurant and bottle shop!
WINE RACK FOR SALE
For Sale: Stainless steel wine rack, holds 63 bottles of wine. $50 must pick up in yorkville - call Member kristina - phone #. 415 342 1450
* * *
Virtual Holiday Party
Every Thursday in December (10th, 17th, 24th and 31st), 2-3 PM
Bring your Favorite Holiday Dish Recipes or Handicraft Projects
AV Village Volunteer Lucinda Walker, MSW email@example.com will lead this innovative group - Please join in a community gathering and share your delicious holiday recipes or your craft projects with us. Bring a sample to show everyone; show it off with pride and describe how you make it! With our Holidays cancelled, let’s have our own Zoom parties. I’m always looking for new ideas for homemade food to cook for friends, family, and, let’s be honest, myself during the holidays and fun craft projects to keep me busy while listening to traditional holiday tunes by my fire. Let the holidays begin!
AV Village Monthly Zoom Gathering: AV Village looks at Gratitude Sunday December 13th, 4 to 5 PM
Please RSVP with the coordinator (firstname.lastname@example.org) so we can get an idea of attendance, thank you.
Looking forward to seeing you soon! BYOB for a more enjoyable event!
Same Zoom Link for all the activities above:
Meeting ID: 434 337 6734
One tap mobile: +16699009128,,4343376734#,,,,,,0#,,490940# US (San Jose)
Dial by your location: +1 669 900 9128 US (San Jose)
DOUBLE NARCAN SAVE
Synopsis: On Tuesday, December 8, 2020 at about 9:12 AM, a corrections deputy heard an inmate speaking loudly from one of the cells. The inmate sounded emotional so the deputy went to the cell to see what was happening. The inmate, a 50-year-old male, had just gotten off the telephone and told the deputy that he was upset about the call. The deputy continued a conversation with the inmate in order to assess him and determine if he was okay. During their interaction, the inmate went unconscious and began to snore loudly.
The deputy summoned additional correctional staff and jail medical staff.
Once additional deputies arrived, the cell door was opened. The inmate was unconscious and pale. While staff was in the cell, they noticed a plastic bundle containing a suspicious substance. The plastic bundle was removed from the cell as medical staff arrived. Jail medical staff assessed the inmate and immediately administered a dose of NARCAN. After a second dose was administered, the inmate regained consciousness.
Emergency medical services were summoned by jail staff.
After fire department and ambulance service personnel arrived, the inmate was transported to an area hospital to be evaluated by emergency department personnel. During the transport, the inmate was given two more doses of NARCAN by the paramedics. The inmate was treated and returned to the jail later in the day.
The discovering corrections deputy returned to the housing unit and continued with his duties. He went back to the inmate’s cell and removed the inmate’s property from the cell.
Shortly after, the deputy began feeling ill. He went to his supervisor and reported that he wanted to go see jail medical staff. The supervisor contacted medical staff and had them respond to the deputy. Jail medical staff examined the deputy and based on their observations, administered a dose of NARCAN to the deputy. The deputy immediately felt better. Jail medical staff requested an ambulance for the deputy so that he could be assessed at the hospital. The deputy was transported to the hospital via ambulance where he was held for observation and released later that same day.
After the incident, the contents of the plastic bundle were tested and came back presumptively positive for fentanyl, a powerful opiate. Specially trained personnel wearing hazardous material protective gear were brought in to decontaminate the cell.
Jail staff also reviewed the phone call that the inmate made just prior to his overdose. During the telephone call, the inmate made comments of hopelessness and was emotional, indicating that the overdose may have been a suicide attempt. Based on that information, jail mental health staff was notified so that a mental health evaluation could be done.
LIKE A LOTTA PEOPLE, LAST SEEN IN LAYTONVILLE
On Tuesday, December 8, 2020 at about 5:36 PM, Mendocino County Sheriff's Deputies overheard the Willits Police Department (WPD) get dispatched to a possible armed robbery in the 1300 block of South Main Street in Willits.
The radio broadcast stated there was possibly a firearm brandished and marijuana had been stolen. The suspect(s) had fled the location northbound in a black newer model Toyota 4-Runner being chased by a white SUV.
Personnel from the Willits Police Department and Mendocino County Sheriff's Office began searching for the Toyota 4-Runner.
A Lake County Investigator, who happened to be in the area, reported being behind the Toyota 4 Runner traveling north bound on North Main Street in Willits.
The Toyota 4-Runner traveled northbound on North Highway 101 when WPD Officers and Sheriff's Deputies responded to conduct a traffic stop on the vehicle near MPM 64.5 on North Highway 101.
The Toyota 4-Runner stopped and Sheriff's Deputies began giving the driver verbal commands to surrender. The driver did not cooperate and sped away from the stop at a high rate of speed, with speeds at over 100 mph.
Sheriff's Deputies pursued but later decelerated prior to entering Laytonville, causing them to lose sight of the vehicle momentarily.
As Sheriff's Deputies proceeded into downtown Laytonville, they found the Toyota 4-Runner had attempted to make a turn into the Park N Take It parking lot.
The Toyota was traveling at a high rate of speed when it attempted the turn and collided with a large Christmas Tree and the east side wall of the business.
Two subjects had exited the vehicle and had fled on foot according to eye-witnesses. Officers from the California Highway Patrol responded and assisted with the investigation into the traffic collision.
A Mendocino County Sheriff's K-9 Deputy and his K-9 partner "Bo" began tracking the subjects from the Toyota 4-Runner. K-9 Bo was able to track one of the subjects approximately 3 miles over numerous fences finally locating the subject near Gieger's Market.
The subject, later identified as being Christian Izac Flores, 24, of New York, provided law enforcement personnel with a false name.
Law Enforcement personnel noticed Flores had injuries consistent with being in a traffic collision and jumping fences.
A search of the Toyota 4-Runner by Willits PD Officers developed indicia in the name of Christian Flores along with packaged marijuana consistent with possession for sale.
Flores was arrested by WPD Officers for numerous charges and the other subject who fled from the Toyota 4-Runner remains at large.
This outstanding subject is described as being a white male adult, wearing a white T-shirt, black pants and a dark colored beanie cap.
The outstanding subject has a sleeve tattoo on his left arm extending down to the wrist where an image of a female holding a $100 bill with an image of a bridge exists. He is possibly armed with a handgun.
Anyone with information on the possible whereabouts of the outstanding subject are urged to contact the Sheriff's Office Dispatch Center by calling 707-463-4086.
On Monday, December 7, 2020 at 2:35 A.M. Deputies from the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office were dispatched to investigate a domestic violence dispute. Deputies contacted a 31 year-old female in the 12900 block of South Highway 101 in Hopland.
The 31 year-old female denied any physical domestic violence incident and told Deputies the domestic violence incident was verbal argument only.
During the investigation Deputies contacted Luis Parra, 48, of Hopland who had an active Felony Arrest Warrant issued by the Mendocino County Superior Court. Parra was arrested for the warrant without incident.
Deputies also contacted Michael Montano, 21, of Ukiah, who is on Felony Mendocino County Probation with terms to obey all laws and consume no alcohol. During the investigation Deputies observed Montano to have red watery eyes, slurred speech and a strong odor of an alcoholic beverage emitting from his person. Montano was arrested for Violation of Probation without incident.
Parra and Montano were subsequently booked into the Mendocino County Jail where Parra was to be held in lieu of $10,000 bail and Montano was to be held on a No-Bail status.
On Tuesday, December 8, 2020 at 8:47 P.M. a Deputy from the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office observed a vehicle traveling in the 100 block of South State Street in Ukiah.
The Deputy noticed the vehicle cross over the white line into the bicycle lane more than one time.
The Deputy conducted a traffic enforcement stop with the vehicle yielding in the 100 block of South Hortense Street.
The driver of the vehicle, Brandon Wiard, 26, of Ukiah, had a Felony Arrest Warrant and three Misdemeanor Arrest Warrants issued from the Mendocino County Superior Court.
Wiard was arrested without incident and subsequently booked into the Mendocino County Jail where he was to be held in Lieu of $15,000 bail.
HEY, THAT LOOKS LIKE OSCAR
On Tuesday, December 8, 2020 at 10:25 P.M. a Deputy from the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office contacted Oscar Bernal, 31, of Ukiah, in the 1100 block of South State Street Ukiah.
The Deputy had knowledge Bernal was wanted and had an active Felony Arrest Warrant issued by the Mendocino County Superior Court.
Bernal was detained and the Deputy confirmed the warrant with the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office Dispatch Center.
Bernal was subsequently arrested and booked into the Mendocino County Jail where he was to be held in lieu of $25,000.00 bail.
CATCH & RELEASE
On Monday, December 7, 2020 at about 5:45 PM, Mendocino County Sheriff's Deputies were dispatched to the 32000 block of Shimmins Ridge Road in Willits.
Deputies were told Deanna Renfort, 45, of Willits, was at the location damaging a gate trying to access the property. While responding to the location a second caller advised Renfort was armed with a machete and associated with a green Sport Utility Vehicle (SUV).
Deputies arrived and found an electronic gate had been damaged. They proceeded down the narrow dirt driveway about a mile and located a green Toyota SUV parked in front of another locked gate.
The Deputies contacted Renfort, whom they knew from prior contacts, by the locked gate.
Deputies noticed a large amount of tools, which included a hacksaw, wire cutters, pry bar, and other hand tools (i.e., Burglary tools), at the base of the gate on the ground. Deputies further noticed the chain to the gate was partially cut.
On the front driver's side seat of the SUV, Deputies noticed a large machete. On the driver's side floor board, they located an approximately 15-inch long wooden stick, with numerous metal screws sticking out of it. It appeared the only purpose for this weapon was to inflict injury upon someone.
Deputies determined through probable cause that Renfort had used the tools to gain access through the electronic gate on a neighboring property to ultimately gain access to her property.
During the contact Deputies discovered Renfort had two misdemeanor warrants for her arrest and was on summary probation.
Renfort was arrested for the above offenses and booked into the Mendocino County Jail.
In accordance with the COVID-19 emergency order issued by the State of California Judicial Council, bail was set at zero dollars for Renfort and she was released after the jail booking process.
Please visit the following link to hear Sheriff Matthew C. Kendall provide a Public Safety Message on the current COVID-19 emergency order related to zero bail: facebook.com/MendocinoSheriff/videos/2568683186688486/
RICHARDSON GROVE - CALTRANS WINS APPEALS RULING
by Sonia Waraich
Environmental groups opposing a project that would alter a stretch of Highway 101 through Richardson Grove State Park experienced a setback in court last week.
The Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals issued a decision Wednesday stating a district court erred in its assessment that Caltrans did not adequately address major concerns about the project, such as how the project would impact the redwoods’ root zones and an increase in traffic volume and noise, in its environmental assessments of the project.
“Caltrans’ environmental analyses regarding the redwoods and traffic satisfied (National Environmental Protection Act)’s requirements,” the decision states.
“Therefore, we reverse the district court’s judgment, and we vacate the injunction.”
According to a statement from Caltrans, the agency is in the process of reviewing the court’s decision “in order to determine next steps.”
There are still a long series of events that would need to take place before Caltrans could move forward with the project, said Peter Galvin, co-founder and director of programs at the Center for Biological Diversity, which opposes the project.
The appellate court decision addressed the district court’s four main concerns — whether redwood tree suffocation would result from paving over portions of the redwoods’ root zones, whether construction would negatively impact the trees’ root zones, whether traffic volume and noise would increase, and whether trees would be at increased risk for more frequent and stronger collisions between vehicles and trees — and stated they had been addressed by the agency’s environmental assessments.
For instance, the decision states the concern that redwood trees would suffocate was addressed by the fact that Caltrans would use “a special material to allow ‘greater porosity’ and to ‘promote circulation’ under the asphalt.”
Galvin said he and the other plaintiffs intend to ask that the decision, which was made by a three-judge panel, be reviewed by the full Ninth Circuit Court.
“We feel the judges on this panel got it wrong,” Galvin said, ” … so we have one more appeals court step available and we intend to take that.”
If the three-judge panel’s decision is reversed, the environmental groups “would be victorious again,” he said, but if it’s not, it would go back to trial at the district court level to address other issues outside of the four main concerns.
One of those concerns is that the project does not comply with Section 4(f) of the U.S. Department of Transportation Act of 1966 that requires transportation projects receiving federal funding to avoid public parks and historic sites, among other things, when feasible alternatives are available.
In this case, Galvin said there are alternatives, such as “signalization, lowering the speed limit and a variety of other things that would make it so the project did not have to occur.”
In June 2019, Humboldt County Superior Court Judge Kelly Neel decided Caltrans violated the California Environmental Quality Act when it added an arborist’s assessment, or significant new information, to its environmental assessment without having a proper public comment period.
“The state court’s ruling that they recirculate the environmental document, particularly with respect to the impact of the ancient redwoods’ root zone, that has not occurred yet,” Galvin said.
The plaintiffs are planning on continuing the legal battle for the foreseeable future, Galvin said, because not all highways need to be altered to accommodate “the largest size commercial truck traffic.”
“These redwood trees, some of them are up to 3,000 years old,” Galvin said. “These trees existed her a thousand years before Christ was born and if we can’t protect a precious resource like that, then what can we protect?”
(Eureka Times Standard)
HEALTH AUTHORITIES WARN that California hospitals are close to reaching their breaking point. 27 million people have received text alerts telling them to stay home. Governor Newsom says he's bringing in hundreds of hospital staff from outside the state and will re-start emergency hospitals created but barely used when the coronavirus surged last spring. The seven-day rolling average for new cases has doubled over the past two weeks to 23,000 a day. California's hospitalizations are now at record levels with more than 10,900 patients currently being treated for covid.
NORTH COUNTY WAGS are chortling about the excitement in Laytonville last night (Tuesday) where a fleeing dope bandido crashed into the Park 'N Take It liquor store and took out the community Christmas tree. As one wit put it, “Who needs fake news?” And when the cops’ bolo said the perp they were looking for was “cleancut” another joker commented, “Cleancut? He'll really stand out in Laytonville.”
FANG FANG AND DING DONG. California congressman Eric Swalwell has refused to say whether he had a sexual relationship with a Chinese honeytrap spy called Fang Fang. Swalwell said he couldn't comment because of “national security” restrictions. Ms. Fang Fang apparently bang-banged several “liberal” big shots, including the East Bay blatherer.
HATE TO SEE the anti-vaxxers get this kind of ammo, but you probably know by now that the Brits have urged people with a history of “significant” allergic reactions not to take the Pfizer/BioNTech coronavirus vaccine after two people who took the shot Tuesday had rather severe allergic reactions, but have fully recovered. Both had significant histories of reactions, so significant they both carry adrenaline auto injectors. Prof. Stephen Powis, national medical director for the National Healthy Service in England, said: “As is common with new vaccines, the MHRA have advised on a precautionary basis that people with a significant history of allergic reactions do not receive this vaccination after two people with a history of significant allergic reactions responded adversely yesterday.”
BOB DYLAN has always been among the first to recognize the zeitgeist just before it fully appeared. He said recently that he thought the coronavirus was “a forerunner of something else to come … maybe we are on the eve of destruction. I think about the death of the human race. The long strange trip of the naked ape. Not to be light on it, but everybody’s life is so transient.”
CATCH OF THE DAY, December 9, 2020
MANUEL ALVAREZ, Fort Bragg. DUI, controlled substance.
GREG CARMICHAEL, Vallejo. Probation revocation.
JUSTIN DEXTER, Fort Bragg. Concealed loaded handgun, suspended license, probation revocation.
MICHAEL HEALD, Caspar. Domestic battery, damage to communications device.
VINCENT HERNANDEZ JR., Ukiah. Controlled substance for transporation and sale.
DEANNA RENFORT, Willits. Controlled substance, trespassing, leaded cane etc., burglary tools, probation revocation.
DREVEN VALENCIA, Ukiah. Stolen property, loaded firearm with intent to commit felony, conceraled firearm in vehicle with prior, conspiracy, participation in criminal street gang.
Save fossil fuels for future generations’ uses other than combustible engines. Even if renewable energy could cost more (which it doesn’t), we should be willing to pay more to stop polluting the water and earth.
Gov. Gavin Newsom is allowing fracking and President-elect Joe Biden favors fracking. Write to them and request that they disallow fracking, which pollutes the underground water permanently which affects wells.
Renewable energy such as solar, wind and hydroelectric make jobs and don’t pollute the environment. Don’t remove the dams. Build dams and fish ladders. Dams store water during droughts, produce electricity, prevent downstream flooding, water farm crops and provide healthy recreation.
What we need is someone who knows what we need. Let’s do what our educated scientists and engineers recommend.
ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY
I was 24 years of age in 1975, “When a man could still work and still would” (Merle Haggard). All of the seeds of our current reality had been planted and were beginning to sprout. The populace of the United States had been systematically lied to about their nation’s activities in Southeast Asia for twenty years starting from 1955. Thirty years of consumption lay ahead before we would reach the peak for conventional petroleum production. The phrases “America, Love it or Leave It” and “My Country, Right or Wrong” were easily available as bumper stickers. The events at Kent State and the “Hard Hat Riot” in Manhattan were behind us. Elvis was still alive, the first “Test Tube Baby”, the Jonestown Massacre and the Hostage Crisis in Tehran lay ahead. One thing was true above all others — every word that came out of Washington D.C. was couched in half truths. Stated plainly everything that was in the media was a lie, a very comforting lie, still a lie. Let us look at the world for a 24 year old citizen of the United States at this moment “When a man can’t work and won’t” “Vote Blue, No Matter Who.” The complete and total corruption of our political system has been exposed and the populace is divided into camps based solely on which lie is most comforting to their fragile ego. “No evidence of fraud” or “The Democrats want to destroy our nation.” Simple strokes for simple folks. “The modern Little Red Riding Hood, reared on singing commercials, has no objection to being eaten by the wolf.” ~ Marshall McLuhan
“Standing next to me in this lonely crowd
Is a man who swears he’s not to blame
All day long I hear him shout so loud
Crying out that he was framed” (Dylan)
Destroy a thing to save it? Bullshit now as it was in the day of Calley.
"HE TOLD US to imagine no possessions and there he was, with millions of dollars and yachts and farms and country estates, laughing at people like me who had believed the lies and bought the records and built a big part of their lives around his music."
- Mark David Chapman
DAVID SEVERN PASSES ALONG:
WHY DEMOCRATS KEEP LOSING
by Ted Rall
Why, Democrats have been asking, do so many poor white people vote for a Republican Party that doesn’t care about or do anything for them? The most common reply is: Democrats are snobby coastal elites who talk down to them. Classic example, courtesy of Obama: “They [voters in the Rust Belt] get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.”
Democrats know their arrogance pisses off the working-class whites they need to win national elections. Yet they persist.
Every day sees some op-ed Ivy-educated columnist opining that voting for Trump means you’re a Klansman and another DNC-fed talking head pontificating about the masklessness at the president’s rallies with the bloated tone of a Roman tribune announcing stunning news that no one had ever heard before.
Now the Democrats are at it again, setting the stage for yet another surprise loss. Because, yes, they just lost again. When you expect a “blue wave,” when you’re running against a president who lost hundreds of thousands of citizens and tens of millions of jobs the year of the election, when you expected to pick up tons of seats in the House and take back the Senate, and none of that happens and you just barely win the presidency in a squeaker, you basically got your ass kicked.
Humility is in order. But it’s not on the menu.
“You chose hope and unity, decency, science and, yes, truth … you ushered in a new day for America,” Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris told attendees at her victory party. And the 73 million Americans who voted for Trump? By inference they must have voted for hopelessness and division, indecency, superstition and, yes, lies.
Biden had a similar message in his last pre-election closer. “This is our opportunity to leave the dark, angry politics of the last four years behind us,” Biden said. “To choose hope over fear, unity over division, science over fiction. I believe it’s time to unite the country, to come together as a nation.” Biden won. But 73 million people voted for those “dark, angry politics of the last four years.” Those voters thought Trump offered them more hope than Biden. They didn’t want to unify under the Democrats.
We all have to live together in one country until there’s a second Civil War. We don’t have to think the same or look the same. But in order to function as a society we do have to understand one another. Liberals do not get Republicans or understand where they’re coming from. They don’t even care. Until that attitude changes, Democrats will keep losing elections they ought to have won and will find it impossible to achieve tolerance from half the populace, much less consensus.
I’m a leftist. But I called the 2016 election for Trump early that year, not because I’m smart but because I’m from Dayton, Ohio. I watched my hometown devolve from an industrial powerhouse into a Rust Belt hellscape that eventually became Ground Zero for hopelessness and urban decay in the national opioid epidemic. International competition was inevitable. But deindustrialization powered by job-killing free trade agreements like NAFTA and the WTO was federal policy dreamed up by Republicans and enacted into legislation by Democrats like Bill Clinton—and that’s how American politicians killed places like Dayton in the industrial Midwest and across the country.
My blood boiled when Democrats admitted that NAFTA would kill American jobs but, hey, new jobs in Mexico would open new markets for American goods. Such an idiotic argument. After the factories closed in America, who would sell stuff to Mexico? China. But my rage paled next to those of men and women who lost six-figure salaries and wound up working as Walmart greeters—all because Democrats like Clinton were funded by contributions from corporations that wanted to sell to American consumers without hiring American workers in order to fatten their profits.
Years passed. More factories shut down. The long-term unemployed went on disability. Those who could find jobs worked for tiny fractions of their previous pay. Tax revenues shrunk. Infrastructure crumbled. Cities entered their death spirals.
No one cared except the people who lived there.
Deindustrialization never became a political issue. Republicans and Democrats agreed that free trade was a good thing. The New York-based press ignored the rot and the misery in the country’s heartland. Only two politicians on the national scene acknowledged it: Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump. After the Democrats kneecapped Sanders, that left Trump as the only candidate who understood that the part of America that let working people send their kids to college had been pretty great but no longer was. He didn’t offer a credible reindustrialization policy. As president, he didn’t do much beyond provoke a trade war with China to address the issue. But he acknowledged the Rust Belt and for the people who lived there so long, ignored and dismissed and derided, that was enough.
Democrats still don’t get it.
(Ted Rall, syndicated writer and the cartoonist for ANewDomain.net, is the author of the book “Snowden,” the biography of the NSA whistleblower. CounterPunch.org.)