Rain Forecast | 38 New Cases | Birthing Officers | Rabies Clinics | Culinary Gifts | Vintage FB | Yule Jam | Beware Fentanyl | Old FB | Texting 911 | First Mill | Supes Notes | Hopland Tap | Ed Notes | Coast Home | Juvenile Mobile | Sandhill Cranes | Vice-Mayor Marta | Bird Stories | Stormy Coast | Enough Dispensaries | Yesterday's Catch | Big Secrets | Crab Boil | Biden Story | Trans Topic | Skunk Train | Money Love | Truly Tested | Beware MAGAstan | Echium & Ivy | Christmastime | Helping Hand | Paint Job
RAIN is forecast to spread east across the region today through Saturday, with additional shower activity expected during Sunday. A period of dry weather may occur Monday, followed by another round of rain during Tuesday. (NWS)
38 NEW COVID CASES reported in Mendocino County on Thursday, bringing the total to 1911. (Ladies break 1000)
Fort Bragg Police Dispatch alerted Fort Bragg Patrol Officers of a 911-transfer call to CalFire dispatch of a woman in labor.
Officers Wilder, Shaw and McHugh arrived to the location; to find an adult female giving birth. Officers took immediate action to assist with stabilizing the birth. The “baby was born into the arms of these officers” who immediately after birth stabilized the baby checking for breathing and took measures to keep the baby warm until paramedics arrived on scene.
The mother and newborn baby girl were then transported to the hospital by the Fort Bragg Ambulance.
As Chief of Police, I commend these three officers for their quick response and action to this medical call. These officers are the same three officers who discovered the brush fire on the White Property; their actions saved a huge disaster.
Chief John Naulty, Fort Bragg Police
HOLIDAY GIFTS FROM THE BOONVILLE FARM COLLECTIVE
From chile powders to dry goods to shirts and hats, we’re here to be your one stop shop for friends and family this year. We’re stocked with chile powders, chile salts, dry beans, popcorn, and olive oil that were all grown using organic growing methods on our farm here in Boonville. We’ve put together new bundles and gift sets on our website that are ready to ship out or be picked up from our barn office on AV Way. We’re standing by to handwrite notes for your gift recipients and get these packages out the door! $5 from each sale of a t-shirt, hat, or tote bag is donated to the Anderson Valley Volunteer Fire Department. If you’d like to pick up your order from the farm, use code ‘ILIVEHERE’ at checkout and you will not be charged shipping. Krissy will coordinate pickup with you via email. Questions? Send a message to firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks so much for supporting us this year!
PETIT TETON HOLIDAY GIFT PACKS!
Petit Teton has holiday gift variety packs of three 4oz jars of jam for $27. We're open daily 9-4:30, Sunday 12-4:30 and our website is PetitTeton.com. We are happy to ship anywhere in the US.
BEWARE OF FENTANYL
Recently the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office along with all public safety partners, have been experiencing an influx in narcotics-related offenses as well as several drug overdoses. This week we had a narcotics exposure which affected one of our deputies. We believe this deputy was exposed to fentanyl following the discovery of an inmate who was showing signs of overdose. Fortunately and due to rapid responses, the deputy and the inmate have both recovered.
Fentanyl is a synthetic narcotic which is extremely potent, very small doses can cause an overdose and death. Fentanyl is normally in a powder form and is difficult to detect. It can basically look like dust. We believe our deputy was exposed while moving the inmate’s bedding and clothing following the discovery of overdose. Often these exposures happen so rapidly, a person can collapse prior to realizing they have been exposed. If left unattended they can die.
This is extremely concerning to me as I fear overdoses will increase and we may see more unintended exposures to the drug, to persons who are helping victims. If you see someone who you believe has overdosed, please call 911 immediately. Often overdose victims are found by family members and loved ones. Many times we rush to help a loved one prior to thinking about our own safety. Simply put, this is a natural reaction to help and we often don’t think about our surroundings while doing this. First responders receive years of training to assess situations prior to entering, even with this training it is hard to fight the urge to run in and render assistance prior to the triage of our surroundings.
If you must approach the victim please be aware of your surroundings. Understand fentanyl could be on their person, clothing, or in the area you found them. The powder is so fine it may be undetectable to you. In order to help others, you must take care of yourself so you can make the 911 call to first responders.
Our deputies both on patrol and in the jail have been issued NARCAN which will reverse the effects of an overdose. This is due to a partnership with our Mendocino County Health and Human Services Agency who were proactive in securing this life-saving material for us.
In closing, I hope we can all remember to look out for one another during these trying times. Remember to care for others you must use sound judgment and remain healthy.
Thank you, Sheriff Matt Kendall
TEXT ’EM IN
Mendocino County Residents Can Now Send 911 Emergency Text Messages
The Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office would like to announce that people in Mendocino County now have the ability to text their emergencies to 9-1-1 using a cellular phone.
Text to 9-1-1 is designed for hearing or speech impaired members of the community, those in a situation where it is too dangerous to make a voice call to 9-1-1, or those in an area of the county with limited service where a voice call cannot be made, but a text message can be delivered.
“Call if you can – Text if you can’t” is the slogan developed by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) as the new technology makes its debut in parts of California. People should ALWAYS contact 9-1-1 by making a voice call if available and possible. If a person is unable to make a voice call to report an emergency, they can enter “911” in the destination field of their texting platform, then send their location and a brief description of the emergency in the message area. The dispatcher may receive the longitude and latitude of their location, however they will not have an exact address. Including an exact location when texting 9-1-1 is crucial to get the person appropriate assistance, and as GPS location accuracy varies carrier by carrier it should not be relied upon. Below are some more key elements to remember when sending a text to 9-1-1:
* Messages should be sent in plain English, please do not use acronyms, short code messages, abbreviations, or emojis.
* At this time there is not a translation line for Text to 9-1-1, so text messages must be sent in English only.
* A text or data plan is required to place a text to 9-1-1, and text to 9-1-1 is not available if you are roaming.
* Text messages including photos and videos cannot be sent to 9-1-1 as they are unable to be received at the 9-1-1 Centers at this time. The entire text message will not be delivered if a photo or video is attached.
* Text to 9-1-1 cannot be sent to more than one person at a time. Do not text a group message to 9-1-1 as the text will not be delivered to the 9-1-1 Centers.
* If you text 9-1-1 and the service is not available from your location, you will receive an automated return message advising you, “Text is not available, please make a voice call to 9-1-1.”
Much like when making a voice call to 9-1-1, a text to 9-1-1 may not route to the correct Public Safety Answering Point. These 9-1-1 emergency texts may need to be transferred to the appropriate agency, so please understand the dispatcher may advise that your text is being transferred. If you have questions about Text to 9-1-1 for the jurisdiction where you live, please contact your local public safety agency.
For additional information regarding Text to 9-1-1, please visit the following websites:
The Mendocino County Sheriff’s office would also like to notify the public of a free smart phone application that can assist in locating people if they are not certain of their actual location.
A free app called “what3words” is available for download on major smartphone devices and assigns three random words to every 10-foot by 10-foot square in the world. If someone is lost and has the “what3words” app on their phone, they can identify the 3 words assigned to their location, and provide those three words to a public safety dispatcher at the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office. The dispatcher can use those words to help pin-point the person’s location within a 10 foot square through the mapping system used by dispatchers. Even the remote areas of our county are mapped using this free app so it could make the difference in locating people in need during an emergency.
by Mark Scaramella
Theresa McNerlin, parent and Chair of the Ukiah Valley Sanitation District, expressed the frustration of a lot of parents at Tuesday’s Board of Supervisors meeting during public expression.
“Something remarkably absent from your covid presentation has been the spread and effect in our community. Our child is in fifth grade and she has not set foot in a classroom for nine months. This has been during the good times of this pandemic and the bad. Yet we are treating the children completely the same during this entire thing. The emotional, physical, mental and educational damage inflicted on our children far outweighs the threat covid presents to these children. Right now, according to your data there is .003% of children testing positive for covid. We have the CDC and the federal covid task force telling us that our children should be in school amongst other professionals. Our children should be in school learning. Mathematics test scores have dropped 10% nationwide compared to this time last year and that's not including the children who were not even in this test. And the children who don't have computers, who stay at home, who don't have stay-at-home parents helping them during this so-called education. If we are doing outreach to cannabis farming why can't we do outreach to our children and get them in the classroom? This is outrageous. I heard the public health officer say we have to follow the guidelines that the state provides or we won't get funding. I disagree. When the federal government threatened to withhold state funding when we threaten to not do what they said, our governor said no, not going to happen on my watch. He fought it and he won. Why can't we do the same? Children are in private schools. Children are in high schools. And sometimes they learn. This is a social injustice to kids in public school. This is now the haves and the have-nots. If you have the means, your child is going to get educated. If you don't, your child is going to stay home and hopefully do the best they can. We are mistreating the doctors and scientists and researchers of the future because of our failure to get children into classrooms. I urge you to make this a priority and show me some data which supports keeping children out of school is helping. Teachers need to be vaccinated at the top of the list. We need to get our children back in school now.”
* * *
After a brief discussion, the board told Ms. McNerlin that they have no authority over the schools, that school districts are responsible for their own policies and procedures during the pandemic.
* * *
DOES MENDO HAVE COVID FREEZERS?
CEO Carmel Angelo told the Supervisors Tuesday: “We have two freezers on order right now. The challenge of freezers is like the challenge of ventilators when we first started the pandemic. We have a promise of getting a freezer from the state. And we have ordered another freezer. We will keep this board apprized. We're doing everything we can to get the freezers. We have a plan B if we don't get the freezers. We had a call with the Adventists this morning and we are in agreement that we will work together on delivering the vaccines and doing everything we can here in Mendocino County for the public and to get the vaccination process going.”
* * *
CEO Angelo also told the Board about the impact of covid on staffing.
“We have approximately 1200 employees in the county. We have employees out for various reasons. But on top of that we have up to 50 employees out on covid related reasons. Today we have 43 employees out due to covid. We have eight positive employees. We have eight close contact employees. We have 24 employees who are out for child care issues. We have three who are symptomatic and waiting to be tested and get results. Approximately 50 employees a day are out on top of employees who would routinely be out and it can impact the offices, particularly the small offices.”
Angelo told the Board that they are making adjustments to the “flexible time off” policy to accommodate this staff time loss including for employees who have to work extra hours to compensate for those out on sick or covid related leave.
* * *
There was another long discussion of the failed pot permit program which we will cover in an upcoming report. The upshot of the discussion was that very little can be done to get the 1100 or so existing applicants or provisional license holders legal under the current program. 200 or so of those 1100 or so have temporary licenses that will expire at the end of 2021 when they will revert to no state license like all the other applicants.
Tuesday’s meeting was over ten hours long and ran well into the evening. Toward the end of it when very few people were still paying attention, they got around to discussing solid waste handling and increasing rates and service reductions. We’ll try to unravel some of that in an upcoming report as well.
ALEXANDRIA OCASIO-CORTEZ SAYS Joe Biden’s cabinet lacks a "cohesive vision" as Biden announced Thursday that more Clinton-Obama people will join him at the helm of the SS Doomed, with former U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice to head up his domestic policy shop. "What is the agenda?" AOC demanded. "What is the overall vision going to be? I think that's a little hazy."
NOTHING HAZY about it, me luv. You, Bernie, the NYT, Rachel Maddow, the whole gang from lib to lab stampeded a big vote for Biden because he wasn't Trump, and now you're surprised that Biden is Biden?
BIDEN isn't even in office, but already lots of Trump-quality scandals are, as the hacks say, "swirling around him," what with the mainstream media's conveniently delayed reporting on Hunter Biden's "consulting" business with the Chinese finally being reported, not to mention the lad's after hours adventures which, seems from here, none of anybody's business, but still.... And Biden's brother is also under investigation for financial shenanigans large enough to attract law enforcement attention. Out here in covid-wrecked California, Governor Newsom, a guy with his eye on the White House, and fresh off his unmasked $350 dinner at the French Laundry, is revealed as a magic beneficiary of federal bailout money. Like, tell me again who exactly are the deplorables?
THE ORANGE GOLFER got off a good one the other day when he said now that there's a vaccine, covid rates "will plummet like a rocket."
TOTALLY AGREE with Gentleman George Hollister, the sage of Comptche: "The Mendocino 'Village' name has always rubbed me the wrong way as well. Mendocino is Mendocino. When the photo was taken, no one ever heard of, or thought of “village”. I have been wondering what Boonville folks have been thinking about being called a 'village' as well."
NEVER HAPPEN here, George, although we have our share of Ye Olde-Ye Olde mentalities. I've buzzed right on by the place ever since "Mendocino Village" kicked in, heading straight for Fort Bragg, for my mortgage the best all-round town in all of California. I like Covelo second best, the most exciting town, for its size, in all of California.
ACCORDING to some unreliable source or other, a mere 21% of Airbnb's listings are for spare bedrooms like they started out as until a couple of young bulletheads got the idea for Airbnb. More than half are either owned or managed by people with at least two properties on the Airbnb website, while 6% of these control more than 100 listings each.
DON'T KNOW what the Airbnb stats are for Mendocino County, but it's obvious a lot of Airbnb properties are permanently denied locals, especially families, who desperately need housing. (Encouraged to see the beginnings of rent strikes in LA. The worm is finally beginning to turn as pure desperation takes hold.)
JIM ARMSTRONG has collected responses from our congressman, Jared Huffman, master of sincerity. One would think he would be a little better at disguising his blanket contempt for his constituents, but why should he? Snugly gerrymandered safe seat, lottsa funding from Demo Central, Marin and the Northcoast's wine industry, lockstep Democrat media hailing him as the best thing since Bosco," fake libs like himself about to move into the White House:
Jim Armstrong writes:
Pick an issue.
“Thank you for contacting me. I always appreciate hearing from my constituents, and I will respond to your message as soon as I am able. Thank you for your patience.”
Huffman sent that to me on 10/28/20.
And I got this today:
Thank you for contacting me with your thoughts and concerns. I appreciate hearing from you on this matter.
I want to express my thanks for the great honor of representing you in Congress. Also, thank you for actively participating in the democratic process. Each term of Congress, I receive tens of thousands of emails and letters, thousands of phone calls, and I meet with many of you in person at town halls, office meetings, and various public forums. Your ideas, input, and feedback not only help me in the work I do; they serve as a reminder that I represent some of the most well-informed and engaged citizens in the country.
I am determined to work with my colleagues to find solutions to pressing issues facing our nation like COVID-19, climate change, access to education, and improving health care for all, along with many others. While I am willing to work with anyone from any party to accomplish these goals, I will never abandon my core principles and values, nor the core principles and values of our district.
Thank you again for sharing your views on this issue. The people of California’s 2nd District are the most important voices I listen to while serving in Congress. Please do not hesitate to contact my office if I can be of assistance to you in the future.
Sincerely, (s) Jared Huffman”
How’s that for a quick and detailed response. At least he is consistent; this is the fourth such since he has been there.
EVERYTHING ALRIGHT, KIDS?
On Monday, December 7, 2020 at approximately 11:18 P.M. a Mendocino County Sheriff's Deputy was on routine patrol in the 6300 block of North State Street in Redwood Valley,.
The Deputy conducted a vehicle check on a vehicle which was parked on the side of the road with one male at the trunk of the vehicle.
The Deputy approached the vehicle and asked the male if everything was alright. The male quickly got back into the passenger side of the vehicle.
The Deputy contacted the driver of the vehicle and asked if everything was alright.
While talking to the driver of the vehicle the Deputy noticed a person in the back seat of the vehicle. The Deputy requested the driver to roll down the back window for officer safety. When the driver rolled the window down the Deputy observed an open bottle of alcohol inside the vehicle.
The Deputy requested the response of a backup Deputy and advised the occupants of the vehicle they were being detained for an open container inside the vehicle.
Once back-up arrived the Deputy had the juvenile female driver exit the vehicle. The 17-year old female was searched with no contraband being found.
The Deputy then had the rear passenger on the driver's side of the vehicle exit. The male juvenile was searched and when the Deputy was searching the male juvenile he observed a firearm sticking out from under the driver's seat.
The Deputy advised other Deputies on scene and a total of four occupants of the vehicle were detained in handcuffs.
The male subject who was first noticed at the trunk of the vehicle was identified as being Dreven Valencia, 24, of Ukiah. The three other occupants of the vehicle were juveniles (one female and two males, both age 16).
A search of the vehicle was conducted and an AA Arms Semi-Automatic 9mm pistol was located with a high capacity magazine. The firearm serial number was checked by Mendocino County Dispatch and it was determined the firearm was reported stolen from Ventura County.
During the investigation it was determined the two juvenile males and Valencia were associated with a Criminal Street Gang. One male juvenile was also on felony probation with terms to obey all laws and do not associate with gang members.
Valencia was placed under arrest for Participating in Criminal Street Gang, Conspiracy, Carrying a Loaded Firearm, Carrying Concealed Firearm in Vehicle, and Receiving Stolen Property.
Valencia was subsequently booked into the Mendocino County Jail where he was to be held in lieu of $25,000 bail.
The two juvenile males and juvenile female were arrested and booked into the Mendocino County Juvenile Hall.
IN PRAISE OF SAND HILL CRANES
by William J. Hughes
"Oh Lord, stuck in Lodi again," the famous John Fogarty lyrics. That's about all I knew about Lodi. I've been to the Skydiving Center in Lodi but it's maybe more Galt than Lodi. Anyway.
But good old Huell Howser and his California Gold program -- the Sandhill Cranes of Lodi, their migration, early fall vacation in the marshlands of the Woodbridge Isenberg Sandhill Crane Reserve. The rice fields and the other agricultural offerings in the area and the predator safety of the marshlands bring in the cranes in the thousands. How come I never knew this? I know of the great Sand Hill Crane flocks on the Platte River in Nebraska this time of year, but this is all so near.
Covid has canceled this year's Lodi Sandhill Crane Festival (why didn't I know there was one?), but I'm sure the cranes don't recognize Covid. Let's find out.
But first a personal crane encounter. I'm working in Yellowstone Park as a bus driver. One early morning just as the sun was coming up myself and a lady friend were on our way to a trailhead and there before us in the road in the early morning mist a tall Sandhill Crane, as ancient as Egypt and almost as identifiable as on the wall of a pharaoh's tomb. So Lodi should be some of this. And from what the ranger told Huell Howser, the cranes are as ancient as the dinosaurs.
It's all Covid, no tours on the website, but there's got to be a place to pull out.
I find south Consumnes River Preserve, also Crane-friendly, on the way south. Will turn around to it once I see what's in Lodi.
Still too warm in the California fall but the migration clock must still say fly south from Alaska and Canada.
South I-5 turns from city streets to an almost prairie California in a matter of miles -- why there can be preserved marshlands.
Just down a few more miles turn off, back under the freeway, right on a country road, roadside sign full of Lodi wines, down a bit, Bill and Marilyn Isenberg Sandhill Crane Reserve like a national park sign.
Drive into the long, prairie world of wine and vegetables, a blacktop turnout for the Isenberg Reserve, simple, one other car. Tour interpretive plaques and two metal benches, low, rusted barbed wire fence and yes Sandhill Cranes, dozens of them, mostly wading and feeding in the shallow marsh waters and along the uneven dike between the marsh sections, mallards and geese galore, black the predominant mallard, the Sandhills taller, more moving parts, gray, the geese and the mallards honking like they were the taxicabs of their own Manhattan.
Can't hear the Sandhills for the pleasant din, but there they go, one, two, three in flight, jumbo wing-swept like the Egyptian delta would have seen, even the cave and painters.
Flights of black mallards swooping in like nature's own confetti, coming in for multiple landings as easy as butterflies on a bush, silence but for the wild talking, the migration and the feeding like from all eternity, feelings of small and grand together.
There's got to be more because the road goes on further along the California produce. And the folks that were here before me told me more cranes at Black Hole.
Why Black Hole? I don't know. But oh brother were they ever right. A harvested, soaking wet rice paddy with crewcut stalks filled with Sandhill Cranes to numerous to count, gray cackling in their cackling language, feeding, taking flight in formations of fours and fives to just across the road to a verdant green field of something recently planted.
Sit and stare in wonder and partnership in a world that can and does exist if we just let it, protect it. It's my own Sandhill Crane Festival complete with a high feathered Road Runner and Redtail Hawk plumb as a turkey.
Not quite done, Consumnes River Reserve also boasts Sandhill Cranes. Boasts is the right term.
I find myself on New Hope Road, Kansas or Iowa or Illinois, sort of lost, in a good way because I come across the McFarland Working History Ranch. Huh.
Covid closed up but there is a woman living on the grounds. She tells McFarland sold water to the 49er miners and made a bundle, the quiet ranch setting almost a movie lot with a fine white Victorian house with a white fence around it and manicured lawn to oversee the red barns and the corral. By appointment only, but nobody around but me. Quite a find and the resident woman directs me to the Consumnes River Reserve.
I've been but not when -- and there they are out in a marshland in lesser numbers but still oddly statuesque, mostly wading but always a few in the air to mark the skyline.
So mark your calendar.
Peter Pan Am
The Sandhill Cranes
Swooped me up
under their wings
High above and away
From all other things.
LATINA COUNCILWOMAN SELECTED AS CLOVERDALE VICE MAYOR IN HISTORIC VOTE
The Cloverdale City Council appointed the city’s first Latina councilwoman as vice mayor on Wednesday, elevating her to a leadership position on the council during what’s been a groundbreaking year for women of color in local and national politics.
Marta Cruz, a first-term councilwoman elected in 2018 who garnered more votes than any other candidate that year, will serve a one-year term as vice mayor.
Would you like to read some birds stories from Willits? No? Then, there must be someone. First I will give you an incense cedar update. Remember the Monkey Ward department store in Ukiah? Just below the store on South State Street in an old house sits where nursery items were sold on the screened porch and in the yard. I bought a dozen incense cedar seedlings about 6 inches high in small pots and planted them alongside the Bear Canyon Road on Pine Mountain. They grew real fast and today they are about 25 feet tall.
Each winter flocks of varied thrush spend their winter in Willits. Some years I see just a handful, most years flocks of 50-100 arrive. I have been watching for them to arrive on December 1. A couple of years I didn't see them until December 2. I looked out the other day, December 1, and there they were jumping around the ground. Varied thrush are a little bit bigger than robins with a pale orange breast and a brown bar across it. They are very skittish. They wait for a hard freeze when the madrone berries are ready to eat. Those berries have an alcoholic content which gets the birds drunk. They fly wildly about making a terrific noise you can hear for two blocks. I had a small pond nearby. Early one morning on March 10 I heard some noise. 50 thrush were splashing around. The next day they were gone. December 1 to March 10 right on schedule.
There is a bird feeder outside my window for small birds. The chickadees eat most of the seeds. There are two variety of what I guess our doves, one very light gray with a black ring around their next and a dark gray bird with a white ring half way around their neck. They keep an eye on the chickadees and when they head for the feeder they take up a position under the feeder to catch the seeds that fall from the feeder because those chickadees peck at those seeds like a starved chicken and half the seeds fall to the ground.
In other news: I imagine 80% of Press Democrat readers vote the straight Democratic ticket. Here's the CEO Steve Falk recommending the candidates and issues for his readers’ last election. 100% right out of the Republican playbook. The Press Democrat should print a couple of maps each day alongside the news stories. They say that Trump received 74 million votes. That is bad news. Those voters will still be around in 2022. They all had good reason for voting the way they did. They figured that Trump agreed with them on the big issues. Anti-Negro. Looting and burning after protests convinced them what they had always believed. No more immigrants of any kind. Not interested in climate change, global warming. Keep the government out of the way of oil and gas extraction and public lands. Leave the private healthcare industry alone -- the usual suspects.
Cut ’er short girls. Long gray hair doesn't look good on old women. (Amy Goodman). Good on you, Thom Hartmann. He has the economist Prof. Richard Wolfe on his program. Now I like Paul Krugman, but Wolfie explains economics so that even I can understand. (He's a socialist.)
In this county Ukiah has the merchandise and services that are not available in the rest of the county. What is needed is a complete directory of everything sold and what services are available in Ukiah and vicinity. The phone book is useless. You have to pay to advertise there. A directory could include advertising.
I can't get KDFC. So I have to rely on the four classical programs on KZYX each week. Too much talk, talk, talk. Too much eclectic and not enough standard repertoire. Jeff Bezos sent me a book called “Windows In 10 Easy Steps.” I am trying to learn how to play the computer.
POT DISPENSARY MORATORIUM
I’m writing this letter before the results of the planning commission meeting about the Franklin and Alder Street dispensary and Grow facility. Whatever the results are from that meeting, approval or disapproval, this city needs to put a moratorium on these type of business being permitted right now before it gets out of hand, which I and a lot of other people believe it already has. The city council needs to readdress this policy before it’s too late. Once you let something in it’s hard to get it out. So if this project did end up with approval that would already put four pot related facilities in our city limits which is already way too many. This moratorium should last until the shelter in place and COVID-19 orders are completely lifted so we can have true discussions and meetings with an open forum, not on these webcams which you don’t really get to see the true scope of what the public is feeling. So if anyone out there agrees with me wholeheartedly on this issue, please send emails or letters to our city council members and let them know how you feel, they can’t just sit idle and ignore how the people of this town really feel for a few tax dollars.
CATCH OF THE DAY, December 10, 2020
OSCAR BERNAL, Ukiah. Failure to appear, probation revocation.
TIMOTHY BRUCE, Redding/Willits. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.
CHRISTIAN FLORES, Mastic, New York/Willits. Robbery, marijuana transportation, conspiracy, resisting.
CHRISTIAN HOOVER, Vero Beach, Florida/Willits. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.
LAWRENCE JOAQUIN, Covelo. Probation revocation.
JESSE JOHNSON, Willits. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.
MARY JOHNSON, Fort Bragg. Robbery, petty theft.
CODY LADD, Sacramento/Ukiah. Parole violation.
JORDAN LUNA, Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol, county parole violation.
JAMES NEMETH, Nice/Ukiah. DUI, controlled substance without prescription, addict driving a vehicle, paraphernalia, no license.
RONALD PEDIGO, Ukiah. Failure to register as felony sex offender.
JEREMY SHULTZ, Venice/Willits. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.
ERYCKA SMITH, Willits. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.
BRANDON WIARD, Ukiah. Possession of device to tamper with vending machine, disobeying court order, failure to appear, probation revocation.
ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY
Do you remember when you were in Middle School, and you confided in a friend you trusted that you thought a certain girl was pretty? You swore that friend to secrecy, but to your everlasting mortification, when you came to school the next day EVERYONE knew about it, even the Janitor and the Tray Line Lunch Ladies. People Can’t, Won’t, and Don’t keep secrets. So the idea that “scores of elected officials, at both the State and Federal level, Senators, Congressmen, Governors on down” were all involved in a huge conspiracy for years, and somehow adhered to a code of silence and secrecy like a Medieval Monastic order, is not based on any rational assessment of actual human behavior. I really don’t think this could plausibly have happened. People get drunk, and wag their tongues. People get into gambling and financial trouble and sell information to the media for money. People confide secrets in spouses, then go through bitter divorces. People have staff members Privy to information who hate them leak sensitive information. People like to sound really important, so they tell that trusted friend they "have a really big secret-but you can’t tell anybody”.
THE MEDIA'S ABJECT FAILURE to properly report the New York Post's scoop about Hunter was a shameful dereliction of journalistic duty driven by the inherent liberal bias of much of the US media - and I said it as a liberal myself. Predictably, and equally shamefully, the media responded by then trying to censor me too: I was dropped from an appearance on Brian Stelter's CNN media show after going on Fox News and lambasting news organisations like my former CNN employers for refusing to follow up the Post's Biden exposé. They were happy to buy into Joe Biden's line that it was all a hoax driven by nefarious Russians to discredit him. Now the same CNN is reporting that the federal investigation is 'examining multiple financial issues, including whether Hunter Biden and associates violated tax and money laundering laws in business dealings in foreign countries, principally China.' CNN also reports that the investigation had been 'largely dormant in recent months' due to Justice Department rules that prohibit taking legal actions in cases that could affect an election. That tells me there's enough meat on the bone of the investigation to warrant genuine concern in the Biden camp. Whatever the truth, the bombshell revelation that Hunter's the subject of a formal federal investigation is now a story that even the Trump-loathing mainstream media cannot ignore - however hard some will doubtless try.
— Piers Morgan
MEET THE CENSORED: ABIGAIL SHRIER
Where is the line between boycott-based activism and corporate censorship?
by Matt Taibbi
Abigail Shrier of the Wall Street Journal has been in the middle of two major international news stories in the last year. One involves transgender issues. The other, the subject of this article, is about censorship.
The history of campaigns to suppress books in pre-Internet America is not littered with successes. Techniques ran the gamut, from school systems pulling The Catcher in the Rye, Catch-22, and Toni Morrisson’s Song of Solomon, to parent-led campaigns against individual schools teaching The Color Purple, to libraries removing A Clockwork Orange, to the U.S. Postal Service declaring For Whom the Bell Tolls “un-mailable,” to the firing of a teacher who assigned One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, to dozens of other episodes.
Most such efforts failed. The typical narrative involved a local conservative or religious group arrayed against national publishers and distributors, although there were instances of campaigns instigated from the other political direction (e.g. calls to ban or boycott books like To Kill a Mockingbird and American Psycho for offensive portrayals of women and minorities). These efforts however were usually opposed by a consensus of intellectuals in politics, media, and academia, all of whom tended to be institutionally committed to speech rights.
The increasingly concentrated nature of digital media, combined with changing attitudes within the intellectual class, has reversed the geography of speech controversies. Campaigns against books now begin at universities, newsrooms, and the offices of companies like Amazon and Google, and have success; anti-censorship campaigns tend to be disorganized and poorly funded, and fail.
No book exemplifies these new dynamics more than Shrier’s Irreversible Damage: The Transgender Craze Seducing Our Daughters. The book grew out of a news phenomenon that began to be reported years ago: a seeming surge in young girls seeking gender affirmation therapy. In Britain, the National Health Service reported a 4000% rise in such cases, prompting the government to order an investigation into “why this is and what are the long-term impacts.” There were similar reports in other countries, with Sweden’s health officials reporting a 1500% rise, and doctors in the U.S. reporting a four-fold rise in girls receiving transition surgery in 2016 and 2017.
Some hypothesized that the rise was simply due to increased acceptance, while others wondered if there were unknown cultural or psychological factors in play. One of the first efforts to look at the question scientifically involved a controversial survey by Brown University researcher Lisa Littman, who did a study involving 256 parent reports of children who’d discovered transgender identity for the first time during adolescence.
Shrier’s book is based on Littman’s study, which hypothesizes a theory (stressing the words hypothesize and theory) called Rapid Onset Gender Dysphoria. In ROGD, adolescent girls who’d not previously shown symptoms of dysphoria discover trans identities in clusters, ostensibly as a result of peer pressure from friend groups, social media, and other avenues. This unfortunately named “contagion” theory compares such clusters to similar groups in cases of girls suffering from anorexia or other eating disorders, but Littman stops short of making definite conclusions, saying ROGD had “not yet been clinically validated” and “more research… is needed.”
Building around the stories of some of the parents in Littman’s study, Shrier employs more aggressive rhetoric. She takes aim at a host of institutional actors, from school administrators who adopt policies of lying to parents, to therapists and psychiatric associations who seem to prioritize affirming over assessing, to medical professionals “rubber-stamping” transitions, perhaps out of fear of being labeled transphobes.
Shrier openly writes from the perspective of someone new to a lot of the issues she’s covering. When she recounts the experience of a friend whose trip to Nordstrom’s for her 13-year-old daughter’s first bra fitting went “badly,” the reader learns that the “problem” was a lingerie specialist who was “six feet tall, pancake makeup blurring a stubbled jaw, two breasts grafted on to a muscular torso like add-ons… no mistaking… male.” She goes on to note, “My friend’s reaction… was utterly standard for women of my generation. But it is also quickly becoming outdated.” The friend’s daughter, she pointed out, thought nothing of it.
Passages like this raise the question of whether Shrier’s book is just the same “outdated” response to the “epidemic” of young girls seeking to transition. At times in the text, she herself seems worried this might be the case. Is she describing a problem that isn’t there? At least with regard to the subgroup of girls of the type Littman studied, she insists not, and makes arguments that are persuasive. One issue is intimidation: how can science properly assess certain therapies if people like Littman, Toronto-based Dr. Kenneth Zucker, and multiple others are losing jobs and academic appointments for asking the wrong questions? Another is a medical system financially incentivized to move patients through expensive courses of treatment and surgery. “I long ago stopped trying to totally understand this,” she’s told by one surgeon, who by then had performed over 1,000 top surgeries.
Overall, she argues that society has built a bureaucracy that in accepting certain views of transgender identity is over-encouraging children into potentially “irreversible” decisions at an early age, like for instance taking puberty blocking medication.
The counter-argument is that those concerned about the “irreversible” effects of puberty blockers should consider that the alternative path might contain equally irreversible effects, because “endogenous puberty is non-consensual for the youth,” as the Empowered Trans Woman blog put it last week. Essentially, this is the debate: the likes of Shrier and Littman argue some adolescents and teens might be too young or too damaged by trauma, depression, OCD, or other factors to be encouraged into potentially life-changing therapies, while trans activists warn that failure to treat carries equally dire and irreversible consequences, while risks of treatment are minimal.
Probably part of what triggers progressives about Shrier’s book — Glenn Greenwald pointed this out in a Substack piece about the ACLU response to her — is its tone and title, reminiscent of conservative tropes about the corrupting influence of everything from pornography to heavy metal to the occult (How Satan is Seducing Our Children being just one example). However, the book also recalls another genre, the debunking or deconstruction of a popular intellectual trend, a la The Myth of Repressed Memory. That type of book is often hard to get published and initially misunderstood, while also incurring considerable backlash. Sorting out whether this book is the former or the latter, reaction or investigation, is normally what a public debate is for. That mostly didn’t happen in this case, as the entire issue was declared taboo, with the people most associated with the subject earning professional consequences.
Littman lost a consulting job, while Brown took down a link to her study, and the peer-reviewed journal in which she’d published, PLOS One, issued a highly unusual “correction.” The correction didn’t actually correct anything but merely underscored that Littman’s was a “descriptive, exploratory study” that relied entirely on parent reports for data, noting that there were things “parents would not have access to.” On the other hand, some 4000 academics signed a petition criticizing Brown and PLOS One for not standing up for Littman, with a common sentiment being, “If it’s wrong, let someone produce evidence that it’s wrong.”
A number of mainstream writers wanted to review Shrier’s book, but were turned down by editors, to the point where even Kirkus, which reviews everything with a cover on it, wouldn’t go near. When Shrier appeared on The Joe Rogan Experience to discuss the book, it sparked a chain of events that led to an uprising at Spotify, which now hosts the Rogan show. Executives there held no fewer than 10 meetings with employees demanding that the “transphobic” episode be taken down. Amazon refused to run ads by Regenery, Shrier’s publisher, and digital options for the book were sufficiently closed off that some parent groups were reduced to raising money on GoFundMe to put up billboards promoting Shrier’s work — until GoFundMe took down those campaigns, too.
Shrier became the poster child for the “ick factor” phenomenon, in which a person at the center of an Internet controversy is denounced often enough and in furious enough language that people with jobs and reputations to protect soon find themselves unwilling to risk even a neutral association online, not wanting to get the ick of public displeasure on them. If interviewing Shrier can become this big of a headache for someone with a $100 million deal, like Rogan, how many journalists with less job security (i.e. all of them) will go anywhere near her book? In the short term, episodes like this go a long way toward convincing conservatives especially that Silicon Valley is bent on politicizing the digital marketplace. It’s worth noting that the Streisand effect has been powerful here, with conservative coverage of attempts to suppress the book driving sales higher and higher, to the point where it’s the #1 seller on Amazon’s list of LGBTQ books, surely not what Amazon had in mind when it banned ads for the book.
The liberal position once was that unwelcome speech was either ignored or challenged by better speech, but this has been abandoned in favor of a politics that embraces making use of technology and extreme market concentration to suppress discussion of whole topics. This is the inverse of old campaigns against unpopular ideas: instead of rogue school boards in Dayton, Tennessee or Dover, Pennsylvania declaring subjects off-limits, it’s more powerful committees with national or international reach at Target or GoFundMe or Google AdSense.
Just recently, a British High Court judges ruled against the Tavistock Centre, which runs the country’s only gender-identity development service. The judges addressed issues in Shrier’s book, saying, “It is doubtful that a child aged 14 or 15 could understand and weigh the long-term risks and consequences of the administration of puberty blockers.” The decision came in the wake of a string of whistleblower-driven news stories in the U.K. about concern among some staff at Tavistock about the possible over-prescription of puberty blockers. Some resigning clinicians for instance worried treatment amounted to “conversion therapy” for some gay children, who may have been reacting to homophobia at home.
Is it possible the judges ruled incorrectly? Is it possible the High Court didn’t listen enough to all of their witnesses (one for instance testified that puberty blockers “may have saved my life”) or were guided by an incomplete understanding of the challenges faced by trans children? Absolutely.
The Tavistock decision however shows there’s enough controversy even among scientists and the people who work most closely with trans children that the contours of the debate at least have to be reported. In other words, the issue for sure passes the smell test as a news story, if not as science. In the U.S., though, the issue has essentially been driven out of mainstream coverage, at a time when people are losing the ability to distinguish between endorsing every idea in a study or book, and endorsing their right to be published and discussed.
Is what happened to Shrier just an example of effective boycott-based activism, or is this a new form of censorship? TK asked her to elaborate:
TK: Is the recent High Court decision in Britain related to the subject matter of your book? Do you feel that it vindicates your reporting?
AS: Absolutely. The High Court came to the conclusion that a substantial number of the young people who are proceeding with medical transition, under the current ‘affirmation’ regime, are going to be making a mistake. And that’s all I’m concerned about. There are going to be a lot of unnecessary medical transitions and unnecessary transitions are irreversible damage.
I think it’s hard to read the court’s ruling and not see that. The gender clinic in Great Britain – exactly like those in the United States – was proceeding with medical transition based on a young person’s own recognizance. This is “affirmative care”: the young person decides she has “gender dysphoria,” the doctors are instructed to agree with this diagnosis and proceed with medical transition. And the court decided that when the risks are things like infertility, these are things young teens can’t properly appreciate. Good medical judgment must often intervene in the rash decisions of adolescents, and that’s not happening in these cases.
The court noted that no adolescent who presented at the clinic was turned away on the basis that she couldn’t give informed consent. That sounded fishy to the court, and they were shrewd to point it out. It’s simply implausible that every last teen passed the threshold for informed consent. In what other area of medicine does no one get turned away? What it suggests is that there aren’t medical professionals who are intercepting the Keira Bells of this world before they undergo unnecessary gender surgeries. There are no safeguards for those young women who are not ultimately going to be helped by this process. In a nutshell, that’s the thesis of my book.
TK: Your book has inspired a range of responses, from what feels like an informal editorial blackout to GoFundMe disallowing fundraising campaigns to publicize your work, to Amazon refusing to run your publisher’s ads. Which do you feel is merely annoying, and which is genuinely out of bounds? In other words, where do you feel the line is between legitimate activism, and corporate censorship?
AS: At the very least, corporate censorship is illegitimate when it’s a betrayal of the mission of the organization. If I go into a left-wing book shop and they’ve chosen not to carry my book, that’s fine. But Amazon calls itself the “world’s largest bookstore.” It has no editorial mission that would justify blocking my publisher’s ads. Its mission is to carry the most books and serve the reading public. And it’s a severe corruption of Target and GoFundMe, similarly, to decide that the only books or fundraisers it hosts are ones that support woke-approved ideas. (GoFundMe boasts that it’s “on a mission to help people fundraise for personal, business and charitable causes.”)
Kirkus claims to review 10,000 books per year, including self-published titles, the purpose of which is to inform the public about new books and highlight (“star”) the ones it deems worthwhile. When Kirkus silently ignores a major publication, indeed a best-seller, as it did mine, it’s violating its own mission. That’s corruption.
TK: You wrote in Quillette: “This is what censorship looks like in 21st-century America. It isn’t the government sending police to your home. It’s Silicon Valley oligopolists implementing blackouts… while sending disfavored ideas down memory holes.” Where are traditional institutional defenders of free speech like the ACLU on this new form of censorship you describe? How about other working reporters?
AS: A top lawyer at the ACLU called my book “dangerous” and declared on Twitter: “We have to fight these ideas which are leading to the criminalization of trans life again.” He also wrote: “Also stopping the circulation of this book and these ideas is 100% a hill I will die on.”
This is a complete corruption of the ACLU’s mission. The ACLU has traditionally opposed not only government suppression of speech, in violation of the First Amendment, but also corporate censorship. As ACLU staff attorney Vera Eidelman wrote on the ACLU blog, in a July 20, 2018 post entitled “Facebook Shouldn’t Censor Offensive Speech”:
“What's at stake here is the ability of one platform that serves as a forum for the speech of billions of people to use its enormous power to censor speech on the basis of its own determinations of what is true, what is hateful, and what is offensive. Given Facebook’s nearly unparalleled status as a forum for political speech and debate, it should not take down anything but unlawful speech, like incitement to violence.”
So that fact that, in practice, at least one prominent lawyer at the ACLU has decided that book banning by Target is only offensive when it pertains to books he likes—that’s a real betrayal of its mission and the public trust. No one at the ACLU denounced or disclaimed his opinion.
A lot of working reporters were upset about an ACLU lawyer calling for my book to be banned. But I also think it’s worth noting that almost all the liberals upset by this have one thing in common: they are older than millennials.
TK: Spotify executives have reportedly had upwards of 10 meetings to discuss whether or not to remove your interview with Joe Rogan from its archive. Have you had any contact with Spotify yourself? With the protesting employees? How important is it that they not give in, and why?
AS: I haven’t had any contact with Spotify or with the employees. Joe Rogan has been very firm, as has Spotify, that it will not grant its employees an editorial veto over the content of the platform. It’s a really important development, I think. As Churchill said after an important British military victory, “This is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it, perhaps, the end of the beginning.” I think that might be said of today’s war against Cancel Culture. Spotify is a technology firm and the fact that it has held firm against the complaints of woke employees – that may just signal the end of the beginning.
TK: Do you think what happened with your book, in terms of the problems with digital promotion and distribution, will have an impact on book publishers? Will they stay away from controversial topics? You say you haven’t been harmed and will write more books, but has this experience made that harder?
AS: Publishers are already shying away from controversial topics. I’ve known so many authors who’ve tried to write anything to do with gender ideology and been dropped by their publishers or otherwise shut out. So, yes, they’re already staying away from controversial topics. In other words, the areas of American life in most dire need of investigation are precisely the areas that have been declared off-limits.
This is why the current medical scandal of poor health care for trans-identified teenagers persists. It’s because no one is allowed to weigh risks and benefits. No one is allowed to question basic medical protocols. This is an area of experimental medicine where scientists and doctors should be taking a hard look at the protocols to ensure that those susceptible to regret do not undergo irreversible procedures. And yet, instead, we’re so busy congratulating and celebrating medical transition for young people who trans identify, that we’re practically guaranteeing that many of them will regret their choices.
TK: What would you say to someone who is politically progressive and isn’t concerned by that “21st century America” version of censorship you describe? Why should that person care?
AS: We can have different beliefs about all kinds of political issues—environmental policy, abortion, nationalized healthcare—and those disagreements are proof of a healthy democratic society. But the foundation of civil society is a meta commitment to free speech. We must be able to discuss our differences openly. Once you decide your political commitment is more important than maintaining free inquiry, society gets very dark awfully quickly—with highly unpredictable results.
I think, sometimes, people imagine that if they shut down discussion of the risks and benefits of medical transition for teenagers, they’ll get their way. But it doesn’t work like that. The result of suppressed discussion could involve a very irrational and counter-productive backlash. The lesson of McCarthyism wasn’t: ‘Don’t blacklist Leftists,’ it was: ‘Don’t blacklist Americans.’ If we can’t agree on that, the foundations of civil society will crumble.
THE WAY OF THE BEAST
From the United States People's Sphere of Action.
In the dog eat dog world of capitalism where the economic predators capitalize on every weakness they can find or create in other humans. The worldly people can now rejoice because for those who cannot quite bring themselves to place their faith in the biblical God, you can now buy all of your insurances from the corporate image of the humans called economic wolves who by their human natures are more ravening than wolves on their own kind for the love of money. The most powerful God created by mankind on earth.
Only you can help find a better form of government. So God’s will can be done on earth as it is in heaven.
Call your legislators to account and make them call a constitutional convention instead of using murder by cop to get unratified authorities the predatory deem necessary while they follow the way of the beast in their own minds.
Thomas Dean ‘Shepherd’ Jones
Mendocino County Jail
JOSEPH CONRAD’S ‘HEART OF DARKNESS’ is filled with ignorance of oneself, the sense that you don’t know who you are until you’re under stress, placed in situations that “find you out,” as Conrad so pointedly puts it, in situations that make you visible, readable. You can’t do it yourself. It happens because you are put in a situation that is scrutinizing you — self-scrutiny is not going to get the job done. This is the existential Conrad: that you don’t know who you are until you’ve been tested.
— Professor Arnold Weinstein, English Professor at Brown University
AMERICA’S DARK SIDE
by Richard C. Gross
When I was in high school in the Bronx, there were round colored spots on the floor of the gym that showed us where to stand. The bigger, older kids would demand we pay a quarter for the spot, for which the school charged nothing. That’s what’s called a scam or a con, a racket.
Dwight David Eisenhower, or Ike, was president then, a Republican and a former general who led the war against Hitler. He played golf, had a heart attack that scared everybody, built the Interstate and warned us of the military-industrial complex. No scams, no cons; he played by the rules.
More than half a century later blew in a tornado named Donald Trump, wrecking the country and its institutions. And with him came the scams, the confidence games – the Dark Side.
Trump has raised $495 million in donations since mid-October for an election fund and another one for himself in something called the Save America PAC, according to The Washington Post. The many appeals for money were all based on a series of lies about a fraudulent election that wasn’t a fraud.
“Trump has discovered that running around claiming the sky is falling is a money-making proposition,” wrote Timothy L. O’Brien in a column at Bloomberg.com.
Most of the money came from small-dollar donations in response to such emailed pleas as “We cannot afford a Joe Biden presidency. We must FIGHT for the future the American people TRULY support: FOUR MORE YEARS OF PRESIDENT TRUMP,” the Post reported. And, “Will you allow the CORRUPT Democrats to try to steal this Election and impart their RADICAL agenda on our country? Or will you step UP and DEFEND your Country?”
One way to defend the country is to ignore these appeals.
Fully 75 percent of the donations will go to Save America, which Trump can use as he pleases. Trust a guy who was fined $2 million for illegally using his family foundation? Trust someone who was forced to make a $25 million settlement for duped Trump University students? His business partner paid it.
And Trump still is raking it in from his campaign and related committees, the Post said Friday. They spent more than $1.1 million at his properties in the final weeks of the campaign and “has converted $6.7 million from his campaign donors into revenue for his businesses since taking office, new campaign finance filings show,” it reported.
Taxpayers have paid Trump’s businesses more than $900,000 since he took office, as of Aug. 27, the Post reported then. At least $570,00 of the total resulted from his travel, it said. Tacky, eh?
He’s still bellyaching, whining and throwing tantrums over his loss to Joe Biden. And he’s firing people, spitting on them and the country for wronging him and stirring up a maelstrom with a 46-minute video ranting that he would have won the election if not for “massive” voter fraud.
“I very easily win in all states,” he said in the video. It marked the biggest of his more than the 23,000 lies the Post has tracked over four years.
We know Trump’s obsession with his defeat has gone too far in the face of certifications that Biden won 81 million votes to the president’s 74 million and 306 electoral votes to the incumbent’s 232. And Attorney General William Barr ruled out massive election fraud, verifying the results, thus contradicting his boss.
Yet just 27 of the 249 Republicans in the House and Senate acknowledge that Biden beat Trump, according to a Post survey published Saturday. Two said Trump won and another 220 won’t say who won, it reported.
That’s the shame of Trump’s power.
The danger beneath Trump’s unceasing claims of a fraudulent and rigged election is that he is undermining and delegitimizing Biden’s victory and sowing doubt on the electoral process, the cornerstone of our democracy.
And creating a shadow government is precisely what Trump intends to do, his former lawyer and fixer, Michael Cohen, told New York magazine’s Intelligencer. Cohen was sentenced to three years in prison but is serving it at home because of pandemic concerns in prison.
He said the Save America PAC “will be the base from which he establishes an entire parallel system of government. I call it the Republic of MAGAstan.” Its capital will be Trump’s Florida estate of Mar-a-Lago, he said.
A new Jefferson Davis in the South, Biden as Lincoln in the North?
Cohen acknowledged Trump “cannot accept losing” and that “in his mind, the only way Biden could have won is through fraud.” But he said the show Trump has been putting on since the election is “all a shameless con job.
“He sees his claims of fraud as driving up donations – there’s nothing behind it but greed. Trump is using the moment to raise money.”
“This money is not going to his Election Defense Fund; it’s to keep him relevant in the GOP and launch his media brand. It’s all about money and power, and you need one to get the other.”
The battle for the soul of America — which I interpret as the vision of making a more perfect union with everyone truly equal — is far from over. With Trump probably vying with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McDonnell of Kentucky for control of the Republican party while slamming and mocking Biden from the peanut gallery, it’s going to be a rough four years ahead.
Life at the school gym? Of course, if another guy approached demanding a quarter for your gym spot, there was no way to prove you already bought it. These guys didn’t give receipts.
(Richard C. Gross, a correspondent, bureau chief and foreign editor of United Press International at home and abroad, retired as the opinion page editor of The Baltimore Sun.)
THE OTHER SIDE OF CHRISTMAS
Was cleaning my house - I stopped in my tracks and sat down and just went down memory lane. All I can say is it wasn't pretty. I think I cried for over an hour with memories of what this time used to be for me and how it was filled with such love and anticipation - and now it brings back memories of the reality of emptiness and sadness.
So I would like to remind you that there are people for whatever reason are not looking forward to Christmas. Some people are not surrounded by large wonderful families.
Some of us have problems during the holidays and are overcome with great sadness when we remember the loved ones who are not with us any longer.
For many it is their first Christmas without a particular loved one and many others lost loved ones at Christmas. And, many people have no one to spend these times with and are besieged by loneliness. We all need caring, loving thoughts right now.
If I don't see your name, I'll understand. I ask my friends wherever you might be, to kindly post this status for one hour to give a moment of support to all those who have family problems, health struggles, job issues, worries of any kind and just need to know that someone cares.
Do it for all of us, for nobody is immune. I hope to see this on the walls of all my friends just for moral support. I did it for a friend and you can too!
“OH COME ON. A General and on the Raytheon board?” said Danielle Brian, the executive director of the Project on Government Oversight, in a Twitter post about Biden’s naming of General Austin as Defense Secretary. “Possibly the worst of all options. Bad news for civilian control and any real distance from the military-industrial-complex.” And, as Ron Wilkins, a friend and long time activist in Los Angeles' Black community going back to the early Sixties would have put it, as he did when challenging the Black members of Pacifica Radio's board as it accepted the NPRization of the network and purging of KPFA's and KOFK's radical programmers, "another paint job."
— Jeff Blankfort