Low Pressure | 51 New Cases | Vaccine Bungle | Storm Approach | 128
Closed Reopened | Seastack Mist | Propane Pricing | Caspar Bay | Take-out Meals | Georgia Results | Potter Valley | Postal Delays | Supes Notes | B Dazzle | Wheat Harvest | Slander Campaign | Log Pond | Ukiah Parking | Railway Pier | Ed Notes | Yesterday's Catch | Everything Gray | Whistleblower Treatment | Prima Tribute | Welsh Wheat | Favorite Film | Coastal Mill | Yuki Territory | Old Cleone | Homeless Crime | Bizarro Dystopia | Elbert Howard | Suffragette Skirt | Propaganda Professor | The News
A WAVE OF LOW PRESSURE tracking along a stalling front will pass through northwest California today with another quick shot of rain, followed by showers tapering off this afternoon. High pressure will bring a brief break before another front brings a similar dose of rain and gusty southerly winds passes by Thursday night and Friday morning. (NWS)
51 NEW COVID CASES reported in Mendocino County on Tuesday, bringing total to 2714.
BOB ABELES WRITES: Apparently in Mendocino County, officialdom has outsourced the vaccine into the capable hands of Adventist Health, the 'health care' combine run by cultists and staffed by random temps. Sleep well my droogs, sleep well.
READER COMMENT: I absolutely hold public health and Adventist Health in contempt over this. Not because they distributed it in an emergency but because there was an emergency to begin with. Those doses were in that freezer for 3 WEEKS! They should have been administered the day they were received, not put in a freezer for "clinics" in future weeks. There was over 8 months for them to plan the distribution. At this rate it will be literally 3 years for the general population to get a vaccine. And now the doses intended for health care workers are gone. The tier 1A people still stay in tier 1A and the tier 1B people will continue to wait for our incompetent county and adventist health to get their crap together. Meanwhile 4 people died here this week and in the past 3 weeks since they started vaccinating people hundreds of more people are sick. Add to the insult there is no list for anyone to get on. Not at the doctor's offices, not at the hospital and not at public health. This incident brought to light the complete incompetence of public health and Adventist Health Ukiah Valley.
FRONT EDGE OF THE NEXT STORM (photos by Dick Whetstone)
NAVARRO RIVER WATCH, HWY 128 CLOSED
My prediction of last Saturday turned out to be correct. Highway 128 at Hwy 1 is closed due to shallow flooding near the bridge. When I visited late yesterday afternoon, the water was up to the edge of the pavement in the eastbound lane, and about 8 inches over the fog line in the westbound lane.
Someone tried to dig a channel across the sandbar blocking the river at its mouth, but it was not successful in starting a breach. The sandbar is very high and very wide due to the high surf building it up over the past several days. That means it may be a while before the breach occurs and begins draining out the estuary. It also means the flooding will be deeper than before and may require longer cleanup before the road can be reopened. Certainly it won't happen before tomorrow, and it may even take a few days.
As of last night the NWS forecast for the Navarro River gauge showed a surge arriving tonight after dark. As of now the chart shows the surge began late this morning.
I'm heading down now to get some pics.
TRAFFIC UPDATE: Flooding has subsided and Route 128 has reopened in Mendocino County. Please remember to check QuickMap before you go for the latest highway updates.
A READER WRITES: When we bought our place here a couple decades ago it came with a Ferrel Gas propane tank and account. We stayed with them until we discovered their "creative" pricing scheme, wherein they essentially charge all their customers different prices, depending on what they felt they could get away with. Once we discovered this scam we switched to ER [Eel River] Energy, which was a locally owned business who charged everyone the same, fair, price for propane. Unfortunately, ER sold out to a bigger conglomerate, ThompsonGas, a couple years ago, so I am afraid we may be returning to the bad old days. We haven't filled our tank in awhile, so I don't know where the price currently stands with Thompson. My advice to any propane delivery customers is to call around and get price quotes before ordering. Hopefully another locally owned business will pop up again (or already has).
WE ARE SERVING UP TAKE OUT MEALS Thursday, Friday & Sunday evenings during the month of January. This Thursday evening 1.7.21 we'll be making Whole Roasted Heritage Chicken (serves two) served with roasted matsutake mushrooms, fingerling potatoes and persimmon chutney - and of course a little something sweet. TBD. $60 take-out meal for two. pick up from 5:30 to 6:00pm.... order online @https://boonville-hotel-restaurant.square.site
happy rainy days to you all & take good care
DEMOCRATS EDGE CLOSER TO SENATE CONTROL WITH VICTORY IN GEORGIA; Second Race Too Close to Call
The Rev. Raphael Warnock beat the Republican incumbent, Kelly Loeffler, while the other runoff was neck-and-neck. President Trump’s allies are planning a final attempt to subvert the election when Congress meets on Wednesday to formalize the Electoral College results.
USPS DELAYS ARE THREATENING SMALL-TOWN NEWSPAPERS. So Is A Postage Price Increase.
Historic volumes of packages have gummed up the Postal Service, and community newspapers are getting caught in the mail backlog.
NEWLY SEATED SUPERVISOR MAUREEN MULHEREN boldly pulled Item 4k from the consent calendar on Tuesday, saying that she wanted to see some alternatives to extending Dr. Noemi Doohan’s contract for a year at $125 per hour, $100k per year. Her freshly seated colleague, Glenn McGourty, agreed the item should be pulled.
SUPERVISOR TED WILLIAMS immediately disagreed, saying that “continuity” was important and he supported the extension of the unimpressive Dr. Doohan's contract. Supervisor Haschak agreed, saying he would support whatever Dr. Coren and CEO Angelo wanted in response to the pandemic, a statement rather breathtaking in its write-your-own check assumption.
CEO ANGELO thought that Dr. Doohan brought a “scientific” approach to the County’s covid response, and that if it was up to the CEO we'd have three Public Health Officers because the pandemic has not subsided and now the vaccine rollout is underway and there’s a surge and all. Angelo added that Dr. Doohan was actually a bargain since, according to the CEO, Dr. Doohan is providing at least twice the hours that she’s contracted for at no extra cost.
SUPERVISOR MULHEREN repeated that she preferred local doctors to out-of-county consultants. But when the vote came Mulheren was the only no vote and we’ll now have whatever benefits a San Diego doctor can offer for at least another year.
(The County's "rollout" has gotten off to a farcical start with the Adventist's indefensible failure to properly protect the batch of covid vaccine entrusted to it.)
THERE WAS an extensive discussion of the vaccine's Mendo debut centered on the failure of a freezer holding the vaccines having failed, the failure not noticed for some 9 hours or so, causing a scramble to get as many of the doses into as many arms as possible before the two hours of the vaccine's remaning effectiveness ran out on the approximately 850 vaccines that were at risk.
ALL IN ALL, the hurry-up vaccinations got into some 850 arms, many of those arms not appended to priority people. Dr. Coren said the main limitation for Mendo at this point is not delivery into arms, but receipt of adequate quantities to cover each vaccination phase, the public being Phase Z or something. Plans are underway to add vaccination progress to the data dashboard, to bring staffing up for the three primary vaccination agencies (Public Health, Adventist Health and two local pharmacies for nursing homes) to coordinate somehow with the arrival of additional vaccine doses.
SHERIFF KENDALL provided an unusually long and detailed summary of the covid outbreak at the jail, saying his staff has had to deal with a whole new layer of unanticipated status and tracking and isolation, but unable to reduce the total number of inmates much because of the people held for a recent spate of serious crimes. Each inmate has to be covid-assessed and categorized and those who are released have to be evaluated and isolated outside as necessary. Complicating matters further are some inmates who refuse to be tested, meaning they have to be pre-emptively isolated as a precaution.
HAPPY NEW YEAR FROM MEASURE B!
Dear Measure B Stakeholders;
Happy New Year!
Measure B is off to a strong start in 2021 with three approved Services and two Facilities well underway.
Newly approved Services include Community Education, Mobile Crisis Response, and Crisis Aftercare.
The CRT or Crisis Residential Treatment Facility is scheduled for construction beginning in March, and the Behavioral Health Regional Training Center will likely complete remodeling in early spring.
Monthly updates will continue to be delivered publicly at Citizen Oversight Committee/Measure B meetings regarding these and any future Measure B projects. I have attached the 2021 meeting calendar for your reference.
For past meetings and other information, visit: www.mendocinocounty.org/community/mental-health-oversight-committee.
Thank you for your dedication,
Administrative Project Manager: Measure B
Special Programs - Behavioral Health and Human Services
Cell: (707) 510-6637
Text me if you need my immediate attention.
A COUPLE OF WEEKS AGO (pre-holiday) we asked Measure B Project Manager Alyson Bailey:
Dear Ms. Bailey,
According to the minutes of July 2020 Measure B committee meeting, the Committee ordered that the Mobile Crisis Team that was funded by Measure B money would be evaluated in six months.
"Committee Action: Upon motion by Ms. S. Riley, seconded by Mr. T. Allman, IT IS ORDERED that the Mental Health Treatment Act Citizens Oversight Committee recommends to the Board of Supervisors that they support the development of a Mobile Crisis Team in partnership with local law enforcement to be reviewed in six months and allocate Three Hundred Forty Thousand Dollars ($340,000) per year for 4 years to fund three Mental Health Rehabilitation Specialist for the Mobile Crisis Team program."
Six months later would be January 2021.
Can you confirm that such an item will be on the January Measure B committee meeting agenda, who will make the presentation, and whether the presentation will include:
1) a report of how much of the authorized $340k Measure B money has been spent on this item so far?
2) how many of the three funded crisis teams are in service?
On Monday, Ms. Bailey replied:
Hello, Mr. Scaramella.
I have forwarded your request to Behavioral Health and the Sheriff's Office for review. I will continue to provide monthly updates regarding Measure B to the Board of Supervisors and Citizens Oversight Committee.
Thank you for your inquiry,
Administrative Project Manager: Measure B
Special Programs - Behavioral Health and Human Services
SLANDER'S WINTER CAMPAIGN
We, the citizens of Mendocino County, are concerned about an ongoing pattern of nepotism, bias, and racism within The Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office. We are advocating that the Mendocino Board Of Supervisors deny the MCSO’s request for a $4 million budget increase.
Looking back at the last ten years, there emerges a clear pattern of misconduct coupled with an inability on the part of the Sheriff to take responsibility or even recognize his own biased and inappropriate behavior.
The most recent incidents include:
The drug overdose of a deputy in March 2020 resulting in his being placed on paid administrative leave and pointing to issues of addiction and erratic behavior within the department.
The employment and potential contract renewal of Liz Barney as MCSO Public Information Officer and the discovery of her racist and anti-mask mandate posts on the far-right social media platform Parler. It also does not reflect well that her husband, Shannon Barney, who continues to remain employed by the department, was one of the central figures in the Covelo Sexual misconduct and coercion lawsuit. The fact that they were not married at the time does little to dissipate what appears to be some serious nepotism within the department.
The 68 and counting positive Covid cases at The Mendocino County Jail and the reports from concerned citizens with incarcerated loved ones who are reporting a lack of sanitary conditions and a denial for testing. This is in conjunction with the MCSO’s continued refusal to back the public health officer and the governor of California throughout the entirety of the pandemic has put the entire community at greater risk during and caused endless stress during an already trying time for our community.
The request for an increase in MCSO funds for $4 million submitted with a photograph of a hog- tied black man with the caption "Imminent Threat - Appropriate Response" and the subsequent tone-deaf, non-apology issued by sheriff Matt Kendall.
This does not even touch on the earlier behaviors within the department that include:
The embezzlement of public funds. https://krcrtv.com/north-coast-news/eureka- local-news/former-mendocino-sheriffs-office-employee-convicted-of-embezzlement
The bullying by the department and disqualification of student basketball players wearing “I Can’t Breathe” T-shirts, which goes directly against the Supreme Court ruling and exemplifies the dangers inherent in the group of “Constitutional Sheriffs” of which Tom Allman and Matt Kendall are both members. http://theantimedia.org/teen-girls-basketball-i-cant- breathe/?fbclid=IwAR1ti74NjJ0wjpJ5Veyc8jjHnirqxdxQiF3CQW0C9IDODYczSxYBeEXW 5sI
Racial Profiling of community members, mis-naming offenses, and failure to address concerns resulting in extreme damage to reputation. https://kymkemp.com/2019/08/29/letter-writer-alleges-unethical-and-damaging- behavior-by-the-mendocino-county-sheriff-dept-and-local-media-complicity/
The wrongful tasering death lawsuit/settlement for $5 million for the death Steven Neuroth a schizophrenic man in psychiatric crisis. https://www.pressdemocrat.com/article/news/mendocino-county-jail-death-results- in-5-million-settlement/
Covelo sexual misconduct and coercion involving Shannon Barney which took place under the supervision of acting sheriff Tom Allman, who handpicked his successor Mr. Kendall, who continues to employ Mr. Barney now husband of Liz Barney mentioned above and which resulted in two suicides of Covelo deputies in less than a year and a settlement paid out in taxpayer dollars.
1. https://www.pressdemocrat.com/article/news/mendocino-deputy- who-reported-wife-swapping-settles- lawsuit/amp/?fbclid=IwAR2CFTl_ypiVNc4XFLQ8ljxBNnSloSGQb1Vh2xQ hR1TdDrt-mFLuf2M9Ymw
2. https://www.pressdemocrat.com/article/news/second-mendocino- officer-to-kill-self-in-less-than-year/?fbclid=IwAR38rQ_IaoM- V_Icy72mjlifXdiT-nUZXYAk9WPmRKaEtq0pmdSupquTpaM
3. https://www.willitsnews.com/2008/04/02/deputy-sues-over-covelo- service/?fbclid=IwAR1l1zxicrHWSkItOuahE5Od5WMpq8G4s2Ik13cHTF Oy8M0bEWoNA9339jQ
At this time in the history of The United States Of America, when racial tensions are at an all time high, and there is a well needed focus on bias and the continued targeting of BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) by Law Enforcement, it is imperative that the MCSO exhibit sensitivity, integrity, and awareness. Unfortunately, the department has done the opposite and continues to undermine public trust and worse, to be completely unaware of why there is a public outcry. Ignorance is not an excuse for poor behavior and it certainly wouldn’t prevent a citizen accused of breaking the law from facing criminal charges, and neither should the MCSO be excused from facing the consequences of their poor choices, nepotism, criminal behavior, and racism.
When the “Defund The Police” movement came to the forefront of the American political consciousness on the heels of the brutal killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Daniel Prude, Rayshard Brooks, and so many other Black Americans, the thought behind it was that funds that normally go toward the hiring of more law enforcement officers would instead be reallocated toward community outreach programs that have been statistically shown to actually reduce crime and strengthen communities. Funds would instead be funneled toward helping the de- homed, addiction and substance abuse counseling and treatment, domestic violence resources, youth outreach and suicide prevention, community aid, financial aid, child protective services, different-abled assistance programs, food assistance, social services, healthcare, and the clean- up and restoration of the environment.
Rather than increasing funding for additional officers, we recommend intensive anti-bias training, de-escalation training, funding for The Public Safety Advisory Board and more oversight of Law Enforcement conduct.
Citizens Of Mendocino County —
- Jennifer Clark firstname.lastname@example.org
- Gowan Batist email@example.com
- Autumn Faber firstname.lastname@example.org
- Marie Bobo-Smith email@example.com
- Andrea Arenas firstname.lastname@example.org
- Zappa Montag email@example.com
- Anna Marie Stenberg firstname.lastname@example.org
- Samara Mondello Smith email@example.com
- Vicki Conrad firstname.lastname@example.org
- Marina Rose Zekley email@example.com
- Kate Rule-Gustafson firstname.lastname@example.org
- Alexandra Kapuy Arnal email@example.com
- Sierra Wooten firstname.lastname@example.org
- Juliet Wells email@example.com
- Sara Sharaf firstname.lastname@example.org
- Kathryn Rossum email@example.com
- Kathy Bostwick Holmes Kathy.firstname.lastname@example.org
- Zoe More email@example.com
- Stef Ani firstname.lastname@example.org
- Linda Jupiter email@example.com
- Justin Hamby. Jadam.firstname.lastname@example.org
- Sam Netto email@example.com
- Samuel Goldberger, PhD firstname.lastname@example.org
- Marykae Johnson email@example.com
- Erif Thunen firstname.lastname@example.org
- Ui Wesley email@example.com
- Krista Eiber Kristaeiber@hotmail.com
- Shy Violet firstname.lastname@example.org
- Tracy Toloy Tracytoloy@gmail.com
- Marybeth Kelly email@example.com
- Sydney Grange firstname.lastname@example.org
- Brienna Hall-Ricciardi Saintbrienna@gmail.com
- Beth Bosk email@example.com
- Wendy Warner firstname.lastname@example.org
- Ariana McNally email@example.com
- Carly Miranda firstname.lastname@example.org
- Raul Gardia email@example.com
- Briana Atha firstname.lastname@example.org
- Mikhela Ahl email@example.com
- Laura Green firstname.lastname@example.org
- Abigail Setera email@example.com
- Rianna Clark firstname.lastname@example.org
- Megan Wolf email@example.com
- Karen Rakofsky firstname.lastname@example.org
- Suzanne Guerlac email@example.com
- Bill Cornelius firstname.lastname@example.org
- Liz Helenchild email@example.com
- Lynn Derrick firstname.lastname@example.org
- Ruby Gold email@example.com
- Sherry Glaser firstname.lastname@example.org
- Scarlett Trillia email@example.com
- Maggie Drake firstname.lastname@example.org
- Christopher Cisper email@example.com
- Zattu Kadan firstname.lastname@example.org
ED NOTE: The above indictment is not only mostly false, it's aimed at present Sheriff Kendall who was a patrol deputy during the events the authors want him held responsible for. Specifically, the Sheriff's Department fired the deputy engaged in nearly fatal drug abuse; the Sheriff's Department had nothing to do with the I Can't Breathe demo; there is no evidence the Sheriff's Department engages in racial profiling, and the incident alleging it arise from the arrest years ago of one black drug dealer who was based in Elk at the time. The unhappy in-custody death of Steven Neuroth occurred because Neuroth arrived combative at the County Jail because he was tanked on a lethal load of methamphetamine. He died during a struggle with the deputies attempting to restrain him. Is it unfair to say that Neuroth was mostly responsible for his own exit? Liz Barney had successfully worked for years at the Sheriff's Department as Liz Evangelatos, and now works with the Department as Liz Barney who she married five years ago. She rightly enjoys a unanimous reputation as a highly competent, unfailingly pleasant employee. Her remarks on Parler were her own and only “racist” if you think describing the late Breonna Taylor's boyfriend as a “pos” is a racist remark simply because he's black. That descriptive is applied by millions of people to all criminals regardless of race. Finally, Sheriff Kendall issued a press release denouncing the “vigilantes” who tied up the black thug apprehended when that guy and others were caught raiding a marijuana garden deep in the hills northwest of Laytonville. The thief was lucky not to have been killed, but the Sheriff made it clear that robbery vics should call the law rather than take the law into their own hands.
JEFF BURROUGHS WRITES: Side Note The recent reconfiguration of State Street in the greater downtown Ukiah area has really begun to take shape.
After a lengthy and at times very tumultuous relationship between locals and those responsible for cratering the streets, detouring the citizens and turning a deaf ear to its constituency, it would appear that some real progress has been made. I found myself being able to park right in front of Peking Tokyo Restaurant to pick up my to-go food order… something I was easily able to do before all of this crazy money construction began. But wait you say? The newly constructed areas for street parking that will allow multiple cars to park, diagonally, in front of downtown businesses is gonna be better than the old archaic, limited parking of cars along the single curb, right? Uhhhh weeeell, no!
With no clear markings for the diagonal parking yet I simply parked my pick-up truck parallel to the sidewalk and as tight to the curb as possible but when I attempted to exit the vehicle I had to quickly close my door because the street traffic was right there. Imagine what will happen when vehicle’s rear-ends are sticking out there when parked, then imagine how traffic will have to come to a complete stop or actually have to back up themselves to clear traffic. And as I drove away from the weird set-up on the street in front of the restaurant I realized that this change to revitalize downtown will split the town right down the middle like a dull knife. Through traffic, people trying to get from one end of town to the other, unless they want to get bogged down in a quagmire of stop and go traffic every time someone backs out of the new diagonal parking, they will simply detour around downtown to School Street or more likely to the 101 freeway, bypassing all of the downtown businesses turning it into a dead zone not unlike the way down town LA looked in the Kurt Russell film "Escape from L.A."
KUDOS to new supervisor Mo Mulherren for resisting the indefensible payout of another hundred thousand dollars to the San Diego-based county health officer, Dr. Doohan, apparently to assist her successor county health officer, Dr. Coren, to do exactly what? CEO Angelo commented she wished we had three county health officers.
AN AVA READER asks about the Adventist's vaccine screw-up: “Why weren't the emergency calls directed to first responders and high risk people instead of emails to personal friends and acquaintances? Why wasn't the freezer thoroughly checked out and brought up to snuff by the hospital when it knew of the storage need? Why wasn't the freezer's alarm system checked, and rechecked? Why wasn't it on a backup generator? Sorry, but count me among those who feel this is one more glaring example of the sloppy medical care provided by Adventist Health. Inexcusable. Someone needs to be held accountable, instead of high fives all around.”
HERE WE HAVE these crucial potions stored at Adventist Hospital, Ukiah, when their freezer where the vaccines are stored in conks out at 2am but it isn't until 1130am before anybody at Adventist notices? Inexcusable, and hardly a confidence builder in Mendocino County's ability to inoculate its citizens.
THE U.S. has recorded its deadliest week of the COVID-19 pandemic so far, with one in every 930 Americans dying, as expert immunologists saying the death rate will increase before immunity via vaccination can kick in. More than 18,400 Americans have died of COVID-19 in the last week, and the seven-day rolling average for fatalities is now at just over 2,600 per day. There were 1,903 COVID-19 deaths and 180,477 new infections across the country on Monday. A record 128,210 patients are also currently being treated for coronavirus in hospitals across the country, which is up 25 percent compared to last month, according to the COVID Tracking Project data. The rise in hospitalizations, which have hit new records almost every day in recent weeks, is the main reason health experts predict further increases in deaths in coming weeks.
TOMORROW (Wednesday) is Blowhard Day in Washington D.C. when alleged “millions” of Trumpers come to town to protest the stolen election, proof of the theft yet to be revealed. Prediction: The congressional Trumpers will do a lot of huffing and puffing they know to be untrue, the million duped Weight Watchers milling around DC will also huff and puff that they've been ripped off (they have — by their leader) and that'll be it. The orange monster may even call for martial law, but nobody over in Martial will answer the phone.
NEXT STOP SCOTLAND? Over the weekend, reports out of Scotland say Trump plans his exile there the day before Biden is sworn in, but Scotland says he isn't welcome. Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon warned Trump that Scotland is in lockdown over surging coronavirus numbers and not allowing visitors to enter without an essential purpose. “And that would apply to him just as applies to anybody else, and coming to play golf is not what I would consider to be an essential purpose,” she said, noting that the only travel she hoped the president would be taking was to “exit the White House.”
PEOPLE FLEEING the Golden state? Look at U-Haul traffic: California suffered the steepest outflow of residents via rental truck among all 50 states in 2020, with San Francisco the epicenter of the Bay Area’s pandemic exodus for DIY movers. California had the nation’s most severe outmigration growth ranking last year, with the largest net loss of one-way U-Haul trucks crossing its border in 2020, according to U-Haul stats.
CATCH OF THE DAY, January 5, 2021
BRIAN ANDERSON, Fort Bragg. County parole violation.
NICHOLAS HUNTER, Ukiah. Protective order violation, probation revocation.
PABLO MORA, Ukiah. Parole violation. (Frequent flyer.)
THE TELEPHONE LINES ARE DRIPPING LIKE PINES
the waves are throwing off spray
The city's cold fist is clenched in the bay
and everything is every gradation of gray
Undercover cops working the Haight
nod and look quickly away
I'm window shopping in a mist of dismay
and everything is gray
I'm a vintage man in a vintage store
I'm ready willing able to pay
for a brown Borsalino, seven and an eighth
but everything is gray
Even the music they sell on CDs
And the clubs so raucous and gay
And the lillies and tulips the florists display
every single petal is gray
A shallow creek slides down the street
where Lyon lies down on Clay
Goodbye San Francisco we're leaving today
when everything is every gradation of gray
— Fred Gardner
‘FROM THIS FLOWERING CRYSTAL’:
A tribute to Poet Diane di Prima, January 16, 3 - 4:30pm, Via Zoom
Join us to honor the revolutionary life & legacy of poet Diane di Prima, featuring selected readings from Diane's students & friends, a circle for spontaneous sharing, & ending with an open reading where anyone can read a poem by or inspired by Diane.
This event is hosted by Roberta Werdinger, Ukiah Poet Laureate, and Melissa Eleftherion Carr, Ukiah Poet Librarian, both former students of Diane.
Reading times and slots are limited. To sign up for this free online event, please email email@example.com.
THE MAN FROM EARTH
Jerome Bixby's The Man From Earth.
I just watched a film, one of my favorites ever: The Man From Earth, made in 2006 from a screenplay Jerome Bixby started writing in 1961 and finished just before he died in 1998, about a teacher at a desert college who one day picks up and quits and puts his boxes and paintings and things in his truck and gives away his furniture to the Goodwill to come pick up and he's getting ready to drive away for parts unknown, but fellow teachers, the friends he's made in the ten years he's been there, surprise him by bringing an impromptu going away party to him, whereupon he takes them into the cabin and tells them a story.
Look up Jerome Bixby's The Man From Earth. There are no helicopter chases and there's no shooting and running and screaming. It's just a quiet conversation; it could easily be done as a play in a one-room set, and has been. They put it on in Willits a few years ago. I missed that, and I'm sorry. I would have driven to Willits to see it. It's a pretty good movie, good enough that over the years I've watched it many times and recommended it each time. It's not long, just an hour and a half. I recommend it again.
— Marco McClean
Lingo bearers? Beware.
I guess my latest assignment is putting flaky journalists in check. Who is Katy Tahja? Another Pomo extremist? What will Biden's first move be? To declare the whole country Pomo?
For the record, the Mendocino Coast from Shelter Cove to Stewart's Point is and always was Yuki territory. Our tribe is unrecognized today due to a fire that burned all Yuki records at Navarro around 1910. However, the name Navarro, that is Yuki, survived. I fashion myself a minor-league historian (university credits, but no degree).
The only thing I've ever researched (and seen photos of these infamous basket weavers) is that Pomo are a tribe from east of Santa Rosa, probably fished a lot in Lake Sonoma. Next mention of them in California history is as "servants" to "God-Baron" John Sutter near Sacramento.
Very interested where Katy "Pomo" got her info on Kibsallah. Who was the great Pomo War Chief from there? In fact, can she name any Pomo “war chief”? About all I can say at present was the first Kibesillah politician was Judge Frank Allen Whipple. He presided over the marriage of my great granddad William Scott "The Growler" Saunders and my great grandma Suzanne Hudson Hall around 1879. My grandma Clara’s (born in Fort Bragg in 1884) oldest brother William Jr. and twin sisters Ada and Ida were born Kibesillah with no Pomos in sight. I have never seen a Pomo in Gualala or heard of them there either.
Anyway, later on some Whipples became Wylacki and Crow Saunders meshed with the Yuki clan. Grandma Suzanne was born in 1865 Cuffy’s Cove north of Gualala. That was later named Greenwood (since changed to Elk due to "Pony Express") after Suzanne's last cousin, Britton Greenwood.
I realize that Katy Tahja would like to rename Fort Bragg Pomo City. She is right about a lot of natives being herded to certain reservations where they were told by US cavalry to say they were Pomo or starve. This happened all over the US. Example: a lot of Cherokees from Oklahoma are not sure what tribe they really are. By the way, the original Cherokee are from Georgia until evil-looking (on the $20 bill) Andy Jackson decided to take their rights and land and put them on a "Trail of Tears" (not the only one of those I have studied). Let Katy Pomo fill in my blanks, she seems to be such a genius.
Fort Bragg in Spanish Fortezza Millanta, so how any Pomo extremists can get a Pomo syllable out of that would be beyond my meager brain function. Hopefully Fort Bragg City Council can rest the subject and rename the late great Fort Bragg to North Greenwood. Katy should feel free to write me any other Mendo County U.S. Native history: David Giusti, #3979, 951 Low Gap Road, Ukiah, CA 95482.
I have college credits in Roman, European, Russian and California history. I also studied extensively on Mendocino native history (some true stories, handed down by elders), and native history of Great Plains, mostly of my own Crow heritage. Katy can check my credentials from Western Baptist Bible College, College of the Redwoods, Centro Mariano Universita in Rome, Italy, and Universita de Venezia in Venice Italy all between 1971 and 1975.
Happy research there, Katy dear.
David "Detective Youngcault" Giusti
Mendocino County Jail
PS. Jay McMartin for supervisor and James D. Britt for mayor of North Greenwood! Both of them could enlighten Katy on Noyo and Pudding Creek history. Katy seems to know more about Comptche than Jerry Philbrick!
OUT IN THE COLD
After walking in the cold San Francisco rain this weekend, seeing the ever-growing dehumanized number of homeless people, I couldn’t help but feel an accomplice. Once access to shelter and sanitation are lost, physical, mental, and spiritual health quickly diminishes.
We are embodied beings, not technological devices, not a series of ones and zeros. This is the only self-evident truth with any real moral content. If current housing costs were reasonable, if current wages had any connection with the cost of living, if we currently lived under conditions of relative peace, equality and stability, then perhaps it could be argued the homeless are in their position due to personal choice.
I felt guilty returning to my warm apartment. I may be able to dictate my behavior, but not my thoughts and feelings. Witnessing fellow citizens forced to exist unhoused, in the rain, during a pandemic, is witnessing a crime. I cannot choose not to see this. It’s self-evident.
ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY
Did anyone see Times Square on TV this New Year’s Eve? Oh, the flashing light show, the crowd noises without the crowd, police buses blocking access and over 100 police standing in formation like storm troopers ready to chase away any revelers if they dared to show up. Superimposed over this, Frank Sinatra cheerfully belting out a rendition of “New York, New York”.
Yeah baby, that was some good time in Times Square!
Am I the only one who thinks we live in a bizarro land dystopia?
IN MEMORY OF BIG MAN HOWARD’S BIRTHDAY
In memory of his Birthday-Rest In Peace & Power, Elbert ‘Big Man’ Howard, one of the original 6 founding members of the Black Panther Party. Jan 5, 1938-July 30, 2018
by Carole Hyams-Howard
“At 6:13 a.m. on July 23, 2018. Big Man joined the ancestors. Above all else, Elbert “Big Man” Howard loved his comrades and all oppressed people, who he never stopped fighting for.
He was the love of my life and I will miss him forever. I am grateful to have been able to have these years with him and happy he (and I) got to spend time with his comrades. I have wonderful memories to cherish and take comfort in knowing that he is at peace.
I guess I am still doing what Big Man would have wanted me to do, posting and sharing all these wonderful, heartfelt messages – condolences, impressions, memories, stories and tributes (copied below). I know he would be so very moved and honored reading them.
The posts which would be the most meaningful to him are the ones from all of you, not the obits in the press. You, sharing your remembrances and feelings about what Big Man meant to each of you – how you experienced him, what you may have learned by knowing him, and how you loved him.
Big Man was able to share both his deep and profound love of music and his determined struggle for human rights for all oppressed people, here, in this county. Thanks to all of you who helped him, encouraged him, were patient with both of us, and loved him.
A huge thank you to those who have been here for both of us through some very painful and difficult times. Know that he so loved being here with all of you and that you gave him gifts every day, each one of you, each in your own way. Thank you so much and peace and love to all of you. Hold your loved ones close.”
MEET THE CENSORED: MARK CRISPIN MILLER
by Matt Taibbi
Mark Crispin Miller, author and longtime New York University professor, has unconventional views. Even work he’s done that’s won mainstream praise is unconventional, upon close examination. If you came of political age during the Iraq war years, you probably remember him for The Bush Dyslexicon, a witty, challenging book that took a deep dive into the speech patterns of George W. Bush.
Unwrapping the thought processes behind famed “Bushisms” like “The question is, how many hands have I shaked?”, Miller found a metaphor for the broad illogic under American society. However, that book’s central idea — that “we Americans have been tricked out of our democracy by a vast and very smart conspiracy of stupid talkers” — was too rich for some mainstream commentators.
Crispin Miller argued that when people like Donald Rumsfeld told us that “victory” in Iraq may not come “in a month or a year or even five years,” that in fact even fighting forever might be a “victory, in my view,” the joke was not that this message was garbled by Bush, but rather that it was conveyed clearly by “producers, anchors, editors, journalists, and pundits,” who were “fatally dyslexic in doping out the very spectacle it presents to us.” Presenting madness as sanity required a brokenness of mind that just happened to come of the president’s mouth as laugh lines.
Since then, Crispin Miller has become known for blogging about official deceptions, and his attentions are often focused in directions that make even hardened skeptics like me nervous. On MarkCrispinMiller.com, he posts headlines like, “The Official Story of 9/11 is Based on a Gigantic Lie” and “'Rogue' Chinese virologist presents 'smoking gun' evidence that SARS-COV-2 was created in a lab.”
As noted in the interview below, he once suggested a student read Nobody Died at Sandy Hook, a book that inspired a $450,000 defamation award to the parent of a Sandy Hook victim.
At the same time, his observations about the nature of media in America remain poignant and rare in a country whose citizens are trained to believe that propaganda is something only other people consume. Crispin Miller tries to undo those thinking patterns via a course in propaganda at NYU that, he says, urges them to evaluate material independently, and is what got him in trouble.
There’s a paradox in the way we consume information in the U.S. Our country does not (yet?) insist that official lies remain accepted as truths forever. Even the U.S. Naval Institute is now allowed to write lengthy tracts about how “high government officials distorted facts and deceived the American public” in the Gulf of Tonkin incident, and it’s accepted that similar lies were told about everything from WMDs to the pretext for the 1999 NATO bombing of Yugoslavia.
Even the Zero Dark Thirty account of how we supposedly killed and captured Osama bin Laden was a mess, with then-chief counterterrorism advisor John Brennan saying initially that bin Laden used his wife as a human shield, only to have the government retract the claim shortly after. While already-proven deceptions are fair game, the penalties for those who raise the first questions grow higher all the time. The term “conspiracy theorist” is now applied equally to people like Alex Jones and Sy Hersh, whose objections to the story of bin Laden’s capture have been effectively memory-holed, as have his oft-denounced reports on reported chemical attacks in Syria (the subject of numerous recent whistleblower accounts claiming official deception).
Additionally, the term “conspiracy theory” is now often wrapped in accusations of bigotry. In fact, the spreading of conspiracy theories is understood to be a key element of racist movements. There’s obviously some truth to that, as theories about Jews in media or disease-ridden immigrants are among the most common form of the genre. However, it shouldn’t follow that because racists spread conspiracy theories, all people who investigate conspiracies are racist.
That faulty syllogism now means that the person who tries to take on an entrenched official story not only risks being called crazy, but a racist, sexist, Assadist, etc. The latter charges, if they stick, lead to an expanding array of consequences, from removal from the Internet to job loss. This effect has heightened during the pandemic, a period when we’ve been encouraged to forget how often conventional wisdom about Covid-19 has shifted.
Crispin Miller’s recent troubles stem from being a skeptic about mask use. He points out that until 2020, studies were unenthusiastic about their benefits in stopping the transition of respiratory illness, and even the CDC only recently changed its mind on the issue. When he broached the subject in class, a student responded critically on Twitter:
Criticizing Crispin Miller for sending links to a site that in turn linked to The Charlie Kirk Show, Zero Hedge, Technocracy News, Global Research, “and more,” the student went on to tag the University leadership and wrote, “I hope they take immediate steps to relieve him of these duties.”
Crispin Miller’s department responded by promising, “We have made this a priority and are discussing next steps.” This in turn led to a now-standard cancelation ritual. A denunciation letter from academic colleagues asked the school to complete a review of Miller’s “intimidating tactics, abuses of authority, aggression and microaggressions, and explicit hate speech, none of which are excused by academic freedom and First Amendment protections.”
The faculty letter began with complaints about Crispin Miller’s blog, which they said includes “direct mockery and ridicule of trans individuals” and a “characterization of transgender surgery as a eugenic form of sterilization.” They went on, however, to say that no matter how “damaging” these very “visible” views may be to the department, he has a “right to his opinions” that we “must uphold.”
The signatories then shifted and argued that by mentioning that tweeting student, Crispin Miller moved out of the realm of mere damaging opinion, and into the crime of creating an “unsafe learning environment.” Through this bait-and-switch, the opinions on the blog that colleagues only a few paragraphs before said must be upheld, were now re-entered as part of the argument against him.
The letter says Crispin Miller through his blog “used his position of authority to intimidate students who choose to wear masks and abide by NYU policy,” which implies but does not exactly say he was telling students not to wear masks. Crispin Miller insists he did not do the latter, and notes that he wears a mask “in discharge of his professional duties.” Near the end, the signatories wrote:
We support the queer, transgender, and non-binary members of the NYU community. We support those in our community who are Black and Indigenous people of color, and immigrants, and who come from marginalized and historically underrepresented communities, particularly those who have been targets of ongoing and systemic racism and violence. We unequivocally condemn white supremacy, anti-trans/nonbinary bias, and any hate speech. With this language, protesting faculty moved the Crispin Miller issue from a technical violation of campus mask policy, or even just an accusation of unsound or “non-evidence-based” teaching, and into an argument that positioned him additionally as a defender of white supremacy. This double-whammy construction has become a regular part of the accusatory formula in such cases.
Crispin Miller responded with a petition to defend his academic freedom that so far has gained over 26,000 signatures, as well as a lawsuit against academic colleagues for libel and defamation, charging among other things that the letter by faculty members, in espousing their liberal credentials, led “any reasonable reader to falsely believe that plaintiff holds regressive views, opposing social equality for insular minority groups and espousing hatred toward them.”
I disagree with a lot of things Mark has written over the years, but he’s exactly the kind of person whose teaching style tends to benefit college students: a smart person who thinks for himself and challenges students to do the same. By encouraging the school to sack him over a complaint, Crispin Miller’s colleagues are telling students that it’s faster to eliminate or suppress unpleasant ideas than find successful arguments against them. This feels like the opposite of teaching. Katie Halper and I interviewed Mark for Rolling Stone’s Useful Idiots podcast. An abridged transcript of the interview is included below:
MT: What happened?
MCM: I've been teaching at NYU since 1997. Media studies is my field basically. And one of the courses I've taught every year, every semester, really, and sometimes even more than that, is a course on propaganda… I began the course, as I always do, by making clear that my approach to the subject of propaganda is not to treat it as some ancient thing where we look at the Nazis, we look at the Bolsheviks, maybe we talk about World War I, maybe we talk about McCarthyism, right? We definitely look at those earlier examples, but the focus of the course, the mission of the course is to try to teach students how to recognize it in real-time, make an effort to assess its claims impartially, even if you agree with them, and then see if you can discern the hallmarks of a propaganda drive, because it always comes disguised as news or entertainment or something like that. Figure out who's behind it, and what its purpose is.
And I make this abundantly clear, it is a difficult thing to do, intellectually difficult. It can even be socially and psychologically difficult to be skeptical, to that degree. So I said, as I always do, we would naturally focus on some of the things that are going on now. For example, look at the way we're meeting. We're meeting via Zoom. This is an eloquent testimony to the success of the whole COVID crisis propaganda.
And propaganda does not have to be…”
MCM: Right. Pejorative… Nefarious, as you said. A campaign to get you to wear your seatbelt in a car, that's propaganda, but propaganda it is anyway. And so we would want to deal with it. For example, we might want to look at the mask mandates. I would encourage you to look at a body of very interesting scientific studies, eight randomized controlled studies conducted over the last 15 years or so among healthcare professionals of the effectiveness of masks against respiratory viruses, because the consensus of those studies, and those are the most rigorous kind of scientific study, randomized controlled studies. The consensus is that they're not really effective. I would encourage you to read those…
I also think you should read more recent studies finding otherwise. And I gave some guidance as to how a layperson can assess the soundness of scientific studies because I mean, I'm not a scientist, right? And they're not scientists, most of them. I said, for example, there are scientific reviews of these studies. You can find them. In some cases, there's actual press coverage of very public objections to studies. And you'll want to look at the universities where these studies were done and see if they have financial arrangements with big pharma companies or get money from the Gates Foundation, because this might suggest some kind of conflict of interest. I said, all this. I want to add, I said pointedly, “I am not telling you not to wear masks.” NYU has a strict rule. I observe the rule. This is an intellectual exercise, or would be, if you did it.
The following week, or maybe a little later, a student emailed me and asked to join late. And as I always do, I said sure, the more the merrier. And she joined us. And the second day she was there, she had spoken up at one point the first day about Edward Bernays's book, Propaganda, which we were discussing. The next day, the mask thing came up again. So that little bit resumed. And she didn't say anything. That was on a Thursday. Early the next week, I get a call from my department chair asking me, in a kind of accusatory tone, if I had discouraged them from wearing masks, or did I have them read something that suggested they don't work? Whatever he asked me, I said, “Well, this is what I said, this is what happened.” And he said, "Oh, well, I'm going to have to tell the Dean’s COVID task force," or whatever it's called. I said, "Okay, what's up?" And he told me that a student had gone on Twitter and demanded that I be fired.
MT: Do you suspect that there are views that you've held previously that your colleagues disagree with, and that this has become a pretext? And if so, what might those things be?
MCM: First of all, I think my colleagues are sincerely outraged by some of my views or what they think my views are. Now see, if they were in my class, I could actually engage them in a conversation about some of the things they think I said. One of the things they claim in their letter is that on my website I've denied Sandy Hook happened. On my site, anyone can do a search on Sandy Hook, and they'll see that it doesn't come up once. I don't mention it. What they're referring to, and what incensed them, apparently, [was] that in a class, in a propaganda class… someone mentioned Sandy Hook, which was the first in the series of school shootings that have been so high profile in this last decade. Columbine was much earlier, and that was very different. I said, "There is some very interesting research on Sandy Hook that is troubling and very challenging, and I dismissed it out of hand until I read it. And I have to say, there's something to it. And so if you're interested in this, you might read it." And I mentioned this book, a collection of essays.
That was my denying that Sandy Hook happened. So clearly, a student in the class reacted in precisely the way I urged them to try not to act in the class, i.e. just heard me say that about Sandy Hook, and went and told some of my colleagues, “He's denied Sandy Hook occurred.” And then they all said, "See? Typical. He's denied Sandy Hook…” So that's an example of what I take to be their sincere discomfiture with my engaging precisely the sort of subject that most academics and journalists and others are, sort of, trained to avoid, because you get in trouble if you talk about them.
But the whole course, as your question implies, is about that. We can always easily spot the propaganda that we don't agree with. You ask any liberal, what's propaganda? They'll say, "Oh, Fox. Fox News." You ask any conservative what's propaganda? They'll say, "MSNBC." They're both right. Both are propagandistic, but what they can't see is the propaganda that they agree with because they think it's just information. They think it's just the truth.
MT: Isn't the academic world struggling with whether the appropriate way to go about teaching is to encourage kids to read everything and discover things for themselves, or to just give them the right texts and tell them to avoid the wrong texts? There's a school of thought that believes strongly that some things are just aren't worth reading, versus the traditional notion that a student should read everything, even things that are horrible.
Katie Halper: Even Mein Kampf…
MCM: Calling it a school of thought I think is dignifying it because it's not thought at all. It's thoughtlessness, the school of thoughtlessness. And it's not a school, therefore, because you're not teaching anybody anything except groupthink, and that's what's happening. It's very oppressive.
It sounds hyperbolic, but it's like going to school during the Cultural Revolution or Gleichschaltung, which was the Nazi term for streamlining. It's when they made all the cultural institutions, they Nazified them all. Of course, there was stuff you couldn't read. It would be a crime to read it or even bring it up, and it's kind of like that now. Many of the people who've been attacked by their colleagues, as I have, tend to be toward the right. Scott Atlas was attacked by the Stanford faculty for working under Trump on health policy, and Alan Dershowitz has been attacked by the Harvard faculty for his legal advice to that effort after the election…But as my case shows, you don't have to be on the right to be attacked this way. I've heard from many people, professors at other schools, who've had their slings and arrows, had those shots at them, risked getting fired. Some have been fired. And they're long-time left people, but... the left today is… not the left that I remember, that I have long considered myself part of, which is antiwar, which is about rectifying grotesque income inequality, strengthening the working class, certainly civil rights… Those are, I see them as left issues. Many of them are also libertarian issues. So what the left has now become is a pro-censorship army. It wants censorship, so the left has changed immensely, and I think that I'm sort of a casualty of that.
to the news
I have known
that they have
once shared time.
solely in our
thought and feeling.
that I too
the great threshold
awaits us all.
— Mike Kalantarian