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WIDESPREAD RAIN AND GUSTY SOUTH WINDS are expected for most of the day and into Wednesday. The heaviest rains will affect Del Norte and extreme northern Humboldt counties. Drier weather is expected later in the week into the weekend. (NWS)
31 NEW COVID CASES reported in Mendocino County on Monday, bringing the total to 2945.
FROM FORT BRAGG MAYOR BERNIE NORVELL:
VACCINE DISTRIBUTION OVERVIEW
The County’s role and responsibility in the rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine is logistics: planning and preparing for the distribution of one or more vaccines. Hospitals, health care systems, and community clinics will administer vaccines in compliance with federal, state, and county requirements. Federal authorities also have created a partnership with CVS/Walgreens to disseminate the vaccines through mobile clinics inside nursing homes and care facilities all over the country. The County has submitted plans to the California Department of Public Health with local vaccine distribution plans.
Mendocino County Vaccine Distribution Plan per CDPH and CDC Guidance
NOTE: Changes in our print schedule mean the mail dispatch from Boonville is now on Thursdays, not Wednesdays. Subscribers, stores, and newsstands beyond the Anderson Valley will get their paper-papers a day later than previously. And Anderson Valley will get its weekly quotient of unvarnished truth on Thursdays.
SEEKING HELP FOR RACHEL JUSTER,
written by Margaret Holub:
(Repost for emphasis)
Many of us know Rachel Juster. She was born with liver disease and was adopted as a very ill infant by Sherman (of blessed memory) and Susan Juster and raised in Boonville. She was named and became bat mitzvah in our shul. Rachel is now 27 years old. She and her family have always known that one day she would need a liver transplant. With much personal and medical care she has made it to her present age. But the time is now here, and Rachel’s life is in the balance. Her doctors have told her that she has had as much prophylactic treatment for her condition as she can have.
When a person needs a liver transplant they can receive a donation from either a deceased donor or a living donor. A healthy person can have a section of his or her or their liver removed, and it will regrow in a matter of months. (The transplanted section will also regrow in the recipient.) Still it is a big surgery, with a significant recovery and risks.
Rachel is in the process of getting “on the list” for a cadaver donor. There are not enough donors for every person who needs a liver. If a living donor can be found for Rachel, she will not need to face these odds.
This is an almost unimaginable thing to ask of a healthy person, to undergo this surgery and recovery, especially for someone they may not know well. But after talking with Rachel about her current situation we decided that it was worth sharing her need for a liver.
The most basic requirements for a donor are that they have the same blood type as Rachel (O positive) and that they be in good health. I believe there may be age and other criteria as well. If someone is willing to explore the possibility of becoming a donor for Rachel, there would be extensive medical evaluation and counseling before their participation can be confirmed. I also do not know about insurance and other costs — all this would need to be explored.
If this is in your own realm of possibility and you would like to find out more, please be in touch with Rachel directly at firstname.lastname@example.org, and she will put you in touch with her medical team. If you would like to circulate this letter further, please feel free to do so. If you would like to discuss this with me, please contact me. I don’t have any medical knowledge about this process, but I might be able to help you explore spiritual and ethical questions.
Let’s all keep Rachel in our hearts and prayers.
PS. Here’s a photo of Rachel in her early teens along with her high school graduation picture:
WITHDRAW CASPAR THP
Editor: Recently I spoke to Jackson Demonstration State Forest about the Caspar 500 THP. There was a comment period in March and April 2020, no comments came in and the plan was accepted. There were no comments because the public did not know about the plan due to the COVID pandemic. During comment period, California had a Stay at Home Order. Travel in Mendocino County was canceled and tourists not allowed. Stores, restaurants, motels, schools, campgrounds, State Parks, boat launch ramps, beaches, and trails were closed. How could the public see the notice at the beginning of Road 500 in JDSF? People stayed home, except for essentials, and were preoccupied with their health, children and finances.
JDSF belongs to the people of California. The public has a right to be notified of THPs and allowed comment. This was impossible in March and April. Caspar 500 THP needs to be withdrawn.
There are numerous THPs proposed for 4 and one-half square miles in western JDSF. This will destroy the forest ecology, severely limit recreation and discourage tourism for many years. Our community needs to recover and not have its adjacent public forests destroyed.
I’m writing in opposition to the plan to harvest redwoods near Caspar. Given that the trees are so great at carbon capture, preserving them in Jackson Demonstration Forest as a much-needed antidote to climate change makes sense. Rather than Cal Fire, forest resource management would be better handled by an independent agency truly dedicated to preserving public lands for future generations.
AMERICA would be a far more serene country if the plug were pulled on the internet, including e-mail. Used to be there was a rough consensus on the facts, which were rolled out in print newspapers and by Uncle Walt Cronkite on nightly television, “the most trusted man in America.” Never trusted him myself, but he presented a recognizable facsimile of what seemed to be current events. Lone nuts were relegated to wherever they lived, not international cyber-communities of millions of them with their own facts based on no objective reality. And now we have these extra-terrestrials like Zuckerberg and Cook and Dorsey in charge of what we can read and see on-line. Their worldview is straight DNC-NPR. The horror, the horror!
REMEMBER those job apps that asked, “Do you believe in the overthrow of the American government by subversion or violence?” Violence. It's faster.
AND ALL OF A SUDDEN the FBI and the CIA are pillars of national and international integrity. I remember when the FBI said there were communists operating everywhere, including, at one point, my high school library where “subversive” books were kept in a big, locked glass case, a signed note from home was required before students could read them, and can you imagine a better way to get young savages to read than telling them certain books were so dangerous they needed special permission to read them?
FAST FORWARD to 1990 Mendo where the FBI with all its resources managed to overlook Judi Bari's ex-husband among the suspects in the car bomb attack on her, a clear case of the biggest elephant in the smallest room, ever, but a major crime unsolved by the ace sleuths of the FBI, an agency formed by a still revered nut case who spent his off hours in a cocktail dress.
AND the Unabomber was found by his own brother, and the feds had advance notice that Arabs were taking flying lessons in Florida without taking the landing part of the lessons, and on and on. But now the FBI says it's going to track down all these dangerous Trumpers, as the Democrats give them a blank check to do it.
I DID WONDER about the Capitol invaders, several of whom seemed to be dressed in identical black jumpsuits, seemed also suspiciously young and fit and purposeful, unlike the well nourished white males I associate with Trump-ism. My fave invader is the young guy who broke into the Capitol with his mother, a mean-looking battle ax built like a college lineman. (“Today you are a man, my son.”) Others seemed to be the usual handful of apolitical psychos who show up at any public event that threatens to get out of hand.
AN FBI bulletin allegedly obtained by ABC News on Monday claimed that Trumpers were poised to “storm” state, local, and federal government administrative buildings and courthouses if Trump is removed from office prior to Biden's inauguration on January 20. The bulletin said the FBI is aware of plans for armed protests in every single state between January 16 and 20, with one major demonstration slated to take place in Washington, DC, on January 17. The bulletin came conveniently to light just as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi introduced articles of impeachment accusing Trump of “incitement to insurrection” on Monday, five days after a yobbo mob stormed the Capitol. More than 6,000 members of the National Guard have been deployed in Washington, with dozens of them standing guard over the Capitol during Monday's proceedings.
PATRIOTS coach Bill Belichick said Monday night that he will not receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom. In a one-paragraph statement, the six-time Super Bowl winning coach did not say explicitly that he had turned down the offer from President Donald Trump, instead explaining “the decision has been made not to move forward with the award” in the wake of last week's deadly siege on the U.S. Capitol. “Recently, I was offered the opportunity to receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom, which I was flattered by out of respect for what the honor represents and admiration for prior recipients. Subsequently, the tragic events of last week occurred and the decision has been made not to move forward with the award. Above all, I am an American citizen with great reverence for our nation's values, freedom and democracy. I know I also represent my family and the New England Patriots team.”
CATCH OF THE DAY, January 11, 2021
ALEXANDER JACKSON, Ukiah. Manufacture or import of short-barrelled rifle, probation revocation.
ZACHARY LAWSON, Ukiah. Manufacture or import of short-barrelled rifle, suspended license (for DUI), no license, parole violation, probation revocation.
RHONDA SANDERS, Willits. Elder abuse, controlled substance, disorderly conduct-alcohol, interfering with business, failure to appear, probation revocation.
GABRIELLE WOODY, Ukiah. DUI.
VICTORIA NULAND’S NOMINATION SHOULD BE REJECTED
Victoria Nuland, former foreign policy adviser to vice president Dick Cheney, should not be nominated for Undersecretary of State, and if nominated should be rejected by the Senate.
Nuland played a key role in facilitating a coup in Ukraine that created a civil war costing 10,000 lives and displacing over a million people. She played a key role in arming Ukraine as well. She advocates radically increased military spending, NATO expansion, hostility toward Russia, and efforts to overthrow the Russian government.
The United States invested $5 billion in shaping Ukrainian politics, including overthrowing a democratically elected president who had refused to join NATO. Then-Assistant Secretary of State Nuland is on video talking about the U.S. investment and on audiotape planning to install Ukraine’s next leader, Arseniy Yatsenyuk, who was subsequently installed.
The Maidan protests, at which Nuland handed out cookies to protesters, were violently escalated by neo-Nazis and by snipers who opened fire on police. When Poland, Germany, and France negotiated a deal for the Maidan demands and an early election, neo-Nazis instead attacked the government and took over. The U.S. State Department immediately recognized the coup government, and Arseniy Yatsenyuk was installed as Prime Minister.
Nuland has worked with the openly pro-Nazi Svoboda Party in Ukraine. She was long a leading proponent of arming Ukraine. She was also an advocate for removing from office the prosecutor general of Ukraine, whom then-Vice President Joe Biden pushed the president to remove.
Nuland wrote this past year that “The challenge for the United States in 2021 will be to lead the democracies of the world in crafting a more effective approach to Russia—one that builds on their strengths and puts stress on Putin where he is vulnerable, including among his own citizens.”
She added: “…Moscow should also see that Washington and its allies are taking concrete steps to shore up their security and raise the cost of Russian confrontation and militarization. That includes maintaining robust defense budgets, continuing to modernize U.S. and allied nuclear weapons systems, and deploying new conventional missiles and missile defenses, . . . establish permanent bases along NATO’s eastern border, and increase the pace and visibility of joint training exercises.”
The United States walked out of the ABM Treaty and later the INF Treaty, began putting missiles into Romania and Poland, expanded NATO to Russia’s border, facilitated a coup in Ukraine, began arming Ukraine, and started holding massive war rehearsal exercises in Eastern Europe. But to read Victoria Nuland’s account, Russia is simply an irrationally evil and aggressive force that must be countered by yet more military spending, bases, and hostility. Some U.S. military officials say this demonizing of Russia is all about weapons profits and bureaucratic power, no more fact-based than the Steele Dossier that was given to the FBI by Victoria Nuland.
HE’S NOT LEAVING
To The Editor:
Trump has no intention of leaving office. Congress needs to remain in emergency session so as to remove him from office and curtail his movements until after the inauguration. Then establish new administrative control. Compassionate peace incudes protecting the intended victim(s) and protect the perpetrator from himself and from fomenting chaos and disorder on a much larger magnitude than what we have just witnessed. In this case it will preserve, hopefully strengthen our democratic resolve.
I've been informed the next major uprisings will be on Sunday the 17th of January at various sites throughout the country including D.C. Ostensibly it will again be to promote the fiction of a rigged election for which citizens will protest being deprived of their electoral rights. As was the case this past Wednesday and on many previous occasions no evidence will be offered. This is important as a strategy as it cannot be challenged on the basis of evidence. A bully is looking for a fight says to his intended victim "What did you call me?" The victim, surprised responds "I didn't say anything" The perp then says "Are you accusing me of hearing things?" We the people engaged fairly in this election and it was fairly administered.
More importantly Georgia is offering us hope. Both of their new senators are from people who have been enslaved; the Jews and the blacks. Decades ago I worked for HEW to desegregate schools in Early County GA. Our goal for federal funding was 3%.
“The vaccines are on the way, guys. I’m telling you — 2045 is our year!”
WILL NPR INVESTIGATE?
To the AVA:
Thank you for bringing to light the foreign aid packages we are paying for: $2.189 trillion! Does any of it go to hungry people? Very little. Most of it goes to the foreign aristocracy and of course our own fascisti in the form of kickbacks. Hunter Biden took his cut in the form of a phony job. Very sloppy. If Hillary had been elected no one would even know about this. Most of our own aristocratic politicians take their kickback money as “commissions” in the form of deposits to offshore numbered accounts or black pools. Of course it’s completely legal like Biden’s job. But please don’t talk about this or how rich our representatives get from our foreign aid programs.
Hearing about the violent protest in Washington DC, it sounded like something that was happening last summer in other US cities. Then I heard the republicans were being blamed for the violence. This is just not true. Republicans sit in lawn chairs and have a US flag in the front yard and watch Ronald Reagan host Death Valley Days on TV.
I don’t think Republicans would ever go to a protest rally, let along destroy stuff.
This violence has the Antifa and BLM signature. Think Nazi blackshirts posing as the right-wing. Will they investigate? Who will investigate? If they find anything fishy, will it be allowed on the media? I’m so glad I am dependent on my local unbiased always truthful never lockstep NPR radio, even though I prefer this paper.
WE NEED A NEW MEDIA SYSTEM
by Matt Taibbi
The moment a group of people stormed the Capitol building last Wednesday, news companies began the process of sorting and commoditizing information that long ago became standard in American media.
Media firms work backward. They first ask, “How does our target demographic want to understand what’s just unfolded?” Then they pick both the words and the facts they want to emphasize. It’s why Fox News uses the term, “Pro-Trump protesters,” while New York and The Atlantic use “Insurrectionists.” It’s why conservative media today is stressing how Apple, Google, and Amazon shut down the “Free Speech” platform Parler over the weekend, while mainstream outlets are emphasizing a new round of potentially armed protests reportedly planned for January 19th or 20th.
What happened last Wednesday was the apotheosis of the Hate Inc. era, when this audience-first model became the primary means of communicating facts to the population. For a hundred reasons dating back to the mid-80s, from the advent of the Internet to the development of the 24-hour news cycle to the end of the Fairness Doctrine and the Fox-led discovery that news can be sold as character-driven, episodic TV in the manner of soap operas, the concept of a “Just the facts” newscast designed to be consumed by everyone died out.
News companies now clean world events like whalers, using every part of the animal, funneling different facts to different consumers based upon calculations about what will bring back the biggest engagement kick. The Migrant Caravan? Fox slices off comments from a Homeland Security official describing most of the border-crossers as single adults coming for “economic reasons.”
The New York Times counters by running a story about how the caravan was deployed as a political issue by a Trump White House staring at poor results in midterm elections.
Repeat this info-sifting process a few billion times and this is how we became, as none other than Mitch McConnell put it last week, a country: “Drifting apart into two separate tribes, with a separate set of facts and separate realities, with nothing in common except our hostility towards each other and mistrust for the few national institutions that we all still share.”
The flaw in the system is that even the biggest news companies now operate under the assumption that at least half their potential audience isn’t listening. This leads to all sorts of problems, and the fact that the easiest way to keep your own demographic is to feed it negative stories about others is only the most obvious. On all sides, we now lean into inflammatory caricatures, because the financial incentives encourage it.
Everyone monetized Trump. The Fox wing surrendered to the Trump phenomenon from the start, abandoning its supposed fealty to “family values” from the Megyn Kelly incident on.
Without a thought, Rupert Murdoch sacrificed the paper-thin veneer of pseudo-respectability Fox had always maintained up to a point (that point being the moment advertisers started to bail in horror, as they did with Glenn Beck).
He reinvented Fox as a platform for Trump’s conspiratorial brand of cartoon populism, rather than let some more-Fox-than-Fox imitator like OAN sell the ads to Trump’s voters for four years. In between its titillating quasi-porn headlines (“Lesbian Prison Gangs Waiting To Get Hands on Lindsay Lohan, Inmate Says” is one from years ago that stuck in my mind), Fox’s business model has long been based on scaring the crap out of aging Silent Majority viewers with a parade of anything-but-the-truth explanations for America’s decline. It villainized immigrants, Muslims, the new Black Panthers, environmentalists — anyone but ADM, Wal-Mart, Countrywide, JP Morgan Chase, and other sponsors of Fortress America. Donald Trump was one of the people who got hooked on Fox’s narrative.
The rival media ecosystem chose cash over truth also. It could have responded to the last election by looking harder at the tensions they didn’t see coming in Trump’s America, which might have meant a more intense examination of the problems that gave Trump his opening: the jobs that never came back after bankers and retailers decided to move them to unfree labor zones in places like China, the severe debt and addiction crises, the ridiculous contradiction of an expanding international military garrison manned by a population fast losing belief in the mission, etc., etc.
Instead, outlets like CNN and MSNBC took a Fox-like approach, downplaying issues in favor of shoving Trump’s agitating personality in the faces of audiences over and over, to the point where many people could no longer think about anything else. To juice ratings, the Trump story — which didn’t need the slightest exaggeration to be fantastic — was more or less constantly distorted.
Trump began to be described as a cause of America’s problems, rather than a symptom, and his followers, every last one, were demonized right along with him, in caricatures that tickled the urbane audiences of channels like CNN but made conservatives want to reach for something sharp. This technique was borrowed from Fox, which learned in the Bush years that you could boost ratings by selling audiences on the idea that their liberal neighbors were terrorist traitors. Such messaging worked better by far than bashing al-Qaeda, because this enemy was closer, making the hate more real.
I came into the news business convinced that the traditional “objective” style of reporting was boring, deceptive, and deserving of mockery. I used to laugh at the parade of “above the fray” columnists and stone-dull house editorials that took no position on anything and always ended, “Only one thing’s for sure: time will tell.” As a teenager I was struck by a passage in Tim Crouse’s book about the 1972 presidential campaign, ‘The Boys in the Bus,’ describing the work of Hunter Thompson:
”Thompson had the freedom to describe the campaign as he actually experienced it: the crummy hotels, the tedium of the press bus, the calculated lies of the press secretaries, the agony of writing about the campaign when it seemed dull and meaningless, the hopeless fatigue. When other reporters went home, their wives asked them, ‘What was it really like?’ Thompson’s wife knew from reading his pieces.”
What Rolling Stone did in giving a political reporter the freedom to write about the banalities of the system was revolutionary at the time. They also allowed their writer to be a sides-taker and a rooter, which seemed natural and appropriate because biases end up in media anyway. They were just hidden in the traditional dull “objective” format.
The problem is that the pendulum has swung so far in the opposite direction of politicized hot-taking that reporters now lack freedom in the opposite direction, i.e. the freedom to mitigate.
If you work in conservative media, you probably felt tremendous pressure all November to stay away from information suggesting Trump lost the election. If you work in the other ecosystem, you probably feel right now that even suggesting what happened last Wednesday was not a coup in the literal sense of the word (e.g. an attempt at seizing power with an actual chance of success) not only wouldn’t clear an editor, but might make you suspect in the eyes of co-workers, a potentially job-imperiling problem in this environment.
We need a new media channel, the press version of a third party, where those financial pressures to maintain audience are absent. Ideally, it would: not be aligned with either Democrats or Republicans; employ a Fairness Doctrine-inspired approach that discourages groupthink and requires at least occasional explorations of alternative points of view; embrace a utilitarian mission stressing credibility over ratings, including by; operating on a distribution model that as much as possible doesn’t depend upon the indulgence of Apple, Google, and Amazon. Innovations like Substack are great for opinionated individual voices like me, but what’s desperately needed is an institutional reporting mechanism that has credibility with the whole population. That means a channel that sees its mission as something separate from politics, or at least as separate from politics as possible.
The media used to derive its institutional power from this perception of separateness. Politicians feared investigation by the news media precisely because they knew audiences perceived them as neutral arbiters. Now there are no major commercial outlets not firmly associated with one or the other political party. Criticism of Republicans is as baked into New York Times coverage as the lambasting of Democrats is at Fox, and politicians don’t fear them as much because they know their constituents do not consider rival media sources credible. Probably, they don’t even read them. Echo chambers have limited utility in changing minds. Media companies need to get out of the audience-stroking business, and by extension the politics business. They’d then be more likely to be believed when making pronouncements about elections or masks or anything else, for that matter. Creating that kind of outlet also has a much better shot of restoring sanity to the country than the current strategy, which seems based on stamping out access to “wrong” information.
What we’ve been watching for four years, and what we saw explode last week, is a paradox: a political and informational system that profits from division and conflict, and uses a factory-style process to stimulate it, but professes shock and horror when real conflict happens. It’s time to admit this is a failed system. You can’t sell hatred and seriously expect it to end.
COVID-19 TOOK A BITE FROM U.S. GREENHOUSE GAS EMISSIONS IN 2020
Emissions plunged more than 10 percent. If the trend can be sustained, it would put the United States within striking distance of one of its major goals under the Paris climate agreement.
“THE KIND OF MOB that the orator will desire is one more given to emotion than to reflection, one filled with fears and consequent hatreds, one impatient of slow and gradual methods, and at once exasperated and hopeful. The orator, if he is not a complete cynic, will acquire a set of beliefs that justify his activities. He will think that feeling is a better guide than reason, that our opinions should be formed with the blood rather than the brain, that the best elements in human life are collective rather than individual.”
― Bertrand Russell, Power: A New Social Analysis (1938), Ch. II, Leaders and Followers, p. 36
THEY ARE TELLING US WHO THEY ARE
On Wednesday afternoon, as insurrectionists assaulted the Capitol, a man wearing a brown vest over a black sweatshirt walked through the halls of Congress with the Confederate battle flag hanging over his shoulder.
One widely circulated photo, taken by Mike Theiler of Reuters, captured him mid-stride, part of the flag almost glowing with the light coming from the hallway to his left.
Just above and behind him is a painting of Charles Sumner, the ardent abolitionist senator from Massachusetts.
On May 22, 1856, Sumner was attacked by Preston Brooks—a pro-slavery member of the House of Representatives from South Carolina—for a speech Sumner had made criticizing slaveholders, including Brooks’s cousin Andrew Butler, a senator representing South Carolina.
Brooks attacked Sumner on the Senate floor. “Mr. Sumner, I have read your speech twice over carefully. It is a libel on South Carolina, and Mr. Butler, who is a relative of mine,” he said.
Before Sumner could fully respond, Brooks began beating him over the head with the golden head of his thick walking cane, trapping Sumner under his desk as he tried to escape, until two representatives were finally able to intervene and bring him out of the chamber.
Sumner did not return to the Senate for three years, and would experience ongoing, debilitating pain for the rest of his life...
(Clint Smith in the Atlantic)
PEACE & FREEDOM PARTY'S demands on Removing & Prosecuting Coup Plotters
(Statement issued by Kevin Akin, California State Chair of the Peace and Freedom Party, at the direction of the State Executive Committee.)
President Trump and the other collaborators who planned, instigated and carried out the fascist coup attempt of Wednesday, January 6, 2021, should immediately be removed from their positions and prosecuted under existing laws for their parts in the events.
The same forces that plotted and carried out the attempted coup have announced plans for additional efforts along the same lines for January 17th, for January 20th, in state capitals and other cities in coming weeks. They plan violence against their enemies and against the public at large, and have openly boasted of their plans. As became obvious last Wednesday, they have collaborators in law enforcement agencies, in the Defense Department and other agencies. Collaborators who protected them as they came toward the Capitol, who prevented the prompt entry of National Guard troops into the District of Columbia and who downplay their serious threat to such democratic rights as the working people of this country have been able to secure through struggle. These allies, and those who through malfeasance have prevented the arrest and prosecution of coup plotters and violent racist extremists, need to be investigated, removed from their positions, arrested, prosecuted and convicted. Those whose incompetence permitted the coup attempt to move forward also need to be removed from their positions.
Those requiring immediate removal and prosecution include President Trump and various of his staff members and political aides. It also includes a number of members of the Senate and House who have peddled lies about the results of the November election, exhorted the fascist forces to attack the capital, and have even recently manufactured absurd falsehoods about who carried out the attack, ludicrously attempting to blame the left for criminal actions by the right. There are also a number of reactionary billionaires who have financed the activities of all these groups and individuals, and they bear legal and moral responsibility as well. Their traditional immunity from prosecution, and often even from criticism by officials in our billionaire-dominated society, needs to end.
We do not need new laws to tackle "domestic terrorism." Attempting to install a dictatorial regime by overturning the results of an election is already a violation of several federal laws. Destroying federal property, murdering a capitol policeman, and conspiring to kidnap and kill members of Congress are already illegal. Those who advocate a broad new law should be aware that it would certainly be used against the left, against working people, particularly oppressed minorities, whose rights are already circumscribed, and whose democratic rights are under attack precisely by the reactionary forces who have collaborated with Trump in his own attacks on constitutional protections for the people.
We demand the prosecution of these fascist planners, their collaborators, those who carry out the attacks and those who finance them as well. As further attacks are being planned and announced, there is no time to waste. Immediate action is needed.
IT'S BEEN EERILY QUIET ON TWITTER since Donald Trump was kicked off the platform last Friday evening, silencing the world's biggest social media foghorn. There was an immediate and urgent imperative to temporarily shut Trump down given the horrendous rampage at the US Capitol on Wednesday that he had so outrageously and recklessly fuelled, which was the very genuine fear there will be more violence from his frenzied mob of supporters. It was one of the darkest days in American history and the buck starts and stops with Donald Trump who didn't just lose the election but has lost his mind too. But that doesn't necessarily justify Twitter's permanent ban on him, at least not if the tech giant wants to even pretend to be fair and consistent about their censorship policies. How does Twitter square this with the fact that Ayatollah Khamenei of Iran still has an account? He made a direct threat against Americans for the killing of Iran's military supremo General Soleimani a year ago. That threat has not been deleted, presumably meaning Twitter doesn't consider that it contravenes its policies. And Khamenei's Twitter account remains active, which is truly ironic given that he has banned 83 million Iranians from using it. Several days ago, the Chinese Embassy in the U.S. tweeted an outrageous defense of China's appalling genocidal abuse of Uighur Muslims. Initially, and shockingly, Twitter said the tweet didn't violate its policies. Then, under pressure, it decided it did. On balance, I think Donald Trump deserves to be kicked off Twitter following the terrible events of last week. But if Trump has to go then Twitter and other social media firms have to be consistent and kick out everyone else whose rhetoric incites such violence or worse - starting with Iran's Supreme Leader.
— Piers Morgan
INSURRECTION VS. INSURRECTION
by James Kunstler
In the dark hours of Sunday, the BigTech-government alliance showed its hand in its massive purge of the public square — which is what social media became in a nation of strip-malls, parking lots, and nonstop propaganda — shutting down all voices countering the constructed narrative-du-jour: that the Democratic Party stands for defending Americans’ liberty against a rogue president. There have been many “shots” fired so far to kick off a civil war, but that action was an artillery blast.
Remember, the Left’s playbook is to accuse their opposition of doing exactly what they are doing. And so, of course, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has launched a last-minute impeachment on grounds of the president inciting “insurrection.” By a strange coincidence, reports on as-yet-still-live web channels say that the president has actually invoked the Insurrection Act against seditionists in our government, including, perhaps, Ms. Pelosi. If it is true — and I can’t confirm it — then the nation has blundered into an epic political battle.
Some facts may suggest the truth of the situation: The Washington DC air-space was shut down for hours on Sunday afternoon, and 6000 national guard troops have been moved into the District of Columbia as well as other cities controlled by Democrats with Antifa/BLM mobs at their disposal. What does that signify? The news media couldn’t be troubled to find out. Mr. Trump is reported to be in “a safe location.” As of last week, that was Dyess Air Force Base outside Abiline, Texas. Maybe he is somewhere else now. The New York Times, WashPo and CNN would like you to think that Mr. Trump has been pounded down a rat-hole. That’s one possibility. Another possibility is that the Democratic Party is unnerved and desperate about what’s liable to come down on them in the days ahead, which resembles a colossal hammer in the sky.
Mr. Trump is still president, and you’ve probably noticed he has been president for four years to date, which ought to suggest that he holds a great deal of accumulated information about the seditionists who have been playing games with him through all those years. So, two questions might be: how much of that information describes criminal acts by his adversaries — most recently, a deeply suspicious national election based on hackable vote-tabulation computers — and what’s within the president’s power to do something about it? I guess we’ll find out.
Or, to state it a little differently, it is impossible that the president does not have barge-loads of information about the people who strove mightily to take him down for four years. At least two pillars of the Intel Community — the CIA and the FBI — have been actively and visibly working to undermine and gaslight him, but you can be sure that the president knows where the gas has been coming from, and these agencies are not the only sources of dark information in this world. Also consider that not all the employees at these agencies are on the side of sedition.
By its work this weekend, starring Jack Dorsey (Twitter), Zuck (Facebook), Tim Cook (Apple), and Jeff Bezos (Amazon and The WashPo), you know exactly what you would be getting with The Resistance taking power in the White House and Congress: unvarnished tyranny. No free speech for you! They will not permit opposing voices to be heard, especially about the janky election that elevated America’s booby-prize, Joe Biden, to the highest office in the land.
Now there’s a charismatic, charming, dynamic, in-charge guy! He’s already doing such a swell job “healing America.” For instance, his declaration Tuesday to give $30-billion to businesses run by “black, brown, and Native American entrepreneurs” (WashPo). Uh, white folks need not apply? Since when are federal disbursements explicitly race-based? What and who, exactly, comprise the committee set up to operate Joe Biden, the hypothetical, holographic President? Surely you don’t believe he’s spirit-cooking this sort of economic policy on his own down in the fabled basement.
And so, here we stand at the start of what’s liable to be a fateful week for the United States. There is a lot of chatter on the lowdown that the current president — that would be Mr. Trump, for those out there who are confused — is about to act to take down the scurvy party that enabled and condoned six months of rioting, arson, and looting in at least a dozen cities — cadres of whom may have actually instigated that incursion into the US Capitol building on Wednesday. The president appears to understand his duty to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic. He had plenty of opportunity to be a quitter from 2017 to 2021 and he hung in there, against every cockamamie operation the Deep State threw at him. Odds are he’s not quitting now.
(Support Kunstler’s writing by visiting his Patreon Page.)
ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY
Hopefully those who have supported Trump in the past (like me) will wake up and smell the roses. The REASON so many supported him (about 45% of the voters) is that we were (and still are) tired of 25 years of a DO--NOTHING congress and white house. Trump came along and appeared willing to sidestep all the BS and get things moving again. What we didn't realize was that he was most likely a sociopath, psychopath or a wanna be dictator. We drank the Kool-Aid. In desperation .... Now what?
DENOUNCING REPUBLICAN EVILS ISN'T ENOUGH
by Norman Solomon
Demanding progressive policies is essential
The Republican plunge into Trumpism has made the party especially unhinged and dangerous, but its basic ideology has long been a shameless assault on minimal standards of human decency. Now -- while Democratic leaders and most corporate media outlets are suitably condemning the fascist tendencies of Trump and his followers -- deeper analysis and stepped-up progressive organizing are urgently needed.
Economic injustice -- disproportionately harming people of color -- constantly propels U.S. society in a downward spiral. Poverty, economic insecurity and political disempowerment go together. Systemic racism continues to thrive, enmeshed with the predatory routines of corporate power.
After becoming a member of Congress last week, Cori Bush wrote in the Washington Post: “Many have said that what transpired on Wednesday was not America. They are wrong. This is the America that Black people know . To declare that this is not America is to deny the reality that Republican members of the U.S. House and Senate incited this coup by treasonously working to overturn the results of the presidential election.”
And, Bush added, “what my Republican colleagues call ‘fraud’ actually refers to the valid votes of Black, brown and Indigenous voters across this country who, in the midst of a pandemic that disproportionately kills us, overcame voter suppression in all of its forms to deliver an election victory for Joe Biden and Kamala D. Harris.”
Yet that election victory -- which was a huge blow to right-wing forces and a triumph for the progressive forces that made it possible -- assures us of little. The same establishment-oriented corporate and militaristic mindsets that reigned supreme in the executive branch during the Obama administration are being reconfigured for the Biden administration. Similar mentalities at the top of the Democratic Party a decade ago are replicated today.
But, at the grassroots, progressive outlooks are much more prevalent than a decade ago -- and left-leaning forces are much better positioned. There’s far less naiveté about Joe Biden on the verge of his presidency than there was a dozen years ago on the verge of Barack Obama’s. And much stronger communication and organizing capacities are in place for progressive individuals and groups in 2021 than was true in 2009.
In short, as Biden prepares to move into the White House, progressives are in much better shape to put up a fight -- not only against the right wing but also against corporate Democratic elites, who are uninterested in delivering the kind of broad-based economic uplift that could undermine the pseudo-populist propaganda coming from the Republican Party.
A day after the orchestrated mob assault at the Capitol, Bernie Sanders appeared on CNN and provided a cogent summary of what must be done to effectively push back against the Republicans. In contrast to standard-issue Democratic Party talking points, what he had to say went to the core of key economic and political realities.
While countless Democratic politicians and pundits were taking the easy route of only condemning Trump and his acolytes, Sanders went far deeper.
“We must not lose sight of the unprecedented pain and desperation felt by working people across the country as the pandemic surges and the economy declines,” Sanders wrote to supporters on Sunday. “We must, immediately, address those needs.”
Sanders pointed out that “right now, hunger is at the highest levels in decades in this country and the family that couldn’t afford to put food on the table last week still cannot afford to put food on the table this week, and they need our help.” Among the ongoing realities he cited were these:
** “The 500,000 Americans who were homeless and the 30 million more facing eviction last week are still worried about keeping a roof over their heads this week, and they need our help.”
** “During the midst of a murderous pandemic which is getting worse and worse every day, the 90 million Americans who were uninsured or underinsured last week still are worried about being able to afford to go to a doctor this week, and they need our help.”
** “The millions of Americans working two or three jobs to pay the bills because we have a national minimum wage of $7.25 an hour this week will still be getting paid a starvation wage next week, and they need our help.”
Such help will not come from merely denouncing the villainy of Trump and other Republicans. And it won’t come from reflexively deferring to the Biden administration. On the contrary, it can come from insisting that there must be no honeymoon for the incoming administration if we want to meet the crying needs of working-class people.
Some progressives believe that we should give Biden a break as his presidency gets underway. But in early 1993, we were told to give President Clinton a break. Wall Streeters went into the Cabinet, NAFTA soon followed -- and, in 1994, Republicans roared back and took Congress. Later came cruel "welfare reform," deregulation of the banking industry, and much more.
In early 2009, we were told to give a break to President Obama. Wall Streeters went into the Cabinet, big banks were bailed out while people with their houses under water lost their homes -- and, in 2010, Republicans roared back and took Congress. Later came economic policies that undermined support and turnout from the Democratic Party base, helping Trump win four years ago.
As Bernie Sanders says, “The old way of thinking is what brought us Donald Trump.”
The Sanders prescriptions for antidotes to right-wing poisons are absolutely correct. Along with ending Trump’s toxic political career, Sanders wrote four days after the Capitol events, “we must also start passing an aggressive agenda that speaks to the needs of the working class in this country: income and wealth inequality, health care, climate change, education, racial justice, immigration and so many other vitally important issues. We must lift people out of poverty, revitalize American democracy, end the collapse of the middle class, and make certain our children and grandchildren are able to enjoy a quality of life that brings them health, prosperity, security and joy.”
Sound impossible? It isn’t. But to make such a future possible will require not only crushing the Republican Party but also dislodging the current Democratic Party leadership to make way for truly progressive elected Democrats -- like Cori Bush, Rashida Tlaib, Ilhan Omar, Alexandria Ocasio Cortez, Ro Khanna and others -- who understand that they must be part of transformative social movements that are our only hope.
(Norman Solomon is the national director of RootsAction.org and the author of many books including War Made Easy: How Presidents and Pundits Keep Spinning Us to Death . He was a Bernie Sanders delegate from California to the 2016 and 2020 Democratic National Conventions. Solomon is the founder and executive director of the Institute for Public Accuracy.)
ON LINE COMMENTS OF THE WEEK
 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?
 The United States was lost long ago in a black hole of a century’s-long orgy of fiat money conjuring, horrendous wars and loss of life, the sacrifice of a 1960s president, the continuous erosion and erasure of Constitutional rights, the offshoring of America’s jobs, and finally, insanity setting in amongst We the People. The Shining City on the Hill has turned into a Dark Cave of Fear, Loathing, Anger, Frustration, Confusion, and Mask Shaming. Not to mention a serious case of Wokesterdom and total wreckage and loss of our shared historical foundations and sense of common interest. A great comic who appeared often on TV in the 1960s said back then, “The United States of America is going to have… a going out of business sale!” That man was more prophet than comic as the nation has been holding a 60-year liquidation sale that is nearing completion. Not much left to sell now but the shelving and the signage. Most of the floor space is empty and gathering dust. The wails of dismay now echo endlessly in the cavernous darkness.
“Whatever occurs in this strange week of confrontation, Joe Biden will not be leading any part of it. Where has he been since Christmas?” Biden today is nothing but a computer-generated image. He is a Far Eastern AI program. He can appear anywhere and everywhere and as any age They choose to conjure him to look like. They make him look old and confused right now so that Her Highness can soon be installed as our Queen and complete the process of National Wokesterdom and sensibility purging. Remember what our Queen-to-be has already said… “THAT’s what real leadership looks like!”
 “Republicans had better stop shouting fraud …”
Indeed – it seems to me as a middle-of-the-road type, that Donald Trump made three critical (and seemingly fatal) mistakes:
(1) Obviously, he saw the pandemic as a losing proposition, but if he had grabbed it with both hands and been out-front combatting it, he would have won easily, I expect.
(2) He claimed months ago that if he lost the election then it would only be because the election was rigged – I’m not certain that this type of self-assured arrogance went down well with the 10-20% in the center who could have been persuaded.
(3) And he attacked mail-in voting (despite the pandemic), rather than embracing it and encouraging it, as the Democrats did.
The 40% or so who would always vote for Donald Trump were locked in, but the three factors above almost guaranteed he wouldn’t get the support of the 10% or so he needed for victory. They were big mistakes in my view.
BTW – I don’t think the Georgia Democrat candidates are “far left” by most criteria … in any other Western democracy they would probably be seen as moderate and centrist (maybe center-left, maybe center-right – but not by any real stretch as serious lefties).
I don’t recall them ever demanding the end of private property and capitalism, rounding up and shooting the ruling class, and for the proletariat to seize the means of production.
 There is a reason the media and politicians (besides Sanders) don’t talk about class.
“It’s a big club, and you’re not in it”
Most of the MAGAs storming the capitol have more in common with your local poor black neighborhood than with 45. Media and the political parties don’t want to admit it because the entire culture of this country has a caste system baked in, and it is designed to prevent the masses from ever overthrowing the elites. Distract the workers with racism, spectacle, fake politics, and now social media too.
How many of the folks on here are willing to admit that BLM and MAGA are two flavors of the same thing?
There is an increase of populism and anti-elitism in the USA, and although each person is feeling it for a different reason, if we don’t start talking to each other like humans again it’s not going to be pretty
 I think I speak for many who are on the right, alt-right, white or male when I say this doesn’t feel like our country and we are now hated citizens in our own land. I was born into a heavy democrat family, union and all that, and I believed many of the core OLD democrat values: anti-war, pro-environment, pro-worker – of course we have not seen those values espoused for 20 years. Obama paid some small lip service before proceeding to disregard everything and switch hard into identity politics.
Despite the constant rhetoric of ‘racism’/sexism whatever, being white and male you are discriminated against covertly or overtly in this country, and it will only get worse. Many, many civil service exams give points to female, minority, and military, so Sandra Martinez the 1 year army private who left after pregnancy is getting +15 pts on a 100 point test. So when someone tries to tell me how racist or sexist I am by virtue of simply being a white male, it simply doesn’t stack up to the facts.
The scariest thing is the rise of big tech. Watching the alt-right back in the heyday of the movement (early 2010s) was a fascinating and exciting time. But slowly and inevitably youtube, google and others would delist, block and destroy major alt-right players – replacing them with ‘approved’ alternatives who almost always had connections back to big tech or finance. All the real people got wiped out. This culminated in the 2016 Charlottesville witch hunt that generally destroyed the movement (which was prevailing against big tech despite the uphill battle)
Trump won, and acted as a type of relief valve to the anger of the right. As to whether he was successful, that leaves a lot open for debate. But what is not debatable is the fact this election was out-right stolen and bigtech/dems refuse to do any sort of audit to cast legitimacy over it. Joe Biden is not a leader, nor is the identity politics ‘multi-race’ Harris, they are clear stooges of the deep state.
To be clear, the alt-right (and all those with similar views) have been hunted online for many years, Trump represented a type of control or stress relief. With the blatant steal, and total disregard for the right we now feel like there is nothing left to strive or live for in this country. It has abandoned us and views us as enemies. This will not turn out pretty. Expect a quick slide into 3rd world economies, banana boat republics and the worst parts of cyberpunk dystopias of passports/vaccines and spying.
Also expect a lot of violence, real or otherwise, all of it blamed on the right of course.
 Bread and circuses being standardized.
Free money (kind of, if you don’t have any real standard of living), stay home, ignore mom and dad, watch TV, play Xbox, order in tepid Chipotle, smoke up, keep yourself occupied with fantasy sports and betting.
Times have changed.
Legalizing weed used to sound like a fun radical idea. Now I think it’s being used to keep people from caring about what’s going on. I, too, have no problem with legalizing weed, but its main attraction is that it makes you okay with being bored and not participating in the world. Great for a day here and there, but as a lifestyle not something to foist on an entire population if you want them involved. They clearly do not want us involved.
THE TRUMPER PERSPECTIVE, an on-line comment:
Like everyone else, I’ve been digesting all that has transpired in this past week and reflecting on the past 4 years, and I am left deeply depressed by my conclusions which are as follows:
1) Both of our political parties are morally bankrupt and don’t give a damn about this country or the people who inhabit it. Almost without exception, the people who populate the elected offices of our state and federal governments are narcissistic scum who care only about themselves and everyone knows it.
2) The United States government is financially bankrupt. It is only a matter of time before all of the Ponzi schemes of Wall Street, the Fed, and the BitCoin shysters collapse, leaving all of us to scramble for meager resources in the smoking ruins of the economy that will remain. The Dollar, of course, is doomed. Hyperinflation is just a matter of time and the savings of everyone will be destroyed unless you have had the foresight to stash away a little gold and silver buried in your backyard.
3) This country is already in a de facto “civil war.” The origins can be traced all the way back to 1865 when the last one ended, but the current conflict really got underway in a serious way after Trump won the election of 2016. That is when the Democrats, academia, Hollywood, Wall Street, the mainstream media, disgruntled RINOS, the Bush crime family, the Clinton crime family, the military-industrial complex, and pretty much everyone else who profits from the “established” corrupt system, decided to flush our Constitution down the commode and stop at nothing – and I mean nothing – to deny Trump and his nationalist/populist movement, the opportunity to drain the swamp and restore the political, social, and economic greatness that this country used to enjoy, once upon a time.
4) There really are “Two America’s” with utterly irreconcilable worldviews and this new civil war will not end until one side is completely triumphant and the other is utterly crushed. Sorry, but there will be no Great Compromise nor a truce. It’s been “game on” now for 5 years and counting and things are getting worse by the minute.
Just in the past week alone we have had Congressmen almost coming to blows on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives; an invasion of the Capitol Building by frustrated MAGA patriots fed up with the fraud, corruption, and lack of institutional response to correct any of it; and a planeload of people yelling and screaming at each other about the fraudulent election; etc., etc. Just GOOGLE, and you’ll find examples of this type of unprecedented unrest chronicled all over America.
Things are rapidly getting worse with each passing day and each fresh new outrage simply escalates things further. It feels like events are beginning to spiral out of control during the “Dark Winter” of 2020-21. (Just as happened during the Secession Winter of 1860-61.
by Steve Heilig
Trumpians rejoice, for ye are being set free!
No longer must you labor under so many lies
Misplaced outrage can drain from your tired veins
The undeniable election certified, you may exhale
The Great Don Con has been revealed for what it was
An angry failed liar seeking to extort you for all your worth.
MAGA MAGA hah hah hah
The sad joke’s on us, but it’s not too funny
And it’s ending how too many predicted
Like Jonestown or Manson or all too many
A spasm of stupendously stupid cult violence.
“I’ll be with you,” he yelled to the lowest of his troops
“Patriots” who hate the Constitution and democracy
Who looked to be a fascist visigothic version of Burning Man
“Boys” indeed who watched too many bad movies;
“Let’s have combat” echoed his sage lawyer Rudi,
Soon to be disbarred and disgraced forever
Then he and Donnie fled to safety in the White House
Where watching on TV, as idiots rampaged,
Committing an act of war if done by foreign powers;
They sipped cocktails and laughed and danced
And Don the Con said his orcs looked to be “low class”
And reading the resulting revulsion of even his allies
He turned on his suckers, saying “you will pay”
Even after he and his own helped planned the whole charade
Knowing the cult footsoldiers wouldn’t have a clue what to do
Maybe a drunken frat brawl tantrum in the cafeteria
That oops, involved killing a cop and others dying
And Don remains silent on those little details
Confirming what we all knew, he hates his own troops
But ‘loves the poorly educated”
And try it again and they might be slaughtered
Not that many would grieve.
So send him some more cash if you can, before too late
As the big money is finally fleeing
The big techies finally shutting him down
His minions jumping ship like rats, too late
The MAGA stains upon them forever
As his sedition and idiot insurrection rebound on him
And all his other violations come back to haunt him
Like a male spider devoured by the black widow he poked
Eaten by the fires he stoked
Sunken into the swamp he dug and stocked
Shouting into a putrid void
Meanwhile, on to more lasting and important things,
The issues you thought you supported him for,
Take a deeper scientific look and you will find joy
For he was conning you on all those too
And things should get better now,
Not that any politician or party could ever satisfy
The rabid Right who only want more cash
The righteous Left who think wishing makes things so
All self-satisfied cynics who think they know better
Than those who actually work for a better nation.
But for so many of the poorest among us,
And women and children and non-white humans
And the other species sharing earth with us,
There might be some hope now, for
“Socialism” is not scary, you already love our versions
The incoming regime is so moderate you need not fear
Change will be better for many more other than those 1%ers
For you’ve been sold a bad bill of goods for sure
You can look it all up:
Donnie did not fix the economy, he just took credit
His one victory was a tax cut for the wealthiest
He caused more abortions in the world than anybody ever
He ignored and botched the pandemic response
He paved the way for more poisons in our bodies
He tried to take healthcare away from millions
He perverted each agency by installing corruption
He paved actual free and wild lands for profit
He build a wall for profit too, keeping nobody out
He let crime rates increase for the first time in decades
He stopped action against climate change to imperil us all
He fueled international distrust and made us a laughingstock
He fired up racial strife nationwide
He debased all debate with endless lies and distortions,
From his Birtherism lie and faked religion onward
His lame diversions to blame antifa for everything
We thought it couldn’t get worse
But Oh it did for four years
That will live in infamy
Impeach him and deny all his post-office percs
Bill him for all the golf time
Investigate and prosecute his whole unholy family
Think of all the money saved
Sometimes it takes real evil to unite us.
So thanks for that
America you are not sacred
But the perfect is the enemy of the good
So shake off the big dark money
Reverse the corrupt tax cuts and more
Tear down this goddam silly wall
Demilitarize the nation, dammit
And with the cash saved we can easily
Feed the poor
Heal the sick
Fund the free clinics
Fund the free schools
Raise the minimum wage
Save the planet, or some of it
We’ll have plenty leftover
For a big 250th bash in 2026
I’ll settle for all that
But only if we live up to our ideals
You may say I’m a dreamer
But most of us are
Better late than never
You’ll sleep better
At least for now
You deserve a rest
Then We Shall Overcome