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DRY AND MILD conditions will prevail through Sunday afternoon as high pressure remains in control. Developing offshore flow will result in dry, warm, and locally windy conditions early next week. (NWS)
21 NEW COVID CASES reported in Mendocino County on Friday, bringing the total to 3076.
FROM SUPERVISOR WILLIAMS:
Supervisor Mo Mulheren and I met with staff yesterday to brainstorm ways we could assist their hard work. One of the messages we've heard loudest from the public is the need for a signup process. An initial web portal is ready for your preview. Less than 24 hours in the making, more improvements are planned, but we hope this concept will begin to streamline the tracking of vaccine seekers.
After creating an account and clicking the confirmation link in email, you can add a "Vaccine Request" for one or more persons. Please read the chart of tiers carefully.
Although your vaccination might ultimately happen at a private clinic, your information will help public health coordinate (and reach back to you with guidance).
Update: First hour, 116 have registered and submitted details. A few have had difficulty with the email confirmation. If you experience this problem, text or email your username and I'll manually activate it. (Experimental at this time.)
Navarro rising, CalTrans standing by Hwy. 128 gate
AT 5 PM FRIDAY a 4-man CalTrans crew was standing by at a low spot on Hwy 128, watching shallow flooding developing slowly just east of the 0.18 mile marker. They said they were prepared to close the highway gate at the Hwy. 1 bridge if the water floods enough of the roadway to make it unsafe overnight. They said they had not decided whether to close 128 or not.
I must admit I called it wrong in my post last night when I said the river level appeared to be going down and there was little chance of flooding in the immediate future. The water level was up about 6 in. compared to 24 hours ago and the CalTrans people said most of that rise had happened over the previous 4-5 hours. Shallow water has now intruded about 18 in. onto the roadway in the westbound lane, and was on the verge of coming over the eastbound lane.
The rise is very gradual, since there has been no rain in over 24 hours. The sandbar continues standing fast across the river mouth at Navarro Beach, damming the outflow of the estuary water to the ocean. I was able to check the sandbar near where it has breached in the past, but found no sign that it was close to giving way. The Navarro Beach access road is still flooded.
So to be cautious, anyone planning to take Hwy. 128 to or from Hwy. 1 tonight should check online and be prepared to take an alternate route if the road is closed.
You can check online at https://roads.dot.ca.gov/ and enter 128 in the search box.
You can also call 1-800-GAS-ROADS for recorded information.
Nicholas Wilson, Albion
SNWMF FOUNDER WARREN SMITH crossed peacefully in the loving arms of his wife Gretchen on January 11, 2021, at his beloved ranch surrounded by love and listening to Bob Marley. May he Rest In Power.
SO SAD to hear the news of the great Warren Smith’s passing. He was a legend and leader for the reggae community here in California from early in the 1970s. A pioneer who brought so many Jamaican artists to the US for their first tours and also helped to organize the first ever international reggae festival in Jamaica back in 1978...the precursor to Reggae Sunsplash in 1979.
I was there for Warren Smith’s first Sierra Nevada World Music Festival in 1994 when he picked up from his work as talent buyer for The Gathering of The Vibe festival (1990-1993). Warren’s festival was the place to be for legendary reggae performances including the original Gladiators and Israel Vibration reunion sets.
Warren first welcomed my group GROUNDATION to his festival @snwmf for a main stage performance back in 2001 and it was our honor to take part in his festival whenever possible as the years moved on.
In growing my label Young Tree Records with artists such as The Congos, Pablo Moses and Winston Jarrett, Warren was there as a friend and advisor...we would talk on the phone often and his years of experience and knowledge was a constant source of wisdom.
From @bobmarley to @petertosh , @officialburningspear , @thirdworldband and @tootsmaytalsofficial Warren Smith was a forerunner and a true reggae warrior...all our love to Gretchen and the entire family including everyone at Sierra Nevada World Music Festival...rest in love and peace Warren...we will miss you.
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AMAZING BOONVILLE MARQUIS for Warren Smith tribute from @jahyzer #repost
Doin a Special Tribute to Warren Smith R.I.P
#SNWMF Artists, Epiphany Records Tunes & Nuff Stories...
Giving Thanks for the works of a Reggae Icon!!!
A MESSAGE FROM ANDERSON VALLEY HEALTH CENTER
To our community, as we begin the large task to vaccinate our community, we ask for your patience. We will be having vaccination clinics that have been arranged with employers for this week. All vaccine distribution will be by appointment only. Please only come if you have been contacted and given an appointment time from either AVHC or your employer. If you have registered through our Survey Monkey link, we will contact you as soon as possible. Thank you for your understanding.
THE SCRIBBLEHEADS DO FORT BRAGG
On January 13th, 2021, at approximately 5:10 p.m., Fort Bragg Officers were dispatched to the 200 Block of N. McPherson Street for the report of a male and female verbally threatening an adult male victim with a firearm. Officers arrived on scene and contacted the victim who advised he was exiting a business in the 200 Block of N. McPherson Street when he was verbally harassed, then threatened by a male and female parked nearby in a vehicle. The victim did not know the identities of the male or female suspects.
While Officers were speaking with the victim, the male and female suspect drove by the scene in their vehicle. The victim identified the suspects and their vehicle as they drove by and Officers conducted a traffic stop on the vehicle.
Officers identified the driver as Jeremiah Rapp, 45, and the passenger as Stephanie Coatney-Miller, both of Lake County.
A records check revealed Rapp had a felony warrant out of Marin County for Assault with a Deadly Weapon, False Imprisonment, and Intimidating a Victim. During the contact Rapp verbally claimed to be a member of “MS-13” and the Sureños criminal street gang.
When Officers attempted to place Rapp under arrest, he took up a fighting stance and challenged Officers to fight. An on-scene Sergeant was able to persuade Rapp to surrender peacefully. Rapp was taken into custody without further incident.
A search of the suspect vehicle revealed no firearms and the victim declined any prosecution for the initial incident. Rapp was transported to the Mendocino County Jail where he awaits extradition to Marin County.
Questions regarding this press release may be directed to Sergeant O’Neal at 707-961- 2800 ext. 167 or at email@example.com
(Fort Bragg Police presser)
YORKVILLE MARKET RE-OPENS
Hello and Happy New Year!
Amy and I have been hard at work cleaning, re-arranging, and cooking. We are happy to announce that we will be ready to open for the new year tomorrow, Saturday 1/16!
To kick off the new year, we are going to grill a delicious pork loin and veggie medley meal. We will be grilling out front from noon until 3 (Saturday, 1/16) with the outdoor patio set up for socially distanced dining. We will also have a variety of extra homemade sides, salads, and take-n-bakes available. Come down and enjoy a hot meal and a cold beverage or just take it to go!
We feel that in this scary and uncertain time the best service we can provide to our community is to feed it. We plan to do either an outdoor bbq (weather permitting) or offer a limited made to order menu every Saturday from noon to three as long as this seems like a success. In addition there will be a new and different take-n-bake available each Friday. We will also continue to have a selection of freshly prepared grab-and-go items available in the deli case. This will hopefully fill the place of our made to order deli sandwiches, which are currently not feasible for us to make.
For the time being, we will be continuing the same business hours of 11-5 daily, except Tuesdays which we will be closed. We are hoping that 2021 brings some sort of normalcy back into our lives and the Yorkville Market can continue to be this wonderful community’s hub.
Looking forward to seeing all of you soon.
GRANNY BEAR SPRAY: A Cloverdale woman was one of 12 protesters arrested at the state Capitol last Wednesday during a pro-Trump rally that happened the same day rioters stormed the U.S. Capitol. Margaret Shaw, 73, of Cloverdale was arrested Jan. 6 near Sacramento’s 10th and L streets after officers saw she was carrying a canister of bear deterrent spray during the demonstration. Shaw was detained on suspicion of breaking a law that prohibits people from owning and using any tear gas weapon containing more than 2.5 ounces of aerosol spray, the police said.
NEWLY SEATED SUPERVISOR MAUREEN MULHEREN was featured recently on the latest edition of a Ukiah-based podcast called “Like it or Not” which apparently started a few months ago without much fanfare.
It was an interesting, two-hour discussion. We were somewhat surprised to hear that she’d been attending Supervisors meetings in person since way back in April of 2019 simply as an observer (and continuing via zoom since last spring) and is more familiar with the main issues facing the County than we had previously thought. The two podcast hosts, Ukiah musician Carter Lane and his partner Drew Nicoll (we couldn’t tell which was which from the audio) are contemporaries of Mulheren and asked good questions and Mulheren gave straightforward answers, addressing homelessness in Ukiah, pot permit challenges (Mulheren supports a simplification which minimizes County requirements in favor of state rules), and other local subjects. Mulheren demonstrated a good understanding of the problems the Ukiah area faces. No surprise, she’s familiar with street homelessness in her home town, saying that she knows a lot of the most visible homeless and that most of the regulars are from Ukiah area families but who have been kicked out because their drug habit(s) and/or general craziness made them unwelcome and generally unredeemable. Thereafter, in many cases, the parents have been forced to raise their grandchildren, the children of their outcast-offspring. When the podcast hosts asked if the County could simply set aside some land and put up carports and a common latrine/laundry/dumpster building and let people camp there, Mulheren said sure, but that somebody would still have to manage it, and there's the rub. Unsupervised homeless camps are hellish crime centers, as the impromtu ones that spring up here and there always demonstrate.
The only complaint we had, and it’s hardly unique to Mulheren, is the general lack of focus on the management and budgeting of the County’s administrative and helping/services apparatus. Mulheren said that one of the main reasons she ran for Supervisor was to try to improve human services and how they deal with these problems. She had grown weary of city-style infrastructure projects. Mulheren, like her colleagues, seem unable to get CEO Angelo to address the problems that Mulheren, et al, are supposedly trying to address. If the Supes can’t even get the CEO to follow through on the priority projects and problems they all agree on and claim to be working on, then no amount of understanding of the problems will help.
Mulheren said she has no problem being a dissenting voice when necessary, adding that she understands that the new Best Western motel purchase will not do anything about street level homelessness since its target populations are people and families who can pay part of their rent and are not among of the chronically homeless.
Mulheren, who at age 41 is about to become a grandmother, demonstrates a grasp of the problems she faces and shows real promise as a Supervisor. (He said, intending not to be at all patronizing.) Now let’s see if anything is done about them.
I WAS ONLY half-way through my first cup of Petrolia's fine coffee, Gold Rush Black Gold, when up popped this crew Friday morning.
My first thought being, “What's a nice girl like this doing with these guys?” Turns out she was charged with domestic violence, imo an ongoing County scam whereby male weenies call in their domestic partners for smacking them, initiating, for the woman, a chain of court appearances, anger management classes taught by angry women, fines, court costs, and a criminal record. I know some serious domestics occur now and then but I'll bet this wasn't one of them. I remember one where a guy was immobilized in a traction apparatus when his love interest strode into the room, bashed his injured leg, brandished a pair of scissors as she threatened to do a Lorena Bobbitt on him, and finished her visit by dousing him with urine from his bedpan. I doubt that relationship continued post-op but, as any cop will tell you, couples are often wrapped in a psychotic symbiosis which, in between police visits, seems to somehow satisfy both parties.
LONG BEFORE this garrulous old coot was a garrulous old coot, he functioned, in exchange for free rent, as building manager at 925 Sacramento Street, San Francisco, a building long ago demolished, and a building then teeming with deadbeats and, ah, unconventional persons, among them a showbiz star of sorts, The Nude Girl On A Swing. An undemanding gig, I should think, and one she performed at a nightclub in nearby North Beach. It was an act as advertised, and an act that packed the place with voyeurs, all male of course. As advertised. Cynthia, nude, swung out of the ceiling as the male audience below twisted themselves in scrambling piles for better views. When she got me and a friend free passes to see the show one night, I remember wondering to myself as I sat with the rest of my pathetic gender gazing upwards, “Only a stone degenerate would be here.” I rationalized the visit, as we all tend to rationalize our more embarrassing moments, by telling people, “Hey, she lives next door to me. I didn't want to insult her by refusing to go.” Cynthia was also a junkie, my first direct experience with a drug addict. (I thought she was just sleepy all the time). About 3am one night, I heard this terrific back and forth yelling, accompanied by thuds and breaking glass coming from Cynthia's apartment, and soon I was pounding on her door with the vague intent to stop some terrible mayhem. I was the manager after all, the in-charge guy. It was time to do my job! The door was suddenly thrown open by a frenzied-looking young man who told me to “Bleep you and mind your own bleeping business.” Cynthia stood behind him crying. I said I was calling the cops, and both of them told me to mind my own bleeping business, with him adding, “You do and I'm coming back to kill you.” The next day I hustled down to the Gun Exchange which, as I dimly recall was only a block south of Market on either Second or Third Street, where I bought a shotgun and some ammo. Later that same day, after I'd armed up, I looked out my window and there they were, the two lovebirds arm in arm strolling along Stockton Street. They waved up at me, big sarcastic smiles on their stoned faces.
I THINK Ocasio-Cortez might have been killed last week during the yobbo invasion of the House of Reps, but I seriously don't understand how it is that she, above all other elected officials, arouses such fear and hatred in America's most primitive male souls. I know that pretty, smart women tend to terrify dumb guys, but the hatred and unending vilification of this one person seems only one more sign that this country has snapped, gone clear off its collective rocker. Medicare-for-all and a single-payer health care system, tuition-free college, banning private prisons, and an orderly, humane immigration system? Something scary about that, or the person recommending it?
COREY JOHNSON is the man just executed by the feds in a hurry-up batch of hurry-up executions as one of many Trumpian farewell gifts. Johnson's poignant last words: “I want to say that I am sorry for my crimes. I would have said I was sorry before, but I didn't know how.” Johnson listed the names of his seven victims, saying he wanted them to be remembered: Louis Johnson, Anthony Carter, Dorothy Armstrong, Curtis Thorne, Linwood Chiles, Peyton Johnson, and Bobby Long. “On the streets, I was looking for shortcuts, I had some good role models, I was side tracking, I was blind and stupid. I am not the same man that I was.”
NEVERMIND that the whole show is falling down all around us, but California Assemblyman David Chiu, D-San Francisco, on Thursday proposed a bill that would allow transgender and nonbinary public college students to use their preferred names instead of their birth names on diplomas.
THE BOONVILLE WEEKLY has been cleansed of all suspicion by, Amazon.com:
As you have made some changes made in Kindle publishing portal you were unable to preview MOBI.
Now we have approved the changes at our end and the portal is free to use as per your requirement.
UKIAH STREETSCAPE PROJECT Construction Update - January 15
Construction work is ramping up again! Wahlund Construction is actively working on the undergrounding of the electric utility between Clay and Mill Streets, and Ghilotti Construction will restarting the sidewalk work starting next week.
Important notice: Wahlund Construction will be working between Seminary and Clay in the early hours of Saturday, January 16th in order to minimize disruption to businesses. This differs from the info on the construction flyer that was distributed this morning.
Perkins to Mill Street
Wahlund Construction (Clay – Seminary):
Monday-Wednesday saw-cutting and excavating east side of State Street until 11 a.m. (only working on this side in the mornings to minimize disruptions to businesses in the afternoons)
Moving north to south, continue excavation, trench cutting and backfill on west side of State expect to be somewhere near Master Cleaners by end of the week.
Construction hours: 6am – 5pm
Ghilotti Construction (Perkins – Clay):
Construction begins Thursday, 1/21. Saw-cutting pavement and removal of trees between Clay and Perkins on the east side of State Street, moving from south to north. Parking/sidewalks will be impacted on the east side during this period of construction, but access to all businesses will be maintained during business hours. Saw-cutting is noisy and may generate some dust.
Construction Hours: 7am – 5pm
Thanks for your patience and your attention to driving safely in the construction zone.
If you have specific questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me directly. Otherwise, have a great weekend!
Shannon Riley, Deputy City Manager, w: (707) 467-5793
The United States People's Sphere of Action news:
One man's murder is another man’s justifiable homicide in the dog eat dog world of economic predators. However, when government refuses to obey article II and due process of law, the people's judgment does not matter for only murder by cop is justified by the domestic enemies of the ratified constitution. Such is the rule of law by the worldly man. For the judges refuse to declare acts of rebellion void; their only power comes from guns in the mouths of lawyers who are willing to commit treason.
Speaker for the People's Sphere of Action,
Thomas Dean Jones
Mendocino County Jail, Ukiah
CATCH OF THE DAY, January 15, 2021
(Unavailable due to an error at the Sheriff’s booking log website.)
CULT NATION: National politics has robbed us of ourselves.
by Matt Taibbi
State and federal security officials are reportedly bracing for armed demonstrations in all 50 states next week. Measures include layered fencing and secure areas, deployment of tactical teams, and designation of a “national special security event.”
We appear on the verge of literal Balkanization, a Yugoslavia-style social breakdown. Two stories demonstrate how we got to this awful place.
The first person to die by violence in the Capitol riots was Ashlii Babbitt, an Air Force veteran who’d served in two wars and worked at a San Diego-area pool supply company. She was part of the huge crowd that poured over outer gates like a flood tide only to be stopped by a locked entrance to the Speaker’s Hall. Dressed in snow boots and a Trump flag she wore as a cape, Babbitt appeared to be trying to break through when a Capitol guard shot her in the neck.
The video of her shooting is hard to watch. Almost as disturbing is footage of her state of mind in the preceding months.
A few weeks after the election Babbitt videoed herself ranting against everyone from Democratic pols Maxine Waters and Gavin Newsom to Republican Duncan Hunter (she seems unaware Hunter was convicted for conspiracy to steal campaign funds last March). She can barely speak. The rage is spilling out ahead of her thoughts.
The specifics of Babbitt’s politics have been analyzed to death, but focusing more on the obvious, this was a deeply unhappy woman. Her self seems to have been consumed by enraging obsessions even before her physical life was lost. Politics became so central to her identity that she couldn’t sideline it even temporarily, even out of self-interest.
On the front door of Fowlers Pool Service and Supply, the company she’d bought and kept afloat for a time with a short-term loan that she claimed ended up costing her 169% interest, Babbitt put up a poster declaring her business to be a “Mask-Free Autonomous Zone, Better Known as America”:
The text of that poster is worth quoting in full:
“Through these doors, the only thing that should be touching your lips is an ice-cold beer or some pizza, a burrito, a burger, or maybe some donuts! We shake hands like men, fist bump like homies, we smile, laugh and shout and have a damn good time! If you need to wear a mask outside, I’m not sure we can help you, but we will pray for you, because we believe in God! Know this, this is our autonomous zone, we love our zone & you need to respect our zone because we will defend our zone. Tyranny, lawlessness, disrespect and hate for your fellow man will not be tolerated. We are all God’s children, live free or you aren’t living at all. Brought to you by God-loving, America-loving, common-sense patriots!”
Translated: “The people within find such easy contentment in beer and donuts, they’re ready to defend with force if you disrespect their happy place by stepping inside with a mask.” Weird enough on the door of a home, but what person deep in a hole with a predatory lender puts that on the front door of a business?
Most of us know someone, or a lot of someones, whose personalities have been subsumed by national politics. For some, it started with an older relative in the nineties plopped in front of a TV in retirement, where their idiosyncratic personalities were gradually replaced by paint-by-numbers fixations fed to them on Fox News.
We long ago learned to denounce as predatory the casinos that lure in the elderly and watch with glee as Grandma and Grandpa pour lifetimes of savings into slot machines, a buck or two at a time. Patriotic media is the same scam, morally on the same plane as telemarketers selling magazine subscriptions.
The formula is simple: scare viewers with stories about the loss of things most important to them (in the case of the elderly, their memories of how life used to be), then sell insurance or medication or reverse mortgages or whatever in the slots between segments. Those old folks were feeding coins into the TV as surely as into a slot machine.
In the late nineties and 2000s, we started to see a new type of personality among younger adults. It might be a relative who couldn’t make it five minutes into a family dinner without starting an argument, or a cab driver who steered every conversation into litmus-test questions about abortion or the Iraq war. They didn’t converse, but talked at you: “Don’t you think…?” Every line of discussion was a trap. You either fought or agreed, and if your agreement was insincere, they were expert at sniffing it out.
A lot of these people had been lured by a con built around an offer of solidarity. People like Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh were experts at selling the idea that their discrete community (of Dittoheads or whatever) was plugged into a secret truth. The aggressive conversations were a symptom of being unable to get along with, or even tolerate, people outside that special society. The group was told that through the constant devotional exercise of listening together, they were fighting toward a day when everything would be made right.
The best of the Fox-style manipulators, like the best televangelists, always knew how to keep pushing the moment of truth further and further into the future. They could get away with it because followers become more not less credulous with time. Donald Trump was one of the best, but the version of heaven he sold — “so much winning” — was supposed to happen soon, and he had to be in office besides. People like Babbitt were roped in by tales of the limitless iniquity of their enemies, who not only stole an election but were pedophilic monsters to boot.
The tension ratcheted up to the point where Babbitt, who not long ago could handle the stresses of war, served in a unit guarding the capital, and voted for Barack Obama, now saw life reduced to a one-game season for all the marbles.
Other victims of Trump ripoff schemes only lost tens of thousands of dollars on worthless online degrees. Babbitt lost everything, then in death was immediately turned into kindling for further propaganda fires, used as a MAGA recruitment tool through mocking hashtags like #SayHerName.
As the Babbitt story was amping up, another was gaining steam, about an 18-year-old who publicly turned in her own parents for attending the Capitol riot and punching a guard in the face. Helena Duke became a hero of the Internet, was interviewed on Good Morning America, and set up a GoFundMe page to help her pay for college (she’s raised $55,000 as of this writing).
Though she was public about her reasons, which included her parents’ apparent rejection of her sexual orientation and (in hindsight ironic) exhortations not to attend BLM protests because they “could get violent,” no one can really know what went on between parents and daughter, which is why I don’t want to make an issue of what Duke did. The more concerning thing is how quickly this story was embraced by strangers in the commercial press and the Internet.
Duke’s Tweet outing her parents earned 420,000 likes, with countless offers of money and congratulations from well-wishers, and even notes from supporters expressing a willingness to step in as substitute parents (“I’m… a kick-ass cook and a hugger” suggested one).
People testify against or turn in relatives for various offenses, sometimes justifiably, but we’re usually not tempted to celebrate those occasions, because it’s understood they’re tragedies above all. This was once obvious to Americans taught in school about the likes of Pavlik Morozov, the little boy who in the thirties became a celebrity for denouncing his parents’ anti-Soviet activities. The reason that story struck us as horrible once was not that Pavlik’s parents were innocent, but because we had a hard time imagining more generally: what kind of society would celebrate the dissolution of the family?
We flattered ourselves that we weren’t that way, but our mass culture has always chipped away at interpersonal relationships. Go back to the seventies, eighties, nineties and beyond, and you’ll find an endless stream of commercials showing people literally falling in love with products, or choosing a beer/cheeseburger/bitchin’ car over actual romance. The message is constant: people disappoint, and true happiness is elusive, but a Big Mac delivers the same great taste every time. Why chase perfection when you can just order a Stella?
In news and entertainment media we pulled a lot of the same stunts, playing on audience fears of betrayal or loneliness to make a buck. The idea was to move ahead of loved ones in the line of trust. We sold stories highlighting the secret dangers that lay underneath every once-solid assumption about our personal lives. Your boyfriend might be Ted Bundy (“I always felt loved,” the killer’s former girlfriend revealed), your priest might be a kid-toucher, your neighbors might be Nazis-in-hiding or Russian spies.
News once targeted parents who feared their children might be radicalized by Satanists or fantasy gamers or cyberporn, but the narratives have changed over time (“Is Your Baby Racist?” from 2009 was one of the all-time Newsweek covers). The most recent crazes are often past manias in reverse.
They invite us to wonder if the institutions the press used to warn were under threat from gangsta rap or crack or Dungeons and Dragons, or whatever, have themselves been the actual contaminants all along. Everything from marriage to democracy to school is presented as a potential villain. Nothing symbolized 2020 press trends better than longtime denouncer of “absent fathers” David Brooks writing in the Atlantic that “The Nuclear Family Was a Mistake.”
Amid this rising cultural uncertainty, Donald Trump became the first political story sold to liberal audiences using the same disquieting techniques Fox pioneered. Trump-hating was sold as yet another discrete community with its own name — #Resist was the answer to Ditto or MAGA — and membership required maximal terror before all the various media manias of the period, from the border crisis to Russiagate to Ukrainegate.
Audiences were chided that disinterest was tantamount to support, and coverage stopped even hinting at the existence of people with identities outside the Trump and anti-Trump brands. Before long, that lost relative or neurotic cabbie was everyone you knew. The easygoing liberal who once pitied right-wing media addicts became one, unable to get through a conversation without bringing up Trump, and terrorized to the point of misery by partisan dramas.
“Trump-haters screaming in psychic agony” videos became so common that the MAGA crowd began to circulate them as porn, not much unlike the way the Ashlii Babbitt tirades are being devoured by liberal audiences. Of course, MAGA voyeurs watched through derisive laughter, while the latter group was just indignant and horrified. Otherwise however it’s the same story of people traumatized beyond consolation by national news narratives over which they have no control.
Throughout the last four years, when legitimately disturbing political news began to be a central feature of the American experience, a lot of the usual coping mechanisms disappeared. Humor and satire all but vanished from pop culture, for the same reason the Soviets suppressed Bulgakov, Voinovich, and Dovlatov: laughter is demystifying in all directions and restores perspective. No fear-based system can tolerate it. We used to love it. Even Republicans got off on Gerald Ford tripping and falling.
Now we don’t laugh at ourselves at all. We also used to find comfort in each other, but taking time out to “remember what’s important” became taboo during this time, when we were constantly told nothing was more important, especially not the home lives that are ground zero for abuse and indoctrination into the system that produced Trump in the first place. If being able to laugh is a symptom of privilege, parental or marital love experienced for its own sake, without being channeled toward social change, is a suffocating, decadent indulgence.
Watch any random group of Americans thrown together into a tough situation — a highway pileup, a hurricane, military service — and they usually find ways to get along. It’s when they’re separated, lost in their own heads, that they go off. There was a time when opinions on national politics were way down the list of what most people considered most important about themselves. In online America, that’s gone. Unhappy people are made more unhappy. Potential respites in the form of family, community, and alternative perspectives are demonized as people sink deeper into cultlike bubbles. If we could just unplug, we’d recover. But we don’t know how.
Next week could go so badly. As much as Trump lacks the discipline and high-level institutional accomplices to pull off an actual coup attempt, he does possess supreme ability to inspire negative behavior. He’s been pumping followers so full of angst for so long that at this point, if he were to go on national television and implore every follower to send a congratulatory e-bouquet to the incoming Biden-Harris administration, a significant portion might storm a state capitol anyway. Worse, even if he wanted to issue another chill-o-gram in the spirit of his recorded January 7th address, it might be buried under the cascade of increasingly intense condemnatory rhetoric dominating the liberal press, which seems incapable of making the strategic decision to tone down calls for vengeance until the danger of next week has passed.
Our elite messaging system is so broken, it no longer knows how to shelve the culture war long enough to manufacture consent around even a temporary cooling of heads. We’re in a cult of hating each other, and as with any cult, no vacations are allowed.
ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY
Joe Biden: a virtual candidate elected in a virtual election, sworn-in via a virtual inauguration to preside over a virtual presidency. Virtually no one has physically attended any public event with him in attendance since 2019. See also ‘Wizard of Oz.’
“Well, well. If it isn’t 6-C! It seems that you haven’t been getting my notes about vacuuming after 10pm.”
JONAH RASKIN: I am doing a Zoom event in about a month. Hope to see some of you there. Sunday, February 21st 4-5 pm. Occidental Center for the Arts. Book Launch via Zoom. Into the Dark Heart of Sonoma Noir with recently published Dark Past Dark Future by Jonah Raskin, author of a series of detective novels that take readers on wild rides into a clandestine world rarely glimpsed. Q&A following selected readings by the author. All our book events are free. To receive Zoom link, please register at occidentalcenterforthearts.org website.
ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY
The 20,000 NG in DC are just there for show; more olive-drab theatrics of the type we’ve been treated to since 9/11. Absolutely nothing will happen; the freakshow of January 6 served its purpose — justifying a further expansion of the omnipresent “Securitate” and pushing the narrative of an ever-present threat of White supremacist insurgents (now that the Islamic terror threat seems a bit long in the tooth).
The Great Trumpkin has proved himself to be a feckless, self-absorbed spoiled brat, ever ready to leave his supporters twisting in the wind and holding the bag. The best historical analogue is probably “Bonnie Prince Charlie” scurrying away dressed as a woman while the highlanders got sliced to ribbons by the redcoats.
Still, I voted for him over Sleepy Joe.
I’ve voted in ELEVEN presidential elections, and the choices got worse every damn time.
IT SAYS A LOT about the current state of our political culture, and the enervated condition of the Democratic Party, that the House moved more expeditiously to secure a doomed impeachment of the president (for the second time), than it has in months to get millions of people the small amount money (relative to anything else they appropriate money for) they desperately need to put food on the table, pay their heating bills and stave off eviction.
— Jeff St. Clair
WHO'S RESPONSIBLE HERE?
I’m concerned that state and local officials aren’t doing enough to preclude coordination ambiguity in the execution of their respective COVID-19 vaccination plans.
There is absolutely no acceptable excuse as to why the vaccination doses the state and counties have received to date haven’t resulted in an inoculation for someone on the high-risk/priority list.
The state regulates hospitals, clinics, labs and other medical facilities. And the state, via the public health community, is responsible for coordinating and establishing vaccination protocols. This effort should be a 24/7 operation with dates, locations and individuals identified to receive vaccinations should be notified and renotified. Satellite vaccination sites should be established and this entire plan with all the contingencies should have been rehearsed.
Most important, all of this should be known to everyone and widely publicized. In my opinion, state and local officials project a cavalier attitude when it comes to COVID-19. Their pay isn’t interrupted by the numerous and arbitrary shutdowns. Rules don’t seem to apply to key officials, and they have a not-my-fault attitude when asked to explain why the vaccine isn’t being exhausted as fast as it arrives.
If I had the authority, I’d fire several individuals who were responsible for this half-effort.
SIGNS & WONDERS
by James Kunstler
In case you don’t know what condition our condition is in, the name for it is a crisis of legitimacy. Four years of seditious harassment by a “Resistance” within-and-without the US Government culminates in the janky election of a mentally incapable grifter… run by whom? Does anyone seek to know who, exactly, is pulling Joe Biden’s strings? My guess would be…duh… Barack Obama and his posse. When will he be outed? Maybe today… or next week at the latest. Heads will explode to see liberalism’s bowling trophy fall off the national mantelpiece. If you think Nancy Pelosi is running around in a hebephrenic fugue state now, just wait.
A crisis of legitimacy means that citizens have lost faith in their institutions, that is, in the armature of agreements and procedures for running this society. Do you have any idea how much damage RussiaGate did to the country? The three-year-long mind-fuck perpetrated by the highest officials of the FBI and the CIA ruined whatever was left of their reputations. Not only are citizens not safe from the powers of life-and-death vested in these agencies, but they know that officials who wield that power recklessly won’t be held responsible when acting outside the law. Are we any better now than the Russians under Leonid Brezhnev?
UkraineGate and the first Trump impeachment it spawned was a CIA operation that used CIA agent Eric Ciaramella and Intel Community Inspector General Michael Atkinson (a former DOJ RussiaGate player) to cover up the influence-peddling crimes of Joe Biden’s family behind a smokescreen of perfidy fanned over the nation by the notorious RussiaGate liar, Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA). The State Department assisted in that op, and now the whole country knows that they are also ethically unreliable.
In both of these gigantic flimflams, the president could not get any satisfactory scrutiny of the injuries attempted against him, because the ops were run by the very agencies needed to provide that scrutiny over unlawful official behavior. Did the DOJ and its stepchild, the FBI, show any interest in the recent voting irregularities, or is it just convenient to let it all slide so they can answer to a new president, with a clear and urgent interest in burying the matter?
Is it any wonder that a huge chunk of the population doesn’t believe the election was on-the-level? Federal law enforcement has not revealed the identities of exactly who incited the invasion of the Capitol building — and do you believe who The New York Times and CNN claim it was: white supremacist Nazis? Has it not occurred to the “winner” and his handlers that such a public mood of distrust will thunder through our national affairs going forward?
It’s late in the game but something appears to still be in play, and the Resistance is keenly aware of it: a trove of declassified documents laying out their crimes against their own countrymen. Nothing has stuck to the Resistance because they controlled the levers of adjudication. What if, under the extraordinary conditions of the moment, those levers are transferred to one arm of the government that has not disgraced itself: the military? I wrote in this blog more than once in recent years that political disorder could lead to this. Has that moment come?
Thousands of troops are billeted in and around Washington DC now. Why is that? The figment of more white supremacists coming to reenact last week’s incident at the Capitol? I don’t think so. A BLM / Antifa riot, like the ones staged in cities (including Washington DC) all through the summer and fall? (Weren’t they mostly peaceful?) Or is something else up, something that will mark an epochal shift in the fortunes of the USA?
Did you catch Joe Biden on TV last night? Did his appearance fill you with the sweet, warm unction of reassurance? Or did you get the impression that I got: of a near-mummy in a state of panicky confusion, sent from his hidey-hole out to a podium to give an impersonation of someone in authority? I didn’t believe the performance for a minute. The poor schlemiel is headed straight into history’s discontinued merchandise bin. He will probably wonder what awful vanity propelled him down the memory hole as he descends into the darkness… but his memory preceded him down the memory hole and he will have forgotten how the whole thing started. His exit will be a merciful one compared to the people who trussed him up and shoved him onstage to flesh out their lame narrative.
(Support Kunstler’s writing by visiting his Patreon Page.)
Treason? You bet! As seen on TV world news on Wednesday, January 6, the far far right wing retards and retardette wobblers have stepped over the line. Hundreds and hundreds of retards stormed the United States Capitol with dozens and dozens of them breaking windows and doors and entering capitol chambers. Four of them died during the unspeakable acts. Sad, sad day due to the fact that only four died.
As shown on television the Capitol police allowed hundreds of protesters to pass through the barricades assaulting the Capitol building. What? These barricades were in place to stop this kind of activity, not allow it! Shame! Shame!
After entering and trashing, most of them got away but not before more than 60 perps were quickly rounded up. They found one assault rifle, dozens of handguns, and pipe bombs, along with dozens of fire bombs. So much for those highly touted peaceful protests. All you bleeding heart liberal city mayors take note!
This was an attempt to take the land and buildings of our US Capitol by force. This abominable act of aggression must be charged with attempting to overthrow the U.S. Constitution and laws resulting in treason!
In the good old days France would have cut off their heads. England would have hung or shot them. In the good old USA under its old law these citizens would be hung or militarily executed by firing squad. Do not be surprised now if some get off with probation even when a police officer is being killed. The law? What law?
A large group of true Americans (like-minded) would give the harshest, morose, ill tempered sentences possible for treason.
Keep in mind among these unadulterated acts of treason a Capitol police officer was killed. What should the punishment for those who destroyed, maimed and killed be?
Build a large 13 step scaffold to the only floor, install 60 trapdoors and release them all at the same time. This structure can be located at the entrance of the Capitol building. The convicted perps found guilty of treason would have appropriate harnesses positioned and then dropped through the trapdoors while having Article 3, Section 3 of the Constitution read to them. "May God have mercy on their souls.” I choose not to!
Those who have paid the ultimate price in full shall rest there on the scaffolding for seven days without hoods for all to see. Those lucky enough to visit our great country, like people from Russia or China or North Korea will not laugh too loud on this closer examination of our judicial system. Anything less than above will be seen again as pussyfooting and milktoast Americans continuing the status quo. Reality is sometimes hard to swallow, even harder to accept. I see no relief as far down the road as anyone can imagine. Beyond sad!
Gran says, "No more peanut butter and cookies for those do-nothing pacifists and powerbrokers. Their parents should have done a better job a long long time ago. Perhaps they didn't get cookies as small youths and that's why they were naughty as youths.”
Take your meds gran. Say a short prayer for those in need and go to bed. I'll pull the cookies. Gramps has been in bed before the chickens. He has been hitting that special cough medicine pretty hard. It must be working, he lost that cough three months ago.
Love you Gran. God bless America, the “old” Donald, the special cough medicine and Jerry Philbrick.
Old and Out of Sorts,
NATION IN SEARCH OF ITSELF
by L. William Corzine
It was a quiet, somber Nashville train station that represented for me a point of departure at 2:30 a.m., Tuesday, March 9, 1965. I had optimistically purchased a roundtrip ticket to Montgomery, Alabama, mentally envisaging that side trip to Selma. I carried no suitcase, wore an overcoat, its pockets stuffed with “instant breakfasts,” and had selected a pair of comfortable walking shoes.
The stage had been set two days earlier on Sunday, March 7, when a confrontation that day in Selma, Alabama, was transmitted nationwide on television news. The black and white footage showed a line of Negro people who, in the process of marching across the Edmund Pettus Bridge on their way to Montgomery, were viciously assaulted by sheriff deputies and their canine companions. As I watched men and women being pounded with clubs, whipped, kicked, spat upon, and attacked by police dogs, I recoiled in disbelief. Could this be happening in our country, such merciless rage unleashed with seeming impunity? I was sickened, angered, saddened, and possessed of a growing resolve to do something. The next day an appeal came from the National Council of Churches calling on clergymen and others to appear in Selma on Tuesday, March 9, with the intent of marching to the Alabama capitol, Montgomery, in an effort to complete the “Bloody Sunday” march. The project, it was believed, would be an emphatic affirmation of the struggle for civil and human rights.
The decision to go had been difficult in some respects. There was the weighing of one’s future and deep feelings of love and responsibility toward a wife and four little boys. Tantalizing rationalizations up to the last minute whispered caution, but at the end there seemed no alternative. Ginny and I rather quickly decided that I had better do it.
Anyone who has ridden the Louisville & Nashville RR to Montgomery, especially late at night knows what a dreary, tedious journey that can be. Yet the morning air in Montgomery was warm and fragrant. I hailed a taxi and hurried to the designated rendezvous point.
The chartered bus held about 45 of us from all parts of the country, mostly white ministers, including priests with their white collars. We covered the 50 miles of rolling farm country in about an hour, finally approaching the outskirts of Selma and the high curving bridge that had been the scene of conflict only two days earlier. Tension and curiosity mounted as we turned through the streets of a “To Kill a Mockingbird” community. It looked innocent enough except for the hushed conversations and curious stares of sidewalk observers. Seemingly, all business had stopped. Many stores were closed, although a number of white faces, conveying distaste, peered from windows and doors. The bus probed cautiously into the key pathway leading to Brown’s Chapel, now about three blocks ahead. We knew it was the place because of a slowly milling crowd sprawled across the street and sidewalks, and into yards on both sides of the street.
Between “us and them” were a large number of police cars, most of them filled with helmeted police and deputies. Other gendarmes stood grim and determined, yet casual, with billy clubs clutched horizontally in front and pistols at hip. Otherwise they were expressionless. Some were in militia or city employee “uniforms” with Confederate insignia decking both sides of their co-opted helmets. This rag-tag assortment of deputized citizens wore official-looking badges but were dressed informally. I wondered what they were thinking, what they were like with their families and in more relaxed moments. They, together with Negroes, were climbing this mountain of segregation, and were its victims as well as its perpetrators.
I was third or fourth off the bus. As we disembarked, loud cheers rose from the crowd of mostly Negroes. We were only one of several buses, but I guess the first large group to arrive. Immediately a pleasant but business-like Negro lady thrust a form into my hand. It requested routine information, but the sobering line was, “Who should be notified in the event of accident?”
The front steps of the church were filled with singers of freedom songs. Inside, a packed house was listening intently to key Negro leaders. The fateful Sunday march was recalled in vivid detail. A cloud of witnesses surrounded us as we observed persons with head bandages, neck braces and taped, swollen arms and heads. Following others, Martin Luther King stepped calmly to the podium and in a strong, compelling yet gentle manner, expressed his gratitude that all of us had appeared in Selma for a time such as this. He cast the march in the context of the Negro’s long struggle for justice and equality, emphasizing that our intent would be to march peacefully from Selma to Montgomery, thrusting our feet and our bodies into a surging tide of freedom. The atmosphere was utterly quiet as everyone within hearing, both inside and outside Brown’s Chapel, listened to the amplified voice of Dr. King.
Now word was quickly circulating that a federal injunction against the proposed march had been issued by Federal Judge “Johnson.” This sparked a vigorous discussion about civil disobedience and respect for law. The arguments were both clarifying and provocative. First, it was claimed by some that defiance of law, even in a presumably just cause, would only lend encouragement to the KKK and other segregationist groups. Mrs. Paul Douglas, wife of the Illinois senator, asked if it would not be wise to wait two days until a hearing on the injunction would be held, thus averting possible and needless catastrophe today.
It was a Princeton professor who responded to the first problem. He was going to march, he said, because in disobeying the law he was fully prepared to take the consequences. The system of law is genuinely threatened whenever violators also disrespect and try to avoid the penalties that are imposed for the breaking of a law. There appeared to be nearly unanimous, enthusiastic agreement with that point of view. Mrs. Douglas’ question was quickly and courteously answered by a Negro pastor who said, “I was born with an injunction against me and the federal ruling is nothing new. My pulpit today will be the bridge.”
We began forming up at noon. It was a balmy day, ideal for a picnic. A sun-drenched playground adjacent to the church was nearly filled with ministers and with Negroes from Selma. Reports of numbers varied but there was an impressive crowd, at least several hundred anxious, yet determined, human beings. We were talking quietly and waiting for the appearance of Martin Luther King. Finally, at about 2:15 p.m., Dr. King emerged from the church onto the playground and was greeted with warm applause. Soon we were walking behind him and other leaders, four abreast, whites with Negroes in each rank. We passed houses with curious bystanders, and quickly moved from Negro to white neighborhoods. Traffic was halted as we crossed intersections. When we turned into the street leading to the bridge approach, we observed local police and deputies lining the curb on our right and closed storefronts barricading us on the left.
The line halted for a moment as the federal injunction declaring the illegality of the march was read to leaders, including Dr. King. Then we proceeded, turning left and directing ourselves toward the bridge, only a very short distance away. We had been moving at a good, comfortable pace. Now we inched forward more slowly because the sidewalk along Highway 80 over the bridge could not accommodate as many as four abreast.
About midway in the arc of the bridge, we met a few photographers and reporters walking toward us from the other side, back toward Selma. It was a warm, disarming afternoon and I found it hard to believe that a tragic conflict could be only minutes away. A jet zoomed through the blue sky, safely transcending the drama that was being enacted below.
Alabama State Troopers in their smart, blue uniforms added an almost welcome bit of color to the otherwise drab landscape. Because of previous impressions of state police—at state fairs, on the scene of highway accidents, rerouting traffic, and patrolling the four lanes—I found myself wanting to believe that these men would either protect this peaceful pilgrimage, or would gently but firmly turn us back if so instructed. “Bloody Sunday” was unreal. Yet I knew what had happened on that occasion, as did all of us, and the nearer we came to that legally sanctioned barricade, the more we readied ourselves for a repeat performance. There was no turning back at this point.
From the peak of the bridge we had our first glimpse of the roadblock. It was about a half mile ahead, well beyond the end of the bridge. But more sobering was the realization that we were entering a cul de sac. Police, deputies and troopers lined both sides of the highway from the bridge to the barricade. In the event of trouble we were vulnerable from three quarters and the only retreat would have been back over the bridge.
The line came to a halt and everyone was “in the pocket.” We could hear the voice from the sound truck. Mr. Cloud, in charge of the state troopers, announced in a monotone: “This march will cease here. You will not proceed beyond this point.” The dictum was repeated two or three times. Troopers on both sides were grim, unseeing and apparently ready to follow whatever instruction might come. Another deliberate, monotone message from the sound truck indicated that the leaders would be permitted to state their intent and the marchers permitted to pray. Both were done.
Then, on a raised hand signal, the message was passed down the line that we were to turn around and march back to the church. The immediate crisis had passed. All the way from the church to the blockade some had observed a very interesting thing. None of the police personnel were carrying gas mask equipment and there were no dogs. Only reporters and cameramen had the protective devices slung over their shoulders, apparently determined to get their pictures and stories. I could only guess that the constabulary and the citizens of Selma, Alabama, had been given quite enough ugly national publicity in the wake of “Bloody Sunday.”
The walk to the church was marked by the singing of freedom songs, but I must confess to a mixture of feelings. A great many, including myself, felt let down. We did not know what had happened up front and there was whispered talk, especially among younger Negroes, of a deal and even of a “sell-out.” None of us had known in advance how far we would be able to march, although some were walking with sleeping bags or knapsacks as if they expected to reach Montgomery. I sensed that every person in the line, including me, was ready, if necessary, to move through the barricade and to walk as far as his legs would carry him.
Now we were returning, and there was an undercurrent of relief that violence had not occurred in this brief foray at the outskirts of Selma. Again inside Brown’s Chapel, we were assured by the Negro leadership, including Dr. King, that although the stated objective of the march—to reach Montgomery—had not been accomplished, many positive benefits had resulted from the effort and more would certainly follow. It was believed that the national conscience had been sensitized, a witness had been made by clergymen of all faiths, and there had been no violence. Dr. King regarded these as highly significant steps toward ultimate objectives of the Civil Rights Movement. My personal impression was that this man definitely possessed charismatic leadership qualities as he clearly articulated the issues and generated enthusiasm and commitment among his listeners. He also had the look of bearing the gravity of these times in both his body and his spirit. I reflected, however, that the movement in Selma had appeared to develop a momentum of its own now that would continue with or without the leadership of Dr. King.
I left Selma about two hours before a brutal assault by whites on three Unitarian ministers. One of them, James Reeb, died three days later.