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Mendocino County Today: Tuesday, Feb. 2, 2021

Showers | 19 New Cases | Mendo Covid | SF Scavengers | Nine Applicants | AVCSD Meeting | Quadruped Tree | AV Village | Local Art | Veggie Boxes | Stimulus Poll | Solid Waste | Quake Relief | Ed Notes | Yesterday's Catch | Costly Bet | $99 Down | Name Changes | Lowest Form | Cognitive Capacity | Folk Club | Superior Men | Go Bold | Past Bliss | Touch It | Great Poem | $2,000 Checks | Kingston Trio | Biden Curve | Albion Bridge | Precious Metals | Vaccine Plan | Police Review

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SHOWERS will linger through around midday and taper off this afternoon. Another round of rain and mountain snow will quickly return later this evening. Unsettled weather will linger through Wednesday, with dry and chilly conditions forecast to prevail beginning on Thursday. (NWS)

RAINFALL since yesterday: 1.1" Boonville, 1.2" Yorkville

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19 NEW COVID CASES reported in Mendocino County on Monday bringing the total to 3453. 

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COVID BY THE NUMBERS (Mendocino County)

CASES / DEATHS per Month:

  • 229 / 9 (Jul)
  • 392 / 8 (Aug)
  • 260 / 2 (Sep)
  • 210 / 2 (Oct)
  • 420 / 2 (Nov)
  • 964 / 4 (Dec)
  • 876 / 11 (Jan)

Over the past half year, October was lowest in both cases (210) and deaths (2). Since October the number of cases had been doubling (or worse) until last month, where we experienced an actual reduction. A good sign, perhaps signaling that the peak of infection is now behind us. However, January was our worst month for number of deaths (11).

HISPANIC PERCENTAGE of Cases each Month:

  • 62% Jul
  • 70% Aug
  • 57% Sept
  • 61% Oct
  • 55% Nov
  • 44% Dec
  • 41% Jan

Peaking in August (at 70%) the Hispanic percentage of cases has been dropping rather steadily since then, achieving a new low of 41% this past month.

BACK ON NOVEMBER 30 we reported the following rates of Coronavirus infection for Mendocino County:

  • Ukiah Area: 1 of every 33 residents had tested positive
  • North County: 1 of every 106 residents
  • North Coast: 1 of every 117 residents
  • South County: 1 of every 123 residents
  • South Coast: 1 of every 256 residents

TWO MONTHS LATER (January 31) those rates had become…

  • Ukiah Area: 1 in 17
  • North County: 1 in 33
  • North Coast: 1 in 46
  • South County: 1 in 47
  • South Coast: 1 in 65

The largest increases — areas where the number of cases more than tripled the past two months — were the South Coast (jumping from 32 to 119 cases) and North County (182 to 570). Next hardest hit — where cases more than doubled — were South County (56 to 146) and North Coast (144 to 348). The Ukiah Area was the only region that managed to keep under doubling these past two months with a 48% increase (going from 1180 to 2251 cases).

NOTE: for Coronavirus reporting, Mendocino County is divided into the following five regions…

  • Ukiah Area: Ukiah, Talmage, Calpella, Redwood Valley, Potter Valley
  • North County: Willits, Brooktrails, Laytonville, Covelo, Dos Rios, Leggett, Piercy
  • North Coast: Caspar, Fort Bragg, Cleone, Newport, Westport, Rockport
  • South County: Comptche, Philo, Boonville, Yorkville, Hopland
  • South Coast: Mendocino, Little River, Albion, Elk, Manchester, Point Arena, Anchor Bay, Gualala

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SF Scavengers, 1912

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Nine application forms have been received by the City of Fort Bragg for the open City Council seat vacated by former Mayor William V. Lee. All applicants have been confirmed by the Mendocino County Registrar of Voters as current registered voters living within City Limits. The nine Fort Bragg residents are:

1. Mikail Blaisdell

2. Nathan Maxwell Cann

3. Katherine A. Hart, Ed.D.

4. Robert J. Jorgensen

5. Mary Rose Kaczorowski

6. Marcia Rafanan Meadlin

7. Scott M. Menzies

8. Scott Taubold, Ph.D.

9. Eva von Bahr

The City Council will hold a special meeting at 5:30 PM on Tuesday, February 16, 2021 to conduct public interviews of the nine applicants. The Council must make an appointment prior to March 31, 2021. The appointment term is just under two years and will expire after the November 2022 election.

As Town Hall remains closed due to Covid-19 health orders, the special meeting will be held by video conference and members of the public are invited to attend via Zoom. A link to the meeting will be included in the agenda packet which will be posted at least 24 hours prior to the meeting. Anyone interested in receiving notifications for City Council agendas can subscribe to the “City Council Agendas” Notify Me list by visiting this web page:

Questions regarding this information should be directed to June Lemos, CMC, City Clerk at (707) 961- 1694,

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Join Zoom Meeting:

Meeting ID: 845 5084 3330

Password: 048078

One tap mobile: +16699006833 

— Joy M. Andrews, District General Manager (Office days Tues/Wed/Thurs)

Anderson Valley Community Services District, P.O. Box 398, Boonville, CA 95415

office (707) 895-2075 xt. 103 fax (707) 895-2239 

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Quadruped Tree

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Anderson Valley Village is a locally inspired and managed non-profit organization. Our mission is to help older adults remain active, connected, and independent in the place they call home while enhancing the quality of life in our community. 

We currently have 60 members and 57 trained volunteers ready to lend a hand as Pandemic safety concerns allow! Please reach out if you need a friendly volunteer to call you for a chat, shop for you, do outside chores or errands, tech support, etc.

Since the pandemic has made gathering in groups impossible, we’ve struggled with how to continue to build community and relationships without the traditional social interactions we were used to. One idea, starting this month, is to introduce members of our community to each other, by sharing a photo and a few words about each person. We plan on highlighting 4 or more Village Members per month and the questions are set for the most part, so for members who will be interviewed in the future this is a sneak peek and a chance to think about your possible answers.

Mary Anne Payne, Board Member and Village Member

1. How long have you been in the Valley?

I purchased my property in Rancho Navarro in the summer of 2002 and decided to move here when I retired in 2010.

2. Have you had a career or a passion project so far in your life that you would like to tell us about?

I worked primarily in higher education and moved here from Sacramento. I was asked to be the Executive Director of the Mendocino Coast Botanical Garden, a job I held for 4+ years, which further developed my passion for gardens and plants.

3. At present I am very excited about my partner Gerry Fields joining me here in the near future.

Elizabeth Wyant, Board Member and Baker Extraordinaire

1. How long have you been in the Valley?

I started teaching at Anderson Valley Elementary School in 1987. I commuted from Ukiah for four years before moving to Boonville

2. Where did you grow up and where were you coming from when you moved to the Valley?

I was born in Oklahoma and moved to Napa when I was 12. I lived there until I left for college. I moved back to Napa after earning my teaching credential where I taught for about four years. I lived a few years in Fresno and north eastern Oregon before moving to Ukiah.

3. Have you had a career or a passion project so far in your life that you would like to tell us about?

This is my third year of retirement after a teaching career of 40 years, the last 29 in Boonville. Most of my career was teaching first grade. I loved teaching children to read. I always considered it a miracle when a child had that light bulb moment and took off reading. I loved my job and miss the children but am so glad I'm not trying to teach children from the other side of a computer. Our educators need all the support and encouragement they can get under the current conditions.

4. Luckiest thing that has happened to you?

I consider meeting my husband one of the luckiest things to happen to me not only because of who he is but because he came with two children. Through them I was able to get a taste of motherhood and now be a grandmother. I currently have 2 and 9/10th grandchildren who are absolutely the light of my life.

Paul Soderman, Village Member and Volunteer Extraordinaire

1. How long have you been in the Valley?

Been here since 2004, almost 17 years.

2. Where did you grow up and where were you coming from when you moved to the Valley?

I grew up near Astoria, Oregon and lived in a valley much like Anderson Valley, only we had dairy cows instead of grapes, and spruce trees instead of redwoods. Astoria is much like Fort Bragg - beautiful environment, modest economy. Amy and I came here from Palo Alto, as fine a town as you can find in the Bay Area, but getting crowded.

3. Have you had a career or a passion project so far in your life that you would like to tell us about?

My current passion is building websites for people or small businesses.

4. What are you most proud of?

I am most proud of my 37 years as an aeronautical engineer with NASA. Research suited my personality and I hope I helped make some progress in aircraft noise reduction, high altitude atmosphere studies, and aeronautics.

Donna Pierson-Pugh, Board Member, Village Member and Volunteer Extortionate And Jeff Pugh, Village Member

1. How long have you been in the Valley?

Donna: We have lived in AV since 1986 - 34 years

Jeff: 34 years

2. Where did you grow up and where were you coming from when you moved to the Valley?

Donna: I was born in Hollywood and my family moved up to Lafayette in the East Bay Area when I was three. My husband and two boys moved to the Valley from Healdsburg, where we lived in an old farmhouse on the Zellerbach Vineyard and Jeff was the vineyard manager and I was teaching/co-directing a preschool in Geyserville.

Jeff: Illinois until 3rd grade, then Concord in the East Bay. We lived in Sonoma County where I was a vineyard manager at Hanzel in Sonoma and Zellerbach in Healdsburg and then moved to Anderson Valley as the vineyard manager for Navarro Vineyards.

3. Did you have a career or a passion project so far in your life that you would like to tell us about?

Donna: My career as an educator was very rewarding, starting as a bilingual preschool/kindergarten teacher and eventually becoming an administrator here in Anderson Valley. Working with the children and families in Anderson Valley was an amazingly satisfying experience for me!!

Jeff: During the Pandemic I have been milling the downed redwood on our property that was left after the logging in the 50's and have made the "Fort Knox" chicken coop that no varmint will ever be able to break into and kill our chickens again!!!

4. Luckiest thing that has happened to you?

Donna: Moving to Anderson Valley was the luckiest thing that happened for my family and me. I always felt that my children lived the "It Takes a Village" experience with the teachers, and their friends' parents supporting them in so many ways. Anderson Valley has always felt like a "Village," but now with the AV Village, Jeff and I have the entire Village Experience!

5. Favorite place to be outside of the Anderson Valley?

Jeff: I spent a lot of time in Fitchburg outside of Madison, Wisconsin where my maternal grandparents had a farm and our extended family lived and I visited frequently when living in Illinois and then spent summers there once we moved to California.

Anica Williams, AV Village Coordinator (for 2 years)

1. How long have you been in the area?

I have lived here about 23 years (minus many formative years in SF and a stint in Eureka, UK and SLO).

2. Where did you grow up and where were you coming from when you moved to the Valley?

I was born in Fort Bragg of “Back to the Land” parents and grew up in the house they built on Greenwood Ridge. Larry and I were living in Eureka before we moved back 5 years ago.

3. Have you had a career or a passion project so far in your life that you would like to tell us about?

My main passion in life has been the natural world and traveling — I studied Geography at SFSU and have had many related jobs in outdoor education, the Zoo Mobile, CA State Parks, National Parks and a College Instructor. I also enjoy working with people which led me to my current position with the Village.

4. Favorite place to be outside of the Anderson Valley?

Anywhere on an adventure — especially Greece (not in the summer) — I love the Greek culture and have many connections to the Greek people, food and sights. I hope to get back there some day and finally visit the island of Zakynthos!

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AV Village Monthly Zoom Gathering: Chat with Dr. Andy Coren, Mendocino County Health Officer


Sunday February 14th, 4 to 5 PM

Join us for a chat with Dr. Andy Coren, Mendocino County Health Officer, on COVID, Seniors and Vaccine timeline. Please RSVP with the coordinator so we can get an idea of attendance, thank you. Looking forward to seeing you soon! BYOB for a more enjoyable event! Our next Monthly Zoom Gathering, Sunday March 14^th is A talk with Chloe Guazzone-Rugebregt, Executive Director at Anderson Valley Health Center.

AV Village General Trivia with the Coordinator

Tuesday February 16th 4:30 to 5:30 PM Join us for General Trivia with the AV Village Coordinator and have a little fun and learn some new useful facts?! I am always looking for new ideas - let me know if you would like to lead a round. Please RSVP with the coordinator so we can get an idea of attendance, thank you.

Same Zoom link & password for all AV Village Events: Meeting ID: 434 337 6734 Passcode: avv One tap mobile +16699009128,,4343376734#,,,,,,0#,,490940# US (San Jose) +12532158782,,4343376734#,,,,,,0#,,490940# US (Tacoma) Dial by your location +1 669 900 9128 US (San Jose) +1 253 215 8782 US (Tacoma)

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HANDLEY CELLARS presents Art in the Cellar, an exhibit of works by local artists. February 8 and 9, noon to 4pm. And February 10, 11am to 4pm along with Alsace Festival Open House. Special wine sales, tastings and food pairings. A fundraiser for AV Arts. 3151 Hwy 128, Philo, CA 95466. 800-733-3151.,

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The seniors of the village of Comptche would like to express their delight and thanks to the Mendo Lake Food Hub, North Coast Opportunities, County of Mendocino and FEMA for the half year of COVID Relief Vegetable Boxes and the culinary delight they provided over six months.

First-a big round of applause for the organizations in Ukiah who made contact with Comptche volunteers who picked up boxes in Ukiah and brought them to Comptche, and those who opened the Comptche Community Organization Hall once a week for two hours to pass out the boxes to seniors. Sara O’Donnell did the pick up and delivery with the help of James Sibbett & Carole Freeman and Lynne Mowry saw to their distribution to 14 families.

Comptche seniors have been sticking close to home. For most of us a trip to the Comptche Store and post office is the social interaction of the day. Many of us are up dirt roads far from neighbors and only see family. Tuesdays became special. That’s the day we could go to the Hall and meet our friends and neighbors, catch up on community news, and get our veggie boxes.

After a few weeks Mowry became very skilled and accommodating at swapping ingredients as someone asked “Is there extra cilantro?”and someone else offered “Anyone want my potatoes?”and a senior held up a veggie asking “What do I do with THAT?”

Many recipients looked up information on root cellaring and pantry long term storage. Enough potatoes, onions, garlic and squash arrived to save for months into the future. Other families, like mine, are maintaining three generation household family units and we were able to share veggie box ingredients within our family.

Each week opening the veggie boxes became an exciting surprise. What was awaiting us? If memory serves we found potatoes, onion, garlic, carrots, beets, summer & winter squash, radishes, fresh herbs, tomatoes, apples, lettuce, lemons, wheat grain and flour, dried beans, tortillas, chili & green peppers, okra, melon, kale, eggplant, mushrooms, olive oil and more.

And the quality of the produce was exceptional with local farms all over the county providing produce. Seniors know what some of this stuff costs in retail grocery stores and we were getting it free every week. THANK YOU to all the producers from the seniors of Comptche.

Here are some of the excerpts of comments gathered from the Comptche folks. “This has been like Xmas all summer long, especially appreciated was the basil", ”a lovely box of nutrition.” Others said “Please relay kudos to the local farmers, they did a beautiful job”, "a very beneficial program”, "we were delighted with the mushrooms last time.” “Picking up my box on Tuesday put some real structure into an otherwise very unstructured time.”

Hostess Lynne Mowry was always checking that seniors were OK and locals said she held the space with “loving intention.” She provided a safe distanced outdoor space to share a few words with friends and neighbors and was blessed by many seniors for her cheerful face, generous soul, and dedication over the months.

Recipe exchanges for a really good Delicata Squash Soup or Red Beet Soup took place on Tuesdays and people brought goodies they’d made from last weeks veggie box to surprise the volunteers. An inspired senior said “Cooking is a pleasure with such high quality ingredients and it’s fun to share food because we received so much.” I perfected my Black Bean & Sweet Potato Burrito recipe with veggie box contents.

“The program was amazing and fit the bill perfectly,” a senior said. Comptche residents hope we will never again face a pandemic, but if it were to happen we’d all sign up with the FEMA/North Coast Opportunities,/County of Mendocino/Mendo Lake Food Hub again.

P.S. Since Comptche seniors can’t get excited about veggie box arrivals anymore something new has taken there place ”a huge pink bakery box of apple fritters delivered to the Comptche store fresh every Wednesday” not quite as healthy, and not free, but still exciting.”

Katy Tahja


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The Special City Council Meeting scheduled for 5:30pm, Monday, February 1, 2021 was cancelled on January 31, 2021. The City Council Solid Waste Ad Hoc Committee reviewed input provided by members of the public and potential solid waste providers and determined that it would be in the best interest of the City of Fort Bragg’s solid waste customers to take the time to consider all potential service providers. Anyone interested in receiving notifications and updates on the City’s Solid Waste Franchise Agreement can subscribe to the “Solid Waste Franchise” Notify Me list.

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Mission San Francisco, Quake Relief Center, 1906

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FORMER SHERIFF TOM ALLMAN recently suffered a serious heart attack. The regionally popular lawman had just started on his new job out of Humboldt County patrolling the Lost Coast when he first suffered chest pains. Fortunately for Allman he was already in the ambulance when the big one struck. He's resting at his North County home and expects to be back on duty soon.

FASCINATING PIECE in the January 25th issue of The New Yorker. It's by Elizabeth Kolbert and is called, “Swinging on a Star.” As I read it I thought of AVA reader, Harvey Reading, whose theory of our planetary place in the cosmos was so extremely bleak I laugh all over again when I re-read it, and have attached it for your merriment, dear reader. Like many of you, I daresay, I wasn't aware that there are serious and reputable astronomers convinced our troubled tiny spec of a planet has been visited by an extraterrestrial entity, specifically — “…the object was small, with an area roughly that of a city block… moving at a velocity four times the the speed of an asteroid, which typically moves at some 40,000 miles an hour.”

THE HIGHLY RESPECTED astrophysicist walking point on the complicated calculations that support his assertion that this thing was the work of a distant, superior intelligence, is a Harvard-based scientist named Loeb. In his book called “Extraterrestrial” (Houghton-Mifflin) Loeb argues, “The only way to make sense of Oumuamua's (named after the big observatory in Hawaii) strange acceleration,” Loeb argues, “without resorting to some sort of undetectable outgassing, is to assume that the object was propelled by solar radiation — essentially photons bouncing off its surface. And the only way the object could be propelled by solar radiation is if it were extremely thin — no thicker than a millimetre — with a very low density and a comparatively large surface area. Such an object would function as a sail — one powered by light, rather than by wind. The natural world doesn't produce sails, people do. Oumuamua must have been designed, built, and launched by an extraterrestrial intelligence,” Loeb concludes.

THE OBJECT apparently didn't linger in our earthly neighborhood, probably concluding at a glance that Earth seemed to be some kind of planetary set aside for creatures inimical to the health and welfare of the rest of the galaxy.

HARV, you get the last word here: “Imagine that all of the life forms in the universe are like those on earth; no ‘advanced’ species at all, the ‘top’ species of all limited to bottle rockets for ‘space’ exploration. Then, since everything in the universe is accelerating away from everything else in the universe, and since all species are destined to commit suicide by greed and stupidity, as we earthlings (all species of earthlings) are doing with such diligence here, it is very unlikely that any of the other inhabitants of the universe will ever ‘discover’ any of the others, and soon all will be gone, while the universe continues its peaceful, unending, trip to infinity.”

CHINESE AUTHORITIES have labelled a viral video “fake” that showed people walking “like penguins” following an anal swab to test for the novel coronavirus. Officials assured citizens that they would not waddle like the flightless birds after undergoing the medical procedure, which is being used in the country to screen COVID-19 cases. The video, which has been shut down by internet censors, shows Chinese citizens walking stiff-legged with their arms slightly open while leaving a hospital — like penguins, in fact.

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CATCH OF THE DAY, February 1, 2021

Casillas, Cauckwell, Choxcothy

SALVADOR CASILLAS-ANDRADE, Ukiah. Grand theft-firearm, probation revocation.

RICHARD CAUCKWELL, Ukiah. Community supervision violation.


McKee, Steiskal, Stough

ROBERT MCKEE, Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol, probation revocation.

TOBIN STEISKAL, Fortuna/Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.

WALTER STOUGH, Fort Bragg. Failure to appear, probation revocation.

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MONDAY MORNING THOUGHTS: A CRISP $100 BILL arrived in the mail the other day from a former Ukiah Valley friend to settle an election bet. He was and he remains an ardent Trump supporter. Sadly, the rancor surrounding the bet underscores the bitter political divide in this country, and in our own communities. I say ‘former’ friend because as the November election neared the rhetoric between us escalated, and then exploded. As a result, a 35-year friendship appears to be damaged beyond repair. I made the mistake of telling the person, an individual who is a community leader and the next generation in a decades-old prosperous family business, that I could no longer respect him because of his unrelenting defense of Trump, and his nasty attacks on anyone who dared to criticize. I almost immediately tried to reel back my sweeping condemnation, offering apologies for the heat of the moment. The efforts were to no avail. We ended up telling each other to “eff off.” This all came down before the storming of the nation’s Capitol by Trump supporters. God know what we might have said to each other had we still been talking then. I am not happy about my role in the apparent demise of this long friendship. I could have been more circumspect, I suppose. Yet I am sick of Trump and his cult like followers being given such wide berth, and somehow their actions being accorded the status of ‘just politics.’ It is not. It is dangerous. Trump tried to seriously undermine our nation’s democracy, and his reckless antics are still at play. Since the Ben Franklin arrived in the mail, I have pondered what to do. (“I pay my bets,” declared the one line note from the former friend.) Then over the weekend I read about a new Political Action Committee formed by Republican Rep. Adam Kinzinger of Illinois, one of 10 GOP lawmakers under fire from the Trump crowd for their support of his impeachment for a second time. It is Kinzinger’s plea for responsible Republicans to take back their party. I have decided to donate the money to Kinzinger’s cause in the name of my former friend. Join me if you like:

(Mike Geniella)

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by Carl Nolte

Abraham Lincoln High School, named for the signer of the Emancipation Proclamation, is one of 42 public schools that will undergo a name change. 

Just over two weeks ago, Nancy Pelosi began a speech calling for the impeachment of Donald Trump. She began by quoting Abraham Lincoln. “Fellow citizens, we cannot escape history. We will be remembered in spite of ourselves…”

Thirteen days later, the San Francisco school board voted to impeach Lincoln, seven other presidents of the United States, three former mayors of San Francisco and two dozen other notable people by removing their names from public schools because they were either racists or conquistadors or had some connection to slavery, racism or oppression. Mission High School and Presidio Middle School were also on the list. Even a mythical place is getting the ax: El Dorado. And forget the Alamo.

Washington, Jefferson, Daniel Webster, Paul Revere, John Muir, Robert Louis Stevenson, Francis Scott Key and John Marshall, whose discovery set off the Gold Rush that transformed California, are all out. Sen. Dianne Feinstein is the only living person on the list. When she was mayor, she ordered a Confederate flag reinstalled at Civic Center after protesters tore it down. That was 36 years ago. Truly we cannot escape history.

I don’t have a personal ax to grind in this issue. I didn’t go to any of these schools. But I am a member of the Old School. And I remember a philosophy course in college about logic. And it is the logic behind the school board’s decision that bothers me.

Take the decision to rename Abraham Lincoln High School. It is apparently based on an incident in 1862 at the end of the Dakota War. A military tribunal sentenced 303 captured Native Americans to death; Lincoln reprieved all but 38 who were hanged. It was the largest mass execution in American history.

That is the reason cited for renaming Abraham Lincoln High School in San Francisco. But Lincoln was a wartime president, commander in chief. He sent 365,000 union soldiers to their deaths because he would not compromise and let the Southern states go to form their own country based on Black slavery. Lincoln also signed the Emancipation Proclamation ending American slavery forever. He is generally regarded as the greatest of American presidents. The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. must have thought so; he gave his “I Have a Dream” speech at the Lincoln Memorial.

But that’s not good enough. The logic used by the San Francisco school board is that any offense involving racism, sexism, colonialism or environmental abuse outweighs whatever good the person may have done. The killings of 38 Sioux people outweighs all that rhetoric found in the Gettysburg Address.

To follow the school board’s logic to a logical conclusion, this city is due for a new birth of name changing. We should start with the name of the place. San Francisco was named by missionaries for a Roman Catholic saint. Clearly that fits the guidelines for a new name.

Washington, Jackson, Clay. Stockton, Columbus, Mission, Portola, Sutter, Vallejo, Valencia, Junipero Serra, Palou, Polk, Larkin, Mason, Taylor, Grant and any street named for a military officer has to go. The Presidio of San Francisco should be renamed. Besides the school, there are two streets and a park named for Lincoln. Think of all those streets in the western part of the city: Anza, Balboa, Cabrillo, honoring colonists or conquistadors in alphabetical order to Yorba. I don’t know who Yorba was, but it sounds suspicious.

The Mission District has to be renamed, and so does the Castro. Noe Valley is out, and so is Bernal Heights. Let’s get rid of Sutro Tower, Sutro Heights and Sutro Forest.

If El Dorado is unsuitable for a school because it represents the myth of western expansion, what about the Golden Gate — the strait, the bridge, the park, the avenue. The name Golden Gate was chosen by John Charles Fremont, the explorer, Native American killer and opponent of Mexican rule. He renamed the Boca del Puerto Chrysopylae, or Golden Gate, after the Golden Horn — the harbor of Byzantium. He intended it to represent trade and expansion, the old world and the new. That’s the definition of colonialism. Fremont was not only a colonist, but he was a military officer and the first Republican candidate for president.

I don’t mean to say we should restore all the 44 school names or go on a municipal orgy of name changing. Some of the old names should be dusted off and retired. Who cares about James Denman, the Earl of Clarendon or Antonio de Ulloa?

There are plenty of San Franciscans who should be honored. Maya Angelou, for example. But attempts to put up a statue to her have failed because of San Francisco’s favorite disease, wrangling followed by civic paralysis.

Most of these names were chosen when white males ruled the roost and everybody else was written out of history. I can think of some: Him Mark Lai and Philip Choy, pioneers in the study of Asian American history. Or the Black entertainers on the Barbary Coast. You get a glimpse of them in the movie “San Francisco” — but only a glimpse.

Or Mary Ellen Pleasant, an abolitionist and mysterious character in 19th century San Francisco. She sued the street railway companies so that Black people could ride. Born a slave, she became a self-made millionaire. She moved west with the Gold Rush.

And who are the members of this school board? Were they foisted on us by Trump? Where they selected by the Russians or the Chinese communists? Not a chance. They were elected fair and square by the citizens of San Francisco. They made no secret about their desire to change 44 school names. So we elected them anyway, as recently as November.

What did Pogo, the comic strip character, say? “We have met the enemy, and he is us.” Maybe we should name a school after him. 

(Courtesy, SF Chronicle)

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On Tuesday, January 26, 2021, Senator Mike McGuire conducted a virtual “town hall” meeting on the subject of delivering Coronavirus vaccines in the Northern California counties of Humboldt, Mendocino, and Lake Counties.

The town hall featured the Deputy Director of the state’s Office of Emergency Services (Dr. Lori Nezhura), a world-renown epidemiologist from UCLA’s school of public medicine (Dr. Thomas Brewer), and the CEO of St. Joseph’s Hospital in Humboldt County (infectious disease specialist Dr. Roberta Luskin-Hawk). Dr. Nezhura announced the availability of a new system for distribution of vaccines in the state, to be launched on February 1 by a thirdparty contractor (which turns out to be Blue Shield).

My dear 84-YO friend tried for three weeks to obtain the vaccine, and unfortunately was unsuccessful before having to have emergency surgery at a local hospital last week where she was told the hospital could not provide the vaccine before transferring her to a post-acute-care facility, where she was also informed that they did not have the supplies to provide her with the vaccine.

She subsequently effectuated her own release to optional private in-home care, where the available workforce has likewise not received the vaccine (said workforce being known to this family for various reasons). In her physically compromised condition, she cannot now travel to any of the wonderful new sites for acquisition of the vaccine, and the status of her original request is unknown.

Damn your daily “dashboards,” high falutin elected officials and their cosseted disbelievers (deprived of their immediate gratifications in consumer settings, “family” gatherings, and religious congregations), and blithe reassurances (espousing “effectiveness” and evolving medical protocols).

Simple basic infrastructure decisions seem to be beyond the cognitive capacity of the engaged citizenry (mental health crisis care, wastewater treatment systems, hyperlocal law enforcement). Case in point being the city of Ukiah’s mismanaged sewer district and the vast fortunes diverted to lawyers on both sides. Cut down the shade trees next to the Library, to keep the bums from enjoying a little respite from the heat. Chop up State Street to “improve” throughput but putting up endless “traffic-calming” devices. Nothing makes any sense any more so we return to the basics of home invasions and permit violations . . . back to the good old days.

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Folk Music Club, Haight Ashbury, 1974

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“FOR THE MOMENT BEING, given that we live in society, the only duty of superior men is to reduce to a minimum their participation in the tribe's life. Not to read newspapers, or read them only to know about whatever unimportant and curious is going on... The supreme honorable state for a superior man is in not knowing who is the Head of State of his country...All his attitude must be setting his soul so that the passing of things, of events doesn't bother him..."

— Fernando Pessoa

* * *

I WORRY THAT BIDEN is so intent on getting a few Republicans on his COVID survival bill that it will get watered down. But bipartisanship isn't the goal. Helping Americans survive COVID is the goal. Biden's $1.9 trillion plan is actually a modest response to the current emergency. 

Biden doesn’t really need Republicans, anyway. With their razor-thin majorities in both houses of Congress, Democrats can enact Biden’s plan without a single Republican vote. 

Biden should forget bipartisanship. Mitch McConnell and Senate Republicans didn’t give a hoot about bipartisanship when they and Trump were in power. 

If Republicans try to stonewall Biden’s COVID relief plan, Biden and the Democrats should go it alone through a maneuver called “reconciliation,” allowing a simple majority to pass budget legislation. 

If Republicans try to block anything else, Biden should scrap the filibuster -- which now requires 60 senators to end debate. The filibuster isn’t in the Constitution. It’s anti-democratic, giving a minority of senators the power to block the majority. It was rarely used for most of the nation’s history. 

The filibuster can be ended by a simple majority vote, meaning Democrats now have the power to scrap it. Biden will have to twist the arms of a few recalcitrant Democrats, but that’s what presidential leadership often requires.

The multiple crises engulfing America are huge. The window of opportunity for addressing them is small. If ever there was a time for boldness, it is now. 

What do you think?

— Robert Reich

* * *

BUT AS IN ETHICS, evil is a consequence of good, so in fact, out of joy is sorrow born. Either the memory of past bliss is the anguish of today, or the agonies which are have their origin in the ecstasies which might have been.

— Edgar Allan Poe, from "Berenice"

* * *

“ that drunken place

you would

like to hand your heart to her

and say

touch it

but then

give it back.”

― Charles Bukowski

* * *

“THIS IS WHAT YOU SHALL DO; Love the earth and sun and the animals, despise riches, give alms to every one that asks, stand up for the stupid and crazy, devote your income and labor to others, hate tyrants, argue not concerning God, have patience and indulgence toward the people, take off your hat to nothing known or unknown or to any man or number of men, go freely with powerful uneducated persons and with the young and with the mothers of families, read these leaves in the open air every season of every year of your life, re-examine all you have been told at school or church or in any book, dismiss whatever insults your own soul, and your very flesh shall be a great poem and have the richest fluency not only in its words but in the silent lines of its lips and face and between the lashes of your eyes and in every motion and joint of your body.”

— Walt Whitman

* * *


* * *

Kingstron Trio, Hungry-I, 1950s

* * *


by Norman Solomon

Unless consciously resisted, one of Donald Trump’s lasting triumphs will be the establishment of such a low bar that mediocre standards will prevail for his successor. Of course, providing a clear contrast to the atrocious Trump presidency is irrefutably necessary -- but it’s hardly sufficient.

To give high marks merely for excelling in comparison to right-wing Republicans is to cheer high jumps over very low standards. And the opening months of President Biden’s term are an especially bad time to grade him on a curve, as top appointees take charge and policy directions are set.

With corporate forces fully mobilized and armies of their lobbyists deployed to constantly push the new administration, the need for activating grassroots counterpressure from the left should be obvious. Yet an all-too-common progressive refrain now is along the lines of “Step back and give Biden a chance!”

The refrain is understandable. And mistaken. It’s essential to vigorously advance progressive agendas that are morally compelling and tactically effective -- to deliver notable improvements in people’s lives and prevent the Republicans from recapturing Congress (as happened in 1994 and 2010 with big GOP victories just two years after the corporate-friendly Democratic presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama took office).

One of Trump’s overarching “achievements” was to move the frame of feasible political options rightward. Now, the achievable options must be moved in a decidedly progressive direction -- not simply back to the future with a “third Obama term” aiming to reinstate the gist of a pre-Trump status quo.

Encouraging as some of Biden’s first executive orders may be, they’re not transformative. Last week, under the headline “Biden’s Executive Actions Just Scratch the Surface,” the editor of The American Prospect offered a sober assessment. “What Biden is doing, even if it extends only to reversing Trump-era rules and actions, will help a lot of people,” David Dayen wrote. But, “in a lot of ways on these executive actions, the style is doing a fair bit more than the substance.”

On January 28, when Biden signed an executive order on Obamacare, he emphasized his self-imposed restraint. “There’s nothing new that we’re doing here other than restoring the Affordable Care Act and restoring Medicaid to the way it was before Trump became president,” Biden said. And: “I’m not initiating any new law, any new aspect of the law. This is going back to what the situation was prior to Trump’s executive order.”

Prior to Trump, tens of millions of people in the United States were already uninsured or underinsured -- and that was before Covid struck.

Some reporting indicates Biden might now realize that chasing after Republican partners in Congress would be a fool’s errand. Yet Biden has a bad history of reaching across the aisle to make harmful deals. “Mr. Biden finds himself managing the outsize aspirations of the progressive wing of his party while exploring the possibilities of working with a restive opposition that has resisted him from the start,” the New York Times reported in a front-page story on Sunday.

Whatever the phrase “outsize aspirations” means, a key reality is that progressives must keep building pressure during this time of extreme crises -- with several thousand Americans dying from the coronavirus every day, economic catastrophes deepening for many, racial injustice continuing to fester, and the climate emergency still worsening.

Much of what Biden can do would require no congressional action. Dayen points out that, as per the Constitution, presidents “are implementers” -- and “they should implement to the maximum potential allowed by law.”

When gauging the Biden presidency, we should throw away yardsticks that are designed to measure its distance from the Trump presidency.

So many people are dying from lack of health care, and Biden has yet to take -- or call for -- the magnitude of steps that are urgently needed to save lives. One proposal, initiated by Rep. Ilhan Omar and gaining support in the House, would provide recurring stimulus payments. A comprehensive plan, put forward by Sen. Bernie Sanders, would establish free health care as a human right for everyone in the United States, in effect Medicare for All, for the duration of the pandemic.

How to pay for such momentous programs? One bill, introduced by Rep. Peter DeFazio, provides for a transaction tax on Wall Street that would raise vast amounts of revenue from people most able to afford it. One bill after another has sought to substantially cut the military budget and make the funds available to meet crying human needs.

Only continuous and intense pressure from grassroots activism can induce Biden to support such vital measures.

“We should have learned a lesson from the Obama-Biden years, where many progressive forces gave a honeymoon to the administration, believing that they needed space and believing that they were gonna be under a lot of pressure so we should back off. It was the worst possible thing that we could have ever done,” said Bill Fletcher Jr., a former senior AFL-CIO staffer who is now executive editor of “We need to stand behind Biden-Harris at nose length so that they cannot retreat without running smack into us.”

Progressive journalist Sonali Kolhatkar said: “Biden has already faced relentless calls for so-called ‘unity’ from pro-Wall-Street and pro-war corporate Democrats and media pundits, which is of course code for capitulating to centrism and even conservatism. He needs to hear even stronger calls from his constituency, calls that are loud enough to drown out the Wall Streeters and warmongers.”

In the words of progressive populist Jim Hightower, “The question is not whether Biden will produce the transformative change that America urgently needs. He won’t. Rather the question is how hard, far and persistently we progressives will push him.”

If President Biden is pushed hard and far and persistently enough, some truly great changes are possible.

(Norman Solomon is the national director of 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.)

* * *

Albion Bridge

* * *


by James Kunstler

The hijinks playing out in financial markets instruct us that politics finally comes back to the soundness of our economic arrangements, no matter how far out into the asteroid belt of psychopathic ideology the nation veers. For instance, we’re about to find out how little race-and-gender hustling actually matters to the common good of this land. After their successful prank with GameStop, the subreddit vigilantes are aiming to send the price of silver to the silvery moon now, and, in the process, drive hedge-fund privateers and bankster short-sellers into insolvency, even if it wrecks the financial system.

Do you doubt that the system, led by the clueless and feckless Federal Reserve, was already beating a path to financial suicide? Two decades of trying to paper over America’s broken business model with money-from-nowhere, and failure of the authorities to regulate the games being played around that, switched off the price-discovery mechanism of markets. Does that sound abstruse? I’ll explain. Price-discovery is the main function of markets: to send correct signals as to the true price of everything, soybeans, iron ore, stocks, what-have-you, and, most importantly, the exact price of money itself, borrowed over a period of time: that is, term interest rates, meaning the cost of debt.

The price of silver (and of gold, too) have been among the most manipulated, suppressed, and perverted for many years because the rising price against paper currencies would signal the falling value of money, which would inform the people that their standard-of-living is falling — and nothing stirs up political anger like that. So, the regulatory authorities looked the other way when their cronies in big banks such as J.P. Morgan played games to suppress precious metal prices with a revolving short-selling scheme that regularly knocked down the price to discourage buyers from investing in precious metals.

It’s been fifty years since precious metals enjoyed any official peg with the US dollar, but for five thousand years previously gold and silver were money itself and paper currencies became mere representations of that money. That relationship ended in 1971 when President Nixon closed the “window” that allowed foreign countries to redeem gold in exchange for dollars they accumulated from the commercial trade of goods — and, our dollar being the world’s supreme reserve currency, the rest of the world’s currencies followed.

Despite all efforts since then by banking authorities to denigrate the value and the role of gold and silver in financial affairs, the “barbarous relics” retained a persistent influence in men’s minds because of their intrinsic qualities. These were: the vested energy they represented from mining and refining, their physical durability, portability, and divisibility, their freedom from counterparty obligations, and, especially in modern times, their vital usefulness in electronics and other industrial applications. The latter quality is greatly reinforced by the powerful wish to transition from a fossil fuel economy to an alt-energy economy of solar cells and wind turbines — a wish that probably won’t come true.

And so, as promised by the subreddit vigilantes, the silver price was up around $3 or ten percent in overnight trading going into the week’s Monday open. It looks like they mean bidness. And that could mean many things. The most obvious is a very conscious effort to punish the high hats of Wall Street for years of lawless game-playing that made them ultra-rich and left everybody else in the country impoverished. Some of the vigilantes frankly express the desire to wreck the degenerate banking system altogether, a great purge of evil to restore something like God-fearing accountability, moving toward a fresh and honest re-start of markets and banking. I’m not convinced that we would get any such orderly re-start in the sense that global banking could be reconstructed along pre-2020 lines.

Rather, wrecking the banks in a daisy-chain of shattered obligations would be an express ticket to the Palookaville of neo-medievalism I’ve been warning about, and probably in a sharp, disorderly, violent, and deadly episode of losing everything that has made us civilized. In any case, the country has already prepped itself for some kind of spectacular failure with all the social mind-fuckery of the past four years that eventuated with the empty shell of Joe Biden in the White House, and millions of his supporters swept into an epic hysteria of manufactured moral outrage over pseudo-realities initiated by academic racketeers and then weaponized by our politicians. But the game is on, whether you like it or not. This may be a last opportunity to get your minds right before you lose your country and your future.

(Support Kunstler’s writing by visiting his Patreon Page.)

* * *

* * *


Police Civilian Review Boards are not a novel concept. They’ve been around for a long time.

And they're nothing to be afraid about -- unless you're afraid of accountability and transparency. 


In 1895, Theodore Roosevelt was appointed President of the New York City Board of Commissioners by then-Mayor William Strong. The six-member board was responsible for the governance of the NYPD.

Although he only served for two years, Roosevelt’s methods of rooting out graft and corruption, improving departmental standards and officer accountability, and many of his leadership principles have been thoroughly studied and are still in use today.

Our country’s Progressive Era continued through the turn of the century and by the 1920s several major U.S. cities had civilian oversight of law enforcement boards. These groups were initially formed as a way to decrease the influence of local politics within the police department.

By the late 1950s and early 1960s, the civil rights movement became a catalyst that pushed the further development of oversight boards. Eventually, the cities of Washington D.C. , Philadelphia, Cincinnati, and New York City were recognized for their progress and emerged as leaders in civilian oversight program development.

In some jurisdictions, the police oversight function has been incorporated into an Office of the Inspector General (OIG). These are autonomous agencies charged with conducting audits, inspections and investigations into allegations of waste, fraud and abuse committed by government organizations. These departments are modeled after the OIG offices that exist for the Department of Defense as well as other federal agencies. They are responsible for oversight and required to make an annual report to the U.S. Congress.


The concept of a Police Civilian Review Board has evolved over time.

Modern civilian review agencies are autonomous of their police department and are led by a chairperson or director. Neither agency is within the other’s chain of command nor do they direct the activities of the other. Boards and committees are generally made of community volunteers or part-time positions that are nominated and appointed to serve for a term while independent police monitors are city employees who work full time.

Generally, boards and committees tend to be more advisory in nature while police monitors tend to be more investigatory. Exceptions to the rule can be found, however, as it is often the case that no two civilian review agencies are exactly the same. Communities are encouraged to build the organization that works best for them and there are many examples of hybrid review agencies nationwide.

While organizations such as the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, Inc. (CALEA) or the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) do not provide a “standard” for civilian oversight programs, they maintain a dialogue with the National Association for Civilian Oversight of Law Enforcement (NACOLE).

NACOLE provides a national framework for the network of civilian oversight programs around the country and actively works with them to develop and promote agency best practices. As the national oversight organization, NACOLE also works to provide a system of peer review between the nation’s civilian oversight programs.

Operationally speaking, most modern police oversight agencies have two objectives: mediation and compliance auditing.

As the agency ombudsman, the civilian oversight organization takes an active role in mediating disputes and resolving issues that are brought to them by the community and regarding the police department. They try to bring both sides to the table in an effort to explain police department policies and actions. As appropriate, they also attempt to mediate differences of opinion between the community and the department. It is critical to note that it is not the oversight organization’s job to tell the police department what to do. Rather, the oversight organization leads efforts in collaborative problem solving between all of the parties involved.

In its compliance audit function, the civilian oversight agency is charged with conducting an independent review of police investigations and then presenting a report to the police department’s Internal Affairs Division. Any findings of a failure to follow policy are then addressed formally as part of the department’s internal affairs function.

Conducting an ongoing review of the police department’s policies and procedures is also a normal function of civilian oversight agencies. This helps to ensure that best practices are being followed and that the department is not only in compliance with all current city ordinances but with state and federal laws as well. The oversight agency is also usually granted an opportunity to provide input to law enforcement leaders before any policy or procedural changes are made.


For over 120 years, local governments have experimented with many different models for civilian oversight. Today there are three main types of civilian oversight boards for law enforcement:

Investigative Focus Model 

Review Focus Model 

Auditor/Monitor Focus Model.


Civilian oversight is performed by a Civilian Complaint Authority (CCA) in conjunction with a Police Civilian Review Board. Both are separate and independent of the police department. Only the CCA is allowed to conduct third-party investigations in parallel with the police department’s internal affairs division and any other agencies. The CCA’s investigative findings are then given to the Board, which could either agree or disagree with the CCA’s findings. The final CCA report, with both the CCA’s and the Board’s findings, then go to the either City Manager or the County CEO who agree or disagree with the findings, which are then turned over to the police chief or county sheriff. The CCA also issues policy and training guidance through recommendations that it issues as a part of its investigations.


Review Focus Model is involved in the constant review of agency operations. In addition, this model conducts an ongoing review of agency complaints and the manner in which those complaints are handled by the police department. Formal board meetings are held periodically so that the board’s findings can be shared with the agency. The Indianapolis, Indiana Metropolitan Police Department’s Citizens Police Complaint Office is representative of this type of model.


Auditor/Monitor Focus Model is used in Ft. Worth, Dallas and Austin, Texas.

In Ft. Worth, this model reviews complaint investigations conducted by the police department, reviews police policies and procedures and make recommendations, audits police operations including training, collect and analyze police data, conducts community engagements in order to enhance community-police relations, provides periodic reports regarding any trends or patterns noted, as well as mediates concerns brought by community members regarding police officers.

This model also uses tools such as survey information to determine the level of community relations and community problem solving taking place between the police department and the community.

By mediating police and community discussions about survey results, this model facilitates the development of metrics that meet the needs and expectations of all stakeholders.

This model also reviews all use of force reports and sits in on use of force review boards, as well as hiring panels for new recruits.

In its oversight capacity, this model reviews all body-worn camera and vehicle camera footage.

In Ft. Worth, this model also uses program outreach and public affairs to better inform the community about police department programs.


All three of the above models are evolving. They are hybrid models that incorporate a Police Civilian Review Board as part of their processes. The review board helps promote transparency by ensuring an independent review is conducted and then adjudicated by sharing the results with department command staff, government leaders and community leaders.

An independent civilian oversight program can be a viable option for agencies seeking to improve community relations, increase transparency and develop meaningful reform initiatives. Like an Inspector General, they are autonomous and provide an impartial third-party review of agency activities. Unlike court orders and consent decrees, they allow communities the flexibility to determine the type and manner of reform that best suits their needs.

Police Civilian Review Boards currently focus on the two key performance objectives of mediation and compliance auditing. Most importantly, their function is not to direct the activities of a police department, but rather to ensure police accountability and transparency through fair, equitable and unbiased policing.

For more information, please see the National Association for Civilian Oversight of Law Enforcement (NACOLE) at:


  1. Eric Sunswheat February 2, 2021

    RE: re-examine all you have been told at school or church or in any book. (Walt Whitman)

    ->. January 31, 2021
    Experts have previously said that flu rates have been lower this year due to ongoing lockdown restrictions and social distancing measures…

    But while this might be good news overall, some scientists who are developing a vaccine for next year’s flu season are struggling because of the few samples they now have to work on.

    “It’s a nightmare to work out what comes next,” said McCauley. “If you have flu away for a year, then immunity will have waned. It could come back worse.”

    “It’s really a wake up call for us to be nimble, and to be able to adjust as this virus will continue for certain to evolve and to mutate,” he said. “Now we have the real-world clinical consequences, and we can see that we are going to be challenged.”

    In statements at the New York Press Club on Friday, Fauci said it was “concerning that you need to stay ahead of these mutants, and essentially crush this outbreak so there’s no more replication. And when there’s no more replication, you’re not going to have any mutations.”

    -> January 29, 2021

    • Harvey Reading February 2, 2021

      Eric, I haven’t had a flu shot since the late 80s and I’ve never had a serious cold or the flu since…and maybe once in my whole life. The event was in the mid 70s, and the doctor I finally went to said he wasn’t sure if it was flu or not. Of course, by then I was almost well.

      I attribute my luck to avoiding monkeys as much as possible, and shopping or eating out at times when stores and cafes are empty of customers. I was afraid when I first moved to an eastern state that I would be facing different varieties of cold and flu viruses and would get nailed, but, after nearly 19 years, neither has happened. Now, I could be dead in a week (or in a milisecond at my age), but I conclude that avoiding crowds works. And I still say the bastards will have to hold me down to get a needle with designer flu vaccine in it into me.

  2. Michael Koepf February 2, 2021

    Lincoln and the Dakota War. The other side of the issue. Cut and pasted from Wikipedia.

    On August 17, 1862, a young Dakota killed five German settlers. That night a council of Dakota decided to attack settlements throughout the Minnesota River valley to drive the settlers out of the area. 358 settlers were killed.

    • Paul Andersen February 2, 2021

      That’s what happens to invaders.

  3. George Hollister February 2, 2021

    A forestry professor I had at Humboldt State used to remind his students, “Your education begins the day you graduate.”

    Science is not just a set of facts you read in a book. Science is an ever evolving search for truth using experiments, observations, confirmations, and discussion. There is no scientific authority, or fact that should not be challenged. When the search stops, so does science. I think Walt Whitman would agree.

    • Harvey Reading February 2, 2021

      But he’s dead, George.

  4. Kathy Janes February 2, 2021

    The Handley Art in the Cellar announcement looks like one of the last ones Diane Hering designed several years ago.

  5. john ignoffo February 2, 2021

    Fermi’s paradox does allow that advanced civ is possible, but Ocam’s razor suggests otherwise!

  6. Marshall Newman February 2, 2021

    Great Albion Bridge photograph.

    • Michael Geniella February 2, 2021

      It is a great photo. What an engineering feat. Truly, a classic coastal landmark.

  7. chuck dunbar February 2, 2021

    As a younger guy, I read Bukowski off and on for awhile. His down in the dirt clarity about all manner of life and human behavior was striking for a time. Then I noticed that I felt depressed and kind of dirty after reading his stuff–too much alcohol, too many lost in the dregs of life, not much there to uplift one. But, perhaps I’m shallow. And then there’s Whitman, poetry and song of the soul, his work will be with us forever. Huge dichotomy between the two, but that’s life for you…

  8. Marmon February 2, 2021


    Let’s see. Joe Biden has surrounded himself with 25,000 soldiers and signed 40 Executive Orders in 10 days.

    Sounds like a DICTATOR to me.


  9. Michael Koepf February 2, 2021

    I’ve always thought of Mike Geniella as being a fair-minded kind of guy. But why this odd posting from a Romneyesq, Republican party site about winning a hundred bucks from a former friend because Geniella “could no long respect him because of his unrelenting defense of Trump and his nasty attack on anyone who dared to criticize.” What’s Geniella up to here with this passive “nasty attack” on his former, unrepentant pal? Virtue flag waving? Or was it something else? Did his former friend make some valid points that Geniella couldn’t take? I guess we’ll never know, because Geniella hasn’t discussed the issues on which they disagreed. Leaving it all to personality (Trump’s) seems very shallow to me. Welcome to the mental mayhem, Mike. There’s lots of that going on.

    • Michael Geniella February 2, 2021

      It seems, Michael Koepf, that you want to get bogged down in the “issues.” Safe to say, they were largely all things Trump – his lies, his distortions, and his trashing of any and all that stand in his way. Reasons enough, I would suggest.

      • Bruce McEwen February 2, 2021

        Speaking of Trump’s lies, we were doing our taxes and my wife asked, “Did you get $1200 in your stimulus relief check?” I said, “No.” My wife rattled aloft a page of paper and said, “This letter says you did.” Just like my wife, I only got $600, and my bank statement will show it. “Who is the letter from,” I asked. She said, “It’s signed by Donald Trump.” So I have to wonder: When will we ever find an end to Trump’s lies.

      • George Hollister February 2, 2021

        Most of what are called lies are Trump speaking out of certainty and ignorance. There is no intent to deceive. Was Obama lying when he said, ” If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor. If you like your plan you can keep your plan.” Or how about GW Bush, “Saddam has weapons of mass destruction.” Presidents speak out of ignorance all the time, and we inappropriately call it lying. Trump does this more so because he never shuts up. Biden talks about all the well paying green jobs he is going to create as he lays off well paid energy workers. I will preemptively saying that is sincerely spoken out of ignorance, and he will be called a liar at some point down the road.

        • chuck dunbar February 2, 2021

          Trump and “no intent to deceive:” Gee whiz, George, how about these 2 examples:

          Obama’s birthplace–these lie went on for years.
          The recent “fraudulent” election–these lies went on, and still do, for months, both before and after the election

          While Trump no doubt was speaking from “certainty and ignorance” in both cases, he also was clearly lying, with obvious and great intent to deceive.

          • George Hollister February 2, 2021

            People believe falsehoods. More commonly than not. Remember, Trump replied when asked where he got his information, “I get my information from the shows, like everyone else does.” That statement, in itself, deserves a discussion.

            On the other hand, Adam Schiff is a liar. He deliberately deceived he general public, with full knowledge, about there being proof of Russian collusion with the Trump campaign. “I will be providing that proof soon.”

          • chuck dunbar February 2, 2021

            Nonsense, George, you are clearly a smart person, but this partial reply, non-responsive really, is plain and simple nonsense.

          • Marshall Newman February 2, 2021

            Justifying lying? Really? Ignorance is no excuse. If a person doesn’t know, he or she should say he or she doesn’t know.

      • Michael Koepf February 2, 2021

        Hmmmn. Nope. Accusations of lies, distortions, and trashing anything that stands in the way, are personal generalities, not issues. They’re bitter feeling.s “All things Trump.” Does that mean cracking down on China to take American jobs, illegal immigration that impacts American workers, the Keystone pipe line to bring cheaper gas to this country, getting out of wars in the Middle East as a waste of American lives, dumping useless, government regulations that made the economy soar to heights never seen before, and exposing the press and media for what they really are—an adjunct of the Democrat party as well as the rich and elite. Mike, personally, I never cared much for Trump’s personality. Braggadocio leaves me cold, as it did with Muhammad Ali, but that does not mean I did not think that Ali was not one of the greatest American athletes who ever lived. Mike, this is Mendocino County were dope and political simplicity reign, but in separating personality from issues it’s the issues that really count no matter how detested the bearer is. Call your old friend. Take him out to dinner at an outside dining place. Have a drink. Keep politics off your plates. He’s probably not as bad as you’ve claim. Use the hundred bucks.

        • mike geniella February 2, 2021

          I’ve been around the block once or twice. My friend is not a bad guy. I’ve known him since he was a teenager. But he is a zealot for all things Trump. We can’t bridge that gap. That, Mr. Koepf, is a huge issue for both of us.

          • Michael Koepf February 2, 2021

            Hell, I’ll buy both of you drink, if you both promise to leave the politics out. I’ve got lots of friends who don’t believe in the same politics that I do. So what? One way or another, none of our opinions will have any impact on the real world. I sleep with one of these friends almost every night, but we both wakeup with happy smiles. It’s delusion to think we can change the world, unless we’re somehow actively involved. Who wants to lose a friend? it’s like cutting off a toe; cutting off a hand.

        • George Hollister February 2, 2021

          I have one working class friend from high school who hates Trump, and one who loves him. They both complain about exactly the same things when it comes to issues.

  10. John Mitchell February 2, 2021

    I have been doing research on trying to repair the personal damage that the Trump Cult has done to our family. The simple fact is that the former president has serious mental illness. By elevating someone with a severe mental illness to such a high level and with constant press and platform, those with tendencies toward authoritarianism, narcissism and mental illness (even depression) will begin to exhibit more extreme symptoms as they identify with the former president. On a smaller level we would call this a ‘cult’. On a national level this is called ‘group psychosis’ a clinically documented effect in psychiatry.

    Just as we try to help family members get out of a cult, so we also can attempt to help our friends and family from their buy in to the ‘group psychosis’. The primary method is to embrace them, regardless of their views, knowing that they are really just trying to find affirmation and support. As in all mental health services, the only real solution is love.

    For more reading on this and how to care for yourself when dealing with this issue, I recommend this article from Scientific American:

    • Michael Koepf February 2, 2021

      I drove my eighteen wheeler into the truck stop, dieseled up; went in for coffee and to take a leak. Honey, look what I saw scribbled up on the bathroom wall. No dirty picture, but what’s the matter with the guy? Reads like a latrine preacher to me. Sweetheart, this is America, we got every kind of nut.

  11. Bruce McEwen February 2, 2021

    “…the precise correlation between what [Trump] said and the facts, as far as they can be determined and demonstrated, is such as to cause epistemological problems of sufficient magnitude as to lay upon the logical and semantic resources of the English language more than they can reasonably be expected to bear…”

    — Sir Humphry, on the difficulty in getting across the concept of lying to a politician.

    • George Hollister February 2, 2021

      There are also problems of a sufficient magnitude between Biden’s inaugural address, and his actions once in office. His actions make his address hollow at best, or a bad joke. So is this the magnitude of Trump? I think it is beyond it, except for the lack of bombastic banter, and full the support of MSM.

      • Harvey Reading February 2, 2021

        So, what’s so odd about that? It’s what politicians do. They are all born liars and con artists. It’s gotten especially bad since the end of the second war, in a regression that has been accelerating insofar as worthlessness goes. Remember the orange hog? Uncle Tom Obama? Bush2? the Clintons?, Bush1? Ronald the Reagan? They’re just a sampling. Congress is even worse. And state governments are steaming piles of manure.

    • Michael Koepf February 2, 2021

      Bruce, you may already know it, but my old pal Bill Kittredge recently passed away. Did you know that one of his students won the Pulitzer prize for fiction?

      • Bruce McEwen February 2, 2021

        My condolences for your friend, my screenwriting prof at U of M, sensational guy, stumbled in to a screening of “High Noon” knocked over a line of folding chairs and, scrambling to his feet, tuned up the house lights and we all had a very good laugh. Later, when he put horns on me it wasn’t so funny.

        Condolences for your friend, though, his Rocky Mountain Magazine pieces were hugely popular with my crowd.

        • Michael Koepf February 2, 2021

          Bill did like to drink.

          • Bruce McEwen February 3, 2021

            If Memory doesn’t fail me entirely, Bill’s drinking buddies included the poet Richard Hugo, novelist James Crumley, musicians like Dobro Dick and Norton Buffalo, artist Monte Dolack — to name just a few of the more famous examples in his circle of what are generally stigmatized with the derogatory label, “functioning alcoholics.”

  12. Jim Armstrong February 2, 2021

    Norman Solomon gets harder to read and even harder to agree with with each new essay.
    Some sayings have more meaning than others.
    I like “The perfect is the enemy of the good.”

  13. Professor Cosmos February 2, 2021

    “HARV, you get the last word here: “Imagine that all of the life forms in the universe are like those on earth; no ‘advanced’ species at all, the ‘top’ species of all limited to bottle rockets for ‘space’ exploration. Then, since everything in the universe is accelerating away from everything else in the universe, and since all species are destined to commit suicide by greed and stupidity, as we earthlings (all species of earthlings) are doing with such diligence here, it is very unlikely that any of the other inhabitants of the universe will ever ‘discover’ any of the others, and soon all will be gone, while the universe continues its peaceful, unending, trip to infinity.”

    HR isnt informed on this.
    The Senate Select Committe on Intelligence, otoh, is starting to become informed due to puzzling military/ufo events that Rubio and Warner say remain unidentified. Two recent intel reports by the interagency, Navy-hosted, UAP Task Force are considering an “unknown intelligence” that is “non-human”.

    Bruce’s remarks in quotes addresses the mental barrier many have to the prospects of visitors from elsewhere. The 1994 Alcunierre Equation fleshes out the likely method: localized warping of space (craft insulated as forward space contracted, back expanded).

    In late June, the 1st UAP task force public report is due.

    • Lazarus February 2, 2021

      Joe Rogan has many interviews via YouTube, just google. Everything from Bob Lazar, to Retired Cmdr. David Fravor, who, in 2004 chased a tic tac shaped vehicle with his fighter jet. Fravor chased it until it did a right angle and vanished.
      It’s coming people, “the truth is out there”, “it’s just a shot away”…
      Be Swell,

      • Professor Cosmos February 2, 2021

        “It’s coming people, “the truth is out there”, “it’s just a shot away”…”

        I think you may be correct re how close this may be in becoming undeniably evident. But, I wouldnt hold our collective breaths on government disclosure. I dont think the government per se knows much. Maybe persons in a couple of waived and unacknowledged special access programs have specialized knowledge, but an avoidance of the subject seems to have been the practice since 1969. It seems to be the frustration and anger of Navy pilots that inspired McCain, Reid, Inoyue, and Stevens to get a program at DOD (AATIP) in 2007.

        I have mixed feelings about Rogan. And, Bob Lazar imo isnt the real deal. Cmdr Fravor’s testimony was reinforced by the testimony of the other pilots. Including most recently the one capturing the tic tac image.

        • Lazarus February 2, 2021

          Like I said, from Lazar to Fravor. Then there’s Lou Elizondo, who I believe worked the UFO issue at the Pentagon.
          Bob Lazar’s past is sketchy at best. Although he and others claim the government did his credibility in. With the events of the present and recent past, who knows?
          Rogan is a previous MMA fighter, I think, who has a gift for interviewing people. And his latest contract made him very rich…
          Be well,

    • Harvey Reading February 2, 2021

      LOL perfesser. Aint happened yet. Aint likely to happen. As I continue asking: what would smart beings, capable of interstellar travel, want anything to do with us deranged, dull-witted apes and our plundered, dying planet? You and your BS reports from the military and lunatic politicians are sort of amusing, but also boring and repetitive, so I’ll say once again: that the military and politicians are the biggest liars, masters of diversionary arts and con artistry on the planet. Imagine the nerve of the senate, having a committee on intelligence! That’s piss-your-pants funny. They know enough to know that guys like you, and there are a lot of true believers, will lap up every drop. And, if the story appeared in the Noo Yawka, it’s suspect from the word go…

  14. Harvey Reading February 2, 2021

    That’s funny.

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