High Clouds | 11 Cases | Second Doses | Magritte 1935 | Yorkville Valentines | Bluffset | Urban Exodus | Postpartem Blues | Industrial Logging | Number Ones | Broadband Satellites | 2015 Ram | Stolen Plates | Ed Notes | Willits Bound | Yesterday's Catch | Jefferson Market | Thought Police | Happy Slaves | Reopen Schools | Taking Aim | Stimulus Money | White & Plummer | Fascism Denial | Early Golfers | Village People | Amish Immunity | Science Fair | Grow Up | Tattletale Journalism | Beyond Capitalism | Show Trial | Big Boy | Woke Marketing | Real Trump | Impeachable Offenses | Found Objects
HIGH CLOUDS will filter across the region through Wednesday followed by light rain over most of NW California on Thursday. Periods of wet weather will continue through Saturday as weak systems pass through the region. (NWS)
11 NEW COVID CASES reported in Mendocino County on Monday bringing the total to 3612.
COVID-19 VACCINE SECOND DOSE EVENT SIGN-UP FOR FEBRUARY 10TH – 12TH
Post Date: 02/08/2021 5:30 PM
This week’s COVID-19 vaccine second dose events have been scheduled. If you received your COVID-19 vaccine 1st dose from Mendocino County at the Ukiah Fairgrounds on or before January 15, either Moderna or Pfizer, please visit the link below to determine which COVID-19 vaccine second dose event is for you. Register for the event you are eligible for, and arrive with your ID and vaccination card ready. These events are not open to the public.
This Week’s COVID-19 Vaccine Second Dose Events:
(You MUST register for an appointment at the link above if you are eligible)
The county’s website, Facebook and Twitter pages are the best way to stay updated on vaccinations and all issues related to COVID-19. For questions regarding these specific events, please call (707) 472-2663 or email DOCfirstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line, “2nd dose of Pfizer.”
VALENTINE'S DAY TAKE-OUT DINNER
This Sunday, 2/14, Amy and I will be preparing a Valentine’s take-out feast for you and your loved one(s).
The meal will include the following courses:
-Winter greens salad, with citrus, fennel and roasted pistachios
-A main course of prime rib with homemade horseradish sauce, potatoes Pommes Anna, and caramelized carrots
-Chocolate orange truffle cake and cardamom madeleines for dessert.
The price per person is $40.
This meal is RSVP only and all orders need to be received by Thursday, 2/11 at 5:00 pm. Pick-up will be between 5:00 and 6:00pm. Please call us at (707) 894-9456 or email me at Yorkvillemarket@gmail.com to reserve your spot.
Wishing you all a wonderful holiday weekend!
THE HEALTHY START TO THE NEW YEAR
by Anne Fashauer
A quick update that Van, my husband, is feeling much better thanks to the correct diagnosis and medications. He’s still gaining his strength and some of the weight he lost but he is definitely on the mend - and thank you all who inquired or otherwise expressed their concern. It meant a lot to both of us.
The flip side of the unhealthy start was my own, healthy start. I joined a biking challenge to ride every day of January for 30 minutes per day (at least). At first it wasn’t always easy to find the time - several times I found myself riding after dark to squeeze in that ride. I also found that time when it wasn’t just doing something I love, but something I “had to do.” By the end it had become routine and the first day in February when I didn’t ride my bike felt weird.
The real estate market also continues to be quite healthy. There are, according to BAREIS MLS, eight active residential properties on the market right now. Of these, three are under $1,000,000 and the rest above that. There are an additional six properties that are under contract. There are ten active land listings, with three in contract. This is the lowest inventory that I have seen in the last 12 years.
What I am finding unusual is that there are so few new listings coming on at this time here in Anderson Valley. I do not actually think it is just here, but many places are like this. The exodus from the urban areas to more rural places has increased sales in those places while there is no reciprocal movement from the countryside to the cities.
I hope you all remain healthy and well!
WHAT DOES INDUSTRIAL LOGGING DEMONSTRATE?
I am sure you are aware by now of how shocked the residents and visitors to the Jackson Demonstration Forest are to have discovered the plans to perform industrial logging in Western portions of the Jackson Forest. The Caspar 500 timber harvest plan was approved at the start of the pandemic and the public did not find out about until after it was finalized.
I am sure you know the residents of Mendocino County have valid concerns and economic interests that are relevant to the management of our forest. I am sure you are aware that while the average citizen has a right to participate, most are unaware notifications, how to submit comments, and how to find out about the narrow time windows for doing so. I am sure you are aware that the system of permitting is designed to limit public interest and participation. I am sure you are aware that this creates feelings of resentment and distrust among the public as they feel they are deliberately disregarded. This leads to protests and lawsuits and a lot of grief for everybody involved.
While this has been the historical path to serve the logging industry and the needs of CalFire, it does not serve the people of California as a whole, nor does it seem to respect the urgent need to address climate change and fire safety. The current THP's active and proposed for The Jackson Demonstration Forest do not reflect the wisdom of current science. We know that logging and logging roads can do more harm than good, that industrial logging does not always reduce the threat of fire, that endangered species and their habitat are sacrificed, the rivers are impacted with sediment affecting threatened fish. We know these plans are economically motivated and do not take in the long term needs of the forest and the people who depend on it, and the public who own it.
We can do better. The people of California and the residents of Mendocino County have a right to participate in our future and as our representatives with political standing, we need you to be our voice. This way of doing business has gone on far too long and has to change. It will change. Please be forward thinking and help us. Please work with Forestry and Timber to create a better, safer, and healthier forest and find a way for our voices to be heard.
SUPERVISOR WILLIAMS: StarLink by SpaceX is taking orders for broadband in our area. The satellites are low orbit and will provide service on par with cable modem (ie Comcast) in all locations. It's a game changer for Mendocino County, true broadband unlike legacy satellite offerings.
The company’s presentation points out the system can currently deliver 100Mbps download speeds to users. Long term goal is to upgrade speeds to 10Gbps. I've seen reports of latency below 30 milliseconds.
On data cap, it seems unlimited at present: "So we really don't want to implement restrictive data caps like people have encountered with satellite internet in the past. Right now we're still trying to figure a lot of stuff out--we might have to do something in the future to prevent abuse and just ensure that everyone else gets quality service."
SpaceX has deposited more than 1,000 Starlink satellites into orbit. Tens of thousands more are planned to increase data rates and coverage.
FROM LAUREN SINNOTT: "I had THE COOLEST license plate ever, until someone stole both front and back and I did not realize I had to make a police report and could maybe have had them reissued. I was told at the DMV if both are stolen, you are out of luck. If anyone out there ever sees one of these on display in some basement, please let me know."
Supervisors Tuesday Agenda Item 5h:
Discussion and Possible Action Including Approval of Retroactive Agreement with Elizabeth "Liz" Barney in the Amount of $50,000, for the Purpose of Providing Social Media, Web Design, and Training Services for the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office, for the period of January 1, 2021 through December 31, 2021, with the Option to Extend the Agreement in the Amount of $50,000 for One Additional One-Year Period from January 1, 2022 through December 31, 2022, with the Total Possible Agreement Amount of $100,000 and the Possible Term Period of January 1, 2021 through December 31, 2022 (Sponsor: Sheriff-Coroner)
Ed note: Ms. Barney's portion of the fifty thou is $15,000.
I am writing because I oppose the renewal of Liz Barney's contract. Liz Barney was contracted to work for the county to disseminate information to the public and I do not have confidence that she can do her job objectively. She is not the person who should be in that job, and her contract is up for renewal this week. Her Parler account is full of racist and dangerous far-right views, including one that calls for Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib of Michigan's assassination. She believes Donald Trump won the election (including California, by the way) and that mask-wearing is a symbol of ANTIFA. Mask wearing isn’t a political statement or choice, it’s a matter of Public Health. Liz has the right to believe what she does, we all do, but when someone works in service of the public, they should be held to a higher standard: employed, contracted, or otherwise.
Local educator, Willits
Ordinarily, a person’s private or out-of-work public communications, in person or on social media, should not affect their employability, unless those communications negatively impact work performance or result. Today’s Agenda Item 5h, concerns contract renewal for Elizabeth Barney for “Social Media, Web Design and Training Services”. Unfortunately, Ms. Barney’s case illustrates an exception to that rule.
When a person is responsible for the public face of an agency or organization, their personal public positions critically impact their credibility with the public. Ms. Barney’s alleged participation in a social media platform, Parler, which aggressively played host to racist polemic and was arguably the platform where the groundwork was laid for the treasonous January 6 insurrection on the Nation’s Capital, calls into question her allegiance to the bedrock principals (sic) of our Nation, one, and two, threatens to taint the County’s social media presence with the stink of racism and treason.
For these reasons, I urge the Board of Supervisors to put a hold on Ms. Barney’s contract until the County has established a written code of social media conduct for County employees. Conduct that violates the law, or advocates violating the law, along with conduct that creates or appears designed to create a hostile environment for any class of persons by reason of race, creed, gender or orientation, by County employees using the name under which they are employed, needs to be prohibited. In short, the impression that the public social media face of Mendocino County is being managed by an apparent or avowed racist is a bad look that lends the impression that Mendocino County Government is officially hostile to people of color. This is not how we want our county represented.
Jade Tippett, Fort Bragg
THE LOCAL BRANCH of cancel culture is gearing up for the Supe's meeting tomorrow (Tuesday), lying in wait for Liz Barney for…? Thought crimes. Specifically, the thought crime of having expressed Trumpian opinions on the now cancelled Parler website.
THERE ARE SEVERAL COASTIES who spend their days cruising cyber-space for the slightest departure from what they've determined to be the one true path, which happens to be their path but which they've committed their under-employed selves to herding all of us onto. If this purplish lynch mob can find a publicly employed person — especially a cop — who has deviated from the lib catechism…. here they come, each with her own rope.
THEIR OWN CREDENTIALS to sit in judgement are not revealed. It's enough, apparently, to simply announce themselves as judge and jury, righteousness implicit.
ON THE KZYX NEWS Monday morning, reporter Sara Reith, carefully avoided the roots of the campaign to get Liz Barney, a public info person for the Sheriff's Department whose annual contract is worth a whopping $15,000 a year to her.
WHY NOT TELL the whole story? Because the effort to get Ms. Barney began with Reith's boss, KZYX's program director, Alicia Bales, who had gone on the air a few weeks ago to announce that “someone” had gotten into Ms. Barney's account on Parler where this someone discovered opinions that morally pure persons like Ms. Bales don't approve of.
MS. BALES had become program director at KZYX, where programs and programmers haven't changed since the station's cash and carry inception 35 years ago, after then-Supervisor McCowen, in a breathtakingly corrupt attempt to insert Ms. Bales in a well-paid, tax-funded sinecure as administrator of a putative County “climate action committee,” was derailed by his appalled colleagues. Ms. Bales has been affiliated with McCowen for years as a tenant in a McCowen-owned Ukiah property. Her plans to shoot the breeze about climate change with a committee of other local experts at upwards of 80 thou a year having collapsed, she was soon magically installed in another nicely compensated and equivalently undemanding “job” as program director at KZYX.
GLENN GREENWALD is unlikely to stop by Tuesday's meeting of the Mendo supervisors where the rural version of the reverse bigots he denounces here will be doing their thing. “They have insufficient talent or skill, and even less desire, to take on real power centers… so settle on this penny-ante, trivial bullshit,” he writes of CNN's Brian Stelter, Oliver Darcy, NBC's Ben Collins, Brandy Zadrozny and NYT's Mike Isaac, Kevin Roose, Sheera Frenkel. Continuing, “A new and rapidly growing journalistic ‘beat’ has arisen over the last several years that can best be described as an unholy mix of junior high hall-monitor tattling and Stasi-like citizen surveillance.”
THE SAME KIND of "woke" citizen surveillance Greenwald denounces will be on full display at the Supe's meeting tomorrow as a small group of cowardly little sneaks pursue a long-time county employ/contractor who had previously enjoyed a deserved and unblemished reputation as unfailingly helpful and conscientious worker at the Sheriff's Department.
WHY does it even have to be argued that Liz Barney has the right to her opinions, and where's the evidence that her opinions have influenced her work? Does she proselytize on the job? No. If the Supervisors cave in to this creepy little cadre of thought police, we can all be sure that their nasty villifications of other public and private persons won't end with Mrs. Barney. You can be doubly certain that these self-appointed censors are scouring the private cyber-pages of everyone they're suspicious of, including the Supervisors. Nip this bigotry in the bud and allow Mrs. Barney to continue to do the work she's done so well all these years. It's an insult to the people of Mendocino County that we have to listen to these slanders, and a crime against Mrs. Barney that she's had to endure them.
MEANWHILE, on the South Coast, whose schools seem permanently on a kind of state parole, the ICO tells us, “Student cyber bullying attracts attention at Point Arena schools.” I should think. Being a kid in these times is difficult enough without being vilely insulted by junior degenerates. We learn that fog belt “Students have body shamed each other, made derogatory comments about the size of male genitalia and have used homophobic slurs,” stated Arena Elementary School principal Scott Carson.
WHICH is where I and every other reader instantly puzzled out that some kid had said to another kid, “Get a dick, you fat fag.” Why the principal felt it necessary to relay even the chaste version of the insult demonstrates his own virtue, I suppose, but the torment public ed represents to millions of young people is unlikely to go away, at all schools large and small.
IN MY DAY this kind of obscene insult got a kid kicked out of school and maybe, if he kept on, a ticket to the juvenile wing of the state hospital at Napa. Physical bullying was a part of life in my time, but an overheard obscenity a major crime.
WHEN home schooling was still controversial, I always had to laugh when some public school person, singing for his/her supper, would say, “What about socialization?” The implication was if your kid didn't become a funding unit for the failed public school apparatus he/she would turn out to be some version of a weirdo. But that socialization, boiled down, is, for millions of kids, as described in the Gualala newspaper.
CATCH OF THE DAY, February 8, 2021
COURTNEY BROWN, Potter Valley. DUI, child endangerment.
JOSE REVUELTA, Santa Rosa/Ukiah. DUI.
JACOB SANDERSON, Ukiah. Loaded firearm in public, suspended license (for DUI), removal/alteration of tear gas serial number, disobeying court order.
JUST AS THE NSA is obsessed with ensuring there be no place on earth where humans can communicate free of their spying eyes and ears, these journalistic hall monitors cannot abide the idea that there can be any place on the internet where people are free to speak in ways they do not approve. Like some creepy informant for a state security apparatus, they spend their days trolling the depths of chat rooms and 4Chan bulletin boards and sub-Reddit threads and private communications apps to find anyone — influential or obscure — who is saying something they believe should be forbidden, and then use the corporate megaphones they did not build and could not have built but have been handed in order to silence and destroy anyone who dissents from the orthodoxies of their corporate managers or challenges their information hegemony.
— Glenn Greenwald
LOVE YOUR SERVITUDE - Aldous Huxley & George Orwell - YouTube
GET 'EM BACK IN SCHOOL
Can someone please explain to me how at this date, a year into this pandemic, only a handful of the most well-heeled children in this county are actually in school receiving an education? Meanwhile, the rest of us with students enrolled in public schools are allowing our kids to be used as political footballs by elected and union officials.
How come there aren’t hundreds of parents at every school board meeting demanding the reopening of all of our schools to in-person learning? How come we parents aren’t demanding that teachers who refuse in-person education be regarded as members of a strike as they are in other areas of the nation?
The science certainly no longer supports the necessity of at-home learning. Why even in the pages of this paper, there was an article saying that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has determined the risk of in-school learning is negligible (“CDC finds schools see scant virus transmission,” Jan. 27).
Wake up, parents. It is time to let the elected leaders of our communities and, more importantly, the corrupt teachers unions know that we have had enough. It’s time to turn up the heat.
ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY
When the next stimulus wears off in about 3 weeks after you get your check, remember not everyone is getting a check , but here’s the math assuming that every person is:
$1400 = stimulus check
1.9 TRILLION dollars bailout
population of US 330 million x $1400 = 4.62 billion
So where’s the rest of the 1.44 TRILLION going, going, gone? It’s been sold to us as ”help for struggling Americans and small businesses” — so are they going to pay all the back rent and mortgage payments that have stacked up? Bailout cities that have paid their teachers for almost a year for not doing their job? And why is this not receiving any attention at all in mainstream media?
THE ANATOMY OF FASCISM DENIAL
All hesitation to acknowledge that the United States had a serious brush with fascism under Donald Trump should have disappeared with the Trump-instigated Attack on the U.S. Capital last January 6th.
DO NOT GO GENTLE…
“Some Kind of Heaven” is a new documentary that plunges into the surreal world of argyle socks, heavy drinking and Viagra-fueled promiscuity at the world's largest retirement community known as “The Villages.” Located 70 miles north of Orlando, the sprawling 32-square-mile master planned mega-community is larger than the size of Manhattan and also the fastest growing city in America between 2010-2019 (according to US Census data), with a current population of 130,000. The Villages were designed to be a self-contained paradise with 14 grocery stores, unlimited restaurants and its own hospital, fire department, utility company, TV channel, radio station and newspaper. It's been dubbed “the Disnleyland for seniors” thanks to it's lifestyle that provides free unlimited golf at 50 different courses, 100 recreation centers, 89 swimming pools and 2,700 activity clubs that include everything from line dancing to synchronized swimming, a thriving singles club with over 20,000 members, a group for retired CIA agents and cheerleading which has a two year waitlist to join. Some critics say The Villages are a creepy Stepford cult for Baby Boomers with Orwellian rules that are dictated by an elusive family worth billions of dollars. “Some Kind of Heaven” peels back the manicured veneer to find a dark undercurrent of loneliness, intolerance, and insularity coursing through the streets of “America's friendliest hometown.”
— Tate Delloye, Daily Mail
MCOE SEEKS SUBMISSIONS & JUDGES
Registration Opens for 35th Annual Mendocino County Science Fair
UKIAH, CA — The Mendocino County Office of Education (MCOE) invites students to compete in the 35th annual Mendocino County Science and Engineering Fair. Student registration begins February 15 and the deadline to submit projects is March 7.
MCOE encourages those interested in participating to visit www.mcoe.us/student-programs-services/student-events/science-fair <http://mcoe.us/District/portal/Science-Fair>, where MCOE provides a student handbook and a guide for science fair coordinators with rules, submission specifications, judging criteria, and more. Interested students will first participate in school-level or district-level science fairs. School and district science fair coordinators will then upload winning projects to a virtual platform for countywide judging.
MCOE Science Fair coordinator Shane Hildebrand said, “We hope lots of students participate and we are also looking for volunteers to serve as judges.” Those interested in volunteering can use the link above to be routed to an online application form.
Submissions will be judged between March 18-20, and MCOE will broadcast a live, public virtual exhibition and awards ceremony on March 20 at 3:30 pm, where the finalists from Mendocino County who qualify for the California State Science Fair will be announced. The State fair takes place April 12-13.
Hildebrand noted that any videos and photographs students submit should conform to school media policies regarding the publication of identifiable students, and he encourages participants to read the information about how images may be used. “Also, be sure to include a caption that describes the experiment and where it was conducted,” he said.
Please direct science fair questions to Hildebrand at email@example.com.
THE WAR ON PRIVACY
by Matt Taibbi
My colleague Glenn Greenwald hit the nail on the head this weekend when he wrote about “tattletale journalism,” in which media reporters for the largest companies spend their time attacking speech, instead of defending it. The miserable trend just reached its apex when Taylor Lorenz — a dunce of historic proportions unleashed on the world by the New York Times — attended an invitation-only Clubhouse chat and not only reported that Silicon Valley entrepreneur Marc Andreesson used the word “retarded” in a discussion about the GameStop uprising, but published the names and faces of those who were guilty of being present and silent during the commission of this heinous crime:
Lorenz was wrong on three counts. One, Andreesson never said the word. Two, the person who did say the word was merely relaying that the Reddit users betting on GameStop “call themselves the ‘retard revolution’.” Lorenz was confusing reporting on speech with actually speaking, the same error that’s led to crackdowns on videographers like Jon Farina and Ford Fischer, punished for shooting raw footage of people saying and doing supposedly objectionable things (a story mostly uncovered by these same media priests).
Thirdly, WTF???? Private utterance of the word “retarded” is news? As Greenwald points out, this would be joke behavior coming from a middle school hall monitor. Such deviance-hunts however are now a central concern of media reporters like Brian Stelter and Oliver Darcy of CNN, Ben Collins and Brandy Zadrozny of NBC, and Mike Isaac, Kevin Roose, Sheera Frenkel, and Lorenz at the Times. Somebody, somewhere, is saying or thinking a bad thing, and this crew seeks the rot out, with the aim of publicly shaming those individuals.
The subtext isn’t hard to decipher. These people believe bad-think, left unaddressed, results in Donald Trump being elected. Therefore, as Chen and Roose put it in a chat last week, it’s “problematic” to countenance platforms that allow large numbers of people to assemble in non-monitored, “shadow” social networks, where they can spread “misinformation” and wreak, potentially, a “ton of havoc.”
Countless stories have been written on the theme of what speech should be “allowed,” as if they are the ones who should be doing the allowing. This is how we’ve traveled in just two and a half years from banning Alex Jones to calling for crackdowns on all unmonitored or less-monitored spaces, from podcasts to the aforementioned Clubhouse to encrypted platforms like Signal and Telegram to Parler, even to Substack, which ludicrously is beginning to come under fire as a purveyor of unapproved thought.
Let’s stipulate, for a moment, that these people are right, that private spaces breed fascism and bigotry, because as William Blake wrote, we should “expect poison from standing water,” making transparency the ultimate public virtue. Let’s agree that all private spaces must have their windows thrown open, so that New York Times reporters can sit watching for transgressions. I disagree with this creeptastic point of view, but let’s admit it, for sake of argument. How do we square that belief with the attitude of these “reporters” toward Wikileaks, or Edward Snowden, or the secret budgets of the intelligence services, or our global network of secret prisons, or our regime of secret National Security Letter subpoenas, or any of a dozen other areas where official or corporate secrecy has expanded? While self-styled heroes of anti-fascism at places like the New York Times have been outing the likes of “Jules,” “Fab,” and “Chloe” for the crime of listening to the word “retard,” the exercise of actual political power has more and more become a black box, and nobody in these newsrooms seems to care.
These culture warriors are collectively making a clear statement: Personal privacy is dangerous, official secrecy is not. They seek total transparency when it comes to our personal beliefs and opinions, and oppose it for governments or tech monopolies.
(TK News by Matt Taibbi)
by James Kunstler
If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.— Joseph Goebbels, Reichsminister of Public Enlightenment and Propaganda
Debuting this week: America’s first genuine show trial, the second impeachment of Donald Trump, an exercise in pure malice designed by a party in power to teach a lesson to the party out of power. The lesson: we’re gonna getcha, getcha, getcha, as in the old song by Blondie. That’s it, and that’s all.
The exercise is so transparently idiotic and unconstitutional that Chief Justice John Roberts declined to preside over it, as the constitution specifies. Say, what…? Do you mean that in a proceeding this grave, he can just… demur? Because… why? Because he doesn’t feel like it? (Or something like that?) His Supreme Honor declined also to furnish a reason — though, if the Chief Justice views the trial as extraconstitutional, perhaps he should say so, for the record. Anyway, Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Senate President Pro Tempore (the oldest member of the majority party), will now act as judge. He must take a pledge to act impartially.
Running the prosecution: Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD), who opined last week in a public statement that the jury (his fellow senators) could “infer” Mr. Trump’s guilt if he declined to testify. Apparently, Mr. Raskin, a former constitutional law professor (American University) never read the Fifth Amendment, which states: …nor shall [any person] be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself. But this is how we roll in these fog-bound days of Woke democracy.
The charge is “inciting violence against the government of the United States” in the January 6 incident at the US Capitol in which a mob breached the doors and invaded the building, one of them wearing buffalo horns and war paint. The prosecuting majority made some noises about calling witnesses, until the defense said, fine, we’ll call witnesses, too, perhaps all the livelong day, day after day, until the cows come home. That prompted the majority to remember that it had a legislative agenda, which it could not pursue if that branch was busy conducting a show trial, so Mr. Raskin nixed the idea. They’ll rely on video to make their case, he said. The FBI and its big brother, the DOJ, have been investigating the riot. The outstanding question: who, exactly, led the breach and induced others to follow. Do we know for sure? If I were one of Mr. Trump’s lawyers, I’d seek to know.
But the defense is more likely to seek an immediate dismissal based on the folly of holding a proceeding designed to remove someone from office who is no longer in office. That ought to be enough. Or else they’ll show some choice video of their own, like of Capitol Police opening the barricades on the outdoor terrace and inviting the mob in, or another of persons inside the building before it was breached handing tools for breaking in through a window to the mob outside.
There’s a humdinger video of Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) haranguing a mob outside the Supreme Court’s headquarters when the justices were inside hearing an abortion case. “I want to tell you, Gorsuch, I want to tell you, Kavanaugh, you have released the whirlwind and you will pay the price!” Schumer yelled to the mob, who went on to bang menacingly on the Court’s front door. And what price would that be? The justices don’t have to run for reelection. As it happened, Chief Justice Roberts promptly admonished Mr. Schumer’s remarks as “inappropriate” and “dangerous.” Even Woke Harvard Law School Professor Laurence Tribe called Mr. Schumer’s language “inexcusable.”
Of course, behind this smokescreen of partisan bullshit is the question of election fraud, which the Democratic Party is seeking desperately to suppress. Their news media henchpersons have settled on the adjective “baseless” whenever the subject comes up in their reporting. They repeat it incessantly, Goebbels-style, to substantiate its truthiness, though it is not true. The truth is indeed the Deep State’s mortal enemy, and eventually it will make itself known.
(Support Kunstler’s writing by visiting his Patreon Page.)
THE SUPER BOWL’S WOKE CAPITALISM
by Dave Zirin
We need to have a conversation about the National Football League’s use of “woke marketing” or “woke capitalism” or whatever you want to call it, before the weight of its contradictions causes us all to collectively crack. What the NFL did on Sunday was dare the viewing public to sweep away the Buffalo wings from their tables and proclaim the entire endeavor to be a snarling pack of lies.
Just take a cursory look at what the league served up on Sunday: We had a Lollapalooza of Black talent on display, and I’m not even talking about the game itself. There was Grammy Award–winning artist H.E.R., doing a shredded version of “America the Beautiful.” There was future legendary songstress Jazmine Sullivan co-singing the national anthem like only she can. There was Viola Davis narrating a short documentary about one of the integrators of the NFL, Kenny Washington (they left out that the experience for Washington was so harrowing that he said, “If I have to integrate heaven, I don’t want to go”). They had the gall to include a clip of Colin Kaepernick in that tribute, with no mention that he has been exiled from the league for protesting racist police violence during the anthem. There was The Weeknd performing the halftime show, doing whatever it is the Weeknd does. And there was Amanda Gorman, blessing us with a poem about the courage of frontline workers during the pandemic. What an array of talent. What a ghastly lie.
This is a league that remains racially segregated between those with power and those who play. In a sport that is so deeply dependent on Black talent, Black bodies, and the concussive destruction of Black minds, there are still only three Black coaches. There are only a handful of Black executives. There are no Black franchise owners. The sidelines of the Super Bowl were themselves an exposure of these segregationist practices as Tampa Bay offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich, as well as their defensive coordinator Todd Bowles and Kansas city’s OC Eric Bienemy are on the outside of the NFL coaching carousel looking in, even though they prove themselves almost every week to be the best at what they do. Todd Bowles should have been the game’s MVP, for the way Tampa Bay’s defense shut down the most explosive offense of our time. These coaches are like a blaring, blinking billboard, reminding us of the gap between the performative presentation of the NFL and the reality of how they do business.
Then there is the case making its way through the courts about the ways that former Black players are being assessed for compensation in a class action settlement regarding concussions. These athletes are having a hard time getting paid because, the suit contends, the NFL’s guidelines for assessing concussions includes a practice plucked from the 19th century called “race norming,” where the baseline mental capacity of Black players is deemed lower than white players and therefore entitled to fewer benefits. Crudely, “race norming” contends that concussions won’t hurt Black athletes as much because they weren’t very sharp to begin with. It’s ugly as sin and the case, which has been making its way through the courts for months, is only getting a window of publicity now because of the Super Bowl.,
The NFL is not the only business to use “woke marketing” while hiding an ugly underbelly. To appeal to a younger generation that is more diverse and less tolerant of intolerance, most businesses play by the “Brooklyn Without Limits” playbook. But it is difficult to think of an institution that does it more ruthlessly than the NFL. “Celebrating Black voices, while stymying Black opportunity and destroying Black minds” is hardly the best look, so they make this grand effort to portray themselves as something they are not. The gap between what they put forward publicly and the reality of their Jim Crow business practices can no longer be ignored. The question is whether this league will be able to endure the weight of these contradictions for much longer, without actually engaging in real systemic change.
People inside the league offices have told me that these performative displays are a part of trying to turn the page toward a more enlightened future. They say that the league is changing and that progress takes time. I pondered that calculus at the start of Sunday’s game, and then the Kansas City Chiefs’ racist “war chant” was piped through the stadium sound system. This league isn’t changing. They’re only becoming more effective at fake representation and false promises.
HIDDEN IN PLAIN SIGHT: THE “UNIMPEACHABLE” OFFENSES
by Norman Solomon
Impeachment dramas on Capitol Hill have routinely skipped over a question that we should be willing to ask even if Congress won’t: “What about a president’s unimpeachable offenses?”
The question is the flip side of one that Republican Gerald Ford candidly addressed when he was the House minority leader 50 years ago: “What, then, is an impeachable offense? The only honest answer is that an impeachable offense is whatever a majority of the House of Representatives considers it to be at a given moment in history.”
By narrowly defining which offenses are impeachable, political elites are implicitly telling us which offenses aren’t.
So, when the House approved two articles of impeachment on Donald Trump in December 2019 and one impeachment article last month, the actions were much too late and much too little.
On Feb. 6, 2017, less than three weeks into Trump’s term, I wrote in The Hill newspaper: “From the outset of his presidency, Trump has been violating the U.S. Constitution in a way that we have not seen before and should not tolerate. It’s time for members of Congress to get the impeachment process underway.” I pointed out that “the president continues to violate two ‘emoluments’ clauses in the Constitution. One prohibits any gifts or benefits from foreign governments, and the other prohibits the same from the U.S. government or any U.S. state.”
But, at the outset, treating President Trump as unimpeachable -- despite those flagrant violations of the Constitution -- greased the wheels for the runaway madness of his presidency in the years that followed. As Trump’s destructive joyride went on, reasons to impeach him proliferated. Researchers easily drew up dozens of articles of impeachment. But in the eyes of political elites, as with previous presidents, Trump’s offenses were seen as unimpeachable.
Two decades earlier, President Bill Clinton became the second impeached president in U.S. history. The frenzy was akin to vilifying Al Capone for tax evasion. “We all seem to have lost our sense of proportion,” historian Howard Zinn wrote five weeks before Clinton’s impeachment. “Why are the political leaders of the United States and the major media talking of impeaching Bill Clinton for lies about sex, surely not the most important sins of his administration?”
Writing in November 1998, Zinn added: “If Clinton is to be impeached, why do it for frivolous reasons? I can think of at least 10 reasons to impeach him, for acts far more serious than his dalliance with Monica Lewinsky or his lies to Kenneth Starr. I am speaking of matters of life and death for large numbers of people.”
Zinn cited such matters as missile attacks on Iraq, Afghanistan and Sudan; Clinton’s refusal to accept a Canadian proposal to ban land mines; continuation of “embargoes on Cuba and Iraq, causing widespread misery in Cuba for lack of food and medicine, and hundreds of thousands of deaths in Iraq according to U.N. statistics”; and squandering vast funds on the U.S. military while people were suffering and dying at home and abroad due to lack of health care, nutrition and housing.
There was no second impeachment of Clinton after he used a “diplomatic” scam called the Rambouillet accords to justify launching intensive U.S.-led NATO bombing of Yugoslavia in the spring of 1999, without congressional authorization. Clinton persisted with a continuous air war for more than two months -- making history by blatantly violating the War Powers Resolution.
Trump -- like Barack Obama and George W. Bush before him -- was able to order missile strikes and deploy troops in numerous war-torn countries without congressional constraints. And there was no reason to be concerned that Congress might impeach him for war crimes. The reasons for such impunity are rooted in the history of “unimpeachable” offenses.
Consider the proceedings in Congress that forced President Richard Nixon to resign when impeachment was imminent in mid-1974. The House Judiciary Committee approved three articles of impeachment -- focusing on Nixon’s obstruction of justice after the Watergate break-in by operatives for his re-election campaign, misuse of federal agencies to violate citizens’ constitutional rights, and noncompliance with congressional subpoenas.
Unmentioned in the Nixon impeachment articles: the Vietnam War that he had prolonged with a vengeance while claiming to seek peace. With methodical deception, Nixon inflicted a massive horrendous war -- but his crimes against humanity were judged to be completely unimpeachable.
Also entirely excluded from the Nixon impeachment articles was the merciless U.S. bombardment of northern Laos that slaughtered people who lived on the Plain of Jars, making Laos “the most heavily bombed country per capita in history.” The impeachment articles likewise made no mention of Nixon’s ordering of the secret and illegal carpet-bombing of Cambodia, which began two months into his presidency and persisted year after year.
On July 31, 1973 -- nearly a full year before Nixon’s resignation -- Democratic Rep. Robert Drinan introduced an impeachment resolution. He said it was triggered by the “recent revelation that President Nixon conducted a totally secret air war in Cambodia.”
As journalist Judith Coburn noted, “The secret bombing of Cambodia involved the same abuse of power and political manipulation of government agencies as Watergate, but only a few congressional representatives like John Conyers, Elizabeth Holtzman, and Edward Mezvinsky supported Drinan’s Cambodia article, which was soundly defeated by the House impeachment committee 26-12.”
Gerald Ford’s “only honest answer” -- acknowledging that an impeachable offense is only “whatever a majority of the House of Representatives considers it to be at a given moment in history” -- foreshadowed the impeachment proceedings against Nixon, Clinton and Trump.
If what’s impeachable is only what members of Congress say it is, constituents should insist that egregiously narrow definitions must no longer prevail. Otherwise, the operative standard for presidents will continue to be what they can get away with -- in tandem with a collectively feckless Congress.
For now, the presidential offenses that are routinely considered unimpeachable -- and therefore ultimately acceptable -- tell us a lot about Congress. And about U.S. mass media. And maybe about ourselves.
(Norman Solomon is the national director of RootsAction.org and the author of many books including "War Made Easy: How Presidents and Pundits Keep Spinning Us to Death." He was a Bernie Sanders delegate from California to the 2016 and 2020 Democratic National Conventions. Solomon is the founder and executive director of the Institute for Public Accuracy.)