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Mendocino County Today: Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2021

Warm Day | 4 New Cases | Vaccine Priorities | Jack Sweeley | Seaplane Crash | Flaky Valentine | Disappearing Elders | Fetid Adderstongue | PA Poet | Diamond D | Ed Notes | Yesterday's Catch | Crass Limbaugh | Willits Snow | Aloe Email | Bitter Heart | Modern Art | Medicare Maze | Crosskeys Tavern | College Resignation | Little Lakers | Wildfire Resilience | Can Opener | Feel Important | Dem Zoom | Mountain Goat | American Dreamers | Mad Brute | Home Focus | Fit Man | Normal Human | Comments | Help Him | Witnessless | Gringo Cruz | Texas Mess | Unity's Sake | Woke Crusade | Found Objects

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MAINLY DRY WEATHER and warm interior temperatures are expected over northwest California through Friday. Very light rainfall may occur on Saturday over portions of Humboldt and Del Norte Counties, followed by another period of dry weather Sunday and Monday. (NWS)

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4 NEW COVID CASES reported Tuesday for Mendocino County.

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The County of Mendocino is continuing to vaccinate all individuals in Phase IA, all tiers. We have moved on to Phase IB Tier 1 including those over 75 years old, EMS, School and Childcare Staff, and Food and Agricultural workers. The latter includes people directly involved in growing, harvesting, production, preparing, selling, cooking and serving food products as well as cannabis and lumber. At this time, the County has vaccinated a large number who have desired the vaccine in these groups.

The demand from these groups continues to fill vaccine events in some areas of the County, while other areas are finding it difficult to fill schedules within the current list of those eligible. The current Framework continues to be a valuable guide to equitable distribution while protecting our community. Now we must expand our criteria.

Therefore, starting Monday, February 22, 2021, current eligibility for vaccination in Mendocino County will include:

People in Phase IA, all tiers, and Phase IB Tier 1 including those over 75 years old, EMS, School and Childcare Staff, and Food and Agricultural workers.

In addition, we will now accept those people over 65 years of age.

IDENTIFICATION for eligibility is required only to confirm age and identity. If eligible for occupational reasons, a pay stub, note from current or past employer or inclusion on a list, a business card, or receipt that supports eligibility are required.

Beginning on March 15, 2021, consistent with the State CDPH recommendations, we will add:

People (of any age) with the following medical conditions which increase their vulnerability to COVID-19.

CONDITIONS (based on 1/15/21 CDPH Communication):

  • Cancer
  • Chronic Kidney Disease (stage 4 or more)
  • COPD, which is Oxygen dependent
  • Diabetes (Type 1 or Type 2 with Hemoglobin A1c >7.5)
  • Heart disease (heart failure, coronary artery disease, cardiomyopathy, NOT including those with hypertension only)
  • Immunocompromised state due to disease or medications
  • Pregnancy
  • Severe obesity (BMI>40kg/m2)
  • Sickle cell disease
  • Disabilities, physical or mental which increase their risk of severe COVID or would cause problems caring for them if they contracted COVID-19. This could include Down’s Syndrome and other congenital illnesses.

IDENTIFICATION should be presented in the form of a note (not requiring diagnosis, for privacy reasons) from their provider.

(County Presser)

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John Phillip ‘Jack’ Sweeley - age: 94

(September 02, 1926 to February 10, 2021 )

Resident of Ukiah, California

John P. (Jack) Sweeley, devoted husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather passed away on February 10, 2021 at the age of 94. The son of Frank and Helen Sweeley, Jack was born on September 2, 1926 in Fresno, California. Jack’s younger brother, Michael Sweeley, preceded him in death. Jack spent his early years in Sonora, California. He enlisted in the U.S. Army toward the end of World War II serving for two years in the Army Air Corps in the Aleutian Islands. He graduated from U.C. Berkeley in 1950 with a degree in Forestry. Jack married his grammar school friend Margaret McConnell on December 27, 1950 in Columbia, California and they moved to Ukiah, where they lived their entire married life. Margaret passed away in November of 2016.

Jack is survived by his two daughters Martha (David) Bookout of Ukiah and Phyllis (Don) Mendel of Pacifica; four grandchildren, Emilee (Jon) Kaeser, Yoav (Audrey) Mendel, Sivan (Jeremy) Sasson, Amir (Adriana) Mendel, great-granddaughters Liat Sasson and Elya Mendel.

Jack began his career with Masonite Corporation in 1950, eventually working his way up to Chief Forester. He stayed on for 32 years with Masonite, through their transition to the Timber Realization Company, and eventually to L.P. where he worked as Head of Security until the early 1990’s. Jack went on to earn his A. S. in Administration of Justice in 1992. Since 1992, Jack worked as a consultant for Coastal Forestlands, Mendocino Redwood Company, and Soper-Wheeler Company, where he performed a variety of professional services.

Jack was also active with the Mendocino County Cooperative Aerial Fire Patrol, The Redwood Region Logging Conference, California Association of Resource Conservation, NorCal, SAF, CLFA, and as a Reserve Deputy for the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Department.

Jack was the recipient of many awards over the course of his career, recognizing his dedication, professionalism and ethics. He was honored under Assembly resolution #124 (Barry Keene) in 1987, recognized by the California Association of Resource Conservation Districts in 1981, the SAF Fellow Award in 1983, the S.S Greeley Forestry Award in 1986, Mendocino Reserve Deputy of the year in 1989, Certificate of recognition from the Secretary of the Interior in 1991, Public Service Award from the Mendocino Board of Supervisors in 1992, Achievement Award from the Redwood Region Logging Conference in 1992, Honorary lifetime membership by Cal Alumni Foresters and CLFA Outstanding Forester Award in 2009. In 2012, Jack was honored by the Mendocino Redwood Company at Miller Ridge known as “12-mile” along the Masonite logging road, by the foresters, loggers, sheriff deputies and other resource professionals where they dedicated and named the ridge “Jack’s Point” in his honor.

Jack served as past president of the Ukiah Council for Camp Fire Girls and served as a Deacon at the First Presbyterian Church of Ukiah. Jack shared his love for Yosemite National Park and the Eastern Sierra, spending time with his family during the summers, camping, hiking, canoeing and fishing. He also enjoyed taking motorcycle rides on the weekends. He shared his love for dogs, particularly his beloved Blue Healers.

The family is deeply grateful to the loving staff at Holy Spirit Residential Care Home and Hospice of Ukiah for their wonderful care and compassion.

A private graveside service will be held. Donations may be made in Jack’s memory to the First Presbyterian Church of Ukiah, Humane Society of Inland Mendocino, Hospice of Ukiah, Inc., or the charity of your choice.

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Dear Katy Tahja,

A little history on Clearlake that not many people may remember or know. Clearlake was an emergency landing field. The Mars aircarft in WWII was a very large four-engine seaplane used by the Navy. Their home base was Naval Airstation Alameda on the San Francisco Bay. In late 1942 or early 1943 coming in from Honolulu they were trying to make it to Clearlake but crashed into a mountain somewhere above Boonville. Mars was the only aircraft at that time which could fly from Alameda to Honolulu. It was used to haul freight and people. 

Admiral English was the Head of Submarine Warfare and he was a family friend; this is why I remember this.

Richard Hargreaves


PS. I am almost 90 years old and some of those people wouldn’t remember it.

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VALENTINE IN MY CEREAL BOWL (photo by Jim Gibbons)

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The very scary world of “elder care” and “conservation” by official agencies (Departments of Social Services, “Public Guardians,” Adult Protective Services, and the courts) is seldom visible to the public, or discussed in polite company, so the movie “I Care a Lot” introduces the subject with a glee I cannot share. We’ve seen elders removed from their life-long homesteads to make their water rights available for developers — and virtually “disappeared” from the communities in which their lives were interwoven — but in many cases the appropriate authorities refuse to take responsibility for very disabled elders because they lack any estate that can be “managed” by a professional conservator. Some die in extreme poverty, in transient circumstances, of causes that may be less than “natural,” but the state stopped doing autopsies on older adults a long time ago, unless there are obvious signs of violent abuse.

Mitigations of gradual capacity losses can be found in subsidized assistance programs (typically provided by non-profit “senior centers” and licensed agencies, including “registries” of non-licensed in-home caregivers), but the most important factor in an individual’s survival is their ability to fend for themselves in unfamiliar circumstances — which are proving to be the “new norm” in this decade as the aging process besets a near third of our population and socio-economic stringencies continue to flog those traditional service providers.

In the 1980s, Chabot College in Hayward offered classes to widows and widowers aged 65+ to help them learn rudimentary life skills and maintain their independence in their own homes. There was then a generation of older women whose husbands had handled all the business affairs of the family (some had never so much as written a check or even driven the family car). Many of these new “displaced persons” were helped tremendously by their churches, as those affiliations are often another less-visible resource in poor communities.

When, in 2015 and 2016, the collective assembly of all churches in Lake County could not muster the wherewithal to host a free, FEMA-recognized recovery service group (“World Renew”) — requiring only the supply of a place to sleep, shower, and eat — even the county’s backstop organization (North Coast Opportunities) was hard pressed to find the means for their accommodations, and their late start in the FEMA-prescribed “recovery” process after the 2015 Valley Fire was but one of the several irregularities that emerged over the years as the remaining population of poverty-stricken, older adults begins to capture the imaginations of avaricious vultures always on the lookout for vulnerable targets.

Churches can harbor less-than-honorable practitioners to whom newly isolated or bereft elders turn, as well as genuinely caring community support systems. In a population as small as ours, it should not be surprising how many of the “mainstream” government employees are active church members who, nonetheless, could not come up with a single donation of room and board for vetted volunteers that might have been able to establish a legitimate program to support elderly, impoverished wildfire “survivors” (for whom rentable housing units within their financial means were/are not available).

I’ll try to watch it, based on your review, but last night I reacted so horrifyingly to the first few minutes I had to quickly search for an antidote to get the bad taste out of my mind. The court system is intimidating enough for the able-bodied and presumably able-minded, but the hidden system of “adult protection” would truly disturb any reasonable citizen.

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Fetid Adderstongue (photo by Annie Kalantarian)

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City of Point Arena Seeks Local Poet to Serve as Poet Laureate

In an effort to empower, support, and provide greater access to literary arts and culture for its residents and visitors, the City of Point Arena seeks a local poet to serve as Poet Laureate as a way to ensure that the literary arts continue to evolve and be recognized, acknowledged, and experienced within the Point Arena community.

The Poet Laureate is an honorary position that seeks to advance the knowledge and enjoyment of literary arts and culture through writing, education and community events. S/he/they compose poems for special events and occasions and create events such as poetry contests, writing workshops and lectures, and public readings.

This position is an opportunity to advance the social and cultural impact of the literary arts, to uplift creative and diverse perspectives expressed through the written word, and to broaden and diversify the audience for poetry by bringing the power of words and literature to everyone in the Point Arena community.

The City of Point Arena welcomes and encourages applicants from all backgrounds, identities, and cultures. For this reason, the City has expanded the eligibility of applicants to include anyone living within a 13-mile radius of the City limits. The City of Point Arena would also like to note that for this same reason, applicants may submit work in languages other than English.

The application requirements include:

Letter of Interest. A one page personal statement that outlines why you are interested in the position and what activities and goals you want to pursue during your appointment.

Experience. Provide curriculum vitae or resume, any available lists of publications, awards and/or performances, and any other information or previously related experience. Please include any performance record such as spoken word, poetry slams, film, new media or other performance-related venues.

Work Samples. Selections from and examples of your work.

Contact Information. Please include your full name, address, email, and telephone.

Applications are due by April 15, 2021

To apply for the position, please contact Point Arena City Hall at 451 School Street, call 882-2122, or email

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Diamond D Lumber, Willits

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WELL, that was a fast winter, wasn't it? Half the needed rainfall, Lake Mendocino looking like the crater for the Mars Landing, bikers already pit-stopping at the Redwood Drive-In as a week of 70-plus days begins. In February. The water delivery trucks are already backed up in their orders for deliveries, and the hill muffins begin dreading a very long fire season.

AND I’m wondering why the water was turned off at the WPA water trough on 128. Used to enjoy a cup once in a while because it’s increasingly rare that one can enjoy a swig of God’s elixir as God made it.

MY LONG LOOK at the talented Debra Eloise’s art currently on display at Mosswood was so rewarding it made me hungry for more, but I was happy to settle for one of Mosswood’s incomparable blueberry muffins.

GET YER ear plugs ready, Anderson Valley, it’s frost fan time. Frigid after midnight, baseball days, and here they come from Midnight to 7am.

WE'VE ALL BEEN under house arrest for almost a year and, if you're like me, you pounce on the latest Netflix documentary because you've seen everything else. Netflix dramas are mostly a deluge of sub-TV dreck. For the real good creative stuff the Brits do it best, cf the excellent series Happy Valley appearing, of all places on KQED Television where, amid the purplish life style and cooking shows leavened only by the occasional reality-based documentary, Happy Valley is a welcome relief. The LL and I have been watching an old BBC detective series — circa middle 1960s — called “Endeavor.” Great stuff.) And last weekend, we both watched Netflix’s five-part “The Vanishing at the Hotel Cecil,” the manipulated story of the suicide of a mentally ill young woman from Vancouver in Los Angeles. I say “manipulated” because the filmmaker strings out the story unnecessarily, including all kinds of unfounded speculation from all kinds of uninformed “web sleuths,” although the filmmakers and millions of others know out front what in fact happened to Elisa Lam. But we get constant, all be them diverting, interjections of the hotel's louche history in the louche-est area of Skid Row L.A. to repeatedly make the obvious point that neither the hotel nor the neighborhood is conducive to the well-being of innocent young women, or human beings of whatever gender, age and relative sophistication. The film offers no speculation on how some thirty thousand Americans are living on the streets of downtown L.A. so the constant shots of the destitute, the drug-addled and the unconfined insane are merely cheap voyeurism. unrelated to the sad saga of Miss Lam. Why the doomed young woman with her history of life-threatening bipolar episodes was wandering around urban California by herself is the only question unexplored in the film.

ALDEN GLOBAL CAPITAL, a hedge fund even more destructive than most hedge funds, is buying the Tribune newspaper chain, including the Chicago Tribune, the New York Daily News and other local newspapers in a deal valued at $630 million. They already own us. Alden, based in Denver, owns the community papers in Fort Bragg, Mendocino. Willits, Ukiah, Lakeport, Woodland, Vallejo, Vacaville, Contra Costa Times, East Bay Times, SJ Mercury News, Chico, Redding, Eureka, Oroville — all Alden papers. The Sacbee and the other Bees are owned by a New Jersey hedge fund since last year. In Mendocino County, Alden, some time ago, sold off the real estate formerly housing the Willits, Fort Bragg, Mendocino, and Ukiah newspapers. Alden rents property for the remaining, and doomed, staffers at these papers.

MUSICAL acts of aggression are many these days, everything from muzak to Madonna, but muzak ends when you leave the elevator and Madonna is optional. But there's no escaping that deep bass thump-thump, ka-thump that rattles your windows and shivers your timbers. Music? Can't be because all it is is thump-thump, ka-thump endlessly repeated, a synthesized drive-by assault and, if you live next door to it, an all-day and into the night barrage. I thought when I first came under attack that it was the latest thing among the stupeedos, kind of like murder and mayhem rap, that they now rigged up sound systems to out-stupid other stupeedos. “Hah. Mine pisses off more people than yours!” But thirty years later these mostly mobile acts of random aggression are still with us.

THE FIRST TIME I was attacked the thump-thump apparatus was set up in the trunk of a car about ten feet from my office. I motioned nicely to the guy to turn it down. He turned it up. At the time, this man, young but old enough to know better, belonged to a family of non-English-speaking criminals who lived next door. They got drunk and fired fully automatic weapons into the air during backyard birthday celebrations, but most of the time they were unobtrusive. 

BUT THE MORNING the gavacho refused my polite request to turn down the ka-thump attack, and already too elderly for hand-to-hand combat, I called then-resident deputy Squires who soon appeared and, without a word, ripped the ka-thump apparatus out of the guy's trunk and drove off with it! Problem solved, and boyo boyo does the Anderson Valley miss that guy. 

BUT A NEW EDITION OF KA-THUMPERS have moved in again next door, bumming out the whole neighborhood. Ask nicely, get death glares back. A deputy silenced them last night, but as soon as he left the aggressors gave us one more blast like they're the wronged party, then from about 8pm we felt rural again. 

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CATCH OF THE DAY, February 22, 2021

Fernandes, McBride, Montalvo

MANUEL FERNANDES, Margate, Florida/Ukiah. DUI, evasion.

MICHAEL MCBRIDE, Willits. Assault with deadly weapon not a gun, controlled substance, paraphernalia.


Selvester, Vincent, Whipple

KARLA SELVESTER, Ukiah. DUI-drugs, disobeying court order.

LYLE VINCENT III, Ukiah. Narcotic-controlled substance-organic drug sale. 

HANK WHIPPLE, Covelo. Controlled substance, failure to appear.

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by Steve Heilig

The first time I heard Rush Limbaugh was on my father’s car radio decades ago. Rush was lecturing away on some topic, I think illegal immigration and the horrors thereof, and went on and on. At some point there was a commercial break and I asked my dad who he was. Dad, a lifelong GOP stalwart, corporate executive, and Navy veteran leader, just laughed and said “He’s just a joker, a comedian, nobody with any brains should take him seriously.” 

But apparently many did, in fact, up to 20 million at a time. He became the biggest man on radio. I only heard him in passing after that first impression, but increasingly people I knew, including some friends in the GOP stronghold of Orange County, California, started referring to him as if he were some sort of oracle. “Rush says….” became an intro I had to let go by, as if an otherwise nice and intelligent enough pal was quoting Mickey Mouse, but about sometimes important issues. “Global warming? Oh I can demolish that in 30 seconds. Rush says….” If they didn’t actually quote Rush by name, it was easy enough to deduce where their opinion on complex political, scientific, historic, sociological, you name it issues was coming from. They tended to leave out all the personal nastiness, much of it so reprehensible it would have been beyond the pale to air it before Rush came along. Some started to affix “Rush is Right” bumper stickers to their cars, but what exactly he was right about was often quite fuzzy. My Rush, right or wrong, but never wrong.

As it turned out, this was not a good thing. When Limbaugh died recently, the Wall Street Journal, still the house organ of the GOP but now a much milder one than the legion of other right-wing outlets, published a tone-deaf defense of him by another conservative radio “personality.” This fellow said no, Rush was actually a nice guy, only lapsed into personal attacks and nastiness once in a great moon, and was hated only because he “had the number’ of the Left, whoever they might be. It reminded me of when some folks I sorta knew had an audience with Syrian dictator/mass murderer Assad and came back saying ‘But he was very polite to us!” The worst people in the world are almost invariably polite to people when it serves their purpose. I once had dinner at the Marcoses and it was delightful, as long as one didn’t think or feel very much at the time.

Of course many people were indeed offended by Limbaugh, but that was not limited to any political persuasion. Twenty million was about 10% of America when Rush peaked. Some of the other 90% hated his act, but most ignored him. Problem was, those who loved him really loved him, calling themselves “dittoheads,” a telling term about how they didn’t think, just re-spouted, but they also acted on his words at times, calling, writing, yelling, threatening, some of them even voting. As the New York Times obit said, Rush “turned talk radio into a right-wing attack machine,” quite an accomplishment unless one thought much about what that meant. Weak-livered politicos paid attention and feared his rants. Thus, he gained “power” along with all the cash he was raking in as he laughed to the bank. For a guy who failed out of college, he did pretty darn well, and an armchair psychologist might speculate that much of his vitriol directed at those more educated than he would ever be came from at least some sense of inferiority.

After the Fairness Doctrine was dissolved as “censorship” by Ronald Reagan in 1987, all bets were off. One could say most anything in the media, and then challenge others to “prove me wrong,” or more usually, just ignore any objections. Along with Newt Gingrich, Rush brought us not only the huge surge of “low information” voting, but, arguably, the short but messy and destructive reign on Donald Trump. They had so much in common, and one striking visual illustration among many was how Trump, in mocking a disabled reporter, uncannily copied Rush doing the same thing years about Parkinson’s sufferer Michael J. Fox years earlier. One could list a litany of other examples of how Rush put ‘locker room talk” onto the air, normalizing attacks on women, children, minorities, immigrants, taxes, warfare, you name it. By the time Trump became a candidate, nothing much was shocking anymore, and standard for decency had eroded to the lowest base’s nonexistent standards. The McCarthy-era question “Have you no decency?” meant nothing anymore, as the answer was no, even proudly so. And folks would forget it anyway, for tomorrow was a whole new show. Rush had a base for whom anything went, no matter how vile, even unChristian, even though they thought of themselves as almost saintly in their version of patriotism. For all this, of course, Trump awarded him a big medal, while the rational nation gagged aloud. 

What Rush thus amounted to most of all was a further dumbing-down of America. Some might say that would be hard to do, but nobody before had made it big by being so bad. My dad, again, was wrong. There was some pushback at Rush’s nasty man gig, such as when even the NFL denied him purchase of a team due his rampant racism (among many other things, he had said pro football looked like a battle between “Bloods and Crips”). Health and medical groups denounced his calling a young woman who advocated for birth control a “slut” and his calling for death for drug addicts, especially when he turned out to be one himself. His hypocrisy was vast. But he and his base thought that was no problem, even a strength. Thus he hung on to the Obama-as-Kenyan “birther” babble long after most anybody else had let it go, and at his death, was still supporting Trump’s big lie about the “stolen” election. And on and on, ad nauseum. Why expect evidence or consistency? Or even decency? Whatever sells.

Rush created what in essence was a “safe space” for those who didn’t care. As in Trump’s locker room, they could say what they really felt. If challenged, though, they’d get nasty quick. On air, Rush controlled the mics, and he was merciless, knowing his often lonely, powerless, marginalized listeners loved such a display of power. Like FOX News, which also owes much to him, when attached, even sued, he could always retreat and say he was just “entertainment.” But at what cost to civil, informed discourse in our country? What huge mass error in judgement made Ruch Limbaugh any kind of hero to anybody?

Sometime after my first exposure to Rush radio, Dad and I were again driving somewhere, late at night, with what I think was him again on the air. The topic was, again, “illegals,” a term I’ve long seen as easy indication of a non-thinking mind. It was call-in time, and listeners were ranting about them stealing job, stealing other stuff, everything up to eating white babies. Then a soft-spoken man came on, saying he had a confession to make. Back when he was a marine, stationed at Camp Pendleton on the Southern California coast, where many migrants trekked through once they’d made a successful border crossing just south into San Diego, he and others sometimes practiced firing mortars out towards the coastal cliffs. Late one night, he said, they observed a campfire down near the railroad tracks, and decided to have some fun by scaring them with a well-placed lob of explosive. But being trainees they weren’t so accurate yet, and dropped the shell right onto the camp. “I don’t know how many people were there, but we could see at least a few,” the man said quietly. “Maybe even some kids. The three of us just sat silently for a long time. Then we packed it up and left there, not saying anything to anybody ever. In fact I’ve never told anybody about this until now.” The caller than began sobbing. And that’s all we heard, until Rush, or whichever protégé right-wing shock jock it might have been, just said “Commercial break time!” THAT shut him up, at least for a moment or two. But any remorse, apology, deeper thought and discussion about things? Thanks to Rush Limbaugh, had already become too much to ask.

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Snow In Willits, 1937

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You're a die hard luddite now? Who knew? Mechanization isn't the problem; what you do with it is.

I'm referring to your opinion thrown out in a recent AVA Off the Record that you believe it would be healthier for society to get rid of the internet and even email, the idea being we could better think for ourselves amidst all the clutter. 

Being an old school type to my bones, I disagree as much as it is humanly possible to disagree. Losing email would be similar to losing the AVA. That would be a colossal bummer. Both reside on society's lower-rungs, for those who have a sense of place or class, making room for intellectuals, dissidents, artists, misfits, prisoners and the like to tune in and hold onto our place in the scheme of things.

Despite problems with the internet, like violations of privacy and rampant misinformation, the internet powers our daily lives with paperless news and human connectedness. What is to be gained to compete with that?

The worst of your two ideas is getting rid of email, the most low key, every day people mode of communication yet devised, outside of letters and land line phones. As an old school person, I appreciate having an internet step up, which my facebook page provides at no cost. Where else can I write something and instantly edit it to scratch something I didn't mean to say?--my post on facebook. That lends itself to thinking for myself with feedback or without -- my choice. Where else can I connect with a broad swath of people previously unknown to me who follow my page and voice their views? They are called “friends” even tho' we may never have met in person. What matters far more than meetings in the flesh is their off the beaten path opinions and feedback on tough subjects, whoever they may be. I feel no need to meet more people in person, but instead I crave the intelligent sincere takes on the world of independent thinkers who tune in to their choice of sites on the internet, and one of them is mine. I know hundreds, perhaps thousands of people thru this method, at no cost. It beats a blank. 

For someone who keeps AVA @$1 an issue, $50 annual sub, it is a contradiction to advocate ending use of the best deal on the internet, that is, email.

My recent skin rash came up a month ago when it first appeared. I asked on facebook that folks give me feedback since this itch was driving me stark raving nuts and had never happened before. Responses were heartwarming. I got theories and remedies and comforting creams and topicals with cannabis as an ingredient; powerful oils like tea tree that I dunked on my scalp, half the bottle instead of shampoo. For a day, that stilled the maddening itch. It came back. 

I wonder, is it a massive magnesium deficiency? What has worked best is daily Epsom salt magnesium based foot soaks with simultaneous salt drenched cloths covering advanced places of little bumps around my body. There's also aloe vera leaves sliced open for the medical goo tightly contained within for instant relief at hard to reach spots. No muss no fuss. The medicine quickly dissipates on the skin; only the skin of the leaf remains and dries up.

There's a reason Harvest Market devotes a whole section to giant aloe vera leaves, dozens in a large stash, for the health nuts who are catching on and flocking to it. I'm one. A bright orange flower emerged out of my aloe plant last week. I announced it: out with the old orange, in with the new. Someone said, “Ooh I've never seen that. Can you send me a picture?" She responded by email. I rest my case.

Pebbles Trippet


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BITTERNESS AND HATRED are self-destructive emotions. Any doctor will tell you the great mental and physical damage that results when a person has bitterness or hatred in his heart. It is a poison of the worst sort. Only a fool will allow himself to be a victim of bitterness or hate.

— Archie Moore

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SKILL WITHOUT IMAGINATION is craftsmanship and gives us many useful objects such as wickerwork picnic baskets. Imagination without skill gives us modern art.

— Tom Stoppard

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NEED HELP NAVIGATING Medicare Health Insurance? Sign up for a special Live webinar with experts!

Join the Anderson Valley Village and California Department of Aging’s Medicare Health Insurance Counseling and Advocacy Program (HICAP) for a Free Live Medicare Webinar. Monday, March 8th, 4-5 PM

Have questions on Medicare's Advantage Plans, Drug Plans, Savings Programs? Get answers!

Register in advance for this meeting:

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

See their calendar for more Free Unbiased Zoom Education classes!

Anica Williams, Anderson Valley Village Coordinator

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CrossKeys Tavern, Willits, 1926

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Dear President McCartney (Smith College):

I am writing to notify you that effective today, I am resigning from my position as Student Support Coordinator in the Department of Residence Life at Smith College. This has not been an easy decision, as I now face a deeply uncertain future. As a divorced mother of two, the economic uncertainty brought about by this resignation will impact my children as well. But I have no choice. The racially hostile environment that the college has subjected me to for the past two and a half years has left me physically and mentally debilitated. I can no longer work in this environment, nor can I remain silent about a matter so central to basic human dignity and freedom.

I graduated from Smith College in 1993. Those four years were among the best in my life. Naturally, I was over the moon when, years later, I had the opportunity to join Smith as a staff member. I loved my job and I loved being back at Smith. 

But the climate — and my place at the college — changed dramatically when, in July 2018, the culture war arrived at our campus when a student accused a white staff member of calling campus security on her because of racial bias. The student, who is black, shared her account of this incident widely on social media, drawing a lot of attention to the college.

Before even investigating the facts of the incident, the college immediately issued a public apology to the student, placed the employee on leave, and announced its intention to create new initiatives, committees, workshops, trainings, and policies aimed at combating “systemic racism” on campus.

In spite of an independent investigation into the incident that found no evidence of racial bias, the college ramped up its initiatives aimed at dismantling the supposed racism that pervades the campus. This only served to support the now prevailing narrative that the incident had been racially motivated and that Smith staff are racist. 

Allowing this narrative to dominate has had a profound impact on the Smith community and on me personally. For example, in August 2018, just days before I was to present a library orientation program into which I had poured a tremendous amount of time and effort, and which had previously been approved by my supervisors, I was told that I could not proceed with the planned program. Because it was going to be done in rap form and “because you are white,” as my supervisor told me, that could be viewed as “cultural appropriation.” My supervisor made clear he did not object to a rap in general, nor to the idea of using music to convey orientation information to students. The problem was my skin color.

I was up for a full-time position in the library at that time, and I was essentially informed that my candidacy for that position was dependent upon my ability, in a matter of days, to reinvent a program to which I had devoted months of time. 

Humiliated, and knowing my candidacy for the full-time position was now dead in the water, I moved into my current, lower-paying position as Student Support Coordinator in the Department of Residence Life. 

As it turned out, my experience in the library was just the beginning. In my new position, I was told on multiple occasions that discussing my personal thoughts and feelings about my skin color is a requirement of my job. I endured racially hostile comments, and was expected to participate in racially prejudicial behavior as a continued condition of my employment. I endured meetings in which another staff member violently banged his fist on the table, chanting “Rich, white women! Rich, white women!” in reference to Smith alumnae. I listened to my supervisor openly name preferred racial quotas for job openings in our department. I was given supplemental literature in which the world’s population was reduced to two categories — “dominant group members” and “subordinated group members” — based solely on characteristics like race. 

Every day, I watch my colleagues manage student conflict through the lens of race, projecting rigid assumptions and stereotypes on students, thereby reducing them to the color of their skin. I am asked to do the same, as well as to support a curriculum for students that teaches them to project those same stereotypes and assumptions onto themselves and others. I believe such a curriculum is dehumanizing, prevents authentic connection, and undermines the moral agency of young people who are just beginning to find their way in the world.

Although I have spoken to many staff and faculty at the college who are deeply troubled by all of this, they are too terrified to speak out about it. This illustrates the deeply hostile and fearful culture that pervades Smith College.

The last straw came in January 2020, when I attended a mandatory Residence Life staff retreat focused on racial issues. The hired facilitators asked each member of the department to respond to various personal questions about race and racial identity. When it was my turn to respond, I said “I don’t feel comfortable talking about that.” I was the only person in the room to abstain.

Later, the facilitators told everyone present that a white person’s discomfort at discussing their race is a symptom of “white fragility.” They said that the white person may seem like they are in distress, but that it is actually a “power play.” In other words, because I am white, my genuine discomfort was framed as an act of aggression. I was shamed and humiliated in front of all of my colleagues.

I filed an internal complaint about the hostile environment, but throughout that process, over the course of almost six months, I felt like my complaint was taken less seriously because of my race. I was told that the civil rights law protections were not created to help people like me. And after I filed my complaint, I started to experience retaliatory behavior, like having important aspects of my job taken away without explanation.

Under the guise of racial progress, Smith College has created a racially hostile environment in which individual acts of discrimination and hostility flourish. In this environment, people’s worth as human beings, and the degree to which they deserve to be treated with dignity and respect, is determined by the color of their skin. It is an environment in which dissenting from the new critical race orthodoxy — or even failing to swear fealty to it like some kind of McCarthy-era loyalty oath — is grounds for public humiliation and professional retaliation. 

I can no longer continue to work in an environment where I am constantly subjected to additional scrutiny because of my skin color. I can no longer work in an environment where I am told, publicly, that my personal feelings of discomfort under such scrutiny are not legitimate but instead are a manifestation of white supremacy. Perhaps most importantly, I can no longer work in an environment where I am expected to apply similar race-based stereotypes and assumptions to others, and where I am told — when I complain about having to engage in what I believe to be discriminatory practices — that there are “legitimate reasons for asking employees to consider race” in order to achieve the college’s “social justice objectives.”

What passes for “progressive” today at Smith and at so many other institutions is regressive. It taps into humanity’s worst instincts to break down into warring factions, and I fear this is rapidly leading us to a very twisted place. It terrifies me that others don’t seem to see that racial segregation and demonization are wrong and dangerous no matter what its victims look like. Being told that any disagreement or feelings of discomfort somehow upholds “white supremacy” is not just morally wrong. It is psychologically abusive.

Equally troubling are the many others who understand and know full well how damaging this is, but do not speak out due to fear of professional retaliation, social censure, and loss of their livelihood and reputation. I fear that by the time people see it, or those who see it manage to screw up the moral courage to speak out, it will be too late.

I wanted to change things at Smith. I hoped that by bringing an internal complaint, I could somehow get the administration to see that their capitulation to critical race orthodoxy was causing real, measurable harm. When that failed, I hoped that drawing public attention to these problems at Smith would finally awaken the administration to this reality. I have come to conclude, however, that the college is so deeply committed to this toxic ideology that the only way for me to escape the racially hostile climate is to resign. It is completely unacceptable that we are now living in a culture in which one must choose between remaining in a racially hostile, psychologically abusive environment or giving up their income.

As a proud Smith alum, I know what a critical role this institution has played in shaping my life and the lives of so many women for one hundred and fifty years. I want to see this institution be the force for good I know it can be. I will not give up fighting against the dangerous pall of orthodoxy that has descended over Smith and so many of our educational institutions.

This was an extremely difficult decision for me and comes at a deep personal cost. I make $45,000 a year; less than a year’s tuition for a Smith student. I was offered a settlement in exchange for my silence, but I turned it down. My need to tell the truth — and to be the kind of woman Smith taught me to be — makes it impossible for me to accept financial security at the expense of remaining silent about something I know is wrong. My children’s future, and indeed, our collective future as a free nation, depends on people having the courage to stand up to this dangerous and divisive ideology, no matter the cost.


Jodi Shaw

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Little Lake Family, 1941

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Paradigm Shift: Strengthening Our Wildfire Resilience


Tuesday, February 23, 12:30 - 2:00 pm

Following the most destructive wildfire season in the state’s history, Governor Newsom and legislators are working together to take unprecedented actions to protect Californians from catastrophic wildfire risks. The Governor has proposed a $1 billion investment in regionally-prioritized work to harden homes, build protective fuel breaks and complete projects to improve the health of the state’s forests and diverse landscapes. This proposed investment is built on California's new Wildfire and Forest Resilience Action Plan.

Join us for a discussion with a range of key partners about this Action Plan and proposed investment during the Secretary Speaker Series. Your engagement will help shape this effort.

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HALF OF THE HARM that is done in this world is due to people who want to feel important...they do not mean to do harm...they are absorbed in their endless struggle to think well of themselves. 

— T. S. Eliot

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Coast Democratic Club Zoom Meeting, Thursday, March 4 @ 6 pm


Report from Two California Citizens Redistricting Commissioners 

Derric Taylor, Los Angeles (Investigator, L.A. County Sheriff’s Department)

Pedro Toledo, Petaluma (Chief Administrative Officer, Petaluma Health Center)

What is the Commission’s public review process? 

Will candidates filing for office to run in the CA June 2022 primary be impacted by redistricting dates?

Note: We can ask questions about the process but public comments on proposed mapping will not be taken at this meeting. Comments should be sent to: 

CA Citizens Redistricting Commission

721 Capitol Mall, Suite 260

Sacramento, CA 95814

Report on County redistricting process 

Supervisor Dan Gjerde, 4th District, Board Chair

Current Redistricting Deadlines

September 30, 2021 

Census data sent to the CA Commission

February 14, 2022 

Maps for CA Congressional, State Senate and Assembly District must be completed

Zoom Link: Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 820 0173 6009

Passcode: ClubMeet

Coast Democrats" <>

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One common denominator that tied or unified Americans together was “dreaming” as implied by the term “The American Dream.” MLK dreamed and I like to think that Lincoln did on some level in his time. There is more I would like to say but it seems a mysterious topic – inexpressible in either black OR white.

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Letter to the Editor (Sunday, New York Times)

Re “Aliens Must Be Out There,” by Farhad Manjoo:

It took Earth about 4.5 billion years to evolve. During that time there was only about one chance in, say, a quadrillion that we would evolve into intelligent beings. But here we are in this one chance looking out at the rest of the universe and wondering if there is anyone else like us.

How much longer will we be here: a thousand years, 10,000 years? There have been mass extinctions in the past. It will happen again. Many of our species are becoming extinct now.

What makes us think that there is some other civilization out there that we can communicate with that happens to be in existence now? The chances are one in a quadrillion.

But let’s say we heard from an alien out in space. And they are only 10,000 light-years away. They sent their message 10,000 years ago. So what?

Let us concentrate on our civilization and see if we can stop killing one another and destroying this little speck of Earth.

Art Cornell

Osterville, Massachussets.

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I AM NOT A MACHINE, I am not a piece of meat, I am not a circus show. I am a normal human being. I have human feelings. I have a beautiful family. I have many friends. I like good music, classical music. I read books. People sometimes do not treat me like a human being because of my size. They make a sensation. I try not to take it personally because they do not know me as a person, but there are times when it hurts me inside.

— Nikolai Valuev

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[1] They are not going to leave him alone. New York is after him for tax and banking fraud charges. Georgia will go after him for meddling in their vote count. Manhattan is going after him for sexual assault and paying off Playboy models and porn stars and for insurance and banking fraud and financial statements that increased asset values for loans and deflated values to get out of paying real estate taxes. He did the same thing for a golf course in Los Angeles. In Chicago they are going after him for financial crimes related to his hotel. He is also in problems with Deutsche Bank/Buffalo Bills soccer team funding. He also paid advisory fees to Ivanka against tax laws (federal taxes) and NY Dept. of Taxation and Finance is also after him for the same thing.

They couldn’t nail him on impeachment as president. But citizen Trump’s problems are just beginning.

[2] The US in the last several months has really proven how deranged and feckless a nation it is. 

Consider these optics: 

Grown men dressed as Vikings and Chewbacca from the Star Wars movies breaking into a national Capitol of a country of 325+ million ppl. 

A clownish attempted political conviction of a former President on accusation of incitement of insurrection for saying stuff like “You better fight like hell or you won’t have a country anymore.” The trial had Hollywood style videos but zero sworn eyewitness testimony. 

A sitting President who is so old, cognitively challenged, and decrepit, that he can only handle 20 minute public appearances. 

[3] “The calls for “unity” are a dodge. Unity requires broad consensual reality, not cynically-constructed pseudo-realities designed to cancel any notion of the common good, a common culture, or the public interest.”

It would seem that “broad consensual reality” is a bridge too far in a hyper-partisan political and cultural environment. The common good, a common culture, or the public interest … not sure they exist either, in any really practicable way.

There are very rich people, some that live comfortably enough, then working families that just get by, and a whole lot of poor who have not and never will have productive or prosperous lives.

It’s a question of class conflict, and competing interests, with a lot of race-base tribalism in the mix … not a lot of commonality it seems to me.

And while I think calling appeals to “unity” a dodge is going a bit far – they are meaningless in the context of America today, and the problems it faces. At least Donald Trump didn’t ever even pretend to call for unity.

The Biden Administration needs to get on with a sensible agenda to address critical issues while they have the numbers … I agree that it’s a waste of effort to call for “unity” – just get on with it.

And if they are opening the border with Mexico, and it has resulted in the entry of thousands in an unregulated and un-monitored way … then that is nuts. Not the way to solve a humanitarian crisis.

[4] I’m just shaking my head at how instantaneously the hard-out “conservatives” – especially ‘round here -jump onboard with the bullshit story that Texas went dark because all the windmills froze, ipso facto AOC and the GND (which isn’t even a ‘thing’ yet) are to blame, because idiots like Tucker Carlson say so.

The actuality is that, without any level of regulation in the Texas electrical production and distribution system, there was no requirement or incentive to carry sufficient excess capacity to deal with a dramatic weather event. Windmills can operate if they have de-icing systems installed, as required in other states & foreign jurisdictions but not required in unregulated Texas. Aside from the frozen windmills, you don’t have to dig very deep to learn that all manner of FF systems also failed due to the extreme cold.

 ‘Texas has a stand-alone power grid that’s deregulated.

The majority of the state’s power is controlled by the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, which is known as ERCOT. It’s a competitive pricing market, meaning it trades on supply and demand. Companies are trying to bring the cheapest form of energy to the market, which can come at the expense of building out more reliable infrastructure systems.

“Texas has chosen to operate its power grid as an island,” noted Rice University’s Cohan, which means the state can’t import power from other states when it’s most needed. He added that the impacts are also felt in the fall and spring, when Texas has an abundance of power that it can’t export.‘

[5] Yeppers. Looking at the big picture, it doesn’t really matter what the Dems or Reps do to finagle an extra swindle or two out of the imaginary economy– Bitcoin and the rest of the make-believe financing that we use to allocate goods are all going down. I can’t think of a more deserving party to be holding the tiller when the ship of state hits the rocks.

Meanwhile, in the countryside where I live, more and more people are planting fruit and nut trees and raising chickens. Our weekly farmers market used to have only fruits and veggies, but now there are sellers of beef, pork and chicken. Their prices are higher than the grocery stores, but not by much at this point.

Hopefully at least some of those tower-dwellers in Texas who aren’t too far Woke can arise from their slumber and find some new digs, where a veggie patch and a couple of chickens are a possibility….

Of course, I still have to figure out what I will barter with at the Farmer’s Market when the currency collapses. Pretty sure its not going to be Bitcoin…

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by Ralph Nader

On the morning of February 13, 2021, just before the Senate impeachment trial abruptly ended with Trump’s acquittal, Constitutional law specialist Bruce Fein and I sent the following plea to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi:

“More than 240 years of heroic sacrifices by our forebearers to plant the seeds of a government of the people, by the people, for the people are not being furthered by your shortsighted eagerness for an abbreviated gravely historic second impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump. The trial has thus been shorn of “smoking gun” witnesses and full exposure of his daily wrecking ball against the Constitution rooted in Mr. Trump’s unprecedented, brazenly monarchical pronouncement on July 23, 2019, “Then I have Article 2, where I have the right to do anything I want as president.” Mr. Trump was as determined as his words.

He usurped the congressional power to tax and spend.

He defied hundreds of congressional subpoenas and demands for testimony or information to disable oversight and to substitute government secrecy for transparency.

He turned the White House into a crime scene with serial violations of the Hatch Act.

According to former national security advisor John Bolton, fortified by the Mueller Report, he made obstruction of justice “a way of life” at the White House.

He appointed principal officers of the United States without Senate confirmation in violation of the Appointments Clause.

He transgressed both the letter and spirit of the Foreign and Domestic Emoluments Clauses.

He flouted his obligation to take care that the laws be faithfully executed by dismantling enforcement of environmental, safety, consumer protection, and labor laws.

January 6, 2021 was but the predictable culmination of Mr. Trump’s unalloyed contempt for the Constitution and rule of law. If Article 2 crowns the president with limitless power, then to incite the use of force and violence against the legislative branch of government to prevent the Vice President from counting state-certified electoral votes, falls squarely within his vast dictatorial domain.

We submit you will be committing a dereliction of constitutional duty if you do not immediately make the demand to subpoena witnesses in the pending second impeachment trial.

The subpoenas should be issued to at least the following: Donald Trump, Mike Pence, William Barr, John Bolton, Christopher Krebs, Brad Raffensperger, Jeffrey Rosen, Rudy Giuliani, Jeffrey Clark, and Pak Byung-Jin (B.J. Pak).

Your immediate call for witnesses critical to fortifying the impeachment evidence will be the definitive test of your resolve to convict Donald J. Trump and your understanding of the serious and gravity of the impeachment charges. A trial without key witnesses possessed of crucial incriminating testimony diminishes the seriousness of the proceedings and the huge stakes for the future of the American Republic.

The haunting question that history will raise will be this: Why didn’t Speaker Pelosi call the witnesses?

The Senate resumed its trial on Saturday, February 13th at 10:00 am. Soon, came the revelation of an exchange between Representative Jaime Herrera Beutler’s (R-WA) on January 6th with House Republican Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (CA), regarding his telephone conversation with Donald Trump during the storming of Congress. What followed was a call for witnesses by a Senate vote of 55-45. Eureka! The window for Republican witnesses previously rejected by Democratic House Managers was reopened. There was another chance to overcome Speaker Pelosi’s desire for a quick trial without witnesses.”

Then came another reversal pressed by President Joe Biden and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY). Democratic leaders told the House managers to huddle privately with Trump’s defense lawyers to strike a deal. They did. They would place a mere statement from Rep. Beutler into the trial record and call no witnesses. The Republicans couldn’t have been more delighted, knowing that the Democratic leadership wanted the trial over that day before Congress went on a week-long vacation.

Before the deal, Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD) predicted on NPR that there would be a call for witnesses, requiring a deferral of the trial for two weeks. How mistaken he was about his Party’s defeatism and rejection of going forward with a full hand.

They could have added to their single impeachment Article of inciting an insurrection, two more Articles – intimidating Mike Pence and others plus Trump’s refusal to call back the attackers during their riot. Those three Articles would have made for a more powerful case against Trump’s defense attorneys, in the opinion of former federal judge Michael McConnell.

An even stronger impeachment and one deterring future wannabe Trumps was to pair Trump’s physical attack on the Capitol with Trump’s four-year institutional attack on the Congress with his constant usurpation of the legislative branch’s constitutional authority (some noted above).

For reasons yet to be divulged, the Democrats, as they did with the first impeachment of Trump, were unwilling to use the full evidence subpoena powers they possess. Trump can now run again, vitiating the rule of law and debasing our democratic institutions.

As Republican strategist Kevin Philips noted years ago, The Republicans go for the jugular while the Democrats go for the capillaries.

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by George Ochenski

Texans like to brag endlessly about how great their state is, its “independence,” and warn, “don’t mess with Texas.” But as millions of Texans now huddle freezing in the dark of this self-proclaimed “energy capital of the world,” it might be worth thinking about how this tragedy happened, who and what caused it, and why Republican politicians are trying to blame renewable energy for a problem caused by poorly built and maintained fossil fuel generation facilities and the predatory capitalism of its deregulated energy system.

The news has been flooded with heartbreaking pictures and stories of Texas families suddenly caught in a deep freeze caused by a climate-change induced outbreak of the polar vortex. But it would be disingenuous to think that somehow Texans had no idea what it means to get hit by ice and snow — and the problems it can cause for unprepared utilities, businesses and citizens.

The simple truth is that a similar cold-weather incident wracked Texas in 2011. It was so bad the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission researched the fallout from the event and prepared a detailed report concerning the many problems it caused.

In a nutshell, the problems in Texas are primarily caused by utility deregulation and a lack of insulation in the industrial, energy and domestic sectors. So why wouldn’t Texas’ coal and natural gas power plants — which produce by far the majority of the state’s electricity — take the simple measure of insulating the pipes that carry their process water? According to an article in the Texas Tribune, they don’t want to spend the money because in the deregulated Texas utility market, the cheapest power available is what gets pumped into the wires by the obviously misnamed “Electric Reliability Council of Texas.” In the deregulated energy market where “cheapest is best” there’s actually a financial disincentive to invest in prudent measures to ensure actual reliability for utility customers.

Likewise, because energy conservation seems to be disparaged in the poorly governed Lone Star State, homes, schools and businesses also avoided the added costs of insulation thinking they’d never need it because it doesn’t get cold in Texas — everybody knows that, right?

Insulation certainly would have kept their homes significantly warmer during the electricity blackouts — but an insulated home is also much easier to keep cool in very hot weather, something which Texans and their decision-makers seem unaware of. Insulation would have kept their water treatment plants running, too — so millions wouldn’t be under “boil” advisories for whatever water they might get.

Here in Montana people are justifiably mystified why Texans are so unprepared. Thanks to prudent investments, our wind turbines don’t freeze up and the pipes at our water treatment plants, generation facilities, homes, schools and businesses are insulated.

Having decided to be independent of federal regulation and the regional electricity grid that serves most of the West, Texas decided to go it alone. Unfortunately, now their people are paying a horrific price for foolish, ideologically-driven policies. And while Texas’ Republican politicians take no responsibility for their lack of preparation, they’re more than willing to ask for and take FEMA disaster relief from the federal government.

Montana has its own experience with Texas-style deregulation brought to us by the Republican legislative majorities and then-governor Marc Racicot about 25 years ago. And we’re still paying the price for that policy disaster, having gone from the cheapest power in the northwest region to the most expensive, even though we re-regulated our utility sector. 

Mess with Texas? No thanks — their Republican politicians are doing a bang-up job of that already.

(George Ochenski is a columnist for the Missoulian, where this essay originally appeared. Courtesy,

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by James Kunstler

You’d think that a wobbling civilization, plagued by failures of economy and politics, would have better things to do than submit to the crypto-religious ghost-dance of racial hysteria called “being Woke” that preoccupies its thinking class. Case in point: the vocational martyrdom at Smith College of a lowly staffer named Jodi Shaw, who objected publicly to the ritual indignities heaped on her by colleagues and students in the name of “social justice” — that is, the holy war against “whiteness.”

Her story: Ms. Shaw, a divorced mother with two children (and Smith alum, 1993) worked as a Student Support Coordinator in the Department of Residence Life (that is, a dorm counselor). She was asked to denounce herself in staff meetings about “systemic racism,” and complained about it through the proper channels, which only invited more hectoring abuse. In frustration, she finally posted a video on the web to expose the Stalinist bullying that was allowed to infect every corner of campus life at Smith. The admin offered her a cash settlement to shut up and get lost. Ms. Shaw turned it down but resigned anyway in a long letter to Smith President Kathleen McCartney that she made public about the college’s hostile workplace.

How does this happen? Because Wokery above all is about status, and the elite schools exist to confer status on the young people who can get into them, who then move on into an adult life of high-status (high-paying) employment facilitated by their old school connections. In prior times, the elite schools accomplished this by offering a superior education via superior faculty and superior curricula. Lately, the emphasis has shifted to promoting sham moral superiority, because it is a shortcut to gaining power over other people — and nowadays, elitism is no longer about excellence, but just raw power over others. As the Woke hysteria ramped up on campuses across the nation, and the various colleges and U’s started competing to out-do each other in moralistic fanaticism, Smith College vied with its sister schools and the other Ivies for Woke-est of all.

The moral black hole at the center of this vicious nonsense is the spectacular failure of authority of the people who run these institutions. Smith President Kathleen McCartney supported and encouraged the Woke inquisition on her campus. She gets paid the tidy sum of $515,461 a year. Maybe she didn’t want to give that up by taking a principled stand against bad behavior and bad ideas. Maybe she favors the rule of bad ideas and unprincipled behavior? Is she stupid or depraved? And, of course, what about her huge staff of vice-presidents and deans, not to mention the school’s board of trustees? To what degree are we seeing simple cowardice?

Ms. McCartney got stung in 2014 — the year of the Ferguson, Missouri, riots — when she sent out a campus-wide email, trying to mollify the inflamed student body, under the heading “All Lives Matter.” This was early in the Woke frenzy, and the phrase “all lives matter” was just then getting minted as a form of “hate speech,” so Ms. McCartney apparently made an innocent blunder — for which she was forced to pay with one of those abjectly disingenuous apologies that have become the standard dishonorable response to Woke coercion. Evidently, she learned a lesson with that: just go with the flow. The wonder is that not one other adult on that campus has the decency to speak out against the new Stalinesque fashion, or to support Jodi Shaw.

It must be self-evident to many of the people caught up in this mob madness that the Woke crusade is dishonest, stupid, cruel, and evil. All it really accomplishes is to generate more racial animosity while it paints people-of-color as not having the personal wherewithal to get on in their lives without extra-special assistance from people not of color. But having sacrificed their sense and their honor, how can people in authority repent? As author James Lindsay puts it on a podcast at his New Discourses website:

“They have been supporting this thing that they can see for themselves is complicit in evil, they intuit it… but psychologically they cannot let themselves see it, because to admit that what they see in front of their own eyes… to admit that it’s obviously as bad as it is, that the theory itself [systemic racism] is worse than bankrupt, it’s evil, requires going through the entire psychological process of admitting to yourself, and to others around you, that they got duped, and they carried water for that evil thing…. There’s a high psychological cost to admitting that you were dumb and got tricked, and there is a high social cost for both of those things as well.”

Yeah, there should be a cost. I hope Jodi Shaw sues the living shit out of Smith College, its president, and its board of trustees. She has a Go-Fund-Me page. It contains the video she made. Send her some money so she can support her kids and hire a lawyer. There’s a desperate need to impose consequences for the failure of authority in this land. And to put this insane race hustle behind us so we can get on with the task of preserving civilized life in a society that is about to implode from further failures in economics and politics.

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

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  1. Bob A. February 23, 2021

    The airplane Richard Hargreaves writes about was a Martin M-130, named the Philippine Clipper, owned and operated by Pan American Airways. She was one of a fleet of giant seaplanes that pioneered trans Pacific commercial aviation, flying passengers between California and the Philippines beginning in 1936. The Philippine Clipper was damaged during the Japanese attack at Wake Island on Dec. 8, 1941, after which she went on to serve the US Navy until her demise on Jan. 21, 1943.

    On her final flight from Pearl Harbor to San Francisco, the Philippine Clipper was waved off from landing at San Francisco. Due to a navigation error, she descended over what her crew thought was ocean and crashed into hilly terrain between Boonville and Ukiah killing all 19 passengers and crew.

    The aircraft in your photo is not a Martin M-130. This is what she actually looked like:

    • Bob A. February 23, 2021

      It’s interesting to note that the Pan Am clipper fleet navigated without any of the electronic aids that we now take for granted. The clippers featured a large flight deck, including a spacious chart table for the navigator. The navigator had a tube through which flares could be dropped to measure air and ground speed. When operating over the Pacific, navigators normally used celestial navigation, but would fall back on dead reckoning when visibility was poor, as it was on that fateful January night.

    • Richard Biddle February 23, 2021

      That’s correct! THE PHILIPPINE CLIPPER crashed 2 miles north of mile Route 253 mile 9
      One of the propeller blade assemblies is in the yard of the Mendocino Museum by the A V Elementary School

  2. George Hollister February 23, 2021

    Kunstler mostly gets is right today.

    • Stephen Rosenthal February 23, 2021

      I agree.

  3. John Robert February 23, 2021

    Since the AVA website update and new cover design, content is lacking with same stories posted several times under different headers, days between.
    A new name may be in order.
    May I suggest The Anderson Valley Regurgitator!

    Any word from Rex Gressette?
    Might be something to look into there having the mayor Will Lee decide to skeedadle the area to parts unknown right after his most hated critic/wordsmith vanishes…

    • Bruce Anderson February 23, 2021

      If they ran off together we’d have a front pager, for sure, but Rex doesn’t respond to our attempts to reach him, and nobody I know has seen him around FB.

    • George Hollister February 23, 2021

      In one week, the AVA has more Mendocino County news than any paper that I know. Some comes from other sources, yes. But who reads all the other sources? The intelligent reader has to put up with the left leaning garbage, some not worth reading beyond the first paragraph, but I do more of the same with the PD.

      • Bruce Anderson February 23, 2021

        “Left leaning garbage?” George, please. I’m not “left leaning” I’m all the way left, somewhere between AOC, who I just love to pieces, and Vlad Lenin whose Leninism I disapprove of. Viva socialista! Long live Menshevism!

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