Hot Interior | 15 New Cases | Pulled Pork | Yorkville Saga | Mask Guidance | Long Summer | Closure Questions | Ridge Hotel | Agenda Notes | Flea Market | Riverfront Homestead | Police Reports | Arena Cove | 450 Plants | Streetscape Update | Yesterday's Catch | Pay Disparity | Shasta Storm | Black & White | Vietnamese Arms | Unflooded | Dying Salmon | Worst Drought | God Ate | Huff Stunt | Jim Bridger | Another Chance | Social Media | U.S. Media | Fascist Party | Elephant Killers | Newsom Interview | Redcrest Grocery | Odious Rackets
A WARM AND DRY AIR MASS will continue to yield hot interior temperatures through the weekend. Cooler temperatures and more extensive coastal clouds are expected early next week. An upper level low will approach early next week, bringing a slight chance of thunderstorms to the interior Tuesday through Wednesday. (NWS)
YESTERDAY'S HIGHS: Ukiah 107°, Yorkville 106°, Boonville 98°, Fort Bragg 61°
WEATHER NOTE: If you google Boonville Weather, as I did this afternoon from my cooling station in the Anderson Valley's lead city, it said it was 108 outside. I don't know who's responsible for that posting but it always pads its stats. If it's 97, as the much more reliable Weather Channel and Weather Underground had today's high, the mystery inflators who pop up first will report 107. Anyway, it's hot, and who can distinguish 97 from 107?
15 NEW COVID CASES reported in Mendocino County yesterday afternoon.
YORKVILLE MARKET THIS SATURDAY 6/19
Saturday we will be serving pulled pork sandwiches with a homemade bbq sauce featuring local Piment d’ville seasoning and Bernie’s Apple Cider.
The sando’s will be served with Chef B’s delicious ginger sauerkraut on a Costeaux brioche bun with a side of coleslaw. The price is $13 a plate and we will be serving from 12ish to 4ish.
We have two tasty Spanish tortillas (potatoes with eggs) in the case - a veggie version with roasted peppers, and the other with ham. These are served with a sriracha aioli.
Of course you can always come cool down on these hot days with a frosty beverage or a scoop of Cowlick’s Ice cream.
Sunday is Father’s Day, and we will be closed, as well as on Monday and Tuesday. Wishing all of you a wonderful, hot, holiday weekend!
Lisa Walsh, Proprietor
THE SAGA OF YORKVILLE, THE TOWN THAT MOVED
by Marshall Newman
A reader of this publication recently asked about the history of Yorkville. The answer to this innocuous question is a tale that is pure Anderson Valley; fascinating, unusual and slightly bizarre.
Over its 150-year history, there have been two Yorkvilles; the original Yorkville and the Yorkville we know today. Simply stated, the town moved.
Yorkville was originally located near the junction of Highway 128 and Hibbard Road. The site is lovely; wooded rolling hills to the north of Rancheria Creek, a good creek ford, a pretty valley to the south and timbered slopes beyond.
The spot first was settled by Elijah and Elizabeth Murray and their family, who arrived in 1856 and built a home on the south side of Rancheria Creek, and the McAbee family, who arrived three years later. Elijah Hiatt and his growing family arrived in the early 1860s. In 1867, he purchased land on the north side of Rancheria Creek from his friend Richard York and built a large house.
Both Hiatt and York wanted to name the growing community after themselves. To settle the matter they played a game of cards; winner would have the town named for him, the loser would become postmaster. Richard York won and the town became Yorkville. Elijah Hiatt became Yorkville’s first postmaster in 1868 and maintained the Yorkville post office in his house until a separate, adjacent post office building was built.
For the next 50 years, Yorkville was a small but thriving town. Hiatt turned his home into a hotel and stage stop. Hale Burger built and ran a two-story general store nearby. Yorkville had its own one-room schoolhouse, Methodist church, blacksmith shop, lumber mill and cemetery.
The town faded a bit in the 1920s and early 1930s. The Yorkville Elementary School closed, with the students traveling south to the Gaskill School. The school later was torn down. The Yorkville Methodist Church also closed and was torn down.
The event that doomed the original Yorkville was the flood that struck the town in February, 1937. According to Climate Data, California, Vol. 39-41, Cloverdale (the nearest reporting station to Yorkville) received 2.5 inches of rain during the first three days of February. The deluge came on February 4; a 5.45-inch downpour (in Cloverdale: Yorkville likely got significantly more) that pushed Rancheria Creek over its banks. The town was inundated; a flood eight feet deep swept the post office away, washed out several bridges (including the one to Yorkville Redwood Lumber Company) and likely (contemporary accounts of the flood are scant) destroyed or damaged most of the buildings.
A few years before the flood, Allie Prather established Allie’s Store three miles east southeast of the original Yorkville, near a place – not really a town, though it had a post office briefly in the 1870s - called Whitehall. His store supplied groceries, gas and sundries to millworkers – there were two lumber mills just to the west - their families, and travelers on Highway 28 (which became Highway 128 in the late 1940s). With the Yorkville post office building destroyed, the post office moved into Allie’s Store on October 1, 1937.
The Yorkville name apparently came with the post office. Signs went up on both sides of the highway calling the location Yorkville and it has been Yorkville ever since. The post office moved across the street in 1978 and later gained a permanent home approximately a mile north with construction of the current Yorkville post office in 1990. As for Allie’s Store, it eventually became a restaurant called Leo’s York Villa, later a store and most recently the Yorkville Market.
Of the original Yorkville, little remains. The house/hotel that Elijah Hiatt built – which later became the headquarters of Yorkville Ranch - still stands, as do a scattering of houses on both sides of Rancheria Creek. The other commercial buildings and the mill are all – as far as is known - gone.
One last note regarding Yorkville. When the Yorkville moved those three miles, it moved from the Navarro River watershed to the Russian River watershed. Rancheria Creek flows northwest to eventually become the Navarro, while Dry Creek flows south into the Russian River. The divide between the two watersheds is very close to the current Yorkville post office.
* * *
Addendum: The author gratefully acknowledges Then and Now: An Anderson Valley Journey by Wes Smoot and Stephen Sparks, and Images of America, Anderson Valley by the Anderson Valley Historical Society, for providing significant source material.
MENDOCINO COUNTY FACE COVERING ORDER GUIDANCE
The risk for COVID-19 exposures and infections will remain in California beyond June 15th, and the continued use of face coverings helps prevent COVID-19 transmission. California’s updated Face Coverings Guidance is summarized below. The purpose of this guidance is to protect those members of our community who are still vulnerable (those who are not vaccinated, children less than 12 years old, and those who are immunocompromised). For those people, wearing a face covering properly protects themselves and others, particularly in indoor settings.
Current Orders for Mendocino County follow the state guidelines:
Mendocino County Face Covering Order Guidance - Revised
Everyone must wear face coverings in the following settings:
o In health care facilities where vulnerable individuals may be present o In hospitals
o In nursing homes and long-term care facilities
o On public transit and in transit hubs
o In homeless shelters, emergency shelters, and cooling centers o Indoors in K-12 schools, childcare, and other youth settings
Fully vaccinated people do not need to wear face coverings in these settings Any business may still require face coverings if they choose settings and businesses such as retail, restaurants, theaters, meetings, and state & local government offices serving the public
Unvaccinated individuals are required to wear face coverings in indoor public
Business owners/operators and venue operators have 3 choices to comply with this Order and they should post whichever method they use:
1. Require everyone to wear face coverings
2. Allow vaccinated people to self-attest that they are vaccinated
3. Use a method of verification for vaccinated people such as showing their vaccine card, a photo-copy or digital proof
No person can be prevented from wearing a face covering.
People who are exempt from wearing face coverings include:
children less than 2 years old
People who have a medical or mental health condition or disability
Others (including hearing impaired) for whom a mask would cause an increased risk
In workplaces, employers are subject to Cal/OSHA COVID-19 Standards, and should consult those regulations for additional requirements.
ANDERSON LOGGING has the contract for the controversial timber harvest at Jackson State Forest. Anderson issued this statement Thursday on social media: “This battle can not be fought alone. We need your help to show support in favor of the JSDF Caspar 500 project.”
THE PROTESTERS RESPONDED: “We would like to point out that this is NOT a battle and the activists are not protesting Anderson Logging or their employees. We are however strongly opposed to publicly owned JDSF being used outside of the public’s best interests. All of the protesters on the ground are demonstrating nonviolent civil disobedience and agree that the loggers are our neighbors, working hard to support their families and do not deserve to be met with violence, rude actions, or foul language. If you hear or see of any of this happening, please message us directly so that we may attempt to address the issue.
We have a Long Summer Ahead but it doesn’t have to be a miserable one.
To the Editor:
Why isn’t the C.V. Starr Center opening? Our property taxes went up to help support it. I’ve heard they are having to rehire people but haven’t seen a single ad in the paper saying they have openings?
Why aren’t county offices open? We’ve been going in to stores with masks for over a year. I can get my hair cut, I can go to a doctors office finally, I can shop in any kind of store, I can eat in almost any restaurant, I can buy gas, furniture, hardware, food, clothing, cars, nursery products, lumber. etc, etc etc.
Why can’t these other places open?
SUPES AGENDA NOTES
WHY DOES THE CEO want to buy a Redwood Valley home?
Next Tuesday Supervisors Closed Session Agenda Item 9a):
“Pursuant to Government Code Section 54956.8- Conference with Real Property Negotiator; Property/Physical Address: 2170 E. Road, Redwood Valley, CA. Parties: County of Mendocino; Agency Negotiator: Carmel J. Angelo and Janelle Rau; Under Negotiation: Price/Terms of Sale. Property Description: Single Family Residence / Townhouse, 0.6 acres. … This Single Family Residence is located at 2170 Road E 309, Redwood Valley, CA. The estimated value of this home is currently priced at 419,795. A Company called Mountain Work Services, incorporated in March of 2021 is listed for that address and the agent name of this company is: JOSEPH CHARLES COOPER, and company's status is listed as ACTIVE.
* * *
IS THIS ITEM on next Tuesday Supervisors agenda a concession to the critics of the Pot Permit Expansion Proposal?
Agenda Item 5g: “Discussion and Possible Action Including Direction to Staff to Draft an Ordinance Making Amendments to Chapter 22.18 of the Mendocino County Code, Including, But Not Limited To, Imposing a Phased Cap on the Size of Cannabis Cultivation Sites Initially of One or Two Acres Per Parcel [our emphasis] (Sponsor: County Counsel)”
ALBION FLEA MARKET IS BACK
We're back! With new vendors and new treasures, June 26 and 27, Sat and Sun. up Albion Ridge Road about 2.5 miles, right next to the school.
UNDER THE WILLITS BYPASS, WE FIND....
On Sunday, June 13, 2021 at about 9:00 PM, Mendocino County Sheriff's Deputies received a call of a disturbance between a male and female coming from a vacant field under the Highway 101 bypass east of the city of Willits.
Deputies responded to the California State property under the Highway 101 bypass just north of the intersection of East Commercial Street and Bray Road. They contacted Tate Madson, 25, of Willits, and an adult female residing in the vacant field.
Madson provided Deputies with a false name due to him having two felony arrest warrants for violation of probation.
Madson was eventfully identified and arrested for the two arrest warrants.
Deputies learned Madson was on formal Mendocino County probation and was subsequently arrested for violation of probation and for providing a false identity to a peace officer.
Madson was booked into the Mendocino County Jail for Felony Violation of Probation and Providing Falsely Identity to a Peace Officer where he was to be held in lieu of $45,000 bail.
THE 1300 BLOCK OF NORTH STATE, 10pm…
On Sunday, June 13, 2021 at approximately 10:05 P.M. a Mendocino County Deputy conducted a traffic stop on a vehicle for a vehicle code violation in the 1300 block of North State Street in Ukiah.
The Deputy contacted the driver of the vehicle, who was identified as Laura Adams, and the passenger of the vehicle, who was identified as Leartis Caradine.
Caradine was found to be on active Parole through the California Department of Corrections, and had a felony warrant for his arrest for violation of parole.
Adams was found to be on summary probation out of Mendocino County. Adams was evaluated and found to be under the influence of a controlled substance.
The Deputy conducted a probable cause search of the vehicle and located the following:
Four separate bags containing a total of 13.7 grams suspected Fentanyl (10.1 grams, 1.7 grams, 1.1 grams, and .8 grams.)
One bag containing 1.3 grams suspected heroin.
Operational digital scale.
Two methamphetamine smoking pipes.
Caradine was placed under arrest for the Parole Warrant and subsequently booked into the Mendocino County Jail where he was to be held without bail.
Adams was placed under arrest for Possession of a Controlled Substance for Sales, Transportation of a Controlled Substance, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia and Violation of Probation.
Adams was booked into the Mendocino County Jail, to be released on zero bail after the booking process in accordance with COVID-19 bail schedule set forth by the State of California Judicial Council.
HUCK & TOM AT THE LAKE
On Wednesday, June 16, 2021 at 9:35 A.M. a Deputy working the Lake Mendocino area contacted two male subjects sitting in a vehicle at the south boat ramp in Ukiah.
The male driver was 17 years-old and the male passenger was 19 years-old. While talking to the subjects, the Deputy saw multiple used canisters of nitrous oxide throughout the vehicle.
The Deputy attempted to identify the male subjects but they both provided false names at the beginning of the contact. Eventually the Deputy was able to identify the subjects as a 17 year-old male from Covelo and the 19 year-old as being Bryan Sanchez of Ukiah.
A search of the vehicle and their clothing was performed.
The Deputy located approximately a half ounce of suspected cocaine in one baggie and less than a gram of suspected heroin in another baggie in the pants pocket of the 17 year-old male. No contraband was located on Sanchez's person.
A search of the vehicle revealed a loaded semi-automatic handgun in the glove box and nitrous oxide throughout the vehicle.
Upon the completion of the above investigation, the 17 year-old male was booked into the Mendocino County Juvenile Hall for Possession of a controlled substance while armed with a loaded firearm, Carrying a loaded firearm: Not the registered owner, False Identification to a peace officer, and Possession of nitrous oxide.
The charges of False Identification To A Peace Officer and Possession Of Nitrous Oxide were filed on Sanchez with the Mendocino County District Attorney Office for potential prosecution and he was released at the scene.
SPECIAL CITY COUNCIL MEETING - JUNE 24, 2021 - REGARDING THE ARENA COVE PROJECT.
The full agenda summary packet is available here: http://shorturl.at/kzJKT
Paul Andersen, City Manager, 707-882-2122, firstname.lastname@example.org
CODE ENFORCEMENT NEWS
Dos Rios - Non-permitted commercial cannabis cultivation in non-permitted structures
Post Date: 06/18/2021 5:00 PM
Action Date: 06/16/21
Location: 3500 Block of Laytonville Dos Rios Road
In the third week of June of 2021, The Mendocino County Code Enforcement Division conducted an investigation regarding non-permitted commercial cannabis cultivation at the listed location.
The Code Enforcement investigation confirmed that commercial cannabis cultivation was occurring in non-permitted structures without a County Cultivation Permit or State Cultivation License. The responsible party refused to abate the 450 cannabis plants being cultivated and Code Enforcement subsequently issued Administrative Citations with penalties as follows:
1.) $520 per day for non-permitted structures used for commercial cannabis cultivation.
2.) $1,000 per day for violations of the Mendocino County Cannabis Cultivation Ordinance.
3.) $90,000 (450 plants x $200 per plant) one time penalty for non-permitted commercial cannabis cultivation.
Code Enforcement intends to take additional action as needed to achieve compliance.
The Code Enforcement Division receives all Cannabis and General Code Violation complaints in the unincorporated areas of the County. Complaints can be made in person at our offices or by visiting our website at: www.mendocinocounty.org/government/codeenforcement to file an online complaint. Cannabis specific complaints can also be filed by calling the Cannabis Complaint Hotline at: (844) 421-WEED(9333).
UKIAH STREETSCAPE PROJECT CONSTRUCTION UPDATE - JUNE 18
Hope you've all had a chance to check out the new trees! (And yes, they’re being watered daily with the new irrigation.) Curious about the tree selection? The City of Ukiah zoning code specifies what types of trees are to be used for street trees. The Downtown Zoning Code applies to the project area and is VERY specific about what trees can be used on each street. On State, London Plane trees are required in most locations, with Interior Live Oaks at major intersections. This guidance was provided after much community input and the recommendations of the local Tree Advisory Group. London Planes are a very common street tree, selected for their size, shape, roots, and hardiness in this environment. You’ll see some maples and other types of trees going in on side streets. These species were selected by local experts because they perform well in urban sidewalk settings. With this project, they will have larger tree wells and irrigation to them (old ones didn't)...AND, because the water and sewer lines have all been replaced and are no longer leaking, the roots will not interfere with the infrastructure, nor will those roots be as likely to come to the surface looking for water.
Myth-busting, Part 7: State Street will have all diagonal parking (see also “State Street will have NO parking). FALSE. It is true that original conceptual plans called for diagonal parking on State Street. However, through much community input and additional engineering work, that was eliminated. In addition to concerns expressed by many about people backing up into traffic, the street simply isn’t wide enough. Also, there will be no bike lane, for the same reason. Therefore, parallel parking will remain on both sides of the street.
A few parking spaces will be lost on State due to the additional space required for the bulbouts. However, other parking changes have been (and will be) implemented to offset those impacts. For example, last year, we converted over 175 two-hour parking spaces to five-hour spaces—primarily on Oak Street and to the west of that. This provides convenient parking for people who work downtown, so they are less likely to take up customer parking on School and State…and it’s working!
Construction Overview, Week of June 21
Monday, June 21: New concrete will be poured on State Street at the courthouse parking lot near the Ukiah Brewing Company. (Lot has two driveways; one will remain open at all times.)
Tuesday-Friday: Miscellaneous curb ramps (corners) will be constructed throughout the project area, including at Clay/School, E. Perkins/Main, E. Standley/Main, and others. Why are we replacing curb ramps on School, Oak, and Main Streets? Every time we pave or reconstruct a road, we are required to bring all of the curb ramps on that street up to current ADA code.
Monday-Friday: In preparation for paving State Street, crews will begin grinding down the parking lane on the east side of State, working from the north (Henry) toward the south. This will not impact traffic, but that parking lane will be closed. This work is noisy and dusty; it is one of the last steps before paving can occur.
Construction hours: 6am – 6pm
The 100 block of East Standley Street will be closed to vehicular traffic between State and Main Streets.
Big picture update: The end is near! Things are expected to wrap up around the end of July/beginning of August. Concrete work is almost done; paving is scheduled to begin in the middle of July. Full disclosure--paving the entire project area will result in many temporary street closures, and the grinding work to prepare for paving will be dusty and noisy. It's going to be messy and inconvenient. HOWEVER, that also means the project is almost done, and the noisy, messy work is over. Hang in there, folks. We sure appreciate your patience!
Stay cool and have a great weekend!
Shannon Riley, Deputy City Manager, City of Ukiah, w: (707) 467-5793
CATCH OF THE DAY, June 18, 2021
ELIZABETH ACOSTA, Ukiah. Conspiracy.
ANDREW CEDILLO, Redwood Valley. Assault with deadly weapon not a gun, domestic battery, criminal threats, child endangerment, conspiracy.
GAYLE DARGEL, Los Angeles/Ukiah. DUI causing bodily injury, hit & run resulting in death or injury, resisting.
JERRY DEGURSE, Controlled substance, paraphernalia, probation revocation.
BHAKTI DILLENBECK, Albion. Disorderly conduct-alcohol. (Frequent flyer.)
LUIS MANZO-GARCIA, Ukiah. Protective order violation.
TROY MIHALCEAN, Ukiah. Failure to register as sex offender with priors.
JAMES MILLER, Ukiah. County parole violation.
AUSTIN NEUROTH, Ukiah. Battery with serious injury, controlled substance.
YVETTE ROCKEY, Willits. Under influence, probation revocation.
KAYLA STEELE, Redwood Valley. DUI, child endangerment, no license.
JESSICA WHISMAN-FRIDAY, Laytonville. Taking vehicle without owner’s consent vehicle theft, DUI-alcohol&drugs, controlled substance paraphernalia, resisting.
LARRY WOLFE JR., Ukiah. Possession of assault weapon, suspended license for DUI, parole violation.
CEO COMPENSATION PACKAGES in 2020 (h/t Public Citizen):
- Hilton: $59.9 million
- Chipotle: $38 million
- Carnival: $13.3 million
- Dollar Tree: $11.3 million
Average American worker salary:
- Hilton: $28,608
- Chipotle: $13,127
- Carnival: $27,151
- Dollar Tree: $15,816
STORM OVER THE NORTH FACE of Mt. Shasta, June 2021.
“WHITE PEOPLE GO AROUND, it seems to me, with a very carefully suppressed terror of Black people — a tremendous uneasiness. They don’t know what the Black face hides. They’re sure it’s hiding something. What it’s hiding is American history. What it’s hiding is what white people know they have done, and what they like doing. White people know very well one thing; it’s the only thing they have to know. They know this; everything else, they’ll say, is a lie. They know they would not like to be Black here. They know that, and they’re telling me lies. They’re telling me and my children nothing but lies.”
— James Baldwin
REP MADISON CAWTHORN: “If anybody ever wants to say 'oh, well you know what, citizens with a few small arms fire would never be able to stop the federal government' - I absolutely disagree. Ask the Viet Cong how they handled the Marines and the Army in Vietnam.”
AN EXTREME HEAT PERIOD for the Sacramento Valley is expected for the third week of June, and it is still only spring. Winter-run and spring-run adult salmon that made it to the spawning grounds below Shasta and Keswick dams earlier this winter and spring are very likely to experience highly stressful water temperatures (>60ºF) for holding and spawning. Because it is releasing too much agricultural water now, Reclamation is likely to run out of cold water in Shasta by the time that fall-run salmon arrive in Redding in October and November. The drumbeat of dying salmon will be pounding all summer and into the fall.
— Sacramento Bee
“POTENTIALLY THE WORST DROUGHT IN 1,200 YEARS”: Scientists on the scorching US heatwave
This current drought is potentially on track to become the worst that we’ve seen in at least 1,200 years. And the reason is linked directly to human caused climate change.
SUBVERSIVES DISRUPT HUFF EVENT
I think it’s time for journalists to step up and stop hiding behind “neutrality” or “objectivity.” The fact that the stunt at Rep. Jared Huffman’s town hall meeting was organized by a GOP splinter group and announced ahead of time to KTVU — a Fox affiliate — so they could film it should have been in the headline and first paragraph of the PD’s article. The news is that these kinds of manipulative stunts are being pulled to try to destabilize democracy, not that there were “protesters.”
Step it up for democracy, and tell the truth behind the story.
Susan Rose Pareto
JUNE 17, 1881 Frontiersman Jim Bridger died:
Jim Bridger was one of the most able and influential mountain men. The words on his large headstone summarize his life: “Celebrated as a hunter, trapper, fur trader and guide. Discovered the Great Salt Lake 1824, The South Pass 1827, visited Yellowstone Park and geysers 1830, founded Fort Bridger 1838, opened Overland Route by Bridger's Pass to Great Salt Lake. Was Guide for U.S. exploring expeditions, Albert Sidney Johnston's army in 1857 and G. M Dodge in Union Pacific survey's and Indian campaigns 1853 - 1865.” Later Jim purchased a farm near Westport, Missouri, but soon became ill and blind. Jim was born 17 March 1804. Jim Bridger is buried in the Mount Washington Cemetery in Independence, Missouri.
HONEY, JUST ALLOW ME ONE MORE CHANCE
Honey, just allow me one more chance
To get along with you
Honey, just allow me one more chance
Ah'll do anything with you
Well, I'm a-walkin' down the road
With my head in my hand
I'm lookin' for a woman
Needs a worried man
Just-a one kind favor I ask you
'Low me just-a one more chance
Honey, just allow me one more chance
To ride your aeroplane
Honey, just allow me one more chance
To ride your passenger train
Well, I've been lookin' all over
For a gal like you
I can't find nobody
So you'll have to do
Just-a one kind favor I ask you
'Low me just-a one more chance
Honey, just allow me one more chance
To get along with you
Honey, just allow me one more chance
Ah'll do anything with you
Well, lookin' for a woman
That ain't got no man
Is just lookin' for a needle
That is lost in the sand
Just-a one kind favor I ask you
'Low me just-a one more chance
— Bob Dylan
IF YOU IMAGINED some force or agency in the world that was leading us towards doom and destruction, towards the dark, and then you imagined what kind of tools and technologies it would use, you'd come up with something like social media.
— John Lanchester
THE REPUBLICAN PARTY has turned fascist — it is now the most dangerous threat in the world.
— Patrick Cockburn
It is worth listing the chief characteristics of fascist movements in order to assess how far they are now shared by the Republicans. Exploitation of ethnic, religious and cultural hatreds is probably the most universal feature of fascism. Others include a demagogic leader with a cult of personality who makes messianic but vague promises to deliver a golden future; appeals to law-and-order but a practical contempt for legality; the use, manipulation and ultimate marginalisation of democratic procedures; a willingness to use physical force; demonising the educated elite — and the media in particular; shady relations with plutocrats seeking profit from regime change.
One by one these boxes have been ticked by the Republicans until the list is complete.
“THIS IS LIKE A TOUR OF CARCASSES,” Mark Evans told me as he drove me in his Land Rover a quarter of a mile from a side channel of the river where a large elephant lay dead, its tusks hacked off. Mark had been a bush guide and ranger in Zambia game parks for most of his adult life. Even so, he was shocked. "Three killings in the past three days."
At first light we had heard 36 shots from what Mark guessed was an AK-47. It was clearly a poaching incident. The Rangers were called but by the time they showed up the poachers had killed the elephant, packed one tusk away, cut off its head and rolled it over to get at the second task. By the time we saw it the corpse was covered with vultures and for the next five days and nights it attracted wild dogs and hyenas and lions and even crocs from the river which had gotten wind of it.
For over 500 years the elephants here have been plundered. Muslim traders, “Swahili” (“Coastal” in Arabic) from Zanzibar and Kilha, were well established at Tete by the end of the 15th century, trading cloth and other goods for ivory. One tusk produces three billiard balls, two tusks were needed for a piano. Timothy Holmes wrote in “The Journey to Livingstone,” that “every keyboard entailed one elephant killed and at least two slaves to carry the tusks.”
In spite of what I saw, the ivory ban has generally been a success. The number of poaching incidents has diminished. Elephants suffered more from a loss of habitat caused by an irregular and smaller flow of the river. Before Kariba Dam was built, this vast area below Chirundu was a floodplain, but now that it no longer floods and renews the soil, the land is less fertile and consequently supports fewer animals.
— Paul Theroux, “Fresh-Air Fiend”
GAVIN NEWSOM UNDER COVID: The Governor Dishes on His Pandemic Life
It was strange, after 15 months of watching Gov. Gavin Newsom’s press conferences on my computer screen, to see him up close.
FREE AT LAST
by James Kunstler
For now, the public seems to want nothing more than to breathe a little easier — that is without masks on our faces after a year of Covid-19 paranoia — and attempt to return to something like normal life. It’s like an “all-clear” siren went off the past week and a consensus swept the land that can be summed up as we’re done with that. There were zero cases of Covid-19 in my upstate New York county the past week and now the few people going around still-masked begin to look a little like whack-jobs acting out a stupid morality play.
The official Covid-19 narrative took quite a beating last month, but the bottom line of it all is hardly reassuring. The main theme of the narrative was the insistence by public health authorities at the highest level, staunchly supported by the compliant news media, that the disease did not originate in the Wuhan, China, virology lab. They kept the story going all year. Then, just days ago, the narrative flipped and is suddenly accepted as self-evident: of course, the virus came out of the Wuhan lab! (Jon Stewart shouted this out right in Stephen Colbert’s contorted face on TV.) Dr. Fauci’s email trail says as much, along with videos of his colleague Peter Daszek bragging on it as far back as 2012, with plenty of supporting evidence from various Chinese scientists.
But the flip-flop on Wuhan leaves some extremely uncomfortable questions that the nation is too distracted (or dishonest) to debate in the public forum, the public forum these days being mostly social media: Twitter and Facebook. And it’s not altogether clear whether they will continue to suppress discussion about the origin of the virus, and issues arising out of that — though they risk looking tyrannically obtuse if they keep up the gaslighting. And in these sorry years of anything goes and nothing matters, Zuck and Jack may never have to answer for their craven deeds.
The biggest question that the authorities want to evade is: if the virus did originate from the Wuhan lab, was it released by accident… or on purpose? The “Joe Biden” government is now forced to, at least, pretend that it will investigate. My guess is: they don’t want to know. It would raise enough subsidiary questions to leave a normal person panting with nausea. For instance: was China trying to soften-up the USA by disabling our economy? And soften us up… for what? Some observers who are hardly dumb or crazy think that China wants to reduce the USA to a vassal nation that can only supply China with food, oil, and other resources.
Sound far-fetched? Maybe. After all, we still have that fleet of submarines armed with multiple-warhead nuclear missiles circulating around the oceans as a kind of insurance policy. But Americans have to do something to make a living, and it sure isn’t going to be mass production of consumer goods, like in the old days. Meanwhile, the infrastructure of the service economy got gutted during the lockdowns — millions of businesses bankrupted, restaurants, yoga studios, concert venues, dog groomers, shops of all kinds, you name it — gone, and a lot of the people who took livelihoods from all that are financially ruined for good.
What’s left? Health care and pharma, two odious rackets preying on the psychological weakness of people so beaten down by adversity that they can only console themselves with junk food, liquor, sexual debauchery, and drugs, and then must beg the health care system to fix them — after which it squashes them to death with outlandish charges for services rendered? Or government, another reprehensible racket, seeking desperately now to control its citizens’ every move while everything it does is not only running wildly out of control, but via the most idiotic, suicidal policies — such as throwing the border with Mexico wide open to all comers, while it pays Americans to not work.
The leading government policy just now is to hector, browbeat, and coerce Americans to get vaxed-up with vaccines that appear to be pretty hazardous. The Moderna, AstraZeneca, and Johnson & Johnson vaccines so far (which is not very far) have produced more deaths and adverse events than all the other vaccines for all other diseases developed in the past thirty years, and we have no idea what the long-term effects will be of a spike protein that likes to damage blood vessels, brains, and reproductive organs. That’s another thing the news and social media don’t want the public to inform themselves about, not to mention the scientifically-based opinion that vaccinating a populace in the middle of an epidemic is pretty certain to provoke the evolution of new and more dangerous variants of the disease agent.
For now, all these mighty issues stand aside while Americans enjoy some early summer days of liberation from a long nightmare. Coincidentally, the Democratic Party has just now engineered two separate-but-equal Independence Days for America: Juneteenth, for People of Color, and the familiar old Fourth of July for everybody else. Isn’t that a fine way to reinforce the idea that we are irreconcilably so far apart?
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