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TRIPLE DIGIT TEMPERATURES and dry weather persist across interior valleys through the weekend while a marine airmass keeps coastal areas seasonably cool, with periods of afternoon sunshine possibly moderating coastal temperatures. (NWS)
YESTERDAY'S HIGHS: Ukiah 105°, Yorkville 103°, Boonville 94°, Fort Bragg 61°
13 NEW COVID CASES reported in Mendocino County yesterday afternoon.
TECH NOTE: our web server had some trouble yesterday and the site was intermittent as a result. We've recovered most of our material from a backup, but some files from the past few days remain missing. We are currently working on trying to recover this missing material.
PAUL McCARTHY MEMORIAL
The second venue has been locked down. having It IN the town of Mendocino did not pan out, so It will be at the Casper Community center, July 18th, 12pm.
Details from the event "Please come to honor our friend and community leader, Paul McCarthy (Mendocino Sports Plus). Please bring a chair or blanket to sit on, consider dressing in the colors of the Mendocino High School Cardinals (Red, Black and White) and give yourself extra time for parking and walking. The event will be outside in the rear of the center. We will come together with music and memories for our beloved Paul."
Remembering Ed Murrell
Edward “Ed” Murrell was a teacher, engineer, athlete, pilot, outdoorsman, committed meditator and active member of the Mendocino Coast community since 1972. He was a devoted father, grandfather and partner who gave his time to vulnerable and often-forgotten people in society—from seniors in hospice on the coast to inmates serving life sentences in prison in the South, whom he taught to meditate, and he was a friend indeed to circles upon circles of friends, students and colleagues. Ed will be remembered for his gentle spirit, his kindness and integrity, his riskiness and his meticulous attention to detail. He was a tall, graceful man who could be spotted from afar by his elegant posture, and flash of silver jewelry. He did not seek attention but reflected the light of others. He died on May 18. He was 80.
Edward F. Murrell, also known as Ed and “Fast Eddie from the Bronx,” was born on October 16, 1940 in Harlem. He was part of a large, distinguished family of professionals and artists. His revered Aunt Bessie Delany, with her sister Sadie, wrote the iconic best-selling book, Having Our Say, which detailed their remarkable 100+ year lives as pioneering Black feminists and career women.
Ed grew up in the Bronx with his older sister Nanny and his younger brother William (Bill). He attended the prestigious Bronx High School of Science where he was an academic and athletic star. His father, Edward Murrell, Sr., was a probation officer who was promoted to supervisor of probation for the Superior Court of New York City, and his mother, Laura, was a school teacher. Near the end of his life, Ed and his best childhood friend Patrick Desena shared happy memories of their adventures in the Bronx: fishing trips, going crabbing on Long Island in Ed’s father’s Pontiac, buying contraband fireworks in the Italian neighborhood not far from where they lived.
He graduated in 1962 from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, where he was one of only a few Black students, and where he joined the fraternity Phi Sigma Delta and the football and track teams. No one could ever believe how fast he was. Remembered among his fraternity brothers as a role model even back then, Ed was admired for his sharp intellect, his talents on the ski slopes, and his Triumph motorcycle.
After graduating, he worked for a few years at China Lake, California for the government, after which he got a teaching job at Ravenswood High School in Palo Alto, which set him on his lifelong path as a teacher. Ed got his master's degree in engineering from Stanford University before moving to Mendocino with his wife, Jo, and buying a homestead in Fort Bragg. Together they raised their three adored daughters, Arin, Kei and Maia. The trio loved taking runs to the dump in the back of his truck and were truly an engineer’s daughters, one time building an indestructible dam, which diverted the creek and flooded the garage. Family vacations frequently featured being in nature and visiting family in other states or--especially fondly recalled--going on journeys with their dad, one at a time, to visit family, friends and museums in New York City. Their daughters were Ed’s and Jo’s greatest love and purpose.
Their family who visited from cities remember wild treks in the forest, going to the ocean, taking saunas in the sauna Ed built on their land, and dipping in freezing rivers.
For nearly three decades, Ed taught math at Mendocino High School. Arlo Reeves recalled being his student during formative years in which, “we took in everything, right down to his neat printing on the chalkboard, still reflected in my own hand.” Arlo said, “Ed engaged with his students as if they were mature, responsible adults. Of course we were nothing of the kind.”
In addition to teaching subjects like algebra, trigonometry, geometry, calculus and physics, Ed took students on hiking trips, including through Yosemite Institute where Mendocino graduates scaled Half Dome. On these trips, “...a motley crew of jocks, geeks and stoners" piled into Ed’s Volkswagen bus, occasionally encountering storms and leaping off 40-foot rocks into swimming holes below. Another former student, Shanti Bischop said, “He wasn’t afraid of anything, but with him, we felt safe.”
Ed got his pilot’s license in the 1960’s and flew small planes with the greatest of pleasure and skill. He was known to occasionally startle students by swooping down in a plane while they surfed. He also took students flying up the Lost Coast as a graduation gift and in later years would fly himself and partner Zida up to Breitenbush, Oregon for an annual weeklong yoga retreat.
Since the early 2000’s, Ed lived with Zida in Fort Bragg. He was an avid camper and backpacker who liked to take solo hikes in the mountains. His men’s group that met every three weeks, no matter what, with whom he also went on backpacking adventures, was a treasured part of his life for the last twenty-one years. Two or three times a year, he and Zida greatly enjoyed traveling with their friends--”The Birders Eight”-- to the Sacramento Valley and the Delta to observe Sandhill Cranes and other migrating birds, play board games, cook, eat and celebrate their great friendship.
Ed was active in the global Vipassana community since the 1980’s, meditating two hours every day and participating in extended silent meditation retreats that lasted up to 40 days, and serving in Vipassana center kitchens to facilitate others’ journeys into meditation. His dedication to the practice influenced many family members and friends to follow his example. He taught Vipassana meditation to inmates at Alabama's maximum-security prison, Donaldson Correctional Facility, an undertaking captured in the 2007 documentary, The Dhamma Brothers. Harry Snyder, a Vipassana friend, said he lived as “consciously and beautifully as is humanly possible.”
Ed was committed to being fit, and could be found almost daily at the gym working out, walking 10,000 steps a day, or in core or yoga classes. He also revelled in the New Year’s Day open house he and Zida hosted each year connecting with their many friends. His summers were highlighted by an annual trip to Blue Lakes with multitudes (which grew every year) of family members.
Ed loved movies, a good story and a good laugh. He loved to eat and was a good cook, making his father’s recipe for potatoes and apples, his mother’s 1-2-3-4 cake, waffles, ribs and rice, and his famous interpretation of Margeret Fox’s Congo bars. He always wanted to sit at the kids’ table.
Ed was dedicated to service. In recent years, he volunteered to work with hospice patients, delivered Meals on Wheels to homebound seniors, and drove veterans to medical appointments in San Francisco. He spoke at Black Lives Matter events and volunteered at Covid-19 vaccination sites up to the last weeks of his life.
In March, Ed broke both of his legs in a freak accident while skiing, complications of which led to his contracting pneumonia. He spent his last days playing cards with his grandchildren and died peacefully at home in the presence of his daughters, stepdaughters and partner, which was his wish.
In the words of a former student, Delphine Davidson, “He leaves behind a gaping hole in our community, but also so much beauty and so many bright, brilliant people to carry on his gigantic legacy.”
Nandi Bowe, his niece, reflected on what her uncle would do, if he had lost someone that was as much a part of his life: “He’d write some thoughts in his impeccable handwriting, meditate, eat some good food, walk on the beach, remember the good times, and love the people he had left even harder.”
Ed was elegant and rugged at the same time, and carried a reserve and stillness in him that radiated peace.
Ed is survived by his partner Zida Borcich, his sister Dr. Nanny Murrell, and brother William “Bill” Murrell, his three daughters, Arin Hunt, Kei Velazquez and Maia Garcia, his grandchildren Kailand Garcia, Sofia Valazquez, Ayana Hunt, Carmen Velazquez, Asali Hunt, Halle Garcia, and Delany Garcia, his stepdaughters Zoe and Alicia, and his step grandchildren Zida, Enzo, Blu and Electra, and numerous, much loved cousins, nieces and nephews, and innumerable friends and colleagues.
Of Ed’s seven young grandchildren; two are headed to university this fall. In lieu of flowers or other contributions, his family has set up a Venmo account for them in his name (@EdMurrell) to help support their education and future endeavors. If you’d prefer to write a check for the Fund, please make it out to his daughter, Arin Hunt, and send it to 921 Tower Place, Santa Cruz, CA 95062. Please write “Grandchildren Fund” in the memo.
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We will gather at Caspar Community Center this Saturday from 1-5 to meet and share "Ed Stories.” This is an informal open house to celebrate the fullness of Ed’s well-lived life. Potluck appetizers or desserts are welcome if you feel moved to bring something.
LORENA ARREGUIN LOST EVERYING IN BROILER FIRE
GoFundMe | #BroilerFire
Bianca Nieto has organized a GoFundMe campaign for her aunt Lorena Arreguin who tragically lost everything in the Broiler Fire.
Bianca wrote, “On Wednesday, July 7, 2021, the Arreguin family fled their home with only the clothes on their backs. While we are so grateful they made it out safely, the fire took everything in its path and caused total damage to their home.
In the last year, this family has endured the tragic loss of their father Sergio, who lost his battle against cancer. Now they face the tremendous emotional stress and financial costs of losing their family home along with all of their personal belongings and the irreplaceable possessions of their belated father. We’re hoping we can help alleviate some of the stress that they will face as they try to piece their life together after a year filled with devastating loss. Every single donation helps.
Please consider donating to help the Arreguin family’s on their journey to recover.”
All donations made to their GoFundMe will help the Arreguin family recover from the Broiler Fire. You can donate at the link below:
UPDATE FROM THE HUMANE SOCIETY OF INLAND MENDOCINO
A peaceful Wednesday turned into an all out emergency when a fire broke out on a property near our shelter. Our team jumped into action as we began the process of evacuating over 140 animals from our facility. Including the special cases like ring worm cats, felv cats and under socialized dogs who require special handling.
We want to give a huge shout out to our staff, our board members who activated the emergency phone tree and came down to help, the volunteers onsite who stopped their walks and loaded up dogs to take them home, and the many AMAZING people who dropped in to help us where ever needed. We have so many people to thank and are proud to say that with this support we had every animal loaded and ready to leave the facility in under and hour. Simply amazing!
The animals that did not find foster homes are evacuated to the wonderful team at East Hill Vet who will be housing them until tomorrow morning when we hope to get them all back on site. We have four dogs onsite and our evacuation trailer is loaded and ready to take off if needed. Our dog kennel manager is onsite with them. The wind was in our favor today and the amazing efforts of firefighters in the air and on the ground helped keep our shelter safe. We are incredibly thankful!
This is the first time since 2017 that we had to evacuate from a fire and we learned a lot. We want to be even more prepared since fire season has just begun. We are in need of donations to get an A/C for our dog evacuation trailer, crates to safely evacuate every animal and provide to foster homes, and the general supplies needed in an emergency like this. We appreciate everyone who helps us take care of all our homeless animals.
Once again we are humbled by the support our shelter receives in our times of need and we wouldn’t be here without you!
#CommunityPower #BroilerFire #TeamWorkMakesTheDreamWork
Currently our power is out and we will be getting back to everyone as soon as we can. Thank you for checking in!
COUNTYWIDE FREE VACCINE EVENT ON TUESDAY, JULY 13, 2021
Mendocino County Public Health will assist local health clinics in coordinating a countywide COVID-19 vaccine event on Tuesday, July 13, 2021. There will be nine clinics distributing vaccines from 9 AM to 5 PM. Different vaccine types will be available depending on location. Vaccines are free and no pre-registration is needed.
Health Officer Dr. Andy Coren reports that Mendocino County has new COVID-19 cases daily. The safest way to take advantage of the loosened social and business restrictions is to get vaccinated. The July 13th vaccine event will be held at:
Anderson Valley Health Center - 13500 Airport Rd, Boonville
Covelo High School (1-2PM only) - 76270 High School St, Covelo
Long Valley Health Center - 50 Branscomb Rd, Laytonville
Baechtel Creek Medical Clinic - 1245 S Main St, Willits
Mendocino Community Health Clinics - 333 Laws Ave, Ukiah
Mendocino Community Health Clinics - 1165 S Dora St, Suite A, Ukiah
Mendocino Community Health Clinics - 45 Hazel St, Willits
Mendocino Coast Clinics - 205 South St, Fort Bragg
Redwood Coast Medical Services - 46900 Ocean Dr, Gualala
Adventist Health Mendocino Coast - 721 River Drive, Suite A, Fort Bragg
The Mendocino Transit Authority provides free rides to vaccine sites across their service area. For Dial A Ride in Ukiah call: 707 462-3881 or Fort Bragg: 707 964-1800. For a full list of clinics and pharmacies offering COVID-19 vaccines in Mendocino County, please visit: https://www.vaccinateca.com/counties/mendocino.html
Please contact the Mendocino County Public Health COVID-19 Call Center with any questions about vaccines or testing at (707) 472-2759 or visit our website at: www.mendocinocounty.org/covid19
AV SENIOR CENTER NEEDS A NEW BUS DRIVER!
The Center is in great need of volunteer drivers to help with meal deliveries and trips to doctor appointments.
Thank you for the support!
Contact Renee if you are interested in either:
Anderson Valley Senior Center
SUMMERTIME! AND THE LEARNING IS FEELING EASY!
Students and staff at Anderson Valley Unified in Boonville are rejoicing at being back on campus for a unique summer learning opportunity. “After a year of Covid-related distance learning the kids are excited to be back and relish the interaction and instruction in a wide-range of academics and special activities such as art, gardening, volleyball, and soccer,” related Anderson Valley’s new Superintendent Louise Simson.
The unique program at the elementary site was coordinated by Charlotte Triplett and focuses not only on essential skill development but also social emotional connection and interaction through a wide-range of camp-type activities. “Adventure Camp” has been a huge success for Triplett who led the collaboration with her teammates ensuring kids had the opportunities to reconnect and develop peer friendships and collaboration after a year of isolation from learning at home due to Covid-19.
Jr./Senior High Principal Jim Snyder has had a tremendous response to his credit recovery program that he developed to ensure that students would remain on track for graduation despite this past difficult year. “The students are enjoying being back together, even within the confines of the required restrictions, and are accessing a wide-range of programs from the staff that have cut their summer short to ensure they are there to serve kids,” stated Snyder. “Students have even had the opportunity to learn to build and fly drones, which has been a huge high-interest activity,” explained Snyder.
Food service, under the direction of Terri Rhoades and team, has also been hard at work creating fresh and delicious meals for all students participating in the summer program. The food program during the pandemic was a vital connection within the community to creating food security for some students and families.
Simson related that the District, under the retiring leadership of Superintendent Michael Warych and the Governing Board, has stabilized fiscally and the work ahead is to continue to innovate and meet all student needs including those that are interested in extension, intervention, and alternate programs, and address facilities as well. Simson noted, “We are excited about the road ahead and look forward to continuing and expanding robust partnerships with the community. I am excited to work with this dedicated team that is committed to creating an excellent, individualized educational opportunity for all students. We are looking forward to a wonderful year ahead with full in-person instruction, five days a week commencing August 17.” Simson noted that reopening plans will reflect any mandated restrictions, but she fully expects instruction to commence within the confines of “normal as possible” on the school reopening date.
Simson shared “We are also excited to welcome Cymbre Thomas-Swett as our new Principal at Anderson Valley Elementary. It is tremendous to have an administrative team with such curriculum depth and a proven track record of collaborating with staff and parents to create great outcomes for kids”.
For more information, please contact Louise Simson, Superintendent at 650-996-3290.
POT HAS GONE TO POT
I usually get out of bed between five and six a.m. and start working on my plants. I'm still getting up early, but now I finish working on my pot plants by 7 or 8 pm instead of one or two in the afternoon -- fewer plants.
I grow lots of chemical free veggies now, a little to eat, a little to sell, and a lot to donate. This year we are growing 17 different tomato varieties. Some determinate and some indeterminate to lengthen the harvest!
I live with my family in the hills near Sonoma. We live near the town of Forestville. In town is an AIDS food bank that loves our veggies. I offered the people running the show there free biodynamically grown pot but they haven't taken me up on it. That is sad because they would if the government was in touch!
Ditto with the Vietnam Veterans Chapter 951 in Lake County. I offered free pot to Dean, the president of Chapter 951, and vice president of the Vietnam Veterans of California. This giveaway was going to be for the vets living in this area. I used to go to some of their meetings and Dean was going to have me announce my free cannabis donation to the group. I showed up with my good friend John Rubinaker (three Vietnam tours/Marine). Dean pulled us off to the side and told us that he had changed his mind and didn't want to piss off any of the conservative retired soldiers in attendance. I know now that a lot of men and women when they get out of the service go straight into law enforcement because of their training and connections. I guess this is Dean's reasoning.
I still have been quietly giving free pot to 12 veterans. Now is the time to talk about this situation and have an honest discussion about these veterans’ civil liberties that they stood up and fought for!
I spoke with a person with a documented history as a leader of compassionate giving who owns a big dispensary in Oakland -- not Oaksterdam. He told me that he has severely curtailed his compassionate program because of the tax burden he had to carry for giving away pot. This guy has to pay $600 for every 3 pounds he gives away! This person has given away $20 million worth of pot since the implementation of prop 215 in 1996. These are straight up giveaways, no sales. Because of a lot of pushback the government is now changing this!
He told me that he has now narrowed his focus to end-of-life patients. He recently received a large amount of donated pot and contacted some of his patients. Three of them did not return his call because they died!
Shame on the government!
I know a lot of good people who want to help but are not helping because of their fear of the elected officials and law enforcement and their out of touch policies, arbitrary regulations and hyperbolic fear similar to fear of terrorism. Things are only going to get worse. My go to cannabis expert and fellow cannabis user Sarah Shrader, a Norcal community liaison, said, "Be careful what you complain about because the government might not have thought about how to take your complaint and make it worse and tighten the noose even more."
I will not participate in a regulated market until the government comes around 180 and initiates a fair, just, level playing field for all involved.
It is so much easier for the government to overregulate and then wait for pushback than to under-regulate and then raised the bar later.
Tony Linegar, former Mendocino County Ag Xommissioner and former Sonoma County Ag Commissioner, said to everyone at a meeting in Ukiaih, attended by Senator McGuire and Assemblyman Wood, "The government could not have come up with a better program to put the small farmer out of business even if they had planned it." And Tony was promptly fired (resigned) by the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors. Kudos to Mr. Linegar!
I have seen many examples of the regulators singling out and separating the cannabis plant and cultivator from all the other ag products, commodities or whatever they want to call them. Cannabis is obviously a plant and any sane human can understand that this plant should fall under the Agriculture Department’s jurisdiction! Sheesh!
I personally know many cannabis farmers of all different persuasions -- indoor, outdoor, guerrilla, regulated and personal. All the unregulated are scared because of the government's axe hanging over their heads, meaning the cops and code enforcement! Sheriffs take your plants and in collusion with the district attorney try to put you into the court system where they can hopefully successfully prosecute you and take your freedom and property! Code enforcement just fines you into submission and if you don't bow down they bring in the knuckle draggers to make you comply. You can even get killed by them. I have had the sheriff's bring in an armored personnel carrier with 30 cops carrying automatics in full tactical gear, pointing their guns at my little kids. This has happened more than once and they know I don't keep guns or mean dogs around. My son who is 13 now had guns pulled on him when he was breast-feeding at six days old and again at seven years old.
Shame on the government!
All the regulated cannabis farmers who I know tell me that the only way that they are surviving this huge arbitrary burden placed on them by their elected officials — yes, you asses, I'm talking about you! — is to sell a percentage of their legal crop out the back door and into the black market! They also tell me that our government officials have mostly worked against them at almost every turn. Permitting would be a perfect example!
Shame on the government!
My wife asked me the $64,000 question: Why are a bunch of government people who know nothing about the cannabis plant, industry or mindset making all the decisions about cannabis without any significant input from the very people who built, participate in and run this huge industry? These officials have effectively cut the head off our golden goose! No fishing, logging, no cannabis, no visitors, no money, no future for this area.
Shame on the government!
I invite and encourage any government people to contact me if they are interested in what their constituents in and out of the cannabis industry are saying about them when they are not around.
AVA Editor Bruce Anderson can give you my home phone! If you officials are going to have closed door meetings to conspire with law enforcement, code enforcement and the big corporate players, you can be damn sure that the cannabis camp is doing the exact same thing! Keep pushing it further underground you get shits! These discussions do not include you but nonetheless we are talking about you. For three generations you cheap whores have been calling us criminals and now you want to climb into bed with us.
Shame on the government!
The mountains are big, the forest is thick and the valleys are deep. The helicopters are loud, slow and minimally effective. The growers are creative, resourceful and very very resilient! You can't shut them all down. It's like squeezing mercury!
To the government: In my humble opinion you would be well served to start listening to something beside yourselves your own inflated egos. Back off of your self-inflicted regulatory mega-disaster and try to come up with something, some kind of plan, because we as a group in northern California, especially those in the cannabis industry, are free falling into a great abyss. Please, I implore you!
To the growers: If you sincerely want to stay in the cannabis game, know very clearly that the government can and does change the game on a whim at lunch break. They call it policy change, new ordinance, or blah blah blah. Do not assume that what is today will even be tomorrow! Treat your partners, workers and fellow cultivators well and with respect! Pay your employees fairly, fully in a timely fashion and without regret. Be kind to the earth and let your conscience guide you. And if you complete a successful bumper crop, spread it around.
Also, keep in mind that the farmer always gets the short end so stand up for yourself and don't take any shit from anyone.
Do some good,
Oaky Joe Munson
PS. I wonder how many wineries are going to be growing pot in five years?
SUPES TO CONSIDER STREAMLINED TEMPORARY WATER TANK RULES
Discussion and Possible Action Including Adoption of Urgency Ordinance for Allowing and Establishing Requirements for Temporary Installation and Use of Water Tanks during the 2021 Drought Emergency (Sponsors: County Counsel and
“Temporary Water Tank.
A temporary water tank may be installed on a parcel to provide additional water storage for existing uses, subject to the requirements of this Ordinance. Installation of a temporary water tank shall not involve removal of healthy, mature trees.
A temporary water tank must comply with zoning standards and height standards for the base zoning designation in terms of setbacks from parcel boundaries, except for the following exemptions:
Temporary water tanks do not count towards lot coverage.
A temporary water tank located in any zoning district shall observe a 10 foot front yard setback, setbacks from all other parcel boundaries shall be observed.
A temporary water tank is exempt from Corridor Preservation Setbacks (MCC Sections 20.152.020, 20.444.020, and 20.692.015) but shall not be located within a public right-of-way unless an encroachment permit has been granted by the applicable department of transportation.”
(Full text at Board Agenda website)
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BOARD OF SUPERVISORS TUESDAY, JULY 13, 2021 MEETING AGENDA
Community Partners, Colleagues, and Interested Parties:
The Board of Supervisors Meeting Agenda for the Tuesday, July 13th, 2021, meeting is now available on the County website: https://mendocino.legistar.com/Calendar.aspx
Please contact Clerk of the Board at (707) 463-4441 if you have any questions regarding this message.
Mendocino County Board of Supervisors and
501 Low Gap Road, Room 1010
Phone: (707) 463-4441
I had the opportunity this morning to sit down with one of the Cannabis Researchers from UC Davis. We were specifically talking about cannabis and the impact on the economy in Mendocino County. I could talk for hours about the subject but I only had an hour. There are so many important pieces to this equation and it’s often hard to make sure that every piece gets discussed especially when someone is asking you their own questions. I’ve been posting on this page to try and highlight how the changes in the new ordinance hope to strike a balance between the needs of cannabis cultivators and those in the community that have concerns. Cannabis is heavily regulated by the State and the new ordinance is meant to streamline opportunities while continuing to protect the environment. Did we get there? Time will tell. Will there be changes needed in the future? Without a doubt. The most important thing to me is getting as many people as possible a legal path forward. I realize there are still many small cultivators that don’t have that opportunity with the ordinance as written HOWEVER I have talked to many people that were not Phase 1 that don’t even realize they can easily move forward with the Phase 3 Ordinance. Unfortunately the threat of a referendum being on the ballot leaves the industry yet again in limbo. Our community and our cannabis industry need an opportunity to let this ordinance work itself out for a couple of years and then to take a review, while always looking for improvements in between. The Cannabis Program needs the flexibility and staffing to support the industry to get through the legal permitting and licensing system. I told a friend someday you’ll look back when talking to your grandkids and say “we were a part of helping the cannabis industry thrive in Mendocino County. Those days were rough but we did it together.”
We’ve got this Mendo. Hang in there.
AS ANOTHER of the Boonville weekly's many public services, and because a male-type person who looked to be in his thirties who'd never seen the following poem thought it "like right on" when he brought it to my attention, although it's constantly referred to in the context of social collapse, we bring you Bill Yeats' prescient poem first published in 1919:
THE SECOND COMING
by William Butler Yeats
Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.
Surely some revelation is at hand;
Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi
Troubles my sight: somewhere in sands of the desert
A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
Reel shadows of the indignant desert birds.
The darkness drops again; but now I know
That twenty centuries of stony sleep
Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?
TRUMP certainly qualifies as a rough beast, but then, from here, the whole show looks like a bestiary, with Democrats more like hyenas than the hybrid lion with the head pitilessly staring.
TOTALLY support Trump's futile suit against the major cyber-sites. Who appointed Zuckerberg and kindred dweebs to screen public opinion? If content offends you, scroll on by, although the lunatics advocating race hate should be suppressed. But idiots like Glenn Beck, Hannity et al? No. InfoWars? Maybe I'm jaded, but the few times I've seen clips of the guy I truly thought he was a comedian. Pretty good one, too. The fascisti have been with us for a long time, back to the early days of radio with people like Father Coughlin. The problem the left has keeping up with the right is that we tend to screech, and we're boring. And the right own the media, always have.
AN IDIOT'S GUIDE to critical race theory: It's simply including the bad stuff in American history — slavery and subsequent oppression of black people, the slaughter of Native Americans, the Chinese Exclusion Act, mass incarceration of Japanese-Americans and top down class warfare against everyone regardless of race, color or creed, offset, if possible, by the mostly rhetorical commitment of the national government to say sorry in tangible ways. Sorry is zillions of dollars short and too late as the Great Experiment winds down in a global blizzard of ecological collapse and social chaos, but it gives the talking heads something to pretend they care about.
GOT the following from e-mail yesterday from 'Linwood Peters,' who I and everyone else know as Lindy Peters, the affable former mayor of Fort Bragg whom I've know for forty years. The e-mail had me going as it began,
"Can I ask a quick favor from you?"
THINKING it could be my old friend, I replied,
“Linwood” wrote back:
"Thank you so much for your kind response, I need you to get a Google play gift card for a friend who is down with cancer of the Liver, it's her birthday today and I promised to get it for her, but I can't do this now because I'm currently out of town and all my effort purchasing it online proved abortive.. Can you get it from any store around you for me? I'll reimburse you upon my arrival. Please let me know if you can handle this so I can tell you the amount and how to get them to me."
I knew it couldn't be Lindy because he wouldn't capitalize liver. (Get it?)
I wrote to Lindy to ask him if he was aware scammers were operating in his name. No reply. He must have been at the ballpark.
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YOUTH WANTS TO KNOW. Gary Durheim of Astoria, Oregon asks, “You otter (sic) elaborate on the ‘Boontling Greeley Sheet’ for us ignoramuses…”
GREELEY is a ref to Horace Greeley the most famous newspaperman in America, circa mid-19th century, and author of the famous advice, “Go west, young man.” A ‘Greeley Sheet’ means newspaper in Boontling, and Boontiling was a secret language created between the years 1880 and 1920 by residents of the then-isolated Anderson Valley as a means of talking about people — especially outsiders — without them knowing they were objects of fun. There is much sexual innuendo and ethnic slurs, the whole of it a very funny mix of neologisms derived from Spanish, Pomo and Appalachian languages.
NOW HIRING AT BOTANICAL GARDENS
The Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens is seeking a full-time Store Manager and a part-time Admissions & Sales Representative. We are looking for candidates who enjoy working with people and thrive in a fast-paced environment.
Position details and application instructions: https://www.gardenbythesea.org/about/employment/
Roxanne Perkins, <firstname.lastname@example.org>
BOONVILLE FARMERS MARKET
Join us at the Boonville Farmers' Market on Friday from 4-6pm at the Anderson Valley Brewing Company. We're a small bunch but have lots to offer! Mushrooms, kale, chard, salad greens, Asian greens, cucumbers, pork and lamb, eggs and more! It's really a great space to come hang out! Lots of shady areas and space for kids to play...and, have you experienced the new lawn?! Come support our local farmers while sipping a cold beer
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VELMA'S FARM STAND at Filigreen Farm
(AV Way, Boonville)
Peaches and blueberries this weekend! Open Friday 2-5pm and Saturday 11am-3pm!
We will be offering vegetables including New Girl tomatoes, Padron peppers, lettuce, spring onions, kale, beets, turnips, cucumbers, broccoli, carrots, cabbage, fennel, kohlrabi, and summer squash. We will also have fresh flower bouquets, our 2020 olive oil, quince apple butter, dried prunes and raisins. All items are certified biodynamic and delicious! Follow us on Instagram for updates @filigreenfarm or email Annie at email@example.com with any questions. We accept cash, credit card, check, and EBT/SNAP (Market Match available too!)
INMATES LEARN THE ART OF BEEKEEPING AT MENDOCINO COUNTY JAIL
by Kathleen Coates
The three men were intent on their task as they stood around a stack of white boxes — beehives — as the insects buzzed around their heads.
Of course, they had on suits and veiled hats protecting them from the swarms as they extracted wooden frames filled with larvae or honey in the 99-degree heat and two of them began learning the basics of beekeeping. But were they afraid at all of being stung?
“There was a moment,” said Adam Beardslee, 47, “when I heard them buzzing in my ears,” and he had to get in touch with his inner calm to stifle his fear. Beardslee was one of two Mendocino County Jail inmates participating in the restart of a project aimed at giving inmates a better sense of responsibility and a chance at learning a vocation.
“I want to stay busy and keep my brain exercising,” said Beardslee, who grew up in Petaluma. “The bee thing really seems like a self-sustaining job.”
Both he and the other inmate, Adam Kester, 35, a Ukiah native with deep family roots, also had tilled a plot of land and planted a variety of vegetables including jalapeños, tomatoes, lemon cucumbers, lettuce, spinach and zucchini, and have been watering and weeding them ever since.
They were learning about beekeeping from Sheriff Matt Kendall, who grew up on a farm in Covelo where he worked with cows, chickens and bees, and believes “when you grow up having to care for something, it gives you a sense of responsibility.”
It was a jovial group, with the sheriff, who heads up the 250-inmate facility, cracking jokes and the inmates chuckling. As they handled the honey, Kester joked “It’s the sweet life at the Mendocino Jail.”
Kester said he is in jail after violating probation after stealing a “bait bike” left out by deputies. He has 2.5 months of a 6.5-month sentence to go. Beardslee has been in jail for 10 months and has another ten months to go after he was convicted of selling heroin, he said.
The program, which first began in 2018, restarted June 30 following more than a year off as a result of the pandemic. All inmate services programs, which involve bringing providers to the jail, were put on hold.
But with vaccinations tamping down COVID-19 cases, the jail has begun to ease protocols. Last month Restorative Justice Programs Manager Kate Feigin got the gardening program going and began to figure out a way to restart the beekeeping project.
First, she bugged her husband, Keith, a beekeeper who makes Lovers Lane honey for the Northern California market and sells it at two of his Black Oak Roasters coffeehouse locations. The original is in Ukiah and a Healdsburg coffee shop opened two months ago.
Then she talked to the Santa Rosa-based Unconditional Freedom Project, which works to restore dignity to inmates and others they call “canceled members of society.” Could they help?
Yes, they said. The project donated two hives, and Keith Feigin and Sheriff Kendall installed the bees and posted a photo on Facebook.
Which all led to the recent beekeeping lesson. The only casualty was Beatrice, a mini Australian shepherd therapy puppy, who appeared to be fighting off a bee who stung her paw. She shook it off, though.
“We’re hoping they can learn enough to maintain these hives themselves,” Kate said. Next, she said, she would be assigning books on beekeeping so they would learn how to harvest honey and how to spot disease and treat it.
The honey will be harvested and used in meals for the inmates.
In October 2020, the Unconditional Freedom Project made its focus “turning prisons into monasteries” with a book called “The Art of Soulmaking” starting at a state women’s prison. Their volunteers teach hands-on gardening skills and provide individual mentoring through educational materials and personal correspondence with inmates.
Keith Feigin, who worked for two years as a Mendocino County deputy and first learned beekeeping when he was 13, said “It’s nice to bring back the old practices and give the inmates something to do. Beekeeping is pretty therapeutic.” He noted that the Western honey bees used at the jail “are from a very specific strain of bees bred to be docile” — apis mellifera.
Kate hopes to expand the program to four inmates and eventually to add women. The jail also offers a sustainable construction course, and an inmate recently landed a job as a carpenter’s apprentice.
“As many opportunities that we can offer incarcerated people to do restorative work, the better. Restorative work is from the roots up; it’s healing for them to work with the soil and the animals,” she said. “Also we’re teaching them about regenerative-type agriculture and as we’re working with them, we’re helping them to restore themselves.”
(Courtesy, Santa Rosa Press Democrat)
CATCH OF THE DAY, July 8, 2021
KELISHA ALVAREZ, Ukiah. Trespassing-obstructing business operations, vandalism, parole violation, probation revocation. (Frequent flyer.)
RANDALL CANEPA, Fort Bragg. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.
RODOLFO CEJA III, Ukiah. Failure to appear.
JOSE CURIEL-MANRIQUEZ, Ukiah. DUI.
THOMAS DIMARIA, Wickliffe, Ohio/Ukiah. Fugitive from justice.
DREW ERSLAND, Ukiah. False ID, community supervision violation.
KELLY FUNK-RIVERA, San Rafael/Ukiah. DUI.
OSVALDO GARNICA, Controlled substance, probation revocation. (Frequent flyer.)
LATEEFAH GLOVER, Ukiah. Domestic battery.
BELEN LOYOLA-MANQUEPAN, Ukiah. DUI, no license.
IVETTE MENDOZA, Ukiah. Controlled substance transportation for sale, conspiracy.
MARCIE QUESTONI, Petaluma/Ukiah. Failure to appear, probation revocation. (Frequent flyer.)
KEVIN SELTENRICH, Santa Rosa/Fort Bragg. Robbery, criminal threats.
JALAHN TRAVIS, Ukiah. Burglary, vandalism, resisting.
NEWSOM ASKS CALIFORNIANS TO VOLUNTARILY CUT WATER USE BY 15%
by Adam Beam
California Gov. Gavin Newsom on Thursday asked people and businesses in the nation's most populous state to voluntarily cut how much water they use by 15% as the Western United States weathers a drought that is rapidly emptying reservoirs relied on for agriculture, drinking water and fish habitat.
The water conservation is not mandatory, but it demonstrates the growing challenges of a drought that will only worsen throughout the summer and fall and is tied to more intense wildfires and heat waves. Temperatures in parts of the region are spiking again this week as firefighters battle several wildfires in Northern California and other states but are less extreme than the record heat wave that may have caused hundreds of deaths in the Pacific Northwest and British Columbia in late June.
California's most important reservoirs are already at dangerously low levels and will likely reach historic lows later this year. Lake Oroville in Northern California is at 30% capacity, and state officials worry water levels could get so low they might have to shut down a hydroelectric plant later this year. Along the Russian River, officials fear Lake Mendocino could empty later this year.
“This is jaw-dropping, what's happening in the West Coast of the United States," Newsom said Thursday during a news conference at Lopez Lake, a reservoir in San Luis Obispo County formed by a dam on the Arroyo Grande Creek that is at 34% capacity.
A historic drought tied to climate change is gripping the U.S. West and comes just a few years after California declared its last dry spell over in 2016. The earlier drought in California depleted groundwater supplies and changed how people use water, with many people and businesses ripping out landscaping and replacing it with more drought-tolerant plants.
Compared to before the previous drought, urban water usage in California is down an average of 16%. But scientists say this drought is already hotter and drier than the earlier one, accelerating the impact on people and the environment.
California’s Mediterranean climate means it doesn’t get significant rain or snow until the winter. The state relies on snowmelt in the mountains to fill its reservoirs in the spring, which then provide water for farms, homes and fish throughout the year.
Some big storms in January made officials optimistic about avoiding water shortages this year. But the soil was so dry that instead of melting into runoff to fill rivers and reservoirs, much of the snow in the mountains instead seeped into the ground.
“What we didn't understand was we had this deepening and intensifying drought underground,” said Karla Nemeth, director of the California Department of Water Resources. “It really is the speed at which the compounding effects of climate change in soil moisture and ambient temperatures have made this drought a very different kind of drought. It’s no longer a slow-moving train wreck.”
Given how low California's reservoirs already are, Nemeth said Newsom's request for people to use less water is about planning for next year. The Democratic governor is asking for voluntary conservation efforts, such as taking shorter showers, running dishwashers only when they are full and reducing the frequency of watering lawns.
Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla, executive director of Restore the Delta, called Newsom's response “too little, too late.” She said her group and others warned the state at the end of 2020 to prepare for the drought. She said Newsom has been given “bad advice” by state officials.
“They let too much of the water out of the system for industrial agriculture users,” she said. “Our water resources and public trust resources like salmon fisheries have been squandered for almonds and other unsustainable crops.”
Farmers, meanwhile, have complained about their water allocations being severely cut this year. Nemeth said the state released water from Lake Oroville largely to satisfy water quality requirements in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, formed by those two river systems that feed into the San Francisco Bay.
“We released more than we had planned because much of that water never made it to the delta — it was diverted by other water users instead,” she said.
Some local governments already have imposed mandatory water restrictions. And in Oregon, Gov. Kate Brown directed state agencies this week to stop watering lawns, washing windows at their offices and running fountains that don't recirculate water.
In Nevada, a new law bans nearly a third of grass in the Las Vegas area, targeting ornamental turf at places like office parks and street medians. The ban does not apply to single-family homes, parks and golf courses.
In California, Newsom also added nine more counties to an emergency drought proclamation, which now covers 50 of the state's 58 counties and 42% of the state’s population.
Large cities, including Los Angeles, San Diego and San Francisco, are not included in the proclamation. But Newsom is still asking people who live in heavily populated areas to reduce their water consumption because they rely on rivers and reservoirs in drought-stricken areas for much of their supply.
Counties included in the proclamation are eligible for various state actions, including suspension of some environmental regulations.
The newly added counties are Inyo, Marin, Mono, Monterey, San Luis Obispo, San Mateo, Santa Barbara, Santa Clara and Santa Cruz.
ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY
Like in Chicago, Minneapolis and Portland, its armed street gangs that hold the power in Haiti now. Last month almost 15,000 Haitians were displaced by street gangs i.e. their houses were burned down by opposing gangs vying for territory.
In 2010 after the hurricane Clinton’s foundation promised at least 1300 new houses would be built with the $12 billion that was raised for the purpose. So far, 6 houses have been built. Granted, it’s hard commence construction when all the supplies, tools and hardware is looted and robbed, and the do gooders down from the states to saw wood and swing hammers get car jacked, mugged, raped and shot. UN troops, provided by the Congo, showed up to restore order, but they ended up raping local women and spreading Cholera. It was a bad scene now made worse by the president being assassinated.
The Haitian govt claims to have killed or arrested the gang of assassins, who appear to be Haitian ex pats over from America. However, I think this could be a case of ’rounding up the usual suspects’, shooting them, and calling it a day. CASE CLOSED. But now real trouble is brewing, the kind that leads to genocide.
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Ed note: Recommended reading on Haiti begins with Graham Greene's “The Comedians.”
ALL NIGHT LONG
The afternoon and evening of the Fourth of July were even worse than I expected. Illegal fireworks explosions went on for hours, from all directions. And Monday morning, litter from those blasts remained in place, for the magical removal by city workers and disgusted citizens. I eagerly await the Santa Rosa police report of how many thousands of dollars in fines they collected from these lawbreakers. That might even cover their salaries.
OLYMPIC ATHLETES DESERVE FREEDOM OF SPEECH
by Dave Zirin & Jules Boykoff
The International Olympic Committee is one of those organizations that always says it’s changing so that it never has to actually change all that much. The IOC tinkers around the edges of reform and then trumpets this tinkering as if it has shaken up the Olympic world, when in reality, the only tremors come from their thunderous sense of self-satisfaction.
Last week, this dynamic was in full effect when the IOC released new guidelines for the notorious rule 50 in the Olympic Charter that states, “No kind of demonstration or political, religious or racial propaganda is permitted in any Olympic sites, venues or other areas.”
The new guidelines place limitations on when and where Olympians can “express their views.” While athletes can talk politics when speaking to the media during press conferences and at team meetings—spaces where Olympians have long been free to speak out—they are still prohibited from “expressing their views” on the medal stand, during the opening and closing ceremonies, in the Olympic Village where athletes reside during the Games, and on the field of play during competition. The new policy does allow Olympians to express themselves “on the field of play prior to the start of competition” so long as their act is “not disruptive” and doesn’t target specific individuals, countries, organizations or “their dignity.”
First, it must be said that this announcement, tepid as it may be, never would have come about were it not for consistent pressure exerted by social justice–minded athletes. Second, these same athletes—and their allies—are not satisfied with this half measure, nor should they be. After all, these guidelines clash mightily with the United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which unequivocally states, “Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference.”
Rob Koehler, director general of the transnational, athlete-led group Global Athlete, told The Nation, “Instead of implementing meaningful changes to allow athletes their basic human right to freedom of expression, the IOC tried to pull the wool over everyone’s eyes, indicating the rule has been relaxed, which in fact is has not.” He added, “This was another public-relations exercise that is more about the headlines than the content. The reality is athletes still cannot use the podium or field of play to peacefully protest. And for those who choose to exercise their right, the IOC’s sanctioning rules are ambiguous and subjective. So much for athletes’ rights.” Koehler is right. The punishments for violating the new guidelines are nebulous at best.
Koehler and Global Athlete are not alone. In response to the IOC’s announcement, the European Elite Athletes Association—a multi-sport collection of trade unions from 17 European countries—did not mince words. The group’s statement read: “The IOC’s approach to freedom of speech and expression consists of an attempt to restrict, redefine and control the way that the athletes exercise their fundamental human right. Threatening to sanction athletes who peacefully protest on issues such as racism is not only inconsistent with human rights, but also goes against the values that the IOC claims to support.”
“It’s really frustrating that the IOC have tried to pass this off as meaningful change,” said Caradh O’Donovan, the Irish karate athlete and former World Champion kickboxer. She told The Nation, “They have wasted so much time and resources on this consultation process and yet, in reality, nothing has changed. Athletes are still not being afforded their right to freedom of expression.”
By “consultation process,” O’Donovan is referring to the dubious survey, carried out by the IOC, of around 3,500 athletes, that found that a majority deemed it inappropriate to demonstrate or express their views on the field of play, on the victory podium, or at official ceremonies. David Owens of Inside the Games did a critical deep dive into the survey and noted that not only was the wording suspicious, but that some countries where dissent is not valued—or permitted—were overrepresented. Beyond this, polling for basic human rights is unsavory at best. Rights are rights, not something to be focus group–tested.
Let’s be clear: There is a lot to protest in Olympics Land. In the last couple weeks alone, we’ve seen jaw-dropping outbursts of anti-Black racism related to the Games. The international federation that governs swimming (FINA) announced that it would ban swim caps designed for athletes with afros. FINA stated that the caps, manufactured by the Black-owned firm Soul Cap, do not “fit the natural form of the head.” Feeling the pressure from activists and purveyors of common sense, FINA agreed to revisit the ban.
Meanwhile, two Black track athletes from Namibia—Beatrice Masilingi and Christine Mboma—were excluded from the Tokyo Games in the 400-meter run because of high levels of naturally occurring testosterone, making them the most recent casualties of the racist regulations that are preventing the great South African runner Caster Semenya from participating in the Olympics.
When US hammer thrower Gwen Berry turned away from the flag and held aloft a T-shirt emblazoned with “Activist Athlete” at the Olympic qualifiers for track and field, the backlash came thick and fierce from the cretins at Fox News and members of Congress. After a drug test picked up marijuana in US sprinter Sha’Carri Richardson’s system—which she ingested when mourning her biological mother’s death—she was unceremoniously scratched from the 100-meter dash in Tokyo; the racialized drug war reared its ugly head once again.
All this—and much more—demands dissent. This pattern is also a stark reminder that the Olympic Charter’s Rule 50 is a thinly veiled gambit to maintain the existing power relations, not only at the Olympic Games but also in broader society. Opponents of racism, sexism, and all the other “isms” in which the IOC freely frolics, should not demand a better Rule 50, but— short of hate speech—an end to restrictions on athletes’ freedom of expression. Or, to paraphrase The Nation’s Elie Mystal, “If you don’t like what I have to say, then you can pick up the hammer and try and throw it farther.”
IS ‘CRITICAL RACE THEORY’ THE WRONG TERM?
by Matt Taibbi
The headline for Wednesday’s CNN feature said it all
“The critical race theory panic has White people afraid that they might be complicit in racism.”
A quick note about headline style. Some time ago, the word came down in media circles that we should begin capitalizing the “B” in “black.” Trying to be forward-thinking, I went along with it. I remember New York Times national editor Marc Lacey explaining, “Some have been pushing for this change for years. They consider Black like Latino and Asian and Native American, all of which are capitalized.” In that same article, “Why We’re Capitalizing Black,” the Times quoted W.E.B. DuBois, who once said using a small “n” for “Negro” was a “personal insult,” and that when the Times changed their style to agree with him, it was an “act of recognition of racial self-respect.” They added that “white doesn’t represent a shared culture and history in the way Black does, and also has long been capitalized by hate groups.”
The Columbia Journalism Review reiterated the concept in “Why we capitalize ‘Black’ (and not ‘white’ saying, “Black reflects a shared sense of identity and community. White carries a different set of meanings; capitalizing the word in this context risks following the lead of white supremacists.”
Less than a month after these pieces, the Washington Post came out with, “Why ‘White’ should be capitalized, too,” arguing: “No longer should white people be allowed the comfort of this racial invisibility; they should have to see themselves as raced.” In a flash the bulk of the business dropped their righteous reservations about using Stormfront style guide, and began employing capital Ws all over. I’ve since gone back to lower-casing everyone. People just make these things up on the fly, reveling in the overthrow of prevailing attitudes, even if the overturned standards are ones they themselves set ten minutes ago. It’s fashion, not politics.
Getting back to CNN’s story about the “panic” that “has White people afraid”: Republican politicians, mostly at the state level, are in the midst of an all-out, hair-on-fire campaign against “Critical Race Theory,” with legislators in 24 states attempting to introduce bans of its teaching. It’s become the main front in the culture war, and the Republican Party — which for decades now hasn’t yet met a political opportunity it can’t find a way to fuck up — is losing. Even a perfunctory glance at laws passed in Tennessee, Iowa, Oklahoma, Idaho and Texas reveal they’re making a mess of a response to a phenomenon they don’t understand.
Take the Texas law. In what’s supposedly an effort to fight a movement hostile to speech rights and rife with irrational orthodoxies, the Lone Star State is responding with dumber versions of the same thing. Their law includes broad mandates against “being compelled to discuss a particular current event or widely debated and currently controversial issue of public policy,” while also requiring teachers to present controversies “without giving deference to any one perspective.” Nearly all the Republican laws share this quality of imposing draconian bans on what they perceive to be elements of CRT, without really defining what CRT is. They don’t know what they’re fighting, so their solutions look like insane overreactions — like smashing at a water bug with a hammer and missing over and over.
The Republicans’ inability to define their target is a problem because conventional wisdom’s official position on “critical race theory” is that it doesn’t exist. The nebulous academic concept is said to be just a phantasm, a fascist fantasy. A recent Sunday edition of the Washington Post put it this way: The challenge for educators amid the critical race theory backlash: How do you fight hot air?”
There are two mainstream poses on this topic. One shrugs in would-be bewilderment, as if not understanding what conservatives could be upset about. The other points an accusatory finger back and insists Republicans cooked up the term as a stalking horse to prevent teachers from telling the truth about American racism. “Critical race theory,” said the Washington Post’s Colbert King, “is simple truth-telling.”
The war over “Critical Race Theory” in this sense has become a political marketing campaign that’s uniquely double-edged in its cynicism. Democrats are pretending they don’t know what the fuss is all about. Republicans are pretending there isn’t a dog whistle in their backlash campaign. At the center of it all is the concept itself, which does exist but is much broader, and both more interesting and more frightening, than the narrow race theory that has Republican politicians in maximum wig-out mode.
Two years ago, writer Wesley Yang penned a series of tweets about the “new language of power throughout the non-profit sphere,” giving it a name: the “Successor Ideology.” The author of The Souls of Yellow Folk created an umbrella term to explain everything from whatever the hideous moniker “cancel culture” means to purges of classics and STEM disciplines in universities, to the new move toward segregated “affinity spaces,” to “intent doesn’t matter,” to the spread of workforce training sessions that ask white employees in both the public and private sectors to focus on things like “undoing your own whiteness,” to a dozen other things.
What Yang went on to describe in a series of articles and appearances isn’t narrowly about race, or trans issues, or feminism, or American history, but a much wider concept that argues that our foundational notions about everything are wrong and need to be overturned. Conversely, a wide variety of oppositional theologies, of varying degrees of eccentricity, have become allied in a unified front of negation:
The movement Yang describes is strategically brilliant and substantively moronic, a perfect intellectual killing machine. The Successor Ideology has blown through institutional America with great speed, coming to dominate everything from academia to the news media to Silicon Valley almost overnight.
Attempts by conservatives or even critics on the left to question any of this are usually described in news accounts as efforts to clamp down on something uncontroversially right and necessary, e.g. “educational discussions about race.” This ignores the fact that the movement seems also to be about things like ending blind auditions for orchestra applicants, or redefining mathematics to discourage a focus on “getting the right answer,” to classics teachers canceling the classics, and many other bizarre things. In some instances it pleases intellectuals to argue that all of these things are and must be connected — that the opponent of police brutality must also stand in opposition to everything from the Harper’s Letter to the young adult novels of Amelie Zhao and EE Charlton-Trujillo. Sometimes, as in the case of the respoe to latest Republican backlash, the argument is not only that none of these things are connected, but that there’s nothing to connect.
Which view is right?
THE RISE OF GENOS EGALIS (A parable)
by Dr. Nayvin Gordon
Once, long before history, the endless motion of the universe gave rise to a new life. Genos Egalis was as round and delicate as an eggshell. Its surface was made of thin, smooth, green leaves all the same size, and each unique as snowflakes. The leaves were held together in a fine network, allowing them to communicate and share equally in the bounty of the earth. The leaves captured the energy of the sun, and absorbed the water of the mist and rain. When wind blew, the leaves turned in unison to guide flight, as a flock of birds might glide through the air. When the wind dropped, Genos would alight on treetops or roll along the warm sand. Genos Egalis lived a full and satisfying life, sharing the planet with the richness of other life.
One day the earth suffered violent storms. Mighty winds roared across the planet. Genos was swept uncontrollably over the land. When the storm passed Genos was caught on the spikes of wild barley. No matter how strong the wind blew, Genos remained trapped, no longer free to roam the earth. Deprived of sun, many leaves were now in darkness, hunger and thirst began. Even as they all shared what little they had, the leaves began to groan and cry. Things were looking dire until Genos managed to send down a memory root deep into the earth and waited, hoping that the winter die-off of the barley might bring freedom. Alas, when spring returned Genos remained trapped.
Early that summer, something new and unusual happened to Genos Egalis. One of the leaves sent up a stem. It quickly grew into the shape of a high arc over Genos. Soon it produced a big leaf. All the other leaves were amazed. Perhaps they could all benefit from the good fortune. This was not to be. The new leaf held onto more water and sunshine for itself, preventing light from reaching the other leaves. When they began to complain, the high arc grew big thorns on its stem which oozed small drops of poison down onto all the leaves and roots below. All the other leaves asked the high arc to share the water equally. Tragically, the high arc refused.
As months became years, the high arc grew bigger and greener leaves while the rest of Genos was deprived, and suffered. Spots of gold began to appear in the large leaves of the high arc and with the gold came increased demands for water. While the roots were hurt by the endless drops of poison from the thorns, they struggled to deliver nourishment up to all the leaves.
Years of suffering and pleading with the high arc to share sunlight and water with all the leaves had fallen on deaf ears. Finally, the leaves asked the roots for help in their common plight. What could be done to return to the essence of the life they once had? It was agreed that the leaves would help the roots deprive the high arc of water. That very day, the roots refused to work. It did not take long for the high arc to complain that its leaves were thirsty and beginning to shrivel. In a furious mood, the high arc demanded that the roots go back to work, and when they refused, orders were followed by threats and increased drops of poison. When that failed, the high arc began to bargain and plead. Nothing could break the unity and resolve of the roots and leaves. Dying of thirst, the high arc lost its thorns, the leaves dried and dropped to the ground. Finally, the high arc groaned, sagged, and fell to the earth.
There was great rejoicing among the roots and leaves. The roots then recovered the memories of life before the time of wild barley, and up sprang many new shoots; each one developed into a Genos Egalis. All the unique and beautiful leaves, would never again allow growth of another high arc. As the winds returned, they all rose up into the glorious richness of their togetherness, they lived in true happiness.
(Dr. Nayvin Gordon, writes about health and politics, firstname.lastname@example.org)
IN 18 MONTHS, REPUBLICANS ARE VERY LIKELY TO CONTROL CONGRESS. BEING IN DENIAL MAKES IT WORSE.
The GOP have been methodically doing all they can to asphyxiate democracy. And they can do a lot more before the 2022 midterms.
by Norman Solomon
Since the Civil War, midterm elections have enabled the president’s party to gain ground in the House of Representatives only three times, and those were in single digits. The last few midterms have been typical: In 2006, with Republican George W. Bush in the White House, his party lost 31 House seats. Under Democrat Barack Obama, his party lost 63 seats in 2010 and then 13 seats in 2014. Under Donald Trump, in 2018, Republicans lost 41 seats. Overall, since World War II, losses have averaged 27 seats in the House.
Next year, if Republicans gain just five House seats, Rep. Kevin McCarthy or some other right-wing ideologue will become the House speaker, giving the GOP control over all committees and legislation. In the Senate, where the historic midterm pattern has been similar, a Republican gain of just one seat will reinstall Mitch McConnell as Senate majority leader.
To prevent such disastrous results, Democrats would need to replicate what happened the last time the president’s party didn’t lose House or Senate seats in a midterm election—two years after Bush entered the White House. The odds are steeply against it, as elections analyst Nathaniel Rakich points out: "Bush was very popular in 2002 in the aftermath of 9/11. According to a retrospective FiveThirtyEight average of polls at the time, he had a 62 percent approval rating and 29 percent disapproval rating on Election Day 2002. And in this era of polarization—where presidential approval ratings are stuck in a very narrow band—it's hard to imagine (President) Biden ever reaching that level of popularity."
It's not just history that foreshadows a return to Capitol power for the likes of McCarthy and McConnell. All year, Republican officeholders have been methodically doing all they can to asphyxiate democracy. And they can do a lot more.
With new census data, the once-in-a-decade chance to redistrict means that Republican-dominated state legislatures can do maximal gerrymandering. "Because Democrats fell short of their 2020 expectations in state legislative races," FiveThirtyEight politics reporter Alex Samuels says, "Republicans have the opportunity to redraw congressional maps that are much more clearly in their favor." All this year, awaiting census figures to manipulate, Republican legislatures have been enacting outrageous new voter-suppression laws, many of the sort recently greenlighted by the Supreme Court and calculated to destroy voting rights.
In the face of impending election disasters in 2022 and beyond, denial might be a natural coping mechanism, but it only makes matters worse. Reality should now spur a sustained all-out effort—in courts, legislatures, Congress and public venues—to safeguard as many democratic processes as possible for next year's elections, while organizing against the dozens of major voter-suppression tactics of recent years.
At the same time, truly bold political actions—culminating in landmark legislation to improve the economic and social well-being of vast numbers of Americans—will be essential to improve the slim chances that Biden's presidency won't lead to a Republican takeover of Congress midway through his term. Though largely drowned out by the din of mainstream punditry urging "bipartisan" approaches, many astute voices are urgently calling for measures that could transform political dynamics before the 2022 general elections.
"We've got to go big, and take it to another level," first-term Democratic Rep. Jamaal Bowman said in an email to supporters this week. "We've got to deliver and get this done for our communities. So why on earth are we wasting time trying to compromise with Republicans?" Bowman added: "If we do not fight for our communities and put them in the center of the work we do—if we continue to prioritize the myth of 'bipartisanship' over the people we were elected to fight for and represent in Washington—we will lose elections. If we want to maintain control and the opportunity to do great work beyond 2022, Democrats need to deliver in this very moment."
Nina Turner, who's likely to become a member of Congress in November after a special election for a vacant seat in a northeast Ohio district, said recently: "When are we going to learn? Republicans plan for the long term. What can we do right now before the next election cycle and get it done and go big? Because power is fleeting. You've got to use it while you’ve got it."
Days ago, in a Washington Post column, The Nation's editorial director Katrina vanden Heuvel posed "the critical question" as Congress reconvened after a holiday break: "Are Democrats ready to act?" She wrote: "While President Biden is selling the bipartisan infrastructure deal as a 'generational investment,' the real effort will come from using the budget reconciliation process to pass vitally needed public investments with Democratic votes only. For all the focus on Biden's ability to work across the aisle, the true challenge is whether he and the congressional leadership can work with all Democrats. That test will do much to determine whether the party can retain or increase its majorities in the next election—and whether the country will begin to address the cascading crises that it faces."'
What remains to be determined is whether such warnings will end up being the tragically prophetic voices of Cassandras—or clarion calls for action that are heeded in time to prevent an unhinged Republican Party from taking control of Congress when 2023 begins.
(Norman Solomon is co-founder and national coordinator of RootsAction.org. His books include "War Made Easy: How Presidents and Pundits Keep Spinning Us to Death" (2006) and "Made Love, Got War: Close Encounters with America's Warfare State" (2007).)
an everywhere of everywhere
fence lines of ranchland
trucks, truckers, truck stops
and smog inspectors
. . .
oil and gas rigs
highwalls, open-pit coal mines
prairies effaced, stripped, raped
and ropes of sand
frigid, aridic, mesic sand
— John Sakowicz