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Mendocino County Today: Saturday, July 17, 2021

Summer Day | 12 New Cases | Drying Up | Parched State | Sausage Medley | Palace Demise | Reopened Case | 1920 Covelo | School News | Crawford Mill | Copter Overflights | Dear Jackass | PV | Sheriff Stiffing | Man Beater | Little River Museum | DQ Softserve | Mendo Breweries | Off Grid | Enchanted Meadow | American Dream | Streetscape Update | Yesterday's Catch | Book Recommendations | Death Brush | Trashing Tucker | WWIII | Pandemic Games | Autonomous Vehicles | Dem Postcards | CPR | Fire Cantata | Covid Cemetery | Wrong Think | Free Speech

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OVERCAST SKIES AND COASTAL STRATUS should retreat by late morning on the coast. Clearing over the interior with warmer temperatures should make for a pleasant summer day. The threat of dry thunderstorms looms for Monday and conditions will be monitored to assess the developing situation. (NWS)

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12 NEW COVID CASES reported in Mendocino County yesterday afternoon.

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LAKE MENDOCINO IS DRYING UP, AND 1,600 RUSSIAN RIVER WATER RIGHTS ARE ABOUT TO BE HALTED

by Mary Callahan

Water supplies in Lake Mendocino are shrinking at a faster rate than they were a month ago, raising the risk the reservoir could be depleted by fall and setting regulators up to halt diversions from the Russian River for about 1,600 water rights holders before the end of July.

Two-thirds of those diverters, including farmers, ranchers, vineyard operators, rural residents and municipal suppliers, already were put on notice a month ago, when authorities said not enough water existed in the upper river to support irrigation, household use and the watershed’s imperiled fish species.

Now, amid the hottest and driest months of a deepening, two-year drought, regulators are poised to move forward with a more aggressive crackdown, called a curtailment of water rights.

The Russian River watershed, which runs through Mendocino and Sonoma counties, supplies water to cities and towns along the river as well as to cities and districts served by the Sonoma Water Agency.

It is likely to be unprecedented in scope, affecting hundreds of property owners along the upper river as well as public agencies, including the cities of Healdsburg and Cloverdale, that rely partly on the river for drinking water.

The action is meant to preserve minimal flows in the driest parts of the Russian River’s main stem and dwindling supplies in Lake Mendocino, which, like larger Lake Sonoma, hit record seasonal lows even in early spring.

Supplies behind Coyote Dam at Lake Mendocino are now dropping close to a key threshold that will trigger regulators’ move to halt downstream diversions.

Even as that grim scenario is unfolding, withdrawals from the river remain high between Cloverdale and vineyard-dense Alexander Valley.

That use has surprised water managers, especially after more than 900 water rights holders in the area were told starting last month that there was not enough in the upper river to sustain diversions for irrigation and household use. The notice stopped short of official curtailment but came with a host of potential fines — up to $1,000 a day or more based on quantity of water used.

“It was supposed to go the other way,” said Don Seymour, principal water engineer with Sonoma Water. “We were supposed to see a lot less water jumping out of there. And in some areas, we’re seeing that. And in some areas, we’re not seeing really any change from last year.”

River gauges show that consumption is heavy particularly between Geyserville and Jimtown, a lightly settled but heavily cultivated grape growing area north of Healdsburg.

Twice in recent weeks, Seymour said, dam managers at Lake Mendocino have had to send more water downstream to make up for flows that have gone missing along that particular stretch of the river and to ensure federally mandated minimum levels for the river’s diminished salmon and steelhead trout populations.

Those releases have made it likely that the all-important threshold at Lake Mendocino will be hit in the next 10-12 days, Seymour said.

Reduced diversions from the Eel River into Lake Mendocino account for part of the difference in reservoir storage, he said. Evaporation and uptake of the water streamside plants and trees are other factors, he said.

New state rules that took effect Monday allow state regulators ultimately to suspend the water rights of up to 2,400 landowners, ranchers, grape growers and others throughout the Russian River watershed, if conditions get bad enough.

The roughly 1,600 diverters in the upper river watershed would be affected first to safeguard supplies in Lake Mendocino.

The reservoir on Friday stored almost 9.2 billion gallons of water, or 28,120 acre-feet, down 195 acre-feet from Thursday. (An acre-foot is 325,851 gallons, or enough water to cover an area about the size of a football field with a foot of water.)

A juvenile carp, long since fried by the torturous drought at Lake Mendocino, Thursday, July 15, 2021. (Kent Porter / The Press Democrat) 2021

Under the emergency regulation, curtailments are triggered if the lake falls to 26,109 acre-feet by Aug. 1.

During the month of June, daily storage was declining by an average of about 145 acre-feet per day.

During the first week of July, the daily loss rose to an average 175 acre-feet.

If the state threshold is hit, water right holders would be allowed only enough water necessary to supply each domestic user with 55 gallons per person per day to meet minimum health and safety standards. Many still have access to groundwater wells or have other water rights permitting them to continue drawing on the river.

Ailene Voisin, spokeswoman for the State Water Board’s Division of Water Rights, said the agency was “encouraged” by the fact that storage levels in Lake Mendocino had remained above threshold targets so far.

“That being said, we’re cautiously watching depletions and releases from the reservoir, and note that both depletions and releases have picked up over the last week or so,” Voisin said. “We’re now entering the time of the year when depletions and use are greatest, and based on projections there’s a significant chance that the threshold targets could be reached by the end of the month.”

(pressdemocrat.com)

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SATELLITE IMAGES FROM SPACE show how fast California's landscape has changed since late March. The Sierra Nevada snowpack is nearly gone, and vegetation across the state has dried rather dramatically (especially noticeable in the Central Valley).

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BBQ SATURDAY 7/17 AT THE YORKVILLE MARKET

Another week has gone by in lovely Yorkville and we have yet again prepared some delicious meal options here at the Yorkville Market.

This weekend, for our Saturday BBQ, Chef B is preparing a grilled sausage medley with an onion marmalade on a ciabatta roll served with a side Filligreen Farm salad. He is also whipping up some zucchini fritters with a creamy dill dipping sauce. Both of these will be served to-order from 12:30ish to 4:30ish or until sold out.

In addition to these, we have some other delicacies in the case, including a vegan lentil salad, a roasted vegetable salad, a Spanish Tortilla, and even slices of a freshly baked Kowslowski 3 berry pie (ask for it warm and a la mode!).

Please note that the Market is going to be closed for a brief summer break from August 2 through the 17th, opening on Wednesday, 8/18.

Thanks!
Lisa

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CLOVERDALE POLICE REOPEN 1982 RAPE AND MURDER OF TEEN

by Kathleen Coates

The Cloverdale Police Department has announced it is reopening a rape and murder case dating back to 1982 with the help of a private investigation firm.

Sara Ann Geer was found dead in Cloverdale on the morning of May 24, 1982, when she was 13, according to Healdsburg Tribune archives. Her body was found between a fence and the back of a building on Main Street in downtown Cloverdale.

Sara Ann Geer

Police said in a department Facebook post that they hope investigators will shed new light on old evidence or find new evidence to analyze using the latest technological advancements.

The decision to reopen the case is a result of earlier conversations with the investigative firm, which did a case review in 2019, according to the post.

“The primary reason more information about reopening the case was not disclosed earlier is due, in large part, to unnecessary rumors, hearsay, uninvolved party interjections and misleading information posted on social media, which has already threatened to jeopardize the integrity of the investigation moving forward,” the department said.

Police officials asked the Cloverdale community to avoid posting misleading information about the case. Anyone with information about the case can call a tip line at 707-867-9840 or email geercoldcasehomicide@ci.cloverdale.ca.us.

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Covelo High, 1920

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THE ROAD AHEAD

Louise Simson, Superintendent, Anderson Valley Unified School District 

To the Anderson Valley Community:

As we end this year of Covid-created impacts, it is with great enthusiasm that we welcome all students back to in-person, full five-day-a-week learning on Tuesday, August 17.

The need for re-establishing connection and in-person learning is a priority. During the experiential summer school programs, students enjoyed volleyball, soccer, science, and gardening at the elementary school. At the junior/senior high school kids loved the experiential supplemental learning menu which included building phone-operated drones. These unique camp-type experiences proved an amazing bridge for students to reconnect, and not only hone essential skills during core curriculum periods of the day, but reconnect socially with their peer group and teachers. 

The administrative team of AVU is excited to welcome students back. “Local alum” Cymbre Thomas-Swett is enthusiastically embracing the principalship at Anderson Valley Elementary and Jim Snyder at the high school is creating a path to real-world job experience for students.

The District is committed to create individualized learning experiences for all students mapping pathways for extension learners and those needing support. Anderson Valley is a jewel box and the students are the treasures. The staff is committed to meeting the needs of the diverse community of learners which ranges from preschool students through adult education students.

The District would like to thank Philo Saw Works for their assistance over the past weeks in refreshing the learning environment for students.

All staff are eager to welcome students back on August 17. Masking guidance is evolving, but as of this writing, CDC and CDPH require masks for all students k-12 except when outdoors. We will keep you posted!

Looking forward to a tremendous year ahead in person!

Louise Simson

Superintendent

Anderson Valley Unified School District

Cell: 707-684-1017

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Crawford Mill, North of Covelo

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NATIONAL GUARD HELICOPTER IN MENDOCINO COUNTY SKIES YESTERDAY LOOKING FOR “UNLAWFUL GROW SITES,” SAYS MCSO

Sheriff’s Captain Greg Van Patten confirmed the helicopter was “conducting overflights looking for unlawful grow sites to focus future enforcement efforts on.”

kymkemp.com/2021/07/16/national-guard-helicopter-in-mendocino-county-skies-yesterday-looking-for-unlawful-grow-sites-says-mcso/

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A TALKING JACKASS

by Jim Shields

From Jane Doe 

To Jim Shields

July 12, 2021 

Why does Jim (Charlotte) use a fake name on Facebook?

Has Jim registered with anybody at the State Fair Political Practices to run this campaign?

How come Jim is running a political campaign out of a tax-payer paid office?

Does Jim understand his ‘simple’ referendum could potentially end the licensing for all Ma and Pa operations in the county for years to come?

Perhaps this is Jim’s underlying motive?

So many questions Jim …

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I’ve been tied up with Water District business, Observer newspaper stuff, and collecting signatures for our Anti-10% Expansion Rule Referendum, that I’ve had neither the time nor inclination to respond to the above Anderson Valley Advertiser post from some 16-caret jackass calling himself “Jane Doe,” who most likely is a paid stooge of the Jamie Warm/Joshua Keats/Henry’s Original local Fifth Column called “Citizens for Sustainable Agriculture (CSA),” an offshoot of the parent organization called “The National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition.” Campaign information filed by CSA with California’s Secretary of State lists its treasurer as Joshua Keats. He is CEO of Henry’s Original, and Warm’s long-time friend and business partner. It’s my understanding that Warm and Keats brought in the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition to run their campaign against the referendums, so the circus is definitely in town now.

Here are my responses to Mr. Jackass/Jane Doe.

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“Why does Jim (Charlotte) use a fake name on Facebook?”

I’ve never been on Facebook in life, and don’t even know how to do so. Charlotte is Charlotte Beaumont, a long-time Laytonville resident and one of Small Is Beautiful Coalition’s most effective volunteers. She’s also a neighbor of one of Jamie Warm’s trashy pot grows. The only one using a fake name that I’m aware of is Mr. Jackass/Jane Doe himself. 

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“Has Jim registered with anybody at the State Fair Political Practices [sic) to run this campaign?”

No, I have not registered with anybody to run this campaign. By the way, it’s the state Fair Political Practices Commission, and that body enforces the state Fair Political Practices Act. Political campaigns register with California’s Secretary of State with what’s known as a Form 410 filing, but only if and when the campaign raises contributions from others totaling $2,000 or more in a calendar year. Contributions include monetary payments, loans and non-monetary goods and services received or made for a political purpose. Since the Small Is Beautiful campaign made the decision not to accept contributions from others, our expenses are paid out-of-pocket by a few of us for things like posters, or copy paper for printing referendum petitions, training packets, leaflets, etc. Almost all of our communications are sent to volunteers and the public via emails. We acquired a website for a $20 registration fee and a volunteer posts information on it. With just a few days left in the 30-day campaign to collect petition signatures, we have expenditures to-date totaling less than $500. So we don’t expect to hit the mandatory $2,000 in contributions or expenses that would trigger filing Form 410. As we have said from the beginning, we are an all-volunteer, non-partisan group, open to anyone who thinks we should have more say in how our Cannabis Ordinance is written.

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“How come Jim is running a political campaign out of a tax-payer paid office?”

Unless my pickup truck or the Mendocino County Observer’s office somehow qualify as “a tax-payer paid office,” I have no idea what Mr. Jackass/Jane Doe is talking about. Laytonville’s U.S. Post Office, “a tax-payer paid office” is located on the ground floor of the office building also occupied by my newspaper which is located on the second floor, along with other businesses, in the same building. Referendum volunteers staff a permanent signature gathering station under the second story deck of the Observer. But no other business or office, including the Laytonville County Water District office, is used for “running a political campaign out of a tax-payer paid office.”

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“Does Jim understand his ‘simple’ referendum could potentially end the licensing for all Ma and Pa operations in the county for years to come?”

No I do not understand any of that because it’s not true or even remotely accurate. In accordance with the Elections Code and legal precedent, our Referendum removes/repeals the single sentence of 38 words that establishes the water busting Cannabis Expansion that is the hallmark of the so-called Phase 3 Ordinance.

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“Perhaps this is Jim’s underlying motive?”

My underlying motive is beyond your ken, Mr. Jackass/Jane Doe.

(Jim Shields is the Mendocino County Observer’s editor and publisher, observer@pacific.net, and is also the long-time district manager of the Laytonville County Water District. Listen to his radio program “This and That” every Saturday at 12 noon on KPFN 105.1 FM, also streamed live: http://www.kpfn.org)

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Potter Valley

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STIFFING THE SHERIFF

by Mark Scaramella

THE FOLLOWING NOTE was buried in last Tuesday’s CEO Report. As usual, CEO Angelo delivered her report to the Supervisors the day of the meeting leaving very little time to review it or ask questions about it, not that the Supes show much interest anyway:

“2011 Efficiency Audit of the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office — On May 25, 2021, an item was brought before the Board of Supervisors requesting an outside fiscal audit of the Sheriff’s Office, including the Jail. The update included in this [CEO] report is informational only to provide a historical background on a prior audit performed. On March 22, 2011, the Board of Supervisors approved the establishment of the Sheriff’s Ad-Hoc Committee. The committee recommended to the Board of Supervisors that an audit be performed to determine opportunities to optimize the Sheriff’s Office efficiency. The overall desired outcome was to review the organization in areas of management, staffing, service delivery methods, structure, public accessibility and resources deployment (the audit did not include corrections). The Board of Supervisors approved a contract with Harris and Harris Enterprises and the contractor presented a completed audit report at the October 18, 2011 board meeting. In the report six areas were identified with findings and recommendations: County Administration, Sheriff’s Overall Operations and Organizational Structure, Field Operations, Animal Control, Communications (Dispatch), and Administrative Services. On January 10, 2012 the Board of Supervisors received the Sheriff’s response and disbanded the Ad Hoc Committee and directed staff to work with the Sheriff to schedule continuing progress reports, the first of which was to be presented six months from the date of the meeting. In a search of records, no formal presentation was found.”

Sheriff Kendall wasn’t even invited to this discussion. The Supervisors asked for a copy of the 2011 “audit,” and CEO Angelo promised to get one to them. 

CEO Angelo commented: “My guess is Sheriff Kendall has not seen this audit.” The CEO added that she would bring forward an agenda item to take another look at the 2011 audit to see if it has any applicability now. Another ad hoc committee of Supervisors McGourty and Williams volunteered to go over Sheriff’s budget and the 2011 report. The CEO noted that the 2011 “audit” showed that additional patrol positions in the field were needed. Angelo also said that Sheriff Kendall’s predecessor, Tom Allman was willing to accept an audit.

Free associating, Supervisor McGourty compared routine school district audits — the ones that always, ALWAYS, conclude that everything is fine despite below average test scores all over the place — with the Sheriff’s audit, saying that audits are good, real good. 

We went back to the 2011 agenda to review what was available then. (Note: Carmel Angelo was promoted to CEO in 2010.) This October 2011 item came up:

SUMMARY OF REQUEST: On October 18, 2011, David Harris, of Harris and Harris Enterprises, and Steven Reader, of Steven Reader Enterprises, presented their findings and significant recommendations regarding the efficiency audit of the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office. The consultants, Board members, Sheriff Allman, and staff discussed the findings and potential avenues for further review and consideration. By Board consensus, with the concurrence of Sheriff Allman, it was determined that the Board Ad- Hoc Committee remain in active status, with a renewed scope of assignment, for further review of the findings contained within the audit report. Therefore, staff recommends that the Board reauthorize the continuation of the Sheriff Ad-Hoc Committee, with a timeline to perform an in-depth analysis of the audit report findings, reporting back to the Board no later than 180 days, with a determination by the Sheriff and the ad-hoc committee as to which recommendations to further research for implementation, and if recommendations will not be implemented, a justification as to the rationale for same.”

The following week there was this:

“SUMMARY OF REQUEST: On October 25, 2011, the Board reauthorized the continuation of the Sheriff’s Office Ad-Hoc Committee, with a timeline to perform an in-depth analysis of the audit report findings, reporting back to the Board no later than 180 days. The Ad Hoc Committee held two additional meetings to discuss the audit report recommendations. The Committee determined that staffing recommendations are contingent on funding availability and that operational recommendations are the prerogative of the elected Sheriff. It is requested that the Board of Supervisors receive and discuss the attached response by the Sheriff to the audit recommendations for the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office; disband the ad hoc committee and schedule continuing progress reports from the Sheriff.”

As CEO Angelo tersely noted last Tuesday, however, “In a search of records, no formal presentation was found.”

The following year, nothing having been done, the Grand Jury recommended that one of the audit’s findings be implemented immediately saying: “The BOS should provide adequate funding for the MCSO.”

That didn’t happen either. It wasn’t even discussed.

We still have a copy of that 2011 “efficiency audit.” It is larded with useless consultant filler like “There is a need for a more collaborative process in which communication is improved.” In almost every case 20 words were used where two or three would have sufficed. Having been paid the usual consulting fee (we couldn’t find the actual amount, probably in the $75k-$100k range) the consultant had to submit something that looked kinda thick. But there was very little meat in the “audit” — most of it was already known by the Sheriff’s department brass and that probably explains why “no formal presentation was found.”

Paring the audit’s recommendations down to their “Main Conclusions and Recommendations” of the 2011 post-Great Recession Sheriff “Efficiency” Audit by consultant Harris & Harris, this is all they really said:

“There are holes in adequate coverage; no or little patrol officers assigned between 4:00AM and 8:00 AM, with City police sometimes responding to County areas. There is also concern of shortages of assigned officers in the Coast sector. 

“The captains should report directly to the Sheriff with all other employees under the Captain’s chain of command. The department should follow a strict hierarchy of chain of command. 

There is a shortage of sergeants to adequately supervise the patrol function, with over-reliance on remote technology instead of in-person supervision. 

The County should Fill vacant positions. 

Assess and possibly change the patrol schedule for certain parts of the year 

Assess and reassign sergeants who under-supervise 

Transfer staff as needed to balance workload, calls for service and supervision needs 

Do not eliminate or freeze positions unless and until adequate replacements are in place 

Have a focused recruitment and hiring for the coast sector. 

Operating emergency vehicles with excessive miles endangers the officers and the general public. … Emergency vehicles with excessive mileage should be replaced. 

Consider providing patrol sergeant time to the remote, but challenging area of Covelo. 

Delay further layoffs until arrangements and coverage are in place for adequate beat coverage and supervision. 

Consider reviewing and training staff in crime clearance criteria. 

Cover patrol with patrol deputies, not detectives.”

If Sheriff Allman then or Sheriff Kendall now didn’t already know all of this, they should have been fired on the spot. But of course, they did know all of it. So there was no need for any more ad hocs, meetings, presentations or communications.

As the Grand Jury noted the following year the only significant recommendation — obvious as it was and is — was the simple statement that “The County should fill vacant positions.” 

Lack of funding and inadequate focus on recruiting continues to this day.

The consultant’s concluding observation was: “There is a desire for better communication and cooperation between the CEO’s office and Sheriff’s office. The County should take steps to strengthen relationships, foster trust, and improve candid and forthright communication.”

Given that the CEO and the Supervisors didn’t even invite Sheriff Kendall to this discussion, on top of Sheriff Kendall’s open statement that he doesn’t particularly trust the CEO, we can safely say that while most of the report is now obsolete and useless, that observation at least is valid.

Besides, the Sheriff’s budget is the real issue, not any kind of silly audit, then or now. Remember, CEO Angelo left the Sheriff’s budget hanging in response to our inquiry two weeks ago. 

We had asked: “The Sheriff’s Department is listed as being about $620k over his $14.5 million budget (not counting the jail which is running a little under budget). Explanation: ‘Overtime and extra help greater than budget.’ Again, how much of the overrun is overtime and how much is extra help and what was the extra help for? Also, what is the final Sheriff’s budget for the 2021/2022 fiscal year and how much overtime and extra help is budgeted?”

The CEO replied: “Based on YTD May 2021 actuals, Overtime was over budget by $983,480. Based on YTD May 2021 actuals, Extra Help was over budget by $254,064. The question relating to the need for extra help, will need to be answered by the Sheriff's Office. Based on 3rd quarter projections, Sheriff's Office is projecting to be over budget by $1.9M at the end of FY20-21. FY21/22 Budget - General Fund impact $16,125,476: OT = $1,161,185. Extra Help = $250,000.”

We have since heard informally that the Sheriff’s “extra help” overrun has nothing to do with the Sheriff’s budget, but is simply the cost of bailiffs at the Courthouse during the pandemic and was covered by court funding and should not even be in Sheriff’s budget, much less an overrun. 

Nevertheless, the Supervisors expressed no interest in dealing with or resolving the Sheriff’s still large budget gap (mainly in overtime), and Supervisor Williams persists in asking for more data and more money wasted on audits to convince him of the obvious: Sheriff’s patrol needs to be fully funded and fully staffed.

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MAN BEATER OF THE WEEK

Sujey Cardenas

You know why I don't look contrite? Because I'm not, that's why. Long story short, Mr. Wuss, my former boyfriend, starts insulting me so I smack him one, open handed btw, and he calls the cops! My only regret is not… Well, he's sooooooo yesterday I won't bother thinking about what I should have done to the putz.

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LITTLE RIVER MUSEUM OPEN THIS WEEKEND!

Learn a little about the history of those who lived here long before the area became a "destination getaway." The Pomo Indian Tribe - history, photos, trail maps this weekend at the Little River Museum and Improvement Club. Special hours this Saturday from 11AM to 2PM and from Noon to 3PM Sunday and if you can't join us during those hours, we'll be happy to arrange a special tour for you and your family (call 707-734-3596). Admission is always free. Please consider joining us as a volunteer if you live in the area, love history and like to meet new people. Call 707-734-3596 for more information. See you this weekend! 

—Wendy Meyer <wbmeyer56@gmail.com>

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SUMMERTIME SUDS IN MENDOCINO COUNTY

Beer, beer, and more beer! Now that’s a lyric we can get behind in Mendocino County! Boasting five breweries and several restaurants with extensive ale offerings, every corner of the county covers your thirst for this hoppy concoction!

Heading north on Highway 101 from the Bay Area, the first opportunity for a cold one is in Hopland at the Hopland Tap House — California’s first Brewpub to open following prohibition. Brick walls dating back to the 1880’s provides the charm and character of the original HopVine Saloon to today’s Hopland Tap House. Settle into a seat at the bar or enjoy a hearty lunch in their hop covered beer garden, and of course pair your meal with one of their numerous local or regional beers.

The next stop is just up the road where the first of five breweries in Mendocino County is housed - Ukiah Brewing Company. The renowned Cooperrider Family founded UBC in 2000 as the first certified organic brewpub in the Country. Under current ownership, Ukiah Brewing Co not only features their own brews but offerings from guest breweries. And in true brewery form, they offer samplers, crowlers and growlers to go. In addition to their beer, great food and weekly music is also on the menu.

A short jaunt north to Willits, the relatively new Northspur Brewing Company has planted roots with a cool, contemporary space that incorporates locomotive parts to honor the railroad history of the area. Northspur Brewing offers 19 beers on tap, featuring core, year-round offerings as well as specialty brews on a limited or seasonal basis. If you like IPAs — this is a must stop or your beer trek!

If you decide to take the scenic route on Highway 128 to the Mendocino coast, Anderson Valley Brewing Company sits at the intersection of Highways 128 and 253 (from Ukiah). Founded in 1987, AVBC was one of 20 craft breweries in the country at the time. They have been a pioneer in the beer industry ever since. Today, Anderson Valley Brewing has transformed into an event space, including a golf disc course. Now, we could tell you all about the incredibly beers — from their golden ales to the bourbon barrels, the sour ales to the IPAs — and the rebirth of their Gose series, but what’s also cool about AVBC is their commitment to crafting their quality beers in an environmentally friendly way — we’ll drink to that!

Whether traveling to the coast from Highway 128 or Highway 20, you’ll hit Fort Bragg, home to two breweries — world class and award winning North Coast Brewing Company, and homebrewers turned local favorites, Overtime Brewing Company. Just one year after AVBC launched in Anderson Valley, North Coast Brewing Company was established on the North Coast of Mendocino County. North Coast Brewing Company features year round beers, barrel-aged brews, an extensive reserve collection, plus seasonal beers, and what we love about NCBC — in addition to their beers — is their commitment to sustainability that has earned them a zero waste certification, non-GMO project verification and a certified B-Corporation.

The newest brewery in Fort Bragg is Overtime Brewing — launched from a passion for beer into a profession mom and dad would be proud of! With a cool indoor/outdoor space to enjoy a pint, Overtime Brewing offers a wide array of beer styles — from a light Drinkin’ Beer to medium bodied IPAs and finally stepping over to the dark side with porters and stouts, like the Overkill Chocolate Raspberry Stout. Their food menu, while limited, complements their brews, as does the occasional live music scene.

Throughout the county, you’ll also find many restaurants with well-rounded beer offerings. And don’t miss out on Beer Centric events during the year, including the Homebrew Fest in the Fall. Trek the Beer Trail in Mendocino County, anytime!

Come And Visit 

(https://www.visitmendocino.com/good-times-are-brewing/)

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ENCHANTED MEADOW UPDATE

Dear Friends and Forest Defenders,

The Mendocino Planning and Building Services has corrected the error and are in agreement with FOEM, that indeed our sanctuary lands were and are zoned as OPEN SPACE.

They are not zoned TIMBER PRODUCTION as CALFIRE's OFFICIAL RESPONSE of over 140 pages to our fabulous Public Comment letters claims. The forester I spoke with two days at CDF in Santa Rosa, says this doesn't make any difference and smugly indicated we could sue them.

It's time to redirect our calls to CALFIRE outside of our area. Please Call:

Eric Huff 916-653-0719 or email him: eric.huff@fire.ca.gov staff chief for forest practices.

and email - Thomas Porter thomas.porter@fire.ca.gov

This THP's approval is based on false zoning and does not incorporate any environmental corrected measures to protect this area, zoned as OPENSPACE. There are no protective measures/buffers in place to protect:

RAVENS' CALL, 26 acre forest sanctuary, the ALBERT CATTALINI CONSERVANCY, 10 acre riparian corridor & ENCHANTED MEADOW WETLANDS SANCTUARY, 55 acres of Albion River wetlands.

Please ask to rescind the approval of THP 1-21-00040, to allow this THP to move forward as planned without protections will further degrade the very beautiful Enchanted Meadow environs and harm the habitat and lives of it's common and endangered wildlife species.

I have asked Mendocino Planning and Building to contact the above CDF staff, but haven't received confirmation at this time if they will.

THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU!

Zia Cattalini

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UKIAH STREETSCAPE PROJECT CONSTRUCTION UPDATE - JULY 16

We’re in the home stretch now! About three weeks is all that’s left on this project…but we won’t lie--the next couple of weeks are going to be messy. We’re preparing State Street for new pavement, which means grinding (dust and noise) and lane closures. See below for details. We’ll work as quickly as we can to minimize impacts, and may even do some of the paving at night if the crews are available. 

Finishing this year-plus-long project definitely calls for a celebration. On Saturday, August 28th, from 11-4, the entire downtown will be filled with live music, classic and antique cars, kids’ activities, historic information, and so much more. We’ll be doing an official ribbon cutting at the intersection of Perkins and State and “unveiling” the giant mural on West Church Street, which is anticipated to be completed at that time. We hope you'll join us!

Fun fact: State Street was first paved in 1911. Check out the historic photos below!

Construction Overview, Week of July 19 

Monday-Friday: Grinding and paving the first layer of the northbound lane of State Street, working from Smith Street to Mill Street. There’s no way around it folks, this will be messy and disruptive. We’ll keep the southbound traffic flowing on State Street, but will need to divert northbound traffic all week long. As a result, the 100 blocks of East Smith, E Standley, E Perkins, E Stephenson, and E Clay will be closed to vehicular traffic. Temporary ramps will be put in place to accommodate driveways on the east side of State Street during construction. 

Depending on how quickly work progresses, grinding and paving may also begin on the southbound lanes toward the end of the week. In that event, traffic modifications will be the same (southbound traffic remaining; northbound detoured), with travel lanes shifted to accommodate work. 

Miscellaneous work on curb ramps (corners) may be ongoing throughout the project area. 

Looking forward: The current schedule for the final layer of pavement begins July 29th

Construction hours: 6am – 6pm 

Have a great weekend.

Shannon Riley, Deputy City Manager, City of Ukiah, w: (707) 467-5793

* * *

CATCH OF THE DAY, July 16, 2021

Brunk, Cochran, Cornejo

JOHN BRUNK, Fort Bragg. Probation revocation.

KILJAN COCHRAN, Gualala. Failure to appear.

JOSE CORNEJO, Ukiah. Probation revocation.

Elliott, Gray, Jackson

TACOMA ELLIOTT, Lakeport/Ukiah. DUI, suspended license for DUI.

JONATHAN GRAY, Willits. Domestic battery.

ELVIS JACKSON, Hammond, Indiana/Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.

Keator, Kenyon, Lopez

BENJAMIN KEATOR, Redwood Valley. Failure to appear.

JUBA LEE KENYON JR., Fort Bragg. Domestic battery.

JUAN LOPEZ, Ukiah. Controlled substance, county parole violation, offenses while on bail.

Lozano, Pugh, Shenkin

JUAN LOZANO, Ukiah. Failure to appear.

DYLAN PUGH, Upper Lake/Ukiah. DUI.

BENJERMAN SHENKIN, Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol .

Tillman, Wooten, Worthy

TASHINA TILLMAN, Willits. Disorderly conduct-alcohol, resisting, probation revocation.

DAVID WOOTEN, Fort Bragg. Under influence, paraphernalia, probation revocation.

DAVID WORTHY, Ukiah. Transient registration, county parole violation.

* * *

BOOK RECOMMENDATIONS

Editor:

Regarding the brief article in the July 7 issue of The AVA about Charles Manson and Dean Moorehouse and their time in Mendocino County in the 1960s, I have some book recommendations.

During the pandemic, I was obsessed with books about politics, the CIA, organized crime, etc.

These Three Books are a Conspiracy Theorist’s Dream:

Journalist Tom O’Neill spent years of his life researching Manson and concluded that Manson was being used by the CIA as part of their notorious LSD studies. His book Chaos is so damn good, it sheds light on all sorts of dirty tricks by the CIA. Previously I had been a big fan of Vince Bugliosi, author of Helter Skelter and Reclaiming History, but O’Neill debunks many of Bugliosi’s assertions and provides a ton of new information about Manson and the family and their intersection with the CIA and many big names in Hollywood.

A great follow up book is Poisoner in Chief, by Stephen Kinzer, about Sidney Gottlieb’s terrifying experiments at the CIA with poison techniques and attempts at mind control using LSD. The story of what the CIA did to US citizens and people all over the world is stomach turning.

I also want to recommend Gianni Russo’s life story, Hollywood Godfather. Gianni’s amazing life as a courier for Frank Costello dovetails with so many aspects of 1960s American history, specifically the Kennedy assassination. He puts so many puzzle pieces together regarding the Kennedy family, organized crime, Frank Sinatra and Marilyn Monroe and much more.

I listened to all 3 books in their audio versions from the San Francisco Public Library. I do all my own yard work and housecleaning and audiobooks keep me entertained during this drudgery. I think you and many of the AVA readers would enjoy these books.

Thanks, as always, for putting out a great paper.

Monica Huettl

Redwood Valley

* * *

* * *

SPYING & SMEARING IS ‘UNAMERICAN,’ NOT TUCKER CARLSON

by Matt Taibbi

Authoritarian arrogance is handing a ratings bonanza to the onetime Daily Show target, who laughs: "It was easy to be Lenny Bruce in 1963."

On Monday, June 28th, Fox host Tucker Carlson dropped a bomb mid-show, announcing he’d been approached by a “whistleblower” who told him he was being spied on by the NSA.

“The National Security Agency is monitoring our electronic communications,” he said, “and is planning to leak them in an attempt to take this show off the air.”

The reaction was swift, mocking, and ferocious. “Carlson is sounding more and more like InfoWars host and notorious conspiracy theorist, Alex Jones,” chirped CNN media analyst Brian Stelter. Vox ripped Carlson as a “serial fabulist” whose claims were “evidence-free.” The Washington Post quipped that “in a testament to just how far the credibility of Tucker Carlson Tonight has cratered,” even groups like Pen America and the Reporters Committee on the Freedom of the Press were no-commenting the story, while CNN learned from its always-reliable “people familiar with the matter” that even Carlson’s bosses at Fox didn’t believe him.

None of this was surprising. A lot of media people despise Carlson. He may be Exhibit A in the n+2 epithet phenomenon that became standard math in the Trump era, i.e. if you thought he was an “asshole” in 2015 you jumped after Charlottesville straight past racist to white supremacist, and stayed there. He’s spoken of in newsrooms in hushed tones, like a mythical monster. The paranoid rumor that he’s running for president (he’s not) comes almost entirely from a handful of editors and producers who’ve convinced themselves it’s true, half out of anxiety and half subconscious desperation to find a click-generating replacement for Donald Trump.

The NSA story took a turn on the morning of July 7th last week, when Carlson went on Maria Bartiromo’s program. He said that it would shortly come out that the NSA “leaked the contents of my email to journalists,” claiming he knew this because one of them called him for comment. On cue, hours later, a piece came out in Axios, “Scoop: Tucker Carlson sought Putin interview at time of spying claim.”

In a flash, the gloating and non-denial denials that littered early coverage of this story (like the NSA’s meaningless insistence that Carlson was not a “target” of surveillance) dried up. They were instantly replaced by new, more tortured rhetoric, exemplified by an amazingly loathsome interview conducted by former Bush official Nicolle Wallace on MSNBC. The Wallace panel included rodentine former Robert Mueller team member Andrew Weissman, and another of the networks’ seemingly limitless pool of interchangeable ex-FBI stooge-commentators, Frank Figliuzzi.

Weissman denounced Carlson for sowing “distrust” in the intel community, which he said was “so anti-American.” Wallace, who we recall was MSNBC’s idea of a “crossover” voice to attract a younger demographic, agreed that Carlson had contributed to a “growing chorus of distrust in our country’s intelligence agencies.” Figliuzzi said the playbook of Carlson and the GOP was to “erode the public’s trust in their institutions.” Each made an identical point in the same words minus tiny, nervous variations, as if they were all trying to read the same statement off a moving teleprompter.

The scene was perfectly representative of what the erstwhile “liberal” press has become: collections of current and former enforcement types, masquerading as journalists, engaged in patriotic denunciations of critics and rote recitals of quasi-official statements.

Not that it matters to Carlson’s critics, but odds favor the NSA scandal being true. An extraordinarily rich recent history of illegal, politically-directed leaks has gone mostly uncovered, in another glaring recent press failure that itself is part of this story.

It’s admitted. Go back to December, 2015, and you’ll find a Wall Street Journal story by Adam Entous and Danny Yadron quoting senior government officials copping to the fact that the Obama White House reviewed intercepts of conversations between “U.S lawmakers and American-Jewish groups.”

The White House in that case was anxious to know what congressional opponents to Obama’s Iran deal were thinking, and peeked in the electronic cookie jar to get an advance preview at such “incidentally” collected info. This prompted what one official called an “Oh, shit” moment, when they realized that what they’d done might result in “the executive branch being accused of spying.”

After Obama left office, illegal leaks of classified intercepts became commonplace. Many, including the famed January, 2017 leak of conversations between Michael Flynn and Russian ambassador Sergei Kislyak, were key elements of major, news-cycle-dominating bombshells. Others, like “Russian ambassador told Moscow that Kushner wanted secret communications channel with Kremlin,” or news that former National Security Adviser Susan Rice unmasked the identities of senior Trump officials in foreign intercepts, were openly violative of the prohibition against disclosing the existence of such surveillance, let alone the contents.

These leaks tended to go to the same small coterie of reporters at outlets like the Washington Post, New York Times, and CNN, and not one prompted blowback. This was a major forgotten element of the Reality Winner story. Winner, a relatively low-level contractor acting on her own, was caught, charged, and jailed with extraordinary speed after leaking an NSA document about Russian interference to the Intercept. But these dozens of similar violations by senior intelligence officials, mainly in leaks about Trump, went not just unpunished but un-investigated. As Winner’s lawyer, Titus Nichols, told me years ago, his client’s case was “about low-hanging fruit.”

The key issue in those cases was not even so much that someone in government might have been improperly accessing foreign surveillance intercepts — revelations to that effect have been a regular occurrence since the Bush years, with the FBI a serial violator — but that such intercepts were being leaked for public effect, with the enthusiastic cooperation of reporters, often in stories involving American citizens. They got away with it in the Trump years, because it was Trump, but the arrogance to think they can keep getting away with it by power-smearing everyone who objects is mind-blowing.

During Trump’s first run for president, I nearly lost my mind trying to explain to fellow reporters that he was succeeding in part because of us, that the prestige media’s ham-handed, hysterical, anti-intellectual approach to covering the Trump phenomenon was itself massively fueling it, making a case for establishment corruption and incompetence more eloquently than he could.

Something similar now is happening with the collapse of traditional media and the rise of Carlson, the current #1 voice on cable, who is rapidly stealing the audience MSNBC somehow believed it could corral with spokesgoons like Wallace. It seems impossible that Carlson’s haters don’t realize how easy they’ve made it for him, turning themselves into such caricatures of illiberalism that they’re practically handing him the top spot.

The inspiration for his current show seemingly came when Carlson watched his former colleagues among the GOP Brahmins make a show of reacting with horror to Trump’s arrival. These were people who had no problem wantonly bombing poor and mostly nonwhite countries all over the world, made a joke of the rule of law (and America’s reputation abroad) with policies like torture, rendition, and mass surveillance, and shamelessly whored themselves out to Wall Street even after the 2008 crash. Yet they pretended to severe moral anguish before Trump even took office.

Carlson grasped that the sudden piety of the Kristols and Max Boots and David Frenches was rooted in the same terror the Democratic Party nomenklatura felt at the possibility of a Bernie Sanders presidency in 2020, i.e. fear of a line-jumping outsider tearing away their hard-fought consultancies and sinecures.

“He was threatening their rice bowl,” Carlson says. “That’s all it was. I was like, ‘Fuck these people.’”

* * *

* * *

ANTI-ASIAN RACISM & THESE OLYMPICS

by Dave Zirin

As far as “gaffes” go on a global scale, one cannot do much worse than calling the Japanese people “Chinese.” It is an error of racism and arrogance not easily washed away with an apology. Saying such a thing is wincingly awful enough in casual conversation. But doing so in front of a microphone is even worse. Also, doing so when you are the head of the International Olympic Committee, about as popular in Japan as trash on the sidewalk, such a “gaffe” quickly becomes an international incident.

At his first press conference after arriving in Tokyo for the Olympic Games, IOC President Thomas Bach said, “Our common target is safe and secure games for everybody; for the athletes, for all the delegations, and most importantly also for the Chinese people.” Bach quickly corrected himself. If it had been another person at another place and in another time, perhaps the immediate correction would have been the end of it. His interpreters chose to not even translate the error. But it caused an uproar because Bach has already been consecrated as the great villain of these Olympic Games: someone demanding $30 billion, militarization for the sake of security, the destruction of cherished forests and fish markets, and, above all, “sacrifice” from the Japanese people.

Bach is seen as the person who is ramming through the games even though the city of Tokyo is under a state of emergency due to the coronavirus pandemic. He is seen as flouting the will of the 80 percent of the population who want the games to be delayed. His statement that the games will be “safe and secure” sounds like something George W. Bush would say on an aircraft carrier. He seems utterly insensitive to the fear that these Olympics could provoke a super-spreader event to a largely unvaccinated population. He doesn’t seem to care that 80,000 people are set to descend onto the city, including athletes like US swimmer Michael Andrew who are boasting about not taking the vaccine (and among top athletes, Andrew is merely the loudest about being an anti-vaxxer.)

Bach is also making clear through his actions that the strict rules aimed at limiting the spread of Covid throughout the densely populated city do not apply to him. According Tokyo’s rules surrounding the state of emergency, Bach should be isolating himself for 14 days in his five-star hotel suite. But this Friday, he instead will be venturing out of Tokyo to Hiroshima. He wants a nice public relations moment where he can travel to Peace Memorial Park and lay flowers at a monument for those killed in 1945, when the United States dropped an atomic bomb on the city. Yet 30,000 Japanese people have signed a petition calling for this trip to be canceled, not only because they see it as a political stunt that “dishonors” the dead, but also because he will be violating the quarantine so needed to keep the coronavirus and all its variants at bay. It is just another example of how Bach and his cronies in the IOC simply don’t believe the rules apply to them.

Bach says that the Olympics will require a “great sacrifice” from the people of Tokyo, praising their “great resilience and spirit” and their ability “to overcome adversity.” But this is not a sacrifice they asked for. It is one being imposed by the IOC over the meek objections of Japanese leaders who—fearful of lawsuits and of losing the billions they have already sunk into the Games—seem to have handed the keys of the kingdom over to Bach. He is in charge, like some kind of European imperial viceroy, praising his subjects (if can remember what nationality they happen to be) for their sacrifice while he oozes along with his entourage around the countryside.

In a piece written for the Nikkei Times, Tokyo-based journalist William Pesak asks the question, “Is there a limit to the Olympic sacrifices we must make?” He writes, “Just out of curiosity, what is your over/under on human sacrifice? I cannot speak for all of the greater Tokyo area’s 37 million sacrificers, but for me, it is a very hard ‘No.’”

Spread of the coronavirus feels like an ugly inevitability. Yet even if the worst-case scenario does not come to pass, this has already been an exercise in waste, arrogance, and, yes, racism. The dehumanization of the Japanese people is a prerequisite for forcing these Pandemic Games on an unwilling population. Racism provides a pretext for going ahead with the games in the face of all logic. Accepting this dehumanization and racism is a necessity for every Olympic booster putting on blinders and ignoring the cries of resistance. If one can’t see that, then listen to Thomas Bach. He’ll make that reality clear one gaffe at a time.

* * *

* * *

PWOGS' GATHER FOR GAV

First Progressive Work Party At Jughandle Farm, August 10, 5-7pm

WWW.COASTDEMOCRATICCLUB.ORG 

Our First In-Person Progressive Work Party

Calling All Postcard Volunteers

Resist The Recall — Tune Up For 2022

Tuesday, August 10, 5 — 7 PM

Jughandle Farm (indoors)

Food and Drink Provided

No Mask Required for Fully Vaccinated

We will write postcards to local voters to Vote No on the September 14 Recall of Governor Newsom

Postcards, addresses, and script provided

Postage provided 

Pick-up of postcard packets is an option

Please RSVP to leefinney43@gmail.com

(We want to have everything ready for you)

* * *

* * *

BACH ON FIRE

by David Yearsley

Yet another heat wave sears the American West as more than seventy wildfires burn. At 225,000 acres and growing, the Bootleg Fire in south-central Oregon is less than 10% contained: it’s now larger than New York City. The Guardian reports this morning that more than 1,500 square miles are burning in the West, and its only the middle of July.

I grew up in the West, spent many days on the rapidly vanishing snowfields and glaciers of the Olympics and North Cascades.

Now I live in Upstate New York where June and July have been filled with thunderstorms. All is wet and green, but I’ve been listening to Bach’s “fire” cantata, Wachet! betet! betet! wachet! (BWV 71). The opening chorus is a wake-up call.

The trumpet that will be heard on the Last Day sounds the alarm. The orchestra follows in full gallop. In the midst of this instrumental introduction there are long stretches of harmonic stasis above bass drones, as if humanity is waiting fearfully, bracing for doom. The trumpet again busts out of this suspended state, and the strings again answer the call, now joined by the frenzied voices that rise up in ecstatic acclamation:

Watch! pray! pray! watch!

Be prepared

Always

Until the Lord of Glory

Brings this world to an end.

Swirling sequences seem to accelerate, but Bach then dampens the pace, clinging to queasy harmonies that attempt, futilely, to escape the inevitable. The cadence cannot be avoided and the race to the end of time starts up again.

The chorus is one of Bach’s earlier ones, composed after he had begun to dedicate himself to the composition of church cantatas around the age of thirty and already a master of musical terror.

The orchestra quakes menacingly as it ushers in the ensuing recitative. (For a bone-rattling performance the rest of the cantata go here.) A shrill tenor voice foretells of “the day from which no can hide.” But this fire-and-brimstone diction gives way to ambrosial music promising heavenly joy for the saved, though the trumpet of the Last Day echoes ominously just after these comforting words.

The cantata’s first aria follows:

When will the day come when we shall escape

The Egypt of this world?

Ah! Let us soon flee from Sodom,

Before the fire overtakes us!

Watch, souls, wake up from your complacency,

And believe that it is the end of time

In contrast to the richly scored opening two movements, the aria is accompanied sparsely by a plaintive solo cello line that continually moves forward then pauses, unsure and unsettled. The so-called continuo—the rhythm section of the baroque bands of Bach’s day—ghosts this solo, the organist improvising chords with the right hand and doubling with the left the line played by the bassoon, its sonority imparting an edgy, urgent quality to the sonic landscape.

The shrill alto voice enters, that much higher than the bass of the preceding recitative—and that much closer to heaven, or at least to the Judgement Day. The vocal line skitters through rapid figures on “flee” and “flame.” Bach spends a long time—seemingly too long—on the last two lines of text (“Watch, soul, weak up” etc.: the “B” section that is then followed by a reprise of the opening “A” in this so-called da capo—i.e., “back to the head”—form). The prophetic voice shouts into the flames, hoping someone will hear.

In this substantial cantata of eleven movements there are abundant cautions against being taken in by the “snares and traps” of earthly life and the weakness of the flesh. Faith is urged in the face of mockers and doubters.

The second of the cantata’s two parts, divided on either side of the sermon, begins not with more servings of gloom, but with a sprightly court dance, oboe and first violin gamboling happily along with the jaunty bass line.

We have now left the misery and mayhem of the world and are, the long instrumental introduction tells us, in a princely palace, or, better, in the stately gardens onto which the ball room opens.

The saved are greeted on the terrace by the tenor chamberlain, supremely elegant and assuredly upbeat:

Lift up your head

And be comforted, o righteous ones

So that your soul may bloom!

You shall become green in Eden

Serving God eternally.

After the flight from cataclysmic fire we have returned to ecotopic Eden.

The poise and promise of this music—if only its message could be true!—is even more devastating than Bach’s raging sonic images of apocalypse.

(David Yearsley is a long-time contributor to CounterPunch and the Anderson Valley Advertiser. His latest book is Sex, Death, and Minuets: Anna Magdalena Bach and Her Musical Notebooks. He can be reached at dgyearsley@gmail.com.)

* * *

* * *

ENEMIES OF THE PEOPLE

by James Kunstler

Edging now into high summer, the “Joe Biden” apparatus swerves toward the totalitarian seizure of all communications. A White House equerry name of Jeff Zients with the awesome title Covid Response Coordinator called on “Biden allied groups” (DNC? NSA? AFT? CCP?) to monitor Short Message Services (SMS, i.e., texts) on cell phones in search of “disinformation being spread about vaccinations”… Surgeon General Vivek Murthy asked social media to “step up” to address “false claims feeding vaccine resistance”… White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki let slip that “We’re flagging problematic posts for Facebook that spread disinformation”….

America is oh so problematic! You people are working a little too hard to think for yourselves — you basket of deplorable, brain-damaged, flyover gorks — so pardon us while we remove your impure thoughts from the nation’s thought-spaces. We will do your thinking for you, because 1) we know better, and 2) we say so…. Can you see now how things are working perfectly toward an autumn explosion of, shall we say, unpleasant disagreeableness?

Meanwhile, “Joe Biden” and “Biden allied groups” have engineered the US intel and security agencies to label anyone and anything that opposes the shutdown of wrong-think as “white supremacist domestic terrorism.” The FBI officially tweets: “Family members and peers are often best positioned to witness signs of mobilization to violence. Help prevent homegrown violent extremism. Visit https://go.usa.gov/x6mjf to learn how to spot suspicious behaviors and report them to the #FBI.” Nice set-up. Thus, Nancy Pelosi and Merrick Garland’s year-to-date production of the “Capitol Insurrection” pageant, and the captivity, in solitary confinement for months on end, in defiance of habeas corpus, of January Sixth’s hapless, selfie-snapping trespassers. That should prevent any outfit beside BLM and Antifa from mounting mostly peaceful protests, especially against “Joe Biden’s” creeping totalitarianism.

Yet, the flop-sweat is running like a babbling brook from end-to-end down Pennsylvania avenue as, in actual fact, the “Joe Biden” show lurches into its final act — which will be the collapse of the “Joe Biden” show in an odoriferous heap of bad faith and criminality. The specter of election audits is getting to the animatronic teleprompter-reader heading the federal regime. His chamberlains foolishly sent him out to Philadelphia this week to squelch any rising sentiment among PA state legislators to audit alleged ballot irregularities of 11/3/20. “Joe B’s” legitimacy is shredding and he looks more and more like a mere ghoul in the Oval Office, Jacob Marley in Uncle Sam drag, wailing and whispering of his political sins.

In Philly, the poor boob said, “For those who challenge the results and question the integrity of the election: No other election has ever been held under such scrutiny and such high standards!” That mouthful was followed by an even bigger gulp: “The Big Lie is just that: a big lie.” Did he know what he said there? (Cue: Joseph Goebbels spinning in grave with admiration.) The utterance was the perfect companion to his Big Brag on the campaign trail last October, saying, “We have put together, I think, the most extensive and inclusive voter fraud organization in the history of American politics.” Indeed, you did, Joe — or, at least, your worker bees in the DNC did, with, perhaps, some help from the Deep State’s Intel Community. That’s why folks all over the land have got a hankering to look inside those black boxes of ballots and Dominion voting machines.

Of course, it’s hard to tell now whether the “Joe Biden” act will go down in a flaming glob of proven election fraud, or just on its sheer abysmal performance, trying to put over one great big totalitarian hustle while the real economy craters and institutions auger into pits of corruption, recklessness, and incompetence — for instance, Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s astounding move to invite a committee of UN rapporteurs to assess America’s standing vis-à-vis human rights and racism. Great idea! Let’s get envoys from Liberia, Yemen, Laos, Venezuela, El Salvador, and Chad to hold a CRT struggle session with the staff in Foggy Bottom. Or, hey, maybe it’s time to defund the State Department.

When all else fails (to control the restive US population) it’s back to good old reliable Covid-19. The Delta variant is upon us, they say. Face masks are back in California, in contradiction to the CDC’s latest directives on masks. That ought to seal the deal on Governor Gavin Newsom’s recall election fate, scheduled now for September 14. (But can anyone rescue the state from sliding completely down the drain?) How about another round of lockdowns to ensure that nobody ever tries to start a small business again? Well, you know, small business is racist. Look at how many people of color are prevented (by racism) from starting small businesses. We demand social justice! Abolish small business! There, America, I fixed that for you!

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

* * *

42 Comments

  1. Craig Stehr July 17, 2021

    ~Brahma Muhurta 4AM July 17th, ’21A.D. Redwood Valley, CA U$A~
    Transcendental realization is the only topic which this civilization needs to concern itself with. Continuing to identify with the body-mind complex brings only misery and pain. There is no need for this whatsoever. As recording artist Krishna Das said: “I’m taking care of what is inside. What is outside, is, well, outside.” There is only the here and now. There is no past. There is no future. Everything is Brahman.

    Craig Louis Stehr
    Email: craiglouisstehr@gmail.com
    Blog: http://craiglstehr.blogspot.com
    Snail Mail: P.O. Box 938, Redwood Valley, CA 95470
    Donations for the Eco-Revolution 💲Paypal.me/craiglouisstehr
    No Phone

  2. Douglas Coulter July 17, 2021

    Eve of Elections
    to the tune Eve of Destruction by Barry Maguire

    If you watch TV in a man cave owned by Plato
    You’ll see more spin than inside of a tornado
    If you believe a word you’re as dumb as a potatoe
    Media has our minds as pliable as Play-do
    So I tell you over and over again my friend
    You can’t believe a word they say in elections

    They can pass a law that leaves the ghetto reeling
    But don’t say a word that hurts somebody’s feelings
    Confiscate your property it’s not the same as stealing
    Vote is won or lost on whose lies are most appealing
    So I tell you…..

    We freed all the slaves, it’s called emancipation
    Yet we hold more prisoners than any other nation
    They must work for free, what the Hell’s your explanation
    Feed them racial hate with a violent education
    So I tell you….

    We canceled physics laws the eleventh of September
    Started two big wars for reasons no one can remember
    We did restore the poppy fields and prison gets new members
    Can’t afford a lawyer we provide Public-Pretenders
    Keep us deep in debt and give more power to the lenders
    So I tell you….

    If you don’t vote for me Hitler might get reelected
    But the Patriot Act is worse than the laws he erected
    The Magna Carta’s void when terrorist are suspected
    Watch the Bill of Rights being totally redacted
    Before our very eyes prison camps will be erected
    So I tell you over and over and over again my friend
    You can’t believe a word they say in elections

    by Douglas Wayne Coulter 2020

    • Harvey Reading July 17, 2021

      Excellent, and true.

  3. k h July 17, 2021

    Man what happened to Matt Taibbi?

    He and Glenn Greenwald have the same brain worms.

    These two guys claimed to have a clear understanding of fascism and totalitarianism, now see Democratic stormtroopers on every college campus, while regularly appearing on Fox News and defending Fox News goons like Tucker Carlson.

    Fox, the propaganda media outlet created by a Nixon advisor, owned by right wing billionaire Rupert Murdoch, which controls Fox and Friends, the morning tv show that the former president called in to regularly, whose television hosts like Laura Ingraham proudly appeared at Trump rallies, with paid commentators like Maria Bartiromo given special access to the Oval Office, and host Sean Hannity, who was an informal presidential advisor.

    I can’t figure out if they have just jumped on the long, lucrative right wing grift bandwagon or what. Sad.

    • k h July 17, 2021

      The NSA doesn’t need to secretly monitor Carlson – they can just watch his show – his ideas are clear to all.

      But if some agency is eavesdropping on his private communications since Jan 6, maybe it’s because a number of the writers of his show have links to white supremacy sites.

      • Marmon July 17, 2021

        I usually just skip over Taibbi, thanks for bringing him to my attention, a great piece. Two good pieces (Taibbi and Kunstler ) in one day, what are they smoking over there in Boonville? What ever it is, I hope they keep it up.

        Marmon

        • k h July 17, 2021

          Years of commenting on this website and you regularly skip the contents.
          What a surprise.

          • Bruce McEwen July 17, 2021

            Shrewd bit of understatement there, k h, enviably deadpan and delivered with coy aplomb.

            • Bruce McEwen July 17, 2021

              Now, if anyone’s keeping score, let’s have a quick count and see if I’ve matched the usual extravagant number of posts Mr. Flint, our current champion, and Olympic Games contender, is capable of, eh?
              Is anybody still on duty at the AVA on this late July afternoon? Or have they rode off in a tuck&roll Rolls Royce…?

            • k h July 17, 2021

              Thank you Mr McEwen. High praise indeed.

        • Bruce McEwen July 17, 2021

          They’re smoking an outdoor-grown strain of sativa called “Rolls Royce”– try it some time, great stuff!

          • Bruce McEwen July 17, 2021

            Like the old Tarrytons ad — remember the smokes w/ the charcoal filter? — and they’d “rather fight than switch”

            • Lazarus July 17, 2021

              Nah…, “Have a real cigarette, have a Camel”
              Now that was a REAL man’s cigarette.
              Be well,
              Laz

              • Bruce McEwen July 17, 2021

                I’d walk a mile for one, myself, alas I’ve had to give ’em up! Next to the unpronounceable French smokes that came in the squat blue pack, it was the best cigarette, ever. All those Joe Camel spin-offs were no better than Marlboros.

                • Douglas Coulter July 17, 2021

                  Kent Micronite Filter was asbestos for better health

                • Bruce McEwen July 17, 2021

                  W/ cloak & staff in sandal shoon, I’d walk by candlelight or moon…

                  (Over to you, Mr. Coulter.)

    • George Hollister July 17, 2021

      MT is being consistent in his stance protecting freedom of the press. He is a liberal, and likely has little in common with the views he protects.

      • Marmon July 17, 2021

        Sounds like he’s a real journalist.

        “All things must be examined, debated, investigated without exception and without regard for anyone’s feelings.”

        ― Denis Diderot

        Marmon

      • k h July 17, 2021

        Whatever his politics, he always delighted in tweaking the conventional wisdom by playing the contrarian. Which is fine, whatever. There’s always that guy who thinks he can prove his intellectual bona fides by taking no prisoners.

        To my mind the biggest threat to freedom of the press in this county isn’t the government restricting reporting. That’s not a non issue, but it’s not the core matter today. More words and opinions get written every day on the internet than in any time in prior history. We live in a time of radically free discourse.

        Corporate control of the mass media, most specifically television, is a much more serious institutional threat. Murdoch and his allies form the backbone of the right wing echo chamber. He controls a television and print empire that daily promulgates the lobbyists and think tankers that he funds. When Trump was president they were nearly one entity.

        Which Taibbi used to rail against regularly, before he saw the profitability in defending the goon squad.

        • Bruce McEwen July 18, 2021

          If I could see my own faults and foibles as clearly as others see them, I’d have an unfair advantage over my contemporary peers.

          — Grandpa McEwen’s Compendium of Epigrams, No. MLDXII

          • Douglas Coulter July 19, 2021

            Dogma is delusion in a tuxedo
            We cannot see our faults because we have too much invested in false information.
            “A man hears what he wants to hear and disregards the rest” Paul Simon

    • Professor Cosmos July 17, 2021

      They even posted Kunstler lunacy again too. I stopped trying to figure this out. For comfort and ease, as we rush to the next extinction level event we have so creatively engineered over the past 7,000 years, I find ignoring the Crazy and imagination-based dramas is the way to go. I have sympathy for the kids under 12 and those above who have anti vax parents, but for the anti vaxxers getting sick? No.

      • Marmon July 17, 2021

        get your shot and then mind your own business.

        Marmon

        • Professor Cosmos July 17, 2021

          The voice of Narcissus preaching that I should be a silent bystander to the most incredible display of stupid disregard for the welfare of others that I have ever seen. Truth be told, I am saying I plan to be a silent bystander as I watch our extinction event unfold. And, ignore the lunatics.

          • Harvey Reading July 17, 2021

            High sounding, and accurate, especially regarding Kunstler and imminent homonid extinction, much more so than the commenter to whom you responded merits. But what about ET? Didn’t you tell us that its kind were “negotiating” with our fearless, if stupid and-sold out-to-wealth, leaders regarding interstellar trade not so long ago? Guess ET aint too bright in regard to selecting trade partners. Whoops, gotta go. I’m running late for a time warp.

            • Professor Cosmos July 17, 2021

              There was once a tv show called Lost in Space. Good luck out there.

              We have no covert trade agreements or any official ties with off world beings as far as I know but that nonsense does sound familiar as the disinfo John Lear and others conveyed back in the 80s. While they are monitoring us and messaging about nukes and our footprint degrading the environment, they won’t intervene to save our asses. That point has been expressed to many reporting close encounter interactions.

              In any event, the cartoonists have started putting the tin foil hats on reactive debunkers. As Lue Elizondo frequently points out, everyone has to process this on their own and ignore so called authoritative voices claiming to have all the answers. It literally doesn’t matter what people believe one way or another about this.

              • Harvey Reading July 17, 2021

                Then why did you assert such a thing? You remember (probably not), I even dug up your posts. Not gonna do it again. Your story seems very flexible, past the point of nonbelief as far as I am concerned. Plus you seem to have a memory problem. The bullshit emanating as result of the so-called report (more like a collection of hearsay and made-up “sightings” by cocky military pilots and others like them, kissing up to their bosses, you know, similar to the Bible).

                The assholes who rule simply want to keep us stirred up so we’ll be distracted when they pick a war with China that will indeed eliminate our sorry species, or do something else, equally stupid. From the reactions I’ve seen, they have failed, utterly. Even people in this country have at least a somewhat limited tolerance for bullshit. Enjoy your ET dreams (be sure to keep a tissue or hanky handy, though).

                • Professor Cosmos July 18, 2021

                  From my paper 2 years ago, lecture 11 at https://cosmic-pluralism-studies.academy

                  For an extensive in-depth survey of the development during the 1980s and beyond of key notions regarding government coverup issues that are held widely within the so-called “ufo community”, read the “Dark Side” entry by Jerome Clark on pages 357 thru 374 in Volume 1 of the 3rd edition (2017) The UFO Encyclopedia:

                  “Among the strangest and most convoluted UFO stories of the last two decades is one that concerns allegations from various sources, some of them said to be individuals connected with military and intelligence agencies, that the U.S. government not only has communicated with but has an ongoing relationship with what are officially known as ‘extraterrestrial biological entities’, or EBEs. These unsubstantiated claims have given rise to nightmarish conspiracy theories which some call Dark Side theories”. (page 357, Vol !)

                  This complex story involves the attempts to steer ufologists in certain directions through whispered disinformation and bogus documents, but first there was an interesting reach out (several years before ufologists would be played with) to two LA business men, with strong Republican Party connections. The Air Force Office of Special Investigation head at Norton Air Force Base and an audio-visual specialist there invited Robert Emmenegger and Allan Sandler over to the base to suggest the making of a documentary film on advanced research projects.

                  The story involving Emenegger and Sandler doesn’t necessarily entail a disinformation operation but it clearly is a big example of Lucy pulling the football from the approaching kicker, Charlie Brown. This meeting was in 1973, during the Watergate era, and the Lucys in this case (military officials) saw the unfolding Watergate scandal take worsening turns, thus obviously making a “bad time” for what they had been promised for the documentary project they all had chosen to focus on: UFOs. Emenegger did finish this project in 1974 with the release of the documentary UFOs Past Present and Future and concurrently of a paperback with the same title. But, the documentary was without the promised film of an alien craft allegedly landing at Holloman AFB in May, 1971 (though reportedly several seconds of the craft’s approach made it into the film).

                  In 1988, during a live FOX TV broadcast hosted by Mike Ferrell called UFO Coverup Live, the audio visual official (Paul Shartle) who was one of the two officers promising this film to the two would describe what he had seen when viewing the alleged 16-mm film. He described three disc-shaped craft that approached with one landing and the other two taking off after their escort. Three beings emerged and were greeted by the base commander and other officers and several days of meetings (mostly undescribed) too place. The aliens were described as average human sized, with gray complexion, a pronounced nose, thin mouths, pupils of the eyes like slits (cat-like).

                  Jerry Clark takes us on an extended tour in the UFO Encyclopedia of all the tales whereby “insider” information is imparted to ufo investigators, or in the case of his first example, a respected Canadian witness to a close encounter of the third kind. The witness to a 1975 encounter would report that he was visited by a Canadian and two American military officers who related that they knew about his incident, that the aliens he saw had landed due to their craft malfunctioning. They informed the witness (a young carpenter named Robert Suffern) that both the U.S. and Canadian governments knew all about the aliens (since 1943) and were working with them.

                  In 1978, the National Enquirer received an alleged Air Force incident report but which clearly was uncovered as a tall tale involving real persons at the base who supposedly engaged aliens, firing on them, in a secure area of Ellsworth AFB in North Dakota. Bob Pratt and others at this tabloid discovered many discrepancies and inaccuracies upon an in depth investigation.

                  In 1981, AFOSI agent Richard Doty, based at Kirkland AFB then, had some sort of role in a ridiculous letter sent anonymously to the Lorenzen’s at APRO which related a similiarily made-up tale that supposedly occurred at Kirtland AFB where a Civil Air Patrol Cadet visiting the base named Craig Wentzel saw a landed craft and an alien. Weitzel was tracked down a few years later by an investigator; Weitzel did NOT experience a landed UFO and sighting of an emerging alien. Instead, he DID report to Doty at AFOSI seeing a craft at 10 to 15,000 feet, which moved about for a few minutes and then accelerated away rapidly.

                  This AFOSI agent Richard C. Doty, still an active player in the fields of ufology even today (long past retirement), would go on to entangle authors and investigators Bill Moore, Linda Moulton Howe and others in tall tales and notions that last today as popular articles of belief among a large segment of the so-called “ufo community”.

                  The picture conveyed during this feverish era of disinformation activities in the 1980s would naturally fuse with alt left and alt right political philosophies that focused on the evils of hidden cabals running everything and keeping us in the dark.

                  • Professor Cosmos July 18, 2021

                    You have called me a con artist, meth user, and more.
                    Neither you or Marmon are credible.

                  • Harvey Reading July 18, 2021

                    Show me where I ever called you a speed freak, or con artist, though the latter seems apt. Your “paper” appears to be more of the same: an attempt to establish credibility based on nonsense, sort of like the Bible and those who believe what it says.

                    Show me ET and I’ll take you seriously. Otherwise I’ll take you for what I consider you to be: a wishful thinker with no proof whatsoever to back up his claims, just like all the other ET freaks. You also have a short memory when it comes to nonsensical assertions you have made in the past, and continue to deny those assertions even when the comments are retrieved for you to read. UFOlogist my ass.

                    The holy book, called the Bible, is full of tales very similar in terms of believibility to what you peddle, i.e. bullshit and wishful thinking, for which there is no proof. I’m sure your “encyclopedia” of ET is chock full of the same or similar assertions. Hint, all the encyclopedias in the world are worth no more paper on which they are printed if they are full of baseless claims and assertions.

                    And finally, I’ll assert once again that no advanced life form, capable of interstellar travel would bother with a gutted shithole like earth and its dullwit top species. Besides, ET and the planets where they exist are in all likelihood similar to earth and earthlings, and at about the same level of technology, in my humble opinion. They are too overcome with surviving the (self-)destruction of their own planets to have the time to make excursions to this devastated, gutted, hunk of rock, certainly not in 1930s vintage (earth time) flying saucers.

        • chuck dunbar July 17, 2021

          Out of the Lake County lakes rises The Kraken–immense and starved, she/he has finally had it with James Marmon and his guff– and now to eat him whole, then back into the lakes to digest and rest….Farewell Mr. James.

  4. Lazarus July 17, 2021

    “Man what happened to Matt Taibbi?”

    Nothing, don’t you remember him on the Don Imus show? He as was no shill either…unlike many of the regulars on the Imus show.
    Be Well,
    Laz

    • Bruce McEwen July 17, 2021

      I don’t remember him on Don Imus, but I wasn’t a regular viewer of that show — but what were you saying about a shill, your sentence seems to have gotten mangled, somehow, and I can’t tell what you meant.

      • Lazarus July 17, 2021

        Matt Taibbi came from a journalist family. Mike Taibbi was his father, a long time NBC reporter.
        In Matt Taibbi’s early career, he reported from The Soviet Union. I believe he was kicked out for criticizing someone important in the USSR government.
        When Imus was on MSNBC years ago Taibbi was working for The Rolling Stone. He was a regular that Imus would poke fun at, and make him speak Russian.
        He wasn’t a shill/yes man like Bo Dietl, Mike Lupica, Juan Williams, and others who sucked up to the great man… Taibbi once told Imus to get F**ked on air, but he was young.
        Imus was responsible for launching many successful careers, but his guest had to play his game or they weren’t asked back.
        RIP Don Imus…
        Laz

        • Bruce McEwen July 17, 2021

          Thanks. Now I get it.

    • k h July 17, 2021

      I only know him from his Gonzo-inspired Vampire Squid days. Never listened to Imus.
      Thanks for the info.

  5. Marmon July 17, 2021

    RE: VINEYARDS, POT, AND DRY WELLS (LAKE CO.)

    “After 21 years on my beloved property in High Valley in Clearlake Oaks California, my well has gone dry. Other wells have dried up and several more are experiencing problems. We are in extreme drought and the the county of Lake is considering allowing an 80 acre marijuana grow to be established in my valley – directly across the street from another large water user Brassfield Estate Winery! This is unconscionable and must be stopped! Stand with the residents and tell Lake County Planning Commission to put county property owners above these out-of-county companies with deep pockets who are using our resources and selling their product elsewhere. They are being short-sighted and aren’t considering what will happen to our beautiful county when all the water dries up on the pot grows, their projects abandoned, and their precious tax revenues cease to be paid. What the hell are our representatives thinking?? Please help us stop this travesty!”

    -Maria Kann

    https://www.facebook.com/james.marmon.3/posts/4347930988619294?notif_id=1626557417576428&notif_t=feedback_reaction_generic&ref=notif

    Marmon

    • Marmon July 17, 2021

      High Valley is a beautiful valley a hundred feet so above lake level. The wine growers have completely taken over.

      Marmon

  6. Rye N Flint July 17, 2021

    RE: “National Guard” helicopter

    As the US government continues it’s war against it’s own citizens, aka the war on drugs. Pictures like that only add fuel to the conspiracy fires. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_helicopter I wonder if they are finally going after intl cartels?

  7. Rye N Flint July 17, 2021

    RE: Mendo County Dysfunction Junction

    This statement applies to Planning and Building, Public Health and Environmental Health as well… Talk about short staffed and overworked! What is this county thinking? It has already been pointed out that the over-budgets are mainly because of overtime.

    “The County should Fill vacant positions.

    Assess and possibly change the patrol schedule for certain parts of the year

    Assess and reassign sergeants who under-supervise

    Transfer staff as needed to balance workload, calls for service and supervision needs

    Do not eliminate or freeze positions unless and until adequate replacements are in place

    Have a focused recruitment and hiring for the coast sector.

    Operating emergency vehicles with excessive miles endangers the officers and the general public. … Emergency vehicles with excessive mileage should be replaced.”

  8. Rye N Flint July 17, 2021

    RE: “Journalist Tom O’Neill spent years of his life researching Manson and concluded that Manson was being used by the CIA as part of their notorious LSD studies.”

    Have you read the book “Acid Dreams” by local Healdsberg author Martin Lee?

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Acid_Dreams_(book)

  9. Douglas Coulter July 17, 2021

    Imagine
    by Douglas Wayne Coulter 2003
    A song

    You call it schizophrenia
    I call it multitasking
    You call it disability
    I call it
    Extraordinary opportunity
    Cause I can go places you never dreamed of
    Cross those borders you’ve sealed behind walls
    Plumbed the abyss of valleys forbidden
    Climbed peaks hidden by clouds

    When as a child my friends all fled
    I learned to live within my head
    In pleasant dells of treasure
    The world could not assail me there
    Nor fix me with its damning glare
    My refuge became my pleasure
    Many years I’ve traveled since
    Reality does not convince
    My heart to cease it’s dreaming
    Until I find that paradise
    Dreams remain the one device
    That keeps my soul from screaming

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