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TEMPERATURES WILL COOL a bit this weekend. Marine moisture is expected to move further inland as marine stratus begins to return. Smoke currently blanketing the area will shift further east. Looking to next week a modest drying and warming trend is expected. (NWS)
51 NEW COVID CASES, and another death, reported in Mendocino County yesterday afternoon.
YORKVILLE MARKET OPEN
The Market is once again open and we are all looking forward to catching up with our friends and neighbors after being gone for two weeks!
This Saturday, Chef B is making chicken chili with a roasted pepper and corn salad. We will be serving from 12:30ish until 4:30ish, or until sold out. The price is $15 per meal.
We are also whipping up homemade salads, sandwiches and snacks for the deli case, featuring locally grown AV produce. Stop by, say hi, and pick up a treat from right here in beautiful downtown Yorkville.
Our current hours are still Wednesday-Sunday 11-5, however we are hoping to open on Mondays again in September. Stay tuned for more information.
Please note that Masks are now required indoors, whether you are vaccinated or not. Thank you for keeping our community safe.
Looking forward to seeing all of you soon!
ANOTHER OLD POSTCARD from Marshall Newman
GOWAN'S CIDER HARVEST FESTIVAL WEEKEND is here!
Taste award-winning ciders in beautiful harvest-time apple orchards. Enjoy live music, great food, celebrate the 145th apple harvest start.
OLIE ERICKSON WRITES: My friend Angela DeWitt, borrowed my engine to help a near by county fight off an aggressive fire. That's what she does. She's like that. She also takes her stick. Cause you never know when the waves are right.
THE MENDOCINO COUNTY GRAND JURY ON HOMELESSNESS:
F1. The Mendocino County COC website is outdated and there is no single point of contact, such as an 800 number, for those in need of homeless services.
F2. The COC is limited to coordinating funds to locally available services which can result in service gaps for the homeless.
F3. The breadth of locally available services does not have or require written policies and procedures to monitor the level of service being provided for the homeless which results in service outcomes for the homeless not being measured.
F4. Gaps in the Homeless Services System of Care, such as coordinated, collaborative response teams of service providers and law enforcement, are filled by law enforcement agencies that are resource-limited and have unfilled liaison positions for effective Community Policing.
F5. The COC has a quantitative rating system to grade service provider applicants. The rating tool does not evaluate prior objectives of an applicant to determine a history of successful outcomes. There is no rating system for similar services funded separately through County Health and Human Services.
F6. Law Enforcement agencies are represented on the COC by the UPD. With the absence of Federal guidance on how to coordinate police with program services, there is a collaboration gap between providers and government agencies that requires creative local solutions to establish protocols, and define clear roles for service providers and agencies, to foster working relationships.
F7. The majority of members on the COC are employees of other agencies and struggle to address the level of service needed locally without policy guidance from the Board of Supervisors, City elected officials, or other assigned staff.
2020/21 Mendocino County Grand Jury
ED NOTE: HOW ABOUT THE MARBUT STRATEGY? This report seems extraneous to the magnitude of the prob.
JUST IN. BYE BYE MS. MENDO PIE
David Gurney: If as a parting shot, the Advocate put on its front page an ad for tourists to go to Big River Beach to “escape the heat,” I say good riddance.
On Fri, Aug 20, 2021 at 2:15 PM
The Fort Bragg office has closed and the Advocate-News office has moved to Ukiah. Have our local folks lost their jobs?
Uninvited dweller on Northern Pomo land
* * *
We lost our “local” newspaper a long time ago.
It was just a matter of time until the bean counters figured out they could do the paper from Texas and still take our local money with them. Don’t know exactly where the money goes but it most certainly doesn’t stay here.
If you want local news sign up for the Mendocino Sheriff’s posting and The Mendocino Voice.
Even this list serve has more local happenings than The Advocate or The Beacon.
ELEVEN MENDOCINO COUNTY JAIL INMATES have recently tested positive for COVID-19, according to authorities.
Seven inmates, six men and one woman, tested positive during a round of testing Aug. 18, triggered by four positive cases detected during the jail’s booking process, according to a Thursday Facebook post by the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office.
The testing was conducted by jail medical staff and Mendocino County Public Health.
The four people who tested positive during booking were immediately isolated, officials said.
Sheriff’s officials said jail medical staff test everyone who is arrested prior to their entry into the jail. Anyone who tests positive goes into “quarantine” for 10 days before being placed into the jail’s general population housing units.
Officials said correctional staff have been undergoing mandatory COVID-19 testing twice a week since December 2020. That testing increased to once daily on Aug. 15, in response to an increase in community spread of the virus.
To date, three corrections deputies have tested positive, two through the jail’s screening process and one through off-site testing, officials said.
Mendocino County public health officials could not be reached for comment on Friday.
— Martin Espinoza (Santa Rosa Press Democrat)
UKIAH DENNY’S TESTS POSITIVE
The Mendocino County COVID-19 Department Operations Center has confirmed positive COVID-19 case at the following location:
Denny's, 105 Pomeroy St, Ukiah
Members of the public who visited this facility between the dates of Sunday, August 15th and Thursday, August 19th 2021 may have been exposed to COVID-19, and are advised to seek COVID-19 testing if unvaccinated, or seek testing if exhibiting symptoms while vaccinated. Covid-19 Testing
The Facility’s management is responding quickly to the positive case. We appreciate the cooperation to find those who could be exposed, and Public Health only publishes the businesses names and locations because it is impossible to specifically identify everyone in the public who could have been exposed.
Public Health is prepared for the possibility of outbreaks due to the transmissibility of the Delta variant and the increased close contact during the summer months. Public Health still urges members of the public to exercise their best judgment when making decisions that might affect their own health and the health of the community.
Public Health Officer Dr. Andy Coren would like to emphasize the importance of staying home from work when exhibiting any symptoms of COVID-19. Common symptoms are fever, cough, and shortness of breath. Other symptoms may include chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat, fatigue, congestion, runny nose, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, or new loss of taste or smell.
We ask that the community stay vigilant and follow the guidance outlined by the California Department of Public Health and Mendocino County Public Health. For more information about COVID-19 vaccines, testing, and masking, contact the Mendocino County Public Health COVID19 Call Center at (707) 472-2759 or visit our website at: www.mendocinocounty.org/covid19
WHEN DIRECTIVES BECOME SUGGESTIONS
by Mark Scaramella
THIS WEEK’S CEO REPORT includes the usual long list of “Board Directives” which were issued to staff over the last couple of years but not acted on, much less closed. Although at every meeting the CEO makes a point of telling the board that she’ll do whatever the Board wants, the CEO treats the Board’s “directives” more like suggestions which she may or may not respond to. Or if she does respond, at her own schedule and pace.
For years the Board has allowed their “directives” to languish, asking nary a question about what they were or where they went, despite their regular inclusion in the CEO Report. It’s amusing that the directives are even called “directives.” As if to drive home the point, the Board has never even asked that their directives be annotated as to status or completion dates. Some of them are pretty minor, of course. But others are significant.
It’s possible that some directives have been complied with and have been removed from the list. But if so, there’s no such list of those, nothing about closure at all, even though you’d think that they’d want some credit for them if they were done.
Take this “directive” which was issued back in March of 2019:
“Direction To Staff To Explore Feasibility Of Transitioning Our Local Emergency Medical Services Agency (LEMSA) Partnership With Sonoma County To Be A Joint Powers Authority. IT IS ORDERED that the Board of Supervisors Directs staff to begin discussions with Sonoma County regarding formation of a Joint Powers Authority to execute the partnership with our LEMSA. (Health & Human Services Agency).”
That’s it, no status, no dates, no info, no progress report. Nothing. It just lies there like a dead fish. Mendo continues to pay something like $600k a year for the Sonoma County “LEMSA,” while telling the Sheriff that he has to operate with the CEO’s assigned deficit budget because giving him what he wants would supposedly mean cutting somewhere else. Never mind that there’s always enough money for the Sheriff’s actual costs every year. This year, as Employee Union Rep Patrick Hickey pointed out on Tuesday, lots of jobs are vacant creating lots of instability in the affected departments, but because of that there’ll be plenty of money left over at the end of the year.
You might think that a list of dozens of un-acted-on “directives” like the ones in this week’s CEO report might provoke at least one Supervisor to dare an inquiry. Maybe the Board is just tired of hearing “Because of Covid…”?
THE CEO REPORT also reports that “One Mental Health Rehabilitation Specialist has been hired, trained, and has been responding to crises in partnership with Mendocino County Sheriff's Office. We are recruiting for two additional Mental Health Rehabilitation Specialists and are exploring ways to maximize utilization of the existing employee until these Rehabilitation Specialists are hired.”
This is essentially the same “report” regarding the highly praised and praiseworthy “One Mental Health Rehabilitation Specialist” funded crisis van operation that they’ve been making for the last six months since that one specialist was hired. We have no idea what the CEO/staff means by “exploring ways to maximize utilization of the existing employee.” You’d think “exploring,” much less maximizing the use of the one specialist would be normal management, not part of a report to the Board.
Nobody on the Measure B Committee (which authorized the crisis van staffing and funded it more than a year ago and which ordered a never-done six-month status report) or the Supervisors have ever asked how the recruiting is going or how much the crisis van is helping the Sheriff and Ukiah Police with mental health calls.
Knowing that the Fort Bragg Police Chief and at least one city councilperson in Fort Bragg would like a Crisis Van unit/specialist on the Coast, you might wonder why the Board doesn’t simply turn the recruitment and funding for the coastal crisis van over to the City of Fort Bragg and its police chief which is motivated and quite capable of getting it staffed.
Point Arena City Council Meeting - August 24, 2021
UKIAH STREETSCAPE UPDATE
By our count, there have been 66 emails…66 weeks of construction. (Yes—we’re right on schedule!) Not much left to do but celebrate! We hope you'll join us for the Streetscape Celebration next Saturday, August 28th from 11-4. In addition to showcasing the amazing transformation of our downtown, there will be a car show, live music, kids' activities, sidewalk sales, and more.
Please see below for the miscellaneous work that will continue over the next couple of weeks. After next week, none of the work is expected to impact traffic or cause any business interruptions. We’re just working through our “punchlist” of little items that need to be fixed or otherwise finished.
Construction Overview, Week of August 23
Monday-Wednesday-ish evenings: Starting at about 8pm, construction crews will be painting lanes, crosswalks, parking spaces, etc. throughout the project area. No street closures are anticipated.
A note about lane widths—in the last few weeks, we have grown accustomed to extra wide travel lanes on State Street, as the center lane had not yet been added. When the new striping is done, the lanes may feel very narrow again in comparison. In actuality, they will still be 1-2 feet wider than they used to be…just know that there will be an adjustment period.
Monday-Friday: On the south end of the project, the remaining utility poles have been removed and all of the utilities are officially underground! The sidewalk will be patched in those locations, and brick borders added.
During the week, new holes will be bored for the American flags that are displayed during holidays.
Looking ahead: New street signs still need to be installed; they are on order, but may still be a couple of weeks out. Also, the new sensors for the traffic signals are at the mercy of the delayed shipping issues of our world today; they are also a couple of weeks out. This means that the traffic signals will remain in “flash mode” and should continue to be treated like a four-way stop until they are operational.
Have a great weekend!
Shannon Riley, Deputy City Manager, City of Ukiah, w: (707) 467-5793
ANOTHER PHONE SCAM: This time over jury duty.
On Friday, August 20, 2021 the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office was notified by the Willits Police Department of a reported fraudulent telephone scam received by a City of Willits resident.
This telephone scam is in no way associated with the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office and has no legitimate law enforcement purpose.
The telephone scam was reported to be from a caller who is posing as Sheriff's Sergeant Clint Wyant. Upon establishing contact, the caller told the resident there was an arrest warrant issued for them as the result of missing jury duty.
This fraudulent information is used as a scam to pressure a person (recipient of the call) to provide personal identifying information for identity theft purposes or to demand payment through such things as credit card, gift card or money order transaction.
The public is urged against engaging in this fraudulent telephone scam and should immediately report any such behavior to their local law enforcement agency.
In an effort to combat identity theft during this type of telephone scam, please do not provide any personal identifying information over the telephone to include social security numbers, bank account numbers, credit card numbers, or your personal address.
It is also important to refrain from sending any type payment to the caller as directed.
CATCH OF THE DAY, August 20, 2021
DEAN AMMONS, Ukiah. Parole violation.
DANIELLE BLOYD, Talmage. Domestic battery, probation revocation.
RAYMOND BOWES, Covelo. Loaded handgun-not registered owner, loaded firearm in public, concealed weapon in vehicle, evasion.
MICHELLE CRUZ, Riverbank/Ukiah. Recklessly causing fire to structural or forestland.
TRISTA FREEMAN, Covelo. Contempt of court, resisting, probation revocation.
DONALD HARRISON, Clearlake/Ukiah. Failure to appear.
ANTHONY HIDALGO, Ukiah. Concealed dirk-dagger, tear gas, controlled substance, failure to appear.
TRAVIS HUMPHREY, Redwood Valley. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.
CRYSTAL LOCKHART, Ukiah. Failure to appear.
JULIE MARRS, Ukiah. Probation revocation.
ARTMIO ORTEGA-REYES, Controlled substance, paraphernalia, resisting, probation revocation.
JENNIFER SMITH, Fort Bragg. Causing a fire of property, paraphernalia.
BRIAN WILLIAMS, Ukiah. Controlled substance, paraphernalia, probation revocation.
DAVID WOOTEN, Fort Bragg. Burglary, probation revocation.
ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY
I am old enough to have seen the country suffer through numerous crises, political, economic, and natural disaster, but to me they always were of the “this too shall pass” variety. Of course the chaos in Afghanistan will pass as well; we just don’t know the timeframe or what the body count will be, but before it is over most of the media will lose interest, just as the border crisis has faded from awareness for most.
What is different with this crisis is just how in your face it is as to the facade of American power projection and as concerns the almost incomprehensible incompetence of our military and government leadership. Hundreds of billions a year for the military and intelligence agencies, yet they didn’t see this coming. How could they not have any plans for the evacuation of Americans and our Afghan allies? How could they not even know how many Americans are there? Being they assumed the Taliban would eventually take over, where was the plan to disable American planes and other equipment left behind when they did? Why weren’t they working 24/7 on the Visa’s for our allies in the months leading up to the troop withdrawal, and at least quietly getting their families out of the country in anticipation of a collapse? None of this is rocket scientist stuff.
What all this tells me is that the rot from within is pretty far along. We may have more weapons and more advanced technology than anyone else, but it is all smoke and mirrors when it comes to real power. No doubt the Chinese, Russians, Iranians, and other bad actors see all this, and they likely know more than us common folk can possibly know.
I’ve long been a believer in the “long emergency” concept, and we’ve been in the midst of it no doubt, but now I can see a rapidly unfolding general collapse when some innocuous event begins to spin out of control. No different than a majestic tree that has stood for centuries falls suddenly. The bark we see on the outside looks healthy but the inside has slowly been rotting for decades.
TODAY: President Joe Biden vowed Friday to get all Americans and Afghan allies out of Afghanistan and took questions from White House reporters - on a pre-approved list - for the first time in nine days. 'Let me be clear, any American who wants to come home, we will get you home,' Biden pledged during the speech he started 50 minutes late where he stumbled over answers. He also said allies around the world have not questioned US credibility over the chaotic Kabul evacuation, insisted Al Qaeda is gone from Afghanistan and claimed there has been 'no indication' the Taliban has blocked Americans from reaching the airport. NATO has begged the Biden administration to keep a troop presence on the ground for as long as possible, the Pentagon said just minutes later that Al Qaeda is present in parts of Afghanistan and there are multiple reports insurgents are using checkpoints to block safe passage to the airport. After taking questions, Biden then walked out while reporters shouted demands at him including one who asked: 'Why do you continue to trust the Taliban?'
GOSH. THAT'S WONDERFUL.
We did great with postcards - now we need to do more.
We sent 1200 postcards to stop the recall!
Thanks to all who wrote postcards.
There are many ways to continue actions to prevent the recall.
We all need to join in with phoning, texting, postcards, peer-to-peer organizing.
MEMO OF THE AIR: GOOD NIGHT RADIO ALL NIGHT FRIDAY NIGHT!
Hi! Marco here. Deadline to email your writing for tonight's (Friday night's) MOTA show is around 7pm. After that, send it whenever it's ready, and I'll read it on the radio /next/ week. Exception: I'm trying something new; I'll be checking my email around midnight, in case you really need to squeeze something in.
Half an hour into the show, meaning 9:30pm, tonight and for the next few weeks, I'll play this summer's San Francisco Mime Troupe radio play series: /Persistence/. Tonight: Episode Seven! (30 min.) And most of tonight's break music, like last week, will be name songs. (Thanks to all literally eleven of you who sent lists of suggestions. Honestly, I did not even know about /Juanita/ by Johnny Maestro and The Crests.)
Top of the news: Mike Richards is O-U-T /out/ as new share-host of /Jeopardy/ so the marvelous actual neuroscience PhD Mayim Bialik (Amy Farrah Fowler in /The Big Bang Theory/) is now sole permanent host. (Mike is out because the Anti Defamation League heard some of his old podcasts and didn't like his flip attitude about Jews, and everyone else doesn't like him because he asked his podcast partner for what he called "boobie pictures" and when she wouldn't comply he dismissed her as a "booth ho." Big advances were made this week in the new 6G cell phone technology (one G better even than 5G), and in nuclear fusion generated electricity, and a 3D-printed eardrum patch (like patching a popped tire), and it's been found that the planet Saturn's whole insides are sloshing around like the bilge of a ski boat. All that's just three minutes of an eight-hour show. Compare to BBC.
Oh, right: near the end of the show I'll play /Fighting Clowns/, recorded in 1980 by Firesign Theater, oddly prescient for being about a future pointless endless American war in Afghanistan. Organist Richard Parker taught for a while at the old Mendocino Community School; he played Hammond B3 on /Oh, Afghanistan (Save Us From Babylon)/. I'm sure you remember; if you ever heard it it's still stuck in your head, and if you haven't, now's your chance.
Memo of the Air: Good Night Radio is every Friday, 9pm to 5am on 107.7fm KNYO-LP Fort Bragg as well as anywhere else via http://airtime.knyo.org:8040/128 (That's the regular link to listen to KNYO in real time.)
Any day or night you can go to https://MemoOfTheAir.wordpress.com and hear last week's MOTA show. By Saturday night the recording of tonight's show will also be there.
As if all that weren't enough, also at https://MemoOfTheAir.wordpress.com there's a metaphorical fighting clown tattooed all over with links to poke at until showtime, not to mention between shows -- items such as:
Institute of illegal images.
This is like something Seth Rogen would do, but it's Seth Meyers. (via b3ta)
And Renato Carosone (and his original Fighting Clowns) play Tu Vuo Fa' L'Americano (via Davis Gee)
— Marco McClean, email@example.com
THERE GOES SACTO
On August 20, 2021, the State Water Resources Control Board (State Water Board) mailed initial orders imposing water right curtailment and reporting requirements on all water right holders and claimants in the Delta watershed (linked below).
The August 20 order (Order) identifies the priorities of water rights and claims of right that are curtailed for the remainder of August and for the month of September. The Delta Watershed Curtailment Status List (Curtailment Status List) on the Delta Watershed Drought webpage <https://www.waterboards.ca.gov/drought/delta/> reflects the water rights and claims that are currently curtailed, including those that are currently required to curtail for the month of September even if not required to curtail for the month of August. This list will be updated on a weekly basis or more frequently if there are precipitation events that warrant suspension of curtailments.
Since the hard copy Order was printed and mailed, the list of curtailed rights and claims of right has been updated to reflect the current output of the Water Unavailability Methodology (Methodology) for the Delta Watershed.
The Methodology indicates that the following priorities of water rights and claims are curtailed for the remainder of August 2021 (with changes from the mailed list underlined below):
1. All post-1914 appropriative water rights in the Delta watershed (including the Sacramento River and San Joaquin River watersheds and the Legal Delta);
2. All pre-1914 appropriative water right claims in the San Joaquin River watershed;
3. All pre-1914 appropriative water right claims in the Sacramento River watershed and in the Legal Delta with a priority date of 1883 or later;
4. Some pre-1914 appropriative water right claims on specific tributaries to the Sacramento River with a priority date earlier than 1883; and
5. All riparian water right claims in the Calaveras subwatershed that are outside of the Legal Delta.*
The following priorities of water rights and claims are curtailed for the month of September 2021, unless and until the State Water Board advises that this determination has been updated (with changes from the mailed list underlined below):
1. All post-1914 appropriative water rights in the San Joaquin River watershed;
2. All pre-1914 appropriative water right claims in the San Joaquin River watershed;
3. All riparian water right claims in the American River watershed upstream of Folsom Reservoir;
4. All riparian water right claims in the Calaveras subwatershed that are outside of the Legal Delta;*
5. A subset of Central Valley Project and State Water Project water rights in the Sacramento River watershed and in the Legal Delta; and
6. Some pre-1914 appropriative water right claims and post-1914 appropriative water rights on specific tributaries to the Sacramento River.
These water right claims were not included with the hard copy Orders that were mailed on August 20, 2021 (linked below), but should be curtailed until further notice from the State Water Board. Because of deferred notice to riparian claimants with diversions in the Calaveras subwatershed that are outside of the Legal Delta, curtailment of these claims is required as soon as notice is provided but no later than August 27, 2021.
For all water rights and claims, the Order requires a one-time completion of an online Compliance Certification Form. For water rights and claims with an annual diversion amount of 5,000 acre-feet or greater, the Order also requires enhanced monthly reporting of water diversion and use. Both the certification and the enhanced reporting must be completed by the date indicated in the Order, using the forms accessible on the Board¹s website.
For more information on the requirements of the Order, see the generic orders posted on the Delta Watershed Drought webpage <https://www.waterboards.ca.gov/drought/delta/> :
Order issued to smaller diverters
(annual use/right under 5,000 acre-feet)
Order issued to larger diverters
(annual use/right of 5,000 acre-feet or greater)
If you have any questions, you may send an email to Bay-Delta@waterboards.ca.gov <mailto:Bay-Delta@waterboards.ca.gov> , or call the Delta Drought phone line at (916) 319-0960.
MARIJUANA: AN ON LINE COMMENT
Not everybody uses cannabis, not everybody drinks alcohol, not everybody takes pills, not everybody uses heroin, not everybody gambles, not everybody sucks the glass D, pick your poison. But this fake idea that if you're affiliated with cannabis you're going to be rich beyond your flat billed cap is a pipe dream at best. Show me the successful cannabis farmer and I will show you a lot of money that goes to the feds and their counterparts below. The struggling folks at flophouse farms tell the true tale. Running into the woods as the LEOs show up. Hungry, exploited, lost, no education or real skills, wasted time, wasted youth, when the game's over that is their truth.
WHO IS LARRY ELDER and What Would He Do as Governor?
by Ben Christopher
“The Sage from South Central.” “Even more extreme than Trump.” The recall candidate to beat.
Larry Elder goes by a lot of labels these days. If he’s tough to pin down, that’s because he’s such an unlikely character: A Black man who grew up in South Central Los Angeles, went to an Ivy League college and became a conservative provocateur.
In a state dominated by Democrats for 15 years, he’d make an even more unlikely governor. As millions of Californains suss out what they’re supposed to think about him as they vote in the Sept. 14 recall election, Elder sat down with CalMatters reporters and editors for an hour-long interview.
This conversation took place before Politico reported Thursday on allegations from Elder’s ex-fiancee that he brandished a gun at her while high on marijuana. Elder denied that he waved a weapon, but did not respond to other allegations: “I am not going to dignify this with a response — it’s beneath me.”
CalMatters has invited Gov. Gavin Newsom and his major challengers to sit down and chat. Here are five highlights from the discussion with Elder:
‘I don’t have horns. I don’t have a tail.’
Elder is especially clear on this point: He thinks he’s gotten a raw deal from the “left-wing media” since he announced his campaign last month.
“I don’t have a tail, I don’t have horns,” he said, before noting that he also doesn’t “club baby seals and eat their heads.” While his views on labor policy, gender equality and race have been characterized by the Newsom camp and even some fellow Republicans as extreme, Elder says they’re rooted in common sense and Economics 101.
In the latest in a string of stories unearthing past controversial comments, both CNN and the San Francisco Chronicle published articles Thursday documenting what he has said about women.
He also mentioned that he’s written books and made documentaries. Despite their commercial success, he claims, they’ve been skimmed over by the arbiters of merit and taste — newspaper book reviewers and the Oscars.
“It’s just surprising that I’ve been shut out like this,” he said. “I’m from the ‘hood. I ought to be a success story.”
Not that depicting himself as a media target and picking fights with fault-finding reporters doesn’t have its political upside. Just ask Donald Trump. For Elder’s supporters and many recall voters, the disapproval of the chattering classes may serve as its own endorsement.
‘I am a small-L libertarian’
That’s the term Elder uses to describe his policy platform. It’s a consistent line and one that he’s been repeating for as long as he’s been a public figure.
“The biggest challenge in California in general is the intrusiveness of government,” he said. “I believe that a government that governs less governs best.”
Hence his views on the minimum wage (there shouldn’t be one), pregnancy discrimination prohibitions in the workplace (leave it to the market), public welfare programs (it encourages “women to marry the government”), public schools (he prefers school vouchers), state-funded health insurance programs (“you need to have competition”) and recreational drugs (he supports legalization).
‘The only person I want to debate is Gavin Newsom’
Longtime conservative talk radio listeners and Fox News aficionados will know Elder by his more than 20 years of public opinionating. But for many California voters, he remains relatively unknown.
That’s in part Elder’s doing. He’s skipped three campaign debates so far, a strategy that’s frustrated some GOP insiders. Elder insists it’s because he’s “not running against the Republican rivals,” but against Newsom.
But debating also runs the risk of making a gaffe or coming under sustained attack — a risk that Elder apparently doesn’t believe he needs to make.
“I have a substantial lead over my Republican rivals, that’s one of the reasons why they want to debate me,” he said. “If I were sitting at 2% in the polls, I’d want to debate me as well.”
‘The term is illegal alien’
Elder’s years in the media world have given him a knack for talking politics in a way to draw an audience, but also sometimes to inflame.
So, yes, he opposes the California’s recent expansion of Medi-Cal, the public health insurance program for low-income people, to undocumented immigrants. And no, he’s not going to use the term “undocumented immigrant.”
Likewise, climate change activists and conservationists are “environmental extremists,” the reformist district attorneys in Los Angeles and San Francisco are “soft on crime” and safety net programs pushed by Democrats represent “an attack on the nuclear family.”
‘Somebody like Clarence Thomas’
One of a governor’s most powerful policy levers is his ability to appoint — to the judicial bench, to vacated constitutional offices and to the state’s many regulatory commissions.
While Elder doesn’t have a short list of names for any of those possible appointments, he takes inspiration from Washington, D.C. When selecting a judge or justice, he would model his selection on self-described originalists like Thomas and the late-Antonin Scalia.
And for the state Board of Education? “Somebody who has the same philosophy as the former Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos,” he said.
But there was one former D.C. bigwig Elder was not inclined to talk about: Stephen Miller, the former Trump advisor, whose early start as a right-wing provocateur began on Elder’s show.
“Why would you bring up Stephen Miller?” Elder asked, repeatedly. “I’m just wondering what the agenda here is. What’s the point? Am I somehow — what — a Nazi? A fascist?”
BACK AT YOU, TOM
To the Editor:
Referencing the letter by Tom Wodetzki.
Who's at fault?
The pandemic, the fires, and the climate "crisis", are all caused by the Republicans, President Trump, and Fox News, according to Tom Wodetzki. All this without an ounce of proof to back it up. Obviously Tom's only news sources are probably CNN and MSNBC.
President Trump is alive and well in Tom's head.
While Trump was in office, the economy was great, fuel prices were down, people were working, minorities especially more than ever before, our military was the best in the world, the southern borders were closed, a wall was being built, then Covid-19 hit. Trump acted quickly and got the pharmacies to work on a vaccine which was presented in record time.
We now have President, Joe, the liar, corrupt, plagiarist, gaffe master, dementia brain, Biden. We also have an incompetent Vice President, Kamala, the Giggler, Harris!
Now, under Biden and a Democrat Congress, the economy is awful, fuel prices are way up, inflation is on the rise, the pandemic is getting worse in some areas, the southern borders are in crisis with thousands of illegals entering our country without masks and have covid and probably other diseases to spread across our country. A super spreader so to speak.
I have to say this is all the Democrats fault. The Republicans need to win back the Congress so they can fix what the Democrats have broken, and then win back the presidency in 2024, and who knows, it might be Donald Trump!
GOP QUIETLY SCRUBS WEBPAGE Detailing Trump's 'Historic Peace Agreement With the Taliban'
In the wake of the Taliban’s recent capture of Kabul, Afghanistan’s capital, it looks like the Republican Party is quietly scrubbing traces of the former president’s deals with the militant Islamist group.
The GOP has pulled a webpage praising Donald Trump over his administration’s “historic peace agreement with the Taliban.” The page, which has been archived here, was first instated in the midst of last year’s presidential election.
We think of ourselves
As thinkers not animals
Proud we’re so different
We’re really animals too
All part of the realm
Our enlightened self-interest
That makes us so smart
And so high-minded
Great concept we’ve come up with
Is simply plain old
Naturally learned instinct and
To just go with it
— Jim Luther
THE HEEBIE-JEEBIES OF AUGUST
by James Kunstler
“Joe Biden” will interrupt his moveable vacation — for now, back in Wilmington, DE — to speak to the nation early this (Friday) afternoon. Will he dig himself deeper into the hole that the Taliban tossed him in, or just throw in the towel on running the executive branch of the government (if that’s what he’s been doing)?
Let’s face it: “Joe B’s” actual doings in the White House these seven months are as mysterious as last week’s blitzkrieg through Afghanistan by the Taliban. What does Ol’ White Joe actually do all day after his managers “call a lid” on his official duties at 8:30 in the morning? Gab with Hunter about family business on a secure phone? Watch Joy Behar and her gang on TV? We-the-people are unaware that the “president” has any hobbies or avocations. Golf? Apparently not. Stamps? Please! Or does he just sit in a comfortable chair on the second-floor casting what is left of his mind back on those dear dead days of his fabled Scranton boyhood?
Can you really imagine Kamala Harris in the Oval Office? I doubt Kamala herself can. Anyway, someone up and dispatched her off to Singapore and Vietnam this week, as if on-cue (get her outta town, pronto…things will be a little hairy around here). Presumably she will return to the USA in the fullness of time, without any untoward accidents involving Air Force Two. But what if the veep, for reasons of her own (say, “nerves”), throws in a towel, too? Who else happens to be constitutionally in-line for Commander-in-Chief in case the whole 2020 ticket bows out? Why, the Speaker of the House, of course, Ms. Nancy Pelosi, the world’s leading model of outfit-matching face-masks. What a career-capper that will be! Better stock up the White House freezer with Jeni’s-brand mango-cheesecake swirl gourmet ice-cream and gird your loins for a fusillade of executive orders making outlaws of everyone living between the Falls of the Potomac and the Embarcadero.
The news media may wonder whether Afghanistan is heading back into the twelfth century, but many of us here are wondering whether this country will remain in the twenty-first. The cable TV channels crackle with existential angst. The USA seems to have made itself the chump of chump nations. We are so easily faked-out! Our gazillion-dollar military and Intel Community got owned by savages in sandals, for Gawdsake! Ten-thousand Americans (or more!) sit stranded in Kabul while Pashtun horsemen joyride above the city in purloined Blackhawk helicopters! We abandon our allies and obligations! We are not to be trusted (even by ourselves). What is to be done?
Nobody knows, or if they do, they’re not telling. One senses a descent into a season of extraordinary national disorder. One hears whispers of an alt.military Trump-leaning cabal lurking at the margins, waiting to seize power. What else is there? Appeal to Pakistan to call off their dogs? Because, after all, it was Pakistan who virtually created the Taliban, and who planted Osama Bin Laden in Kandahar, and then harbored him in Abbottabad after the Yanks arrived next door in 2001 to root him out of some mythical cave (and failed to, having sub-contracted the actual job to the Pashtun mounties, an outfit with certain motivational problems).
Jimmy Carter was undone by a mere fifty-two hostages in Iran, 1979, but this fiasco is orders of magnitude greater. The Taliban could easily put an end to the whole question of extracting the thousands of Americans stuck in Af-stan just by firing a few RPG rounds onto the runway of Hamid Karzai International Airport. After that, would they go about the grisly business of beheading any Afghani who so much as took a stick of gum from an American?
“Graveyard of Empires,” indeed. Rome waited a few centuries to collapse but America seems to be demonstrating we can git’er done in just a couple of years. And, beyond these questions of global hegemony, there is the matter of what happens here in the so-called Homeland. The Covid-19 vaccine-and-masking hysteria is coming to a head. The school boards are getting an earful about race-based everything in the curriculum. Certain state governors and mayors seem determined to destroy what remains of small business. A mutiny is brewing against Bill de Blasio’s new semi-lockdown in New York City. Gavin Newsom is about to be tossed into the North Pacific Gyre. Any moment, the Arizona election audit will issue a preliminary report, said to be shocking. Financial markets are in the wobble-zone. Supply lines are down for many parts of things needed to run daily life in this land. And millions are wondering anxiously now: what really are the latent effects of those jabs?
Things are shaking loose all over the place. As Bob Dylan once said, the order is rapidly fading (and he’s even older than “Joe Biden.”) Everyone I know has got the heebie-jeebies. Nobody is at the controls of this outfit as we sail into the fog.
(Support Kunstler’s writing by visiting his Patreon Page.)