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Mendocino County Today: Monday, Nov. 1, 2021

Overcast Rain | Wettest October | Zachery FFA | Sporting Panthers | Cloverdale Boiling | Birthday Nine | Narcan Save | Local Kids | Water-Table Rise | Ed Notes | Crumb Chakras | Supes Briefs | Transwolf | Water Storage | Lake Mendo | Mitomka Gunplay | Without Money | Feeding Arsonists | Yesterday's Catch | Wheatfields | Gambian Poet | Give/Take | Billionaire Escape | Nuke On | Old Europe | Brandon Freakout | Ukiah Cowpoke | Animal Love | Ancient Relic | Water Proposal | Turkeys | Evangelical Drift | Smoking Mask | Pfizerganda

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OVERCAST AND RAINY WEATHER to start the week will give way to high pressure with dry and warmer conditions Tuesday into Wednesday morning. The next cold front will bring more beneficial rain by Wednesday night into Thursday. Showery weather may continue for parts of Friday into the weekend. (NWS)

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WETOBER: We just experienced the wettest October, locally, in recorded weather history. Boonville received 10.67" during the month, while Yorkville got 13.4", drenching the previous record of 10.36" set five years ago (previous to 2016, the October rainfall record for Yorkville had been 9.87", set back in 1945). Here are the past twenty years of October rainfalls for Yorkville:

13.40" 2021
  .00" 2020
  .04" 2019
 1.48" 2018
  .72" 2017
10.36" 2016
  .12" 2015
 2.36" 2014
  .00" 2013
 2.64" 2012
 3.84" 2011
 8.12" 2010
 6.00" 2009
 2.96" 2008
 4.44" 2007
  .56" 2006
 2.36" 2005
 5.56" 2004
  .00" 2003
  .00" 2002
 1.44" 2001

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He was recognized at the 2021 National FFA Convention for earning his American FFA Degree. This is the highest degree you can earn in the FFA. We are so proud of you!

Zachery Whitely

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An exciting game Saturday night for our volleyball team. We defeated San Francisco Waldorf in our fourth set; what a nail-biter that was. Our girls will be traveling to Fremont on Wednesday to the semi finals against Fremont Christian at 7:00. Meanwhile, our boys soccer team managed to place third in our division, which means we also are going to the post-season! Anderson Valley will be traveling to San Francisco on Wednesday to play against San Francisco Waldorf on Wednesday at 7:30. Exciting games to come!

(Arthur Folz reporting)

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Residents in parts of Cloverdale were advised Sunday to boil their tap water or use bottled water for drinking and cooking as a safety precaution, following a water main break in city.

Officials did not say where the main break occurred but the State Water Resources Control Board, Division of Drinking Water, the Sonoma County Health Department, and the city of Cloverdale Water System issued the advisement Sunday afternoon.

Those who don’t boil the tap water or switch to bottled water for the time-being are at risk for stomach or intestinal illnesses, officials said.

Authorities anticipate a resolution by Wednesday. Residents will be informed when tests show that the water is safe to drink and the boil order is rescinded.

The affected area includes:

•Vista View Drive (Address Range: 201-263)

•King Ridge Heights (Address Range: 15-25

•E 3rd Street (Address: 500)

•Clovercrest Drive (Address Range: 60,115-490

•Block Drive (Address Range: 25-105)

•Oak Lane (Address Range: 10-190)

•Imperial Drive (Address Range: 302-405)

•Middlestadt Ln (Address Range: 49-60)

•N. Cloverdale Blvd (Address Range: 890-894)

•Old Redwood Hwy. (Address: 31195)

We anticipate resolving the problem within 3 days.

If you have questions about other uses of tap water, such as bathing and dish washing, please call your water system or read this guidance: cloverdale boil order.pdf

(Press Democrat)

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On Monday, October 18, 2021 at approximately 2:27 P.M. a Mendocino County Deputy Sheriff was at Safeway in Ukiah.

As the Deputy exited the store, he observed a 36 year-old female on the ground who was unresponsive.

The Deputy began a medical assessment and determined the adult female was not breathing and had only a faint pulse. The Deputy observed drug paraphernalia in the immediate area.

Based on the Deputy's training and experience, he feared the adult female was suffering from an opioid overdose, which if gone untreated could result in death.

The Deputy administered a 4MG dose of NARCAN to the adult female and saw no change in her condition. The Deputy administered a second 4MG dose of NARCAN, and again saw no change in her condition.

An Officer from the Ukiah Police Department arrived on scene and administered a third 4MG dose of NARCAN to the adult female. After the third dose, there appeared be positive effect on the adult female's condition.

Medical personnel arrived on scene shortly later and took over care of the adult female who was transported to the hospital for further treatment.

In April 2019 the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office (MCSO) began to issue NARCAN® (Naloxone HCI) nasal spray dosage units to its employees as part of their assigned personal protective equipment. MCSO's goal is in protecting the public and officers from opioid overdoses. Access to naloxone is now considered vital in the U.S. The Center for Disease Control. The California Opioid Overdose Surveillance Dashboard has reported Mendocino County ranking, per capita, 3rd in all opioid overdose deaths.) 

Narcan nasal spray units are widely known to reverse opioid overdose situations in adults and children. Each nasal spray device contains a four milligram dose, according to the manufacturer.

Naloxone Hydrochloride, more commonly known by the brand name NARCAN®, blocks the life-threatening effects of opioid overdose (both medications and narcotics) including extreme drowsiness, slowed breathing, or loss of consciousness.

The antidote can reverse the effects of an overdose for up to an hour, but anyone who administers the overdose reversal medication in a non-medical setting is advised to seek emergency medical help right away. The spray units can also be used by Public Safety Professionals who are unknowingly or accidentally exposed to potentially fatal amounts of fentanyl from skin absorption or inhalation.

The issuance of the Narcan nasal units, thus far, have been to employees assigned to the Field Services Division and the Mendocino County Jail medical staff. Employees are required to attend user training prior to being issued the medication.

Sheriff Matthew C. Kendall would like to thank Mendocino County HHSA Public Health for providing the Narcan nasal units to the Sheriff's Office free of charge as part of the Free Narcan Grant from the California Department of Public Health.

Since the April 2019 issuance, there have now been (7) seven separate situations wherein Mendocino County Sheriff's Office Patrol Sergeants/Deputies have administered NARCAN and saved the lives of (7) seven people in need of the life saving antidote medication.

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by Nicholas Wilson (MCN Announce)

This past week the water table rose 3.0" in the first rise since last spring in my well on Little River Airport Rd.

The first rise was last Wednesday 10/27 when the static water table rose 1.0" compared to two days earlier.
On Thursday it rose another 1.5"
On Friday the additional rise was 0.5"
Total rise was 3.0" and has stopped, for now.
On Saturday and Sunday the level was unchanged from Friday.

It seems fair to assume that the rise is a result of the week of rains and atmospheric river that peaked Sunday 10/24 and totaled over 10" at my place. The well level was still falling on Monday 10/25 when it fell 0.5" despite over 4" of rain the previous day. The week of rain was the first significant rainfall of the new rainy season.

I'm doing these measurements out of curiosity about how soon and how much the water table is affected after significant rainfall. I just spent the better part of four months putting in a new storage tank, cleaning out the well and installing a new pump and controller. That's why I'm paying close
attention to the water table. This land is nearly level transitional pygmy forest with dense soil that doesn't percolate water very fast.

The measurements were made in an old hand-dug well that hasn't been pumped in more than two weeks while we take household water from the new storage tank. So it works as a water table monitoring well. The level remains far lower than ever measured since 1984 when we moved to this house. The water level readings are made with a measuring tape to the nearest 1/4". The well is 26 ft. deep and 4 ft. in diameter.

I'll update if there is any significant change in coming weeks. Here's hoping that rains will continue and we'll have something like a normal rainy season.

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BORN IN 1924 on a hardscrabble homestead above the Russian River near Guerneville, Lucille Estes stepped into the Great Depression amply prepared by her parents to survive the lean years of her youth. Lucille, a gifted, self-taught botanist, has helped generations of friends and neighbors to make their gardens live if not thrive, and if there's a growing green thing she doesn't recognize I wouldn't bet against her not recognizing it. 

Lucille’s Garden

Still active after all these years but conceding “my hearing isn't what it was,” Lucille's Airport Estates garden remains a marvellously various acre of producing fruit trees and flowering plants. Happy birthday, Lucille Estes.

Nicole Glentzer

RUMOR out of Ukiah says Nicole Glentzer, an assistant administrator for the lushly administered Ukiah School District, will run for Superintendent of the Mendocino County Schools in the June 2 election, opposing incumbent Superintendent, Michelle Hutchins. Ms. Hutchins has completed three serenely successful years in the job as superintendent of all the county's schools so it will be interesting to learn the basis for Ms. Glentzer's opposition.

QUIET HALLOWEEN in Boonville. Not a single trick or treater appeared on the eerily vacant premises of the ava where, with no candy to treat the trickers, I thought I'd buy them off with cash if any of the little beggars dared appear.

FOR THE WEEK PRIOR to the big rain a week ago, the following billboard-size message was sited at various locations around Ukiah:

We the People Town Hall Meeting

Mendocino Patriots

Join our movement for:

freedom of choice

informed consent

no mandates

holding our representatives accountable

October 24 Todd Grove Park

THESE self-certified patriots, at this stage, are attempting to rally in-county anti-vaxxers to mau-mau school boards, and it was several of the mau-maus who zoomed in on the Supe's meeting last week to harangue the nonplussed quintet that the haphazard mask recommendations advocated by the county's health officer were somehow a general threat to individual freedoms. Only these noble patriots stand between US and the tyranny of vaccination, although most of us see no link between the basics of immunology and dictatorship.

PROBABLY OVERREACH on my part, but I see these people as the Trumpian vanguard gearing up for 2024, headpieces definitely stuffed with straw, but resembling in their righteous wrongness the early German nazis, whose history I happen to be reading in Peter Fritzsch's fascinating “Hitler's First Hundred Days… [How the] Germans Embraced the Third Reich.” The Germans who didn't embrace the Third Reich, roughly half the population in the beginning, were literally bludgeoned into silence or risked the lethal consequences from Hitler's organized thugs. There's always been a strong implication of similar violence among the Trumpers, and they're gaining momentum thanks to the Democrat's idiocies and general tone deafness, and the Trumpers are well enough organized to already reach all the way into the outback, hence this small group of Ukiah “patriots.” (I'm told about 50 people turned out in the rain to listen to the hysterics.)

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Supervisor Mulheren: “Last week The regularly scheduled meeting of the MSWA board occurred. We announced that we have hired interim General Manager Tom Varga.”

Besides not telling us who the hell Mr. Varga is, Ms. Mulheren doesn’t even explain what MSWA is. Probably what we used to call MSWMA, but without the “Management.” 

Oh, wait, we just realized that Mr. Varga has been the Fort Bragg Public Works Director who enjoys a pretty good rep. Hopefully, we will see some actual management at the Mendocino Solid Waste Management Authority, once run by Mike Sweeney, who’s remembered more as the man who bombed his ex-wife than he was as manager of the agency he sort-of founded for himself.

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ONLY ABOUT FOUR MONTHS LATE, the Supervisors finally got around to retroactively approving the Community Services District annual $66k allocation for Advanced Life Support and Emergency Medical Services last Tuesday. The grant covers enhanced ambulance services in Anderson Valley for the current fiscal year from July 1, 2021 to June 30, 2022. They also streamlined the grant for future years by authorizing the Emergency Medical Services County Liaison to sign any future amendments to the Agreement that do not increase the annual maximum amount.

(Mark Scaramella)

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by Jim Shields

Let me throw some numbers at you.

Exactly a week ago last Sunday, Laytonville’s precipitation for the rain year starting July 1 was 2.33 inches. By the end of the day, 7.95 inches of rain poured from the sky onto our valley floor.

Up in the mountains, nearby residents living on Spyrock and Bell Springs Roads, reported rain totals ranging from 10 inches to 15 inches last Sunday.

We’re told last week’s monster deluge was a history-setting event for Northern California. My son, who lives in Sacramento, told me their rainfall set an all-time record.

Here in Laytonville, the historical average precipitation for the entire month of October is 3.84 inches. The historical average rainfall from July 1 to Oct. 31 is 6.04 inches. Last week’s inundation dumped 13.20 inches, pushing our total season rainfall to 15.53 inches, nearly triple the historical average.

The only reason we didn’t have massive flooding last Sunday was due to several intervals where the downpour ceased for an hour or so, allowing the water to flow into creeks and partially permeate what was drought-hardened soil.

Up until last Sunday, most folks were still fretting about the drought and praying for rain. Now a lot of them are not quite so worried about the immediate future bringing back mandatory water cuts of the 2012-17 statewide drought era.

Prior to this super-soaking, people thought we might be headed into another drought, even a more extreme drought than that of a few years ago.

The thinking now is similar to what folks were thinking in 2014, right in the middle of a scary Great Drought, one of the state’s driest periods in recorded history. The voters in 2014 approved Proposition 1, a $7.5-billion water bond proposal. The vote was a slam-dunk 67 percent to 33 percent margin of victory.

Most voters enthusiastically supported Prop 1 because the politicians set aside $2.7 billion of the $7.5 billion bond for additional water storage in new reservoirs and projects to replenish groundwater basins and aquifers depleted by over-pumping during the drought.

It seemed everybody had learned a lesson the hard way: We need to buy water insurance policies to safeguard against the perils of the next Big Drought.

Well guess what?

How many storage reservoirs have been built from Prop 1 funding?

At this time the answer would be none of the more than half-dozen water storage projects scheduled to receive Prop 1 money have been built.

When was the last water reservoir built in California?

New Melons Dam, north of Sonora, was the last water storage project built in California. It was completed in 1980.

What was California’s population in 1980?

It was 24.29 million.

And the population in 2021 is 39.65 million, an increase of 15.36 million.

So we have the same water storage infrastructure (actually probably less) that we had 41 years ago, but almost twice as many people living here now. Think those additional 15.36 million people use much water?

The largest project by far is the Sites Reservoir in Northern California, which would be the state’s first new reservoir of significant size since the New Melons Dam. There’s been lots of talk about building the Sites Reservoir since the 1950s. But its cost, plus the usual Byzantine politics surrounding all water issues in California, stopped it from happening.

But now, thanks to this major major drought, the Sites project is back on the front burner. It’s tentatively ok’d to get $836 million in Prop 1 funding to help pay the overall $3.9 billion price tag. The feds have recently committed $80 million to the reservoir, the largest appropriation of any water storage scheduled to receive funding next year. And the project will be in line to receive some of the $1.15 billion included in the Biden infrastructure bill.

“The modern strategy is to invest more in below ground storage and off stream reservoirs,” Tim Wehling, engineer with the California Department of Water Resources, said. “One of the most exciting off-stream dam projects on the horizon is Sites Reservoir.”

According to Wehling, the strategy of the proposed Sites Reservoir just west of Maxwell in Colusa County would be in wet years, siphon off excess water from the swollen Sacramento River and store it for use in dry years. Since it’s an off-stream reservoir, it wouldn’t block fish navigation like the dams of the 1950s.

There’s also the proposed Del Puerto Canyon Reservoir, just west of Patterson off of Interstate 5. If approved, construction would begin in 2022 and take six years to complete. It would also store water for farmers to be used during dry years.

But, Wehling says adding reservoirs and dams isn’t enough.

“We need to use water more efficiently, choose landscapes better suited for our local climates, and do our parts to reverse climate change,” Wehling said.

(Jim Shields is the Mendocino County Observer’s editor and publisher,, the long-time district manager of the Laytonville County Water District, and is also chairman of the Laytonville Area Municipal Advisory Council. Listen to his radio program “This and That” every Saturday at noon on KPFN 105.1 FM, also streamed live:

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Lake Mendo, Oct 25, 2021

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On Thursday, October 21, 2021 at about 12:52 AM, Mendocino County Sheriff's Deputies were dispatched to reported gun fire at a residence located in the 2600 block of Mitomka Way in Willits.

Deputies contacted a witness who reported seeing Carlos Taylor-Lopez, 30, of Willits, discharge a rifle in the front yard of his residence in the direction of other residences in the area.

Deputies went to Taylor-Lopez's residence and located live rifle cartridges and an expended rifle cartridge casing in Taylor-Lopez's driveway.

Deputies knocked on the residence and were invited into the residence by Taylor-Lopez's family. Deputies again knocked on Taylor-Lopez's bedroom door however Lopez did not answer the door.

Deputies left the residence and obtained a search warrant for the residence to search for Taylor-Lopez, any firearms and ammunition.

At 5:00 AM Deputies observed Taylor-Lopez being driven to work by a family member and Deputies conducted an investigatory stop on the vehicle. Taylor-Lopez was taken into custody thereafter.

A search of Taylor-Lopez's bedroom was conducted pursuant to a search warrant and a rifle and ammunition were located.

Taylor-Lopez was on Mendocino County misdemeanor probation at the time of this incident and was also charged for violation of his probation.

Taylor-Lopez was booked into the Mendocino County Jail where he was to be held in lieu of $15,000 bail.

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by Tommy Wayne Kramer

It is one thing for an indifferent Mother Nature to imperil Ukiah by tossing off random lightning bolts mixed with harsh droughts. It is quite another thing for calculating arsonists to set 113 fires in and around Ukiah during the driest season anyone remembers.

The fire setting criminals have failed, mostly, which is another way of saying they’ve succeeded, occasionally. Buildings and structures have been burnt to the ground, habitats have been made uninhabitable for birds, bunnies, bears, bees, bugs and blue jays. Potential consequences for the city are beyond comprehension.

What are we to think?

Is it our fault? Should Ukiah citizens take a good long look in the mirror and ask themselves if they’ve done enough to make homeless visitors feel comfortable and welcome? Have we failed to provide sufficient services? Is an urge to retaliate justified? 

Is it you and I who bear ultimate responsibility for 113 attempts to burn our own houses down? Ha.

No one could say we have denied our new guests food or shelter. I’ve heard no rumors of newcomers being harassed by vigilante mobs angry at the crime spikes, the deteriorating neighborhoods, the staggering expense, the blight up and down State Street, the overall decline in quality of life. 

Quite the contrary. The services and handouts never slow. Local nonprofit “helping” agencies purchased one of the most expensive motels in the county and put it through costly renovations for the exclusive use of the those who arrive in Ukiah from all over the place. Free meals have been offered for 35 years at Plowshares. 

Uninvited guests have long lived large in Ukiah; their gratitude seems limited.

Are citizens powerless? Are we supposed to stand by, mute, watching the intentional destruction of our homes and community? What do our neighbors think?

Better yet, what do our elected representatives on City Council and the Board of Supervisors think? Local officials gleefully welcome grants that fund the programs that lure criminals, sociopaths, and yes, arsonists to town because they bring in a lot of money to nonprofits and the powerful, politically connected people who run them. 

The numbers add up. The dollars talk. City and county administrators listen to the money and they grin as budget figures dance in their heads. They all know how to count, and homelessness puts fat padding on bottom lines.

Let’s do a little more arithmetic. Let’s count something other than money.

Arsonists have destroyed the city zero times in 113 attempts. Are those the kinds of numbers you’d bet will continue? Where would bookies in Vegas set the odds of allowing opposing invaders 113 unchecked opportunities to score?

Final question: Would it be smart to head into 2022 confident that come next November the arsonists will be 0 for 226?

‘Wanna Dance With Somebody’

It couldn’t happen in Ukiah, and it probably couldn’t happen in Oakland or Sacramento or Cleveland. I even doubt it could happen in Charlotte. But it did.

Trophy and I were outside an Irish pub on a side street on a warm night drinking wine and beer, not mixed, when a song came on the jukebox piped via loudspeakers. It was a catchy Motown-y tune laced with disco fever, sung by Whitney Houston.

It was a semi-oldie called “I Wanna Dance with Somebody” and if you heard it you’d remember it. You’d not be alone. And on this lush southern night Trophy was not alone when she began a happy little solo dance to its energetic beat and winsome words.

Because coming across the street at a diagonal from a couple hundred feet off was a line of young black guys heading somewhere over that way. But the very last guy in line had caught the beat and heard the words and spotted my wife, hands above her head, fingers a-twinkling, wishing she was on a dance floor 40 years ago.

And maybe the kid wished the same. He had a cheerful smile and was clearly looking right at dear Trophy as they began to dance together from a long way off. He clap-clap-clapped, then spun around laughing, and pointed right at her.

And she obliged by slipping off the outdoor barstool, hands high above her head, and did a few of those old familiar dance floor moves, smiling back at the cool young cat who had developed a few dance moves himself despite his tender years. His single file of friends kept moving across the street both toward us and away from us, and he kept up the shrugs, 360-spins, twists and hippy hippy shakes.

Then the music stopped, the line kept rolling southwest and Trophy snugged back onto her seat, lightly perspired, ready for a brace of cold white wine. She smiled at me; I was happy for her.

(TWK notes that Gandhi once said “You can judge a society by the way it treats its newspaper columnists.” During these troubled times, Tom Hine finds comfort in those words.)

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CATCH OF THE DAY, October 31, 2021

Anderson, Caster, Flenoid, Gibney

TYLER ANDERSON, Willits. Child endangerment, probation revocation.

EVAN CASTER, Fort Bragg. Failure to appear, probation revocation.

ERIC FLENOID-BELL, Ukiah. DUI, resisting.

RANDY GIBNEY, Fort Bragg. Probation revocation.

L.Gonzalez, M.Gonzalez, Hayden

LARIZA GONZALEZ, Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol, probation violation.

MANUEL GONZALEZ, Willits. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.

DAVID HAYDEN II, Covelo, Assault weapon, felon-addict with firearm, ammo possession, silencer, probation revocation.

Leonard, Mattson, Rantala, Whitman

KEVIN LEONARD, Ukiah. Domestic battery, probation revocation.

CHERYL MATTSON, Ukiah. Elder abuse resulting in great bodily harm or death, domestic battery, protective order violation.

HUNTER RANTALA, Fort Bragg. Assault with deadly weapon not a gun.

RYAN WHITMAN, Albion. DUI-alcohol&drugs.

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John Rogers Cox, "Gray and Gold" (1942)

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CRY THE BELOVED COUNTRY: The Roots Poetry of Tijan M. Sallah

by Jonah Raskin

Like the Bronx, the only New York City borough not situated on an island, The Gambia — the West African nation surrounded by Senegal, (except for the coast on the Atlantic) — usually has the definite article in its name. Like the Bronx, the Dutch colonized it, though not only the Dutch. The Gambia became a British colony in 1765, shortly before the American Revolution. It gained independence in 1965.

Since then The Gambia has had a stormy political life, some of which is reflected in the poetry of Tijan M. Sallah, who was born in The Gambia in 1958, a year after Ghana gained independence from Great Britain and Kwame Nkrumah became the first president of the independent nation. For a small nation, The Gambia has produced large number of exceptional poets such as bah momodoup (no capitals) and Marabi Amfaal Hydara who has been called “the humanitarian poet.”

Sallah, who was educated in the U.S and who has a Ph.D from Virginia Polytechnic Institute, is the best known Gambian poet both inside and outside The Gambia. For two decades he was the lead operations officer at the World Bank. He has published five volumes of poetry, plus short stories, criticism, a biography of the famed Nigerian novelist, Chinua Achebe, and a work of ethnography about the Wolof people who live in Senegal, Mauritania and The Gambia. Now 63 years old and conscious of aging — see the poems “Growing Old” and “Meditation on White Hair” — Sallah, it seems, would like to be remembered as a writer as much if not more than for his work at the World Bank.

These days, as a kind of reluctant Gambian patriot – though clearly not a nationalist — Sallah lives on Reach Road in Potomac, Maryland. He has not forgotten his roots, or the history and culture of his homeland. The Gambia is a place with roots that one doesn’t easily forget. Alex Haley set his novel/family chronicle, Roots: The Story of an American Family in The Gambia, where the young Kunta Kinte is kidnapped, then transported across the Atlantic to Maryland, sold on the auction block, renamed Toby and reborn as a slave.

Maryland has never been far from The Gambia in the annals of American history or in Sallah’s memory and imagination. Indeed, one might say that all of the poems in I Come From a Country (Africa World Press; $16.95), even those like “Washington” that take place in the U.S., are rooted in The Gambia, which is to say they are rooted in a place of great beauty and great pain, of suffering and joy. Sallah can’t help but see the world from the place where he was born and raised by his parents, or from the historical moment that has shaped him.

Indeed, he belongs to a generation of Africans who have witnessed the transformation of The Dark Continent — as imperialists once called it — from colonial to neo-colonial rule. Had he published poetry in the Sixties he probably would have been called a writer of and from the “Third World.” The term seems to have been retired. That’s probably for the good. All nations are beloved and all nations cry out in agony and in ecstasy.

The term “Third World” implies a kind of hierarchy, and, though some nations are more prosperous than other nations, no nation is really richer or poorer than another nation spiritually and culturally speaking. In his poetry, Sallah provides plenty of local color with portraits of women wearing traditional garb: “bright daagit and manaans and flowing grand boubous.” Footnotes at the bottom of the page explain the meaning of the Wolof words.

Still, the Wolof words create a mood and a feeling and are indispensable in the poems in which they appear.

Sallah pays attention to small things — spiders, moths, Geckos, crabs and cockleshells. He expresses empathy for all sentient beings, though apparently not for the Gambian dictator Yahya Jammeh, who ruled the country from 1994 to 2017 when he was overthrown. Sallah calls him a “brutal” dictator though one wonders if a dictator could not be brutal. Perhaps there are degrees of brutality.

In a blurb on the back cover for this book, George Szirtes is quoted as saying that Sallah is “clearly an important poet.” What could that possibly mean? All poets are important to someone if only that someone is the poet’s mother. There are dozens and dozens of African poets, from Zimbabwe to Algeria and from Angola to Tanzania, all of them revered in their own countries, and also across the continent.

Sallah’s I Come From a Country provides a poetic passport to visit and explore another country. In “Banjul,” the capital of the nation, he explores its history. In “By the Ricefields of Jeswang,” he describes peasants at work, and in “Koto Beach” he portrays fishermen going out to sea and Scandinavian tourists on the beach drinking beer.

In fact, tourism is a growth industry in The Gambia. Round trip airfare from New York is under $2,000. Hotels are inexpensive. The locals are apparently friendly. You can visit Kunta Kinte island and tour the World Heritage Sites as designated by UNESCO. Still, it’s a long flight from JFK to Banjul. For starters, Americans and Europeans might read Sallah’s poem, “In a Tropical County” which is written specifically for tourists and that begins, “When you are airborne / and about to land in the Gambia…”

Sallah shows what to expect, how to behave, and reminds you that you are not in a tropical paradise, but in a land with “secret agents” and “mob bosses.” In I Come from Another Country, Sallahis “Our Man in Banjul” and in the surrounding countryside. He’s a reliable guide to a small nation where, he explains, “our hearts are big.”

(Jonah Raskin is the author of Beat Blues, San Francisco, 1955.)

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METAVERSE, MARS, MEDITATION RETREATS: Billionaires Want To Escape The World They Ruined

Zuckerberg wants us to all turn our attention to a land of make-believe to distract from his PR disaster while Bezos and Musk are obsessed with leaving the planet

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The Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant is California’s largest power plant and the largest source of safe, clean, low-cost energy in the state. It’s scheduled to close by 2025 with no firm plan to replace this reliable generation. 

After a career developing renewable energy projects in California and throughout the West, I estimate it will take California 10 years to make up that much equivalent clean generation with wind and solar, and it won’t be as reliable. Even the California Independent System Operator, which manages the electric grid, sees an increased risk without Diablo Canyon. 

Rep. Devin Nunes and a group of other California congressmen have introduced H.R. 4394, which would keep Diablo Canyon open beyond 2025 and encourage development of additional nuclear energy in our state. It’s the best choice for our clean energy future. Please urge your congressman to support this bill. 

Matthew Penry


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Pre-WW1 Europe Map

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by Matt Taibbi

A Southwest pilot earns ISIS comparisons for joking into a loudspeaker, as pundits continue to mass-forget the previous four years

Tweet by Asha Rangappa: “As an experiement, I’d love for a SouthwestAir pilot to say “Long Live ISIS” before taking off. My guess is that 1) the plane would be immediately grounded; 2) the pilot fired; and 3) a statement issued by the airline within a matter of hours.”

Put on your irony helmet, this is going to be a long ride. Rangappa was referencing a story involving a Southwest Air pilot who became a headline news story by saying, “Let’s Go, Brandon!” during a flight from Houston to Albuquerque. Sitting on that flight, incredibly, was an AP reporter named Colleen Long who was writing a piece entitled, “How ‘Let’s Go Brandon’ became code for insulting Joe Biden.”

How did it happen? On October 2nd, at a NASCAR race at the Talladega Superspeedway in Alabama, a crowd broke into a chant of “Fuck Joe Biden!” after 28-year-old Brandon Brown won a race. NBC reporter Kelli Stavast was interviewing Brown during the chants, and quickly spoke over them, saying, “You can hear the chants from the crowd. Let’s go Brandon!” 

The phrase has since become a war cry for people all over the country, being at once a burn on Biden, the anxious, airbrushing press, and the corporate conglomerates who are taking pre-emptive action to try to prevent such outbursts from ever again darkening America’s door (“NASCAR and NBC have since taken steps to limit ‘ambient crowd noise’ during interviews,” as the AP put it). 

Now WFBIagent Rangappahas essentially declared “Let’s Go, Brandon!” the equivalent of an ISIS war cry. Supportive hand-wringing from press/natsec colleagues (is there a difference?) was instantaneous. “Donald Trump tried to overthrow American democracy and at least one Southwest Airlines pilot thinks that’s just fine,” cried HuffPo’sS.V. Date. “Come fly the extremist skies,” chimed in official #Resistance mascot Aaron Rupar. Then there was Rangappa’s fellow spook-to-CNN pipeliner, former Homeland Security official Juliette Kayyem:

“If SouthwestAir doesn’t do anything, every passenger on that flight has standing to file a complaint with the FAA and they should do so. Southwest will then be compelled to investigate or defend him. Have fun with that. No messing around in the air. Bright line rule.

Jonathan Lemire: On Friday moring on a Southwest flight from Houston to Albuquerque, the pilot signed off his greeting over the public address system with the phrase, to audible gasps from some passengers.”

Is it really possible that these people don’t get they’re being trolled? Part of the joke of “Let’s Go Brandon,” of course, is that you couldn’t go five minutes during the last administration without hearing someone in pearls or a bowtie screaming “Fuck Trump!” I don’t remember Rangappa pumping out “Osama de Niro” tweets after his celebrated Tony Awards appearance.

The bigger part of the “Let’s Go Brandon!” gag is that such outbursts during the Trump years were not only not condemned, they were celebrated, as pundits and reporters for the first time told us directly profane insults of presidents were okay. “Robert de Niro’s Comments at the Tony Awards Go Viral,” was CNN’s bemused take, in a story quoting artist Ferrari Shepard saying, “Robert de Niro is my favorite rapper.”

“Robert De Niro drops the f-bomb bashing Trump at the Tony Awards,” was the headline over this USA Today account:

“Meanwhile in the press room, Tony winners were surprised and amused by De Niro's comments, including Harry Potter and the Cursed Child director John Tiffany, who entered the press room immediately after the incident. 

“Did Al Pacino just say (expletive) Trump?” Tiffany asked the press room, chuckling as the room corrected his mistake. “It was Robert De Niro? That's even worse!”

“Robert De Niro told the Tonys audience, F*ck Trump.’ He got a standing ovation,” was the Vox headline in a story that did include criticism of de Niro — not for cursing out a president, but for overshadowing Angels in America winner Andrew Garfield, who “referenced the Supreme Court same-sex wedding cake decision in his acceptance speech, calling for more understanding and empathy for the LGBTQ community.”

When Samantha Bee called Ivanka Trump a “feckless cunt” on TBS, she and the network did apologize, but the commentariat was far from unanimous in believing she should have. A New Yorker column that referenced Chaucer, Marvell, Donne, and Shakespeare said of Bee, “She should not have apologized,” while Sally Field said Bee was wrong to use the word to describe Ivanka, because “cunts are beautiful, nurturing, and honest.” The Daily Beast headline about the show was a visual high-five, complete with a “DAMN”:

The official canonization of the F-bomb came when Jim Gaffigan, the least potty-mouthed comedian on the planet, entered into a profanity-laden Twitter rant last summer. He said things like “I don’t give a fuck if anyone thinks this is virtue signaling or whatever…We need to call Trump the con man and thief that he is.”

Pundits reacted as if Trump had inspired Beethoven to the 9th symphony, or moved Gandhi to the Salt March. “Why Jim Gaffigan, The World’s Nicest Man, Decided He’d Finally Had Enough Of Trump,” was the Forbes headline, in a piece that explained how remarkable it was that a man who “literally” opened for the Pope, a “non-controversial pasty-white Catholic father of five” who admitted “loving bacon,” had been forced to drastic action by Trump.

It was, Forbes said, a “fourth wall experience” revealing a man who “simply wants things to go back to normal.” CNN added a solemn campaign think piece by Dean Obeidallah that said Gaffigan dropping his nice-guy veneer was genuinely predictive, a bad omen for Trump’s chances with the “silent majority” voter. “Jim Gaffigan, arguably America’s most wholesome comedian, has finally had enough of Donald Trump’s shit,” was Gizmodo’s take.

I personally don’t have a problem with comedians flipping off presidents, in fact I’m pretty sure that’s part of their job description, but if you’re going to imbue the presidentially-directed F-bomb with holy significance under Trump, you should probably avoid wigging out over “Let’s Go Brandon.” A huge part of the reason everyone is chanting it with such glee is precisely because it’s notprofanity, and sounds like the title of a Jim Gaffigan special.

“Let’s Go Brandon” is supremely obvious humor-bait, but prestige media types have been unable to avoid swallowing it. “Biden’s critics hurl increasingly vulgar taunts,” complained the Washington Post, describing how Florida congressman Bill Posey violated the “decorum” of the House with “Let’s Go Brandon”:

The vitriol has even entered the House chamber. Rep. Bill Posey (R-Fla.) wrapped up a floor speech this week with the sign-off, “Let’s go Brandon.” Then, in a jarring return to House decorum, he concluded, “I yield back.”

The Post, it should be noted, rated de Niro’s speech one of the “hits” of that year’s Tony awards. Others, like perpetual foot-in-mouth sufferer Cenk Uygur, are using #LGB to shake their heads at Republican incivility:

Cenk Uygur: Republicans use “Let’s Go Brandon” as euphemism for “Fuck Joe Biden.” And they now have LetsGoBrandonDay trending. Republicans will then turn around and complain that Democrats are not civil enough to them. And the media will take them seriously, as if they’re not all jackasses.”

This is the same Cenk who moments ago was guffawing to a story about a woman in Texas who was selling “Fuck Trump” bumper stickers, and also had a message on her pickup truck for those who voted for him. “I like that she not only said EffTrump, but effyou for voting for him,” he chuckles. “That lady’s got some balls on her!”

There are other approving TYT stories on the same theme, like “Anti-Trump Chants TRIGGER President Snowflake,” about an exactly analogous story to the Talladega scene, when American ex-pats in France sandbagged a Fox broadcast about the World Cup with chants of “Fuck Trump!”

I don’t exactly have standing to get moral about F-bombing any politician, but if mainstream mouthpieces can’t see how this looks to middle America — people getting seriously compared to terrorists for ironic G-rated versions of the same rant that had pundits lining up to send Jim Gaffigan to Oslo — they’re dumber than I thought.

* * *

Ukiah Cowboy

* * *


by Amia Srinivasan

Have you ever experienced the love of an animal? Jack, my family’s golden retriever, put on an admirable show of adoring all of us, but we knew his deepest attachment was to my mother, on whose lap he liked to lie, having his silky ears stroked as he slept. Jasper, the ill-advised beagle that followed, loved no one but himself. The heart of my hamster, Kramer, was an enigma. When one morning I found his cold, motionless body next to the wheel in which he had whirred away the days, a small furry Sisyphus, I cried for a creature I had never really known. But the arrival last summer of Goose, a black Labrador, means that I too now know what it is to be the object of an animal’s love, and to love her in turn, as I tell her several times a day. She lies next to me as I write, her paws tucked neatly under her otter-smooth head, her body pressed against my side. Later we will take each other for a walk in the meadow and delight in each other’s delight: at rabbits forever out of reach, at the clean line she cuts through water, at the shivering trees. What could be better than this?

For some people there is an answer, and it is sex with animals. It isn’t something openly talked about, apart from – like so many other things we repress elsewhere – in art, folklore and myth, where sex with animals has always featured in a big way. The oldest surviving evidence of bestiality comes from a Palaeolithic cave painting in Italy, which shows a man penetrating an animal; similar images are common in the art of the Iron and Bronze Ages. Indigenous peoples in South-East Asia, Australasia and North America have traced their origins to sex between women and dogs. Ancient myths are full of human-animal hybrids: satyrs, centaurs, minotaurs, mermaids; swan-Zeus, jackal-headed Anubis, shapeshifting fox-women.

. . .

First things first: is your neighbor getting down with Fluffy? It’s hard to know how many people out there are having sex with animals, although it’s surely a lot more than chaste animal lovers might like to think. (The stigma attached to bestiality is so strong that even its practitioners internalize it; more than 40% of people who enjoy sex with animals are reluctant to meet others like them, on the grounds that they are “weird.”) Nearly all studies of bestiality focus on people in psychiatric hospitals or prisons, where the rates of bestiality appear to be considerably higher than they are among the general population, or the members of online communities dedicated to the destigmatization of bestiality.

. . .

In her recent book, “Loving Animals: On Bestiality, Zoophilia, and Post-Human Love,” Joanna Bourke begins by discussing the case of a man in Washington State who died after being penetrated by a stallion – the case that made me (and perhaps a whole generation of sickos) interested in zoophilia. In the early hours of July 2, 2005, a 45-year-old Boeing engineer and divorcée named Kenneth Pinyan was dropped off at a hospital near Enumclaw, Washington. Medical staff wheeled him in only to find that he was already dead. The night before, he had joined a group of men who regularly met up to get drunk and have sex with a horse owned by James Michael Tait, a truck driver. Tait’s horse was apparently not in the mood, so the men wandered naked onto a neighboring farm, where they were anally penetrated, each in turn, by a stallion they had nicknamed Big Dick, actual name Strut. The stallion mounted and penetrated Pinyan, perforating his sigmoid colon; doctors later ruled the cause of death as acute peritonitis. (The erect penis of a stallion is on average between two and two and a half feet long.) A thirty-second video of the fatal act – the men had shot hundreds of hours of footage, eventually seized by the police – quickly spread through the seedier byways of the internet. Zoo (2007), a documentary shown at Cannes and Sundance, alluded to the film but declined to show it. (I’ve watched it; I would strongly suggest you don’t, unless you’re thinking about having sex with a stallion.)

Pinyan’s death outraged the locals in Enumclaw, a small, horse-loving city in the middle of farm country; the men who went there to be serviced by the stallions were generally, like Pinyan, outsiders who met on zoophile internet forums. The men’s activities “brought a bad light to the close relationship many [Enumclaw residents] had with their animals.” What was worse, the men couldn’t be prosecuted for anything more serious than trespassing, since bestiality hadn’t been illegal in Washington since 1976, when it was inadvertently decriminalized along with “consensual sodomy.” 

* * *

Ancient Relic

* * *


by Dan Bacher

San Francisco, CA — On October 27, Fresno Superior Court Judge D. Tyler Tharpe tossed out the Westlands Water District’s proposed permanent federal water contract from the Central Valley Project (CVP) that would have allocated roughly double the amount of water that Los Angeles residents use in a year.

Tharpe found Westlands, the largest federal irrigation district in the nation, to “have misled the court and the public,” according to a statement from the Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen’s Associations (PCFFA), one of the organizations that joined in the lawsuit against Westlands.

The contract would have provided Westlands, located on the west side of the San Joaquin Valley, access to 1.15 million acre-feet of water for irrigation and other purposes, but it wouldn’t have guaranteed that amount of water for the district’s growers in a critically dry year like the 2020-2021 water year that ended on September 30.

In rejecting the contract, Judge Tharpe ruled that the unfinished and incomplete contract lacked key financial terms and proper public notice under the Brown Act and thus, could not be validated, stating:

“…the [Westlands] Board’s decision nevertheless could not be properly validated because it had sought to validate an incomplete, uncertain proposed contract. (March 16, 2020 Order, pp. 4-5.) Judge Simpson also found that the Board had failed to meet its burden of showing that it complied with the Brown Act before it adopted the resolution to approve the contract. (Id. at pp. 5-6)

Therefore, as the court has already found that the Board’s decision to approve and execute the contract was not the proper subject of a validation action, it cannot now grant validation as to any portion of the Board’s decision. As a result, the court intends to deny the renewed motion for a validation judgment, in its entirety. See pg 6 of Tentative Ruling in Westlands Water District v All Persons Interested in the Matter Case No. 19CECG03887.”

A wide array of fishing groups, Tribal organizations, environmental groups, counties and water districts joined PCFFA in the lawsuit. These include the North Coast Rivers Alliance, Winnemem Wintu Tribe, California Sportfishing Protection Alliance, Institute for Fisheries Resources, San Francisco Crab Boat Associations, County of San Joaquin and County of Trinity, Central Delta Water Agency, South Delta Water Agency, California Water Impact Network, Center for Biological Diversity, AquAlliance, California Indian Water Commission, and Planning and Conservation League.

“Federal law requires state courts to ensure public review of contracts between water districts and the Bureau of Reclamation. Without a decree from the Fresno court, the contract does not bind Reclamation to the contract terms and fails to comply with federal law,” according to the PCFFA.

“This is a victory for the rule of law, fishery protections and the public’s water supplies,” said Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen’s Associations Executive Director Mike Conroy. “Westlands hid the ball from the public and rushed this contract through to get a sweetheart deal from their former lobbyist David Bernhardt whose Interior Department put in the fix to try to escape more than $400 million in fish and wildlife mitigation costs owed.”

“This was an effort to basically steal public resources and put them into private pockets,” Stephan Volker, an attorney for the Winnemem Wintu Tribe, the North Coast Rivers Alliance, California Sportfishing Protection Alliance and other groups filing the lawsuit, told Kathleen Ronayne of the Associated Press.

In October 2019, Westlands, without a final contract, lacking financial terms, and lack of public notice attempted to “sneak” their permanent water contract through the Fresno Court, Conroy said. Fishing, conservation, Tribal, water agencies and counties from where the water is being taken then filed suit to block the validation of this contract.

“This is an important victory for efforts by PCFFA and salmon-dependent industries to keep even more water from being withdrawn from the San Francisco Bay Delta to feed insatiable water demands from Westlands and other big, corporate agribusiness interests depending on the already highly subsidized federal irrigation water system that makes up the Central Valley Project (CVP),” said Conroy.

“The California water supply has been notoriously over-appropriated for decades, leading to massive losses of native salmon from California’s central valley rivers, and major economic declines for the industry and hard-working commercial fishing families that PCFFA represents. Under the proposed contract, California State agencies would be denied millions of program dollars. Now, a revised and redrafted water supply contract will be required to ensure those dollars be protected,” noted Conroy.

Conroy said he agreed with the PCFFFA’s past officer Larry Collins, from the San Francisco based Crab Boat Owners Association, who stated, “the Administration needs to rescind these federal contracts, collect the $400 million and ensure compliance with financial obligations under Reclamation law as well as environmental protection laws. Reclamation should stop allowing the abuse of this precious public resource and Westlands along with other CVP contractors to sneak around the rules.”

The PCFFA noted that by statute, Westlands and other Central Valley Project (CVP) contractors are required to pay all their obligations to the taxpayer to get this publicly subsidized water. Among the missing contract terms are repayment of $400 million in costs owed by these contractors for environmental restoration of the damage caused by 80 years of federal Valley Project water and power extraction.

Signed by George H. W. Bush in 1992, the Central Valley Project Improvement Act (CVPIA) made fish and wildlife restoration a purpose of the Central Valley Project for the first time and made payment for restoration a cost of doing business for the water contractors.

“Without cost collection from the contractors, the required restoration will likely fail. The contract fails to ensure collection of all the costs for future operations and damages to fish and wildlife,” PCFFA concluded.

The Hoopa Valley Tribe also praised the Judge’s decision in a press release.

“The Hoopa Valley Tribe’s Trinity River fishery is one of the CVP’s victims,” said Hoopa Valley Tribal Chairman Joe Davis. “But the contractors never wanted to pay the costs of restoration that Congress made a condition of future water delivers in the CVPIA.”

“Westlands led the charge against paying and has opposed Trinity restoration for decades,” said Hoopa Fisheries Director Michael Orcutt.

“But Westlands wouldn’t exist without Trinity River water being taken from our fishery,” added Vice- Chairman, Everett Colegrove Jr. “And that transfer of wealth has generated billions for Westlands and other CVP contractors, with devastating impacts to Hoopa’s economy, culture, and community.”

For more than ten years, the Tribe tried to get Reclamation to charge the contractors for Trinity Restoration costs, according to Orcutt.

“It’s no secret that the Westlands Water Corporation sells the Trinity River water for hefty profits. Yet, we could never get a straight answer on the accounting from Reclamation,” said Orcutt. “But we knew that these CVP contracts were going to be permanent, and it was our last chance to make sure Reclamation collected the money.”

According to Orcutt, as these contracts were being negotiated, “Reclamation made clear to Hoopa that it would ignore the financial accounting Hoopa sought and the law required.”

“Hoopa decided that it had no choice but to sue its federal trustee, the Federal Interior Department,” stated Orcutt. “We have been in federal court since August 2020.”

The Westlands Water District disagreed strongly with the assessment of Tribes, fishing groups and environmental organizations that the Judge rejected the district’s contract.

“The Judge did not reject the District’s contract, but rather he ruled that he did not have jurisdiction and was unable to validate the contract,” said Shelley Cartwright, Westlands spokesperson. “He did *not* make a ruling on the substance or validity of the contract itself. As for a reaction to the court’s order, the District is evaluating the order and considering options.”

* * *

Beulah’s Turkeys, 1974

* * *

SO THE MODERN EVANGELICAL MOVEMENT has moved far from the basic tenets of Conservatism, and equally as far from the Teachings of Christianity.

The Traditional Conservatiive Political Philosophy

- They no longer even pretend to be fiscally conservative.

- Environmentalism was started by Republicans in the late 60s and early 70s, in the basic belief that being good stewards of the earth was both Spiritually justified, and morally responsible.

- Strong belief in the separation of Church and State

- Strong belief in the rule of law

- Strong belief in community support and dedication to service

- Strong reliance on institutions promoting civil order and cultural compliance

- Commitment to supporting business in the name of creating and sustaining a healthy and wealthy middle class, Work hard, live well.

- Strong belief that the working parts of Government should be doing the heavy lifting as close to the individual citizen as possible

- That business had a responsibility to pay its fair share to support government, national infrastructure, and the long term well being of the middle class

Christian Values

- Charity, compassion, forgiveness, forbearance, and humbleness

- Protecting the poor and infirm

- Uplifting the downtrodden

- God before Country

- Selflessness, acts of service, and contribution

- Pacifism, peace loving

- Modest living, non materialistic, spiritual

- Environmentally conscious, respecting God's creation and being a good steward

As you can see, these things have gone bye bye in the face of the current expression of Religious Fundamentalism. 

— Marie Tobias

* * *

* * *

JUDY & MARCO, AN EXCHANGE (Coast Listserve)

Judy Vidaver: You believe that propaganda promoted by Pfizer?

Marco McClean: That's a good question. Why do you believe anything, rather than learn everything real that you can including critical thinking skills that let you triangulate on the truth rather than double and triple-down on whatever you're most comfortable believing because your friends and people who are nice to you believe it, Judy? Like angels and demons, and aromatherapy and acupressure and smudging and astrology, and essential oils and Jesus and Shiva and Ahura Mazda and phrenology and lizard people and white supremacy and so on. And believing that a clump of cells the size of a grain of rice is a human being with civil rights and an immortal soul.

In addition to vaccines against polio, measles (and mumps and rubella), rabies, tetanus, yadda yadda, long list, real science is coming out soon with a new vaccine against breast cancer. We've got a vaccine for HPV (meaning a vaccine against cervical cancer), and there are antivaxxers against even that. Why? Because they think it'll make their children promiscuous if they don't have to worry so much about HPV.

Belief isn't required. The numbers are as clear as day that in the real world we all benefit from vaccines (especially people who for true medical reasons can't have this vaccine or that), like we all benefit from having brakes on cars whether we drive a car or not. Sure, a few people get in a crash because brakes fail or weren't installed right, or they didn't push the brakes fast enough, but protesting against the tyranny of being forced to have brakes would be crazy. As crazy as this ridiculous person:

IN OTHER NEWS: I, for one, welcome the return of our demonic overlords.

Marco McClean,


  1. Gail Zettel November 1, 2021

    It would be interesting to hear how Judy replied to Marco’s answer?

    • Elaine Kalantarian November 1, 2021

      Yes I had the same thought — one half of an exchange is not an exchange.

      • Douglas Coulter November 8, 2021

        One half of an exchange is another word for propaganda
        “I’ve looked at life from both sides now from up and down and still somehow it’s life’s illusions I recall I really don’t know life at all” Joni Mitchell
        When you KNOW something there is no room for correction

  2. George Hollister November 1, 2021

    Jim Shields makes a good point regarding California’s inability to build new reservoirs, even though it is obvious we need them. The problem isn’t a lack of money, but ideology. Jared Huffman’s desire to remove Scott Dam is a good example of this California mindset, even though Huffman’s home county is now having to get water from Alameda County over the Richmond Bridge. Ideology, faith, and religion are more powerful than money. What doesn’t seem to make sense, in reality, doesn’t make sense.

    • Harvey Reading November 1, 2021

      What we need are far fewer greedy, dominionist, god-fearin’ humans, including those who lie and pontificate to us about the “needs” of corporate ag, That will happen in the not-too-distant future, much sooner than our Pollyannaish, wealth-serving politicians and the plundering, greedy ,kapulaist scum lead us to believe. The sun should last long enough for a truly intelligent species to evolve after we are gone. if not, at least we will be out of the picture.

    • Bill Harper November 1, 2021

      The problem is too many people. No amount of dam building, conservation or education can keep up.
      Even though Shields mentions it in his article he doesn’t make the connection.

      • Joe November 1, 2021

        Don’t worry Bill Gates and friends are working on that problem right now. They are going to reduce a few of these factors to close to zero;

        “Here’s what I came up with: P * SEC = CO2,” Gates wrote. “That might look complicated. It’s not.

        “On the right side you have the total amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) we put in the atmosphere. This is what we need to get to zero. It’s based on the four factors on the left side of the equation: The world’s population (P) multiplied by the services (S) used by each person; the energy (E) needed to provide each of those services; and, finally, the carbon dioxide (C) produced by that energy.”

        • Harvey Reading November 1, 2021

          No wonder windoze has always been a half-assed operating system.

  3. Elaine Kalantarian November 1, 2021


    “Why do you believe anything, rather than learn everything real that you can including critical thinking skills that let you triangulate on the truth rather than double and triple-down on whatever you’re most comfortable believing because your friends and people who are nice to you believe it, Judy? Like angels and demons, and aromatherapy and acupressure and smudging and astrology, and essential oils and Jesus and Shiva and Ahura Mazda and phrenology and lizard people and white supremacy and so on. And believing that a clump of cells the size of a grain of rice is a human being with civil rights and an immortal soul.”

    Marco, interesting you should bring up critical thinking skills as your post, especially this particular paragraph of yours, copied above, is full of errors of logic: bandwagon, straw man, ad hominem, changing the subject, personal incredulity, begging the question, hasty generalization, and faulty analogy. Just as irrational as the people you claim to be pushing against.

    Your contribution to this “exchange” — not an exchange though as Judy’s response to your statement is missing, so we only have one-half of an argument here, and which is not even an logical argument, but a positivist’s incredulous rant.

    Citing an individual’s metaphysical or theistic beliefs is irrelevant and used by you as a means to discredit (they are all nuts). It is not an argument about the benefits and necessities of vaccination, it is classic ad hominem, and your ingrained bias, and clear non sequitor here is in full view: If someone believes in Shiva (or smudging or astrology or anything) then it follows they are incapable of reasoning.

    • Joe November 1, 2021

      Well said

    • Marco McClean November 2, 2021

      Someone at the AVA picked up that text and put the title on it. I didn’t call it an exchange. And you didn’t see what came before. Judy’s post was just one more in a cloud of hundreds where in just the last year she and/or likeminded others on the MCN Announce listserv have declared /their certainty/ that COVID was deliberately engineered by demonic nazi Dr. Fauci to [fill in blank: take over the world, cull the population, make a fortune, signal to space aliens…], that it’s also caused somehow by cell phone tech, which is reversing the magnetic field of the Earth and insulting the qi of the biosphere’s life force and like that, and they post links to videos of pseudoscientific conspiracy crap and take their feelings about these seriously intoned speeches to be evidence, spamming the listserv with articles from bogus vitamin supplement websites (like and right-wing anti-science groups alike, making wild claims for magical cures via hydrochloroquine, ivermectin, zinc, bleach, etc., wittingly or unwittingly quoting Q or Donald Trump, misinterpreting and twisting the point of VAERS reports, and whining that their stance is the real science that the /real/ real science is so unfairly censoring by simply slapping them down with the errors in their own reasoning.

      Speaking of reason, you just try, Elaine, to make a case for the validity of astrology or foot reflexology or the reality of pookas (or Shiva). Maybe you can, but it won’t be done with evidence and reason. It might be poetic and move me to tears, but it won’t be science, and nobody with a working brain in his or her head would depend on it to keep an airplane in the air or save a dying child, or to save thousands, eventual millions, of others from dying of real diseases in the real world. If prayer to Thor or Yahway or Ganesh or Mary or Ningauble of the Seven Eyes or any imaginary friend in the sky worked, if eye of newt and toe of frog and biting the heads off chickens and burying a cursed coin in a graveyard at midnight worked, the numbers would have shown that by now. Insurance companies would be requiring you to make the pilgrimage to Mecca or Findhorn or Sedona or wherever and snort and sneeze Holy Water on your numerological tattoo, instead of insisting you and your dog or cat get your shots and have a checkup once in awhile with a real doctor or a real veterinarian with a real medical or veterinary degree from a real medical or veterinary school, whichever applies to you or your pet. Car insurance companies would require you to go to church rather than a mechanic. Plumbers would fix your leaky toilet by passing by your house and waving a blessing at you. Computer techs would fix your internet connection problems by writing an ancient word on a slip of paper and stuffing it in a USB slot. Chefs would cook by glaring at meat.

      Vaccines work. They’re not perfect; nothing is perfect. But it can easily be shown, and has many times been shown to you, that they have saved millions of people’s (and pets’) lives and health, where placebos like prayer and acupuncture and candles and incense and chanting the same four words over and over and all the rest of that nonsense have done only as well as placebos do, and have killed countless people who depended on them to the point of death rather than get help from real scientific medicine. Even the smartest people. Steve Jobs, for example. Easily treatable, but nah, he went the other way. We all know someone; I know many –too many– someones who decided against scientific modern medicine in favor of spiritual “natural” bullshit, and then at last it was too late for any doctor to save them and they died before their time, and I resent the people who encouraged them to choose arbitrary childish frankly schizophrenic magic. And I know, and you know, plenty of people who suffered from some kind of cancer that fifty or a hundred years ago would have killed them in months, but they were treated with real medical science and they lived to grow old. Who dies or is crippled by polio anymore? How many kids die of smallpox or measles? Accumulated self-correcting ever-advancing science did that, not kneeling and whispering to the ceiling.

      Unless you have a real medical reason not to, get vaccinated against COVID, and get your flu shot.

      • chuck dunbar November 2, 2021

        Thank you, Marco, reasonable, well said, right and justly passionate.

      • Elaine Kalantarian November 2, 2021

        Okay Marco the cherry picking of text from the actual exchange is not on you.

        I do not disagree at all about the clear necessity of vaccination to end this pandemic — just got my Moderna booster last week — nor do I defend people who are listening to bogus sources regarding the safety and necessity of vaccinations.

        Your venom against these people, your bullying in this self-righteous rail makes enemies, and pushes people further into defensive corners. You are much more interested in making fun of people, insulting them — indeed you seem to get some kind of perverse pleasure in it — you do not make reasoned and level-headed arguments that STICK TO THE TOPIC. Of course that takes more work, much easier to just simply insult and bully people.

        I can only imagine what went on in the original exchange, I stay away from listservs because of it — tends to attract trolls, nuts and bullies. Everyone flipping each other off, no one listening to each other, mud slung all over the place.

        The point I made in my response to you — which you, not only do not address but commit the exact same errors of reason, only in extended play, giving us ever more crazier examples which, ONCE AGAIN have NOTHING to do with the medical issue of vaccination.

        I have no idea what this woman Judy said, how crazy she is, or what-have-you, but it DOES NOT matter regarding the POINT I MADE. This is the part that IS on you, this is about YOU and YOUR errors of reason and lack of fair and decent argumentation. You Marco are a bully. This isn’t about how crazy every else is out there, how you can’t believe how people could believe in X, Y, or Z — it is about you pointing that “you need to learn critical thinking skills” at this woman and then immediately proceeding to commit some really excellent whoppers yourself.

        • Stephen Rosenthal November 2, 2021


          I don’t view Marco’s approach as bullying. While I respect your idealism, you cannot carry on a reasonable dialog with morons. The brainless now have a widespread platform to spew their inanities thanks to social media and the anonymity of hiding behind a keyboard. The only options are to ignore them or attack them.

        • Marco McClean November 2, 2021

          Let poor Judy and her cheerleaders’ pretzel-shaped river of antivax conspiracy theories alone, then. Of the two of us, Elaine, you and I, which one is shouting in caps and ordering the other about and crowing about points made? Which one is the topic nazi? Consider that you might be projecting your own internal bully on others.

          IN OTHER NEWS: My dreams from yesterday morning and some from a couple of weeks ago, titles: Dirt world. Masonite computer. Fair/convention center complex, a urinary odyssey. Labyrinth. Mid-life crisis. Stingray to North Apocalypse, Canada:

  4. Harvey Reading November 1, 2021

    “…New Melons Dam…”

    Is that anywhere near New Melones, south of Angels Camp?

    These off-river storage reservoirs, which, as pointed out have been discussed almost as long as the despicable Peripheral Canal (now tunnels, or whatever name the con artists have come up with) will do nothing more than siphon off more river water for corporate ag. Native aquatic species, like salmon, will become extinct, much as humans will, in the not-too-distant future–and good effen riddance.

    • Bill Harper November 1, 2021

      When it was being proposed we called it the New Felonius Dam. Enabled allot of burning Foothill development.

  5. Cotdbigun November 1, 2021

    Thank Matt Taibbi for solving the complicated heretofore unsolvable puzzle. Who is Brandon ?

    • Betsy Cawn November 2, 2021

      From an opinion piece published in the Lake County Record-Bee on October 28, by pundit Byron York: ‘Recently, The Washington Post published a news article, “Biden’s critics hurl increasingly vulgar taunts,” exploring what the paper says is a growing phenomenon of people around the country directing raw insults at the president. As an example, the paper pointed to President Joe Biden’s recent visit to his hometown of Scranton, Pennsylvania, where a woman stood on the street with a sign that said, “F— Joe Biden.” At other times, Biden detractors say simply, “FJB,” which stands for you-know-what.
      ‘The Post also noted the “Let’s go Brandon” phenomenon. If anyone doesn’t know what that is, it stemmed from an NBC sportscast of an October race at Talladega Superspeedway in Alabama in which a crowd chanted, “F— Joe Biden.” The chants were clearly audible while NBC was interviewing NASCAR driver Brandon Brown. Trying to smooth things over and make it appear to viewers that all was well, the interviewer said, “You can hear the chants from the crowd, ‘Let’s go Brandon!’” So then, as fast as things happen on the internet, people began saying “Let’s go Brandon” as a snarky — and cleaner — way to say “F— Joe Biden.”’

  6. Harvey Reading November 1, 2021


    Exactly what I would expect from Mendolandia. I expect the book is a best seller there…

  7. Harvey Reading November 1, 2021


    Westlands lied? Who’da thunk. LOL.

  8. Joe November 1, 2021

    Bruce if you are worried about that bill board in Ukiah you can put up your own;

    Read the AVA

    “A Vaccine Advertiser”

    Maybe you can cash in in those big bucks from Pfizer

    • Bruce Anderson November 1, 2021

      Which reminds me that I get my booster shot at Safeway tomorrow.

    • Marmon November 1, 2021

      You mean the “Anderson Vaccine Advertiser” (AVA), it sounds better than “A Vaccine Advertiser”


  9. Jim Armstrong November 1, 2021

    I’m not sure why Jim Shields uses the word “siphon” in his discussion of the Sites Reservoir. He is, after all, the water expert.
    Siphoning is a means to transfer fluids from a higher to lower location, often with a rising portion of the siphon overcome by suction.
    Think of stealing gasoline.
    It is a passive phenomenon that uses little or no energy.
    The word was famously misused thousands of times in the press when talking about “siphoning” the oil off the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico during massive recent spills.
    I does not work that way.
    The oil had to be pumped up, just as Sacramento River water would have to be pumped up the he Sites location.

    • Harvey Reading November 1, 2021

      Diversions are often described by us commoners as “siphoning” off water from the source stream. The AVA isn’t exactly a technical journal.

      In all likelihood the water would be “siphoned” off the river from an upstream location. The Department of Water Resources (DWR) web site describes using the Tehama-Colusa Canal (TCC) intake and diversion facility for that purpose, which would entail pumping. From the TCC, a branch, or extension would have to be added to get the water to the project site, which may, or may not, involve additional pumping. Either way, I suspect that the project will be diverting more than just “flood flows”. The water folks cannot be trusted. Their job is to serve big ag.

    • Douglas Coulter November 9, 2021

      Siphoning is a type of embezzling. A crime when done by little people but winked at when CEO’s or government leaders do it.
      Power is always right.

    • Marmon November 1, 2021

      Now we know what’s going on in Covelo.


  10. jack. November 1, 2021

    The old brown goat we all drive by in the morning, on our way to 101 and work, just past the last house on the right, out of Boonville, mile post 29.74 …has no shelter. He stood there, all through the ‘atmospheric river’, staked out, on a 10 ft rope, in the open field…enduring the rain and the wind. Don’t think he’s ever gonna get a shelter. By the end of December, we’ll all be driving by a stiff, brown, snow covered mound of fluff. If only the wonderful people at the Brewery, would adopt him… what a wonderful, warm life he’d have…

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