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Mendocino County Today: Thursday, July 28, 2016

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“IT'S SO HOT that the birds are using potholders to pull worms out of the ground.” — Johnny Carson

Uncomfortably hot temperatures continue to plague most of interior northwest California today as an upper level ridge persists across the desert southwest. As of 3 PM Wednesday, temperatures eclipsed 100 degrees in many locations, and were from 1 to 5 degrees ahead of Tuesday`s temperatures at the same time. Fortunately though, overnight low temperatures across many interior valleys were actually a bit cooler than anticipated in many areas, with temperatures falling generally into the 50s in the valleys thanks to efficient nocturnal cool air drainage. Meanwhile, temperatures along the ridges and upper slopes only cooled to the upper 60s to near 70, likely due to the presence of a thermal belt aloft. However, even in these valley locations folks can still expect a very slight uptick in lows through Saturday morning, as continued hot days will reduce the effectiveness of nocturnal drainage as the surface continues to bake in the afternoon sun. Meanwhile, afternoon high temperatures will continue to reach triple digits inland through at least Friday, and potentially Saturday. Along the coast, conditions will more or less remain static through the weekend, with a shallow but persistent marine layer resulting in overnight/morning clouds and fog each morning. Temperatures will remain near average despite the interior heat, as offshore winds will likely not be strong enough to erode the marine layer along the coast. By Saturday, a slight weakness in the upper level ridge will deepen across northwest California, resulting in lower temperatures and a slight cooling trend that will carry us through early next week. "Cooling trend" may be a generous description, as high temperatures will remain generally in the 90s across interior valleys throughout this period.

Forecast for: Northwestern Mendocino Interior

Thursday: Sunny. Highs 94 to 104. East wind around 5 mph shifting to the southwest in the afternoon.

Thursday Night: Mostly clear. Lows 60 to 70. West wind around 10 mph shifting to the northeast overnight.

Friday: Sunny. Highs 92 to 102. South wind around 5 mph.

Friday Night And Saturday: Mostly clear. Lows 58 to 68. Highs 90 to 100. South wind around 5 mph.

Saturday Night Through Tuesday: Mostly clear. Lows 52 to 62. Highs 85 to 95.

Tuesday Night And Wednesday: Clear. Lows 51 to 61. Highs 83 to 93.

(National Weather Service, Eureka)

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BEAR LINCOLN has been arrested at a large grow — 9,000 plants — on and around his property in Covelo. The big trouble for Bear may be the two loaded weapons also found there. Of course finding weapons and assigning ownership are two different things. But Bear is a convicted felon, and you can be sure the cops will try to pin the guns on the guy they've been after ever since the famous shoot out that led to the deaths of Deputy Bob Davis and Bear's cousin, Leonard Peters (for which Lincoln was acquitted).

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A STORY by the excellent writer, Sara Reith, in today's Ukiah Daily Journal begins, "There’s an old saw about how a contractor’s house is never done. Three years ago, Peter Richardson, a retired contractor, went to Singing Tree Recovery Center, just south of Garberville. “I never really did drugs,” he said..."

ALWAYS liked the guy, and still resent, on Pete's behalf, how the Ukiah School District and the County of Mendocino absolutely screwed him on their public building contracts. When Pete says he "never really did drugs…" well, here's a guy who has known the depths and risen from them. He's earned some leeway.

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JEFFREY ST. CLAIR is our designated convention-watcher. Thank the goddess we have one. The clips I've seen are simply nauseating — strings of clichés from people who've marched this country steadily backwards. I couldn't watch. It's all so over-the-top awful I went straight to the ball games.

I DID WATCH BERNIE'S monumental sell-out. What the hell, if you're going over to the other side, might as well go all the way. Maybe he's crazy. He's certainly no socialist. Bern's "socialism" has always been tepid, opportunistic, well to the right of FDR's New Deal, and FDR was hardly a socialist. Bernie's capitulation wasn't hard to predict. He told us from the outset he wouldn't leave the Democratic Party, although it left him and the rest of us years ago. Still, though, his clearly heartfelt embrace of the She Dragon was so extreme it calls his mental functioning into question.

NPR'S convention coverage has been beyond craven, but then it's a Billery operation, and always has been.

I LISTEN during early morning workouts, but this morning (Wednesday) it was so unendurably awful in its "excitement" and "how moved we were" at last night's speeches, and so far past all known American political realities, I settled for silence.

CHALLENGE: Has anyone ever learned anything from NPR's "national political consultant," Don Gonyea? If you didn't know that these people think of themselves as a professional news operation, you'd think their "work" was some kind of weird parody of a news show. Gonyea's inane female echo, Renee Montagne, is just as fatuous as her idiot sidekick. Then you have rapid fire David Greene, who's clearly taken ass kissing lessons from the master, NPR's weekend guy, Scott Simon. And to think these people are tax funded! It's, it's, it's… Well, most of us, at this point, are either inured to insult or heavily medicated, self or prescribed.

ALL OF THE ABOVE makes me think even darker thoughts, violent fantasies about getting close enough to them to throw an unexplained punch. I can hear a puzzled Greene or Gonyea: "We'd just arrived at KZYX in Philo to show the rubes how to do professional news when suddenly this big hippie runs in yelling insults and starts throwing blows at us. Poor Renee is still distraught. Why would he have done that?"

ANDERSON: "I did it on behalf of that shrinking minority of Americans who are not totally desensitized by the daily deluge of lies and unalleviated cowardice these people put out and applaud every morning." As a grateful nation rises to salute my public service, I slip my dentures back into my mouth, take a swig of Geritol and totter off to afternoon mahjong.

SPEAKING of National Government Radio, KZYX division, what's with these creepy uplift messages in between the chuckle buddy chatter every morning? These things begin with a funereal few seconds of dirge followed by a female undertaker voice who says something like, "Be good to each other today." I mutter back, "Will you please…”

REALLY, contrast all this nuttiness and misinformation with the BBC's calm, just-the-facts presentations, and maybe some scholarly fill by a truly knowledgeable person, wholly unlike Gonyea.

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SPEAKING of tax-funded propaganda, KZYX division, and not to be too churlish about it, but the Supervisor's commendation issued recently to Mary Aigner for her years of public radio service again turns Mendo reality on its head. Another year of the Aig regime and the station would have been dead. Supervisors Woodhouse (of course) and Gjerde (ordinarily reality-based) signed for the Supes. The new administration of Lorraine Dechter has lifted Public Radio Mendocino County off the ropes. (Yes, I'm a member. So there.)

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CLOVERDALE NOT 'FEELING THE BERN' after Sanders campaign declines invoice for his rally

by Clark Mason

When Cloverdale officials first heard Democratic presidential contender Bernie Sanders wanted to come to town, they thought it was a practical joke.

But after being assured it was not, they put out the welcome mat for Sanders, who drew a crowd of more than 6,000 people to the Cloverdale Airport on a sweltering June 3, days before the California primary election.

Cloverdale officials said they were assured by Sanders’ campaign advance team that local public safety agencies would be reimbursed for expenses associated with the rally.

But after being stiffed for a $23,000 tab, they’re wondering if the joke was on them.

“I don’t understand why they don’t pay for police and fire there for the event,” City Manager Paul Cayler said Monday. “Sanders’ rhetoric during the speech was, he is from small town America and he values small town America.”

Instead of “Feeling the Bern,” Cloverdale, population 8,800, is feeling burned.

“We were told we would be reimbursed,” Mayor Mary Ann Brigham said. “I never would have done it, or given a nod to it as a council person, if there had been any doubts in my mind.”

According to Cayler, the city submitted an invoice on June 23 to the Sanders campaign detailing the overtime from four law enforcement agencies, including Cloverdale, Sebastopol, Healdsburg and the Sheriff’s Department, as well as four fire departments that worked the event.

On July 13, Casey Sinnwell, national director of scheduling and advance for the Sanders campaign, acknowledged receipt of the bill for “uncontracted security services,” but stated that the U.S. Secret Service takes the lead on all security matters and “any local law enforcement organization contacted by the Secret Service to assist in security should discuss matters related to costs with the Secret Service.”

Cayler said Sinnwell didn’t reply to all subsequent emails requesting clarification.

When the city manager contacted the Secret Service, he said he was told the agency is never responsible for paying local public safety expenses related to a presidential candidate’s events.

David Thomas, special-agent-in charge of the San Francisco Secret Service office, said Monday “generally localities pay for the first responder resources utilized, unless they have an agreement with some other party, campaign or donor.”

Sinnwell and other officials with the Sanders campaign did not respond Monday to a reporter’s phone calls and emails.

Cloverdale officials acknowledged there was no written contract related to public safety expenses, but said it’s because the city received only 48 hours notice of the event and there wasn’t time to put together a formal agreement.

“We were trying to accommodate a national political figure who had a number of stops all being scheduled on short notice,” Cayler said.

He said the Sanders campaign put down a $2,500 deposit to pay for local public safety agencies expenses with the understanding there would be more costs, including from allied police and fire agencies that would need to be paid after the bill was submitted.

The airport rally went off smoothly, although there were parking and traffic control challenges as well as some medical responses due to the approximate 100-degree heat.

Mayor Brigham said she is hoping the whole thing is simply a misunderstanding, perhaps caused by a precipitous drop in staff after Sanders lost his bid for the presidency.

(Courtesy, the Santa Rosa Press Democrat)

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(If these fools have the grandkids, how bad can the parents be?)

On July 26, 2016, at about 1:14 AM, Mendocino County Sheriff Deputies were dispatched to a residence located in the 4000 block of Albion Ridge 'J' Rd., Albion, regarding a report of many armed subjects forcibly entering the residence and possibly committing a robbery. The reporting party, Laura Doty, reported hearing several gunshots in another room of the residence and said that her husband, Douglas Higginbotham, had armed himself with a shotgun. Upon arrival Deputies heard the report of gunfire coming from the residence as they approached.


Deputies eventually made contact with the occupants of the residence including Douglas Higginbotham, who promptly dropped the shotgun when ordered to do so. Deputies established that no one was injured, no one had forced entry, or attempted to force entry into the residence and that no one else was at the property or in the residence other than the occupants, (Higginbotham, Doty, and their grandchildren, ages 2 and 4 years). The ensuing investigation revealed that Higginbotham and Doty were both under the influence of a controlled substance. Higginbotham imagined armed invaders in the home, told Doty to call 911, and began shooting through the interior walls and doors with the shotgun to repel the imagined invaders. Higginbotham and Doty brought the children into a room, where Higginbotham fired more shots toward the door and through the walls to other rooms of the house. No persons were injured by Higginbotham's random shots. Deputies arrested Douglas Higginbotham for Child Endangerment, Discharge of Firearms in an Inhabited Dwelling, and Possession of a firearm while being Under the Influence of a Controlled Substance]. Higginbotham was lodged at the Mendocino County jail to be held in lieu of $100,000 bail. Laura Doty was not arrested, but deputies have requested that the Mendocino County District Attorney file a charge of a violation of Recent use of Controlled Substance. The grandchildren were taken into protective custody by Mendocino County Child Protective Services.

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My father told me this story about the time when he was a young Marine Corps officer dispatched to Nicaragua to search for the Nicaraguan rebel, Sandino.  He came back to base after a thirty-day patrol, only to find his housemate with his face peeling, his hair singed, and no eyebrows. The officer related how it happened:

Seems he got some hometown mail and took it up to their outhouse to relax and enjoy reading news from home. What he didn't know was that in Nicaragua, there are flying cockroaches that grow to three inches -- and they bite. One of them taught him this painful lesson by biting him on his ass. He was so infuriated, he hopped off the seat, hurried back to the hacienda, and came back to the scene of the attack with a jerrycan of gasoline. He dumped a goodly portion into the cockroach's home, and only then did he realize that he'd forgotten matches. He hot-footed it back the hacienda and came back to exact his revenge; however, he hadn't factored in that gas quickly vaporiizes in the Central American heat. He lit the paper and tossed it into the home of the offending cockroach.

He was sure the resulting explosion killed his attacker; however it also blew their outhouse to bits, scattered fecal matter over a wide area, and left a medium sized crater where once stood their crapper. The officer considered he was lucky to get away with only singed eyebrows, hair and a red face. I don't think he was awarded the Purple Heart medal for this action.

Semper Fi,

(— Miguel Lanigan)

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Rule Infraction Report

Name of Inmate: Eros Nelson. A# 156.
Date of incident: 7/23/16.
Time of incident: 0734.
Location of incident: Women's jail, Wing One, Cell 116.

Rule level: 2. Infractions: #5, showing insolence toward staff. (Jarred me awake. I protested her tirade.) #6: Possession of contraband (Bibles, penal code, Joyce Meyer book). #2: Refusing to obey an order. (?) Level 1. #2: Indecent exposure. (She pulled out my mattress tossing me out of bed.)

Please help me Bruce. This is insane! I get it! Drunk in public is bad. Stealing in Mendo, bad! I have been in solitary confinement for 33 days! Not a single rule broken. I tried hard to be a good inmate.

* * *

Eros Nelson
Eros Nelson

I am very grateful for this time alone to study and ponder my selfish ways. I continue to do the next right thing after some time (three and one half years of behaving badly.) I'm clearly much different than many who reside here and Deputy Simmons in particular has gone at me with a vengeance. My husband is young, bright and very attractive. This seems to be a real bone of contention with my adversaries. He and I have been married for six years and have a pretty normal marriage. It is a bit heavy-handed but biblically speaking quite fair. We could all use a little more discipline I think. But this is ridiculous!

Then the deputy leaves the books she "confiscated" in my cell? Why? So she could repeat the onslaught of injustice?

I have to keep my request slips for hearing. It's so hard to communicate this way. Please visit. This jail is full of bugs! Inmates have head lice but get no medical treatment. Please send me $20. I bought envelopes, soap, Ibuprofen and a $10 phone card. My poor mother turned 83 on July 11.

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Inmate Grievance Form

If while in custody of Mendocino County Sheriff's office Corrections division you have a complaint regarding custody treatment, medical treatment, Mendocino County jail policies and procedures or other custody related matters you may complete this form and give it to the on-duty corrections deputy. This form shall be submitted within five days after occurrence of any specific incident and/or complaint. Every attempt will be made to resolve your grievance at the lowest possible level, however it may be necessary to bring your grievance to higher levels for resolution. Grievances may be filed on all matters except decisions issued by a court.

Name: Eros Nelson. Housing assignment: 116. Location of occurrence: 116. Date: 7/23/16. Time: 07:55.

Grievance: Because I have always been of good conduct and was told by classification over a week ago (while I was in safety cell for fear I would hurt myself over deplorable treatment by inmates and Simmons) he would try to get me into a classification with three hours out (PC). I previously requested the Penal Code in my room and was granted that request! Classification was here two days ago and never responded again except to give me word he saw my request. Simmons came in this morning taking the books that were given to me by Truth Ministry and my personal papers and even my soap! And Simmons is now writing me up. I am being tortured as other inmates call me a child molester. Simmons calls me foul names such as "mean old lady," and says I have sex with my (xxxx). I can't even say it or write it.

34 days of no bad behavior in solitary confinement with an okay for Penal Code, a promise for more time out (not granted) and books taken that were mine.

I have the response that says I may have Penal Code in my room for brief periods and Pastor Gerry gave me the Joyce Meyer book I wrote in. Please don't let Simmons write me up!

This grievance form was rejected as I wrote in the margins. I'm truly losing my will to live. My connection to my "father who art in heaven" quite truly is all that keeps me going on most days. I have truly been cast into a snake pit where seemingly no amount of remorse or penance will save me. My husband who was also attacked by the man whom I am accused of assaulting (although I was merely defending myself). I can prove I owned the religious materials I am being written up for (possibly hurting my chances of home detention) is only able to assist me partially. I hope this letter makes it out. I have written literal volumes but they came back and they have since been confiscated. Even you said you would speak to the district attorney then never took my call again. I pray for humility. I'm getting a megadose. That will do for now, thank you.

Respectfully, sincerely,

Eros Nelson, Fort Bragg, now Ukiah

PS. I would quote the section of the Penal Code that says jail staff must not behave this way but she took the Penal Code and my notes written on a Kotex boxes as I can't afford paper.

PPS. This whole thing is a nightmare. My assault charge, which was really self-defense, was supposed to be dropped when I pled guilty to burglary for taking an airplane bottle of Kahlua in broad daylight from an open unoccupied room at MacCallum House!

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CATCH OF THE DAY, July 26-27, 2016

Alto, Bartow, Bilow
Alto, Bartow, Bilow

GARRETT ALTO, Ukiah. Ammo possession by prohibited person, leaded cane, billyclub, blackjack, slungshot, sandclub, sap or sandbag, convicted of certain misdeamor within ten years owns/possesses/receives, probation revocation.


DERICK BILOW, Ukiah. Drunk in public.

Delacruz-Castenada, Domingcill, Driver
Delacruz-Castenada, Domingcill, Driver

HERMINIO DELACRUZ-CASTENADA, Covelo. Pot cultivation, sale, armed with firearm.

JUSTIN DOMINGCIL, Las Vegas/Ukiah. Armed with firearm.

KEITH DRIVER, Ukiah. Petty theft, failure to appear.

Fernandez-Sagrero, Glidewell, Higginbotham
Fernandez-Sagrero, Glidewell, Higginbotham

BRUNO FERNANDEZ-SAGRERO, Ukiah. Pot cultivation, sale, armed with firearm, possession of assault weapon.

JOSEPH GLIDEWELL, Eureka/Ukiah. Camping, resisting.

DOUGLAS HIGGINBOTHAM, Albion. Under influence while possessing weapon, discharge weapon into inhabited dwelling, child endangerment.

Lawrence, Liebschwager, Lincoln
Lawrence, Liebschwager, Lincoln

DEBORAH LAWRENCE, Ukiah. Under influence.

TAYOR LIEBSCHWAGER, Ukiah. Falsely reporting bomb threat.

EUGENE LINCOLN, Covelo. Pot cultivation, sale, possession of ammo by prohibited person.

McNamara, Neagle, Ogawa, Pestoni
McNamara, Neagle, Ogawa, Pestoni

KYLE MCNAMARA, Upper Lake/Fort Bragg. Domestic battery, under influence.

RICHARD NEAGLE, Willits. Drunk in public, probation revocation.

CARLOS OGAWA, Fort Bragg. Grand theft, resisting, probation revocation.

JOHN PESTONI, Ukiah. Drunk in public.

Peters, Pinola, Ramon
Peters, Pinola, Ramon

MONIQUE PETERS, Ukiah. Probation revocation.

ANTHONY PINOLA, Ukiah. Drunk in public.

VINCENT RAMON, Fort Bragg. Criminal threats.

Rivera-Lucio, Sanders, Thomsen, Ward
Rivera-Lucio, Sanders, Thomsen, Ward

JUAN RIVERA-LUCIO, Covelo. Pot cultivation, sale, armed with firearm.

THOMAS SANDERS, Willits. Probation revocation. (Frequent flyer.)

DAVID THOMSEN, Hopland. Drunk in public, battery on peace officer, resisting.

ERIC WARD, Laytonville. Failure to appear.

Wirt, Woodard, Worthy
Wirt, Woodard, Worthy

CODY WIRT, Fort Bragg. Battery, elder abuse.

TIFFANY WOODARD, Willits. Drunk in public.

DAVID WORTHY, Ukiah. Probation revocation.

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TO BE A LEFTIST in modern America is to be acutely lonely. The far right has Fox; the center-right has MSNBC; the slightly-less-center-right has CNN. (These last two networks switched places in recent months, as MSNBC degenerated from a yawn-inducing faux-liberal blather-shop into Hillary Clinton’s pant-suit politburo.) Every minute, 24/7, the dullards and sell-outs of the corporate media channel the functionaries of both major parties to depict leftists as dangerous, petulant lunatics—the modern-day version of 1920s newspapers showing us as bomb-throwing anarchists. Of course, we are not allowed to speak for ourselves, because that would immediately destroy the caricature.

— John Eskow

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Planes, buses and automobiles. And so the odyssey to the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia begins. I'm excited to be a Sanders delegate and look forward to posting periodic reports and pics. What looked a few days ago like an uneasy truce accord has been disrupted by, and abandoned for, a tale of smarmy political power turned into fratricide. Thanks to WikiLeaks, Wasserman Schultz and her staff have now been revealed as the fascistic cabal that we only suspected them of being over the past year. Their undemocratic, behind the scenes manipulation of the Democratic Party and our primary process is unworthy of Clinton, but her silence to date is thunderous. Bernie Sanders won the hearts and minds of the American people with his populist and game changing agenda, but it’s Clinton and her vassal Wasserman Schultz who currently have their fingers on the brass ring. A lot can happen over the next few days and the carousel has not yet stopped.

-- Jim Mastin/Facebook

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OH THE NEWS is so depressing, and my drink tastes kind of flat

And everybody keeps asking me, "Hey buddy, where's it at?"

The answer is quite obvious, in this problem-solving biz:

By the time we find out where it's at

We won't care what it is.

—John Stephens

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by Ai

You keep me waiting in a truck

with its one good wheel stuck in the ditch,

while you piss against the south side of a tree.

Hurry. I’ve got nothing on under my skirt tonight.

That still excites you, but this pickup has no windows

and the seat, one fake leather thigh,

pressed close to mine is cold.

I’m the same size, shape, make as twenty years ago,

but get inside me, start the engine;

you’ll have the strength, the will to move.

I’ll pull, you push, we’ll tear each other in half.

Come on, baby, lay me down on my back.

Pretend you don’t owe me a thing

and maybe we’ll roll out of here,

leaving the past stacked up behind us;

old newspapers nobody’s ever got to read again.

* * *


by Jeffrey St. Clair

The big news of the morning was the vindication of a ground-breaking story that Margaret Kidder wrote for CounterPunch several months ago. Buried inside the 20,000 DNC emails released by Wikileaks were documents confirming a tricky financial scam orchestrated by the DNC and the Clinton campaign, whereby money that was meant for state Democratic parties was re-routed to the Clinton machine in order to evade campaign finance laws, thus making a mockery of Hillary’s recent pledge to get the Big Money out of politics. We published Kidder’s explosive piece on the first of April and it spread like lightning across the Net. Within a few days her exposé had been read by more than one million people and had received more than 50,000 Facebook shares (whatever that means). The Clinton machine shifted into attack mode, their default position. The Clinton trolls first started rumors that the story was an April Fools Day prank. When that attack floundered, the Clinton slime operation set their sights on the author. The article was written by Margot Kidder, the actress, they said with misogynistic condescension. You know, Lois Lane. You can’t trust her. She had mental health issues. So much for feminism. This kind of viciousness is standard operating procedure in Clintonworld. But how wrong they were. Margot Kidder is one of the smartest people I know. She’s very well read, is a determined researcher and writes with clarity and force. She’s also fearless. Margot had the goods on them and now there’s no doubt. Heroic work, Margot!

The Democrats are working overtime to transform the DNC email episode into a story about Russian hackers, Putin and Trump. One Democratic Party flack called it the most outrageous political break-in since Watergate. Anything to divert attention from the scandalous content of the emails. But there’s little hard evidence that Russians were behind the hack. Cyber-expert Bill Blunden wrote to me this morning: “Note that Julian Assange has said: ‘We have not disclosed our source, and of course, this is a diversion that’s being pushed by the Hillary Clinton campaign.’

“Thanks to documents released by Ed Snowden, and other whistleblowers. It’s part of the public record that intelligence services have invested heavily in tools that are designed to subvert the process of attribution. It would be risky to presume that such activities were limited to the NSA and GCHQ. Likewise classified programs like JTRIG and HACIENDA are conducted with the explicit intention of obscuring the source of cyber intrusions. Entities from the private sector are also involved in this sort of activity.

“When dealing with an organization with the requisite skill and resources, successful attribution is highly unlikely. Subtle operational signatures can be mimicked and telltale forensic clues can be counterfeited. Welcome to the wilderness of mirrors. Peace, Bill.”

Sanders spent the morning sternly lecturing his rebellious delegation. He warned them not to bolt the Democrats for the Green Party. This is how Bernie repays Jill Stein’s kindness in offering him her spot on the Green ticket. This was met by jeers and boos, as Bernie the Used Car Salesman was rebuked by his own cohort once again. They still ain’t buying the Lemon he’s selling.

What’s this? Anthony Weiner is now giving testimonials for Hillary? How can she possibly lose? (I thought Huma had him on home detention. Someone check Weiner’s Instagram photos tonight.)

David Swanson writes in yesterday’s CounterPunch that the DNC is now less popular than atheism. After today’s spectacle, the Satanists will be gaining on them fast.

The New York Times reported that Sanders is now faced with suppressing the revolutionaries he inspired. The man started out as Danton, ends up as Edmund Burke…

Jesse Jackson sent me his column this morning. It’s a dispiriting piece of writing. Few people could have a better understanding of how an insurgent movement like the one Sanders’ led was sabotaged by the party establishment. The Democrats screwed Jackson twice. Yet Jackson writes that Hillary is the “clear choice” for president. Not the “necessary choice” or the “lesser evil.” But the “clear choice.” This even though Bill Clinton has repeatedly race-baited Jackson. That’s a strange kind of loyalty.

Speaking of Hillary’s “life-long commitment to children,” very excited to hear the remarks of infamous child-killer Madeleine Albright tonight…

If only the Sandernistas had the guts to boo that artifact of the Red Scare Era (which never really ended) the Pledge of Allegiance, which is on its face an insult to the Constitution, trashing the values it claims to venerate.

Here comes Chairwoman Marcia Fudge on the stage with her gavel again. Hammers it on the podium. Gets shouted down once again! Shuffles off shaking her head.

Bernie should have negotiated to get Tulsi Gabbard a keynote speech in prime time, since she’s about as close as the Democrats are likely to come presenting someone who will speak out against interventionist wars. I bet we go through the entire convention without hearing one word about drone strikes.

Sanders delegate Shyla Nelson has moved Bernie to tears! To misquote Tom Hanks from “A League of Their Own”: “There’s no crying in Revolutions, Bernie!”

Senator Barbara Mikulski apparently didn’t get the memo that “brother” Democrats and “sister” Democrats no longer covers all the bases.

Deb Haaland, the first Native American chair of any state party, had the best line of the day so far when she introduced New Mexico’s vote. “I’m proud to be from New Mexico, where our state question is: Red or Green? … Chile that is.”

The dilated and euphoric Oregon delegation seems to have spent their afternoon consuming edibles of unknown origin.

Great to see the Puerto Rico delegation holding up “Free Oscar Lopez Rivera” t-shirts. Maybe Obama was tuning in, instead of playing golf. Perhaps he will even take action to finally right this lingering injustice. The South Dakota delegation put Hillary over the top. Too bad the delegation didn’t take that opportunity to call for the pardoning of Leonard Peltier.

At 6:53 EST, Bernie wiped out of all his delegates votes. Sandernistas you have now officially cast your votes for HILLARY CLINTON. Now you can really cry.

So you find yourself suddenly transformed by Bernie’s procedural magic wand from a Sandernista into a Clintonoid and the first face that you see upon awakening to this new reality is that of…the political grifter Terry McAuliffe, who earlier in the evening told reporters what everyone else already knew that Hillary was going to “flip on the TPP.” Get used to it. It will only get worse from here on out. Here comes Nancy Pelosi!

It’s surely an ominous sign for Hillary Clinton that the loudest applause of the Democratic Convention will almost certainly be for the forced surrender of Bernie Sanders and the public humiliation of his delegates.

The cognitive dissonance of this convention is at max volume. How else can you explain how demurely Sanders just delivered his movement to the machine that represents everything he was allegedly waging war against: bailing out the banks, destruction of Glass-Steagall, fracking on a global scale, abandonment of organized labor, trade pacts from NAFTA to WTO to TPP, the death penalty, continuation of the drug war, gutting of welfare, interventionist wars from Iraq to Syria, fealty to Wall Street money, vindictive and racist criminal justice policies, inaction on climate change, and blind loyalty to Israel.

Most of the Sandernistas walked out after Bernie transferred (without their consent) their votes to Hillary and had a sit-in outside of the convention center, where nobody saw them or cared. What kind of Civil Disobedience is that? Why not protest inside the hall, where the cameras are and the action is? A last blown opportunity to shake the establishment.

Chuck Schumer just said that “when Hillary tells you something you can take it to the bank.” Would that be Citibank or Goldman Sachs? Schumer was followed on the stage by Elizabeth Banks. Not making this up.

It was good to see Jimmy Carter looking so fit after his brain cancer. Too bad they didn’t let him talk about Palestine and the Last Apartheid state, which would risk exposing the real fissures in his supposedly “unified” party.

Every time a politician closed their remarks with “God Bless America” another bit of the Constitution died. This obnoxious tradition, which has infected politicians on the Left and the Right, has become a homegrown version of the dreaded Sharia Law.

Eric Holder prefaced his remarks on criminal justice reform by arguing that the police need to be better armed. With what? Guided missiles and drones? Hillary Clinton’s pimping for her husband’s vicious Crime Bill by labeling young black men “super-predators” seems to have been elided from the institutional memory of the Democrats. The drug war will be retooled, with opiate users the new villains.

Holder says the Hillary Clinton will be a champion of voting rights. This must come as a shock to the hundreds of thousands of potential Sanders voters who found their polling places mysteriously moved or closed, their ballots destroyed, or their votes not counted.

I confess. In a tear-stained convention, I misted up during the testimonials of the Mothers of the Murdered, especially when Travyon Martin’s mother said that she was “an unwilling participant in this movement. I would not have signed up for this. I’m here today for my son, Trayvon Martin, who’s in heaven.” Too bad this heavy ceremony was diluted and demeaned by giving an hour to the Incarcerator-in-Chief, Bill Clinton, whose Crime Bill put 100,000 new cops on the street. Since the passage of that infamous law in 1994, police have killed at least 20,460 civilians.

Taser me when Lena Dunham’s stopped talking.

Skip that. Taser me when Barbara Boxer stops sputtering clichés.

Did Rudy Giulani co-produce the 9/11 video? The fact that they’ve brought up a NYPD detective, instead of a fireman or EMT worker, suggests the DNC is compensating for the time devoted they devoted to the Mothers of the Murdered.

15 years later and 9/11 remains a go-to political tripwire, shamelessly exploited by both parties. Here by Hillary’s surrogate as an invocation to “defeat and destroy ISIS.” Sound familiar?

What’s with Howard Dean? He can barely read the teleprompter. Did he share a joint with Lincoln Chafee backstage?

Note to Hillary: You didn’t bring about the ceasefire in Gaza. The bombing stopped after the Israelis ran out of targets, having destroyed 70 percent of the structures in that narrow strip of defenseless land.

So it’s all about making women and girls more secure, is it? Have many women and girls have been killed in Hillary’s wars in Libya, Honduras, Syria, Iraq, Somalia, Yemen, Afghanistan, and Pakistan? Probably in the 10s of thousands. So cheer up. Her body count is about 400,000 lower than Madeleine Albright’s. But give her 8 years and she may yet catch up.

Here comes Albright. Someone serve her an arrest warrant! Lock her up! Lock her up! Albright’s sanctions on Iraq led to the deaths of a half-million Iraqi children. When asked by Leslie Stahl whether this death toll bothered her, whether the price was worth it. Albright didn’t hesitate. “We think the price was worth it.” She must be the world’s most evil grandmother.

Typically, Albright began by invoking the Red Scare moved on to praising Harry “A-Bomb” Truman and ended by demonizing Putin. The Cold War lives.

Shouldn’t Wellesley College lose its accreditation having matriculated both Albright and Clinton?

What an odd short film trying to sell everything that Bill Clinton (Madeleine Albright’s student) did for poor people, neglecting to mention his destruction of welfare. Some of these people called themselves Clinton Babies? It’s possible, of course, but did they all have paternity tests?

Bill’s creepy account of his courtship of Hillary at Yale makes him sound like a stalker.

Does Bill have Parkinson’s? Whole lotta shaking going on. (Marc Solomon informs me that my diagnosis is off the mark. Solomon said Clinton is suffering from a drug reaction: “They’ve had him on Thorazine to shut him the fuck up during the campaign.”

Bill just can’t help from making his speeches all about himself. More “I”’s in Clinton speech than Trumps.

Clintonian Revisionism: Bill now blames his defeat for reelection as governor on the Reagan landslide, instead of his own hubris and incompetence.

In Bill’s tedious narrative of the Life and Times of the Clintons there was sadly no mention of the most honorable member of the clan: Socks the Cat.

Senator Warren is sitting in the Clinton box with Chelsea, cheering every banality uttered by Bill Clinton, even the whopper about how he “tried to bring peace and prosperity to America.” Tell it to the people of Rwanda, Somalia, Iraq, Sudan and Serbia, President Bill. Et tu, Elizabeth?

This being a family hour show, Bill was forced to redact several inconvenient chapters of his Scenes From a Marriage speech.

According to Bill, you can take it from his friend Newt Gingrich that Hillary’s “tough on national security.” That seals it for me.

The Clintons gave Machiavelli a bad name. In fact, as my friend Jim Nicita says, “they make Machiavelli look like a Prince.”

Jane Fonda. Once she went to Hanoi to stop a war. Now she’s appearing in a music video for a war criminal. Make it stop. I can’t watch anymore.

This whole night went off like a Neutron Bomb of Identity Politics, where the only ones left standing were demographic subsets and the Hedge Fund managers who fund the party. Is that all you’ve got? Doesn’t that play right into Trump’s trap? Or have I totally lost all political sense? The Democrats seem to have totally abandoned class politics. We are witnessing the complete triumph of neoliberalism.

(Jeffrey St. Clair is editor of CounterPunch. His new book is Killing Trayvons: an Anthology of American Violence (with JoAnn Wypijewski and Kevin Alexander Gray). He can be reached at: Courtesy,

* * *


Dear Friend,

I was disappointed when the Republican majority chose to adjourn Congress for the rest of summer instead of staying in Washington to tackle unfinished work on a host of pressing issues — including funding to respond to the fast-spreading Zika virus, the clean water crisis in Flint, closing loopholes in our background check system, and more. But there is no shortage of work to me here on the beautiful North Coast of California, so I am using this opportunity to catch up with my constituents, to address key district priorities, and to hear your feedback on what Congress should do when it reconvenes in September. 

This is also a good time to update you on some of the issues I’ve been working on these past few months -- from pushing for commonsense gun violence prevention, to basic safety measures such as ridding children’s car seats of dangerous chemicals, to affordable housing, to providing new savings options to improve retirement security.

No Bill, No Break; Calling for Commonsense Gun Legislation

One my proudest moments as a Congressman came the week after the Orlando massacre, when I joined civil rights legend John Lewis and nearly the entire Democratic delegation from both chambers to “sit-in” for 26 hours on the House floor. We were protesting Republican inaction on gun violence following yet another terrible tragedy, requesting that we not take our July recess until they proposed legislation or allowed votes on bipartisan, commonsense legislation to reduce gun violence. Instead of working with us, they chose to cut the cameras to the House floor and declare an early recess. Our “sit in” protest showcased the urgent need – supported by four out of five Americans (including gun owners and even NRA members) – to implement more comprehensive background checks and close loopholes that allow guns into the hands of people who everyone agrees should not have them. Following the “sit-in,” I launched my own “Days of Action” agenda in the district which included meetings with constituents and groups who are working to protect communities from gun violence, including former Congresswoman Gabby Giffords. Read my recent column on this important topic here.

Ending gratuitous displays of the racist, Confederate Flag on federal property

Recent debates in Congress about displaying Confederate flags on federal property have had me questioning what year we are living in, or more specifically what year House Republicans are living in. It is unfathomable that in 2016, we would still allow federal resources to be used for displaying this anachronistic symbol of treason and hate. For too many, this symbol is a blunt statement of support for racism, lynching, segregation and hate. Earlier this session, I proposed an amendment to prohibit funding used to display the Confederate battle flag over Veterans’ cemeteries. The amendment passed the House with strong bipartisan support, but then the Majority rushed through the conference report for that legislation, it got partisan again: in the middle of the night – literally during Democrats’ “sit-in”—House Republicans jammed through a conference report that inexplicably omitted the confederate flag amendment. They doubled down on the issue just last week by shutting down debate and refusing to allow votes on my legislation to curtail sales of Confederate flag merchandise in our national parks and to end the practice of allowing pro-Confederacy groups to decorate graves in our national cemeteries with the Confederate battle flag. I will continue fighting to put our federal government on the right side of history, consistent with what Republican Governor Nikki Haley did in South Carolina. I’m grateful for the support and collaboration of the NAACP and so many individuals and groups who share the goal of moving our country toward greater racial sensitivity and equality. Read more about my work to end these hateful displays on federal property here.

Ridding Our Children’s Car Seats of Dangerous Chemicals

Being a parent has sharpened my concern for the safety of our children, so when I learned about an antiquated transportation safety rule that was having profound unintended consequences for our children – exposing millions of them to toxic and carcinogenic chemical flame retardants in their car seats, with no documented safety benefits -- I knew something had to be done. That’s why in late May, after trying unsuccessfully to get the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) to reconsider this rule, I introduced legislation that would protect children from unnecessary and dangerous exposure to carcinogens and toxic chemicals included in their car seats. We can modernize the car seat flammability standard in a way that maintains fire safety while reducing exposure to harmful chemicals and ensuring that the EPA is consulted regarding the health effects associated with flame retardants. The legislation has already received support from many groups including the Green Science Policy Institute, the Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association, The Ecology Center, and the Environmental Working Group. Check out more about this effort here.

Ensuring Every American is Retirement-Ready

Motivated by recent studies showing that over half of households age 55 and older have no retirement savings, I am working on a proposal to help those Americans by providing new options to help save for a strong, stable, secure retirement. Earlier this summer, my co-sponsor Rep. Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR) and I introduced the American Savings Account Act. This legislation would build on the success of the high-quality retirement investment plan offered to federal workers since 1986 by making that plan available to every American who works in the private sector and doesn’t have access to an employer-sponsored savings account like a 401(k). This voluntary option would be in addition to Social Security, and it would give millions of hardworking citizens a new opportunity to ensure a secure and dignified retirement. More information on how this legislation will help North Coasters like you here.

I’ll be all over the beautiful North Coast the next several weeks, so look for me in your community and please don’t be a stranger - I’m always eager to hear your ideas and suggestions on how I can best serve you.

Contact me via Twitter, Facebook, email, or call one of my district offices and we will continue to help to the best of our ability. And check out my new Instagram account to see photos from my Washington, D.C., office and across the 2nd district!

With Best Regards,

Jared Huffman

Member of Congress

* * *


The Department of Agriculture recently detected the serious insect pest Gypsy Moth (Lymantria dispar) in the Anderson Valley area of Mendocino County. The Department’s Pest Detection trapping program, which traps annually on a county-wide basis for five (5) different kinds of serious insect pests, first picked up a suspect moth during the normal servicing of the traps on Thursday, July 21, 2016. The suspect moth was sent overnight to the California Department of Agriculture (CDFA) entomology lab for identification. Positive identification was received late Friday afternoon. Starting the following Monday morning July 25, the department’s insect trappers and staff Biologists deployed a high density of Gypsy Moth traps in the four (4) square miles immediately adjacent to the find. In addition, the new replacement trap that had been placed at the initial find site on Thursday July 21 was checked and a second suspect moth was detected. Positive confirmation was received from CDFA for this suspect moth on Tuesday, July 26. All of the traps were checked on Tuesday, July 21, with no additional suspect moths being detected. As of July 27, the total number of high density traps that are required to be deployed in response to a find of this nature have been deployed and will be checked daily through Friday, July 29. The traps will be examined on a weekly basis till the end of September 2016, at which point all the traps will be removed for the season, as the moth’s life cycle will have been fully completed for this year. The department will continue to monitor the traps and provide updates if significant events unfold related to these initial finds.

The Gypsy Moth is a serious insect pest of hardwood forests, shade trees and shurbs. The feeding of the larval (caterpillar) stages of the moth does serious damage to host species by causing defoliation of the host and seriously weakening or killing it. A very informative European Gypsy Moth Fact Sheet can be found at the following CDFA webpage:

For more information, please contact the Agricultural Commissioner’s Office at (707) 234-6830.

Carmel J. Angelo

Chief Executive Officer


  1. Craig Stehr July 28, 2016

    Awoke before sunrise at the Adelaide travel hostel in San Francisco, and noticed that we’re located diagonally across from the Bohemian Club on Taylor Street, where I once temped in their accounting office, and also lunched as a guest of Otto Butz when he was president of Golden Gate University. He and I hung out with the executives of Levi Strauss at the bar, after which Otto resigned his club membership in protest of the fact that the club did not admit women members! Anyway, just finished reading the AVA online report: have noted the details of the pointless American presidential election, the growing weirdness of the north coast marijuana industry, the fact that it is hot in July, and an expanding lament that there is nothing culturally inspirational anywhere, now that neoliberalism has triumphed. After double checking that my entire body-mind-spirit is aligned with a Higher Power, and that the ideal of Wu Wei (non-interference with the flow of the Dao through its instrument) is being respected, I will continue reading John Trudell’s collection of writings about the national “Mined Mind”, which ought to be required reading by all high school students. Meanwhile in the fourth dimension, we emerge from our caves and follow the path outlined by egrets, making our way to ocean beaches, and engage in ancient energizing activities. We drink strengthening teas made from herbs banned by the FDA, always holding fast to the constant, and do nothing else at all, which allows everything everywhere to effortlessly get done. We follow the Way, leaving time for beer and poetry, and are happy. Our immortal spirits will never fade away.

  2. Jim Armstrong July 28, 2016

    It is more than a little hard to read how “eager” Jared Huffman is to hear my views.
    After two years of emailing him and talking to he Mendocino County representatives, I have never received a substantive answer to any of my questions or concerns.
    One senior staff member in Marin County phoned me once with some BS excuses and answered two emails with the same uselessness.
    My last three or four attempts at contact have been ignored completely.
    Attaboy, Jared, love that eagerness.

  3. Alice Chouteau July 28, 2016

    The story of the tweaker fighting invisible invaders at his Albion House is shocking but not rare, sadly. What I find most disturbing is the presence of two baby grandchildren in their care, exposed to grampa shooting through the walls, and their constant exposure to meth use by both grandparents. I feel the Sheriff’s Dept was remiss in not arresting the grandmother too, even tho she made the 911 call. She was using meth too, and those kids were exposed to this very toxic substance, as well as the residue on all the walls.

  4. Bruce McEwen July 29, 2016

    “… to be a leftist is to be completely alone…

    “The cure for loneliness is solitude.”

    Georgia O’Keeffe

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