- April Showers
- Little Dog
- Reopening Restaurants
- Deputy Kendall
- Boontling Classic
- FB PO
- Hospital Ads
- Yesterday's Catch
- Situation Bleak
- Dropped Bomb
- Healthcare Concert
- Unconscious Polarization
- Immigration Crackdown
- Planning Agenda
- Thistle Friday
- Flailing States
- Clockwork Orangutan
- Sardine Closure
RAIN AND SHOWERS through Thursday, followed by clearing on Friday and Saturday and then another chance of rain and scattered showers starting next Sunday for several more days. Temps continue cool in the mid- to upper-40s at night and 50s in the daytime.
LITTLE DOG SAYS, “The boss is moping around the office today moaning about how he turned down a box seat ticket for the Giants opener today. ‘I should be at the ballpark, Little Dog, but here I am in Boonville with you.’ You know, I took offense at that. I'm not opening day-quality entertainment, but I'm pretty darn good company.”
IN CASE you missed it in the Vulch, “Aquarelle Cafe and Wine Bar re-opened last Friday with a new menu featuring Santa Maria BBQ dishes such as half-chickens and ribs to accompany popular items from their previous menu. Their opening hours for now, which may well change, will be Friday to Tuesday, from 1-7pm each day. The Buckhorn’s long-awaited re-opening, after a number of last minute delays, is Wednesday, April 12! The bar will be fully stocked with beer, wine, and liquor, and the kitchen will serve burgers and wings for three days until the full menu is introduced beginning on Saturday.”
ENJOYED a recent conversation with Matt Kendall, a smart, friendly young deputy with the Sheriff’s Department whose roots in Mendocino Couny and the Anderson Valley go about as deep anybody’s except Violet Rennick, a Native American raised on the banks of Anderson Creek. Deputy Kendall descends from the Kendalls of Kendall City, which is what Boonville was called before all those people from Boonville, Missouri showed up.
THE 35TH ANNUAL BOONTLING CLASSIC 5k race will be Sunday, May 7 at the Elementary School in Boonville. Plaques and ribbons to top finishers. Drawing for prizes. Entry fee is $10. Fancy t-shirts are $10 bucks. To register or for more info contact Flick McDonald at 621-2701 or email@example.com.
COMMENTING on Derek Hoyle’s report of Jeff Wright’s arrest for protesting the reduction in open hours of the lobby of the Fort Bragg Post Office, a reader complained that we didn’t get “the other side” of the story, the side of the story from Postmistress Sisco. We’d like to get the other side of the story and rather resent people who whine about the other side without telling us what it is but, the editor murmured with a martyred sigh, it all comes with the biz.
WRIGHT’S beef began when he and other nocturnal post office visitors found the doors locked to prevent bums from sleeping and, on occasion, defecating in the lobby. Ms. Sisco wasn’t the only person offended and understandably began securing the premises at night. Wright, a man not entirely committed to reason, threw such a tantrum that Ms. Sisco called Fort Bragg’s finest on him. So far, though, public opinion is running in favor of Wright’s complaint, but not his delivery of it.
(1) I live in Fort Bragg but have my PO Box in Mendocino because I loathe going to the Fort Bragg Post Office so much. Going in there is nothing but a bad time, even for the simplest of tasks. I would rather drive the ten or so miles than have to deal with the Fort Bragg Post Office.
(2) As a Former Braggart I am following this story, waiting for updates as the story continues.
(3) Unbelievable! Thank you Derek for your reporting. Have shared it to my Facebook page.
(4) I stopped getting my mail here, a large inconvenience due to this post offices attitude. Public servants who don’t want to serve should get other jobs.
(5) I, too, have a PO box in Ft. Bragg. It IS an inconvenience to say the least to have the lobby hours unfairly and drastically reduced. SOMEONE should be given the task of locking the one and only lobby door at sunset and unlocking it at sunrise. I’ll do it. I live about 4 blocks away. It would serve the community. No harm to the post office proper could happen if I have that key. That way it won’t be another burden for the very unhappy and unpleasant Post Mistress. It would be a win/win for all. It’s a shame that whoever the people are feel the need to use the lobby as a toilet, but I’m a paying citizen who is being punished for their bad behavior. Assigning someone the task of locking/unlocking the door seems a simple, easy solution. Strongly consider this please. You, Ms. Post Mistress are making the community unhappy.
(6) Actually, she is very rude and condescending! (With her co-workers following suit!) We started making the drive elsewhere!
(7) They have always been fine to me. Nice folks.
(8) How about Ft. Bragg P.O. users who can, taking up a collection to hire, a responsible person, who needs a job, to watch & keep their P.O.B. area clean? … Would one of you Ft. Bragg residents with a car do the neighborly thing and drive Mr. Wright to another post office to get his mail?
THIS RATHER STARTLING on-line comment made us paupers here at the AVA green with envy:
"Accidentally attached to a check from the Mendocino Coast Hospital (ambulance maintenance) was an invoice FROM the Advocate News to the hospital for $6100+ for ADVERTISING!!!!! Yes, folks, our local hospital pays a crap-ton of money to advertise in our local paper. No amount of advertising will convince me to go here unless it is my only way to get to Willits, Ukiah— wherever. Just found that little "oops" interesting. I left the invoice on the counter at the PO."
JEEZ, no wonder Coast Hospital is broke, and bet you’re surprised the beloved Advocate/Beacon commands that kinda money. But the chain-owned papers are still quite profitable, and those profits fly out of the county to the distant holding company/hedge fund that now owns the Ukiah Daily Journal, what's left of The Willits News and the Beacon/Advocate. It was probably twenty years ago that the three papers together were sending some $600,000 outtahere annually, and they’re probably still fairly lucrative or the mothership, which has already sold their offices out from under them, would have shuttered them.
CATCH OF THE DAY, April 10, 2017
CHRISTOPHER BUNHEIRAO, San Jose/Fort Bragg. Protective order violation.
AARYAN FISCHER, Ukiah. Probation revocation.
FREDRICK FITCH, Ukiah. Paraphernalia, probation revocation.
ALEJANDRO GONZALEZ, Ukiah. Probation revocation.
MARLIN PETERSEN, Ukiah. Probation revocation.
ALFREDO RODRIGUEZ, Ukiah. Domestic assault.
JOEL ROMERO, Talmage. DUI.
KEVIN WILLIAMS, Sacramento/Leggett. Vehicle theft.
DANIEL YEOMANS, Fort Bragg. Drunk in public, probation revocation.
ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY
No, I do not think people are good.
Never mind for a minute whether the following story is historical fact, or a made up story, but only consider its internal logic;
God becomes flesh, becomes man. And not a prince, not a warlord, not a rich merchant, but a real nobody. He proceeds, intentionally, to get himself nailed to a cross.
Now it seems to me that if everything is basically fine, or partially fine, or even a little bit fine, then this is pointless, this makes God out to be a hysterical idiot, or a prankster jesting with man.
It seems to me that the only explanation that gives this story any coherence, is that the situation was actually extremely bleak.
i.e. original sin, i.e. people suck.
Not a few people, not some people, not most people. All.
But, hey, I’m a religious crank and an idiot. So don’t take my word concerning invisible Gods.
Never mind God. Just trot down to your friendly neighborhood law library and start reading what man actually thinks of man, and how man actually treats with man.
Kafka’s “The Trial” wasn’t fiction.
MICHAEL MCDONALD PERFORMS IN FORT BRAGG APRIL 29
In less than three weeks on Saturday April 29th, Fowler Subaru, in cooperation with Rural Health Rocks, presents Grammy award winner Michael McDonald and friends at Cotton Auditorium, 500 N Harold Street in Fort Bragg. Joining Michael on stage will be Grammy nominee singer/songwriter Amy Holland, Nashville musician Gary Cirimelli, as well as local luminaries Gene Parsons & David Hayes, acoustic guitarist Alex de Grassi, and singer/songwriter and sax player John Mattern. All proceeds from this star-studded, rockin' event will go towards establishing the first everFamily Medicine Residency program for Mendocino and Lake counties. Tickets will go on sale March 1 at www.ruralhealthrocks.com. The show begins at 7pm, reserved seating is $40 and $75, with very limited premiere seating at $100. Tickets are selling fast, so don’t wait!
Rural Health Rocks is a fundraising arm for Family Medicine Education Mendocino County (FMEMC), a non-profit organization with its origins in our rural community's medical crisis and with a vision for a more robust, healthier future for our region. FMEMC is working with Adventist Health to establish a medical residency program at Ukiah Valley Medical Center, which will begin training medical school graduates in cooperation with UC Davis in 2019. Statistics show that a majority of residents establish their practice in the community of their residency, and this program will provide a much needed and sustainable source of young physicians into our rural communities for years to come.
Additional support for this event comes from Friedman's Home Improvement, C&S Waste Solutions, Harvest Market, Handley Cellars, Savings Bank of Mendocino County, Frey Vineyards, and many more generous sponsors.
AT EVERY TURN, the synthetic culture of Empire implores us to throw our hearts and minds into unconscious polarization. It wants us to radicalize ourselves to either patriot or terrorist, believer or atheist, white or black, liberal or conservative, strong or weak, and then embark on an endless crusade to reform, condemn, or destroy the other side. This one-way polarization renders all participants impotent, regardless of which side they pick. This subtle but devastating trick deactivates our will and we automatically forfeit our capacity to rule ourselves. Lost in unconscious polarization, we serve Empire.
Mass culture is a control mechanism that devalues the individual. It is aimed solely at promoting collectivism. It seeks to enforce the dependence of the individual human on a collective group and the priority of group ideologies over individual life paths. It is, at the base level, the very heart of socialism, communism, fascism and totalitarianism. It employs nationalistic impulses to setup polarities of antagonism that exclusively benefits a set of ruling elites. At the top level, the elites fully comprehend that there are no distinct nations, ideologies or cultural imperatives to speak of. To them, there is only power and no power.
— Neil Kramer
RIO GRANDE BORDER CROSSINGS PLUMMET AS MEXICAN MIGRANTS ARE SPOOKED BY TRUMP'S IMMIGRATION CRACKDOWN
by Jennifer Smith
The number of illegal immigrants attempting to enter the US by crossing the Rio Grande has fallen dramatically since President Trump took office.
In March this year, only 4,143 people were detained by Border Patrol Agents at the notorious river crossing as opposed to 15,579 who were caught in January before Trump was in full swing in the White House.
The sharp decline has been chalked down to the president's tough line on immigration.
Border Patrol agents said migrants were no longer willing to risk the dangerous journey and pay steep smuggler fees now that the chances of them being allowed to stay in the US are so slim.
The phenomenon at the Rio Grande crossing is not isolated. Only 12,193 people were arrested across the entire Southwest border in March, 50,000 fewer than in October.
In Yuma, Arizona, only 336 were arrested trying to cross the border in March whereas 1,155 were stopped in January.
El Paso, another busy crossing in Texas, saw only 976 arrested in March, a decrease of 1,803 since January.
The drop bucks a five-year trend of increases. Since 2012, the total number of immigrants either arrested or turned away from the border has risen.
The end of 2016 brought the highest number of crossings with 56,000 arrested or turned away in September alone.
October, November and December were among the busiest months in the last five years as hundreds of thousands attempted to rush in to the country before Trump took office.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection attributes the decline since then to the president's crackdown.
'Since the Administration’s implementation of Executive Orders to enforce immigration laws, the drop in apprehensions shows a marked change in trends,' it says.
On January 25, three days after being sworn in, President Trump signed an executive order demanding tougher regulations across the Southwest border.
The order includes the construction of a physical wall to run the length of the border which Trump promised to deliver throughout his election campaign.
While he has not implemented new immigration laws, the order enforces rules already made. It places emphasis on removing anyone deemed ineligible, a threat which border officials say has spooked illegal migrants.
'Are you going to risk a 1,000-mile journey and pay $8,000 to be smuggled if you’re not sure you’ll get to stay? I wouldn’t,' Marlene Castro told The Los Angeles Times, describing how the once 'hot' Rio Grande crossing was now quiet.
The Rio Grande crossing is the busiest route for illegal immigrants entering the US from Mexico.
Thousands have died trying to complete the treacherous journey, many of them drowning in the river's troublesome waters.
Deaths in the river increased last year as immigrants tried to cross over new, uncharted sections of it. More than 300 died in just six months in 2015.
(Daily Mail OnLine)
DARN RIGHT WE HAVE PLANNING, LOTS OF IT!
Planning Commission Agenda
Dear Interested Parties,
The April 20, 2017, Planning Commission Agenda is posted on the department website at: http://www.co.mendocino.ca.us/planning/meetings.htm
Commission Services Supervisor
THE THISTLES ARE WINNING
Navarro Point thistle removing this FRIDAY 10am-noon
(NOT rainy Wednesday)
Hello. You are invited to join us as we remove thistles at Navarro Point this FRIDAY, April 14th, from 10am until noon. We usually work on Wednesdays but rain is predicted for this Wednesday, so that’s why I’ve moved it to this Friday when only sun is predicted. You can find us in the parking lot on the west side of Highway 1 a half mile south of the Navarro Ridge Road turn-off at 10am. No tools or previous experience are necessary. This coastal headland is a stunningly beautiful place to be outside. We hope to see you there this FRIDAY at 10am. Contact me if you have questions.
Tom Wodetzki, 937-1113, firstname.lastname@example.org
by James Kunstler
There are times in the course of events when a society cannot tell what the fuck is going on, or what to do about it, and this is one of those moments in history here in the USA. The quandaries of life on the home front — how to make a living, how to care for ourselves and loved ones — get shoved aside by misadventures in foreign lands with their own quandaries. One delusion leads to another until you enter a zero gravity of the mind. Case in point du jour: Syria.
The persistent hyperRussomania of the US Dem-Prog alliance and its sob-sisters in the media seeks to make a bad situation worse in Syria and probably for the worst reasons. How many Americans have even the dimmest idea what’s going on in Syria, who the cast of characters there represent, and where the USA fits into all of it?
There is the head of government, one Bashar al Assad (son of the previous president, Hafez al Assad). The Assads had run Syria as a mostly secular Arab state until the civil war within Islam, Sunni against Shia, spilled out of Iraq. The Assads belonged to the tiny Alawite sect of the Shia. They comprise only 13 percent of the Syrian population, which has a Sunni majority. Under the Assads, Syria has tilted toward Iran, the Shia home state, and away from the Sunni Arabs elsewhere in the neighborhood. Russia has cultivated Iran and support its “friends,” the Assads.
A mash-up of Sunni jihad armies fights the Assad government in Syria’s civil war. These are Isis, al Qaeda, and Jabhat al Nusra. The US government had made official noise about supporting the more “moderate rebels” in the Syrian conflict. Who are they exactly? Do you have a clue? Which army among those three rebel groups are “moderates?” And what is their moderate goal under jihad? To topple Assad. And then what? To set up a new theocratic government perhaps? How is it in America’s interests to promote Islamic jihadi theocracy?
One hypothesis is that the struggle is over who gets to run gas and oil pipelines through Syria to get easier access to the Mediterranean Sea and the European energy market. Iran would very badly like to do that. But they are in competition with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Qatar, the little giant emirate of natural gas. So, you have the Iran/Shia gang on one side and the KSA/Qatar/Sunni on the other side. Anybody who had scanned the news since 1979 can probably tell whose side the US is on. By the way, this hypothesis has had no airing among the mainstream media triumvirate: The New York Times, CNN, and The WashPo. These news orgs won’t even entertain that angle of the story… but as I said, it’s only a hypothesis.
It was not so many weeks ago that President Trump met with the crown prince of KSA at the White House to give assurances of American friendship and support. KSA is supposedly America’s chief ally against Isis in Syria. Yet, KSA and the USA are dedicated to getting rid of the Assad government as well as Isis. That is, we are against both sides in the Syrian civil war. Still wondering why the American public is confused by all this? Do you know who our choice is to replace Assad? Can you name an opposition figure? Of course you can’t. There is nobody. What the White House, the Pentagon, the State Department, and the NSA seem to have in mind is the familiar failed state policy that has worked so well in the past (not).
Which brings us to the curious case of Bashar Assad’s recent supposed poison gas bombing of civilians in Khan Sheikhoun. The media triumvirate was avid to play along with the story. I don’t know about you, but I have to ask myself: what would Assad’s strategic goal be in gas bombing women and children? To gin up worldwide positive PR? To get the Syrian people on his side against Isis and other jihadis? What advantage could Assad possibly gain? In warfare generally, the tacticians strike against military targets. There’s a hypothesis that Assad’s air force sought to strike a rebel arms depot in Idlib province — a military target. The hypothesis goes further, saying that the depot contained phosgene and chlorine gas, but not Sarin. The wind carried these released gases among civilian homes and streets in Khan Sheikhoun. People suffered and died. Evidence for the absence of Sarin gas is that the gassing victims were handled manually by doctors and aid workers in street clothes. Sarin can kill on skin contact and doctors have to treat it in protective gear. So, maybe the gas wasn’t Sarin and maybe it wasn’t dropped in bombs from Assad’s planes. But, like the pipeline angle of the story, this hypothesis is missing in the media triumvirate’s pages.
President Trump was lauded mostly for the missile strike against the Syrian air force base that followed. The Dem/Progs and The New York Times gave him brownie points, if only for it being a swipe against Russia. It seemed so clever, what with Chinese President Xi Jinping at the Mar-a-Lago dinner table where, presumably, the subject of the maniac in North Korea came up. Days later, a US aircraft carrier group steamed to the waters off Kim Jong Un’s fortress state. Which brings forth another hypothesis: that the Syria missile strike was solely a demonstration of US military will vis-a-vis the more ominous threat over in Asia — an attempt to get Xi to do something about the Kim Jong Un before we do.
It’ll be interesting to see how that plays out. The big fear is that in the event of a rumble, Kim will turn Seoul into an ashtray. The South Korean capital is only a few miles from the DMZ between the two states. The US couldn’t find a jucier enemy than Kim Jong Un, a character so improbable he might have been dreamed up in a Batman comic. Hence, he’s comprehensible to an American public that more and more looks like the ever-present crowd of perplexed bystanders in a Batman movie.
* * *
I was quite surprised to hear that a podcast called “S-Town,” about the dark doings in an Alabama backwater, had become a huge hit on the Web-waves. Back around 2012-2013, I had some email correspondence from John B. McLemore, the tragic figure at the center of the series. He was a real person, referred to by various people in the series as “brilliant,” “a genius,” “a real character,” and he was for sure.
Apparently, he was also a fan of my books. He got my phone number off my website and took to calling me on the phone. I probably had a dozen long phone conversations with him. Hours. It is well-known now that he called his home of Woodstock, Alabama, “Shit-town.” He regaled me with many a sordid tale of the home-folk, and even of himself. The place sounded like Hieronymus Bosch meets Dogpatch. Since John B seemed so unhappy under his mask of hilarity and mirth, I tried to encourage him to think about moving. He always had an excuse for not doing that, but clearly John B and the neighbors he disdained, fought with, looked for love with, had a synergistic thing going. They needed each other to play out their never-ending crazy scripts of cracker mischief, vengeance, and failure. After a while, John B went dark. I thought he’d just gotten tired of me telling him to move.
I was startled to hear in the second episode of the “S-Town” podcast that John B had made good on his constant intimations of suicide. Startled, but not especially surprised. He was more than a fish out of water. He was like a Martian suffocating in an atmosphere too heavy for him. I suspect the truth is there are thousands of places like “S-Town” all over America, places devastated by the poor choices of the last several generations — most particularly the way they threw away their livelihoods and surrendered to one vice after another in boredom, defeat, and self-loathing. It’s a very sad story and it’s not over yet by a long shot.
(Support Kunstler’s writing by visiting his Patreon Page: https://www.patreon.com/JamesHowardKunstler)
TRUMPENSTEIN’S TOMAHAWK DOG-WAG: ON REAL & FAKE NEWS
by Paul Street
I had five thoughts the minute I heard last Thursday night that the Orange-Tinted Freak Show – the “Unbelievable Baby Man” (Tom Tomorrow) – in the White House had launched 59 Tomahawk missiles into Syria as a response (supposedly) to the Syrian regime’s (alleged) chemical bombing of innocent civilians in the Syrian town of Khan Sheikhoun.
The first thought was that there was something very shady about the claim that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad had crossed the chemical weapon “red line.” Assad handed over his chemical weapons stock for destruction years ago. At the same time, it made no political or military sense for him to have provoked the West by deploying whatever chemical weapons he might have retained (or developed since) against innocents. Hadn’t the Trump administration just signaled that removing Assad was not a U.S. priority? Why would Assad want to mess with that? It didn’t add up.
My second thought was that Trump’s missile attack was very likely an act of theater driven largely by domestic political considerations. Clockwork Orangutan is plagued by incredibly low public approval numbers and a dismal early policy record. That has put him in dire need of a “wag the dog” moment – a “national security” event to rally people around the flag, to make him look like a big decisive and powerful man, and to divert public attention from his failures in Washington. The Syrian thing was perfect in that regard. It was an all-too made-to-order right-on-time pretext. Bombing Syria (well, hurling some missiles at an old Syrian airfield bearing a handful of broken-down Russian jets) would help Herr Donald look like a “man of action” compared to the weak, “do-nothing” Barack Obama, who passed (as Trump urged at the time) on a chance to bomb Syria after a chemical weapons incident there in 2013.
More importantly, Trump’s Tomahawk raid would help him come out from under the cloud of the preposterous Democratic Party and mainstream media charge that he is a tool or at least an ally of Russia. Russia is one of Assad’s critical allies.
My third thought was that it was difficult to take seriously Trump’s claim to have been moved to action by horror at the sight of Arab children and babies being murdered. The orange-haired beast has been more than willing to slaughter Arab women, children and other non-combatants in Yemen and Iraq. The terrible images of Syrian children who have suffered under the civil war there have not driven the vicious Baby Man to reconsider his nativist Muslim travel ban on Syrians. They have not led him to question the broader American policy of keeping all but a few refugees from (the U.S.-devastated) Middle East (and North Africa) out of the U.S.
My fourth thought was that the Democrats and their media allies bear significant responsibility for whatever terrible consequences might follow from Trump’s missile adventure. They have been leading the ridiculous charge that Trump is a Kremlin agent. Surely some of them must have considered the possibility that Trump would be driven to do something to suggest the falsity of the charge by “standing up to Russia.”
My fifth thought is that Trump’s missile spasm was completely illegal under national and international law. He responded without authorization from Congress, with no call for any sober investigation into who and/or what caused the chemical release in Khan Sheikhoun, and with no effort to garner sanction from the United Nations. (There’s nothing surprising about this, of course. Whoever sits in the White House, the U.S. “imperial presidency” has long and routinely trashed national and global law whenever that law doesn’t suit White House purpose.)
I am hardly alone in having such scurrilous if elementary thoughts. Go to the Website of The Real News Network (RNN) and you can watch RNN host Paul Jay interview former Colin Powell chief-of-staff Larry Wilkerson and the prolific American historian Gerald Horne on what’s really going with Trump and Syria. Wilkerson reports hearing from his sources that the Syrian government may well not be responsible for the chemical attack.
Jay, Wilkerson, and Horne all agree that Trump’s criminal act of war is rooted in the very “wag the dog” domestic political considerations I immediately suspected. None of them take seriously the notion that Trump was suddenly driven to act by humanitarian concerns. All of them note that any number of actors other than Assad – including jihadis trying to bring down Assad – might have been the real perpetrators in Khan Sheikhoun.
The Real News Network is a left outlet dedicated to, well…to real news. It is therefore marginalized in the reigning U.S. media landscape, which is all about the fake news of imperial propaganda. The most depressing thing for me about the Trump missile launch last Thursday wasn’t the action itself. It was the reporting and commentary it got in the mainstream television I viewed in the aftermath. Consulting CNN and “P”BS, I was disgusted (though not surprised) to hear outwardly knowledgeable and sophisticated (and deeply indoctrinated) journalists and foreign policy “experts”:
+ Raise no serious questions about the veracity of the chemical bombing allegation.
+ Say nothing whatsoever about the role that domestic political considerations – including desires to boost his approval ratings and to counter Russiagate – certainly played in Trump’s theatrical attack on some Syrian airfields.
+ Take seriously the claim that Trump was driven to act impulsively by moral outrage over the chemical killing of Syrian “children of God.”
The main criticism of the missile attack that I could pick up from the yakking bobble-heads was a faulting of Trump for appearing to have no worked out longer-term strategy behind his action – for acting “impulsively” and “emotionally.” (“P”BS “NewsHour” commentators David Brooks and Mark Shields argued over whether such “impulsivity” was a good thing or not: Brooks liked it “in this case”.) The basic and obvious suspicion that there might have been political calculation (above all a desire to t/Trump Russiagate) behind the missile launch did not seem to cross commentators’ minds at CNN or “P”BS (at least it didn’t during the times I was watching). Trump’s brazen violation of national and international law was completely irrelevant to these power-serving chatterboxes.
MSNBC’s disgraceful imperial cheerleader Brian Williams set a new standard for obsequious war worship. “We see these beautiful pictures, at night, from the decks of these two U.S. Navy vessels in the eastern Mediterranean,” Williams ejaculated during a Thursday night broadcast. The anchor even quoted a line from Leonard Cohen, “I am guided by the beauty of our weapons.” Williams continued: “They are beautiful pictures of fearsome armaments making what is for them a brief flight over to this air field.”
It’s hard to imagine a corporate media operative sinking any lower than that. But CNN’s official in-house foreign policy guru, the suave globalist Fareed Zakaria, may have done so. “I think,” Zakaria proclaimed last Friday, “Donald Trump became President of the United States last night.” It was what CounterPunch’s Jeffrey St. Clair calls “yet more proof of the old maxim that you’re not really CEO of the Empire until you’ve killed a bunch of people in a foreign country.” (Though in fact, as St Clair noted, Trump drew his first blood in Yemen last February).
It’s one thing to have an openly disgraced buffoon like Brian Williams (who was kicked off his anchor position atop the NBC Nightly News two years ago for embellishing his overseas reporting with fake claims of having faced enemy fire) wax with sexualized glee over Baby Man’s dog-wagging military thrusts. It’s another and far worse thing for Zakaria to lend his imperial gravitas to Trump’s sordid projectile escapade, which reportedly moved the Kremlin to disconnect the U.S.-Russia “deconfliction line” – a communication channel meant to help prevent the thermonuclear self-elimination of homo sapiens.
I was on a television-equipped elliptical machine at the University of Iowa Recreation Center when I learned that the Orange Haired Beast had gone Tomahawk. As I got got off the machine I suggested to a young lady college student working out next to me that she “turn for a second to CNN. I think Trump could be starting World War III.” She screwed up her face and disgust and said “who cares? I don’t pay attention to that crap.”
That statement might seem criminally apathetic but it makes a certain amount of sense to me. The dominant U.S. media is a relentless purveyor of endless bullshit on numerous levels but with especially noxious distortion when it comes to U.S “foreign affairs” – an overly polite establishment term for American imperialism. To use a favorite term from the Trump era, it’s fake news. We need real news – like on the Real News Network.
The more you watch of U.S. “mainstream” news coverage without an eye trained to detect propaganda, the dumber and more dangerous to the world and yourself you get. The planet is probably better off without young Americans watching CNN or “P”BS. Now if we could get more of them to care about what they can learn at places like CounterPunch and the Real News Network and other left and actual news sites.
(Paul Street’s latest book is They Rule: The 1% v. Democracy (Paradigm, 2014). Courtesy, CounterPunch.org)
PACIFIC FISHERY MANAGEMENT COUNCIL VOTES TO CLOSE PACIFIC SARDINE FISHERY FOR THE THIRD YEAR IN A ROW
Sacramento, California – The Pacific Fishery Management Council today announced the continued closure of the Pacific sardine directed fishery through June 30, 2018. This is the third annual closure in a row for this fishery.
Council members heard from scientists that the abundance forecast for the 2017‐ 2018 season, scheduled to start July 1, was significantly below the 150,000 metric ton threshold for a directed fishery. They also considered testimony from fishery participants and environmental groups before reaching a decision to close the directed fishery.
Small amounts of sardines may be taken incidental to target fishing on other stocks, and a small harvest amount was allocated to the Quinault Indian Nation along the mid‐ Washington coast.
“This represents a real hardship for coastal communities that depend on sardines and other coastal pelagic species. However, there are signs that the sardine population is increasing, so we’re hopeful there will be some fishing opportunity for next year,” said Council Chair Herb Pollard.
Sardines are subject to large natural population swings associated with ocean conditions. In general, sardines thrive in warm water regimes, such as those of the
1930s, and decline in cool water years, like the 1970s. After reaching a recent year peak of about one million metric tons in 2006, the sardine biomass1 has dropped to an estimated 86,586 metric tons in 2017.
The Council takes a precautionary approach to managing Pacific sardines. When the fish are abundant, more fishing is allowed; but as the stock size declines, the amount of allocated to harvest decreases. When the biomass is estimated at or below 150,000 metric tons, directed commercial fishing is shut down.
Although directed commercial fishing will close, the Council will allow up to 8,000 tons of sardines to account for small amounts taken as incidental catch in other fisheries (such as mackerel), live bait harvest, Tribal harvest, and research.
The sardine biomass is assessed annually, and the fishing year runs July 1 through June 30. Although sardine fishing hasn’t generated the money that some other fisheries have in recent years, it is an important source of income for communities up and down the west coast.
The allowable harvest in recent years has been as high as 109,000 metric tons (2012), but has dropped as the biomass has dropped. In 2013 the harvest guideline was 66,495 mt, and in 2014 it was 23,293 mt. Since July 2015, the harvest guideline has been zero.
The Pacific Fishery Management Council is one of eight regional fishery management councils established by the Magnuson Fishery Conservation and Management Act of 1976 for the purpose of managing fisheries 3‐200 miles offshore of the United States of America coastline. The Pacific Council recommends management measures for fisheries off the coasts of California, Oregon, and Washington. All Council meetings are open to the public.
On the Web
Pacific Fishery Management Council: http://www.pcouncil.org
Coastal Pelagic Species Stock Assessment and Fishery Evaluation document (historical information): http://tinyurl.com/lzs3f2n