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MCT: Monday, May 11, 2020

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LIGHT TO OCCASIONALLY MODERATE RAIN, much cooler temperatures, and breezy south winds are expected today. Additional periods of showers are expected through Thursday with a dry day expected on Friday. More rain is possible for the weekend and early next week. (NWS)

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THE 2020 FIRE SEASON HAS BEGUN. A truck dragging a loose chain caused four or five spot fires along about a quarter mile of Highway 101 north of Ukiah near Calpella Saturday afternoon. Evacuation warnings were issued as passersby tried to stomp out some of the embers and smoke billowed over Ukiah Valley. The fires eventually merged and grew to an estimated 12-13 acres before crews extinguished the fires about 6:30 Saturday afternoon. No structures were threatened or burned. 

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(photo by Larry Wagner)

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The Garden Section of AV Unity Club will be selling plants again this Friday, May 15 at the Boonville Farmers’ Market. These plants would have been sold at the (cancelled) Spring Wildflower Show the end of April. This plant sale is the annual fundraiser for our High School scholarship.

We still have rosemary, several varieties of iris, two varieties of milkweed, verbena, lambs ear, rose geranium, scilla, narcissus, feijoa (pineapple guava,) artemesia, santolina, yarrow, salvia, wild ginger, violets, english black peppermint, many varieties of succulents and various other plants.

Two of the other vendors still have lots of veggie starts and the produce is coming in now, as well. You can find the Farmers’ Market in the Disco Ranch (old Aquarelle) parking lot in Boonville, Fridays 4-6 pm. The market is a mask required event and social distancing is adhered to.

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Elk's "The Little Town That Can" pandemic grocery program is in need of your help. Do you have extra produce? Do you like to bake? We could use fresh-baked goods. Bread, zucchini bread, banana bread. Cookies. Canned goods. Peanut butter. I encourage you to work together on baking. If you can make a donation of money that would be most appreciated. We are the little town that can. Info: please email; phone 877- 3285.

I will be at Queenie’s on Monday and Fridays for drop off 2pm till 4pm. If this does not work for you email me. Donations can be made to the Greenwood Civic Club, P.O.Box 282, Elk, CA 95432

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(photo by Larry Wagner)

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Mendocino County is easing shelter-in-place restrictions, but cannot maximize loosening as allowed under the Governor's new order due to insufficient testing capabilities.

We have averaged 24/tests per day under a mix of contracted support from Sonoma County's public health lab and temporary state coordinated resources.

Based on our population, in order to fully reopen as allowed by California Phase 2, we must certify a capacity to test the required 135 people per day. Other counties are in a similar position and have responded by scaling up their public health laboratories.

We don't have a public health laboratory to scale up. Staff has been working to identify excess capacity elsewhere, but as of now, no plans are in place.

With a required formula of 1.5 tests/day per 1,000 residents, all counties are rushing to meet their own needs. The state has 80 mobile testing labs ready to address 'testing islands.' We should qualify, but we have yet to receive a mobile lab. We have specimen supplies, staff ready to gather specimens, but no dedicated lab. Mendocino County is a lab testing desert.

This will impact our economic recovery and public health wellbeing. To fact check staff, I've contacted test device manufacturers. Backorders are presently at approximately two months (plus integration for a county that has not operated such units) and growing. Without state assistance, our economy will be further impacted. This is for the PCR testing necessary to meet requirements.

Direct your support for state assistance to meet our state-mandated testing requirement to Dr. Dean. I ask that while your expression be appropriately firm, we remain respectful of our state partners. The message needs to be conveyed, but in a manner that will continue to strengthen relationships. I see other counties violating state direction and I shake my head, wondering how successful they'll be in securing disaster and recovery dollars.


Dr. Charity Dean, Co-Chair of the State Testing Task Force

email address:

Here's an example of what to say:

Hello, Dr. Charity Dean. Our Mendocino County’s economy depends on tourism, and we can’t open up to tourism until we can test 135 people a day. Currently, we are only able to test 24 per day because we have NO LAB in our county and must therefore send our tests to other, already over-burdened counties.

PLEASE help Mendocino County get its own public health lab so we can do the required testing and eventually revitalize our battered economy.

Thank you, Dr. Dean, in advance for any help you can offer.


We need testing capability to start reopening. We have supplies and staff but no dedicated lab. The Governor said this would NOT happen to any region. Email and let them know we need testing capacity now! You can address your comments to Dr. Charity Dean, Co-Chair of the State Testing Task Force. #COVID19Mendo

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Mendocino County Supervisor John McCowen has publicly taken me to task for comments I posted in response to his online remarks about the county's current lack of COVID19 testing. I questioned his call for the governor to allow local public health officials rather than the state to decide guidelines for economic reopening. I've decided to respond.

May 10 - Well, John, I've known you for a long time so I felt free to express my concerns and opinions. Thanks for your clarification. Now let me add mine. I wasn't "falsely implying" you were endangering people. I was critical of the rhetoric that seemed to me to be echoing some of the clamor being made in Yuba-Sutter to push ahead no matter state guidelines. I understand the argument about a 'testing desert' but the fact is that a decade ago Mendocino County had a public health lab for testing. It was shut down then for cost reasons. Maybe the right call, but it seems clear that when the pandemic began to spread earlier this year, Mendocino County should have known that testing requirements would be impossible to meet locally. I've heard nothing but praise for Dr. Doohan's role in the local response to date. However, I am not the only person whose eyebrows shot up after reading about the public health director that you and other board members hired to replace her. What do you expect when we read public health employees in Las Vegas, Nevada cheered Dr. Joe Iser's departure, and his six-year tenure there was described as 'polarizing'? What other reaction do you expect to your argument that local decisions regarding reopening should rest with Dr. Iser? I hope the county's testing issue is resolved at this late date. It would be a shame for our valued local businesses to be hampered in their bid to reopen. I am a loyal supporter, as you should know, of all of them.

PS. My community commitment is clear to people who know me. Mendocino Book Co. is a classic example of local businesses that should be allowed to reopen with necessary precautions in place. More importantly, I find it interesting that you sidestepped the local testing issue, and pivoted to big box vs local. June is less than a month away. Is the testing issue going to be resolved by then?


I'm not sidestepping the testing issue at all. We need more capacity for getting testing results in a timely manner. We also need State help to achieve that. As well as recognition that our vastly different population density, patterns of workplace commute and lack of mass transit mean that a different standard for daily testing is appropriate for Mendocino County.

I'm glad to see you now agree with me that you should be able to walk into Mendocino Book Company to buy a book. Since that would require a local variation not allowed for in the Governor's statewide order does that mean you now agree with me that Dr. Doohan should have the authority to make reasonable adjustments based on local conditions and experience?

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"Main reduction gear (MRG)--reduces the high-power turbine speed to a lower usable shaft speed." (Navy Aviation Manual)

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I've transcribed an article from the ICO about the pier reopening.

What is it with Mendocino County and their screwball way of defining rules, laws or just going about general business? If there is a way to make things more complicated, confusing and cumbersome they take that route every time.

Yeah, now you can kayak but you can't park in the parking lot. Instead you need to park on the side of the road before the barrier and haul your kayak a fair distance to the beach.

Independent Coast Observer, May 8 2020

Point Arena Opens Pier For Sport Fishing

By Bryan Cebulski,

The city of Point Arena will now allow sportfishing off Arena Pier as long as fishers obtain a pass and follow rules to comply with the county's shelter-in-place order.

The Point Arena city council unanimously agreed to this decision at its April meeting.

According to the provisions passed by the council, sport fishing passes are issued by Point Arena City Hall and are valid for 30 days. Trading passes in prohibited

Fishers must live within 20 miles of the pier and have ability to show proof of residence.

Launches will take place between 7 and 9 a.m. and retrievals between 2 and 4 p.m. Arrivals after 9 a.m. may not be launched. The regular launch fee applies, as well as a $50 charge per hour for staff time outside of the 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. window.

Social distancing guidelines must still be obeyed. Fishers must maintain six feet distance between each other and wear facial coverings.

To best insure social distancing, only two to three people will be allowed per boat, depending on size, and all passengers must share the same residence to comply with the county health order. No mixed residence crews will be allowed.

The city also requests parties of more than one person give advanced notice the day before the launch.

The city can terminate a pass at any time for health and safety concerns or for not adhering to the above rules. Frequent violation of the rules can result in the closure of the program altogether.

The pier has been open to commercial fishing since shelter-in-place took effect in March as it is considered an essential business activity. The commercial salmon fishery from Point Arena south to San Francisco opened Wednesday.

According to a draft released by Mendocino County on May 4, the updated public health order to be released on Friday will likely allow surfing, kayaking and canoeing from the pier as well. 

If allowed, all equipment will be haul-in only as there is still no parking available at the cove. Kayaks and canoes will also have to be launched from the beach to prevent excessive use of the hand hoist on the pier.

Surfing, kayaking and canoeing from the pier are not guarenteed as the order has not been finalized as the ICO goes to press. Readers should check the final order when it is released.

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The new health order by our absentee health officer now allows landscaping and gardening work, but only if it is not for purely aesthetic purposes. This seems completely arbitrary – who is going to decide whether your gardening activities are for aesthetic purposes? The sheriff? What does this have to do with public health and preventing the spread of Covid? It is these types of proclamations that piss people off and make you feel like your fundamental rights are being violated. If one is practicing safe physical distancing while gardening, who cares if the work is aesthetic or not? What a crock.

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I’m stunned to read the dismal arguments by the anti-sheltering protesters. Signs such as “Sonoma County has 248 cases — it’s not an epidemic” or “The curve is flat — now open up!” show a level of ignorance that would make Homer Simpson blush.

The epidemic is being slowed by the very policies these buffoons are protesting against. Since when was it a good idea to stop doing something that is working so well in a time of crisis? Perhaps they could move to Georgia. They’d certainly get little required sheltering and COVID-19 infection rates almost three times as high as in California.

Our curve is flat in Sonoma County because of clear, aggressive policies by our health leaders and a willingness to support those policies by the vast majority of citizens. Let’s keep it that way.

Paul Jolly

Santa Rosa

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by David Wilson

“Roads? Where we’re going, we don’t need — roads.” - Doc, Back to the Future II.

One of the more challenging visualizations for me is to imagine looking at the Solar System from a point above it in outer space, far enough out that the Sun is but a bright point of light below. With no inhibiting sunlight the stars are bright all around us; we see deep into the Cosmos wherever we turn. The Milky Way’s misty path forms an incredible ring encircling us completely, from its thick, dense core region in one direction to the thinnest stretches on our opposite side.

Suspended above the Solar System, there is no day or night for us, and time can almost stand still as we hang here in space. But there is movement around the little Sun below us, and where there is movement, there must be time.

The Solar System is tiny from way out where we float, but as we move slowly closer we begin to see the planets as points of light, each following its own elliptical tour around the Sun. They trace their paths, carving their life songs like grooves on the cosmic record. From distant Pluto, planet or not, so far away on the outskirts that it takes almost 250 of our years to complete its circuit, down to little speedster Mercury, the closest to the Sun, which, comparatively, careens crazily round and round in its quick 87-day orbit for the shortest year of all the planets. 

We watch the planets traveling unceasingly along their paths beneath us. Follow them with your mind’s eye. Each one is a point of brightness orbiting the Sun, marking time by its passage like the many hands of a great cosmic clock — and indeed this is exactly that, a cosmic clock. Unhurried, we marvel at the beauty of our little Solar System and its wonderful intricacies.

Moving in more closely, we see that the planets are more than mere points of light, they are globes. The sunward side of each is brightly illuminated, while the side opposite is forever cast in shadow. Imagine for a moment standing on the sunlit surface of one of the planets: the sky is an impenetrable dome of light dominated by the blinding brightness of the Sun. You can see nothing through it. But place yourself on the darkened, night side of any of the planets and the sky becomes a clear window looking far into the Cosmos, revealing a myriad of stars, planets, and other celestial phenomena. But you cannot see all of space from here, for the night side is a window that only faces in one direction. 

From back in our position above the Solar System, we can see that the night side of any of the planets always faces opposite the sun, while for us, hanging here in our privileged position outside of the Solar System, we enjoy a view deep into the Universe, equally brilliant and detailed in every direction. We could become lost in the beauty of the infinite Cosmos from here. But down on a planet’s surface, the view from the night side is limited to only that part of space which is opposite from the Sun. Deprived of most of the view as they are forever to be, a sadness heavies our heart for the planet-bound.

But looking down at the Solar System, seeing the planets circling the sun, we take heart knowing that in half a year, the planet-bound people will be on the other side of the sun where their nighttime window opens in the opposite direction to an entirely different view. And, of course, incrementally in between, the view changes ever so slightly night by night.

Wait, though — there may be another wrinkle to imagining the night-side view, for with our phenomenal powers of sight, we discern that the planets are not necessarily spinning on axes parallel to their orbital axes. Take Earth, for instance, the third planet out from the Sun. From our place out here above the Solar System, we see that the axis of Earth’s rotation is tilted about 23º off from the axis of its orbit. This gives it a topsy-turvy view as it orbits, with its northerly side facing the sun for half of the year, and its southerly side facing it the rest of the year. On the opposite side of the planet, the night side window for anyone on the surface is similarly scanning the heavens in an up and down motion, changing only minutely each night, as it sweeps the sky during the course of a planet’s full revolution around the sun. The view shifts almost as if Earth were a bobber bobbing in space, relative to the sun. It’s why the sun rises and sets farther to the south in the winter and farther to the north in summer.

You see that, don’t you? 

From early May through late fall, Earth’s nighttime window for the northern hemisphere opens onto a breathtaking view straight to the very center of our galaxy. We see the Galactic Core as the most richly detailed stretch of the Milky Way, which is that misty band that stretches across the sky for which our galaxy is named. Gazing out through that window each night, it is plain the true picture of the Universe is greater than any visualization of which we are capable.

One path leads to another… In late April, one must get up pretty early in the morning for a window like this one out into the Universe. Dawn is brightening the sky on the eastern horizon as the Galactic Core sweeps across the sky in a vain attempt to outrun the light of day in this view from a country road in Humboldt County, California. Photographed on April 24, 2020 at 04:55 a.m.

Each year at this time, the stars will be exactly as you see them here. Only the planets will be in new positions in the sky. Photographed at 4:55 a.m. on April 24, 2020 Humboldt County, California.

Three months later, and six hours earlier, than in the country road photograph, the Milky Way will be in the same position that it was over the country road: though shot last year, this image shows the night sky on July 22 at 10:54 p.m. It is a calendar difference of almost precisely three months, and six hours earlier in the night, and it shows the Milky Way in the same position in the sky. It’s no coincidence that six hours is one quarter of the day, and three months is one quarter of the year: after a full trip around the clock, and a full year later, the sky will be the same again — except for the planets, which move independently from the stars relative to us. Fascinating.

Foreground: US 101, the Redwood Highway south of Scotia, Humboldt County, California. 101 passes over the Eel River at the far end of this stretch.

To keep abreast of David Wilson’s most current photography or purchase a print, visit or contact him at his website or follow him on Instagram at @david_wilson_mfx .

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UKIAH VALLEY from the PG&E FireCam

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by Tommy Wayne Kramer 

The biggest puzzle in all of Ukiah, and one that everyone recognizes and no one talks about, is the Lucky Supermarket.

This is no small feat in a town that has many puzzles, starting with A) the perplexing number of Ohioans who have relocated here, and B) the very high cost of buying a house. But Lucky’s, being in our midst and awareness 365 days a year, is the puzzlingest of all.

Lucky’s is the supermarket with the best parking, the best freeway access, the best interior lighting, the best beer cooler, and the fewest customers. By far.

To walk through Ukiah’s Lucky Supermarket is to get the slightly anxious, Twilight Zone-y vibe that Something Is Wrong. Why is it empty? Why isn’t anyone shopping here today? Or tomorrow, if you decide to go back to Lucky again tomorrow. Or yesterday. You get the idea.

And at Lucky you get the same idea every time. A few weeks back, at the start of this whole shelter-in-place thing that I’m-so-over-and-done-with I dropped into the Lucky store for maybe the second or third time in a year. Nothing had changed.

The aisles are bright and fully stocked yet with no more customers than an MTA bus at rush hour. There might be someone in the produce department, which is just another way of saying there might not.

Canned goods? You’ve got the aisle to yourself and also the aisles with coffee, cereal and laundry soap.

Lucky’s is the right supermarket choice if you’re in a bit of a hurry, and who isn’t in a hurry to get out of a grocery store? At Lucky you spend hardly any time at all in the checkout line because you are the only one in it.

The beer cooler, mentioned previously, is worth visiting even if you aren’t in need of groceries. It’s a big, glassed walk-in room where kegs are kept cold and beer is stacked facing doors the shoppers access.

In the old days, the hot days, the 104-degrees in August days, our local deadbeats, drunks, losers and newspaper columnists were rumored to slip inside the chilly beer cooler room. There, surrounded by kegs and cases, it was possible to surreptitiously pop open a 16-ounce Olympia or a quart of Schlitz Malt Liquor, down it in 15 seconds and walk back out refreshed and perhaps a bit staggered.

Are we talking about “Lucky” and beer? Well it just so happens the long-lost brand of Lucky Lager beer, that inexpensive brew we all sipped daintily from champagne flutes way back when, has staged a comeback. There it is, Lucky Lager itself, reincarnated as a pricey craft beer, available right now at Safeway. Tell ‘em Tommy sent you and maybe they’ll give you a free bag of fried pork rinds to go with your six-pack.

So what is the problem at Lucky’s if the location is ideal and the crowds are nonexistent? Are prices too high? Not by my nonchalant, uninformed estimate, no. I don’t comparison shop and I can’t tell you if fruit-flavored PopTarts are a nickel more at Raley’s or bricks of Velveeta cheese are a buck less at Safeway. I think everything pretty much evens out between the three stores.

But if you want to pay extra for food, the Ukiah Co-Op is the place to go, and if you’re looking to save money, the Grocery Outlet is lowest by far. The Co-Op’s beer selection is for people who don’t drink beer. Proof: Where are the 18-packs? Where are the 40-ouncers?

So call me a Lucky convert. I’ve thought it over and Lucky is the grocery store in my future. The advantages are as enumerated and I’m not aware of any drawbacks. Maybe after visiting Lucky’s a dozen times it will dawn on me why I’m the only shopper. If so I will alert you of my findings.

Panicdemic update

If the next Big Deadly Flu targets and devastates places like Montana, Wyoming, the Dakotas, Omaha, Covelo and the Texas panhandle do you think everyone in New York, LA, ‘Frisco and Boston will shut down their stores, schools and businesses? Do you think anyone in Miami or Denver will do the shelter-in-place dance because people are sick and dying in Nutsack, Alabama or East Phlegm, Nevada?

But because COVID-19 is knocking on Brooklyn’s door means we have to close shoe stores in Nebraska, schools in Alaska and every golf course in Ukiah?

(Tom Hine is the author of these fine paragraphs but he lets his imaginary friend Tommy Wayne Kramer take credit. Together they marvel at the speed marijuana went from being Illegal to being Essential, which is pot’s present status among the COVIDiots who decide such things. The Planning Commission is holding a special meeting next week to consider an application for a cannabis shop. It will be right downtown and it will be Ukiah's 500th weed emporium. Courtesy, the Ukiah Daily Journal.)

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This is what social distancing looks like (not like the hordes at the bridge by Hendy!!).

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FESSES UP. Secretary of the Treasury Mnuchin said Sunday that the true unemployment numbers are more like 25 per cent, 3 per cent higher than the current stats demonstrate, and overall Great Depression numbers. Apparently, the administration is waiting to see what kind of economic effect the $1200 checks have had, another demonstration of how far out of touch these people are with the true economy of the country.

HEARTENING, though to see rent strikes popping up in LA and on the East Coast, but so far the Bay Area is quiet. Some of the big landlords have agreed to suspend rents, some haven't.

TRUMP has announced a $3 billion food buy - part of April's $16 billion farmer assistance program - would begin next week, one more indication that ruling circles are at least partly aware that the national food supply is more precarious than they thought. The ramifications of the plague are unending and unanticipated, with government playing constant catch-up

MENDO'S new Health Officer, the well traveled Dr. Joe Iser, is still subject to approval by the Supervisors. Meaning he's probably a shoo-in since the Supes aren't known for their independence from Ma Angelo. In his defense, CEO Angelo says the media reports, primarily a Las Vegas evening tv news documentary, isn't necessarily true. And, she said, it was the only one, which is not the case. The doc himself has unconvincing answers for each of the charges against him, none of them criminal in nature but indicate ethical flexibility unto no limit elasticity, certainly. If the charges are untrue, the Doc could have retired on a big libel pay day, but he never bothered to publicly refute anything until the Mendo public began questioning the wisdom of hiring him.

THE ACCUSATIONS include: Not showing up for work while traveling to places as far as San Francisco where he has a home and having a secretary open and shut doors and turn lights on and off to make it appear he was in the office while earning a $325k per year base salary plus $32k of vacation he never used; creating bad staff morale in several previous positions he’s held; firing two employees for filing whistleblower complains; entering false numbers into an HIV tracking system to gain increased funding; creating a non-profit where he could work after retiring; and creating private dossiers on employees.

LIKE we really need to gin up trouble with the Chinese on top of internal disarray? A report in the German equivalent of the NYT, Der Spiegel, claims Chinese President Xi Jinping personally asked World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom in January to "delay a global warning" about the threat of COVID-19, and to hold back information about a human-to-human transmission. The WHO released a statement shortly after the publication of the shocking claims, calling them "unfounded and untrue." If true, the news unfortunately bolsters President Trump's assertion that the WHO is "China-centric." 

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CATCH OF THE DAY, May 10, 2020

Coleman, Elder, Freitas

JACOB COLEMAN, Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.

SAVANNAH ELDER, Fort Bragg Domestic abuse, protective order violation, controlled substance, paraphernalia.

BRANDON FREITAS, Fort Bragg. DUI-alcohol&drugs, protective order violation.

Guillory, Lowe, Nash

JEROME GUILLORY, Willits. Domestic battery, disobeying court order.

JAMES LOWE, Ukiah. Controlled substance, failure to appear, probation revocation.

JEREMY NASH, Ukiah. Resisting.

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I am a retired RN, I have seen this in operation, tertiary care level. I am an advocate of Medicare for all, but only because competitive forces do not exist in health care. One of the symptoms of our modern day gimme society is the expectation of perfect health for everyone. Health care is a monopoly, forced into that mold by insurance companies financing the MDs and the tertiary care system. Health care is a utility, like electricity or water.

Cities regulate their power companies or water suppliers because there is no competition.

Health care has entered this form. Politics demand cradle to grave care for everyone. Under this mode, there is no competition. Healthcare becomes a utility. That demands regulation to prevent price gouging.

Currently, the US is running open loop, there are no controls. Supply and demand run the price levels. With HC, there is infinite demand and very carefully controlled supply, which keeps the price up. Higher prices, more participants, more insurance, more MDs, nurses, hospitals and everyone wants to jump on the bandwagon, to get their piece of the pie. I did! I admit it.

That is the rub. Regulate demand and supply and the price will drop. Excess capital generation will drop, research will decrease. The rewards to MDs going through school will decline as their ability to change large fees will decline. Where single payer has been implemented, ie everywhere else, service has declined in elective care. The Elite hate the idea of healthcare retreating to emergent care priority, where do they get their plastic surgery, Botox, fat reduction, knee replacements, etc. etc. The freedom to exploit the supply and demand situations is why most research, most drug development has occurred here. If profit motives do not excite the populace, they do not take the risk of entrepreneurship.

Without the profit motive, health care will wane into a utility class institution. Unfortunately, with the world and it’s people where they are today, that is where it is heading.

The Coronavirus reaction around the world is the perfect example of this. In normal mode, the health services are slow but good enough to satisfy the public. When catastrophic need occurs, the resources are just not there. The second perfect example is PPE, when the HC system requires a certain level of need, the system sets up a supply chain at a certain level at the cheapest level possible. The result is China provides the world with PPE. When the virus hit, there was not enough manufacturing capability anywhere to fill the immediate need. I hope the US and Europe learned something from this virus.

BTW, the country that stepped up and has provided the world with the required health care production is the US, along with the research into vaccines and drugs. The price of socialized medicine is the loss of the excess capacity that is needed when emergencies occur. That is what Europe has learned.

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Woman passenger in a 1910 taxi cab, New York 

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by Jim Shields

At his daily COVID-19 pressers on Monday, May 4, and Thursday, May 7, Governor Gavin Newsom announced that based on the state’s progress in “meeting metrics tied to indicators,” the state can begin to move into Stage 2 of modifying the stay at home order this Friday, May 8, with guidelines released Thursday, May 7. Newsom released a “report card” showing how the state has made progress in fighting COVID-19 in a number of categories such as stabilized hospitalization and ICU numbers and acquiring PPEs.

“Millions of Californians answered the call to stay home and thanks to them, we are in a position to begin moving into our next stage of modifying our stay at home order,” said Newsom. “But make no mistake — this virus isn’t gone. It’s still dangerous and poses a significant public health risk. As we move into the next stage of reopening, we will do so with updated guidance to help qualifying businesses make modifications needed to lower the risk of COVID-19 exposure to customers and workers. Californians should prepare now for that second stage of reopening.”

His plan calls for reopening economic and institutional sectors in four stages:

Stage 1: Everyone is either staying at home or a member of the essential workforce. This is the stage we are in now, and will stay in until a modification to the statewide stay-at-home order.

Stage 2: Reopening lower risk workplaces, including:

• Non-essential manufacturing (toys, furniture, clothing, etc.)

• Schools

• Childcare facilities

• Retail businesses for curbside pick-up

• Offices where working remotely isn’t possible, but can be modified to make the environment safer for employees

Stage 3: Reopening higher risk workplaces, which require close proximity to other people, including:

• Hair salons

• Nail salons

• Gyms

• Movie theaters

• Sporting events without live audiences

• In-person religious services (churches and weddings)

Stage 4: Ending the stay-at-home order, which would allow for the reopening of:

• Concert venues

• Convention centers

• Sporting events with live audiences

On Thursday, May 7, Newsom released a “public health guidance” for certain Stage 2 sectors including some retail, manufacturing, and logistics businesses, which outline modifications that lower the risk of viral transmission. Businesses and employers in those sectors will be able to reopen anytime after May 8 — if they can meet the guidelines provided by the state. Some examples of businesses that can open with modifications include bookstores, clothing stores, florists and sporting goods stores.

Early Stage 2 openings do not include offices, seated dining at restaurants, shopping malls or schools. As discussed here last week, the state continues to work with local school districts and the state Dept. of Education on a plan emphasizing the safest ways to reopen schools. Newsom has indicated previously that the earliest openings would not occur until late summer.

In the transition from Stage 1 (where we are now) to Stage 2, counties can opt to keep more restrictive measures in place based on their local conditions, and Newson said he expects some counties to retain their tougher shelter-in-place orders beyond May 8.

Newsom also announced that counties can move more quickly through Stage 2, if they attest that they meet the state’s readiness criteria. Counties must create and submit a readiness plan which the state will make publicly available.

Newsom signed an executive order on Monday directing the State Public Health Officer to establish criteria to determine whether and how, in light of local conditions, local health officers may implement public health measures less restrictive than the statewide public health directives. In order to move ahead, counties must:

• Have no more than one new case of coronavirus per 10,000 people in the last two weeks.

• Have no COVID-19-related deaths in the last two weeks.

• Have a minimum daily testing capacity of 1.5 per 1,000 residents.

• Be able to provide support to essential workers who become sick or exposed to the coronavirus.

• Have the availability of disinfectant and personal protective equipment for essential workers.

• Have at least 15 contact tracers per 100,000 residents.

• Have the ability to house at least 15 percent of homeless residents.

In addition, counties must have:

• Either county- or regional-level capacity to accommodate a minimum surge of 35 percent.

• A robust plan to protect their hospital workforce.

• More than two weeks’ supply of personal protective equipment on-hand for skilled nursing facilities.

• Metrics in place that can serve as triggers for slowing the pace of reopening or tightening modifications.

Newsom said that further guidelines on how counties can achieve these variances will be released next Tuesday.

Not interested in waiting for any additional variances from Newsom, an organization representing barbershops and hair salons in California filed a lawsuit on Thursday against the state over the shelter-in-place orders that prevent them from doing businesses.

The Professional Beauty Federation of California hired the San Francisco-based Dhillon Law Group that is leading other legal battles against the state over the shutdown.

Fred Jones, legal counsel and lobbyist for the federation, said

California is home to some half-million licensed barbers and cosmetologists and they have closed their businesses and supported the shelter-in-place order to support public health. But when the governor announced that salons won’t be allowed to open until Stage 3 in a four-phased plane, Jones believes the industry became frustrated.

“I think when Governor Newsom came out last week with four very specific stages and said Stage 3 is months not weeks away. I think that freaked out our industry. We had all supported this lock down for the last nearly two months. But more months of this … it’s just not feasible. Most of the salons, and that’s both mom-and-pops and chains, can’t survive.”

I hope we get resolution to this issue quickly, I haven’t had a haircut in nearly three months.

Trump Says Fauci Can Testify In Senate But Not House

President Donald Trump has confirmed Dr. Anthony Fauci will testify next week in front of a Senate Coronavirus committee — but not before the House of Representatives, which he called “a bunch of Trump-haters.”

The White House last week blocked Fauci — the highly respected director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases — from appearing as a witness before Congress, but Trump on Tuesday reversed that decision, at least half-way, you might say.

On Monday, the White House issued a memo to Congress saying that its C-19 Task Force — including Dr. Anthony Fauci and Dr. Deborah Birx — would not be permitted to testify after being requested by the House Appropriations subcommittee.

Fauci will now be allowed to testify next week before the Republican-controlled Senate, but not the Democratic dominated House, after the White House said Fauci “was too busy dealing with the pandemic to appear.” Fauci is slated to appear on May 12 before the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee for a coronavirus-related hearing.

The last time Fauci testified before the House Oversight Committee in March, he “corrected” Trump’s assertions that testing was “great” and the most by any nation. Fauci simply said the federal government had failed when it came to testing.

Trump on Tuesday accused Democrats of wanting his administration to fail and said the House panel had been stacked with lawmakers who were hostile to him.

“They frankly want our situation to be unsuccessful which means death, which means death,” Trump said before departing the White House for a tour of a Honeywell factory producing N95 masks in Phoenix, Arizona.

As I’ve said many times previously, if you tune in to Trump’s daily Coronavirus press conferences, tune out anything that escapes his lips while he’s verbally free-associating with the mainstream press-stenographers, but pay strict attention to what the experts say, that would be, of course, Dr. Fauci and Dr. Birx, of the universally bi-partisan-supported and popular C-19 Task Force.

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

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IT SHOULDN’T TAKE A FULL-PAGE AD to remind people — especially government officials — to respect science in the midst of a pandemic, but what else do you expect when the Christian Right takes over the government? It’s not like anyone should expect common sense or competency. Churches are currently allowed to ignore lock-down rules in some states, and Christians are suing governors elsewhere, while the Republican Party’s attempts to limit the spread of the virus are hampered because efforts are run by a slew of people who know nothing about epidemiology, who don’t want to listen to scientists if it could hurt their own political prospects, and who care more about the “economy” than people’s lives. More people are dying because irrational conservative Christians are in control of the government.

(Rob Anderson, District5Diary)

* * *

MATT LUCAS Condenses BoJo's "Conditional Plan"


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The economy is in free fall but Wall Street is thriving, and stocks of big private equity firms are soaring dramatically higher. That tells you who investors think is the real beneficiary of the federal government’s massive rescue efforts.

* * *


During the heyday of timber framing, builders would use this tool to number beam ends for layout purposes—sort of like "tab A into slot B." If you're ever in an old house with exposed beams, look for gouged out Roman numerals at the beam ends and you'll see the work of a timber scribe. (Popular Mechanics)

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It’s terrible what they tried to do too Michael Flynn, a dedicated veteran of service to the United States, an upstanding and wonderfully good man. But he was close to President Trump and the liberals had to get him so they backed the rotten filthy crooked FBI to get him thrown out. These liberal far left bastards ruin people's lives like they tried to do with Judge Kavanaugh. And President Trump with the Russian probe, A filthy a witch hunt. It's sad that the American people allow this to happen. We used to have politics back in the 60s 50s or 40s or 30s, but they were simple politics. Democrats and Republicans could disagree but they would work it out. Now these politics are trying to ruin our country. The liberal left is trying to take over the United States in a coup! It will backfire on them. The liberal bastards out there involved with this better not turn your backs because you are guilty of treason. And when you ruin people's lives you are breaking the law to the point where we can break the law to come after you. So bad Democrats better stay out of sight. And you liberals better not turn your backs. People are going to fall like flies and bite the dirt or worse. Governor Newsom is so far out there, such a liberal rotten piece of.... Now San Francisco is giving free hotel rooms, free booze, free drugs, free cigarettes, free everything! It was on the liberal Channel 5 news. How far can all this go? 

God bless Donald Trump.

Jerry Philbrick


* * *


* * *



Vladimir Putin’s psychotic servant Benedict Donald is not only the worst “President” in American history, traitor Trump is so demented he actually claims the assassinated Abraham Lincoln had it easy compared to delusional Donald Trump! 

As embarrassingly low as deranged Donald’s I.Q. is, even a mindless moron like Trump knows honest Abe Lincoln would definitely be a Democrat today were Lincoln still alive. (Lincoln was from Illinois after all.) 

”Vote Blue no matter who”, says honest Abe who would have been shocked at the sad sight of racist, right-wing Republican Party terrorist troglodytes flying Confederate flags in Michigan while illegally threatening elected officials with assault weapons. 

And speaking of elected Democrats under assault, several prominent Democratic politicians were recently subjected to multiple failed assassination attempts by an insane Trump fanatic from Florida whose mail bombs failed as completely as traitor Trump’s pathological presidency has. 

Joe Biden for President, folks.

Jake Pickering


* * *


* * *

MARCO MCCLEAN explains Vaccine Reality to MCN poster Alan Haack

Alan, children who died aren't available here to boast about how childhood diseases never did them any harm (besides the weeks and months of suffering). So your experience, while it's your experience, isn't an argument for deliberately exposing kids to possibly crippling and killing diseases in disease-spreading cake-parties, the way people had to do before proper vaccines were developed. 

And you say, "In the 1970s, people started getting very sick after their annual flu shot. That started happening more and more often. An investigation at the time showed that the American drug companies had kept their patents but were having the shots manufactured overseas, where it was cheaper. At that point, having flu shots became optional and, for many, no longer sensible." 

That's not your experience but rather your interpretation and a little creative extrapolation, which is fibbing. Here's a short article that might help:

Note the end: "As for the flu shot today, the CDC writes, if there is any increased risk it is very small, about one in a million. Studies suggest that it is more likely that a person will get GBS (Guillain-Barre syndrome) after getting the flu than after vaccination." 

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  1. Craig Stehr May 11, 2020

    ~Clarifying the Matter, Once and for All~
    “You see a world and the Jivanmukta also sees it, but he sees it differently from what you see it because of the difference of the instrument of perception. For him, an instrument does not exist. He himself is the instrument, and he himself is the object seen. He has become that which he is seeing, and so, it cannot be called ‘seeing’, but it is rather ‘being’.” ~Swami Krishnananda
    Okay everybody, is that clear? Swami Krishnananda is describing the spiritually unified condition: Sahaja Samadhi Avastha…The continuous superconscious state! I am totally relaxed in Honolulu at this time, taking long walks at Waikiki Beach, watching the mind think, sending out my networking messages at night on the computer; am seriously ready to go forth and be active on the front lines of revolutionary ecology and Divine Anarchy and peace & justice. [Nota bene: I don’t care at all who Joe Biden chooses as his running mate. Any woman with a brain would know that it would be political suicide to accept the offer. C’mon, let’s get real…he’s not going to get removed from office (assuming that the Dems are victorious), for mental illness related inability to fulfill his duties, and then the veep would become the first woman president, and secondarily vindicate the previous loss in 2016, etcetera etcetera.] I mean, if you are actually zen enlightened, yoga pumped, Catholic saved, or whatever your trip has been lately, and are ready to intervene in history, check out da blog at, email me at:, but let’s do something already. ;-)

  2. Kathy May 11, 2020

    I’ve noticed that AVA commentators who, just last month were constitutional scholars, are suddenly now infectious disease experts. (Except Philbrick… who is still wallowing in his own pathetic dystopian reality).

  3. Eric Sunswheat May 11, 2020

    The company, which also runs flights to Nantucket, is announcing all pilots, passengers and staff will wear masks and undergo temperature and oxygen-level checks with a pulse oximeter before boarding. Nobody with less than 95 percent oxygen saturation will be allowed to fly. While healthy people have a saturation rate of 95 to 100 percent, doctors have reported seeing COVID-19 patients with levels as low as 50 percent.

  4. Cotdbigun May 11, 2020

    May I suggest an ‘ On The Couch ‘ section a la ‘Catch of the Day ‘

    I nominate Jake Pickering as the first patient and model in regards to the kind pressures one can find relief from by being
    ‘ On The Couch ‘

  5. James Marmon May 11, 2020


    What was it, 2 or 3 months ago that I started sounding the alarm about Mendocino County not having the testing capacity because Angelo and Trotter believed it would be a great savings for the County to close Mendo’s Public Health Lab in 2009? As SEIU 1021 Chapter President at the time I had to deal with this. Angelo was cutting everything, especially mental health. I wanted to save jobs while serving and protecting Mendocino County residents. During this time Angelo was often referred to as the “hatchet woman”. It’s going to be interesting as to what she plans on cutting during this economic downturn, 10 years after.

    “Experience: that most brutal of teachers. But you learn, my God do you learn.”
    -C.S. Lewis

    James Marmon MSW

    • Lazarus May 11, 2020

      I remember your comment. Before the pandemic, it was to the layman an unnecessary, rather obscure luxury service, but now…WTF!
      And my prediction is, the million-dollar Measure B deal is just the beginning if the BoS allows it.
      Measure B will eventually be commandeered under the auspicious of an economic emergency, and as of yesterday, for the third week since the M-B vote, there was no mention of the M-B mil in the Tuesday BoS agenda.
      Be well,

      • James Marmon May 11, 2020

        They’re working on a how they’re going to present it to the BoS. The Oversight Committee voted in the million dollar Measure B deal without a plan in front of them. The Committee’s ad hoc is working on that. They have a task in front of them because each vote on the committee is not equal. Angelo may have the numbers, but Allman’s, Weer’s, Mertle’s and Riley’s votes weight more because they represent the public, where as Angelo’s group represents the Schraeders. The money will most likely be spread among non-profits under the RQMC umbrella so that the Schraeders don’t have to pay them to keep them alive. I don’t imagine there’s a lot of Medi-Cal billing going on right now.

        “RQMC/RCS/RC3 to big to fail”


  6. Lazarus May 11, 2020


    Hey H, is she wearing that Apple Watch?

    Be well,

  7. James Marmon May 11, 2020


    What everyone is missing is that the first Newsom requirement for moving forward to reopening is Epidemiological stability. If Mendo tests 1,890 people within a 2 week period, as required, and 9 of those test come back positive we don’t open things up. More testing may not be better in the long run, we may lose more lives caused by the lockdown itself than we would from the China Virus.

    • Epidemiologic stability: No more than 1 case per 10,000 people in the last 14 days AND no COVID-19 death in the past 14 days.

    (Mendocino County Population 86,749)

    • Testing capacity: Minimum daily testing of 1.5 per 1,000 residents.

    James Marmon MSW
    Former Mental Health Specialist
    Sacramento, Placer, and Lake Counties

  8. Harvey Reading May 11, 2020

    “Joe Biden for President, folks.”

    No thanks. Voting for him is not even “lesser evil” voting. He’s worse.

    • Brian Wood May 11, 2020

      Don’t be ridiculous.

      • Harvey Reading May 11, 2020

        You “lesser evil” voters are the ridiculous ones. We have the likes of you to thank for our current fascist state. The senator from Citibank will continue the trend of increasing authoritarianism that began with Truman’s accession to the throne. Or, maybe you perceive yourself a good little yuppie who in reality is a serf?

        • Brian Wood May 11, 2020

          “Or, maybe you perceive yourself a good little yuppie who in reality is a serf?”

          No, and I don’t disagree with you in a big way, except to say that I see everything is a matter of degree. The “lesser evil” term is a tired and not very useful expression to use if you’re actually interested in how things turn out. I’m with you on most of your opinions. Except I’m not, because I don’t hear you going anywhere constructive with them. What’s your plan, Harvey, other than being so above it all that nothing can touch you? You seem to know that everything is equally fucked but not be able to express what you’d like done about it. Instead of, you know, having a discussion, you try to put people down. It gets old.

    • Marshall Newman May 11, 2020

      Really, Harvey? Biden worse? Now you are being ridiculous. The full damage to the United States caused by Donald Trump’s Presidency will take years to fully comprehend and years more to undo. The only way to get a worse President than Donald Trump is to re-elect him.

      • Harvey Reading May 11, 2020

        Really, Marshall. Really and truly. The guy is a total neoliberal, neanderthal, senile POS. You continue to be oblivious to the damage caused by his predecessors, including those of the so-called democrat persuasion. There are none so blind as those who will not seem, seems an appropriate description of your kind. Enjoy your dream world, while it lasts.

        • Marshall Newman May 11, 2020

          I am aware of Trump’s predecessors and their errors – none of them come close to the damage to the United States he has done. Even President George W. Bush looks good by comparison.

          • Harvey Reading May 11, 2020

            Give me a break, Marshall. Trump is a little worse than Obama, who was a little worse than Bush2, etc., since Truman sat on the throne. The democratic party has become indistinguishable from the republican party, except that the republicans are more obvious and open about how they want to screw over us commoners. The dems want the same things, but they lie to us, knowing we are stupid and gullible and will vote for trash like Biden. You just keep on believing your fantasies. Soon they’ll be all you have left.

        • Brian Wood May 11, 2020

          What about all the federal judges Trump gets to appoint? What about the relatively progressive envirnmental policies that Obama and others put in place that Trump can strike with his pen? What about women’s rights and reproductive rights? What, dare I say it, about general civility and intellectual honesty? These are just a few things. Nobody gets a perfect score. I’m no fan of Biden, but if you can say how he will be worse on these things, or if you see another way around them, which you seem to imply, I’d like to hear it. Truly.

          • Harvey Reading May 11, 2020

            Why don’t you two whiners tell it to the DNC? And take your trash candidate and stuff him where the sun don’t shine.

            • Brian Wood May 11, 2020

              You’re a bitter man, Harvey.

              • Harvey Reading May 11, 2020

                Realistic, too. I’ve seen far too many conservatives who call themselves democrats, and I’ve seen the damage they have done over the decades, damage that makes an amateur goof like Trump seem harmless in comparison. Hell, if Monica hadn’t been blowing Bill, Social Security would already be history!

                But, just keep following your fantasies, Brian, boy. Like your buddy, Marshall. In the end we all die and our elementary particles combine with others of their kind and become some other form of matter. What happens on a second (or fifth)-rate planet like earth has about as much affect on the universe as a single grain of sand has on a desert. Enjoy another few years of Trump, too. DNC-lovin’ guys like you and Marshall deserve it!

                • Marshall Newman May 11, 2020

                  Again, the Trump playbook: name calling, deflection and outright lies. Harvey prefers his delusions to the truth. He should share them with a less knowledgeable, and perhaps more appreciate, audience.

                  • Harvey Reading May 11, 2020

                    Dream on laddie. You don’t get much less knowledgeable than the comments sections here. Your comments in support of a senile conservative democrat for president demonstrates that perfectly. For me, your views are representative of the archetypal conservative democrat. I suspect there are many of your kind in Mendo, all portraying, and actually perceiving themselves as liberals. LOL, and good effen night!

                  • Marshall Newman May 11, 2020

                    Your right, Harvey. Portions of the “Responses” section show a lack of knowledge. It is Joe, Jerry Philbrick and you who are the perpetrators of that ignorance.

                  • Harvey Reading May 12, 2020

                    Somehow you forgot yourself, my boy.

  9. Lazarus May 11, 2020

    Think about his one, Trump and Pence succumb to the virus, Pelosi becomes President…
    Be Well,

  10. George Hollister May 11, 2020

    To me, the discussion of choosing between Biden and Trump is missed placed. Biden appears to have a shell of an intellect, and is not capable of being a Neoliberal, or anything else for that matter. If Biden is elected expect calls from his White House bed every morning shouting, “Nurse, nurse”. Of course media will continue to give him deference, and make excuses for what is the obvious.

    Trump? What damage has he really done to the United States, beyond the superficial? He presents himself as a thin skinned bombastic ass, which he is. But damage, to what? His brand? He has gotten the Washington establishment, which includes media, into a tizzy. There is mostly a good side to that. “Trump is unfit to be president”. OK so be it, but he won the election, and a sizable part of the electorate believes otherwise. The Washington establishment can’t accept the political reality. My suggestion is, get over it. That appears to be some advice the Obama Justice Department should have taken in November 2016.

    • Susie de Castro May 11, 2020

      Sure, easy for you to say…cuz you don’t gotta get over, anything. Das ih, in a nutshell.

      • George Hollister May 11, 2020

        Every time I see Trump on TV, I tell myself, get over it. But he represents the working man of America, the trade union rank and file, too. Go into any working man venue, and ask. Not in California, because we have run most of the working class out. They like Trump, they don’t like foreign imports, and they look at immigration as a threat. The working man also has no use for Washington elites, or government elites in general. With Trump, the working man no longer feels left out. That is the reality.

        • Susie de Castro May 11, 2020

          I am the ‘working man’ of (the United States) America, and I’d like to see a little more diplomacy when it comes to Immigration, for one.

          I’d like to see the President love California.

          I’d like to see the President laugh out loud.

          • Harvey Reading May 11, 2020

            Robots often lack a sense of humor.

            • Susie de Castro May 13, 2020

              The Pres. is tired. His childhood did not prepare him for a life well balanced.

              The Pres. needs more rest, so that he can have a better outlook on life, in general.

    • Harvey Reading May 11, 2020

      Oddly, I sort of agree with you. Don’t let it go to your head, though. Trump (like Biden is) was simply the next step in a regression that began with the accession of Truman to the throne.

      It’s too bad common-folk democrats are too stupid and lazy to band together and throw out the “leadership”–the putrid DNC–of their conservative, POS party. Instead, they just bow and scrape and vote for whatever slop is laid before them. I got over that when Kerry ran, back in ’04, by voting for Kucinich, and have been voting third party, or write-in since. The only reason I stay on the voting rolls is to vote for local offices, where my vote at least counts a little bit. The truth be known, at heart, democrats are mostly as conservative as republicans. Look at what Brian and Marshall write if you doubt me.

      • Stephen Rosenthal May 11, 2020

        I agree with much of Harvey’s and George’s comments. Last time the DNC put the fix in for the only candidate that could have lost to Trump and they’re about to do it again with someone exhibiting obvious signs of dementia. And don’t bring up the nonsense of how Clinton won the popular vote – that’s not how we elect our President.

        • Brian Wood May 11, 2020

          Yes, that’s true. But what can actually be done? I generally support 3rd party efforts, but not this time. Not unless somebody can seriously explain how to defeat Trump without electing the Democratic nominee. Get Biden in and then keep his feet to the fire. Elect a congress that will help do that. Get him in and then impeach him for something if we have to. But get Trump out!

          • Mike Kalantarian May 12, 2020

            Everyone’s frustrated because it is time to move beyond D & R. I encourage you to listen to what Jerry Perez has to say.

  11. Susie de Castro May 11, 2020

    Joe came out to L.A., and ate a Mexican taco, órale.

    Taco baskets from Trump Tower don’t cut it.

    I’m asking the Pres. to Step it Up

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