- Cloudy Cool
- Stage 3 Reopening
- Fire Forum
- Structure Fire
- Westport Landing
- Renaming FB
- Old 128
- Ed Notes
- CHAZ Demands
- Yesterday's Catch
- Those Days
- Navarro Store
- Hospital Bathroom
- Hauling Bark
- False Guilt
- Five-Mile Creek
- Badger Section
- BLM Confrontation
- Z Teens
- Company Store
- Economic Cruelty
- Justice Now
- NASCAR Ban
- President Ventura
CLOUDY, MILD CONDITIONS are expected in most areas today, with some light rain in Humboldt and Del Norte counties in the morning. By mid afternoon, scattered showers and thunderstorms may develop across eastern Trinity, eastern Mendocino, and northern Lake counties. More light rain will be possible Saturday, with a gradual warming and drying trend expected Sunday through the rest of the week. (NWS)
MENDOCINO COUNTY MOVES INTO STAGE 3 OF REOPENING
Health Officer Issues New Health Order Aligning with Statewide Guidance
Post Date: 06/11/2020 7:29 PM
On June 5, 2020, Governor Gavin Newsom issued guidance for new Pandemic Stage 3 allowable activities starting June 12, 2020, for counties with approved attestations and variance.
In response to these recent State changes, and due to the stable state of the Pandemic in Mendocino County, Health Officer Dr. Noemi Doohan issued a new Shelter-In-Place (SIP) Order today, Thursday, June 11, 2020, and effective June 12, 2020 at 3:00 p.m., allowing Mendocino County to move into Stage 3 of reopening. The following activities and industries may open with strict adherence to state industry guidance including social distancing and Health Orders, such as wearing Facial Coverings in Public:
- Campgrounds and RV parks – daily occupancy capped to 75% of sites (with other restrictions)
- Transient lodging (hotels, motels, vacation rentals) to be occupied by no more than one household including a maximum of 2 adults and their children with daily occupancy of hotels/motels capped to 75% rooms (with other restrictions)
- Tasting rooms (wineries, breweries, distilleries) and Bars (12 midnight closing)
- Gyms and fitness facilities
- Movie theaters (limited to 25% occupancy or 100 persons per showing)
- Family entertainment centers
- Museums, galleries, zoos and aquariums
- Public pools with certain restrictions
The order also clarifies that the State has allowed tanning beds to reopen as part of guidance for Limited Services and that Childcare has updated guidance including Day Camps. The Health Officer has also opened certain therapeutic services (except for those which are purely non-medical), including individual massage therapy, chiropractic and acupuncture care, reiterating that only one appointment may occupy a room at one time, and both provider and patient must wear a facial covering. Charter Boats may also now operate pursuant to the Health Officer’s Order.
The industry specific restrictions and state guidance information can be found in the Health Order. BEFORE businesses can reopen, they must comply with State and County guidelines, and file the Mendocino County self-certification form, developed by the County of Mendocino in collaboration with West Business Development Center, found at https://www.mendocinocountybusiness.org/. Additionally, all Permissible Higher Risk Businesses allowed in this new SIP order must file their Safe Business Reopening Plan for publication on the Mendocino county business website.
Due to the special risks for COVID-19 transmission associated with tourism, transient lodging operations and campgrounds have specific requirements that should be closely reviewed in the Order, including the requirement to post contact information for a responsible on-site (or on-call) manager who will be available in the event of COVID-19 related issues. Transient lodging operators must also have a detailed plan for accommodating guests in the provision of housing, food and basic essentials in the event a guest is determined by a medical professional to require isolation or quarantine for COVID-19. Those lodging operators who previously self-certified for essential travel only, must re-certify complying with the new State and County guidelines for lodging.
Mendocino County’s revised SIP goes in effect tomorrow Friday, June 12 at 3:00 p.m. and will be in place until 3:00 p.m. on July 3, 2020.
The Health Order is posted online at https://www.mendocinocounty.org/community/novel-coronavirus/health-order. The summary of the major changes will be available online on June 12, 2020. The order is enforceable by imprisonment and/or fine thus we urge all residents and businesses to closely read the order and follow it.
More information on Governor Newsom’s resilience roadmap and four-staged plan to reopen California, please visit: https://covid19.ca.gov/roadmap/. For more information on the businesses/sectors that fall within the various stages of re-opening, please view the Resilience Roadmap Business Sector Chart. The Mendocino County approved attestation is available to view on the California Department of Public Health’s Website.
For more on COVID-19: www.mendocinocounty.org
Call Center: (707) 234-6052 or email email@example.com
The call center is open Monday-Friday from 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
STRUCTURE FIRE REPORTED NEAR SITE OF "COVELO SHOOTOUT'
The scanner said the Covelo Fire department & CalFire were dispatched to a "structure fire" - a 10' by 10' outbuilding "fully involved" according to the first unit on the scene. The fire was "knocked down" @ 5:58 pm.
This location is near the "shootout" Monday night.
Here is the Mendocino County Sheriff post on the incident. As with all law enforcement posts, those named therein should be presumed innocent unless/until found guilty in a court of law:
"On Monday, June 8th, between 6:29 and 6:31 pm, the Mendocino County Sheriff's Dispatch received four separate 911 calls coming from the Covelo area.
Callers reported what sounded like a 'shootout' that was occurring near the intersection of Crawford Road and Biggar Lane. Reports ranged from 40 to 200 shots being fired as callers described what sounded like semi-automatic and fully automatic rifle fire.
Members of the Round Valley Indian Reservation Tribal Police also responded to the scene, arriving first, around 6:41 pm.
When Tribal Police arrived they observed one male, with a rifle, fleeing the scene on foot in a southbound direction. Tribal Police were eventually able to detain two individuals and located one rifle. Witnesses reported numerous armed Hispanic males fleeing the scene on foot as law enforcement responded.
Mendocino County Patrol deputies arrived and contacted Tribal Police. Members of the California Highway Patrol also responded to the scene to assist with the incident. The scene was determined to be a very large marijuana growing operation at the southeast corner of the intersection of Crawford Road and Biggar Lane.
The property consisted of an approximately 10-acre parcel, held in trust by the Federal Government as part of the Reservation system. The property had no real fixed dwellings but had 38 'hoop houses' which are greenhouses used to cultivate marijuana as well as several campsites with recreational vehicles and or tents used by those cultivating marijuana.
The responding officers were able to initially detain four Hispanic males who indicated they were only working in the marijuana grow but denied knowledge of involvement in the shooting.
Deputies noted what appeared to be in excess of 10,000 marijuana plants as well as evidence confirming at least 50 or more rifle rounds having been discharged recently on the property. They noted one greenhouse had many rounds fired into it and one vehicle had numerous rounds fired into it. There appeared to be evidence that rifles, handguns, and shotguns had possibly been discharged at the location.
Deputies then contacted the Mendocino County Sheriff's Investigations Unit to request assistance. The Mendocino County Marijuana Team, discovering the cultivation activity was not permitted, authored a search warrant for the location.
This team was assisted by the Mendocino County Detective Unit and the Mendocino County Major Crimes Task Force in the service of the warrant.
Upon service of the search warrant, investigators located a total of 7 firearms; 3 rifles and 4 handguns, including two AR15 style assault rifles with high capacity magazines, one with a suppressor attached: 12,022 Marijuana plants, ranging from 6 inches to 6 feet in height, were located and eradicated.
Two additional suspects were identified, Foley Azbill and Britton 'JR' Azbill, both of Covelo were detained.
The investigation determined this garden might have been grown in a similar method of others recently found in the Covelo area; with Federal Trust Properties being leased by tribal members to non-tribal members for the sole purpose of conducting large marijuana growing operations. Most of the persons detained appeared less than cooperative and no one admitted direct knowledge as to whom had been responsible for the large discharge of firearms. Investigators found no evidence or indication that any person had actually been shot. However, this area is a residential neighborhood with neighbors being less than 200 yards away on all sides of the property as well as roads on two sides that have a high frequency of traffic this time of the day. There is no safe way to discharge a firearm at this location.
Four men were arrested, booked, and then cited for cultivation of marijuana and possession of marijuana for sale; Rosalio Pena (AKA Armas Severiano), Ruben Hernandez Najera, Osvaldo Garcia Campos, and Angel Maria Ramirez.
The case remains under investigation and the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office is requesting anyone with information on this case to please contact the Sheriff's tip line at 707-234-2100 or the WE-TIP line at (800) 782-7463.
- Rosalio Pena (AKA Armas Severiano), 50 years of age, transient, Covelo.
- Ruben Hernandez Najera, 22 years of age, Atascadero CA.
- Osvaldo Garcia Campos, 40 years of age, transient, Covelo.
- Angel Maria Ramirez, 48 years of age, Sacramento CA
- Foley Azbill, 41 years of age, Covelo
- Britton Leonard Azbill Jr., 38 years of age, Covelo."
WESTPORT LANDING, 1888
RENAMING FORT BRAGG
FB name change... "Winowa"
Laura Lind wrote (MCN Listserve): “I like Winowa.”
Aweemoway is prettier. And it fits very well because KNYO-LP is the only radio station exclusively for Fort Bragg, and it is the Little Lion, though like rust it doesn't sleep tonight or any night. (It would go from "KNYO-LP, the Little Lion in Fort Bragg." to the Little Lion in Aweemoway. See how cute that is?)
Anyway, what's wrong with Lindy Petersville? By any measure it's the most fun to say of all the proposed names to rename Fort Bragg to. Or wait until Fort Bragg, NC gets renamed to something less traitorous to the Union and change Fort Bragg, CA to match that.
Also we can rename other things. Here are some that have been suggested:
Extension cord: electric hose.
Manta ray: sea flapflap.
Raccoon: trash panda.
Camel: sand moose.
Why not rename everything? It's totally fair and requires no canvassing nor consulting elders nor meetings. Everybody gets to do it, and like Norman's note about how it barely matters what place-name you put in front of the zip code, everybody who knew what you meant the old way knows equally well what you mean the new way, and it livens things up.
In Lindy Petersville: The It's A Small World After All motel (the one you could drive off the bridge into the third floor of. Gloriana Theater. Tennis park (or library park). Bowling alley church. Expensive gas station...
MCDONALD TO THE SEA HIGHWAY (now Highway 128)
TRUMP TWEETED LATE WEDNESDAY: "Radical Left Governor [of Washington], Jay Inslee and the Mayor of Seattle are being taunted and played at a level that our great Country has never seen before. Take back your city NOW. If you don't do it, I will. This is not a game. These ugly Anarchists must be stooped [sic] IMMEDIATELY. MOVE FAST! Domestic Terrorists have taken over Seattle, run by Radical Left Democrats, of course. LAW & ORDER!"
NEVER SEEN BEFORE? As far back as the Whiskey Rebellion, not to mention the Boston Tea Party, we've seen American rebellions from the grand to the miniscule like this one. Aggrieved Americans have often declared themselves independent of existing authority. Closer to our NorCal home we've seen the State of Jefferson rebellion of November, 1941, when a group of armed men blockaded Route 99 near Yreka to declare independence from Oregon and California. Their inspiration was, they said, the under-representation of the contiguous rural areas of both states.
EVENTS IN SEATTLE are led by a small group of anarchists who have seized a few blocks of Seattle they've re-named the "Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone," or CHAZ, and have thrown up barricades and armed checkpoints to cordon it off, declaring that police are not allowed inside the zone.
THE SEATTLE POLICE? In the wake of George Floyd’s murder in Minneapolis, the Seattle Police Department is stepping lightly indeed. Rather than bust up CHAZ, the police have offered to abandon their precinct, board up the windows and let the protesters control a few blocks of the city's art district. Which they have now done.
“THIS SPACE is now property of the Seattle people,” read a banner on the front entrance of the now-empty police station. Needless to say, this development has rendered Trump Nation apoplectic, and has torqued upwards the national pressure cooker.
MEANWHILE, rumors from county government suggest paperwork sleight-of-hand to capture covid-19 reimbursements Mendo is not entitled to by having county workers revisit and adjust cash-upwards emergency expenses, although Mendo has experienced virtually no covid infection. And a whole lot of county money buys tents and camping gear that's repeatedly confiscated and dumped from homeless camps as just happened to the encampment at the north end of the Ukiah Airport where a large number of homeless people had pitched their publicly-funded tents. All of that gear from that one large encampment that went into dumpsters came from RCS and the other homeless enablers. And it will all be repeated because the county has no coherent homeless plan.
KINDA GET THE FEELING in virtually unaffected Mendo that the plague has come and gone? Nope, two million reported cases of COVID-19 this week in the US. Just before midnight on Wednesday, Johns Hopkins University's world map of coronavirus cases put the US at 2,000,464 confirmed cases. The death toll in the US is 112,924. Brazil has the next highest number of cases with 772,416 confirmed infections. Earlier on Wednesday it was reported that nine states are seeing spikes in the number of people who have been hospitalized for COVID-19 since Memorial Day. Coronavirus hospitalizations have been increasing in at least nine states - mostly in the south and southwest of the country — over the past two weeks. Arizona, Texas, North Carolina and Utah are among those that have seen record spikes in hospitalizations since the coronavirus pandemic broke out in mid-March.
ARIZONA may have re-opened too soon: “We have seen a steady climb of COVID-19 cases in Arizona over the last two weeks,” Banner Health tweeted on Monday. On May 15, the state’s stay-at-home order ended. Since that date, according to the hospital, “ventilated COVID-19 patients have quadrupled. This trend is concerning to us, and also correlates with a rise in cases that we are seeing in our hospital ICUs,” Banner Health wrote.
A NURSE QUOTED in the Arizona Republic said, “We’re going to run out of room to care for people, we’re going to run out of PPE, out of ICU beds, out of hospital beds, and we aren’t going to be able to provide care for the population of people who are going to need it.”
DR. CARA CHRIST, the director of the Arizona Department of Health Services, sent a letter to Arizona hospitals on June 6, ordering them to “fully activate” any COVID-19 emergency plans to prepare for crisis care.
THE BOONVILLE WEEKLY has long predicted that Don won't go peacefully. His increasingly hysterical tweets have inflamed his "base" to actively resist Trump's removal regardless of the November election result. Even Joe Biden is “absolutely convinced” that the military might have to eject Trump from the White House if he refuses to leave. Interviewed on the Daily Show yesterday [Wednesday], Biden said, “This president is going to try to steal this election. It’s my greatest concern. My single greatest concern… I promise you, I’m absolutely convinced they [the American military] will escort him from the White House with great dispatch.”
THE ONGOING DEBATE about the ongoing exchanges of rancid insults on the MCN chat line, David Gurney's reminder at last ought to apply: "Since the list is operated by the Mendocino School District, and "hate speech" (def. "abusive or threatening speech or writing that expresses prejudice against a particular group, especially on the basis of race, religion, or sexual orientation") is expressly prohibited anywhere in the public school system (and indeed anywhere in the US) the list operators should have no problem eliminating such language and its perpetrators from their listserve."
GURNEY'S REMINDER was inspired by this statement from an MCN subscriber: "Clearly this is a segregated community here since no person of color or non-heterosexual person can be on the list without being called the N or F word. We all need to acknowledge that this is a racist, bigoted “community” listserve since it’s not an okay place for everyone in the community to be unless they are white & hetero."
RE COVELO, an on-line comment: "Okay. So I don’t know Covelo but I have known for years about the leasing of res land to cartels for huge grows. Just the word around the area… So after the sheriff wiped out ONE huge scene (and only after somebody went missing probably dead and San Jose police made him do it) we have another and another. 38 hoop houses on a 10 acre property?!!! How does this not get knocked down immediately? I’m willing to bet there are many others in the Covelo area. Last year CAMP did some serious busting back of Woodman and Dos Rios area, not very far from here. So… they just let this stuff go? Selective enforcement for sure. Something smells funny. But yeah again here we are with 38 hoop houses, 10,000+ plants AND a full-on shootout and these guys get cited and released. Oh- they had to get a ride back from Ukiah. Ha ha Ha! How can anybody take law enforcement seriously at all?"
MAIGRET'S ROOM, a book review by John Lanchester in the current LRB: "There is plenty of sex in the books, but it all has to do with the other characters, usually the relevant criminal perpetrators: Maigret is passionately uxorious, but the passion is expressed through culinary rather than sexual appetite. In this respect, the inspector was very unlike the man who created him. Simenon famously claimed to have had sex with 10,000 women, and was equally famously corrected by his estranged second wife, who claimed the real figure was 1200. She had good data. When they lived in the US, Denise and Georges would go to brothels together; she liked chatting to the girls in the lobby while he was upstairs having sex with one of them. When he'd finished he would come down, and she was having a good time she would say: 'Why not have another one, Jo?' Which must rank as one of the strangest sentences ever spoken in the history of marriage."
MAGA numbers today: Another 1.5 million unemployed Americans applied for jobless benefits last week despite business reopening after COVID-19 lockdowns, and the Dow plunged 1,000 points following the Fed's dire warning that it could take years to get lost jobs back. 44 million Americans have been thrown out of work in the three months since COVID-19 struck hard in March, forced widespread business closures and sent the economy reeling. Clearly, many Americans are still losing their jobs. Fed chairman Powell said it could take years for the millions who are now unemployed to regain jobs. "My assumption is that there will be a significant chunk, well, well into the millions of people who don't get to go back to their old jobs and there may not be a job in that industry for them for some time," Powell said.
Given the historical moment, we’ll begin with our demands pertaining to the Justice System.
The Seattle Police Department and attached court system are beyond reform. We do not request reform, we demand abolition. We demand that the Seattle Council and the Mayor defund and abolish the Seattle Police Department and the attached Criminal Justice Apparatus. This means 100% of funding, including existing pensions for Seattle Police. At an equal level of priority we also demand that the city disallow the operations of ICE in the city of Seattle.
In the transitionary period between now and the dismantlement of the Seattle Police Department, we demand that the use of armed force be banned entirely. No guns, no batons, no riot shields, no chemical weapons, especially against those exercising their First Amendment right as Americans to protest.
We demand an end to the school-to-prison pipeline and the abolition of youth jails. Get kids out of prison, get cops out of schools. We also demand that the new youth prison being built in Seattle currently be repurposed.
We demand that not the City government, nor the State government, but that the Federal government launch a full-scale investigation into past and current cases of police brutality in Seattle and Washington, as well as the re-opening of all closed cases reported to the Office of Police Accountability. In particular, we demand that cases particular to Seattle and Washington be reopened where no justice has been served, namely the cases of Iosia Faletogo, Damarius Butts, Isaiah Obet, Tommy Le, Shaun Fuhr, and Charleena Lyles.
We demand reparations for victims of police brutality, in a form to be determined.
We demand that the City of Seattle make the names of officers involved in police brutality a matter of public record. Anonymity should not even be a privilege in public service.
We demand a retrial of all People in Color currently serving a prison sentence for violent crime, by a jury of their peers in their community.
We demand decriminalization of the acts of protest, and amnesty for protestors generally, but specifically those involved in what has been termed “The George Floyd Rebellion” against the terrorist cell that previously occupied this area known as the Seattle Police Department. This includes the immediate release of all protestors currently being held in prison after the arrests made at 11th and Pine on Sunday night and early Saturday morning June 7th and 8th, and any other protesters arrested in the past two weeks of the uprising, the name Evan Hreha in particular comes to mind who filmed Seattle police macing a young girl and is now in jail.
We demand that the City of Seattle and the State Government release any prisoner currently serving time for a marijuana-related offense and expunge the related conviction.
We demand the City of Seattle and State Government release any prisoner currently serving time just for resisting arrest if there are no other related charges, and that those convictions should also be expunged.
We demand that prisoners currently serving time be given the full and unrestricted right to vote, and for Washington State to pass legislation specifically breaking from Federal law that prevents felons from being able to vote.
We demand an end to prosecutorial immunity for police officers in the time between now and the dissolution of the SPD and extant justice system.
We demand the abolition of imprisonment, generally speaking, but especially the abolition of both youth prisons and privately-owned, for-profit prisons.
We demand in replacement of the current criminal justice system the creation of restorative/transformative accountability programs as a replacement for imprisonment.
We demand autonomy be given to the people to create localized anti-crime systems.
We demand that the Seattle Police Department, between now and the time of its abolition in the near future, empty its “lost and found” and return property owned by denizens of the city.
We demand justice for those who have been sexually harassed or abused by the Seattle Police Department or prison guards in the state of Washington.
We demand that between now and the abolition of the SPD that each and every SPD officer turn on their body cameras, and that the body camera video of all Seattle police should be a matter of easily accessible public record.
We demand that the funding previously used for Seattle Police be redirected into: A) Socialized Health and Medicine for the City of Seattle. B) Free public housing, because housing is a right, not a privilege. C) Public education, to decrease the average class size in city schools and increase teacher salary. D) Naturalization services for immigrants to the United States living here undocumented. (We demand they be called “undocumented” because no person is illegal.) E) General community development. Parks, etc.
We also have economic demands that must be addressed.
We demand the de-gentrification of Seattle, starting with rent control.
We demand the restoration of city funding for arts and culture to re-establish the once-rich local cultural identity of Seattle.
We demand free college for the people of the state of Washington, due to the overwhelming effect that education has on economic success, and the correlated overwhelming impact of poverty on people of color, as a form of reparations for the treatment of Black people in this state and country.
We demand that between now and the abolition of the SPD that Seattle Police be prohibited from performing “homeless sweeps” that displace and disturb our homeless neighbors, and on equal footing we demand an end to all evictions.
We demand a decentralized election process to give the citizens of Seattle a greater ability to select candidates for public office such that we are not forced to choose at the poll between equally undesirable options. There are multiple systems and policies in place which make it impractical at best for working-class people to run for public office, all of which must go, starting with any fees associated with applying to run for public office.
Related to economic demands, we also have demands pertaining to what we would formally call “Health and Human Services.”
We demand the hospitals and care facilities of Seattle employ black doctors and nurses specifically to help care for black patients.
We demand the people of Seattle seek out and proudly support Black-owned businesses. Your money is our power and sustainability.
We demand that the city create an entirely separate system staffed by mental health experts to respond to 911 calls pertaining to mental health crises, and insist that all involved in such a program be put through thorough, rigorous training in conflict de-escalation.
Finally, let us now address our demands regarding the education system in the City of Seattle and State of Washington.
We demand that the history of Black and Native Americans be given a significantly greater focus in the Washington State education curriculum.
We demand that thorough anti-bias training become a legal requirement for all jobs in the education system, as well as in the medical profession and in mass media.
We demand the City of Seattle and State of Washington remove any and all monuments dedicated to historical figures of the Confederacy, whose treasonous attempts to build an America with slavery as a permanent fixture were an affront to the human race.
Transcribed by @irie_kenya and @AustinCHowe. Special thanks to Magik for starting and facilitating the discussion to create this list, to Omari Salisbury for the idea to break the list into categories, and as well a thanks to Kshama Sawant for being the only Seattle official to discuss with the people on Free Capitol Hill the night that it was liberated.
Although we have liberated Free Capitol Hill in the name of the people of Seattle, we must not forget that we stand on land already once stolen from the Duwamish People, the first people of Seattle, and whose brother, John T. Williams of the Nuu-chah-nulth tribe up north was murdered by the Seattle Police Department 10 years ago.
Black Lives Matter — All day, Every day.
CATCH OF THE DAY, June 11, 2020
LORIN AVALOS SR., Covelo. Elder abuse resulting in great bodily harm.
OSCAR CABEZAS-TAFOYA, Ukiah. Burglary, taking vehicle without owner’s consent.
URIEL DIAZ-MENDOZA, Ceres/Ukiah. DUI.
DAVID DORMAN, Ukiah. Domestic battery, contempt of court.
THOMAS GALINDO, Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol. (Frequent flyer.)
JESUS GOMEZ, Dos Palos/Ukiah. DUI.
JUAN VAZQUEZ-CENDEJAS, Willits. Three or more acts of substantial sexual conduct with child under 14, lewd/lascivious acts upon child under 14.
KENNETH WHIPPLE, Covelo. Mayhem, battery with serious injury, assault with deadly weapon not a gun, vandalism, false imprisonment, criminal threats, probation revocation.
THOSE WERE THE DAYS
Boy, the way Glen Miller played.
Songs that made the Hit Parade.
Guys like us, we had it made.
Those were the days
Didn’t need no welfare state.
Everybody pulled his weight
Gee, our old LaSalle ran great.
Those were the days
And you knew where you were then
Girls were girls and men were men.
Mister, we could use a man like Herbert Hoover again.
People seemed to be content.
Fifty dollars paid the rent.
Freaks were in a circus tent.
Those were the days
Take a little Sunday spin,
Go to watch the Dodgers win.
Have yourself a dandy day
That cost you under a fin.
Hair was short and skirts were long.
Kate Smith really sold a song.
I don’t know just what went wrong
Those Were the Days
— Boris Fomin
NAVARRO STORE, 1949
ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY
Speaking of comforts and conveniences, yesterday my husband and I were driving through unknown territory and he needed the bathroom and we saw a country store (very rural here). They were open, had indeed never closed, but were not allowing bathroom use because covid. So we drove nearly a half hour till we got to the town where we were headed for me to go into the small hospital and get my blood drawn. But family members have to sit outside in their cars. Not allowed in. I asked if he could please use the bathroom. They said no. I said we were leaving. Husband said he could wait. I said no. As we were discussing, they relented. Life in the new America. I fought, most people won’t.
HAULING BARK, LITTLE RIVER
ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY #2
The 90% of white people [ pre-civil-war ] who did not own slaves should not be incriminated with the aristocrats or their policy-enforcers. Reparations should come from the oppressors, not from fellow victims.
Even the black slaves realized they were better off than the poor white trash sharecroppers and indentured servants who were responsible for their own welfare. Angry white males are more furious with their Nicolaitan white bosses than with their black fellow employees [ wage slaves ].
Poor whites are deplored constantly by the ruling class and it obviously cannot be attributed to skin color. If racism is systemic oppression – the wielding of power, then the poor white trash redneck hillbillies must be a different race from the white liberal mucky-mucks who are running things.
Poor working whites are living hand to mouth, paycheck to inadequate paycheck. Their jobs have gone overseas where the living corporations pay foreign wage slaves even less to bring it back here to sell to people with credit instead of money.
What amount of redneck hatred comes from generations of being annihilated on the front lines of bankster wars, shot down by Pinkertons, chewed up like sausage in industrial accidents and poisoned with industrial waste? Instead of bigotry, intolerance, bias or prejudice could it be overwork, debt, broken promises and having to live in a trailer while watching your teeth fall out and your friends die because you and they cannot afford the doctor and hospital bills, and decent nutrition.
The oppressors are not “whites”, they are “the rich men of the earth” – wealthy people of all races, not the poor schmuck that works his arse off to rent a run-down shack and feed his rug-rats macaroni and cheese.
I’m not denying oppression of former slaves. I am rejecting false guilt for actions of others. Most of the white people here now did not even have any ancestors in country before the civil war. And after 3 or 4 generations of being taxed to make amends for the sins of others, I’m done.
We didn’t do the crime, but we HAVE done the time. It is over.
"ANOTHER ONE ALONG FIVE-MILE CREEK"
My name is William Kidd. I am currently in San Quentin state prison for three years. I've only got a few more months to go. About six months. I grew up in Ukiah. I have read some of your papers before. I know how informative you are or can be.
I'm really scared about this whole covid issue that has had the whole system on lockdown. I'm currently housed in Badger section of the prison. We have been locked down for three months. We were supposed to be moved out by May 31. But about half of the 500 guys were moved. 250 men are still waiting to be transferred out. The prison system moved about 200 or so new inmates from Chino who were infected putting our lives at risk. I am at a loss of words but scared and a bit confused. How can the prison put our lives more risk by mixing us all together? Now after more than a week of mixing a few of us have become infected.
I feel like I'm exiled from the United States of America. I've been told we have no rights. I know you are the last great paper and you have always done amazing things to say and good info.
William Kidd BL 1772
San Quentin State Prison, Cell 2-B-16
San Quentin, CA 94974
PS. Keep Norcal great. PPS. Don't drink and drive.
AMERICAN TEENS & THE INSURRECTION OF 2020: Caught Between Passion & Cool
by Jonah Raskin
“People don’t ask us what we think about stuff.”
– Gabriel (Gabe) Gutierrez, 18-year-old Californian and member of Generation Z
I took a stand the other day by taking a knee and kept it for 8 minutes and 46 seconds, the same amount of time that Derek Chauvin pressed his white knee down on George Floyd’s black neck and ended his life. A bullet to his head or his heart would probably have killed him faster and been less painful. But Chauvin’s point seemed to be to make Floyd’s passing as painful as possible and with the least amount of effort on his part while Floyd struggled to breathe.
I was not the only person who took a knee outside the police department in the town where I live. Most of the other demonstrators were white adults over the age of 40, though some teenagers, and some people of color, participated. A young African American woman who had shaved one side of her head, and arranged the hair on the other side in cornrows, told me, “I just moved to California from Utah where it feels more like a police state than it does here.”
Young African Americans like the former Utah resident, seem to know how to make eloquent statements with their hair and their bodies with more ease than many of their white counterparts. On her face mask, in white letters on a black background, she had written George Floyd’s words, “I Can’t Breathe,” which struck me as more timely and more relevant than “Black Lives Matter.” ”I Can’t Breathe” is an urgent matter of life and death. It’s individual, universal and inclusive.
For three decades I taught college students in their teens and early twenties. I knew what TV programs they watched, what music they listened to, and what they wanted to do after graduation. Then I retired and lost touch with the very age group that had informed much of my thinking and fueled me, too.
To find out what teens were thinking and feeling now about George Floyd, Derek Chauvin, cop brutality and race in America I sat down with a few teens at the house where one of them, a 16-year-old named Millie, lives with her white father and her Japanese mother. Two other teenagers, Gabriel and Colin, who are school friends of Millie’s, joined us for an afternoon conversation.
Like Millie, Gabriel and Colin have parents from different cultures. When asked to check a box they check “Other” and fill in the blank space. Like Millie, they say that adults rarely if ever ask them what they think and how they feel about social and political issues. “Even in school when teachers ask us our opinions, they don’t really listen and don’t really care,” Millie said. She added, “I think that people need to know what’s on our minds. After all we’re the future.”
Gabriel Gutierrez just graduated from high school. He’s on the cusp of 18 and he’s probably the most articulate of the teens I spoke with. His mother is of Irish and Belgian descent and his dad is what he calls “white washed Mexican.” Gabe has read George Orwell’s 1984. He’s thought about power and he quotes Sir John Dalberg-Acton (1843-1902) who said famously in 1884, “Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men.”
Gabe says, “If you give some people power over others you have problems.” Many, if not most, of his experiences with power have been at school, where he says, “I hated the structured system. It was depressing.” But he also has had experiences with what might be called “people power.” At the end of May 2020, he joined a thousand or so people who peacefully protested Chauvin’s murder of George Floyd. Some kids told other kids who had rocks and bottles not to throw them at the cops. No one did.
A handful of kids were arrested and taken to jail. The ingrates, who were described as “minors” by the local paper, complained about conditions in the county jail. The paper named no one. A reporter might have interviewed them and tried to understand why they protested. Calling them “minors” seemed to prove Millie’s point about adults ignoring her age group. Gabe echoed her views when he said, “People don’t ask us what we think about stuff.”
I spoke with Gabe a few days after that peaceful demonstration when some kids were arrested and when he was still exhilarated. “We flooded the streets,” he said. He wasn’t arrested, but about 75 kids were. They stayed in the streets after the curfew went into effect. The protests are something new and different in Gabe’s world, though they didn’t take him totally by surprise. “In history class we learned about MLK and also about Malcolm X,” he told me. His hero is Muhammad Ali because “he was successful and also because he was aware.”
Colin Kilpatrick says, “I learned about black folks from my dad. I have always been around them.” His mother, who was born in China and who became wealthy in the U.S., supports Trump. She wants Colin to grow up and become a doctor. “She’s a capitalist person,” he says. “She has never voted and doesn’t want to get involved in American politics.”
When I asked Colin why black people were routinely shot and killed by white cops he explained, “it’s deeply rooted in our culture. Cops are protected by the whole system and Trump reinforces their ideas.” Colin tends to be more pessimistic than Gabe and Millie. “It’s a Planet of the Apes situation,” he tells me. “With others you can do some real damage, but as a solitary person you are so small in the overall scheme of things.” He added, “I hope it doesn’t go out with a bang.”
Gabriel thinks that the political situation will worsen. “I feel like I have some leeway,” he said. “I have time to get a plan together.” Right now he’s working at a branch of In-N-Out Burger, near the bottom of the pay scale and far down from the guys “who actually flip the burgers and make real money.” Colin doesn’t work and feels guilty about not working and making money. His family money keeps him afloat, though his parents recently kicked him out of the house, perhaps in part because he’s a stoner and likes to take what he calls “fat rips.” His older brother took him in.
Whether Millie, Gabriel and Colin are typical teenagers I can’t rightly say. They don’t see themselves as typical or average, don’t think of themselves as “extremists” and don’t want to become extremists, either. They have friends who they describe as “extremely passionate.” Many of their friends are skateboarders who have painted the letters “ACAB” on their boards. Millie explained to me that the letters stand for “all cops are bastards.” She added, “What ACAB means to me is that cops work for a corrupt system. I see that a lot.” The French equivalent is “Tout le monde déteste la police.” (“Everyone hates the police,” though hip French speakers would call them “les flics.”)
When I was the age Millie, Gabriel and Colin are now, I worried about nuclear testing and the atom bomb. I knew about segregation and the civil rights movement, but I didn’t go into the streets to protest, In the mid 1950s no one in my age group did. A few years later, when I went to college in New York, it was a different story. I marched with friends to “Ban the Bomb,” and I picketed Woolworth’s because the company wouldn’t serve black people at lunch counters all across the South. Once, when I marched for civil rights in the streets of New York, cops on horseback attacked us and broke up the crowd. I thought that was overkill, but I didn’t call cops “bastards.” Years later I would echo the Black Panther slogan “Off the Pig,” which now seems more extreme than any other slogan I have heard.
In the 1950s, when Eisenhower was president, and Nixon was vice-president my peers were beginning to listen to rock ‘n’ roll and think of themselves as members of a generation apart from the generations who came before. Those were the days before there was something called “The Movement” and something else called “The Counterculture.”
Many of my peers have been in the streets again to protest over the past month against the ongoing epidemic of police brutality. Millie, Gabriel, Colin and their friends are beginning to see themselves as members of a distinct generation and as participants in a “movement,” though most observers over the age of 40 are unwilling to use that word to describe the current wave of street protests. “We are not millennials,” Gabe told me with real passion in his voice. He, Millie and Colin belong to Generation Z. They’re at the end of the alphabet and much more than that.
Gabe says that his generation is already divided, with the “most passionate kids on one side and the least passionate kids on the other.” In 1960, when I was 18, I aimed to avoid passion. Though my parents were Marxists, I derived much of my political outlook from poets like Allen Ginsberg, who wrote, “America, go fuck yourself with your atom bomb,” and William Butler Yeats who exclaimed, “The ceremony of innocence is drowned/The best lack all conviction, while the worst/Are full of passionate intensity.”
In the late 1950s and early 1960s, we were supposed to be cool. The coolest thing we could say about something was “It’s cool.” Today’s teenagers use much the same language. Millie told me, “I think the demonstrations and the protests are cool.” She added, “Every person counts.”
That statement is at the core of her sense of self, but in some ways she seems lost. When she thinks of her Japanese mother and the Japanese side of her family she says, “Asian cultures have real strong traditions.” When she thinks of her father and his parents, she says, “I don’t know what white tradition is.” White teenagers have often expressed much the same idea, which is one reason they turn to rap and other aspects of black culture.
I had to remind Mille that one of the tenants of white American culture, going back to Thoreau and the abolitionists and then forward to the present day and the protests against police brutality, is civil disobedience. “Oh, yeah,” she said with a smile on her face. “I know what that is. My dad practices civil disobedience. Cops don’t like that.” She got that right.
(Jonah Raskin is the author of For The Hell of It: The Life and Times of Abbie Hoffman and American Scream: Allen Ginsberg’s ‘Howl’ and the Making of the Beat Generation.)
NAVARRO MILL COMPANY STORE
CORPORATE MEDIA ARE FOCUSING ON RACE - AND DODGING CLASS
by Norman Solomon
Grassroots outrage and nationwide protests after Minneapolis cops murdered George Floyd have pushed much of U.S. corporate media into focusing on deadly police mistreatment of black people. The coverage is far from comprehensive on the subject of racism in the “criminal justice” system – we’re still hearing very little about the routine violations of basic rights in courtrooms and behind bars – yet there’s no doubt that a breakthrough has occurred. The last two weeks have opened up a lot more media space for illuminating racial cruelty.
But what about economic cruelty?
Media outlets routinely detour around reasons why African Americans and other people of color are so disproportionately poor – and, as a result of poverty, are dying much younger than white people. The media ruts bypass confronting how the wealthy gain more wealth and large corporations reap more profits at the expense of poor and middle-income people.
The statistics are grim. For every black person killed by police, vastly more are dying because of such conditions as a threadbare safety net, a lack of adequate employment, and scant access to health care or social services.
Readily available numbers are indictments of systemic racism. At the same time, numbers tell us virtually nothing about the human essence of widespread, tragic and fully preventable suffering that, in the words of Marvin Gaye’s brilliant song “Inner City Blues,” make me wanna holler.
News media habitually tiptoe around deadly realities of economic oppression that are hidden in plain sight – so normalized that they’re apt to seem perversely natural. Meanwhile, government is routinely portrayed as inherently hamstrung, lacking in funds and unable to cope. But from city halls and state legislatures to corridors of power in Washington, the priorities that hold sway are largely imposed by leverage from big corporations and the wealthy who want their financial interests protected.
"When we say #DefundPolice,” Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib tweeted days ago, “what we mean is people are dying and we need to invest in people's livelihoods instead. Example: Detroit spent $294 million on police last year, and $9 million on health. This is systemic oppression in numbers."
The official city bar chart that accompanied Tlaib’s tweet amounts to a smoking gun of a ceaseless class war raging across the United States and far beyond. Huge numbers of people whose names we’ll never know are casualties of that profit-driven war.
From slavery onwards, vicious economic exploitation has been central to the oppression of African Americans. In spite of that reality – and because of it – the prevailing power structure and its dominant media arms are eager to separate racial justice from economic justice.
Yet the separation is absurd and disingenuous. “A close examination of wealth in the U.S. finds evidence of staggering racial disparities,” the Brookings Institution reported this year. The latest figures show that “the net worth of a typical white family is nearly 10 times greater than that of a black family.” Those wealth gaps “reveal the effects of accumulated inequality and discrimination, as well as differences in power and opportunity that can be traced back to this nation’s inception.”
It’s symbolic that while we’ve often heard that Martin Luther King Jr. gave his famous “I have a dream” speech at the historic march on Washington in 1963, the fact that it was called the “March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom” isn’t often mentioned. Five years later, King was murdered while in Memphis to support a union struggle by exploited sanitation workers as he was immersed in planning the next stages of the Poor People’s Campaign.
Today, the humongous gaps between wealth and poverty – and the lethal consequences of those gaps – are rarely in mass-media focus. Empathy for low-income people might be fine in medialand, but they’re commonly portrayed as victims of bad luck or personal failings rather than the prey of victimizers who profit from immiseration.
As a practical matter, the economic ladder that keeps some people trapped on the lowest rungs is central to the health vulnerabilities of so many African Americans. Economic injustice is vital to the entire U.S. power structure. While many people of all races suffer as a result, people of color are at much greater risk.
In effect, corporate capitalism has proven itself to be fully capable of methodical sadism in the pursuit of maximizing profits. That ongoing reality, 24/7/365, is so routine – and so powerfully entrenched – that even U.S. news outlets doing decent coverage of police violence can rarely supply clarity about the “free enterprise” economic violence that is taking countless lives.
(Norman Solomon is co-founder and national director of RootsAction.org. He is a Bernie Sanders delegate from California to the 2020 Democratic National Convention. Solomon is the author of a dozen books, including War Made Easy: How Presidents and Pundits Keep Spinning Us to Death. He is executive director of the Institute for Public Accuracy.)
WHY NASCAR’S NEW BAN ON THE CONFEDERATE FLAG IS SUCH A BIG DEAL
by Dave Zirin
Hell froze over this week when NASCAR announced its decision to officially ban confederate flags from their racing venues. In a statement as shocking and unexpected as anything we’ve seen in sports since maybe 1947, the racing league said,
“The presence of the confederate flag at NASCAR events runs contrary to our commitment to providing a welcoming and inclusive environment for all fans, our competitors and our industry. Bringing people together around a love for racing and the community that it creates is what makes our fans and sport special. The display of the Confederate Flag will be prohibited from all NASCAR events and properties.”
Make no mistake about it: this about-face against decades of history in what has been a citadel of white supremacy happened because Bubba Wallace, the only full-time Black driver in NASCAR, challenged them to make the flag a relic of their history instead of a defining brand.
“I haven’t really slept much thinking about this race—everything that’s going into it and everything going on in the world. Trying to race to change the world here,” said Wallace just before a race in Virginia for which he painted his car black, with the words Black Lives Matter on each side. “It’s not that we’re saying no other lives matter,” said Wallace. We’re trying to say that black lives matter, too.”
Wallace hasn’t been alone. A video was released including stars like Dale Earnhardt Jr., Kyle Busch, and Jimmie Johnson where they spoke of the need for anti-racism, with Earnhardt tweeting it out with the statement, “I will listen and learn #BlackLivesMatter.”
To call this a sea change in NASCAR is a profound understatement. The Confederate Flag is to NASCAR as soccer is to Brazil or pizza to New York City: a seemingly inextricable part of its branding. People who grew up on the Dukes of Hazzard, who drove their Confederate flag covered car, the General Lee, know exactly how deep in the culture this goes.
Already, NASCAR is feeling the heat, with social media posts spewing vitriol at them by the ton and NASCAR driver Ray Ciccarelli, announcing that he is retiring in protest of the ban. In a now deleted Facebook post, he wrote,
“I don’t believe in kneeling during Anthem nor taken ppl right to fly whatever flag they love. I could care less about the Confederate Flag but there are ppl that do and it doesn’t make them a racist all you are doing is f—ing one group to cater to another and i ain’t spend the money we are to participate in any political BS!!”
(If you’ve never heard of Ray Ciccarelli that is because he has never won a NASCAR race.)
What’s tragic about this is that NASCAR’s roots are not in bigotry or pining for the lost cause of the enslavement of African people. Stock car racing started with bootleggers who were juicing up their cars to outrun the cops and the Ku Klux Klan (many of whom were interchangeable). The Klan were strong believers in prohibition and ready to enforce it with violence. The stock car bootleggers were true rebels. Not in the traitorous Confederate sense, but in the style of rabble rousing non-conformity. The original stock car drivers had more in common with the white folks in the streets this month calling for black lives to matter than they did with the Confederate flag waving Trump supporters who have been the backbone of NASCAR’s business for so many decades. What they are doing right now honors their true tradition, buried under decades of Confederate sewage.
This is a pivotal moment in sports history—from NBA players marching in the streets to NFL players challenging their league to stand up for black lives, to this remarkable decision by NASCAR. Whether this moment becomes a movement in NASCAR will depend on the drivers themselves keeping up the heat. They can’t be content with woke branding and think that they have done their part. They, far more than any other sport, are going to have to challenge their fan base to pick a side. They say you can’t be neutral on a moving train. Can’t be neutral in a car doing 200 miles per hour either.
WRITE IN JESSE