Press "Enter" to skip to content

MCT: Tuesday, June 23, 2020

* * *

AN EXTENDED STRETCH of hot, dry, and sunny weather will continue across interior northwest California through the end of the week. Onshore breezes and marine layer clouds will keep most coastal areas seasonably cool. (NWS)

* * *

NBC NEWS is reportedly tuning in to the Fort Bragg City Council meeting Monday night. Requests for seating from out-of-area press have overwhelmed the limited socially-distanced supply at Town Hall. All this newfound interest from the Fourth Estate can be traced to the question of whether Fort Bragg will change its name. Swept up in the national discussion about racism and police violence, the town finds itself asked to defend a 19th century American general that no one here ever cared about in the first place. But now the city council has to care, especially with NBC watching. And Congressman Jared Huffman. The Democratic Party Representative for California's North Coast and a rising star in his party, Huffman apparently saw an opportunity in Fort Bragg's name and issued a statement last week urging Fort Bragg to consider a name change or, as he put it in a letter to City Hall, "…understand how this wonderful town acquired the anachronistic name of Fort Bragg, why it was not changed after Braxton Bragg took up arms against the United States to defend slavery and whether our national conversation on systemic racism, sparked by the murder of George Floyd, and the unrest sweeping our country, compels further consideration of the subject." Huffman seems to have limited his consultations with constituents on the issue to a small circle of local Democratic Party activists, in particular Bob Bushansky. When Fort Bragg City Council members, blindsided by Huffman's statement, asked who the Congressman had spoken to — without talking to any of them — who had moved him to call for axing Fort Bragg's name, it turned out there weren't more than a few people, with Bushansky's name foremost. The Mendocino Coast Recreation and Park District board member, former College of the Redwoods instructor (a class in boardroom behavior), and host of the KZYX radio program "Politics: A Love Story", reportedly told Huffman that the time was ripe to change Fort Bragg's name. Huffman, who had previously intervened in a name-change controversy over a Marin County school district, apparently didn't need much encouragement. Asked to discuss his advocacy for the name change, Bushansky, who popped up on a KQED radio panel last week on the subject, declined to answer. Huffman's office agreed last week to answer questions about advocating for a name change, but the Congressman had not replied by Monday evening.

(Chris Calder)

* * *


* * *


The Fort Bragg City Council will be conducting a hearing about Fort Bragg's "name" (tonight 6:00 pm) and there have been petitions circulating - one for keeping the present name and two others wanting to change it.

MSP saw the following posted to the "Fort Bragg Current Events - An Open Discussion" Facebook page:

"Just to be clear ... The BIPOC representation isn't asking the council to change the name. Nor are they asking the council to add it to the ballot. In fact, they are against this idea.

They are asking that a Task Force be formed to discuss and make recommendations regarding the name change. A task force comprised of a mix of races in order to have fair representation.

Here it is in their words:

'Demands and Explanations for City Council meeting on Monday, June 22 at 6:00 pm

by MendoCoast BIPOC (Black Indigenous People of Color)

Native folk must get 15 minutes to speak on Monday, before anyone else.

Because the first people harmed by Fort Bragg were the Aboriginals, it is imperative that they be given the lead on this issue. Giving them the lead on this issue starts with giving them more time to, as a Sovereign Nation, open the Public Comment on this issue with a block statement or presentation of their choosing.

We demand the forming of an Inclusive Task Force to Discuss a New Name. We neither support the Council putting it on the November ballot nor a Citizens’ Initiative.

Racial Justice/Civil Rights should not be put to a vote for multiple reasons. First, it’s just not right to put up such an issue to the People to vote. Two, any ballot initiative would likely lose along racial lines: the Black and Aboriginal folks number too few to win it, and the White and Latinx allies too few to fairly challenge that gap. Three, it puts the burden to run a likely futile campaign to convince people to do the right thing on people who already have enough on their plates fighting for Racial Justice on a chronic and ongoing daily basis.

Our elected leaders must show leadership by actually leading on issues like this, not just passing the buck to the voters.

The Sovereign Native Pomo must be given some kind of block or veto power.

The original military installation ultimately called Fort Bragg was intended to contain and violently control the Native population well before the Civil War or Bragg was a Confederate General.

The Task Force must be predominantly composed of BIPOC.

The issue of Racial Justice adversely affects, obviously, the BIPOC more than anyone else. This means that they should be taking the lead on this issue.

All citizen members of the Task Force must be offered a stipend.

BIPOC's time is taken for free all the time for Racial Justice work. The City must compensate them for their time, expertise, experience, and burden.

The Task Force must include the City Manager and Councilmember Jessica Morsell-Haye as non-voting observers/participants.

The City needs to hear this discussion.

The Task Force will discuss any and all options for 'changing' the name.

This could be changing the name, and if so what to, as well as keeping the name but rededicating it to another, more worthy individual (like King County, WA did in the 80s).

The Task Force will hold at least four educational workshops on racial justice.

This can’t just be about changing a name. The workshops will happen to ensure these name change efforts do not gloss over the deeper issues related to greater racial justice.

The Task Force proceedings must be recorded.

This is to ensure accountability as well as record them as educational resources for the future."

* * *


We’re open!

Strawberries • Walla Walla Onions • Lettuce • Zucchini • First Sunflowers

Open 9:30- dusk — Due to this heat, come early for lettuce and strawberries. Please observe social distancing & wear masks

Blue Meadow Farm

3301 Holmes Ranch Road, Philo 


* * *


Teleconferencing to be hosted from 1120 S. Dora St. in Ukiah, California

Zoom Video Conferencing –

ID: 928 3481 5478, Call-In: 1( 669) 900-9128 or 1 (253) 215-8782

Wednesday, June 24, 2020 at 1:00 P.M.

(Agenda prepared and Distributed by Project Manager Alyson Bailey)

(Substantial Agenda Items only:)

“Item 3c: Discussion and Possible Action Regarding Request for Qualification/Information for the Operation of a Psychiatric Health Facility (PHF) or Psychiatric Hospital.”

MARK SCARAMELLA notes: All the other June 24 agenda items are routine/boilerplate and not worth bothering to list here. For the full agenda go to the Measure B page of the County’s website.

PS. At last month’s meeting Measure B project manager Alyson Bailey said she would have “numbers” for a Psychiatric Health Facility, a Crisis Residential Treatment Center and Crisis Stabilization Unit, “maybe in two weeks if all goes well, but surely less than a month.” We knew at the time that this was pure hot air and that no such numbers would be forthcoming in two weeks, much less a month. Our gentle sarcasm on the subject saw Supervisor Ted Williams subsequently chiding us for that simple observation, adding that Ms. Bailey is “diligent and realistic” — obviously neither of which is accurate. Tolerance and even priase for well-paid staff even when they don’t deliver on their own promises is a guarantee that they will continue not to deliver on their promises — which has been the deeply imbedded modus operandi for Measure B since its inception. And those “promises” have been notably weak and simple, nothing remotely challenging. Prediction for Wednesday: Not only will no numbers be forthcoming, but no explanation will be offered and no questions will be asked.

PPS. Recall that Ms. Bailey and CEO Angelo demanded last month that Measure B funds be spent on hiring two assistants for Ms. Bailey who insists that tasks such as preparing a simple boilerplate/formulaic agenda with nothing on it and no associated back up materials is very time consuming. The Supes only granted one or some other silly fraction thereof. Maybe Ms. Bailey is delaying delivering the “numbers” she promised in hopes that she can extort the Board into hiring another assistant — on top of the “construction manager” she is allegedly also in the process of hiring for the Orchard Avenue project. It looks like the more people the County assigns to “manage” Measure B, the less (minimal) work gets done by the “diligent and realistic” Ms. Bailey and her staff. 

* * *


(photo by Larry Wagner)

* * *


Celebrate Pollinator Week June 22-28, 2020

Pollinator Week is a good time to review how well your garden is supporting native bees and other pollinators. The basics are: (1) provide food in the form of flowers, as well as a water source; (2) provide shelter, which could be homes for native cavity dwellers or open ground for our digging bees, and (3) don't use pesticides. Remember plant diversity is the key to pest management. Learn more about our native bees, the flowers they prefer, and more on how to support them at: 

Fort Bragg Bee City is celebrating Pollinator Week with a work-party to revitalize our Bee City Garden which has not been maintained since February due to Covid SIP. The garden is on the west side of Guest House Museum Park. Please join us there tomorrow, Tuesday June 22 at 2pm. (Masks and physical distancing.) 

We could use a lot of volunteer help. 


Cornelia Reynolds

Fort Bragg Bee City

* * *

(photo by Frank Hartzell)

* * *


Letter to the Editor

Beginning Wednesday, June 17, Mendocino County joins communities across California in celebration of ‘Census Week of Action’.

Everyone counts regardless of age, ethnicity or citizenship status. Locally the Mendocino County Complete Count Committee has been working hard to encourage all of our community members to complete the 2020 Census. Based on the number of people who respond to the Census, our county receives funding for schools, fire districts, roads, healthcare, senior, Tribal and Veteran services just to name a few.

Distribution of census forms has begun for households with P.O. Boxes or Rural Route numbers. All of these locations will receive paper forms, regardless of whether or not they have already completed the Census. If you have already responded, disregard the form. If not, now is the perfect time!

Use your Census Identification Number to respond online at, by phone 1-844-330-2020 (English) OR 1-844 468-2020 (Spanish), or by mail.

Do you have questions or need help completing the census? Access our local bilingual (English/Spanish) help desk by calling or texting 707-336-2459, Monday –Friday, 8am -5pm.

The 2020 Census also makes your voice heard in Congress and the Electoral College. Many community members have already completed the Census. You deserve to be heard, so please join in making Mendocino County Count!

Paula Cohen

Chair, Mendocino County Complete Count Committee

P.O. Box 570


* * *


* * *


Update on COVID-19 testing situation

The state continued the Optum Serve contract for COVID-19 testing (currently in Ukiah) through August 3. They have declined our request for a second Optum lane which would allow processing of samples collected throughout the county. The county is free to contract with Optum to extend the Ukiah unit and add the second lane. Subject to correction, I believe the cost is about ~$23k/month or double to include the second lane for remote collection. This would not be reimbursable, so it would compete with other general fund needs. Essentially, we'd need to cut $552k in order to provide county funded testing capabilities. At this cost, the testing would continue as free to the uninsured and billable to those with insurance. An alternate path could be partnering with our hospitals and clinics. I've learned Quest Diagnostics charges $199 per test performed by primary care. For 150 tests per day, the lab fees alone would run $900k/month. Daunting. 

* * *

ON JUNE 21, 2020 at approximately 4:18am, James Gardner [Fort Bragg] was driving a 1995 Toyota T100 north on US 101 north of Reynolds Hwy in Mendocino County. For reasons still under investigation, Gardner lost control of the Toyota, traveled off the east side of the road before it collided with the embankment and overturned. Gardner was ejected from the Toyota and sustained fatal injuries. CalFire, CalTrans, Mendocino County Sheriffs Department and the Long-Valley Volunteer Fire Department assisted with traffic control and scene investigation. The California Highway Patrol is investigating this collision. It is unknown at this time if drug or alcohol impairment was a factor. The northbound number 2 lane was closed for approximately 2 hours for the vehicle recovery and scene investigation.

(CHP Presser)

* * *


* * *


TRUMP continues to un-hinge. Today he warned that foreign countries would print "millions" of fake ballots to try to get him defeated and Biden elected. How would that work? Wouldn't those millions of phony ballots have to be signed and otherwise look like they were legit? I'd say this scenario is more site-prep for Trump either trying to postpone the November presidential election or, and he's capable of trying, cancelling it altogether. He's probably already undermined confidence in the election process among his maga-hatted zomboids, but every day he rachets upwards the general tension out there in our bleeding land.

TRUMP'S WACKY new press secretary, Kayleigh McEnany, explained the boss's characterization of the coronavirus as the "kung flu" as mere truth-telling since the virus originated in China. The professionally offended put up their predictable howl, but jeez, in the Big Book of Ethnic Insult this one's pretty minor. This may come as a shock to the great speakers of truth to power but Asians, particularly Chinese, are not exactly a kumbaya chorus on the race issue and, as a race, don't really care what the white devils say about them. Within reason, of course.

WHICH REMINDS ME, said the garrulous old coot, of my late friend, White Man Frank, one of the great Boonville ethnographers and a stone sinophile. White Man was fond of remarking, apropos of nothing in particular, as he dramatically brought both hands down in an emphatic guillotine chop, "that when the Chinese take over, all the bullshit stops! All of it, you hear me?" But as George Carlin also reminded us, "take the bullshit out of this country and the whole goddam show collapses like a failed souffle. This country runs on bullshit!"

GETTING BACK to the neo-censorship underway across our land, I'm reminded… — and there you go, running off just because an old man wants to take you on a brief walk down Memory Lane. How rude! Anyway, the ancient one continued undeterred but talking to himself, When I was in my early years at an integrated high school in the impenetrably segregated town of Mill Valley, a woman I recall as Mrs. Smart [sic] bullied all the county's school boards into removing books that she found objectionable from their collections. My school, Tamalpais — the Tam High Indians since become the Tam High Red Tailed Hawks — placed all the objected-to books in a locked case behind the school librarian's desk. To read any of them, a student was required to present a permission note from home. Which I duly presented, and was duly mystified by most of these dangerous tomes, many of which I recall as pacifist tracts and lots of pamphlets urging vegetarianism. Mrs. Smart, consistent with the anti-communist hysteria of the 1950s, as her Ukiah soul sisters presently regard with comparable terror Tommy Wayne Kramer, viewed minority opinion as so dangerous it had to be kept away from dumbass high school kids, most of whom, then and now, consider books a form of kryptonite. The more things change etc.…

SPEAKING of illiterate mobs, right here in Mendocino County, the Nice People, Ukiah branch, are surreptitiously circulating a petition demanding that the Ukiah Daily Journal remove columnist Tommy Wayne Kramer from its pages. This isn't the first time the book burners have pursued TWK, although the poor old Ukiah paper, owned by a Denver-based hedge fund, is already on the ropes without being beset by purple fascists, and TWK's invigorating Sunday columns are a lot more popular than the Nice People can imagine, not that they ever step outside their echo chamber or are endowed with much in the way of imagination. Well, all I can say is wait until the free speech soldiers at the MEC, at KZYX, at Dan Hamburg's house in Oregon, at the grave of the One True Green, Richard Johnson, just you wait until our free speech warriors get wind of this latest round of Mendo censorship. They will go to the wall, the wall, I tell you, to defend Tommy Wayne's right to publicly say what's on his mind! 

AS INLAND LIB marches on the Ukiah Daily Journal to demand that Journal editor K.C. Meadows fire the paper's liveliest, most interesting columnist, Tommy Wayne Kramer, they are in for a disappointment, because Ms. Meadows, herself offed by KZYX for daring to express her opinion as the righteous ones discussed their sacred herb, is a 1st Amendment person all the way, whereas the purple lynch mob after Kramer is for their speech only. No one defended Meadows when KZYX fired her except, of course… Modesty Forbids.

MARK SCARAMELLA ADDS: I remember when K.C. Meadows and then-Program Director Mary Aigner of all people offended the pot brigades during that debate between then private attorney Keith Faulder and John McCowen and Ross Liberty. Faulder, all by himself, was quite capable of arguing his side against McCowen and Liberty who were promoting what was then called Measure B which proposed to delegislate the pro-pot-ish Measure G championed by The One True Green Richard Johnson and Mendo’s Pot Herd Bull Dan Hamburg. McCowen was on board for Measure B because he thought he could ride it into a seat on the Board of Supervisors where he proceeded to… Well, let’s not rehash that anymore. But as K.C. Meadows opined that she favored Measure B, Hamburg-ite Linda McClure quickly scrawled a hand-lettered sign that said “SHUT UP!” and stuck it on her side of the studio window in attempt to get Meadows to, well, shut up. Aigner had the audacity to say that most pot smokers were using “medical” pot as a smokescreen for ordinary pot smoking. For those two petty, stupid “offenses” (stating their opinions on a ballot measure), Meadows (a volunteer programmer, no less) and Aigner were put on “probation” by the cringing station manager at the time and K.C. Meadows (who hosted a lively and popular evening round table discussion once a month at the time) laughed and quickly wrote back declining to be put on probation and quit, thus removing the station’s only and last decent public affairs program show host. Aigner eventually survived her “probation” and returned as Program Director.

A TRAVELER WRITES: “I was driving back from Manchester towards Boonville on Mountain View Road on Tuesday, 16 June at around 7pm. All of a sudden I saw blinking red lights in a place where I didn’t think any light should be. It was a semi with two big trailers behind it heading east on Mountain View. Close to Boonville, there’s the narrow bridge — there’s no way he could get over that bridge. Thank God there was enough room to get around him. He was stuck. It would make a great story.”

IT’S AN ANNUAL story, though, and perhaps even more often that a big rig impales itself on the S curve/grade a mile from Boonville. Happens even more often on the Hopland-to-Lake County road out of Hopland.

RUMORS that crack is being sold on Lambert Lane, central Boonville, seem confirmed by the sudden increase in late night traffic. I asked a local man, “Whatever happened to crank? His reply, “Crank is sooooo 80s.

* * *


* * *


21st Century Lake County Culture, 19th Century Roots

The roots of contemporary Lake County culture began with the Treaty of Guadaloupe Hidalgo, “officially titled the Treaty of Peace, Friendship, Limits and Settlement between the United States of America and the Mexican Republic,” which ended the Mexican-American War on July 4, 1848.

The treaty briefly protected the property rights of Mexican land barons, the Californios, who were unable to claim their lands under new US laws, and helpless to stop the “flood of immigrants beginning with the Gold Rush,” which left them “outnumbered and unable to protect their political power.”

Between the completion of the Treaty with the US and the formation of a new State, newly arrived “European settlers” — who claimed ownership of northern coastal and inland mountainous territories, and enslaved or slaughtered indigenous populations in their way — fought for recognition of a new “California Republic” in what became known as the “Bear Flag Rebellion.”

[Today, one rural road and one residential street in the town of Upper Lake are named for the leaders of the “Bear Flag Rebellion,” Benjamin Dewell and his wife, Celia Elliot. (Wikipedia describes Dewell as the “first white settler of Lake County, California.”) Mr. Dewell acquired his land from Mariano Guadalupe Vallejo who was the Comandante General of the "Free State of Alta California” before the State of California was formed in 1850.]

The general ruggedness of the terrain and its distance from more civilized territories (Sonoma, Napa, Solano to the south, Sacramento to the east) forged a sense of unchallenged independence and reliance on local self-determination for creation of enterprises regulated wholly by local power brokers.

The entrepreneurial “pioneers” who established fledgling towns in Lower and Upper Lake, and eventually fought bitterly over which would become the county seat, yielded bitterly to the better organized founders of the City of Lakeport after many electoral battles. As the “county seat,” Lakeport houses the headquarters of the county’s principal municipality (the “County of Lake”) and its elected officials, many of whom achieved maturity during the earliest days of natural resource regulations introduced by the State in the 1970s.

Resistance to “outsider” influences energized the County’s response to federal and state mandates for ensuring protection of natural resources, using the County's “Home Rule” rule-making powers to create its own “Environmental Protection Guidelines” in the 70s and 80s, followed by establishing a series of ordinances protecting “the public peace, general welfare, health and safety of the citizens and the governments of Lake County from economic and financial damage.”

More importantly, the County’s top authority for land use and zoning of private property — now called the Community Development Department — liberally applies its own adopted “ministerial” authority in granting raw land conversions to lucrative agricultural operations that largely ignore the need to preserve finite groundwater supplies for pre-existing (and badly designed) housing subdivisions in the uplands, the foothills, and the floodplains surrounding the second oldest natural lake in the world, the largest natural lake in the state, and the 3rd most popular bass fishing lake in the US.

Forced by law to provide public health and safety services to a poverty-stricken cluster of “severely economically disadvantaged” communities — former resort and recreation havens for working class retirees from the Central Valley and San Francisco Bay Area — the state-mandated County departments and agencies are housed within the principal municipality, but have limited influence on local decision-making bodies (Board of Supervisors, Planning Commission, and Board-created advisory boards, committees, and commissions), who focus on the economic engines that keep its machinery oiled: Real estate, banking, insurance, construction, and light industry (including commercial agriculture operations, water and sanitation systems, “solid” waste disposal).

Secondary to the ever-industrious land-use enterprises are the retail businesses that provide both residents and visitors with goods and services of everyday life, many of which have been inoperable this year due to the worldwide health crisis (COVID-19) under State and local Public Health Orders.

Outright opposition from some local business owners to the perceived “infringement” of individual Constitutional rights began when the County Sheriff announced that he would not enforce state/county Public Health Orders for prevention of “community spread” of the COVID-19 pandemic virus, on May 1.

Careful management of “non-essential" business and recreational venue re-opening — overseen by the California Governor’s Emergency Management and Public Health agencies — started coming unravelled when a renegate member of the Board of Supervisors declared his opposition to mandatory “facial coverings” required of all business operations, and stood in defiant opposition to the proposal to add modest enforcement options (such as administrative fines) for non-compliant enterprises.

Implicitly invoking the authority of its self-defined ordinance for protection of "the public peace, general welfare, health and safety of the citizens of Lake County from violations of the constitutional rights of the citizens and reaffirming the protections for private property as provided in the fifth and fourteenth amendments to the U.S. Constitition and the Civil Rights Act” (excerpted from Ordinance No. 2267, December 20, 1994), a lone belligerent official and the “independent” county sheriff aroused otherwise docile local residents whose lives have been severely circumscribed by the pandemic’s management strategy: “Sheltering in Place,” prohibited “Social Gatherings,” and prescribed “Social Distancing.”

The battle rages in public hearings and “social media,” and has pitted special interest groups against the vocal majority in favor of conservative health protection strategies, even as national levels of confirmed cases and rising death tolls indicate that protective measures are both effective and necessary. Beyond the petty dispute over the “rights” of small business owners and customers to defy government directives, the lack of cooperation among official agencies threatens the burgeoning capacity of Lake County’s emergency response and disaster management systems we will need for foreseeable wildfire threats and added complications of power/communication system shutdowns.

The next round begins tomorrow at 9:00 a.m. in the unhallowed chambers of the Lake County Board of Supervisors, broadcast on the worldwide web and cable television. May cooler heads prevail.

Betsy Cawn <>

* * *

CATCH OF THE DAY, June 22, 2020

Armas, Bell, Dahlund

JULIAN ARMAS JR., Ukiah. Felon with firearm, probation revocation.

JOSHUA BELL, Fort Bragg. Under influence, disorderly conduct, probation revocation.

KEVIN DAHLUND, Ukiah. Burglary, paraphernalia.

Hernandez, Hidalgo, Laramore

JOHN HERNANDEZ, Ukiah. Under influence.

THOMAS HIDALGO, Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-loitering on private property.

MEGAN LARAMORE, Santa Rosa/Ukiah. DUI-alcohol&drugs.

Lopez, Osborn, Oxford

PHILLIP LOPEZ JR., Ukiah. Parole violation.

JESSICA OSBORN, Fort Bragg. Burglary, stolen property.

RICK OXFORD, Central Point, Oregon/Ukiah. Burglary, stolen property.

* * *


* * *


What they don’t tell you about surviving COVID-19 ('Recovered' doesn't mean healthy again) (Coast Listserve)

Alan Haack wrote: The germ warfare boys did a really good job on this one. Better than landmines. Better than Agent Orange. What is a "germ" anyway? No one knows. That's the genius of germ warfare. It's here, it's there, it's everywhere. Life has been turned upside down all over the planet and very few really know what's going on. The lies are extraordinary, greater than the science. Everyone is terrified. Good work, Dr. Fauci. Another suicidal step.

Marco McClean here. So in your mind, Alan, going by what you've written over the years, including lately, the world is both entirely unknowable outside of faith in God and ancient herbal magic and no-one knows what a germ is, and at the same time unscrupulous men have somehow deliberately manipulated the genes of one of these unknowable germs to create a new disease with specific properties. In other words the world is flat, the sky is a black crystal sphere just a short way up, the sun and moon and planets are on a track, pushed along by angels or leprechauns, and the stars are pinpricks in the sphere that let through the light of Heaven --all that-- /and/ aliens came from other worlds light-centuries away (through the sphere? from the other side of the blinding Heaven? how?) to populate Atlantis and Mu and manipulate human history. Love powers and orders the universe, not math or gravity, and whatever feels right to you is the truth, while whatever feels wrong to you is not, and anyone who disagrees with you is wrong and wrongheaded.

If anything about the world is knowable, it won't be found by magical-thinking paranoid conspiracy theorists in between breaks to rail against vaccines, chemtrails, and whatever latest flavor or color of communications tech frightens you because you don't understand it. In fact, in the real world more and more is learned and known all the time, faster and faster. And most educated people subscribe to the very well-established germ theory of disease, without which our main defense against death is wishing to be cured and banging on pots and pans to drive the demons away.

I remember, back at the beginning of the 1980s, being over at the house of a man who taught computer programming. He showed me to put my hand on the computer box and close my eyes for a moment while waiting for the machine to process instructions or to write a file to a floppy disk. I said, "That's to remind you to wait and not do something else too soon?" "Nope," he said, "It makes it work better." I said, "Makes it work better." He said, "Try it. You'll see." Another time, he told me that everyone will come around to believing in astrology because, he said, "It doesn't matter whether you believe in it or not, it just works." I said, "Give me an example of astrology working." Oh, he had a temper. It was a little scary. Every once in awhile someone would say something completely harmless like that, ask a question, you know, but it would push his button and he'd flip out and bark really vicious things where it was hard to imagine where that might be coming from, and then right afterward he'd be all zen and whispery-sweet and namaste for awhile. Maybe he was just the sign that does that. Maybe it was magnets. Maybe it was a germ. It probably wasn't a leprechaun.

* * *


* * *


Things will be horrendous in this country following the election—no matter who wins the election—-but I don’t think we’ll have to wait until November for the shooting to start. Many rent eviction moratoriums are ending this summer, and July 31 is the cutoff point for the additional $600 unemployment insurance payouts, so a lot of people are going to be in worse financial circumstances soon. The economy will worsen due to increased defaulting. The summer heat will drive people crazy, also. I have a sick feeling it’s going to get very scary. Something…somewhere…is going to happen — a mass shooting incident of some kind—and it will completely coarsen and Balkanize this country. Anyway…have a nice week!!

* * *


* * *


by James Kunstler

For all his apparent clownishness and crudity, Mr. Trump’s counter-resistance may be all that stands, for the moment, between the DNC-sponsored Jacobin jihad, and what remains of a coherent consensus of genuine American values. History is a prankster, of course, and the joke is that Mr. Trump expresses that defense of coherence so incoherently, as in Tulsa the other night. Alas, the joke is on us, but among the many lost lessons of public education in our time is the comprehension that life is tragic. Things work mysteriously, and they don’t always work out.

Mischief is everywhere and America is overwhelmed by that mischief, and the next two weeks are liable to be an awful test to see if we have anything definable as some national purpose left. Is it not obvious that in this time of danger nobody besides the beleaguered president even wants to lead? The cowardly and dishonest Left is too busy kneeling to a mob. Nobody mistakes Chuck Schumer, Mrs. Pelosi, Jerrold Nadler, and Adam Schiff for leaders, and Joe Biden in his basement has less influence over events than the ghost of Norman Bates’s mother.

The only other figure exercising any legitimate authority is the Attorney General, Mr. Barr — functionally an extension of the president — who has to do it with the utmost finesse, since the essence of the DNC Jacobin jihad is a cavalier disregard for law at the same time they weaponize it under the banner of Lawfare. Mr. Barr’s implacable stolidity drives them nuts, such as when he quietly said to Maria Bartiromo yesterday:

“…I do believe there were two standards of justice during a period of time toward the end of the Obama administration…. And all I can do about it is apply one standard of justice, the right standard of justice, and make sure we apply it to everybody equally. And that’s what I’m trying to do…. [I]t’s been stunning that all we have gotten from the mainstream media is sort of bovine silence in the face of the complete collapse of the so-called Russiagate scandal, which they did all they could to sensationalize and drive. And it’s, like, not even a whoops. They’re just onto the next false scandal…. I think it is the closest we have come to an organized effort to push a president out of office.”

Clearly Mr. Barr is onto the game being played. It’s probably hard to overstate the degree of anxiety this stirs up among the leftovers of Robert Mueller’s core Jacobin cadre, and the puppet-masters who unleashed them, including former President Obama and his inner circle. The sensitivity of the matter also can’t be overstated, since the obvious implication in Mr. Barr’s carefully chosen phrases is that this is a case of sedition, which could send some of them to prison for a long time, and blow up some cherished narratives of the Resistance. And he is pursuing it in the face of a coming election — which presents additional new opportunities for Jacobin mischief in messing with the voting process.

All this goes on against the background of the imploding economy. The looting and arson of recent days hugely aggravated a central feature of it: the destruction of small business. In Minneapolis alone, the damage stands at $100-million. Things were difficult enough under the strictures of Covid-19, but this guarantees that many cities will not see the return of commerce — and there are only a few other reasons for cities to even exist. Not only did the Democratic Party fail to object to the mayhem, but the city governments they controlled abetted, incited, and applauded the anarchy.

Saturday in Tulsa, Mr. Trump made the signal error of bragging on the latest highs in the stock markets. Hasn’t he learned by now what a flimsy representation of reality that is? Evidently not. The air may be coming out of that lifebuoy in the next couple of weeks, and his election prospects will sink with it. This will happen as the nation approaches the dark moment when the postponement of debt repayments ends. Imagine how many mortgage, car payments, and small business loan defaults will crackle across the land, and how that will thunder through the banking system. Anyone with half a brain knows that only the strenuous manipulations of the Federal Reserve have kept stocks levitating, doing the only trick they know how to do: printing money by digital keystrokes.

There are so many dimensions to that blunder, it could hasten a more complete economic, civil and social collapse before November 3. If markets somehow magically stayed elevated, would all those Americans dispossessed of houses, cars, and businesses not feel more resentful than ever about the skullduggery of the elites? And might they form a third faction in a burgeoning civil war against both the Woke Left and the Trump-led government? And what if the Federal Reserve’s stupid trick of money-printing destroys the value of the dollar per se? That’s hardly a far-out scenario.

Meanwhile, there’s the sinister joker-in-the-deck these next couple of weeks. It’s called the Fourth of July. It’s hard to imagine a fatter target for those who are truly intent on making things as bad as possible than that particular holiday. Hey, they’ve already torn down statues of George Washington. What else is left to trash?

(Support Kunstler’s writing by visiting his Patreon Page.)

* * *

* * *


[1] If you don’t like the Democratic Party, what is your alternative? The Republican Party (and its backers) are promoters of all of these:

• gutting Social Security

• gutting Medicare and Medicaid

• gutting the Affordable Care Act

• gutting the Voting Rights Act

• voter suppression on an industrial scale

• gerrymandering on an industrial scale

• allowing PACs to run amok

• stacking the Supreme Court with stooges

• stacking the various Federal Courts with ideologues

• kowtowing to the Federalist Society on judicial appointments

• sacking Inspectors General if they speak out

• attacking Roe v Wade (how many Republican women really support this?)

• attacking family planning on an industrial scale

• attacking LGBTQ rights in all sorts of ways

• attacking worker rights and conditions of employment

• winding back industrial relations reforms

• winding back environment protection reforms

• giving huge tax breaks to billionaires to major corporations

• giving huge handouts to corporations rather than small business

Why would any working class or middle class person support any of this stuff? Trump hasn’t “drained the swamp” – he’s done the reverse … he’s filled every position with someone on the inside, who is totally conflicted. Foxes are running the chicken coop on every level.

Any MAGA hat-wearing working-class white out there would be nuts to support any of this stuff.

[2] I've Got the Name!

I think I have the ultimate solution for our [Fort Bragg’s] proposed name change. Going north toward Cleone, there's a street called Nameless Street....I've always loved it and admired the person who proposed it! In order to make everybody happy, we could just change our name from Fort Bragg to Nameless or Nameless

Bay or some such. Nameless California USA. Has a nice ring to it, right. And should offend nobody! Like say, uh, oh, I don't know, maybe BO California or Armpit! Or if we really wanted to capture a mood, we could simply rename it, Ashamed.

[3] Regarding the police, perhaps there is another way of looking at what’s happening. With so many out of work and so much of the economy limping along or outright demolished, tax revenues will be sure to drop dramatically. Will there be sufficient funds to even employ the police at the current level? In a parallel way, look what’s happened in the healthcare business. Although seemingly counter-intuitive, many healthcare workers are being laid off! There is insufficient revenue to pay them. I often wonder if this “let’s defund the police gambit” is just a great cover story for the truth, which is that the money just won’t be there. And that will apply to many other areas of the economy, both private and public.

[4] I think everyone who has ever seriously worked has experienced a hostile work environment; either from the customers or the staff or the boss…or all three! Unfriendliness is a common feature working with the general public and that is why work (and the commutes even more so) are STRESSFUL. If everything was great and our jobs were not threatened by a few complaints from this or that person then what is to worry about because we know we are doing good work? Our lives are no longer about REAL work but some sort of delusional future utopia of a life based on personalities (to be liked) and cartoons (wishing upon a star) and incessant flight responses (happy motoring) to the STRESS of everyday life in the USA by getting in your personal vehicle and leaving the scene. Everyone’s stress is building up because they cannot leave behind the converging disasters of our very unfriendly way of life. They cannot un-see what has been seen. The brutality of life. The dehumanizing aspects of life. It is wherever you go…even at home where people cannot agree on anything anymore. Divorce is commonplace. Broken families are common to all races. So, where are you going to work and live without hostility? Tell me, I want to work there.

* * *


* * *

MARK TWAIN & DAN DE QUILLE: The Typographical Howitzer (1880)

by Sam Davis & Mark Twain, (1947)

Their Great Indian Fight in Mendocino County — Exterminating Redskins with Babbes Metal — They Fire a Whole Printing Office from a Howitzer — A Typographical Sedan

It was nearly twenty years ago when Dan De Quille and Mark Twain attempted to start a paper in Mendocino county. They took the type and material of their recently defunct newspaper establishment in San Francisco, and loading the stuff on a big wagon, struck out into the country to retrieve their fortunes. They packed their type just as it stood in the forms, tied up the articles with stout cords by a process well known to printers and packing them closely in boxes, vowed to establish a newspaper somewhere which would be the leading exponent of politics and history for the Pacific Coast. Had not an unfortunate circumstance taken place it is quite evident that the same newspaper which they contemplated founding would have been alive today. Their journey over the mountains was utterly uneventful until they reached Simpson’s Station, a spot well known to old travelers on that route. Here they met a party of emigrants making for Lower California, and the latter had with them a small mountain howitzer which they had brought with them across the plains. 


Twain took a great fancy to this gun, and offered $50 for it with two kegs of powder thrown in. The emigrants were glad enough to part with it as they concluded the time for its use had passed. Dan thought the purchase of the artillery and military supplies was a reckless piece of extravagance and said as much, but Twain replied: 

“When we start our paper we must fire a salute. A newspaper office with artillery has a big bulge on the business. No well regulated office in California should be without a howitzer. If a man comes in for a retraction we can blow him into the next conuty. The howitzer goes.” 

This silenced the argument and the next day the two journalists took the road with their printing outfit and artillery. 


On the next night they camped in a mountain ravine fifteen miles from Simpson’s, and after building the usual campfire, fell asleep. About 11 o’clock the horses awakened them by prancing about and the two journalists were led to the conclusion that nothing less than a party of Indians were making arrangements for a night attack. In the clear moon light they could be distinguished about half a mile away at the foot of the ravine. The idea of encountering Indians had never entered the heads of the two fortune-seekers, and they had no arms. Suddenly Twain brightened up remarking: 

“The howitzer!” 

“We’ve got nothing but powder,” said Dan. 

“Well, powder’ll scare’em, and we’ll load her up.” 

The piece was immediately loaded with a good big charge and the two men felt quite certain that the Indians, bearing the roar of the gun, would beat an an conditional retreat. The piece was hardly loaded and placed in position when about fifty of the redskins came charging up the ravine. 


Twain seized a brand from the campfire and was about to lay it on the touch hole when Dan yelled “Hold on!” as he rammed something into the mouth of the piece and remarked, 

“Turn ’er loose." 

The roar of the howitzer echoed through the lonely forests and the savages, with frantic cries of pain, reeled down the ravine in wild confusion. 

“What in h—ll did you put in?” asked Mark. 

“A column of solid nonpareil and a couple of sticks of your spring poetry.” 

“The poetry did the business, Dan. Get one of your geological articles ready for the next charge and I guess it’ll let the red devils out for the present campaign." 


The savages again advanced. Mark attended to the powder and Dan sorted the shot, so to speak. 

"Jeems Pipes song, ‘My Mountain Home.’” 

“Good for three Indians; sock ’er in.” 

"An acrostic by John B. Bidge in long primer.” 

“It’ll paralyze ’em,” 

“Frank Pixley on the Constitution, half a column of leaded brevier.” 

“If it hits ’em the day is won.” 

“Your leader on Law and Order.” 

“Save it as a last resort.” 

Dan pulled the type out of the boxes and stuffed column after column in the howitzer’s mouth as the savages came charging on. Another round from the gun and the redskins rolled over and over each other like boulders swept away by a mountain cloud burst. Mark, in an ecstacy of delight, pulled an American flag out of bis effects, nailed it to the tail board of the wagon and was about to make a speech, when the dusky figures of the foe were once more seen moving to the attack. 

The piece was again loaded, and this time with a double charge. Mark's leader on “Law and Order,” the puff of an auction house by Fred McCrellish (“as a sickener," Dan said), Frank Gross’ verses on “The Rebel Yell,” an agricultural article by Sam Sebaugh, showing the chemical properties of corn juice as an educational lever, a maiden poetical effort of Olive Harper, and some verses by Col. Cremony and Frank Soule completed the load. 

“That poetry, reaching ’em first, will throw ’em into confusion, and my editorial, coming upon the heels of the rest, will result in a lasting demoralization. It will be like the last cavalry charge of the French at the battle of Austerlitz,” 


For the third and last time the faithful howitzer belched its typographical compliments to the advancing foe. The havoc was terrible. There was a wild yell from a score of savage throats and then the low groans of the dying floated up the ravine on the gentle wind. The two men walked over the field of slaughter and counted fifty-six aboriginals lying in heaps. The bodies were horribly mutilated with nonpareil, long primer, two-line pica, bourgeous, “caps,” misere dashes, mid unsorted pi. 

“My leader cooked that man’s goose,” said Mark, pointing to a savage with his bowels hanging over the limb of a cedar. 

“My geological article did the business for him,” rejoined Dan, nodding carelessly to an Indian whose head was lying twenty yards away. 

“The pen is mightier then the sword.” 

“You bet. Hurrah for Faust and Gutenberg.” 

“Is there any type left?" 

"Not a pound.” 

Ten days later the two journalistic tramps reached Virginia City weary, discouraged and foot sore and secured a place ou the “Enterprise." 


A few days ago Dan received the following from his former partner: 

Hartford (Conn.), Jan. 1, 1880. 

Dear Dan: I send you the congratulations of the New Year. Do you rocollect the time we exterminated the tribe of unlettered (?) savages in Mendocino County? If you can spare the time, I wish you would make a pilgrimage to that historic spot, gather the ghostly relics together and plant a tablet (not too expensive at your own expense) to the memory of the departed. Have a shooting-stick laying across a long bow, with our monogram and coat of arms entwined, and some appropriate epitaph carved in the stone; an extract from Carl Schurz’s “Peace Policy” might do. Enclosed is a dollar and a half for your incidental expenses; you can dead head traveling expenses. 

Yours, Mark Twain. 

PS.—Send me a thighbone of the fallen chief by next express. M. T. Dan wilt attend to the matter in the Spring. The old howitzer used on the occasion is still in his nossession.—

(Carson City Appeal)

* * *



  1. Lazarus June 23, 2020


    Hey H! Are them those new-fangled thought bubbles?
    Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman…

    Be “Swell”,

  2. James Marmon June 23, 2020


    “AVA subscribers distancing themselves from reality.”

    Stay in your bubble folks.

    James Marmon
    MAGA-Hatted Zomboid

    • James Marmon June 23, 2020

      The Frank Crawford tragedy was a big deal around Mendocino County back in the day. My dad, a local logger and airplane owner/pilot never let a dinner go by without mentioning the Crawford’s and their possible whereabouts. This went on for 2 years. Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.

      Harry Merlo Interview

      “In part, it was a family tragedy that precipitated Merlo’s acquisition of Crawford Lumber Company. Frank (55) and Vivian (53) Crawford, along with two companions, were killed when their Cessna 320, piloted by Vivian, crashed in Canada on September 7, 1966. The group had left Ukiah on September 2 for a fishing trip; they were returning when their plane went down in a remote area, thick with timber. Exactly two years passed before hunters accidentally spotted the wreckage.”

      “Frank Crawford’s people were the best to be found.”

      -Harry Merlo

      James Marmon (aka Jim Woolley)

      • Jeff Fox June 23, 2020

        After the Crawfords lost their lives, my old boss Al Thrasher (also a timber exec) stopped using his small airplane and bought a helicopter. He felt that they were a safer alternative to small planes because if he got in trouble he could land in rugged country without an airstrip. He once took a couple of us out for a ride and landed on a river bar on the Russian River to show us what it could do. I was only 18 at the time and was quite impressed.

      • Lazarus June 23, 2020

        Earl Maize was killed in that crash also. There’s at least one street in Brooktrails named Maize. It was before my arrival in Willits, but when I got there people would mention it, from time to time.

        Be swell,

  3. chuck dunbar June 23, 2020

    “For all his apparent clownishness and crudity, Mr. Trump’s counter-resistance may be all that stands, for the moment, between the DNC-sponsored Jacobin jihad, and what remains of a coherent consensus of genuine American values… ”

    This first sentence of James Kunstler’s piece today, gives good warning that what follows may not make much sense. And Kunstler’s answer is that AG Barr, Trump’s loyal henchman, is our savior, the one who represents these “genuine American values” and who will expose the Democrats’ “sedition.” Man, reality gets turned on its head, and Kunstler burrows further into the rabbit hole of conspiracy-thinking.

    • George Hollister June 23, 2020

      Good point. I am left wondering what is worse, another 4 years of Trump, or putting the hysterical liberal mob in charge? Biden might not fit the hysterical mold, but he won’t be the one in charge, or the one writing the speeches, either.

      • Harvey Reading June 23, 2020

        You won’t have to wonder for long, old man.

  4. Lazarus June 23, 2020

    Pretty good push back from the Brass today. The Sheriff and District Attorney have taken exception to Supervisor Haschak and Supervisor Williams Police Commission idea. Then you have Sups McCowen and Brown seemingly piling on.
    The sadist in me wishes those two were hanging around. It would make for routinely drama-filled meetings…

    Stay Swell.

    • James Marmon June 23, 2020

      “Friends don’t audit friends”

      -Camille Schraeder and Carre Brown

  5. Harvey Reading June 23, 2020


    Teddy? Hell yes! And Rushmore, too.

    • James Marmon June 23, 2020

      Before you guys erase all history, Teddy should be remembers for something other than racism. He was the founder of the “old green deal”.

      After becoming president in 1901, Roosevelt used his authority to establish 150 national forests, 51 federal bird reserves, four national game preserves, five national parks and 18 national monuments on over 230 million acres of public land. Today, the legacy of Theodore Roosevelt is found across the country.


      • Harvey Reading June 23, 2020

        Not erasing real history. Just getting rid of the icons and hagiographies glorifying scumballs. Too bad he didn’t get his just reward in Cuba. Those forests and such would still be here. They have mostly been (mis)managed for the benefit of kaputalist plunderers including livestock farmers, hydrocarbon extractors, mineral extractors, and timber devastators, not in the public interest.

  6. Harvey Reading June 23, 2020


    So, how do the fakeocrats differ from the thuglican fascists? Clinton did away with Aid to Families with Dependent Children and would have taken out Social Security except for the distraction of Monica’s lips caressing his “manhood”. “Both” parties love a good war on dark-skinned people, especially so when it is based on complete falsehood. And, both love to plunder natural resources as though they were endless. Screw humans. We’re gonna get exactly what we have coming, and soon.

  7. George Hollister June 23, 2020

    Great interview of John Bolton by Bret Baier on Fox today. If you missed it, it might be running again later tonight.

    • Harvey Reading June 23, 2020


    • George Hollister June 23, 2020

      Bret Baier does a great job. The interview exposes the deep divide between the conservatives Trump represents and the “Neo-conservatives” Bolton represents. Trump represents the working man who only cares about American economic interests, “what’s in the best interest of America.” Bolton represents a long tradition of Americans in the educated class who promote American Exceptionalism. Neither Trump or Bolton spent any time listening to what the other was saying before they worked together. The combination was doomed to fail from the start.

      • Harvey Reading June 23, 2020

        LOL. Conservatives are conservatives. They care only for the wealthy. Nothing they say or write is worth hearing or reading. It is always lies or embellishment intended to mislead. They are the scumballs who think statues of racists or memorials to “warriors” who fought and died in their despicable wars are good propaganda to keep us white trash believing their BS and willing to encourage our kids to join up for use as cannon fodder. In short, conservatives are the scum of the earth. They include most democraps and ALL thuglicans.

  8. George Hollister June 24, 2020

    Trump has definitely shaken things up in Washington, and the John Bolton book is only the latest evidence. “Trump is unfit for office” has been the theme of Washington insiders since the Obama administration. My thoughts have been the same, but he was elected, and he is doing what he said he was going to do. Trump’s focus is on trade and immigration. Those are the issues that effect the heartland of America, and the heartland likes Trump. Trump does not give a twit about the internal workings of other countries, and believes this is purely their business. That is completely at odds with Bolton’s thinking.

Leave a Reply