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MCT: Tuesday, September 8, 2020

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GUSTY NORTHEAST TO EAST WINDS and dry air will bring increased fire weather concerns into Wednesday. Interior temperatures will continue a gradual cooling trend through Thursday. Warm and partly cloudy conditions along the coast today will give way to cloudier and milder weather later in the week. (NWS)

HIGHS YESTERDAY: Boonville 106°, Yorkville 108°, Ukiah 111°, Fort Bragg 72°

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WHEN FIRE broke out northeast of Willits Monday about 12:30pm — north of Brooktrails, west of 101 — Sheriff Kendall quickly ordered mandatory evacuations for a large area north of Willits. 

Perhaps even more ominously is the news that the two CalFire air tankers from Ukiah were out of county on assignment elsewhere, meaning CalFire is stretched to the breaking point. The Oak Fire, as the Willits blaze is called, is burning east at a slow rate of speed, but Monday afternoon, a giant tanker was over the Covelo area blaze. 

BY 5PM, the Oak Fire north of Willits was at 1,000 acres with no containment. Here's the CalFire link for more details:

UPDATES (Tuesday morning)

THE OAK FIRE just northwest of Willits —Brooktrails, was spreading rapidly Monday evening and was over 1,000 acres. It may have been started from a propane tank exploding and completely engulfing the house it served. A reader suggested that propane tanks be placed where the temp does not exceed 120 Fahrenheit.

ABOUT 5:30 Highway 101 was closed in both directions by the #OakFire. Northbound traffic was stopped at the north end of the Willits Bypass while southbound traffic was halted at the Covelo turnoff at Route 162. The west area of Brooktrails was told to evacuate at 5pm with the main body of the subdivision told to standby. Soon after that the evacuation order covered all of Brooktrails.

At 7:39 pm as night fell the air assets left to go back to their bases - but they will remain committed to the incident. The only aircraft remaining at the scene was the spotter plane & CalFire copter #101.

At 7:50 pm, CalFire ground units were told to "get those dozer lines in - in case that expected wind develops tonight."

The number of people refusing to evacuate continues to grow. All their addresses, and the number of people there who refused to leave, are relayed to the dispatch center. It ranges from single-family homes to rental "units."

At 8:03 pm a weather advisory was given - North winds were expected to pick up to 20 mph from 10:00 pm to midnight.


FYI, while Highway 101 remains closed due to the Brooktrails fire, the Water District, Healthy Start, and Harwood Park Association have set up a traveler comfort station in the Harwood Park lot, including water for livestock and horses, and grazing area around the park and rodeo grounds. Among other stranded travelers we have a small contingent with horses from Boonville here who were returning from a roping competition up in Humboldt County but are stuck here until 101 reopens.


Much of Brooktrails has evacuated. Parts of Willits and surrounds are under an evacuation warning. We are blocking people from going up Sherwood from Main St. Much will depend on how the winds treat us tonight.

THE FIRE jumped 101 last night north of Oil Well Hill, Willits. 

TRAFFIC IS HEAVY through Anderson Valley because 101 at Willits remains closed in both direction. All south bound traffic from 101 coming down Highway One and Branscomb Road through Westport on down One and onto 128.

CALTRANS offers this workaround to avoid the closure on Hwy 101: “A detour around the #OakFire to U.S. Highway 101 is available if northbound traffic takes Route 20 west to Route 1 north to Leggett. Southbound traffic can take the reverse or access Route 128."


If you live in the evacuation zone surrounding the Oak Fire north of Willits, and are currently under COVID-19 Isolation or Quarantine Orders from Mendocino County Public Health, please contact the Department Operations Center COVID-19 Shelter Hotline at (707) 472-2676 for further information and direction regarding this shelter. We have acquired emergency housing specifically for this purpose, provided to those under isolation and quarantine orders at no cost.

We urge you to evacuate safely, and maintain isolation and quarantine until you arrive at a safe location, such as the shelter.

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SEVEN MORE COVID CASES in Mendo on Monday. Total now at 773, with 88 active and in isolation or hospital. 

CASE PERCENTAGES BY REGION: Dividing number of identified Covid-19 cases into total population of each region yields the following percentages (listed from high to low):

  1. 1.57% - Ukiah Area (Ukiah, Talmage, Calpella, Redwood Valley, Potter Valley)
  2. 0.45% - South County (Comptche, Philo, Boonville, Yorkville, Hopland)
  3. 0.39% - North Coast (Caspar, Fort Bragg, Cleone, Newport, Westport, Rockport)
  4. 0.34% - North County (Willits, Brooktrails, Laytonville, Covelo, Dos Rios, Leggett, Piercy)
  5. 0.14% - South Coast (Mendocino, Little River, Albion, Elk, Manchester, Point Arena, Anchor Bay, Gualala)

(Figures pulled from county website on September 6, 2020)

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SUNSET OVER THE OCEAN from our driveway.

(photo by Dick Whetstone)

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IT WAS 101° at 11am in Boonville on Labor Day, 115° at 2pm with a fire burning northwest of Willits complete with mandatory evacuations and an evacuation center already set up at Willits High School. The fire was burning in an easterly direction but still north of heavily populated Brooktrails and, as of 3pm, had not jumped 101 to the east.

MUCH APPRECIATED the live fire reporting by the intrepid Danilla Sands, who I tuned in on at a little after 2pm when she was perched on Oil Well Hill just north of Willits beside 101. Like many of you, I'm sure, I have many friends in the fire area and potential fire area. 

STILL no Biden bumpersticker sightings with two months to election time. But also little evidence of Trumpers, with only one Trump flag on AV Way, Boonville. As we head into the 8th inning, Trump 1, Biden O.

THE MIGHTY AVA will have its election analyses in a week or two before ballots go out first week in October. For now here's how the League of Women Voters see the propositions:

  • YES on Prop 15: Schools & Communities First
  • YES on Prop 16: Opportunity For All
  • YES on Prop 17: Restore Voting Rights
  • YES on Prop 18: Voting Rights For 17-Year Olds
  • NO on Prop 19: Property Tax Breaks
  • NO on Prop 20: Rollback On Criminal Justice Reforms
  • NO on Prop 24: Consumer Data Privacy
  • YES on Prop 25: End Cash Money Bail

Note: there are no League recommendations on these state propositions:

  • Prop 14 has to do with $5.5 billion more for stem cell research, and why not since it's all funny money from here on.
  • Prop 21 limits rent increases
  • Prop 22 exempts contract workers like Uber from labor laws. Natch Uber and the rest of the App pirates prefer the status quo to resist contract or gig workers becoming employees with certain costly (to the employer) protections
  • Prop 23 would cut dialysis workers and increase the already sizable profits garnered annually by the medical vultures who own dialysis clinics.

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LIFE IN 2022

Walter Molino, 1962

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JEFF BLANKFORT: "Global warming on my doorstep. Today, at the beginning of a heat wave, it was 106 in the shade outside of the front door. It has been that hot before. But what is new is that at 10:10 pm, the outside temperature (where I will be sleeping tonight) is 94!

Moreover, there is an almost total absence of flying insects, either gathering around the outside light, or anywhere else. Perceptibly, over the years, we have seen fewer and fewer of these long time participants in warm summer nights. More evidence of how our superior species is destroying the planet."

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NIGHT LIGHT OF THE NORTH COAST: A Timelapse Trip: Moonlit Meadow

by David Wilson

A couple of stones’ throws north of the Humboldt-Mendocino county line in rural southern Humboldt County, California, I watched the moonlight wash away the Milky Way and bathe the land in its pale glow. 

“Cold-hearted orb that rules the night,” I thought, recalling lines from the Moody Blues,

“Removes the colors from our sight.

“Red is grey, and yellow white,

“But we decide which is right —

“And which is an illusion.”

Indeed. It has been said that the camera doesn’t lie, but in fact, mine hardly ever shows me what I saw with my own eyes. If you have followed me, you will certainly agree. So, does the camera record reality? Or do our eyes? Maybe it isn’t one or the other, nor even anywhere in between. Maybe reality is off to the side. Maybe there is more than one reality.

So what was it really like that night? Was it as still a night as it had seemed to me, standing as I was at the edge of the meadow, the stars hanging motionless in the sky overhead and a colorless, dimly illuminated landscape spread before me? It seemed so to me. I sat with the cameras for an hour, every glance assuring me that the stars were fixed in place, the moonlight motionless across a terrain robbed of its hues.

But the cameras were enjoying their own worlds. Taking one photograph after another over the course of several hours, they were each looking at the night in 20-second slices, a new look recorded every few seconds. These “stills” contained stars elongated from their travel across the sky, and the land was not only bright as day, but in full color as well. Over the course of several hours, my two cameras captured around 900 such individual images, each one ever so slightly different as the moonlight slid across the land and the stars crept across the sky. 

I strung all the photos together to make the frames of the accompanying time-lapse video to present a camera’s long and patient interpretation of that slice of that night. It’s not what I saw. But it is what happened.

To read previous entries of “Night Light of the North Coast,” click on my name above the article. To keep abreast of my most current photography or purchase a print, visit and contact me at my website or follow me on Instagram at @david_wilson_mfx .

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CATCH OF THE DAY, September 6-September 7, 2020

Arreola, Avila, Bach

ELIO ARREOLA-TORRES, Santa Rosa/Ukiah. Stolen vehicle, suspended license.

DANIEL AVILA-OCHOA, Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.

ERIC BACH, Ukiah. Controlled substance, failure to appear.

Delacruz, Eaton, Flinton

NORMA DELACRUZ, Ukiah. DUI, no license.

KASEY EATON, Ukiah. Grant theft, burglary.

SEAN FLINTON, Fort Bragg. Disorderly conduct-alcohol. (Frequent flyer.)

Franco, Freeman, Hauger

TATIANA FRANCO-CORTEZ, Garberville/Ukiah. Assault with deadly weapon not a gun, vandalism.

MICHAEL FREEMAN JR., Covelo. Protective order violation, failure to appear.


Higareda, Kester, Martinez

EDUARDO HIGAREDA, Fort Bragg. DUI causing injury.

ADAM KESTER, Willits. Petty theft with priors, probation revocation.

ISMAEL MARTINEZ, Fort Bragg. Harboring wanted felon, felon with stun gun, saps or similar weapons, evasion by reckless driving, county parole violation.

Mastrangelo, Munoz, Salo

NICO MASTRANGELO, Redding/Ukiah. Vandalism.

ORLANDO MUNOZ, Ukiah. Domestic battery, probation revocation.

ERNEST SALO, Fort Bragg. Controlled substance, resisting.

Sellmer, Sierra, Silveira

JACOB SELLMER, Ukiah. Vandalism.

SAMUEL SIERRA, Ukiah. Appropriation of lost property without trying to return it, controled substance without prescription, paraphernalia, probation revocation.

FABIO SILVEIRA, Modesto/Ukiah. Conspiracy with special allegation of violent felony.

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HUMBOLDT PROGRESSIVE DEMOCRATS Endorse Local Candidates in November Election

Humboldt Progressive Democrats endorsed several local candidates at our special meeting Friday night, September 4th. Using a virtual remote meeting platform, each candidate spoke to members about their vision and platform and answered question from members. Topics ranged from sea level rise to defunding the police to living wages and affordable housing. 

Members voted to endorse the following candidates in the November 3rd general election:

  • Arcata City Council: Emily Grace Goldstein, Collin Yeo, and Kimberley White 
  • Eureka City Council Ward 2: Kati Moulton 
  • Eureka City Council Ward 4: Elizabeth “Liza” Welsh
  • Humboldt County Community Services District: David Haynie and Heidi Benzonelli

This election will be a game changer as our country and planet are facing unprecedented and existential challenges. As noted by Vice-Chair Michele Walford, “These progressive candidates embody the compassion and humanity that is needed to meet our most urgent needs well as the vision and abilities to make it happen in the most efficient, environmentally friendly, and human-centered way possible.”

Humboldt Progressive Democrats is an official Democratic Party Club, chartered by the Humboldt County Central Committee. We are grassroots, progressive activists mobilizing political participation for social, environmental, & economic justice. Our vision is a free, open, transparent election process where electeds, candidates, and legislation can focus on achieving what the public needs and wants. We believe our progressive agenda will only be advanced by getting big money out of politics - therefore Humboldt Progressive Democrats supports progressive legislation and candidates currently free from corporate donations. Please join us in making progressive change locally and beyond. Learn more at

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When the novel coronavirus crisis hit, hotel workers everywhere were among the first to feel the massive job losses that are now worse than the Great Depression of the 1930s.  In city after city, the women and men who clean rooms, make beds and cook food found themselves wondering if they and their unions would survive.  In April 2020, David Bacon interviewed Anand Singh, President of UNITE HERE Local 2 in San Francisco, about that question. Singh's vision of the COVID crisis as a trial by fire, from which the labor movement can emerge stronger, is a welcome antidote to feeling powerless in the face of the virus.

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Somehow, I’m imagining a helicopter landing on the roof of the White House with a desperate bunch scrambling up into the machine to be whisked away to an aircraft carrier off the coast. Shades of Saigon. The “orcs” are inside the wire or will be. The Pentagon said, “nothing doing. We ain’t coming.” When the Orc leadership is banging away in the Lincoln bedroom, folks in the hinterlands will find their few greenbacks are the equivalent of the Sears Catalog in grandma’s outhouse. Sooooooo…may I have more ammo sir? In the the space of a relative few weeks, the city of New York has gone under. If that alone doesn’t send up the signal flare that the shit has hit the fan, I don’t know what will. I have to admit though, having been unwillingly taken into the service of my country via the US Army and made into a “sucker” for going to Vietnam instead of Canada, I find the whole thing humorous in the sense of George Carlin. When the orcs are raping your neighborhood and burning your house down, remember to mail in your ballot before that.

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by James Kunstler

The abiding mystery of the 2020 election is how come the Democratic Party, wishing so zealously to win back power, took pains to nominate a candidate weaker than the ghost of Millard Fillmore. Resorting to Occam’s Razor, one might have to conclude that Joe Biden was simply the best they had — a surefire case for the party’s necessary extinction.

The Labor Day starting-gun kicks off the high campaign season and Ol’ White Joe wobbles forth from his lair under a rock somewhere to dazzle audiences of six or eight sympathetic journos posed in “social distancing” formation while the party’s Antifa and BLM shock troops soften up voters elsewhere across the land with vote-winning riots, arson, and looting. There’s a recipe for political success!

You have to wonder how the claque of DC deep state players behind this fiasco could come up with a game-plan so stupidly inept… but there it is! Apparently, they’re laying further plans now to bum-rush Ol’ Joe into the White House by main force with a “color revolution” — that is, an orchestrated fake popular revolt as in the Ukraine Maidan regime change operation of 2014. In fact, as Revolver News reports, the same wrecking crew of US State Department officials, intel spooks, contract insurrectionists, and George Soros-sponsored NGO intriguers is behind the US 2020 “Transition Integrity Project” aimed at launching a US post-election coup against Mr. Trump, no matter how the election actually goes.

The plan was all over the web wires this holiday weekend. Everybody knows exactly what to expect now: a November 3 Trump election victory followed by a king-tide of post-election write-in votes for Ol’ Joe… a long, drawn-out, and surely inconclusive battle trying to validate scores of millions of postmarks and signatures… and a skein of Lawfare-managed shenanigans conducted in battleground state legislatures to change-out electoral college slates. And any objections by Mr. Trump and his party will be labeled as Putin-backed fascist treason.

Will that result in Mr. Biden actually gliding into the oval office? No, it will bring on a years’ long quasi civil war sure to finish off the institutions of a federal republic and also whatever remains of the US economy. Is that what y’all really want, Nancy Pelosi, Hillary & Bill Clinton, Barack Obama, Adam Schiff, Bill Kristol, David Frum, Dean Baquet, and five hundred other seditious political degenerates out there?

A centerpiece of the operation is the planned 50-day protest beginning mid-month in Lafayette Square, across the way from the White House. We’re supposed to expect the usual Hieronymus Bosch spectacle of Antifa / BLM antics: fireworks, bullhorns, lasers, flying water bottles, tranny dances, toppled statues, smashed fences. That ragtag mob and their Democratic Party “allies” have been trying their goshdarndest for half a year to produce a crop of Kent State style martyrs at the hands of police to horrify the conscience of the nation…but so far, no luck.

Instead they have to settle for a succession of thugs-on-drugs resisting arrest violently, and getting themselves shot or killed in the process. The latest ringer, one Daniel Prude of Rochester, New York, is actually a catch-up case from last March, sort of a bench player for “the Resistance,” put into the game to counter the bad publicity from the Sept. 3 murder in Portland, OR, of Aaron Danielson by “100-percent Antifa” Michael Forest Reinoehl.

In the Rochester case, the police were initially contacted by the victim’s brother after Mr. Prude “acted erratically,” including diving down a flight of stairs head-first. After an evaluation in a Rochester hospital, Mr. Prude came home, freaked out again, and took off his clothing in the street. Police returned to the scene. During his arrest, Mr. Prude raved, “Give me that gun,” and spat at the officers. Since the Covid-19 outbreak had started weeks earlier, the cops put a hood on Mr. Prude to avoid his projected body fluids and physically subdued him. In the process, he went unconscious and eight days later was pronounced dead. Of course, his death was declared “a homicide,” with “excited delirium and acute intoxication by phencyclidine, or PCP (aka “angel dust”) listed as “a contributing factor.” Now, months later, BLM and Antifa forces are mobilized and procede to riot, trashing another Democratic Party-governed city.

Quite a clever election strategy: to wreak as much destruction in cities they control so that voters naturally will blame it on the other party, led by its candidate, the wicked president Trump. Is it possible that plan is not working? That voters are perhaps drawing different conclusions — like maybe they’re getting wise to the seditious hustle being run on them, and maybe a little sick and tired of it?

The upcoming Lafayette Square “protest” will be interesting. The US government transferred management of Washington DC to a chartered city council and mayor with the District of Columbia Home Rule Act of 1973. The US retains certain prerogatives for safeguarding federal buildings, monuments, and other installations. DC Mayor Muriel Bowser demonstrated a lack of initiative for controlling mob violence during the June riots. Will she let it happen again during the election season?

So far this year, Mr. Trump has allowed the Democratic Party to disgrace itself in acquiescing to mobs and riots around the country. In DC, they’ll be daring him to draw the line, perhaps hoping for federal peace officers to step in and finally produce that crop of useful martyrs “the Resistance” longs for. Personally, I don’t think the voters are liable to blame the president for taking action against additional violent anarchy in the nation’s capital. Do you remember those words from the oath of office, by any chance: preserve, protect and defend? Meanwhile, Ol’ White Joe will be standing by, doing as much for his country as the ghost of Millard Fillmore.

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

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Wherever God erects a house of prayer

the Devil always builds a chapel there;

And 't will be found, upon examination,

the latter has the largest congregation.

— Daniel Defoe, The True-Born Englishman, 1701

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by Ralph Nader

Why can’t the Democratic Party landslide the serial corporate criminal and government outlaw Donald Trump? He is a servant of Wall Street and, by his deeds favoring the powerful, a proven “enemy of the people.”

Why has the Democratic Party been losing again and again at the federal and state level to the worst, cruelest, soft on corporate corruption, war-mongering, anti-worker Republican Party in history?

The answers are many. The Democratic Party is indentured to monied interests and is incapable of taking responsibility for its losses and mistakes. Democratic operatives resist organized grassroots pressure and the party excludes/punishes any dissent inside its ranks. The shrinking trade unions that have historically pushed the Democratic Party are increasingly content with crumbs for workers and afraid of union members who have swallowed the Trump lies.

The two-party duopoly and an electoral system that obstructs challengers from smaller parties lets the Democratic Party stagnate. Unfortunately, the fate of the nation and our Constitutional Republic is in its hands. Joe Biden should be thirty points ahead in the polls against the delusional, falsifying, lawless, selected occupant of the White House who spends most of his time tweeting insults, lies, and fictional accusations when he isn’t watching the Fox News adoring bloviators. Instead, Biden’s lead is in single digits and he is having a hard time getting the offensive Trump on the defense. Here are some suggestions for the Democratic Party’s quivering leaders:

1. Organize a mass demand for Trump/Pence to Step Aside and let experienced pandemic scientists and managers run the federal response to Covid-19, saving tens of thousands of lives and allowing the economy to recover. Trump’s Virus, spreading daily owing to Trump’s bungling, fabricating, quackering, chaos, denials, and grinding government scientists through his ignorant, ego-obsessed shredders, requires such a demand. It will encourage more people and state and local governments to be more assertive and insist on professional management and critical coordination by Washington.

There are many Republicans in Congress who privately dread how the daily Trump Virus Show is diminishing their own electoral poll numbers.

2. Stop Coddling, Aiding, and Abetting Corporate Crooks who are cheating and endangering the health/safety of red state and blue state Americans alike. Demand Law and Order enforcement and greater funding for the corporate crime police. By massively dismantling government law enforcement, Trump is intensifying the corporate crime wave with subsidies, handouts, bailouts, and huge tax escapes. How’s that for putting Big Business over Main Street? Let them steal, let them pollute, let them park their profits in tax havens abroad are elements of the Trumpian mantra which he brazenly applies to his own business interests.

3. Stop Trump from committing big-time violations of our Constitution and our federal laws in order to deepen his dictatorial regime. Trump illegally uses federal employees and property to promote his political campaign – a federal crime under the Hatch Act. He seizes the “power of the purse” from Congress, spending money for unauthorized domestic and foreign objectives thereby violating the criminal statute known as the Anti-Deficiency Act. He fires prosecutors and Inspectors General closing in on his and his crony’s crimes and egregious misdeeds.

Take on Trump when he declares phony national emergencies to grab more dictatorial powers making him the largest national emergency of them all. Trump makes it easy for the Democrats when he declares “I have an Article II, where I have the right to do whatever I want as president.”

Nixon was about to be impeached and convicted in 1974, before he resigned, for a tiny fraction of what the Democrats are letting Trump get away with.

4. Announce it is time to Vote Trump Out and Vote in the long-overdue Pay Raise. Ending the freeze on the $7.25 per hour federal minimum wage and raising some 25 million workers’ wages to $15 per hour would answer the question: “Whose Side are You On?” The House of Representatives has passed a $15 an hour minimum wage bill, though with a long implementation schedule. The Republican Senate, however, blocks passage and it has blocked the $600 a week relief payment to many millions of Americans without jobs due to Trump’s Virus.

Shouldn’t the Democrats make these contrasting, notorious corporate-driven cruelties more vivid, and more front and center? Repetition is what reaches people who are numb to years of empty rhetoric and who want authenticity. Comparing Walmart’s CEO making $12,000 an hour while many of his workers languish well under $15 per hour sharpens what should be the authentic contrast between the Republicans and Democrats.

5. Make Mitch McConnell, the self-styled “Grim Reaper” toady of big business, who buries scores of good bills passed by the House, the number two Ogre in the campaign. The evil McConnell is the worst suffocator of necessities for the American people, their children, and retirees in American congressional history. The Democrats have listed scores of bills under McConnell’s chokehold – such as protections for poor children, fragile worker and retiree pensions (including those for coal miners in his state of Kentucky), lowering drug prices and expanding health care coverage, controlling climate disasters – to name a few. Yet, once again, they have not made “Moscow Mitch’s” record (including blocking safeguards for election security and voter’s rights) vocal, vivid, and front of center. The Democrats certainly have the campaign money to do so.

The arrogant McConnell is up for re-election against a hyper-cautious conservative Democratic opponent. Democrats should take McConnell’s pompous boast “The one thing I get to do that the other 99 /Senators/ don’t get to do, is decide what we’re going to do.” and flood Kentucky with the truth about this malicious, destructive tyrant of the Senate and his 200 confirmed right-wing and corporate judges. McConnell’s lapdog delivery of the Senate has made possible Trump’s monarchical drive to repeal the American Revolution against Kings and for “a new birth of freedom.”

6. Last November, 61% of women in a national CNN poll wanted Trump impeached and convicted. Certainly on their minds was Trump’s long history of being a publicly bragging sexual predator and a terrible example for boys and young men. Over twenty brave women have come forward with credible accusations of sexual assaults by lying Donald. Why aren’t the Democrats making this a campaign issue and making Trump pay a political price for such disgusting outrages? Democrats can turn the Republican Party’s campaigns on “values” against Trump and his apologists.

7. The Democratic Party must choose to stand with the people by presenting a solemn covenant that improves all the livelihoods of all Americans and addresses the widespread anxiety, dread, and fear where they live, work, and raise their families. Help make people’s dreams of a secure, fulfilling future a reality. This specific covenant would show that the Democratic Party stands for much more specific changes than not being Trump. Make it vivid and memorable, including empowering the people in distinct ways.

If you like these suggestions, add some of your own, and call or email Democratic National Chairman Tom Perez, Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and the House Democratic Caucus leader Hakeem Jeffries.

(Ralph Nader is a consumer advocate, lawyer and author of Only the Super-Rich Can Save Us!)

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[1] Neither side concedes after November. Where do we go then? Is there even a where? Cry Havoc? Chicago Warlordism. The future is here. It’s just not widely distributed. Yet.

[2] Public schools are simply a microcosm of the larger society. The breakdown of community, the neighborhood, and small town/village living. 

When main streets were replaced by strip malls, shopping malls and collector roads laden with big box retail and fast food, so to were the neighborhood schools. No need to build small schools directly in the neighborhoods (that land is better served by developers to stuff-in more SFH’s $$). 

Besides, it’s cheaper (is it?) to administer giant insecticide factories (or in Southern California, minimum security prison campuses) that rely on fleets of busses to vacuum up the wastrels of the exurbs. The school, no longer located in the community, a focal point of the community, is no longer located in the community. Just as nothing but SFH’s and the occasional Quickie Mart with gas pumps is located in the “communities”. If you are fortunate to live in an older neighborhood, one that makes up the first concentric ring of SFH’s outside the city, chances are the schools are neglected, in disrepair, and are blighted by transportation policies, ostensibly for desegregation, that force communities to adopt opposing standards.

Alas, this just another symptom of overpopulation. It’s simply too cost prohibitive and resource prohibitive to build small schools around the suburbs and exurbs that are quickly being infested with 4-6 story “luxury apartment/condo” towers (in 5-10 they will be low income tenements, but at least initially believe the marketing). 

Until humanity wakes up to the necessity of living on a smaller scale, including their population footprint, every sector, every area of QOL will continue to rapidly deteriorate. If today’s political landscape does not force one to be aware of the inverse correlation of population to power, nothing will. Ironically, the more the masses grow, the lesser their voice and influence, and lives matter.

Yet we knew about this, back a few decades ago when we learned we were home from nowhere.

[3] I always hated huge schools; they seemed like factories, huge, out of control, with the inmates running the asylum via peer pressure and bullying while teachers took smoke breaks between classes.

Best education was primary school as these were much smaller since they were right in our neighborhoods. Classes were smaller and you knew the kids in your class because you lived a few doors away from them and we walked home together. The good old days, 1954-59.

Best year for me was 6th grade when I went to an old 4-room school where 5th and 6th grades were held together. Our teacher was an old Irish maid with a heart of gold who loved every kid as her own; she also doubled as school principle. Her sister, another old Irish maid with a heart of gold, was principle where I spent grades 1-5, another neighborhood school. It’s still there.

It all changed in 1960 when I began 7th grade in a much larger ‘factory’ school where rough kids from distant neighborhoods were bused in. High school was worse, even bigger, more impersonal. Couldn’t wait to get out. Never looked back. Never went back. Sold off my yearbook and class ring on ebay as the 50-year reunion approached. Goodbye.

Education is poorly funded In many states which is how we got Trump elected. The know-nothings, raised on racism, fell for Trump’s garbage.

As legendary newspaperman H. L. Mencken presciently told us a hundred years ago: “On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart’s desire at last, and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.” 

The “cut taxes” crowd is instrumental in the downfall of our society and nation. School funding is cut to appease tax haters while public tax money builds stadiums for billionaires. Religious zombies want their lilly white kids in evangelical madrassas and they want tax money to pay for it. Separation of church and states only works when they want to deny tax money to the OTHER guy’s religious fictions.

Putin won’t have to fire a shot; useful idiots are in place to assure that most Americans never even hear of “critical thinking skills” much less learn them. 

The obsolete electoral college will keep installing massive idiots like Trump who play on racism, xenophobia, homophobia, misogyny and all around “anti-everything” sentiments. The “anti” crowd loves to hate the government … but these 2-faced bastards will be first in line demanding a vaccine from that same government.

Such is the state of our glide path to global irrelevance.

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  1. Lee Edmundson September 8, 2020

    Let’s not leave out an encore of the Brooks Brothers Riot of 2000, in which Roger Stone — yes, THAT Roger Stone — coordinated flying dozens of Republican Party ‘volunteers’ to Dade County Florida, who then marched to the elections office and, after banging on the office doors and windows while yelling and screaming, so intimidated the election workers conducting the presidential election recount that they stopped it; the workers so intimidated they feared for their safety,
    Now, add to the scene just enough armed Trumpster militiamen to make things really spooky…
    Now, THAT’s an election!
    “We have given you a Republic, if you can keep it”. — Benjamin Franklin

  2. Eric Sunswheat September 8, 2020

    RE: COVID-19 Update

    -> September 4, 2020
    A Canadian doctor said the “smears against Hydroxychloroquine” as an effective treatment for COVID-19 “need to stop,” and she raised concerns that a physician could get into trouble for even talking about the drug…

    She noted that in the first stage of infection, the virus replicates and that is when flu-like symptoms are prevalent.

    Gill said this is the stage when Hydroxychloroquine in combination with Zinc and Amithromycin is important, especially for older patients with comorbidities.

    “There’s one fundamental aspect which is critically missing in this discussion and people don’t seem to realize that there are two stages for COVID-19 disease that are very distinct and different,” Gill said…

    “Published scientific evidence is now “#wrongthink” when it goes against the political narrative. The Truth, Humanity, T-cell Immunity and Hydroxychloroquine are now #ForbiddenWords and punishable in Trudeau’s Canada,” Gill wrote in an August 12 tweet.

    Gill also came under fire for saying on social media that a COVID-19 vaccine is not necessary and that extended lockdowns do not accomplish anything.

    • John Kriege September 8, 2020, again? Oh, come on.

  3. George Hollister September 8, 2020

    There is too much focus on the failed cities of America. First not all of our cities are failed cities. Second, these failed cities failed long ago, and have only been kept alive, and made worse, with our federal welfare system. But having a city like Seattle, or Portland, or Oakland, or Los Angeles, or Chicago, or New York, etc. fall into chaos isn’t the end of times because the economy that supported those cities left long ago along with it’s productive citizens. The port facilities in many of these cities are still important, and is separated from everything else. San Francisco should feel fortunate because it has a tourist industry, for now anyway.

    We should also feel fortunate that our founding fathers gave the power to states to elect our president. Without the Electoral College these failed cities would have the power of the vote over all of the rest of us.

  4. Lazarus September 8, 2020

    Willits made it through the night from what I can tell. Brooktrails and Sherwood are evaluated, 101 is closed around Willits.

    It was clearly all hands on deck yesterday, and then the big planes showed up. Impressive performances by everyone involved.

    Hopefully, today will be calm and allow the fighters to get around this thing.

    It looked to me like they were throwing everything they had at the fire.

    Thank you and stay safe first responders.

    Be well.

  5. Lazarus September 8, 2020


    Hey H.

    Who is this guy…?

    Be Swell,

  6. Bruce McEwen September 8, 2020


    The various forms of worship which prevailed in the Roman world were considered by the people as equally true; by the philosopher as equally false; and by the magistrate as equally useful.

    — Ed. Gibbon

  7. Eric Sunswheat September 8, 2020

    RE: John Kriege
    September 8, 2020 at 9:10am, again? Oh, come on.

    -> COVID-19 has seen ‘dangerous and unprecedented’ violation of doctor-patient code

    • John Kriege September 9, 2020

      Sky News Australia and Concerned Ontario Doctors? Not really credible sources, to me.

  8. Lazarus September 8, 2020

    I have no idea what the rest of the County is like but, Willits is dark. The sky is an orange mixed with dark reds. Very quiet, very creepy. To do anything you need a light, inside, or outside. I’ve never seen anything quite like it.

    Be Swell,

    • Stephen Rosenthal September 8, 2020

      Same in Redwood Valley

    • Bob September 8, 2020

      “Darkness at the break of noon
      Shadows even the silver spoon
      The hand-made blade, the child’s balloon
      Eclipses both the sun and moon
      To understand you know too soon
      There is no sense in trying.”

      Bob Dylan, “It’s Alright Ma(I’m Only Bleeding)”

      • chuck dunbar September 8, 2020

        On the coast– eerie, dark, yellowish light, very creepy indeed….

    • George Hollister September 8, 2020

      I was just sitting outside my house in Comptche, at 4:30, and could hear crickets. Unbelievable.

  9. chuck dunbar September 8, 2020

    H. L. Mencken had quite the crystal ball didn’t he, an old, seasoned newspaper guy who’d seen it all, kind of like the one we’re fortunate to have right here at the AVA.

    “On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart’s desire at last, and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.”

    • George Hollister September 8, 2020

      It’s been the case for quite a while. One of those morons was a Rhodes Scholar.

  10. Craig Stehr September 8, 2020

    Hello everyone, Am still in Honolulu awaiting the stimulus check to pay one month’s back rent. Then, will get an airplane ticket to return to The Magic Ranch in Redwood Valley. My COVID-19 test was NEGATIVE. ~Mahalo~

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