COOL AND BREEZY weather with a mix of sun and a few clouds are expected to continue today across Northwest California. Monday morning will feature some of the coldest temperatures of the season thus far. Another shot for widespread rain will come late in the upcoming work week. (NWS)
TWELVE NEW COVID CASES reported in Mendocino County on Saturday, bringing the total to 1228.
Random Covid stats:
- Percentage of total population with covid: US: 3%; California: 2.4%; Mendo: 1.4%
- Percentage of total population dying from covid: US: 0.07%. California: .045% Mendo: 0.02%.
- Percentage of covid cases dying from covid: US: 2.3% California: 1.85% Mendo: 1.7%
PET OF THE WEEK
Marley is looking for a grand adventure! True to his Husky breed, this guy loves to explore. He spends his walks sniffing every blade of grass and tree available and would be a great hiking companion. Marley is going to need lots of exercise and activity in his life, so a family that loves to be on the go would be best. He enjoys attention and welcomes pets, though he appreciates someone introducing themselves first. Marley was a bit shy meeting new canine friends but did seem eager to play once they had spent a few minutes together. Marley would benefit from some basic training to help his already great personality shine even brighter. Marley is a very handsome 3 years old, weighing in at 50 pounds.
There's more about Marley on his webpage at mendoanimalshelter.com
While you’re there, you can read about our services, programs, events, and updates regarding covid-19 and the shelters in Ukiah and Ft. Bragg. Visit us on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/mendoanimalshelter/
For information about adoptions please call 707-467-6453.
HELP THE CSD REC COMMITTEE improve local recreational opportunities
On Tuesday, November 17th at 4pm, there will be a Zoom meeting of the AVCSD Recreation Committee. Public input is being sought for ideas about how to spend a grant that has been awarded by the California Parks Department. The grant is from the Per Capita Program of the Parks and Water Bond Act(Prop 68), which was passed in June, 2018.
This program grants $74M statewide and $177,952 for the AVCSD and each of seven other agencies in Mendocino County. Ideas that are submitted will be ranked by criteria that includes, number of people served, cost, feasibility and sustainability. More information at parks.ca.gov. Zoom ID for the meeting is 245 263 9282.
For more information call the CSD Office at 895-3075.
LAUREN SINNOTT’S WONDERFUL UKIAH MURAL
Mendocino County’s largest mural is in progress on the north wall of the Ukiah Valley Conference Center in downtown Ukiah, California. After pausing for the winter and pandemic Shelter In Place orders this spring, painting commenced in June and is slated to be complete in 2021.
DOCUMENTING WASTE, INACTION & IMPOSSIBILITY
by Mark Scaramella
At last week’s Supervisors meeting, Supervisor Ted Williams updated his colleagues on the status of his Cannabis Ad Hoc group’s weighty deliberations:
Williams: “Supervisor Haschak and I are on the cannabis ad hoc committee. I would like to tell you it's going well and we are making progress. But the progress we are making is documenting impossibility. I think there is more urgency for the next step. We are still trying to work with the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) to find a solution. One has not been found yet. I think there is a very small chance that we are going to find a way to get state licenses awarded and Phase 3 may be a shorter path.”
Supervisor Haschak replied:
“With the cannabis — I still — Well, Supervisor Williams and I and County staff have a meeting with the people at the California Department of Food and Agriculture on Thursday and we are also bringing in the Office of Research and Planning, or Planning and Research, which is the clearinghouse for the CEQA (California Environmental Quality Act). Hopefully they can bring in a new outlook or point of view on this and help us. Because it seems like we've been kind of at loggerheads for a few meetings. Hopefully we will be able to look at this with some new perspectives because, like Supervisor Williams says, we are not making the progress we were hoping for.”
And that was it for the cannabis committee status report.
Supervisor Williams also commented on Measure B, the 2017 measure that imposed a half-cent sales tax for Mental Health and Drug Addiction Facilities and Services.
Williams: “On Measure B, we are coming up on three years. We don't have a credible plan at this point. We don't have cost estimates. We are working almost every day on trying to get clarity and it's just troubling. We are about where we should have been three years ago. I think we need to step back and instead of just looking at the small details, look at the big picture — just organizationally. This model isn't working.”
Williams continued, “I think the crux is we are overwhelmed by detail to the point that the detail has obscured the overall situation. The overall situation is the voters passed Measure B three years ago. We didn't have a financial plan at the time it was put before voters. Three years later we don't have a financial plan. We don't have a strategic plan. We don't really know what we're doing. The arrangement of the 11 member oversight committee and the Board of Supervisors is not working. If we can get into detail here I have a list of questions. It's really nobody's fault except the overall arrangement isn't working. It needs a rework. We need to rethink how we are doing business here. People expect the promises made by Measure B will be fulfilled. I don't see us moving in that direction anywhere near quick enough.”
LAME DUCK Supervisor John McCowen agreed, saying he thought the primary goal of Measure B was the Psychiatric Health Facility (PHF, or “puff”). McCowen also noted how the County has been hoodwinked into spending $5 million on a Crisis Residential Treatment facility, which is a lower priority than a PHF because, as McCowen noted, “we have the lure of this $500,000 grant from the state.”
In their typically wasteful manner, nobody anywhere in Official Mendo — Supervisors, Measure B people or staff — have ever questioned how much it will cost to run the CRT nor did they wonder if it was a good idea to proceed with the gold-plated $5 million project when they accepted the $500k from the state, which had imposed an artificial deadline if Mendo took the money. As a result they’re now committed to the CRT construction and operation before even addressing what they all now say is the top priority: the PHF.
To make matters worse, Mendo’s Mental Health Director, Dr. Jenine Miller, says that the PHF has to be a large new facility with 16 beds because 16 beds “is more cost efficient.” Never mind that nobody has any idea what it will cost, whether it can be staffed, and who will be “served” in it.
For now, Dr. Miller says the PHF can be operated without a subsidy like other private facilities around the state because the PHF will only accept paying customers — i.e., the same “severely mentally ill” people now sent out of county. Which means there will be no — zero — new services for anybody, a complete abandonment of the intent of the voters who expected not just that a PHF would be built, but that there would be at least some attempt to address the free range drunks, druggies and crazy people now appearing on a daily basis in the Booking log.
If Mendo continues with the overpriced CRT as they seem poised to do, and then, out of frustration for having made no progress on anything else, decides to rush into building a big new PHF at whatever gold-plated price the Sacto architects “estimate,” there will be next to nothing left for improved services or other less costly facilities like supportive housing or long-term assistance.
Measure B Project Manager Alyson Bailey confirmed that this is the direction she prefers when she told the Board, “We have Nacht & Lewis [the costly Sacto architects working on the overpriced CRT], we could just give them a budget and tell them we have $12 million to spend and that includes contingency, can you come up with a plan to do that for us?”
Ms. Bailey offered nothing to justify the $12 million she just plucked outta the air. And none of them ever mentioned that in fact the most cost-effective way to get a PHF going is to have the Adventists proceed with their earlier informal offer to convert their old emergency room into a PHF for minor remodeling costs.
Supervisor Haschak arbitrarily jacked the cost of a new PHF up even further: “I think having the strategic plan but also having the finances and backing up that strategic plan and having that laid out so that if we know that the PHF is going to cost $16 million and we have that information and we can rely on that information. If we think that the training center is going to cost $500,000 we need to know what those numbers are, but so far the budgetary presentation is not acceptable.”
But, of course, it IS acceptable because that’s exactly what they’re doing.
Which Williams confirmed: “We have started on a CRT and now we're saying that the PHF is the number one priority. Or maybe the PHF and the training center. Those two will be an ongoing expense and significant one. Given that we don't know what it will take to operate a PHF, we may have to subsidize that. We don't have a contractor telling us they can operate a PHF at no cost to the county. We could find ourselves in a predicament where we have spent our ongoing revenue on supporting a CRT and we can build a PHF but we cannot operate it. Shouldn't we figure that out first? What does that mean for the priorities? I know there will be resistance to halting the CRT. But by not halting it we are saying the CRT is the number one priority.”
The odds of “halting” the CRT — which is nothing more than a multimillion gift of taxpayer money to Camille Schraeder’s Redwood Quality Management Company — at this stage of the game are zero.
Supervisor McCowen then made a motion “to continue further discussion to the first meeting in December asking that staff bring back additional information relevant to the construction and operation of the psychiatric health facility, crisis residential treatment center and training center and any additional financial information is available related to the operation and construction of the facility.”
This further delay passed unanimously.
PONDS, an on-line comment:
One day in 2016 the State water board, Fish & Wildlife and CDF (Dept. of Forestry) showed up at my doorstep in lower Salmon Creek. They stated that they had seen my pond in Google Earth and that it was constructed illegally.
I said that is strange, since the State of Calif. built and paid for it using funds from CFIP (Calif. Forest Improvement Program) in the late 1960s.
Of course, they had never heard of that program.
They spent two days looking at the pond and came up with nothing. These guys came all the way from Sacramento for nothing.
One would think that they would have done some research, which would have saved them a trip.
Or, they could have called me first and I would have sent them the paperwork.
Just as they were leaving, they saw a fish jump. They asked what type of fish were in there.
I told them Large Mouth Black Bass, Blue Gills and a few Channel Cats. They stated that the fish were illegal. I said that is strange, as the State planted them. They were crushed when I showed them the paperwork.
It is lucky that we still had all the paperwork. My Father told us when the pond was being built, that sometime in the future the State would probably come after us and he was right.
We also planted over 250,000 trees under CFIP.
By the way, my pond was built to hold 13 acre-feet of water.
ARMED WILLITS ROBBER CONVICTED
WILLITS – With a jury trial scheduled to get underway Monday, defendant Lillian Ruth Maddock waived her trial rights and plead no contest to robbery in the second degree, a felony.
On Friday, Maddox also admitted a sentencing enhancement charged by the DA alleging that she used a firearm in the commission of the robbery. If the admitted firearm sentencing enhancement is left in place, the defendant's state prison exposure for the robbery is 12, 13, or 15 years.
Maddox was charged with the July, 2020 robbery of the Sinclair Gas convenience store in south Willits.
Captured on the store’s surveillance camera, Maddox entered the store and went into the store’s restroom. When she came out of the restroom, she had a handgun drawn. She pointed the firearm at the clerk and demanded cigarettes. Maddox left after being given a pack of cigarette. The clerk immediately called 911.
When the defendant was located and arrested, she did not have the firearm in her possession. Willits Police officers backtracked the route she would have taken after leaving the store. They found an unlocked vehicle with an open door parked just south of Sinclair Gas. The defendant's firearm had been stashed inside this car.
After the change of plea was entered into the record, the defendant’s matter was referred to the Adult Probation Department for a background investigation and sentencing recommendation.
Maddox, who remains in custody, is scheduled to be sentenced 9 a.m. Dec. 18, 2020 at the Ukiah courthouse. Because the defendant used a firearm in the course of the robbery, the law requires that she be sentenced to state prison unless the sentencing judge overrides the DA's charging discretion and the defendant's own admission, and strikes the firearm enhancement "in the interests of justice."
Willits Police Department was the investigating law enforcement agency. The prosecutor was District Attorney David Eyster.
"My prosecutors and I understand that our neighbors and business friends have no tolerance for and have a right to be protected from robbers -- especially those armed with guns -- who threaten to do grievous harm to hard-working night clerks and other citizens here in Mendocino County," said Eyster.
"I hope the court also understands this and sends the right message on the 18th that robbers brandishing firearms should not expect nor receive unearned leniency."
Superior Court Judge Carly Dolan will sentence Maddox.
BERNIE NORVELL WRITES: “Fort Bragg Police Dept. Busy!
This is literally everyday. Now add in that 75% of their calls are transient or mental health related . If we reduce their budget there is only one place the cuts will come from, staffing. This does nothing to remedy our problem. The calls for service will not decline, only the number of available officers to respond. Perhaps the county should look at modifying mental health contracts to cover the entire gamut. The COC could look at investing into working with law enforcement by placing social workers in with the departments. LE are not social workers. Continuing the same old same old by throwing more money at it has never worked. Maybe we need more money in law enforcement or mental health. I don’t know. What I do know is, what we are doing isn’t working. Let us not be afraid to admit we chose the wrong path and choose another direction. The first thing we need to do to get ourselves out of a hole is to stop digging.”
AMEN, BRO. Police everywhere occupy much of their duty time dealing with 5150's and a floating population of unreformable petty crooks, alcoholics, drug addicts, and plain old mooches, formerly known as bums back when words still had meaning. Meanwhile this lightly populated county spends an annual $26-plus million on mental health. Of course there's the imploding social order that's untethering the unable, the vulnerable, the un-anchored faster than they can be productively tethered, and who knows where it's all headed but all the signs indicate Not Good. The dependent population is only going to grow, and this is no time to defund the police who have to babysit them. In Mendo, though, we have a situation where the comfortably-paid helping professionals and institutions like Plowshares and Hospitality House — apparatuses nearly as large as the helpees — subsidize and enable the troublesome population the police deal with everyday all day and night.
CLARITY at the Supervisor level might help cut through the romantic bullshit surrounding the "homeless" population, but when the Supervisors paid $50,000 to Marbut to supply it, the helping pros quickly convened a mass whine-in and the Supervisors backed away from his recommendations which, boiled down, were: housing and help for home grown marginals, a meal or two for the professional mooches followed by a boot in the ass down the road if they hang around for seconds.
THE FOLLOWING is based on an oddly zealous presser from the District Attorney, odd because of the apparent lost vulnerability of the perp: “With a jury trial scheduled to get underway Monday, defendant Lillian Ruth Maddock waived her trial rights and plead no contest to robbery in the second degree, a felony.”
LOOK at the booking photo of this woman. I ask you, is it the face of a person who should go to prison for a decade? Appearances can be deceiving, natch, and she did point a gun at a convenience store salesman for a pack of smokes, but the prison recommendation seems way off given the known facts.
“Captured on the store’s surveillance camera, Maddock entered the store and went into the store’s restroom. When she came out of the restroom, she had a handgun drawn. She pointed the firearm at the clerk and demanded cigarettes. Maddock left after being given a pack of cigarettes… When the defendant was located and arrested, she did not have the firearm in her possession. Willits Police officers backtracked the route she would have taken after leaving the store. They found an unlocked vehicle with an open door parked just south of Sinclair Gas. The defendant’s firearm had been stashed inside this car.”
Let me guess. Under the influence of whatever with no plan other than a smoke and off you go for ten years? This is clearly a diminished capacity case. And the required sentence is no excuse for demanding it and, as the cliche has it, there's no justice if sentences are out of all proportion to the offense; disproportion is exactly why there is so much unhappiness with our justice system.
AND THIS RIGHTEOUS huffing and puffing from DA Eyster: “My prosecutors and I understand that our neighbors and business friends have no tolerance for and have a right to be protected from robbers — especially those armed with guns — who threaten to do grievous harm to hard-working night clerks and other citizens here in Mendocino County,” said Eyster. “I hope the court also understands this and sends the right message on the 18th that robbers brandishing firearms should not expect nor receive unearned leniency.”
O HELL YEAH. All the bandits out there are trembling at the warning. They keep a close eye on media alerts.
MS. MADDOCK is still to be evaluated by Probation who, I'll bet, will assess her as I have. And then it will be up to Judge Carly Dolan to either show some common sense mercy or doom her.
ABOUT 8:30 this morning, the usual crypt-like silence of San Anselmo was suddenly a cacophony of cheering, cowbells and even a couple of celebratory firecrackers. “Hell, it must be Free Latte Day downtown,” I thought but, nope, Joe Biden was irrefutably elected President. For now. That crafty old orange man has unleashed flying squads of lawyers on the contested states while he went off for a round of golf rather than sandbag the White House he will probably have to be dragged out of. I don't see much to celebrate. Biden's out of it and, on his record, a Republican himself. But Trump's dangerously stirred up the yobbos who make up a solid half of our fine, fat population, and guns and ammo are flying out of WalMarts as fast as Wally can shelve them. Could be a hard landing in January, or it can all end with a whimper rather than the bang lots of pundits are predicting.
KAMALA HARRIS will be President a year from now if not sooner as Biden's dementia grows step for step with Biden family scandals. One or the other will soon have the old hack outtathere.
THE RIGHTWING is portraying Kamala as “hard left,” which isn't surprising because they also characterize Pelosi and Schumer as “the left” and Bernie and AOC as absolute Bolsheviks. (God save us from the pure hell of single payer!) I'll defer to my colleague Fred Gardner who knows Kamala quite well from the time they worked together in the Frisco DA's office, but it occurred to me, seeing how unprepared she was for the debates, that Kamala, prior to being hurled onto the national stage, hadn't thought much about big picture stuff like present-day social-economic organization of the country. She's a solidly middleclass woman raised in comfortable circumstances by academics. She became a lawyer and a prosecutor — a prosecutor, not a public defender or a poverty lawyer. As a young person and attorney, Kamala wasn't rushing home to read The Nation and Noam Chomsky. As President, she'll be a nicer, smarter version of Hillary, middle of the road all the way, as the Democrats are and will be.
WE'LL PAUSE HERE while I congratulate my fellow Two Percenters for voting Third Party. For me, the last time I voted for a Democrat, was a vote for George McGovern, Republicans always having been unthinkable. And I've been Third Party ever since. Salud, Comrade Two Percenters! They can't blame us for whatever ensues. Our hands are clean!
TALKING HEADS. Are these people tiresome or what? Never even a hint of wit. No irony unless designated. Entirely predictable, often inarticulate, just as often straight-up stupid. And they make their living writing and talking! Used to be.....The old man began to sob..... Used to be..... What's the use of used to be? Anyway, the talking heads, their perfect teeth shining, not a hair out of place, were talking about Biden's "mandate." What mandate? Biden has no mandate to do anything. The only people who voted enthusiastically for him were his immediate family (and they had to have had reservations) and Joe Tame Man and Val Muchowski here in Mendocino County. Everyone else voted for Biden because he isn't Trump. (TV media are never lamer as when they're filling time while waiting for Big Events, as they waited Saturday night for Biden to show up to read from the teleprompter. CNN was simply embarrassing.)
DRINKING GAME add-on: Go ahead and down one every time you hear the phrase “bring us together.” Slobber drool mawk. Only the dimmer libs dare say it out loud and won't be satisfied until we all have uniforms. Bring us together? East of I-5 it's a sea of red all the way to Manhattan. This sucker is split and as spilt as Humpty Dumpty. Always has been really. Trump simply heightened the contradiction, as the old Commies used to say.
A READER NOTES: “That is one thing about facebook, it can be a great source of photos of people. I've recently noticed, females in particular, seem to be using some sort of photo filter to transform their online faces. Weirdly smooth and blemish-free skin is the most obvious sign. Noses reduced, eyes enlarged, wrinkles removed — digital plastic surgery.”
A READER WRITES: Just a quiet, serene Saturday. Nothing special. Bwahahahahaha. Hey, I know it's not the answer and I fear that nothing much will get done. But at least soon I will never again have to see or hear or think about trump, ivanka, jared, don jr, eric, melania, RUDY, stephen miller, Bill Barr, Kaleigh, Betsy deVoid, The Mikes--Pence and Pompeo, Minuchin, Wilbur Ross, ETC etc. Maybe I can start reading fiction again. PS, the new website looks really good. Polished!
WE DOUBT UKIAH'S BRAIN TRUST realizes how dumb and dangerous their new State Street re-design is. Sure, the underground utilities probably needed rehab. But the reduction from four lanes to three and the installation of accidents-in-waiting downtown intersections has yet to kick in with most Ukiahans, with the possible exception of Tommy Wayne Kramer. And everyone else at the mercy of the Ukiah City Council.
IT WAS BAD enough that they’re converting Ukiah’s central artery from four lanes to two. But the biggest problem with the new design is the enlarged sidewalk corners with clumps of pavement extending out into the lanes. Not only will the three lanes — two for traffic with a middle left-turn lane — cause some Ukiah antsy drivers to try to get around slower-clogged traffic, but they will then run right into the enlarged intersection corners where, presumably, pedestrians will be standing waiting for the light. And larger vehicles will have to swing even further out into oncoming traffic to make a turn. How long will it be before some poor soul has to die or be seriously injured downtown followed by the inevitable personal injury lawsuit against the city?
HERE’S A BEFORE & AFTER VIEW of the intersection corner at the old Palace Hotel.
THESE HORRIFIC CORNERS are being installed up and down State Street. Imagine driving through this at rush hour. It’s the craziest street design we’ve ever seen!
Somebody should be fired — not that anything can be done about the problem this late in the game. For now, the only thing we can recommend is: Stay away from downtown Ukiah!
CATCH OF THE DAY, November 7, 2020
RICO ACOSTA, Rio Linda/Ukiah. Failure to apepar.
BRADEY ALBERNI, Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.
OSCAR AVENDANO, Ukiah. DUI, no license, probation revocation.
JORY BARNETT, Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.
KEVIN BETTS, Willits. Controlled substance, probation revocation.
SCOTT CHAPMAN, Disorderly conduct-alcohol, probation revocation.
DAVID HAYDEN II, Covelo. Felon-addict with firearm, ammo possession by prohibited person, probation revocation.
KRYSTAL MALONE, Fort Bragg. Trespassing.
DANIEL PEREZ, Ukiah. Controlled substance, resisting, probation revocation.
STEVEN PHENIX, Fort Bragg. DUI, misdemeanor hit&run.
ROXANNE SCARIONI, Santa Cruz/Ukiah. Probation revocation.
ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY
Looking from the outside, American politics have taken a dark turn. Close to half the voters will not accept that the result of the election as legitimate.
Both parties will be discredited out of this dumpster fire of an election. The good news is that there is an opportunity for a new populist party to bring together both Trumpeters and Bernie Bros into something that will advocate for ordinary people. Surely in a nation of 330+ million people there are a few people who can organize a new approach to politics now that the old establishment is thoroughly discredited. That would be better than civil disorder or open revolt.
While I applaud calls for stricter protocols and increased accountability for residential facilities, why are the rules so lax to begin with? Why do the facilities only have to test 25% of their workers every week? Why isn’t everyone tested weekly, including residents?
If we know anything for sure about COVID, it is that asymptomatic carriers can infect others. Without scheduled, intensive testing, it is no wonder that COVID is rampaging through these facilities.
The lack of care workers is another direct result of the failure of these corporations to pay a decent wage. Many work multiple jobs to earn a living. Responsible, empathetic caregivers are vital to the health of frail seniors and should be reimbursed by the corporations who make millions of dollars in profit on the backs of these laborers.
Corporate profit and California’s cozy relationship with assisted-living lobbyists explains the laxity of regulations long before COVID arrived. Isn’t the health and care of our elders more important than corporate profit? To date, the seniors are losing.
NOT MY PRESIDENT
You probably know how I feel about the news Saturday. I’m sick to my stomach. I’ll never know, even with all the corruption, the Democrats, the media, big tech, and all the other people leading the campaign for that slimy bastard… I still don’t know how he won. I guess there are still a lot of things in the works and we’ll find out in the end. But he will never be my President. Never! I’m still wearing my Trump hat. As far as I’m concerned, President Trump is still our President. I will never, ever recognize Joe Biden as my President.
God Bless Donald Trump,
RED PILL, BLUE PILL
by James Meeks
In the spring of 2020, while the world stayed indoors to suppress Covid-19, arsonists attacked mobile phone towers in Britain, Ireland, the Netherlands, Australia and New Zealand. They set fire to nearly a hundred towers in the UK, or tried to; there were twenty attacks over the Easter weekend alone, including one on a tower serving a Birmingham hospital. The arsonists believed that the latest mobile phone technology, 5G, was the real cause of the pandemic. They imagined a worldwide conspiracy: either the unexpectedly genocidal effects of the 5G rollout were being covered up by faking a pandemic, or 5G was being used deliberately to kill huge numbers of people and help enslave whoever was left. In the actual world, 5G’s feeble radio waves aren’t capable of any of this – you’d get more radiation standing near a baby monitor – but the fire-setters are unheedful of that world.
As well as the anti-5G insurgency, the conspiracist assault on the mainstream approach to coronavirus takes the form of a suspicion of vaccination, an older concern than 5G-phobia and more of an obstacle to governments’ plans to contain the virus. But the encounter between conspiracy theory and Covid-19 isn’t as clear-cut as that. When the pandemic hit, social media, hyper-partisan broadcasters, Trump-era populism and conspiracy theory were already creating a self-contained alternative political thought space conducive to the cross-fertilization of conspiracist ideas. Covid-19 and government efforts to control it – an extreme event, accompanied by what can seem baffling and intrusive restrictions – appear, in the conspiracist mind, as the most open moves yet by a secret group of sadistic tyrants who want to reduce the human population and enslave those who remain. The pandemic and official countermeasures are interpreted as proof, and Covid becomes the string on which any and all conspiracy theories may be threaded.
Seen through the conspiracist filter, by forcing us to wear masks, by closing bars and isolating the frail elderly, by trying to terrify us over, as they see it, a dose of flu, or by microwaving us with 5G, the secret elite has shown its hand.
Now that its existence, nature and power have been proved to us, why shouldn’t we believe that the members of this group arranged 9/11? Or that Bill Gates is planning to kill us with vaccines, or inject us with nanochips hidden in vaccines, or both? Why shouldn’t the entire course of world events have been planned by a group of elite families hundreds, even thousands, of years ago? Why shouldn’t there be a link between the bounds to individual freedoms that governments have drawn up to slow climate change and the restrictions they’re carrying out in the name of beating Covid? Surely these two hoaxes are cooked up by the same firm, with the same agenda? Why, as followers of the American conspiracy theory known as QAnon insist, shouldn’t a group of politicians, tycoons and celebrities be kidnapping and torturing children on a massive scale?
A large survey in May conducted by researchers in Oxford found that only about half of English adults were free of what they termed “conspiracy thinking.” Three-quarters of the population have doubts about the official explanations of the cause of the pandemic; most people think there’s at least a chance it was man-made. Almost half think it may have been deliberately engineered by China against “the West.” Between a fifth and a quarter are ready to blame Jews, Muslims or Bill Gates, or to give credence to the idea that “the elite have created the virus in order to establish a one-world government”; 21% believe – a little, moderately, a lot or definitely – that 5G is to blame, about the same number who think it is “an alien weapon to destroy humanity.”
Conspiracy beliefs, the researchers concluded, were “likely to be both indexes and drivers of societal corrosion ... Fringe beliefs may now be mainstream. A previously defining element that the beliefs are typically only held by a minority may require revision… Healthy skepticism may have tipped over into a breakdown of trust.”
A friend, a BBC journalist, told me about a conversation he’d had with an acquaintance who began talking about the dangers of 5G and claimed that “every time a new kind of electromagnetic energy is invented, it causes a new kind of disease, like the invention of radar caused Spanish flu.”
“But Spanish flu happened in 1918, and radar wasn’t invented till the 1930s,” my friend said.
“You would say that, wouldn’t you?” This was uttered without a trace of a smile.
The recording of last night's (2020-11-06) Memo of the Air: Good Night Radio show on KNYO-LP Fort Bragg is right here: https://tinyurl.com/KNYO-MOTA-0409
Furthermore, at https://MemoOfTheAir.wordpress.com you'll find a fresh batch of dozens of links to not necessarily radio-useful but nonetheless worthwhile educational items I set aside for you while gathering the show together. Such as:
Careening around L.A. like an afreet frantically searching for his master's lost magical object. (via NagOnTheLake) https://nagonthelake.blogspot.com/2020/11/a-taste-of-los-angeles.html
Journalism. "News reporting is a young man's job, for the reporter must have stamina and endurance to withstand the strain of long and strenuous hours of work. He must have the courage and perseverance to get the story in spite of obstacles." And, "If you don’t like to write, you won't be happy in journalism." It's good that they tell you all that right up front. You don't want to find it out later, when you’re poised to blow the lid off this lousy town and it's just too much trouble, your muscles are string beans and noodles and you can barely lift your arms to place your indolent fingers over the write-o-matic keyboard and push down a few times. Underdogs and ordinary Joes and Josephines are counting on you. Crooked City Hall mob bosses are getting away with arson and murder, and pawn shop horse-track blacklight massage fortune-teller jukebox drug den slime is boiling up out of the sewers like a Boy Scout Jamboree science hall vinegar and baking soda volcano, oh, just shove over, I'll do it. https://misscellania.blogspot.com/2011/11/journalism.html
The common threat. http://wondermark.com/c1520/
And an artificial intelligence analyzes paintings, describes them and comments elliptically on them. Example: "A large sculpture hangs on the ground with a spray painted on walls or imagine there is a pile of metal sculpture with several birds on it. I once observed two birds having sex on top of a roof covered in tile." The machine gets all that from seeing an amorphous blue, brown and pink smudge. It's goofy and impressive and, just like that, there go another few thousand jobs to automation. Next, wine and food columns, financial advice, landscaping, property management. Then cable tech support. Then Skynet. https://noviceartblogger.tumblr.com/
Marco McClean, firstname.lastname@example.org, https://MemoOfTheAir.wordpress.com