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Mendocino County Today: November 14, 2020

Rain Respite | Covid Surging | No Update | Senior Candy | Old Mill | Burn Permits | Tunnel Workers | Book Discussion | Northspur, 1911 | Bruce Lawrence | Lumber Camp | County Notes | Holmes Home | Streetscape Update | Suspicious Prius | Yesterday's Catch | One Stamp | Superspreader Event | Election Dining | Fraud Evidence | Voting Machines | Big River | Healthcare Profiteers | Food Groups | Christian Crusaders | Lean Right | Disease Spread | NFL Racism | Old Noyo | Whale Hassling | Zombie Bit | Marco Radio | Found Object

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A SERIES OF WEATHER SYSTEMS will bring periods of rain to northwest California through the middle of next week. A window of dry weather is expected Saturday, followed by rain Saturday night through overnight Sunday. A stronger storm system accompanied by widespread rain and gusty south winds will be possible during early to middle portions of next week. (NWS)

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Private gatherings blamed.

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ZERO NEW COVID CASES reported in Mendocino County on Friday (data not updated from previous day).

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THE AV SENIOR CENTER is fundraising with See’s Candy again this year. We have order forms available at AVSC on Tuesdays and Thursdays or you can call 895-3609 or email to place an order. We are trying to only place custom orders this year since there will not be a Holiday Bazaar or dine in meals available to make additional sales so there will be very limited extra candy on hand. Please order by December 1st. Thank you.

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Old Mill

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AV FIRE DEPARTMENT WILL NOT BE ISSUING BURN PERMITS THIS YEAR. Permits are available from the Air Quality District and Calfire. See the following links:

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Tunnel Workers

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‘REVOLUTIONARY HEART’: Grace Hudson's grandmother featured in book, online discussion

On Thursday, November 19, from 7 to 8:30 p.m., the Grace Hudson Museum will feature an online discussion of historian Diane Eickhoff's book, "Revolutionary Heart: The Life of Clarina Nichols and the Pioneering Crusade for Women's Rights." Nichols (1810-1885) was a 19th century newspaper publisher and activist for women's rights as well as Grace Hudson's paternal grandmother. 

If you wish to read the book in advance, copies are available for purchase by going to the "Shop online for books" page of the Museum's website. You can also email curator Alyssa Boge at to borrow a copy that the Museum has, on a first-come first-served basis. 

The meeting will be livestreaming on the Museum's Go To Meeting platform. To access the link, go to and scroll down the main page to the event announcement. 

This is a free event, part of Grace Hudson Museum's Fall Series. A virtual holiday event is upcoming early next month.

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Nick Wilson writes:

Sorry to report bad news, but I just heard from two reliable friends that Bruce Lawrence died Wednesday evening after a tractor rollover accident on his property on Albion Little River Rd. 

I was driving by the place Wednesday about dusk when I noticed about 10 emergency vehicles stopped on both sides of the road west of the Lawrence place. There were vehicles from the sheriff's department, CHP, fire department and ambulance service. I had wondered what happened, but heard nothing more about it until this afternoon. 

Bruce was the younger brother of Al Lawrence and son of the late Lillian Lawrence. The Lawrences are one of the old families around here. Bruce had an excavation business, and his nickname was Dirt Rooster. I didn't know him well, and had only a few encounters with him over the 50 years that I've lived here. 

Rest in Peace, Bruce Lawrence.

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Union Lumber Camp

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A COUPLE OF DUBIOUS EXPENDITURES are on the Board of Supervisors “consent calendar” next Tuesday. The first one is a RETROACTIVE giveaway to the Ukiah Chamber of Commerce for “Mask Up Mendocino,” a promo aimed at a population already wearing masks. Meanwhile, the City of Ukiah remains the County’s largest covid area by far, mostly due to social gatherings, not businesses. More than a third of the retroactive $92k giveway — $36k — is for “admin” by the woman who runs the Ukiah CofC. They’re also charging $13,500 for printing and graphics, $17,550 for advertising and social media, $17,800 for bilboards, and they’re even charging for “volunteers” (aka “ambassadors”) at $7,000 (which “includes volunteer coordination, community outreach supplies”).

A SECOND consent calendar item expects the Board to rubberstamp giving Trent Taylor, a double-dipping retired Ukiah Police Captain, a three year code enforcement contract for $125,000 per year at a billing rate of $115 per hour. As we've noted before, Mr. Taylor’s primary method of “code enforcement” is what he has frequently described as “self-abatement,” where the pot grower harvests his crop and sells it, thus “abating” it, as opposed to doing the same thing but without “code enforcement” or “abatement” added to the description. 

WHEN TAYLOR was last working for UPD he earned $118k per year. Since he retired after 30 years and probably got at least 2% per year of his base salary, his retirement is at least $70k per year. As the song says, Nice Work If You Can Get It… 

WE WERE NOT THE ONLY ONES who noticed that Supervisor John McCowen was conspicuously missing from the list of participants in State Senator McGuire’s big town hall meeting in Ukiah on homelessness on Monday. While Supervisor John Haschak praised McGuire for nothing more than being a conduit for almost $11 million in public money to buy an overpriced motel in Ukiah, which is McCowen’s district. And McCowen knows homelessness in the Ukiah Valley like few, if any, inland officials do as he spends hours of his off hours cleaning up after them. The guy knows most of them by their first names. McGuire's transparent $11-million-plus exercise in self-promotion won’t make much of a dent in Ukiah's street population, if any. Not only are the issues and the meeting centered in and around McCowen’s district, but McCowen has been the acknowledged point person on homelessness in the Ukiah Valley for more than a decade. It’s a further example of how extensively McCowen has been pushed aside by CEO Angelo and her laughably ineffective 31-member axis of Homeless Officialdom. 

(Mark Scaramella)

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Earlier this week, I described this project as being in an "awkward teenager" stage. Remember yourself or your child in that gawky stage where the limbs don't quite fit the body, no particular style has been settled on, and there's a perpetual pimple/bad haircut? Yeah...that's State Street right now. We assure you, though--it WILL grow out of it!

By the time this email is delivered, sidewalks will be completed between Perkins and Henry Streets. In anticipation of rain over the next week or so, construction crews on the north end have been busily “buttoning up” the project. With rain and holidays on the way, Ghilotti will be demobilizing until weather permits in 2021. Good news--our window washer will be making his rounds on North State Street in the next few days, just in time for your holiday window displays! 

On the south end, new water infrastructure continues to move forward on the south end. In order to complete this work before the real rain sets in, some additional street closures may be required. Details below. 

North Side: Perkins to Henry Street 

Ghilotti Construction has completed the new sidewalks between Perkins and Henry, and is preparing to demobilize until weather permits in 2021. 

Parking will be restored on the east side of the street. 

Want to see a sample of some of the new lighting? Near the intersection of State and Henry on the east side, you can find a black, bell-shaped light fixture. This is a sample of the new pedestrian-oriented lights that will be installed along State Street–several per block. Of course, the new lights will be mounted on new black poles with decorative mounting brackets. Note that they are mounted much lower than our existing streetlights, which will provide a much more inviting, safe ambiance.

South Side: Church to Mill Street 

Wahlund Construction continues the installation of the water infrastructure between Mill and Seminary. 

Monday-Wednesday: During construction hours, State Street will be closed to through traffic between Mill and Seminary. Street will be reopened after work each day. 

Thursday-Friday: Weather permitting, State Street will be open to through traffic. Water infrastructure continues between Mill and Seminary. 

Construction work will begin at 7am in this area this week, and no night work is planned. 

As always, please feel free to contact me directly if you have questions or concerns. Otherwise, have a great weekend!


Shannon Riley, Deputy City Manager, City of Ukiah, w: (707) 467-5793

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Northern Mendocino County residents have experienced a strange and troubling occurrence this week. Several have reported seeing a white male driving a burgundy Prius stopping in front of their residence, taking pictures of property and vehicles, and then hurriedly fleeing the area when confronted.

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CATCH OF THE DAY, November 13, 2020

Attanasio, Hoel, Jimenez, Ladd

MYQ ATTANASIO, Fort Bragg. Petty theft. (Frequent Flyer)

RONALD HOEL JR., Redwood Valley. Controlled substance, evidence tampering, parole violation.

JASON JIMENEZ, Santa Rosa/Ukiah. Fugitive from justice.

VIKTORIA LADD, Clearlake/Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.

Moody, Ponder, Smith, Thompkins

NOELLE MOODY, Willits. Suspended license for reckless driving.

ELIZABETH PONDER, Carson City, Nevada/Ukiah. Recklessly causing fire to structure or forestland.

ERYCKA SMITH, Willits. Grand theft.

GREGORY THOMPKINS, Fort Bragg. Failure to appear, probation revocation.

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by Erik S. McMahon (June 2000)

It was right around 2:56pm PST, and the Post Office closes — or, at any rate, bars new entrants — promptly at 3 on Saturdays.

There were perhaps 40 folks fidgeting in line; five vacant stalls adorned with plastic NEXT WINDOW pyramids, and a single, surly clerk on duty.

In the foyer, one of the twin stamp-dispensing machines had apparently expired. Most digital crawls on the other advised SOLD OUT. I had a crisp sawbuck, though, confident I could procure a score of first-class self-adhesives. As a bonus, I’d leave toting three brass Native American dollar coins in change.

A fellow citizen, meanwhile, was experiencing dire distress.

“Just one stamp. One. I only need one stamp. And I can’t even get that. Man, this sucks. What am I supposed to do? They’re gonna close. Their machine’s worthless. So, I’m screwed.”

This was delivered in the form of a lamentational pronunciamento, indiscriminately directed. I looked over at the narrator.

Once-black hair, bleached an unnatural lemon-lime blond. Cargo pants, lineman’s boots, deeply sunken, hollowed-out eyes.

He was pacing in a narrow-radius, agitated circle, gripping and fanning an envelope. An unstamped envelope.

“Hey,” I addressed citrus-head, in a mild undertone.

“Hunh?” Recoiling, he bristled, and back-pedaled.

“You only need one stamp?”

“That’s all, man. One stamp. But I can’t get it; can I?” He adopted a crucifixion pose. “This machine’s busted. Not as if that matters; ’cause there isn’t anyplace where they’re gonna sell you one stamp. Should I stand on that line? They’ll shut down before I ever come close to the counter. And all I want is one stamp.”

“You’re going to get one. No problem.”

“No way.”

“Here’s the deal. I’m about to buy 20 of them. Should say I hope to. Right after that; I’ll give you one.”

He gaped at me. I inserted an old-school, small-face Alex Hamilton and stabbed C-4. Three tacky dollar coins, two dimes, and one slim folder of “Apple & Orange” 34-cent stamps tumbled into the tray and slot. You push plastic to claim your goods.

Fishing the coins out, I tore the perforated top of the postal parcel. The Man Who Could Not Mail remained motionless and mute, staring at me in confounded consternation.

I displayed my $6.80 purchase. “You want an apple, or an orange?” I asked.

“Oh; no, dude. I mean…That’s not… Whichever one you pick.” He was considerably more anxious than angry now.

“Might as well select the fruit you prefer. Only two kinds to choose from.” His mood shifted again, becoming thoughtful.

“Actually, I think I’d like an apple.”

I peeled off a pippin and stuck it onto the crusty knuckle of his closest index finger.

“I really appreciate this, man.” He shot me a grave look. “Hard to believe that you would, you know, give a shit.”

“My pleasure,” I demurred, watching him shakily transfer the paste-on postage, affixing it to a no-doubt overdue bill.

Can’t recollect another good deed I did that day. Skies were overcast and I wasn’t in circulation much. 

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by Jonah Raskin

Voters were definitely on edge Election Day, but not so edgy that they couldn’t or didn’t abstain from eating. From coast-to-coast and in what’s known as “fly over country,” Joe Biden supporters watched the results trickle in on TV, enjoyed supper and kept it down. In many cases the results were sickening, but not really nauseating. I can’t speak for Trump supporters. I don’t know many, though according to the political grapevine members of the Trump team enjoyed hor d’oeuvres, “White House fries” (French fries were apparently unacceptable) and sliders, perhaps hoping that the president would easily slide into a second term in the White House.

An article by Rachel Sugar that appeared in New York magazine proclaimed, “This election makes meal planning impossible.” That wasn’t the story I heard from friends and family, some of whom, like my brother Daniel, dined alone. He served himself boneless, skinless chicken thighs and bok choy.

“ST,” my long time girlfriend, who comes from a Libertarian family in California’s Central Valley, told me that her father wrote the name “Mike Pence” on his ballot because, as she explained, “he felt the Vice President would do a better job than Trump himself.” My girlfriend had dinner at the home of a hippie caterer whose food usually looks better than it tastes. ST explained that the caterer made “a pumpkin stuffed with an exotic African grain.” I’m glad I wasn’t invited.

Most of my friends ate healthy meals, though the historian Peter Linebaugh, and who lives in Michigan, told me that he mostly binged on sugar, which he has relied on heavily during the pandemic. On Election Day he ate the following: “McVities dark chocolate digestives, homemade sugar cookies, a piece of apple cake and chocolate-covered almonds.” But he couldn’t remember, he said, what he had for dinner. Over scouring his memory he wrote: “I think it was the last of the left-over scalloped potatoes, along with some white beans and kale from the back yard garden.” Linebaugh is a fortunate fellow, indeed. His partner, Michaela Brennan. is the house “baker, gardener and cook.”

Zeno Swijtink, a Dutchman transplanted to northern California and a member of Slow Food — the organization that started in Italy and that has spread around the world — cooked ahi tuna, added a tahini sauce, and concocted a bean soup with sausages “that had been hanging around in my fridge.” Dana Biberman who I’ve known since we were both anti-war activists in ’68 dined on sausages, black beans and rice. Her husband, Paul, a New York architect, builder and an excellent home chef, joined her. Born and raised in Philadelphia, Dana told me, “you can stop biting your nails and have a drink.” She assured me that Biden was gonna win Pennsylvania. She was happy to hear about John Hickenlooper’s victory for the U.S. Senate in Colorado.

I couldn’t believe several of my New York friends who were surprised that millions of Americans voted for Trump. That’s New York provincialism. Where have those New Yorkers been for the last three years? Haven’t they watched the rallies and heard the President’s “Make America Great” speeches. A New York film maker posted the comment: “ just cannot believe how wide the drift is between us and them. Thoughts?” Better believe it.

A New York magazine editor emailed to say, “As someone who finds it hard to believe that anyone could vote for Trump, I’m seeing too much red.” He added, “loaded up on pork carnitas and a bottle of Chinon.” We’ve known one another since 1970 when we both worked on the McGovern campaign, which Abbie Hoffman, Jerry Rubin and Ed Sanders supported wholeheartedly. Hoffman, Rubin and Sanders even wrote and published a paperback book called Vote! I followed their advice, cast my ballot for McGovern and thought he had a good shot at winning. I don’t remember what I ate on Election Day in November 1972, but I remember I attended a party at the New York apartment of Patty Oldenberg. Allen Ginsberg was there, along with Peter Orlovsky. We were supposed to be celebrating.

How muddleheaded we were!

This November, on the other side of the continent and on the other side of the culinary divide, a former student, her husband and their kids, had “Tater Tots” for supper Election Day. At first I didn’t believe her. But she insisted it was true. She added that the next day she and her family had take-out Chinese. In San Francisco, union organizer Ken Tray and his photographer wife, Jeanne Hansen Tray, sat down and devoured sausages, kale and mushrooms along with a Zinfandel from Lodi. Ken touted the rye bread from Firebrand Bakery on Broadway in Oakland.

J. J. Wilson, a Virginia Woolf scholar and a dyed in the wool Virginia Democrat, sipped Sherry and munched on Stilton and water crackers. I made myself pasta with tomato sauce and Parmesan cheese, the ultimate comfort food in my home. I needed to be comforted when I heard the news of Marjorie Taylor Greene’s win in Georgia, which as The New York Times put it, “brings Qanon into Congress and the G.O.P.” But my spirits lifted when I heard that transgender activist Sarah McBride defeated Republican Steve Washington in Delaware to become the nation’s first openly transgender state senator.

All of the above, suggests to me, once again, that we are what we eat. As the nineteenth-century French writer, Jean Anthelme Brilliant-Savarin, the author of The Physiology of Taste, noted one hundred and ninety-five years ago: “Tell me what you eat and I shall tell you what you are.” Donald Trump must have eaten a lot of shit.

(Jonah Raskin is the author of For The Hell of It: The Life and Times of Abbie Hoffman and American Scream: Allen Ginsberg’s ‘Howl’ and the Making of the Beat Generation.)

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by James Kunstler

The avatars of good government, Joe Biden, and his righteous Democrats, seem a little bit spooked by the globe-of-silence enveloping Mr. Trump and his lawyers the past few days. The Dems’ narrative at this point, mid-game, is that… “the election was the most secure in the nation’s history” (The New York Times). Anything else is a “conspiracy theory.” Here’s what the Democrats don’t tell you: theories are subject to proof, and proof brings theories into compliance with reality, including, sometimes, the part about conspiracy. Such as a conspiracy to queer the recent election with vote tabulation software and other wizardries.

I guess we’ll find out what can be proven, and that is all the president is attempting to do, like anybody with faith in the scientific method. In Oakland County, Michigan, for instance, comprising the northwest suburbs and exurbs of Detroit, the graph shows a mysterious bending of votes off a trend-line at a pretty clear break-point. Each blue square is a voter precinct.

The very same plotline is repeated in several other Michigan counties heavily trending for the president in early voting and then swooning mysteriously for Mr. Biden after a four-hour break in action. How to account for this strange occurrence? The worm in the machine, perhaps: a simple algorithm (i.e., set of coded instructions) embedded in the Dominion vote tabulation software — product of a company, to remind you, partially owned by Senator Feinstein’s husband, Richard C. Blum, and represented by lobbyist Nadeam Elshami, Nancy Pelosi’s former chief of staff. It was Mr. Elshami’s mission to visit state legislators around the country and persuade them to adopt (that is, purchase) the Dominion system. The algorithm appears to subtract votes from one candidate and add them to the other candidate. It’s a feature, not a bug. Weird, a little bit.

So, that’s one thing that remains to be proven. How did the algorithm work? Can it be isolated and described? Did its task leave digital footprints? Not all the software geniuses in the USA work for Silicon Valley. Some may be assisting Mr. Trump’s attorneys in figuring this out and constructing cases for the various courts. Since it takes more than a day-and-a-half to bring lawsuits, that may account for the Democrats’ rush to peremptorily discard such formal inquiries and just declare Mr. Biden the winner. Similar ballot tabulation doings show up in the Georgia vote, where a recount is underway, this time with observers and without four-hour mystery pauses. And then there is Pennsylvania.

If DC is the Swamp, then Pennsylvania is a Nile Valley of ballot harvesting, overflowing its banks every November to fertilize especially the loamy precincts of Philadelphia, where votes spring up like ground ivy. As it happened this season, on top of that rich reaping of cultivated votes was an additional layer of state government monkeyshines now headed for adjudication in the US Supreme Court. Will they dare to take the case? It’s not a sure thing, but they’d better have a good reason not to because a whole lot of vested credibility in our national system of government is at stake.

In the meantime, I’m standing by to see how things pan out. If those three states’ electoral votes — Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Georgia — are shifted to Mr. Trump’s column by re-tabulation, with late-reporting North Carolina added, then the President will end up with 284 electoral votes, making him the winner (and leaving Mr. B the loser with 238). Other combinations of adding or subtracting the electoral votes of these states-at-issue would leave no clear winner and thus propel the matter into the House of Representatives, where the peculiar constitutional math (one vote for each state delegation) does not favor Mr. Biden. Doesn’t look like the extreme long-shot that the captive news media is touting it to be.

Of course, in the event that none of this goes Mr. Trump’s way, then, of course, Mr. Biden moves into the White House with his two German shepherds plus the entire RussiaGate cast-of-characters, a delegation of Silicon Valley nobs, and half of K Street to assist him in governing the USA. That outcome will set up all the right people to preside over the greatest economic collapse in the history of the world. Okay, have it your way. Just sayin’.

LEE EDMUNDSON WRITES: "No, Dominion voting machines did not delete Trump votes."

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Old Noyo Aerial Mouth of the Big River

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IT SHOULD PROBABLY BE OBVIOUS, but we only realized it recently. How did it come to pass that we have Medicare and Medicaid when, just like now, the insurance companies could have been expected to effectively oppose and prevent such “socialist” programs? Answer: As far as the insurance companies are concerned, the government can have the elderly and the poor — the first group being expensive to care for and the second group having no money to pay for insurance. In effect when those two agencies were born back in the 60s under LBJ, the insurance companies got exactly what they wanted: the healthy, monied age-group in the middle. Then they figured out a way to monetize the elderly with money on top of it by offering “supplemental” programs, just like they could for Medicare for All in the unlikely event it should ever pass. My personal calculator breaks at the thought of penciling this out. But if Medicare for All were modeled after Medicare for Elderly there would still be plenty of business for the insurance companies. And Big Business would be able to rid themselves of job-killing medical insurance costs. 

(Mark Scaramella)

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Protect Democratic, Constitutional And Human Rights; Stop The New Inquisition And Crusades

The new ideology of Christian nationalist fundamentalist zealots, has been steadily eroding our rights: weakening the separation of Church and State, removing protection for minorities’ voting rights, restricting civil rights and workers rights, and by attempting to substitute “god given rights” for “human rights.” 

Christian right religious fanatics in the government and courts are carrying out their plans for a “Christian nation”. Mike Pence, Mike Pompeo, Jeff Sessions, Neil Gorsuch, Betsy DeVos and Ben Carson are some more well known names. Almost one quarter of the House of Representatives are born again Christians. 

The dominant ideology is Christian “Reconstructionism” or “Dominionism”, which seeks to take control of ALL INSTITUTIONS and the government to build a “Christian” nation.

They believe that secular society must be eradicated. Biblical Law, the Ten Commandments, will be the basis of the legal system. Anti-scientific creationism, not evolution, will be taught in schools.

THOSE WHO DO NOT CONVERT WILL BE SILENCED, IMPRISONED OR KILLED along with other so called ‘social deviants” including, immigrants, homosexuals, transgender, humanists, feminists, Jews, and Muslims. They will be second class citizens. There will be no separation of church and state, and church organizations will be funded by the government. The death penalty will be instituted for “moral crimes”-blasphemy, sodomy, witchcraft, and ABORTION WILL BE CONSIDERED MURDER. Most evangelicals believe that “unbelievers”, “will go to hell, where they will be tormented in all eternity.” 

The role of the Federal Government will be security, war crusades against Muslims, and protection of property rights. Savage, unregulated, corporate capitalism will be unleashed, by conservative evangelical and catholic fundamentalists in alliance with racist hate groups. 

The first Inquisition was established by the Catholic Church in the 12th century to root out and punish “heresy”—opinion contrary to the Christian doctrine. Pope Innocent, 1252, authorized the use of torture for heretics-nonbelievers. The Inquisition launched the Crusades and for centuries, tortured persecuted and murdered thousands of Muslims, Jews, and other “non-believers”. 

In alliance with racist hate groups, “Fundamentalist protestant and Roman Catholic Zealots are ruthlessly trying to inflict their punitive religious views upon the rest of us.” 

To protect and maintain our democratic, constitutional and human rights we must end ALL religious control over government. Let us build an egalitarian society with social, economic, and political equality for all.

Dr. Nayvin Gordon, Oakland,

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THE MOST PREDICTABLE post-election event in American politics is when the leadership of the Democratic Party gathers together for a searing session of self-analysis, only to emerge a few minutes later with the firm conclusion that they haven’t moved far enough to the right and that all of their losses can be blamed on the socialist contagion from within. 

— Jeffrey St. Clair

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by Dave Zirin

The Rooney Rule has always been a case study in the NFL “telling on itself.” In a league that is made up of roughly 75 percent Black Americans, this multi-billion-dollar operation has needed to have a special rule just to get its almost entirely all-white franchise owners to interview candidates of color for head coaching positions. (Shahid Khan of the Jacksonville Jaguars is the only majority NFL owner who is not white. Given that the Jaguars are barely an NFL team, this almost doesn’t count.)

The Rooney Rule requires NFL teams to interview non-white candidates for head coach positions in the league. Without the Rooney Rule, eminently qualified coaches of color would not even get into the room. Yet even with the Rooney Rule, we have not seen measurable progress. It has led to more interviews, but they come across like an impatient billionaire checking a box on a to do list, rather than a serious evaluation.

Currently there are only three full time Black head coaches in the league: Pittsburgh’s Mike Tomlin, Miami’s Brian Flores, and the Los Angeles Chargers’ Anthony Lynn, with Romeo Crennel of the Houston Texans currently playing that role in an interim capacity. Ron Rivera, who is of Mexican and Puerto Rican descent, coaches the Washington Football Team. These are similar to the numbers when the Rooney Rule was first initiated two decades ago. (There are only two Black general managers, further compounding the problem.) Despite a crew of topflight assistants, Black head coaches don’t get the opportunities at the big job and it’s a stain on a league that is still reckoning with how to look more “woke” in the aftermath of the summer’s protests following the police murder of George Floyd.

Yet while the league’s commissioner Roger Goodell has issued a flurry of statements about the NFL’s commitment to “fighting racism” (whatever that means), and even stated his regrets about the way they handled exiled quarterback Colin Kaepernick, we have not seen change where it matters. Slogans written on a field are a thin gruel compared to actually hiring qualified people of color.

Instead we have a chronic system of nepotism that rewards the sons of established coaches at the expense not only of qualified candidates, but also teams winning games. How else to explain the firing of Jim Caldwell of the Detroit Lions because of management impatience over a 9-7 record, when his replacement Matt Patricia gets years to prove his ineptitude, with the mere thought of going 9-7 a pipe dream? How else to explain why Eric Bieniemy the offensive coordinator for the high-powered Kansas City Chiefs, still toiling as an assistant? It’s an embarrassment.

The latest effort to confront this is a new proposal approved by the franchise owners during the past week. In this tinkering with the Rooney Rule, teams would be compensated with draft picks if a “minority” assistant coach is hired by another team. Teams could receive two third round draft picks, should they lose one of these assistant hires. The owners think that this could finally be the step that encourages the building of a pipeline of assistants and potential head coaching hires.

In a statement to reporters, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said,

I think that’s how we’ve made progress over the past several years. It’s continually keeping a focus on this, adapting, looking to see what areas we can improve on, and that constant evolution of improvement, to try to make sure we’re doing everything appropriate to give minorities an opportunity to advance in the head coaching ranks or the coaching ranks in general, in personnel and other football areas, to well beyond that. To the people at the league office here, to club levels, this is an important initiative of the NFL.

The problem is that there already are qualified assistants who aren’t getting hired, so why would this new incentivized scenario necessarily change anything? It’s far more likely that it will result in more assistant coaches of color—a positive—but no real change in terms of who gets the top jobs. The NFL and Roger Goodell are still looking at this like they have a hiring problem or a personnel problem, when the reality is that they have a racism problem. That is not going to end with changes to the rules. It will end when players are more vocal about the absence of opportunities available to them upon retirement. It will end when fans rebel at inferior white coaches that keep their teams consigned to mediocrity. It will end—hopefully—with this generation of owners who see whiteness as an unspoken part of what makes a successful head coach.

In other words, struggle will end the racist hiring practices, not new rules written by the same people who will inevitably flout them.

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Navy Testing Approved

NOAA Approves Navy Training That Could Harm Whales. 

According to E&E News, Angering green groups and the state of Washington, NOAA has signed off on a plan that would allow the Navy to potentially harm whales and other marine life in the Pacific Northwest during military training exercises. Under federal law, NOAA can approve requests that may result in the incidental take of marine life, but critics say the risks are too high. This plan allows Navy war games to harm and harass marine mammals from the Pacific Northwest to Alaska, Miyoko Sakashita, oceans program director with the Center for Biological Diversity, said in a statement today. Critically endangered orcas and right whales would be assaulted by sonar and explosions. The organization said more than 200 humpback whales, 300 minke whales and 10 blue whales could be harmed each year. NOAA granted the request under provisions of the Marine Mammal Protection Act, saying the impact of the testing program would be negligible. While the Navy got the green light to proceed, officials said they would also try to minimize harm to any marine life. According to an analysis by the Center for Biological Diversity, the NOAA plan would allow the Navy to harm and harass marine mammals 1.7 million times during military training exercise during the next seven years. [E&E News, 11/12/20 Permit For Navy Activities Allows Over 16,000 Behavioral Disturbances To Southeast Marine Mammals. 

According to KTOO-TV, “The U.S. Navy has received a green light from federal agencies for seven more years of training and testing up and down the West Coast. NOAA Fisheries published a final permit Nov. 12 for the Navys testing and maneuvers from northern California to Southeast Alaska. In Alaska, the permit includes permission to behaviorally harass marine mammals more than 16,000 times over the next seven years. Naval operations in Southeast Alaska consist mostly of acoustic measurement activities at the Southeast Alaska Acoustic Measurement Facility in the Behm Canal near Ketchikan. Environmental groups have expressed concern that the Navy does not do enough to mitigate its impact on marine life — from larger marine mammals like whales and porpoises, down to fisheries and zooplankton. Under the Marine Mammal Protection Act, the Navy must submit an environmental impact statement for its Northwest Training and Testing Area. The EIS includes projected impacts to marine life and some mitigation efforts. The Navy released the final supplement to its EIS in late September.

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MOTA: GOOD NIGHT RADIO all night Friday night live from Franklin Street.

Deadline to email your writing for tonight's (Friday night's) MOTA show is around 6pm. After that, send it whenever it's ready, up to 6 or 7pm Friday next week, and I'll read it next week, then.

Memo of the Air: Good Night Radio is every Friday, 9pm to 5am on 107.7fm KNYO-LP Fort Bragg as well as anywhere else via

(If that shows up for you as plain text and not a link, just paste it into your browser. That's the regular link to listen to KNYO in real time.)

And any time of any day or night you can go to

and hear last week's show and shows before that. By Saturday night the recording of tonight's MOTA will also be there, in the latest post, right on top.

I'll be in the Franklin Street studio tonight. The number is 707-962-3022 if you want to call and read your own work with your own mouth.

Also, at there's a banker's box full of items of [ahem] educational value to rummage through until showtime, such as:

Adieu, toodle-oo and good day. (via b3ta)

Playing with magnetism, which is springy.

Star Trek acid party. (via b3ta) (60 min.)

And "Lemme ask you something. How do you kiss underwater without bubbles coming out of your nose and mouth and everywhere?"

Marco McClean,,

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  1. Judy November 14, 2020

    Mendocino County Public Health:
    COVID-19 Daily Update – 11/13/2020
    10 additional cases of COVID-19 have been identified in Mendocino County, bringing the total to 1,279.

  2. David Jensen November 14, 2020

    OK, I found it. “Old Noyo Aerial.” It’s actually the mouth of Big River. Your new game of Find The Bogus Caption is fun! Do I get a prize or do I have to accumulate points first?

  3. Marmon November 14, 2020

    RE: ZERO NEW COVID CASES (data not updated from previous day).

    Rumor has it that Public health is shorthanded and pretty much overwhelmed. Nurses are working as much as 30 days in a roll without a day off. The County doesn’t care because they are billing FEMA for Public Health’s hours and are reaping plenty of Administrative Fees by doing so.


  4. Lazarus November 14, 2020

    Found Object

    Vlad makes this guy Aliyev, an offer he can’t refuse…?

    Be safe,

  5. Marmon November 14, 2020

    RE: COVID-1984

    “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.”

    1st Amendment of the United States Constitution

  6. George Hollister November 14, 2020

    The good news is Mendocino County has only 86 known active Covid-19 cases, and only 8 of those are in the hospital, with one in ICU. Somethings the county seems to be ignoring is the data indicates 62% of the reported cases are in the Latino community, and 56% are from close contact. This suggests to me private gatherings are the number one source of spread. If they aren’t already, the county needs to do some outreach focused on where the biggest problem exists. No, it’s not being racist to do this.

    • Harvey Reading November 14, 2020

      Gee, George, why did you feel the necessity to include the ending disclaimer regarding racism? Guilt?

  7. Craig Stehr November 14, 2020

    “When it’s time to get dressed, put on your clothes. When you must walk, then walk. When you must sit, then sit. Don’t have a single thought in your mind about seeking Buddhahood…

    What Dharma do you say must be realized, and what Tao cultivated? What do you lack in the way you are functioning right now? What will you add to where you are?”

    Lin-chi (d 867)

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