Weak Front | 10 Cases | Mendo Covid | Patricia McKee | Early Branscomb | State Guidelines | Logging Days | AV Village | Under Bed | Brownie Points | OK Stoners | Trestle | Right Thing | Plumber Needed | Inez's | Ukiah Fantasy | Albion Bridge | Curfew Enforcement | Yesterday's Catch | Massive Fraud | Albion Store | Lady Di | Iron Age | Rich Kids | Mattel Marauder | Israeli Blinders | Hellish Musak | Religious Superspreaders | Always Paris | Palindromes | Found Object
A WEAK FRONT will bring clouds and some light rain to Del Norte and Humboldt counties. Another frosty morning is expected for some areas tomorrow as skies clear out with light winds. Persistent high pressure will result in an extended period of dry and mild weather starting on Tuesday and lasting into the weekend. (NWS)
TEN NEW COVID CASES reported in Mendocino County on Sunday, bringing the total to 1580.
COVID TENDENCIES: BEST & WORST
For Coronavirus reporting, Mendocino County is divided into five regions:
- Ukiah Area (Ukiah, Talmage, Calpella, Redwood Valley, Potter Valley)
- North County (Willits, Brooktrails, Laytonville, Covelo, Dos Rios, Leggett, Piercy)
- North Coast (Caspar, Fort Bragg, Cleone, Newport, Westport, Rockport)
- South County (Comptche, Philo, Boonville, Yorkville, Hopland)
- South Coast (Mendocino, Little River, Albion, Elk, Manchester, Point Arena, Anchor Bay, Gualala)
Dividing total population by number of cases for each region (as of November 28, 2020) yields the following results:
- Ukiah Area: 1 of every 33 residents has tested positive.
- North County: 1 of every 106 residents has tested positive.
- North Coast: 1 of every 117 residents has tested positive.
- South County: 1 of every 123 residents has tested positive.
- South Coast: 1 of every 256 residents has tested positive.
So, the best area to avoid the Vid is "South Coast" where only 1 out of every 256 (or about 4 per thousand) residents has come down with the bug, and the most dangerous place is "Ukiah Area" where 1 of every 33 (or about 33 per thousand) residents has tested positive.
PATRICIA ANN MCKEE
December 19, 1921 – October 13, 2020
Patricia Ann McKee passed away peacefully on October 13th 2020 at her home in Ukiah, Ca. with her family by her side.
Born in Branscomb, Ca. on December 19, 1921 to John and Nellie Branscomb, she grew up on the family farm, with her parents, brothers, and sisters. Branscomb had a store, post office, and gas pumps, owned by homesteader John Branscomb. Her parents were the postmasters of the post office for many years.
Pat grew up in an independent family, living in a large house that her father built from the redwoods. Having fresh fruits and vegetables grown on the land, raising their own animals for the fresh meat, and hens for eggs, they always had plenty to eat. Everyone had to work to keep the farm going. Pat would tell us about how she would churn the milk and cream to make butter, and all the other chores she had to do.
For school, Pat and her siblings walked down the road to the Little School House where they all learned in one classroom. Pat's first job was cleaning the school house for five dollars a month. When it was time for Pat to go to high school she moved to Ukiah, Ca. Her parents knew a good family she could live with to attend there. After graduating Ukiah High School she came back to Branscomb to live and to help her parents. She worked in the Branscomb store with her dad.
That is where she met Ernest Maxwell McKee, Jr. (Max). He was working in the woods next to Branscomb making railroad ties and logging redwoods. They had a liking for each other and fell in love. They went to Reno, Nevada and were married on July 16th, 1940. After their wedding they returned to Branscomb. They lived in a house on her parents' property for a short while, and then they moved to Willits.
Max was drafted into the armed forces in 1942 along with her three brothers. Pat then had to raise their son Fred and daughter Judy while Max fought in Europe. After the war ended they all came home safe with honors.
Max and Pat were very successful in their business ventures. They went quite often to Eden Valley Ranch east of Willits. It was their retreat, for their four children, family and friends. She loved the outdoors, horseback riding, and hunting too. Just being with her family is what she wanted most.
They took many vacations. In 1968 they visited the Seattle Center City Park, once the Seattle World's Fair. While walking in the park, without their knowledge their photo was taken. A few weeks later they appeared on the cover of Sunset Magazine.
In 1951, Pat was in New York City sitting in the baseball stands, when she got to see the then New York Giants win the World Series. She was a lifelong San Francisco Giants baseball fan. She watched every game and World Series.
After living in Willits, and the children left home, they moved around to different places. For example, they lived on an ocean front home near Little River Inn, and once owned the bluff above Navarro beach. Pat found their dream home in Ukiah where Max and Pat lived until their deaths. After more than seventy years together, Max passed away on March 24, 2011.
Pat escaped death twice. Once when she was three years old a dog severely bit her. She was taken to Willits for medical treatment where she stayed for two months until she recovered. Years later she was at Harrah's Casino in Reno sitting at a black-jack table, when a man came in to shoot his ex-wife, who was the black-jack dealer. A bullet ricocheted and hit Pat in the chest. Rushed to the hospital, the sweater she was wearing saved her life. She fully recovered.
Pat loved to improve her yard, caring for the flower beds, vegetable garden and fruiting trees. What a beautiful site to see. She loved to cook and made the most delicious abalone dinners.
Being our grandmother, she was the most kind, caring, loving individual anyone could have. She took us on trips to collect seashells, to Disneyland, and so many places. She was always there for us, at our births, graduations, birthdays and sports events, never missed a one. Greatest baby-sitter ever. Grandma we will always love you, in our hearts never forgotten. We will miss her homemade pies, cakes, and cookies from scratch. We will never match that.
At the age of 93, her daughter-in-law Sandy McKee came to stay with her so that she would not be alone, and could stay in her own home. "Pat was not only my mother-in-law, she was my best friend. Her memory never went. She told me stories about her life. The history of the Branscomb's and the McKee's will never end. On that October night, she passed away peacefully in her sleep at home with her family by her side. You had a long life, amazing, independent, loving, strong woman you were. We will always have the memories of being with you. We will never forget you."
Preceded in death by her husband Ernest McKee, Jr.; her sons Fred McKee, and Ralph McKee Sr.; her brother Clarence Branscomb, sisters Barbara Hill and Jane Hughes; and parents John and Nellie Branscomb.
Survived by her daughters Judy Simpson and Zara Raab; daughter-in-law Sandy McKee; grand-daughters Meredith (Nick) Miller, Sarah (Brett) Bass, Robin (Jonathan) Freitham, Nadia Gardner, Jennifer (Tony) Cinquini, and August McKee; grand-sons Alec Miller, Benjamin (Danielle) Gardner, Ralph (Kristine) McKee Jr., Edward McKee, Bruce McKee, and Kim (Jamie) McKee; great grand-children Anne and Oliver Miller, Carl and Lizzy Freitham, Bailey Bass, Stephanie Fritch, Kaylee Brockett and Jason Brockett Jr., Austin Cinquini, Matthew Hooper, Keeaira, Lillian, Frederick and Emilia McKee. Great-great-grandson Kayden Murphy and one on the way; brothers James and John Branscomb; and many Nephews and Nieces.
Special thanks to Larry and Kathy O'Bryant for their loving friendship. Thanks to the McKee Family for their love, support, and care, for always being there for her.
Tears will flow, we miss you so – having you as our family is the greatest gift we will know. Love, and miss you always, the McKee Family.
Arrangements are under the direction of Eversole Mortuary.
PUBLIC HEALTH URGES COMPLIANCE WITH STATE HEALTH ORDERS
On November 17, 2020, the state placed Mendocino County back into the Purple Tier in effort to slow the spread of COVID-19. Since then, our county has seen greater increases than ever before in this Second Surge of daily cases, as well as an increase in hospitalizations due to COVID-19.
“As a medical professional, it is deeply troubling to see the COVID-19 case and hospitalization rate grow in our county as a result of noncooperation with state health orders,” said County Health Officer Dr. Andy Coren. “I want life to get back to normal just as eagerly as all Mendocino County residents do, but if we as a community continue down this path, we will see major consequences. Our hospitals can become overrun like others throughout the country, and our healthcare workers will soon be overworked. To slow the spread of COVID-19 here, we desperately need our local business owners to take the lead in adhering to the State’s vital health orders. Gyms cannot allow patrons to workout indoors, as the spread of COVID-19 benefits from such allowances. Restaurants must ensure their outdoor dining accommodations are safe, for the sake of their guests’ health. It is my sincere hope that when businesses maintain this personal responsibility, individuals will follow suit.”
In alignment with the state's Purple Tier category, the following industries must abide by these guidelines in order to slow the spread of COVID-19:
- Gyms must operate outdoors only, while abiding by social distancing and facial covering requirements. A physician’s note does not allow for the use of any indoor amenity at a gym, including indoor machines, pools or saunas. Gyms must also ensure their outdoor accommodations are safe for their guests.*
- Restaurants must operate by means of takeout or outdoor dining only, while abiding by social distancing requirements, as well as facial covering requirements when not consuming food. Restaurants must also ensure their outdoor accommodations are safe for their guests.*
- Places of worship must operate outdoors only, while abiding by social distancing and facial covering requirements.
- Retail stores are limited to a maximum of 25% capacity, while abiding by social distancing and facial covering requirements.
- Skilled Nursing Facilities may no longer have in-person visitors.
*Regarding the modified outdoor operations of any business, the California Department of Public Health requires that at least 3 sides of the outdoor space (or 75%) must be open to the outdoors, meaning that an outdoor space used to accommodate guests cannot be mostly enclosed with makeshift walls, screens or canopies.
The state’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy lays out a clear picture of what the different tiers mean to each business sector. For a complete list of allowable activities under the Purple Tier 1, please visit www.covid19.ca.gov. As a reminder, all businesses must complete a COVID-19 self-certification process prior to opening for the first time at www.mendocinocountybusiness.org.
The COVID-19 Second Surge has arrived in our region, and individual responsibility is key to slowing the spread. Remember:
- Support local businesses that ensure the safety of their guests, according to state health orders
- Avoid all gatherings, even with family members outside of your immediate household
- Wear a facial covering over your nose and mouth at all times when in public
- Practice social distancing when in public
- Stay home when you feel sick.
ANDERSON VALLEY VILLAGE, DECEMBER 2020
Welcome to Anderson Valley Village. We are a locally inspired and managed non-profit organization. Our mission is to help older adults remain active, connected, and independent in the place they call home while enhancing the quality of life in our community.
AV Village Update
We currently have 57 members and 55 trained volunteers ready to lend a hand! We are sad to see Stephanie Gold step down as our wonderful Board President but know that she will still be a very involved Village member and volunteer — see her letter below! We welcome Gwyn Leeman Smith as our Acting Board President — thank you Gwyn!
Dear Anderson Valley Village,
It's Torch Passing time. It's been such an honor to work with this Board and this Coordinator as we launched the AV Village! Now that it's thriving, though, I'm stepping back from my position as President of the Board so I can enjoy the AVV community and services as just one more grateful Village member. Thank you, AVV Board, for carrying on running the show! And thank you to all the members and volunteers who have made this Village such a flourishing success. I look forward to seeing your fine faces on one of the Village Zoom events (for now), and in person--what a thought!--when it's once again safe to hold community gatherings in our traditional style. Until then, stay safe, and see you soon at a Zoom Book Chat or Trivia or a monthly Sunday Event.
All the best,
It takes a Village!
The formal "Village" movement is fairly new but the concept is timeless and needed now more than ever! The Anderson Valley Village has grown from the national Villages movement. Each Village is different, designed to fit the needs of its individual community. Villages are membership-driven, grassroots, non-profit organizations that:
* are run by volunteers and paid staff
* coordinate access to volunteers and services for hire
* provide wellness programs, educational activities, and community events
* promote health, independence, and interdependence
* are an investment in your community and your future
The Village Movement California has just come out with a new video that helps to explain why these Villages have been created and their vital importance to our community and beyond. Link below (once on the FAQ page scroll down to see the video): https://gmail.us3.list-manage.com/track/click?u=cea1e601922fa82e47579cc80&id=75ad47b703&e=358077c1c9
AND THEN HE HID UNDER THE BED
On Friday, November 27, 2020 at 9:27 P.M., Mendocino County Sheriff's Deputies were dispatched to a domestic disturbance at a residence in the 1300 block of North State Street in Ukiah, California.
On arrival, Deputies observed a 29-year old adult female requesting help. The Deputies observed an adult male, identified as David Brown, 24, of Ukiah, attempting to hide under a bed inside the residence.
The adult female was able to open the door to the residence. Once the Deputies gained entry into the residence they observed that the inside was in disarray; which led them to believe there had been some type of altercation.
The Deputies detained Brown and he showed objective signs of a high level of alcohol intoxication.
The Deputies processed the scene and interviewed the involved parties.
The Deputies developed probable cause to believe a domestic violence incident had occurred. During the incident Brown threw a beer bottle at the adult female who was pregnant.
The Deputies arrested Brown for Felony Assault With a Deadly Weapon/Not a Firearm. Brown was booked into the Mendocino County Jail where he was to be held in lieu of $30,000 bail.
SUPERVISOR BROWN HONORED
During the 126th Annual Meeting of The California State Association of Counties® (CSAC), the statewide organization representing all 58 counties, Mendocino County Supervisor and CSAC Board Member Carre Brown was honored with a CSAC Circle of Service Award. This award is a way for CSAC to recognize county officials, staff and other association-affiliated members whose service to our Association and membership has been substantially above and beyond the norm.
“As wildfires continue to be a top priority for CSAC and the state of California, Supervisor Brown has always been willing to travel to Sacramento and to testify on behalf of her Mendocino County community,” said CSAC Executive Director Graham Knaus. “Her first-hand experiences, as well as her straightforward nature, provide a dose of local reality to the legislative experience.”
Most recently, Brown served on the CSAC Board of Directors as well as the Agriculture, Environment and Natural Resources Committee. This recognition honors the many ways Supervisor Brown’s County and Association service have benefitted the lives of both her community members as well as residents across this state.
CHRIS CALDER: "Here it comes, Emerald Triangle! As soon as you can sell weed across state lines, look out. Happy days are here again! Without the prison time."
Oklahoma is now the biggest medical marijuana market in the country on a per capita basis. More than 360,000 Oklahomans—nearly 10 percent of the state’s population—have acquired medical marijuana cards over the last two years. By comparison, New Mexico has the country’s second most popular program, with about 5 percent of state residents obtaining medical cards. Last month, sales since 2018 surpassed $1 billion.
DO THE RIGHT THING
One of the lessons I’ve learned in life is that the right way is usually the hard way. It’s often much easier to do what we want to do than what we ought to do, and people looking for the easy way out will rationalize it, even if that means denying the truth. This is especially true if people in authority model the same behavior. The COVID-19 pandemic is no exception. I have friends who have given me every reason imaginable not to follow the advice given by health officials, none of them based on fact. I have heard others not directly affected by the virus say not to worry, that things will be fine as soon as the vaccine is distributed.
The projected spread of this disease and resulting deaths this winter tell me that things will not be fine unless each of us does our part now. These past eight months have been difficult for everyone, and the vaccines may be the light at the end of the tunnel. But in the meantime, we can save hundreds of thousands of lives by merely wearing masks and distancing ourselves from people not in our immediate families. As the well-known ad says, “Just do it.”
BOONVILLE ECO HAIR STUDIO NEEDS PLUMBING
I'm setting up my new Eco Hair studio behind the Live Oak building in Boonville (behind the new ATM Machine) December 1st, and I'm looking for a plumber who can help install my shampoo station. Ideally someone who has experience with recycled water system, as I want to reuse, and conserve water as much as possible. Thank you! Please dm me or call Aurelia: 707/684-9724.
ASSIGNMENT: UKIAH - ONCE UPON A TIME IN UKIAH (A SHORT HISTORY OF OUR PAST FUTURE)
by Tommy Wayne Kramer
Because they were fuddy-duddies, ignorant of technology and suspicious of New York sharpies mouthing meaningless slogans like “Tomorrow’s Solutions Today!” while wearing fancy Italian suits and $30 yellow neckties, they Just Said No.
They being the Ukiah City Council. It was unanimous. They grumbled, frowned, and declined all offers to upgrade citywide communication systems. It was 1981.
Council reps had misgivings about so-called “generous offers” from Time-Warner, Adelphia and an outfit from Japan wanting to install Kaypro computers in classrooms, cable TV in houses and high-tech anything to everything else.
City Council was empowered to allow such innovations of course, which meant it was also empowered to disallow them. So disallow them it did.
Thus in the summer of 1981 the city stepped boldly into the past, the future was stalled, and Ukiah stood frozen in time. This was long before anyone had contemplated a floppy disc or software, and everyone still thought “Amazon” was a far off jungle.
This meant that Ukiah, alone in California and the nation, had no internet services or cyber technology. The city existed in a kind of bubble, and there was ongoing griping from younger citizens.
You could see their point. As the years rolled on Ukiah still had no cell phones, no email, no Twitter. Some knew of YouTube and others had tried a Kindle book.
But “streaming” meant something else to them, just like Apple and Chrome and the Cloud had different meanings depending on whether you were inside or outside the Ukiah bubble. Cyber breakthroughs never penetrated Ukiah because there was no broadband, no 3G, no Spotify and no Instagram.
Meanwhile the national media couldn’t get enough of it. Reporters came to gawk and photograph and question this queer tribe of lost souls who didn’t have one measly cell phone among them. Readers in Peoria had a big laugh at articles headlined “The Town that Time Forgot” and “Beam Ukiah Up, Scotty!”
Such stories were everywhere, all about the hicks who sent students off to college without laptops or cell phones. Ukiah kids checked into dorms not knowing an App from a ROM. A local girl was photographed at UCLA carrying a portable typewriter! What next? Cassette decks and a Superman lunchbox?
It made Ukiah a big joke for suave cats like David Letterman and Jay Leno. In response to all the nationwide mockery and complaining from local youngsters, council reps shrugged their shoulders, doubled down and muttered some more. Anyone wanting to search the google box thingie was advised to consider moving to Healdsburg or San Jose. Some did.
Plenty of kids with no interest in college also left Ukiah and decided they liked movies on demand and getting sports scores while watching other games around the clock on a wristwatch screen the size a postage stamp. They lived in Austin or Seattle or Toledo and wallowed in an entertainment ecstasy washing over them 24 / 7.
Which was fine. Youngsters had been leaving Ukiah for a hundred years due to one set of circumstances or another, whether for better pay, better spouses or better public transportation.
But as the years went by a few came back. Yes, they saw advantages in the awesome new digital world, but they saw other things too. They’d watched Toledo friends, heads bowed, working their thumbs and squinting at screens.
Sure it was cool to schedule meetings with a click, attend online seminars in pajamas and watch Hollywood movies in a crowded bus on a teeny screen.
Scrolling down you could check Facebook to see what Paris Hilton had for lunch, or YouTube to watch as people died eating Tide Pods or drinking pool cleanser.
And yet: This is the giant leap forward for civilization? This is a big improvement??
Many wondered, and a few more snuck back home. Then more. They all agreed there were drawbacks to Ukiah not having wifi or google. But there were positives.
By 2021 Ukiah had three daily newspapers, all with robust circulations and page after page of classified ads. There were eight radio stations with live DJs and busy news teams catering to eight overlapping audiences. All the downtown banks employed an abundance of tellers because ATMs were pointless minus satellite communications with banks in Brussels.
No cable TV meant pollution-free news channels. No cell phones meant no microwave towers frightening old hippies in tinfoil helmets. No streaming movies kept the Ukiah Theater’s 10 screens packed.
Without a video game industry, the central library and all six downtown bookstores flourished, and students from Ukiah schools zoomed to the top of state rankings, scoring especially well on literacy tests.
The bowling alley added a second story with 22 lanes; Mac Nab’s Menswear opened a fourth shop, this one in Calpella, and planned a fifth at Coddingtown. In an unexpected turn newcomers began arriving, seeking a tranquil island amid stormy seas.
At first they complained Ukiah was like living among the Amish. Later they sat on downtown benches grumbling about city hall, the Cleveland Indians and whether the Kamala Harris administration would be a curse or a menace. No one checked an app or texted a thing.
And when they died, they died the old-fashioned way: of boredom.
(Tom Hine and his imaginary friend TWK remind loyal readers the holidays are upon us and this week may be your last best chance to catch the Covid if you’re hoping to be dead by Christmas. TWK.)
COVID THANKSGIVING AND JUST SAYING NO TO CURFEWS
by Jim Shields
It’s Wednesday night, Thanksgiving Eve, as I write this and since Monday all day long, every day, with hardly any break, Highway 101 has seen heavy traffic in both directions simulating big city rush hour.
So much for folks heeding recently issued advisories from Gov. Newsom and Public Health officials not to travel during the Thanksgiving Holidays.
Can’t help but think that Newsom’s birthday party escapade at the French Laundry two weeks ago sent the wrong message at the wrong time.
By the way, speaking of that event, more news has surfaced about Newsom’s birthday buddy. Turns out the guy is not only an old friend of Newsom’s, but also a heavyweight, extremely influential lobbyist. According to Dan Walters, the dean of California political writers,
“Gov. Gavin Newsom’s attendance at a birthday party this month for lobbyist Jason Kinney, a veteran political consultant and a long-time Newsom friend who founded a lobbying firm, Axiom Advisors, shortly after Newsom was elected in 2018 … The firm has nine lobbyists and more than 80 clients, most of whom are corporate entities or coalitions …
According to a Politico report, “Axiom reaped $10.9 million worth of lobbying work in 2019-20, the first legislative session during which Newsom was governor … Some of Axiom’s clients highlight Kinney’s overlapping roles. Kidney dialysis firms DaVita and Fresenius paid Axiom $475,000 this session … Kinney earned $90,000 from the California Democratic Party, which spent money to pass a labor-backed initiative regulating kidney dialysis. The single most remunerative client for Axiom in the last two years has been Marathon Petroleum, giving Kinney’s firm $525,000 worth of business.”
Kinney is also the go-to man for the One Percenter investors in the pot industry, and helped shape Proposition 64, intentionally mis-titled as the “Personal Use” initiative, that in reality was the Trojan Horse of corporate growers.
It all makes sense now why Newsom would venture out and away from his home, in violation of his own Health Orders to attend the Napa birthday soiree for his “old friend.”
As Jesse “Big Daddy” Unruh, former longtime Speaker of the California Assembly in the 1960s and 70s, was fond of saying, “Money is the mother’s milk of politics.”
Sheriff says he won’t enforce curfew
On Nov. 19, Newsom issued a curfew in the guise of a revised Stay at Home Order requiring that “non-essential work, movement and gatherings stop between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. in counties in the purple tier.” The order took effect at 10 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 21 and will remain in effect until 5 a.m., Dec. 21.
Many law enforcement agencies throughout California, including Mendocino County’s Sheriff, responded with very similar statements saying they’ll exercise a hands-off approach to the curfew and will not participate in penalizing residents who didn’t follow the curfew.
Sheriff Matt Kendall sent out a statement explaining his decision to ignore the curfew. His explanation reads in part,
“I wanted to talk to you today about the potential impending mandates from the State level on mandatory curfew. I’d like to let all the residents of Mendocino County know that the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office will not be enforcing compliance of any health or emergency orders related to curfews.
“What does this mean? It means we won’t be being making compliance checks of businesses, homes or making contact with individuals who are out between the hours of 10:00 pm to 5:00 am specifically due to these new curfew mandates.
“Will we be responding to regular calls for service? Yes, of course.
“Callers with COVID-19 related issues will be directed to the County Health Call Center at (707) 472-2759 for assistance. If you prefer email, you can contact via email: firstname.lastname@example.org.”
California Highway Patrol Commissioner Amanda Ray said in a statement the department’s mission is unchanged.
“CHP officers will continue to patrol throughout California and use their sound professional judgment to conduct enforcement stops for violations of the law based upon probable cause. The CHP does not make arrests based on race, ethnicity, gender, political affiliation, sexual orientation, religious beliefs, or for any reason other than violations of the law based on probable cause. As always, CHP officers will have the discretion to take appropriate action when a violation is observed.”
Ray also said in the statement that the goal of the order is for people to “self-regulate their behavior, protect themselves, and go about only the ‘essential’ activities” during the curfew times.
Ray’s citation of “probable cause” translates as “We ain’t gonna enforce the curfew.”
Why some folks ignore health orders
Interesting item in Bruce Anderson’s column in this week’s Anderson Valley Advertiser that helps explain why so many people refuse to fall in line with Public Health Orders.
“LAURA COOKSEY puts it all in sensible proportion:
This alarmist rhetoric is one cause of many people writing off the whole thing. The out-take quote about 250,000 lives being ‘2.5 times more than American lives lost back to WWII’ is ridiculous. 250,000 is not far above the average monthly fatality rate (from all causes, prior to Covid-19) in the US, which was something like 222,000. So in nine months we’ve added a month’s worth of deaths… Which of course, now won’t happen next year or in the next ten, so the future numbers will balance out and the average will recover. Exaggerations do nothing to forward a cause in the long run, because people get burned out on the bull****. I realize that they’re talking about war deaths, but why compare those? Death from humans lobbing flesh-ripping ammunition or dropping incinerating bombs on entire villages for no personal reason is an entirely different matter (and, in my mind, unquestionably more tragic and worthy of hand-wringing) from succumbing, usually when past the average age of death, to one virus rather than another— which is just life. It involves death at the end… or didn’t people get the memo?”
(Jim Shields is the Mendocino County Observer’s editor and publisher, and is also the long-time district manager of the Laytonville County Water District. Listen to his radio program “This and That” every Saturday at 12 noon on KPFN 105.1 FM, also streamed live: http://www.kpfn.org.)
CATCH OF THE DAY, November 29, 2020
JODI ALCANTER, Ukiah. Domestic abuse.
LEARTIS CARADINE, Ukiah. Parole violation, failure to appear.
EMILY CHRISTOPHER, Ukiah. DUI.
JULIO DELCAMPO, Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.
BRENT MCCONNELL, Mooresville, North Carolina/Ukiah. DUI.
ANDREW RADABAUGH, Hopland. DUI, probation revocation.
PABLO VALLEJO, Ukiah. Domestic battery.
ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY
It does not require huge numbers of only democrats in certain states to have somehow falsified hundreds of thousands of votes.
It does not require mysterious operatives at the Dominion voting machine company, cabals of “Deep State” personnel, Communist plots from Cuba, Venezuela and China, Hugo Chavez, or midnight raids of Spanish firms that had the “real” results showing Trump’s landslide victory.
It does not require anything to be secret and tens or hundreds of thousands of people to be in on that secret.
Instead, here are some facts that are not in dispute.
Trump claimed even before the election that the only way he could lose is by massive fraud. Now, via circular reasoning, he claims massive fraud because he lost. This, in and of itself, should be a big clue to you that the massive voter fraud theory is simply a classic conspiracy theory. Nevertheless, over 50% of Republicans believe the election was stolen, so, if Trump’s goal is to simply cast doubt on the election rather than actually overturn it, he has succeeded by any reasonable measure.
There have so far been no successful lawsuits that have proven voter fraud at the level required to overturn the election.
There have so far been no audits or recounts that have shown significant voter fraud at the level required to overturn the election. This includes Georgia, which uses Dominion voting machines and, as of this morning, Milwaukee WI, where Biden gained a handful of votes in the recount.
As for Sidney Powell’s lawsuit, we shall see. Trump won all 50 states? If you really believe that, I’ve got a bridge in Brooklyn to sell you.
BILL KIMBERLIN: "Like a lot of people I have been watching the Netflix series, "The Crown". Generally I have liked it. That is until they got to the, "Lady Di" episode.
The show repeats the suggestion that she was some kind of young and charming woman that was a London "pre-school" assistant. It then represents that when Charles presents her to his mother, the Queen of England, and the rest of the family, they like and approve of her. This description needs some clarification.
One doesn't get the title, "Lady Diana Spencer" in a country like England lightly.
She was born into the British nobility and grew up close to the royal family. She was born on the royal property known as Sandringham in a separate estate called Park House. Diana played with the Queens son's Prince Andrew and Prince Edward as a child. She later came to marry their older brother Charles. Her father's title at that time was, Viscount Althorp.
When Diana's father John became the 8th Earl of Spencer, due to his father's death, the family moved to Althorp House, a 13,000 acre estate owned by the Spencer family for over 500 years. One of John's ancestors had received the greatest inheritance in the kingdom up until that earlier time of 1746.
Diana lived at Althorp House until she married Prince Charles in 1981.
The Althorp estate was acquired by her brother Charles Spencer in 1992. Diana is interred on a small island in the middle of the ornamental Round Oval lake on the property. There is a Doric-style temple with Diana's name inscribed at the top.
No, Diana did not fall off a turnip truck and somehow enter the Royal family."
THE RICH KIDS WHO WANT TO TEAR DOWN CAPITALISM
by Zoë Beery
Lately, Sam Jacobs has had a lot of conversations with his family’s lawyers. He’s trying to gain access to more of his $30 million trust fund. At 25, he’s hit the age when many heirs can blow their money on harebrained businesses or a stable of sports cars. He doesn’t want to do that, but by wealth management standards, his plan is just as bad. He wants to give it all away.
“I want to build a world where someone like me, a young person who controls tens of millions of dollars, is impossible,” he said.
A socialist since college, Jacobs sees his family’s “extreme, plutocratic wealth” as both a moral and economic failure. He wants to put his inheritance toward ending capitalism, and by that he means using his money to undo systems that accumulate money for those at the top, and that have played a large role in widening economic and racial inequality.
Millennials will be the recipients of the largest generational shift of assets in American history — the Great Wealth Transfer, as finance types call it. Tens of trillions of dollars are expected to pass between generations in just the next decade.
And that money, like all wealth in the United States, is extremely concentrated in the upper brackets. Jacobs, whose grandfather was a founder of Qualcomm, expects to receive up to $100 million over the course of his lifetime.
Most of his fellow millennials, however, are receiving a rotten inheritance — debt, dim job prospects and a figment of a social safety net. The youngest of them were 15 in 2011 when Occupy Wall Street drew a line between the have-a-lots and everyone else; the oldest, if they were lucky, were working in a post-recession economy even before the current recession. Class and inequality have been part of the political conversation for most of their adult lives.
In their time, the ever-widening gulf between the rich and poor has pushed left-wing politics back into the American political mainstream. President-elect Joe Biden trailed Sen. Bernie Sanders, the socialist candidate, by 20 points among millennial voters in this year’s Democratic presidential primary. And over the past six years, millennials have taken the Democratic Socialists of America from a fringe organization with an average member age of 60 to a national force with chapters in every state and a membership of nearly 100,000, most of them under 35.
Jacobs, as both a trust-fund kid and an anti-capitalist, is in a rare position among leftists fighting against economic inequality. But he isn’t alone in trying to figure out, as he put it, “what it means to be with the 99%, when you’re the 1%.”
Challenging the System
“I was always taught that this is just the way the world is, that my family has wealth while others don’t, and that because of that, I need to give some of it away, but not necessarily question why it was there,” said Rachel Gelman, a 30-year-old in Oakland, California, who describes her politics as “anti-capitalist, anti-imperialist and abolitionist.”
Her family always gave generously to liberal causes and civil society groups. Gelman supports groups devoted to ending inequality, including the Movement for Black Lives, the National Day Laborer Organizing Network and Critical Resistance, a leading prison abolition group.
“My money is mostly stocks, which means it comes from underpaying and undervaluing working-class people, and that’s impossible to disconnect from the economic legacies of Indigenous genocide and slavery,” Gelman said. “Once I realized that, I couldn’t imagine doing anything with my wealth besides redistribute it to these communities.”
According to the consulting firm Accenture, the Silent Generation and baby boomers will gift their heirs up to $30 trillion by 2030, and up to $75 trillion by 2060. These fortunes began to amass decades ago — in some cases centuries. But the concentration of wealth became stratospheric starting in the 1970s, when neoliberalism became the financial sector’s guiding economic philosophy and companies began to obsessively pursue higher returns for shareholders.
“The wealth millennials are inheriting came from a mammoth redistribution away from the working masses, creating a super-rich tiny minority at the expense of a fleeting American dream that is now out of reach to most people,” said Richard D. Wolff, a Marxist and an emeritus economics professor at University of Massachusetts Amherst who has published 12 books about class and inequality.
He said he has professionally argued against capitalism’s selling points since his teaching career began, in 1967, but that his millennial students “are more open to hearing that message than their parents ever were.”
Heirs whose wealth has come from a specific source sometimes use that history to guide their giving. Pierce Delahunt, a 32-year-old “socialist, anarchist, Marxist, communist or all of the above,” has a trust fund that was financed by their former stepfather’s outlet mall empire. (Delahunt takes nongendered pronouns.)
“When I think about outlet malls, I think about intersectional oppression,” Delahunt said. There’s the originally Indigenous land each mall was built on, plus the low wages paid to retail and food service workers, who are disproportionately people of color, and the carbon emissions of manufacturing and transporting the goods. With that on their mind, Delahunt gives away $10,000 a month, divided among 50 small organizations, most of which have an anti-capitalist mission and in some way tackle the externalities of discount shopping.
If money is power, then true wealth redistribution also means redistributing authority. Margi Dashevsky, who is 33 and lives in Alaska, gets guidance on her charitable giving from an advisory team of three women activists from Indigenous and Black power movements. “The happenstance of me being born into this wealth doesn’t mean I’m somehow omniscient about how it should be used,” she said. “It actually gives me a lot of blind spots.”
She also donates to social justice funds like Third Wave Fund, where grant-making is guided by the communities receiving funding, instead of being decided by a board of wealthy individuals. The latter sort of nonprofit, Dashevsky said, “comes from a place of assuming incompetence, putting up all these hurdles for activists and wasting their time on things like impact reporting. I want to flip that on its head by stepping back, trusting and listening.”
Of course, an individual act of wealth redistribution does not, on its own, change a system. But these heirs see themselves as part of a bigger shift, and are dedicated to funding its momentum.
The Revolution Starts at the Dinner Table
Any leftist trying to shake off an inheritance will, at some point, find their way to Resource Generation; all of the heirs in this article did. The organization, founded in 1998, is a politicization machine for wealthy 18- to 35-year-olds.
The nonprofit offers programming that encourages members to see capitalism not as a market-based equalizer promising upward mobility, but as a damaging system predicated on, as Resource Generation puts it, “stolen land, stolen labor and stolen lives.” In go young people knotted by tension between their progressive values and their wealth; out come determined campaigners with a plan to redistribute.
Maria Myotte, the organization’s communications director, said that membership grows each time the nation has a reckoning: Occupy Wall Street, the 2016 presidential election, and this year’s twin jolts of the COVID-19 pandemic and the uprising against anti-Black racism all attracted newbies. There are around 1,000 dues-paying members at local chapters around the U.S. According to the most recent internal survey, the wider Resource Generation network, which includes some nonmembers, collectively expects to control $22 billion in their lifetimes.
Heirs who want to redistribute their wealth said that, at first, they approached the task with the righteous fire of revolutionaries, castigating family members for their coziness with privilege. “There were many angry conversations around the dinner table where I was an impatient, arrogant brat,” said Sam Vinal, a 34-year-old in Los Angeles. But many have found that they can be more persuasive when they treat these conversations like friendly political canvassing.
When Vinal’s mother wanted to start a family foundation, an arrangement typically focused on a single charitable issue, Vinal saw an opportunity to instead create a vehicle for more comprehensive change. He set up conversations with leaders of various social movements to convince his mother to change the mission. “That was a light bulb moment for my mom, to hear directly from the front lines,” he said.
Since its creation in 2017, the foundation has supported radical organizations, with guidance from a group of activists. Vinal spends much of his time organizing other young people with family foundations to take theirs in this direction.
“I try to understand where people are coming from, the bubbles of race and class we get stuck in, so that I can help them be more imaginative about where we can go beyond capitalism,” he said.
Building the ‘Solidarity Economy’
The racial wealth gap means that heirs who want to redistribute their wealth are overwhelmingly white. People of color who are members of Resource Generation, for instance, tend to have access to less overall wealth, or will not inherit until later in life. The wealthiest are transracial adoptees or those who have a white parent. This makes the approach to redistribution a little more complicated.
“The narrative of giving away everything feels like it’s being framed by white inheritors,” said Elizabeth Baldwin, a 34-year-old democratic socialist in Cambridge, Massachusetts, who was adopted from India by a white family when she was a baby. Heirs in her position, she said, must decide whether to redistribute to their own communities or others’, and what it means to give up economic privilege when they don’t have the kind of safety net that comes with being white. She plans to keep enough of her inheritance to buy an apartment and raise a family, enjoying the sort of pleasant middle-class existence denied to many people of color in the United States.
Because her adoptive family’s wealth originated in land ownership and slavery, she donates to anti-racist groups and will soon begin making low-interest loans to Black-owned businesses. “The money I’m living on was made from exploiting people that look like me, so I see my giving as reparations,” she said.
Baldwin has long-term relationships with Grassroots International and Thousand Currents, philanthropy networks working in many postcolonial countries, including India, whose impoverishment she sees as a symptom of Western capitalism. It is sometimes “strange,” she admitted, to be making reparations to her own people. “But no one else in my family talks about where this money came from, and I feel like I have to do it,” she said.
There’s another hitch: Because the stock market is both an engine of American capitalism and responsible in many cases for heirs’ massive individual wealth, few want anything to do with it.
“I get rich because other people aren’t getting rich, and I don’t want to keep making more wealth off investments in things like Coca-Cola and Exxon-Mobil,” said Baldwin. “I would rather put my money into a community that has been denied economic resources and disrupt the system.”
She is doing this by investing in what she and her peers call the “solidarity economy.”
In short, this means using their money to support more equitable economic infrastructures. This includes investing in or donating to credit unions, worker-owned businesses, community land trusts, and nonprofits aiming to maximize quality of life through democratic decision making, instead of maximizing profits through competition. Emma Thomas, a 29-year-old democratic socialist who is also taking her money out of the stock market, described what she’s now investing in as “an economy that is about exchange and taking care of needs, that is cooperative and sustainable, and that doesn’t demand unfettered growth.”
This summer, she was part of a team that organized about 250 people to support the Black Land and Power Project, moving money from asset portfolios to 10 Black-run land sites across the U.S. (Because of the nation’s history of economic racism, many solidarity economy projects include a racial justice element.)
To Thomas, the prospect of contributing to a solidarity economy is a refreshingly tangible expression of her values, compared to the abstraction of accumulating portfolio returns. “At some point, these numbers on a screen are imaginary,” she said. “But what’s not imaginary is whether you have shelter, food and a community. Those are true returns.”
(The New York Times)
THE ISRAEL GOVERNMENT sees any criticism of it as a threat to its very existence, and elected and appointed officials in the United States rush to its defense every time. These same officials, and A. Blinken is included in this number, ignore the fact that with each new illegal settlement, Israel is not only threatening but actually destroying the existence of Palestine. This writer has long lamented the fact that Palestine has no rich, powerful lobby. Justice, international law and human rights are unimportant to these U.S. officials; in the hallowed halls of Congress, it is money that talks. According to them, anyone who criticizes illegal settlements; indefinite detentions with no charges filed; land theft; extra-judicial killings; destruction of olive trees; regulations preventing Palestinian farmers from farming their own land; bombing of schools, United Nations refugee centers, mosques, hospitals and residential neighborhoods; the arrest and incarceration of children; separate laws for Israelis and Palestinians; Israeli-only roads, etc. is doing so only because of hostility toward Jewish people. Since it is likely that most of these officials, elected or appointed, are not incredibly stupid, one can only draw the reasonable conclusion that they have no interest in seeing the truth if it is blocked from view by campaign contributions and luxurious “fact-finding” junkets to Israeli resorts.
— Robert Fantina
US Supreme Court Anti-Scientific Religious Zealots Stoke Covid-19 Pandemic
During a Massachusetts smallpox epidemic in 1902, the Board of Health was enforced to protect the public health and safety. Medical science required mass vaccinations as the best way to exterminate the disease. The US Supreme Court agreed in its 1905 decision Jacobson vs. Massachusetts.
“The liberty secured by the Constitution of the United States does not import an absolute right in each person to be at all times, and in all circumstances, wholly freed from restraint.”
“The police power of a state embraces such reasonable regulations…as will protect the public health and safety.”
“It is within the police power of a state to enact a compulsory vaccination law, and it is for the legislature, and not for the courts, to determine.”
November 25, 2020 after multiple countries have scientifically demonstrated that crowded houses of worship have been super spreaders for the Covid-19 pandemic, and to have caused sickness and death, the US Supreme Court falsely stated: “it has not been shown that granting the application (keeping houses of worship open) will harm the public.” The Court further stated: “The loss of the First Amendment freedoms, for even minimal periods of time, if enforced, will cause irreparable harm. supremecourt.gov/opinions/20pdf/20a87_4g15.pdf
In the eyes of the religious zealots on the Supreme Court, the harm due to the temporary limit on religious freedom will cause more harm than the harm to the public health caused by the spread of the deadly Covid-19 pandemic.
God trumps science and the people’s public health and safety.
Protecting the people’s health and welfare require science and the elimination of all religion from government.
— Dr. Nayvin Gordon, Oakland (Dr. Gordon writes about health and politics and can be reached at email@example.com)
QUIZ OF THE DAY
What do these three sentences have in common?
“You can cage a swallow, can’t you?, but you can’t swallow a cage, can you?”
“Fall leaves after leaves fall.”
“Did I say you never say never say never?, you say I did.”