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Mendocino County Today: Tuesday, June 15, 2021

High Pressure | 8 New Cases | 101 Collision | Russian Flow | BoonYork Rainbow | California Reopening | Senior Scams | Hung Jury | Gardens Art | Cat Plan | Worst Season | Humboldt Marbles | Barrio Champ | Mendo Colossus | Yesterday's Catch | Writing Suggestions | Child Post | Poon Lim | How To Media | What's Ecology? | Dumb All Over | Buffalo Roam | Portland Anarchists | Missed Ark | Trump 12-Step | Caspar Creek | Cold Warriors | Little People

* * *

HIGH PRESSURE ALOFT will build across the area from the four corners region during the last half of the week, bringing triple digit interior heat for the latter portion of this week. Dry conditions are expected. (NWS)

* * *

8 NEW COVID CASES (since last Friday) reported in Mendocino County yesterday afternoon.

* * *

JUST IN: Head-On Collision Leaves One Dead And Traffic Stopped On Highway 101 South Of Hopland

Debris scattered across 101 after the crash. [photo by Matt LaFever]

A head-on collision between a big rig and a motorhome south of Hopland has left at least one person dead and Highway 101 littered with debris blocking the southbound lane. The traffic collision occurred just south of Frog Woman Rock near mile marker 4.35.

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LOWER RUSSIAN RIVER FLOWS TO BE HALVED under state order to preserve stored supplies

by Mary Callahan

The Sonoma County water agency received permission Monday to immediately cut stream flows in the lower Russian River by more than half in an effort to conserve water stored in Lake Sonoma.

Instream flows in the upper river, above Dry Creek, which is fed by releases from Lake Sonoma, already are being maintained at a very low threshold to keep as much water as possible in Lake Mendocino, the smaller of the two reservoirs.

The state decision means Sonoma Water, the county agency, and its contractors — the cities of Santa Rosa, Sonoma, Rohnert Park, Windsor, Petaluma and Cotati, and the Valley of the Moon, Marin Municipal and North Marin water districts — will have to use 20% less water from the Russian River, as well.

Both lakes Sonoma and Mendocino reservoirs are their lowest levels ever for this early in the year, with the warmest, driest months still ahead.

Most of the affected cities that get water from the lower Russian River already have asked for 20% reductions from customers.

Others on the upper river have had to cut deeper. Healdsburg last week ordered its residents to reduce their use by 40% compared to a year ago — double the mandatory 20% conservation level established in May that the city so far has been unable to meet.

Sonoma Water, which manages summertime releases from the reservoirs, is required to maintain minimum instream flows to protect habitat for protected salmon and steelhead trout. It can only lower those levels with permission from the State Water Resources Control Board.

The water agency had been restricting flows in the upper Russian River for most of the past year, with a minimum flow rate of 25 cubic feet per second, but now has permission to reduce the lower river flows from 85 cfs to 35 cfs, which will be noticeable to recreational users.

The water agency is hoping that reducing flows will allow it to maintain small reserves in the reservoirs in the event a third successive dry winter lies ahead.

The State Water Board also is expected to act Tuesday on emergency regulations that would allow it to suspend up to 2,400 water rights within the Russian River watershed, depending how severe the drought situation becomes. More than 900 water right holders, including grape growers, rural residents and municipal entities, already have been notified that there is too little water for them to exercise their claims to water this year.

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BoonYork Rainbow (photo by Annie Kalantarian)

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Fifteen months after Californians faced their first COVID-19 stay-at-home order, most mandates will be lifted on Tuesday. And what a journey it’s been — just months ago, hospitals were overwhelmed with severely sick people seeking scarce beds.

* * *

* * *


A Mendocino County Superior Court jury returned from its deliberations on Friday only to have the foreperson announce that the twelve jurors could not come to agreement on verdicts on either of the DUI charges brought against the trial defendant. As the jury was hung, the trial judge declared a mistrial.

Defendant Michael Patrick Pimental, age 27 of Sacramento, remains charged with driving a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol and driving a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol .08 or greater, both counts charged as misdemeanors.

Michael Pimentel

After the jurors were thanked and excused, the trial court continued the defendant’s case to June 25th for any possible disposition the case or for setting the matter for a retrial in front of a new jury.

The law enforcement agencies that made observations, gathered evidence, and provided expert testimony at trial were the Ukiah Police Department, the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office, and the Department of Justice crime laboratory.

The prosecutor who presented the People’s evidence to the jury was Deputy District Attorney Kassandra Long.

Mendocino County Superior Court Judge Carly Dolan presided over the five-day trial.

(DA Presser)

* * *

ART IN THE GARDENS - Aug 6, 7, 8

Art in the Gardens is back! The event will be quite different this year, but all the same, we will be celebrating art and community amongst the dramatic summertime blooms of the Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens.

Pick your own experience during the three-day event. Activities will include daily art workshops, the "Saturday Soiree", and festivities on the Event Lawn featuring art vendors, live music, food, and drinks.

Learn more and get tickets:

— Roxanne Perkins (Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens),

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“It appears that the vaccines are effective and the humans are returning to work. If things go as planned, we’ll have the run of the house by the end of the year.”

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“It will be the worst fire season in memory…” says CDF every year regardless of conditions.

* * *


by Topher Reynolds

I’m a glassblower here in Eureka, California. I run a small shop in Old Town called the Glass Garage. It’s a cooperative studio. There are five full-time artists who make their living out of this little spot. We’ve all been friends for a lot of years.

There’s always been a glassblowing scene here. The marbles kind of grew out of that, but six years ago, marble hunting became a big thing in Humboldt County, and Eureka in particular, really kind of took the ball and ran with it. And we now are kind of a worldwide center for marbles, marble collectors, marble makers, marble hunters. So Humboldt, and Eureka in particular is top of the list when it comes to people thinking about marbles.

From the point of view of us marble makers, we work on a 3000 degree torch just inches away from us. And the fact that we have this very, very temperate climate that never gets too hot, never gets too cold is fantastic. As far as from the marble hunters, it’s a couple fold. One, there’s a lot of marble makers around the area. So there’s a lot of marbles available. Second, there’s a strong attitude to pay it forward in this community. I’ve never lived anywhere else where people more quickly bought into the idea that this is just us and we kind of have to take care of ourselves and definitely an attitude of if somebody did something nice for you, so you kind of pay it forward. And then the last thing is just our physical environment with the beach so close to the redwoods, and the number of parks we have here in the city, all those things combine to make us kind of the nexus, the best place to be if you’re a marble hunter or marble maker.

And the big thing is getting on the Facebook group. So that’s where a lot of the marble hunting and hiding goes on is the Facebook groups, if you just look up Humboldt and marbles, a number of groups will come up. There’s also the world’s biggest marble hunt. That’s a, I believe it’s 30,000 people worldwide. We’re very active in that as well.

(image provided by Topher Reynolds for an earlier story)

So there’s a number of things, but it’s mainly online and through Facebook is the best way to get ahold of people and be involved.

Humboldt Marble Weekend is our big event that happens in February every year. We’ve had it three years. It’s quickly become the largest marble event on the planet. Our last one, we had 72 artists from 19 different states, and we had 5,000 participants from 27 states. So we’ve definitely got a reputation throughout the country and we’re starting to draw in people. We had a glass artist come in from Belgium a year ago. So we’re even getting onto the world stage with that. We’re really excited about that. It draws a lot of people in here to the community.

It usually happens in February. We think we’re going to stick with that format. Our website will be going back up. It’ll be We took it down during the pandemic just to save a little bit of money, but we’ll be starting that back up here really soon.

For Humboldt Marble Weekend we had the mayor declare it an official day for the city. I don’t think we have a single Arts Alive! where I don’t see two or three of our city council members dropping down through.

You can kind of write your own situation here and you have to provide the energy, but if you’ve got the energy, people are very reflective about that.

Eureka is unique that whatever you stick your head up and say, “this is who I am, and this is what I do,” If you do it slightly better than the person next to you, everyone will just applaud and go along with it. We have a high tolerance for just you doing you and we’ll appreciate it as long if you’re excited about something and in Eureka, other people will be excited about it as well. It’s a really good supportive community for that. We have a lot of unique events and a lot of unique things going on that if there’s a core group that’s really excited about it, that energy spreads and everybody else is willing to appreciate that and feed into that and be part of the whole event.


* * *


Any discussion of Humboldt marbles needs to mention Ro Purser, known as the Father of Modern Marbles. He got his start right here. “The archetypal relationship of sphere, glass, and murrini, forms the constellation of glass artist Ro Purser’s day to day imagination. Stretching the constraints of these archaic elements began for Ro in 1973 when he made his first small glass sphere. For this singular act he is credited with starting the American Contemporary Marble Movement. Forty years later Ro continues to challenge glass in the round and the 3500 year old Murrini technique: making the most detailed silhouette murrini ever produced.”

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* * *


I am not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,

Oh no! I am the Quiet Commander of All Mendo

My conquering limbs are astride department after department;

Here at our beknighted County, with its sundrenched vineyards

A mighty woman with a laptop, whose royal glow

Is from the imprisoned eyes of my fearful followers, and my name the

Mother of the Summarily Dismissed. My beaconed-hand

beckons County-wide a welcome — if you dare! 

My penetrating eyes command

My Low Gap Castle and all the outlying breastworks.

“Keep, loyal serfs, your storied obeisance!” cry I 

With glistening lips. “Give me your tired, your poor,

Your overworked, befuddled masses yearning to breathe free,

Unmasked, the wretched refuse of Sonoma and Lake County.

Send these, the Unemployable Supervisors, tempest-tost to me,

I raise my Executive Throne before my still locked doors!”

(Not Emma Lazarus)

* * *

CATCH OF THE DAY, June 14, 2021

Adams, Barnes, Buxton

LAURA ADAMS, Ukiah. Narcotic/organic drug for sale, paraphernalia, probation revocation.

MICHAEL BARNES, Redwood Valley. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.

ROBIN BUXTON, Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol. 

Caradine, Collicott, Gray

LEARTIS CARADINE, Ukiah. Parole violation.

CAYTLIN COLLICOTT, Willits. Parole violation.

FIONA GRAY, San Francisco/Fort Bragg. Trespassing/refusing to leave.

Guevara, Johnson, Kidd

JUAN GUEVARA, Willits. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.

DAKOTA JOHNSON, Willits. Failure to appear, probation revocation.

SHANNON KIDD, Ukiah. Parole violation, probation revocation.

Langenderfer, Leggett, Madson

BRANDON LANGENDERFER, Willits. Mandatory supervision sentencing, county parole, failure to appear. 

SHELLY LEGGETT, Covelo. Harboring wanted felon, armed with firearm in commission of felony, failure to appear.

TATE MADSON, Willits. False ID to police officer, probation revocation.

Mata, McGuire, Mikkelsen

JAVIER MATA, Redwood Valley. Domestic battery.


LARA MIKKELSEN, Eureka/Ukiah. Reckless evasion, resisting. 

Perdue, Reab, Silva



SANTIAGO SILVA, Eureka/Ukiah. Protective order violation, probation revocation.

Smart, Snyder, Soto

SETH SMART, Willits. Stolen vehicle, vehicle theft, burglary tools.

RAYMOND SNYDER, Ukiah. Domestic battery, false imprisonment. 


* * *


Count on nouns and verbs.
Adjectives, less so. Adverbs,
Sparingly. Very.

Don’t spell it all out.
Arouse imagination.
Leave a bit of room.

Writing’s a joint task
Not to be done all alone.
Get your reader’s help.

Be brief. Invite your
Reader to plunge right into
Your goddamned writing.

— Jim Luther

* * *

ON JUNE 13, 1920, the Post Office Department issued a regulation stating that children may not be sent by parcel post. 

U.S. parcel post service officially began in 1913. During the first few years of the service, some customers decided to test the limits on what could be mailed—which, for a time, included postmarking their children. This is a staged photo; in reality, children traveled with trusted postal workers (not in mailbags). The first child mailed in the U.S. was a boy in Ohio in 1913. It only cost 15 cents to send to him about a mile to his grandmother, but his parents did insure their child for $50.

* * *

* * *


by Noam Chomsky

1-The strategy of distraction

The primordial element of social control is the distraction strategy which consists of diverting the public's attention from major problems and the changes decided by political and economic elites, through the flooding technique or flooding continuous distractions and insignificant information.

Distraction strategy is also essential to prevent the public from becoming interested in essential knowledge in the area of science, economics, psychology, neurobiology and cybernetics. Keeping the audience's attention deviated from real social problems, imprisoned by themes without real importance.

Keeping the public busy, busy, busy, with no time to think, back to the farm like other animals (quoted in the text “Silent weapons for quiet wars").

2-Creating problems and then offering the solutions.

This method is also called a “problem-reaction-solution.” It creates a problem, a “situation” planned to cause a certain reaction from the public, with the aim that this is the source of the measures they want to accept. For example: letting urban violence intensify or intensify, or organize bloody attacks, with the aim of the public being those requiring security laws and policies to the detriment of freedom. Also: create an economic crisis to make social rights demotion and dismantle public services accept as a necessary evil.

3-The Strategy of Graduation.

To make an unacceptable measure accepted, you only need to apply it gradually, to dropper, for consecutive years. This is how radically new socioeconomic conditions (neoliberism) were imposed during the decades of the 80s and 90s: minimum state, privatisation, precariousness, flexibility, mass unemployment, wages that no longer guarantee dignified incomes, so many changes that would have brought about a revolution if they were implemented at once.

4-The Strategy of Deferring.

Another way to get an unpopular decision accepted is to present it as “painful and necessary,” gaining public acceptance, in the moment, for future application. It is easier to accept a future sacrifice than an immediate sacrifice. First, because effort isn't that taken immediately. Second, because the public, the mass, always tends to naively hope that “everything will be better tomorrow” and that the required sacrifice could be avoided. This gives the audience more time to get used to the idea of change and accept it resigned when the time comes.

5-Reach to the public like children.

Most advertisements directed at the large audience use speeches, arguments, characters and a particularly childish intonation, many times close to weakness, as if the viewer was a few years old creature or a mental moron. When you try to deceive the viewer the more you tend to use a childish tone. Why? Why? “If someone addresses a person as if they are 12 or under, then based on suggestionability, they will probably tend to a response or reaction even without a critical sense like that of a person 12 years or less.” (see “Silent Weapons for quiet wars”).

6-Using emotional aspect much more than reflection.

Take advantage of emotion it's a classic technique to provoke a short circuit on a rational analysis and finally the critical sense of the individual. Additionally, the use of emotional register allows the unconscious access door to implant or inject ideas, desires, fears and fears, compulsions, or induce behaviors.

7-Keeping the public in ignorance and mediocrity.

Making the public incapable of understanding the technologies and methods used for their control and slavery.

“The quality of education given to lower social classes must be as poor and mediocre as possible, so that the distance of ignorance that plans between lower classes and upper classes is and remains impossible to fill from the lower classes.”

8-Stimulating the public to be complacent with mediocrity.

Pushing the audience to think it's fashionable to be stupid, vulgar and ignorant...

9-Strengthening self-guilt.

Making the individual believe that he is only the culprit of his disgrace, because of his insufficient intelligence, skills or efforts. So, instead of rebelling against the economic system, the individual devalues himself and blames himself, which in turn creates a depressive state, one of whose effects is the inhibition of his action. And without action there is no revolution!

10-Knowing individuals better than they know themselves.

Over the past 50 years, science's rapid progress has generated a growing gap between public knowledge and those possessed and used by dominant elites. Thanks to biology, neurobiology, and applied psychology, the “system” has enjoyed advanced knowledge of the human being, both in its physical and psychological form. The system has managed to learn better about the common individual than he knows himself. This means that, in most cases, the system exercises greater control and greater power over individuals, greater than that which the same individual exercises over himself.

* * *

* * *


Whoever we are
Wherever we're from
We shoulda noticed by now
Our behavior is dumb
And if our chances
Expect to improve
It's gonna take a lot more
Than tryin' to remove
The other race
Or the other whatever
From the face
Of the planet altogether

They call it the earth
Which is a dumb kinda name
But they named it right
'cause we behave the same...
We are dumb all over
Dumb all over,
Yes we are
Dumb all over,
Near 'n far
Dumb all over,
Black 'n white
People, we is not wrapped tight

Nurds on the left
Nurds on the right
Religous fanatics
On the air every night
Sayin' the bible
Tells the story
Makes the details
Sound real gory
'bout what to do
If the geeks over there
Don't believe in the book
We got over here

You can't run a race
Without no feet
'n pretty soon
There won't be no street
For dummies to jog on
Or doggies to dog on
Religous fanatics
Can make it be all gone
(I mean it won't blow up
'n disappear
It'll just look ugly
For a thousand years...)

You can't run a country
By a book of religion
Not by a heap
Or a lump or a smidgeon
Of foolish rules
Of ancient date
Designed to make
You all feel great
While you fold, spindle
And mutilate
Those unbelievers
From a neighboring state

To arms! to arms!
Hooray! that's great
Two legs ain't bad
Unless there's a crate
They ship the parts
To mama in
For souvenirs: two ears (get down!)
Not his, not hers, (but what the hey? )
The good book says:
("it gotta be that way!")
But their book says:
"revenge the crusades...
With whips 'n chains
'n hand grenades..."
Two arms? two arms? 
Have another and another
Our God says:
"there ain't no other!"
Our God says
"it's all okay!"
Our God says
"this is the way!"

It says in the book:
"burn 'n destroy...
'n repent, 'n redeem
'n revenge, 'n deploy
'n rumble thee forth
To the land of the unbelieving scum on the other side
'cause they don't go for what's in the book
'n that makes 'em bad
So verily we must choppeth them up
And stompeth them down
Or rent a nice french bomb
To poof them out of existance
While leaving their real estate just where we need it
To use again
For temples in which to praise our god
("cause he can really take care of business!")

And when his humble tv servant
With humble white hair
And humble glasses
And a nice brown suit
And maybe a blond wife who takes phone calls
Tells us our God says
It's okay to do this stuff
Then we gotta do it,
'cause if we don't do it,
We ain't gwine up to hebbin!
(depending on which book you're using at the
Time…can't use theirs… it don't work
…it's all lies…gotta use mine…)
Ain't that right?
That's what they say
Every night…
Every day…
Hey, we can't really be dumb
If we're just following god's orders
Hey, let's get serious…
God knows what he's doin'
He wrote this book here
An' the book says:
He made us all to be just like him,"
If we're dumb…
Then God is dumb…
(an' maybe even a little ugly on the side)

— Frank Zappa

* * *

* * *


A hardened core of street activists, many of them professing opposition to authority in general, has dug in and shows no signs of going away. (Portland’s mayor, Ted Wheeler, has asked people to stop calling them protesters, but rather what they call themselves: anarchists.) Their numbers are now down to perhaps 25 to 75 on any given night, compared with hundreds in late 2020 and the many thousands who marched last summer in protests after Mr. Floyd’s murder.

But they have shown themselves at times to be violent — one was charged with attempted murder after a Molotov cocktail was thrown at the police — destructive of property and highly adaptable, using social media tools and other strategies to divert the police from the targets they select.

Direct actions are promoted on social media with the phrase “No gods, no masters,” a 19th-century anarchist term that indicates a rejection of all forms of authority. More traditional protesters from Black Lives Matter and other movements who try to curtail violence are now ridiculed as “peace police” by the anarchists, who mostly consist of young, white men…

Some prominent Black leaders have been formally distancing themselves, with some calling the anarchists’ rejection of gradual progress just another symbol of privilege that Black people do not have…

(NY Times)

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* * *


by Steve Heilig

Dear Friend:

Thank you for contacting TA (Trumpists Anonymous). Surveys are indicating that far too many Americans are even at this late still admiring the deposed past president, despite everything now known about him and his severe defeat in the past national election. Some more severely afflicted cult members even still send him money and/or state they would vote for him again, and extreme followers have even recently bowed down to a gold-plated craven image made in Mexico. But nobody need continue such delusional suffering. Help is available. Plus, he’s laughing at you.

Admitting one has a problem is the crucial first step on the road to recovery. While cult deprogramming is one of the most difficult procedures in psychiatry/psychology, it is possible once denial is overcome and a rigorous regimen of effort is committed to. By practicing the time-tested recovery program below, one can step onto the road that will allow you to regain sanity, self-respect, and even some money you might likely have handed over to con men. We wish you the best for a patriotic, healthy future. Don’t delay, begin right now with these dozen steps:

We admit we have been powerless over a Lower Power who was obviously and democractically voted out of higher office by losing by the most votes ever after having subjected the nation to four years of regressive, destructive, crude and embarrassing infamy, culminating in a homegrown terroristic assault on our Capitol primarily by violent ignorant people sorting confederate flags, Nazi regalia, MAGA hats, and other marks of cultist madness, all of whom we would not want anywhere near our own homes or family.

We recognize that long-professed American values of democracy, equality, liberty, humility and more, however difficult to maintain and perhaps rarely attained, can help us overcome our misguided fealty to a lifelong textbook con man and huckster who has used his office for personal and family gain and to divide us like never before.

We acknowledge that the “fake election” lie is not only destructive to democracy but a profiteering ruse earning Trump hundreds of millions of dollars while costing taxpayer half a billion in public funds, ie, his usual mode of operation.

We recognize that basing any political party’s future on such a ruse will only bring upon us further electoral ruin and historical shame, although we do hope the remaining Trumpists will indeed form their own party so that they may be easily identified while further guaranteeing the end of both themselves and the GOP.

We admit also that holding on to another false tale of widespread ongoing voter fraud is only another transparent tactic to further marginalize voters that ageing white people don’t like via suppression, gerrymandering, and other shameful tactics.

We see that Trump’s opportunistic public embrace of “Christianity” was taken only to gain votes and has brought shame unto the churches which have endorsed him despite his obvious vast ignorance and even opposition to anything resembling the teachings of Christ, or for that matter any other truly spiritual figure.

We admit that far too much of our destructive faith has been based in ignorant misunderstanding, mistrust, and outright hatred of those who are not white and/or who may not have been born here but have come here to enjoy the freedoms we do, such as they are.

We recognize that anti-science mistruths and biases have infiltrated the GOP and even others to a disturbing and destructive degree, bringing about not only counterproductive approaches and neglect of crucial efforts such as combatting the pandemic, environmental decay, and a better healthcare system, but the ascendancy of literally insane conspiracy mindsets such as “QAnon” will forever stain the reputation of anybody who professes it.

We recognize that in order to not ourselves be undeniably “deplorable” we cannot support one who so clearly is just that.

We will make a list of those who we have insulted, angered, and embarrassed due to our angry non-faith, and make amends to them wherever possible, seeking a mature, human-centered approach to both the political and the personal, aimed at furthering equality, health, rationality, environmental quality, and other undeniably good goals;

Having had a spiritual and political awakening due to all of the aforementioned steps, we will strive to peaceably live by them and respectfully bring them to others still in need of saving; and:

We Don’t Get Fooled Again. Hopefully.

* * *

Caspar Creek, 1963

* * *


by Norman Solomon

No matter what happens at Wednesday’s summit between Joe Biden and Vladimir Putin in Geneva, a grim reality is that Democratic Party leaders have already hobbled its potential to move the world away from the worsening dangers of nuclear war. After nearly five years of straining to depict Donald Trump as some kind of Russian agent -- a depiction that squandered vast quantities of messaging without electoral benefits -- most Democrats in Congress are now locked into a modern Cold War mentality that endangers human survival.

In the new light of atomic weaponry, Albert Einstein warned against “the outmoded concept of narrow nationalisms.” But the concept is flourishing as both parties strive to outdo each other in vilifying Russia as a locus of evil. Rather than coming to terms with the imperative for détente between the two countries that brandish more than 90 percent of the world’s nuclear warheads, the Democratic leadership at both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue has been heightening the bilateral tensions that increase the chances of thermonuclear holocaust.

President Biden has excelled at gratuitous and dangerous rhetoric about Russia. As this spring began, he declared on national television that President Putin is “a killer” -- and boasted that he told the Russian leader that he has “no soul” while visiting the Kremlin in 2011. It was a repeat of a boast that Biden could not resist publicly making while he was vice president in 2014 and again while out of office in 2017. Such bombast conveys a distinct lack of interest in genuine diplomacy needed to avert nuclear war.

Meanwhile, what about self-described progressives who see themselves as a counterweight to the Democratic Party establishment? For the most part, they remained silent if not actively portraying Russia as a mortal enemy of the United States. Even renowned antiwar voices in Congress were not immune to party-driven jingoism.

Never mind that the structurally malign forces of corporate America -- and the numerous right-wing billionaires heavily invested in ongoing assaults on democracy -- appreciated the focus on Russia instead of on their own oligarchic power. And never mind that, throughout the Trump years, the protracted anti-Russia frenzy was often a diversion away from attention to the numerous specific threats to electoral democracy in the United States.

Two years ago, when the Voting Rights Alliance drew up a list of “61 Forms of Voter Suppression, “ not one of those forms had anything to do with Russia.

Capacities to educate, agitate and organize against the profuse forms of voter suppression were hampered by the likes of MSNBC star Rachel Maddow, whose extreme fixation on Russian evils would have been merely farcical if not so damaging. Year after year, she virtually ignored a wide range of catastrophic U.S. government policies while largely devoting her widely watched program to stoking hostility toward Russia. Maddow became a favorite of many progressives who viewed her show as a fount of wisdom.

Progressives -- who are supposed to oppose the kind of “narrow nationalisms” that Einstein warned against at the dawn of the nuclear age -- mostly steered clear of challenging the anti-Russia orthodoxy that emerged as an ostensible way of resisting the horrific Trump presidency. Routinely, many accepted and internalized the scapegoating of Russia that was standard fare of mainstream media outlets -- which did little to shed light on how threats to democracy in the United States were overwhelmingly homegrown, rooted in corporate power.

Now, on the verge of the Biden-Putin summit, U.S. media outlets are overflowing with calls to confront Russia as well as China, pounding on themes sure to delight investors in Pentagon contracting firms. Leading Democrats and Republicans are in step with reporters and pundits beating Cold War drums. How much closer do they want the Doomsday Clock to get to midnight before they call off their zeal to excite narrow nationalisms?

It scarcely seems to matter to anti-Russia zealots, whether “progressive” or not, that the *Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists* began this year with an ominous warning: “By our estimation, the potential for the world to stumble into nuclear war -- an ever-present danger over the last 75 years -- increased in 2020. An extremely dangerous global failure to address existential threats -- what we called ‘the new abnormal’ in 2019 -- tightened its grip in the nuclear realm in the past year, increasing the likelihood of catastrophe.”

Far from the maddening crowd of reckless cold warriors, the American Committee for U.S.-Russia Accord released an open letter last week that made basic sense for the future of humanity: “The dangerous and in many ways unprecedented deterioration in relations between the United States and the Russian Federation must come to an end if we are to leave a safer world for future generations… We believe that the time has come to resurrect diplomacy, restore and maintain a dialogue on nuclear risks that’s insulated from our political differences like we did during the Cold War. Without communication, this increases the likelihood of escalation to nuclear use in a moment of crisis.”

It’s a sad irony that such clarity and wisdom can scarcely be found among prominent Democrats in Congress, or among many of the groups that do great progressive work when focused on domestic issues. The recent fear-mongering over Russia has been a factor in refusals to embrace the anti-militarist message of Martin Luther King’s final year.

In the United States, the political context of the Biden-Putin summit should have included widespread progressive support for genuine diplomacy with Russia. Instead, overall, progressives went along with Democratic Party leaders and corporate liberal media as they fueled the momentum toward a nuclear doomsday.

(Norman Solomon is the national director of and the author of many books including *War Made Easy: How Presidents and Pundits Keep Spinning Us to Death*. He was a Bernie Sanders delegate from California to the 2016 and 2020 Democratic National Conventions. Solomon is the founder and executive director of the Institute for Public Accuracy.)

* * *


  1. Douglas Coulter June 15, 2021

    I’ve learned to hate Russian all through my whole life
    If another war comes, it’s them we must fight
    To hate them and fear them, to run and to hide
    And accept it all bravely with god on our side

    But now we got weapons of chemical dust
    If fire them we’re forced to, then fire them we must
    One push of the button& a shot world wide
    And you never ask questions with god on your side

    In many dark hour I been thinking bout this
    That Jesus Christ was betrayed by a kiss
    But I can’t think for you, you have to decide
    Whether Judas Iscariot had god on his side
    Bob Dylan

    The Hebrew calendar reveals Judas’ kiss was on the anniversary of Haman’s tricking the king into signing the order for murder of all Jews in the Book of Esther
    A clear picture of early Fascist system, wealth and government hand in hand.

    What you hate most is what you become

  2. Rye N Flint June 15, 2021

    RE: Anarchists in Portlandia

    Here’s something else “anarchists” do…

    “A group of anonymous anarchists in Portland, Oregon, ― where else? ― have taken their version of anarchy to the streets to help their local communities by fixing unsafe potholes themselves. The project, which began in late February, is the coolest thing to happen to punk after Green Day officially ruined it for everyone.”

  3. Douglas Coulter June 15, 2021

    Noam is correct
    OJ Simpson, Michael Jackson, and The Donald.
    Media circus without the big top.
    Mass shootings lose public attention quickly media loves a good public scandal. All other news fades from the front page.
    I was riding my adaptive wheelchair down the Mississippi when Michael Jackson’s Dr was being tried. On three different days in three different cities I entered McDonalds as the big screen shared the phrase, “Michael Jackson’s urine”. Without a TV or radio McD was my chance for calories and Wifi as I pedaled from Northern Minnesota to Atlanta Georgia

  4. Rye N Flint June 15, 2021

    RE: Back to Busyness

    “The primordial element of social control is the distraction strategy which consists of diverting the public’s attention from major problems and the changes decided by political and economic elites, through the flooding technique or flooding continuous distractions and insignificant information.

    Distraction strategy is also essential to prevent the public from becoming interested in essential knowledge in the area of science, economics, psychology, neurobiology and cybernetics. Keeping the audience’s attention deviated from real social problems, imprisoned by themes without real importance.

    Keeping the public busy, busy, busy, with no time to think, back to the farm like other animals (quoted in the text “Silent weapons for quiet wars”).”

    reminds me of this recent Vice news article:

  5. Betsy Cawn June 15, 2021

    While “maddening,” the “madding” crowd is the one to watch out for.

    • Bruce Anderson June 15, 2021

      Good catch, Mr. K. You’re correct. Derived.

    • Rye N Flint June 15, 2021

      How ironic, that the media was manipulated by a piece on media manipulation… very meta

      • Kathy June 15, 2021

        Irony for the win Rye!

  6. Marmon June 15, 2021

    I’ve noticed that there are a lot nuts who have been commenting on the AVA as late, WOW! Where’s Camille?


    • Harvey Reading June 15, 2021

      I find the tone of the newcomers refreshing. I especially like the poetry. Beats the hell out of the crap posted by a certain nut who still, tiresomely, promotes the orange hog.

    • Professor Cosmos June 15, 2021

      I’m thinking a comic book series purposed to mitigate the psychological distress of Trump cultists is in order. I would like to see an inaugural issue published soon as possible after Trump doesn’t get sworn in August.

      The first issue story idea I have is in late July, prior to anticipated indictments, he buys land in the central Asian steppes (in one of those “stan” countries led by an authoritarian buddy). Those indicting him in NY are revealed as shape shifting aliens, so DJT decides he will set up the vanguard to the alien resistance movement there and calls upon his Space Force creation to attain readiness.

      As he settles in to his bunker-digs in Donaldstan, DJT begins issueing decrees also marshalling his followers.

      Stay tuned! More episodes coming.

      • Bruce McEwen June 15, 2021

        Prof. C0z,
        This is great stuff! Let’s get Jimmy Olsen — Oops! I meant Tommy Wayne Kramer — on this scoop. He’ll be right there on Ground Zero, Downtown Ukiah, as the Space Force starts directing intergalactic traffic, handing out tickets to vehicles that defy the laws of gravity and aerodynamics! Get ahold of that Kramer kid and get him on the beat most ricky-tick, Sportsfans!

        • Bruce McEwen June 15, 2021

          Wait-wait, don’t ask me. You’re right, I agree, Douglas Coulter could be another “boots-on-the-ground” kind of resource for this story; not to mention His Holiness, CLS, our Digital Evangelist and fanatical fund-raiser of consciousness… geez, C0z, who else is there… ?Volunteers of course are always welcome stringers, but they can’t expect full pay and pensions, like the rest of us enjoy… they would have to work on a free-lance, gig-work basis…

          • Professor Cosmos June 15, 2021

            Yes, this requires a team effort, akin to a weekly world news team. All of whom are fueled daily with their favorite intoxicating mind bending agents before sitting down hashing out story ideas. The Space Force created by our far-seeing Hero will be a key element. Happenings at the bunker in Donaldstan must include scenes of a shirtless DJT (photo shop needed before publishing) not only kayaking white-water rafting but on trails leading Donaldstan special forces on a hunt for the alien shape shifters, like John Podesta, responsible for his downfall. The series will of course involve him being a black hat but not as a human molesting kids type. Alien shape shifter is what he is. I believe this character redefinition is required now that Ron Watkins, formerly serving as the Q prophet, has now opened up something called Alien leaks.

            There needs to be graphic artists too. Not just the writers.

            • Professor Cosmos June 15, 2021

              I hate crowding the comments section and entering the AVA’s Hall of Eccentrics but I have an addition to the overall story context:

              DJT buys a big spread of land in a Central Asian country ruled by one of fascist buddies. It is then declared as an independent nation-state by that ruler and DJT becomes, like Chairman Xi of China, a ruler for the rest of his life.

              There of course no extradition treaty with the USA.

              Expect palace intrigue re the line of succession. Eric Trump of course doesn’t even bother getting into that mix but Jr and Ivanka have to do a long dance with Dad to get his pre- death-bed nod.

              In real life today, it became evident New York prosecutors are closing in. De Santis may try to prevent DJT’s extradition, but that isn’t a very sure-fire way for DJT to escape doing prison time. He may have to leave the country.

              • Kathy June 15, 2021

                Don’t forget the local obvious resources in the daily contributors here! Can Marmon sketch?

              • Professor Cosmos June 15, 2021

                He may be the only graphic artist we know of, off-hand, to reliably present graphically the heroic features of the future leader of Donaldstan.

            • Bruce McEwen June 15, 2021

              We have graphic artists, Odd Bodkins springs to mind, and photojournalists galore, with or w/out high-dollar SLRs, and far-out cell-phones that would put the flip=phones in Star Trek to shame… what the devil are you waiting for?

              Over to you Kathy — of course Marmon can draw — he’ll look like Yosemite Sam or the fellow in the video [who happens to be a Boonville resident and former film star (ever see “Pig Hunt”?)]

              • Bruce McEwen June 15, 2021

                Oh, yes, and an aside, to you {sotto voce} C0z, leave off some of your personal, that is to say, your political, agenda and try to help organize the show, the play, the act — now, get out there and “break a leg!”
                …and shut up about making a clown out of a fool who has already made himself ridiculous on the world stage. This tendency shows you were more affected by the buffoon in question than his followers were, and I would counsel you to get over it, most ricky-tick, Sportsfans.

              • Professor Cosmos June 15, 2021

                Yes, just follow DJT’s lead in the development of the portrait of his character. It’s interesting that it’s been mentioned he would possibly contemplate leaving the country if charges were imminent.
                The “stan” states in central asia would be his safest prospects I imagine.
                I often wonder how Trump followers will unglue themselves from him. Maybe become unglued just naturally over time if he is less and less on scene?

              • Bruce McEwen June 15, 2021

                Yes, and I wonder how my friends and wife will “unglue” themselves from the sad-sack tar-baby Trump — did you see my wife’s latest column, about Trump and Washington!?! She wasn’t very proud of it.

              • Bronwen and Stacey Rose June 16, 2021

                Wow, what idiotic things to say. I can’t believe I wasted my time reading your utter nonsense about a former United States President. Let alone hinting that a local legend who is an actor in his spare time would be the wiki-pedia definition of a Trumpster. I think you need to check yourself. I’m sure he will have something to say about your spew and assumption. Bet you were wishing this was anonymous.

                Deranged Trump Syndrome

                You need the vaccination. I am Pretty sure there are plenty of them left at the Pink Palace of Pleasure on Hutsell. Just look for the confederate flag and inquire within.
                Sending Positive energy your way . Negative people spew negativity.

                Stacey Rose

              • Bruce McEwen June 17, 2021

                Do you mean to say that wasn’t Vinny? Geez, maybe it’s just the front tooth, but I could of sworn that was Vinny. Do one of those photo comparisons and tell me these guys don’t look alike.

            • Douglas Coulter June 17, 2021

              Born to Run
              January 6th we moved out on the street chasing the run away American dream
              We pushed our way past the barricades as no riot squads were seen
              Stole a page from Tea Party Boston gang
              Cause the vote we rejected has pushed us over the line
              QAnon’s in town to turn a nation back
              Because it’s pure crap
              A corporate trap
              Draining the swamps begun
              Because Trump loves us and maybe he was born to run

              Donald called us in he wants to be our friend
              To fulfill our dreams and visions
              Wrap our minds around his endless tweets
              And clamp on those MAGA emblems
              Together we could break this trap
              Yet we run from the cops and don’t look back
              Cause TheDonald wouldn’t walk near the fire
              And his Twitter account will soon expire
              Now we’re gonna find out how it feels
              To lose civil rights and sleep without a meal

              Around the Capitol our f-150 trucks scream down the boulevard
              With our selfi sticks we share our pics and show the world we’re hard
              Like a circus park our leaders huddle with panties in a twist
              Only five will die but the battle cry is “white boy you don’t exist”
              Trump loves us but maybe its a time to run

              The hallways jammed with comic hero’s in a last ditch power grab
              Together Donald we can live with madness until you lose that badness that keeps tax payers low
              Soon you’ll have a massive wall and an orange jump suit to enjoy it all
              And you won’t be free to walk in the sun
              Trump lost us buddy it is time to run

              Douglas Wayne Coulter
              Feb 2021

  7. Douglas Coulter June 15, 2021

    Can media ever look beyond the Ironic Curtain?
    Cold War and some cold brew as we watch WW3 on wide screen TV
    I’d better watch my comments or Putin might poison my trousers.

  8. Douglas Coulter June 15, 2021

    A new poem

    Don’t contradict me
    I have a photographic memory
    Developing is quite toxic
    No longer manufactured
    I have weapons
    And strategies galore
    See it my way
    Or else

    Douglas Wayne Coulter
    June 15 2021

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