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Mendocino County Today: Tuesday, August 17, 2021

Shifting Winds | Red Flag Warning | 65 New Cases | 55th Death | Parting Shot | Highway Fire | Dumb Leader | Bragg Off | Cheap Vacation | No Snow | Ed Notes | Cannabis Invitational | Forest Confrontation | Free Testing | Picnic/Concert | Coast Clinics | Yesterday's Catch | Weed History | Careless People | Unmasked Staff | Chicken Top | Puppet Regimes | Domestic Manners | Vaccine Nightmare | The Past | Eddie Lepp | Butterfly | Comments | More Disaster | Turkey's Borders | No Comparison | Heads Roll | Facewall | Clueless Americans | Required Weapons | Strange Days | First Clam | War Profiteers | Newsom Worries | Send Off

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BREEZY NORTHWEST WINDS and seasonal temperatures are expected this afternoon. This evening and tonight winds will shift to northeast and spread the smoke into Mendocino and towards the coast. Wednesday and Thursday winds will diminish as inland temperatures warm. Friday and into the weekend some cooling of inland temperatures is expected again. (NWS)

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65 NEW COVID CASES (since last Friday) along with another death reported in Mendocino County yesterday afternoon.

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PUBLIC NOTICE: Mendocino County Public Health has been notified of another Mendocino County resident who has been lost to the COVID-19 virus. We send our condolences to her family and friends.

A 63 year old Willits woman has been confirmed as Mendocino County's 55th death. At this time Public Health asks all Mendocino County residents to exercise caution when placing themselves in situations that could expose them to COVID-19, especially considering the new more infectious Delta variant. Mendocino County Public Health asks that you follow all CDC and CDPH guidance’s at this time. Vaccination, masking and social distancing remain the best options forcombating the COVID-19 virus.

The individual in question was not vaccinated.

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by Matt Peria

A 30-acre fire that triggered evacuations last week in Ukiah started at a homeless camp under Highway 101, an investigator said Monday.

Called the Highway fire, the blaze was reported around 3:15 p.m. on Wednesday near the intersection of Highway 101 and River Street.

The fire was contained at 9 p.m. after it burned at least two outbuildings, said Ian Broeske, the Ukiah Valley Fire Authority’s acting fire marshal. Officials on Monday were still assessing the extent of the damage, he said.

Homes and businesses were evacuated for several hours Wednesday along Redemeyer Road between Vichy Springs and El Dorado roads. An evacuation warning was announced for the area near Deerwood Drive and Knob Hill Road.

Investigators found that the blaze was human-caused, Broeske said.

Officials could not determine other details about how the fire ignited, including whether it was started intentionally or accidentally, Broeske said. The camp where it originated was tucked into a culvert below the highway, he said.

The blaze was the latest in a string of at least 20 fires in the Ukiah area this year that have been “tied to the homeless population,” Broeske said.

Several have ignited along the freeway and “we’ve had a rash of fires in creek beds and along encampments,” Broeske said.

(Courtesy, Santa Rosa Press Democrat)

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As part off a growing national awareness of our country’s history of racial injustice folks are removing statues and renaming localities that honor the Confederacy and its former slave empire.

Statues of Robert E. Lee have been removed from their pedestals in Charlottesville, Virginia and New Orleans, Louisiana and trucked away.

Congress has directed the Department of Defense to formulate a plan to rename all ten military bases that honor Confederate officers. Fort Bragg, North Carolina will be renamed within two years.

Two years ago the town of Confederate Corners, California was renamed Springtown.

Last month a residential neighborhood in North Carolina removed the name of Braxton Bragg from one of its streets.

Our Fort Bragg is the last municipality in the state of California to bear the name of a Confederate and slaver.

As I read about Braxton Bragg, for whom Fort Braggs (in both California and North Carolina) are named I become more and more dismayed.

As someone born into a slave holding family in North Carolina, Bragg enjoyed and benefited from slave labor all his life and never said a single word against this unjust system. When he went off to West Point, a slave accompanied him for personal service. When he took up a military command and fought in the Mexican War a slave was forced into labor for him.

After the Mexican War he married the heiress to a wealthy slave owning family in Louisiana. He and this wife named their 1600 acre plantation Bivouac and joined “the elite ranks of the slave owning aristocracy.” They worked 105 enslaved Black men, women and children on their estate for their personal economic advancement earning “a net profit of $30,000” in 1859. He defended his use of slave labor thusly: ”We have a large class in subordination - just and necessary…”

Joining the secession of southern states Bragg rejoined the Army as a Major General and said of secession: “Our course is just and we must triumph.”

(All quotes are from the book Braxton Bragg: The Most Hated Man in the Confederacy by Earl J. Hess.)

It seems to me absurd that our town honors a slaver and traitor by bearing his name.

I don’t know how you feel about this. I am working with some folks to change our City’s name to stop honoring Braxton Bragg.

I don’t believe you have to live within our City limits to have an opinion or to be involved in this work.

If, perhaps, you would like to join this effort, please let me know.

Philip Zwerling, Ph.D. 

Fort Bragg

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by Anne Fashauer

It will come as no news to anyone that we are again facing the dangers of Covid-19 and are back to wearing masks indoors. Social distancing, except among the vaccinated really never went away and, in my personal experience, most of us have started to default to standing farther apart when talking than we used to. The frustration of this is bad, especially among the vaccinated who thought there was finally going to be some normality returning (I’m amongst those). For those who get sick because they aren’t vaccinated or because of the Delta variant, frustration is just a small part of their suffering.

On top of the virus, we are breathing in smoke from the Dixie fire, which has burned for over a month and is only 31% contained; it has burned just over a half a million acres. That is an amount that boggles my mind - I can’t fathom it. A smaller fire is still burning in the north County but it is 50% contained and was at 50 acres as of this writing.

Last weekend we went to Lake Siskyou for the annual family gathering of my husband’s family. We had one beautiful day and then the smoke came in. It wasn’t terrible, but it wasn’t pretty either. The thing that shocked me the most was the total lack of snow on Mount Shasta. I have never seen it without snow - which isn’t saying too much as I have only seen it a dozen times or so - and it made me wonder about the local water supply. Lake Shasta was also the lowest I’ve ever seen it - in places it looked like a river, not a lake.

The heat is insufferable, though it certainly could be worse. I have been thankful that it has been cooling down some at night, making it possible to sleep at least. If what the scientists are saying will happen happens, we will be in for a lot more of the heat and the fires; not something to look forward to.

I hope that we can work together as a species to take the enormous steps required to put a stop to the damage we have done and continue to do. I go back and forth between optimism and pessimism. Generally, I feel optimistic, but all the news lately has been fairly bleak. I’ll continue to do what I can and I hope you do too. Sometimes I feel that is fruitless, but at the same time, if we all did it, we might have an impact.

Stay safe out there - be kind to yourself and others. It’s a stressful time and we really only have each other. A good time to follow the “golden rule” if there ever was one.

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JOHN TOOHEY ASKS: Anybody have a best guess or strong suggestion of how you would say PANTHER in Boontling? Best I can come up with is “Huge Tomker” which would literally translate to “Big Tomcat.” Any other ideas?

MR. T, not-so-incidentally, is reviving Friday night football with an 8-man Boonville High School team to play under the lights. All games at the Fairgrounds kick off at 6pm. The season begins on Friday, October 8th vs South Fork (Lake County). A graduate of AVHS in the days that Anderson Valley was a widely feared sports power on the Northcoast, Toohey went on to play college ball.

ADRIAN MALDONADO, having compiled an enviable winning record over the years, is back as high school soccer coach. Futbol matches start at 4:30 on Tom Smith Field at the high school. First match is at home versus Calistoga. 

KENDRA McEWEN is coaching the always strong AVHS volleyball team. The squad that knocked off the much larger Ukiah school last year has returned for Coach McEwen to lead to another banner year for Boonville volleyball. The girls start the season by taking on Middletown on Wednesday, August 25th in the Boonville gym, 6pm.

THE HIGH SCHOOL is looking for people to voluntarily drive our various teams to their away games. Perfect opportunity to see areas of the Northcoast you might not see otherwise, and also an opp to meet pleasant young people you wouldn’t meet otherwise. If interested please visit or call the district office at 895-3774.

I HOPE Wanda Johnson, Kim Campbell and Kelly Hiatt got something in the way of a proper acknowledgement for their many years of work in the Anderson Valley schools because all three deserve at least a standing O for jobs well done.

LOCAL GUY JEFF BURROUGHS with a sign-of-the-times story: “Interesting day at Harbour freight on Saturday. I had just finished buying something and asked the manager if she could check her inventory for another item, so while waiting I noticed this guy coming toward the front of the store pushing a shopping cart filled with power tools. One look at this guy and I was pretty sure something was up, so I did a little side shuffle and blocked the exit door, his escape route. He was about to head my way when I guess he decided my 290 lb frame was more than he wanted to try to push that cart through, so he reluctantly turned and stopped his cart in front of the cashier. Some fumbling and mumbling later he glared over his shoulder at me as he pretended to find his wallet. The manager came out from the store room to tell me they were out of stock for the tool I wanted and as I turned to leave I motioned with my head to watch that guy but the manager didn't see me. As I was halfway to my truck sure enough here he came running out of the store with a full cart of tools at full speed. At the end of the parking lot lay his accomplices in a little dirty black car. One was another guy who except for darker hair looked just like the idiot who robbed the store. Behind the wheel sat a thin blond girl holding a little dog in her left arm and the steering wheel in the other. The two boys commenced to quickly throw the tools into the back seat all the while smashing the reclining seat into the back of blonde girl and her little dog. By now the manager had made her way outside and was taking pictures of the car. By now I had gotten into my truck and slowly began edging towards the car. The 3 idiots were so busy screaming at each other that they hadn't noticed that my truck was right in front of their car, our front bumpers were actually touching. The 2 guys jumped in the back seat and that’s when blonde saw me, screamed, jammed it into reverse, got hung up on the curb then spun out into traffic, a dish rag hanging from their license plate fell off.”

MR. IGNOFFO, a retired rail worker from Chicago, writes: “Regarding the possibility of Skunk hauling water, I must weigh in. When I hired out on the Chicago & Northwestern in the seventies, I could hardly believe the condition of much of the rails in the yards. The cars bounced and swayed even at 10mph, but they usually stayed on track. The worst yard, 40th Street, was eventually closed after Geraldo Rivera did a story on all the LPG tankers (gas) that were shipped through there (located in the Westside ghetto). Derailing a water-filled tanker shouldn't be a big problem. Drain the contents and pop it back on the rail. No ballast, a few rotten ties in the mud and they moved many a ton of freight. Two or three derailments a day, but kept on rolling. Trains work even when poorly maintained (low speed only). When I first saw the lodge at the Grand Canyon, I was surprised to see a three or four track yard out in front. They never had that many visitors, but they had all the water hauled in by rail for many years. I don't think they piped the water across the canyon until the fifties. Just saying, the Skunk project could be feasible.”

LITTLE DOG CHECKS IN: “Hello, everyone. Yes, it's me, Little Dog. I know a lot of you have been asking about me, and thank you for your concern and all those best wishes and positive vibes you've sent my way because, as you know, these people could care less. Whenever I ask them for a little recognition for all the hours I put in around here keeping them safe they say, ‘Zip it, L.D.’ Or, ‘Suck it up, short round.’ Yeah, I'm getting on but I still have to pull night duty. You wouldn't believe the creatures that climb up outta the creek. Coupla coyotes the other night, lots of racoons and most dangerous of all, those possum things. Mean bastards. Even the young ones. They hiss at me and challenge me to fight. 

Some night I'd like to throw a couple of them into the newspaper's so-called office so these ingrates would have some idea of my contribution to the welfare of their ‘business.’ And don’t get me started on these new ingrate cats. Anyway, gotta get back to work. Thank you all again. Little Dog.”

ANDERSON VALLEY, EYES ONLY. The June Ranch has sold for $4,745,250 before sale expenses. The buyer is a Healdsburg couple, Roger and Michelle Burch, who are primarily in the timber business. The Burch’s own many properties on the Northcoast. One of Burch's spin off companies is Gualala Redwood Timber. There has been a court case going on for at least five years over the Dogwood THP near Gualala. The ICO reports that Dogwood will be logged this week. Friends of Gualala River is opposing the project.

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For Russell Green, founder and CEO of three Mendocino County-based dispensaries, a continuing dream is showcasing, marketing and distributing top-grade, county-grown cannabis flowers to a broader audience.

“Despite the fact that Mendocino County cannabis has name recognition, very little of our high-grade products are sold south of Sonoma County. To address this issue, we have created the Kure Mendocino Invitational - a consumer-driven contest where customers vote to determine premiere county cultivators.”

The idea for the Invitational is simple. “Come harvest time, we will accept entries from local, licensed farms.

The first 28 entrants that meet our high-quality standards will be entered into the contest. Kure staff will do the heavy lifting - testing, packaging, manufacturing and marketing the flower.”

The Invitational kicks off on September 10th with a farmers-only informational supper held at Kure's Lake Mendocino Drive store. “We will introduce ourselves to farmers, present the concept of the event and encourage farmers to sign up.” Interested attendees should contact Kure to RSVP. Kure will begin accepting high-grade flower for consideration from October 1st to December 31st. All 28 entrants will be featured in a commemorative booklet, and all 28 strains will be sold at Kure outlets and to regional partners.

“In February 2022, we will have 28-gram 'sampler' boxes available for purchase by the public. These samplers will contain 28 individual grams from the top 28 farms. We believe the public drives the cannabis market. We respect their opinions and want them to have a say in identifying our region's superior cannabis.”

Customers will have the entire month of February to judge the cannabis and submit their votes to a confidential online portal. “Once we've tabulated the winners, we will host an elegant dinner party for our farmers and their guest on April 1st, 2022. We want to keep this event simple, safe and focused on the people who are responsible for growing what is arguably the best cannabis in the world.”

“We hope there is enough interest to replicate Invitational event throughout the year, thus providing our farmers with reliable outlets to sell their wares, generating much-needed revenue and credibility for our county while creating a fun, memorable event for our customers and supporters,” Green concludes.

For information email, attention Leslie or phone (707) 621-5390.

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Covid Testing Friday 8/20/2021 -- 9AM to 12PM

There will be free COVID testing at the Veteran's Building/City Hall at 451 School Street this Friday August 20 from 9am to 12pm. The testing is first come-first served.

No appointments are being taken but you will need to register in advance at: to receive a client number. If you already have a number, bring it with you.

NOTE: This is not a drive-thru event. Please park on the north side of the building.

For any questions, call City Hall at 882-2122.

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At the City of Fort Bragg City Council Meeting on August 10, Mendocino Coast Clinics (MCC) Executive Director Lucresha Renteria gratefully accepted the City’s proclamation recognizing MCC’s service to the community, not only during the pandemic but for nearly 30 years since opening its doors in 1994.

Each year, community health centers like MCC celebrate National Health Center Week in mid-August to raise awareness about their mission and accomplishments. The City’s proclamation highlighted many of these accomplishments:

 The Mendocino Coast Clinics staff of 120 people have served selflessly on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic for more than a year, caring for patients, saving lives and protecting our community through vaccinations; and

 Mendocino Coast Clinics has grown over the years to better serve our community, and now offers primary care, dental, behavioral health, pediatrics, reproductive health, whole-person care, and many more services; and

 Mendocino Coast Clinics provides significant economic support to our community, with an annual payroll of more than $12 million; through the purchases of supplies and services; by attracting revenues to the community through patients, providers and staff; and by supporting local organizations and activities within our community; and

 The dedicated staff at Mendocino Coast Clinics deserve regard and deep appreciation for caring for our community.

Fort Bragg Mayor Bernie Norvell proclaimed the week of August 8-14, 2021, as National Health Center Week and expressed his “great appreciation for all the individuals, facilities, and technologies that make healthcare possible at Mendocino Coast Clinics.”

Renteria thanked Norvell, adding her appreciation to MCC employees who have cared for community members, sometimes at risk to themselves, through the ups and downs of the pandemic.

She said, “Here on the North Coast, we have to look out for each other. We are grateful to the community for their continued support as we work to safeguard everyone’s health. If you haven’t had a chance to get vaccinated, come and see us any Tuesday from 4:00 to 6:00 pm. We give free, confidential, drive-through COVID-19 vaccines to anyone and everyone. You don’t need ID. You don’t have to be an MCC patient, and you don’t need an appointment. All you have to do is roll up your sleeve!” 

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CATCH OF THE DAY, August 16, 2021

Arriaga, Connolly, Cribari

MARIC ARRIAGA, Ukiah. Controlled substance/narcotics for sale/transportation, resisting.

JESSE CONNOLLY, Redwood Valley. Vehicle theft, failure to appear.

DAKOTA CRIBARI, Willits. Parole violation.

Cruz, Hefte, Herrera

DAVID CRUZ-LOPEZ, Bogota, Colombia/Ukiah. DUI.

CHRISTOPHER HEFTE, Willits. Contempt of court, probation revocation.

TRENTON HERRERA, Willits. Protective order violation.

Johnson, McNeill, Miller

DAVID JOHNSON SR., Controlled substance, parole violation.

CHRISTOPHER MCNEILL, Fort Bragg. Parole violation.

DANIEL MILLER, Clearlake/Ukiah. Failure to appear.

Mitts, Ortega, Paz

KYLE MITTS, Ukiah. Paraphernalia.

ARTEMIO ORTEGA-REYES, Ukiah. Controlled substance, paraphernalia, probation revocation.

RAFAEL PAZ JR., Willits. Controlled substance for sale, shuriken, ammo possession by prohibited person, reckless evasion.

Pierce, Rogers, Shivalila

KELSEY PIERCE, Ukiah. Probation revocation.

HEATHER ROGERS, Willits. Controlled substance/narcotics for sale.

ITURI SHIVALILA, Willits. Battery with serious injury, elder abuse with great bodily harm or death, trespassing, criminal threats, resisting.

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by Paul Modic

Marijuana was the surprise ingredient in the economy of the backwoods in the mid-seventies and made a lot of twenty-something dirty hippies, slackers, and university-educated back-to-the-landers rich overnight when awareness of sinsemilla arrived. (The high was instant like snorting coke but without the nasty hundred dollar bills or grimy straws and the need to have more right away. It was also an aphrodisiac, often lead to dancing, and was creatively inspiring, although those stoned ideas rarely seemed so brilliant the next morning.) 

It was the land of BW and AW: Before Weed and After Weed. The pursuit of growing for money was absolutely shameless in the early decades of the boom and few ever said, “Gee, do you think we're trying to grow too much?” (One clever guy coined the term “Senseless me-ing.) 

When the price of manicured sinsemilla rose to three thousand a pound even ten modest plants could net the laidback backyard gardener a cool thirty grand, an opportunity for even lazy artists and musicians to grow some weed and end up owning some land in the country if they were even a little motivated, although it wasn't in their nature to chase the yanqui dollar. 

By the eighties the early arrivals were into their thirties and having children. Something that stood out as these hippie kids matured was their tight-knit community, the bond each age group had and still has on social media: they were all friendly with each other, everyone got invited to the parties, and they got their boyfriends and girlfriends through their groups. There were no obvious bullies among them although when they started to go into South Fork High there were probably townie kids who hassled them, hence they stuck together.

There were few if any overweight kids. Living in the woods they just tended to run around more, walk a mile or two to their best friend's house, and then in their teens hiked vigorously around to water their distant pot patches. It probably helped that the hippie moms, and often pops, prepared delicious and healthy meals while the junk food emporiums were an hour away in town.

The weed-growing teens often started out with one plant in their parents' backyard gardens and then began to explore the wide-open hills looking for a spring and a sunny clearing below it. They set up water systems with a pickle barrel and some hose, and then figured out how to get the fertilizer and plants to the remote patch. Many of the more ambitious boys rode their motorcycles to guerilla gardens out Usal Road in the eighties, became diesel dopers in the nineties and 2000's (which dismayed their hippie parents and annoyed their neighbors with constantly running generators), and then joined the Green Rushers blowing up multiple light deprivation hoop houses in the 2010's. 

If they saw how some of us lived back in the day in Southern Humboldt USA they would have thrown away the key: 

Nine-year-old boys were sometimes spotted taking hits off fat joints and a couple frisky eight-year-olds memorably hit the liquor pretty hard at a party amusing the adults with their drunken antics. (Yes, there were some casualties.)

Once a mother brought her three-year-old daughter to a Hallowe'en party dressed as “Naked Lunch.” She wore nothing but a brown paper bag over her head with eye slits cut out. (Later her mother sang in a punk-rock band naked, her body painted blue except for her bush.)

Another hippie mama gave her daughter a vibrator when she turned twelve and when she moved to town a few years later she and her friends had contests to see how many boys they could bed in one night.

An enthusiastic amateur enjoyed romping in the backseats of cars in the notorious parking lot at The Country Tavern while entrepreneurial youths sold tickets to whoever wanted to watch her and the drunk boys.

When the dating pool was shallow in the early days, before all the country kids sprouted up, it wasn't much of a surprise when a dude in his early twenties would get together with a fifteen or sixteen year old girl. 

One woman back in the late seventies liked to deflower the eager junior high boys in her neighborhood. No one complained, especially those teenage lads being initiated by this sexy lady.

Pesky mores and laws were ignored and no one got in trouble in a culture where children were taught not to call the cops. Meanwhile out in the real world demand for tasty weed kept the pot patches humming along and our love affair with weed has now lasted fifty years.

(Don't fret snowflakes, those frisky boomers are either boring or dead by now.)

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THEY WERE CARELESS PEOPLE, Tom and Daisy. They smashed up things and creatures and nature and then retreated back into their money or their vast carelessness, or whatever it was that kept them together, and let other people clean up the messes they had made.

— F. Scott Fitzgerald, “The Great Gatsby”

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I WAS VERY SURPRISED today when my husband and I went into David’s Restaurant to eat breakfast. We wore masks until we placed our order. It became apparent to us that none of the servers or the staff behind the counter were wearing masks. Customers were walking in with no masks. After we ate I asked our server “Why no masks”? She said “We don’t follow that”. I asked the cashier who also was not wearing a mask why they were not following the county mandate. She got very defensive and said we need to talk to the owner who wasn’t in. When we walked out I noticed there is no sign on the door about masks being required. 

I understand this is a very touchy subject. People have many different opinions on this pandemic. I was very happy when the mandate to wear masks was lifted. I stopped wearing my mask. But, as soon as the mandate was enforced again I started wearing my mask again. I have been a customer of David’s for many years. But the more I think of it, how are they any different from the business in Mendocino who was fined for not following the mandate. 

Again, I know we all have different opinions and you don’t have to comment me about that. I am strictly talking about a business following the rules set by the County and the Health dept.

— Jeri Cohen-Hegenbart

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If the Afghan citizenry is not ready and willing to take up arms and defend their own country, then what is the point? The USA cannot prop up puppet governments for all of eternity. We need to get out of the worldwide policing game and at least start to try and look after our own turf here at home. I know, I know…like this will ever be the case given everything going on at the Homefront, but one can hope. I take a strict isolationist stance and think we should just hunker down and enjoy our final years and let the rest of the world simply fall apart however it wants.

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WHATEVER MAY BE THE TALENTS of the persons who meet together in Cincinnati society, the very shape, form, and arrangement of the meeting is sufficient to paralyse conversation. The women invariably herd together at one part of the room, and the men at the other; but, in justice to Cincinnati, I must acknowledge that this arrangement is by no means peculiar to that city, or to the western side of the Alleghenies. Sometimes a small attempt at music produces a partial re-union; a few of the most daring youths, animated by the consciousness of curled hair and smart waistcoats, approach the pianoforte, and begin to mutter a little to the half-grown pretty things, who are comparing with one another “how many quarters' music they have had.” Where the mansion is of sufficient dignity to have two drawing-rooms, the piano, the little ladies, and the slender gentlemen are left to themselves, and on such occasions the sound of laughter is often heard to issue from among them. But the fate of the more dignified personages, who are left in the other room, is extremely dismal. The gentlemen spit, talk of elections and the price of produce, and spit again. The ladies look at each other's dresses till they know every pin by heart; talk of Parson Somebody's last sermon on the day of judgement, on Dr. T'otherbody's new pills for dyspepsia, till the “tea” is announced when they all console themselves together for whatever they may have suffered in keeping awake, by taking more tea, coffee, hot cake and custard, hoe cake, johnny cake, waffle cake, and dodger cake, pickled peaches and preserved cucumbers, ham, turkey, hung beef, apple-sauce, and pickled oysters, than ever were prepared in any other country of the known world. After this massive meal is over, they return to the drawing-room, and it always appeared to me that they remained together as long as they could bear it, and then they rise en masse, cloak, bonnet, shawl, and exit. 

— Frances Trollope, 1831; from “Domestic Manners of the Americans” 

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I FEEL THAT THERE IS MUCH to be said for the Celtic belief that the souls of those whom we have lost are held captive in some inferior being, in an animal, in a plant, in some inanimate object, and thus effectively lost to us until the day (which to many never comes) when we happen to pass by the tree or to obtain possession of the object which forms their prison. Then they start and tremble, they call us by our name, and as soon as we have recognized their voice the spell is broken. We have delivered them: they have overcome death and return to share our life. And so it is with our own past. It is a labor in vain to attempt to recapture it: all the efforts of our intellect must prove futile. The past is hidden somewhere outside the realm, beyond the reach of intellect, in some material object (in the sensation which that material object will give us) which we do not suspect. And as for that object, it depends on chance whether we come upon it or not before we ourselves must die. 

—Marcel Proust, 1913; from “In Search of Lost Time”

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California cannabis farmer grower, spiritualist, and activist, Eddie Lepp died this morning at 2:00 am, according to his wife, Sandra Castaneda.

Eddie was 71-years old. 

Paroled after after eight years of federal imprisonment, Eddie was one of the nation’s most celebrated cannabis “political prisoners”. 

Others called Eddie a “Pot POW”. In the war against drugs, Eddie paid dearly to win the rights that many now enjoy.

“Eddy Lepp is a true marijuana martyr,” said Dale Gieringer of the California chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws.

Calling him “a true believer,” Gieringer said, “he never once tried to hide what he was doing. His garden was like an act of civil disobedience.”

Medical cannabis pioneer Dennis Peron, co-author of the 1996 initiative that legalized medical use, called him “a hero”.

Peron continued, “Eddie's strength is the hope is that you can fight these guys [the federal government] and sometimes win.”

Charles “Eddy” Lepp, a defiant 64-year-old Vietnam vet and ordained Rastafarian minister, was convicted on federal felony charges in 2007 for doing something that California now considers completely legal because of the passage of Proposition 64: growing marijuana.

At the time of his release, Eddie vowed to fight for national legalization of cannabis and presidential pardons for first-time nonviolent drug offenders.

“Just because I went to federal prison doesn’t mean I fell off the horse,” he said. 

“It is still a long, long ride, and I’ll be there when it’s done.”

Eddie was my friend. He endorsed me for the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors, 1st District, when I ran two years ago. I interviewed Eddie years ago on KZYX and we remained friends.

Respectfully submitted,

John Sakowicz at “Heroes and Patriots” Radio


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[1] For the first time I visited a Costco store this morning, and what a store! It is massive, and brightly lit, full of everything imaginable. My wife asked me to drive her there; there was a wall unit AC she saw advertised for a pretty cheap price. (Going to 100°F today) I was there to lift the AC into my truck. In fact, my role in life seems to have been narrowed down to lawn work/yard maintenance and moving heavy stuff with my truck for neighbors and relatives.

I don’t have much to say about it. Costco might be a good place for Preppers to stock up, cheap prices, large lots. I was impressed with their grocery section, which was huge: pallets of eggs, gallon of milk $2.39, crates of bananas, boxes of blueberries and grapes. I picked up a couple of sirloin steaks at $5.99 per pound which I’m fixing to grill up now.

I’m not going to be a regular shopper at Costco but if they advertise something I’m looking for at a good price, I’d go back.

[2] The only reason we have greenrush 2.0 happening during this drought is because of law enforcement. The price was 500/ lb 5 years ago and sinking like a ship. People who were here only to make money from cannabis were leaving in droves. Then greedy government got involved (parasitic vultures) and started the price control operations to justify their exorbitant taxes. If cannabis was truly legal, as the great people of our state want, it would be worth about 300/ lb and the greenrush would disappear. They’ve been wasting billions for decades and here is the result. Not an inch gained in the war on drugs. Blows my mind that ignorant people cheer on the continued fuckery that is cannabis enforcement and the greenrush. Seriously think about it.

And this is happening all over our watersheds and in the Oak woodlands, this has got to stop. Our environment and these sensitive habitats are being destroyed right before our eyes. The fact the creeks are being diverted during this drought with no concern to the environment from the growers tells you these people do not belong in our communities!!

[3] I am not telling you anything you don’t already know when I say that the older you get the more life becomes all about illness and death, either friends, relatives, or your own.

I got a very unusual and disturbing phone call the other day. It came from Richard A. (goes by Dick) who was my best bud from grammar school through high school. That is where our paths diverged, me to college, he into the Navy. He’s the guy that got me involved in shooting pool at 13 years old. He had a table in his basement. Eventually I was best man at his wedding after which we totally lost touch for decades until I called to tell him about my brother dying (Sept 2014). 

Other than that there has been zero contact until he called me out of the blue two days ago. It would be hard for me to describe how bizarre this conversation was. I said “Dick, I am flabbergasted to get this call from you, what’s up, what’s happening?” He says, “Wait a minute, I didn’t call YOU, You called me.” From there on for half an hour it was one thing after another where I realized he was demented. He’s my age, actually 4 months older. I told him I had thought about him on July 11th when he turned 81. There was a delay in his response. The conversation seemed to be happening in slow motion. He said “I thought I was more like 83.” 

I changed the subject and asked if he had gotten “the vaccine.” He had no idea what I was referring to…Covid, none of it. I asked if he spent any time on the computer…a blank. “What about Facebook?” He says “what’s Facebook?” I said “you know who Mark Zuckerberg is, right?” Long hesitation…then he says “yeah, I think I’ve heard that name.”

To the best of my knowledge Dick is living alone in Wildwood Crest, NJ. I am now in a search for his sister Leslie because Dick should not be left alone in his mental condition.

[4] This [Bell] fire was a little too close for comfort. I have a go bag for everyone in the house and a list of things I may forget in a rush, ready to go at any moment. But these last few years have been sooo stressful for the family.

It seems like just a matter of time before the whole damn state is on fire and we all burn down, so I always have extra to help my fellow neighbors if need be and try to our part in property prep and what not but people this is the new normal and we need to prepare our families AND our community.

Thank you to the firefighters who work these fires at a moment’s notice in extreme weather to try to save our homes and communities.

[5] VISITORS, an on-line comment: Went to an estate sale this morning. Met a lovely family from Idaho, who were apparently here selling grandma’s estate. When I got out of my vehicle, I asked if they would like me to wear a mask and stated that I’ve been vaccinated. The woman replied, “Oh no, we’re from Idaho and we don’t do that.” Now, I know better to engage in that conversation, but I should have told her that my niece visited Idaho early on in the pandemic and contracted COVID-19. What is wrong with people?!! So, just a reminder - our hospital has 25 beds to serve the entire coastal community surrounding FB, and only 6 max of those beds are for intensive care. So, be safe out there as we have visitors who may be contagious, and, in this case, are planning to go to the botanical gardens today. 

[6] Phew! Glitterati from all over the world flying into Martha’s Vineyard on private Gulfstream IVs for Obama’s Birthday Bash; Meanwhile, in Obama’s Hometown, Chicago, at least 50 people already shot so far this weekend, including 2 police officers, one of whom is dead, one critical. Apparently Obama’s $15 million mansion was built on water’s edge, so apparently nobody is worried too much about ‘Sea level rise’. Many of the Honored Guests arrived on massive motor yachts the size of WW2 Navy Destroyers. Those things are powered up by diesel fueled turbines that really suck up the juice. I don’t know if the Climate Czar — John Kerry — sailed over from Nantucket in his impressive yacht. Eventually the guest list will be released. Springsteen’s daughter has been competing in equestrian events at the Olympics. My brain started mulling around how much it must have cost to raise an Olympics level equestrian. It got to 7 digit numbers, and I gave up with a couple conclusions: the expense of transporting the horse to Tokyo and back was a mere drop in the overall cost bucket; and her daddy’s working class hero routine paid off really, really well.

* * *

“Would you mind if I changed the channel to check on the other disasters?”

* * *

LETTER FROM TURKEY: Turkey’s Borders

by Julian Sayarer

In a café in Istanbul last week I listened as a man settling his bill complained loudly to the chef and owner about a nearby district that is now ‘full of Afghans’ who have fled the Taliban. He said the area was already crowded with Syrians, everyone speaks Arabic, you don’t see any Turks on the streets. The same evening, a far-right mob rioted in Altındağ, a low-income suburb of Ankara, targeting Syrian businesses and homes. They were angry because a Turkish teenager had been killed in a fight with Syrian refugees.

To impede the refugees who are crossing in rising numbers, Turkey is building a concrete wall along its border with Iran. Since the start of the year, some 27,000 asylum seekers, not all of them from Afghanistan, have entered Turkey’s eastern provinces. In June, sixty refugees died when a boat sank during an attempted crossing of Lake Van.

With the Taliban’s rapid retaking of the country, people are trying to leave Afghanistan in large numbers. The media are full of images of the ‘desperate crowds’ at Kabul airport. The UK has previously rejected asylum applications from interpreters who worked for the British Army. The Home Office says it is reluctant to grant asylum to those fleeing the Taliban in case it encourages other refugees to apply. There were already 2.5 million registered refugees from Afghanistan before the US withdrawal. ‘They comprise the largest protracted refugee population in Asia,’ the UNCHR reported in 2018, ‘and the second largest refugee population in the world.’ Most of them are in Pakistan and Iran.

Since the US unilaterally reinstated sanctions on Iran in 2018, Iranians have been among the most numerous refugees entering Europe. Half of all those who attempted to cross the Channel to the UK in 2020 were from Iran. The ‘maximum pressure’ campaign, designed by Donald Trump and pursued by Joe Biden, has had the desired effect of devastating the Iranian economy. The first victims of the downturn have often been Afghan, Iran’s largest unsettled minority group, with a refugee population of close to a million.

The Turkish wall may slow but won’t stop the movement of refugees across the border. It is, however, another concrete monument to the failure of US policy across the Middle East and Central Asia. Turkey now has walls along its Syrian and Iranian borders, and there is talk of building one on the frontier with Iraq too. They stand out rigidly against the landscape of rolling Anatolian hills and bright flowing grasses. As in the desert between the US and Mexico, there is an ecological as well as a human cost, with animal trails and habitats disrupted by the concrete edifice.

Turkish politics continues to change around its refugee populations. The AKP and Erdoğan have reiterated that no Syrian will be sent back while Bashar al-Assad remains in power in Damascus. A CHP politician in the western city of Bolu, meanwhile, recently announced that Syrians were not welcome, and proposed increasing the amount they have to pay for water to ten times the price paid by Turks. An investigation into his remarks is underway, but it seems ever more likely that the Turkish opposition – a semi-formal alliance of disparate parties from nationalists to Kurds, but under the stewardship of the CHP – will run its next election campaign connecting the refugee population to the economic anxieties of Turkish voters.

According to the terms of a deal made between Brussels and Ankara in 2016, Turkey was promised not only money but also various benefits in exchange for preventing refugees from continuing to the EU. These commitments, including visa liberalisation, have never been fulfilled. The AKP feels it doesn’t get enough international credit for its refugee policies, despite shedding political support at home for its refusal to repatriate. Turkey also maintains a fraught military presence beyond its own frontiers: one protecting the internally displaced population of north-west Syria; another, unwelcomed, in the Kurdish-majority north-east.

Faced now with few good options, it was always a grim counterfactual to consider how much worse the humanitarian costs of the Syrian war would have been had Turkey closed its borders in the way the EU eventually did along the Evros River and the Mytilini Strait.

Ordinary Turks believe they have gained little in return for hosting the world’s largest refugee population – nearly four million people – and paid plenty. The CHP is only too aware of this sentiment. Consensus is limited, but all parties seem to agree only that there won’t be a repeat of what happened at the height of the Syrian war. Turkey will not play EU border guard again.

(London Review of Books)

* * *

* * *


You can look to the left and
Look to the right
But you will live in danger tonight
When the enemy comes he will
Never be heard
He'll blow your mind and not say a word
Blinding lights, flashing colors
Sleepless nights
If the man with the power
Can't keep it under control

Some heads are gonna roll
Some heads are gonna roll
Some heads are gonna roll
Some heads are gonna roll

The power-mad freaks who are
Ruling the earth
Will show how little they think you're worth
With animal lust they'll
Devour your life
And slice your word to bits like a knife
One last day burning hell fire
You're blown away
If the man with the power
Can't keep it under control

Some heads are gonna roll
Some heads are gonna roll
Some heads are gonna roll
Some heads are gonna roll

Know what it's like
When you're taken for granted
There goes your life
It's so underhanded
If the man with the power
Can't keep it under control

Some heads are gonna roll
Some heads are gonna roll
Some heads are gonna roll
Some heads are gonna roll

– B. Halligan Jr. (Judas Priest)

* * *

* * *


by Matt Taibbi

Secretary of State Anthony Blinken, when asked months ago about the possibility that there might be a “significant deterioration” of the security picture in Afghanistan once the United States withdrew its forces, said, “I don’t think it’s going to be something that happens from a Friday to a Monday.”

Blinken’s Nostradamus moment was somehow one-upped by that of his boss, Joe Biden, who on July 8th had the following exchange with press:

Q: “Your own intelligence community has assessed that the Afghan government will likely collapse.”

BIDEN: “That is not true, they did not reach that conclusion… There is going to be no circumstance where you see people lifted off the roof of an embassy… The likelihood that you’re going to see the Taliban overrunning everything and owning the whole country is highly unlikely."

Down to their own stunningly (perfectly?) inaccurate mis-predictions of what would take place once our military forces left the country, Biden administration officials could not have scripted a worse ending to the twenty-year disaster that has been our occupation of Afghanistan.

Every image coming out of Afghanistan this past weekend was an advertisement for the incompetence, arrogance, and double-dealing nature of American foreign policy leaders. Scenes of military dogs being evacuated while our troops fire weapons in the air to disperse humans desperate for a seat out of the country will force every theoretical future ally to think twice about partnering with us.

News that the military was forced to re-deploy troops to Afghanistan in order to ensure an “orderly and safe” withdrawal is being met with justifiable eye-rolling worldwide. It’s a little late for that.

The pattern is always the same. We go to places we’re not welcome, tell the public a confounding political problem can be solved militarily, and lie about our motives in occupying the country to boot. Then we pick a local civilian political authority to back that inevitably proves to be corrupt and repressive, increasing local antagonism toward the American presence.

In response to those increasing levels of antagonism, we then ramp up our financial, political, and military commitment to the mission, which in turn heightens the level of resistance, leading to greater losses in lives and treasure. As the cycle worsens, the government systematically accelerates the lies to the public about our level of “progress.”

Throughout, we make false assurances of security that are believed by significant numbers of local civilians, guaranteeing they will later either become refugees or targets for retribution as collaborators. Meanwhile, financial incentives for contractors, along with political disincentives to admission of failure, prolong the mission.

This all goes on for so long that the lies become institutionalized, believed not only by press contracted to deliver the propaganda (CBS’s David Martin this weekend saying with a straight face, “Everybody is surprised by the speed of this collapse” was typical), but even by the bureaucrats who concocted the deceptions in the first place.

The look of genuine shock on the face of Tony Blinken this weekend as he jousted with Jake Tapper about Biden’s comments from July should tell people around the world something important about the United States: in addition to all the other things about us that are dangerous, we lack self-knowledge.

Even deep inside the machine of American power, where everyone paying even a modicum of attention over the last twenty years should have known Kabul would fall in a heartbeat, they still believe their own legends. Which means this will happen again, and probably sooner rather than later.

* * *

* * *


by James Kunstler

“If American Airlines were in charge, they would’ve blamed all the cancellations on weather and then given everyone’s checked luggage to the Taliban.”

– Sean Davis, Editor, The Federalist, on the action in the Kabul airport.

I guess we had to find out the hard way that Afghanistan is not like Nebraska. Let others be cruel about it (and there’s plenty of that right now, elsewhere). The last ostensible hegemon who tried occupying the place before us was the Soviet Union, which discovered painfully that Afghanistan was not much like its Kemerovo Oblast, either, and shortly after it withdrew its troops in 1989, the Soviet Union commenced to collapse — which prompts one to wonder: How much is the USA of 2021 like the Soviet Union of those years?

Well, we’ve become an ossified, administrative nomenklatura of Deep State flunkies as the Soviets were, and lately we’re just as lawless as they used to be, constitution-wise — e.g., the abolition of property rights via the CDC’s rent moratorium… the prolonged jailing in solitary confinement of January 6 political prisoners… the introduction of internal “passports.” The USA is running on fumes economically as the Soviets were. Our dominant party leadership has aged into an embarrassing gerontocracy. Is it our turn to collapse?

Kind of looks like it. The days ahead are liable to be a rough ride. Surely China has taken the measure of our Woke military and is weighing the seizure of Taiwan in our moment of signal weakness. No more computer chips for you, Uncle Sam! Do we come to Taiwan’s defense with guns blazing, or perhaps nukes? And what if that doesn’t work out so well? I’ll tell you what: a major geopolitical reordering of things, leaving us… where? Unable to enforce our will around the world as has been the case for eighty years. Floundering. Friendless. Broke. Broken!

Of course, the domestic situation in our land has not been so fraught and overwrought since 1861. Everything is politicized, which is to say: used as a truncheon to beat-up adversaries and, let’s face it, mostly in the sense of Left against Right. This is especially true for the Covid-19 soap opera, which more and more pits the sanctimoniously vaccinated “progressives” against the recalcitrant conservative no-vax free-choicers — that is, coercive government trying to force supposedly free citizens to accept a pretty dubious experimental medical treatment.

Since when did the American Left become so pro-tyranny, and how’d that even happen? I have friends and relatives — I’m sure you do, too — who knocked themselves out in the 1960s protesting against the war, the government, the FBI, and the CIA… who fought in the streets for free speech and raged against official propaganda — and today they can’t get enough of coercing, punishing, brain-washing, and cancelling their fellow citizens. They’re going so far now as to engineer their vicious narrative to brand their opponents as “domestic terrorists.” Think that’s going to work?

I doubt it. And the fall of Afghanistan is sure to spark a resentful reaction among the many ex-soldiers who paid a heavy price pulling tours of duty in that hapless venture over twenty years. There’s a lot of them out there in Red America, and they were already pissed-off about the pernicious nonsense being jammed down their throats by the minions of Wokesterism: the race-and-gender hustles, the off-the-charts rise of violent crime, the wide-open border, the off-shoring of jobs, the Covid lockdowns and wrecking of small business, the MMT experiment launching inflation, and the new pussification of the armed forces they served and suffered in. They’ve laid rather low through years of this, just watching the scene in wonder and nausea, but you may see them turn more active now. And consider: they’ve been well-trained in weaponry and tactics.

Unsettling discoveries are in the offing going forward. The Wall Street Journal lately detected signs of life in the John Durham investigation, reporting that matters have gone to a grand jury. That means crimes are being prosecuted. We may soon become reacquainted with names that almost slipped down the memory-hole — the likes of Bruce Ohr, Glenn Simpson, Andrew McCabe, Rod Rosenstein, Pete Strzok… who else…? This may also lead to a catastrophic discrediting of the mainstream news media — who were fully in on the RussiaGate con — to the degree that some companies end up utterly wrecked and with many careers washed up.

Hard information about what actually went down in the 2020 election is also coming out, and not to the credit of the ruling regime that purportedly triumphed in that contest. Some of that info may redound to the issue of China’s involvement in our affairs, and beyond mere election meddling to the wholesale buying-off of the US political class. The pathetic thing is we already know several very prominent figures on-the-take from China, including Eric Swalwell, Diane Feinstein, and most conspicuously, Hunter Biden (and family), but the ranks of the known-to-be bought-off could swell dramatically.

Finally, there’s the fate of President “Joe Biden.” As Kabul falls this morning, he remains in his Camp David gopher hole. Observers conjecture that he’s had a few “bad days” lately, meaning he is not presentable. There is a rising clamor, even among his own partisans, for him to come out and say something, anything… for Gawdsake… just do more than pretend to be the leader of the free world! It could be curtains for Ol’ White Joe… resignation-time. Never before has a US president faced such a daunting loss of legitimacy, and hardly just on account of Afghanistan. And then consider who’s next-in-line for that position. (Did you shudder?)

Sometimes, Vlad Lenin observed, events take decades, and sometimes years happen in weeks. This looks like one of those times for the USA. Heads will soon be spinning like the little girl’s in The Exorcist, releasing a pea-soup spewage of shocking revelation. The old narratives will fall apart before our eyes. Minds will have to get right. Prepare for a whole lot of strange days rolling out.

* * *

SEVERAL YEARS AGO, in California, I ate my first clam and said it tasted “like a gonad dipped in motor oil.” I would like to apologize to Bob ‘n Betty’s Clam Fiesta, and especially to Bob, who, I found out later, had only one testicle.

— Steve Martin

* * *

* * *


by Kathleen Ronayne

California Gov. Gavin Newsom is using increasingly stark language as he campaigns in the final month of a tight recall election, calling it “a matter of life or death” that voters keep him in office and he is increasingly targeting a single Republican candidate: talk show host Larry Elder.

Mail-in voting already has started and Democrats worry their voters are less aware and motivated than Republicans, who gathered the signatures that gave voters a chance to boot Newsom from office a year early. Election Day is Sept. 14 but most votes will be cast before then.

Newsom, a first-term Democrat who earlier relied on the bully pulpit of his office to make his case, is now in campaign mode, with a packed schedule of events. President Joe Biden announced plans to campaign for him, and prominent Democrats are warning California's pandemic response, environmental leadership and progressive values are under serious threat.

Newsom's latest campaign ad, released Monday, puts the election in blunt terms: “What's at stake in the Sept. 14 recall? It's a matter of life and death,” the narrator says. The ad calls Elder “the top Republican candidate” and highlights his opposition to mask and vaccine mandates.

Elder, who is seeking to become California's first Black governor, tweeted that Newsom has repeatedly “quashed our freedoms” with his actions during the pandemic that included the nation's first statewide stay-home order while “allowing crime and homelessness to balloon.”

It would be a remarkable turn for voters to remove Newsom after they sent him to Sacramento three years ago with the largest margin of victory in modern state history. Once the recall qualified for the ballot Newsom was able to to keep any other prominent elected Democrat off the ballot, turning the contest into a highly partisan one.

Last week, he implored Democrats to pay attention, saying the race is close.

“His particular challenge is to persuade Democrats that they really need to take this seriously and that they need to go out and vote,” said Jim Newton, who teaches communication and public policy at the University of California, Los Angeles, and is a former political reporter for the Los Angeles Times. “One way to do it is to remind them that this is not just an empty exercise, that there are real consequences to it.”

Newsom has found his foil in Elder, who does not support the minimum wage or abortion rights and has used his nationally syndicated radio show as a platform for conspiracy theories involving the coronavirus vaccine.

“I’d say he’s even more extreme than Trump in many respects,” Newsom said on a recent call with hundreds of women volunteers.

The messaging reflects Democrats' concerns that their voters are less enthusiastic than Republicans. Beyond Elder, leading Republican candidates include former San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer, Assemblyman Kevin Kiley, ex-Congressman Doug Ose, former Olympian and reality show star Caitlyn Jenner and businessman John Cox, who lost to Newsom in 2018.

Voters will answer two questions: Should Newsom be recalled, yes or no? If so, who should replace him? They have 46 candidates to choose from on the second question. If a majority of voters want to remove him, the replacement candidate with the highest number of voters becomes governor, even if they fall far short of a majority.

Newsom and Democratic leaders are urging their voters to skip question two, reasoning it won’t matter if voters keep Newsom.

“The advantage of leaving Question 2 blank on the #RepublicanRecall ballot? Saves your time. Saves your energy. Saves your self-respect from casting your vote for a candidate who isn’t worthy of your support - or the support of California voters,” California Democratic Party Chairman Rusty Hicks tweeted recently.

In East Los Angeles during the weekend, Newsom appealed to Latino voters, reminding them he appointed Alex Padilla as the state’s first Latino U.S. senator and expanded health care access for immigrants living in the country illegally. Elder, he warned, would strip away that progress.

“What kind of line item vetoes would he use across the spectrum as it relates to advancing health care and immigrant rights for our Latino community?” Newsom asked.

Not all Democrats feel that focusing on Elder is the most effective strategy. Aimee Allison, a leader of Women Against the Recall, said women of color, who are reliable Democrat voters, don't need to be told the stakes of the election. Instead, Newsom’s team should be focusing on ensuring the voters already on his side show up to the polls. Community organizing will be more powerful than television ads, she argued.

“Communicating that message is OK, but don’t spend all your chips doing that when you’ve got to actually get people to return the ballot,” Allison said of the focus on Elder.

One argument that could resonate with Democratic voters, particularly women of color, is that a new governor could have a chance to appoint a U.S. senator should Sen. Dianne Feinstein leave office before her term ends in 2024. Women Against the Recall initially started as a group called Secure the Seat, which urged Newsom to appoint a Black woman to the U.S. Senate to replace now-Vice President Kamala Harris. He ultimately chose Padilla.

Feinstein, who is 88, said she has no plans to retire early. But that hasn't stopped Democrats from hinting about the possibility of a would-be Republican governor appointing a replacement. The Senate is now divided 50-50 with Harris breaking ties for Democrats.

“Who would he have appointed to replace Kamala Harris in the U.S. Senate?” Newsom said Friday of Elder. “How would that impact the trajectory of this country? What would this mean for the future of the Democratic Party and our efforts to keep the House of Representatives? The Biden agenda moving forward?”


* * *



  1. Eric Sunswheat August 17, 2021

    HERE WE GO AGAIN? RE: Dumbest Ones

    1.) WIRELESS 5G
    The U.S. Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit published its decision Aug.13, 2021. The court ruled that the FCC failed to consider the non-cancer evidence regarding adverse health effects of wireless technology when it decided that its 1996 radiofrequency emission guidelines protect the public’s health.

    The court’s judgment states:
    “The case be remanded to the commission to provide a reasoned explanation for its determination that its guidelines adequately protect against harmful effects of exposure to radiofrequency radiation…”

    “What we’re seeing is virus evolution 101. Viruses like to survive, so killing the host (i.e. the human who is infected) defeats the purpose because killing the host kills the virus, too… The vaccine focuses on the spike protein, whereas natural immunity focuses on the entire virus.

    Natural immunity — with a more diverse array of antibodies and T-cell receptors — will provide better protection overall as it has more targets in which to attack the virus, whereas vaccine-derived immunity only focuses on one portion of the virus, in this case, the spike protein.

    In January, Lake Mead is expected to be at 1,065.85 feet (324.9 metres) above sea level, which is 9 feet below the official trigger for a shortage. The reservoir’s elevation is projected to keep falling, the agency said. Arizona, California and Nevada are mulling actions needed to prevent the reservoir from going below 1,020 feet, officials said…

    The shortage will reduce water apportionments to Arizona, Nevada and Mexico for the year beginning in October 2021, the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, an Interior Department agency, said in a statement. Arizona will lose 18% of its annual apportionment, while Nevada will see cuts of 7%. Apportionments to Mexico, which are required under a 1944 treaty, will be cut by 5%.

    • Kirk Vodopals August 17, 2021

      keep in mind that the Colorado River allotments were apportioned out during a time period of abnormally high water years.

      • Rye N Flint August 17, 2021

        From the hivemind (wikipedia):

        In recent years,[when?] the compact has become the focus of even sharper criticism, in the wake of a protracted decrease in precipitation in the region. Specifically, the amount of water allocated was based on an expectation that the river’s average flow was 16,400,000 acre-feet (20.2 km3) per year (641 m³/s). Subsequent tree ring studies, however, have concluded that the long-term average water flow of the Colorado is significantly less. Estimates have included 13,200,000 acre-feet (16.3 km3) per year (516 m³/s),[15] 13,500,000 acre-feet (16.7 km3) per year (528 m3/s),[16] and 14,300,000 acre-feet (17.6 km3) per year (559 m3/s).[17] Many analysts have concluded that when the compact was negotiated, the period used as the basis for “average” flow of the river (1905–1922) included periods of abnormally high precipitation,[18] and that the recent drought in the region is in fact a return to historically typical patterns. The decrease in precipitation has led to widespread dropping of reservoir levels in the region, in particular at Lake Powell, created by the Glen Canyon Dam in 1963, where the exposure of long-inundated canyons has prompted calls for the reservoir to be permanently drained and decommissioned.

  2. Lee Edmundson August 17, 2021

    I’m extremely sorry to have to write this, but the YouTube video entitled “How to Save a Redwood Forest” is one of the most embarrassingly ineffective political media presentations I’ve ever witnessed. Most of the view is of the forest floor while the soundtrack records some older guy huffing and puffing through the woods with his headset video set on record.
    Then it gets worse. The old guy confronts a logger and spouts verbiage that, really, has little-to-no basis in settled law, The logger leaves and there results, what? a temporary halt to the harvest. It is not a negotiation, it is a confrontation. Short term victory in a long term contest. Is Earth First driving this effort to protect Jackson State Demonstration Forest? Very much feels like it with the broadcast of this vigilante video.

    The crux of the dilemma lives in the term Demonstration in the forest’s name. The antiquated purpose of Demonstrating forest management was to teach/learn how best to selectively cut trees: manage forests. Well, we’ve how to do this over years and finally adopting “sustainable” forestry. The Demonstration Forest approach to forest management is now obsolete and should be jettisoned as policy immediately by the managing agency.. The new policy should entail 1) preserving all healthy trees and, 2) Clearing fire-fuel from the under story. Forest fires, don’t we all know, are our 21st century threat. And methinks consensus has it that we simply cannot have in this day and age too many trees sucking up carbon dioxide from our atmosphere. Am I wrong here?

    My best advice to the Save Jackson group is to get credible advocates — County Supervisors, representatives in Sacramento, the Governor’ office, others of community standing. to sign on to a single, simple proposition: That Jackson State Demonstration Forest be recommissioned Jackson State Forest, with all the appropriate protections accruing therefrom. Period. The long term goal, again, methinks, should be to have the forest folded into the State Parks system.

    But, to whoever is calling the shots for this organization, please try and restrain your enthusiasts. This YouTube video, honestly, works against your broader, wider, greater interests.

    Had to speak my mind about this. I still support your efforts. I just wish they were presented a bit more coherently. Concisely. Effectively.

    Keep the Faith. Stay Safe. Follow CDC protocols.

    • George Hollister August 17, 2021

      ” The Demonstration Forest approach to forest management is now obsolete and should be jettisoned as policy immediately by the managing agency..”

      The opposite of obsolete, Demonstration with outreach and education is needed now more than ever. With over 90% of our population detached from the land, learning about our responsibility to best manage landscapes is needed. The economic aspect is fundamental as well. Despite the beliefs of many of those detached from the land, there is no way we can afford, as a society to manage most of our landscapes without doing it for economic gain. People have been profiting from the creation through management of our landscapes for at least the last 13,000 years. We long ago reached a point where human economic endeavors became an integral and essential part. It is our responsibility to do our job better, not walk away or perform superficial and expensive projects with are limited and have short term benefits. The walking away policy is exactly why we see the catastrophic fires we are seeing today.

      The other essential need is scientific research. Most of what we refer to as knowledge about how redwood trees trees grow fits in the category of folklore, and not science.

      • Harvey Reading August 17, 2021

        Trouble is, George, forestry is NOT a science, nor is range management. Both are pseudosciences that serve (and make excuses for) tree murderers and livestock farmers (range ravagers). And, just what is this “the creation” to which you refer? Doesn’t sound a bit like science and reasoning in action to me.

        Peddle your drivel to those who elected you head of the political pressure group. They’ll happily lap it up. But, other, reasonable, people are finally awakening to the farces that comprise what foresters and their like peddle. They’re not gonna put up with, or believe, the pious babble coming from you and those who “think” like you.

      • Lee Edmundson August 18, 2021

        With all due respect George, may I remind you of what you said back when you were in the run off contest for 5th District Supervisor with Charles Peterson. You were quoted in the Santa Rose Press Democrat saying, ” I realize we are only a spark away from a conflagration . It’s a risk I take'”

        Remember this? I used it agianst you candidacy as an example of a forester who would risk public safety to cut trees for their profit. Same boat today.

        Hey, George, notice how the annual weather’s changed? Noticed the rampant fires? The drought of water?

        We no longer have to cut any trees in Jackson State Demonstration Forest because we have already learned the best best practices of Forestry: Leave the trees, for they are a significantly effective agent in carbon sequestration. Trees breathe CO2 in, and give off oxygen. The carbon is retained.

        Anyone want to straighten me out about this? George?

        Clearing under story should be the primary function of Jackson State. Cutting trees is anathema. These are never any longer the ‘good old days’, they are the ‘bad new days’. We need to shift our thinking — a tectonic shift — about trees and forests — cutting or not.

        I say NOT. Leave Jackson State be. Find the way.

        • George Hollister August 18, 2021

          Regardless of management, fire risk always emerges. That is because the landscape grows, and dies creating fuel for fires. The only option is to continually manage the landscape, if we want to significantly reduce the risk of catastrophic fires. The cost of doing this, outside an economic framework, is more than we can remotely afford to do. We too often can’t even afford to provide long term management of defensible space around our homes. And it is not just our forests that need on going management, either. Our ungrazed, and unmanaged oak woodlands are likely in worse shape.

          Fires, particularly intense ones, will burn redwoods, too, and ultimately bring them down, returning sequestered carbon back to the atmosphere.

          • Harvey Reading August 18, 2021

            You’re grasping at straws, old man and peddling more BS.

    • Rye N Flint August 17, 2021

      Direct action is never obsolete… especially with all the lobby group corruption that still exists.

  3. Jerry Burns August 17, 2021

    Kirby (my “little dog”) sends his best wishes to Little Dog on his return to the AVA Today!

  4. Douglas Coulter August 17, 2021

    The Pugilist by Douglas Wayne Coulter

    I’ve walked along this battle front too long now
    Those who fell before me lay lamenting in their blood
    Florence scurries to and fro’
    To patch each wearied wounded soul
    And it brings me grief to hear them wail and whimper so

    I’ve viewed this battle front too long now
    It pains me so to ponder, I’ve spent my time in dreams
    Someone warm stands at my door
    Succors me from this brawling shore
    Tis vain to dream, all reason shrieks, the conflicts never o’er

    I’ve borne this battle front too long now
    It’s weighted upon my shoulders till my legs no longer brook
    “Just pause awhile” they plead
    But if I stop my heart may bleed
    And so continue marching limbs, I cannot pay you heed
    I’ve walked along this battle front too long

    written in medical rehab, USMC boot camp after breaking both legs running ten miles per day in boots 1977

  5. Douglas Coulter August 17, 2021

    Newsom was not worried when he dined with his rich pals for that famous photo op. Newsom was not worried when he signed Jackson Forest over to the chainsaws.
    Newsom was not worried when he stood on Lake Mendocino’s dry bed to declare emergency months ago yet every green grape vineyard continues to suck California dry.
    If that is the Democrats way what is the difference. The Money Party rules America
    “Money doesn’t talk it swears obscenity who cares propaganda all is phony” Bob Dylan

    • Bruce McEwen August 17, 2021

      “I know a man who’s acquainted with grief,
      he stands in line awaiting relief,
      a broken heart, bad teeth and a sour smell;
      sleeps when he can in a cheap hotel,
      But he’d tell you ‘things weren’t always this way,
      just one band thing happened one bad day,’
      and you can see him on the corner
      with his nine-day beard and blood-shot eyes
      goin’, ‘Hey, hey, hey, Come on, man, listen to my story….”

      –Greg Brown

      “Hey, it ain’t such a long drop,
      don’t stammer, don’t stutter,
      from the diamonds in the sidewalk,
      to the dirt in the gutter…”

      — John Prine

  6. Kirk Vodopals August 17, 2021

    I can’t tell if Paul Modic is cheering on the colorful culture that he wrote about or if he, like me, is recoiling at those anecdotes. I’ve witnessed a fair bit of the hill muffins and diesel degenerates make it out of adolescence and into some strange semblance of adulthood…. and it ain’t pretty. The counter-culture produced a lot of folks who are not the best of company. You get a warped sense of reality when your “parents” are feeding you drugs at age 9 as you sit through one of their orgies. I wouldn’t wear that as a badge of honor. I’d rather be glad I escaped it.

    • Douglas Coulter August 17, 2021

      Parents feeding kids drugs at 9? Sounds like ADHD drug Adderall.

    • Gary Smith August 18, 2021

      Ha ha, orgies, right. I musta been absent that day.

  7. Rye N Flint August 17, 2021

    Where have all the Department Heads gone?

    Hark, an echo down hollowed halls, and sound of joy no longer cries out from the Director’s office ever more. For now the Director of Environmental Health is gone to Solano County with no public announcement of our denouncement of public health? Woe is me. Woe is Mendo county. Woe is the health of the county.

  8. John Sakowicz August 17, 2021

    To the Editor:

    California cannabis farmer, spiritualist, and activist, OG Eddy Lepp, died Monday morning, August 16, at 2:00 am.

    He was 69.

    And he was my friend.

    Eddy, who served a federal prison term after being busted in a DEA set up, was a political prisoner of sorts. He served hard time for the rights to farm, process, sell, and consume cannabis — rights many of us now take for granted after the passage of Prop 64.

    But Eddy was heartbroken after he got paroled. He never thought the State of California would be the next THC tyrant after the tyrants at the DEA and the DOJ.

    Tyrants in America’s insane so-called “war on drugs”.

    Eddy never thought that the Cannabis Industrial Complex — corporate greed and big commercial operations — would push small cannabis farmers, what we call “legacy” farmers, out of business.

    As we shift into the corporate cartel pot-for-profit era, we say good bye to our old friend — Reverend Eddy Lepp.

    We the People love you, Eddy.

    We the People will continue your fight to restore of the rights of both the plant and the planet.

    This sacramental plant we call cannabis.

    This endangered planet.

    We the People will continue to fight for our freedom to farm cannabis in peace…without the carpetbaggers and scalawags of Wall Street dark money, Silicon Valley venture capital, Big Tobacco, Big Pharma, Big Alcohol, and their Special Purpose Acquisition Companies (SPACs).

    We the People will continue to fight for Rastafarian values and an agrarian way of life.


    John Sakowicz

    • Kirk Vodopals August 17, 2021

      no disrespect, but all those awful entities that you listed are probably the biggest consumers of your sacred weed cash crop

  9. Marmon August 17, 2021

    The Taliban spokesman got a question about freedom of speech and he said the question should be asked to US companies like Facebook who claim to promote it while still censoring


    • Rye N Flint August 18, 2021

      Oh Snap! The Taliban have some pretty good come backs!

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