Smoke Clearing | 55 New Cases | Taskless Force | Night Fishing | Social Canceled | Retirees Honored | Boonville Produce | Air Drop | Jail Positives | Hollyhocks | Ed Notes | Jackson Convicted | Afghan Minis | Voice Analysis | Hung Up | Beat & Run | Yesterday's Catch | Mullet Competition | Free Joint | Diverting Ourselves | Babe 1923 | Precipitating Event | Mexican Railroad | Kaepernick Effect | Shaq/Simone | Bravo Biden | Change Things | War Pigs | What Flower | Top Criminals | Prime Addict | Recall Not | Monument Fire | Climate Intensification | Biden Decline Hang On
WARM AND DRY conditions will generally continue today, although a few more coastal clouds are expected. Temperatures will modestly drop this weekend and marine clouds will return to the coast. Next week a slow warmup is expected inland with night and morning coastal clouds.
An upper level trough is moving out of the Gulf of Alaska and dropping south along the coast of British Columbia today. This will start to turn the upper level winds more to the northwest and onshore. This will help to bring back the marine clouds and push some moisture inland increasing the RH slightly. Generally temperatures will be fairly similar to yesterday, although coastal areas are not expected to be as warm with due to the marine layer returning. Smoke transport this morning is generally from the NNE to the SSW this morning and therefore spreading across much of the area aside from coastal Humboldt and Del Norte counties. Much of this remains aloft this morning. This afternoon winds will turn more to the northwest and start to push this smoke off to the east.
(National Weather Service)
55 NEW COVID CASES reported in Mendocino County yesterday afternoon.
MENDO’S TASKLESS TASK FORCE
by Mark Scaramella
There was so much rambling, aimless talk at last Monday’s Drought Task Force meeting that it was hard to get any real sense of what they’re doing. There was no agenda, no attached documents or lists of possible projects, just a lot of informal chat about “funding opportunities” and cliché-ridden status reports from various water people around the County with no real new info. “Resiliency” seemed to be a popular word, invoked time and again by Supervisor Glenn McGourty. “Neighbors” was also uttered a lot. They seem to be working on some kind of list of possible water projects to be funded, but only in general terms; no specifics were mentioned and nothing is in the works for this year or next. They against solicited the public for project proposals. Typical of the inconclusive conversation was the below exchange between Water Agency coordinator Josh Metz and Grape Industry Supervisor Glenn McGourty.
(Our Fort Bragg reporter Chris Calder had previously reported that some kind of water trucking arrangement between the City of Ukiah and the City of Fort Bragg under some kind of oversight and partial funding by the County was underway. Apparently, some bureaucratic obstacles have arisen, although they may only apply to private truckers.)
Metz: “There has been this continual question from local businesses, water hauling businesses, about desiring to haul water from Ukiah to the Coast without it being straight up paid by the customer. Apparently they are running into, you know, basically, regulatory constraints on their ability to do that so I think maybe just to address the question, Why is it not feasible for folks, for that to happen at this point? So my understanding about that is basically it has to do with the point of, the source of origin, the ability to transfer water between watersheds is highly regulated and limited. It's not really a viable option. The best option that we see is through this mutual aid agreement framework that is being put together.”
McGourty: “It may be interesting to explore whether that [that what?] could be dropped in the case of an emergency because there are going to be places where it's not going to be convenient to send a water truck with water to Fort Bragg if the need is in the town of Elk. So these are some of the things that we have to explore. Of course we may also need to get water to Point Arena. But we want to try to create as much resiliency as we can for water deliveries because — and Anderson Valley may also be water insecure in some cases where water trucking could be useful. So that is something that is on our to do list.”
(We have not seen their “to do list.”)
We gather that the mutual aid agreement between Ukiah and Fort Bragg is still on the table and that maybe the “regulatory constraints” may only apply to private haulers. But where this will go is anybody’s guess. The “drought task force” remains aimless and without even a list of “tasks.” Task Force co-chair Supervisor John Haschak concluded the session incongruously, “We are working toward solutions,” even though they have no idea what those “solutions” might be or when they might be discussed.
* * *
THE EXPECTED DEAL TO TRUCK WATER TO THE COAST is on the Board’s Special meeting agenda for next Tuesday:
Agenda Item #3a: “Discussion and Possible Action Including Adoption of Resolution Authorizing the Grant Application, Acceptance and Execution of Agreements by the Department of Transportation Water Agency Division for the Mendocino County Community Water Supply Replacement Project and to Advertise for Bids and Award Contracts to Implement Said Project at an Initial Estimated Cost of $3,840,000 (Countywide) And Grant Matching Funds to be Allocated From PG&E Settlement Funds to Disaster Recovery Budget Unit 2910.”
According to the attached resolution, the County expects 75% of the $3.8 million to be reimbursed by “various state and federal grants.” Which would mean that almost $1 million of the as-yet unallocated remaining PG&E settlment money will go to this water hauling arrangement.
FROM SUPERVISOR WILLIAMS:
Discussion and Possible Action Including Presentation Regarding Increasingly Dire Drought Conditions and Abrupt Loss of Coastal Water Sale to Haulers; and Direction to Staff to Allocate Budget for Immediate Assistance Including the Implementation of a Water Hauling Assistance Program, Structured for Best Success in Future Reimbursement from State and Federal Partners
(Sponsor: Supervisor Williams)
Accept presentation regarding increasingly dire drought conditions and abrupt loss of coastal water sale to haulers; and direct staff to allocate budget for immediate assistance including the implementation of a water hauling assistance program, structured for best success in future reimbursement from State and Federal partners.
The Board of Supervisors declared a Local Drought Emergency on April 20, 2021.
County formed the Mendocino County Drought Task Force consisting of Supervisors Haschak and McGourty.
The Drought Task Force met with the Mendocino City Community Service District in June, when MCCSD explained the urgency of the situation. The county has been able to secure 6 port-a-potties to reduce water demands within the town, but mitigation efforts alone will not address the magnitude of dwindling water supply.
On August 17, 2021, the Drought Task forced expressed optimism in regard to coastal water hauling potential.
Summary of Request
Within 24 hours of the August 17, 2021 BoS meeting, Supervisor Williams became aware of imminent halting of offsite water sales from Elk, Irish Beach, Mendocino Unified School District and Westport, leaving coast residents and businesses without the ability to purchase water. Restaurants and hotels have begun cancelling reservations and closing a few nights per week due to the shortage of drinking water. The town of Mendocino has become the epicenter of acute drought crisis, but residents across our rural landscape are not immune to dry wells.
Water Operator Charlie Acker said, "never seen it this bad, there is no flow in Greenwood Creek" and he was here for the historic drought of 1976-77. Fort Bragg discontinued water sales on July 18, 2021. Westport will stop their two loads per day sales any minute. The coast is now left without an affordable place to purchase water.
Last week, Mendocino Volunteer Fire Department responded to a mutual aid request for a fire in Ukiah. Firefighters left their jobs and families, raced to the station and drove a water tender full of water from drought stricken Mendocino to Ukiah. Like fire, drought requires application of pooled resources.
Ryan Rhoades, Mendocino City Community Services District, will describe current conditions and immediate needs within the town of Mendocino.
Howard Dashiell, Director of Department of Transportation, will present short term concerns of all impacted communities.
Josh Metz, Drought Task Force staff, will share regulatory hurdles in regard to moving water from one basin to another.
Darcie Antle, Assistant CEO, will share possible grants, ARPA funding options/limitations, remaining PG&E funds and general fund options.
Supervisors should be prepared to discuss business, agricultural and domestic use as well as the county's role in providing assistance. The town of Mendocino generates millions of county dollars per year through sales tax and transient occupancy tax (bed tax). Inaction will result in lost revenue and impact wage earners, the very people who have recently transitioned from post-COVID sheltering unemployment to the workforce. The crisis at hand demands State and Federal assistance, but the local economy and public welfare require immediate action which only the county can provide. While the town of Mendocino is leading acute symptoms of drought, it is anticipated other communities will follow. The board should provide clear guidance to staff and set public expectations. If adequate assistance cannot or will not be provided, guidance will allow residents and businesses can plan accordingly.
Time is of the essence. We must transition from brainstorming to action.
Advise public that county will not provide financial assistance.
* * *
MENDOCINO COUNTY BOARD OF SUPERVISORS TO CONDUCT SPECIAL MEETING REGARDING CRITICAL WATER SHORTAGE
On Tuesday, August 24, 2021, the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors will conduct a special meeting regarding the critical water shortage emergency in the town of Mendocino. Water experts will be present to speak with the Board about the extreme water shortage in the 5th District heightened by this severe, historic drought. The agenda will feature discussion and possible action including direction to staff to allocate budget for drought assistance and other immediate funding opportunities.
Ted Williams, 5th District Supervisor and Vice-Chair, wants to reiterate “Shit is getting real” in the town of Mendocino. Water is scarce and citizens are scrambling for solutions. “It’s at times like this that we need to come together as a community to solve critical problems,” added Glenn McGourty, 1st District Supervisor.
The Special Board meeting is scheduled to begin at 1:00 p.m. Meetings are live streamed and available for viewing online on the Mendocino County YouTube page, at https://www.youtube.com/mendocinocountyvideo or by toll-free, telephonic live stream at 888-544-8306.
For a complete list of the latest available options by which to engage with agenda items, please visit: https://www.mendocinocounty.org/government/board-of-supervisors/public-engagement.
For more information, please contact the Executive Office at (707) 463-4441.
NIGHT FISHING, Noyo Harbor
2021 YORKVILLE SOCIAL CANCELED
With an eye to community safety, we sadly announce our annual Labor Day Ice Cream Social will be cancelled again this year. The recent spike in coronavirus cases and guidelines for outdoor activities make a barbeque and close interaction inadvisable. We were so looking forward to seeing everyone again this year! The Labor Day Yorkville Ice Cream Social is both our major community get-together and the central fundraising event for our fire station. The Yorkville Community Benefits Association (YCBA), which runs the Social, will be presenting alternate events and opportunities to raise funds for the fire department and the new water tender building. Look for a return of the Virtual Farm Stand, an expanded Silent Auction, a year-round book sale cabinet outside the post office, and more information about how you can participate in our combined fire safety goals.
For more information about the Yorkville Community Benefits Association (YCBA), visit www.theycba.org
Just an FYI – Wanda, Kim and Kelley were honored with a very nice party and all were given a retirement gift.
VELMA'S FARM STAND AT FILIGREEN FARM
Saturday and Sunday: 11am-3pm
This week at the farm stand: the first watermelons, cherry tomatoes, heirlooms, sweet peppers, hot peppers, eggplant, chard, kale, cucumbers, summer squash, celery, arugula, beets, green beans, onions, new potatoes, herbs, cabbages, Asian pears and more. Apple varieties this week include Green Gravenstein, Ribston Pippin and Swiss Gourmet. We will also have fresh flower bouquets, olive oil, and dried fruit for sale as well. All items are certified biodynamic and delicious! Follow us on Instagram for updates @filigreenfarm or email Annie at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions. We accept cash, credit card, check, and EBT/SNAP (Market Match available too!)
FROM THE COUNTY JAIL: On Wednesday, August 18, 2021, jail medical staff from our contract provider NaphCare, in conjunction with Mendocino County Public Health, performed testing of all inmates in response to the increased number of positive cases that were being detected during the booking process and because of the increase of COVID-19 cases in the community. During that testing, six male inmates and one female inmate tested positive for the virus.
Four prior cases were identified during the booking process and were immediately quarantined upon entry into the facility, bringing our current COVID-19 cases to eleven.
Jail medical staff currently tests all arrestees prior to entry into the jail. Any person that stays in jail goes through a ten-day quarantine prior to going into any general population housing unit. During that quarantine, inmates are monitored by medical staff and tested prior to their release into other housing.
Correctional staff have been undergoing mandatory COVID-19 testing twice a week since December 2020. On August 16, 2021, all Corrections staff began testing daily in response to the increase in community spread.
There are currently three Corrections Deputies that have tested positive; two were detected by our screening process and one was detected through off-site testing.
(Mendocino County Sheriff's press release)
HOLLYHOCK BOUQUET via Mr. Sheehy
DAVE EVANS at the Navarro Store is desperate for help. “Doesn't anybody around here want to work?” he lamented today. Pay's not bad at $18-$19 an hour to start.
EXCUSE ME FOR WHINING, but the Sacramento outfit we lease our office trailer from just bumped our monthly rent up almost a hundred bucks for, get this, “service charges.” Unspecified service charge because there aren't any services provided. We haven't seen them since the day they hauled the thing over here. And they want $50 grand for it if we try to buy it! A bare singlewide thirty years old. Sooooo, they'll be coming to get it the week of October 1st, having warned us there will be “retrieval” fees. Anybody out there with a surplus trailer, 12x40? Cheap? Real cheap?
GOT MY RECALL BALLOT TODAY, along with a note from County Clerk Ms. Bartlomei, “We encourage you to stay home, stay safe and return your ballot either through the mail or a Ballot Drop Box Location at your earliest convenience.”
LIBS MAY WANT to remain seated for what follows, but I'm indifferent to the electoral fate of the governor. He's always struck me as a sociopath — slicker than most of the breed, but not a guy you'd want to leave alone with your teenage daughter. Newsom sounds smart and like he's getting great things accomplished because he puts out a lot of words real fast in a breathless rush, furtively eyeballing the audience to check how he's going over. His personal history? I'm sure the famous lunch at the French Laundry is only the tip of a huge iceberg. Make the shmucks wear masks but we're not shmucks, are we? We run the system. Pass me another $400 canape.
HAVING SEX in the back of a limo with your best friend's wife is right out of the sociopath's (Bill Clinton's) handbook. Getting around in a limo period is a sure sign of monarchical tendencies, but monarchical desires fuel these people, which is one reason —unrestrained capitalism is the primary one — we are where we are — doomed as a nation-state. And here comes Swalwell, a suit even emptier than Gavin's.
I'LL VOTE NO on the Recall simply because it's not a defensible expenditure of public money. A special election? For this? Of course not. The alternate candidates look like meds day at an outpatient clinic, but certainly reflect the political tenor of the times. The stark fact that Bruce Jenner gets any public attention at all is a perfect metaphor for how far we've fallen.
REPEAT MURDERER JAMESON JACKSON CONVICTED
UKIAH - A Mendocino County Superior Court jury Thursday returned a guilty first degree murder verdict against defendant Jameson Wolfgang Jackson. He faces life in prison without possibility of parole.
Jackson also was found guilty of attempted murder in the first degree.
The jury also found true a special circumstance alleging that the defendant committed the murder by firing a handgun from inside a motor vehicle, and the defendant personally and intentionally fired the firearm causing the murder and personally and intentionally fired the firearm to murder a second man.
The defendant’s case was referred to the Mendocino County Adult Probation Department for a background study and sentencing report.
Sentening is set for 9 a.m. Sept. 16.
As required by law, the penalty for a non-death penalty murder in the first degree with special circumstances is life in state prison without the possibility of parole. The finding that the defendant personally and intentionally used a firearm to commit that murder carries an additional 25 years to life. The penalty for the separate attempted murder in the first degree is life in state prison with the possibility of parole (7 years to life), plus an additional 20 years for personally and intentionally using a firearm in the attempt.
The law enforcement agencies that developed the evidence used to convict Jackson were the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office, the California Highway Patrol, the Round Valley Tribal Police Department, the California Department of Justice forensic laboratory, and the District Attorney’s Bureau of Investigations.
District Attorney Eyster cited the work of Pure Gold Forensics for speedy DNA work on the case.
Assistant District Attorney Dale P. Trigg prosecuted the case.
Superior Court Judge Keith Faulder presided over the eight-day trial. Faulder will preside over the sentencing hearing.
These are not this defendant’s first violent convictions.
In 2001, Jackson was convicted and sentenced as a juvenile for the robbery/murder of Joan LeFeat, a Brooktrails shop owner.
Jackson’s co-defendant in those violent crimes, Christopher Matthew Coleman (then also 15 years old), was certified to adult court, convicted, and ultimately sentenced to 25 years to life in state prison. Coleman, now age 36, remains housed in a CDCR state prison facility in San Diego County serving his life sentence.
While Coleman was certified to adult court, a local judge denied the prosecution’s efforts to also certify Jackson to adult court.
Instead, Jackson was convicted in juvenile court and sentenced to serve time in the California Youth Authority until the age of 25.
However, he was paroled two years early from the CYA in 2008, just after his 23rd birthday, having served only 7 years for his involvement in the LeFeat robbery/murder. Jackson then timed out on his parole in August 2010 when he turned 25.
For background on the murder of Mrs. LeFeat and other information, see
IRV SUTLEY WRITES:
BARI BOMBING UPDATE - 08/19/2021 for the usual people…
The direct link to use for AVA's Youtube video is: "Who Bombed Judy Bari" (1991 documentary) followed by 2002 interview with filmmaker Steve Talbot
The two Talbot KQED video pieces which are linked together came off of a VHS tape which I had translated to both a CD / DVD format and also had it put on thumb drives. This one hour and 10 minute piece will be linked to D.R. Cherney's eco-fiction piece of the same name after I get the Voice Stress analysis in place to show the truthfulness or lack of same by principles like Bari herself and her minion Pamela Lotus Davis aka Pam Davis.
Will do the same with Bari's audio on KZYX when she claimed the multiple solicitations of murder made to me by Davis were merely a joke. This can be filmed by showing Bari in a still photo with the KZYX audio running with VSA overlay.
Below the YouTube presentation will be clickable links so the viewers can go to sources such as Ed Gehrman's FLATLAND #16 article. Also there will be a link to Ed Gehrman's “Maxwell's Silver Hammer” piece which demonstrates Carolyn Janice Maxwell was also solicited to kill Michael Emmet Sweeney by Davis.
VISITING FROM UTAH....
On 08-18-2021 at approximately 7:20 P.M., Mendocino County Sheriff's Deputies were dispatched to a domestic disturbance in the 9700 block of East Highway 20 in Ukiah.
It was reported a female was being physically assaulted by a male subject inside of a white SUV parked alongside the highway.
Deputies arrived at the location at approximately 7:42 P.M. and observed a white Jeep SUV parked in a turnout. Deputies pulled in behind the Jeep in order to make contact with its occupants.
The driver of the Jeep immediately pulled onto Highway 20 and began traveling eastbound at a high rate of speed.
Due to the nature of the call, Deputies initiated a vehicle pursuit in order to check on the welfare of the female.
The Jeep continued eastbound on Highway 20 reaching speeds of approximately 110 mph in the area of Blue Lakes (Lake County). The Jeep passed numerous vehicles in the opposing lane of traffic and had no regard for the safety of other drivers and pedestrians in the area.
The Deputies backed away from the Jeep in hopes that the driver would lower it speed.
The Jeep continued traveling at a high rate of speed until just past the intersection of Scotts Valley Road and Highway 20 in Lake County before pulling over on the shoulder of Highway 20.
Deputies made contact with the driver of the vehicle, who was identified as Adam McBride, 38, of Enoch, Utah. McBride was detained and placed into a patrol vehicle.
Deputies then contacted the 32 year-old female who was in the front passenger seat.
Deputies immediately noted visible injuries to the female's face and arms. The female's left eye was badly swollen and bruised.
Deputies learned the couple had gotten a flat tire on their vehicle and pulled over in order to change the tire. The two then got into an argument and McBride struck the female in the face and arm with a closed fist.
McBride was also found to have an active no bail Felony arrest warrant out of the State of Utah for credit card fraud.
McBride was ultimately placed under arrest for [Felony Domestic Violence Battery, Felony Evading, 2800.4 CVC Felony Evading wrong way driving, and the Felony Warrant out of Utah.
McBride was subsequently booked into the Mendocino County Jail where he was to be held without bail.
CATCH OF THE DAY, August 19, 2021
TIMOTHY BANUELOS, Ukiah. County parole violation.
JASON BIENVENU, Covelo. DUI-alcohol&drugs, addict driving a vehicle, controlled substance, paraphernalia, over an ounce of pot.
JOSEPH BRIGGS, Redwood Valley. DUI causing bodily injury, concealed weapon in vehicle.
STEVEN CARTE, Fort Bragg. Transient registration.
JERALD HERDER, Red Bluff/Ukiah. Domestic battery, failure to appear.
ANTHONY HIDALGO, Ukiah. Controlled substance, concealed dirk-dagger, tear gas, failure to appear.
CODY LADD, Ukiah. Parole violation, resisting.
NOAH LAUGHTON, Ukiah. Controlled substance for sale, solication of minor for drug trafficking.
MICHAEL LOCKETT SR., Laytonville. Controlled substance, paraphernalia, county parole violation.
ADAM MCBRIDE, Enoch, Utah/Ukiah. Domestic battery, reckless evasion/wrong way driving, fugitive from justice.
ESEQUIEL RAMIREZ, Phoenix/Ukiah. Controlled substance, hashish, paraphernalia, felony warrant, probation revocation.
FEDERICO TRUJILLO, Ukiah. Failure to appear.
HUMCO LOCAL JESSE MCKEE A FINALIST in USA Mullet Championship!
Calling all Mullet Fans!
My name is Jesse McKee. I’m a mullet-sporting SoHum local and an all around good guy. I’m also one of the top 25 finalists in the running for USA Mullet Champion.
Now is the time to cast your vote to propel me to the status of #1 in this time-honored mullet competition, all while helping a good cause!
Voting starts today (Thursday, August 19th) and runs through 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, August 29th. ALL VOTING is done on
Better note, votes will be tallied via this website only, not through social media.
The voting process involves entering an email address, then scrolling to find the mullet you want to vote for. Scroll down all the way to the bottom of the page, do the Captcha checkbox, then click "VOTE." You will see confirmation that your vote has been counted.
You may cast one vote per day (24 hours), per email address.
The important part! Entry fees for are being donated to Stop Soldier Suicide (https://stopsoldiersuicide.org), which is a huge part of why I want to help draw attention to this contest. It supports a super worthy cause.
You can follow the voting action on Instagram @mulletchampusa and on Facebook @ USA Mullet Championship.
If we aren’t acquainted already (or if you haven’t seen my fly ass mullet around town), I’ll tell you a bit about myself now. I’m a regular guy that keeps it real with a rippin’ and highly stylized mullet. It takes almost daily maintenance up front, but the back goes whichever way the wind blows, yet my mullet masterpiece in its entirety matches my super sick ’79 Pontiac Trans Am burn out machine to a tee! Why? ’Cause I live that real mullet life!
I feel quite fortunate to be able to help raise money through my epic hairdo. Who knew being into glam rock, heavy metal and fast cars could be used for a greater cause? Well now this your chance to help out in a truly epic fashion too, and in a healthy way for everyone! Please check it out, vote, and share!
Thanks for your time, and remember that you can vote daily at https://mulletchamp.com/.
Rock on y’all!
DIVERTING OURSELVES TO DEATH
Watching a full morning of news everywhere dedicated to New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s resignation, I began pondering what else might have been addressed in that time. For instance, am I alone in having no idea of actual steps our government pursues to fight global warming? Has a single coal-fired power plant been taken offline? Any talk of metering nonessential driving — even numbered license plates some days, odd on others?
Any discussion about training military regiments as firefighting support and diverting money from unnecessary battleships and missiles to converting cargo planes to water tankers? We get the stock market numbers all day long, what about Enivronmental Protection Agency updates?
As an inveterate consumer of news and political articles, if I can’t answer, “What are we doing about global warming,” I have to assume others can’t either. Shouldn’t use of the public airwaves involve some responsibility to educate the public about critical issues in addition to selling their attention to advertisers? Mark Zuckerberg did not make that one up, and with identical motives, it is no accident that news stories are framed for maximal emotional reaction, exactly like Facebook.
We are diverting ourselves to death.
ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY
Thousands of American citizens, thousands more Afghani translators/helpers that have been trying for years to get out, all of them stranded with the US impotent, its massive military and civil service bureaucracy with its legions of workers unable to cope.
Contrast the Soviet withdrawal in 1989 and its orderly columns which looked a model of efficiency in comparison to this fiasco. This after 20 years and all those many billions? A handful of illiterate turbaned farmers in sandals did this?
What does it mean? Maybe this, it means that for the people that purported to be our superiors the disgrace and discrediting is complete, their right to rule based on merit and ability a complete lie. For decades they’ve been but empty suits, a parasitic over-class governing by intimidation and bluff and bluster, self-enrichment their only motive.
So, what follows? That’s the hard part. History can be instructive in these matters but every place is different as is each succeeding era. So we can talk about “regime change” but regimes don’t change according to pre-set trajectories and time-lines. There’s talk about societal “resets” pushed on us by individuals on high, and I think the time is nigh for exactly that, but I think the re-set won’t be one determined by a few magnificently wealthy men in opulent quarters.
The Afghanistan debacle may be the precipitating incident for a cascade that follows but I don’t think that Washington will be at the center of it. As in Afghanistan, the US government and America’s governing elite will be bystanders, overwhelmed by events. And they will find something out as did previous regimes in other countries, that people have power if other people listen and obey. But without that, there’s no power.
FIVE YEARS AFTER COLIN KAEPERNICK REFUSED TO STAND, WE STILL GET THE STORY WRONG
by Dave Zirin
It has now been five years since San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick decided not to stand for the national anthem. It was before a little-noticed pre-season game. Kaepernick wasn’t even starting. He took his seat behind the bench to cause as little uproar as possible. The act might have gone unnoticed if not for intrepid reporter Steve Wyche, who saw what was happening and understood its significance.
The gesture was a reaction to the rash of police killings that had taken place over that summer, including those of Philando Castile and Alton Sterling. Kaepernick sat in disgust over the gap between what this country’s anthem promises and the lived realities of Black people in the United States. No one could have predicted the firestorm that would follow. Countless people around the world were inspired. Others sent death threats. The right-wing backlash culminated with the president of the United States, with his racist instincts on high alert, treating Kaepernick as a his own personal punching bag. And it didn’t stop there. There was the “blackballing” from the NFL, the Nike ad, the burning of Nike products, the efforts by the NFL to co-opt Kaepernick’s message while denying him work, the much-discussed juxtaposition of Colin taking that knee and Derek Chauvin taking a knee to murder George Floyd… it’s been a lot.
But I want to argue that the media’s focus on Kaepernick misses what his legacy actually is. What Colin Kaepernick has provided over the past five years has been a language and method of resistance for young athletes to follow. Literally thousands of athletes in small towns and big cities across the country put his example into practice in their own communities. All of a sudden, the playing field was a contested political space: a site not of escape but protest. The anthem became an opportunity to express dissent. The idea of being—in that overused phrase—an “activist athlete” became the new reality for countless teenagers.
Young people have often been painted as apathetic. Young athletes are often seen in the culture as not only apathetic but downright reactionary. For most athletes, play was an end in and of itself. Yet, after Kaepernick took his knee, many of these same athletes were transformed. Yes, other athletes had protested on the field. We saw it in the WNBA over that same summer of 2016. But the combination of the media power of the NFL and the use of the anthem as a space for protest was a game changer. These young athletes began to understand their own cultural capital in their communities and were willing to exercise it in order to start uncomfortable conversations about racism and police violence.
I have a book about to drop called The Kaepernick Effect, in which I interview dozens upon dozens of these youth athletes. What I found is that they didn’t take a knee during the anthem to support or mimic Kaepernick and his efforts to get back into the league. They didn’t do it to follow a trend. If anything, as high school students, they were putting themselves out there to be bullied, mocked, and even threatened with losing their spot on the team, not to mention violence. But still they took that knee. They did it because they, like so many other young people across this country, are fed up with white supremacy and police violence. You cannot understand why 2020’s police murder of Floyd caused some of the largest protests in the history of the United States without understanding the righteous impatience of these young people. You can’t understand why 2021 has seen this conjoined political backlash against anti-racist teaching and Black people voting without understanding that at its root is a fear of a generation more diverse and less tolerant of intolerance than any other in US history.
If there was a name that was uttered by the people I interviewed, whether they were from Seattle, Wash., or Beaumont, Tex., it wasn’t Colin Kaepernick. It was Trayvon Martin. If you are 19 years old today, then Trayvon Martin was murdered by George Zimmerman when you were 10. To see his murder and then see Zimmerman get off scot-free was an all-American trauma for an entire generation. In a previous decade, the child whose slaying helped provoke a revolt in the name of Black freedom was Emmett Till. For the young athletes with whom I spoke, it was Trayvon.
The road that was traveled from Kaepernick’s taking that knee to the mass protests of 2020 was in part constructed by these young people. While so much of the sports media has been obsessed with Kaepernick’s every utterance and is waiting for him to speak as if he were some combination of Muhammad Ali and Godot, the fact of the matter is that they’ve gotten the story exactly wrong. It’s not about Kaepernick. Maybe it was never about Kaepernick. It’s about the people who adopted the method and language of his protest, taking it away from the bright lights and cameras and bringing it home. It’s their voices we should be listening to. To ignore them is to ignore the prospect for change in a world ridden with racism, disease, and constant crisis. That’s the true Kaepernick effect: the mass movement to make people uncomfortable enough to surrender their blindness and see what this country has always been and also what it has the capacity to become.
I’M PRAISING JOE BIDEN. This departure took guts. It takes guts in a culture so steeped in simulacra, manufactured myth, and incessant political maneuvering to do a thing that’s simultaneously necessary and sure to produce unsavory results. Whatever else Biden does that pisses me off in the future — and that’s a sure thing — he deserves credit, not all this hand-wringing and blame. He has confronted the Archons of the military-industrial-media complex, who are writhing and raging now across the screens of cable news — an industry taken over by the same ideology that got us into Afghanistan in the first place: neoconservatism, an arrogant and clueless late imperial ideology now spouted on Fox, CNN, and MSNBC.
Biden is not to blame for a “debacle” in Afghanistan.
This exercise in mortal stupidity started with George W. Bush, and cheered on by the media. It was extended and expanded by Bush II (Obama). It was denounced by Trump, but allowed to go on, because even Trump didn’t have the guts to risk a hit to the very performative masculinity that fueled his popular appeal. The occupation was not wine, improving with age. It was a wound festering to gangrene, and now there had to be an amputation. And none of them, not Bush, not Obama, not Trump, had the guts to say, “Stop!” Only Biden, at long last. Praise be!
Politicians won’t be kind to Biden. His fellow Democrats are exhibiting a craven cowardice as this is written, piling on the bash-Biden train while that sense of a wounded national masculinity is inflamed by the bellows of cable news and their weapons manufacturing sponsors. Remember them. Republicans — who would have backed Trump if he’d have had the courage to leave Afghanistan — are already sharpening their knives for 2022. Remember their chicken-livered, opportunistic asses, too. History will pour shit over their memories long after they have their little opportunistic day. Biden will be remembered — in spite of his many character defects and his sordid political history — as the President who had the guts to confront them all.
— Stan Goff
Generals gathered in their masses
Just like witches at black masses
Evil minds that plot destruction
Sorcerer of death's construction
In the fields the bodies burning
As the war machine keeps turning
Death and hatred to Mankind
Poisoning their brainwashed minds...
Oh Lord yeah!
Politicians hide themselves away
They only started the war
Why should they go out to fight?
They leave that role to the poor
Time will tell on their power minds
Making war just for fun
Treating people just like pawns in chess
Wait 'till their judgment day comes, yeah!
Now in darkness, world stops turning
Ashes where the bodies burning
No more war pigs have the power
Hand of God has struck the hour
Day of Judgment, God is calling
On their knees the war pigs crawling
Begging mercy for their sins
Satan, laughing, spreads his wings...
Oh Lord, yeah!
— Geezer Butler (Black Sabbath)
NAME THAT FLOWER
NOBODY IS ABOVE THE LAW — except the Big Boys
by Ralph Nader
Law schools should have courses on the expanding immunities of government and corporate officials from criminal prosecution and punishment. Guest lecturers, speaking from their experience, could be Donald J. Trump, George W. Bush (criminal destruction of Iraq), Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, Texas Governor Greg Abbott, the Sackler Family of opioid infamy, and the top officials at Boeing, led by its CEO Dennis Muilenburg, for the 346 homicides in their deadly 737 MAX aircraft.
They should all be charged in varying degrees with manslaughter. Note how the definition fits the facts on the ground:
“Reckless homicide is a crime in which the perpetrators were aware that their act (or failure to act when there is a legal duty to act) creates significant risk of death or grievous bodily harm in the victim, but ignores the risk and continues to act (or fail to act), and a human death results.”
Trump violated willfully and repeatedly so many laws, including obstruction of justice, that it would take a large well-staffed special prosecutor’s office to handle his offenses. (Biden’s Attorney General, Merrick Garland, has decided to immunize Trump by doing nothing). (See, Letter to Attorney General Merrick Garland, June 17, 2021).
War criminal George W. Bush violated the Constitution by invading Iraq without a Congressional declaration of war, lying about Iraq having weapons of mass destruction, killing over one million Iraqis, in addition to causing injuries, sicknesses, and devastation of critical public infrastructure. During this process of torture and mayhem, Bush violated federal statutes, international treaties, and returned to Texas immunized in fact, though not in law. He and former Vice President Dick Cheney could still be prosecuted.
New York lawyer and former homicide prosecutor in the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office, Robert C. Gottlieb, called for the prosecution of Trump over willful, disastrous actions and inactions concerning the Covid-19 pandemic, under the presidential duties to act, which led to many tens of thousands of preventable losses of life. Trump began dismissing the dangers of the fast multiplying virus as soon as it entered the U.S. from China.
Gottlieb gives examples of when the average citizen could not be able to escape criminal prosecution, citing the conviction of the owner (and two others) of a New York City residential and commercial building of homicide. Reckless drivers resulting in the deaths of innocents are often convicted of manslaughter and jailed.
Governor Ron DeSantis, confronting overwhelmed hospitals, and 25,000 new Covid-19 cases just in one day, still is brazenly advocating the maskless, crowd-together-if-you-choose-behavior of ‘live free and die.’ Somehow, he got through Harvard Law School uneducated to become a perilous promoter of opposing mask mandates in schools and hospitals, opposing required vaccinations for hospital workers (though he favors vaccinations generally), and is described politely by contagious disease specialists as being “in a state of denial.” Gritting his teeth, DeSantis, a fervent Trump supplicant, says again and again, “People are going to be free to choose to make their own decisions.” What? Free to infect others with a lethal disease? Does he not know of past public health campaigns against tuberculosis, smallpox, and the 1919 influenza epidemic?
Some Florida school districts, mandating masks to protect their children, have disregarded his ideological orders. Had DeSantis lost the last election, many more Floridians would be living today.
The same situation exists under Texas Governor Greg Abbott. The Dallas, Houston, and Austin school districts are defying his homicidal executive order prohibiting mandates for masks by complying with CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) standards. The Dallas County officials sued Abbott, declaring that the governor’s ban violates Texas law.
The headline in Wednesday’s New York Times tells the story: “Texas Hospitals Are Already Overloaded. Doctors Are ‘Frightened by What is Coming.’” The more contagious Delta variant has spread everywhere, to which Abbott replied, “We must rely on personal responsibility, not government mandates.” Has he spoken to the deadlier Delta variant lately about his delusions?
When it comes to the crimes of large corporations and their bosses, immunity or impunity is what they expect. When, once in a while, they’re caught in the act, the company pays the dollar penalties and the company’s rulers and backers get off with no “personal responsibility.”
In one of the biggest corporate marketing/promotional crimes – over 500,000 opioid deaths so far and accelerating, the Sackler’s company, Purdue Pharma, escaped into bankruptcy while the Sacklers escaped any criminal prosecution. As a part of the Purdue Pharma bankruptcy the Sacklers negotiated for personal immunity from further civil suits, and the wrongdoers only had to fork over $4.5 billion, (spread out over years no less!) of their immense fortune. Purdue Pharma pleaded guilty to three felony charges in 2020, but under the settlement with the Justice Department, the Sacklers agreed to pay $225 million but made no admissions of wrongdoing. I once recall a person stealing a donkey in Colorado going to jail for 15 years.
Then there are the criminal Boeing bosses who committed the manslaughter of 346 passengers and crew members in Indonesia and Ethiopia. Boeing’s stealth cockpit software, not provided to the pilots, the airlines, and deceptively conveyed to the FAA, took away control of the two ascending 737 MAX planes from the pilots and drove the aircraft into the sea and ground in 2018 and 2019.
The Trump Justice Department sweetheart-settled a criminal case against Boeing, with the prosecutor subsequently quitting and joining Kirkland & Ellis, the law firm for Boeing. There was no trial or jail for any Boeing bosses, just a modest $2.5 billion exaction, mostly going to the airlines and the government with the rest to the grieving families. The civil tort suits will come under Boeing’s insurance with the rest being mostly deductible against the few federal income taxes Boeing pays.
Next time you hear any prominent person announce that “Nobody is above the law,” you can ask: “Really, with all the corporate and government lawbreaking we read about, tell us just how many of these big-time crooks are in orange suits serving time?”
NO ON RECALL
Please vote No on the recall ballot which the Republicans have successfully forced California registered voters to vote on. This recall should not even be happening in the first place. Here the governor is elected every four years, and Governor Newsom’s term is supposed to run until late next year. This “recall election” is really just a power grab by the richest Californians to unseat a governor who is trying to simultaneously deal with a set of very difficult problems: the worst wildfires in state history, the Covid-19 pandemic recently made worse by the delta variant, homelessness, among others.
Republicans could not even come up with a single candidate, instead foisting upon a ballot filled with 46 separate names. The costs for this crazed “election” will top at least $278 Million and may reach as much as $400 million of taxpayer dollars. Vote “NO.” so that Governor Newsom can finish his term of office.
THE WATER CYCLE IS INTENSIFYING AS THE CLIMATE WARMS, IPCC report warns – that means more intense storms and flooding
The world watched in July 2021 as extreme rainfall became floods that washed away centuries-old homes in Europe, triggered landslides in Asia and inundated subways in China. More than 900 people died in the destruction. In North America, the West was battling fires amid an intense drought that is affecting water and power supplies.
Water-related hazards can be exceptionally destructive, and the impact of climate change on extreme water-related events like these is increasingly evident.
In a new international climate assessment published Aug. 9, 2021, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change warns that the water cycle has been intensifying and will continue to intensify as the planet warms.
JOE BIDEN ISN’T THE PERSON I KNEW in Congress. He should get cognitive testing, with the result made public.
If the president passes, as did Donald Trump, it will relieve many people who worry about a calamitous miscalculation.
by Greg Ganske
In March 1997, Congress held a bipartisan retreat for families in Hershey, Pennsylvania, in an attempt to heal wounds over bitter congressional fights on welfare reform and balancing the budgets. Pulitzer Prize-winning author David McCullough gave a remarkable speech on respect and decency. Members ate together, danced together, shared stories, and got to know better the members of the other party and their children.
My wife and I were joined at our table for lunch during the retreat by Sen. Joe Biden and his wife, Jill. We had a delightful time getting to know each other. Biden was witty and charming, with no stuttering or incomplete thoughts. Our wives shared professional experiences. We were impressed with them.
It pains me greatly to see a decline in President Biden, and it worries me. He was 54 years old then and is 78 years old now. People age differently. My own mother is 93 and still sharp, but younger friends have mental deterioration that is significant.
Why am I concerned about Biden’s mental acuity?
During the campaign, he said, “I think we can win back the House” when it was already in his party’s hands. Super Tuesday became Super Thursday; he forgot the words of the Declaration of Independence, “We hold these truths to be self-evident. All men and women are created, by the, you know, you know the thing.” He even misstated what office he was running for in South Carolina: “My name’s Joe Biden. I’m the Democratic candidate for the Senate.” He repeatedly got confused about which state he was in, he called his son the attorney general of the United States and confused British Prime Minister Theresa May with Margaret Thatcher.
Here in Iowa we saw puzzling behavior in confrontations with voters, calling them “damn liars” and threatening them with pushup contests. Even his Democrat rivals questioned his memory. Julian Castro: “Are you forgetting what you said two minutes ago?" Cory Booker told CNN, “There’s a lot of people concerned about Joe Biden’s ability to carry the ball across the end line without fumbling.” Biden responded to a reporter afterward, “What health concerns, man? You wanna wrestle?” Biden’s garbled sentences, misstatements and failure to finish trains of thought prompted Bernie Sanders' surrogates to promote the hashtag #WhereIsJoe, implying that Biden’s campaign was keeping him in the basement.
More recently he’s made weird statements, telling one online audience that when he was a patient at Walter Reed hospital, the nurses would “breathe in my nostrils to make me move.”
It’s gotten worse since the election. In a CNN interview, he opined, “Um, you know there’s a, uh, during World War II, uh you know, where Roosevelt came up with a thing, that uh, you know, was totally different, than a, than the, he called it, you know, the WWII, he had the War Production Board.” In March he forgot the name of his Defense Secretary, Lloyd Austin, at a White House event, calling the Pentagon chief “the guy who runs that outfit over there.”
I am not alone in seeing a difference in President Biden. Mike McCormick, who worked 15 years as a White House stenographer and with Biden from 2011 to 2017, has said, “He’s lost a step and he doesn’t seem to have the mental acuity he had four years ago. He doesn’t have the energy, he doesn’t have the pace of his speaking. He’s a different guy. He read that Democratic National Committee speech verbatim — it’s not Joe Biden anymore.”
We have seen in recent interviews that Biden appears to be reading directly from a teleprompter, including reciting written instruction from his staff such as “END QUOTE” and “TOPLINE MESSAGE.” He whispers.
Many of my physician friends who have cared for aging patients with memory problems and dementia say it is not surprising that people question Biden’s mental acuity. A neurosurgeon friend noted Biden's two intracerebral bleeds and a 1988 surgery for brain aneurysms and said "it takes a toll and can show up later.” You’d expect some decline over a period of time, but coupled with changes in his gait, with little normal arm motion, I am seeing a dramatic change from when we had lunch together or even when he was vice president.
Prior to the election, many commentators such as Rachel Maddow, Scott Dworkin, Eric Garland, Amy Siskind, James Comey, and other Democrats promoted the idea that President Donald Trump was crazy and mentally incapacitated and should be removed from office. Trump has an egocentric personality that turns off some and speaks more recklessly at times than I would prefer. However, he is not senile and his brain is relatively sharp whether you like what he says or not.
And Trump had a normal Montreal Cognitive Assessment test at his Walter Reed physical.
During the vice presidential debate, the issue of the candidates’ age and mental acuity was on the minds of many, which prompted moderator Susan Page to ask Kamala Harris and Mike Pence if they had talked with their respective running mates and reached an agreement about safeguards and procedures in regards to presidential disability. They both dodged answering. Fortunately, the 25th Amendment exists to handle this possibility.
Biden should undergo mental cognitive testing and the result should be made public. If he passes, as did Trump, it will relieve many people who worry about a miscalculation of momentous importance by the most powerful person in the world. If he doesn’t, he should resign.
I pray for the president’s health. I personally like Joe Biden and want the country to do well under his leadership, though I disagree with most of his policies. But there’s enough evidence to legitimately require an inquiry into his mental acuity.
Dr. Greg Ganske is a retired surgeon and represented Iowa as a Republican for four terms in the U.S. House of Representatives.
(Courtesy, the Des Moines Register)