Seasonable Temps | 67 New Cases | 59th Death | Boonville 1905 | Fair On | Picolettis 1889 | Water Hauling | Ukiah Auto | Settlement Funds | Grape Ponds | Lath Workers | Vaccine Effectiveness | If Elected | Ed Notes | General Selfie | Continuum Gaps | Yesterday's Catch | LakeCo Grows | Antifa Bus | 1938 Prices | Longhand | Bomb Shelter | Wynken, Blynken & Nod | Recall Retraction | Holy Unvaccinated | Water Damage | Join 'em | Repeating Errors | Rainbow Fleet | Prevention Ounce | Jack in Jail | Recall Voting | Cover Thyself | Unsolved Database | Sagan Foreboding | Ukiah 1940 | Peltier Pain
SEASONABLE TEMPERATURES will occur across the interior today, while coastal areas experience nightly stratus development followed by afternoon clearing. Thereafter, a warming trend is forecast to occur across the region going into the weekend. Moderating temperatures will also be possible at the coast as marine air is shunted offshore. (NWS)
67 NEW COVID CASES, and another death, reported in Mendocino County yesterday afternoon.
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.
An 88 year old Covelo woman has been confirmed as Mendocino County's 59th 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 for combating the COVID-19 Virus.
The individual in question was not vaccinated.
COUNTY FAIR IS ON
93rd Annual Mendocino County Fair And Apple Show
Friday, September 17 through Sunday, September 19, 2021
Location: Fairgrounds, Boonville, Anderson Valley, Mendocino County, California
Hours: 9 am to Midnight Daily!
Admission: Adults - $10 , Juniors 13 -18 - $8 , Children 7 -12 - $6, 6 and under – Free. Admission tickets available online at mendocountyfair.com
- Friday - Seniors - 65 and over $6 - ALL DAY!
- Friday - Children 12 and under - FREE!
- Three Day Pass for Seniors - 65 & over - $20 (Purchase Pre-Fair)
- Daily! Pay-One-Price for Unlimited Rides - Valid until 6 pm.
- $35 Pre-Sale (before Fair opens) - $40 if purchased during Fair Pre-Sale available at the Fair Office & Lemon’s Market in Philo, A.V. Elementary School & online at mendocountyfair.com
- Horse Shows – Friday: 4-H & FFA - 8 am. Open - 11 am. Rodeo Arena
- Apple Bowl Varsity Football – Friday – 5 PM – Arena
- Dance – Friday, 8 pm to 10 pm in the Rodeo Arena featuring Huckleberry Road, Free with Fair Admission!
- C.C.P.R.A. Rodeos: Saturday night - 8 pm , Sunday afternoon - 2 pm
- Dance – Saturday: 9:30 pm to Midnight in the Rodeo Arena featuring Dean Titus & The Coyote Cowboys. Free with Fair Admission!
- Sheep Dog Trials - Sunday - 10 am - Rodeo Arena
- Classic Car Show - Sunday - 10 am - Rodeo Parking Lot
- Parade - Sunday at Noon - Highway 128 to Rodeo Arena
- Dance – Sunday, 6:30 pm to 9:00 pm in the Rodeo Arena featuring Mariachi Tarasco. Free with Fair Admission!
Entertainment: All Free with Fair Admission
- Continuous Family Entertainment, including – Godfrey the Magician – Multiple Shows Daily – Lawn Stage
- BRE Crabtree
- Cutest Show on Earth
- Music by Jamie Floyd
- Fables of the West
- Pony Land Petting Zoo, 10 am to 6 pm
- Apple Tasting: Daily! Sample some of Anderson Valley’s Finest Varieties!
- Wine Tasting: Daily! Sample some of Mendocino County’s award winning vintages!
- 23rd Annual California Wool & Fiber Festival
- 94th Annual California National Wool Show
- Livestock Shows, Parade of Champions – Saturday, Floral and Garden Displays, Feature Booths, Apple Displays, Arts and Crafts, Classic Car Judging, Pony Rides, Spinning Contest – Sunday
Please: No Pets
Directions: Take Highway 101 to Highway 128 West to Boonville
Mailing Address: P. O. Box 458 - Boonville, CA 95415
For Further Information Call: 707.895.3011 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
SUPERVISORS TRY TO HAUL ASS — & WATER
by Mark Scaramella
Hauling water from Ukiah to Fort Bragg to address the worsening water shortage on the coast was discussed by the Supervisors, staff and zooming public for several hours Tuesday afternoon.
Water Agency guy Josh Metz offered a preliminary outline of the project which left a lot of unanswered questions, like how the complicated, budgeting, funding, bookkeeping and reimbursements will be handled, whether reimbursements will be forthcoming, whether enough trucks are available, how long Coastal people who are out of water can wait for deliveries, etc.
Apparently, State grants are available to cover water hauling to the Coast but only for domestic water. Commercial water costs would not be state-reimburseable. Supervisor Dan Gjerde suggested that the County re-allocate some bed tax advertising money for water hauling for at least the first few weeks.
Visit Mendocino’s Travis Scott predictably replied that he didn’t want to reduce advertising spending on Mendo’s vitally important “brand awareness.”
CEO Angelo said that the only way to finance water hauling to the Coast in a hurry is to spend some of the PG&E money — then reimburse it later from grants or bed tax funds “as soon as we can reimburse it.”
At one point, Supervisor McGourty, whose annual grape crop benefits directly from Russian River water allocations, declared, “I am my own water company here,” establishing his conflict of interest on inland water matters even further.
Some estimates of water volume to be hauled were, ahem, floated. One estimate was as high as about 120,000 gallons per day for the entire coast. A Mendocino Water guy said 70,000 gallons per day just for the Water District there. Someone else said the Town of Mendocino needed maybe 22 truckloads per day and at least 10 truckloads per day just for the Water District in Mendocino. (Truckloads can vary from about 1800 gallons to over 3,000 gallons.)
Other bits of info included:
Ukiah can only provide treated/potable water and it can only be “long-haul” trucked for input to Fort Bragg’s treatment plant for (seemly redundant) re-treatment. Then short-haul trucks would have to get it from Fort Bragg and deliver it to whoever, yet to be decided.
There is literally no water to be purchased on the Coast as of last week (apart from a few private water haulers on a one-load at a time basis) because Elk and Irish Beach have stopped selling water. Fort Bragg had stopped selling water several weeks ago.
Presumably, if all these details can be worked out, Fort Bragg’s water system would be supplemented by the trucked-in Ukiah water and they’d be able to start selling it again.
The entire discussion had a very fragile, catch-as-catch can feel to it. A project of this many parts and of this scale over at least four months is totally new and unprecedented. People on the Coast are desperate and pressure will be on the County to perform and deliver every day.
There are lots of unknowns, and dozens of financial and technical plates to be juggled. There’s reams of paperwork still to be done, beginning with mutual aid agreements between the cities and the County and grant applications (which the optimists say will be approved by the state in only four weeks on an emergency or “accelerated” basis).
In other words, we can see lots of opportunities for Mr. Murphy and his famous Law to kick in. As one public commenter noted, “This is management by emergency.”
In the end, the Board approved the resolution as initially presented funded by remaining PG&E money with Supervisor McGourty abstaining without giving a reason. (He had previously said he didn’t like using PG&E money to fund the initial weeks of costs. He later said he thought the Board was moving too fast and there was doubt about reimbursements. He also said he wanted some kind of guarantee that bed tax money would reimburse the “short-term” PG&E money. No assurance beyond vague intentions was forthcoming.)
The Supervisors told staff to waive competitive bidding because of the declared drought emergency, meaning that Transportation Director Howard Dashiell can award contracts to water haulers on his own without the usual contracting delays.
CEO Angelo said the Board should clarify how they’re going to differentiate between domestic versus commercial water subsidies, but the Board deferred that question to a later date.
Ultimately, the Supes approved using up to $1.5 million of PG&E disaster funds to subsidize hauling water from Ukiah to the Coast. Separately, the Supes approved a grant application with $960,000 million in matching funds coming from the rapidly diminishing PG&E settlement money. Although individual board members said they intended to reimburse the settlement fund with bed tax money later, our experience is that the CEO is very good at coming up with reasons to convince her pliable board to leave existing allocations, including bed tax, alone, especially if the PG&E money isn’t spent very quickly.
After the vote to approve the program as presented, Supervisor Williams asked the Board to consider covering some of the higher commercial business water costs on the Coast because he was afraid some of them might just close down entirely — on top of the continuing covid impacts — creating business loss and employment loss.
McGourty suggested innkeepers impose a “water surcharge,” and that the tourism people do a self-survey of their water problems. Supervisor Mulheren wanted to set up a process to allow businesses to apply for water funding assistance. McGourty also thought consideration should be given to using more bed tax money for commercial water subsidies. But no action was taken.
Then the Supervisors disappeared into closed session to address the only other item on Tuesday’s special meeting agenda: the ongoing budget/computer/lawyer dispute with the Sheriff. Chair Gjerde announced that they’d be in closed session for ten minutes. But, of course, they were gone for over an hour and a half.
REDWOOD VALLEY ADVISORY COUNCIL OPPOSES SPENDING PG&E SETTLEMENT MONEY ON WATER HAULING
Mendocino County Board of Supervisors
Redwood Valley Municipal Advisory Council
PO Box 243 Redwood Valley 95470
Re: PG&E Settlement Funds allocation, BOS Meeting 8/17/21 Agenda item 4f
Dear Supervisors Gjerde, Haschak, McGourty, Mulheren and Williams,
We, the members of the Redwood Valley MAC, representing the people of Redwood Valley, hope that we can all agree that the PG&E Settlement Funds only came about because Redwood Valley, and to a lesser extent Potter Valley, burned in October 2017. Hundreds of homes were lost. Nine people died. The trauma lives on in our communities.
We hope that we can all agree that the purpose of the PG&E Settlement Funds is to address the physical and emotional harm caused to these two communities. The only reason the money was sent to the county is that neither Redwood Valley nor Potter Valley are incorporated. We hope that we can all agree that this money should first and foremost address the impacts of that fire to the communities that suffered. Only after those needs are met should the money go to general emergency preparedness for the county, other county priorities, or funding for agencies and organizations that benefit the county at large.
We hope we can all agree that completely unrelated budget items, and items for which there are other sources of funding, should not come out of the PG&E Settlement Funds. The most egregious example of an unrelated item is Carbon Reduction $1,500,000 (a new line item since the Board discussed this issue publicly, and therefore possibly a violation of the Brown Act). An example of a budget item where other sources of funding are available is Solar Panels and Batteries for Libraries $500,000 which our District 1 Supervisor tells us should be funded by drought emergency monies.
It is both insult and injury to the people who lost so much in that fire and live with the trauma every day to treat these funds as if they are a windfall to the County. Make no mistake, Redwood Valley and Potter Valley have unmet needs to recover from this tragic disaster caused by PG&E's negligence. Until Redwood Valley and Potter Valley are made whole, it is inappropriate and unethical to spend these funds elsewhere.
It seems that you completely disregarded the Redwood Valley MAC’s letter of May 14, 2021. The funding requests we made in that letter reflect the outcome of community meetings with our District 1 Supervisor Glenn McGourty and District 2 Supervisor Mulheren. Here are some excerpts from that letter detailing our funding requests which were completely ignored or insufficiently funded:
• “...the MAC strongly opposes funds going to projects throughout the County, as the funds should mitigate problems caused by the fire in Redwood and Potter Valleys.”
• “Water Security:...Install and fill water storage tanks with pump capability for fire apparatus; Improve Willow Water District hookup with Redwood Valley Water District...”
• “Evacuation Needs: Funding to Department of Transportation to provide evacuation egress, specifically:
-Tomki Road to be passable to Willits: 2 lanes paved areas, bridges, side brush cleared -Road B: widen 1-way bridge and widen 1-way area
-East Road, West Road, Laughlin Way: mow brush along roads
-Road improvements on Road I, Colony Drive, and Road E in Redwood Valley
• “Redwood Valley Grange is an evacuation site: Needs commercial kitchen, ADA upgrades, and a heating/cooling system; Provide charging stations for cell phones.”
• “Survival Preparation: Funding to drop and remove dead burned standing trees from private and public properties (severe fire hazard)”
We respectfully requested you to fund these items and were largely denied. Now we demand that you revise the funding proposal as addressed in the following four categories:
1. Remove from the proposal:
a. Mendocino County Library: Purchase & Install (Solar Panels & Batteries $500,000) — other funding source already identified
b. Mendocino County Planning & Building Services Department (Reimburse for Permits & Staff Time from 2017 Disaster $412,899) — The only permits that were waived were for people whose homes burned to park trailers on their property while they rebuilt. The County has more than recouped any lost income or staff time through the increase in property taxes on these parcels since rebuilding.
c. Carbon Reduction $1,500,000—This has absolutely nothing to do with the 2017 Fire or fire/ emergency response or preparedness in general; further, it was not on the funding list at the last BOS meeting and is therefore a Brown Act violation by the CEO’s Office and/or whoever was involved in adding it to the list without public process.
2. Clarify or remove from the proposal:
a. Mendocino County Department of Transportation: Roads and Bridges Repair $1,400,318 — This should specifically fund Redwood Valley and Potter Valley egress improvements (starting with this list):
-Tomki Road to be passable to Willits: 2 lanes paved areas, bridges, side brush cleared -Road B: widen 1-way bridge and widen 1-way area
-East Road, West Road, Laughlin Way: mow brush along roads
-Road improvements on Road I, Colony Drive, and Road E in Redwood Valley
b. Mendocino County Facilities & Information Services: Park Hazards Mitigation $400,000 — This needs to specify Mariposa County Park or other parks in Redwood Valley or Potter Valley. Otherwise this item needs to be removed from the proposal.
3. Add to the proposal or increase funding for these items:
a. Resource Conservation District Mendocino County: Funding to cover property owners’ 50% matching funds requirement for removal of burned/hazardous trees $3,000,000 (in addition to funds already listed for MCRCD) — These dead trees are hazardous tinder for the next fire and they serve as a traumatic reminder of the fire. Fire victims should not have to bear the cost personally and most simply cannot.
b. Redwood Valley Grange: Funding to cover repairs to building and installation of a commercial kitchen $550,000 — The Grange is a critical community resource. It served as an emergency resource center after the 2017 wildfire. It provides space for community meetings and is a place people can go during emergencies to find family members, charge their phones and/or seek other resources. The building is 100 years old and in need of many upgrades. A commercial kitchen will support its ability to serve the community including providing much needed economic opportunity for small food manufacturers.
b. Redwood Valley County Water District: Funding to cover costs of annexing to Russian River Flood Control District $750,000 (in addition to funds already listed for RVCWD) — This is critical for Redwood Valley water security. It should only be funded from PG&E Settlement Funds if another funding source (e.g. Drought Emergency funds) cannot be found.
c. Redwood Valley County Water District: Funding to stabilize district and secure their ability to provide water to Redwood Valley including purchase and installation of water tanks and improvement to the intertie with Willow County Water District $3,000,000 (in addition to funds already listed for RVCWD) — This is critical for Redwood Valley water security and consequently fire safety and reduction of fear/trauma.
Mendocino County Department of Transportation: Roads and Bridges Repair $1,400,318 — Should fund only these Redwood Valley projects with the allocated amount:
• “Evacuation Needs: Funding to Department of Transportation to provide evacuation egress, specifically:
a. Tomki Road to be passable to Willits: 2 lanes paved areas, bridges, side brush cleared b. Road B: widen 1-way bridge and widen 1-way area
c. East Road, West Road, Laughlin Way: mow brush along roads
d. Road improvements on Road I, Colony Drive, and Road E in Redwood Valley
4. Put these request requests to the back of the list, behind the requests for Redwood Valley and Potter Valley...because the PG&E Settlement Funds should first and foremost mitigate impacts of the 2017 wildfire and strengthen, repair and promote healing in the communities that suffered.
a. Mendocino Fire Safe Council ($1,400,000) — Although this is an important organization for future fire prevention and preparedness, we should seek other sources of funding.
b. Coastal Valley Emergency Medical Services ($$2,567,603) — Although this is a critical organization related to general emergency response, we should seek other sources of funding.
c. Mendocino County Sheriff Office (Emergency Operations Center $2,044,000) — Although our Sheriff’s Office is critical to emergency preparedness and response and they need an EOC, the County must fund the Sheriff’s Office and its requirements from tax revenue or other funding sources.
d. The Community Foundation of Mendocino County (Distastes Fund for Future Disasters $500,000) — Although this is an important organization related to emergency response, it makes no sense to set aside funding for future disasters when Redwood Valley and Potter Valley still have unmet disaster recovery needs.
e. Mendocino County Facilities & Information Services (Microwave & Radio Communications, Sheriff Station 1 Wiring only—will address other parts separately) — Although these are critical projects related to general emergency preparedness and response, we should seek other sources of funding.
f. Mendocino County Facilities & Information Services (Disaster Recovery Planning and Site Implementation only—will address other parts separately) — Although these are critical projects related to general emergency preparedness and response, we should seek other sources of funding.
g. Equipment for fire departments other than Redwood Valley or Potter Valley (Brooktrails Fire Department: Polaris UTV Side-by-side Rescue Vehicles $120,000)
h. Equipment for other agencies/organizations (United Disaster Relief of Northern California - Disaster Resource Center - Forklift $10,0000)
We urge you to vote no on this agenda item or postpone the vote in a manner that a more robust public discourse may be had.
Redwood Valley Municipal Advisory Council Members:
Dolly Riley (chair)
Jini Reynolds (Vice Chair)
Katrina Frey (Treasurer)
Marybeth Kelly (Alternate)
* * *
Ed note: The Board received a number of other letters from Redwood Valley residents with similar expressions of opposition to spending PG&E money on water hauling.
THE AVA’S ROVING COMMENTER, Doug Coulter reports that we were apparently right about the wine mob’s rush to drain Lake Mendoinco for their own private grape ponds before the State restrictions kicked in:
Coulter writes: “What drought? Take a ride along River Road and look at all the grape reservoirs. They are all full. From Talmage to Hopland, not one pond is low and three had water pouring into them at a high rate on August 20th. As I rode north on Highway 101 I noted one just north of Hopland that was down about 10 feet. All the grapes are green, even new planting, thousands of acres in Mendocino County. But it’s only water so who cares?”
BREAKTHROUGH COVID: ARE THE VACCINES FAILING TO WORK?
by William Miller, MD; Chief of Staff at Adventist Health – Mendocino Coast Hospital
As the Delta variant fuels a surge in new cases, we are seeing some people get sick who were previously vaccinated. Does this mean the vaccines are not as effective as they once were?
Before we start, we should draw a few distinctions. First, there is a difference between getting infected and getting ill. Someone can be infected and without symptoms, yet still potentially contagious. An ill person is someone who is infected and has symptoms. We can further divide illness into mild, moderate or severe. With COVID, mild symptoms might include a dry cough, sore throat and headache, while moderate would include getting short of breath when walking across a room or feeling extremely fatigued. Severe symptoms would be having a very low oxygen level requiring treatment with oxygen, these people often require hospitalization. Failure of the lungs to the point of requiring a machine to assist with breathing would be critically ill and those people are in an ICU. Obviously, the next point in the continuum would be those who die of the disease.
Next, we need to consider what is meant when we say a vaccine is “effective”. The goal of a vaccine program is to reduce the infection rate in the population so that the disease does not spread as easily or quickly. This is by both stopping an infection from happening in the first place or if infection occurs anyway then reducing the viral load making the vaccinated person less contagious. Looking at how the disease is spreading in vaccinated versus unvaccinated populations is a way to judge whether a vaccine is “effective” or not. Another purpose of a vaccine is to reduce the severity of illness. Keeping a vaccinated person from progressing to serious illness or death would be considered good effectiveness of a vaccine.
On the other hand, a vaccine does not act as a barrier that will prevent all infections and all illness. No vaccine is 100% effective on all levels. The term “breakthrough” infection is perhaps not helpful as it seems to imply that somehow the virus “broke through” such a barrier. There will always be a small percentage of fully vaccinated people who get sick, are hospitalized, and even die from COVID-19. To judge the effectiveness of the vaccine we must compare the rates of serious illness and death in vaccinated versus unvaccinated people.
The vast majority of new cases across the US and locally are in unvaccinated people. According to the CDC, 99.6% of all new cases are in unvaccinated persons. The California Department of Public Health website indicates that for the week of August 9 – August 15, the average case rate among unvaccinated Californians was 51 per 100,000 per day while the average case rate among vaccinated Californians was significantly lower at 7.6 per 100,000 per day. They went on to state that there is a 500% higher risk of infection for unvaccinated persons right now compared with vaccinated persons. This is strong evidence that the vaccines do work in protecting against new infections even against Delta which now makes up well over 85% of all infections.
So, if this is true, then why are we still seeing cases? The reason is that if the vaccine protects against 92% of infections, that still means that 8% of people who are vaccinated can become infected if exposed. For example, if there is a large group of vaccinated people getting together with a large number of unvaccinated and potentially infected people, then you will see many vaccinated people coming down with COVID. This is the explanation of what happened in Barnstable County, Massachusetts, in July. Mask mandates and restrictions on public gatherings had been relaxed. During that month, there were several very large entertainment events bringing in thousands of participants and tourists. Despite having a large percentage of vaccinated people (69%) the community experienced an outbreak that included 346 vaccinated people. It is important to note, however, that only 4 of those vaccinated people required hospitalization and none died.
Perhaps most importantly, the vaccines remain effective in protecting against serious illness, hospitalization and death. A study of 7,280 vaccinated COVID patients was reported in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) on August 13th stating “Among adults aged 65-75, effectiveness of full vaccination for preventing hospitalization was 96% for Pfizer-BioNTech, 96% for Moderna and 84% for Janssen COVID-19 vaccines; among adults aged >75 years, effectiveness of full vaccination for preventing hospitalization was 91% for Pfizer-BioNTech, 96% for Moderna and 85% for Janssen…” While this study is very helpful, there are two limitations. First, it looked at cases between February and April, 2021, which was prior to Delta becoming the predominant variant. Second, most of the people in the study had been recently vaccinated. Other studies have suggested that the rate of protecting against hospitalization with Delta is around 88% for Pfizer and Moderna as reported in the New England Journal of Medicine on July 21st.
There is evidence that the effectiveness of these vaccines does wane over time. A very robust study involving over 740,000 people in the United Kingdom was just published in the journal Nature on August 19th. Half of the study took place early in 2021 when the Alpha variant predominated and the other half was in the last three months when Delta predominated. Participants had all received either both doses of Pfizer or the single dose of AstraZeneca. It looked at the effectiveness of protecting a fully vaccinated person against infection by assessing viral load following a known exposure. The study found that the Pfizer vaccine “was 92% effective at keeping people from developing a high viral load… 14 days after the second dose. But the vaccine’s effectiveness fell to 90%, 85% and 78% after 30, 60 and 90 days, respectively.” Keep in mind that even at 78%, this is still considered good. This study only looked at viral load as an indicator that the person might be infectious but it did not look at whether or not the subjects developed symptoms or got hospitalized. However, it does support the notion that a booster shot at some point may be beneficial.
Next week we will look at the use of monoclonal antibody treatments to prevent progression to severe COVID, in particular the Regen-COV preparation by Regeneron. You can access previous Miller Reports by visiting www.WMillerMD.com.
(The views shared in this weekly column are those of the author, Dr. William Miller, and do not necessarily represent those of the publisher or of Adventist Health.)
REMEMBERING JACK HIRSCHMAN, my nephew writes:
Yes, sad about Jack. I only have good memories of him, his intelligence and humor and the devilishly handsome twinkle in his eye, especially when I used to see him scuttling around our SRO, from toilet to one small room, as we held rolls of toilet paper and talked about writing. Or, watch out, someone took a shit on the floor in the shower room or left needles next to the commode. He remains a prototype for North Beach and the style and inspiration in all things poetical from the written page to serving him espresso at Trieste. He was a commie too. Unapologetic. And reminds me, well, of you and my dad and Rob and Tony Madrano etc.
And once, for a far flung Porch Light gig, we walked the streets of Paris with other SF friends and artists and it was a joyous historically correct time and place tapping into the eternal starry dynamo…
He will be missed,
MESSIER BY THE HOUR. Biden today (Tuesday, August 24th) said no to G7 leaders who want to extend the Kabul evacuation deadline; Biden insists American troops will leave by August 31, as our 11th century conquerors have demanded.
THE BUMBLING BIDEN administration now has seven days to evacuate thousands of American citizens and Afghan allies still stranded in the country or stuck in the chaos of the Kabul airport area. The administration claims they've evacuated 21,600 people in the last 24 hours, but they still don't know the exact number who still need to be flown out as the exit clock ticks down.
BIDEN agreed with the tactical wizards at the Pentagon to stick with the withdrawal date despite intense pressure from NATO leaders and western allies to leave troops in place to avoid a humanitarian disaster.
BRITISH Prime Minister Boris Johnson, French President Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel were among the leaders who urged Biden to keep troops in-country until the evacuation was complete. They are clearly worried there is not enough time to evacuate everyone who wants out.
BIDEN spoke for a whole seven minutes during the virtual meeting with foreign leaders, according to the White House, meaning his handlers were sitting beside him to keep him on-task and gaffe-free.
TALIBAN spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid has flatly refused to extend the troop deadline, and he refused only a day after CIA director Bill Burns held secret talks with the insurgents in a bid to get everyone out. American officials told the Taliban that the U.S. withdrawal by Biden's Aug. 31 deadline is contingent on the Taliban's cooperation in facilitating evacuations (Burns probably promised them billions and free vacations in Disneyland to cooperate, and we shall see what we shall see.)
MEANWHILE, president-in-waiting Kamala Harris is giggling her way through Southeast Asia, at one session in Singapore urging the audience to load up early on Christmas gifts.
INTERESTING that the old poets like Yeats in The Second Coming and Eliot in The Wasteland were so prescient about where it was all headed: These Eliot passages gets the zeitgeist (vibe for you hippies) exactly:
I think we are in rats’ alley
Where the dead men lost their bones.
“What is that noise?”
. . . . . The wind under the door.
“What is that noise now? What is the wind doing?”
. . . . . . . .Nothing again nothing.
. . . . . . . . .“Do
You know nothing? Do you see nothing? Do you remember
. . . I remember
. . . . . .Those are pearls that were his eyes.
“Are you alive, or not? Is there nothing in your head?”
. . . . . . But
O O O O that Shakespeherian Rag—
It’s so elegant
“What shall I do now? What shall I do?
I shall rush out as I am, and walk the street
With my hair down, so. What shall we do to-morrow?
What shall we ever do?”
. . . The hot water at ten.
And if it rains, a closed car at four.
And we shall play a game of chess,
Pressing lidless eyes and waiting for a knock upon the door.
ONE AFTERNOON, not too awfully long ago, I pulled off Highway 20 at the ridgetop before the road drops down into Willits, gazing back west over the miles of rolling forest, I couldn't help notice what seemed to be hundreds of tiny silver canisters strewn over the entire pullout. Asking around I was told that young people snort the nitrous oxide these things contain. Their grandparents got their nitrous directly from hippie dentists, but unconnected Mendo teenagers have to get theirs in these mini-doses from liquor stores and smoke shops. “I'll have 500 nitros, please,” begging the question why these stores would sell such quantities to young people. Sniffing the stuff impairs judgement, but I guess that's the point. Sad, though, to see this double-damaging litter scattered over one of the most splendid outlooks, and my informants tell me they're everywhere.
Mendo Grand Jury Report
Fifth paragraph, last sentence states: “Theft, loitering and pandering can be necessary for survival.”
I thought pandering was the province of the agencies that launder those millions of dollars of public funds handed out by the county!
* * *
But the GJ’s says there are some “gaps” in the (Dis)Continuum.
F1. The Mendocino County Continuum of Care website is outdated and there is no single point of contact, such as an 800 number, for those in need of homeless services.
F2. The Continuum of Care is limited to coordinating funds to locally available services which can result in service gaps for the homeless.
F3. The breadth of locally available services does not have or require written policies and procedures to monitor the level of service being provided for the homeless which results in service outcomes for the homeless not being measured.
F4. Gaps in the Homeless Services System of Care, such as coordinated, collaborative response teams of service providers and law enforcement, are filled by law enforcement agencies that are resource-limited and have unfilled liaison positions for effective Community Policing.
F5. The Continuum of Care has a quantitative rating system to grade service provider applicants. The rating tool does not evaluate prior objectives of an applicant to determine a history of successful outcomes. There is no rating system for similar services funded separately through County Health and Human Services.
F6. Law Enforcement agencies are represented on the Continuum of Care by the UPD. With the absence of Federal guidance on how to coordinate police with program services, there is a collaboration gap between providers and government agencies that requires creative local solutions to establish protocols, and define clear roles for service providers and agencies, to foster working relationships.
F7. The majority of members on the Continuum of Care are employees of other agencies and struggle to address the level of service needed locally without policy guidance from the Board of Supervisors, City elected officials, or other assigned staff.
* * *
DOUG COULTER WRITES:
“We treat the homeless well? You are awakened at 2:00 AM by a cop who keeps his flashlight in your eyes the whole time. Told to move but not given a place to move towards, just leave. The shelter is full. Poverty is not a crime yet we have made it one. A clean camp should be left alone. Yes, run off the pigs that bring piles of garbage and never clean up their site but people need a place to sleep. And you wonder why some might light fires? Make a habit of kicking stray dogs and you will get bit.”
CATCH OF THE DAY, August 24, 2021
MATTHEW FAUST, Disorderly conduct-alcohol, contempt of court, failure to appear. (Frequent flyer.)
CHRISTOPHER FRANCE, Willits. Failure to appear.
LAXA GUERRERO, Willits. Disorderly conduct-alcohol, disobeying court order, failure to appear.
THOMAS HANOVER, Ukiah. Domestic battery, false imprisonment, robbery, controlled substance, probation revocation. (Frequent flyer.)
RICHARD NEAGLE, Willits. DUI.
JORGE RODRIGUEZ-VENCES, Ukiah. Domestic battery, contempt of court, failure to appear.
JOMAR SANTIAGO, Brooklyn, NY/Ukiah. DUI.
LAKE COUNTY, A READER WRITES:
My ears on the ground tell me that yesterday the Fish & Wildlife (DFW) helicopter guys were busy taking out some of the outlaw growers in the north end of Lake County, and as is usual the Lake County Sheriff’s people were nowhere to be seen and probably not even in the loop — and for good reason.
The Lake County Board of Supervisors is supposed to be talking about illegal water truck deliveries to grows Tuesday (which have made a lot of the GOBs rich for years yet was somehow ignored by all), but they aren’t going to talk about this: there’s a guy who owns a valley floor parcel on Middle Creek who also owns a water truck, in his spot there is almost an unlimited supply of ground water which he sells exclusively to outlaw growers. This guy is TOTALLY off everyone’s radar screen, and he has been shaking-down growers by telling them if they don’t buy from him he will rat them out to the DFW — the only people doing busts there now.
The illegal grows stand-out like a sore thumb, this area was incinerated by the Ranch fire in 2017 and anyone more than about 600-700 feet above the valley floor couldn’t possibly have a legal water source big enough to supply a grow the size of what’s on those hillsides. Plus, all well locations and depths have been known by the county since the 1950s when permitting started, figuring out what’s going on there is beyond simple. It’s a no-brainer as most of the grows can be seen from the road; you don’t have to spend over a quarter million dollars of DEA money every year as the Lake County Sheriff does on helicopter overflights to find them — which they are still unable/unwilling to do.
INVESTIGATION BY THE GUARDIAN Reveals More Details of Sheriff Honsal’s Warnings of Nonexistent ‘Antifa Bus’
by Ryan Burns
A story published in The Guardian today takes a closer look at how Northern California law enforcement agencies, including the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office, got duped by baseless social media posts into launching a wild goose chase for a nonexistent “Antifa bus” last summer.
As readers may remember, back in June 2020, as Black Lives Matter protests were taking place across the country in the wake of the murder of George Floyd, Sheriff William Honsal addressed the alleged threat posed by alleged antifa busses during a media availability video. In response to a question from the Outpost aboutsuch “wild, unsubstantiated theories,” he said:
“We did have reports — substantiated, law enforcement reports — that said antifa did have people in buses that were in southern Oregon and in the Central Valley … . These aren’t unsubstantiated stories. This is the reality, and we have to deal with that.”
Except it wasn’t reality, and the stories had not been substantiated.
The Guardian story reveals that the evidence for these claims amounted to a pair of screenshots of social media posts. The unsubstantiated posts were rooted in conspiracy theories, but the images were enough for the Redding office of the California Highway Patrol to launch an aircraft search and notify allied law enforcement agencies, including the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office.
Public records obtained by the Guardian show that Honsal emailed his staff on June 2 saying he had “confirmed with CHP that the bus is currently in Redding” and that CHP had a “surveillance team” monitoring.
Online rumors of antifa busses prompted heavily armed militia groups to launch neighborhood patrols and, in one case, terrorize a multi-racial family on vacation in Washington, falsely accusing them of being antifa members.
Despite the lack of evidence, Honsal stood by his statements, telling the Outpost that the CHP had “confirmed the reports of a Antifa bus or busses.”
A CHP spokesperson, however, told the Guardian that the agency had received no evidence beyond the two screenshots.
Ryan Shapiro, the executive director of the government transparency nonprofit Property of the People, tells the Guardian that the NorCal law enforcement agencies lacked “basic news and social media information literacy.”
On 1 September last year, the Humboldt undersheriff, Justin Braud, sent an email to staff, saying, “We are in trying times for sure, and we must prepare accordingly.” He encouraged officers to read an attached document, which he said contained “good material on preparedness for the unknown, mentally and physically”.
The document was a police newsletter called “Nor Cal Sheepdog” about “off-duty safety” in the “era of Anonymous, Antifa, and BLM”. Written by law enforcement consultants, the authors said these groups should not be “underestimated” and that their “tactics include attacks on officers”. The letter advised officers to “maintain vigilant watch for threats while off duty”, always be “armed and ready”, “train with your off-duty weapon”, “prepare for the possibility of being a victim” and be “paranoid”.
It warned officers that they could face attacks anywhere, including in their homes, adding, “Indecision is fatal. You must switch to the on-duty mindset.”
You can read the full story here.
ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY
I am recalling my childhood years. I was born in Nov 1940 so for the first 10 years or so there wasn’t even television. Thus there was no Sesame Street to teach me the alphabet, numbers, colors, animals, days of the week, months of the year (30 days has September, April June and November etc.) and the unintuitive analog clock face. Why does the “day” begin in the black of night? Why at 12 and not at 1? Why isn’t Monday the first day of the week? Kids want to know. And when TV did arrive in the average home about 1950 there was only Howdy Doody.
So it wasn’t till around age 5 or 6 that I began to get some formal education. Grades K thru 3 happened at Stoy School which was just down the road from Crystal Lake Pool where I caught polio in the summer of 1949, or so my mother firmly believed. From what I’ve read about the polio virus and its causes and sources, Crystal Lake was a likely culprit. Actually, after a week or two in Kindergarten they pushed me ahead into 1st grade.
It was one of those deals where because of my birth month I would always be one of the oldest kids in my class or, if pushed ahead into 1st grade, I would forever be among the youngest kids in my class.
I think what the school authorities did was to observe a kid for awhile to see if he/she/it was socially advanced enough and “played well in sandbox” to fit in with children who were nominally one year older. Thus, as time rolled forward, I entered college at the tender age of 17 when nearly all my classmates were 18 or even 19. If I had it to do over I’d prefer being older than my typical classmate. One year means a lot when it comprises almost 6% of your life to date.
If memory serves, each classroom in grades 1 thru 3 had the letters of the alphabet displayed horizontally above the blackboard with uppercase letters above the corresponding lowercase letters. The teacher would write on the blackboard with white chalk and clear away “her” writing with an “eraser.” (Note: never had a male teacher until 8th grade.) By day’s end the erasers were loaded with chalk powder and needed to be taken outside and “clapped.” This chore would be done by very willing child volunteers known as brown nosers. Today, I’d guess, blackboards and chalk have totally given way to whiteboards and marking pens.
The alphabet letters were all in some common font as might be used in a child’s book such as “See Spot Run.” Slowly but surely we children learned to “print” on lined paper where “capitals” (another name for uppercase) took up two line spaces and the lowercase “small” letters took up one space. One of the skills that kids were graded on was “penmanship” which, to tell the truth, was generally pretty dismal until maybe 3rd grade.
At some point they began to teach writing in “cursive” which in those days was called “longhand.” The alphabet letters displayed above the blackboard were now in perfectly formed longhand. Some of the more obsessive compulsive pedants like me would practice their writing diligently. By the time my own kids came along there was less and less emphasis on what some called “writtin’ writin’ and so, by my standards, their penmanship was and still is pretty awful. Conversely, my mother’s hand writing is amazingly perfect. Born in 1911, she grew up in a very different era. It’s my understanding that many schools have done away entirely with teaching cursive.
Simultaneous with learning the formation of upper and lower case letters, both printed and longhand, we were made aware of when “capitals” should be used, such as the first letter of the first word of a sentence or the title of a book or a headline in a newspaper. The only capitalization rule that seems universal and inviolable is the first letter of a sentence although there might possibly be some obscure exception. The motto of the NYT which appears in the upper left corner of the front page reads “All the News That’s Fit to Print”. I have no idea why ‘the’ and ‘to’ do not begin with capitals.
Along about 30 years ago when computers and email had become ubiquitous a fad developed where a writer of an email would completely do away with capitals, even for the first word of a sentence. This has always annoyed the shit out of me. The higher the rank of the writer in an organization the more prevalent was the adoption of this fad. As lower ranking employees began to notice this THEY began to start sentences with lower case letters as well.
I have a theory as to what drives this no-caps fad. Email which, by the way, was spelled e-mail in its early years of existence, became a great burden particularly to executives who were drowning in a tsunami of the shit. Just reading all of it much less replying to it became a nightmare. A high-ranking engineer I used to carpool with went to an off site class to learn how to deal with the flood of email. Rule number one was to ignore email you recognized as having come from low-ranking nobodies.
So, some higher ranked employees started to write entirely in lower case. The message in doing this was “I am a very very busy man!! Who’s got the fucking time to depress the goddam shift key to make capitals!?” Before you knew it emails from “joe” in the maintenance dept contained no caps…a poor man’s grasp for greater stature. This forum had a number of no-caps commenters over the years, but I can happily report that this fad has largely petered out except for a few remaining die-hard assholes.
To be continued…
WYNKEN, BLYNKEN, AND NOD
by Eugene Field (1850-1895)
Wynken, Blynken, and Nod one night
Sailed off in a wooden shoe,—
Sailed on a river of crystal light
Into a sea of dew.
"Where are you going, and what do you wish?"
The old moon asked the three.
"We have come to fish for the herring-fish
That live in this beautiful sea;
Nets of silver and gold have we,"
The old moon laughed and sang a song,
As they rocked in the wooden shoe;
And the wind that sped them all night long
Ruffled the waves of dew;
The little stars were the herring-fish
That lived in the beautiful sea.
"Now cast your nets wherever you wish,—
Never afraid are we!"
So cried the stars to the fishermen three,
All night long their nets they threw
To the stars in the twinkling foam,—
Then down from the skies came the wooden shoe,
Bringing the fishermen home:
'Twas all so pretty a sail, it seemed
As if it could not be;
And some folk thought 'twas a dream they'd dreamed
Of sailing that beautiful sea;
But I shall name you the fishermen three:
Wynken and Blynken are two little eyes,
And Nod is a little head,
And the wooden shoe that sailed the skies
Is a wee one's trundle-bed;
So shut your eyes while Mother sings
Of wonderful sights that be,
And you shall see the beautiful things
As you rock in the misty sea
Where the old shoe rocked the fishermen three:—
RECALL: THE HAWK HAS SECOND THOUGHTS
Retraction on Newsom recall
Last issue you published my letter in favor of the Newsom recall. After numerous discussions and more reflection upon it, I regret my previous stance. It had seemed to me there was no chance the recall would succeed and thus I wished to make a symbolic gesture against Newsom for his selling out small cannabis growers. After the passage of Prop. 64 in contradiction to his promises as he advocated for its passage, he allowed mega grows which our small artisinal growers can’t compete with. While I continue to hold Newsom in contempt for his so negatively impacting our emerald triangle community, and even though what I think in this tiny corner of California is not at all likely to change the outcome, I fully realize that the attempt to replace a fetid Newsom with a repugnant Republican, must be opposed. Thank you for the ink to clarify my evolving position.
In the debate over vaccinations, I’ve read quotes from people declining to be vaccinated because, “they believe in God.”
Which makes me wonder: to which God are they referring?
I know that, during the early months of the pandemic, millions of people around the world prayed that a vaccine would be developed. I know many, if not all, scientists and researchers of faith prayed that God would guide their hand as they devoted countless hours, days, months to develop a vaccine. I know that even non-believers would agree that the successful development of the vaccines in record time was nothing short of miraculous! So, I have to ask, why would any pious person decline a vaccine that is clearly a godsend?
A TRUMPER'S LAMENT
I took down my Rebel flag (which you can't buy on EBAY any more) and peeled the National Rifle Assoc. sticker off my front window. I disconnected my home alarm system and quit the candy-ass Neighborhood Watch. I bought two Pakistani flags and put one at each corner of the front yard. Then I purchased the black flag of ISIS (which you CAN Buy on EBAY) and ran it up the flag pole. Now the local police, sheriff, FBI, CIA, NSA, Homeland Security, Secret Service and other agencies are all watching my house 24/7. I've NEVER felt safer and I'm saving $69.95 a month that ADT used to charge me. Plus, I bought burkas for me to wear when I shop or travel. Everyone moves out of the way, and security can't pat me down. If they say I'm a male wearing a burka, I just say I'm feeling like a woman today.
Vietnam 1975, Operation Babylift. When Saigon experienced a forced evacuation just before North Vietnamese forces overtook the city, I was part of the first C-141 aircraft team that landed after the crash of the initial C-5 rescue mission. The crash killed 138 passengers and crew members, mostly children. I experienced the fear and desperation of the local citizens begging us to get them on our aircraft. It was a case of poor U.S. government planning and execution — something I hoped would never happen again. It saddens me to see our new administration repeating military errors by abandoning the peaceful citizens of Afghanistan and allowing terrorists and women-haters to take control of an entire country. Who will they attack next? This is not over.
A TALE OF TWO TIMES
As Charles Dickens began his novel A Tale of Two Cities, “It was the best of times.”
Yesterday as a thankfulfully vaccinated guy, I’m getting ready to attend church to say a prayer or two and practice my religion. The smoke from numerous wildfires has finally cleared so the prospects are good for open air shopping at the farmer’s market.
Life is good. I await the booster vaccine shot news to arrive soon from Kaiser Permanente. It is a simple public health decision. Public health and the science of the medical profession are very different from politics.
“And the worst of times.”
Many Americans now are dying from the delta variant of the deadly Covid19 pandemic. It is terribly sad that many of the Covid19 delta variant victims ask their ICU MDs or nurses, “Can you give me a vaccine shot?” because the sad truth is that vaccines prevent the disease, but they have to be received long before a person gets sick. Even if the shot could be given at that late time, it couldn’t act fast enough to prevent death.
Public health isn’t political; it never was, never will be.
MEMORIES OF JACK HIRSCHMAN
I am a veteran writer and activist. Last Sunday, 8-22-21 I was delivering copies of my book I Work the Tenderloin that afternoon at City Lights Book Store, and happened to be upstairs in the poetry room when my consignment person Josiah approached and told me that Jack Hirschman had died that morning. The way he'd heard it, Jack was about to begin a zoom poetry event when a heart attack hit and took him away at age 87.
Immediately memories began coursing through my addled brain. Jack was a notable North Beach literary figure for decades, and was often seen writing and holding court in cafes and other spots in the area.
But he was also a lifetime radical and activist, and that was how I first met him.
In 1992 I joined a group called Homes Not Jails, housing activists and homeless folks who took direct action to open up abandoned buildings in San Francisco to immediately house the homeless.
Jack was there in the beginning too. He took part in the actions and began to churn out and publish poems like "Song of the Boltcutters," which he also read at our actions.
Back in those early days, Jack and I and a good many others were arrested for reoccupying a building we called Red Balloon on Polk near California. This building had been an adult bookstore, part of a national chain, until it was busted for peddling kiddie porn. It was a federal bust, which enabled the feds to seize all its assets, including the building on Polk Street.
Then the site sat empty for quite a while.
Homes Not Jails determined that above the store at street level were two perfectly good apartments. We also knew that, according to a federal law, all surplus federal property should be made available for the homeless.
Using that pretext, we went inside and barricaded ourselves in. At the same time, we set up a negotiating team with the feds. The plan was to have a local nonprofit rehab the place with homeless folks doing swear equity labor and then have them live there.
The plan was working until the feds said that they'd have to run it by the Mayor's office. And as a courtesy, could you take down those unsightly barriers? HNJ agreed, but in no time at all the cops were at the site like lice on rice to kick everybody out on Polk.
At the time the SF mayor was Frank Jordan, whose previous experience was being the city's top cop. He'd set up the Matrix program, which set the cops after SF's thousands of homeless, then their most visible supporters, Food Not Bombs (free food), and Homes Not Jails (free housing).
It was in this context that we retook the Red Balloon. This time the SWAT team broke in, manhandled us, dragged us down the darkened stairs, then threw us in paddy wagons where they left us to sit for hours.
Eventually we ended up at the county jail, where we were charged with Felony Conspiracy To Trespass and kept us locked up there for three days. But our cases never went to court.
Some years later I wrote a book about all this and more that Jack and I and so many others shared. I cleverly called it Homes Not Jails! and it came out in 2002. What follows is an excerpt from the book which highlights what a special person Jack Hirschman was, even in holding cell of jail. In the story I call him Pete the Beat poet.
One wall had glass and wire windows. On the other side was the booking room, next stop on the way to a Bonafide cell. I spotted a clock on its far wall. It was already after one a.m.
Pete the Beat wordsmith started doing a pantomime of Nolan Ryan (famous baseball pitcher) letting loose fireballs to pass the time and liven up the dead tank some.
A green meanie (sheriff) stuck his head in to tell him to knock it off because no violent gestures were allowed. "But it's the National Pastime!" Pete protested. "Besides, this whole process is the ritualization and institutionalization of state violence."
"Don't get smart. Just go sit down with the rest of them."
"You're telling me to get dumb? I've read with Ginsberg, Kerouac, Burroughs!"
"I said sit down or I'll read you the riot act right now!"
Pete shrugged and sat down with a black guy who he engaged in conversation about the rottenness of the system and the epochal brilliance of Iceberg Slim.
You have voted for Gov Newsom by voting NO to the recall.
You don’t need to do anything else (a vote for any candidate in the second section is disregarded if you voted no).
SO MUCH disinformation on this list SO MUCH of the time…
I responded here because this election is just too important
COLD CASE DATA BASE
The Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office is pleased to announce the launch of a new online database of unsolved missing persons and suspected homicide cases.
The HCSO Unsolved Cases Database features information regarding 57 unsolved missing persons and suspected homicide cases dating back to the 1950’s held by the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office. The database includes victim photos and information, case summaries, and an interactive map plotting the general location of each case.
In addition to the new database, Humboldt County Sheriff William Honsal has appointed two deputy sheriffs to the agency’s newly formed Cold Case Unit. The deputies are retired peace officers who have decades of investigative experience and will be exclusively reviewing these unsolved cases for new leads.
“Our Cold Case Unit deputies have been in contact with friends and family of the victims in these cases and are working to develop new leads and suspect information,” Sheriff Honsal said. “But we can’t do this without the public’s help and that’s why this new database is crucial. We hope seeing the faces of these victims and reading the summaries of their cases will help jog a memory or some information that might lead to a resolution. We urge the community to review the database and contact us if you have information to share about any of these cases. Even information that may seem insignificant can lead to the next big break on a case.”
A case is considered unsolved and eligible to be placed in this new database if:
There are no known suspects or suspects have been identified but the case lacks sufficient evidence needed to meet probable cause requirements for prosecution;
The Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office is the primary investigating agency on this case;
The case occurred in 2019 or earlier.
This database does not include all homicides or missing persons cases for Humboldt County and will be updated as new information is received or progress is made on a case. Some information and/or cases may not be available or listed due to the investigative status of a case.
Anyone with information to share about a case in this database should contact the Sheriff’s Office Crime Tip line at (707) 268-2539, submit information using our Online Crime Tip Form, or email email@example.com.
I HAVE A FOREBODING of an America in my children’s or grandchildren’s time, when nearly all the key manufacturing industries have slipped away to other countries; when awesome technological powers are in the hands of a very few, and no one representing the public interest can even grasp the issues; when, clutching our crystals and nervously consulting our horoscopes, our critical faculties in decline, unable to distinguish between what feels good and what’s true, we slide, almost without noticing, back into superstition and darkness. The dumbing down of America is most evident in the slow decay of substantive content in the enormously influential media, the 30-second sound bites (now down to ten seconds or less), lowest common denominator programming, credulous presentations on pseudoscience and superstition, but especially a kind of celebration of ignorance.
— Carl Sagan, “The Demon-Haunted World”
“WHEN I WASN'T ALLOWED to attend my father's funeral in 1989, I suffered pain worse than any physical pain. Pain without hope of closure, a wound eternally unhealed. He'd seen his son falsely imprisoned for 14 years and it broke his heart. He served in World War II, getting machine-gunned in the legs for his effort; his brother, my uncle Ernie, was killed in battle. You'd think the government he risked his life to defend might at least allow his son to attend his funeral, but no way. Vengeance runs deep.”