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Mendocino County Today: Tuesday, Sept. 14, 2021

Hot Haze | 130 New Cases | Hopkins Fire | No Goats | 2 More Deaths | Color Coded | Flexible Mandate | Black Sheep | 101 Fatality | Bridge View | Ed Notes | Dihydrogen Monoxide | Trans Issue | Dark Cheney | Snake Eyes | $15 Eighths | Generous Cashier | Yesterday's Catch | Societal Breakdown | Jiffy Lube | Wireless Control | Wolf Pup | Comments | Big Indian | Overcoming Militarism | Freedom After | Embarrassing Bill | Happens Next | Wildly Effective | Worst Behind

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HOT INTERIOR TEMPERATURES this afternoon will give way to a cooldown heading into the weekend. Rain will spread into the area from the northwest late Friday and into the weekend, with the heaviest amounts across Del Norte and northern Humboldt counties. (NWS)

YESTERDAY'S HIGHS: Yorkville 99°, Ukiah 98°, Boonville 93°, Fort Bragg 63°

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130 NEW COVID CASES and 2 more deaths (since last Friday) reported in Mendocino County yesterday afternoon.

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HOPKINS FIRE BURNS to western shore of Lake Mendocino; 20% contained 

by Matt Para, Colin Atagi & Mary Callahan

A wildfire that tore through the Mendocino County town of Calpella on Sunday afternoon burned to the western shore of Lake Mendocino, scorching portions of the reservoir that have dried up amid a historic drought.

“Even though it’s kind of marshy, it still burned,” Cal Fire spokeswoman Patricia Arnold said Monday as firefighters continued to work along the edge of the reservoir.

“Water used to be something we could count on” as a barrier against a fire’s spread, Arnold said. “Now it’s not a dead stop.”

The Hopkins fire burned across 257 acres before firefighters stopped it from spreading, according to Cal Fire. It was 20% contained on Monday.

Cal Fire officials requested a crew of inspectors to count up the number of homes destroyed in Calpella, an unincorporated town about 6 miles north of Ukiah. The crew had not arrived by Monday afternoon and Cal Fire had no official tally of the damage, said Mitch Bosna, an agency spokesman.

Battalion Chief Drew Rhoads estimated at least 10 structures were destroyed.

The cause of the fire, which was reported around 2 p.m. on Sunday between Moore and East Hopkins streets, is unknown. Cal Fire is investigating, Rhoads said.

The fire burned north and east on Sunday, swallowing up dried-out vegetation as it ran up a 1,000-foot ridge and down the other side toward the reservoir.

Lake Mendocino Park Manager Poppy Lozoff said dam infrastructure at the south end of the lake has not been threatened by the flames and that water releases into the upper reaches of the Russian River were continuing as scheduled.

But she said the fire caused significant damage to the Pomo recreational day-use area off Marina Drive on the lake’s northern end, where trees were still smoldering, as were creosote logs along the edges of roadways and parking areas intended to keep vehicles away from the reservoir’s edge.

Lozoff, who had been prevented from getting to the lake on Sunday because of a fatal crash that closed Highway 101 outside Willits, where she lives, said driving in Monday past devastated homes and charred woods was a painful, unsettling experience.

The landscape around Marina Drive is very steep and has been subject to mudslides and road washouts over the years. Now that it’s burned and blackened, it’s almost unrecognizable, she said.

“It’s overwhelming, you know? It kind of takes your breath away,” Lozoff said. “I started here in 2010 as a ranger, so I used to patrol all over all the time. You get used to seeing the landscape in a specific way, and it looks something foreign, not even something from Earth.”

The speed with which the fire moved up the draw parallel to Marina Drive was “unbelievable,” she said, and reinforces how much more needs to be done to keep pace with the growing threat of wildfire.

She said the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which operates the reservoir, continues to make improvements, like recently burying power lines, “but every fire brings a new lesson, so it feels like we’re always behind the curve. We’re never able to get out in front of it and feel fully prepared, because fire is so dynamic.”

Mostly, Lozoff said she realizes that the damage the lake, at this point, is nothing compared to the losses of neighbors, many of whom walk their dogs at the lake or wave from their cars in passing.

“Our thoughts are really with the community,” she said. “As a federal entity, when these disasters hit, it’s hard to integrate and reach out. But I know all of our staff really values the community and, you know, we see the impacts and we miss our neighbors, and we hope they’ll be back son.”

Overnight, firefighters took advantage of cooler temperatures and higher humidity, allowing them to make “good progress” as they worked to secure a perimeter around the blaze, Cal Fire said in a Monday morning update.

“We have line around the whole fire,” Rhoads said, noting that the containment estimate would increase when firefighters were confident the blaze would not escape the perimeter.

But with winds expected to pick up Monday evening, firefighters remained on high alert, according to Bosna.

"We’re dealing with very low fuel moisture levels and very low relative humidity and a fire that is still active on the interior portions,“ Bosna said. ”So the potential lies there. If one little spark were to cross the line, it would be off to the races again.“

Cal Fire said there were no injuries, but a firefighter was treated for overexertion on Sunday.

While authorities allowed some residents to return to their homes Sunday night, a mandatory evacuation order remained in place for parts of Calpella, including the area of Road 144 to the 50000 block of Eastside Calpella Road.

An evacuation center was set up at the Mendocino County Office of Education in Ukiah and a large animal shelter was staged at the city’s Redwood Empire Fair Grounds.

As firefighters worked on expanding containment Monday, Mirella Palmeria stood at the roadblock on Moore Street waiting for a Mendocino County sheriff’s deputy to bring her antidepressant medication she left behind when evacuating Sunday afternoon.

She was joined by her brother, Osvaldo Palmeria, who lives in Ukiah and they remained in good spirits knowing that her home on Cortina Place was safe since it was in the opposite direction of the fire’s path.

 Translating for his sister, Osvaldo Palmeria said the fire was a major wake-up call for his sibling.

“New adventures. All her life, she’s never had an experience like that,” he said. “At the moment, she was like, ‘How can that happen to me?’ It’s never happened to her.”

She lives near a third sibling who did not evacuate. They said he retrieved the medication and handed it to the deputy Monday afternoon.

“She’s happy,” Osvaldo Palmeria said.

Mike Ammerman has lived on East Side Calpella Road for about 32 years and he couldn’t remember the area ever experiencing a fire like the one on Sunday.

His home is south of the burn area and also was spared. Still, he was evacuated and returned to the site in hopes of being allowed back in.

Ammerman could only speculate that the fire may have been caused by homeless people, but is convinced the Hopkins Fire is a sign of things to come.

“There’s going to be more,” he said. “We’re not done yet, and we’re not even in October.”

(Santa Rosa Press Democrat)

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Lambert Lane, Boonville

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TWO MORE Mendocino County residents lost to COVID-19

Mendocino County Public Health has been notified of two more Mendocino County residents who have been lost to the COVID-19 Virus. We send our condolences to their family and friends.

A 53 year old Willits man has been confirmed as Mendocino County's 68th death....The individual in question was not vaccinated.

A 69 year old Ukiah man has been confirmed as Mendocino County's 69th death....The individual in question was not vaccinated.

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.

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(Ed Note: reporting on a story that has already been covered but presented here with additional perspective contrasting Coren's approach with Dr. Doohan's inflexible dictates. News Plus seems to confuse flexibility with, in this case, capitulation to what Coren seems to think is prevailing public opinion. I think he and Doohan both have steadily added to the covid confusion.)

DR. COREN REVERSES COURSE - Vax Mandate for Bars and Restaurants Becomes "Strong Recommendation"

On August 31 Dr. Coren told the Board of Supervisors that due to the surge in Covid-19 cases he intended to impose a vaccination mandate on restaurants and bars that would require all employees to be vaccinated. It would also require vaccination checks for all indoor patrons. No substitution would be allowed for frequent testing.

Business owners struggling to recover from a year and a half of Covid related shutdowns and restrictions greeted the news with alarm and quickly organized to make a case for alternatives that would not require them to be the vaccination police. 

A well attended meeting of business owners was held on Saturday September 4 at the Ukiah Valley Athletic Club with business owners in attendance from all over the county. 

Dr. Coren accepted an invitation to the meeting and patiently listened to the concerns of the business owners and their request for alternatives that would not put them in an adversarial position with their patrons.

On Friday Dr. Coren announced that in place of a mandate he would be making a "strong recommendation" for all employees and indoor patrons to be vaccinated. He announced he would also require businesses to prominently post the steps they were taking to protect their patrons. 

In reversing course Dr. Coren showed a flexibility that was not present last fall when gyms and restaurants were forced to operate outdoors in smoke filled 100 degree heat. It made no difference that businesses had invested thousands of dollars in modifications, including improved ventilation. When cold weather came, patrons were often crowded together in enclosed "outdoor" spaces when in many cases they could have been socially distanced indoors with adequate ventilation. 

Final details will not be known until a new Health Order is released but in place of vaccination mandates it's likely each business owner will be able to decide which approach to take as long as they transparently communicate that approach to the public. 

Please respect the choice of local businesses to either require proof of vaccination or not to require it. In either case you will be informed of the requirements for that business and will be able to exercise your freedom of choice to enter or not.

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Boonville Sheep

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A 29-year-old Covelo man died and four others were injured Sunday in a head-on crash on Highway 101 in Mendocino County, the California Highway Patrol said.

The crash happened around 11 a.m. north of the Ridgewood Scale Facility, on a stretch of the highway that traverses a sparsely populated area between Ukiah and Willits, the CHP said.

The man was driving north in a 2000 Acura Integra when “for unknown reasons” he crossed over the double yellow lines separating traffic and collided with a 2009 Dodge Ram heading in the opposite direction, the CHP said in a news release.

Both vehicles were going about 70 mph when they collided at the front driver’s sides. The Dodge hit a guardrail and flipped over, while the Acura stopped on the southbound side of the highway, according to authorities.

The driver of the Dodge, a 29-year-old Olivehurst woman, had major injuries. Her three passengers, ages 9, 7 and 4, all from Olivehurst, had minor injuries. The four of them were taken to Adventist Health Howard Memorial Hospital in Willits, the CHP said.

The 29-year-old man was pulled from the Acura and pronounced dead. His name is being withheld until relatives are notified, the CHP said.

The cause of the crash is under investigation. Officials said drugs or alcohol were not a factor in the crash.

(Matt Para, Santa Rosa Press Democrat/CHP)

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GREENWOOD BRIDGE over the dead Navarro

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I ASKED MIKE WILLIAMS his opinion of the feasibility of a coal train and/or The Great Redwood Trail through the Eel River Canyon because he has hiked the Canyon:

The coal train idea is ridiculous. There is so much damage from Cloverdale to Alderpoint that even a mega Corp would run away from the cost. The burned out tunnel north of Cloverdale, the slide at Dos Rios, numerous washouts, slides, and tunnel issues will prohibit any future rail fantasies.

I don’t think the trail idea is that far fetched. It would take funding to remove brush, since the train was done in 1998. The trail would need re-routing around the tunnel near Cloverdale, and probably the nearly mile long one near Alderpoint, plus a few other slides and washouts.

If each town could contribute some funding or civic group backing it could be done in sections to lessen the cost. Each section has its own natural and historical points of interest. Train debris, homestead sites, old stations, abandoned equipment and rail cars are all still there. The tunnels vary from short, to cool and refreshing to long and creepy. The Eel River is accessible north of Dos Rios.

The early estimates of trail conversion seems overly high to me. There are long stretches where the line is intact, should not require much investment.

— Mike Williams

THAT WAS AN INTERESTING gathering Saturday in the parking lot of Ukiah's Redwood Health Club, where the county's health officer, Dr. Coren, took questions, plenty of comment and accusations that he represented the mark of the beast if the portly medico wasn't Beelzebub himself. The smallish gathering of small business owners hurt by covid but hanging on, had been organized by John Strangio of the health club who soon asked the 666 guy, living evidence that crazies often dress normal, to leave because Triple Six wouldn't stop shouting out his warnings of eternal doom. No one asked Coren why the county needed two health officers, but much of the questioning and comment rightly criticized the often confusing and contradictory covid messages coming out of the county. (A full account can be found on Matt LeFever's excellent website,

COREN has since backed off mandates of any kind. At better than a hundred grand a year, with an hundred grand assistant in San Diego named Dr. Doohan, all Coren has managed to create for his lavish salary is confusion. 

FORT BRAGG’S water savior? The great Tino Luchetti of Hopland and Luchetti Construction. A man for all emergencies, Luchetti has been to the rescue on many a County disaster over the years, and deserves special recognition as one of the County’s absolutely crucial citizens.

MATT LEFEVER'S coverage of Sunday's Hopkin's Fire (Calpella) was the work of a real pro. The intrepid Lafever went live from the scene, striding through the smoke and embers as the main body blaze retreated. Also an excellent job from local firefighters and CalFire's aerial crews. We've come to take them all for granted, but we literally couldn't live safely without them.

HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL IS BACK. Coach John Toohey will lead his revived Panthers against visiting California School of the Deaf this Friday evening, kickoff at 6pm. The game is also a restoration of the Fair tradition of a Friday night football game at the Fairgrounds. Coach Toohey comments: This is their first year playing 8 man football. It was just a few years ago their program was really strong and were regularly covered by ESPN. We have no idea what to expect or what is going to be coming off their bus Friday night. 

ALTHOUGH the following poem is set in Ohio, it applies to high school football everywhere. It's also the best poem ever on that national subject.


In the Shreve High football stadium,

I think of Polacks nursing long beers in Tiltonsville,

And gray faces of Negroes in the blast furnace at


And the ruptured night watchman at Wheeling Steel,

Dreaming of heroes.

All the proud fathers are ashamed to go home.

Their women cluck like starved pullets,

Dying for love.


Their sons grow suicidally beautiful

At the beginning of October,

And gallop terribly against each other’s bodies.

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I ONCE ASKED a UK government minister who supports trans women competing in women’s sport if she would be OK if Floyd Mayweather announced he was transitioning and got in the ring to fight women born with female bodies. She refused to say it would be unfair because she was too terrified of upsetting the very vocal and aggressive trans activist lobby. That’s how crazy this debate has got. At the time, I warned that something similar would inevitably happen and it would present a lethal threat to women. I was promptly accused of being a transphobic scare-mongerer. 

This Guy Competes As A Women In Mixed Martial Arts Fights

I’ve always supported trans rights to fairness and equality.

In fact, I angrily harangued President Trump during one of our television interviews when he was in office over his decision to ban transgender people from serving in the US military, pointing out to him that more money was spent on Viagra for troops than on transgender medical bills. As for scare-mongering - I’m simply spelling out an uncomfortable truth for those whose desire to virtue-signal on trans issues overrides their ability to see reality in front of their own eyes.

— Piers Morgan

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Is it back room gambling? No, it is front room craps. 

Roll the dice, don’t need the vaccine. I am doing everything safely. Boom, you lose.

Roll again, it will be mild! Oops, now you have heart issues for the rest of your life. Flared other issues or a lifetime of Covid long haul. Maybe you lose your sense of smell or it goes putrid.

Roll Again. Doesn’t affect children much! Bad roll, it does, Statistics are showing it can maim a kid too. Maybe not your neighbor’s kid. But do you really want to roll that die? 

My family is not going to have it and my kids don’t need a mask! The dice hit the table. Junior gets it and is okay, but guess what, your grandparents subside and you get really, really sick. Long haul Covid. Not great stakes, you say?

It will go away, no problem, herd immunity. Why are you believing that? Doctors suggested it could but why listen to them? Heck, folks are willing to take any internet approved horse dewormer over a FDA approved vaccine that has effectively treated millions with minor side effects. The only big side effects are for folks with hidden ailments. Roll the dice. Herd immunity just stampeded out of town.

Why go to the hospital, if you don’t believe the doctors? Why fill up the emergency rooms if you aren’t willing to take a simple medical approach Americans have been taking for years. Believe strangers with no background on the internet. Take a horse de-wormer. Roll the dice, but, don’t expose the first responders. Take a chance at home. Another gamble. But maybe you roll double sevens and avoid heaven. What if you don’t?

The media spinning everything. Those outspoken conservative anti-vaxers that died. What happened to their dice? Didn’t they die? Is that spin?

Why wear a mask? Roll the dice. How many Doctors wore masks in surgery to protect the patient and themselves from staph infections and other maladies? That’s standard practice for decades. Did they roll the dice?

Herd immunity is gonna work. We rolled that dice, but what about the new ways the dice are rollin’? Variants and mutations that are nullifying the one best way out for us all, vaccines.

Not gonna gamble with mRNA vaccines in the pipe for 10 years from research over 50 years old. Now it is certified. Still not trusting it. Roll the dice, cover your eyes.

“It will mess with my DNA.” Hey don’t roll the dice under the table. DNA doesn’t work that way. RNA comes from connecting with DNA. Viruses change your DNA not mRNA.

Delta, Mu… Hey let’s go to the fair after a superspreader at the brewery. Let’s bring folks from outside into our community with possible Covid. Drink a lot of beer, crowd the main path and carney lanes. Throw the dice from across the room and hope it hits the table. Not the best way to fund the Fair, try fund drive or grant from Mendocino Fountation.

When the dice come up snake eyes, staring at you. Game over! For you only? Maybe for your family too. Who is gonna care for your children? What if you get severely maimed along with your spouse, who is gonna care for you all? What if it kills a good friend? Was it worth the game?

Hey get the vaccine, avoid the snake eyes, reduce the gamble. Then go to Vegas and win with lower risks. Have some real fun. That’s good crap!

Greg Krouse


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Saw this on Highway 5 North this weekend near Red Bluff/Redding. Not a great photo, unfortunately, as I was driving but interesting in light of the discussion about MJ prices.

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Something really cool just happened - I rode my lil scooter over to Harvest Market to grab a little dinner, got up to cashier and ran my EBT, had $9 left over for the bottle of wine. Having only one functioning hand using cash from my wallet is a real PITA, I ran my CC and it wouldn’t take. The VISA people have a glitch going, so there I am wondering what I’m gonna do, and the cashier pulls her own CC and finishes my transaction. I told her I’d pay her back when I see her again, but she didn’t ask for that or consider that part of the deal at all. I just gotta share it b/c I think that’s so cool and sweet!

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CATCH OF THE DAY, September 13, 2021

Barillet, Brown-Seals, Escareno, Garcia

JOFFERY BARILLET, Ukiah. DUI, controlled substance.

MICHAEL BROWN-SEALS, Ukiah. Controlled substance for sale, parole violation.

JOSE ESCARENO, Covelo, Unspecified misdemeanor.

RICARDO GARCIA-LOPEZ, Ukiah. DUI, reckless driving.

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I have grown extremely hardened against violent criminals over the years. I’ve also become extremely hardened against tweakers and transients who are littering everywhere, dealing drugs right in front of me, leaving broken down trashed vehicles, trailers on every other corner, being involved in fights regularly and just causing mayhem everywhere they go. 

True story… just last week I had the misfortune of sitting in my car in Eureka near a homeless encampment where all of the above has been happening regularly. Out from the alley came one tweaker. He approached another tweaker and frantically begged to use his phone, stating “someone is dying, someone is dying.” The tweaker had no phone, but got in his pack. He headed down the alley with a small bag toward yet another tweaker who was twitching around. I couldn’t tell for sure what happened from there as the visibility was limited. All I know is that with the number of confrontations (none positive) that I’ve had with this group, I couldn’t bring myself to call EMS. They were on their own. So yes, callousness along with tired of the lawlessness on the Eureka streets is an accurate description.

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Sen. Bill Dodd, D-Napa, misleads the public with his recently published commentary titled "Wireless broadband infrastructure improves access, safety." The bill he introduced in the California Legislature, SB 556, which is heavily supported by the wireless industry, does not bridge the digital divide; but wired and cabled broadband will, and we have paid for it.

The public is being deceived with regard to safety and efficacy of wireless broadband. The Environmental Health Trust successfully sued the Federal Communications Commission. On Aug. 13, a federal court issued a judgment mandating that the FCC reconsider its outdated radiofrequency radiation limits and review thousands of publications and testimony describing the effects of radiation on biological systems and the environment. It must consider the aggregate of wireless devices that are vastly increasing radiation in our environment.

In Marin, we have known about electromagnetic frequency and radio frequency radiation since the 2001 Marin Community Health Survey, which reported 7% considered themselves sensitive to electrical appliances, cell phones and fluorescent lights, while 17% reported allergies or sensitivities to everyday chemicals. Since then, both have found coverage under the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Human systems run on electrical and chemical signals. Man-made ones disrupt them, causing people to experience symptoms, some rising to the level of disability. These people deserve protection, including new wireless packages; therefore, local control is necessary.

Sandra Miller


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[1] Happy Labor Day to all who still have to labor and haven’t found a path to free money. You’re just not trying hard enough!

Speaking of destruction and work, I don’t know how many may have seen the segment on 60 Minutes where self-driving 18 wheelers were being aggressively tested and raising lots of cash investment. AI is used to drive them and they’re being touted as “very safe”. So there goes not only trucking jobs but an entire way of life destroyed all in the name of greater profit. Robots don’t go on strike, stop at coffee shops or need health insurance. Nor will they build any kind of trucking culture or solidarity. And the people (who would be all of us) who rely on goods and food to be delivered will be inadvertently supporting it, like it or not.

When the house of cards falls over or what the precipitating event will be, I don’t know. Kids were out of school for 18 months in a lot of places, health care is a racket on every level and the government has been shocked to discover if you pay people to sit at home then they’ll sit at home especially if rent is free, possibly forever.

[2] Yep when I was at one of my court dates many years ago to see if I would be spending 3 years in Quentin or not, there was a man ahead of me who was charged with DUI, reckless endangerment, and two counts of involuntary manslaughter. He was about 40, had been driving through Eureka with a 19 year old and 17 year old girl in his vehicle, when he wrecked and both girls died. Both of the young girl’s families were there to see justice served. The man got convicted and sentenced to all of 7 years in prison, with the possibility of parole in 3 1/2 years. That’s when I realized that our system is a complete joke. Dude killed two young women and was eligible for parole, I was looking at 3 years without the possibility of parole due to some special allegations, for having some weed and a few firearms (before you get all in a tizzy, they were two hunting rifles and a benelli, which I used for hunting). Stupid on my part? Absolutely. But what I had could cause harm to nobody, unless you were a deer or a duck. That man killed two young girls, and it was his 3rd DUI. California has its priorities wrong.

[3] Most pathological personalities act entirely rationally, other than the fact that they have exactly zero empathy for anyone else. They objectify everyone and everything and reduce things to cold hard calculations of net value. The business and political worlds are chock full of these characters, with Wall St and DC being their heaven. And the best are utter chameleons as well, able to alter their colors according to their environment at will. I’m sure they view the current scamdemic as one of the more humane ways to go about their little project and would readily say so behind closed doors. Personally, I think total nuclear war would be a lot more fun, but then that wouldn’t leave much for big boys to enjoy after the dust settled.

[4] The newsreaders demeanor and delivery has become more stilted and serious with an earnestness that borders on farce. The all seem to be convinced of their intelligence and virtue.

The overriding message I get from watching the news is — “Listen to US!!! We have the inside story!” And most importantly, “we tell you everything you need to know so do not think for yourself.”

On Inauguration Day last year I had it tuned to ABC and the newsreader said over and over as the Trumps were leaving — “this feels like an exorcism” . There was no moderating commentary from the other two mediocrities sharing the desk.

[5] Morality starts before conception. Call it ‘reincarnation’ if you like, or call it divine grace by an indifferent cosmic consciousness, it doesn’t really matter for the purposes of this discussion. It’s starkly apparent to the mother, either by overt kicks or deep intuition, that each child is different during those mysterious nine months.

Then right after birth! Doris Lessing wrote a frightening short novel, “The Fifth Child”, about an evil kid, also right after conception but also into his (I believe) eighth year if I recall, from the terrified mother’s perspective. One of the reasons the novel was so chilling was that it offered no solace as to what she might have done wrong. Lessing took great pains to show that the mother and father and the other four kids were normal, and to a degree, even boring.

Then there’s the more mundane, but extremely important factor of raising kids the right way. This is where young people’s morality is often going to be shaped, during the first six years of life. If inferior blood lines don’t doom the kid, an absent father or hectoring mother can finish them off. The opposite, of course, is true. Children brought up in a house where the parents value Art, show love to all other members of the family, and give them a spiritual direction (mostly by example), means the kid will have a much better chance of being that “different kind of Man”.

All this is to say that by the time an 18 year-old reaches university, he or she already has their morality largely in place. Students who’ve already passed these prior tests shouldn’t be overprotected as if they were fragile and weak and incapable of resisting (e.g) pornography and mind fucks. They’re going to meet those challenges in ‘the real world’ sooner than later, anyway.

Students, however, DO need excellent pedagogical direction, which, automatically right there, invalidates almost all university classes.

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by Norman Solomon

Last weekend, U.S. corporate media continued a 20-year repetition compulsion to evade the central role of the USA in causing vast carnage and misery due to the so-called War on Terror. But millions of Americans fervently oppose the military-industrial complex and its extremely immoral nonstop warfare.

CodePink and Massachusetts Peace Action hosted a national webinar to mark the 20th anniversary of 9/11 -- the day before Sunday’s launch of the Cut the Pentagon campaign -- and the resulting video includes more than 20 speakers who directly challenged the lethal orthodoxy of the warfare state. As part of the mix, here’s the gist of what I had to say:

When we hear all the media coverage and retrospectives, we rarely hear -- and certainly almost never in the mass media hear -- that when people are killed, whether it’s intentional or predictable, those are atrocities that are being financed by U.S. taxpayers. And so we hear about the evils of Al Qaeda and 9/11, and certainly those were evils, but we’re not hearing about the predictable as well as the intentional deaths: the tens of thousands of civilians killed by U.S. air strikes alone in the last two decades, and the injuries, and the terrorizing of people with drones and other U.S. weapons. We’re hearing very little about that.

Part of the role of activists is to make those realities heard, make them heard loud and clear, as forcefully and as emphatically and as powerfully as possible. Activist roles can sometimes get blurred in terms of becoming conflated with the roles of some of the best members of Congress. When progressive legislators push for peace and social justice, they deserve our praise and our support. When they succumb to the foreign-policy “Blob” -- when they start to be more a representative of the establishment to the movements rather than a representative of the movements to the establishment -- we’ve got a problem.

It’s vital for progressive activists to be clear about what our goals are, and to be willing to challenge even our friends on Capitol Hill.

I’ll give you a very recent example. Two leaders of anti-war forces in the House of Representatives, a couple of weeks ago, circulated a “Dear Colleague” message encouraging members of the House to sign a letter urging the chair of the House Armed Services Committee, Adam Smith, to stand firm behind President Biden’s 1.6 percent increase in the Pentagon budget, over the budget that Trump had gotten the year before. The point of the letter was: Chairman Smith, we want you to defend the Biden budget’s increase of 1.6 percent, against the budget that has just been approved by the Senate Armed Services Committee with a 3.3 percent increase.

That kind of a letter moves the goal posts further and further to the liking of the military-industrial complex, to the liking of war profiteers, to the liking of the warfare state. And so, when people we admire and support, in this case Rep. Mark Pocan and Rep. Barbara Lee, circulate such a Dear Colleague letter, there’s a tendency for organizations to say: “Yeah, we’re going to get behind you,” we will respond affirmatively to the call to urge our members to urge their representatives in Congress to sign this letter. And what that creates is a jumping-off point that moves the frame of reference farther and farther into the militarism that we’re trying to push back against. For that reason, my colleagues and I at RootsAction decided to decline an invitation to sign in support.

I bring up that episode because it’s indicative of the pathways and the crossroads that we face to create momentum for a stronger and more effective peace and social justice movement. And it’s replicated in many respects. When we’re told it’s not practical on Capitol Hill to urge a cutoff of military funding and assistance to all countries that violate human rights -- and when we’re told that Israel is off the table -- it’s not our job to internalize those limits that have been internalized by almost everyone in Congress, except for the Squad and a precious few others.

It’s our job to speak not only truth to power but also about power. And to be clear and candid even when that means challenging some of our usual allies. And to organize.

At RootsAction, we’ve launched a site called Progressive Hub, as an activism tool to combine the need to know with the imperative to act.

It’s not easy, to put it mildly, to go against the powerful flood of megamedia, of big money in politics, of the ways that issues are constantly framed by powerful elites. But in the long run, peace activism is essential for overcoming militarism. And organizing is what makes that possible.

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

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I THINK WHEN YOU GO DOWN A ROAD where you're having two different national anthems, colleges... have different graduation ceremonies for black and white, separate dorms... this is what I mean: segregation. Maybe we should get rid of our national anthem, but I think we should have one national anthem. When people say to me sometimes, 'Boy, you go after the Left a lot these days, why?' I'm like 'Because you're embarrassing me!'" — Bill Maher

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This is why you get vaccinated

I'm neither a vaxxer nor an anti-vaxxer. If you think I can't list a litany of crimes committed by Big Pharma long enough to make a 20 foot wide carpet from coast to coast, you're mistaken. The folks in charge of most of these companies are sociopathic, money grubbing, gawdless douche canoes who'd part their own children out for the price of a fish finder on their yachts. So lumping me in with fuzzy headed sleepwalkers blindly following their corporate masters like some scene out of Metropolis... is kind of wasted here.

I've had several specializations in my IT career. One of those specialties was SQA... Software Quality Assurance. You know how you ring the truth out of software? You beat the living hell out of it until it breaks. Then you see where it broke, and make it stronger there. I used to have a T-Shirt that Read; "Marquess De Sade, She tortures it until it confesses." A little kinky, but the QA folks thought it rocked. It doesn't take a very rigorous examination of America's Medical System to see that it's designed to abuse people, for the financial benefit of a very few. And the biggest culprits in this (to quote George Conway) shitshow in a dumpster fire, are Medical Insurance and Big Pharma.

I just turned 65, and I'm trying like the dickens to get Medicare squared away. And being the engineer that I am, after receiving an avalanche of flyers from Insurance Companies trying to get me to pick their Medicare Advantage Plans, because the system is literally a greased slide to stick you in one of these plans, I come to discover, that Medicare Advantage is a huge privatization scheme expressly designed by certain political groups and the nation's health insurance to bankrupt Medicare and privatize the entire system. That their come on is, they wave "No copays" at you to lure you in, then once they got you, like most health insurance in this country, inform you that you've been locked in, get only the service they okay (which is almost nothing without pitching a fit), and won't cover you outside of their plan... which translates to if you get cancer forget Sloan Kettering or the Mayo Clinic, you're going to Billy Bob's House of Chicken and Waffles and Chemotherapy. All at 5 times the cost to the taxpayer that plain vanilla Medicare costs. Truth is, if you're willing to do the work, you can get Medicare Parts A, B, and D, with a decent Medigap Plan, pay a tiny copay, and get 10 times the coverage for serious illness. Sorry for this long walk off the path, but there's a point to be made here.

If you think for a second I haven't checked the validity of these vaccines 12 ways come Sunday... you are mistaken. I am an exquisitely informed consumer. There are a thousand things in this world you have every good reason to be afraid of. This simply isn't that, and I know I'm talking to a wall. You are thousands of times more likely to be hurt, rendered sterile, have your heart stopped, suffer massive blot clotting from the COVID infection itself, than from these vaccines. In any sane measure I've ever seen, that's a no brainer. You take the vaccine. You keep talking about ADE and Leaky Virus, and the doctors that sweat that are looking for signs of it every day, and we're nearly a year in and fast approaching 2.4 billion people have been vaccinated by vaccines of every imaginable type, mRNA, DNA, weaken adenovirus, etc. No signs of ADE. The complications are happening at a rate of single digits per million (with the exception of allergic response, but that's common to a whole lot of vaccines.) And the vaccines are wildly effective, even against variants.

A lot of very good people have put their bodies and souls into attempting to save lives in an extraordinary human crisis, and to see good people needlessly injured and killed, by ignorance and neglect is tragic beyond my ability to elucidate.

Don't trust Big Pharma guys. They are patently untrustworthy. But that doesn't mean they can't get something right, even for the wrong reason. The stuff works and they're going to make billions on it. And I hate to see bad people profit on good people's misery, but I'll bite the bullet this time if it saves a few of those good people from more needless misery.

Do with that what you will.

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  1. Marmon September 14, 2021

    Watching the Senate Hearings on the Afghanistan fiasco. I wonder how Tony Blinken trained himself not to blink. It’s like his eyes are stuck open. I would hate to have a staring contest with him.


    P.S. Fire Newsom today.

    • Stephen Rosenthal September 14, 2021

      Enjoy Elder’s monumental defeat tonight. Try not to poop your pants.

  2. Rye N Flint September 14, 2021

    RE: Double Whammy feedback loop

    “Ammerman could only speculate that the fire may have been caused by homeless people, but is convinced the Hopkins Fire is a sign of things to come.”

    You can see a perfect example of two crisis exasperating each other. Fires destroy homes, creating more homeless, decreasing the total number of homes, increasing homelessness, which in turn creates fire hazards from people putting up with substandard living conditions out of desperation, which in turn creates more fires…

  3. Rye N Flint September 14, 2021

    RE: What happens to the Planet next is up to us…

    Will anyone listen to or fund the appropriate solutions to the crisis? The decimated logged lands of our past settlers sins redeemed?

    “Land owners lack the informed will or the means to restore their forestland. The main forest improvement grants available make it difficult for the sale of thinnings to compensate for expenses, and landowners must put a large portion of the cost up front, making these options prohibitive for far too many.”

  4. Rye N Flint September 14, 2021

    RE: High 5 Way

    $15 per 1/8th That’s 15 x 8 x 16 = $1,920 per pound.

    Oh! No wonder farmers are getting $300 per pound… Oh wait?!?! what?

    • Bruce McEwen September 14, 2021

      It’s also a very mild strain at that price, and the same store probably has better eighths at between $50-$75 each, depending on what you can afford. The proverbial middleman strikes again. The stores, the retailers, the euphemistically termed “dispensaries” are cleaning up big-time! They’re so rich they spend more on fancy-shmancy packaging than they spend on the product. And the quality of the trimming has gone down the tubes, as well, since machines now do the work, cutting out a lot of low-level labor costs.

      The $20 eighths have been featured on Bay Area billboards since legalization, and these mild strains come in plain brown envelopes with the mandatory child-proof zip-lock, The better quality eighths come in cute little glass jars with full-color labels,

      • Lazarus September 14, 2021

        I don’t know Bubba. A quality trimmer is still getting pretty good money at the boutique grows. But many of those growers are indeed worried about the future of the product.
        And from what I hear, the collective is against “The Drell’s” idea of what should be moving forward. The BOS has this mess today, but I suspect they will punt…as usual.
        Be well,
        P.S. Tell Gramps thanks.

        • Bruce McEwen September 14, 2021

          When I was a trimmer I could never get away with the kind of work I’m seeing on the retail end. I just paid $65 for an eighth of sun-grown in fancy glass jar with chicks dancing on the label, and the stems I’m finding are pretty discouraging, so figured it was being done by those big machines we used to see advertised in Skunk Magazine & High Times.

          • Bruce McEwen September 14, 2021

            Wait-wait, don’t tell me, that was a quarter-oz., not an eighth.


            But since you’re there, where’s a good place to stay in Willits for a couple of reporters covering the Cherney/Bales program?

              • Bruce McEwen September 14, 2021

                Which is closest to the site?

                • Bruce McEwen September 14, 2021

                  Your laconic style I much envy, but my vivacious young wife has a million questions about her lodging and dining prospects, so wax loquacious, if you please, and give us a few hints, maybe plug someone who could use the tips, eh?

                  • k h September 14, 2021

                    Can’t help with motels but as far as food:
                    Roland’s Bistro
                    Cafe 77
                    Busters Burgers
                    Loose Caboose
                    JD Redhouse

                    La Siciliana is quite good but hours & ability to eat inside fluctuate with staffing

                  • Lazarus September 14, 2021

                    Best Western and Baechtel Creek Inn I would put family or friends in.
                    The others are okay… and cheaper.

                • Lazarus September 14, 2021

                  Are you walking?
                  If that is the case, Super 8 is nearest the Museum, if that’s where you’re going. There is one closer, but it’s a dump.

                  • Bruce McEwen September 14, 2021

                    We very graciously thank you both, and Grandpa McEwen sends along this pertinent epigram: “Wherever you make enemies, you also make friends; for no man convinces everybody he’s right.

                    Sure, Plato said something similar, Pope gave it a couplet, but Grandpa said it best in my biased opinion.

          • Douglas Coulter September 14, 2021

            And I’m down to seeds and stems again too
            Dan Hicks

  5. Marmon September 14, 2021

    Just got done dropping my ballot off at the senior center, a lot of people showed up there today. The bag I put my ballot in was stuffed full, I had to push it down twice. The woman in line in front of me yelled as she stuffed her ballot in, “let’s get rid of the SOB”. American’s don’t vote by mail, and they generally don’t vote early. This recall may not be determined for a few more days.


    • Harvey Reading September 14, 2021

      This US citizen has voted by mail since the early 70s. Gotta problem with that?

    • Stephen Rosenthal September 14, 2021

      It’s 8:48pm and the recall is overwhelmingly defeated. Hope you stocked up on Imodium, Marmon.

      • Harvey Reading September 15, 2021

        Maybe there is still hope for CA!

  6. Anon. September 15, 2021

    Who’s fred galbreath?

    • Bruce Anderson September 15, 2021

      I believe he was (past tense) a wealthy maritime insurer who left a large property near Yorkville to be preserved as is in perpetuity.

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