Dry Cold | 43 Cases | Manson Book | Sunset Surfer | Sports Lore | Washingmen | Money Cloud | Maximum Enforcement | Trent Video | Ed Notes | Turkey Hunt | Planning Commission | Chainsaw Carving | Vaccine Ingredients | Turn Back | Food Prices | Yesterday's Catch | AV Way | Scum Rises | Serfs Up | Rittenhouse Saga | Barack Bezos | Black Coyote | What If | Pancho Villa | Koch-offs | Demholes | Free Weed | Dangerous Times | Central City | SF Robberies | Ice Cliffs | Host Nations | Neoliberal Pandemic
DRY WEATHER is expected for the next 7 days. Frost and freeze conditions are expected across most interior areas Wednesday morning. (NWS)
43 NEW COVID CASES (since last Friday) reported in Mendocino County yesterday afternoon.
CHARLIE MANSON AND, INEVITABLY, UKIAH
by Tommy Wayne Kramer
Finished a book on Charlie Manson, took a hot shower, had a stiff drink.
Who thought there was anything new to learn about the musty old Manson case? But for 20 years author Tom O’Neill worked hard, dug deep and came up with new, astonishing information.
Let’s start with three locations critical to Manson and his Family’s “success.”
1) Los Angeles, where they (mostly) lived, hung with rock stars, and killed a lot of people.
2) San Francisco, where his Family formulated, coagulated, and began using LSD under the supervision of medical doctors at the famous Haight-Ashbury Clinic, financed in part by the CIA.
3) Ukiah, thick with back-to-the-land hippies, was where Mansonoids often came to harvest new members. Ukiah was also where critical Family crimes were ignored and / or covered up.
It’s all stitched together in a 2019 book called “CHAOS: Charles Manson, the CIA and the Secret History of the Sixties” by O’Neill, a veteran journalist. He spent two decades ploughing through the soft white underbelly of state and local law enforcement authorities who turned blind eyes to Manson and his demented cult’s never-ending crime sprees that involved drugs, car thefts, kidnappings, sex with minors, weapons possessions and murders. Lots and lots of murders.
In 520 pages it upends the self-serving version concocted by Vincent Bugliosi, the Los Angeles DA who prosecuted Manson and his Family and wrote the ‘Helter Skelter’ book that became the official version.
Chapter by chapter CHAOS brings clouds of dread to the reader via the growing, inescapable realization that powerful forces were protecting Manson, keeping him on the streets despite ongoing, never-ending criminal activities. No other conclusion can be drawn.
For many years, despite many crimes and many arrests, Manson and Co. were impervious to consequences because he was protected by higher ups. One, his protector and advisor, was a federal parole agent named Roger Smith.
Federal parole officers routinely carry caseloads of 150 to 200 parolees. Longtime parole officer Roger Smith had exactly one parole client: Charles W. Manson. And Smith, by bending rules and working as an advocate, shielded him and anyone within Manson’s orbit from going to prison. Smith intervened repeatedly, keeping the Family clan essentially immune from the law.
Within hours of his 1967 release from the Terminal Island prison in Los Angeles Manson violated parole by heading to San Francisco, knowing he didn’t need approval, not with Roger Smith watching his back. As the months passed Manson’s crimes piled up and eventually included drug use, multiple weapons violations including machine guns, grand theft auto, sex with (and rapes of) minors. Frequently arrested, always released.
In the summer of ’68, nearly a year before The Family’s infamous and deadly rampages in LA, Manson ordered his girls to visit Ukiah, where they fed local teens LSD and had orgies. One of the acid-soaked kids later told his dad, a police officer. The women were arrested on predictable charges: drug possession and transportation, furnishing drugs to minors, sex with minors, and assorted parole violations. All would be considered serious felonies even today, but in 1968 the crimes rocked Ukiah.
Enter Roger Smith. Now retired, Smith pulled strings, moved mountains, wrote letters on Federal Parole Office stationery on behalf of Manson’s associates (who were not then and had never been parolees of Smith) and even drove to Ukiah to speak on their behalf.
His efforts paid off. Mendocino County Superior Court Judge Robert Winslow slapped the defendants gently upon their wrists before turning them loose to go on their merry murderous ways. Manson knew Smith would fix the problems, so had remained in LA, living it up and partying with Beach Boy drummer Dennis Wilson.
Contacted by author O’Neill in Marin County many years later, Smith offered vague, innocuous responses about being Manson’s protector.
Manson became notorious for the multiple murders up in Cielo Drive. We remember August, 1969 and the killings of actress Sharon Tate, her unborn baby, coffee heiress Abigail Folger, and several more slaughtered in the crossfire of the Family’s rampage, and then the followup killing of the LaBianca couple. The killers intentionally left behind overt messages written in victims’ blood about Pigs and Revolution.
But O’Neill probes the first, often overlooked, Manson-directed murder. Gary Hinman, a musician and a Buddhist who had befriended The Family with meals, cash and lodging, was targeted by Charlie, who believed Hinman had recently inherited money and that it ought to come Charlie’s way.
Hinman denied having money until his final breaths, which came after many days being tortured and ending in suffocation with pillows by two “Manson Girls.” Charlie personally sliced Hinman’s ear off with a Samurai sword and ordered Bobby Beausoleil to kill him and “leave a sign.”
The sign Bobby left behind was the first “Pig” message, smeared on walls using Hinman’s blood. Beausoleil stole Hinman’s car, was arrested in it a few days later and charged with murder. He used a jail phone on August 8, 1969 to call The Family. Cops tape recorded that call, which instructed Family members to go out, commit copycat murder(s) and to “leave a sign.” The theory: Police would think Hinman’s killer was still at large and turn Beausoleil loose.
The next night Tate and her unlucky friends died horrible deaths at the hands, knives and guns of Manson followers. Bloody messages were left on walls of the secluded house on Cielo Drive. It was intended as a coverup for Hinman’s killing, and it continued with the LaBianca murders, which also had bloody “signs” referencing Pigs left on walls.
Bugliosi invented a motive for the crimes and called it “Helter Skelter.” He said Manson was hoping to incite a racial war, a convenient, if preposterous explanation that was supposed to culminate with The Family burrowing underground in the desert, later to emerge to rule the world. Every cop or DA interviewed by O’Neill called Helter Skelter “b******t” or something similar, and said it was purely a Buglioisi invention.
Cops didn’t think Beausoleil was innocent, but they also didn’t think, amazingly enough, that the Tate murders had anything to do with the Hinman or LaBianca killings, despite bloody “Pig” signs left at all three locations. Manson rolled on.
One week later, the murders unsolved, the LA Sheriff’s Office determined Manson & Family was at the hub of myriad criminal enterprises, including stolen car rings, drug sales, illegal automatic weapons and housed numerous underage teenagers, some runaways, some pregnant, on the Spahn Ranch property east of LA. It triggered the biggest organized police raid in California history, a pre-dawn invasion on August 16 involving helicopters and more than 100 police officers. Nearly three dozen members of The Family, including Charlie himself and seven minors were arrested. Two days later, with no charges filed, everyone was released, because the warrant had been “misdated” said Bugliosi. It was a lie.
Had justice been served the prior summer in Ukiah, several of the “Girls” and maybe Manson would have been shipped back to prison, Sharon Tate might have lived a long happy life, Roman Polanski a child to help raise, and late ‘60s hippie history would have rewritten itself. And had Family members remained in custody following the huge raid, they would not have been able to continue committing crimes, including at least one more murder.
And if all Manson’s brood had remained incarcerated the odds of the Tate murders and LaBianca murders being solved sooner would have increased dramatically.
And that’s the creepy big feeling that grows, chapter by chapter in CHAOS: That Charlie Manson and his loyal band of merciless killers was being protected. How else explain the lack of consequences, the hands-off approach from law enforcement, whether it was the Bishop, CA., police department or the FBI?
CHAOS is larded with creepy, weird facts:
WEIRD FACT #1) Early in the morning of August 9, prior to bodies being discovered, a CIA operative named Reeve Whitson phoned friends to tell them he’d been to Cielo Drive and viewed the carnage. It wasn’t until hours later that cops were called.
WF #2) Working hand-in-glove with the Haight Ashbury Freed Medical Clinic were CIA-sponsored agencies researching potential uses of LSD in interrogating foreign spies, homegrown dissidents, or inspiring controllable but amoral, behavior in groups of unsuspecting members. This was the precise time and place Manson was assembling his riffraff mob.
WF #3) Heading the shadowy agency was Dr. Louis Jolyon West, a doctor long involved in LSD research and long associated with the CIA. Author O’Neill links him directly to a 1950s case involving the murder of a child by a disoriented soldier accused, convicted and executed in the little girl’s murder. The soldier was a patient of Dr. West’s and his behavior reeked of someone unwittingly dosed with LSD.
WF #4) Author O’Neill is stunned to see Dr. “Jolly” West turn up big in the Kennedy assassination, as the only medical expert (appointed in federal court) to interview and report on the mental status of Jack Ruby. He said Ruby had suffered “an acute psychotic break.” (NOTE: Any author whose investigations veer in the direction of the JFK conspiracies knows his work is instantly tainted, and O’Neill openly wonders if it’s time he start wearing a tinfoil helmet.)
But the story goes where facts, documents and suppositions lead it.
WF #5) Why police in Bishop, CA would hide evidence, produce misleading reports and conclude the killing of young Fillipo Tenerelli was a suicide is deeply disturbing; the crime is clearly the work of Manson’s clan. Why the coverup continues half a century later makes the puzzle even creepier.
WF #6) Terry Melcher, son of Doris Day and the hottest record producer of the era, was a vital prosecution witness who lied to judge and jury about times he met with Manson both before and after the Tate murders. At a post-murders meeting at the Spahn Ranch witnesses said a weeping Melcher got on his knees and kissed Manson’s feet, blubbering apologies for reasons unknown. This was covered up by Bugliosi.
WF #7) Bugliosi, the DA who interviewed and prepped Melcher, knew Melcher lied on the stand and probably instructed him. Bugliosi’s handwritten notes of an interview feature heavy cross-outs on pages Melcher tells of the times he and Manson met. A DA who worked with Bugliosi on the case said it was prosecutorial misconduct sufficient to warrant Manson a retrial.
WF #8) Melcher’s attorney, who prepared him for trial and sat with him in court, was none other than Robert Winslow, the Mendocino County judge whom local voters had rejected in his re-election campaign following his gentle treatment of Manson’s women who had furnished drugs and orgies to Ukiah minors.
WF #9) Susan Atkins, deeply involved in both the Hinman and Tate murders, was offered a plea agreement in exchange for testifying against Manson & Family. She was represented by a court appointed lawyer named Gerald Condon. The DA, fearing she might change her story at some point, felt a different lawyer might be able to better hold her in line, i.e., exert sufficient “client control.”
Following private meetings between the judge and the DA, and with neither the knowledge nor consent of the lawyer or defendant, the court dismissed Condon and appointed a new attorney, Dick Caballero. Caballero had recently served eight years as a prosecutor in the LA District Attorneys office, and was well known to Bugliosi.
WF #10) During the time the Family’s Mary Brunner was in jail in Ukiah she gave birth to a boy. The Mendocino County Courts made parole agent Roger Smith and his wife the foster parents of Charlie Manson’s baby.
COAST SPORTS LORE, PART 1
You requested this so here goes:
I can only testify to the Mendocino ball players I saw play or played with and against. Being from a sports oriented city like Fort Bragg (nothing to do for a male except fish, sports or chase girls). I can relate to many legends I've heard of through my long sojourn growing up in Fort Bragg or "Mendocino Beach," whatever you want to rename it this year. I liked its nickname around my high school days in the 60s and 70s: we raced cars, trucks, etc. (quasi-sports) but that got boring so we called our township "Fort Drag."
Back to the legends. In 2001 Fort Bragg had its first All-American in my uncle Charlie Mehtlan. He was a basketball star like Eugene Waggoner and also a side-winding Cy Young style hurler. He also led the county in duckhunting every year. Then in the 1930s my father and the Pavoni brothers with my other uncle, the stalwart John ‘Brick’ Cernac, may he let it rest in peace at 101! He was a great four-sport star and could probably drink more vino than me and speak better Roman lingo. Brick was a Fort Bragg Logger star drafted by the San Francisco Seals who spent much of his baseball career playing all over the country for the United States Army. I loved sitting with him at senior lunch recounting Fort Bragg’s Golden years of sports in the 1930s to the 1950s. He knew all about my “wannabe teams” of the 60s and 70s as well.
I wasn't around in the fabulous 40s with football stars like Hank Hurtmeyer, Chief Bud Richards and baseball hurlers like Bob Bartolini and Fred Hurtmeyer. Of course Fred's cousin and Navy hero Ron ‘Wiki Monson who went on to a pro bowling career. Me and Tommy Hurtmeyer (football star of the 60s and 70s) once watched Wiki bowl a 299 game in a tournament at the old Noyo bowl. One wobbly pin kept uncle Wiki out of the record book. He just threw his hands up in the air as if to say, “Oh well — it is what it is.” I'd have probably cried like I'm doing now.
Let’s now turn to two of our most glorious stars from the early 50s. Two more chiefs, in fact: Chief Bob Celeri and Chief Vern Piver. Celeri was blond and full blood northern Roman. How the back alley by the Company Store got named Chief Celeri Street is a Fort Bragg Mystery. (One of many: like how did the Mendoza House on Franklin Street become haunted?)
Chief Celeri was an All-American quarterback at Cal then went on to a fine Canadian football league career. He returned to the United States in around 1972 to coach the backfield of the O.J. Simpson lead Buffalo Bills.
I played with and against Vern Piver in his twilight years. I also logged with him and he was a #1 timber faller. He refereed and coached many a basketball game and also coached Little League and Fort Bragg high school varsity baseball with his son Tony, a late 70s All-Star himself.
Vern Piver and I played a lot of sandlot basketball at the old Recreation Center in Fort Bragg. He was a fair shot and great rebounder since we didn't call fouls in that "league." Vern would usually out hack me maybe 20-5 per game. He was like a panther going for the ball! My one claim to fame was finally getting to pitch against the legend that was Vern Piver. He was great enough to win a couple minor-league batting titles and was on his way to starting on that 1960 Pittsburgh Pirates World Series championship team when a broken leg derailed his pro-career. Those were the days when we had to log in the off season. So in my one pitching glory is that I can say an old time Piver never got a hit off me! Not in the 60s, not in the 70s or later.
(I wonder if Governor Mendoza played soccer in Spain in the late 1540 moved to Fort Bragg?)
David Giusti, Detective Youngcault, pro basketball and softball coach
Mendocino County Jail
PS. If you don't believe the Mendoza House is haunted just tiptoe behind it at 5 AM. The laundry room light goes on, the washing machine starts all by itself and an invisible person is there for about half an hour. Then the lights go out again!
Next time: more Mendocino Sports Lore, Part 2.
CRAIG STEHR WRITES: Please know that I have contributed the last of the money that I have available to share to the Earth First! Media Center, and in particular for the digitization of the Earth First! video archives, which will be placed into the cloud. Therefore, with a bit less than $2000 in my bank account, I can leave Garberville, California. Identifying with the Eternal Witness, and (dualistically speaking) "following spirit", I am ready to go to where the next intervention in history is, and participate. It's simple. Make it real, and contact me. <email@example.com>
ANOTHER TRENT JAMES VIDEO
CURIOUSER AND CURIOUSER. Poor Old Joe goes to the doctor last week and the White House announces that not only was the colonoscopy positive but Joe's brain was fully capable of handling his (light) duties as president, although his “gait” indicated some fall off.
UNLESS colonoscopies now include mental acuity assessments, or Joe's head was where I've always suspected it's been, Joe's physical was further evidence that his handlers are whistling in the dark every time he's out there in public, hence the laughable announcement from his handlers that he'll be running again when he's 82.
AND HENCE the national vibe, ranging from apprehension to straight up fear that nobody's at the wheel.
WHOEVER thought redistricting could be funny? I think it's at least amusing that Spy Rock is going to be shoved into the Dan Gjerde's 4th District (Fort Bragg, mostly) and lately home to an increasingly woke demographic about as far from Spy Rock's outlaw psyche as Mendo can get, short of plunking Covelo down in the "village" of Mendocino.
THESE endlessly beautiful, late Fall days are a mixed blessing, eerily dry when it should be wet, the October deluge already running low in the streams and rivers it had fleetingly revived.
FORMER DEPUTY TRENT JAMES' latest blast at some of his former colleagues in the Sheriff's Department is, if true, both startling and depressing. But there's the rub; it's an allegation, not a conviction. The allegation is that the home address of an officer in the department is linked to a child pornography site, and that the investigation into this guy has been shelved by the DA.
I'M NOT POSTING the name of the accused because the accusation is not substantiated and, it seems from here, that an allegation of the most vile crime there is short of murdering children has got to be verified before the alleged criminal can be or should be publicly identified. So far, the charge reminds me of the now routine allegations in child custody cases that the ex-husband is a stone pervert, or the ex-wife's new love interest is one. The ultimate smear is an accusation pegged to child pornography. Prediction re this accusation: the accused will be cleared when the investigation, still underway, is finally concluded. Wishful thinking on James' part, and really unfair of him to float a vicious rumor like this without having it nailed down in verifiable fact.
AS I'VE SAID for years, and every time I do I get accused of everything from prudery to fascism but, yeah, I think pornography should be banned. I also think chomos should be frog marched out back of the courthouse for a bullet in the back of the head. Not only does pornography degrade half the human population...well, it's obvious, or should be, that it's bad for human morale.
PLANNING COMMISSION MEETING NEXT THURSDAY
The Staff Report(s) and Agenda for December 2, 2021 is posted on the department website at: mendocinocounty.org/government/planning-building-services/meeting-agendas/planning-commission
Please contact staff with any questions.
James F.Feenan, Commission Services Supervisor, Direct Line: (707) 234-6664
WHAT’S IN THAT STUFF?
To: Dr. Andrew Coren MD, Mendocino County Health Officer
Thank you very much for your very informative letter to the editor. Would you please tell us what is in the first, second and now third vaccine. As in what are the ingredients in these vaccines? Thank you for all your assistance and I look forward to your response.
A PERFECT STORM: North Bay shoppers face historically high food prices this Thanksgiving
by Austin Murphy
Lisa Boyer sounded resigned. And a tad exasperated.
“I’m looking at $400 dollars worth of groceries,” said Boyer, of Santa Rosa, “and my cart is only three-quarters full. How did that happen?”
Boyer, who lives in Oakmont, the 55-and-over community, stood outside the Costco Wholesale on Santa Rosa Ave. on a recent weekday. While that membership-based multinational boasts beef prices that “are usually pretty good,” said Boyer, “there was a lot of moaning in the meat department” as she passed through.
While Boyer did drop $32 on four sirloin steaks, which will make 8 meals — “we split them in two” — she took a hard pass on a four-pack of prime filets that cost $80, and described meat prices in the store as “kind of a shock.”
With Thanksgiving approaching, shoppers across the North Bay — and the nation — shared her shock as they navigated the crowded aisles of grocery stores, filling their carts not just with holiday items but everyday foodstuffs.
Prices for all goods in the United States were a jaw-dropping 6.2% higher in October than they had been a year earlier, according to the Consumer Price Index, maintained by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Those increases, the largest in more than three decades, are the result of spiking fuel costs, and supply chains that remain bottlenecked in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Everyone’s got a problem with prices,” allowed a white-aproned 20-something working at that Costco’s meat counter. Company policy prevented him from giving his name. “Throw in the freak weather we’ve had,” along with fuel prices and expensive transportation, he said, and “Everything just keeps going up, you know?”
The dozen or so consumers interviewed for this story were feeling the pinch of those price increases, some more acutely than others, and had worked out strategies to cope with them, including, for one, a visit to a local food bank.
As America emerges from a “quick but deep” pandemic-driven recession, said Sonoma State University economist Robert Eyler, demand for goods and has ramped up for various reasons, including “a lot of government spending over the last 18 months.”
While demand is rising, he explained, “global supply chains are not working as efficiently as they usually do” — a condition that is gradually improving, by some accounts.
That increased demand, colliding with anemic, erratic supply, “is like a perfect storm for rising prices,” said Eyler.
A hit to the pocketbook
Julie Schlander feels like she’s in the eye of that storm.
“I’ve got teenage boys at home,” said Schlander, a Santa Rosa-based certified health coach. The spike in food prices, “is hitting me in the pocketbook.”
While loading groceries into her car in the Costco parking lot, she held up a 15-pack of Kirkland grass-fed beef patties that cost $23.49 — up five bucks from 18 months earlier.
“I almost put it back” because of the jacked-up price, she recalled, “but grass-fed is important to me.”
To keep her overall costs down, Schlander makes multiple trips to different stores. She also frequents, and directs clients, to Trader Joe’s, not for its produce, which is often grown and packaged “way the heck somewhere else,” but for that chain’s “pantry items,” she said.
“Canned goods, rice, tea, snacks — they have so many things you can’t beat the price on,” she said.
While she appreciates the organic options available at Costco, she regularly detours to Andy’s Produce Market in Sebastopol, “because their produce is fresher and cheaper, and they get it straight from local growers.”
Andy’s allows, on its website, that its produce may not be as inexpensive as the “large, more corporate-type farmers” stocking the shelves at Costco and Trader Joe’s. But it’s worth it to them to support area growers. That local and regional focus has insulated Andy’s, and other area food vendors, from much of the volatility rocking Big Ag these days.
“If you look at a place like Costco, I don’t care how marbled it is, I don’t care if it’s choice or prime, they’re doing all factory meat,” said Dave the Butcher, aka Dave Budworth, who runs the meat counter at the Sebastopol Community Market.
“It’s all CAFO meat,” he said, referring to the confined animal feeding operations that supply large meat processing facilities. “They have those giant plants, and they took a big hit over COVID.”
Because he deals with only regional farms, said Budworth, “there’s been no shortage” during the pandemic, “and prices aren’t up, for what I do.”
Which is not to say meat at the Community Market is cheap. The smaller, independent ranchers are at a competitive disadvantage to conglomerates dominating meat processing in the U.S.
“All the big farms, the CAFO operations, are subsidized by the government,” he said. “So the idea of raising chickens and selling them for 99 cents a pound is not realistic.”
Help from the food bank
A woman named Anna ended up paying considerably less than 99 cents per pound for the 14-pound Jennie-O turkey she hoisted from a freezer and into her cart at the Grocery Outlet in Petaluma.
“I’m using a $14 coupon,” she explained.
Anna, who chose not to give her last name, citing a desire for privacy, works in Petaluma and shops at this discount outlet on Washington Avenue.
Even though the Grocery Outlet prices are “really good,” the chain hasn’t been immune from galloping prices. The pre-seasoned Farmer John pork roast that used to cost $3.99 is up to $5.99. She’s buying it anyway.
While she likes her job and enjoys the work, the pay is modest, sometimes leaving too much month at the end of the money, as the Marty Stuart country song laments.
When that’s the case, said Anna, “I’ll go to the food bank, and then I’ll go shopping.”
On his way into Cloverdale’s Dollar General discount store, retiree John Carr said he is “definitely feeling the pinch when it comes to food.”
“I eat a lot of chicken, and even the less expensive chicken is going up. But what are you going to do?”
“My son’s a butcher at Oliver’s, but I can’t shop there. If I did,” he said with a grin, “I’d be bumming money from you.”
Teri Wells was not pleased, leaving the Dollar General. The baking aisle had been picked pretty clean, she reported. “They didn’t have any sugar. They had flour, but they didn’t have sugar of any kind.”
Those supply chain hiccups are to be expected, said Eve Brancato, taking a lap around Cloverdale’s Grocery Outlet. “You can’t shut down for two years and then expect everything to go back to normal, right away,” she said.
When might Sonoma County, and the rest of the country, get some relief from rising food prices?
While that’s a complex issue, replied Eyler, the economist, one easy way to tell when things are getting better will be “when we look out from our port cities, and don’t see a bunch of container ships that look like they’ve been sitting there for days.”
Asked when she thought inflation come back down, Schlander the health coach said, “I’m not looking that far ahead.
“I’m just trying to keep the fridge full.”
Across the country, costs for just about everything related to a Thanksgiving meal are an average of 14% higher than they were in 2020 according to the American Farm Bureau Federation. Here’s a sampling of the national averages:
16-pound turkey: $23.99 or approximately $1.50 per pound (up 24%)
2 frozen pie crusts: $2.91 (up 20%)
30-ounce can of pumpkin pie mix: $3.64 (up 7%)
Half pint of whipping cream: $1.78 (up 2%)
1 dozen dinner rolls: $3.05 (up 15%)
12-ounce bag of fresh cranberries: $2.98 (up 11%)
1 gallon of whole milk: $3.30 (up 7%)
1 pound of frozen peas: $1.54 (up 6%)
3 pounds of sweet potatoes: $3.56 (up 4%)
1-pound veggie tray (carrots & celery): 82 cents (up 12%)
Misc. ingredients to prepare the meal: $3.45 (up 12%)
14-ounce bag of cubed stuffing mix: $2.29 (down 19%)
(Santa Rosa Press Democrat)
CATCH OF THE DAY, November 22, 2021
RENE CABADA, Ukiah. Domestic battery.
LEWIS DISHMAN, Ukiah. Failure to appear, probation revocation.
ANGELA FREASE, Covelo. Controlled substance, paraphernalia, county parole violation.
DAKOTA GIMPLE, Willits. Battery, criminal threats, disorderly conduct-alcohol.
WILLIAM MCREE, Fort Bragg. DUI.
GABRIEL PATTERSON, Covelo. Criminal threats, probation revocation.
JOSE RUIZ-MARTINEZ, Laytonville. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.
ROXANNE SCARIONI, Willits. Disobeying court order, probation revocation.
CHRISTINA TORRES, Hopland. Burglary, under influence, contempted of court, probation revocation.
NIALL VANNUCCI, Burglary, probation revocation.
ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY
It always baffles me that with so many intelligent, decent and honest people of every variation of race and color available, the only ones that manage to get into positions of importance and power are the scumbags. I guess a totally corrupt system HAS to have totally corrupt individuals working the system or heaven forbid, it might turn around.
RITTENHOUSE'S DEADLY ANTICS were not the only incredibly dangerous and dumb actions perpetrated in this depressing saga. President Joe Biden, then a presidential candidate, instantly branded Rittenhouse a “white supremacist” in the aftermath of the August 2020 shootings, and even used his photo in a tweet to do so. The Kenosha shootings shone an ugly spotlight on many of America's biggest problems from toxic tribal political tensions to crazy gun laws. But they weren't about race. And shame on all those who sought to make the American public think otherwise.
— Piers Morgan
AMAZON FOUNDER JEFF BEZOS GIFTS $100M TO OBAMA FOUNDATION
Former President Barack Obama’s foundation said Monday it has received a $100 million donation from Amazon founder Jeff Bezos that it says is the largest individual contribution it has received to date....
A BIG FLIP?
Proposing a hypothetical: What if “Joe Biden” has worsening symptoms of an adverse reaction to his late September Covid booster shot? Does that account for the sudden flurry of interest in how his handlers might manage the problem of Kamala Harris? And what is the problem with Kamala Harris? That she is Vice-president and next-in-line for Commander-in-chief in the (adverse) event that “JB” has to step aside. And why is that a problem? Because she is widely loathed and distrusted among those who know her in Washington.
That’s what bubbled up last week as “Joe Biden” went into Walter Reed Hospital for a checkup, including an alleged colonoscopy. What if that was not the test he had? What if they ran him through a CT scan or an MRI to detect neurological damage or vascular irregularities in his brain? (In 1988, “JB” did have a couple of brain aneurysms and endured a four-and-a-half-hour microsurgical craniotomy.) Briefly during this exam, Veep Kamala Harris carried the nuclear football, gaining no yardage in the process, but curdling the spinal fluxes of many casual observers in our nation’s capital. Later, the president’s doctors issued a detailed report that portrayed an elderly gentleman “fit to successfully execute the duties of the presidency….”
And so, for the next three days “Joe Biden” proceeded in his august duties. Late Friday, after the checkup ordeal, he successfully pardoned a Thanksgiving turkey (convicted of mis-gendering a capon). On Saturday, he successfully attended evening mass at a church in Wilmington. And on Sunday he did nothing, with apparent success. Today, he flies to Fort Bragg for a “Friendsgiving dinner” with soldiers. One must imagine that Kamala Harris could keep up with a schedule like that, though perhaps without successfully easing the woes and travails of the American people in this time of Covid, Climate Change, inflation, and white supremacist terrorism.
So, you see, whatever might be going on with “Joe Biden” health-wise has got to be a national security matter. And so, considering that our government lies liberally about thousands of other matters of lesser importance, one can see that they would be motivated to not tell the truth about “JB’s” checkup.
Also, of course, getting rid of Ms. Harris would be another extremely touchy matter, starting from the basic proposition of declaring a woman-of-color not sufficiently competent to lead the nation. Say, what…?!? Don’t even think about it! But then imagine our Veep elevated to the highest office: all a’giggle when meeting other heads-of-state, trying out amusing foreign accents on visits abroad (our own Inspector Clouseau), attending to the “root causes” of illegal immigration by remote viewing, perhaps declining to pardon next year’s Thanksgiving turkey, but rather persuading AG Merrick Garland to bring additional charges.
Who might the Democratic Party scrounge up to replace poor Kamala Harris, anyway? Surely it would have to be another woman-of-color. In terms of sheer seniority, the nod ought to go to Maxine Waters. Wouldn’t that be a helluva ride? I’d like to see her duke it out with Uncle Xi and head-fake nasty old Vlad Putin. For sheer liberal sadomasochism, though, I’d have to put my money on Rashida Tlaib, a born punisher if ever there was one. She’d have all those white supremacist enemies-of-the-state duck-walking through the federal courts like so many cattle through the slaughterhouse. And then capitalism will go on trial, ensuring that no one will ever work for a living again in this land as the government is anointed Breadwinner-in-chief.
Following this year’s great celebration of thankful prayer, gluttony, football, and napping, we can look forward to the battle over raising the national debt ceiling. There will be much remonstrating and rending of garments, and then Congress will cave and boost it. Enjoy the histrionics between your own Black Friday battles in the chain store aisles over the vanishing inventory of Christmas schwag and the vanishing purchasing power of your dollars. Or else just drive up to a Nordstrom’s with eighty of your close friends and enjoy the new style of shopping: bum-rush the clerks, grab everything you can get your hands on, and dash back to the car. Just keep it under $950 and you’ll be fine. Happy holidays, everyone!
— James Kunstler
PANCHO VILLA visiting with members of the Procissi family at the Ojuela mine in Durango, Mexico
Francisco "Pancho" Villa (born José Doroteo Arango Arámbula; 5 June 1878 – 20 July 1923) was a Mexican Revolutionary general and one of the most prominent figures of the Mexican Revolution.
As commander of the División del Norte (Division of the North) in the Constitutionalist Army, he was a military-landowner (caudillo) of the northern Mexican state of Chihuahua. Given the area's size and mineral wealth, it provided him with extensive resources. Villa was also provisional Governor of Chihuahua in 1913 and 1914. Villa can be credited with decisive military victories leading to the ousting of Victoriano Huerta from the presidency in July 1914. Villa then fought his erstwhile leader in the coalition against Huerta, "First Chief" of the Constitutionalists Venustiano Carranza. Villa was in alliance with southern revolutionary Emiliano Zapata, who remained fighting in his own region of Morelos. The two revolutionary generals briefly came together to take Mexico City after Carranza's forces retreated from it. Later, Villa's heretofore undefeated División del Norte engaged the military forces of Carranza under Carrancista general Álvaro Obregón and was defeated in the 1915 Battle of Celaya. Villa was again defeated by Carranza, 1 November 1915, at the Second Battle of Agua Prieta 1 November 1915, after which Villa's army collapsed as a significant military force.
Villa subsequently led a hit and run raid against the small U.S.-Mexican border town in the Battle of Columbus 9 March 1916 and then fled in fear of USA retaliation. The U.S. government sent U.S. Army General John J. Pershing to capture Villa who continued to run and hide in an unsuccessful nine-month incursion into Mexican sovereign territory (Pancho Villa Expedition) that ended when the United States entered World War I and Pershing was recalled.
In 1920, Villa made an agreement with the Mexican government, following the ousting and death of Carranza, to retire from hostilities and was given an hacienda near Parral, Chihuahua, which he turned into a "military colony" for his former soldiers. In 1923, as presidential elections approached, he re-involved himself in Mexican politics. Shortly thereafter he was assassinated, most likely on the orders of Obregón.
In life, Villa helped fashion his own image as an internationally known revolutionary hero, starring as himself in Hollywood films and giving interviews to foreign journalists, most notably John Reed
After his death, he was excluded from the pantheon of revolutionary heroes until the Sonoran generals Obregón and Calles, whom he battled during the Revolution, were gone from the political stage. Villa's exclusion from the official narrative of the Revolution might have contributed to his continued posthumous popular acclaim. He was celebrated during the Revolution and long afterward by corridos, movies about his life, and novels by prominent writers. In 1976, his remains were reburied in the Monument to the Revolution in Mexico City in a huge public ceremony not attended by his widow Luz Corral
DEMOCRATS ARE PUSHING TAX BREAKS FOR THE RICH
Democrats were vaulted into office on popular promises to tax the wealthy, but they are now generating national headlines about their proposal to provide new tax breaks narrowly targeted to enrich their affluent blue-state donors — just as a new survey shows nearly two thirds of Americans see the party as "out of touch with the concerns of most people." And now the Republican machine is gearing up to demagogue the issue in 2022.
IT SHOULD BE CLEARLY OBVIOUS to anyone with with a measurable IQ, that just as he's relying on the hundreds of federal judges placed for nothing more than their political affiliation, and willingness to tow the Corporate, Religious, Party of Trump line, that Donald is busily working at replacing every State level Republican Member, with one that will play ball, and give him what he wants if he chooses to pull this stunt again. As well, the party is busy at work, preening out every Republican willing to vote on conscience, duty, integrity, and belief in the order of law, in exchange for endless power over a country that will cease to be a Democracy.
The slow motion coup has not stopped. If anything, it has picked up steam. The only thing protecting us, is the fact that if the Democrats can get their act(s) together and convince the people that the Build Back America Plan was both in their best interests, and the pure accomplishment of Joe Biden, that Donald will refuse to run again, because his fragile ego, couldn't survive losing again. These are dangerous times. Donald came very close to becoming America's first dictator, and if given a second bite of the apple, knows exactly how to win this time, whether he's elected, or not. Our best hope is that he's successfully indicted in the next year, ends up in prison, and that even his most loyal followers give up the hope of his running the nation from a cell in Attica.
— Marie Tobias
CENTRAL CITY, one of the West's most historically significant mining towns, was the economic center of Colorado for nearly two decades.
WHAT WE KNOW ABOUT 5 LARGE ROBBERIES IN SF BAY AREA IN PAST WEEK
by Amy Graff
Groups of thieves ransacked retail stores across the San Francisco Bay Area in recent days, leading to nearly a half-dozen brazen robberies in the past week, officials said.
The most recent robberies occurred Sunday night. A group of burglars made off with merchandise at a Lululemon store at Santana Row mall in San Jose, and 30 miles away in the East Bay, a group of nine hammer-wielding robbers stormed the Sam's Jewelers at the Southland Mall in Hayward, officials said.
In Hayward, thieves smashed glass cases and took an unknown amount of jewelry, said Cassondra Fovel, a spokesperson for the Hayward Police Department. "They're still taking inventory of what was stolen," Fovel said.
In some cases, the incidents occurred too fast for police to make any arrests. Sgt. Christian Camarillo, a spokesperson for the San Jose Police Department, said the group at Santana Row was gone before police arrived.
Hayward police said Monday morning that no arrests have been made so far after the Southland Mall robbery.
On Saturday night, a mass of 80 people rushed the Nordstrom in Walnut Creek, reportedly freely taking items and running out of the store to hop into cars in what police said was "clearly a planned event."
Two employees were assaulted and one was pepper sprayed by the suspects, the Walnut Creek Police Department said in a statement. Officers responded quickly to the mayhem, stopping one of the cars and arresting two people, one of whom had a firearm, the statement said. One other suspect in that case was arrested, police said.
The Walnut Creek Police Department didn't immediately respond to a requests for updates on the incident Monday morning.
The night before, the San Francisco Police Department arrested eight suspects (two female adults and six male adults) after multiple robberies at Union Square stores. Videos posted on social media showed shattered glass and empty shelves at the Louis Vuitton store and people running from the store with merchandise.
San Francisco Police Department Chief Bill Scott said at a Nov. 20 press conference that what happened the night of Nov. 19 was "unacceptable in all forms."
Scott said the department responded to numerous calls at about 8 p.m. Friday of several burglaries at Union Square stores, including Louis Vuitton and Saint Laurent on Geary, Burberry and Bloomingdale's at Westfield San Francisco Centre, Maxferd Jewelry on Kearny Street and Walgreens on Market.
He said burglary attempts were made at Fendi, Hermes and Giorgio Armani on Maiden Lane but were thwarted by police.
He said that while eight suspects were arrested, others got away. "I am very confident that more arrests will follow," he said. "We know there are more. I've seen the videos." He added some of the suspects' homes will be searched.
He said there is no doubt in his mind that this was planned.
Mayor London Breed called what happened "horrible."
"What we saw in terms of the vandalism and really the unfortunate incident that occurred was detrimental to our city," Breed said. "What happens when people vandalize and commit those level of crimes in San Francisco, we not only lose those businesses, we lose those jobs, we lose that tax revenue that helps to support our economy that helps to support many of the social service programs that we have in the first place."
Breed added that people who commit vandalism or theft in San Francisco "will be held accountable" and "brought to justice."
The weekend robberies came after an incident last Monday night, Nov. 15, when nine suspects wiped out the inventory at an East Bay jewelry store, smashing glass cases with hammers and grabbing jewels, police said.
The alleged thieves entered Iceberg Diamonds at Sun Valley Mall in Concord at 7:30 p.m., the Concord Police Department said. Employees attempted to intervene and the suspects held them off with their hammers, police said in a statement.
The suspects fled before police arrived on scene. Video footage shared by police shows a fast-moving group pounding at the jewelry cases, glass spewing everywhere.
TOP COVID HOST NATIONS & HUNTING GROUNDS
THE U.S. WAS NOT PREPARED FOR A PANDEMIC – Free Market Capitalism and Government Deregulation May Be to Blame
by Elanah Uretsky
It’s unclear when the pandemic will come to an end. What may be an even more important question is whether the U.S. will be prepared for the next one. The past year and a half suggests that the answer may be no.
As a medical anthropologist who has spent the past 20 years studying how the Chinese government reacts to infectious disease, my research can provide insight into how countries, including the U.S., can better prepare for disease outbreaks.
Researchers agree that a good response starts with a strong public health system. But this is something that has been sidelined by the United States’ neoliberal system, which places more value on free markets and deregulation than public welfare.
As US neoliberalism evolved, public health devolved
Neoliberal economic policies became popular in the 1980s during the Reagan and Thatcher eras. This new approach aimed to make government leaner and more efficient through measures like market deregulation, privatization and reduction of government provision of public services like health and education – resources that do not necessarily lend themselves to market production.
While neoliberal governments still work to promote the health, welfare and security of their citizens, they place the responsibility of providing those services in the hands of private entities like health insurance companies and nongovernmental organizations. This gives the government space to focus on economic performance.
But placing responsibility for a public good into the hands of a private corporation turns that good into a commodity that people need to buy, rather than a service publicly available to all.
Spending on health care in the U.S., including on hospitals, medications and private insurance, has more than tripled in the past 60 years. But the public health system that helps the nation prepare for the unexpected has been neglected.
U.S. spending on the local health departments that help to avert epidemic outbreaks and protect the health of populations fell by 18% between 2010 and 2021. Two and a half cents of every medical dollar goes toward public health, a figure that has fallen from 1930 levels of 3.3 cents of every dollar. This has allowed the U.S. to manage health risks like chronic diseases that threaten individual’s health. But it leaves the nation inadequately prepared for population-level major health threats that have a much bigger effect on the economy and society.
Public health cuts left the U.S with a skeletal workforce to manage the pandemic. Because of this, responsibility fell to individuals. For example, without mandatory workplace COVID-19 safety guidelines, essential workers faced daily exposure to the coronavirus with insufficient to no protective gear and sanitizing supplies. They had to protect both their own health and the health of their families when they returned home, a difficult task without proper resources and support.
And this was not unique to the U.S. There were similar COVID-19 outcomes in other neoliberal countries like the U.K. and India that had shifted priorities away from public health.
How Asian nations learned their lessons
The story was different in many Asian nations where people enjoy the same types of individual liberties as those who live in neoliberal societies. The difference is a collectivist type of mindset that guides these societies and encourages people and government to take responsibility for one another. In her book Flexible Citizenship, anthropologist Aihwa Ong argues that this leads to a societal model where citizens can be independent and self-reliant while also able to rely on a state that supports the collective. Countries like Taiwan and South Korea may have been better prepared to respond to the pandemic because most people are accustomed to protecting themselves and their communities.
Like China, these countries also learned from their recent experience with a pandemic. In 2003, China and much of Asia were caught off guard with the emergence of SARS. Like the U.S., China’s public health system had taken a backseat to investment in market reforms for over 20 years. As a result, it couldn’t accurately track individual cases of infections.
Following the end of the SARS outbreak, however, the Chinese government improved training for public health professionals and developed one of the most sophisticated disease surveillance systems in the world. This allowed China to respond more quickly to the 2009 H1N1 pandemic and late 2019 COVID-19 outbreaks, once it was able to get past the initial bureaucratic and political hurdles that prevented local doctors and government officials from sounding the alarm.
Some have attributed this swift action to China’s authoritarian form of government that allows for greater control over individual lives. But prioritizing public health is not new to China. This became official practice as early as 1910 when it adopted the methods of quarantine, surveillance and masking to respond to an outbreak of pneumonic plague.
Could this work in the US?
Much like SARS did with China, COVID-19 has exposed huge holes in the American public health infrastructure.
Take for example contact tracing. SARS taught China and other affected countries the importance of a robust system to identify and track people who may have been exposed to the COVID-19 virus. The Chinese government sent more than 1,800 teams of scientific investigators to Wuhan to trace the virus, which helped their efforts to quickly bring the virus under control.
In the U.S., on the other hand, poorly funded and thinly staffed public health departments struggled to test and notify people who had been in direct contact with infected individuals. This crippled the U.S.‘s ability to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
In my home state of Massachusetts, the local government teamed up with the global health organization Partners in Health to start a contact tracing operation. But even then, people were left to fend for themselves. This became all the more evident as people scrambled for vaccines after their initial approval, through Facebook groups and informal volunteer networks that worked to help people secure appointments. Those who had resources learned how to take advantage of the system while others were overlooked.
This is typical of a U.S. health care system that is consumer-oriented and market-based. Americans are often convinced that the solution to a health problem must be technical and costly. The focus was placed on developing vaccines and therapeutics, which are essential for ending the pandemic, while ignoring lower-cost solutions.
But masking and social distancing – non-pharmaceutical interventions that have long been known to save lives during disease outbreaks – fell by the wayside. Uptake of these simple interventions is dependent on strong and coordinated public health messaging.
As seen in several Asian nations like Taiwan and South Korea, a well-thought-out plan for public health communication is key to a unified response. Without clear, coordinated directions from a public health system, it becomes difficult to prevent the spread of an outbreak.
What it takes to be prepared
Anthropologist Andrew Lakoff describes preparedness as more than just having the tools. It’s also about knowing how and when to use them, and keeping the public properly informed.
Such preparedness can only happen in a coordinated fashion organized by national leadership. But the U.S. has seen little of this over the past year and a half, leaving pandemic response up to individuals. In an era where emergent viruses are an increasing threat to health and welfare, the individualism of neoliberal policies is not enough. While neoliberalism can be good for an economy, it’s not so good for health.