Easterly Winds | Ridge Hotel | Jailhouse Covid | Open Mouth | 2 More Deaths | Trailer Tracking | Pill Dump | Forest Defenders | Albion Church | Dem Club | Body Surfing | Groundhog Day | Noyo Ferry | Library Control | Calm Jimmy | Packer History | County Notes | White Deer | Strategic Plan | Woodworking Show | Celebrating Women | Loose Gravel | Food Hub | Trailer Space | Welcome Loaf | Ed Notes | Yesterday's Catch | Solar Pays | Pocket Weenies | Do Over | Landry Leaping | War Party | Walt Garrison | About Ukraine | Got Nothing | Grading Biden | Burnett Stare | Died Once | Hare Krishna | Caspar Cabins
STRATUS PERSISTS THIS MORNING at the coast and areas adjacent. Easterly winds will help skies clear this afternoon with stratus lingering just off of the coast. Otherwise, another temperate and fair weather day. (NWS)
The Mendocino County Jail has had an outbreak of COVID-19 amongst the inmate population and staff. The Sheriff’s Office has continued to utilize personal protective equipment for jail staff as well as abided by all mandates and direction from the CDC, Cal OSHA and the Public Health Doctor. Despite our best efforts, COVID-19 cases are on the rise in the jail. Some of the difficulties in preventing the spread are the open-air design of the aging jail facility, the constant turnover of inmates in custody and the rise in COVID-positive arrestees being brought into the facility.
In the last two weeks, the jail has seen 62 cases of COVID-19 among the inmates. Several inmates have recovered in custody while some others have been released by the courts and returned home to finish their isolation period. The current number of cases in the jail is 45.
As part of the safety procedures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the jail, all incoming arrestees are tested upon entry into the facility. Once booked into custody, arrestees are quarantined for 10-days. The entire jail population is tested twice weekly. Staff members are likewise tested twice a week at the beginning and end of their workweek.
Inmates in affected areas are being quarantined in order to prevent further spread. Some early releases of sentenced inmates who are approaching their release date have been done in order to decrease the jail population. The jail is also continuing to cite out lower-risk offenders to control the population.
Jail staff has also been affected by the recent surge of COVID-19. Since December 2021, 29 jail employees including correctional staff, support staff, nurses and administrative staff have tested positive.
To date, inmates and staff have reported only minor symptoms as a result of their COVID-19 exposure.
TWO MORE COVID DEATHS
Two Mendocino County residents recently passed away with COVID-19. Our thoughts are with their families and friends.
Death #112: 68 year-old man from the North County area; unvaccinated with no comorbidities.
Death #113: 77 year-old woman from the South Coast area; fully vaccinated with comorbidities.
Public Health asks all Mendocino County residents to consider the best ways to protect themselves and their families from COVID-19. When in doubt, consult with and follow all CDC and CDPH guidance. Vaccination, masking, and social distancing remain the best tools for combating COVID-19.
Fully vaccinated people should strongly consider getting a COVID-19 booster to improve immunity. Boosters are available for everyone age 12 and older. If you have questions about boosters or vaccines in general, speak with your doctor, or call Public Health at 707-472-2759. To find the nearest vaccine clinic in your area, please visit the Public Health website at: www.mendocinocounty.org/covidvaccine
STOLEN TRAILER FLYER with Cam images!
The car that is towing my stolen trailer (from Gschwend Road) is a white Ford Explorer, year 2004 we think. It was seen by a camera on Dec. 31st at 4:11 pm driving southbound in Philo.
I am looking for more camera coverage on this day and timing. Does any other business have camera coverage on hwy 128? The trailer was then seen near Yorkville after 5 pm heading south. Please keep your eyes out for this vehicle. I have reason to believe this is a local job and perhaps connected to the mail thefts.
I thank you all for your support in this project. It takes a community to stop this kind of activity.
Kira Brennan <firstname.lastname@example.org>
FOREST DEFENDERS RETURN TO THE RED TAIL THP - Celebrate “Strategic Pause” with Morning of Music, Dancing, and Eyewitnessing of Mismanagement
Fort Bragg, CA - This morning, Monday January 24th, Forest Defenders gathered at the Red Tail THP to protest continued mis-management of the forest, and the use of citizens arrests to bar access to the public’s forest. The protest was originally dubbed “Safety First” and was organized to highlight the illegal actions of private security officer Paul Trouette - owner of Lear Asset Management, in JDSF.
Although logging is ongoing in the Red Tail THP, Trouette, Calfire, and the Licensed Timber Operators didn’t show up for work today. As a result, the protest turned into a three hour celebration, interspersed with information sharing and an “eye witness walk in the forest.” The demonstrators also happily acknowledged the “Strategic Pause” announced recently by the Board of Forestry <https://savejackson.org/board-of-forestry-announces-no-additional-plans-to-be-sold-in-jdsf-in-2022-public-responds-with-rally-for-real-change/>- meaning no new harvests have been approved in JDSF in 2022.
Dozens of people gathered in the pullout at the top of the Camp One Access Road, including several youth climate activists who have been organizing in local schools. Midway through the three hour rally, activists and reporters risked arrest by entering the THP to “witness the carnage” left behind by recent logging. They found several cut areas, including a number of large redwoods and douglas fir trees over 100 years of age that had been felled and stacked into log decks close to twice the height of the youth protesters.
The Red Tail Timber Harvest Plan is located in what Calfire calls an “Old Forest Development Area”, which sets a strict limit on what percentage of the overall forest can legally be removed during harvest- a limit that the THP is exceeding <https://savejackson.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/12/Red-Tail-THP-Violates-JDSF-Option-A.pdf>. One activist joked: “they should call it an Old Forest Devastation Area.”
Activists are concerned that Calfire is preparing to resume cutting large redwoods in another hotly contested THP: the Caspar 500. Caspar 500 was the site of ongoing nonviolent direct action last summer, including tree sits in massive redwoods known as Mama Tree and the Gemini Tree. Logging began in Caspar on June 10th, and was halted less than two weeks later. It has not yet resumed.
Today’s protest called attention to CalFire’s continued logging despite the “moratorium” on new plans. Forest Defenders pledge to “renew their efforts to raise awareness of the destructive commercial timber harvest practices in the publicly-owned forest. We are determined to achieve a REAL moratorium on all logging in JDSF until the management plan can be updated to reflect Tribal co management and modern climate science.”
Michelle McMillan, 707-734-0588, email@example.com
COAST DEMOCRATIC CLUB MEETING FEB 3
DOES OUR HOSPITAL HAVE A FUTURE? A PUBLIC FORUM
Thursday, February 3, 2022, 6 - 8 PM ON Zoom
Join Assemblymember Jim Wood, Chair, Assembly Health Committee and Representatives from:
- Adventist Health
- Mendocino Coast Clinics
- Mendocino Coast Healthcare Foundation
- Mendocino Coast Healthcare District Board
- Measure C Oversight Committee
- Supervisors Ted Williams and Dan Gjerde
Questions for Presenters? Submit to firstname.lastname@example.org by Feb 3
Meeting ID: 707 684 0646
One tap mobile+16699009128, 7076840646#, 878873#
MENDOCINO FILM FESTIVAL PRESENTS GROUNDHOG DAY, starring Bill Murray, on Groundhog Day, Feb. 2nd at Coast Cinemas in Fort Bragg at 7pm.
Tickets are $15 at the door, on Eventive, or on the Coast Cinemas' website or app.
Our program is sponsored by Dahlias By the Sea, KOZT & KZYX.
REGARDING THE PROPOSED MEASURE to fund the library with another sales tax measure...
Linda Bailey Comments: I was an activist for increased tax support for the County Library, both the failed parcel tax and successful Measure A. However, I will not support this tax proposal unless and until the library is structured in accordance with the governing statute for County Free Libraries. It currently is treated as a County department for command and control by the CEO and as a special district, which it legally is, for the financial accounting. This hybrid model deprives the County Librarian of the ability to purchase equipment according to his/her professional judgment; for example, three designs for the new circulation desk in Ukiah were submitted before the CEO gave her approval. Importantly, this arrangement also empowers the CEO to siphon off library funds for county personnel through A87 charges – check out the last budget. Requiring equipment purchases to be made through GSA (in the CEO’s office) not only prevents the librarian from possible economies but also enables charging the library for any time that any county employee spends processing the purchase.
GEORGE KITTLE ON JIMMY G: “The shit that he takes, excuse my language, consistently, people just try to pull him down, and all he does is try to deliver. He leads this team, he has a sense of calm in the huddle, he has a sense of calm in the storm, and he allows us to play football at a high level.”
TUESDAY, January 25, the Wisconsin state legislature will introduce a bill prohibiting the teaching of “The Packers lost” in public schools.
by Mark Scaramella
(Below is the first and most important item in CEO Carmel Angelo’s Report to the Supervisors for Tuesday, January 25 Board meeting.)
“Health and Human Services Review and Board of Supervisors Decisions — There have been multiple questions regarding the fate of Health and Human Services. The decisions by the Board thus far are: 1. Social Services is a stand alone department. 2. Dr. Jenine Miller is leading the Behavioral Health Department including SUDT. The Board of Supervisors did not determine if Behavioral Health or Public Health would be combined or stand alone departments. When the Strategic Plan comes forward to the Board of Supervisors, they will decide how to move forward with Behavioral Health and Public Health. While the appearance may be that all decisions have been made, that is not correct. The Board of Supervisors will make all decisions in the near future.”
The phrasing of this presumably important CEO Report note is perplexing.
First the CEO says “Social Services is a stand alone department.” Then she says “the appearance” that decisions have been made “is not correct.” Who gave that appearance? Where did it come from? Why not say, “The Board has not yet decided if Social Services will be a stand alone department”?
Then she says that the question of combining Behavioral (nee Mental) Health with Public Health will be part of the Strategic Plan process.
So why isn’t Social Services part of that process as well?
We also wonder why the CEO chose to frame this item as “the fate of Health and Human Services.” It’s probably not a good idea to use a phrase that is usually applied to more momentus matters like “the fate of the world hangs in the balance.”
Two (or three, or four — whatever) departments diverged in a wood, and Mendo took the one less traveled. The one we had to hack through the bush with a dull machete. And that has made all of them worse.
* * *
IN COUNTY AG NEWS from the CEO Report (which of course is read and followed closely by the local wine industry):
“The county AG office will be available for testing vineyard thermometers in February.”
Readers wondering why this item is 1) an item the County is concerned about to the point of providing it as a service to vineyard owners, or 2) why it might be important, may want to note that Mendo is always available to help the wine mob, even for such seemingly minor things as vineyard thermometer testing.
If the vineyard thermometers are wrong or malfunctioning, the wine mob might turn on their frost protection water or their giant loud wind fans too late in the day and a few precious grapes might die on the vine. It’s unlikely that they’re concerned about thermometer malfunctions in the other direction which might result in the frost protection water or loud wind fans being turned on too early thereby wasting precious water or keeping everyone up at night.
But either way, we’re surprised to see an item like this buried in the CEO report and not in a press release to or from the wine industry.
* * *
“Measure B: Mobile Crisis Response - Our second Mental Health Rehabilitation Specialist for Mobile Crisis has completed training and will be adjusting his schedule by the end of January so Mobile Crisis will be operational in the inland region seven days a week 8 am to 6 pm. Recruitment continues to fill the vacancy on the coast.”
”Crisis Residential Treatment -The ribbon-cutting ceremony was a huge success. Attendees had glowing praise for the look of the facility. Progress continues toward licensing.”
Mendo has had years of time and an expensive consultant to produce the $5 million house (Crisis Residential Treatment) that could have been purchased for $1 million and they are are still “continuing toward licensing”? Pretty common timing, actually.
PS. Do you know why the county is trying to fill the third crisis van staffer position (aka “Mental Health Rehabilitation Specialist”) for the Coast? Because it’s budgeted? No. Because it was funded two years ago and is still vacant? No. Because people in crisis on the Coast really need it? No. None of those reasons.
The CEO’s “justification of filled positions” chart reports that this position should be filled because: “Risk of not meeting State and Federal mandates, risk of overtime and/or assigning duties elsewhere, working someone out of class.”
If those “state and federal mandates” are going unmet, nobody seems concerned because they’ve been going unmet for decades now. And if anyone is providing crisis van services on the Coast via overtime it’s the Sheriff’s deputies on overtime and we all know how concerned the CEO is about Sheriff’s department overtime.
It’s very important that the community understands that with the Strategic Plan have come conversations about merging and in some cases unmerging departments. There is much work to do to improve transparency and community access in County departments. I believe we can work on that together with the Department Heads. This report is issued monthly and has updates from departments, directives, current vacancy rates etc. I created screen shots to give you access to the information but if you can’t read it or want more information please look at the BOS Agenda for 1/25/22.
THE KRENOV SCHOOL MID-WINTER SHOW
The Krenov School of Fine Woodworking's Mid-Winter Show runs this week, through the 30th, at the Barn on Cypress Street, 369 Cypress St. in Fort Bragg. The show is open from 10 to 6. They're limiting attendance to eight at a time but the traffic is light so it shouldn't be a problem to just drop in (wear your mask, please). If you want to reserve a slot, call 964-7056.
The work is exquisite, as we've come to expect from the Krenov School's students. Don't miss the once-a-year opportunity to see some of the world's finest woodworking. Right here in Fort Bragg!
BE THERE! WOMEN'S HISTORY 2022
We have moved the date for our Women's History Celebration to March 20, 2022. With March being Women’s History Month, the Mendocino Women’s Political Coalition (MWPC) has been drawing our annual theme from the National Women’s History Alliance to select three Mendocino County women to honor who embody the theme. This year the theme is “Women Providing Healing, Promoting Hope.” Traditionally, the Gala includes music, poetry, speeches from the Honorees, a silent auction, and a featured elected CA State speaker. MWPC has been leading this major Mendocino County event for 39 years with all of the electeds from the area in attendance. Our Women’s History Gala will be Sunday, March 20, 2022. The doors will open at noon. The program will run from 1 - 3 pm. Our guest speaker will be Malia Cohen, Chair of the Board of Equalization. Our M.C. will be Wendy DeWitt so you can anticipate a lively program. Folks may nominate a woman who has brought Healing and Hope in this time of pandemic.
* * *
Nominations Are Open for Honorees:
39th Annual Women’s History Gala Celebration
The Mendocino Women’s Political Coalition (MWPC), Ukiah AAUW and the Cloud Forest Institue has launched the planning for the 39th Annual Women’s History Gala Celebration to be held at the Saturday Afternoon Clubhouse in Ukiah. Mark your Calendars & Save the Date: Sunday March 20, 2022. Three women in Mendocino County will be honored to represent the 2022 theme: “Women Providing Healing, Promoting Hope"
The National Women’s History Month theme for 2022 honors women who, in both public and private life, provide healing and promote hope for the betterment of all. Our Mendocino County 2022 Honorees may represent many diverse backgrounds and each may have made her mark in a different field. Our theme is both a tribute to the ceaseless work of caregivers and frontline workers during this ongoing pandemic and also a recognition of the thousands of ways that women of all cultures have provided both healing and hope thoughout history.
While each Honoree will be extraordinary, each will also be ordinary in her own way. Most importantly, the 2022 Honorees will inspire women and girls to follow.
Please send your nomination via email to email@example.com with the following information:
1. Name of nominee to include her telephone number(s) and email address.
2. Two sentences to explain how your nominee fits the 2022 theme.
3. Three paragraphs to describe why your nomination deserves to be a 2022 Honoree.
4. Deadline: All nominations must be received by February 4, 2022
If you submit more than one nominee, please remember to send a separate email for each of your nominations. When you prepare your email submission, make the subject: 2022 Nomination.
Congratulations to the Mendo-Lake Food Hub - a vital link in distributing healthy local food and promoting the sustainability of local small farms. Just one of many worthwhile projects supported by North Coast Opportunities, our local Community Action Agency.
RENTAL WANTED: Locally employed, mature writer seeking quiet, private parking place in Anderson Valley for 30-foot 2018 self-contained trailer to work on artistic projects. Please consider renting me a little slice of your “North 40.” I can pay a little cash, or am willing to negotiate trade for legitimate services. Call Katherine at 707 272-3301. Please leave a message.
THE GRANDKIDS came home with a note announcing that an Asian woman is giving a class for parents called, “How to raise a non-racist child.”
Uh, children get a lot of their foundational information about the world from their parents, much of which in all areas of adult life has to be unlearned. Looking back, my parents seemed to view racist terms and practices as more of a class indicator than the lethally dangerous attitude it was. And is. “Nice people don't use that word,” etc. Anyway, race relations have never been better in this country, the one area of American life where we've made real progress, but to hear the tv talkers making their livings off race baiting you'd think the Klan was still out there night-riding. Look around, for chrissakes — millions of genuinely loyal, affectionate inter-racial relationships where sixty years ago there were virtually none.
TERMS that never fail to irritate me: “Senior White House correspondent” implies a whole room full of them but the “senior” just happens to be an implausibly beautiful blonde woman; “Y'all” as used by non-Southerners; “folks,” I'd rather be a people, which is what we are to the folks deploying this falsely folksie term; “Be well,” I'm happy with “See ya” rather than that particular virtue signal; “intersectionality,” big with the intellectual fakes but no real meaning other than the hard road faced often by minority women, especially Black and Hispanic women with no money. The people who throw the term around are highly paid academics afraid to blame capitalism for fear of not being invited back to daytime television.
THIS NOTICE on the Ukiah front door of The Office restaurant: “Closed due to hefty staff shortage.” Ukiah has never seemed short of hefties to me, but I'll keep looking.
ALTERNATE REALITIES DEPARTMENT. Waiting for my car to be serviced the other day, the only mag in the waiting room was “California Firing Line” where I read, “It would take 76 years to complete gun confiscation in a city of 100,000.” The writer concluded that the cops don't have the manpower to bring it off. Whew.
IS IT FUTILE to hope that Terry Bradshaw will soon disappear from NFL football? That whole half-time crew with their false bonhomie and forced hilarity at Terry's moronic antics long ago crossed over from irritating to painfully unamusing.
THE MORE, ahem, socially conscious fans will know that Green Bay, city of, owns both the team and the stadium the team plays in while in every other city of saps the city builds a stadium for the private owner of the team.
GASTROMANIA. At last a true headline over a story about how the vapid wealthy spend their weekends: “Eat, Drink, Shop — Repeat.”
CATCH OF THE DAY, January 24, 2022
CHRISTIAN AGUILAR-HERNANDEZ, Ukiah. Domestic battery.
CECIL DIXON, Fort Bragg. Grossly negligent discharge of firearm, concealed firearm in vehicle, loaded firearm in public, loaded handgun not registered owner, ammo possession by prohibited person.
RANDY GIBNEY, Fort Bragg. Domestic battery, child neglect, witness intimidation.
SHAWN STARK, Ukiah. DUI.
The “solar users don’t pay their fair share of delivery costs” meme has been expressed by several people. This is false on the face of it. We installed solar power, which reduces the amount of electricity that we buy from PG&E. We pay delivery charges on the power that PG&E does provide. If we don’t buy enough from PG&E in a given month, we pay a minimum use fee. To say that we are not paying our fair share of delivery costs makes no more sense than saying the same thing of people who reduce their PG&E bill by upgrading the insulation in their house or buying energy-efficient appliances.
L. Robert Hill
IF I HAD MY LIFE TO LIVE OVER
by Erma Bombeck (1979)
Someone asked me the other day if I had my life to live over would I change anything.
My answer was no, but then I thought about it and changed my mind.
If I had my life to live over again I would have waxed less and listened more.
Instead of wishing away nine months of pregnancy and complaining about the shadow over my feet, I’d have cherished every minute of it and realized that the wonderment growing inside me was to be my only chance in life to assist God in a miracle.
I would never have insisted the car windows be rolled up on a summer day because my hair had just been teased and sprayed.
I would have invited friends over to dinner even if the carpet was stained and the sofa faded.
I would have eaten popcorn in the “good” living room and worried less about the dirt when you lit the fireplace.
I would have taken the time to listen to my grandfather ramble about his youth.
I would have burnt the pink candle that was sculptured like a rose before it melted while being stored.
I would have sat cross-legged on the lawn with my children and never worried about grass stains.
I would have cried and laughed less while watching television … and more while watching real life.
I would have shared more of the responsibility carried by my husband which I took for granted.
I would have eaten less cottage cheese and more ice cream.
I would have gone to bed when I was sick, instead of pretending the Earth would go into a holding pattern if I weren’t there for a day.
I would never have bought ANYTHING just because it was practical/wouldn’t show soil/ guaranteed to last a lifetime.
When my child kissed me impetuously, I would never have said, “Later. Now, go get washed up for dinner.”
There would have been more I love yous … more I’m sorrys … more I’m listenings … but mostly, given another shot at life, I would seize every minute of it … look at it and really see it … try it on … live it … exhaust it … and never give that minute back until there was nothing left of it.
The American public, having allowed the War Party which represents them, to escape without a single penalty for its war crimes in Iraq, Libya, Afghanistan, Iran and Syria, is on its way to another with the NY Times and Nationalist Propaganda Radio (NPR), that has NEVER opposed or a allowed a word of opposition to a US war or intervention on its air waves in its 50 years of existence, a far more sinister media operation than Fox News, leading the way.
"President Biden is considering deploying several thousand U.S. troops, as well as warships and aircraft, to NATO allies in the Baltics and Eastern Europe, an expansion of American military involvement amid mounting fears of a Russian incursion into Ukraine, according to administration officials."
WALT GARRISON: In 1972, Garrison was featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated for its pro football preview issue; the photo was from Super Bowl VI in January. During the season, he suffered a 16-stitch cut in one of his fingers while doing his favorite hobby (whittling). He was named to the Pro Bowl, and he played in the Pro Bowl a few days after suffering a gash in his face while steer wrestling.
A "real" cowboy, he spent time on the professional rodeo circuit during the football off-seasons. His signing bonus with the Dallas Cowboys in 1966 included a horse trailer. One of the more humorous sports quotes was attributed to Cowboy quarterback Don Meredith speaking about Garrison's dependability, "If it was third down, and you needed four yards, if you'd get the ball to Walt Garrison, he'd get you five. And if it was third down and you needed twenty yards, if you'd get the ball to Walt Garrison, by God, he'd get you five."
Garrison was named to the Dallas Cowboys' 25th anniversary team and was also inducted into the Texas Cowboy Hall of Fame and the Texas Sports Hall of Fame in 2012.
SIX THINGS THE MEDIA WON'T TELL YOU ABOUT UKRAINE
by Ted Snider
On January 10, American and Russian officials will meet to discuss Putin’s proposal on mutual security guarantees. Western media and political analysts have cast Putin’s demands that NATO not expand further east to Ukraine and that NATO not establish military bases in former Soviet states nor use them to carry out military activity as bold and impossible.
Here are six crucial pieces of background that the western media will not tell you...
LOST OPPORTUNITIES IN JOE BIDEN’S LONG NEWS CONFERENCE
by Ralph Nader
President Joe Biden broke the record for the longest presidential press conference ever – going nearly two hours fielding question after question. He stood that long to prove his stamina and dispel bigoted charges of ageism.
How did he do by his own standards? First, his opening remarks naturally touted the bright spots in the economy and the administration’s efforts to control Covid-19 during his first year in office. However, he missed an important opportunity to connect with the public and focus the tunnel-vision media on the serious legislation he wants to advance.
For example, early on Biden proposed reversing some of the tax cuts for giant corporations and the super-wealthy that Trump rammed through Congress in 2017. Biden did not say why it is urgent for Congress to act on this matter or explain that these taxes are necessary not just for fairness, but to pay for the major proposals he has on Capitol Hill. Therefore, the media will not pay attention and assume he has given up.
Calling himself a “union guy” for decades, Biden inexplicably did not give a shout-out for a higher federal minimum wage, now frozen at $7.25 an hour. The House Democrats passed a bill increasing the minimum wage in stages to $15 but the bill is stuck in the Senate and threatened by an anti-worker GOP filibuster. He also could have brought national attention to the House-passed “Protect the Right to Organize (PRO) Act” that makes it less difficult to form unions. This legislation is also mired in the Senate. The President’s failure to mention these proposals signals to the press that these bills are off the table for this election year. Consequently, reporters don’t write about these important measures.
Biden portrayed his Republican enemies in the Senate with weak language, asking thrice whether there was anything the GOP was for. That criticism could have been far more penetrating had he enumerated ten proposals, passed in the House, that the corporate-indentured Republicans in both the House and Senate were against big time. Imagine the impact, for example, of noting the GOP blocking the renewal of $300 or $250 monthly checks to over 65 million children (both liberal and conservative families in need) in a mid-winter pandemic. Why not mention expanding Medicare for the elderly, or rebuilding America in every community—the latter desired by just about every local chamber of commerce, union, and small business? Such concise contrasts by Biden would have sent the cruel duo, Mitch McConnell and Kevin McCarthy reeling.
Biden spoke of infrastructure, to be sure, but didn’t highlight the appeal to specific local interests and the overwhelming public support. He should have also warned big business to stop grabbing and corrupting the safety net assistance for deprived small business, under the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). He could have referred to the Inspector General’s exposés at the Small Business Administration (SBA), which have gone almost unnoticed.
Biden marveled at the fact that not one Republican senator has dissented from draconian do-nothing Republican leaders. Unfortunately, the Democrats assured the Republican lock-step by not trying months ago to intensely spin-off some GOP Senators starting with the five not running for re-election and Senator Mitt Romney (R-UT). Romney says he hasn’t received one call from the White House.
Presidential remarks at press conferences needn’t devote more than two or three sentences to alert the country and the media to an administration’s priorities. Biden’s omissions were puzzling indeed by comparison to his own previous policy stands.
As a long-time corporate Democrat, it was not surprising that Biden did not mention law and order for the corporate crooks that have hugely ripped off government programs, as well as exploiting consumers and workers. But then he doesn’t exactly have the strong support from the Democratic Party or the Democratic National Committee (DNC) down to the state committees whose hands are out 24/7 for corporate campaign contributions.
Equally disappointing were the reporters’ questions narrowly ranging over a small number of issues – voting rights, the votes in Congress, his declining poll numbers, and Ukraine. The White House Press Corps, as the legendary pioneer Helen Thomas would politely point out, censors itself when it isn’t fearful of its bosses or being sycophantic. There were no questions on what Biden wants, but omitted. There were no questions on the corporate domination of just about every sector of our government and its political economy. And there were no questions about the bloated, unauditable, draining military budget to which was added $24 billion more than Biden and the Pentagon requested.
Consumers are hurt by gouging prices, deceptive practices, and blocked remedies. Many workers have widespread occupational hazards, low pay, and few benefits, yet they are taking more opportunities in a period of temporary labor shortages to form unions among some big-box chains and retailers (Starbucks, Amazon). The White House Press Corps repeatedly fails to ask questions that ordinary people would want answered about their conditions.
When Biden signals his acceptance of only pieces of his proposals being passed, he pre-signals defeat and weakens his negotiating leverage in advance. Presidents who appear weak diminish per se their influence with Congress.
Perhaps the media’s worst performance last Wednesday was their war-inciting, history-forgetting questions about Ukraine – goading a properly cautious Biden. After all, dictator Putin knows how deep Russian memories are of losing about 50 million people from western frontier invasions in World War I and World War II. They know that any Russian leader would oppose NATO, a military alliance against the Soviet Union – bringing weapons and membership to adjacent Ukraine. Nonetheless, the reporters chose war inciting, not peace inciting (diplomacy), questions, other than asking about what happened to his campaign promise to end the war in Yemen.
Biden, his advisers, and the Press Corps need to review their performances to avoid future ditto heading. We need to make them care enough to engage in such introspections.
WONDER MUCH about the eerie blank demeanor of Erin Burnett, who delivers the 7:00 o’clock news on CNN? I sure do. It’s a creepy kind of fraught blankness, like what the Vietnam grunts used to call the thousand-mile stare, denoting their guilty involvement in a morally odious enterprise. Of course, one must follow CNN in order to discern what fresh bullshit the governing regime is serving up day-to-day from its steam-table of perfidy and bad faith. Does the lady hate her job that much? Or does that farbissiner face signify mere simmering contempt for the audience of deplorable elderly gorks receiving said bullshit over their pitiful TV trays of Ensure on Froot Loops? Or maybe a miniature Donald Trump lives in her head dressed in a little red devil suit with horns, stabbing her parietal lobes with his tiny pitchfork?
Seeing as how Ms. Burnett is the mouthpiece for the Progressive Woke news media in the primest evening slot, does that glowering visage represent the peculiar joylessness of the political Left, a movement steeped in a special kind of shame induced by the irritating failure of its ideas to comport with reality? This is the joylessness of people bunkered too deep in anomie to even find pleasure in their own sadism. Thus, the hint of bored indignation: how dare you not believe the bullshit I am delivering on behalf of your betters… who know what’s good for you?
Or maybe the girl is just on quaaludes.
Anyway, nothing serves as a better barometer of how things are going in the struggle over the fate of this tortured land than Erin Burnett’s scowling puss. And where is this country going? I will tell you: straight into a dark passage of the profoundest political discord, an epochal nightmare of loss and death brought on, it begins to seem, deliberately, by the folks in charge. They are being found out, and the fact that they remain in charge spells ever more obvious danger among all concerned as the truth of their crimes emerges.
What awaits now is mayhem in the financial markets, the banking system, and national currencies — underway even as you read this. It’s not enough that the people of Western Civ have been battered by a contrived assault on their physical health; now they’ll watch themselves go broke and hungry. Maybe even the monsters of idiocy behind president “Joe Biden” can cook up a world-beating hypersonic war over a country we have next-to-zero national interest in just to make things perfect. I can’t wait to see the look on Erin Burnett’s face as the history of the future unspools.
— James Kunstler
A READER WRITES: I always associated “The Thousand Yard Stare” as a state of complete preoccupation of mental processes to absent mindedness. One might venture a guess that it’s from being subjected to prolonged exposure to a situation in which a person ceases to have an expectation of survival.
CRAIG ON THE COUCH
Unified in the Chaos
There is actually only one activity which is necessary, and that is to keep the mind united with its Source. When this is accomplished, there is nothing left to achieve.
Sitting at Local Flavors enjoying a red eye coffee, watching passersby and the slow moving tourist traffic on Redwood Drive, it is a pleasant, sunny day in Garberville, California.
In order to maintain centeredness, innumerable practices are available, some new and some ancient. It is crucial to have one that the individual enjoys and will be kept up. At some point there has to be something that is more important than anything else. That's the key. I have been reciting the Mahamantram for over 50 years: Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare. I discovered this when a group of Krishna devotees moved next door during my junior year at The University of Arizona in Tucson in 1970. The practice proved to be so enjoyable, that I just kept doing it. I continued chanting while still going to Catholic mass, while living in New York City during the hip 70s, upon moving to California during 23 years serving with Catholic Worker, including twice being in residence at the Berkeley Krishna Temple, while employed by the San Francisco Zen Center in 1979, while in India in 1994, and at both NYC and D.C. Occupy encampments, and on and on and on...
Awoke this morning on the green couch at The Earth First! Media Center, with the mind silently repeating the Mahamantram fast. It has slowed down a tad by early afternoon, but continues to keep the Mahamantram going constantly. Regardless of any outside event, it never stops! Attached to none of postmodern society's institutional insanity, fully aware of what I am, and not identified with the body nor the mind, at the appropriate time I am going back to Godhead.
Trust me on this one: You do not want to be here at the end of the Kali yuga. Vaishnava scriptures have spelled out that the final avataric incarnation, who is Kalki astride a white horse brandishing a flaming sword, will appear to destroy the demonic.
I am very happy to have been able to share this ultimate truth with you. ~Hare Krishna
Craig Louis Stehr